[Marxism] Spiked says that welfare state and police laxity to blame for riots

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Aug 10 09:11:53 MDT 2011

Indeed, it seems largely to have been this institutional 
cowardice, this political wretchedness, the bizarre 
police-and-mayoral strategy of shutting down London in response to 
historically quite minor disturbances, which sustained the rioting 
over four days and nights and allowed it to spread around the 
country. Certainly the rioting is not being sustained by its 
pursuit of a political agenda (it has none) or by public backing 
(it has none. And no, sympathetic columns in the Guardian written 
by people who live nowhere near Hackney or Salford do not count as 
public backing.) Rather, it was the initially startled, hands-off 
attitude taken by the police, followed by the strategy of 
capitulation, which, in the words of one academic observer, 
probably filled the youths with an ‘adrenalin-fuelled euphoria’. 
The real story of these riots, if we look at them coolly, is not 
so much the fury of those on the outskirts of society, but rather 
the cowardice of those who are supposed to guard and uphold the 
centre of society. The riots are a product of the interplay 
between this institutional incoherence and the self-pitying 
politics of victimhood amongst the welfare state-raised kids ‘out 

full: http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/10976/

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