“Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the word of God or by the strong arm of man: either by the Bible or by the bayonet.” –John Quincy Adams

As citizens in London continue to live in fear of daily rioting and theft, many have blamed it on lawlessness and criminality. Some have blamed it on the austerity measures taken and budget cuts proposed.

The reality is the London riots could happen here. What this truly represents is a moral sickness in Western societies. Some have argued that the flash mobs in Philadelphia and Milwaukee, with African-American youth rioting, looting, and assaulting white citizens, are the same things that are happening in London.

Mayor Michael Nutter finally said what is obvious, in an African-American Church recently:

“Pull up your pants and buy a belt ’cause no one wants to see your underwear or the crack of your butt,” he said. “If you walk into somebody’s office with your hair uncombed and a pick in the back, and your shoes untied, and your pants half down, tattoos up and down your arms and on your neck, and you wonder why somebody won’t hire you?… They don’t hire you ’cause you look like you’re crazy!”

Memorable words by a leader not afraid to address real issues. The moral decay in Europe today is mostly attributable to the social-welfare state, which has been going on for decades and one in which the current administration is attempting to thread into the American system.

Children have been raised out of wedlock, told that was okay. Told they didn’t need to learn anything and they were allowed not to learn anything. They were allowed not to have a work ethic and taught to disregard social relations and religion. Told that they do not have responsibilities and the state will take care of them. Taught by their schools and popular culture that the rich don’t deserve what they earned. Taught that the government will provide all their needs, and then when it proves to be all a lie, what did you think they would do?

Riot.

The growth of government has politicized life and weakened the nation’s moral fabric. Government intervention in the economy, the community, and in society has reduced the scope of private action and personal responsibility. People have become more dependent on the state and have sacrificed freedom for a false sense of security.

More government spending is not the answer to our social, economic, or cultural problems. The task is not to reinvent government or to give politics a new meaning; the mission must be to limit government and revitalize civil society. Government meddling, mandates, programs, and initiatives will only make matters worse. If we want to help the disadvantaged, we do not do so by making poverty comfortable, by restricting markets, by prohibiting school choice, by discouraging frugality, or by sending the message that the principal function of government is to take care of us. Rather, we do so by getting rid of social engineering and welfare, by cultivating free markets, and by returning to our moral heritage and foundation.

“Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.” –Edmund Burke

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