I was hoping for an Orwell reference.
The major problem with the view presented in the piece and in the comments is that it characterizes France as a country with weak law enforcement, what's a very silly stereotype -- maybe aggravated by a hint of prejudice due to the fact that it's a Latin country.
If you browse the French press after the incident, you'll notice that 286 suspects of involvement in the riot were called to justice. Five were incarcerated immediately, a few more were incarcerated weeks later, and you can bet more will find the same destiny during the months to come.
France, as its neighbor Switzerland, is in reality one of the countries with highest levels of law enforcement efficiency in the world. Very few countries have the luck of achieving at the same time low crime rates -- especially murder rates -- and a relatively unobtrusive law enforcement apparatus.
I'll agree however that the idiocy shown during these protests is proof of the feeble-mindedness of the so called progressive movement as it's been taking shape around the world these days. And I wouldn't be surprised if some of those rioting clowns until recently displayed an Obama tee with pride -- well, they were probably transformed into a mopping artifact by now given the administration performance...
Norman the problem I have is that the commentators, including yourself, think that this is clever satire. If that's the case then Theo does clever satire all of the time, because in effect he writes the same thing over and over again. Perhaps that's the definition of conservatism? Its not tongue-in-cheek, more family-sized saloon car in cheek.
I like Theodore Dalrymple's tongue-in-cheek comments regarding solidarity in idiocy. That trans-generational, trans-racial and trans-gender "protest", a.k. as sensless violence, has at minimum one common denominator: to use ANY convenient cause for destructive purging of penned-up agression. The only response to this prevalent, criminal phenomenon is a swift crackdown by the law. Yet, just as commentator "Michael" below, I, too, question whether the French authorities have the gumption to follow through with stiff penalties. I think not.
I hope the audio Odiogo file will be active soon?
Congrats, anonymous Anonymous on your sterling double with your degree of anonymous 'courage' being equalled by your inability either to understand Dalrymple's satirical presentation of a very real problem, or come up with a non-fatuous response.
And now American students are learning from their European counterparts how to more effectively make their adolescent discontents visible for viewing on the TV nightly news. For such do families sacrifice to send their children to institutes of "higher learning".
I'd love to know how many arrests were made, how many prosecutions will follow, and how stiff the penalties will be for those found guilty.
I suspect the answers are (will be): very few, even fewer if any, and not very because the authorities will fear even greater riots if they dare punish the rioters.
It makes wonder whether the best thing for the future of France may be another German invasion. ;)
Just the same old tedious conservative saw Theo. You're turning into a caricature curmudgeon. Get some new ideas (or is that a contradiction in terms?)
May I add that no doubt all of this mayhem was facilitated by "Facebook" and "YouTube"? Now, that's democratic.