Humanity is short-sighted. It rarely considers the effects of what it does today upon the future. Unfortunately what was done yesterday has a nasty habit of fermenting for years and maturing into something distinctly nasty which will, sooner or later, rear its ugly head and bite hard.
The riots which rocked the United Kingdom in early August are very much a case of the past messing up the future. The United Kingdom has been in a state of decline for many, many years. Thatcher, in the name of free enterprise, started the ball rolling steadily downhill, and the brazen and trendy Tony Blair gave the ball another firm push. The obstinacy of Britain’s trades unions helped inflate the ball in the first place.
Consumerism is Consuming Society
Prior to the riots and prior to my leaving Britain, warning signs were all over the place: high unemployment, little chance of finding a steady job, blatant marketing telling us to buy, buy, buy. Easy credit. Yet money, in the words of the song, cannot buy us happiness. Worse still, those without the cash to satisfy the artificial desires created by marketing to fuel consumerism became discontent. The haves, and the have nots. What was a gap, became a chasm. An Italian friend of mine who visited the UK a few years back noticed a yawning gap between those with and those without money.
The haves have more than enough and then some. Throwing things away has become part of the waste everything, want new, UK society, as a friend of mine from England pointed out to me a few years back. Meanwhile, those without anything, or almost, and I’m still wondering how the poor and destitute managed to afford the Blackberry mobile phones they used to coordinate the rioting in the UK; feel so left out (if they feel anything at all, that is), but at the same time, so desperate to “possess” that all they need is a tiny spark for them to set London, and other English cities burning.
What was the spark which led to the rioting? The shooting of someone who was most probably a drug dealer – someone who ruins lives – and who was, apparently, related to one of the most notorious white gangsters in the United Kingdom. The actual circumstances of the Duggan killing have yet to surface, but if the police are found to have acted lawfully – it is claimed Duggan was armed – people will still not be happy. Those who guard the guards are not trusted.
Italians have been asking me what caused the riots in the UK, and I have to say, I do not really know what exactly led to the spiralling violence and looting – I have not passed any real length time in the binge-drinking UK for many years. But I have my suspicions. What I do know is that when I left the UK back in the mid-90s, things were beginning to ferment.
Actually, it was a downturn in the UK economy which was one of the reasons why I looked for greener pastures. In the UK I’d been beaten up, had a bicycle, a motorbike and a car radio stolen, and had my car torched. I’d seen my father’s career disintegrate back in the early ’80s – he’d made it to managing-director level – before the drive for greater efficiency mixed in with the “yes” man management culture cut in and, to all intents and purposes, kicked him out – he was never a “yes” man. With copious doses of elbow grease, he picked himself up, but the road was a tough one and he had a wife and two children to support. I was, up until sixteen, privately educated. My parents believed that private schools would give me a better chance in life – they had watched England’s formerly good, if flawed, public education system fall into a state of decay. Private education was expensive and keeping two children at private schools meant sacrifices for the family – belts were tightened to give my brother and myself a better future. Even in those days, intelligence and achievement were sneered at, teachers were the enemy. It was all downhill. Misguided government perpetuated the decline.
Teaching as a profession in the UK has always been somewhat undervalued – which is a big mistake.
Good Parents Create a Responsible Society
I owe a debt of gratitude to my parents. Thanks to the way I was brought up, I would never have even considered looting shops. Quite a number of kids in the UK don’t appear to have been brought up in the right way, either by their parents or by society itself. Being a parent is not easy and there’s little tuition. How would you like to be the first person operated on by a newly self-appointed surgeon? Not a pleasant thought, now is it? Parents don’t receive a fraction of the training of surgeons. Indeed, nobody really ever tells you what it’s like to be a parent. At least in Italy family groups are tightly knit and many parents do receive some guidance. Not so much the UK. I’ve read cases of UK parents abandoning their children to go on holiday. When that happens, you know society is sick. The riots in the UK were another symptom of this sickness.
Hell On Earth
And now, talking of disease, I read that the UK has “gangsta” and “yardie” culture. A culture, if that is the right word, founded upon a lust for easy wealth and power. So appealing is the draw of such a culture, that working class youngsters of all colours, ever proud of their ignorance, have striven to become a part of it. Gangsta culture is black culture – it exists in the United States too, and appears to have been imported into the UK, in the same way as mafia “culture” ended up in the USA. White people created gangsta culture by treating black people badly. Life within this culture has zero-worth – being tough and ruthless does. Now, thanks in part to our errors many years ago when we tried to enslave half of Africa, our sins have come back to punish us. Perhaps God, in his infinite wisdom, has decided that certain areas of the world deserve to become hell on earth. Well, He does move in mysterious ways.
Certain aspects of black culture (which white people created, remember) are damaging to society. Oh what a racist I am, except I’m not (I had coloured friends at school and have coloured friends here in Italy too), only the UK has become so topsy turvy that anyone who dares lay blame on the way of doing things some black people have is labelled a racist. As I well know, far from all black people are rotten, but some are (and so are some white people), and the rot needs to be stopped. Within gangsta culture, which partially came over to the UK from Jamaica with the Yardies (Yes, the UK messed up big time there), women are dirt, children count for nothing and homosexuals are regarded as being targets for shooting practice. Not exactly the most progressive of societies, it has to be said, and such a reactionary way of living now appears to be lauded in some sectors of society in the United Kingdom. Madness. When is someone going to wake up?
Historian David Starkey tried to draw attention to the darker sides of black culture and how it has transformed white culture too, but he was castigated by people who should have known better – such is the insanity which has come to pervade perfidious Albion. Perhaps though, Starkey has forgotten that some facets of black culture came about as a result of the mistreatment of blacks by those from a white culture. It’s a case of an ill thought out past biting the future, once again.
Buried in the comments beneath this article on David Starkey is an interesting observation from a black woman on domineering Jamaican blacks in the UK. The commenter points out that not all those from Jamaica are domineering.
Really though, this is not a question of colour – the crux of the matter is that there is a problem deep in society which has needed addressing for years. But not enough has been done – as the riots demonstrated exceptionally clearly.
See more “results” here: London and UK riots: 50 powerful images
And the UK has slowly but surely emasculated its police force, as well as going human rights mad.
Basically, We’ve Messed Up
The USA has messed up too – intelligence (not the CIA kind) has little worth in the USA, or so my American friends have told me – being someone who can throw, bounce or kick a ball, does.
Is it any wonder the USA and the UK are sinking into the mire? Not really. What is surprising is that nobody saw this coming decades ago and worked to take evasive action. Still, what do you expect from a world which has drugged itself on crappy television and consumerism for far too long? Anyone ever see Clockwork Orange? Well, that’s the way things are heading in the USA and the UK.
Stop reading, start speaking
Stop translating in your head and start speaking Italian for real with the only audio course that prompt you to speak.
What gets me more than anything else is that the USA is regarded as a model. An example which we should all follow, and we do, like a flock of brainless sheep. Only the USA is not a great model. Indeed, it can be held as an example of how rampant consumerism causes society to degenerate virtually beyond repair, as President Barack Obama is finding to his cost.
Idiots in the United States have opposed the setting up of a country-wide public health system – and these fools are far too blinkered to realise that they’ve been hoodwinked by the interests of the corporate elite. Net result, the great and grand land of opportunity is slipping down the plughole, or should that be the toilet bowl.
Obama wanted to stop this, but he may not be up to the job. One can’t blame him really, it’s difficult for one man to sort out centuries of errors.
And So to Italy
Both the USA and the UK can learn a few lessons from Italy, which despite its problems – caused in part by the peninsula trying its darnedest to emulate the USA and the UK – is not generally prone to bouts of extreme violence, even if the sinister actions of the mafia do explode into the equivalent of war from time to time.
Why doesn’t Italy have the same problems as two of the greatest, but disintegrating, nations in the world? Primarily because strong family values still exist here. Single parents do exist, but Italian teenage girls, for the most part, do not end up as single mums. And Italians have a realistic attitude to sex – they know it happens, and they know the consequences. They are not prudish about the subject. Italians understand human nature.
Italians make responsible parents and receive a substantial amount of support from relatives – but not much from the state. The presence of the Roman Catholic Church in Italy, which offers support to families, makes a difference too.
In Italy, much maligned for having such a low birth rate, parents are parents for the most part. They take a massive interest in the schooling of their children and instil the wish in their progeny to do well for themselves. There is much unhappiness in Italy today because the young have no future – all because of the American model – profit and efficiency before society.
Part of the problem in the UK is that certain parents do not understand what being a mother or a father means. Kids are abandoned and left to their own devices. The state provides little or no support. The parents of these kids are often second or third generation single parents themselves, meaning that there are legions of young people in the UK who have zero direction in life – aside from knowing they want a Hummer, gold jewellery and “loads-a-money”, except they have no idea how to get it, other than selling drugs, and when some do make it (after selling drugs), they don’t know what to do with it all.
It’s no wonder, really, how so many youths ended up looting shops around the UK – society has not done a thing to prevent them from taking advantage of such a golden opportunity to satisfy their soulless lust for possessions. They have no future, so what have they go to lose?
Unfortunately, Italy has a prime minister who does not set a great example to Italy’s future generations – but for the moment, they have not been out on the streets burning businesses and stealing flat-screen televisions, even if this may may happen in the not too distant future.
Italians still have a sense of belonging and a sense of being part of a culture which enriches them – the young in Italy still feel this (I know, I see quite a number of them every year being a teacher), whereas I doubt the kids who ran to loot the streets in the UK felt that any aspect of UK culture is worthwhile. Most probably do not know what culture means, and as for “cultural enrichment”, forget it.
For the moment, Italy really is a paradise compared the those “great” model nations: the United Kingdom and the United States of America. But Italy does risk going the same way as the great nations. For the moment though, you can walk the streets of most towns and cities in Italy without fear of being beaten up, mugged or shot. And Italy’s police have not been emasculated – yet.
Capitalism is Flawed
The stock market driven economy is doomed to failure. Let me explain why.
Widget maker Company ABC lists itself on a stock market. Now it has to pay dividends to rapacious shareholders. Dividends can only be paid if profits are made and increased continually. Profits come from efficiency and low costs. But once a company has become as efficient as it possibly can in its own nation, shareholders continue to demand higher profits. So Company ABC moves out of its home nation to another: creating unemployment and reduced tax income for its nation of origin in the process. Greater profitability is achieved for a time. Then the nation to which Company ABC moved becomes richer – labour costs rise and profits fall. Shareholders moan as dividends fall. Company ABC moves to another country and the process is repeated – until, perhaps, there are no more countries to move to and thus no more profit can be squeezed out of ABC’s widget making operation. What happens next? Shareholders become increasingly discontent – they sell off their shares. Company ABC’s share price falls and the company closes down – despite making a profit, providing employment and tax income.
What happens when all listed companies reach this point? What about everybody who is out of work? How will they consume? They won’t. How will governments provide services? The whole world will riot, or worse. I suppose the luxury widget makers will still plod ahead. The rich will be OK, for a time.
It’s not going to happen tomorrow, but society is heading for a meltdown and when it comes, it will not be pretty. The riots in London and elsewhere in the UK are part of this process.
Stock markets need to be regulated before it is too late. The wealth any one individual can accrue should be limited. But that will stifle progress, you shout – not if surplus wealth is paid into global education and research and development funds it won’t. Even master investor Warren Buffet realises that extreme individual wealth does not benefit society. Indeed, he plans to give most of what he’s earned back to society. Buffet is capitalism at its best, but not everyone is as responsible as Warren Buffet.
Who Is To Blame For Western Society’s Mess?
All of us.
Wake up western world – look at societies which do work and emulate them, or else we won’t need to die to go to hell. And rethink capitalism. Marx, even if he was a commie, was more far-sighted than many of us give him credit for.