On Thursday, the police shot a man. He was a bad man, and he had a gun. But he did not fire it, according to the evidence.
On Friday, the police lied about it. They told the tale that he had shot first.
On Saturday the riots began.
On Monday, the left rose up with one voice, to condemn the riots. It would be like people at the sinking of the Titanic in life boats organizing an anti-swimming demonstration. Why can't the lower orders just die as they are supposed to?
What is happening in London is not yobbery or hooliganism. These people are prepared. They are wearing masks, they are carrying tools. There are thousands of them. It is not like the Vancouver riot over a hockey team's failure to win the Stanley Cup. It was not a "riot against corporate failure." This is an insurrection, incoherent, unclear, unable to assume power, but as clearly, it is a political act. These rioters are prepared, they have broken kettling tactics, they have beaten back riot police. Whether they can continue is doubtful on this round. But there will be a next, and a next, and a next, because the very austerity
The current left is irrelevant, precisely because its first gesture, is to join with the powerful, in condemning it. It shows that the leadership of the current left is, in fact, on the side of oppression, so long as their own place in that oppression is more reasonable. One can see this from larger issues, but this shows that it is a deeply rooted, deeply seated moral identification with power and the profits of pillaging the world and slapping down the poor. To tell the poor that they should wait for the wheels of law to turn is to insult their intelligence. Anyone with any intelligence knows that the law does not work: the police sell information to Rupert Murdoch, and beat people for filming the police beating people, and only an editor has faced the dock, none of the principals will. No one from the bank meltdown has gone to jail. Or ever will. Only people who are comfortable in their place, can say that it is a moral imperative to wait on a legal system which is manifestly corrupt beyond all redemption. Where the courts are criminals, there is no justice.
The riots are not, of course, some great sign of immediately coming hope. Riots and insurrection are common through history, and most come to an ignominious end. Even large rebellions, such as the insurrection against the British East India Company, or the Boxer Rebellion, are put to an end. The best most insurrections can hope for, is to tie their oppressing state in knots, forcing it to spend ever escalating amounts on unaffordable and unattainable security. Al-Qaeda's goal was to do this to the West, and it seems to have worked: the west now spends a trillion dollars a year on wars and security that it cannot afford, but will not stop.
The moral hollowness of the left, however, is my topic here, because it is the key and final failure. We should expect those who hold the gates of commerce to want to extract vast tolls from their control of them. We should expect princes born to wealth to suck the riches of the world into their playgrounds in Dubai. This is their nature. However, the corruption of the left is not of its nature, and it is proof that the present discourse, the present economy, the present society, is going to burn, in a much larger magnification of London burning. The problem is that the present left is a conservative force, which is dedicated to keeping their part of the profits of privilege. They are not the oppressed, but functionaries in the more global extraction of wealth, and they merely want a better deal from the very corporations that they have erected. Lower debit card fees and better protections against their insurance companies. No windmills that might hurt their property values.
In short, a moral void which, none the less, passes moral judgments.
That a generation that has a million excuses for itself, for its leaders, whose discourse consists of bellowing those excuses, I read a dozen for Obama every day from so called members of the left. They have an excuse for plunging the world in to the next wave of economic depression, but not for young people rioting. They sneer with supercilious contempt about how the young have not been "paying attention." That is their generic all purpose excuse for failure: if only everyone had been more supportive of them, all would be well. If even one dirty ungrateful lesser person isn't on board, then that weakness is enough to destroy the essential unity. Or something. It is the same argument leveled during the Iraq War about not supporting the mission. The reality is different: if you think that paying attention accomplishes anything, you have not been paying attention.
This high handed moralizing from Generation Fail, is rich. No generation that I can find in history has both such a record of continuous and pervasive fucking up, and so elevated a narcissism. To read us on us, you would think that Shakespeare, Dante, and Li Po would be humiliated in our glorious radiance. You would think that Lincoln, Elizabeth I, Napoleon, and Roosevelt would be in tears at our magnificent accomplishments. It is the sadness of this generation, that so many ungrateful people do not seem to recognize what awe inspiring greatness stand before them. We handed out a Nobel Peace Prize to a President who had done nothing but take inauguration and bail out the banks. This, alone, should measure the distance between our discourse and our reality.
But look back more broadly. Take for, example the American record of "reform" in the last generation. We have had reform of the Food and Drug Administration, Accounting Regulations, the Budget Process, the Campaign Finance System, the Welfare System. And as a result, fewer drugs are approved today than before, Sarbannes-Oxley did nothing to prevent the largest accounting fraud in history, there is now unlimited soft money in American politics, and the poverty rate is higher, and the US was just downgraded for its bloated budget deficit.
In short, the American political system, is completely incapable of "reforming" anything to good effect.
So, while you, Generation Fail, look down on the rioters, realize this: history looks down on you. You came to power with the Soviet Union collapsing, and only internal troubles of the organization of power at hand. You leave with your cities burning, your economy collapsing, and a series of manifestly criminal institutions in charge. You have given away the right to vote. You have erected a spy state. And you apologize for a President who has advanced all of this. Americans have fewer democratic rights than before. Less wealth.
You are generation fail, precisely because you judge everything by how you feel about it, and therefore, about how you can deny your culpability. You are spectators then to history, and if you do not like how it is playing out, realize that you wrote the script.
Realize that your own heroes are foreign to you. Bob Dylan wrote a song about a man who might, or might not, be a murderer, but was certainly not in a good place. Labor Unions defended people who threw bombs. The very fabric of your myth is that Ghandi and MLK played a set at Woodstock, and the War Ended with the Black People voting. This is now a caricature to the point of dishonesty, and the rioters in the street, they are going to bomb your Church of Capitulation.
You don't even have the technocratic convictions of the people who created your movement. In the 1900-1950 period, a liberal would look at the riots, and not blame the rioters, who are, after all, products of their environment, but instead would have pointed out that this was the inevitable result of cuts, incarceration, and corruption. They would have advised spending a great deal of money to improve the objective conditions of the people who might otherwise riot, and bring them hope.
You shit on them. You don't even have the empathy of a soulless technocrat, but instead think "my apartment! it could be burning!" In this, you believe precisely the same thing, as President Assad of Syria. And so, are headed in the same direction.
The rioters are showing the very first signs of an uprising: they can strike, cause damage, and force response, and then disappear back into the population. It is a very long way from this to anything, but they have already gotten more attention from the powerful than their so called peaceful counterparts. Anarchy is loose on the world. It is strange to have people quote Shelley approvingly, not realizing that he was in favor of violent revolution and anarchism. It is strange to hear them quote approvingly Lincoln, who oversaw a war. Or look back on any number of violent revolutions.
But that is the disconnect, as soon as facts are pointed out, Generation Fail says "I won't change my mind." This means, inevitably, that people's brains are going to be blown out, because the essential requirement for all peaceful discourse, is that you must be willing to change your mind, about any belief, no matter how precious. As soon as you begin talking in absolutes about what you demand to participate, then you make inevitable a violent and bloody end to matters.
Since you, Generation Fail, refuse to change your minds, you assure, that people are going to have their brains blown out.