Monday, August 8, 2011

London Riots

I think we assume that civilization is the norm, and fail to recognize how fragile it is.  The whole thing is actually something of a bluff.  Like a school classroom, the teacher can command the room but only if most of the students are inclined to behave.  That inclination to not to break things up is in part a response to the perceived potential punishment, but only in part.  Far greater, is simply the self keeping the self in control on the self understanding that to misbehave is wrong, diminishes oneself. When that goes in a large enough group, authority is hard pressed to hold.

The London riots will of course accomplish nothing.  The cost has already been great:

From the Telegraph's live coverage:

23.15 Trevor Reeves, owner of the furniture store torched in Croydon tonight, told Sky News his life had been ruined tonight. The firm was established in 1867.
Quote It has just provided my family and the 15 or 20 staff and families that were supported, it's just completely destroyed. Words fail me. It's just gone, it's five generations. My father is distraught at the moment. It's just mindless thuggery.

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