The Times-Picayune published a piece bemoaning the rise in youth crime in New Orleans, especially murder and carjackings. Let me paraphrase one of those quoted, the writer accurately cited the three most pressing metrics causing the explosion of violence: poverty, no vison of a positive future, and broken families.
He was spot on.
To carry his thinking further, I would interject that the criminal justice system is a short-term response to social ills, not their cure. Only when the other three are positively addressed can we expect a long-term solution. In the meantime, criminal justice is about all we have.
What was not unexpected were his solutions to addressing our shortcomings, more “investment” in high poverty areas and a “village” to support the kids. In other words, the same liberal drivel we have heard for generations. The same approach that government has taken over and over, an approach to ever higher spending and growth of an entire industry of bottom feeders at the trough of social equity. The same approach that has led us to a time where victims are seen as at fault, because they didn’t look over their own shoulder to avoid being attacked.
Exactly what is the ”village” that liberals so fervently refer to? Well, it is an excuse, it is a fairy tale that romantically draws on a time when government was non-existent, and power was held by a strongman or group of strongmen. Perhaps it was a tribal setting in Africa or North America, perhaps it was an early colonial time when there was great distances between groups of people so there could be no mutual support. That is what a village was, not a modern democracy. And the social structure of those villages was highly organized and sewn together by strong moral and ethical standards. Everyone knew their place and their job, those choosing to deviate were expelled from the village or worse, expelled from the planet.
None of that is the idealized village that modern liberals dream of. Their concept is one of ultimate freedom to do as one chooses with the expectation that someone else or government will assume their responsibilities and catch them when they inevitably fail. Villages in the historic sense worked because everyone pulled their weight. Only the very weakest, the sick or the elderly, were excused from duties. In the eyes of modern liberals anyone who chooses not to shoulder their burden by obeying the law, by getting a good education, by maintaining a solid family, by working and saving is a victim of society and therefore entitled to the benefits of those who do. That’s not how a village worked, instead a blatant form of dependency that is contrary to how early villages evolved into modern democracies.
Villages were not democracies in which personal freedom comes with a mandate of an individual’s assumption of his duties as a contributing member of society, duties that emphasize the moral standards of democracy. In a village freedom was subverted to the common weal, happiness a function of the success or failure of the whole. In a democracy freedom is not a guarantee of happiness, freedom is a guarantee of the opportunity to achieve happiness thorough one’s initiative and principles.
New Orleans is not a village, and our people can’t prosper in a village. We will only recover from the spiral of decline and social ills when the people have had enough of seeking solace in misunderstood liberal concepts and talking points. Only when the people on a micro-democratic scale stop tolerating leaders who seek political security in talking down crime, bad schools, bad infrastructure, and a failed economic sector, but defer to fairy tale concepts for relief. Things will improve when the people of our micro-democracy put in place leaders who tackle real problems, without the crutch of imaginary concepts. Children will learn to become contributing members of our democracy only when an intact family structure becomes the rule and not the exception.
Until that point of criticality is reached, we must learn to look over our own shoulders because the police cannot be everywhere all the time.