Now we know what The People of the Abyss can do when they feel like it. Last night, they all came out to play, after realising that police can't see round corners and that civilisation is a deal, not a series of orders which must be obeyed. One in which they were swindled, and therefore aren't bound by.
No escalation in police numbers or weaponry can contain them if they decide to rise again. But if people can bond through this experience and realise what has been destroyed in the last 30 years, rather than mourn what was destroyed last night, there might be some hope (#riotcleanup) - if their efforts are not hijacked by the fascist right. If not, then the guns might well come out tonight, and then the city would grind to a halt.
The first serious vigilant action happened in Dalston, where large Turkish shopkeepers organised to chase away looters. Which destroys the case of the Enoch Powell Defence League at a stroke. Those pesky immigrants with their shops and communities and comradeship! Coming over here. Defending our streets. Restoring order. Margaret Thatcher must be turning in her grave.
At least we can all celebrate the destruction of the myth of the consumerist paradise, where wealth and prosperity and goodwill to all men trickle down to the grateful grey masses. The moral is, break the social contract at your peril. If this isn't the end of civilisation, it certainly felt like it last night. There are no jobs. Consumerism has betrayed them, and so they feel free to destroy it. Almost every state or commercial institution has been discredited in the last 3 years. 100% Gangsters all. And the Moral is: Get Rich Quick. People learn fast.
Terrible damage is being done to the language. 'Excuse' 'understand' and 'explain' are under attack. To understand is now to excuse. This is a disturbing political development. As embodied in the words of David Davies MP/ Special Constable: "Anyone who ever blamed the police for kettling or brutality os to blame.." If that isn't a latter day Angry Brigade invitation to a police state, I don't know what is.The abuse of the word 'community' has been particularly interesting. Diane Abbot especially allowing herself to be trapped by retrospective community disease, inventing 'communities' which hadn't existed for 20 years. Burning Western Union is not burning 'The Community'. Communities don't create mobs who burn the high street. Communities create order and consensus. What they mean by community is a row of identikit corporate outlets, defining what we respect and aspire to.
Property defines our culture, morals, and politics, the destruction of property is therefore by definition a political act, conscious or not. Crime is political. And law and order only fails when political trust has failed. When the social contract breaks down, laws and morals are meaningless. And they are only the product of our value-system, anyway. Last night was what No Such Thing as Society looks like. Last night Greed was Good for everyone, not just the rich.
How to begin to solve the problem? End education and youth cuts, regenerate local communities, shackle global corporate invasion. Send the bill to Rupert Murdoch.
Name 1 state or commercial institution un-discredited in the last 3 years. 100% Gangsters all.
But nothing will get any better while so many heads are still in the sand. We need reasons, not excuses for the reasons.
see also. 'I Live in Peckham - I Feel Safe'. 2008