The tone deaf UK government and London authorities are trying distort reality with the London riots. It isn’t about people simply wanting to loot and steal. They are striking out against a state that cares little for their neighborhood—that is, until the consequences of the neglect come knocking on their door.
The UK government and London authorities are fixating on the looting, the theft, the arson—they are tone deaf about the causes of it all: poverty and inequality.
In the modern, Darwinian and psychopathic version of capitalist democracy, or corporatism, to speak of the poverty and inequality in certain neighborhoods is to elicit an arrogant and sociopathic response: there is no such thing as the poor and marginalized, only a collection of people who simply refuse to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.
What we’re seeing in London—and one needn’t be there for this reality to become apparent—is the result of an economic system that vacuums wealth up to the highest rungs of society, leaving the rest to scavenge and fight for the scraps. The results? Crime in the form of theft, drug dealing, the black market, etc.
Government presupposes the idea that men and their property must be protected from one another—that we are too brutish and selfish to fully embrace our free will.
And it is there that those firmly entrenched in the government (the upper and elite classes in England) acquire their tone deafness. They cannot fathom how a group of people—in a system that renders them powerless, at the whim of the ruling classes—could go about rioting. They cannot fathom that their unwillingness to let others share in the plunder of capitalism could create such mayhem.
They might be appalled at the response to Mark Duggan’s death, but with all of the confusion around the Metropolitican police investigation into the shooting, what did they expect?
Duggan’s death was only the catalyst to the reaction, and it revealed something deeper about the social ills of England and, indeed, the world. It confirms what was already revealed in North Africa and the Middle East: that there are masses of people in the world who are pissed off with the current state of authority and economic realities, even if the exact reasons haven’t crystallized into a distinct movement or philosophy.
Perhaps if a more fair economic system were created, in which the marginalized were engaged, there would be no match (such as Mark Duggan) to set alight a socio-political firestorm.
There are two realities in the predominant form of capitalist democracy at work here in London (and abroad): 1) It cannot do what it claims—create a fair system for all, and 2) Intransigence is its defining characteristic, which will not allow things to significantly change. The idea that the people are governing allows the government to maintain the status quo by whatever means necessary.
It works well enough that the majority are content, or, more precisely, there is the perception that people are content.
But ask the people of London what they think given the UK Uncut and labor protests, the spying on anarchists, the equating of protesters with terrorists, pre-crime arrests (see: Charlie Veitch) and now the London riots, and they will tell you that people are not content.
We don’t need to hear it from them, though—it’s there for all to see in technicolor.
The UK government and ruling class are looking at the same imagery but with the sound muted because they don’t want to face the reality they’ve created; they just want to erase it under the boot heels of 16,000 officers on London’s streets by Thursday.
It’s as if Lord Scarman’s Report (which detail many of the aforementioned thoughts) on the 1981 Brixton Riots has been rattling around in a vacuum from which it’s never escaped.