Dalrymple’s Moment

Some books are born prematurely. Maybe it was just a matter of time until London erupted, Amy Winehouse—the addled icon of a lost British youth culture—kicked the bucket, and the eurozone economy went belly up. But who could have imagined it would happen all at once? We published Theodore Dalrymple’s The New Vichy Syndrome: Why European Intellectuals Surrender to Barbarism back in 2009, a couple of years early it seems.

To account for this blunder, we’re releasing a new, updated paperback edition of The New Vichy Syndrome this October (pre-order it.) In the meantime, you can read Dalrymple’s astute and unfashionably blunt pieces on the riots in City Journal (1 and 2) and in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal:

The icing on the cake, as it were, is that social charges on labor and the minimum wage are so high that no employer can possibly extract from the young unemployed Briton anything like the value of what it costs to employ him. And thus we have the paradox of high youth unemployment at the very same time that we suck in young workers from abroad.

The culture in which the young unemployed have immersed themselves is not one that is likely to promote virtues such as self-discipline, honesty and diligence. Four lines from the most famous lyric of the late and unlamentable Amy Winehouse should establish the point:

I didn’t get a lot in class

But I know it don’t come in a shot glass

They tried to make me go to rehab

But I said ‘no, no, no’