Watching London burn on the BBC video window. The reporter describes how the thugs hop out of the stores with arms full of electronic goods and stop, for sport, to clout an old lady. The reporter is almost beside himself with fury over these criminals, and the lack of any assistance from the police. Like this:
Burgess pegged these yobs fifty years ago in “Clockwork Orange”: the end product of a state that excuses everything with the warm bath of sociological bromides, divorces itself from its cultural antecedents, anesthetizes the lower classes with payouts and a meretricious culture, and finds itself stuffed to the gunwales with pleasure-seeking sociopaths addicted to a life of sensation, both personal - and usually meaningless - and vicarious, which only fuels resentment for those having a better quality of sensory fulfillment. Theodore Dalyrymple’s close-hand examination of the pathology of the underclass in “Life at the Bottom” warned everyone years ago what sort of culture Britain had produced, adding something Burgess didn’t anticipate: the elevation of the thug culture by the upper classes and the artistic set, keen to show they were “authentic” by aping the demotic.
Add to that a political class keen to excuse the enthusiasms of youths, if it fits into the dead progressive template. Tweeted an MP:
Reaping what has been sown over 3 decades of creating grotesquely unequal society,with alienated young copying ethos of looting bankers.
Three decades: back to Thatcher, of course, who ruined the fine, sturdy country that was paradise on earth, aside from the sclerotic economy, incessant strikes, and the general sense of sinking into the sea.
The churches are empty; the state is everywhere; the state is empowered to peer into every corner of your life and powerless to protect it; the brutes rule the night. Alfred the Butler got it half right in that “Batman” quote: yes, some people want to see the world burn. But others want to set it on fire.