Our civil unrest

The death of George Floyd was caused by a reprehensible, evil act.  We must all work for changes in practices, laws, and attitudes to prevent such a travesty from recurring.  Period.  In the aftermath of Mr. Floyd's murder, grief and anger have devolved into mayhem — the violent riots and senseless property destruction that have accompanied peaceful protests despite the nation's solidarity condemning Mr. Floyd's murder are being fueled by the most destructive, nihilistic human elements of our society.

So what are the objectives, the endgame, the "okay, we're satisfied now" point where all can stand down and move forward?  Unfortunately, notwithstanding the naïve expectations of idealists, there are probably none of lasting consequence.  Despite periodic, anecdotal, and temporary examples to the contrary, human history teaches that conflict is timeless and inevitable between diverse groups (sometimes racially diverse, often merely diverse in beliefs and practices, or both) and without a permanent solution.  When the signature mantra of opportunistic activists and agitators asserts, "You must resist assimilation and compromise at all costs," there is no middle ground to meet upon.

At the macro level, we are experiencing a recurring clash of cultures.  Intrinsic and extrinsic value systems, lifestyles, and social norms, the basic building blocks of a society's social contract, are in conflict.  Once again referencing the record of human history, apparently, the best we can hope for is to apply Realpolitik to achieve and sustain some sort of stasis in which conflicting groups can function independently, with minimal infringement on other groups.  This process can begin only when violence and anarchy are neutralized.  These elements must be removed from the equation before a solution can be calculated.  To delay aggressive corrective action is to delay any effective resolution and increase damage to society, the economy, and our national psyche.