The recent riots in Britain so perfectly fits the narrative that Mark Steyn has been making for so long - the decline and impending collapse of Western civilization due, in large part, to the alienation of unassimilated masses of citizens, many of them immigrants, disaffected because national leaders lack the pride and backbone to promote and defend the culture and values of that civilization.
So, naturally, Steyn's weekly NRO column deals with Britain's malaise. And he opens with a couple of "I told you so's."
The trick in this business is not to be right too early...
As it happens, Chapter Five of my book is called “The New Britannia: The Depraved City.” You have to get up pretty early in the morning to beat me to Western civilization’s descent into barbarism.
No Steyn column is complete with at least one riotous bon mot. Noting that a 21 year old British man with learning disabilities was allowed to fly to Amsterdam to have sex with a prostitute at taxpayer expense, Steyn asks,
Why do they need a Dutch hooker? Just another hardworking foreigner doing the jobs Britons won’t do? Given the reputation of English womanhood, you’d have thought this would be the one gig that wouldn’t have to be outsourced overseas.
Much of Steyn's coumn is deadly serious though and should be read by anyone foolish enough to be enraptured by the fantasy of beneficent and benign "big government".
This is the logical dead end of the Nanny State. When William Beveridge laid out his blueprint for the British welfare regime in 1942, his goal was the “abolition of want” to be accomplished by “co-operation between the State and the individual.” In attempting to insulate the citizenry from life’s vicissitudes, Sir William succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. ...Want has been all but abolished. Today, fewer and fewer Britons want to work, want to marry, want to raise children, want to lead a life of any purpose or dignity. The United Kingdom has the highest drug use in Europe, the highest incidence of sexually transmitted disease, the highest number of single mothers, the highest abortion rate. Marriage is all but defunct, except for William and Kate, fellow toffs, upscale gays, and Muslims.
Big Government means small citizens: It corrodes the integrity of a people, catastrophically. Within living memory, the city in flames on our TV screens every night governed a fifth of the earth’s surface and a quarter of its population. When you’re imperialists on that scale, there are bound to be a few mishaps along the way. But nothing the British Empire did to its subject peoples has been as total and catastrophic as what a post-great Britain did to its own.
In Peggy Noonan's WSJ column today, she quotes a British journalist, Max Hastings, who concurs with Steyn's vision.
"The depressing truth is that at the bottom of our society is a layer of young people with no skills, education, values or aspirations. . . . Nobody has ever dared suggest to them that they need feel any allegiance to anything, least of all Britain or their community. . . . Not only do they know nothing of Britain's past, they care nothing for its present."
A similar tone is struck by Ann Coulter.
...like Louis XVI, British authorities are paralyzed by their indifference to their own civilization. A half-century of berating themselves for the crime of being British has left them morally defenseless. They see nothing about England worth saving, certainly not worth fighting for -- which is fortunate since most of their cops don't have guns.