Friday, November 11, 2005

Paris tonight

The Paris riots are somewhat bemusing; the proximate cause was tragic but not really riot material, so some other underlying cause must have been triggered by the deaths.
The US right wing is almost gleeful in their proclamations of the riots as evidence for an Islamofascist fifth column undermining European society: "it is war" the bloggers proclaim.
Well, no, it is not: it may just be frustration riots by an economic underclass discriminated against for too long, a classic case of people thwarted rising - riots happen when there is unfulfilled hope, not when there is hoplessness.

However, you might think fundamentalist Islamic organisations wanting to damage western societies would use the opportunity to leverage the riots, keep them going, use them for cover, do some damage.

So, tonight is the night: it is evening there, will people go home after prayer and renew more intense rioting, or have some vin rouge and a ciggie and everything will fade away quietly.

We'll know in a few hours. I suspect and hope this will turn into much ado about nothing. With some token changes in social policy and some small political shifts - some will move right in reaction, others will look to help integrate second generation immigrants. Big danger in the medium turn is whether the nationalist right gets a significant boost from the rioting, that would cost Europe very badly in the long run.


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