Years of liberal dogma have spawned a generation of amoral, uneducated, welfare...

VMS

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Apr 26, 2006
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Spoilered for length
Years of liberal dogma have spawned a generation of amoral, uneducated, welfare dependent, brutalised youngsters

By Max Hastings

A few weeks after the U.S. city of Detroit was ravaged by 1967 race riots in which 43 people died, I was shown around the wrecked areas by a black reporter named Joe Strickland.

He said: ‘Don’t you believe all that stuff people here are giving media folk about how sorry they are about what happened. When they talk to each other, they say: “It was a great fire, man!” ’

I am sure that is what many of the young rioters, black and white, who have burned and looted in England through the past few shocking nights think today.

It was fun. It made life interesting. It got people to notice them. As a girl looter told a BBC reporter, it showed ‘the rich’ and the police that ‘we can do what we like’.

If you live a normal life of absolute futility, which we can assume most of this week’s rioters do, excitement of any kind is welcome. The people who wrecked swathes of property, burned vehicles and terrorised communities have no moral compass to make them susceptible to guilt or shame.

Most have no jobs to go to or exams they might pass. They know no family role models, for most live in homes in which the father is unemployed, or from which he has decamped.

They are illiterate and innumerate, beyond maybe some dexterity with computer games and BlackBerries.

They are essentially wild beasts. I use that phrase advisedly, because it seems appropriate to young people bereft of the discipline that might make them employable; of the conscience that distinguishes between right and wrong.

They respond only to instinctive animal impulses — to eat and drink, have sex, seize or destroy the accessible property of others.

Their behaviour on the streets resembled that of the polar bear which attacked a Norwegian tourist camp last week. They were doing what came naturally and, unlike the bear, no one even shot them for it.

A former London police chief spoke a few years ago about the ‘feral children’ on his patch — another way of describing the same reality.

The depressing truth is that at the bottom of our society is a layer of young people with no skills, education, values or aspirations. They do not have what most of us would call ‘lives’: they simply exist.

Nobody has ever dared suggest to them that they need feel any allegiance to anything, least of all Britain or their community. They do not watch royal weddings or notice Test matches or take pride in being Londoners or Scousers or Brummies.

Not only do they know nothing of Britain’s past, they care nothing for its present.

They have their being only in video games and street-fights, casual drug use and crime, sometimes petty, sometimes serious.

The notions of doing a nine-to-five job, marrying and sticking with a wife and kids, taking up DIY or learning to read properly, are beyond their imaginations.

Last week, I met a charity worker who is trying to help a teenage girl in East London to get a life for herself. There is a difficulty, however: ‘Her mother wants her to go on the game.’ My friend explained: ‘It’s the money, you know.’

An underclass has existed throughout history, which once endured appalling privation. Its spasmodic outbreaks of violence, especially in the early 19th century, frightened the ruling classes.

Its frustrations and passions were kept at bay by force and draconian legal sanctions, foremost among them capital punishment and transportation to the colonies.

Today, those at the bottom of society behave no better than their forebears, but the welfare state has relieved them from hunger and real want.

When social surveys speak of ‘deprivation’ and ‘poverty’, this is entirely relative. Meanwhile, sanctions for wrongdoing have largely vanished.

When Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith recently urged employers to take on more British workers and fewer migrants, he was greeted with a hoarse laugh.

Every firm in the land knows that an East European — for instance — will, first, bother to turn up; second, work harder; and third, be better-educated than his or her British counterpart.Who do we blame for this state of affairs?

Ken Livingstone, contemptible as ever, declares the riots to be a result of the Government’s spending cuts. This recalls the remarks of the then leader of Lambeth Council, ‘Red Ted’ Knight, who said after the 1981 Brixton riots that the police in his borough ‘amounted to an army of occupation’.

But it will not do for a moment to claim the rioters’ behaviour reflects deprived circumstances or police persecution.

Of course it is true that few have jobs, learn anything useful at school, live in decent homes, eat meals at regular hours or feel loyalty to anything beyond their local gang.

This is not, however, because they are victims of mistreatment or neglect.

It is because it is fantastically hard to help such people, young or old, without imposing a measure of compulsion which modern society finds unacceptable. These kids are what they are because nobody makes them be anything different or better.

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.

So who is to blame? The breakdown of families, the pernicious promotion of single motherhood as a desirable state, the decline of domestic life so that even shared meals are a rarity, have all contributed importantly to the condition of the young underclass.

The social engineering industry unites to claim that the conventional template of family life is no longer valid.

And what of the schools? I do not think they can be blamed for the creation of a grotesquely self-indulgent, non-judgmental culture.

This has ultimately been sanctioned by Parliament, which refuses to accept, for instance, that children are more likely to prosper with two parents than with one, and that the dependency culture is a tragedy for those who receive something for nothing.

The judiciary colludes with social services and infinitely ingenious lawyers to assert the primacy of the rights of the criminal and aggressor over those of law-abiding citizens, especially if a young offender is involved.

The police, in recent years, have developed a reputation for ignoring yobbery and bullying, or even for taking the yobs’ side against complainants.

‘The problem,’ said Bill Pitt, the former head of Manchester’s Nuisance Strategy Unit, ‘is that the law appears to be there to protect the rights of the perpetrator, and does not support the victim.’

Police regularly arrest householders who are deemed to have taken ‘disproportionate’ action to protect themselves and their property from burglars or intruders. The message goes out that criminals have little to fear from ‘the feds’.

Figures published earlier this month show that a majority of ‘lesser’ crimes — which include burglary and car theft, and which cause acute distress to their victims — are never investigated, because forces think it so unlikely they will catch the perpetrators.

How do you inculcate values in a child whose only role model is footballer Wayne Rooney — a man who is bereft of the most meagre human graces?

How do you persuade children to renounce bad language when they hear little else from stars on the BBC?

A teacher, Francis Gilbert, wrote five years ago in his book Yob Nation: ‘The public feels it no longer has the right to interfere.’

Discussing the difficulties of imposing sanctions for misbehaviour or idleness at school, he described the case of a girl pupil he scolded for missing all her homework deadlines.

The youngster’s mother, a social worker, telephoned him and said: ‘Threatening to throw my daughter off the A-level course because she hasn’t done some work is tantamount to psychological abuse, and there is legislation which prevents these sorts of threats.

‘I believe you are trying to harm my child’s mental well-being, and may well take steps . . . if you are not careful.’

That story rings horribly true. It reflects a society in which teachers have been deprived of their traditional right to arbitrate pupils’ behaviour. Denied power, most find it hard to sustain respect, never mind control.

I never enjoyed school, but, like most children until very recent times, did the work because I knew I would be punished if I did not. It would never have occurred to my parents not to uphold my teachers’ authority. This might have been unfair to some pupils, but it was the way schools functioned for centuries, until the advent of crazy ‘pupil rights’.

I recently received a letter from a teacher who worked in a county’s pupil referral unit, describing appalling difficulties in enforcing discipline. Her only weapon, she said, was the right to mark a disciplinary cross against a child’s name for misbehaviour.

Having repeatedly and vainly asked a 15-year-old to stop using obscene language, she said: ‘Fred, if you use language like that again, I’ll give you a cross.’

He replied: ‘Give me an effing cross, then!’ Eventually, she said: ‘Fred, you have three crosses now. You must miss your next break.’

He answered: ‘I’m not missing my break, I’m going for an effing fag!’ When she appealed to her manager, he said: ‘Well, the boy’s got a lot going on at home at the moment. Don’t be too hard on him.’

This is a story repeated daily in schools up and down the land.

A century ago, no child would have dared to use obscene language in class. Today, some use little else. It symbolises their contempt for manners and decency, and is often a foretaste of delinquency.

If a child lacks sufficient respect to address authority figures politely, and faces no penalty for failing to do so, then other forms of abuse — of property and person — come naturally.

So there we have it: a large, amoral, brutalised sub-culture of young British people who lack education because they have no will to learn, and skills which might make them employable. They are too idle to accept work waitressing or doing domestic labour, which is why almost all such jobs are filled by immigrants.

They have no code of values to dissuade them from behaving anti-socially or, indeed, criminally, and small chance of being punished if they do so.

They have no sense of responsibility for themselves, far less towards others, and look to no future beyond the next meal, sexual encounter or TV football game.

They are an absolute deadweight upon society, because they contribute nothing yet cost the taxpayer billions. Liberal opinion holds they are victims, because society has failed to provide them with opportunities to develop their potential.

Most of us would say this is nonsense. Rather, they are victims of a perverted social ethos, which elevates personal freedom to an absolute, and denies the underclass the discipline — tough love — which alone might enable some of its members to escape from the swamp of dependency in which they live.

Only education — together with politicians, judges, policemen and teachers with the courage to force feral humans to obey rules the rest of us have accepted all our lives — can provide a way forward and a way out for these people.

They are products of a culture which gives them so much unconditionally that they are let off learning how to become human beings. My dogs are better behaved and subscribe to a higher code of values than the young rioters of Tottenham, Hackney, Clapham and Birmingham.

Unless or until those who run Britain introduce incentives for decency and impose penalties for bestiality which are today entirely lacking, there will never be a shortage of young rioters and looters such as those of the past four nights, for whom their monstrous excesses were ‘a great fire, man’.

Max Hastings isn't some knee-jerk "kill the poor" monster-conservative: he's a highly respected historian. OTOH, his attitude has a very large dose of the kind of paternalism he's criticizing here, but he makes some very good points...
 

Owenay

Those who fail to learn from history are doomed...
May 10, 2007
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#2
Great article, I've been forcing it on people on FB ever since I read it yesterday.
 
Dec 4, 2010
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#3
It really is sad watching our society slowly crumble. And it enraging watching the left fight tooth in nail for the support of these people and enabling their pointless lives under the guise of helping the unfortunate.

:arrrh:
 

VMS

Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
Apr 26, 2006
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#4
It's really simple: when given the choice, the vast majority of people will go the easy way. It's just that "the easy way" isn't always easy to define.

If you have good parents, in a good society, the easy way is to work hard and to produce. Oh, you're going to spend more time working than you would by being a lazy lump, but being a lazy lump would mean losing the esteem of your friends, your family, your social circle. It's easier to work your ass off than to be seen as a lazy lump by those people.

But when there is no shame in being on welfare, when there's no shame in being the third, fourth, fifth generation in your family collecting the dole, then the easy way is to be on the dole.

Are these kids "choosing" to be lazy lumps? To a large degree, yes. But their society is also choosing that for them. Their parents are choosing that for them.

Their government is choosing that for them.

We can't do a lot about parents being bad parents. The bar to take kids away from their parents is a very high one, and rightfully so. But we can, and should, change how our governments deal with them. Stop making it easy for these kids to be lazy lumps.
 

Neon

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#5
They need another World War. The last one straightened that country right out.
 

kidconnor

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Mar 16, 2005
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#6
The depressing truth is that at the bottom of our society is a layer of young people with no skills, education, values or aspirations. They do not have what most of us would call ‘lives’: they simply exist.
Wackbagger?




He writes this as if kids are the only problem. Where do they get their morals from? I would say there are adults who do little but exist also.
 

Lord Zero

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Aug 25, 2008
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#7
The depressing truth is that at the bottom of our society is a layer of young people with no skills, education, values or aspirations. They do not have what most of us would call ‘lives’: they simply exist.
:clap:
 

Owenay

Those who fail to learn from history are doomed...
May 10, 2007
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#8
He writes this as if kids are the only problem. Where do they get their morals from? I would say there are adults who do little but exist also.


:huh: Apparently you didn't read the entire article. The author spends a great deal of time absolving the 'young underclass' from responsibility because society not only condones it, but encourages it. He lays blame with parents, teachers, and the entertainment industry among other things. As a matter of fact, that was the entire premise of the article...
 

Don the Radio Guy

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#9
The left is beginning to get defensive about their Welfare State empire. Things are going to get a whole lot uglier before they get better. The people in charge have a vested interest in inciting violence within the population, and that's exactly what they're doing. When the rioting hits our shores, expect to see a whole lot of purple shirts out there throwing Molotov cocktails.
 

NuttyJim

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Feb 18, 2006
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#11
The depressing truth is that at the bottom of our society is a layer of young people with no skills, education, values or aspirations. They do not have what most of us would call ‘lives’: they simply exist.
the problem is that all the "young people" want to be rappers or wanna be gangsters.
 

Party Rooster

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Apr 27, 2005
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#12
I am sure that is what many of the young rioters, black and white, who have burned and looted in England through the past few shocking nights think today.

It was fun. It made life interesting. It got people to notice them. As a girl looter told a BBC reporter, it showed ‘the rich’ and the police that ‘we can do what we like’.

If you live a normal life of absolute futility, which we can assume most of this week’s rioters do, excitement of any kind is welcome. The people who wrecked swathes of property, burned vehicles and terrorised communities have no moral compass to make them susceptible to guilt or shame.

Most have no jobs to go to or exams they might pass. They know no family role models, for most live in homes in which the father is unemployed, or from which he has decamped.
Is that really true? I assumed the looters were actually kind of middle-class opportunistic hipsters like the Vancouver riots.
 

Nick the Pig

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#13
It's really simple: when given the choice, the vast majority of people will go the easy way. It's just that "the easy way" isn't always easy to define.

If you have good parents, in a good society, the easy way is to work hard and to produce. Oh, you're going to spend more time working than you would by being a lazy lump, but being a lazy lump would mean losing the esteem of your friends, your family, your social circle. It's easier to work your ass off than to be seen as a lazy lump by those people.

But when there is no shame in being on welfare, when there's no shame in being the third, fourth, fifth generation in your family collecting the dole, then the easy way is to be on the dole.

Are these kids "choosing" to be lazy lumps? To a large degree, yes. But their society is also choosing that for them. Their parents are choosing that for them.

Their government is choosing that for them.

We can't do a lot about parents being bad parents. The bar to take kids away from their parents is a very high one, and rightfully so. But we can, and should, change how our governments deal with them. Stop making it easy for these kids to be lazy lumps.
Very well said. If I wasn't on welfare I'd agree with you wholeheartedly.
 

Nick the Pig

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May 6, 2011
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#14
Is that really true? I assumed the looters were actually kind of middle-class opportunistic hipsters like the Vancouver riots.
Nah, not these riots. There were some hipster riots recently but you probably never heard of them.
 

whiskeyguy

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#15
Is that really true? I assumed the looters were actually kind of middle-class opportunistic hipsters like the Vancouver riots.
In the case of what's going on with London, I think it is more lower-class people doing this. They're just out to consume and destroy. Vancouver was a little different because it was sparked and driven by a specific event (kinda like the riots that start outside a Rage Against The Machine concert), and those are more middle-class kids. However, right now in London the rioting/looting is self-driven, and I think at that point it involves the poor more.

I'm getting so pissed off at the stupid fucking justification I've heard on the news. There is one condition where I would even consider looting, and that's in an almost apocalyptic situation where I had to get food to feed my family. Of course I would do my best to prepare to not even get to that point. I have no support or sympathy for people who steal Wii consoles and then burn a Sony distribution center down.

If it's really about helping the fucking poor step up, how about you steal suits so you can go to a fucking job interview on Monday. It's the prime example of how entitlement is killing our societies, and it is absolutely fucking driven by liberal douchebags who have coddled these people and reaffirmed that they deserve anything they want without having to work for it.
 

Lord Zero

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#16
Vancouver was a little different because it was sparked and driven by a specific event (kinda like the riots that start outside a Rage Against The Machine concert), and those are more middle-class kids.
Alcohol had a lot to do with that. So did this...

Stanley Cup Finals - Game 7
Boston Bruins: 4
Vancouver Canucks: 0


Oh, it hurts doesn't it, Vancouver?
 

Party Rooster

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Apr 27, 2005
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#17
Nah, not these riots. There were some hipster riots recently but you probably never heard of them.
Well played sir.

In the case of what's going on with London, I think it is more lower-class people doing this. They're just out to consume and destroy.
I think initially, definitely. I still think a lot of those kids look a little too preppy to be lower-class.

Something I think was largely ignored by the OP was the media's effect on all this. Not talking about the coverage, but how TV and movies seem to glorify the people that become quick millionaires and famous overnight sensations. British TV is even more obsessed with all the reality and Idol type stuff. Throw in all the new social media and everyone with a Facebook or Twitter account can become an instant celebrity.
 

Motor Head

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Jan 23, 2006
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#20
I recently dealt with two girls that were high school dropouts. I caught them with Xanax and no prescription. I start a conversation with the one that was in the back of my cruiser that wasn't crying and ask her what she plans to do without any sort of education. She tells me that she is moving to LA because she is going to have her own TV show. I ask her what she does that would warrant her having her own show and she looks at me blankly like I just asked her to explain nuclear fusion.

Even the white kids are dumbing down, to a lesser percentage. They have no concept of work, they all think they will be on TV or will be rich someday and have no plan whatsoever for reaching any sort of goal.
 
Jan 9, 2006
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#21
I recently dealt with two girls that were high school dropouts. I caught them with Xanax and no prescription. I start a conversation with the one that was in the back of my cruiser that wasn't crying and ask her what she plans to do without any sort of education. She tells me that she is moving to LA because she is going to have her own TV show. I ask her what she does that would warrant her having her own show and she looks at me blankly like I just asked her to explain nuclear fusion.

Even the white kids are dumbing down, to a lesser percentage. They have no concept of work, they all think they will be on TV or will be rich someday and have no plan whatsoever for reaching any sort of goal.
I can't imagine being more than 12 years old and still thinking that I was going to be a TV star.
 

NuttyJim

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Feb 18, 2006
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#22
I recently dealt with two girls that were high school dropouts. I caught them with Xanax and no prescription. I start a conversation with the one that was in the back of my cruiser that wasn't crying and ask her what she plans to do without any sort of education. She tells me that she is moving to LA because she is going to have her own TV show. I ask her what she does that would warrant her having her own show and she looks at me blankly like I just asked her to explain nuclear fusion.

Even the white kids are dumbing down, to a lesser percentage. They have no concept of work, they all think they will be on TV or will be rich someday and have no plan whatsoever for reaching any sort of goal.
Have you seen "Jersey Shore"? Companies are hemorrhaging money to pay dumb fucking kids to do shit that has no entertainment value. Either way that bitch will end up on "Bang Bus", "Captain Stabbin" or one of its many variants lol.
 

mills

I'll give em a state, a state of unconsciousness
Jan 30, 2005
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#23
What about the compromise factor. When liberals went in favor of these programs during and in the wake of the civils rights movement, the other side eventually acquiesced and granted the programs in many instances, provided there was some amount of segregation and isolation involved.

There was more than one side that contributed to the formation of the shit wasteland communities the cultures of which ultimately lead to the problems you're talking about.

(don't say "this is about england". MORE than half of you are referring to the US in your posts)
 

lajikal

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Aug 6, 2009
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#25
if we didn't have these delusional fucks who want to be famous, who else would be in our porn?
Fuck that. There's only a handfull ;) of pornstars I like and they have talent, skills and work ethic. These lazy fucks just end up being extras if they're lucky and then off to givemedat careers.