Out of the Box - August 12, 2011
By Brian Knowles
f Britain’s barbaric youths had been raised with the Judeo-Christian ethic, they probably wouldn’t have rioted. The problem in England is not politics, race, youth, or even class - its values. The world in general is facing a values crisis. Values, or the lack of same, drive everything in the chaotic modern world.
Destroying property, stealing, looting, arson, assault and the manifestation of the mob mentality reflect a paucity of values. Values override the concerns of class warfare, partisan politics and self-interest. When properly positioned in one’s life, values trump everything. They represent a governor on behavior that determines what one will, or will not do. People who have internalized high values exercise noble character even under duress, or when no one is watching. People with low or ignoble values give in to their animal instincts under the least provocation.
A headline in Mail Online (August 10, 2011) identified one of the major influences in creating the kind of people who commit such horrors: “Years of liberal dogma have spawned a generation of amoral, uneducated, welfare dependent, brutalized youngsters.” A female looter told a reporter that her looting showed the “rich” and the police that “we can do what we want.”
What they wanted was the random destruction of property, the burning of vehicles and the terrorizing of neighborhoods and communities. Why did they want to do such irresponsible, destructive things? To relieve their boredom, create excitement and wield some sort of power. Max Hastings, in the aforementioned Mail article describes Britain’s rioters as having “no moral compass that would make them susceptible to guilt or shame.” Like I said - it’s a matter of values or the lack thereof. Continues Hastings, “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,” says Hastings, “essentially wild beasts.” They are rabid wolf packs roaming once civilized streets in a nation that was known for its advanced social development. Too borrow a phrase from the Bible, “Destruction and misery are in their ways.” (Romans 3:16). They know nothing about responsible living.
How did this happen?
Hastings cites “liberal dogma” as a major cause. It is such dogma that has created the welfare state. In earlier times, Britain dealt with its troublesome underclass with capital punishment and deportation to the colonies (like Australia). Today it is subsidized by “the dole.”
Furthermore, there are no governors on feral behavior. No measures are in place that would effectively deter this wanton barbarism. Like the girl cited above said, “We can do what we want.” Authorities, including schools, the police, the judiciary and even Parliament, according to Hastings, all too often take the part of the perpetrators instead of the victims.
What’s to be done?
Writes Hastings, “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.” These young barbarians need incentives for good behavior and swift punishment for bad. They need the restoration of moral authority in their lives. A verse from the Bible applies here: “…the fact that the sentence imposed for evil deeds is not executed swiftly…is why men are emboldened to do evil…” Ecclesiastes 8:11, JT.
Fear of punishment is a motivator for good behavior. Appeasement, mollycoddling and the subsidization of sloth has the opposite effect. Writes Dennis Prager, “…the human desire to reject the primacy of values is deep.
“The reason? As soon as we hold values responsible for human conduct, we must hold people, ourselves included, responsible for the bad that we do,” Think A Second Time, page 158.
Facing down evil takes moral courage. Evil unopposed grows. Unless we resist it now - unless we repeal the “liberal dogma” that is behind it - we will surely succumb to it. Our Western cultures need a values revolution - a return to the Judeo-Christian ethic that helped build the most civilized nations in history.