Broken Britain 69

Not sure where this came from, was sent to me by email. An excellent cartoon.

Where I differ from so many of my commenters is in seeing all three caricatures as representing a real type of deeply unpleasant person involved in what has gone so wrong in our ultra-materialist society. Most of my commenters view the first two that way and the third as a noble class warrior fulfilling a legitimate desire for material goods (and killing pensioners and burning families out of their homes). Or some such bollocks.

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69 thoughts on “Broken Britain

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  • wendy

    “Wendy, I see you also can be added to the list of those sympathetic to some smash and burn movings forward. I trust that you will also open the door of your abode of own free will when my less than salubrious friends arrive later in the lunar calender. Do you by any chance have a copy of the music of Hansen?”
    my point was not that it was/is acceptable, but that the looters were/are at least honest in their asset stripping and amorality, not hiding behind deceits, lies and ruthless brutality that has led to mass murder of innocents and the deprivations/austerity we are witnessing at present. for goodness sakes RBS funding cluster bombs – you couldnt make it up).
    very easy to attack those on the bottom, the more visible .. whilst govt and media have turned a blind eye to the real perpetrators, not only turned a blind eye but are aiding and abetting them in their ongoing destruction of nations.

  • evgueni

    I agree with your analysis. I have been thinking along similar lines, that so-called mindless criminality can be a result of the economic policies, why not? A symptom of our society’s malaise is the criminality, the malaise itself is crony capitalism. Crony capitalism is just the inevitable other side of the ‘shamocracy’ coin. Shamocracy is when the economic and intellectual elites pretend that we live in a democracy whilst the majority are kept in the dark about how their society really functions. So, although the rioter-looters’ actions are generally speaking perhaps not consciously political, this does not preclude the possibility that these actions are a direct and inevitable consequence of economic oppression. Few of us here can know what it feels like to have zero economic prospects, but we can call on evolutionary psychology and ask – what would be a rational evolutionary strategy for young men who have no hope of being able to support a family? Remember justifications for actions don’t matter to evolution, only the end result of the actions matter. I think it is a false dichotomy to say that aimless criminality and politics are mutually exclusive. “Sub-conscious politics”, or “partially diminished responsibility”..
    A while back I found Matt Ridley’s Nature via Nurture an interesting read. It seems that genes, including those involved in behaviour, are able to respond to the environment and irreparable damage can be done in the formative years of childhood. This leads to a rather pessimistic conclusion that it may not be possible to undo all of the moral decay in later life through rehabilitation. Perhaps whole generations can be ‘lost’ in this sense.

  • Clark

    Evgueni, thanks for suggesting evolutionary psychology. Yes, if a system of society offers no advantage to some given group, we might expect that group not to bother playing by that system’s rules, no moral considerations necessary.
    Thanks for the Nature via Nurture recommendation. I found his The Origins of Virtue interesting and uplifting.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Craig,

    In response to your comment:-

    “Most of my commenters view the first two that way and the third as a noble class warrior fulfilling a legitimate desire for material goods (and killing pensioners and burning families out of their homes). Or some such bollocks.”

    There is a need to understand crowds and their behavior, from the individual instinctual level to the collective social level.
    The crowds have responded for reasons of:-
    A. Individual psychological reasons.
    B. Socio-economic considerations.
    C. An absence of a contract with the people that has captured their imagination, hearts and minds so that the central governmental solution is one that offers a better and far more rational set of options than looting and running the risk of being incarcerated.
    It is desire unleashed on to the streets and the government needs to provide a rational vision that paradigm shifts the future for the populace.
    What is not merely the inner-psychological life of the looter – but the outward co-relation to the society within which the looting individual lives? – that is the question.
    Is Blair emotionally unstable for being in denial about the millions that he has caused mass suffering by reason of embracing and promoting lies to advance a war in Iraq?
    Is Cameron delusional in thinking that he can apply legal responses to control the minds and actions of persons who feel hopelessness and have a tendency to petty criminality by way of his merely professing the need for social conformity without a broader social and economic agenda on the national level?
    How many really and truly question the reality of the riots and what has actually just transpired?
    Conscious pursuits of “anti-social wars” – Blair in Iraq – or – Cameron in Libya? Is it schizophrenia on the part of the rulers and the sickness is their submission to violence on a mass scale -or – is it the maladjustment of the individual few on the streets who have disturbed the “normal order” of giving succulence to the war machine by themselves becoming petty thieves and misguided street warriors –or – viewed in this light is there not more continuity as distinct from momentary disturbance of “normal” functioning?
    What are the rational options being offered by the elected politicians relative to the ones who felt that they might lose nothing by looting and stealing in such numbrers?

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