[Paleopsych] Muslim riots in France
waluk at earthlink.net
Sun Nov 13 04:27:36 UTC 2005
Thanks Steve. It works.
Steve Hovland wrote:
> -----Original Message-----
> *From:* paleopsych-bounces at paleopsych.org
> [mailto:paleopsych-bounces at paleopsych.org]*On Behalf Of *Gerry
> *Sent:* Saturday, November 12, 2005 4:16 PM
> *To:* The new improved paleopsych list
> *Subject:* Re: [Paleopsych] Muslim riots in France
> 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]
>> *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
>> 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
>> 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.
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