It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired. I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue. I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe. I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great.....
Thursday, October 21, 2010
The Next French Revolution
For the most part the uprisings are peaceful. Demonstrations might in some places resemble the docile TEA Parties in the United States. It's a small percentage of rioters that are the real problem for the French. These are the "rent-a-riot" anarchists who always seem to show up at European demonstrations of this type. Usually paid by some nameless Marxist benefactor, these college drop-outs show up at demonstrations uninvited and then proceed to "do their thing." Out come the baseball bats, bricks and Molotov cocktails. Sporting hooded sweaters and ski masks, these urban terrorists then go right to work, turning what was once a peaceful demonstration into a chaotic riot. Yes, we've seen these punks in America too, usually "doing their thing" across the street from the U.N. building or some convention center hosting the latest G8 summit. For the most part however, their primary source of "income" from nameless benefactors is centered in Europe, and Europe seems to be where they get most of their "business." France is their most reliable customer.
Who are these people? Well, we don't know a whole lot about them, but what we do know is telling. One, they're usually college age drop-outs. Two, they're overwhelmingly Marxist when it comes to economics. Three, they have anarchist tendencies on everything else. Four, they believe the ends justify the means. Five, they're paid for their "services."
They tend to do well in Europe, which is overwhelmingly Socialist on economic matters. In France, their most reliable customer, they show up whenever the government attempts to reduce "entitlement" benefits, or renegotiate a trade deal that helps big business. What makes them so successful in France is the willingness of the French people to tolerate them. I dare say if these punks showed up to one of America's TEA Parties, it wouldn't be the police they would have to worry about. By in large, mainstream Americans don't tolerate civil unrest, and I pity the poor fools who might try to start some at a TEA Party. The police would only be needed to save them from the angry mothers beating them with their protest signs because they endangered their children who were nearby. Perhaps that's why we haven't seen their likes at any of America's TEA Parties. Perhaps they know the police would be the only thing to save them from the wrath of angry mothers. Of course, the message of the TEA Parties is a little different than what these "rent-a-riot" punks are aiming for anyway. They want more Socialism, while the TEA Parties want less. So it may be safe to say that's playing a big role as well.
That's the difference you see. The TEA Parties are comprised of mainstream Americans, and while mainstream Americans will protest in large numbers, they generally don't tolerate rioters and anarchists. In France, it's a little different. I once spoke with a lovely French exchange student about this back in my college days. We were discussing the nature of our respective governments. Her perspective was enlightening. She observed that the United States government walks all over the American people, and allows big-business to control them. She said that in America, people were afraid of the government, but in France the government fears the people. I asked why, and she said it was because the French government knows if it doesn't give the people what they want, the people will riot. She then proceeded to explain why rioting is good for a country and how many positive things come from it. I asked if she ever rioted, to which she laughed and said "No, but we have courageous people who do that, and we support them with our numbers." The conversation continued but that was the major highlight. Perhaps it's a mistake to project her attitude onto the majority of the French population, but I suspect it's not. I suspect this is how a lot of French people feel, certainly not all of them, but a fairly high number. So when "rent-a-riot" punks show up at a gathering, the real protesters back off and let the punks "do their thing" while the real protesters stand at a distance and cheer. That's my suspicion anyway, based on the limited but enlightening information I've been given.
There is a common thread in all of this. That thread is Marxist-Socialism. What incites these demonstrations is usually cuts in the "entitlement" programs of the European Socialist states. European Socialists have effectively created the ultimate "spoiled child" in their own population. Like the little "monster" who doesn't get what he wants, after his parents have pandered to his every whim for so long, the tantrum starts. For a brief (or not so brief) moment in time, the child becomes a potential threat to himself and everyone else nearby. It's usually quite a spectacle, sort of like French civil disobedience.
There is a more serious problem boiling underneath the surface. Marxist Socialism doesn't work. Everywhere it's been tried, it has failed miserably, leaving nations bankrupt in the process. Of course Socialists remain blindly convinced that Socialism is not to blame, but rather they continually assume the right people just haven't tried it yet. As the late President Ronald Reagan once observed: “It's not that liberals don't know anything; it's that so much of what they know is wrong.” They have assumed that making people dependent on the government does not fundamentally change their maturity level. The problem is it does, and to be quite frank about it, who can blame them? They've been lied to. They were told the government could meet all their basic necessities, and they were forced to submit to the idea through excessive taxation and regulation, Then after they were raped of all their potential wealth, and the truth was finally known, it became obvious the government couldn't keep it's promises, and so it began to cut back. The people realized they had been lied to and so they felt cheated. They simply reacted the way any spoiled child would at perceived injustice. We Americans are not so different than the French, it's just that the federal government hasn't cut deep enough into the entitlement programs yet. Just wait until they start cutting Social Security and then see what happens!
Weaning people off of Socialism is a difficult task, and as we've seen, it's one rife with civil unrest. Let this be a lesson to the leaders of future generations. Think twice before making grandiose government promises to "care for the people's basic needs." The government was not designed for this, and when you discover that it can't make good on these promises, don't be surprised if the people take you down because of it. What's boiling underneath the surface is a coming riot so big that governments will be unable to stop it. In France this will likely result in civil war, and other European nations should be put on notice for this as well. The future of North America is more uncertain. While it is possible this continent could degenerate into anarchy, it is far more likely that cooler heads will eventually prevail. Americans and Canadians have a tendency of working toward political compromise and renegotiation. By in large, the pioneer spirit of a hundred years ago still has some breath in North America, and there are still enough people willing to start anew with the promise of independence and self sufficiency. That spirit no longer exists in Europe and has been gone for centuries. Therefore, it's reasonable to assume that the wean from Socialism will go differently for Europe than for North America. While North Americans may put up a stink initially, the promise of freedom and self sufficiency will likely entice enough people to embrace the changes over the long run. In Europe however, the needed changes will not go over so well. Europeans have grown accustomed to being pampered by the state, and they're hasn't been a rugged pioneering spirit in Europe since the end of the middle ages. More tantrums are coming, and one of these days, it's going to get out of hand.