Rather than addressing the moral vacuum which exists our media is full of what often amounts to thinly veiled justification of the looters. The Guardian a few days ago had a leading article in which they expressed the unfounded concern that race riots might follow the recent looting:
“If this happened, the fury of the dispossessed that underlies this week’s unforgivable looting would pale as a social problem in comparison.”
What the Guardian actually means, but lacks the courage to say with any clarity, is that the behaviour of the looters may be “unforgiveable” but these looters have a legitimate political grievance and justification for their “fury” in that they are the “dispossessed.” The error of these supposed dispossessed is that they aim their anger at the people who make their local communities work when they should be rioting against the system which has dispossessed them.
If people actually have been “dispossessed” as the Guardian claims with no justification whatsoever then the behaviour of the looters is not only an understandable but a rational response to their situation, there being no other means of redress for the truly dispossessed who would be without support, shelter, vote or legitimate avenue to obtain redress for their grievances. It would appear that far from being “unforgiveable” the error of the looters was the political error of the mistaken focus and scale of their behaviour, not the behaviour itself.
The Guardian’s Seamus Milne knows precisely who to blame: “Three decades of neoliberal capitalism [which] have already shattered so many social bonds of work and community”. In Britain in 2010 public spending amounted to 45.5% of GDP. This means that nearly half of what we produce goes to support state intervention of one kind or another. Some of it necessary, much of it counter-productive. If this is neo-liberal capitalism red in tooth and claw heaven help Milne when he encounters an actual capitalist state. Nevertheless the rioting and looting had, according to Milne, a clearly understandable reason as the expression of political frustration by those who had been ground down by the system.
Far from being a riot of the dispossessed or unemployed urban poor beloved of the Guardian, according to media reports those arrested include a primary school teaching assistant, university students, a forklift truck driver, a ballet dancer and an opera house steward. Rioters were witnessed driving from one trouble spot to another in Golf GTIs. Some areas that have found themselves under assault such as Ealing are not far from being pockets of social and economic deprivation.
These were not the actions of politically motivated protestors pushed beyond endurance by a heartless sytem of exploitation, they were the actions of the morals-free products of nearly half a century of progressive social engineering.
The entitlement mentality and its ensuing thug culture emerged relatively recently, beginning in the late 60s and early 70s. There is an ideology apparent in the riots that ripping off hardworking working and middle class people as a kind of compensatory behaviour is acceptable. This mindset is excused and even tolerated by many progressives.
A sense of entitlement fostered by an ever more intrusive state engenders an
attitude which makes some think that they deserve things they have not earned
and towards which they have made no contribution. A sense of grievance that
they don’t have enough or that others have more than them then leads to anger and a greater willingness to use violence or to take advantage of the violence of
The moral aimlessness endemic in British society means that there are few restraints on selfish, greedy, impulsive behaviour whether in bank boardrooms or inner city estates. There has been no one to teach self-control and empathy, tendencies which the antisocial and criminal lack.
The sidelining of Christianity by our political, media and academic elites who want to forget that this is a country whose culture was once based upon Christian principles, has resulted in a society without cohesion or foundation. Taken together, these factors foster the propensity for society to self-destruct.