Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Teasing out the facts in France

I'm too lazy today to provide links in this post, so you'll just have to take my word for it that the basic facts I've asserted in this post are true. I've been thinking a lot about the riots in France (but, then, who hasn't?), and it seems to be that France represents the Perfect Storm, where a variety of factors come together to create disaster. Here are the basic facts that all my reading and my previous fund of knowledge demonstrate about the rioters: 1. They're young. 2. They're North African in origin. 3. They're poor. 4. They're Muslim. 5. They live in a semi-Socialist economy that does not reward hard work or lowest common denominator assimilation. 6. They live in a country that states that, if people wish to get on the limited gravy train, they must entirely abandon their own culture and religion. Failing that, they're consigned to the economic margins. It seems to me that factors one through four are what they are, and cannot be changed (although time will take care of factor one, and my "first change", below, should take care of factor three). Factors five and six, however, there's where a smart country can make changes to prevent the Perfect Storm from happening. First change -- embrace capitalism. Sure you can put in your limited safety nets, and be sure to enforce laws that keep the market honest, but otherwise, the State should stay out of the economy. America's history shows that, while there is always truth that some people will stay at the margins, the majority make some life for themselves, and, if they really sacrifice, they can make a great life for their children. The State cannot do this. Never has, never will. Second change -- do not force people to abandon who they are to obtain economic benefits. Now, I know that at least one of my readers is think, "Aha, she's admitting that multiculturalism, which she's attacked viciously before, is in fact a good thing." No, I am not. I loathe multiculturalism, which is where the government and cultural arbiters (Hollywood, universities) force everyone to worship before all cultures but Western ones, and to abandon the notion of a greater American culture. This currently denigrated American culture, however, can serve as a sheltering umbrella under which the many diverse cultures in America retain their identities while still participating in the American public square -- and still following American laws. Thus, things like Honor Killing, which may be a tradition in one culture, cannot be allowed to survive in America. Okay, I'm done with my very brief trip through the evils of multiculturalism. Equally bad, however, is the French approach, which is the extreme opposite of multiculturalism. In France, all cultural signposts must be erased, but for French secular culture. People are denied the ability to find stability and comfort within their own families and traditions and, instead, must entirely abandon who they are and where they come from. Ultimately, either of these approaches -- both of which represent extreme responses to immigrant populations -- breeds profound discontent with the dominant culture and just asks for precisely the trouble now plaguing France. UPDATE: Daniel Pipes has his usual intelligent, comprehensive survey of the situation. UPDATE II: Robert Spencer thinks there are signs that the rioters are being orchestrated and backed by an organized Jihad movement. UPDATE III: Unsurprisingly, Laer has his usual excellent analysis of a complicated situation, which you can read here.