A Taste of Anarchy UK

Another night of disturbances and extraordinary levels of violence in Birmingham, Manchester, Salford, Liverpool, Nottingham and even smaller cities. 

Masked youths like an army of ants tear through shopping centres, cars set on fire. This is simple criminality, this is looting not rioting. 

This is a society gone off the rails with no recognition of boundaries. 

Gang culture ?
But it is shocking to see some ages : children as young as 9, 10, eleven year olds with balaclavas ; the pattern is strike one shop and move on. 

One 16 year young man interviewed in London says " I'll risk the opportunity to get free stuff. that's worth loads of money. The government can't stop me doing it. The prisons are all overcrowded, so what will I get ? An ASBO - for a first offence . I'm not really bothered."

"Yeh man , I'll take that risk every day to get good stuff until I get caught. It's been a  fantastic night out. When I get home I might get shouted at but I'll live with that. I'm doing it because everyone else is doing it."

When asked by the interviewer how they would feel if they got home and everything was trashed and just gone they said  "Yeh, I'd be angry. Yeh, it's wrong."

 It looks like a rehearsal of a disturbed underclass.

In London two teenagers interviewed say : "We saw we can do what we like and it was fun. We wanted a chance to get the bling. We don't have a  job so it's the only action we can take."

What started out as a simple protest and a vigil against an unexplained killing last Thursday in London prompted a few onlookers to realise that the police were not in control. 

The shooting of Mark Duggan was an opportunity, the lighting of the match: the bonfire was ready and waiting...

Once this realisation they could do whatever they wanted to set in,  the trouble started in earnest and spread like wild fire.

"You can do what you want and nobody can do anything about it. we saw we could have some watches."  

Euphoria -  all controls off. What a powerful feeling that provokes.
What turns people into looters ? BBC article speculates here

Unless people are engaged with the main society they live within they will create their own sub-culture with its own rules and standards.

Imagine thousands of young people with no belief in their own future, no stake in society, no respect for the law, no fear of being caught, no ability or desire to empathise with people outside their clan.

Collective nihilism mixed with alienation is toxic, and unless challenged/discredited it will have an increasingly significant impact on the way we all live our lives.

The hypocrisy of Govt. Media and Corporations is now blatant. The "legal" ways of making money : bankers, arms dealers, MP's appear to be even less moral to a young gang member whose belief in their own sort of code, twisted though it may be holds them in thrall.

Education is no longer a way out. We have legal recreational drugs whose effects are more harmful (or unknown, in the case of the newer ones) than the illegal ones. 

When inner city young people see their parents lose their jobs and pensions , when they see the dismantling of the welfare state and people who work as nothing more than  indentured slaves to the very people who caused the crisis to begin with the result is an implosion of disenfranchised youth. 

When social identity seems to come from one source : ever increasing consumption, when the trashy values held by a minority in an  amoral society is the only thing driving the self esteem of youth,  it is hardly a surprise that it leads to as sense of entitlement which says "If I want it I can smash a window and get it."

This is really a symptom of a society that has lost deference, genuine respect and, more importantly, lost control. 

The child-centric society we have created has only resulted in a Lord of the Flies type situation.  

This video footage below shows how repugnant and also how subtle violence can be and how easy it is to be caught up in the mental contagion of a cruel mob........... 

When young people have no authority that they recognise or respect, they create their own rules. 
And as any psychologist will tell you, when immature people start seeing themselves as their own controllers, the normal rules of law and society are junked. 

Power corrupts those who have neither the intelligence nor the maturity to use it well.

We have lost  the influence of the church.

These young people have lost any belief in their parents as necessary boundary setters. Dysfunctional families have neither the will nor the resources to reinforce the rules. 
Schools are so frightened of litigation that they will not impose any real form of discipline. 
Society has slowly and inexorably slid into toleration of wilder and wilder behaviour.

Politicians and any other groups who seek to impose morality or regulation are derided by an increasingly feral media, who sees only profit in telling people what they want to hear, rather than risking cool points by condemning it.

One of the saddest things is that a lot of the services destroyed in London were provided by locals doing their bit for the people in the area.

 We have lost our deference as a society. We do not respect religion, family, schools, and our elders. Young people in particular have lost any concept of positive respect, and increasingly mistake it for fear. 

To make people respect you, the thinking goes, they have to fear you. This negative thinking leads to the twisted set of values that respects a man for killing someone, but demands violent retribution for perceived slights or injustices.

Young people are crying out for someone to look up to, and a moral compass and code to follow. If society will not give them these, they will look to from their own codes elsewhere. 

Paradoxically, as the forces of law become weaker, our children are showing us in their own ways what it takes to gain their respect.

Women tolerate the kind of bigotry in a gang that would never be tolerated in normal society. Gang members accept that beatings and murders are reasonable punishment for breaking gang rules, yet scream blue murder if a policeman so much as takes their name!

Where there is no control, a power vacuum forms, and what rushes to fill this vacuum is whatever happens to be nearest and easiest. 

Morality becomes a matter for each individual to decide, and many simply cant be bothered with it. 

 If we  want to encourage better behaviour, we need to recognise the conditions that maximise this. 

Casual violence is ignored praised or turned it into a form of entertainment when children bully and casually beat up a victim and pass a video of it on to their friends as it is happening.

We have a generation or two of children badly damaged by our societal neglect .
We need to give the lie to the vision of no society and let everyone know that there is a society, that we have a need for a moral compass and a set of moral values that we are all part of and responsible for implementing.

So what has been the response of the churches? 
As the Church of England issued a prayer about the riots, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, urged Catholics to pray for the victims and for "those who, at this time, are being tempted into the ways of violence and theft".

He said the "shocking" violence showed "how easily basic principles of respect and honesty are cast aside".

The Bishop of London, Dr Richard Chartres, suggested that the riots had not been "wholly unexpected", as he urged churches to continue providing meals and support to those who had lost their homes and businesses in the violence.

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments: