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Die englischen Krawalle als Nachtseite des Liberalismus

Von 17. August 2011 um 14:38 Uhr

Ein außergwöhnlich scharfsinniger Artikel von David Goodhart, dem ehemaligen Herausgeber des linksliberalen “Prospect Magazine” (bitte ganz lesen):

“These riots happened for one overwhelming reason. The police lost control of the streets on Sunday and suddenly lots of bored kids saw an opportunity to create mayhem with a very low likelihood of being caught.

Law and order, like paper money, is a sort of confidence trick. For a short period its mask (or helmet?) slipped and all those inclined to resent authority, who feel the official world is against them in some way and enjoy the thrill of small scale violence, saw their chance.

(…)

British politics has been dominated in recent years by a combination of economic and social/cultural liberalism. The teeny-bopper looter represents the dark side of that liberalism—the damaged off-spring of a decent and tolerant but also fluid and unstructured society.

This is not to say that “society is to blame” in any silly, leftist way. We may be economically liberal but that has not prevented billions of pounds being spent in recent years on improving schools and infrastructure in the inner city, and billions more on benefits for those unable or unwilling to find decent employment. The recession and spending cuts will not yet have undone all of that.

And the social and cultural liberalism has also brought huge improvements to the inner city over recent decades. The minority communities, which often dominate numerically in the inner city, face far less overt racism, policing has improved and much money and public policy effort goes into trying to increase the upward mobility of the inner city child.

And yet many of the inner city kids have barricaded themselves into an un-political counter-culture of contempt for the mainstream world.  Liberal Britain has had no response.

(…)

The shooting of a young black man, Mark Duggan, in Tottenham gives the original rioting a link to the race politics disturbances of the 80s, and there clearly is still a problem between young blacks and the police with stop-and-search laws.

But by all accounts, relations between the black community and police have vastly improved.  Operation Trident, the police operation to combat the hugely disproportionate gun crime in the black community, was requested by the black community itself.  It is generally regarded as a success.

The London rioters I saw and heard interviewed did complain about the killing of Mark Duggan but their real complaint seemed to be the police’s power to stop them from committing crime! It’s as if they think it’s unfair that they are not as powerful as the police.

(…) It may also signify a garbled account of modern multiculturalism in which all are meant to be have equal power and any departure from that, or indeed any personal setback, is racialized.

People on the left will say that the culture of disaffection is also fanned by the surrounding consumer culture and the “get rich quick” casino economy. Perhaps they have half a point. But a rapper called JaJa, who said if he was younger he would have been out with the kids, felt closer to the truth when he pronounced that most of them were doing it for fun and to feel powerful – “for fifteen minutes of fame.”

We should neither stigmatize nor sentimentalize black inner city communities We should instead ask clear questions about what can be done about family breakdown and the crisis of authority both in those communities where the problems are particularly acute and in the rest of Britain.

Many black leaders of both left and right have been uncompromising in their denunciation of the rioters. They have not reached for excuses.

David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham, pointed to the fact that more than half of the children in his area are being raised by one parent – but as a part explanation, not as a justification.

Shaun Bailey, the black Tory, says that too many black kids have been raised hearing a lot about their rights but not much about duties and responsibilities. Bailey says it is down to “the community” to sort itself out.  He is probably right, but it will need the intelligent help of the local and national state and the surrounding society.

(…)

Public policy cannot stop young girls getting pregnant or young men joining gangs. But politics can help to change and challenge attitudes. And it can challenge the culture of disaffection by providing more structure to people’s often chaotic lives.

Liberalism works well for people with the cultural resources and family support to enjoy freedom. But freedom in the inner city can mean purposelessness and unpunished transgression.

So what would more structure mean? Economics still does matter. In retrospect, opening the door to nearly 1 million east Europeans before we had sorted out the training and employment of the inner city hardcore kids was a mistake.

(…)

In the 1980s there were genuine grievances to riot about.  Today there is just a sullen disaffection. These were truly post-political riots, style riots, boredom riots, feel-good riots, look-at-me riots, riots at the end of history.”

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Leser-Kommentare
  1. 1.

    These riots happened for one overwhelming reason. The police lost control of the streets on Sunday

    Der Apfel liegt am Boden, weil er vom Stamm gefallen ist.

    • 17. August 2011 um 15:17 Uhr
    • FreeSpeech
  2. 2.

    @ Freespeech: Lesen.

    • 17. August 2011 um 15:50 Uhr
    • Jörg Lau
  3. 3.

    Die plausiblen Kernthesen des Blog-Textes sind m.E.:
    • The police lost control of the streets
    • their real complaint seemed to be the police’s power to stop them from committing crime
    • they think it’s unfair that they are not as powerful as the police
    • We should instead ask clear questions about what can be done about family breakdown and the crisis of authority
    • kids have been raised hearing a lot about their rights but not much about duties and responsibilities
    • politics … can challenge the culture of disaffection by providing more structure to people’s often chaotic lives.
    • opening the door to nearly 1 million east Europeans before we had sorted out the training and employment of the inner city hardcore kids was a mistake

    Angesichts der zahlreichen Opfer (Tote; Totalruin von Shopkeepern; wohnruinierte Anwohner etc.) fragt man sich hier und werden sich selbige – so noch lebend – dort mit Recht fragen:

    Hat der Staat seinerseits den Gesellschaftsvertrag eingehalten,
    der von ihm für das Individuum die Erfüllung des Anspruchs auf zu leistenden und geleisteten Schutz fordert – zwecks Vermeidung des vorvertraglichen “bellum omnium contra omnes”,
    bevor/während das Individuum im Gegenzug Regelbindung gegenüber dem Vertragspartner Staat gewährleistet und im Falle der Vertragserfüllung durch den Vertragspartner zu gewährleisten hat?

    Hat der Staat seinerseits den Gesellschaftsvertrag eingehalten,
    der von ihm für das Individuum die Erfüllung des Anspruchs auf Erfüllung von Verpflichtungen etwa im Arbeits-, Sozial-, und Bildungssystem fordert?

    Wurden nicht in beiden Fällen diese Verpflichtungen einseitig seitens des Staates mehr oder weniger gekündigt?

    • 17. August 2011 um 16:17 Uhr
    • Publicola
  4. 4.

    @ Jörg Lau

    In der Tat ein sehr lesenswerter Artikel.

    These riots happened for one overwhelming reason. The police lost control of the streets on Sunday and suddenly lots of bored kids saw an opportunity to create mayhem with a very low likelihood of being caught.

    Man kann hier auch mit Niklas Luhmann bzw. in Anlehnung an Talcott Parsons von einem Fall von vorübergehender Macht-Deflation sprechen, die durchaus auf rationalen Kalkülen auf Seiten der Gesetzesbrecher beruht.

    Bemerkenswert ist darüber hinaus, dass hier ein linksliberaler Journalist a) die auch hier allzu häufig betonten “guten Gründe für schlechte Taten” eher zurückweist und b), damit verbunden, kein zu positives Menschenbild hat.

    Denn aus Langeweile, Spaß, Selbststilisierung, Opportunität sowie einer Mischung aus geringem Risiko und dennoch ein wenig Thrill kann und darf es ansonsten überhaupt nicht sein, dass Menschen (es sei denn vielleicht: Rechtsextremisten) unter zivilisierten Bedingungen dermaßen zu Gewalt greifen. Vielmehr müssen sie notwendig und zuallererst, so die auf Rousseau zurückgehende Grundannahme, sehr elementaren Formen von sozialer Depravation ausgesetzt gewesen sein, um so einen Schaden anzurichten.

    • 17. August 2011 um 16:33 Uhr
    • N. Neumann
  5. 5.

    Ich hab’s gelesen. Ich bleibe bei meiner Meinung. Wieder so ein paternalistischer Mensch, der nicht merkt, wie zynisch diese kids sind, wenn es die Gelegenheit zulässt.
    Wie schon geschrieben, ich kenne das aus eigener Anschauung. Ich sehe da keine Depravationen. (Meine einschlägigen Freunde sind übrigens am Ende alle brave Bürger geworden.)

    • 17. August 2011 um 16:40 Uhr
    • FreeSpeech
  6. 6.

    they think it’s unfair that they are not as powerful as the police

    Das kommt davon, wenn man das denen von links jahrelang eintrichtert.

    • 17. August 2011 um 16:43 Uhr
    • FreeSpeech
  7. 7.

    Ich hab’s gelesen. Ich bleibe bei meiner Meinung. Wieder so ein paternalistischer Mensch, der nicht merkt, wie zynisch diese kids sind, wenn es die Gelegenheit zulässt.

    @ FS

    Man könnte meinen, dass Sie schlecht Englisch lesen können.

    • 17. August 2011 um 16:46 Uhr
    • N. Neumann
  8. 8.

    The actual rioters I saw interviewed on television did complain about the Duggan case, but the real complaint seemed to be the police’s power to stop them committing crime. It’s as if they think it’s unfair that they are not as powerful as the police! This certainly represents a poor grasp of how power works in liberal democracies, but it may also signify a garbled account of modern multiculturalism in which all are meant to have equal power and any departure from that, or indeed any personal setback, is racialised.

    @ FS

    Hätte der Autor etwa noch explizit dazu sagen sollen, dass Duggans Tod für die Rioters eine vorgeschobene Rechtfertigung ist und ihnen zuvor linke Paternalisten zusätzlich einigen Schrott einredeten?

    • 17. August 2011 um 16:58 Uhr
    • N. Neumann
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