It has been a week since thousands of mostly young people across London decided it was time to steal, destroy, assault, abuse and ultimately murder others, in a decadent frenzy of Anthony Burgess style amorality. The responses have been extremely varied, but the overwhelming one has been concern about the need to restore law and order. Two main concerns have driven the discussion, one has been the importance of adequate policing, the other has been discussions as to "why".
Once one takes away the vile ambulance chasing point scoring of many on the left (and the Green Party in NZ has disgustingly decided to take advantage of the suffering of others to advance its own agenda of "give 'em more money and make some jobs for 'em"), and the undertones of racist anti-immigration and calls for serious violent intervention from some on the right, there must be an acknowledgement of a whole series of government policies which can be said to have failed to address the creation of what is at best, a feral, parasitical underclass of people with no hope, little aspiration beyond hedonistic whim worshipping and with substantial "chips on their shoulders".
The ridiculous argument that this was about racism is shown up for its absurdity in the overwhelming diversity of those arrested and filmed participating. However, there is certainly an element of distrust of police in areas dominated by, in particular, the Afro-Caribbean community. Yet the same is true of the "chavtowns" filled with neanderthals.
The link with poverty has more substance, but it is not real poverty in the sense of starvation, homelessness or no access to education or healthcare, but poverty of aspiration, concentration and determination. However, this doesn't answer why the roll call of people turning up in courts are from backgrounds of being in middle class employment, or university graduates, or even upper class schoolkids. These "individual examples you can pick out" as one leftwing commentator claimed, are inconvenient, for they don't fit the race-poverty classification that fits the philosophy.
So what should be done? As I wrote before, I naturally resist "throwing money at the problem", the idea that more government welfare and manufactured government jobs (which takes money from others who create jobs) is a solution is simply absurd, for there has never been this much welfare, and making people less independent and less successful by making them clients of the state even more, is not going to change attitudes of esteem and expecting others to solve their problems.
Furthermore, simply adopting an authoritarian kneejerk approach to policing, including the notion that the state should shut down social networks at times of crisis, is simply too late, as well as sacrificing the freedom of the law abiding on a grand scale, to address the criminality of a small number.
So my approach is to look at the stages of life of a typical member of the underclass, and to pinpoint the failures of public policy in all of them. The key is that the government is not the solution, but changes in public policy should make a difference. However, there is no quick fix unless one wants to take an authoritarian eliminationist approach that would permanently deprive any criminals of freedom, and have the state police parenting on a terrifying scale. That could eliminate a feral underclass by creating a feral police state.
The areas that matter are, in summary:
- Welfare policy should not reward breeding by people unable or otherwise unwilling to be parents;
- Welfare policy should not remove responsibility for raising children or paying for children from both parents;
- Welfare policy should not reward additional breeding by people already on welfare;
- State and council owned Corbusier style hothouses for crime demolished and the land sold. One of the grimmest failures of social engineers has been putting large numbers of underachievers together in close proximity;
- People on low incomes should not pay income tax;
- Parents, teachers, police and others in loco parentis should not fear disciplining their children using reasonable force for restraint or to protect themselves, others or their property;
- Serious violent and sexual criminals should never be permitted to reside in the same household as anyone under the age of 16;
- Schools should no longer be funded based on politically specified criteria, but on whether parents send their children to a school (or do not);
- Governance of schools, including curriculum, rules and philosophy of education should be driven by those with the greatest vested interest in its success, parents of children at the school;
- Schools should have freedom to pay good teachers what it takes to attract and retain them, and the means to incentivise better performance by poor teachers, or remove them;
- The criminal justice system should be focused on protecting the public from the acts of criminals, particularly recividists;
- The criminal justice system should offer one chance for rehabilitation for first time offenders that are not a danger to the public;
- Parents of underage offenders should be presumed to have civil liability for the acts of their offspring, and criminal liability for incitement to commit crimes;
- The justice system should not spend time and money on victimless crimes;
- The state should not fund culture, music, television or other media that may be implicated in promoting a sub-culture of violence, hate and misogyny;
- Tax and economic policy should allow people to keep the fruits of their efforts, and not be seeking taxpayer money;
- Laws and regulations should positively support private property rights and welcome entrepreneurship that respects this, and not welcome those who seek to restrain such rights to protect their own businesses and homes from competition;
- Laws and regulations should not make it difficult to hire people at pay and terms and conditions they are willing to accept, nor to remove them if they fail to meet the terms and conditions of the contract;
- Politicians and bureaucrats founds guilty of theft from taxpayers or corruption should be subject to the full force of the criminal justice system;
- The state should not bail out businesses that fail, nor those who invest in them.
None of that is detailed, but it is in recognition that decades of welfarism and "we know best" interventions by politicians have failed. They have nurtured an underclass that is willing to attack and destroy those that pay for its very existence. They have nurtured an education system on the wistful hope that everyone will be equal, but which rewards poor quality teachers and starves funding to pay excellent teachers well. They have promoted a culture of entitlement and dependency whereby large numbers of people expect they have "a right" to the money of others, and fear having to fend for themselves. They have promoted a culture of blame and bigotry by the underclasses towards anyone but themselves. Never blame those who didn't study at school, never blame those who bred with little thought of the consequences, never blame those who don't turn up to job interviews, never blame those who vandalise, steal and assault, always blame those who set up businesses and "didn't put anything back into the community" (one excuse I heard in the past week), always blame "the rich", the so-called "lucky", the "racists", the police, the council, the government.
For decades now, the Western world has been beset by this corrosive philosophy of:
- You have rights, you should always assert rights, many of those rights are over other people to give you what you demand;
- You can't get anywhere unless other people "give you opportunities", you're implicitly unable to take care of yourself without the government, the council or other people giving you "respect";
- You have a right to express yourself, however you wish, to whoever you like, and they have to give you that right, and after you've abused them, and even vandalised their property, they STILL should give you a job, paying you what you want, to work when you want, how you want, dressing how you like, turning up when you feel like at, because "it's your right";
- It isn't your fault if you do anything wrong, it's because of "society" or "the government" or any other group you care to feel aggrieved by;
- You're not responsible for your life, other people are responsible for giving you what you need to stop you attacking them;
- If you do something wrong, it's ok, because "everyone else does it" and because "some people don't respect you" and because "the system doesn't fit people like you".
It is ALL that. That is why there were riots in the UK, it is why some parts of the UK are feral no-go areas for anyone who look half respectable. It is why a significant minority of children leave school functionally illiterate, innumerate and socially inept, and then go on to do the one thing humans are good at, breeding, because they get rewarded for it. It is the culture and philosophy of post-modernist, moral relativism, it has a Marxist thread running through it, and it is de riguer in universities, local authorities, teachers' training colleges and all left wing political parties, and more than a few in right wing parties.
It is bankrupt, and the vast bulk of the population knows it is so. The empty calls for "more jobs", and "understanding" are wrapped in demands to effectively pay protection money for those who have failed.
The road out of this cesspool is going to be long. It requires fundamental welfare, housing and education reform at the root and branch. It requires a change of approach to the criminal justice system. However, more than anything it requires a long term cultural and philosophical change in attitudes towards the family, communities and the individual.
I'll write more about these policy areas in due course, and the fundamental philosophical changes that are needed. This is not a call to go back to times when women were treated as second class citizens, or when one set of religious teachings were to be imposed on all, nor to return to the patronising bigotry towards people because of race, sex or sexuality, but it is about recognising an age when people did respect others, had consideration for the lives and property of others, and took responsibility for their own lives and actions.
It is, most of all, about removing the state funded safety blanket for anyone whenever they do anything harmful to themselves or others, bearing in mind that nothing stops people choosing to provide whatever they want to others on whatever terms they wish.