LOOKING A LITTLE DEEPER THAN LIBERALS ARE CAPABLE OF DOING.

November 29, 2006 vimto1

Anarchy or tyranny? I choose tyranny

The first role of the State should be security

Consider four recent events. First, the debate in the Tory party on whether to leapfrog Labour and adopt the radically redistributive anti-poverty policies symbolised by Polly Toynbee, the Guardian columnist. Then cast your mind to the impending defeat of the Bush-Blair coalition in Iraq. Next consider the nightmarish murder of Tom ap Rhys Pryce, the young London lawyer stabbed to death by two teenage robbers when he failed to hand over his Oyster card and mobile phone. Finally, turn to a story you probably haven’t noticed: the Royal Economic Society’s annual public lecture, on the subject of how to end poverty among the world’s “bottom billion” people and titled “War and Peace in Africa”.What do these four news items have in common? The obvious answer is “economic deprivation”. When people lack the basic necessities of life (which in affluent Britain may well include a Tube card and a mobile phone), they naturally turn to violence and crime. Therefore, the surest way to stop the spiral of violence, whether it is in the backstreets of London or the killing fields of Iraq, is to create economic opportunities, to raise living standards and to offer the poor more generous financial support.

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This obvious answer is not exactly wrong, but it is dangerously misleading. For in many cases the causal arrow points the other way: it is not economic deprivation that leads to violence and war; it is social and political breakdown that lead to economic deprivation.

 For more go to…

TheTimesOnline

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