Nov 17th 2005 | PARIS
From The Economist print edition
ONE measure of the ambient violence is that the French government this week welcomed the burning of 215 cars in one night as "a near-normal situation". At the peak of the recent riots, over 1,400 vehicles were torched in a single night. A week after the government declared a state of emergency, the Paris suburbs were mostly quiet—although sporadic arson attacks, including on nursery schools, continued elsewhere. The government has rushed through a law prolonging the state of emergency for three months.
What sort of Frenchmen are they?
By Dror Mishani and Aurelia Smotriez
"This problem is the problem of all the countries of Europe. In Holland, they’ve been confronting it since the murder of Theo van Gogh. The question isn’t what is the best model of integration, but just what sort of integration can be achieved with people who hate you."
And what will happen in France?
"I don’t know. I’m despairing. Because of the riots and because of their accompaniment by the media. The riots will subside, but what does this mean? There won’t be a return to quiet. It will be a return to regular violence. So they’ll stop because there is a curfew now, and the foreigners are afraid and the drug dealers also want the usual order restored. But they’ll gain support and encouragement for their anti-republican violence from the repulsive discourse of self-criticism over their slavery and colonization. So that’s it: There won’t be a return to quiet, but a return to routine violence."
France’s Toll of Destruction
From the desk of Paul Belien on Fri, 2005-11-18 23:23
Today in the Belgian newspaper De Tijd Nicole le Guennec, a French sociologist, says that car torching has been a common phenomenon in France for the past fifteen years. If this is true and if 100 is the average toll of destruction each night, a staggering 547,500 cars have been destroyed in France during that period. Probably more, because when one car is set alight and the fire destroys surrounding cars as well, the statistics count it as only one car fire. The worst night is traditionally New Year’s eve. Last New Year’s eve 330 cars were destroyed, a low figure compared to previous New Years when around 400 cars were set alight.
In contemporary multicultural France such staggering figures of lawlessness are considered to be a sign of "normality" and are hardly reported in the mainstream media. Neither is the following little piece of information. This week Professor Dominique Reynié of Sorbonne University in Paris, told the Brussels weekly Knack that the French state was obliged to borrow money last week to pay the wages of its civil servants. "The money has run out. One must concede: this is no example of a strong state."
Perhaps what we are witnessing in Europe, but what the politicians and the media dare not say aloud, is the implosion of the (welfare) state. The Soviet Union suddenly collapsed in 1989, when owing to the inability of communism to create wealth, the state went bankrupt, was unable to maintain its army and hold its empire together. In France, the same thing might be happening. The socialist welfare state is no longer able to maintain law and order and is abandoning entire neighbourhoods to anarchy.
Guy Sorman on the “Autism” of the French State
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Who is going to admit that the French state that gets involved in everything – the economy, culture, military interventions and other noble causes – has become totally ineffective on the ground? Two years ago, it let 30,000 dehydrated senior citizens die in their nursing homes without air conditioning. Now, it proves incapable of resisting a couple of hundred commandos of hooligans. The state? It is everywhere where society no longer needs it and absent where it is most needed. This political autism is the true cause of the conflagration.
Nothing to see here. Move along now.