The riots in Paris are exposing the very soft underbelly of Europe. Economic malaise, government failure, and an emasculated response to violence have all played a part in the rampages and destruction of property.
Economic malaise. News reports are rife with the staggering statistic of 30+% unemployment raging in the ghettos. This is accompanied by calls for government to “do something”. Doing something invariably being the provision of more taxpayer money for sporting clubs, community centers, and the ubiquitous outreach programs. Quite frankly these elements are not the domain of government. None of these feel-good measures get at the root of joblessness. The matter is not helped with the cradle-to-grave socialistic subsidies sans accountability programs rife in Europe. How can one riot for 8 days straight and not worry about paying for housing, food, the bills? Easy, wait for the government to send the subsidy check. Introduce accountability and responsibility into the system and watch people not have as much time on their hands to riot.
Government failure. Government can indeed play a role in helping to lower the astronomical unemployment rate. Perhaps an end to the hyper-protectionist rhetoric so in vogue amongst the elite of France. Perhaps an end to the hyper-taxation [pdf] so damaging to doing business in France, rioters don’t provide jobs... businesses do. Perhaps an end to hyper-regulatory schemes such as the 35-hour work week. Perhaps an end to bullying businesses instead of encouraging them. An overall look at under-25 unemployment in France:
Emasculation. For so long and so loud the left in Europe has demonized the use of force anywhere at anytime. This continues with the demonization of the Sarkozian law and order response to the riots. Denounced as a ‘cowboy’ for the ‘war-like’ response to his employees being shot at and firebombed. Denounced by an elite who have probably not been shot at or the very least have not had their automobiles set on fire... yet. Europe continues to not grasp the concept that both within and without there are very violent people in the world who understand one response to their nihlistic actions, an overwhelming show of force which may also require violence in restoring order and protecting property. Perhaps discussions and encounter groups work well with those you have disagreements with in the cozy confines of the 5ème or the 6ème. The unhappy truth, which elitists are want to acknowledge, is there are still people in the world who settle differences with fists, knives, zippos, guns, and bombs. Attempt to engage one of these types via discussion and high rhetoric, find yourself a bloody mess heaped on the street corner.
A word if I may about my Muslim brothers and sisters. As someone who has lived and worked in the Middle East I must ask my friends on the right to not paint with a broad brush. The thugs involved in the current mayhem of Paris are no more Muslim as is a cat. Having extensive dealings with those who are truly followers of Islam I can tell you that thugs such as these in Paris are condemned by true followers. Thugs and bullies often act destructively under the cover of a religion or causes. Be wary of alienating the 99.9% of Muslims who are just as troubled at the thuggery in Paris as they are at the larger-scale destruction by the posers of the faith in Iraq:
And it is not just the French government that is clueless, local imams seeking to stem the tide of violence in their communities faced a barrage of rocks in response to their calls for restraint. The latter reflects the state of desparation in dealing with disgruntled Muslim youths: they not only have disconnected from society, figures of authority in their own community have long lost the ability to influence them in any fashion. Anyone wondering where the next generation of suicide bombers will come from, well you might fight them in Clichy-sous-Bois.