What real people know – and have known for quite a long time – is that the great tacit agreement which once held civic life together has been deliberately blown apart. There was a time within living memory when all reasonable grown-ups were considered to be on the same side. Parents, teachers, police, judges, politicians – decent citizens of every station and calling – formed an unspoken confederacy to uphold standards of behaviour within their own communities. But their shared values and expectations about human conduct were systematically undermined by a post-Sixties political ideology that preached wholesale disrespect for authority, and legitimised anti-social activity in the name of protest...Amen, sister. Read the whole thing.
So hugely influential was this (moral equivalence) view in education and social policy that it almost succeeded in extinguishing the truths that arise from experience: people (especially young ones) will behave badly just because they can, because no one is stopping them, or has ever inculcated in them the conscientious discipline that would make them stop themselves.
The capacity for self-control, and the willingness to suppress one’s innate selfishness or cruelty, is something that adults must consciously instil in children and reinforce in other adults by their attitudes to them. The indispensable tools of social stigma and moral judgment that communities used to have at their disposal for this purpose have been stripped away, and the result – the fearless defiance of helpless authority – is what we saw in its terrifying logical conclusion on the streets.
Monday, August 22, 2011
The Best Analysis Of The British Riots Yet
... comes from Janet Daley at the Telegraph. Here's a snippet.
Here, you can see it all. The wanton, aggressive police brutality, the innocence of the rioters as they strive to make a reasonable political point, the straw and peat hovels the poor are forced to live in, the burlap shifts they have to wear due to extreme poverty, the scrawny, malnourished poor, the lack of indoor plumbing and electricity that led Karl Marx to write the treatises that influenced the intellectual giants of the 60s, the ...