The Windrush generation of Caribbeans came to Britain with the most traditional of values - proud Christians with dignity and a sense of duty - the kind of people so steeped in our history that they gave their children names like Winston, Milton and Gladstone. As vice-chairman of the British Caribbean Association, I recently had the chance to ask such people why so many young British blacks had got into trouble with the law. They unequivocally blamed the licence they encountered almost as soon as they arrived here, which made it so hard to inculcate their standards in the next generation.
The alienation felt by young blacks and Asians is not a result of any intolerance shown towards them, but of the endless tolerance of those who would allow everything and stand up for nothing. It is the excesses permitted by a culture spawned by the liberal Left that have produced a generation that feels rootless and hopeless. The young crave noble purposes as children need discipline; neither get much of them in modern Britain and the void is filled by disrespect, fecklessness, mindless nihilism or, worse, wicked militancy.
The vulnerable are the chief victims of decadence. Children suffer when families break down. The old suffer as their needs are seen as inconvenient and their wisdom is no longer valued. For the rich, decadence is either a lifestyle choice or something you can buy your way out of. But for the less well off - stripped of the dignities which stem from a shared sense of belonging and pride - the horror of a greedy society in which they can't compete is stark. The civilised urban life that was available to my working-class parents is now the preserve of those whose wealth shields them from lawlessness and frees them from the inadequate public services that their less fortunate contemporaries are forced to endure.
The downsides of immigrant assimilation in the US context bears some similarities to those in Britain. Hayes' piece drives home how lack of restraint has little impact among the wealthy, they being best able to blunt the effects of their own degeneracy. Insulated from the lower classes, they do not see the depths of dissolution which their libertarian attitudes have caused among those less well-off. Having preached "letting it all hang out" sexual liberation and intoxication, they then preach social justice and government intervention to clean up the mess. If their ideas weren't so obviously adolescent and insipid, you'd think it was a conspiracy.
See also: Domenico Bettinelli on Massachusetts businesses' economic incentives to promote homosexual marriage.