All It Takes Is a Few - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
All It Takes Is a Few

Here I am in Atlanta. I am here to serve as Master of Ceremonies for the sales awards event for a gigantically successful auto and truck sales entity called “Auto Trader.” The hotel, downtown Ritz Carlton, is lovely. My friend Bob and I had dinner at a great restaurant called New York Prime. We sat next to a party of very drunk and amorous women with much older men. It was almost embarrassing.

I felt great about the event the next afternoon until I turned on the TV and saw about the murders and general anti-freedom and anti-Semitic carnage in Paris.

“Your basic human is not such a hot item.” So says my sister, a real genius. But most of the human beings I run into are friendly, cheerful men and women. They are just trying to do their work and feed their families. But all it takes is a few, like the Islamists in Paris, to make the whole decent world feel sick. Just a tiny percentage of the population of a great nation like France, just a handful with guns, can take down the mood of the entire civilized world. And now they’ve done it again.

Just a tiny group of severely mentally ill people can find some relief by cloaking their fear and rage in religious and political fervor and fever, and then they reach personality climax by killing the innocent and the harmless.

We have seen it before. The Nazi Party started with just a few dozen members. Leninism started with just a few dozen psychos. They gave crazy people a costume of legitimacy for their insanity: It’s not your fault for being a loser and a thief. It’s the Jews. It’s capitalism. It is the religious. You were called mentally ill, but now you are cloaked with Super Powers of Moral Superiority and you can kill at will.

So, now that’s happening in France this week and it happens in Syria and Iraq and Afghanistan every day. Crazy people can feel better if some criminal tells them they are sane and are righteous, saintly even, and now it’s time to kill.

This is human nature. It is not going to stop. This is why we need police, CIA, NSA, the military. Al Sharpton is not going to save us. We need rough people who are not afraid to fight with guns, too. People who think we are right—not that we have to apologize to the Islamists and let them go free from prison.

And we need to have some sense of what is real and what is not. The population of France is roughly 8 percent Muslim. That is very roughly 4.5 million people. (Very roughly.) If even 2 percent of them are radicalized, that’s very roughly 90,000 potential mass murderers.

The same goes for Britain and Germany and Sweden and Norway. It goes for all over Europe. These countries are going to have to give up their maundering about how the problem is unemployment. They need more police, not more social programs. No amount of public spending will keep a psychotic killer from killing—unless it’s spending on law enforcement.

The problem is not an anti-Muslim backlash. The problem is Muslims who like to kill. Only a few can wreck life in Europe and there are a lot more than a few out there now.

It was a colossal super mistake to allow all of these hostile people into Europe. Why on earth would France let back in terrorists who had gone to Yemen? Well, it’s done now. They are not going back to Libya and Algeria. They have to be watched when it’s due, imprisoned.

This is really serious stuff. It terrifies me because, as usual, the main victim group is Jews. Again, only less than 70 years after Auschwitz, Europe is in the grip of Jew hatred hysteria among certain segments of the people—mostly Arabs and leftists.

Pity Israel, surrounded by these monsters who want to kill all Israelis. Israel is in the midst of the worst hatred in the world. Yet it prospers, is a free country, and guarantees all citizens rights under law. So, of course, the Europeans and the UN persecute the only country with a good human rights record—Israel—and barely whisper about brutal dictatorships like Iran. My wife says there is a curse on humans for anti-Semitism and I think she’s right. It’s the same curse for hatred and fear and immoderation. It is the human stain, as Roth would say.

Meanwhile, my event for Auto Trader worked fabulously well. I love working with sales people. They have an extra gene for enthusiasm and excitement and getting things done. They like to laugh. They don’t make excuses. They get things done.

We handed out our awards. I visited with the impressive top brass of the company and then I listened to the party band—“Poison”—and talked to a few sales people and then left.

Back at the hotel, I had a call from my manicurist, a lovely middle-aged woman from Vietnam.

“Ben,” she said sweetly, “may I ask a question?”

“Of course.”

“Why are people on TV in Africa and South America so poor? Why are they just skin and bones? Why are they so much poorer than people here?”

“That’s a hell of a question,” I said. “They have far worse agricultural production methods than we do. They have not got enough fertilizer or anti-insect and anti-weed chemicals. They have poor water use programs and little irrigation. Their transport systems are pitiful.

“But mostly, they are corrupt and there is little incentive for people to grow more food because bad people, often in the government, just steal it from them.”

“Can you explain that to me a little slower next time you see me?”

“Yes,” I said. But she had really got me thinking. Why are the USA and Canada and Britain and France and Japan and New Zealand and Australia and Holland so rich? Largely because we are systems that have law and order that allow workers to keep most of the product of their labor and investment. It doesn’t get stolen from them by slave masters or secret police. Motivation is everything.

Well, more to come.

More killing in France. A Muslim woman cop. Several Jewish shoppers at a kosher grocery. We still don’t know who else. But God help us: there are a lot of people out there who like to kill Jews and it scares me. I mean, to the point of panic. I am in Greenville now and I will play with my sweet granddaughter, Cora, and spend time with my wife. But what a world. A world of some terribly sick people, many of whom have guns, and some of whom have nuclear bombs.

My granddaughter has the face of an angel. A genuine angel. She is three. She dresses like a fairy princess and plays with her three dogs. But man is far from angelic. Cora lives like a princess but this world is not an enchanted garden.

Ben Stein
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Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes “Ben Stein’s Diary” for every issue of The American Spectator.
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