Lives of Unquiet Desperation

Max Hastings in the Daily Mail on the London riots, but the lessons are more universal:

The depressing truth is that at the bottom of our society is a layer of young people with no skills, education, values or aspirations. They do not have what most of us would call ‘lives’: they simply exist.

via UK riots 2011: Liberal dogma has spawned a generation of brutalised youths | Mail Online.

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Comments

  1. Joe says:

    Another depressing truth is that at the bottom of our society is a layer of young people with skills, education, values, and aspirations, but because our elite institutions are corrupt, they will take whatever method they deem necessary to make their voices heard.

  2. sheenyglass says:

    Here's one :

    The depressing truth is that at the top of our society is a layer of people who, by and large, are incapable of recognizing the degree to which their privilege is the unearned product of the circumstances of their birth and yet nevertheless seem to believe that they know exactly what people with few opportunities should be doing to earn comparable privileges. They do not have what most of us would call ‘the capacity to recognize that they are completely full of shit’: they simply write columns for the daily mail.

    Also, from the article "As a girl looter told a BBC reporter, it showed ‘the rich’ and the police that ‘we can do what we like’." Which to me, sounds like a pretty succinct statement about how when wealth is distributed unjustly, those who do not benefit from society feel no moral obligation to preserve it.

    • Mike says:

      …wealth is distributed unjustly,…
      What!?!
      Do you mean when the government robs from the rich and gives to the poor? Only the government is ‘distributing’ wealth I doubt much of it is just.

      People earn their wages and accumulate wealth, it isn’t printed and handed out to a select few.

      • sheenyglass says:

        "handed out to a select few"

        OH RLY? http://www.federalreserve.gov/faqs/money_12853.ht…. Sorry, couldn't resist.

        It is a fact that any given wage is paid. Whether it is earned is a matter of opinion, which will vary by person (see e.g. A-Rod). As a practical matter, the distinction is irrelevant; whether the right to keep that money will be legally protected depends only on whether the payment was consensual.

        On a larger scale, the accumulaton of wealth to requires property rights, which require law to enforce them, which, in turn, depends upon the acquiesence of society at large, which requires the distribution of wealth to be perceived as equitable by society as a whole.

        B/c fiat money has value precisely because taxes must be paid using it, it is kind of nonsensical to refer to taxation as theft. Even the gold standard requires the government to enforce the link to metal for the currency to have value.

        TL;DR – No more taxes? Nice green toilet paper!

      • joey says:

        Remember Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham? That was when the government stole from the many and gave to the rich and the rich fought mightily hard to keep it that way. How little times have changed.

  3. Transor Z says:

    There's so many of us
    There's so many of us
    There's so many
    There's so many of us
    There's so many of us
    There's so many [x2]

    Let's have a war
    So you can go and die!
    Let's have a war!
    We could all use the money!
    Let's have a war!
    We need the space!
    Let's have a war!
    Clean out this place!

    It already started in the city!
    Suburbia will be just as easy!

    [Chorus]

    Let's have a war!
    Jack up the Dow Jones!
    Let's have a war!
    It can start in New Jersey!
    Let's have a war!
    Blame it on the middle-class!
    Let's have a war!
    We're like rats in a cage!

    It already started in the city!
    Suburbia will be just as easy!

    [Chorus]

    Let's have a war!
    Sell the rights to the networks!
    Let's have a war!
    Let our wallets get fat like last time!
    Let's have a war!
    Give guns to the queers!
    Let's have a war!
    The enemy's within!

    It already started in the city!
    Suburbia will be just as easy!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBtHDJnKhkU

  4. Li'l Antinee says:

    “no values or aspirations”

    Pretty easy to say when your riding high on Dad’s trust fund.

  5. Stating the obvious says:

    I think the youth of today recognize we've traded our kings for bosses. We're a few decades away from being able to automate farming, construction, most physical business processes, and as we see with IBMs Watson we will be replacing call center folk and many other knowledge based jobs. The resources needed to support society will all exist. The question is if we will allow it to benefit everyone, or if we want to continue to pretend that doing a job you dislike is somehow noble.

    • Mike says:

      Those who automate farming and construction and who control the automation are creating wealth. There are those who don’t get even a high school education (>50% in some cities) … how can they participate in this information age?

      Do we just hand them money to keep them happy?

  6. KKJ says:

    There are some of us who have actually come from poverty and through effort at obtaining an education and, horror of horrors, WORKING have now accumulated some wealth. Maybe some of these looters should stop sniveling with their hands out for more charity and actually get their shit together enough to improve their lives. Or sheenyglass how about you just support them.