The rioters in London really need to be taught a lesson – but perhaps they have already learned the lesson our culture has to teach. Our leaders continually say that problems are solved by carpet bombing people, and killing innocent people is an unfortunate necessity. Clearly rioters simply buy into the same ‘might makes right’ line of thinking. Sure, it’s easy to bludgeon the rioters’ character, as many are “just waiting for any opportunity” to go out and create havoc. However they are disparaged people who simply believe the lesson that violence brings resolution.
Our schools, beginning in kindergarden preach the ethic of “being nice”, and “sharing”, but people don’t learn this way. Instead they learn the actions and attitudes behind the lecture. They learn that if they don’t go to school, their parents and/or school will get what it want via threats or actual violence. Later when they are older they learn that the school get’s paid by taking money from others, again under threats, backed up by the ability to inflict violence.
Distressed is the poor soul that buys into this mess as good and righteous. They believe that are entitled to an education, and the government is a weapon we use to create such advantages for them. So what happens when they see the system as “broke”? Instead of rejecting the system of violence, they believe it isn’t working for them, and they need to take it upon themselves to inflict the violence needed to “right” things. So they lay in wait, for the right opportunity to administer violence.
I am not apologizing for this behavior. Every person has the innate ability to see the error of this process without any help. But, if you think we must extort money from home owners to teach people “good values” then you are just as guilty of believing in the use of violence as the rioters. People believe that good acts will come back to them and the same is true of the bad acts. Measures backed by violence will come back to bite you regardless of how deeply you hide the lever of coercion, or wether you make it ‘legal’. The more force we apply to make things right, the more violent the outbreaks will be when things go wrong, because that is the ethic we teach.