A Pain in the Arson

Tyrants want to control personal mobility.

Reuters reports that an arsonist is causing widespread hate and discontent in Moscow.

Media reports say a total of 27 cars -- from pricey Western sedans to Russian-made light trucks -- have been burnt in Moscow since the outbreak began on May 30.

Car burnings are not particularly unusual - hundreds of cars were torched by Islamic hooligans in France before and during Mr. Sarkozy's run for the Presidency of France, for example, but this story is unusual because of its emphasis on the cost of all this lawlessness:

The concern over the arsons is heightened by the fact that many car owners do not have full insurance cover.

Everybody who's had an insurance claim knows that the insurance company never puts you back where you were before the accident.  No matter what your policy says, you'll end up a bit worse off than before if you're lucky and you can end up lots worse off if you aren't.

When the Mainstream Media were talking about the riots in France, nobody said anything about the cost of hundreds of cars being burnt on a good night and thousands being burned on a bad night.  Nobody mentioned the cost to the insurance companies.  Nobody mentioned the bother imposed on all the people whose cars were burned, nobody thought about the loss as people took time off from work to get another car.

Nobody mentioned the cost because the rioters were yet another media-declared "protected species."  The media have decided that Islamics in France have grievances so it's OK for them to riot and burn cars.

We saw the same thing during our Watts riots some decades ago - the people in those neighborhoods were poor; we were told over and over that being poor somehow gave them the right to burn down the neighborhoods where they lived.  Nobody in the media mentioned how stupid it would be to to burn down your own neighborhood including the stores where you bought food and other things you needed; the rioters were disadvantaged so it was all OK.

In Russia, burning cars is very much not OK because cars are considered to be very valuable:

The wave of arson attacks has shocked the car-loving capital. Cars were an unattainable luxury for years and are now a treasured possession made affordable for the first time by Russia's oil-driven economic boom.

Most of the car owners in Moscow have only recently been able to buy cars.  Not having had cars for very long, Muscovites regard their cars as "a treasured possession."  The fact that Russia is in the middle of an oil boom helps people be able to afford cars, but there's a deeper reason that car ownership is so recent: the Soviet government didn't want people to have cars.

Cars were strictly rationed under Communist rule...

Tyrannical governments worry about many things, but one of the issues that concerns them most is the ability of their citizens to run around within the country.  Under the Communist government, people had internal passports and had to get permission for every trip beyond their usual haunts.  This was an obvious aid in keeping people from getting together to conspire against the government.

That's a good reason for tyrants to want it to be both extremely difficult for anyone to get a car and, once someone has a car, they want it to be very difficult and very expensive to drive it.  Immobility stifles dissent.

That's What Fascists Do

We've written that fascism is a style of ruling where people are nominally allowed to own property, but the government controls everything they do with it.

The American Congress is considering putting in place a massive bureaucracy which will involve getting permits for any sort of activity that emits carbon dioxide.  Instead of a simple tax, which would be unpopular, the "cap and trade" proposals envision a complete bureaucratic system with all kinds of permits, exemptions, and credits for emitting carbon dioxide.

Since all human activity, including breathing, emits carbon dioxide, this law gives bureaucrats control of everything we do with our own property.  Having government take control of what people do with private property is fascism, pure and simple.

We are beginning to see signs of the immobility that used to characterize the Soviet Union being imposed on us in the name of saving the planet.  Liberals love vague sentiments such as "save the planet" or "promote the common good" because they can feel good about imposing their visions of what's good on the rest of us.

On May 18, Mr. Obama said, "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK."  Liberals not only like to feel good about forcing the rest of us to save the planet, they also like to have other countries think we Americans are all as cloaked in virtue as they like to think they are.

In telling us we can't drive and eat and heat our homes because other countries won't like it, Mr. Obama is laying the ground work for restricting what we do with our own money.  And when we're too cold, hungry, and immobile to effectively protest, so much the better - the liberals can look at our suffering and congratulate themselves on forcing us to sacrifice to save the planet.

Will Offensicht is a staff writer for Scragged.com and an internationally published author by a different name.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Will Offensicht or other articles on Foreign Affairs.
Reader Comments
I know people in the media and you are correct, sir. Most of them view France as a bastion of experience, relaxation and critical thought. Whatever Frances does is right. Whatever they don't do is wrong. They rioted because they couldn't stand facist Sarkozy getting elected. The truth of course is that teh French rioted because they are pig-headed, lazy, smelly hooligans who want an easy ride in life for nothing in return. If there is any difference in intellectual evolution between various cultures, the French are at the bottom. I think I just heard my media friends fall over and die!
June 10, 2008 5:53 PM
The people behind this site are facist. How about you post on that!
June 11, 2008 7:46 AM
You're in luck, Doug C. - Scragged has actually posted on just what fascism is. You might find it enlightening.


June 11, 2008 11:30 AM
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