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November 03, 2005

Comments

Factory

No, the riots in Paris are the result of terrible social and economic policies which many on the left and the authoritarian right would love to implement in the English-speaking world if only they could find a big enough constituency to support their ideas
So if the riots in Paris condemn the social disruption of the european model of governance, does the same apply to the brixton riots and the rodney king riots of the english speaking world?

Hmm I think this is a problem with any form of large scale immigration, the countries they immigrate to will always have a degree of resistance to immigrants which will put divisions into the society that can result in large scale social disruption. England also is in danger of falling into similar problems with it's large-not-too-well integrated immigrant populations, and the US with it's large and effectively second-class citizen illegal immigrant population.
If governments are not proactive about promoting integration and understanding between communities there will eventually be these sorts of problems.

Oh and..
http://www.adequacy.org/public/stories/2001.9.12.102423.271.html
(It just never gets old)
(which oddly enough could be applied to both sides :)

Abiola Lapite

"So if the riots in Paris condemn the social disruption of the european model of governance, does the same apply to the brixton riots and the rodney king riots of the english speaking world?"

Yes. What, you think those blacks rioting in Watts were doing so because the weather was too hot or something? It would seem that in your mind one can't condemn the failings of one system without letting another off the hook.

"It just never gets old"

How incredibly stupid. Is this what passes for insightful commentary in your head? I point out that being harassed day in day out by police for one's ID while having no work and living in high rise exurbian ghettoes has a way of breeding disaffection, and you link to an old troll in response: I can hardly imagine a dafter retort to what is pretty much a statement of the obvious.

Jim

Hmm I think this is a problem with any form of large scale immigration, the countries "they immigrate to will always have a degree of resistance to immigrants which will put divisions into the society that can result in large scale social disruption. England also is in danger of falling into similar problems with it's large-not-too-well integrated immigrant populations, and the US with it's large and effectively second-class citizen illegal immigrant population."

You are shooting low and to the left. OOps, no pun intended. The Rodney King riots had nothing to do with illegal immigrnats. Illegal immigrnats are too busy with thier 16-hour workdays, and they don't want to attract that or any kind of attention. The Rodney King rioters were in esence illigrants, because in LA no one has been there more than about two generations. Most Mexican-Americans have been there about that long and of course both black and white Anglos are from even farther away and are in many ways more foreign.

But even so, your basic point is well taken. The Rodney King riots were just about a slightly different version of the same pathology.

Jessica

I hear report of gunfire making this the worlds 54th armed conflict.

Neel Krishnaswami

How confirmed are the most extreme stories? There were a lot of horror stories when Katrina hit that all turned out to be bogus.

Abiola Lapite

We'll see about the shots being fired, but the reports of widespread arson are genuine enough:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9891709/

It's worth noting that the article discloses the French unemployment rate for under 25s to be 23%; as this is for *all* French youths under 25, and going on the information in this article

http://www.time.com/time/europe/magazine/article/0,13005,901040301-593483,00.html

I'd guess the rate for young people of North African origin is 2 to 3 times that, which is simply catastrophic. How anyone can attribute such a disaster to something other than France's much vaunted "social model" (i.e. rigid labor markets) is beyond me.

Jim

The labor situation is enough to cause this kind of thing, but on top of that is a profound alienation from French society due to the impossibly exacting for "becoming French" - total assimilation into the Borg of French culture; wine, pork and emancipated women.

Abiola Lapite

None of that was ever enough to drive Orthodox Jews to rioting: I think this is one incident that can be explained without any recourse to religion, unless we're talking about the way in which perceptions of Islam color the majority's prejudices.

It wasn't religion that drove the inhabitants of Watts to riot in the 1960s and the 1990s, nor was it religion that did so in Brixton in 1981 - rampant discrimination, enduring high unemployment and non-stop police harassment are the ingredients which tie all these incidents together.

Sebastian Holsclaw

"None of that was ever enough to drive Orthodox Jews to rioting: I think this is one incident that can be explained without any recourse to religion, unless we're talking about the way in which perceptions of Islam color the majority's prejudices."

Sparking it is mostly independent of political Islam so those who want to link it directly to the war on terror would be mistaken. But the problem is related to Islam and France's response to it. It is definitely related to the fact that France wants a very agressively secular model of assimilation which isn't well received by Muslims.

The real irony is that the large "social justice" component of these riots is what more socialist societies are supposed to be able to avoid by their generous practices.

Sebastian Holsclaw

Essentially France is in the process of answering the question of what the US would have looked like during the 1960s if churches with the militant agressiveness of Malcolm X were the dominant form of religous worship instead of the actual Baptist churches. (Yes I know that Malcolm X isn't a standard Muslim. My point isn't about Islam, it is about militantly agressive forms of any particular religion).

Andrew

"The real irony is that the large "social justice" component of these riots is what more socialist societies are supposed to be able to avoid by their generous practices."

Hypothesis: the type of social justice created (or attempted to created) depends on what political coalition is assembled to elect social democratic governments. In the U.S., the New Deal coalition which lasted until quite recently was made up of the white working class, minorities, and urban professionals/intellectuals. Hence liberalism in the U.S. involves social redistribution + minority rights. Whereas in Europe, during the period when social democratic parties were forming, there were very few minorities, so the coalition that was formed didn't include them. Now that ethnic minorities are a significant part of the population, the existing social democratic coalition doesn't know what to do with them - hence redistributing only to members of the majority ethnic group that monopolized the original social democratic coalition.

Dr Evle

They should consider importing three or four
Afrikaner cops from South Africa. That should settle the matter quickly enough:

http://www.mg.co.za/articlepage.aspx?area=/breaking_news/other_news/&articleid=255631

SA cop in UK breaks arrest record
London, United Kingdom
03 November 2005 12:16
A former South African police officer who moved to Britain for a career change has won the dubious distinction of becoming Britain's "most arresting" police officer, The Times reported on Thursday.

Police Constable Diederik Coetzee (48) has been acclaimed for making 309 arrests so far this year in the northern British county of Nottinghamshire, compared with an average 9,5 arrests per year by the police forces in England and Wales.

Coetzee has already surpassed the previous British record of 305 arrests for a single year with one month to go.

"It's a joy getting up each morning for work. For me it really is a way of life. In South Africa, I wore a bulletproof vest and carried a shotgun and sidearm. I was shot at by car thieves and burglars on an almost daily basis," Coetzee told The Times.

"At least that doesn't happen here. All I carry is a CS gas canister and a baton. So, from a policing point of view, it's something like paradise."

Abiola Lapite

"In the U.S., the New Deal coalition which lasted until quite recently was made up of the white working class, minorities, and urban professionals/intellectuals. Hence liberalism in the U.S. involves social redistribution + minority rights."

... Thereby giving rise to the populist white resentment at "welfare queens" and "racial quotas" that the likes of Jesse Helms were so adept at tapping into.

"Whereas in Europe, during the period when social democratic parties were forming, there were very few minorities, so the coalition that was formed didn't include them. Now that ethnic minorities are a significant part of the population, the existing social democratic coalition doesn't know what to do with them - hence redistributing only to members of the majority ethnic group that monopolized the original social democratic coalition."

There's the rub: any serious attempt to open up the gateways of opportunity for these new citizens is going to exact a price that the white majority is resolutely against paying, whether it be in terms of less job security or affirmative action programs (which are, in any case, no substitute for job creation, due to their zero-sum nature). For white France at least, the "European social model" still mostly works, especially for those above 30, so why tinker with it for the sake of brown-skinned Muslims who aren't even "real" Frenchmen?

Jim

"In the U.S., the New Deal coalition which lasted until quite recently was made up of the white working class, minorities, and urban professionals/intellectuals. Hence liberalism in the U.S. involves social redistribution + minority rights."

This elides some crucial information. First off the minorities that participated in the New Deal deal wewre moniroities themselves. Secondly despite attempts with nonsense terms like {"people of color" there is no solidarity between minority groups that can stand any kind of strain. So the white working class minorities continued to shut blacks and other Protestants out of unions and other power bases of the New Deal.

if on the other hand by 'minorities" you mean blacks, because Mexicans did not figure in this process at all, then that had nothing to do with any alliance with working class whites. That had to do with a coalition of (some) rich white Southerners, urban intellectuals and mainly balcks own civic and church organizations leveraging the mostly unaware power of white ethnics in the democratic Party. Working class Anglos, in the South, left the party over exactly this issue.

Where Jesse Helms tapped populist resentment, he was tapping into something older, Southern resentment at Northern "interference" in Southern matters. TS. They were damned lucky to be left their own state governments in place after some of the s**t they pulled.

The situation in France is much, much simpler. Beaucoup plus simple, et simpliste. The North Africans came as guest workers in fact, and now they aren't needed, but as French subjects or citizens in law. France tried to maintain its empire in the guise of inseparable departments of the nation. Now that fiction is coming back to bite them.

These foreign minorites may form a sizable proportion of the population for the time being, but that can change in a fairly short time. France had another sizable Middle Eastern/North African population for centuries, the Jews. That didn't end very happily. And please, no dodges about how it was all the nasty Germans' fault.

Abiola Lapite

"Where Jesse Helms tapped populist resentment, he was tapping into something older, Southern resentment at Northern "interference" in Southern matters."

He was tapping into racism, plain and simple, and blatantly so too. I've seen the ads he threw up against Gantt in his senatorial races with my own eyes, so no one can tell me it was about "Northern interference" rather than racial resentment.

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