Druzhinniki, popular militias whose members sometimes carry arms and which have links to the Russian Orthodox Church’s nationalist wing, are already patrolling Russian cities seeking to keep immigrants from any actions that violate law and order, a development that has prompted some Muslim groups hitherto quiescence to become more active.
Tuan Jim objected to my take on the situation, and left this comment:
I hate to say it, but I think you’re engaging in some very selective article posting and commentary here.
There is a distinct difference between calling for a restriction on immigration from certain countries to counter radical Islam or even cutting back on allowing economic immigration for the purpose of protecting domestic jobs and the blatant xenophobic violence that has resulted in over 100 foreigners deaths just this year, not to mention an black US college student getting stabbed in the last month.
I sent you the article (and you included it in a recent news roundup) of the outcome of the trial of a gang of teenage thugs who had admitted to killing over *20* people in a period of less than a year. 20 people! That’s mass murder right there — and it’s not like they shot them — they beat and stabbed them all to death in the streets. And the average conviction for 20+ murders was 6 years (even less for the minors).
That is not a good trend. Nationalism and Patriotism backed by appropriate rule of law is one thing — attacking and killing random people because you don’t like the way they look (i.e. “not Slavic” to quote another article) is a completely different kettle of fish. And the failure of the government to prosecute these crimes appropriately is very disconcerting.
I had to concede his point. I agree that a descent into vigilante thuggishness is not a desirable outcome in any country.
My gut reaction comes from watching the growing brutality and lawlessness of immigrant areas in various parts of Europe, about which the civil authorities do virtually nothing.
Every day I sift through the news stories with their mind-numbing litany of assault, murder, rapes, vandalism, looting, and arson committed by “youths” in the banlieues of Western Europe. The reaction of the lawfully-constituted governments is to ignore or play down the problem or pretend it doesn’t really exist, and to give the young thugs at most a slap on the wrist. In Britain, anyone who dares to point out the extent of the crisis and criticize it may be charged with the crime of “racism”.
My gut reaction is also informed by the experience of a female member of our family, who was assaulted by an immigrant tough on the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia. No one was ever arrested for the crime. It’s well-known in Charlottesville that some of the worst Mexican gangs have infested the schools and housing projects of the city.
So I have to admit to a guilty and illicit thrill at the thought of vigilantes of my own ethnic persuasion taking back the mean streets from the invaders. But Tuan Jim is right — this kind of lawlessness is not a solution to be desired.
On the other hand, what will be the alternative? This is the awful dilemma which is gradually confronting us. Our political leaders, to whom we have delegated our governance via our electoral consent, are failing in their most fundamental duty: the protection of their citizens.
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In a free society, people voluntarily give up a portion of their liberty in exchange for the protection of the State. This is the basic social contract. We grant the State a monopoly on violence, and in return we are protected. But the State has failed to keep its half of the bargain, and no longer maintains a monopoly on violence.
So lawlessness already exists. The abdication by the civil authorities of their responsibilities is a breach of the common law. Unless this slide into anarchy is reversed, further lawlessness on the part of the erstwhile victims will inevitably result.
The system which should replace our failed leaders is broken. At present there is no way in the United States or most other Western nations to throw out the negligent rascals and replace them with responsible leaders. The electoral system is rigged so that we are only allowed to vote for several different flavors of “more of the same”.
There is no choice that would allow a return to the kind of muscular law-enforcement that used to be the norm. And maybe that’s the way most people prefer it. Maybe we as a society would rather be “nice” than be protected from violent thugs. Maybe we no longer have the stomach to do what is required to re-establish civil society in our inner cities and immigrant suburbs. Maybe we are too morally sophisticated to protect ourselves.
But not everyone feels that way, and eventually some people are bound to respond in the same manner that the Russian vigilante groups are responding, by adding their own murder and mayhem to the mix.
A politically feasible way of avoiding this outcome, if it can possibly be found, is much to be preferred.