[Paleopsych] Muslim riots in France

Gerry Reinhart-Waller waluk at earthlink.net
Sun Nov 13 04:27:36 UTC 2005

Thanks Steve.  It works.

Steve Hovland wrote:

> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ThePoliticalSpinroom/
>     -----Original Message-----
>     *From:* paleopsych-bounces at paleopsych.org
>     [mailto:paleopsych-bounces at paleopsych.org]*On Behalf Of *Gerry
>     Reinhart-Waller
>     *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:
>     http://groups.yahoo.com/search?query=thepoliticalspinroom&ss=1
>     (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.
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