Beware of dumb explanations of the London riots

August 21, 2011

Darkness: Politicians all over the world love to put the blame of the London riots on run away welfarism; that’s given Eva. You could even say politicians have no choice but to buy into that sort of twisted logic. For starters, that sort of explanation absolves them from the responsibility of doing something or for that matter anything constructive, except maybe fold their arms and mutter something really self serving like ‘burn baby burn.’ And secondly, it automatically confers upon them the moral high ground to continue doing absolutely nothing – so it’s a farce Eva. I never ever invest myself into lies Eva.

Eva: So what’s the real cause smarty pants?

Darkness: Our way of life?

Eva: Why do you say “our”? It’s a European problem. 

Darkness: Eva you can only believe it is a European problem, if you deny the whole idea of globalization and the entire idea the vast majority of the world has already bought lock, stock and barrel into one method to deliver the good life. If the truth be known Eva, this isn’t so different from the whole idea of everyone in the neighborhood going into the same bookshop and buying the same cook book. It’s a global problem Eva-  globalisation, privatisation, consumerism, individualism and the ‘culture of greed’ essentially makes up the whole idea of the secret recipe that we all refer too as the milk and honey comfort food dish. Globalization and privatization created that paradox where the rich got richer and the poor steadily poorer as it condoned that corrosive idea cost is the primarily determinant everything else is really the stuff of details – but worst of all, globalization ravaged the brains of working-class, convincing them that they too could live like celebrities or royalty, so in a sense Eva, the riots are nothing more than a primitive attempt to mimic the conspicuous consumption of the rich and famous. 

Eva: Gordon Gecko once said ‘greed is good.’

Darkness: Eva, Mr Gecko was referring specifically to the Long Island crowd – sure Eva, greed is definitely good for a select few. But what about the whole idea of the common good? I mean where does the average Joe end up when corporate honcho’s and delusional politicians end up paying themselves creamy salaries and helium filled bonuses? What happens when basic necessities such as healthcare and transportation are privatized without regard to stagnating incomes and the prospects of having to live with lower wages? I mean all this goes back to what I said earlier. The riots are a bi-product of globalization and privatization – both these ideas are well and fine in moderation – but when they’re left to the vagaries of market forces. Then what invariably happens is, they warp both the social fabric and culture. No Eva greed is no bloody good for anything. 

Eva: So what do you see as a prescriptive cure for our times?

Darkness: Dignity of the deal Eva. May sound crazy Eva. But you know what that’s really the root cause – when folk feel shortchanged or worse still marginalized that’s really the spark that burns down the whole house – and that idea could well encompass a whole geography of motifs – could be the simple idea they don’t perceive that a certain politician deserves that salary because all he seems to do is rattle off excuses or even something like being able to get a seat on the bus after paying for a ticket – my point, is there has to be dignity in the whole transaction – it has to be able to pay homage to the whole idea of fairness. I mean, Eva if I wanted to dig a ditch in my land. I guess, I could use a tractor. But how will that serve the common good, if only one man benefits from the whole transaction – makes far more sense to pay 10 men from the local community to do the job. May be more expensive, but at the end of the day, you’re going to get less grief from the local community. Let me try to put it another way. Eva, nothing gives me the keenest pleasure than to give a man a good deal when he decides to do business with me. You could say, I like that feeling so much that it’s probably the only reason why I went into business. Having said that, from time to time, I like to get a good deal back in return. You know the type where I just feel completely satisfied with the transaction.

Eva: And what if you don’t get a good deal?

Darkness: That’s easy Eva. I’ve probably take to the streets.

The Suriman tales 2011 – the brotherhood press

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