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A penetrating look into what's happening in France

The endless riots in the citiés that ring Paris are finally starting to be covered in the mainstream media. Via Lileks, I found an eye-opening City Journal article from a couple of years ago that looks at the background to this violence and the offensive statist philosophies that led to it.

The state, while concerning itself with the details of their housing, their education, their medical care, and the payment of subsidies for them to do nothing, abrogates its responsibility completely in the one area in which the state’s responsibility is absolutely inalienable: law and order. In order to placate, or at least not to inflame, disaffected youth, the ministry of the interior has instructed the police to tread softly (that is to say, virtually not at all, except by occasional raiding parties when inaction is impossible) in the more than 800 zones sensibles—sensitive areas—that surround French cities and that are known collectively as la Zone.

But human society, like nature, abhors a vacuum, and so authority of a kind, with its own set of values, occupies the space where law and order should be—the authority and brutal values of psychopathic criminals and drug dealers. The absence of a real economy and of law means, in practice, an economy and an informal legal system based on theft and drug-trafficking.

It's a long article, but all of it is well worth reading. My wife and I love France, and have been there many times, but something ugly is happening and there are no easy solutions to stop it.


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Yeah, they've been idiots to allow these ghettos to grow over the decades, but now they have a real problem with no palatable solutions.

One way or another they will have to lay down the law in these slums and make it clear these people will have to either integrate or leave. It won't be pretty and will likely take decades, if it can be done at all. I certainly wish them luck with it.

And we should certainly be watching this and take it as a warning.

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