by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Thomas Sowell‘s latest column explores the recent rash of mob violence in normally sedate Western societies: the high-profile London riots and “the pattern of violent attacks on whites” in a number of large American cities.
While the history and the races are different, what is the same in both countries are the social policies and social attitudes long promoted by the intelligentsia and welfare state politicians.
A recent study in England found 352,000 households in which nobody had ever worked. Moreover, two-thirds of the adults in those households said that they didn’t want to work. As in America, such people feel both “entitled” and aggrieved.
In both countries, those who have achieved less have been taught by the educational system, by the media and by politicians on the left that they have a grievance against those who have achieved more.
As in the United States, they feel a fierce sense of resentment against strangers who have done nothing to them, and lash out violently against those strangers. …
… Today’s politically correct intelligentsia will tell you that the reason for this alienation and lashing out is that there are great disparities and inequities that need to be addressed.
But such barbarism was not nearly as widespread two generations ago, in the middle of the 20th century. Were there no disparities or inequities then? Actually there were more.
What is different today is that there has been — for decades — a steady drumbeat of media and political hype about differences in income, education and other outcomes, blaming these differences on oppression against those with fewer achievements or lesser prosperity.
Moreover, there has been a growing tolerance of lawlessness and a growing intolerance toward the idea that people who are lagging need to take steps to raise themselves up, instead of trying to pull others down.