[Paleopsych] Muslim riots in France

Gerry Reinhart-Waller waluk at earthlink.net
Sun Nov 13 00:16:23 UTC 2005

I've been looking for thepoliticalspinroom but all I could find was:
(the politicalspinroom2).

Please advise.

Gerry Reinhart-Waller

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]
>     http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110007529
>     *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
>     comparing.
>     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
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