It is hard to know whether Mr Dillow’s conventional wisdom is more conventional than the average, or just more coherently expressed. Whatever the case, it is both wrong and harmful.
Like a typical liberal intellectual, Dillow plays good cop to the rioters’ bad cop. “Just give them what they want,” he advises in a calm voice, “and the violence will stop. I want to help you, but I don’t know how long I can control them for.” Well, gee, thanks Chris. You’re all heart.
Isn’t it strange how there is no symmetry between right and left where political violence is concerned? Can you imagine one of our intellectual elite suggesting that the proper response to the massacre in Norway is to meet some of the murderer’s demands? After all, we don’t want any more violence.
No, there is absolutely not even the faintest whiff of compromise where right wing violence is concerned. Amazingly, our society instantly rediscovers its testicular fortitude. Any journalists and bloggers thought to have encouraged the violence by feeding the unjustified sense of grievance are roundly condemned in polite society. “What did you expect, Ms Philips, what did you expect?”
And, by an equally mysterious coincidence, there is no concomitant deluge of grievance fuelled right-wing violence. It simply never materialises. Now, isn’t that weird?
And yet, and yet, and yet… if we don’t want the children of the wretched of London’s earth to raise our capital city to the ground ‘pon the regular, then—apparently—we’re going to have to issue a humiliating apology for making them angry and then meet all their demands. Or are they Chris’s demands? Perhaps a little from Column A and a little from Column B, Chris?
In either case, our strategy for preventing future violence with regards to the riots is to (1), tell the rioters and looters that their grievance, whatever it might be (we’re not sure), is just and true; and (2), validate their use of violence to satisfy that sense of grievance by trying to buy them off. Can’t imagine that this will backfire, no sir! Don’t see how this could look weak to anyone, not at all!
And the broader lesson vis-a-vis political violence is that we don’t compromise with rightist violence: we condemn it and all even tangentially associated with it. This is not thought to imply that more violence will result; or, if it is, it is not important enough to mention. But, mysteriously, when the violence is leftist, we must instantly and totally capitulate in order to prevent it from occurring again.
If you are confused: good. The whole purpose of modern political thought is to defy rational analysis by making no sense whatsoever. An old friend of mine had a similar strategy. Here is a typical example of his shtick. He was going through some personal problems and his long suffering girlfriend paid for them both to go on holiday to the Caribbean. They were relaxing one evening on some deckchairs by the beach outside their hotel. Waiters were bringing them cocktails and they were sharing some chocolate covered strawberries and watching the sunset blaze across the sky. She eats the last strawberry and turns to him. He looks at the empty bowl, and then up to her and says, “You selfish bitch.”
To which there can be no response. How can you reason with someone so insanely out of touch with reality? It is impossible. We have the same problem with our political and intellectual class. They are beyond reason, for, as someone once remarked, “You can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into.” For our elites, liberalism itself is their religion. And, like your quack medic, their response to any evidence of its failure is always to increase the dose. “Just increase the dose. This time, it will definitely start working.”
Let’s hope so, eh!