Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

I exist, therefore I riot

I’m losing track of the number of nights, I think it is night ten of rioting and destruction. This is not, according to this story, a political revolution, or one controlled by criminal gangs, or even a Muslim uprising. "There’s a lot of rage. Through this burning, they’re saying, ’I exist, I’m here.’" The rioting has spread to some 15 cities, including to the center of Paris, with some 900 cars torched. They exist, they’re everywhere.

Discussions - 9 Comments


Either you shoot to kill, or you let this happen. If the French government won’t shoot to kill, there is no point in discussing solutions, because that is the only solution to rioting. These events are the direct result of insane policies. The policies are unlikely to change. And if they don’t, Europe as we know it is in irreversible decline.
It is prudent, not inflammatory, to assume that our turn may come as well.

Well put Mr Frisk! Just let one of them try to put a Molotoff cocktail under my truck and I would sure as hell be using my right to bear arms. Maybe we should start doing this now with these people in our country before the trouble starts.

"These people"? You speak as though they are somehow less human than you.

Those people have suffered through years of discrimination, alienation and unemployment. The unemployment in most of the suburbs is 25%. Are their methods justified? Absolutely not, and I don’t condone it. But they have legitimate grievances that the French government has been ignoring for years. Calling them "scum" (as Sarkozy did), or encouraging police to shoot to kill, isn’t going to solve the problem. The only way to truly solve the problem is to change the policies of the French government. Even the rioters say that their goal is to "change the government." In the Washington Post story linked to above, one rioter (an 18-year-old born in France whose parents are African immigrants) says: "There’s no way of getting their [the government’s] attention. The only way to communicate is by burning."

Unfortunately, in large part, that’s true. The only way these ostracized and alienated minorities can get the French government’s attention is by burning things. The pressing question for France, and Europe as a whole, is: Will the government listen?

Even now, the government isn’t listening. They have pleaded for the rioters to stop without even promising to address the causes of the rioters’ frustration.

...Incidentally, just a few weeks ago when there was rioting in Toledo, I didn’t see any commenters here calling for police to shoot to kill. So why should the French police shoot to kill? Because the majority of the rioters are Muslim? This isn’t a jihad. This is French citizens fighting for equal rights.

This isn’t a jihad. This is French citizens fighting for equal rights.

I agree the the French have behaved shabbily, and used multiculturalism as an excuse to relieve themselves of the expense and trouble of assimilating immigrants. I agreee that cheap labor and bad education have been more convenient for the French ruling class than dealing with the rising tide of Islamisist sentiment.

As to your assertion that this is not a jihad, we’ll see. I think it is, and it will get worse.

Grrrr...that’s about one third as many CARS that have perished as people on 9/11!!! It’s time for those French sissies to take a bath and cleanse themselves of those Muslim parasites. They are a plague upon the world. Indeed, shoot to kill....ALL OF THEM!

Mireille:

Shooting and killing people would solve the problem. I am unsure why you think it would not. I always tire of people who claim wars solve nothing. This is false. Wars can solve a lot. WWII certainly stopped the holocaust. I cannot see any peaceful way to have stopped that problem. The Gulf War solved Kuwait’s problems. The Battle of Tours stopped the Muslims from advancing into France, the American Revolution created an independent America, and so on.

When people operate on different premises compromise and reasoning are impossible because neither side can accept the other’s premise. If one side thinks slavery is good, and the other thinks it is bad, it is impossible to compromise on that issue. The only solution is to let the conflicting value system continue to exist, or for one side to kill the other. The only way to "solve" the problem is to use force until the other side no longer exists, or stops asserting that its premise is true and allows the other premise to rule them.

I think Nietzsche wrote a book on the subject, and although he can be wild, he was probably right about how values are created and established: violence.

Sarkozy, while not perfect, may be France’s only hope. Why can’t we get angry at rioting at fight back hard and swift? I know its the French and they are weak, but there are people across America and some who read this blog who are would lay down just like the French. When such riots break out in Dearborn and Detroit, will America have the guts to respond? Calling them what they are--scum--and killing the rioters is the only way to solve the problem.

You guys are out of touch... even the troops here in Iraq don’t have the right according to the ROE to shoot too kill rioters (we don’t do warning shots either).

Also the french aren’t necessarily any more weak about crime. From what I hear French prisons are less of a joke than American ones.

I am not sure what to make of all this, but the Arab times has had some interesting articles written by muslims living in Europe. I tend to agree with Mireille.

"When people operate on different premises compromise and reasoning are impossible because neither side can accept the other’s premise." Are you trying to sound like Ayn Rand while constantly taking shots at her Steve? In all seriousness I am convinced that in any argument or discussion if you will, the two (or more) sides that exist will always disagree with each other, and in essence aren’t really trying to convince each other. Because there is a debate those debating will rarely change horses mid stream. But appart from those doing the debating the average person is quite capable of changing premises or seeing things in a different way. In other words the great mass of people operate on multiple planes of premises some self-contradictory to others. It is for this reason that one could say that Islam is compatible with Liberal Democracy.

Islam in its strict premises and liberal democracy in its strict premises (does it have any?) are not compatible. But the muslim man may not see a highway as contradictory to Islam, he may not see a car as contradictory to Islam... and so on until you list every single material resource found in liberal democratic nations. Then of course all these things have prerequisites and entail responsibilities, means of attaining and maintaining said property that become inseperable from the property itself. In a way man becomes attached to his property to what he can call his own. He is caught up in what the men of rhetoric and PR would no doubt call the "mundane", but it occupies him and fixes his Horizons, he is not abstract "Islam" but a man with a car payment, a job and a familly.

If these people are rioting in Europe it is because they are not sufficiently absorbed by the mundane.

"The only solution is to let the conflicting value system continue to exist, or for one side to kill the other." you can’t kill a conflicting value system you can only overwhelm it with reality. One side killing another and destroying the property of another is what happens in a riot. Of course in the end this has very little to do with any contradictions philosophically held between the value systems, embueing them with such simply adds fuel to the fire. It takes what is properly a concrete bound act of violence, one person burning a car and attaches to it a wider universal purpose. In other words this isn’t french citizens fighting for equal rights, or french citizens carrying out Jihad. The cars being burnt don’t necessarily belong to anyone who could be held "guilty" ideologically. This is just violence.The number of people who are carrying out said violence doesn’t matter. It is quite possible that those involved have different motives, different sources of anger, fear and degrees of comprehension. This is akin to black on black crime. Commentators can only provide uneeded rationalizations for the anger felt by the various individuals involved.

John Lewis:

I agree with your argument concerning how responsibilities make people less radical. Making money takes time, and having possessions makes one less inclined to risk them. So far we agree.

I am not sure how to take your "overwhelm" the conflicting value system with "reality" comment. There are four kinds of reality conflicts:1. Some conflicts can be resolved by objective references to reality. People who deny gravity will either die, or quickly learn the foolishness of their ways. 2. Some reality is very hard to quantify though. An example of this sort of conflict might be "free markets are efficient" (to pick a very broad argument). One would have to sort through massive amounts of data, and interpret that data (interpretation being subject to prejudice and other forms of bad faith). Once the data was released it could be so complex that people might not understand it, and therefore refuse to change, or they might allege incorrect interpretation, etc. 3. Some reality is intangible, it cannot be quantified. These are the moral/abstract questions. Such as when does someone become human, can the status ever be lost, etc. These deal with metaphysics, and there really is no data. One either believes in a telological theory of "is", a fetus is human because it has the potential to be, or the modern scientific theory, a fetus is not human until it possesses certain objective attributes (certain brain size, certain formation of body, etc.) 4. The last conflict is where the conflict itself will determine reality. The American States were independent, unless they lost the war and England conquored them. Neither side could appeal to reality because the conflict itself would determine reality.

Our confusion may stem from the my misuse of the language. I wrote "premise" but meant presuppositions and axioms. When self-evident truths conflict there can be no solution except killing everyone who holds the other presupposition, or making them submit so they cease asserting it as true.

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