Guess what Victor “Hardline” Hanson thinks is the cause of the riots?

As discussed earlier, there are two basic interpretations of the French riots. The Class Conflict school holds that the poor rioters have been excluded from mainstream French society in which they are so desperate to be integrated and to advance economically that they are rioting and burning to show their dissatisfaction. The Clash of Civilizations school holds that the rioters don’t seek integration but the opposite—they are chasing the police out of the Muslim neighborhoods so as to assert effective sovereign control over them, independent of the authority of France. The Class Conflict school is that of liberalism/neoconservatism; it believes in the dream of universal sameness based on common democratic ideals. The Clash of Civilizations school is that of reality; it recognizes the unassimilable differences between Islam and the West.

Guess to which school the absurdly overrated “conservative” columnist and historian Victor Davis Hanson subscribes? Here he is, speaking in a radio interview with Hugh Hewitt, which was picked up by Ruth King:

VDH: Well, there’s two messages. One, that we in America can see where an unassimilated un-integrated a population goes, and where that leads to, it leads to a sort of an apartheid. And two, we can see what happens with an EU that can’t create real economic growth, and has high stagnant unemployment of 10%. And three, this is I think a little bit more controversial, that we can see what happens to a society that doesn’t ask the immigrant to integrate, and the immigrant doesn’t feel that he has to integrate, or to learn the language, or learn the traditions of the West. So you have this Orwellian situation when thousands of people are rioting, you want to say let me get this straight. You do not want to go back to the country, an hour or two away by air, that you praise in the abstract, but you surely want to stay in a country that you want to burn down to the concrete. It doesn’t make any sense, other than this strong, psychological urges of envy, jealousy, wanting something you can’t have. Then, besides all that landscape, you get the impression there’s something very wrong in Europe that has high unemployment and generous joblessness benefits, so that it allows people not really to have to go look for a job, because there isn’t any, but to stay home and sort of nurse these wounds, with enough money to survive.

These amazing comments from Hanson prove his inconstancy and show why he’s not going to stay with his recent hardline position on Muslim immigation. How could he stay with that position, since he’s a liberal assimilationist at heart? The way Hanson’s mind works is like this. He will get momentarily alarmed about Islam, and his adrenaline kicks in, and he veers into a (for him) draconian posture: exclude Muslim immigrants from America, he says, deport all jihad believers, etc. His conservative readers get excited: Wow, look at that Hanson, what a hardliner! But then a day or a week later Hanson’s default liberalism returns, and he’s talking about greater efforts to assimilate the poor Muslims, whom the West’s indifference and insufficient efforts have left stranded in such harsh conditions. Because there is never any critical thought on the establishment right concerning one of its own (look at the absence of any critical comments from the right about George W. Bush’s very liberal positions on immigration and multiculturalism during the 2000 campaign, or about his victimological first inaugural address), Hanson is left free to continue on his confused course, even as he continues to garner completely unearned honors and plaudits from the “conservative” movement.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 08, 2005 07:18 AM | Send

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