American treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson recently had a piece on the Third Worldization of America, and he’s seen a far amount of it first-hand. Excerpt:
After traveling the last 45 years in the Middle East, southern Europe, Mexico, and Asia Minor, I observed some common characteristics of a so-called Third-World society. And all of them might feel increasingly familiar to contemporary Americans.
Whether in Cairo or Naples, theft was commonplace. Yet property crimes were almost never seriously prosecuted.
In a medieval-type society of two rather than three classes, the rich in walled estates rarely worry that much about thievery. Crime is written off as an intramural problem of the poor, especially when the middle class is in decline or nonexistent.
Violent crime is now soaring in America. But two things are different about America’s new criminality.
One is the virtual impunity of it. Thieves now brazenly swarm a store, ransack, steal, and flee with the merchandise without worry of arrest.
Second, the Left often justifies crime as a sort of righteous payback against a supposedly exploitative system. So, the architect of the so-called 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah-Jones, preened of the riotous destruction of property during the summer of 2020: “Destroying property, which can be replaced, is not violence.”
Third Worldization reflects the asymmetry of law enforcement. Ideology and money, not the law, adjudicate who gets arrested and tried, and who does not.
There were 120 days of continuous looting, arson, and lethal violence during the summer of 2020. Rioters burned courthouses, police precincts, and an iconic church.
And there was also a frightening riot on January 6, when a mob entered Washington D.C.’s Capitol and damaged federal property. Of those arrested during the violence, many have been held in solitary confinement or under harsh jail conditions. That one-day riot is currently the subject of a congressional investigation.
Note the common threads: Elimination of the middle class, disparity in enforcement, the increasing separation of the elite classes from the rest of society. California, as Dr. Hanson points out, is a great example of the latter; the former Golden State is now a medieval society indeed, with the rich behind thick walls and wire, protected by guards, and the poor living in squalor. That state’s government has (by design or by incompetence) done all they can to drive the every-shrinking middle class out of that state.
But what about solutions?
Dr. Hanson doesn’t offer any. I’d like to say a vast reduction of government interference would help revive a middle class in places like California, but the rot has set in well above that level – see the treatment of January 6
rioters hooligans vs. the treatment of BLM/Profa rioters in the courts. There is no attempt to even obfuscate the disparity.
We may already be too far down that dark path.