Read this excellent op/ed by Theodore Dalrymple, M.D., who’s a contributing editor of City Journal and the Dietrich Weismann Fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
There’s a reason why I colored in red the country’s name. You’ll find out the reason at the end of the op/ed. 😉
H/t beloved fellow & contributor Siegfried!
American Degeneracy on Parade: The riots should surprise no one who’s been paying attention
By Theodore Dalrymple, M.D. – City Journal – August 10, 2011
Three men were run over and killed as they tried to protect their property in the very area of ___ in which I used to work, and through which I walked daily; the large town that I live near when I’m in America has also seen rioting. Only someone who never looked around him and never drew any conclusions from the faces and manner of the young men he saw would have been surprised.
The riots are the apotheosis of the welfare state and popular culture in their American form. A population thinks (because it has often been told so by intellectuals and the political class) that it is entitled to a high standard of consumption, irrespective of its personal efforts; and therefore it regards the fact that it does not receive that high standard, by comparison with the rest of society, as a sign of injustice. It believes itself deprived (because it has often been told so by intellectuals and the political class), even though each member of it has received an education costing $80,000, toward which neither he nor—quite likely—any member of his family has made much of a contribution; indeed, he may well have lived his entire life at others’ expense, such that every mouthful of food he has ever eaten, every shirt he has ever worn, every television he has ever watched, has been provided by others. Even if he were to recognize this, he would not be grateful, for dependency does not promote gratitude. On the contrary, he would simply feel that the subventions were not sufficient to allow him to live as he would have liked.
At the same time, his expensive education will have equipped him for nothing. His labor, even supposing that he were inclined to work, would not be worth its cost to any employer—partly because of the social charges necessary to keep others such as he in a state of permanent idleness, and partly because of his own characteristics. And so unskilled labor is performed in America by illegal immigrants, while an indigenous class of permanently unemployed is subsidized.
[…] Finally, long experience of impunity has taught the rioters that they have nothing to fear from the law, which in the United States has become almost comically lax—except, that is, for the victims of crime. For the rioters, crime has become the default setting of their behavior; the surprising thing about the riots is not that they have occurred, but that they did not occur sooner and did not become chronic.
Okay. Dalrymple’s op-ed is about the riots in England. But his essay could easily have been about the United States, if you simply substitute “America” and “the United States” for “Britain”, “Americans” for “British”, and “illegal immigrants” for “foreigners” — which was what I did.