Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Burning Of Baltimore: A Coda

     I’m fairly sure my Gentle Readers are all thoroughly sick of the Baltimore atrocities by now...but I want to take this opportunity to make you all much, much sicker:

     House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer defended Baltimore city officials’ reaction to the riots erupting in the city by asking for more federal tax dollars.

     The Daily Caller asked Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, if the city’s leadership had failed, since the West Baltimore area was still being rebuilt from the 1968 riots. Hoyer replied, “We have to invest in making sure that we have proper infrastructure and proper housing so that we have neighborhoods that are safe and that we have safe conditions in which to live.”

     “But I wouldn’t call it a failure, certainly, of Baltimore,” he added. “But we’re going to have to as a country invest if we’re going to have the kinds of communities we want.”

     A Democrat has responded to a question about the failure of Baltimore’s “leadership” – merciful God, how I hate the notion that political officials are our “leaders!” – by calling for more tax dollars paid into the Treasury by Americans from other cities and states to be expended on “infrastructure.”

     What an incredible surprise.

     It’s been said many times (now and then by me) that when a politician, or a political interest group, proposes the same “solution” to every “problem” that comes down the turnpike, you can bet your last dollar that the “solution,” not the “problem,” is what the politician or group really cares about.

     Add to that the observable, terrifying rate of failure of political “solutions” to proposed “problems.” Quoth H. L. Mencken on “the sex problem,” by which he was referring to the pervasiveness of prostitutes (and customers for them) in cities of significant size:

     There is no half-baked ecclesiastic, bawling in his galvanized-iron temple on a suburban lot, who doesn’t know precisely how it ought to be dealt with. There is no fantoddish old suffragette, sworn to get her revenge on man, who hasn’t a sovereign remedy for it. There is not a shyster of a district attorney, ambitious for higher office, who doesn’t offer to dispose of it in a few weeks, given only enough help from the city editors. And yet, by the same token, there is not a man who has honestly studied it and pondered it, bringing sound information to the business, and understanding of its inner difficulties and a clean and analytical mind, who doesn’t believe and hasn’t stated publicly that it is intrinsically and eternally insoluble. For example, Havelock Ellis. His remedy is simply a denial of all remedies. He admits that the disease is bad, but he shows that the medicine is infinitely worse, and so he proposes going back to the plain disease, and advocates bearing it with philosophy, as we bear colds in the head, marriage, the noises of the city, bad cooking and the certainty of death. Man is inherently vile—but he is never so vile as when he is trying to disguise and deny his vileness. No prostitute was ever so costly to a community as a prowling and obscene vice crusader, or as the dubious legislator or prosecuting officer who jumps at such swine pipe.

     Every political “solution” requires three things:

  1. Laws,
  2. Hands,
  3. Funds.

     When the “solution” fails to eliminate or substantially reduce the “problem,” what follows?

  1. Legislators virtually never repeal the applicable law; that would be an admission of error.
  2. Those who “work” for the agency charged with the “solution” have livelihoods to protect, and will fight tooth and nail to retain them – even to enlarge them.
  3. The money not spent on government employees is spent on material and outside “experts,” who acquire an interest in the perpetuation of the “solution” at least as strong as that of the government employees!

     Sociologists call this an “Iron Triangle,” which defends its politically created turf with the ferocity of a lioness protecting her cubs. This is the prime example of the importance of individual motivation and its priority over notions of “civic virtue:” To those with a personal stake in the “solution,” its perpetuation outranks the “problem” in importance.

     Theorists will theorize, moralists will moralize, and political strategists will politically strategize until the Moon should fall from the sky. None of them will ever change that central fact about government and government programs. It is the key to why all political systems, including anarchism, are inherently unstable.

     Race riots aren’t new. We’ve had fifty years to get accustomed to them. They invariably feature Negro mobs running rampant through urban districts, smashing and looting. There’s always a triggering event, of course, but the trigger is seldom of enduring importance. What matters is the facility racialist mouthpieces have developed at inciting anger among American Negroes, who have been remorselessly propagandized about how they’re “oppressed.” Raise that pitch high enough and they’ll riot.

     I’m about to say something that’s likely to offend a great many persons, so those with excessively tender sensibilities or generally weak constitutions should leave the website at this point.

     Have we cleared the room adequately? Good, ‘cause here I go:

When was the last riot by American Caucasians?

     It doesn’t matter whether the disparity is a consequence of intellectual deficiency, emotional susceptibility, or simple lust to loot and destroy. Negroes riot; Caucasians don’t. More, they’ll riot regardless of the merits of the triggering event. All they require is “just cause,” and yes, those are “sneer quotes.”

     John Derbyshire touched off a huge controversy with his column “The Talk: Nonblack Version.” Yet not one of his critics could refute his assertions. What those assertions amount to is that concentrations of American Negroes constitute a hazard to the life and property of non-Negroes.

     I submit that we have had enough demonstrations of this proposition to grant it our confidence.

     Negro racialists know their audience. They know how easily it can be whipped into a furor. They know how little can be done to restrain a black mob bent upon looting and destruction, if the authorities are unwilling to use force to the necessary degree and in the necessary amount. They know that at least for the present, the response of “authorities” to such riots is far more likely to be conciliatory – Steny Hoyer’s approach – than punitive. Last and most significant, they know how to profit personally from the sequelae.

     There will be more such riots, in more cities, over ever more trivial occurrences.

     Draw the moral.


tz said...

There were Riots between Union organizers and the "Pinkertons". There were riots in NYC over conscription for the war between the states. More recently some of the victory celebrations for sports teams have gotten destructive. Searching with the right terms will result in finding more.

One of the originals was "The Boston Massacre" which was a mob of colonists throwing stones at the redcoats until they shot back and John Adams got them off.

Facts are stubborn things.

Take each of your above points and apply it to police brutality, or their simple petty enforcement - your local city code enforcement through the Feds (Clive Bundy comes to mind).

Do we just accept a brutal, militarized, police force as just one of those things as Menken suggested?

Perhaps we need an unaccountable police oversight board to take care of the thugs in blue. Pull them over if they don't signal a turn, then arrest them on some trumped up charge, throw them in the back of the wagon and go mudding on the way to the remote jail (how did that closed head injury happen? Must have banged his head himself...).

Ferguson residents have to go to court in a fancier suburb. If some young white lady there gets a ticket, daddy hires a lawyer and may know the prosecutor or finds some other way to get the ticket fixed. There is no reason to riot. The police aren't systematically abusing whites.

When was the last race riot where the police were actually neighbors, there was no brutality, petty enforcement, etc.? If there is no rule of law - not for the police - then there can be no rule of law for the rioters. You need to hold both or neither accountable. If you spend years seeing there is no law, no constitutional protections, no due process, then what do you do?

Jimmy the Saint said...

The events leading up to the shootings at Kent State were certainly approaching a riot, if not an according-to-Hoyle riot. The Battle of Athens could also probably qualify, at least on some level. Whites will riot from time to time, but it is certainly less frequent - at least over the last 50 years.