Anarchy in London, spreading to other parts of England, is unfortunate but telling of a malaise within. While one can speculate on the causes, the finger will waver to point at anything specific. To merely analyse this from the bottom up will point to the top. Clearly this is a case of the state failing to deliver. Modern states have worked through social engineering and political rights to build a society that balances inequality with ‘supporting’ the poor, while in reality distancing from it. A certain percentage of unemployment is ‘recommended’ for the economy (this guarantees some power structure). The grace of ‘giving’ unfortunately cannot be a legislated right. It will come back to bite you in the back. State reforms to measure poverty and support it is a struggling concept. Social security not guaranteed by the state but by society and values takes centuries to build. Despite all efforts to make society an equal one, there emerges more ways of keeping the poor, poorer. The world struggles with this and many wars have been fought just based on the split in this ideology.
Last night’s TV discussions focused around why did this happen, was there a racial issue and the role of social media. Apparently the discussions were not focused on the gut issues, which will be hard to air on TV. It is simply a failure of the state in a particular area, which cannot be changed in a democracy, built around it: a social security system. The environment is charged with high consumerism driven by multinational empires, often supported or bailed out by the state in the garb of supporting a ‘free market’. Human desire is fuelled with these wants and if opportunity presents itself by way of $300-jeans for free … why not. The heady idea can make youth of all ages and social background jump at the chance. There is no corporate social responsibility guaranteed by legislation to give youth a chance to do something else. It is a question of rights and duties, getting mixed up or biased.
Social media is only a means of communication much as the blackberry or mere email or telephone. It is not this that directly drives consumerism on the internet. This cannot be a cause of the malaise in itself. The internet is full of the opportunity to make money, get rich programmes, the numerous retail opportunities, dating and practically everything in a virtual world. Most games are centered on violence and charges up the youth to be competitive in an insular, introvert way. Not really like playing basket ball!
There is a warped surreal world out there that can explode when given a chance. It just needs a trigger. Societies that have a value system that encourages this surrealism are at greater risk. It is like parenting (as if there can be rules for it), there can be no judgment on it. In a consumer driven cycle of life, the first victims, alas are children.