It has been said ad nauseam that when Uncle Sam sneezes, the English bulldog catches the flu. Emulating American rioting has caught on over here with a bang, pun intended. As Douglas Murray wrote in The Spectator, riots are one import “we can do without.” It wasn’t always this way. In tumultuous 1968, the U.S. rioted after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Paris was torn apart by its own riots caused by an economic crisis. But swinging London remained swinging and obsessed with a couple mop-haired, foul talking rock groups. This time it’s different.
In America, it’s rioting, looting, and burning across the land again. Corporate America, known for its grace under pressure, is acting as courageously as Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Minnesota Governor Tim Walz. Monuments of our greatest heroes are now bowling pins to be desecrated and brought down by publicity-seeking thugs that are encouraged by the media. It’s the same thing in the UK. One pair of Muslim men interviewed while protesting the Winston Churchill statue outside Westminster were asked why they supported tearing down the statue. “To be honest, I don’t know who he is,” one replied.
Were I to judge, the best answer to woke half-wits demanding erasure of our history and our monuments would be Professor David Starkey’s. “One does not criticize an 18th-century house for not having the modern conveniences of hot and cold running water, electricity, and central heating,” Starkey said. “So why would one criticize its human contemporaries for not having modern values about race and slavery?” Leave it to a Brit to get it just right without showing too much emotion at outrages perpetrated by leftist scum.
But let’s get to the point of all this. The real agenda behind these riots is the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of a socialist police state. Racism is the excuse and the vehicle, but capitalism is the target. A competitive capitalist society doesn’t suit a lot of privileged people. For example: tenured academics who don’t like to be challenged; spoiled youth who are emotionally and psychologically insecure; politicians who want cushy jobs for life; and media people who feel unappreciated by the money men who own the networks and newspapers they work for. It is also very chic to be a socialist, and has been since the Vietnam War—hence the lip service paid to socialist causes by 99.9 percent of celebrities.
A sense of not being listened to must be frustrating, I admit. But in order to be listened to in a free society, an individual needs to have something worthwhile to say. Not being listened to was CNN’s excuse for the looting and the burning. Not being listened to, however, is a very old complaint, dating back at least to the ’60s, when black revolutionists banged on about it.
In 1970, Bill Buckley dispatched me to socialist Algeria to interview Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver and his followers for National Review. They had fled there to escape prison back home, but they discovered it was not what they had envisioned back in Los Angeles. President Houari Boumédiène kept them under wraps in Algiers without booze or women. I found both Cleaver and his right-hand man, Donald “Field Marshal DC” Cox, downhearted, broke, and miserable. “Oh, man, what would I give for a hamburger,” Cleaver told me. Both eventually decided they preferred American jail to Algerian socialism, and returned to the U.S. voluntarily.
So, be careful of answered prayers, you rioters. All you phonies burning and looting in the name of a fairer society don’t realize you’re already living in the fairest of them all. Black Lives Matter UK describes its aim as: “to dismantle imperialism, capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy and the state structures.” And to replace them with what, may I ask? Yet, slowly but surely, what seemed like outrageous opinions, ideas, and demands years ago are now taken seriously by large corporations, universities, the media, and even by regular people. Growing legions of diversity officers have totally infiltrated British and American life and institutions. Some of today’s demands by the left make Orwell seem unimaginative.
What is to be done? I wish I knew. British institutions are tied up by 1998 human rights laws that make it almost impossible to convict a criminal or deport an illegal alien because of so many guaranteed rights for the accused. America has worse troubles of her own. What rabble-rousers like New York’s BLM leader Hawk Newsome are advocating sounds very much like separatism and resegregation. The color-blind society advocated by MLK is old hat. “Authentic” ways of being black mean no one can be both black and a cop. Yet large American cities have police forces that are majority black.
The media has made heroes of the mob and, along with the academe and many politicians, has inverted the American dream. Now it’s either black supremacy, or it’s burn baby, burn. Some dream.
Taki Theodoracopulos is a writer living in New York, London, and Gstaad. In addition to his long-running High Life column in The Spectator, Taki writes Under the Black Flag for each number of Chronicles, and publishes Taki’s Magazine, a webzine.