Friday, August 12, 2011

The Failure of Great Britain's Liberal State

After World War II, Britons envisioned a new kind of state built on social welfare and the gradual grinding away of their country's traditions of self-reliance and responsibility. The first action of this faction lay in the dumping of Prime Minister Winston Churchill before the war even ended. Britain then nationalized many industries, empowered trade unions, passed strict gun control measures, and watched their preeminence in many fields, especially manufacturing, completely slip away. They also stopped going to church and watched marriage rates fall to the point that such relationships now represent a minority. Britain is a nation that, in many ways, has become rudderless. Its national mission and traditions are gone. And now we see the mindless greed of riots based on the purpose of spreading chaos and stealing as much as possible.

The British state had no idea how to stop the riots. The Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, must be a faded memory. She knew how to stop the Argentines from practicing international thuggery. Her descendents in office dithered over the use of even non lethal weapons, such as water cannons, to stop the loss of life and property.

It is from British tradition that we learn that the government's two main roles are protection of innocent life and property. It was not until the people threatened to form Freecorps style militias that the police began to act with aggression, or maybe it was the heavy rains. Either way, the state was impotent to help. I made the point a few times that these riots simply don't happen in certain American cities with aggressive anti-riot strategies, or simply tough reputations. Britain's police had neither.

And what of the people? Chicago's city government has taken the lead in trying to undermine the Second Amendment, but this is what happens when the people are not armed. American businesses are oftentimes protected by their owners who have, and should have, no qualms about blowing away thugs who seek to loot and destroy. The people have the right and the responsibility to defend themselves because the state cannot always be there.

Is there a social aspect to this? Well, Britain's government actively destroyed heavy manufacturing and mining after World War II, just as we are doing now. They put other priorities above an economy that produces real goods and employs people, just as we are doing now. Britain is showing us where we are headed if we accept the Obama left wing path.

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