Subjects — R
With society and its public, there is no longer any other language than that of bombs, barricades, and all that follows.
No nation, no matter how enlightened, can endure criminal violence. If we cannot control it, we are admitting to the world and to ourselves that our laws are no more than a facade that crumbles when the winds of crisis rise.
Some punishment seems preparing for a people who are ungratefully abusing the best constitution and the best King any nation was ever blessed with, intent on nothing but luxury, licentiousness, power, places, pensions, and plunder; while the ministry, divided in their counsels, with little regard for each other, worried by perpetual oppositions, in continual apprehension of changes, intent on securing popularity in case they should lose favor, have for some years past had little time or inclination to attend to our small affairs, whose remoteness makes them appear even smaller.
Perhaps having built a barricade when you’re sixteen provides you with a sort of safety rail. If you’ve once taken part in building one, even inadvertently, doesn’t its usually latent image reappear like a warning signal whenever you’re tempted to join the police, or support any manifestation of Law and Order?
A rioter with a Molotov cocktail in his hands is not fighting for civil rights any more than a Klansman with a sheet on his back and a mask on his face.
The poor suffer twice at the rioter’s hands. First, his destructive fury scars their neighborhood; second, the atmosphere of accommodation and consent is changed to one of hostility and resentment.
A riot is the language of the unheard.
If we resort to lawlessness, the only thing we can hope for is civil war, untold bloodshed, and the end of our dreams.
The tumultuous populace of large cities are ever to be dreaded. Their indiscriminate violence prostrates for the time all public authority, and its consequences are sometimes extensive and terrible.