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Article: "London riots: Why respectable people turned to looting"

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posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 09:49 AM
I have to admit to a certain amount of dismay when I was hearing the 'victims' of the looting cheer as the British versions of 'entitled' celebrity leadership strongly condemn the idea of trying to determine the object of the article entitled "London riots: Why respectable people turned to looting".

It had occurred to me that it would be understandable that those injured and wronged by the hapless passionate flailing of mobs would be angry and unwilling to entertain anything remotely sounding like an "excuse" for their woes. It also seemed to me that selecting that sentiment, and pandering to it, was a typical political tool to engender support from people whose outrage blinded them to anything beyond immediate retribution.

But rejecting an understanding of the causes of such things seems foolishly myopic and self-destructive; sort of the way America rejects the idea that their political and commercial meddling in other nations would engender "blow back" from the disaffected.

So for whatever reason, I wanted to share the comments this author makes regarding the riots...

A millionaire's daughter, a school teaching assistant and a lifeguard are hardly the sort of people you'd have expected to get caught up in the wave of violent looting that hit the UK earlier this week. So what drives privileged or seemingly virtuous people to do bad things?

As those responsible for the disturbances begin to appear in court, it is becoming clear that the looters were not all out-of-control teenagers with nothing to lose.

As a fellow human, I am often troubled by the oft-stated reality that people swept up into rioting mobs somehow lose their normal demeanor and become someone they themselves wouldn't recognize. Part of me believes still that this could never happen to me.... but both history and recent events seems to argue otherwise...

"It's a classic demonstration of the power of the situation," says Ayelet Fishbach, a behavioural scientist at the University of Chicago, Illinois. "People in a group follow the group's norms."

I was investigating into (what presumably should be) the more mainstream understanding of what a "riot" actually is, and found this:

A riot is a form of civil disorder characterized often by disorganized groups lashing out in a sudden and intense rash of violence against authority, property or people. While individuals may attempt to lead or control a riot, riots are typically chaotic and exhibit herd behavior, and usually generated by civil unrest.

Riots often occur in reaction to a perceived grievance or out of dissent. Historically, riots have occurred due to poor working or living conditions, government, oppression, taxation or conscription, conflicts between ethnic groups, food supply or religions (see race riot, sectarian violence and pogrom), the outcome of a sporting event (see football hooliganism) or frustration with legal channels through which to air grievances.

Riots typically involve vandalism and the destruction of private and public property. The specific property to be targeted varies depending on the of the riot and the inclinations of those involved. Targets can include shops, cars, restaurants, state-owned institutions, and religious buildings.

It appears that calling rioters "criminals" or, "terrorists" is quite a stretch. There is an apparent socio-political purpose for labeling them as such. And what's more, should the grievances or lack of adequate venue to express them be even remotely legitimate, it behooves the authorities to wash away the possibility with inflamed rhetoric about the failings of the rioters.

This leads to me think that we will not get any help for authorities in determining the cause lest they expose their lack of preparation for the consequences of their own complicity in the rise of the disaffected.

The fact that many of those caught up in the UK rioting were middle-class "is only really a surprise if you buy into the view that rioting is the preserve of mindless members of a subhuman underclass who are suffering from a range of delusions and pathologies", says Alex Haslam of the University of Exeter, UK.

Our educated interviewee may be wiser than we think, as it appears clear that while name-calling by the victims is a natural consequence of their pain and suffering, the political class seems all too eager to categorize the 'offenders' as "subhuman." While there appeared to be no formal grievance that I have heard of, it appears that the spark causing this conflagration was one involving an increasingly troublesome social issue in the west; overtly wanton and brutal behavior by public servants whose job used to be keeping the peace; but in our prevalent and often reinforced social doctrine of fear, now practice 'enforcement' without forethought or remorse.

That spark, seems all but forgotten because of the property damage that incurred, and the tragic and equally out of proportion actions that led to loss of life.

The article closes with a particularly refreshing new perspective...

However, Clarke McCauley of Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania believes another factor may also have been at play: "If you watch others looting and getting richer, you are seeing them get ahead of you," he says. "It is not just the free reward value of looting that moves people, it is fear of falling behind."

Somehow, that makes a bit of sense to me.

Thanks for reading.

Be well,


posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 10:06 AM
I want to know how many of them go to Church these days?

How many of them look up to people who twist words like Wicked to mean good and bad to mean respected?

If the language of the people is messed up then what hope do they have?

Isaiah 5:20

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 10:16 AM
Taken with the fact that teens have under-developed frontal lobes is it quite so shocking that they behaved in the way they did?

The Teenage Brain - Why teenagers think and act differently.

In calm situations, teenagers can rationalize almost as well as adults. But stress can hijack what Ron Dahl, a pediatrician and child psychiatric researcher at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center calls "hot cognition" and decision-making. The frontal lobes help put the brakes on a desire for thrills and taking risk -- a building block of adolescence; but, they're also one of the last areas of the brain to develop fully.

But will any of this be taken into account while these teenagers are marched bleary eyed into kangaroo courts created purely for the hand wringing readers of the Daily Wail and their political puppet masters? Not a hope in hell.

posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 10:17 AM
Reply to post by Maxmars

Good read buddy. The pain of those not asking for the riots is great no doubt, but I feel this article is spot on. Though I don't see the need to quote any religious text IMHO.

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posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 10:32 AM

Originally posted by The time lord
I want to know how many of them go to Church these days?

How many of them look up to people who twist words like Wicked to mean good and bad to mean respected?

If the language of the people is messed up then what hope do they have?

Isaiah 5:20

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

I'm not certain I follow.

Although I can say I wouldn't be surprised if the church goers among them are in greater number than you suspect. the whole point of this exercise is to demonstrate that rioting... and whatever it leads to, is not a matter of a heathen heart, or predisposition to evil. However you are free not to agree.

posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 10:38 AM
reply to post by Maxmars

I think its because of the group dynamics

The crowd is a dynamic phenomenon, both in the sense that it is associated with social change and in the fact that participants in crowd events may have their ideas and ideologies transformed through such participation.

Group dynamics is the study of groups, and also a general term for group processes. Relevant to the fields of psychology, sociology, and communication studies, a group is two or more individuals who are connected to each other by social relationships.[1] Because they interact and influence each other, groups develop a number of dynamic processes that separate them from a random collection of individuals. These processes include norms, roles, relations, development, need to belong, social influence, and effects on behavior.


Maybe this explain why such behavior.

Here is a funny example:

edit on 12-8-2011 by RUSSO because: (no reason given)
extra DIV

posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 01:45 PM
They did an experiment at school to see who would listen properly, the teacher said something in a complex sentence or really quickly can't remember because I failed at it first time, it was about going to see football match at Wembley and all the students had to stand up on the gym bench but there was not enough room so people started pulling each other off the bench to get the places and the ones left out did not go and people were really getting pushy even to their own friends to get the place.

The teacher said the opposite no one was going to Wembley if they stood up on the bench but we all reacted apart from a few that is; they have good jobs now the ones that heard it properly must say something.

Anyway it was to show how rumour and reactions could make crowds do something they did not want to do and how quickly we act to them, because football matches is like that where crowds of thousands of people can all be influenced at the same time. It is like shouting fire in a building and everyone runs out but no one actually sees the fire while some other group steal the computers or something, like a movie scene for example.

The difference here I find is that a lot of these teens had bad intensions anyway plus the fact most teens are rebellious anyway but the problem of stealing and looting I think is the normal word of mouth, and together like no other time in the UK it was seen as acceptable social rebellion with the same patterns all over. There were pockets of this everywhere anyway and then it took one incident to bring them together. Ram raides seem quite new to the UK they even have a record label called Ramraiders which is another form of looting, so it has always been hidden in the underworld of some deprived areas.

edit on 12-8-2011 by The time lord because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 12 2011 @ 08:06 PM
reply to post by Maxmars

many here will use the spoon fed labels and respond on cue to the msm manipulation... the cause of the riots was the all familiar and ever more present police brutality..whether the spark was the Duggan case or not, the pressure was arleady boiling over.. As we continue to see, the police are ever taking on the mentality of "us vs. them".. The police are being indoctrinated into some sort of militarized mindset that plays on their EGO's, narcissism, "holier than though" pompousity.

The "youtube" is filled with cases upon cases of violence by cops, and now they have the AUDACITY to go after people who catch them on film...

the police ARE the enemy because they view the people as the enemy in this "Piranha economy" that we have today, everybody feeding off everyone else. the police benefit from carrying out unjust 'ticket campaigns' which even they admit are BS.. granted there is a need for order, the elites have created a system where unjust laws and statutes masquerade as necessary for the 'common good'

yet, the big time criminals are untaochable and hide behind the 'law'.. cops are mostly bullies in that they usually only pick on someone "smaller" (figuratively speaking).. And they ALMOST NEVER are by the book when it jeopardizes "their career" no matter how obvious, if it is a bigtime gangster they are usually cowards. Not wanting to risk their families lives.. How cowardly they are for selectively deciding when to "enforce the law".

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