About Those English Riots

Rarely do I comment on current events because there is an army of pundits and bloggers for that. But the very recent rioting in England leads me to some interesting observations:

1. This is organized. Groups of young men are clearly communicating to coordinate their criminal efforts. I wonder at what level this is happening. Within a group, are certain roles defined? Defenders (from police), scouts, looters, communicators, fighters, etc. If that level of organization is occurring, this kind of urban unrest is going to get very effective and increasingly scary.

2. These are small groups (40-200) of young men who are committing these acts. With smaller groups and good communication, it’s possible to outwit and out run the police. Speed is the crucial element here.

3. This is the result of the economic abandonment of young men and they are very, very angry about it. If they can’t earn it, they’ll take it and will organize themselves in their quest for loot.

4. In an essentially gun-free society, small groups of fast-moving young men can really wreak havoc on public and private property.

5. In an essentially gun-free society, citizens and business owners cannot adequately defend their property or themselves and must rely on a police force that is not well equipped to cope with the fast moving groups. Rather, the police are equipped for large scale civil unrest. Tear gas, water cannons, body shields and the like are worthless against this type of civil unrest

6. The police have three primary options: A. Review camera footage quickly and make arrests before the sun sets. B. Increase their aggression and their own level of violence. C. Shut down certain wireless data services at key points where rioting is likely and before it happens.

7. A charismatic leader could emerge to organize these “surplus men” (hat tip to Johnny Milfquest for that term) into something truly revolutionary and very dangerous.

8. As civil unrest goes, the rioting in England is essentially medieval in nature. The weaponry is at the clubs, knives, and boiling oil (firebombs) level. Of course cell phones and cameras add a very high tech element to all of it.

As the United States is far more heavily armed, any civil unrest here will be shockingly deadly. Consider the New York City draft riots of 1863 then add  automatic weapons, armor, and air strikes. Our civil unrest will be brief and stunningly bloody.

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  1. #1 by NMH on August 10, 2011 - 12:22 PM

    If poor people stopped having children, it would help.

    Unless I am corrected by a Brit, I suspect there are a great number of muslims in the rioters, and the Koran teaches them to procreate, no matter if they can support their children. English society is a welfare state and so they have govt support for the Koran-reciting children.

    As time passes, I am getting more conservative. We need to end the welfare state and bring back natural selection.

    • #2 by Hughman on August 11, 2011 - 8:14 AM

      All blacks dude, Muslims were actually setting up vigilante groups to guard communities

    • #3 by 1lettuce on August 13, 2011 - 5:54 AM

      Oh sure, let’s bring back natural selection. Don’t forget phrenology too if you want to be really archaic.

      Better yet, let’s also bring back the Paper Bag Tests. We can’t let those darkie Muslims disturb our perfect Christian societies.

  2. #4 by Rusty on August 10, 2011 - 12:40 PM

    Well, I’m a Brit. There doesn’t appear to be any greater number of Muslims than anyone else (if any/many at all: all the footage/photos/interviews I’ve seen where you can identify the rioters have yet to reveal a single guy who I’d assume was Muslim).

    I’ve seen various blogs assuming them to be mostly of one race, or religion, or whatever – but the simple fact is that the only common factor between all the rioters is socio-economic. They are all at the bottom of the heap. Male, female (and there are a lot of girls out there), old, young, black, white, christian, muslim, atheist… the common element is that they are all looking into the future and seeing nothing, so what does it matter?

    Some areas it is mostly black, others mostly white. It’s not an idealogical fight – it’s just all sorts of pissed off people.

    • #5 by NMH on August 10, 2011 - 12:42 PM

      Thanks for the correction.

      Just pissed off poor people.

  3. #6 by NMH on August 10, 2011 - 12:57 PM

    • #7 by dannyfrom504 on August 10, 2011 - 6:53 PM

      j-e-l-l-o.love DK. now i’ll chime in with less osbscure reference.

  4. #8 by Johnycomelately on August 10, 2011 - 5:20 PM

    I wonder how many were teens from single parent households?

  5. #9 by Dalrock on August 10, 2011 - 6:35 PM

    While I agree with some of the suggestions on the underlying cause, I think it is dangerous to blame this on a larger issue than a group of thugs taking what they think no one will stop them from taking. Right now the government in the UK lacks the will to stop it. When/if this changes it could take them some time to mobilize the force needed to do so. I was looking up some information on the LA Riots (Rodney King). It wasn’t until around the 4th day that the National Guard and Federal troops were in place in enough force with live ammo that it was brought back under control. Hopefully the Brits get serious and get this under control quickly.

    One problem the Brits have is their “riot police” are a bit of an affirmative action joke. I did a post on this, but check out the photos from this article in the Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2024203/UK-RIOTS-2011-Manchester-Midlands-burn-London-control.html

  6. #10 by Dalrock on August 10, 2011 - 6:41 PM

    Hmm. They have pulled one of the more absurd pics from the article. Now they show more men and fewer women. But the links to the original photos in my post are still up if you want to see them there.

  7. #11 by dannyfrom504 on August 10, 2011 - 6:49 PM

    it’s why i own guns. and i can make/set up a homemade claymore in 5 minutes.

  8. #12 by Looking Glass on August 10, 2011 - 9:51 PM

    The other contrast is the LA riots really didn’t spread very far and the police could have contained them before they got out of hand. There’s actually a well understood amount of screw ups by the LAPD in the first several hours.

    Idle young men without a means to work, or the reward for work, are a very dangerous thing. They’re the ones willing to bring down an entire society. And they’re put in a situation where they aren’t at much risk of reprisal from the authorities. The UK police force is looking more like a wet blanket that only stops shop keepers from defending their property. Nothing good will come of this.

    • #13 by 1lettuce on August 13, 2011 - 6:03 AM

      How did fight club say it?
      ‘it’s only when we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.’

      These men are more than beyond the rewards of work, they’re beyond any sort of hope for happiness. They don’t care about life – no women, no money, no happiness. Ergo, no point living.

      The Jasmin Revolutions were led by pissed off post College kids. Here in the west we celebrated it.

      I’m curious how western nations will respond to their own riots.

  9. #14 by johnnymilfquest on August 13, 2011 - 10:00 AM

    Excellent post. You’ve nailed it.

    The interesting thing politically is the way that the fascists (EDL and BNP) began organising against the looters.

    Also the way that Turks and other ethnic enclaves successfully fended off the looters from their communities.

    The way I see it, both corporatism and parliament-as-we-know-it are on the way out.

    We are either going to move into an era of unprecedented freedom with sound money and small government OR enter a new dark age of totalitarianism.

  10. #15 by Anonymous on September 21, 2011 - 12:42 AM

    I am a Brit too. The media here has to be very careful not to appear prejudice, so if their film footage shot more ethnic people than white people, they could get prosecuted. Hence we cannot rely on the footage being accurate with respect to the composition of the ethnicity of the rioters.

    To the best of my knowledge, all of the meaningful rioting took place in multiracial areas of the UK.

    I have to be careful what I say here because I do not wish to be considered to be inciting racial hatred, which is a crime. I am merely stating fact as I see it.

    It is difficult to destroy the property of a country of which you feel a part and which is owned by kith and kin, worked and paid for with the blood and sweat of your predecessors. And the reason I would find it very difficult indeed to participate in.

    I must point out that the majority of immigrants, particularly those from Poland, and there are a lot of them, did not participate. They were probably too busy working and learning English.

    The police are ineffective because they are afraid to do anything without breaking the law and if they arrest more ethnics than white, they are prejudice. It is very difficult for them indeed. Recently a policeman pushed a man who refused to move along, he had a heart attack and died. Now the policeman is on a murder or manslaughter charge, even though he did not know the individual had a heart condition. The whole thing has gone absurdly ridiculous.

    The “spark” that started the riots was an incident whereby the police shot and killed a drug dealer. You would think they would be congratulated, but no.

    Britain is a country which is essentially gun free for all law abiding people,

  11. #16 by Thomas V. Munson on November 8, 2011 - 5:29 PM

    I am not trying to be provocative, but living in Idaho, many of us are armed, some to an extent well beyond that of simple defense. The possibility of the sort of interaction noted here are impossible. If a large scale riot broke out, and the rioters were not armed, they would be shot to pieces once they threatened anyone or anyone’s property seriously. If they were armed, it would be dealt with as an insurrection, with even more comprehensively deadly results. We are not simply “law abiding people”-if necessary, we can be law enforcing ones.

    • #17 by johnnymilfquest on November 8, 2011 - 7:05 PM

      That is true.

      Governments don’t want armed citizens on the whole as it is too much of a threat to their own power.

      • #18 by Anonymous on November 9, 2011 - 2:27 AM

        America has always had a high level of firearm ownership. But history shows just as much rioting and a higher level of homicides.

        There are also far more legally owned firearms in the UK than most people realise, even here. I live in the country, just about every farm has a shotgun or two here, and I often hear gunshots at night where the odd rabbit meets its fate.

        I think the difference is that gun ownership in the UK is not associated with maintaining independence from state control or personal protection. They are simply sporting weapons.

      • #19 by Thomas V. Munson on November 9, 2011 - 1:09 PM

        Our Constitution did not preserve this right to us so we could hunt. It was based on the experience of the Revolutionary War, and the fact that our independence was won by killing British soldiers (and, occassionally, their Tory American sympathizers). You may have more firearms “than most people realize”; we have many more, more varied, more lethal, than any European can possibly imagine. There is no pretense that these are for use on innocent animals, but on our fellow man. It is why burglars avoid occupied homes in America-you will die. I will glady accept the higher homicide levelI as I
        do not want to rely on police, who always discourage private firearm possession despite NEVER being without a fiream themselves.

  12. #20 by Thomas V. Munson on November 9, 2011 - 1:11 PM

    Not do I care about the high percentage of suicides-we will never run out of people.

  13. #21 by Anonymous on November 9, 2011 - 2:49 PM

    OK Thomas,

    I agree that the state has too much authority, both in UK and US. I am a dual national and served in the Armed Forces of the United States for four years. I am well aware of the large number of people who own firearms and carry them in their cars and often on their person in the US, especially in Texas where I spent most of my time. I am not against responsible firearm ownership. America is a country that has always had a large amount of firearms floating around, and if you live in America, it is wise to have one because a burglar will. That is for sure.

    Over here, highly unlikely. Except perhaps in some of the larger cities, where there is a gun culture that has been imported from the former colonies, especially Jamaica. It is well known that the Yardies equate gun ownership with status. These gangs are very dangerous indeed.

    Britain is culturally changing, and changing fast, far faster than America. A very, very liberal immigration policy has introduced new cultures into the UK. The old gentlemanly ways of not kicking a man when he is down, forming queues, standing up on the bus for old ladies and not doing anything that was “just not cricket” is quickly disappearing. The culture of our inner cities is no longer the British culture, but a mixed soup of cultures. It is becoming like America, a multicultural, multiracial country. But while America has always been one, Britain has not, and so a lot of adapting is necessary. I live out in the country, and even here I find a lot of resentment towards the government for allowing large numbers of immigrants in, when our own sons and daughters cannot find decent work.

    We have a problem now with teenage suicides and deaths by drug overdoses. Something I knew nothing about when I was young (I am 50) One young man hanged himself at the end of my street.

    I deeply resent your attitude towards suicides. People cannot find meaningful work, and live without hope for the future. Some get depressed and end it. I would not wish that on anyone.

    For my part, I work and pay my taxes the same as most of us. And that money is my money and I expect it to be managed in my best interest and the best interests of my countrymen. I do not expect it to be spent on immigrants. Tax is by the people, for the people.

    I keep the Queen in her palace, and I expect her, via her government to maintain law and order, keep us safe, and keep immigration to a reasonable level, and only bring in those who can adapt to our culture in a law abiding way.

    As regards to Britain being a socialist state. Yes, but not nearly to the same extent as it was 20 years ago. Although unfortunately single motherhood is still encouraged by the benefit system.

    Also, most states or federal government agencies provide various free healthcare services to children, the elderly, ex servicemen etc Which reminds me, I must register with the VA so that I can get my free burial plot, ready for when the grim reaper arrives! I understand there is now a big push for a state funded health care system. There are various forms of unemployment benefit and welfare benefits, including for single mothers. Retirement age is a mere 60 years of age in US, 65 here. Maybe America is just a little more socialist than you realise.

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