[Paleopsych] Muslim riots in France
waluk at earthlink.net
Sun Nov 13 00:16:23 UTC 2005
I've been looking for thepoliticalspinroom but all I could find was:
Steve Hovland wrote:
> I think it's a good summary of the right-wing view,
> but this is not the place to have a serious argument
> about it.
> If anyone is hankering for a knock-down
> drag-out approach to political debate they are
> welcome to join us in thepoliticalspinroom on
> yahoo groups.
> Not a tea party, bit it is definitely one place
> where the interface between left and right is
> hyperactive. I go there to sharpen my teeth :-)
> Steve HOvland
> -----Original Message-----
> *From:* paleopsych-bounces at paleopsych.org
> [mailto:paleopsych-bounces at paleopsych.org]*On Behalf Of *Lynn D.
> Johnson, Ph.D.
> *Sent:* Saturday, November 12, 2005 10:56 AM
> *To:* The new improved paleopsych list
> *Subject:* [Paleopsych] Muslim riots in France
> [an interesting and likely correct view of the riots from the Wall
> Street Journal]
> *French Lessons*
> How to create a Muslim underclass.
> /Friday, November 11, 2005 12:01 a.m. EST/
> Rioting by Muslim youth in some 300 French cities and towns seems
> to be subsiding after two weeks and tougher law enforcement, which
> is certainly welcome news. The riots have shaken France, however,
> and the unrest was of such magnitude that it has become a moment
> of illumination, for French and Americans equally.
> In particular, some longstanding conceits about the superiority of
> the French social model have gone up in flames. This model
> emphasizes "solidarity" through high taxes, cossetted labor
> markets, subsidies to industry and farming, a "Ministry for Social
> Cohesion," powerful public-sector unions, an elaborate welfare
> state, and, inevitably, comparisons to the alleged viciousness of
> the Anglo-Saxon "market" model. So by all means, let's do some
> The first thing that needs illuminating is that, while the
> overwhelming majority of rioters are Muslim, it is premature at
> best to describe the rioting as an "intifada" or some other term
> denoting religiously or culturally inspired violence. And it is
> flat-out wrong to claim that the rioting is a consequence of
> liberal immigration policies.
> Consider the contrast with the U.S. Between 1978 and 2002, the
> percentage of foreign-born Americans nearly doubled, to 12% from
> 6.2%. At the same time, the five-year average unemployment rate
> declined to 5.1% from 7.3%. Among immigrants, median family
> incomes rose by roughly $10,000 for every 10 years they remained
> in the country.
> These statistics hold across immigrant groups, including ones that
> U.S. nativist groups claim are "unassimilable." Take Muslims, some
> two million of whom live in America. According to a 2004 survey by
> Zogby International, two-thirds are immigrants, 59% have a college
> education and the overwhelming majority are middle-class, with one
> in three having annual incomes of more than $75,000. Their
> intermarriage rate is 21%, nearly identical to that of other
> religious groups.
> It's true that France's Muslim population--some five million out
> of a total of 60 million--is much larger than America's. They also
> generally arrived in France much poorer. But the significant
> difference between U.S. and French Muslims is that the former
> inhabit a country of economic opportunity and social mobility,
> which generally has led to their successful assimilation into the
> mainstream of American life. This has been the case despite the
> best efforts of multiculturalists on the right and left to extol
> fixed racial, ethnic and religious identities at the expense of
> the traditionally adaptive, supple American one.
> In France, the opposite applies. Mass Muslim migration to France
> began in the 1960s, a period of very low unemployment and
> industrial labor shortages. Today, French unemployment is close to
> 10%, or double the U.S. rate. Unlike in the U.S., French culture
> eschews multiculturalism and puts a heavy premium on the concept
> of "Frenchness." Yet that hasn't provided much cushion for
> increasingly impoverished and thus estranged Muslim communities,
> which tend to be segregated into isolated and generally unpoliced
> suburban cities called /banlieues/. There, youth unemployment runs
> to 40%, and crime, drug addiction and hooliganism are endemic.
> This is not to say that Muslim cultural practices are irrelevant.
> For Muslim women especially, the misery of the /banlieues/ is
> compounded by a culture of female submission, often violently
> enforced. Nor should anyone rule out the possibility that Islamic
> radicals will exploit the mayhem for their own ends. But whatever
> else might be said about the Muslim attributes of the French
> rioters, the fact is that the pathologies of the /banlieues/ are
> similar to those of inner cities everywhere. What France suffers
> from, fundamentally, is neither a "Muslim problem" nor an
> "immigration problem." It is an underclass problem.
> French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin almost put his finger
> on the problem when he promised to introduce legislation to ease
> the economic plight of the /banlieues./ But aside from the useful
> suggestion of "enterprise zones," most of the legislation smacked
> of big-government solutions: community centers, training programs
> and so on.
> The larger problem for the prime minister is that France's
> underclass is a consequence of the structure of the French
> economy, in which the state accounts for nearly half of gross
> domestic product and roughly a quarter of employment. French
> workers, both in the public and private sectors, enjoy GM-like
> benefits in pensions, early retirement, working hours and
> vacations, sick- and maternity leave, and job security--all of
> which is militantly enforced by strike-happy labor unions. The
> predictable result is that there is little job turnover and little
> net new job creation. Leave aside the debilitating effects of
> unemployment insurance and welfare on the underclass: Who would
> employ them if they actually sought work?
> For France, the good news is that these problems can be solved,
> principally be deregulating labor markets, reducing taxes,
> reforming the pension system and breaking the stranglehold of
> unions on economic life. The bad news is the entrenched cultural
> resistance to those solutions--not on the part of angry Muslim
> youth, but from the employed half of French society that refuses
> to relinquish their subsidized existences for the sake of the
> "solidarity" they profess to hold dear. So far, most attempts at
> reform have failed, mainly due to a combination of union militancy
> and political timidity.
> There are lessons in France for the U.S., too. Advocates of
> multiculturalism might take note of what happens when ethnic
> communities are excluded (or exclude themselves) from the broad
> currents of national life. Opponents of immigration might take
> note of the contrast between France's impoverished Muslims and
> America's flourishing immigrant communities.
> Above all, those who want America to emulate the French social
> model by mandating health and other benefits, raising tax burdens
> and entrenching union power might take note of just how sour its
> promises have become, especially its promises to the poor. In the
> matter of "solidarity," economic growth counts more than rhetoric.
>paleopsych mailing list
>paleopsych at paleopsych.org
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Size: 155 bytes
Desc: not available
More information about the paleopsych