Riots: The Failure of Big Government

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:

Source, Eurostat

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.

Get it right

One needn't make an appeal to an anti-big government ideology to explain what's happening in Paris. The fact is, Sarkozy stopped the program of community policing that was so effective. The current situation is a direct result of his abandoning a tactic that has proved its effectiveness from New York City to Los Angeles and even here in France. In addition to abandoning those honest residents of the cités, Sarkozy and Chirac's government's default position of antagonism has certainly prepared the terrain for what is happening now. Sarkozy frequently demonizes the residents of the cités in the press while running police operations that resemble military raids. No surprise that the rioters have responded in the fashion that they have. I mean by organizing and coordinating. At some point one accepts the portrait one's enemies broadcast, for there is power in that alone. Should Chirac have chosen to effectively address the manifold social issues plauging these sad housing projects they would have never rioted. When you sniff that these are "muslim" riots you are simply displaying a whopping ignorance of France and French politics

Vietnamese in France?

I was looking for information about the Vietnamese community in France (income, education, employment rate, etc.), and couldn't find any. It would be very interesting for me to see, as I keep reading that the riots are due in large part to discrimination.

french vietnamese

About 250,000 Vietnamese in France. My guess is that they are economically more successful than North Africans, but this is based on anecdotal evidence rather than stats.

It is indeed difficult to get data. Try searching Google with:
"diaspora vietnamienne en france"

Data are never broken by

Data are never broken by ethnicity in France, so you will find none on Vietnamese. However, I can testify that they are doing well. The typical Dr Nguyen (Ph.D in cardiology) is a common face here.

I know that you will blame me, but I'm now deeply convinced that most of the explanation relies, well ..., in Charles Murray's The Bell Curve. The immigrants' failure is due to the g factor, i.e. general intelligence of which Africans of all sorts are less endowed with.

Riots, IQ and Immigration

Extremely Angry Frenchman,
Here is an American pundit's opinion of the riots:

Very unfashionable.


Very unfashionable.

The author doesn't seem to have heard about cultural bias in so-called IQ tests.

It's a well-known scientific fact that if you treat people like shit and send them to crap schools, their innate intelligence goes down. Counter-intuitive, isn't it.

Bob Doney

Well-known Scientific Fact

Here are about 50 articles that author has written on IQ.

I find the twin and adoption studies most interesting. Very counter-intuitive.


As I've inherited a lazy streak from my father's side, perhaps you could point out the particular findings on twin and adoption studies that advance the little debate we've been having here.

Bob Doney

Some Studies


Here is an article from a few days ago about a British adoption study that should be published this week. As these studies tend to show, nature plays more of a role than does nurture. This one claims that genes account for 75% of "educational attainment."

Here is an interesting post from a few months ago at GNXP (an excellent blog) discussing transracial adoption studies. Asians adopted by whites do better than whites, while blacks adopted by whites do worse than whites, academically.

Twin studies are also very interesting, I find. Here is a paper (a little older) discussing the famous Minnesota twin studies. One finding was that genes were responsible for about 70% of IQ differences.

I also enjoyed the book "Twins and What They Tell Us about Who We Are" by Lawrence Wright.


Asians adopted by whites do better than whites, while blacks adopted by whites do worse than whites, academically.

Thanks, Neandertal. I'll take a look later. But be warned, I'll be sceptical! For instance, is it possible that the black kids adopted by white families encountered prejudice and discrimination at school and elsewhere, damaging their confidence and achievement? Surely not!!!!

You might find the story of Nimmy March interesting - the "mixed-race" adopted daughter of a real British Lord!!

Bob Doney

Self Esteem


For some reason the link to GNXP didn't work when I went back to look at the post. The URL is: . Interestingly the black adoptees had the highest self-esteem, followed by whites and then Asians, who had the lowest self-esteem, even though they scored highest in all other categories. (Admittedly the sample size is small.)

I certainly wouldn't dispute that racism and discrimination do not exist. I had a miserable year in school in England when I was young, because I wasn't British. Even though most of my classmates were very pleasant, some were not. They were the ones who bullied anyone they could however, however they could.

Thank you.

Thank you. For better or for worse, I think there might be some truth in that. To me, it seems a shame that policy makers will never admit nor take the possibility into account, which ultimately is much worse for everyone. As the current situation demonstrates.