Does Welfare Cause Terrorism?

Back when it was still possible for the left to accept actual diversity in thought, Mickey Kaus used to write for Slate (it’s a bit more complicated than this, but…). Anyway, within months of 9/11, December 17, 2001, to be exact, Kaus write a piece from which I stole the title, Does Welfare Cause Terrorism?. Let’s start here:

The point isn’t simply that many terrorists take advantage of Western welfare states, the same way they take advantage of Western freedoms and Western technology. The point is that extreme anti-social terrorist ideologies (radical Islam, in particular) seem to breed in “oppositional” cultures supported by various government welfare benefits.

And then lay it all out:

In fact, there’s a good argument that “welfare benefits + ethnic antagonism” is the universal recipe for an underclass with an angry, oppositional culture. The social logic is simple: Ethnic differences make it easy for those outside of, for example, French Arab neighborhoods to discriminate against those inside, and easy for those inside to resent the mainstream culture around them. Meanwhile, relatively generous welfare benefits enable those in the ethnic ghetto to stay there, stay unemployed, and seethe. Without government subsidies, they would have to overcome the prejudice against them and integrate into the mainstream working culture. Work, in this sense, is anti-terrorist medicine. (And if you work all day, there’s less time to dream up ways and reasons to kill infidels.)

And with this pretty convincing theory already presented some 19 years ago, Sweden, France, Germany, etc have literally no excuse for where they find themselves now.

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