Wednesday, September 07, 2011

English rioters disappointed leftists by having no political agenda

This blog post analyzes a few think pieces on the English riots, more or less agreeing that the problem with the riots was not that they attacked symbols of capitalism but that they did so ignorantly and without any political agenda.
One wishes there were something to celebrate about the riots, but sadly there is not. Just a sense of depression, of loss, and of disgust: "And this is the fatal weakness of recent protests: they express an authentic rage which is not able to transform itself into a positive programme of sociopolitical change. They express a spirit of revolt without revolution."
I think that's why the Bolsheviks distrusted the peasants, isn't it? They felt the peasants didn't really understand the situation and needed guidance. How'd that work out?

I think the urge to simply destroy things, rather than replace them with something better, is a much stronger urge in society these days, as seen by the scorched-earth political tactics of many political parties. I was talking about this with a group at church a few months ago. In politics we admire the desire to win, we call it "fire in the belly" and so on. It's also a quality admired in athletes. But the difference between, say, the World Series champion Giants and the Democrats under Obama is that all the Giants had to do was win. They don't have to govern.

It's much easier to tear things down than to build something up -- a banal truism, but one we see proved over and over again. Again, how's that nation-building thing in Afghanistan going -- or Iraq?

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