Re: Rioting all over the shop, was NEWS: Genoa Riots

From: Steve Davies (
Date: Mon Jul 23 2001 - 15:41:35 MDT

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Date: 23 July 2001 17:10
Subject: Rioting all over the shop, was NEWS: Genoa Riots

>The interesting point is that most of the youths that rioted claimed that
they were defending themselves from the BNP troublemakers and that the
police had attacked the rioters first and with great brutality. Exactly how
the rioters were defending themselves from racist thugs that were over 200
miles away (tucked up safe and sound in bed, in London) escapes me.
>My point is (sorry it took so long getting there) that there seems to be a
group present in western society that consists of young men (in their teens
to their mid twenties) that live to cause trouble, they thrive on violence
and hatred and really do not care who is on the recieving end of it. For
instance, the greater part of damage done in Bradford was to asian
businesses by asian rioters.

I think this is true - but what is new? Large collections of young men have
been causing problems in human societies since the year dot. Clearly there
are specific factors which can trigger trouble in any specific case but
behind all of these is the more general phenomenon of young adult males who
find mayhem exciting and fun. (Matthew Parris had a godd piece making this
point in The Times a few days ago).
>How can we create a brighter future for mankind in general when such people
exist? How can we channel their rage into something constructive? A lot of
discussion on the list is to do with technology solving problems of the
flesh (death, disease, limited intelligence/physical skills). Can anyone
think of ways in which such technology could be turned upon the violent
sections of society to change violence into something constructive.
I don't think technology itself is the solution to problems of this sort.
It's rather a matter of social institutions. Most human societies have
mechanisms which 'tame' young men and integrate them into adult society. In
many places today these have broken down. In the case of the community
involved in these riots that breakdown has happened very recently (within
the last ten years I would say), for a number of reasons. Young British men
of Pakistani origin used to have a recorded crime rate lower than the
British average. It's at the average level or above it now. You are right
though that the existence of this kind of social problem has big knock-on
effects, not least in public policy.Steve Davies

>I can only see technology helping here through education. I am doing a
years work placement at a school/public computer centre and the reaction of
some of the kids to the high tech look of the centre makes teaching them a
lot easier, but there are still those trouble makers who refuse to behave.
Unfortunately I saw more than one of the troublemakers from the school I'm
working at on the TV, in the midst of the riots, throwing bricks at cops.

Maybe one move would be to not force them to attend full time education?

>'Where the hell is the ceiling?'"
>Express yourself @

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