When images of the London riots splashed across our TV screen, many people's first and decidedly un-PC reaction was, "Yup, it's welfare blacks causing trouble again." For a while, especially since the media refused to report the race of those involved, it certainly seemed so just by looking at the pictures.
We are now getting a decidedly different and far better documented perspective, via the parade of criminal arrestees processing through England's justice system. The Daily Mail reports:
|Collecting welfare without the middleman.|
While the trouble has been largely blamed on feral teenagers, many of those paraded before the courts yesterday led apparently respectable lives.
A postman, a primary school mentor, lifeguard, charity worker and a father of a newborn baby were among defendants appearing alongside schoolchildren and college students to answer charges ranging from theft to violent disorder.
Some wept, some grinned and others merely stood in blank defiance at the magistrates.
Liberals, of course, are blaming the riots on welfare benefit cuts that have not even taken place yet - but these criminals aren't on welfare. The cuts mean nothing to them.
London's ubiquitous CCTVs are finally of some use, but as the police review the tapes, they are discovering the shocking fact that the looters came from all segments of youth society. Yes, there are known criminals and long-term unemployed among them - and also students, teachers, the gainfully employed, even, as with one girl, people with not a care in the world:
Millionaire's daughter Laura Johnson, 19, was charged with stealing £5,000-worth of electronic goods, including a Toshiba TV, Goodmans TV, microwave and mobile phones.
The goods were allegedly found in a car being driven by Miss Johnson after a branch of Comet in Charlton, south-east London, was raided.
Bexleyheath magistrates heard that a 'public order kit' of balaclava, gloves and a bandana was also found in the car.
Miss Johnson attended St Olave's Grammar School in Orpington, Kent, the fourth best performing state school in the country, after transferring from its sister school Newstead Wood.
One can somewhat understand, while not sympathizing with, permanently deprived youth taking the opportunity to grab expensive items they'd otherwise never have. For ordinary middle-class workers who have every expectation of moving up in life to risk everything for something they could reasonably buy anyway, though - that shows a problem of an entirely different sort. Who does that?
A striking BBC interview with a couple of young female looters gives us a hint. The video, naturally enough, doesn't show the girls' faces, but they certainly sound both white and middle-class, possibly working-class, definitely not illiterate chavs.
What's their take? "We're showing the rich that we can do what we want."
Of course, they aren't showing "the rich" anything; "the rich" are insured. The victims of the looting are the small-time mom-and-pop shopowners whose lives and livelihoods have been destroyed. Yet even after this is pointed out by the interviewer, our lady thieves merrily and specifically state that, in their view, anyone who owns and operates a shop is "the rich"!
That's an interesting point of view - just because you own property, automatically you are vaulted into the oppressor class, the rightful victim of anyone else. Where have we heard that before?
Ah, yes! None other than Candidate Barack Obama, in his famous discourse to Joe the Plumber, emphasized the importance of "spreading the wealth around." Whose wealth? Why, Joe's wealth, of course - as a small-business owner, he's automatically one of the Evil Rich who should provide for everyone else!
What is the sacking of London but spreading the wealth around by other means? What is the moral difference between the government using the threat of force to take the private property of individuals to give it to someone else who hasn't earned it, and some looter heaving a brick through the window and running off with a TV?
There is none, and looters know it:
Welfare dependency further created the entitlement culture that the looters so egregiously display. It taught them that the world owed them a living. It taught them that their actions had no consequences. And it taught them that the world revolved around themselves...
The idea that they should not steal other people’s property, or beat up and rob passers-by, appears to be as weird and outlandish to them as the suggestion that they should fly to the moon. These youths feel absolutely entitled to go ‘on the rob’ and steal whatever they want. Indeed, they are incredulous that anyone should suggest they might pass up such an opportunity.
Indeed, why should they, when the honored members of Government do exactly the same thing on less pretext?
Another notable aspect of the riots was the complete failure of the police to even attempt to stop them. We all know that London cops don't carry guns; but they do have guns locked up back at the police station. It should have taken no more than an hour to get their hands on the artillery, and a few dead looters lying on the ground would have discouraged the rest.
That's what would have been done in decades gone by. That's still what happens in the U.S.; remember how the National Guard ended the Rodney King riots? Soldiers in tanks can bring order right quick.
That method assumes that the culture blames the looters for their crimes, rather than finding excuses as to why it's not their fault. There is a phrase for this: "class warfare," and the unfortunate residents of London surely do feel like they've been in a war.
What prevents people from starting private wars, class or otherwise? A strong social pressure to behave peacefully, as well as moral teaching as to what's right and what's wrong, two things which have been utterly destroyed by liberal governance:
A key factor in delinquency is lack of effective sanctions to deter it. From an early stage, feral children discover that they can bully fellow pupils at school, shout abuse at people in the streets, urinate outside pubs, hurl litter from car windows, play car radios at deafening volumes, and, indeed, commit casual assaults with only a negligible prospect of facing rebuke, far less retribution. John Stuart Mill wrote in his great 1859 essay On Liberty: ‘The liberty of the individual must be thus far limited; he must not make himself a nuisance to other people.’
Yet every day up and down the land, this vital principle of civilised societies is breached with impunity. Anyone who reproaches a child, far less an adult, for discarding rubbish, making a racket, committing vandalism or driving unsociably will receive in return a torrent of obscenities, if not violence.
If there is no respect for private property, there can be no effective liberty. To our Founders, the right to private property was so fundamental that it's reflected in almost every amendment of the Bill of Rights.
Freedom of the press is meaningless if you can't own and control a press, likewise the right to keep and bear arms. What is "freedom from quartering," the right against unlawful search and seizure, and compensation for takings, but a reflection of the importance of private property?
John Adams put it bluntly:
The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God ... anarchy and tyranny commence. Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist.
As a long parade of governmental disasters have amply demonstrated, Western bureaucrats and liberals hold neither the laws of God, nor of property, nor of anything else to be sacred. The only thing that's sacred is the pursuit of greed and power by whatever means necessary.
Obama, he of the "unwarranted expenditure" view that tax cuts cost the government money which is rightfully his, has no respect for anyone's private property. No more do the London looters.
Looters work outside the law, such as it is. Mr. Obama wrests the law to mean whatever he pleases. Both are the enemies of liberty and must be stopped.