The American Conservative ran two pieces this week concerning the nature of the gang and its relationship to masculinity. The first, by William S. Lind, deals with the collapse of states in the Middle East after the so-called “Arab Spring” that enamored so many starry-eyed Americans. Here’s the money quote:
One of the characteristics shared by most disintegrating states is a vast surplus of young men who have no access to jobs, money, or women. Gangs are a magnet for them. We see this in American contexts as well: in public schools, in ethnic neighborhoods, and in our prisons, most of which are controlled not by wardens but by racially defined gangs.