2002 October 31 Thursday
Theodore Dalrymple on French Ghettoes

The French have ghettoes which make the worst parts of US cities seem civilized in comparison. There are regions where the law has withdrawn.

The state, while concerning itself with the details of their housing, their education, their medical care, and the payment of subsidies for them to do nothing, abrogates its responsibility completely in the one area in which the state’s responsibility is absolutely inalienable: law and order. In order to placate, or at least not to inflame, disaffected youth, the ministry of the interior has instructed the police to tread softly (that is to say, virtually not at all, except by occasional raiding parties when inaction is impossible) in the more than 800 zones sensibles—sensitive areas—that surround French cities and that are known collectively as la Zone.

But human society, like nature, abhors a vacuum, and so authority of a kind, with its own set of values, occupies the space where law and order should be—the authority and brutal values of psychopathic criminals and drug dealers. The absence of a real economy and of law means, in practice, an economy and an informal legal system based on theft and drug-trafficking. In Les Tarterets, for example, I observed two dealers openly distributing drugs and collecting money while driving around in their highly conspicuous BMW convertible, clearly the monarchs of all they surveyed. Both of northwest African descent, one wore a scarlet baseball cap backward, while the other had dyed blond hair, contrasting dramatically with his complexion. Their faces were as immobile as those of potentates receiving tribute from conquered tribes. They drove everywhere at maximum speed in low gear and high noise: they could hardly have drawn more attention to themselves if they tried. They didn’t fear the law: rather, the law feared them.

It was hard to choose a part to excerpt from this essay. There were many surprising revelations about just how bad law enforcement has gotten in France. Police are unwilling to make arrests or to answer calls for help - and not just in the ghettoes. French culture and society are decaying.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 October 31 09:26 PM  Civilizations Decay

Michèle said at April 12, 2003 9:52 AM:

What can WE, the remaining French in these ghettoes (Bobigny - quartier Edouard Vaillant), where racism is
reversed, ie, French are not helped by the city hall social services because they are not black or 'beur', they speak French correctly, they follow the laws???????

Police and medical services (general practitioners as well as emergency medical services) don't come when called, be it by day or night, week or weekend.

And if you complain (I am a woman aged 56) you are the one

After the social security made mistakes in my file almost 2 years ago, civil servants refuse to correct these mistakes in spite of my letters, calls and visits to their office. The social worker of this same social security stopped helping me in order not to lose some of her friends who are working in the department concerned by the mistakes.

The ombudsman told me to forget any hope to see my file corrected, all the more so that I am French and I'm not a

The company I am still an employee, although through mobbing I have been put on long sick leave in June 2001 was forbidden to help me get my rights.

My attorney has been writing letters to Social Security since last October without receiving an answer.

Where is going France? I'm ashamed to be french now and expect to die soon as only solution, as our rotten politicians have sold France to Islamists and there is nothing to do to save it, and us.


Joe said at May 25, 2005 11:52 AM:

If you ever show up again Michele, I'd like to hear a LOT more about what living in France is like for someone in your situation. Please tell us all about it or you can email me at dsueck@yahoo.com

All that we really hear about it is from the press, not from the people of France. Please enlighten us.


manou said at August 13, 2005 10:53 AM:

Should we not dialogue based on specific politicians? Who would alter the progress, i.e. offer immigration controls other than radical right?
Forgetting this part, who wants to address the problem of police who do not do their job? This would be easier. Go to Richard Lenoir at night on the weekend, and look for
a police, you will see only the Bastille drug dealers. This is not a racial problem. It is a police, and state problem. Withdrawal. M

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