Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Riots and Progressive Politics

Our liberal friends live in a curious world. On the one hand, they are convinced of the sophistication of their politics, and that the average person really isn't qualified to judge political matters. On the other hand, they often reduce politics to us-versus-them slogans such as Republicans "ending Medicare as we know it" without mentioning the sophisticated concept that Medicare is going to end as we know it with or without Republicans because otherwise it will eat the budget and then the economy.

So it is with public safety. Liberals talk a line to us about poverty causing violence. But they also work to make it a reality by sending community organizers into poverty-stricken areas to remind the people there how the Man is ruining their lives and that police brutality is a form of institutional racism.

Actually, the interesting question is why young underclass males don't riot more. The whole point of modern urban police forces, ever since Robert Peel invented urban policing for the Anglosphere in the 19th century, is to control young underclass urban males. The city is an agent of concentration, for merchants, for workers, for intellectuals, and also for young single males.

Whenever young single males gather together their thoughts, if you want to call them thoughts, turn to mayhem. It is the job of police to look them in the eye and tell them "just you try it." But left-wing politics since the French Revolution has been fueled by the idea of the oppressed rising up against their oppressors. So the left has always worked against the forces of order and encouraged the forces of disorder--young single males--as the potential gunpowder for their hoped-for revolution. Thus the left is always articulating ways in which the police are brutalizing the poor. Of course they are. The police are at war with the natural propensity of young single males to create mayhem.

But there is an additional factor to be considered. And that is the welfare state. In the old days, before the welfare state, the poor had an authentic culture and neighborhood society. They had to, because otherwise they would have perished. But the welfare state has demolished the culture of the poor and substituted middle-class supervision and pensions. The consequence in countries like Britain is that something like 15 percent of the adult population subsists on welfare or "incapacity" benefits. For young adults, the proportion is higher. NEETs, they are called: young people Not in Education, Employment, or Training.

According to figures from the Department for Education, 927,000 people aged 16 to 24 - 15.3 per cent - were classed as Neets between the start of January and end of March [2010].

All in all, you can figure that in cities where the police are restrained from harassing young single males, and the family and the neighborhood culture has been utterly demolished by the welfare state, the wonder is that they don't have riots every night of the year.

If you want to understand the nature of policing the underclass in Britain, the place to start is "Inspector Gadget's" Police Inspector Blog.

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