Monday, March 22, 2010

Seriously, what is going wrong with our society?


How many more signs of a seriously troubled culture do you need?
His girlfriend of less than two months, Skye Webbe, 18, ... was pulled from the wreckage and was yesterday in an induced coma in Canberra Hospital.

“I’m devastated. I want the police to pay for what has happened,” Debbie, 44, said… “It’s terrible. People have really got to get the message out there that police have got to stop this....”

She blamed “young coppers” for pursuing the car, and said they were “totally” at fault, although she acknowledged “Justin may have a little bit to do with it”.

While Justin had “done wrong” by stealing a car, it was a ”petty little crime”… ”Justin’s not a bad kid. He’s just got a bit mixed up in the criminal world."…

And she said the police should be charged.
Much more, including background on the criminal who was driving the car at the time, here.

I realise most people wouldn't share this deeply foolish woman's views but, though maybe it's just me, doesn't she seem to be representative of a growing number of dysfunctional people in our society who refuse to take responsibility for their own actions and who always find somebody else to blame when things go wrong?

They seem to be the same people who do things like this:

Police prosecutor Kieren Self said Constable Chris Shanco drew his firearm while his colleague Constable Karl Ah Shay was being bashed at Innisfail on Saturday, only to be goaded by one of the attackers who asked him “Are you going to shoot us?”....

He said the two attackers “thought it was funny’’ and only ran from the scene when witnesses intervened. The court heard Constable Ah Shay is in Cairns Base Hospital with “numerous fractures to the jaw, a fracture to the cheekbone and head’’.
No doubt the first magistrates who began dismissing charges against people for telling a copper to "get fucked" or to "fuck off" thought they were being all very progressive and up-to-date.

But really, do any of us feel safer now that people like this no longer respect (or at least fear) the police?

The Cultural Left made it its mission from the 1960s to smash the existing power structures to bound Western societies together, such as respect for the law and tradition, as well as the received standards of civility and social interaction, and I'd suggest we are seeing the results of this decades long program in a society where increasingly we are afraid to walk the streets at night and where the default response to even minor traffic altercations isn't a raised eyebrow but increasingly vicious acts of violence.

Now I'm sure this isn't what the earnest young social revolutionaries back then had in mind.

I'm sure they imagined a society where we'd all be free to do our own thing and live in harmony with each other, but without the seeming dead weight of tradition and restrictions on personal behaviour.

I'm also sure that they had a point. Something had to change in relation to the treatment of women and of racial and sexual minorities (amongst other things). Nobody wants to just go back to the 1950s.

But human beings are animals like any other and we have certain innate characteristics and inbuilt behaviours. People today are no different to people living centuries ago. So the means that we use to culturally mediate the darker parts of our individual and collective selfs, and thus make living together possible, are probably not going to change in basic thrust or detail.

Hence the warning that conservatives have always made to those who imagine that they have been blessed with some vision to transform human society into something new and different - be very careful about presuming to fix what may not in fact be broken.

At it's worst you get The Terror or The Great Terror, that is, revolutionary France and Russia.

We sometimes forget that the rivers of blood and misery beyond words or fathoming that flowed from these events began as inspirational grand schemes to build not only better societies, but perfect societies.

But the "crooked timber" of humanity isn't made for perfection. We are contingent beings shaped and fashioned by the particular circumstances of our evolution on the African savanna.

I love the way the Buddhists refer to the recalcitrant and difficult parts of our personalities as our "monkey brain."

Much closer to the truth than they imagined.

However, I fear that primal ape that lies not far from the surface in all of us is being allowed to express itself more and more, and the cultural restraints have been progressively lifted from it.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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