Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Riot of Questions

Luckily I was out of London during the riots a fortnight ago, and luckier still, despite living in east London, my home and area was not affected. However, it has not stopped me pondering them over the last two weeks.

Despite all that has been said in the media, there is still no particular cause cited and I doubt that there ever will be. After all, very little is being said now anyway since the news moves on very quickly these days.

That there is something inherently wrong with our society is obvious and as far as I believe, it is down to one simple thing and to many things all at once. The worship of money as the saviour of our souls is the problem, along with all that stems from it.

We are constantly bombarded with advertising for clothes and cars, possessions, status ideals, and it cannot be coincidence that the majority of things looted were fancy trainers and jewellery. It wasn’t the basics such as food. Is it no wonder that people feel like they’re failing in life if they do not have these things?

Money causes far more problems that it solves. Give someone money and it never be enough, they will always want more. Give someone a flatscreen TV and they want it with HD. Give them one with HD and they want it to be surround sound with 3D capability and a Sky subscription.

People also want to work. Some people think that they don’t, probably because they’ve seen their parents without jobs and never worked themselves, but deep down they want to feel part of society, to contribute, and surely the only way to do that is through work?

It is ridiculous to have a society where people flog away for 60 or more hours per week, while some do nothing. Surely it would be better for everyone if we all worked 25 hours a week and that it was enough to get by?

There is also too much expectation on people to be and have to be completely independent as young as possible. To have your own home, with all mod cons, at 21, along with everything your parents worked towards for forty years. Years ago children stayed at home with their parents until they married, contributing something towards housekeeping, and saving for the future. Now it’s all spend spend spend on themselves and living as far away as possible. Is it parents pushing their children out, or expectation on behalf of the children that they should have it all now? I don’t know.

I have posed more questions than answers, and the only answer I can come up with is that the only true way forward is a completely moneyless society in which people understand that as long as they have food in their bellies, a roof over their heads, a job to do, and family and friends nearby, that they need nothing else.

It must also be a society in which we are all equal, no matter what job we do, no matter whether we are male or female, in which there is also no concept of ownership, other than everything owned in common by all.

Unfortunately the recent experiments in Communism within Russia and China have shown that this can still go wrong, however those societies did not abolish money and ownership and perhaps that’s where they did go wrong?

I’m no expert in these things, I have no idea whether it would actually work, or how you would bring it about, and perhaps it’s nothing more than a utopian dream, but I like to think that it’s a dream worth having.


  1. I agree with you on many points, but I don't think basic needs (the lower base of Maslow's hierarchy) is enough to strive for. We need something else to strive for when those needs are filled. Art, music, poetry, handicraft, inventions are expressions of human kind and has been for thousands of years (one recent ex. The cave of dreams..). The quest for material goods as I see it, is a lack of values and spirituality. Riots are in many ways fueled by mass hysteria. Less educated, poorly functioning families are fodder for mass influences. My two cents worth.. Astrid

  2. Definately something i neglected to mention was education in terms of giving people a much more rounded education. Too much emphasis is put on technical things and the passing of exams, rather than giving young people the chance to explore their own spirituality with art, crafts, music etc and as such you leave people, sometimes at an extremely young age, feeling that they are failures and as they get older that just gets worse...