THE latest rioting in London and other major cities in the UK has by no means gone unnoticed. But what’s behind it all? What’s the idea and what reputation is this giving the youth of today?
It’s embarrassing to think that when our grandparents and great-grandparents were in their youth they were fighting for their country in the World Wars, whilst the youth of today are rampaging the streets and destroying cultures and communities.
What is the reason behind this chaos? For me, I believe its consumerism. We live in a consumer society, a society which is obsessed with material goods.
Everyone has to have the designer gadgets, clothes, even the latest chocolate bars and sweets.
The looters are submerged in a consumer culture in which being individual comes from the different brands we wear and own.
It has become a way of life now, and dominates more so than religion or politics. We have become a generation feeding off the excessive consumption that society is giving us.
These looters are not aggressive and want a fight – it has been drilled into their minds that what they own is the most important thing. They are simply a product of consumerism.
Therefore the stealing from shops such as JD sports and H&M is justifiable to them.
Looting is effectively a shopping riot and an excuse for anyone to take anything they have wanted but not been able to afford.
The funny thing about consumerism is that it satisfies in the short term. You do feel good after consuming something valuable like a new Xbox.
But while they feel good momentarily, they have simultaneously created a feeling to want more and more, and an obsession to have the latest stuff. One flat screen TV, isn’t enough, they need two, three, or a bigger one.
Consumerism enhances greater dissatisfaction in the long term.
So why all the violence? Scientists have said for years that there is definitely some connection with violence in video games and the violence shown in people, particularly children playing these games in everyday life.
The brains of violent video game players become less responsive to violence, therefore thinking it acceptable to act in a violent way in everyday life.
Popular video games such as ‘Call of Duty’ and ‘Hitman’ may have sparked off the appalling and atrocious behaviour displayed around parts of the UK.
One question that crosses my mind is where are these looters’ parents? What are they doing while their children are smashing in windows and stealing hundreds of pounds worth of goods?
People as young as 11 are looting in the streets late at night.
I can’t help but think that some kind of prevention could have been done if parents have a tighter grip on their children. Gone are the days of curfews and discipline.