The Anchoress is reviewing Mark Steyn’s After America and she’s not filled with happy thoughts:
The chapter may be specific to the United Kingdom, but Steyn is very clear: what is a daily reality in Britain will soon be America’s reality, too, unless the country reverses its embrace of the social and economic policies that are bankrupting Europe and bringing its society to its collective knees.
It’s not like we cannot see this for ourselves. As we view security videos of “flash mobs”—unconcerned about either safety or prosecution—descending en masseupon a convenience stores and fast-food outlets and helping themselves to whatever they like, a future of anarchy is not too difficult to imagine. Already, Philadelphia, Chicago, and St. Louis are imposing or attempting to enforce curfews for young people who have figured out that if they co-ordinate their activities and don’t linger, their sheer numbers are enough to empower a petty criminality that will go unprosecuted. From there, a Molotov cocktail through a window is not such a great leap.
But Steyn is not writing solely about the social unrest and the hooliganism that so often comes with economic distress. After America warns that an over-regulated, bureaucracy-laden society, dissuaded from conceiving and achieving great things because too much has come between an idea and its execution, is a society dumbing down and numbing-up, growing not just stagnant, but inert, like Chesterton’s “dead thing” that “can go with the stream,” while “only a living thing can go against it.”
She’s not done. Finish with her and be moved to pick up a copy of Steyn’s book.