UK riots – my thoughts on who, what and why

As riots continued for a third night running in major cities across the UK, many have had their say on the animalistic slime causing massive devastation to property and lives. What should we do about it? What is an appropriate response and what is too far? Why do yobs do this sort of thing? I’ll give my thoughts.

First of all, it’s not really clear what these barely-human criminals are rioting about. There is no doubt in my mind that most of them are simply along for the ride, and enjoy the thrill and excitement of being in the mob, mindlessly ruining without consideration. Even if there was a legitimate purpose to riot, surely the cause is negated by the gross violation of the rights of innocent citizens whose lives and property are being wrecked? What cause could possibly be worth fighting for that is somehow not connected, or superior to, the legitimate rights of others?

So should the government call in the army? No. There is a reason why the army is not and should not be used to keep the law. The army defends the country from enemies of the state; the police protect the citizens and enforce the law. When the army is used against its own citizens, the enemies of the state become its own people. Government power should necessarily be heavily limited in this regard and we cannot throw away that principle when it seems expedient. So should police use lethal force against the rioters? Again, I would say no, not unless it is absolutely necessary. Whilst it is true that these rioters are degenerate insects who deserve no mercy, the law and the police derive their power from their citizens and cannot begin arbitrarily executing them when they get out of hand.

However, I should stress that the rioters have freely abandoned the rule of law and chosen to violate the Rights of their fellow citizens. The cause does not matter, if there even is one. Riot police should be deployed in full force and use water cannons, tasers, tear gas and rubber bullets. The rioters should be beaten into submission, even if it means hospitalising them. The message must be loud and clear: the government will protect the rights of individuals from any threat, foreign or domestic, and those who contravene this rule should be put down, hard. There should be no compromise with vicious thugs. Force should be met with force. Not for the purpose of hurting them, or teaching them a lesson, or quashing citizens under the boot of the government – no, for the purpose of protecting individual Rights.

One thing that also needs pointing out is the makeup of the mob: the majority are youths. The obvious question once again: where are the parents? Once again we are witnessing the result of mediocre and disinterested parenting, of a society where family and integrity is meaningless, where the mothering and fathering skills of adults have atrophied due to a government that insists on doing our thinking for us. How can you expect youths to respect the rights of others, when everywhere you look, the concept of Rights of individuals is watered down or ignored? How can you ask parents to do their jobs and regulate their children, when across the world we see parents asking the government to create yet another rule, regulation or law to restrict content on this, age limits on that, certificates on this, bans on that, censorship on this, criminalisation on that. Perhaps, just perhaps, if the government stayed out of our private affairs and parents had to actually do their job, they would raise their children in a more responsible and dignified manner? Which brings me to my next point: the parents of any youth found convicted in these riots should be forced to make reparations to the owners of damaged property. Your kids, your problem. They smashed, stoned, defaced and burned it? You will pay for it.

I’m not excusing the rioters at all, but I am hardly surprised by their actions. Our culture is warped and sick. In almost every article I write I talk about philosophy, and how it’s a vital part of everyday life, whether people realise it or not. But look at the “intellectuals” of today; look at the philosophy that pervades the world: we are told that reality isn’t real, that there are no moral truths, that there are no real whites and blacks, that morality is subjective and uncertain, that our senses are weak or useless, that the good is whatever the majority commands, that the purpose of life is to sacrifice it, that property is greed, that Rights are “selfish”, that intelligence is sad, that power is all that matters, that dedication and determination are a waste of time, that fame for fame’s sake and beauty for beauty’s sake and money for money’s sake is the lifestyle to pursue, that scientists and businessmen are fools and whores, but celebrities and sportsmen should be objects of idolatry and role-models to follow. This might not be the culture the intellectuals and the philosophers and the bureaucrats wanted, but it’s the one they deserved. This is the inevitable result of an evil and flawed worldview from Christianity to Socialism, from Islam to Communism, from Fascism to Humanism, from Libertarianism to Anarchism, from Hume to Kant, Christ to Mohammed, Nietzsche to Plato: the rejection of moral truths in this world; the denial of morality as useful to the individual in his everyday life. In essence it is this: the rejection of reason.

To those of who you say there is no such thing as morality, that truth is ambiguous, that reality isn’t real, that good and bad are just matters of opinion, that man is just an animal in shoes, that we carry original sin or instead are merely slightly-evolved apes, I say: this is the world you wanted. Well you have it. You wanted a world where reason didn’t matter, where good and bad were just opinions, where truth was both sides of the coin – well this is what happens in such a world. People blow each other up, they fly planes into buildings, they commit holy wars, they rob and pillage in the name of “welfare”, they set fire to buildings, destroy livelihoods, and they riot for the sheer thrill of rioting. Because they don’t know any better, because you told them there was no better, and if there was, there was no way to know it, and so it didn’t matter what they did, because nothing was right or wrong anyway and no one alive could ever know it.

To those who believe that truth and morality are subjective, I say I hope you’re happy with the results of your philosophy. These riots across the UK are just one symptom, but they aren’t the disease itself.

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21 Responses to “UK riots – my thoughts on who, what and why”

  1. Jerry Johnson Says:

    “The riots in the UK are just one symptom, but they aren’t the disease itself.”

    Very true.

    The troubled economic conditions, the unemployment situation, and the welfare state that causes and sustains such conditions have also played havoc in the psychologies of such deteriorating youth. All of these are inextricably linked. The economic malaise is merely one demonstration of the philosophic malaise spreading in continental Europe. This, in turn, ravages the minds of young people who unquestioningly accept the premises underlying the philosophies they learn: that “reason” and “persuasion” are tools to exercise power over the masses and that the only appropriate response is to destroy reason and manifest the power of Will.

    I highly recommend reading “Explaining Postmodernism” by Dr. Stephen Hicks to gain an understanding of what’s happening to our world today from a philosophic corruption point of view. Also, the essays in the The New Left and the Anti-Industrial Revolution by Ayn Rand are prophetic in this context.

  2. Jack Says:

    Amazingly you have ignored the most relevant element of the rioters: they are BLACK! What is it with Objectivists and their ignorance of the racial nature of today’s cultural disintegration. Black flash mob and gang violence directed at whites has been happening in major cities in America for the past two years. It has now reached Canada and England. Black and Muslims are waging an intifada on whites. In Europe, the rape of white women by Muslim men is astronomical. The same thing applies to the rape of white women by black men in America.

    This is the culmination of the Left’s racial egalitarianism; something Objectivists are blind to. Ayn Rand would spit on this generation of “Objectivists”.

  3. Sergio Says:

    @Jack:

    There is but one race, and that is the human race. The only distinction that matters to objectivists is the distinction made between those that embrace the irrational, and pursue an anti-life ethic and those that champion the rational and seek a life of knowledge and happiness.

  4. The Cities are Burning « bardicblogger Says:

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  5. evanescent Says:

    Your comment is hardly worth addressing, Jack. Not only is it completely wrong, it is insulting and offensive. As Sergio said, there is only one race: humanity. Criminals are criminals regardless of colour.

  6. Jerry Johnson Says:

    Jack, I don’t know where you get your ideas from but you’re dead-wrong to ascribe them to Ayn Rand.

    In her seminal essay on racism, Rand *began* with the following words:

    “Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.”

    And note the way you began your comment:

    “Amazingly you have ignored the most relevant element of the rioters: they are BLACK!”

    Really!? *most relevant*!? Being black is the “most relevant element” for you!? And you think Rand–or for that matter, any sensible person–would have agreed with you?!

    Frankly, your comment is stupid and your views are racist. No getting around that fact.

  7. Gary Says:

    While agree with what you say here I would like to point out that if you say that morality is ‘always’ objective you leave to door open for religious people to say – “See, I told you so… therefore God”. I still think there are things we don’t know in those ‘grey’ areas where science and reason are yet to prevail and shed light on the morality of humanity.
    I also think that while I may like to give everyone their fair chance certain ethic groups do seem to enhance particular stereotypes by being over represented in this situation which is not a good thing to admit but you can hardly ignore it either. Perhaps, and this is something for science to answer, is there a link between the psychology of an individual and their particular genetic origins? A tough question and a loaded one too.

  8. Gary Says:

    I meant to say “ethnic” instead of “ethic”

  9. richard Says:

    It’s nonsense, greedy kids h think the world owes them, I’ve had drug problems for 15 years and not for one minute have i thought of going out there to try and make money i desperstely ned. I can’t believe people are even giving these idiots a voice. If they want change then work hard. I had 15 year dfug problem i’ve managed through hard work and a realisation that the world isn’t fair but i come from a poor background so what whenever i’ve put the effort in i’ve received the reards. They are lazy they don’t want to put the effort in and the world is all about what you’ve got not the pefrson you are it’s seen s a eakness to be nice to people in the youth. You lot rioting your thieves taking advantage of hard working people you could have it all but not overnight it takes hard work and effort and time to have anything of worth and it’s nnsesnse thAT there are no opportunities for kids so what make your opportunities. I,ve spent four years workibg to get off drugs and do all kinds of courses yes i have to ow and scrape to people sometimes but that ‘s lifre, DIT. some pride into yourselves, your horrible bullies ho think the world owes them, your life will pass you by and you’ll think why didn’t i just put some effort in and listen to my elders thy know they’ve worked hard to get to where they are.
    Love to all you good people out there cleaning up others mess, and a lot of young people need to have a ood long hard loook in the mirror. They’re sheep thry think they big men well let them have full adult sentences and they soon be crying for their fredom that our grandparents or great grandparents fought and died in ww1 and 2. I dread to think what they would think of this, they gave their lives for this for these FOOLS!!
    Come on lets be great britain again. Ain’t nothing in life worth having for free.

  10. evanescent Says:

    Gary:

    While agree with what you say here I would like to point out that if you say that morality is ‘always’ objective you leave to door open for religious people to say – “See, I told you so… therefore God”. I still think there are things we don’t know in those ‘grey’ areas where science and reason are yet to prevail and shed light on the morality of humanity.

    I’m not sure how you get from “objective” morality to religion winning and therefore God. In fact, that is exactly a concession of objectivity to religion that the religious hope atheists will make, and indeed most of them do.

    I also don’t agree that “science and reason” illuminates supposed “grey” areas of morality. You lump the two in together but science comes a lot later in the epistemological chain. Ethics can only be founded on reason. The “morality of humanity” is the moral code of and for the individual. This is most certainly not a grey area, although many moral issues are indeed sometimes difficult to resolve. Rather than be worried that being “always objective” somehows open the door to religion, we should embrace objectivity and in so doing shut the door on religion. It’s then the job of a proper philosophy to identify objective truths and ethics.

  11. UK Riots – Update #ukriots « Day in the life of a Busy Gal… Says:

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  12. evanescent Says:

    Ergo over at his blog has posted an excellent and lucid analyse of the mentality behind the rioters in England and exposes the cause on philosophical grounds:

    http://ergosum.wordpress.com/2011/08/12/the-psychology-of-the-rioters-in-england/

  13. flash Says:

    flash…

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  14. Paul Dale Says:

    I found this blog while searching to stop paying the pernicious, fascist licence fee. And yet, how ironic that some of the comments follow the lead that the MSM wants us to follow: ergo blame the criminal, sub-class filth perpetrating it. Yet while ignoring the criminal, elements who started it? This violent outburst did not start in a vacuum. If I wanted to create the inflammatory reaction that occurred, maybe I might kill a black man with, seemingly, criminal connections, in a racial tinderbox that is Tottenham? Might that I be the police? Knowing that Mr. Plod is not the brightest pencil in the pencil case, he would none the less have drawn lessons from the riots in the 80’s. Notice that at the time Mr Plod, in the Met, had recently lost not just the Commissioner, Paul Stephenson, but also Yates of the Yard, to hackgate. Notice that there probably was some tension in the govt’s position to cut police numbers and create elected Police Commissioners, this became a bit of in-lodge point scoring. Both PM and Dep PM were out of the country, the police numbers in London were woefully short to cope with this outcome. Politics. Yes, there were many criminals, or would-be criminals, who carried out this shame. And the MSM dutifully supplied the publicity. But let’s not look at those responsible for safeguarding the populace. By all means do away with the BBC, but don’t fall into the Establishment trap.

    Paul

    the

  15. evanescent Says:

    Paul, thanks for your comment. My focus wasn’t on a particular sub-culture or sub-class in Britain, but on the attitude behind the riots per se, that is: not a political or ethical statement against any particular person or institution. Certainly some people felt very strongly about racist police officers, for example, but that wasn’t the point to the riots, and it would be naive and blatantly disingenious to claim otherwise: for most it was just an excuse to riot; to vandalise property and stick it to The Man – to take all the latest clothes and technology they couldn’t otherwise have. There is no defence against this, no matter how strongly a minority might’ve felt about a particular incident. There is no justification for the flagrant violation of an innocent citizen’s private property.

    I certainly don’t think the police are saints in any regard. If anything, the alleged rampant corruption in police circles might be attributable to the power they’ve been given by the government, and seeing citizens (like our government does) as servants instead of clients, but this is all part and parcel of the point I am making: when the government takes upon itself (or is given) the role of Big Brother, it (and its law enforcers) will treat the common man as means to its end, and the common man’s sense of personal responsibility will atrophy to the point that whatever he wants/needs, he feels entitled to it by The State which so far has provided. If the common man believes that all property is up for grabs based on *need*, not on merit – then he will think nothing of smashing the place up when feeling aggrieved for a genuine cause or, in the case of most of the thugs involved in the riots, just a good laugh. How many of the rioters were property owners? How many of them had to be up for work the next day?

    I’m not dismissing the crimes of the police and government in general, but I don’t see that any valid point can be made in this regard without it being an excuse for the rioters. They deserve no benefit of the doubt or mercy. I feel as strongly as anyone about our corrupt and wicked government, but my right to protest ends where someone else’s property begins. As far as “safeguarding the populace” goes, the police could and should have acted with greater force to end the riots earlier than they did.

  16. Paul Dale Says:

    Of course, I agree to what you say. What I find disturbing is that a dialectic has arisen where we call people who riot, scum, sub-class, (Pickles in govt), underclass; there were even comments recently saying that the police should have the right to kill such people. The people who started the riots were not the rioters, but an action, by the police, which must have had strong foresight in knowing the reaction that would occur. Yes, that reaction was fast, feral and immoral; and those people deserve to be brought to justice. But shouldn’t we critically look at the forces that created these events. Aren’t the police responsible for preserving the peace? For three frightening days they failed. I am no advocate of the criminal element in society, I write no bleeding hearts column for them. I believe, as a Catholic, that the erosion of Christian morals from society, the market square has led to a dangerous idolatory of consumerism and mankind. This has been fostered over centuries by masonic forces in government, the judiciary, and the police. So, government/society creates this seemingly abhorrent behaviour, and then allows senior people to state that they are scum, need to be shot. Are we heading back to a nazi era? Ultimately what we are seeing is the ongoing battle between good and evil – evil action, evil reaction, the good who suffer in their homes and businesses – which will only get worse. People do feel that they are unwanted, that they cannot find jobs, that they are drawn to the criminal underworld of drugs, burglary, and gangs, to create their own society where they have respect and are wanted.

  17. evanescent Says:

    I agree that morals are being eroded from society, though I don’t agree that Christian morals are being lost (and if they are, that’s not a bad thing IMO, since I’m not religious). I don’t think you can reasonably blame the police for the rioters. That’s a rather shaky apologetic at best. If a shop owner leaves his store unattended, is it his fault if he gets burgled? And of course it’s the job of the police to enforce the law and protect citizens’ rights, and of course they might’ve acted incorrectly, but you can’t blame the police per se on the wrongful actions of some of them, nor justify an entire violent uprising without a goal or political statement by reference to some bad apples in the force. In fact, if the rioters were rioted for a goal with a specific purpose in mind, that would at least be *something*, though still not justification for abandoning the rule of law. But they weren’t. A tiny aggrieved few aside, for most it was a pleasure cruise; a chance to get involved in some exciting and dangerous destruction without responsibility. The question I kept asking over and over was: where were the parents? Seriously, where were the parents? So many of the rioters were teenagers – were *all* their parents out of town on the same weekend?? Again, it’s another example of the government doing so much parenting for so long, real parents forgot (or never learned) how to teach their children themselves. After all, government tells us what’s right and wrong. If anyone (but the rioters) bear some blame for the riots, it’s the sick altruistic sacrificial collectivist socialist mentality that pervades Britain like a disease – and which our politicians are shining examples of. But how else could they come to power unless the ground was fertile for their ilk?

    If anything, your closing remark sums up the problem: in what sick society could some believe that smashing the place up could create a society where they are needed and wanted? Where respect is earned by vandalism? What happened to creating your own destiny and life for yourself? I’ve no doubt that some of the rioters felt aggrieved and deprived and wanted to take their anger out. But the fact they looked outwards at what the world had done to them, instead of it being their fault and how they could make something of themselves, is exactly my point. Why should they make something of themselves, hell, why should they even believe they can, when thus far “need” and not merit has been the deciding factor (e.g. the welfare state) and property is seen as a collective resource, and the government has made all the important decisions for them? For a good analysis of this, read the article I linked to above: http://ergosum.wordpress.com/2011/08/12/the-psychology-of-the-rioters-in-england/

    We can make all the apologies and excuses for the rioters, and even blame the police for some of their actions and corruption over the years, but this wasn’t a political demonstration or protest march; it was a bunch of thugs acting like animals. I tend to agree that in some way, it wasn’t all their fault, in that they are an almost inevitable result of British socialism, arrogant complacency and welfare-statism, but that rings somewhat hollow to law-abiding self-respecting people like myself and others who weren’t brought up rich and coddled and had to make something of ourselves; or to the other millions around the globe whom the poor in this country live in relative luxury compared to. No, the problem was: attitude, self-esteem, purpose, sense of life. These are the real values all-but-gone in society today, from the top class to the bottom.

  18. Paul Dale Says:

    OK, we actually agree on a lot. I detest socialism/communism as the work of the devil. It is the system, forget left and right, Tory, Labour, that our masonic government has foisted onto society for hundreds of years destroying the good work of the church and the idea of right and wrong, duty and responsibility. Christianity is in a terrible state and the catholic church is in a continual war against the devil, which She is losing at present – this, for those, like me who are Catholics, understand was always to be and was prophesied would happen – and I see the power and demagoguery of the state as the natural conclusion of socialism. True capitalism, unhindered by the suffocating hand of the state – income taxes, VAT, regulations, education, health, central banks etc – engenders a true desire to emulate the great virtues the you/we so rightly bemoan as missing today. The idea of good parenting, individual responsibility, respect, and the desire to do good derive from a society which for a millennia, had a Judeo/Christian ethic as its norms of social behaviour. But where I take issue with you is in your analogy that you don’t leave your shop unattended. No that is wrong. The gist of what I am saying is that the police – that organ of men and women charged with keeping the peace – were complicit in their very choice of actions which put a match under the tinderbox of race relations by shooting dead a black man in Tottenham. Their very action caused the reaction. Please don’t get the impression that I support, or in any way exonerate the rioters for their actions. I just want us to get out of the stock reaction – Police = good, rioters = bad – because we fall into the very hands of how it has been painted, and acquiesce to their viewpoint. After all, the police are the NWO state shock troops. In my earlier post, I said that there were probably that this was started by the police in order to make a political point. I cannot prove this; it is my belief. The riots came out of nowhere, and then were put back into the bottle equally quickly. There is a terrible malaise at the heart of society, from top-to-bottom, which in my standpoint comes from a society that rejects God and his Church. What is potentially terrifying is how those very powerful people in governments, banks etc who could unleash those same incendiary demonic behaviour, but on steroids, should or when they decide to pull the plug on this economic/financial state of affairs. Then we should flee to the hills.

  19. evanescent Says:

    Where I do agree with you is that a good riot like this year, and any “good” ol’ crisis, is a godsend for less-than-scrupulous people who have a vested interest in a crisis because they stand to gain from it, whether it be police or policitians or the NWO types. Climate change, civil uprising, terrorism, drugs etc – certain people will find a way to engineer a crisis (or alleged, or manufactured crisis) to give themselves more power and violate more civil liberties.

    Though I don’t believe the England riots in the summer were manufactured, I’m sad to say it wouldn’t surprise me if elements were stirred up here and there for some nefarious “higher” purpose. It’s a historical fact that other government bodies (such as the CIA) were playing both sides against the middle at home and abroad, (for example, entrapping Muslims into terrorist scares to justify more power), in order to benefit from a scare and gain more powers.

    I also don’t think that police=good, to a man. What I support is the rule of law and the use of police to protect Rights. That is the job of a policeman qua policeman and I support it, as a rule. It is good, as a rule. Of course, there are bad police officers. I’m not sure who’s to blame: the general public for being suspicious of the police and causing the police to get on the defensive/offensive, or the police for treating the public like servants and cash-cows instead of clients, thus causing hostility. It’s probably a bit of both, brought about The State not serving the people. So the cause of both is the same: fascism caused by collectivism.

    Interestingly enough, whilst I totally disagree with you on religious grounds (I’m an atheist and don’t consider religion pro-human), your position does back up what I’ve said that I’d rather have a theist who respects individualism than an atheist “humanist” secularist on my side who’d almost certainly be Left Wing. Unlike me of a few years ago, I consider it ironic now that I see the New Age Atheists as more of a threat than a well-meaning average theist who at least isn’t a collectivist/socialist/communist/Statist.

  20. Paul Dale Says:

    I think that we basically agree. I, too, believe in the exercise of the law for the common good. I have my doubts that it is being upheld by the very people who should, and, if they are not upholding it, then who will.

    Many regards

    Paul

  21. sohila zadran Says:

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