In following the stories out of the UK, I am saddened by the violence and senseless destruction in the nation that so many of us look to as kindred.  Many of us have a deep, almost genetic, reverence for the land of so many of our ancestors.  I certainly wish we could once again unite and rise up, standing for freedom and the greatness of the West.  Alas, not yet.

It is, of course, like all such violence in places where a perfect storm of ideology brews.

Closing the trough

First, young poor people, told for decades it was the duty of the government and taxpayers to care for them, become animal-like when their feed-trough is threatened.  And, animal-like, brutal in nature, ‘red in tooth and claw,’ they attack the very people and places (like businesses) which provide their largesse.  Of course, they don’t understand that.  Money, they reason, comes from the government.

Blinding the heart

Second, young people of other classes, middle (and doubtless properly educated upper) are swept up in the ‘revolutionary’ fervor.  Not so much out of need, or even real ideological conviction, but because they have been told for decades that nothing is right or wrong, and any act is reasonable if the mob allows it and provides anonymity.  It is the behavior of persons immoral and bored.  The same sort of thought that likely lies beneath the phenomenon of America’s violent flash-mobs.

There is no good, there is no evil, so do what you want.  As it says in the book of Judges:   ‘Each man did what was right in his own eyes.’

But why would they do this?

In many instances, in the UK and (before long in the US), apologists for these criminal acts blame the government for its austerity measures.  I suppose the government, both in the UK and in the US, is ultimately to blame.

But not for taking away the support of an entire entitlement class.  Rather, for providing it in the first place.  Riots, violence, hatred, drug abuse, cruelty, these are all the fruits of the seeds planted decades ago when well-meaning politicians decided to give and give and give to those who would ultimately refuse to contribute.  I know what I speak of.  I work in an emergency department, and the burden of false disability, addiction, child abuse, parental abdication and criminality falls heavily in America’s ERs.  I am witness to it every day that I work.

But it’s deeper.  As the article on the UK riots alludes, there are many trying to understand the sociological underpinnings of these behaviors.  Academics and social pundits in the US do exactly the same thing.  ‘Why would people riot? Is society bad?  How can we give them more?  What can we do to make life better, so that they’ll be happy?’

The real, unstated question

Subtext, unstated but obvious, ‘How much ransom can we offer our captors?  How many concessions can we grant our terrorists?’

The problem, dear ones, wise ones, is that the human heart is wicked.  From rich industrialists and powerful politicians all the way down to children and old ladies, with everyone in between.  Our hearts are incomplete.  Our souls are dark.  A mob, whether British, American, Chinese, African, rich, poor, educated or illiterate, is not a new thing with its own will.  It is an aggregation of many smaller, willful, dangerous hearts and minds.

The answer is higher, not lower

And no policy, no gift, no concession, will change that fundamental fact of human nature.  And only God above can redeem it from endless woe and eternal consequence.

It’s an answer few desire to hear.  We live in a society that is slowly, surely, rejecting any authority higher than the fist, the sick, the knife, the gun, the stomach.  A society that bows to brutish demands; whether union protestors in Wisconsin, rioters in Philadelphia or arsonists in London.

History has not been kind to such cultures.  It may be time to look upward, to return to the Faith of our Fathers.  It may be time, after a failed experiment, to take the medicine that worked so very well, for so very long.

God help us to seek His face once more.


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