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French Riots Lead to Crackdown on Blogs 1020

Posted by Zonk
from the can't-talk dept.
Browncoat writes "Wired reports that because of the recent riots in France, authorities have shut down a blog called Hardcore, whose participants have allegedly violating a French law concerning violent speech. Many bloggers fear there will be consequences for them if they are outspoken, even if it is in a nonviolent way. From the article: 'Ahmed Meguinia, a political activist who saw some of the Paris region's hardest-hit areas during the past week, said many bloggers feared prosecution for publishing even nonviolent content. While not condoning blogs that incited violence, he said that there was a lack of media coverage explaining why ethnically segregated inhabitants of some of France's poorest cities have been driven to riot. Instead, the world repeatedly sees CNN images of burning cars and shops, he said.'"
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French Riots Lead to Crackdown on Blogs

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  • by RandoX (828285) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @10:25AM (#13997221)
    That's a loaded term. Show me where France forced ethnicities into certain parts of the city, Warsaw Ghetto style. People live wherever they can afford to. Guess what? Beverly Hills is 'ethnically segregated' too.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 10, 2005 @10:30AM (#13997271)
    ... we have laws against inciting violence here, and most other places have the same deal.

    If some American blog advocated setting fire to police stations and lynching Dick & George, it would also be "cracked down" upon.

    Let's not get all hypocritical here.
  • by Shakrai (717556) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @10:31AM (#13997282) Journal

    Of course, the free speach should weigh heavy, but they should dampen the ones that try to fuel the fire.

    Bullshit! There is no valid reason to restrict speech unless it presents an immediate danger and serves no valid point of discussion (yelling fire in a movie theater).

    Simply banning all speech that might be "violent" is a very slippery slope. It would probably have made it illegal for me to encourage people to take to the streets to protest the Florida fiasco in 2000. They might do better by looking at the reason why these people are rioting in the first place. Perhaps because they feel cheated by the system? Perhaps because they aren't even allowed to wear their religious headwear to school anymore?

    As a sidenote: I don't ever want to hear people slime the United States again. It's rather interesting that Muslim youth over here aren't rioting -- even though we are the ones "at war" with certain followers of that faith. Perhaps that's because we have better religious freedom?

  • by QuaintRealist (905302) <quaintrealist@gmail . c om> on Thursday November 10, 2005 @10:32AM (#13997288) Homepage Journal
    So the French Government sticks it to the politically powerless bloggers. Will they also forbid those same images on CNN referenced in the blurb? I would be willing to bet that more potential rioters got their initial impressions from the mainstream media than from blogs.

    Of course, you cannot coordinate attacks on CNN, but shutting down blogs will be not only ineffective but counterproductive. A well-informed security service would be monitoring the blogs and spiking them with false info to make arrests.

    OK, I'd prefer those who do the wrong thing to be stupid rather than clever...
  • "Driven" to riot? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 10, 2005 @10:34AM (#13997308)
    That's like saying Osama Bin Laden was "driven" to attack the WTC. Or the people who attacked London in July were "driven" to it by the victims.

    Many ( but centainly not all) of these rioters are racists. The difference between them and other disillusioned youths in their North African homecountries is that they're living close enough to the hated group to actually attack them, in this case their property and the police.
  • by athmanb (100367) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @10:37AM (#13997338)
    Which idiot modded that insightful? The riots have nothing to do with religion - they're standard poverty riots just like Brixton 1985 and LA 1992, and you seriously have to stop masturbating about trying to evoke a global culture war at every opportunity you see.
  • by JonTurner (178845) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @10:37AM (#13997342) Journal
    Let's examine this statement:
    >>he said that there was a lack of media coverage explaining why ethnically segregated inhabitants of some of France's poorest cities have been driven to riot.

    >>lack of media coverage explaining
    No doubt. From the media, one would think it was just random collections of poor "youth" on a little spree, releasing youthful energy by burning a car or two (thousand). The reality is that it's a well-defined group of people which I'll get to in a moment.

    >>ethnically segregated inhabitants
    Do you mean the "muslim immigrants (many of whom are illegal aliens), primarily male aged 14-26, who, by choice, are poorly integrated into France's culture (read: hates France, doesn't speak French, disdain for Europeans, etc.) and thus more likely to be unemployed (and living off of France's generous welfare system, placing a burden on the French)?" It's hard to tell, with all those PC buzzwords in the media.

    Look, it's what happens when a culture doesn't insist that immigrants conform. They hate their host country and are using this as an excuse to terrorize, burn, loot, and generally express their disdain and hatred for France.

    Anything else I can clear up for you?
  • by deacon (40533) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @10:37AM (#13997343) Journal
    The French state owns 30% of all housing. These people are dependents of the French state. They live where they are told.

    That's not the cause of the trouble, however.

    An all-pervasive nanny state which results in huge unemployment and no hope for advancement, A French elite mentality that Africans are sub-human, and endless dicking around with muliticultiralism which has allowed the formation of an African state within France, have given the results seen for the last two weeks.

  • by RsG (809189) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @10:44AM (#13997419)
    Just to point out the obvious, the united states isn't in the middle of domestic upheaval. If there were violent riots in the US, and the site you linked was actually advocating it (as is the case with TFA), then yes I fully expect they would be hit with the same consequences. That isn't to say that there is any actual connection between the bloggers and the violence (that would have to be proven in court), but it's not as if authorities in the 'states are any less prone to overreacting.

    If muslims were rioting in the suburbs of washington, and some bloggers were advocating it, they probably would be in the same boat.
  • by Viol8 (599362) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @10:45AM (#13997425)
    Poverty riots? So they're not on generous welfare? They don't have enough
    food to eat? They don't all have TVs? They arn't all , in general , far
    better off than if they or their parents had stayed in their backwards
    african slum? Gimme a break. These riots are the standard issue "poor little
    us" youth riots , with a bunch of witless adolescents feeling sorry for
    themselves and so have to take it out on the state because they're too thick
    to see the real cause of their unemployment is in the mirror.
  • by SgtChaireBourne (457691) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @10:46AM (#13997435) Homepage
    Indeed. Some countries made an effort to distribute their transmigrants evenly around the country. However, many take issue with ending up in a small town or out in the country, so they move to the city, creating their own ghettos. Sweden is one example. Language and cultural problems then create further isolation. I say transmigrants because many (far from all, but definitely many) have no intention of adopting the language, culture or values of their new country. merely creating a defacto colony in a new territory.

    Denmark has had really severe problems with that, but so far the groups fight eachother. None of the European countries have faced up to the transmigration problem and still handle them and immigrants alike under antiquated immigration laws designed to handle a slow trickle of individuals back in the 1950's. No system is really in place to get the people new job skills for those that need it, proper language skills, and an acceptance or appreciation of existing values and mores.

    As a result, you get situations like in the Netherlands where each of the 4 largest cities in the country have a first generation immigrant/transmigration populations of over 40% each. Or in Malmö, Sweden where Swedes are now the single largest ethnic minority, even counting second generation immigrants/transmigrants as Swedes, regardless of assimilation.

    There is also the problem of double standards. Any questioning or criticism of the system results in personal verbal attacks and accusations of intolerance. Any criticism of the behaviour of the new comers is likewise attacked with accusations of intolerance and racism. In contrast, newcomers can get away with statements and actions that would put a 'native' in serious legal trouble, resulting in jail or fines. That has to stop and the reality of the situation be looked at as well as the intended goals.

    How does importing 5 million transmigrants into a country of 5 million or even 60 million help the situation for either the people (both new and old) in the new country or those left in the country they have escaped from? We all know what happens to a business if there is high turn over, what about whole cities or countries?

  • by bayers (155001) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @10:47AM (#13997454) Homepage
    Anybody else see that Frontline report about the 911 terrorists? Sure, a lot of them where Saudis, but nearly all of the were radicallized during their time in Europe.
  • ICANN what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by max born (739948) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @10:48AM (#13997466)
    Too bad for the French the EU is not in charge of DNS. They could just delete his domain name:)
  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @10:49AM (#13997472) Homepage Journal
    It is a little bit more complex than you are stating. What people in the US don't understand is that these people can never be "French".

    In the US if you are born in the US you are an American citizen. In much of the EU that even if your father and mother where born in that country and you where born in that country you are still not a citizen! I don't know what the status in France is for people from North Africa since those where at one time French colonies.

    As too which system is better? It is hard to come to the US to work. But it is easier to be a citizen. I like the US system but to each their own.

    The you put racism into the mix. One of the great myths is that Europe is more racially tolerant than the US. I think this rioting show that is not true. Europe is only now having to deal with racial diversity. It is easy to be tolerant when your minority population is tiny. It takes a lot of hard work and soul searching when the minorities get large enough to form sub cultures. I do think it is worth the effort but that is a US point of view.
  • 1. I think by dampen the ones that try to fuel the fire he probably meant the ones that were explicitly inciting further violence. So we're (you, me and parent) are probably in agreement that those specific guys could have their free speech rights truncated in interests of greater public safety.

    2. Perhaps that's because we have better religious freedom? I think more than just religious freedom it might have to do with the fact that the French state is a secular one. When they beheaded their king back in the French Revolution they were not just doing away with the monarchy, they were also symbolically dethroning God. Ever since they have had an aggressively secular government. So it's no wonder that a minority group that is extremely religious feels at odds with a government that borders on anti-religious.

    This is in contrast with American government, which was not founded as a secular state. People who say it was are misreading the Constitution and ignoring history. I'm not saying it was Christian, but it was at least fundamentally theist. Just read the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson, certainly not a Christian by any conventional standard, began attending a Christian church when he was president. Why? He explained that he felt that the Christian faith tended towards the betterment of society and thus it was up to him to set a good example and attent. The "seperation of church and state" was really only intended to be a seperation between the state and any specific establishment of religion - not to set the state against religion or expel God from the state.

    There are dangers in giving into the demands of the religious right - ID and all the nonesense. But by the same token, if we allow America to continue to be secularized (ala banning the Pledge of Allegiance and essentially declaring the Declaration of Independence itself to be ruled "unconstitutional") we are perhaps setting the stage to follow France towards an inevitable confrontation between the forces of religion and atheism.

    I'm not saying that it is only religious tension that has resulted in the French violence, but it is certainly an exacerbating element.

    -stormin

  • by thefirelane (586885) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @10:51AM (#13997496)
    Look, it's what happens when a culture doesn't insist that immigrants conform.

    Actually... my take on this is somewhat different. At least from what I know about early French colonial practices... they were very accepting of immigrants, as long as those immigrants totally disavowed their original culture and 'became French'. I imagine this group rioting are people who did not want to totally lose their original culture, and therefore have been alienated by the cultural elitist French society

    I contrast this to America, where although yes it does require some integration, historically it is much easier to retain your original culture and still be considered an American.
  • by Shakrai (717556) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @10:52AM (#13997499) Journal

    Or maybe Europe is closer in location and historic ties to the muslim parts of the world than the US is? Maybe this has nothing to do with a war, but more with a large influx of muslims seeking riches, but not finding it?

    That's funny, because just one of our states (Michigan) has a larger Muslim population then any other Western nation save France, and overall we have the largest number of Muslims in the United States then any other Western country. I don't see any riots here.

    And it's not just about economics either my friend. I don't see Mexicans/Latinos rioting in the United States when they come here to seek their fortune and don't find it. We embrace other cultures and assimilate them into our own. A lot of other countries just reject them outright.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 10, 2005 @10:55AM (#13997531)
    There's a difference. See if you can spot it:

    Anita Coney is a smelly poopy-head.

    That's opinion.

    Anita Coney should be shoved through a meat-grinder because he's such an idiot.

    That's a threat.

    Understand? You can state opinions ("France sucks!") but you can't try and get people to attack France.

    By the way, the US works in exactly the same way. It's often refered to as "yelling fire in a crowded theatre" but you can bet that the same blogs would be shut down by US authorities.
  • by Red Flayer (890720) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:00AM (#13997569) Journal
    "Beverly Hills is 'ethnically segregated' too."

    Actually, Beverly Hills is not ethnically segregated -- it is segregated by wealth. It happens to be that there is a correlation between race and extreme wealth, which is why there are fewer minorities in Beverly Hills.

    At the lower end of the income spectrum, there is a lot more diversity of ethnicity, both here in the US and in France. If you look at neighborhhods inhabited by the poor, they do tend to segregate themselves by ethnicity -- people live where they can communicate with their supers, their neighbors, and the people working at shops and restaurants locally. Shared language is a big part of it, shared culture the other.

    But if you look at historical segregation in the US, it was initially not a legal issue -- people segregated by choice. And yet it became a huge problem, because of ethnic discrimination, and because of inequal access to public resources (such as police protection, education, transportation, etc). And the fact of the matter remains, that much of the US is still segregated -- yet not formally, and (hopefully) less so every year. However, there is public awareness of the issue, and lots of people working to ensure that public resources are distributed fairly across ethnically segregated localities, and to make sure that public institutions are not segregated.

    A lot of areas in France are segregated, though not by legal decree. This is not a problem. The problem is that there is the perception among some people that they are not getting an equitable share of public resources. This is often enabled by segregation, since it's just a matter of reduced funding for public programs in certain areas.

    Whether it's intentional racism or not, whether people were segregated by force or by choice, doesn't matter. What matters is that government take the responsibilty that resources are NOT allocated inequitably by race.
  • by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:01AM (#13997578) Journal
    Then the idiots should vote. Burning homes/cars/businesses/people isn't they way to go about getting your way.
  • by UnruheRevan (930038) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:06AM (#13997633)
    Especially burning down their OWN neighbourhood. Now if they were trashing some upper-class city, then yeah I'd understand the point of the protest. But burning your neighbour's car, who doesn't make that much of a living in the first place ...
  • by Orne (144925) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:07AM (#13997646) Homepage
    Some people are saying "It's all economics, they're poor / unemployed so they are fighting against the Man the only way they can", while others are saying "It's all religion, they're all middle-eastern, its what they do".... but those are just the talking points of the far Left and far Right. The issue, as always, is more complicated.

    What you have are immigrant population from French colonies in North Africa (who happen to be of middle-eastern and african descent) who have entered France through their weaker immigration laws [brook.edu]. The French are traditionally very nationalistic (see their Language boards), and the immigrants were discriminated against [bbc.co.uk] and were not assimilated into mainstream cultures. Secondly, the middle-eastern culture itself is very prideful, mainly becase of their religious practices and family customs. The net result was that the immigrants self-segretated themselves into comminities of like-minded peoples.

    So, the dominant european ethnics (through prejudice) resisted their assimilation, which had the net result of limiting the earning potential of the middle-eastern ethnics. The immigrants resist learning the French language and culture, and because of French law, are denied representation in their governments. When the government does try to "help" them with social programs, their culture see it as insulting / condescending. The net result of this is a hatred of a government that is constantly trying to patronize them and force them to give up their heritage.

    So, these neighborhoods tend to have less governmental police prescence than other suburbs of Paris, which tends to lead to more criminal elements. It had gotten so bad, representatives of the federal government of France were claiming that they would "clean up the scum", which didn't go so well with the locals. In the latest chain of events [aljazeera.net], there were two youths who were fleeing police, hid in a utility station and accidentally electrocuted themselves. The immigrant cultures see this as police brutality & oppression, something denied by the authorities.

    Finally, there are now criminal elemnts in the immigrant culture that are rising up and causing damage around the suburbs, fighting their "battle" against the government for making them the way they are... Yet, these people do not see that a share of that responsibility is theirs.

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:07AM (#13997651) Journal

    In any case, the show portrayed some African slaves to which the neighbor commented how the slave features resembled those of monkeys. I was shocked. You'd never hear something like in US (at least I hope not).

    If you did hear something like that in the US you'd be utterly demonized by the mainstream and most decent people. Careers have been destroyed [wikipedia.org] over a lot less then that over here.

    On the other side of the coin, I can get a permit for a KKK rally in Central Park. In France that wouldn't be allowed under the hate speech laws. No doubt some people will defend those laws -- but I'd rather have the true freedom to allow people to say whatever they want. Even with the KKK and the neo-Nazi's free to spew their garbage we are still light-years ahead of Europe in race relations. What does that say about American culture?

  • by flibuste (523578) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:08AM (#13997654)

    No, you are completely wrong. People are not "told" where to live. Those buildings are owned by the gouvernment, but they are rented for a very cheap price to families who would not be able to afford to rent a place otherwise. Many people chose and applied for going to those buildings in the 60's. With the 70's/80's immigration waves, those rental places were still rented to the ones who could not afford lodging otherwise, that is, the immigrants.

    What you think is scary in many ways and shows that all you know about the situation comes from CNN and Fox news where the reality is VERY distorted. Fox news is so shockingly out of context that it definitely is anti-french propaganda rather than "news".

    Oh, and a last thing: you mix up african and north-african (arabic) culture. The vast majority of post-immigrants are from an arabic culture, and are not africans. So, you really have no idea what you are talking about and thus, I suggest you just shut up.

    The non-sense on american television spreads on slashdot as usual. People, put your nose out and go visit your neighbours. Thank you.

  • by PeDRoRist (639207) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:09AM (#13997669) Homepage
    France may be a worker's paradise, but only if you if have a job.

    Sitting here reading /. all day, I can only confirm this (except I don't feel my wage is as high as you say).
    Joking aside, there's a long term battle going on here between workers and employers, and the whole french employment and social model is at stake. A powerful CEOs lobby known as MEDEF is pushing hard to shift the model to "Easy to hire, easy to fire", but that is hard to swallow when like those young rioters you have trouble finding anything but short term, underpaid jobs.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:11AM (#13997684)
    So how do you want it? The french way with high labor costs or the Wal-Mart way with low pay?
  • my 2 euro cents (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lovebyte (81275) * <lovebyte2000&gmail,com> on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:12AM (#13997697) Homepage
    Since I live in Paris and I used to live in one of those poor suburbs, my humble opinion might be worth more than 2 cents, so here it comes:
    1. There is no country in Europe that does not struggle with immigrants and children from immigrants from African origin. France has the largest number of them, hence the biggest problems. (This is also correlated to the anti-semitism problem in France: the largest arabic and the largest jewish populations of Europe are in France and anti semitism in France comes overwhelmingly from this arabic population)
    2. Many of those rioters are simply criminals that do not want the police to be present in these suburbs and are demonstrating that it is their territory.
    3. Islam has nothing to do with these rioters. If they were white, would we say it's because of christianity? These criminals are not muslim.
    4. These bloggers were calling for physically hurting policemen, burning cars, schools, ... They were not just discussing the problems.
    5. What is this bullshit about journalists not talking about the causes of the social problems? All French newspapers, TV and radio news are just talking about that!
    6. These riots happen almost exclusively in the poor suburbs of France, 99% of the French population has only seen burning cars on TV.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:12AM (#13997701)
    No system is really in place to get the people new job skills for those that need it, proper language skills, and an acceptance or appreciation of existing values and mores.

    Asians never seem to need assistance from the "state" nor do Eastern European immigrants. They adopt and are often the most successful members of society.
  • Better idea (Score:2, Insightful)

    by flyinwhitey (928430) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:12AM (#13997703)
    Maybe they should crack down on the rioters first?
  • by goldspider (445116) <ardrake79NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:14AM (#13997711) Homepage
    "'Driven to riot' implies a lack of accountability on the part of the people looting and burning one of history's great civilizations."

    Truer words have seldom been posted here... except that part about history's great civilizations, of course :)

    Think of how many violent acts are carried out here in the USA because someone was "driven" to it? People seem to be "driven" by everything these days; alcohol, work stress, abusive parents, rap music, video games... everything except the most important element: CHARACTER FLAWS.

    Maybe if people stopped blaming society for all of their personal shortcomings, we'd be able to fix some of our problems. Until that happens, though, prepare yourself for more of the same.
  • by slashdot_commentator (444053) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:14AM (#13997719) Journal
    One last thought, 50 years ago Turkey was 50% Muslim, today it is over 95% Muslim.

    Don't you even bother to evaluate "factoids" before throwing them out to "support" your arguments?

    Do you really believe fifty years ago that half of Turkey's inhabitants were atheists? When did the great Secular Turkish migration/exodus occur? Do you believe fifty years ago that America's population was only 50% Christian?

  • by trollable (928694) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:14AM (#13997720) Homepage
    Well, speaking as somebody that has actually BEEN THERE, I can tell you it is totally a Muslim event!

    When? Where? How long?
    There is no religion involded.

    There are dozens of different nationalities involved

    Wrong. They are french. And most of them don't have another nationality.

    but the common denominator is they are Muslims.

    Yes some of them are muslims. And what? The police men are 90% christians (were baptized). And what?

    My comment may be considered flamebait here

    You're right for this point

    it is the reality of Muslim immigrants all across Europe

    There is hardly any immigrant involved in these riots. Most of the rioters are french. Born in France. Educated in France.

    The do not wish to blend in and they are intolerant of other religions, not just the Jews.

    Totaly wrong. Would be too long to explain.

    Perhaps you should familiarize yourself with current evets before your next comment.

    Instead of familiarizing with events, you should meet people.
    I don't want to say there is no problem. Because there is. But it is not a matter of religion. This is a social problem (unemployment, future, integration, ...). Give the youngs some fun, give the older a job and there would be no riot.
  • by Viol8 (599362) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:17AM (#13997752)
    France "rejects" these people he says , and by way of proof he offers
    up the fact that they don't have good jobs or are no in the cabinet.
    Perhaps , the truth is that not many of them have the education or
    ability to have good jobs. Its the same in the UK where certain groups
    whine on about discrimition against ethic groups , until you have to point
    out to them that hindus, sikhs , chinese etc are all doing very well
    thank you. Certain minority groups simply won't admit that its THEIR fault
    they're doing badly , and contrary to what they may think or want , society
    does NOT owe them a living.
  • by satsuke (263225) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:26AM (#13997841)
    Perhaps these bloggers should consider a change of venue. Say to one of the indymedia sites or the general purpose blog sites like LiveJournal. While LJ would likely comply with a court order, coming from a French (in this case) court would likely be delayed while it was examined etc etc.

    Being based outside the country you currently reside in has some usefullness.

    Also, it is good to see that, despite living in economically depressed areas of France, they are able to get online at all.

    As far as the (US) media coverage of the French riots, I agree, it's been almost all about the damage being done and very little about what they were angry for. I had to ask a friend who is a French national what in the would they were rioting for.

    Her response was interesting, mainstream France does not harbor any noticible racism for black Africans. They have been and continue to be integrated into mainstream french society. The flare ups have been towards more recent north african immigrants who happen to be majority arab & muslim decent.

    Like elsewhere in the would, people look for scapegoats whereever they can, in this case the more recent immegrants consume french health care and public assistance resources but are not far enough along in integrating (or refusing to integrate) to start contributing taxes and the like to make up for the difference. With unemployment being high in specific parts of France this can lead to problems etc etc.

    I can't speak to if there is really any intentional discrimination of anybody. This was all from a 40 YO mother who is more in the world of shopping for dinner at x+3 shops and driving an SUV than anything else.
  • by bigjocker (113512) * on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:30AM (#13997880) Homepage
    have been alienated by the cultural elitist French society

    Yeah, right. Because if you don't speak the native language, hate the natives (and all Europe) and alienate yourself in small groups of people like you, it's the fault of the other people if you can't get a nice job.

    Most of this people choose (for religiuos, ethnical, cultural and whatnot beliefs) not to integrate and decided to create sub-societies. What are they doing in France, living from its welfare system, if they hate it so much?
  • But remember... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by stlhawkeye (868951) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:31AM (#13997886) Homepage Journal
    France == good. American == bad. France == free and libre. America == unfree and corrupt. France is a model of a healthy socialist nation; free health care, peace-loving, non-violent, liberated. America is bad. Mmm'kay!

    This is honestly not a troll, I don't want to start a flame war, but whenever I read stuff like this coming on the heels of editorials by media pundits about how France is a model of what America ought to strive for, I thank God that the people who believe this aren't in power. I'll take today's America over today's France. America's first Republic has endured for 200 years. France's falls apart, historically, about once every 40-60.

  • Re:In the USA too (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tony Hoyle (11698) <tmh@nodomain.org> on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:33AM (#13997899) Homepage
    In the USA if you *link* to a site that *might* infringe copyright your site *will* be taken down.

    Cease and decist letters are all it takes.

    There's a lot more censorship in the USA than in Europe - except there it's corporate driven and americans like to pretend that it doesn't exist.
  • by bandannarama (87670) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:33AM (#13997906)
    Unless these people are being illegally denied representation in government, I honestly don't give a flying flip about why they feel "driven" to violence. Democracies have mechanisms for peacefully airing grievances; if you can't convince others of your position, you can't get what you want. End of story.
  • by Martin Blank (154261) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:36AM (#13997935) Journal
    Not on television, you wouldn't, at least not on a mainstream program. That was the point. In any country anywhere in the world, you can find someone bigoted who will spew that kind of tripe, but in the US, that is generally not something you catch in mainstream media.
  • by Secrity (742221) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:41AM (#13997983)
    However don't give crap that immigrants must conform. I'm an immigrant and I am not giving up my culture in order to conform to some American McStandard. However I have good luck to be white and male and I can thus get a good job.

    I would imagine that you can also speak English and have a decent education. I do not know that immigrants to the US were ever required to give up their culture in order to work in the US. Immigrants should be expected to learn about American customs, speak English, and learn how to drive in the US (if they drive); this is not giving up one's own culture.

    Most likely you've never experienced true poverty so don't come judging here. I don't condone of the way they're expressing their dissatisfaction but I don't discount their feelings as frivolous and wrong.

    From what I understand, the French government is providing them with housing and medical care and giving them welfare money -- this does not sound like true poverty to me. Just because their feelings are hurt does not in any way excuse the destruction, injuries, and possibly death that they are causing.
  • by jcr (53032) <.jcr. .at. .mac.com.> on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:53AM (#13998093) Journal
    It didn't make a lot of sense in the LA riots, either.

    What this shows is that rioting is an emotional activity, not a logical one.

    -jcr

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @12:01PM (#13998172) Journal

    It was not intended to strip ones liberty of faith, but rather put everybody on the same level : no religion (quite) no differences. See it like the UK uniform tradition. Religion being an important matter, it aims not to bring possible 'tensions' at school.

    It doesn't strip your liberty of faith to not be able to wear the items of that faith when you attend public school? I presume that school is mandatory for all children in France the way it is in the United States?

    Such a law would never survive a court challenge over here. It would never even get passed in the first place.

  • by pigfreezer (930056) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @12:02PM (#13998181)
    I flew over the comment page and read many of them though not all of them, and I didn't see any French replying to this, so I figured out it'd a good idea to reply. I could tell you guys what I think it is happening here, in our beloved country. As many of you have stated, France built housing projects for the poorest people to live in, and immigrants and their descendance had no other choice than to go live there. Though, in France, when you're down there, you sort of get stuck down there and you can't really expect the same opportunities as the "less poor" people living in houses. It is hard to explain, but these people slowly built their own communitity, they've been cast apart by the rest of us French and ignored for too long; now they're called scum. Wouldn't you be pissed that, not only do you live in housing projects and can't get a job, but you also are ignored by the country ? People living there have a stamp mark on their faces, and are considered as troublemakers. And we can't say that it's about religion or the fact that they came from foreign countries, because white French boys live in those places: they're rioters too. Religion as little to do with all this. Have you people seen the movie "La Haine" - the American title is Hate" - by Matthieu Kassovitz ? It is exactly the same thing, EXACTLY the same - The police injures a young immigrant from the suburbs while interrogating him. He later dies . - This event sparks riots everywhere in Paris suburbs. - The police is everywhere. - Cars are burning. The riots, the burning cars... this is not the point. The point is that the youth have nothing else to do than to fuck around everyday, do drugs, and deal with policemen. The police and the youth hate each other. The only thing they can do to get attention from the whole country is to set it on fire. And that's what they did. La Haine was shot in 1991; we're in 2005, the situation did NOT evolve.
  • by ScentCone (795499) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @12:04PM (#13998196)
    or sort of like saying the colonists were "driven" to rebel and terrorize the legal british government... ;-)

    But they were. By an increasingly burdensome, intrusive government presence in their lives. The British wanted to tax people without representation (note that the Fench citizens in question, whether they're rioting or not, can vote), the British routinely stationed troops in people's houses (as opposed to the French ghetto-burbs, where the French police and rescue workers have been afraid, for years, to go because they are routinely ambushed by the thugs that have set up shop there), etc.

    On one hand you've got colonists living, working, and risking it all to set up shop under circumstances that are being continually (and sometimes brutally) altered by the parent country. On the other hand you've got people who leave their own country and travel to another country to live in a place where the social structure, economy, laws and current events are plainly known. They choose to have children there, all the while maintaining that their own culture is preferrable to their new host culture (in most cases, choosing not to vote, not to learn the local language, etc) and then bitching when that already-sick local socialist economy doesn't provide them with what they've realized (upon leaving their own much more miserable country and living next to people who've built a long-standing, considerably more prosperous country) they want - even if they don't offer, as they arrive in the country, the skills and work ethic that would improve (rather than drain) that economy.

    Pah.
  • by zoney_ie (740061) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @12:06PM (#13998217)
    Yeah, but it's like describing Canadians or Mexicans as Americans - entirely correct, but misleading nonetheless. Except that it's an even more misleading description to use "African" as a label for those from north Africa, as we're talking about people descended from Arab ethnicity - rather than the ethnicies further south in Africa.

    The whole division of ethnicies comes into the North-South conflict in places like Sudan (that is not merely a religious division, but ethnic - non-Arab and Arab/Arabicized).
  • by jcr (53032) <.jcr. .at. .mac.com.> on Thursday November 10, 2005 @12:07PM (#13998223) Journal
    The problem in a nutshell is Islam is not just a religion, it is also a political force that denies the legitimacy of other belief systems and other political orientations.

    What utter tripe.

    I lived in two predominantly Muslim countries when I was a kid, (Malaysia and Indonesia), and they were just as tolerant of other religions as any other country in the world. For most Indonesians, Islam is about like Christianity is in the USA: something you pay lip service to when your grandma is listening, but you don't let it get in the way of having a good time.

    There's a problem of Saudi-bankrolled Wahabbis finding the assholes in every Muslim community and inciting them to cause trouble. It's about the same problem you'd find in the Christian world if somebody dropped a couple billion dollars on that clown with the "god hates fags" web site.

    -jcr
  • by kaiser423 (828989) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @12:16PM (#13998298)
    BS.
     
    If you aren't ready to immigrate, then don't immigrate. Period. Don't go to another country, and expect them to learn your language so that they can teach you in schools, and don't expect them to change their TV programming so that you can understand it. None of these people were displaced. They came voluntarily, and instead of assimilating, they're trying to do the assimilation. Hence the friction. I feel very little for them. I sincerely doubt that every other minority group in France is having this problem.
  • Re:my 2 euro cents (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ookaze (227977) <ookaze AT mail DOT ookaze DOT fr> on Thursday November 10, 2005 @12:44PM (#13998578) Homepage
    Since I live in Paris and I used to live in one of those poor suburbs

    I live in the suburbs, and I know some people in these poor suburbs. I knew a lot of them and know how they think, what they endure every day.

    1. There is no country in Europe that does not struggle with immigrants and children from immigrants from African origin. France has the largest number of them, hence the biggest problems

    This is just not true. You talk like only immigrants of African origin are a problem. This is completely wrong, and the population of poor suburbs are not limited to immigrants of African origin. Your last sentence is racist at best. Poor families of any nationalities live in poor suburbs. You already forgot the poor people thet died burnt in Paris some months ago, and there was no riot.

    2. Many of those rioters are simply criminals that do not want the police to be present in these suburbs and are demonstrating that it is their territory.

    Yes, many are just criminals, but they just show that they are stronger than police, and they are fueled by their success they see on TV.

    3. Islam has nothing ...
    4. These bloggers were ...
    5. ...


    Well I agree.

    6. These riots happen almost exclusively in the poor suburbs of France, 99% of the French population has only seen burning cars on TV.

    No, these "riots" happen everywhere, even in Paris. But it's true 99 % of French population have only seen cars burn on TV.
  • by Budenny (888916) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @01:09PM (#13998833)
    It is very different from what you may all be used to. For most readers I think it is taken for granted that people's ethnic origin or religion is an important part of their political identity. This is not officially true in France. There are no figures on how many people of which nationality or religion there are - because the French do not think this is of any official importance. It is actually unlawful for the census to collect them. All that matters is that everyone is a citizen of the Republic. This is what de Villepin is talking about when he is quoted in Le Monde as speaking of "a model founded on the recognition of the unique individual and not communitiies". This is also what the code words "republican values" means. This is what Chirac is alluding to when he said today that we are all "children of the republic", and said that we all have the same rights, and obviously, the same duties.

    They really do mean that everyone is equal, and everyone is the same, and everyone will learn the same curriculum in every school in France at the same time of day. And there will be no special treatment for anyone in respect of membership of any group. And no mark of religious observance will be allowed in any school. This is why headscarves are banned. That's why there can be no equal opportunities programs, and no quotas based on ethnicity. There can of course be massive social programs directed at the poor and at deprived areas, and there are. It is not usually realised what an enormous proportion of the French budget goes on social spending. This is what is keeping the suburbs and their housing projects going. But no-one is being forced to live anywhere, except by individual choices of lots of people.

    And, incidentally, if you live in a colonial possession, you are French. You are represented in the legislature just as if you were a departement of geographical France, you have the same government, the same schools. You are a citizen, that's all anyone needs to know. The rest is personal

    Of course, the problem is, that neither the immigrants nor the native population actually feels this way, and the 18th century is a long time ago. Hence there is indeed widespread discrimination, widespread isolationism and separatism, radical Islam is a real factor. Participation in politics is minimal - though the French electoral system would make it quite easy for immigrant groups to elect representatives, there are almost none.

    Its a mess all right. But it is not quite the mess it looks from the US. Its a kind of unfamiliar mess, and Lord knows how you straighten it out, now.

  • by wuice (71668) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @01:09PM (#13998837) Homepage
    One of the reasons that America is so racially diverse today is because those Christians brought those black people over as slaves, forbade them from learning how to read or practicing their own culture, forbade them from speaking their own language, forbade them from observing their own religion and forced them to be Christian, controlled their lives with imprisonment and forced labor, and killed the ones who disobeyed. Black people aren't slaves, but they are still in economic thrall to the white people. Blacks are tolerated as long as they stay on their side of the fence and believe in Jesus Christ.

    If you call that "success," well, that speaks volumes more bad things about you than it does about what you call "secular humanism."

    By the way, multi-culturalism doesn't have to do with the accepting of the color of one's skin. The color of your skin is not your culture. Your language, spirituality, and social customs are your culuture. The collective values of your society are your culture. This comment makes it absolutely clear how AGAINST multi-culturalism you are, since only Christians are welcome in your world.
  • by TastyCakes (917232) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @01:10PM (#13998845)
    You're assuming that the fact that they have Arab names is what causes them to be rejected more often. Did you ever suppose perhaps some of it's because of everything else on their resumes? The fact that so many are uneducated, inexperienced immigrants perhaps?
  • Re:my 2 euro cents (Score:2, Insightful)

    by herve_masson (104332) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @01:13PM (#13998877)
    Many of those rioters are simply criminals
    Do you have any insight to back your words ? We are just starting to get some information about this, and it really does not look like you can reduce riots to a handful of criminals...

    Franckly, linking current problems with the fact many rioters have african origins is looking at the problem from a really bad point of view. France have had a few immigration waves in the past: Italians, Portugeses, Spanish. Many people consider that only African immigrants cause problems; that's forgetting how tough was other immigrants's living. Yes, Spanish suffered a lot from racism and were usually poor ! Same with Italians (My grand'pa was one of those), and same with Portugeses.

    What makes the current situation specific and more explosive, I think, has more to do with the fact that the latest immigrants were grouped in really ugly and dense suburbs. That did happen because the government built sponsored low cost buildings in those "dedicated" area, rather than mixing them with the rest. This "mistake" is costing us a lot those days, and that's not terminated. If you look at Marseille, which has probably the largest share of African immigrants, you strangely discover that there were almost no riots there. What makes marseille really different is the fact that immigrants and decendants live inside the city, not 40km away.

  • by deacon (40533) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @01:14PM (#13998885) Journal
    No, you are completely wrong. People are not "told" where to live. Those buildings are owned by the gouvernment, but they are rented for a very cheap price to families who would not be able to afford to rent a place otherwise. Many people chose and applied for going to those buildings in the 60's. With the 70's/80's immigration waves, those rental places were still rented to the ones who could not afford lodging otherwise, that is, the immigrants.

    So, in your own words, these people have no choice. They are told where to live. Those who have a choice, live elsewhere.

    What you think is scary in many ways and shows that all you know about the situation comes from CNN and Fox news where the reality is VERY distorted. Fox news is so shockingly out of context that it definitely is anti-french propaganda rather than "news".

    I have not watched CNN or Fox for about 10 years now. My knowledge of the situation comes from working in France, and interacting with French Arabs, and also from working in Black Africa. Too bad an alternate point of view "scares" you. Boo hoo.


    Oh, and a last thing: you mix up african and north-african (arabic) culture. The vast majority of post-immigrants are from an arabic culture, and are not africans. So, you really have no idea what you are talking about and thus, I suggest you just shut up.

    No, you are aparently unable to realize that both Black africans and North africans (Arabs) are involved in the rioting. Africa has more than just two cultures by the way,
    the Arabs and the Blacks each have many, many different customs based on individual tribal traditions. Your simplistic lumping into two heaps is amusing.

    The non-sense on american television spreads on slashdot as usual. People, put your nose out and go visit your neighbours. Thank you.

    Does anyone get their news from TV these days? How primitive. I've visited my neighbours in Africa, in France, and in America. Have you?

    You take no issue with my original points about the nanny-state, lack of jobs, and Elitist racism. There may be hope for you yet.

  • by TummyX (84871) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @01:17PM (#13998915)
    Ofcourse, they only condemned "blind" attacks which makes it pretty useless a fatwa since the youths certainly don't think what they're doing is blind (and the 'official islamic body' knows that). The wording works to their advantage and people like you coo when they say it.
  • by obarthelemy (160321) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @01:23PM (#13998987)
    Mmmm, this is NOT a terrorist attack, which only requires a handful of people, but a lot of money and organization. It's riots, which require little money, but a lot of people.
  • by dptalia (804960) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @01:33PM (#13999101) Homepage Journal
    Part of it is that certain people in their community "encourage" them not to assimilate. That's the whole problem with multi-culturalism. If you don't assimilate, you don't get the same advanatages as the mainstream. Look, it's fine to be proud of your own culture and roots, but if it prevents you from working in the "normal" society then you're going to be segregated. It's like certain elements of black culture claiming that doing well at school is "acting white". You think those kids who remain "authentic" to their race are going to be employable?
  • by ScentCone (795499) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @01:34PM (#13999125)
    Um, what, exactly, else CAN you call it? Whether or not we agree with the perpetrator, whether or not they are correct in their reasoning, people only do these extreme actions because they feel driven

    Obviously, but not the parent's point, I think. His tone (correctly, I think) implies "rationally driven," as in, having no choice in the pursuit of an objectively rational goal. There are things (like lethal self defense) that can be objectively viewed as the only response to aggression (something one is thus "driven" to do). There are other "drivers" to action, but not all are morally equivalent. Be careful of moral relativism, here - not all goals are equally valid.

    Osama...who can say what his purpose was?

    No need to wonder! He and his buddies loudly repeat their goals on a regular basis. That entire movement is focused the re-establishment of, as a start, a pan-Arab caliphate spanning all of the regions once conquered/held by Islam. That would include, of course, places like Spain, and certainly all of the middle east. They want to see those places all ruled by a fundamentalist Islamist theocracy, and they say so on a regular basis - both in word and deed (see their mercifully aborted warm-up act in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan). Their aspirations, of course, include the widening of that influence across the globe. Their vision provides for this taking generations, and they're willing to do anything it takes. That's what it driving Osama, from the horse's mouth.

    an abused wife getting out of her abusive relationship the only way she knows how

    Funny you should cite that particular example. Reviewing, again, a social setting functioning exactly as the Taliban and their al Queda buddies wanted it, you got spectacles like women being taken to the (former) soccer field in Karachi and shot in front of a crowd at lunchtime for... that's right!... not being dressed correctly. Or for teaching her daughters to read and write. Or for trying to work to buy food since her husband was already murdered for, say, playing music outside. You can't make this stuff up... but it's exactly in line with the extremist culture that is radicalizing bored/cranky teenage Muslims throughout Europe. "Driven" indeed... but by theocratic, mysoginsitic, mideival-minded, superstitious bastards that want to set the clock back a few centuries to a (for them) romanticized set of circumstances that are, objectively, evil. I'm always a little perplexed by people that would let that world-view off the hook and attempt to dispassionately evaluate and equivocate over what's "driving" uncivilized, brutal, murderous behavior. Just ask them! They're happy to explain it, and if you don't sign on, you're an infidel dog.

    All's not lost, though. Did you notice the Jordanian protests against Zarqawi today? There are rational people in that part of the world, and they just need help dealing with the people that consider democracy evil (i.e., bin Laden and his local Iraqi franchise operator, Zarqawi).
  • by Lord Apathy (584315) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @02:36PM (#13999886)

    No, multiculturalism isn't working just fine in a America. The only reason you think its working is possibly because you ether haven't been exposed to its failures or you are simply not aware of them. If multiculturalism was working you wouldn't have problems of White flight which is a direct cause urban blight in places like downtown Detroit and other cities. Blacks start to move in and Whites move out, taking their money and their business with them. Whites simple ,as a group don't, want to live next to Blacks and I've heard plenty of Blacks say they same thing.

    Here in America the most discriminated people are White Americans. A White person can't even make a joke about racial problems with being branded a racist. You bring up concern about a "person of color" you risk losing your job, friends, and even your family. For instance radio talk show host William J. Bennett makes a crack about aborting Black babies to low the crime rate and he is burned at the stake by the media. While this evil sack of shit, Kamau Kambon, makes a speech on live tv about exterminating White people off the face of the planet and no one says a thing. One man because he is White gets hanged in the press, the other Black, gets cheers. Yes, people cheered and clapped when he said that.

    Here is a link to Kamau Kambon http://www.johnlocke.org/lockerroom/lockerroom.htm l?id=5854 [johnlocke.org] so you can listen to it yourself. There are video links around the web but they are getting harder to find.

    No, multiculturalism isn't working just in fine in America. It just hasn't reached as bad here as it has in France. In France and most of Europe there is no more room for the races to separate, while here in America there is still plenty of room. Once that room runs out though.

    By they way I just want to put out there for thought that right now the most discriminated race in America is he White race.

  • by Alcilbiades (859596) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @02:52PM (#14000057)

    I haven't ready the replies yet some of which I will probably be echoing. It's not the governments job to improve the quality of life for "immigrants". The reason people tend to hate immigrants, and I do have bunch of dislike for them, is that they bring nothing to your country. Part of the problem is the culture immigrants come from is vastly different than the ones they go to. That wouldn't be a problem if they would give up their old culture and allegiances for their new homeland but many want to cling to it. Why are you moving to a new country if you don't want to abandon your old one?

    In the case of France they should have called out the military after 2 nights of rioting and beaten the crap out of the rioters. Destroying other peoples property in a bid for attention or entertainment should be punished severly.

  • by werewolf1031 (869837) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @03:06PM (#14000236)
    This comment makes it absolutely clear how AGAINST multi-culturalism you are

    Based on your statements, I strongly suspect you've never spent any real time in the U.S., or perhaps only in a tiny microcosm within it. There are so many cultures and sub-cultures in this country you'd really need a scorecard to keep track. In my local area alone (central Pennsylvania) there are several distinct cultures I come into contact with on a routine basis, including the stereotypical big-pickup-truck-driving, deer-hunting rednecks, and the semi-isolationist Amish/Mennonite communities (to this day I still can't understand Dutch, but all the ones I've talked with speak English just fine anyway). There is also a small but growing hispanic community in the next town. I've worked with some of them at a factory that's since been shut down, and while we all got along well, they certainly didn't "conform". The topic of religion hardly ever comes up because there's such a diversity of opinion and most people know there's no point trying to preach to someone who doesn't believe the same thing you believe.

    In spite of the mostly rural area, there are blacks around here, they don't "conform", they're not all Christians (no more so than any other random cross-section of the population, regardless of race).

    ...only Christians are welcome in your world.

    You are way off base. One of my best friends is atheist (black guy), another good friend of mine is agnostic (white guy), I myself (white guy) happen to believe there is a God, and we all get along great. We never, ever preach at each other for or against religion, we simply agree to disagree and just let it go.

    Blacks are tolerated as long as they stay on their side of the fence and believe in Jesus Christ.

    You have no clue what you're talking about, but thanks for playing. Try again. :)
  • by lysium (644252) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @03:49PM (#14000769)
    So, in your own words, these people have no choice. They are told where to live. Those who have a choice, live elsewhere...You take no issue with my original points about the nanny-state, lack of jobs, and Elitist racism.

    I will have to discount the "nanny-state" part, because everything else you've said perfectly describes the race ghettos of the United States. No jobs, check. Entrenched racism, check. The US Government "telling" people where to live through economics....check (although I feel this point in particular is nothing more than a semantic game).

  • by dajak (662256) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @05:06PM (#14001661)
    You, sir, might find this article interesting:

    http://www.juancole.com/2005/11/problem-with-frenc [juancole.com] hness-readers-have.html


    It is interesting to see (again) that when shit happens somewhere commentators abroad will always point to differences between us and them to explain why it happens to them and not to us. From a European perspective France is the closest to the US when it comes to how the state approaches integration.

    The American notion that France is a European "multiculturalist" country and that that is an explanation of what happens, flatly contradicts the analysis given recently by the leader of the radical Arab-European League (AEL), Abou Jahjah, on Dutch television.

    His take on it is that the Dutch/German/Scandinavian segregation model, which basically denies that non-Western immigrants really become equal to the natives by acquiring citizenship, actually works better for emancipating minorities and preventing riots because it at least gives second and third generation descendents of immigrants a clear identity: that of their parents and/or grandparents. It also creates discontent among ethnic minorities, but it will usually be voiced in more acceptable ways by the older and wiser leaders of the hierarchically organized ethnic community.

    Comparing the American situation to Europe is also misguided. Most European countries are relatively monocultural and monoreligious, like France, with the exception of the Netherlands and Germany that have a protestant/catholic dividing line through the country.

    Europe is adjacent to North Africa and the Middle East, and traditionally considers those areas as hostile. The vast majority of immigrants are uneducated, African, Muslim, and unemployable. Many immigrants never really chose to live in Europe for the rest of their lives, and initially left their family in the home country while they went to Europe to make money. Another category of early immigrants are former colonials, that sometimes takes historical griefs with them. Decolonization era immigrants are for instance often former native colonial soldiers that had to flee, and they strongly feel that they have a right to be treated as equals by the people they fought for.

    The US has less immigration in absolute terms than continental Western Europe, a large part of the immigrants are from Western (Mexico) or Asian cultures, and South Americans are obviously Catholic. Muslim immigrants are better educated, and really decided to emigrate to the US. They were also able to afford a plane ticket.
  • by IgnoramusMaximus (692000) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @08:16PM (#14003589)
    Someone else already said this, but just to reiterate, self-sufficient means that you produce at least as much value as you consume.

    No. Self-sufficient means not only producing more or equal to one's needs but also consuming only what one produces. What you mean is profitability which is a different story altogether.

    In a capitalist society, we measure value in units of currency, and we say that every member of society must produce as much value as they consume.

    Bullshit. Capitalist society is a lousy (but so far the best compared to even worse choices) attempt at measuring one's "contributions" to society, utilizing a crude and unreliable tool called "money". For example: a con-man having successfully swindled many people of their money, and yet who was careful to stay nominally "legal", according to your "measure" is a great "producer" who is entitled to great levels of consumption. A jobless cocaine junkie billionaire heir to some fortune is equally a great "producer", while passed out in some whore-house.

    If you produce more than you consume, you accumulate wealth, and can consume more at a later date, or pass that wealth on to you children, or donate it to whatever cause.

    Untrue. The actual condition is: "if you accumulate more things then you have to part with, you accumulate wealth". There is nothing whatsoever about any "production" in a pure "capitalist" society. Adam Smith simply believed that by pure dynamics of such a system, somewhere, somehow, someone will produce things for others to consume. He called this phenomena "An Invisible Hand" which guides such a chaotic system towards some overall progress.

    On the other hand, if you produce less than you consume, you are just a worthless mooch, and the rest of us would be better off if you died.

    Utter, immoral bullshit. Otherwise, children and those born with debilitating diseases should be all left to die, which is the way of aminals.

    By the way, that last sentence marks you as a Spencerite (i.e. a vicious, selfish, bloodthirsty animal, an enemy of everyone but himself, best put down like a rabid dog before he causes untold suffering to others) and thus not someone with whom an enlightened discussion can be had, lest it was about the "divine nature of greed".

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