August 12, 2011

New Yorker Follies

The New Yorker attempts to discern the cause of the riots:
"What are the British protesting, and where did the rage come from? 'The urban youth are very angry and largely ignored, and it’s blown up,' said the photographer Jocelyn Bain Hogg, who has been photographing the country’s young people since 2008. 'There’s a sense that the world is passing them by...'
Jonah Goldberg notes:
One of the most interesting things about [the riots] is how people react to them. There are few topics that can separate people ideologically as efficiently. If I ask you what you think about, say, Communism, your answer will tell me a lot about what you think (and what you know). And if you begin your answer with something along the lines of "It's complicated," odds are you're a liberal or some other species of leftist. This is not to say that Communism isn't a complicated subject in terms of its history, its varied manifestations, and all that. But when you start out with the "it's complicated" business, more often than not you're about to front load some apologies for something that deserves no apologies.

The same goes for riots. If you begin a sentence saying that nothing excuses wanton mob violence and theft, but refuse to come to a full-stop with a period or, better yet, an exclamation point, you know that there's a "but" coming that will invalidate all of the platitudes that came before it. When someone says, "There's no excuse for violence, but . . . ," that "but" is a Pandora's box of leftist banshees that have left human wreckage in their wake for millennia.

Ultimately, the Left's weakness for riots stems, I believe, from two things: statist paternalism and power-worship.

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