Wednesday, 10 August 2011

They’re sending us a message, even if they don’t know it!

It’s generally accepted now that there is no political agenda behind the chaos and utter destruction we’ve seen across our country these past few days. The heartbreaking and infuriating images splashed across our media have been one of mindlessness and complete loss of inhibitions towards our society. Many have said that the rioters (and this is a riot!) have no particular message, however, their actions are message enough and its our responsibility and duty to understand it.

The embodiment of a new culture's morality?
People are smashing windows, looting, handling stolen goods, driving with intent to kill, committing arson in broad daylight, in front of police and national TV news crews! 

This is evidence enough that their personal moral values are such that this behaviour is felt to be within their own realm of acceptability. What’s more, they’re committing these offences within a group and inter-related national community whereby they approve one another’s actions and collectively support this week’s events.

They don’t know exactly why they’re doing (apart from a perceived greed of consumerism) but we can tell that it’s a clear indicator of division of people’s morality. These riots have actually been an opportunity for an opposing minority culture to surface in the full light of day and amidst the flames of night. A slow decline in morality has been occurring over the last few decades and this was probably always to be its culmination.

Since the 1960’s, the concept of individual rebellion, loss of self-respect and the extent of personal aspirations have slowly declined and this decline has broadened across the class spectrum to cover a majority of the lower-income and middle-low classes. This has created a cultural space within our society for those with a superior sense of self-independence, a lack of awareness of their own potential and a related reduction in their future and aspirations. The reasons for this are of course complex and can easily be attributed to economics, social degradation and evolution (devolution?) of popular culture.

A question of right and wrong, different answers?
This space encapsulates grandparents, parents and children of differing ages and extent to which they possess this poorer morality. We as a society need to understand why this has occurred, the depth that their inhibitions exist to and how they can be reeducated. It can no longer be left to the parents, they too are morally diminished for the most part and so the responsibility, the duty to reestablish the majority morality has to be done by the community with the help of wider society and the state.

We don’t have time to punish them, although we cannot no longer support them to the extent we have done previously, we need to inject potential awareness, routes out of poverty and clear moral examples of what is accepted by society. The biggest lesson of this week is that they know we don’t approve of this behaviour but collectively and for some individually; their morals are skewed enough as to find this perfectly acceptable.


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