Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Riots on the streets of London [updated]

I’ve read a lot of cant about the “riots” in the UK [and Philadelphia and Washington DC and…]. So I had to post a comment of my own.

The most apposite comment I’ve seen however came from one of the rioters themselves, a young woman who said they’d all seen everyone getting their bail-outs from someone, so why shouldn’t they get out and take theirs.

It’s not about “poverty,” as the bank accounts of many of those arrested goes to show. Instead it’s a very simple equation: it’s the moral hazard of bankers’ bailouts times the entitlement-culture squared, which equals everyone taking from everyone else, forever.

It’s the fag-end of sixty-five years of welfare, in which everybody’s property is fair game.

The rioting, thieving and looting was carried out by a generation who has seen and endured and been “given” by government more than any other. Govt housing, govt welfare, govt projects, govt handouts, govt schools. Govt, govt, govt. The result, here and elsewhere, has been more dependence, less responsibility and  increasing illiteracy. And min the last few years, what they’ve watched and seen has been more govt bailouts for more and more failures—all of them“too big to fail.'”  Society’s biggest failures being rewarded for stuffing up big time, and taking us all down with them.

They’ve seen everyone getting something for nothing; they’ve seen government steal from one group to give to another; they’ve seen everyone say that’s okay … so why wouldn’t the governments’ biggest failures not want to “get theirs” in the same way when they see their opportunity? And break as many windows as they need to in the process.

It’s not like they’ve seen the moral lessons anywhere to tell them it’s wrong. Or the education to enable them to articulate their rage in any other way.

Just over thirty years ago teenagers saw the mess their parents had made of the world and, made just as inarticulate by public education to clearly voice their rage, called incoherently and in three chords for “anarchy,” “destruction” and chaos.

It’s not so very different now, is it. Only this time, instead of safety pins and bondage trousers the villains are all wearing brand-name hoodies.

Here’s The Clash:

White Riot by The Clash Lyrics: White riot - I wanna riot White riot - a riot of my own White riot - I wanna riot White riot - a riot of my own Black people gotta lot a problems But they don’t mind throwing a brick White people go to school Where they teach you how to be thick An everybody’s doing Just what they’re told to An nobody wants To go to jail! All the powers in the hands Of people rich enough to buy it While we walk the street Too chicken to even try it Everybody’s doing Just what they’re told to Nobody wants To go to jail! Are you taking over Or are you taking orders? Are you going backwards Or are you going forwards?

UPDATE: One commentator who’s been making sense on the riots is old friend Liberty- Scott, who points out the rioters are simply “engaging in socialism - without the middle man of the state.”

Read his recent posts here.

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