We’ve stuffed ourselves with the good things we’ve created, yet still yearn for meaning. The recent riots are a sign of our despair.
Absolute, arrant nonsense.
This is the result of the mass and usually illegal immigration allowed and encouraged by the globalist, self-styled "elites" with the specific intent of destabilizing Western democratic nations and their beautiful and rich cultures. Whether in the US or Europe, borders are opened and societies are destabilized by masses of uneducated, unassimilated aliens bringing poverty, crime and aberrant culture. And for whom do the elites reserve their greatest obloquy and attacks? The few politicians who dare oppose this national suicide - Trump, Orban, Meloni, Farage, LePen et. al. If you have no borders, you have no nation. If you have no national culture and identity, you have no country. And that's just the way our new feudal overlords want it. Wake up.
In these places, Weitzmann points out, “the poverty rate reaches 43 percent, and the unemployment rate almost 19 percent. The annual income per household does not exceed 14,000 euros.” - What is the poverty rate or unemployment rate of the places they immigrated from? When they left their country of origin and immigrated to a new place were they guaranteed wealth, jobs or prosperity? How exactly do they feel cheated by the place they now call home? What are these "Western ideals" that have taken root in their life and behavior that make them unwelcome back in their countries of origin? It would appear from the article that the definition of "systemic racism" is the lack of a guaranteed income, guaranteed housing, and the ability break the laws of the country they now reside in without repercussions.
I was raised in a dirt poor Catholic family of 10. We couldn’t even afford a car. But we were rich in values. We were taught to work hard and follow the Golden Rule and 10 Commandments. 8 of us attended University. But I was lucky. I was raised in a peaceful and mainly law abiding country.
I would never take or damage someone else’s property or use violence outside the rules of a sports arena.
Muslim youth have been burning cars in French cities for 20 years. It is irrational to make excuses for criminal behaviour.
So, the immigrants are unemployed and live in poverty, but they can organize destruction on their iphones.
“anti-world”—of the housing projects known as les cités, - Please let me come to your country for freedom and liberty, plus opportunities to live better. Wait, you mean that requires work and sacrifice, plus an education? Well I was thinking more like how about FREE! I live in public housing and on the dole because I am unwilling to assimilate and learn what is needed. So if that doesn't work then I must immediately blame all people who had nothing to do with it, but pay for my free shit. See you doing what is needed to get ahead must mean you are a racist and have prevented me from getting ahead, although, again, I am not really interested in learning your language, cultures, and social norms. See I prefer to bring the same crappy standards I came from but expect different results.
How about all of you stay home and fight the things you are running from. Stand up and take responsibility for the crappy country you fled. Show some courage and desire to change things.
You can spend every penny the government has (like America) and it will never be enough. Sorry, yes there is racism and lack of opportunities, but come on, you are also responsible for your own status. How do immigrants in America get ahead. Education, work long hours, sacrifice for the children's future.
Someone needs to explain how Western countries are to handle the ever increasing flood of immigrants and make people from maybe 5-6 different countries happy? I believe more likely it is the liberals of the world putting out false hope of just get to France, America, Great Britain and you will be happy and taken care of. Well you know, in case anyone forgets, the people of these countries are already struggling to live their lives and take care of their own. Now it's racism if the red carpet is not rolled out and perfect results. Someone explain to me how you handle the continuing flood of refugees who will not fight for their own country, yet expect a perfect result from the immigration? Unrealistic expectations!
I agree in part that there is a lack of ideals facing this generation born post- achievements. However, my children ages 30-17 have been directly educated by professors and teachers both in college and in high school over the last 10 years that they are surrounded by societal ills and they must revolt. It’s my personal belief that education and educators have Marxist leanings in the same way the German universities were in the 1800s and are creating soldiers of the students.
Who remembers the progressive social policy they used to call ‘multiculturalism?’
When essentially unlimited immigration was supported by the cheerful, but ridiculous, metaphor comparing multiculturalism to a lovely organic salad one might find in a café in the 5th arrondissement. A more apt metaphor is a head of iceberg lettuce, an onion, and a tomato shoved next to each other in a bowl, slathered with dressing. In this case, French dressing.
Functioning societies are built on a foundation of shared values, norms and customs. With each new ingredient, in measured amounts, contributing to a unified whole. Otherwise, we end up with a mouthful of onions.
Some excellent points about our "overabundance" issue. However, in terms of the riots in France, one important factor has been overlooked. What is the role of the Muslim Brotherhood in these riots? I haven't heard a word in the media about the clash between Islam and modern France.
France also colonized Vietnam but the the French-Vietnamese don’t riot and cause mass destruction. Britain colonized the areas of India and now Pakistan, yet the Hindu and Sikh Indians to the Uk and their descendants don’t bomb buses and trains or organize “grooming gangs” to rape and pimp out young girls.
We spend way more time trying to rationalize the resentments of others than they spend on introspection of their own resentments.
Something tells me that there's a disconnect between the concerns of this essay and the concerns of the Muslim population in France. Anecdotally, while living in Paris in the 80s, I could not get down the narrow sidewalk without a Moroccan grabbing me; a "little Moroccan" denuded my purse in a bar, and about ten years ago in Marseilles, a French native spoke in glowing terms about going into the Middle Eastern (slum) to "see the Muslims selling their wares." A nice euphemism for cutting a drug deal.
There was less than zero evidence that these people have any inclination to assimilate into French or any Western culture. On a trip to Sweden last summer, in hushed tones those areas were pointed out as the places where the violent come from, private conversations on how much trouble came with them, and how no one voted to bring these parasites in. Add to this that most are young men, who aren't finding wives, so -- like rogue elephants -- trample the villages and cause mayhem.
What IS the rationale behind bringing people from an antithetical culture into the Western world? And why do so many people believe that this is a good thing to do? For whom is it beneficial? Why isn't the argument that their strong young men should stay home and build their own country and marry their own women and perpetuate their own culture, as opposed to moving to a Western country and setting up a slum?
Those who believe this is a common good are useful idiots and moral narcissists. Even if France did colonize those countries (one can infer that this immigration policy is some form of apology) there's very little rationale behind bringing in a population that will leach off the system, create its own underworld, and go around spitting at the natives. In Sweden, they have tortured Swedish children. They OTHER the natives. They practice all of the forms of racism to which the natives are forbidden.
The Westerners are not racist. The immigrants are. This is evident in their burning things down. That 17-year-old was resisting arrest. That's the common denominator in all of these cases. They live outside the law, and are upbraided when the law comes after them, because the rules do not apply to them. Period. It's the same in the US. No one has the right to resist arrest. That kid (as I've read) was a serial offender, too young to drive, and up to no good. He didn't deserve to die, of course, but nor did he deserve to live in France as he demographically, historically, was about to make little to no contribution to French society.
The author is correct in that we are a wealthier world now. And undoubtedly, every rioter is better off in France than they would be in their country of family origin. But the politics of envy is a relative disease and the rioters compare themselves to their more successful local peers rather than their less successful distant relatives. Mass media and social media amplify that comparative distance, sometimes fictionally, fanning the flames. For those old enough to remember, there was a time when half the world thought the average American lived like the TV shows Dallas and Dynasty. It’s much much worse now of course. Envy is a large driver in violence, which is why the left uses it to fan grievances.
There is also another thing the author, and many media commentators, miss. Rioting is, well, fun. It’s not just profitable to rob a store. It is exhilarating. Freedom from restraint. Group action. Adrenaline pumping. It’s a sport that you can’t lose. In a society with no boundaries rioting will become merely a sport for the masses.
Brilliant. “The West has made such extraordinary—indeed, historically unique—progress in reducing suffering on a large scale that we’re now left grasping for new ideals and new aspirations to fulfill. This is not to say that everything is perfect. But the current penchant for protests and riots is profoundly out of proportion with the relatively small-scale challenges we still face.”
Our lives are so good that nothing is left to get bent out of shape over except being “misgendered.” Can you imagine people in any other time period being obsessed with pronouns? All of this nonsense is, ironically, a mark of privilege. I like the insight that this is linked to our search for meaning. Interesting.
This essay reminds me of Hans Rosling’s book, “Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things are Better Than We Think.” We have a tendency to think racism has never been worse—or poverty or anything else. But in fact the opposite is true. Of course, to realize that, we do have to consider the actual FACTS, not our bored, aimless feelings.
Answer to Free Press about Paris revolts
Liliane Messika - email@example.com
I am a French faithful reader of The Free Press, as I was one of Common Sense, hence I abstain to read Le Monde, except when I suffer an acute attack of masochism…
Le Monde is a copy-paste of the NYT in its wokiest extremism.
I am not surprised to read that the “explanation” of the riots and lootings given by one of its reporters is all about poverty alienation and unemployment.
In these places, Weitzmann points out, “the poverty rate reaches 43 percent, and the unemployment rate almost 19 percent. The annual income per household does not exceed 14,000 euros.”
Let’s just look at the originating cause of the mayhem: a 17-year old Muslim kid has been killed by a policeman when he refused to stop at a checkpoint. A) In France, you are not allowed to sit for your driving license before being of age (that’s 18 years old). B) He was driving a Mercedes deluxe car worth more than €70,000. C) Since 2017, law enforcement officers are allowed to shoot at a vehicle that fails to obey a stop order and whose occupants "are likely to perpetrate, in their flight, harm to their life or physical integrity or that of others". In 2021, there were 27,609 of them, that is one refusal to stop every 30 minutes. (The numbers for 2022 are not yet available). D) A number of police people have been killed or maimed by drivers refusing to stop in recent months, one of them in La Rochelle in May 2023 .
What about facts and figures?
Weitzmann quotes the average official salary in these areas, which hardly represents reality, since A) The unemployment figures represent the number of its beneficiaries. But B) many of these beneficiaries work on the side and are paid in cash, since unemployment benefit is not correlated with an effective job search. C) People who never worked a day in their lives are not left to starve homeless. They can receive the RSA stipend: (€607.75 per month) and live for next to nothing in government housings. The RSA is supposedly aimed at helping French nationals over the age of 25 to survive without working but “special conditions” are apparently met by many foreigners which allow them to benefit too.
When the French President, Macron, visited the police on the night of July 3 to 4, he wondered who he could ask for help: parents? Teachers? The police?
“Only drug dealers, Mr. President”, a police officer answered. “Actually, they're the ones who started asking them to calm down a couple of days ago, because all this mess is bad for their business. It's been a week since the drug trade has been running at a standstill”.
Weitzmann forgot to mention the daily €1,000 cash a 8-years old gets for watching for drugs gangs (they are called “chouffeurs” from “chouff”, to watch in Arabic). More generally, he doesn’t take at all into account the parallel drug economy that plagues these areas, and that the officer explained to Emmanuel Macron.
Another excuse for the rioter given by Le Monde and his journalist is “post-colonialism”, which is the woke translation of “racism against Michels”.
What is a Michel? It was the most common French male given name in the 1990’s. Today it would rather be Mohammed. If you are called a Michel, you’d better run! Unless you are a drugs customer.
The rioters today are the 3rd or 4th generation of economic immigrants. Their grand-parents were happy to find a better situation in France than what they had at home in Algeria or in Morocco. So were their parents.
But the contagion of post-colonial themes from the United States convinced the third and fourth generations that they were victims of racism and discrimination, and that France owed them everything, whereas they owed it nothing.
Combine that with a literal reading of the Koran: “you are the best community that has been raised up for mankind, you command what is decent, forbid what is blamable, and believe in Allah” (Sura 3 verse 10 ), and the result is people who have no incentive to learn, work or behave in the French way of life, that is equality between men and women and between Muslims and non-Muslims.
One thing Weitzmann says is true : In fact, it was understood in Paris, that “absorbing Algerians and Moroccans into France would be viewed as a casus belli by the nationalist regimes in Algiers and Rabat.”
So they were left in the care of imams coming from their original countries, who taught Koran to their children and others coming from Saudi Arabia and Qatar who taught them anti-French feelings, terror and who accentuated the anti-Semitism inherent in the upbringing they would have received in their countries of origin, by adding to it a flavor of Nazism.
But the “cités” were not left to poverty and segregation. The drug dealers reigned and the local authorities paid for “social peace” in money and also with sports and cultural facilities that non-immigrant suburbs never enjoyed.
Abe Greenwald is much closer to reality than a Le Monde journalist will ever be.
Although when he writes that “Many Muslims who reside in housing projects live in a country far removed from the France of the American imagination. Their lives in the banlieues are marked by a chronic lack of social services, from childcare to medicine to education”, one has to remind him that each time a library is built in these areas, it is burnt to the ground at the first dissatisfaction of the local “youth”. And that in recent years, the police, firemen and doctors were ambushed by locals who called them for help only to attack them when they arrived.
If these “banlieues” have become no-go zones, it is not because the French governments have abandoned them but because they discouraged any non-Muslim to come.
Another thing I agree with is that “The West has made such extraordinary—indeed, historically unique—progress in reducing suffering on a large scale that we’re now left grasping for new ideals and new aspirations to fulfill.”
I would add Tocqueville’s paradox to this explanation: the more social conditions and opportunities improve, and the more the little distance between the achievement and the ideal situation appears as unbearable. The Tocqueville paradox contradicts Karl Marx’s theory, because it states that a revolution is more likely to happen, after an improvement in social conditions, than as a result of deterioration of conditions of the proletariat.
As a matter of fact, in forty years of national “suburban plans”, nearly 100 billion euros have been poured into these irreparable, factious areas - to no avail.
Meanwhile, rural France is dying, but no-one cares, because the Michels never riot or loot!
Clearly, the answer to follow French foreign policy in the Middle East. Convene a UN conference. Coordinate aid from the EU to the rioter. Condemn the police response. Arrive at a two state solution, where the immigrants can impose their views in contradiction to the secular French constitution. Then give the rioters 50% of Paris in exchange for acknowledging that France has a right to exist. Also the French should be forced to give Corsica and Brittany independence, as well as returning Nice and the South of France to their rightful owner, Italy...
Quite frankly, those cities such as San Francisco and New York, which no longer respect property rights and civil order, are likely to face outmigration and tax base collapse.
Interesting take. I would agree that lack of meaning is probably a factor, in general, in riots over the past 10-15 years in the West. However, I wonder about these particular riots. This author as much as admits that the rioters are chiefly Muslim when he describes the demographics: North African, Middle Eastern. If you import masses of people who despise you and your culture and respect only one law, and it isn’t the law of their host country, at some point they will revolt. It seems likely that this could be an early manifestation of that inevitable conflict. The funny, or tragic, part of that would be that while the West is soul-searching about who or what abstract and mysterious factors could possibly be responsible for ALL riots in the past 15 years, a question of limited utility in its broadness, Islam is actively challenging the authority of the jurisdictions it has infiltrated. Perhaps we Westerners are so lost in the search for meaning, we miss the glaringly obvious: we have allowed our countries to be invaded and looting and violence always ensues when you are invaded.