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Friday, 19 August 2011

Recent UK Riots: Is The French Revolution’s Product - ‘Right of Man’ - At Fault?

While astrologers and futurologists may be scratching their heads for not predicting the recent UK riots, and Nostradamus fans might try to re-interprets the man’s quatrains, sociologists might be scratching their heads to figure out whether it will repeat.

Unlike other revolutions sprouting at periphery and merging into the capitals, almost akin to the word, this revolt did the reverse of spreading away from London. Parallel to the use of mobiles and Internet in the drama, its news spread like the Net’s virus. And then, when sadness of being blamed for handling of its past riots became an addition, even the wise men of Iran’s Islamic revolution finally feasted on ‘Don’t be harsh on the protestors’.

In this looting - done mostly by ones not quite adults, lives got lost, properties got looted, citizens blamed government and the politicians blamed the police - even imported a Rambo. Although less apt cops boosted those who were not yet adults, when these men in uniform grabbed the photo finish later- much later, almost like getting AIDS after 1st love making, ‘criminal record’ sent many to tears. Suddenly nobody won.

Although the riots saw an end, the search for whys and hows has begun. Almost finding the truth like by the Buddha, Enoch Powell’s speech grabbing Historian Starkey found black culture corrupting white culture. Incidentally, this reminded us of now disproved ‘Aryan Invasion of India’ believing European racists accusing Indian Aryans of diluting their blood by mixing with local Dravidians. Unlike Buddha’s peace, this has added fuel to fire and lessened his credibility.


There certainly was no exploitation of the people like the French Revolution time farmers, no secret tortures like by the Shah and no food shortages like in Somalia that make animal in us rise up. Crossing racial lines, why did people of different races loot then?

Many agree that there is a distinct lack of respect for parents, elders and for those in authority (teachers), and that we have become more selfish. Also that our basic necessities have climbed up to luxurious necessities. Although consumerism explains why we have the 3rd factor, shift in our thinking from duty to right attempts at answering the 1st two.

Being animals and having ‘survival of the fittest’ trait, it is the fear that restrains us, tames us like a horse and makes us civilized. With God doing a vanishing trick and taking divine fear away, and glamorized right offering us self centeredness- the ‘I’ factor, forgetting of duty and lessening of fear of social authority through the formed ego, members of our species simply get bored with our conditions and wait for the right time to strike for joy. Failure of restraining state authority provides just that.

No wonder, when police failure – in this case a killing of a man, gave way to a cause, and less effective control and ‘others are doing it’ gave the adrenaline buzz, suddenly looting found itself in the rule rather than in exception.

Although camera view indicts police lethargy and public anger, a telescopic view can trace the role of French Revolution’s product ‘Right of Man’. Although latter did much good, it also started the glamorization of rights not duties.

Although offering ‘caught in action’, street cameras mimic big brother, reinstate fear of the divine and possibly lessen repeat, glamorization of duty that restrains us and makes us think in terms of ‘us’ than ‘I’ can help more in the long run.

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