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Ron Radosh

So Hastings writes: “So who is to blame? The breakdown of families, the pernicious promotion of single motherhood as a desirable state, the decline of domestic life so that even shared meals are a rarity, have all contributed importantly to the condition of the young underclass.” It is, he argues, the “dependency culture” that causes a tragedy “for those who receive something for nothing.”

Hastings is tough. He concludes:

So there we have it: a large, amoral, brutalised sub-culture of young British people who lack education because they have no will to learn, and skills which might make them employable. They are too idle to accept work waitressing or doing domestic labour, which is why almost all such jobs are filled by immigrants.

They have no code of values to dissuade them from behaving anti-socially or, indeed, criminally, and small chance of being punished if they do so.

They have no sense of responsibility for themselves, far less towards others, and look to no future beyond the next meal, sexual encounter or TV football game.

Rather than curb their appetites and act against them, the liberal culture treats them as victims of the rich and the conservative leaders, who supposedly have taken away their opportunities.

Writing in a bit more refined and cautious manner, Aymenn Jawad, a student at Oxford University, argues in the Jerusalem Post that too many “commentators interpret these events based entirely on pre-conceived paradigms,” and he too refers in particular to the analysis of “Red” Ken Livingstone. Jawad points out that many of those rioting, contrary to the NYT report I cited earlier, “are not poor at all.” Rather, they are lower middle-class who are looting not the homes and businesses of the rich, but of middle and working-class neighbors. He nails it with the following:

Portraying the disturbances as an uprising of the “under-privileged” is to be expected from those who subscribe to the Marxist theory of historical materialism, according to which economic causes are the driving force behind all human actions.

The riots are also taking part in predominantly white areas of London, not in multicultural underprivileged ghettos. They also began when a 29-year-old gang member was shot a few days ago, while he was unarmed. The real issue, he writes, is that “youths driven by greed and a lust for senseless violence have taken advantage of the lack of trust between the police and local communities, using the shooting of Duggan as a pretext.” And, he says, the riots were planned, since many of the looters and burners got their brethren out by texting them on their BlackBerries. They also, evidently, handed out leaflets calling for the riots to take place.  Finally, Jawad quotes one rioter who told a reporter about his motivation: “We’re getting our taxes back.” They steal designer clothes, TV sets, and electronic gadgets for one reason alone: “because they can.”

Until some perspective is attained to address the real issues behind the rioting, such events will break out again and again, even if Cameron’s tough measures put an end to the current outbursts. As in so many other areas, the ideology of a bankrupt liberalism encourages precisely the acts which its advocates think more welfare state measures will prevent. The ideology of supporting the thugs and seeing them as victims has to come to an end. If a reassessment fails to take place, we can only look forward in the near future to more of the same.

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