While only the universality of the highest order of moral perfection could solve violence; while only the jurisdiction of a moral consensus could administer international peace; it is also true that no such consensus and no such jurisdiction exist, beyond what is considered, rather airily and as a matter of fact, ‘law’.
Indeed, it is this very ‘law’ that triggered the violent uprising in France of late, torching West Europe into a frenzy of internal mayhem. The Law of the Nation State challenging the moral etiquette of the Universal World Order.
According to Le Monde Diplomatique, “The French government…law…in practice creates illegal immigrants, but leave in place the immigration policy of the last twenty years and avoid a national debate that would serve the interests of the extreme right (Christian de Brie).”
French immigration law posits that an immigrant could obtain a job only if that person possesses a work pass, and in order to obtain a work pass one must have a job. This confounding predicament in its circular logic has created a lot of immigrants who are jobless, which in turn has bred a sustained contempt and a dangerous lifestyle, finally erupting into a chaos and a violent refutation of what is obviously perceived as an otherwise irreconcilable injustice.
“The run-down, graffiti-ridden tower-blocks, some with broken and boarded-up windows, stretch for miles and miles.
Those who live there say that when they go for a job, as soon as they give their name as “Mamadou” and say they live in Clichy, they are immediately told that the vacancy has been taken” reports BBC journalist Joseph Winters.
Foreigners living in Europe and demanding European equity of law, as well as, demanding to retain their exclusive cultural underpinnings: demanding jobs, demanding fairness, demanding the same opportunities as Frenchmen, yet demanding the recognition of instilled differences. Headscarves and Halal meat contesting Berets and Batard for even territory.
This is indeed, not just the challenge of the French, but it is the challenge of Globalization everywhere.
Asma Boubker, a sixteen year old North African immigrant, says she feels targeted as a Muslim: “Christians have crucifixes, why can’t we have headscarves?”
The Right-Wing reply to this would be to throw the immigrants into the Mediterranean and let them swim back to their familiar shores. While indeed, the most obvious cure for the physical problem, such an action rails against the rhetoric and norm of the big G8 concepts: international equity, tolerance, or more to the point free-trade.
Let us examine 5 hypothetical solutions to the G8 violence problem:
1.The Nazi-esque deportation of all ghetto immigrants, and closing G8 borders to further alien penetration. Setbacks: A public relations disaster for the G8 Globalization Movement, loss of Global trust, disintegration of democratically inspired governments therein, and institutionalization of xenophobia and nationalism.
2.Providing immigrants with equal opportunities with one hand, yet with the other allowing them to retain their rigid cultural moorings with the other: such as, for the Arab-French retention of traditional and orthodox existential regimen. Setbacks: Encouraging this type of super-tolerance creates a group of people who are very visible in the French nation as foreigners, who not only insist to live within the contorted irony of a culturally-liberal and fundamentalist existence, but also continue to expand their brackets due to high birth rates, embarking upon a disintegration of a culturally unique nation.
3.Institutionalizing a common French identity, where diversity exists within the theory of the individual, where freedom of speech is tolerated, so long as it suits shared and equilaterally enforced cultural sanctions such as set education norms, set wage rates, set civics. Setbacks: Immigrants may complain and attract troublesome leftist sympathies and supra-tolerance activism.
4.Encourage Europeans to be more self-sufficient and practice autarkic economic thinking as opposed to free-trade, eschewing the need for foreign labor and capital. Setbacks: Economic exclusion hampers G8 Globalization movement and limits reach of French markets. May create domestic prosperity, but inhibits expansion of unlimited corporate wealth.
5.Employ policing and monitoring of undesirable immigrants, and allow social catastrophes like the one in France to occur freely across Europe without intervention, eventually hoping that a democratically represented majority-consensus would arise across Europe against immigration, solving the problem, and the argument against immigration, by literally creating support points by allowing sensational incidents to materialize.
Setback: Inconsistent with proclamations of ‘universal justice’ and ‘fair government’. Dangerously effective.
The raging fires in France herald the symptoms and discontents of an incipient Globalization. The G8 countries and by extension the entire first world now symbolize the aggregate Cosmopolitan wealth of the world.
Where, in the West, in the Victorian times in England, and in the early 20’s in America, the rural populations were drawn to urban capitals lured by opportunity and fortune; in the era of the one World, the West itself has become the Cosmopolitan haven for the disadvantaged rural world.
Both Victorian England, and Industrial America created its slums, its ghettos, its riots, its peculiarities. However, in those days, an abiding conformity assimilated and mitigated mismatched contexts by emphasizing the common interest to be prosperous and the self and social determinism that it necessitated.
The times then were hard, the welfare system scant and empathetic considerations slim. Survival of the fittest.
This was also an era that saw tremendous entrepreneurship and inquiry. This was an era that created discipline, community, and norms. Restrictive and bourgeoisie, yet at once close-knit and individualistic: a contradiction as ever, but a fair one.
Where at one time, accountability was purely weighed in terms of profit, these days, accountability has become moral. The structural consequences of this way of thinking are an inevitable melee, where opinions become more compelling than opportunities, insecurities more prominent than innovation.
“One woman who is visiting friends and relations in Clichy said she was astonished to see the flames and hear the police sirens, saying it reminded her of home – Algeria, where a decade-long civil war has just about finished” reports BBC news.
Inequities in wealth, inequities in innovation, inequities in Academic and Scientific contributions, miraculously overlooked by a new assumption of Universal Equality: double standards coexisting with deficits and drug-trafficking.
Globalization of this sort has perfected perplexity as a lifestyle, except known by other names.
“I said I had the deepest respect for their faith, but I did not want to know what their religion was – any more than I wanted them to know what mine was.”~ Genevieve Piniau, French Headteacher
“Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.”~Winston Churchill
“The Greatest form of Inequality is to attempt to make unequal things equal.”~Socrates.
“Globalization is a fact of life. But I believe we have underestimated its fragility.”~Kofi Annan.