Systemic social problems are not an excuse for rioting and theft.
But changing some of our social systems to encourage personal responsibility may make ‘entitlement’ riots and opportunistic looting less likely.
That is the gist of Michael Coren’s new column in the Toronto Sun:
If the British riots disaster is not to be replicated elsewhere, here is a manifesto of advice. Ignore it at your smug peril.
1) Reduce the role of the state and, as a balance, increase the role of the family.
For many years in Britain, parents have been told their children’s social, sexual, moral and cultural formation was better achieved by schools and social workers than mothers and fathers. Not only is the notion flawed philosophically, in practical terms it emasculates parents and enables children to act out every aggressive and narcissistic fantasy imaginable.
In West Indian families, for example, there are numerous cases of poor but good and responsible parents who, in trying to discipline their children, are prosecuted by white, middle-class lawyers for spanking a kid who goes on to join a gang and spend years in prison. Equally, parents are not informed by law if their underage daughters tell doctors or teachers they are sexually active, but they are left to face the consequences when teenage pregnancy or STDs occur.
2) State-supported education and health care may, arguably, serve a purpose, but state-supported welfare and social services have become so all-embracing that individual self-reliance has evaporated. The balance is important here. Neither the fanatical libertarian nor the obsessive socialist model works.
3) Stop the war on religion. Whatever your view of faith and God, the massive decline of religious observance and community in Britain has removed one of the glues that held the country together.
When churches disappear, the vacuum is filled by gangs or tribes. Beyond this is the disappearance of moral standards and ethical absolutes. Witness how in the black community it is the Christian evangelical youths who are least touched by the anarchy.
4) Control immigration, so it is based on the cultural and social needs and unity of the host population as well as on compassion and economic growth. The privileged people who decide our immigration policy seldom live in those areas where the mass of newcomers settle. A nation is more than an assembly of financially viable shopping malls, and without some sort of national and emotional fraternity we see inevitable decay.
5) Liberate the police from the whims of political correctness and government fashion. If London police had reacted swiftly and harshly to the rioting, there would not have been copy-cat incidents throughout Britain. Because of years of “racial sensitivity” training, they were held back in Tottenham, meaning — irony of ironies — law-abiding local people were attacked and robbed.
The police are not guardians of the state but protectors of the people. Their job is not to arrest storekeepers protecting their property, not to hand out traffic tickets, not to control controversial speech, not to be empathetic, but to stop crime and arrest criminals.
6) Do not romanticize the worst of lower-class antics on TV and in cinema and music. Entertainment once presented a world worthy of aspiration, now it glorifies the mud and muck. It makes the rich richer, keeps the poor poorer.
In conclusion, will any of this be achieved? Keep the baseball bat handy.