Wednesday, 10 August 2011


Its debatable whether the looters are any greedier or undisciplined than the bankers and "rogue traders" of casino capitalism over the last 25 years. Supermarkets and government policies have damaged our High Streets more than any rioters ever could; leaving many a line of boarded up shops, charity shops, mobile phone shops and inexplicably shoe shops (try buying good fresh fruit and vegetables on most high streets!). Of course what the State fears is not looting, which is shopping without money; an extension of the credit card culture which, to take a 70's marketing slogan for VISA "takes the waiting out of wanting". Looting mostly harms ordinary local business people and puts up insurance premiums for all.  It is a sort of  confirmation of consumer society with rioting provides the perfect excuse for even more money to be spent on the police and army and even more CCTV cameras.

What governments fear is people discovering what they really are missing in life; not a larger flat screen TV but the satisfaction of real connection and real empowerment. Of course some decent "rites of passage" for young men into responsible manhood would help instead of  impromptu  rituals involving fire, broken glass and battles with the police.  Perhaps the current attack on psychotherapy  ("evidence-based" CBT is the only therapy) is the realisation that empowerment and consciously considered values are really threatening. When we  are in touch with ourselves, our true nature and the Earth;  when we connect with others, when we feel the power within us; then much of what passes for our modern sophisticated society will have to change radically. Perhaps this is happening anyway. It is clear that in many areas all governments and politicians are helpless. This is the difference to the belief of the previous generation who hoped that a different system with different ideologies and different personalities would really change things. Obama hasn't delivered; Cameron and a coalition won't; the only government which can save the world capitalist crisis is a "communist" one; China. The world is already turned upside down; more than a few burning cars and wrecked shops could every be.  And "No"; a magic date in 2012 or a second Coming isn't the explanation or the answer.

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