I have some friends down in Baltimore and one thing that they have observed is something that has occurred during many (most/all?) other big “events” as such in my lifetime. They are reporting that there are a not insignificant number of socialist agitators inciting violence if not directly then certainly indirectly. Now, I cannot comment on how true this is, or what they are saying or doing or whatever, since I am not there. However, this does not / would not surprise me. But let me ask, how can it be the case that tragedies caused by police brutality can be exploited by opportunistic leftists to promote their views? Since when has the very fundamental essence of the state and collectivism, force, become the reason that we need more leftism?
Finally, think back to the major “events” like this from recent years such as the Occupy Wall Street protests. The entire Wall St. debacle was corporatist/cronyism to the core. Yet the popular narrative then, and now in Baltimore, is that “the system” needs to change.
Of course, what that “system” is is never made clear and of course, both I and the protesters agree that something needs to change. But that something is almost surely not a private property, free-exchange economic order. Indeed, one wonders why the “capitalist agitators” are not out in the streets today and every time there is a major event as such protesting that “the system” is indeed broken and needs to be replaced with something else … like capitalism?
UPDATE: Kevin Williamson in my Twitter feed:
UPDATE #2: The White House comments:
“If our society really wanted to solve the problem, we could; it’s just that it would require everybody saying, ‘this is important; this is significant.’
I must respectfully disagree. It’s times like this that it would be useful to appreciate the points Hayek made about social orders and emergent processes.