This is an interesting post MercatorNet has done in that it is supported by all the facts and studies done on this topic of the health to society done via the nuclear family. The Tottenham Riots have only been a recent example of this in a geo-political sense. Domestically it is seen in the Flash Mob mentality of violence and theft here in the States. For instance, commenting on the riots in London, Melanie Phillips says that,
…When church leaders stop prattling like soft-headed social workers and start preaching, once again, the moral concepts that underlie our civilisation [i.e., family and hard work], and when our political leaders decide to oppose the culture war that has been waged against that civilisation rather than supinely acquiescing in its destruction, then — and only then — will we start to get to grips with this terrible problem.
Left-wing parties all over Europe are losing elections because they are out-of-touch and because their big idea – the welfare state – is outdated. It does not work. Why not? Because it is based on a false view of human nature; it simply does not conform to reality.
It believes that people are basically good, though corrupted by society. These Leftist Utopians read Rousseau and Marx and think they sound like they know what they are talking about when, in fact, they are completely detached from reality. The welfare state ideology assumes that the main problems people face are material in nature, in other words – poverty. “Solve” poverty and we will have a good society, they say. How do they propose to solve poverty? Do they have a way to make people hard-working, educated and productive? No, they propose a short-cut; just take from the rich by redistributive taxation and give to the poor. Problem solved. But moving money from bank account to bank account does not alter human nature. It does not solve depression, sin, pathological behaviour, immaturity, disrespect for the law and lack of care for one’s family.
MercatorNet comes in as well and underlines this idea of family and the deteriative aspect of the welfare system subsidizing failure and violence as it tears apart the marriage ideal… and it is ideal!
It was a traumatic and costly lesson, but the rioting in English cities last weekend has forced “broken Britain” to face where its major social faultlines lie. Without a doubt, family breakdown is one of them, destabilising the welfare class over several decades by robbing children of their fathers and replacing them all too often with their mothers’ transient partners or with the Alpha males who run neighbourhood gangs (Scotland Yard says one in four of the rioters was a gang member).
Of course, as the appearance of the odd grammar school or university graduate in court showed, bad behaviour is not limited to the “underclass”. Neither, as it turns out, is family disintegration. While the attention of the world was riveted on the anarchy in England, two reports were published in the United States warning that family instability is making serious inroads into the working class and lower middle class of that country — as it is in Britain and many others. Both reports are about the erosion of marriage; together they leave no-one, in America at least, with any excuse for ignorance on the subject.
In the first, The Marginalisation of Marriage in Middle America, the problem is outlined by two sociologists: W Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and a conservative; and Andrew J Cherlin, a professor at Johns Hopkins University and a liberal. Their views diverge on the importance of marriage, but they agree about two basic things: “that children are more likely to thrive when they reside in stable, two-parent homes,” and “that in America today cohabitation is still largely a short-term arrangement, while marriage remains the setting in which adults seek to maintain long-term bonds.”
Many social commentators are worried about the widening wealth gap in today’s America. More worrying still is the marriage gap that has opened up between the working class — basically, people with not much more than a high school diploma — and the college educated middle class. Indeed, the latter gap is a significant contributor to the first.
Contrary to the impression you might get from reading the New York Times, college educated Americans are not generally engaged in pushing the sexual revolution to new extremes; they are busy creating what Wilcox and Cherlin call a “neotraditional style of family life”. They “may cohabit with their partners, but nearly all of them marry before having their first child. Furthermore, while most wives work outside the home, the divorce rate in this group has declined to levels not seen since the early 1970s.”
Brittle cohabiting unions
In contrast, working class young adults, who comprise half of the population aged 25 to 34, are defaulting on marriage:
“More and more of them are having children in brittle cohabiting unions. Among those who marry, the risk of divorce remains high. Indeed, the families formed recently in working-class communities have begun to look as much like the families of the poor as of the prosperous. The nation’s retreat from marriage, which started in low-income communities in the 1960s and 1970s, has now moved into Middle America.”
Compared to college graduates, moderately educated Americans are more than twice as likely to divorce in the first 10 years of marriage, and women are more than seven times as likely to bear a child outside of marriage. “Indeed the percentage of nonmarital births among the moderately educated (44 percent) was closer to the rate among mothers without high school degrees (54 percent) than to college-educated mothers (6 percent).”
We need to get the seriousness of this: back in 1960 the marriage gap barely existed; now there’s a chasm opening up between the third of Americans with higher education and everyone else — including the large class of ordinary working people that used to be the backbone of family values.
Many will say it doesn’t matter. We are not looking at a boom in single mothers here, but of cohabiting couples having children, which means the kids still have a mother and father under one roof. Cherlin himself inclines to the view that a stable two-parent home is what matters, not marriage as such. The fact is, however, that cohabiting relationships are much less stable than marriage.
US Demographers Sheela Kennedy and Larry Bumpass suggest that 65 per cent of children born to cohabiting parents will see their parents part by the time they are 12, compared to 24 per cent of the children of married parents. A British report last December found something similar: unmarried couples accounted for 59 per cent of break-ups affecting children up to the age of five, divorces for 20 per cent, and single parents headed 21 per cent of broken families with young children. Even in Sweden, the fabled home of non-traditional happy families, children born to cohabiting couples are 70 per cent more likely to see parents separate by the age of 15, compared to married parents.
The marriage advantage is a fact
Now, we all come across married families here there is conflict between the parents, where there is poor parenting, where the children are not thriving. Not all married families are healthy. And it may be that the advantage enjoyed by married families on average is due in part to the kinds of people who marry (selection effects). That there is a marriage advantage, however, is beyond dispute. Wilcox and Cherlin note:
“The fact is that children born and raised in intact, married homes typically enjoy higher quality relationships with their parents, are more likely to steer clear of trouble with the law, to graduate from high school and college, to be gainfully employed as adults, and to enjoy stable marriages of their own in adulthood. Women and men who get and stay married are more likely to accrue substantial financial assets and to enjoy good physical and mental health. In fact, married men enjoy a wage premium compared to their single peers that may exceed 10 percent.”
These claims are borne out by data from 250 peer-reviewed journal articles on marriage and family life in the US and around the world which are the basis of the second report mentioned above: Why Marriage Matters: Thirty Conclusions from the Social Sciences. Released this week and updating two earlier reports of the same name, Why Marriage Matters is co-authored by 18 family scholars from leading institutions and chaired by Professor Wilcox.
Among its statistics: 66 per cent of 16-year-olds were living with both parents in the early 1980s, compared to just 55 per cent in the early 2000s. Assuming that no responsible or humane person would say that this trend, bringing insecurity and misery to millions of children, does not matter, we have to ask: Why is this happening? And what can be done to change it?
Melanie Phillips talks about the root causes of the riots in her home country (I recommend highly her book dealing somewhat with similar issues — that is, secularism/liberalism):
So now the chickens have well and truly come home terrifyingly to roost. The violent anarchy that has taken hold of British cities is the all-too-predictable outcome of a three-decade liberal experiment which tore up virtually every basic social value.
The married two-parent family, educational meritocracy, punishment of criminals, national identity, enforcement of the drugs laws and many more fundamental conventions were all smashed by a liberal intelligentsia hell-bent on a revolutionary transformation of society.
Those of us who warned over the years that they were playing with fire were sneered at and smeared as Right-wing nutters who wanted to turn the clock back to some mythical golden age.
Now we can see what they have brought about in the unprecedented and horrific scenes of mob violence, with homes and businesses going up in flames, and epidemic looting.
Clearly, there is some as yet unidentified direction and co-ordination behind the anarchy. But what is so notable and distressing is that, after the first day when adults were clearly involved, this mayhem has been carried out in the main by teenagers and children, some as young as eight.
The idea that they should not steal other people’s property, or beat up and rob passers-by, appears to be as weird and outlandish to them as the suggestion that they should fly to the moon.
These youths feel absolutely entitled to go ‘on the rob’ and steal whatever they want. Indeed, they are incredulous that anyone should suggest they might pass up such an opportunity.
What has been fuelling all this is not poverty, as has so predictably been claimed, but moral collapse. What we have been experiencing is a complete breakdown of civilised behaviour among children and young people straight out of William Golding’s seminal novel about childhood savagery, Lord Of The Flies.
There has been much bewildered talk about ‘feral’ children, and desperate calls upon their parents to keep them in at night and to ask them about any stolen goods they are bringing home.
As if there were responsible parents in such homes! We are not merely up against feral children, but feral parents.
Of course these parents know their children are out on the streets. Of course they see them staggering back with what they have looted. But either they are too drunk or drugged or otherwise out of it to care, or else they are helping themselves to the proceeds, too.
As David Cameron observed yesterday, there are clearly pockets of society that are not just broken, but sick.
When church leaders stop prattling like soft-headed social workers and start preaching, once again, the moral concepts that underlie our civilisation, and when our political leaders decide to oppose the culture war that has been waged against that civilisation rather than supinely acquiescing in its destruction, then — and only then — will we start to get to grips with this terrible problem.
Until then, within the smouldering embers of our smashed and burned-out cities, we can only look upon the ruins of the Britain we have so dearly loved; the Britain that once led the world towards civilisation, but is now so tragically leading the way out.
Bitter laughter is my main response to the events of the past week. You are surprised by what has happened? Why? I have been saying for years that it was coming, and why it was coming, and what could be done to stop it.
I have said it in books, in articles, over lunch and dinner tables with politicians whose lips curled with lofty contempt.
So yes, I am deeply sorry for the innocent and gentle people who have lost lives, homes, businesses and security. Heaven knows I have argued for years for the measures that might have saved them.
But I am not really very sorry for the elite liberal Londoners who have suddenly discovered what millions of others have lived with for decades.
The mass criminality in the big cities is merely a speeded-up and concentrated version of life on most large estates – fear, intimidation, cruelty, injustice, savagery towards the vulnerable and the different, a cold sneer turned towards any plea for pity, the awful realisation that when you call for help from the authorities, none will come.
Just look and see how many shops are protected with steel shutters, how many homes have bars on their windows. This is not new.
As the polluted flood (it is not a tide; it will not go back down again) of spite, greed and violence washes on to their very doorsteps, well-off and influential Left-wingers at last meet the filthy thing they have created, and which they ignored when it did not affect them personally.
No doubt they will find ways to save themselves. But they will not save the country. Because even now they will not admit that all their ideas are wrong, and that the policies of the past 50 years – the policies they love – have been a terrible mistake. I have heard them in the past few days clinging to their old excuses of non-existent ‘poverty’ and ‘exclusion’.
Here is some of the article from Mail Online, and take note I just talked with someone who said Britain has a proud socialist history — this is what you get from it:
… The people who wrecked swathes of property, burned vehicles and terrorised communities have no moral compass to make them susceptible to guilt or shame.
They are essentially wild beasts. I use that phrase advisedly, because it seems appropriate to young people bereft of the discipline that might make them employable; of the conscience that distinguishes between right and wrong.
They respond only to instinctive animal impulses — to eat and drink, have sex, seize or destroy the accessible property of others.
Their behaviour on the streets resembled that of the polar bear which attacked a Norwegian tourist camp last week. They were doing what came naturally and, unlike the bear, no one even shot them for it.
A former London police chief spoke a few years ago about the ‘feral children’ on his patch — another way of describing the same reality.
Nobody has ever dared suggest to them that they need feel any allegiance to anything, least of all Britain or their community. They do not watch royal weddings or notice Test matches or take pride in being Londoners or Scousers or Brummies.
Not only do they know nothing of Britain’s past, they care nothing for its present.
They have their being only in video games and street-fights, casual drug use and crime, sometimes petty, sometimes serious.
The notions of doing a nine-to-five job, marrying and sticking with a wife and kids, taking up DIY or learning to read properly, are beyond their imaginations.
Its frustrations and passions were kept at bay by force and draconian legal sanctions, foremost among them capital punishment and transportation to the colonies.
Today, those at the bottom of society behave no better than their forebears, but the welfare state has relieved them from hunger and real want.
When social surveys speak of ‘deprivation’ and ‘poverty’, this is entirely relative. Meanwhile, sanctions for wrongdoing have largely vanished.
When Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith recently urged employers to take on more British workers and fewer migrants, he was greeted with a hoarse laugh.
Every firm in the land knows that an East European — for instance — will, first, bother to turn up; second, work harder; and third, be better-educated than his or her British counterpart.Who do we blame for this state of affairs?
It is because it is fantastically hard to help such people, young or old, without imposing a measure of compulsion which modern society finds unacceptable. These kids are what they are because nobody makes them be anything different or better.
So there we have it: a large, amoral, brutalised sub-culture of young British people who lack education because they have no will to learn, and skills which might make them employable. They are too idle to accept work waitressing or doing domestic labour, which is why almost all such jobs are filled by immigrants.
They have no code of values to dissuade them from behaving anti-socially or, indeed, criminally, and small chance of being punished if they do so.
They have no sense of responsibility for themselves, far less towards others, and look to no future beyond the next meal, sexual encounter or TV football game.
They are an absolute deadweight upon society, because they contribute nothing yet cost the taxpayer billions. Liberal opinion holds they are victims, because society has failed to provide them with opportunities to develop their potential.
Most of us would say this is nonsense. Rather, they are victims of a perverted social ethos, which elevates personal freedom to an absolute, and denies the underclass the discipline — tough love — which alone might enable some of its members to escape from the swamp of dependency in which they live.
Only education — together with politicians, judges, policemen and teachers with the courage to force feral humans to obey rules the rest of us have accepted all our lives — can provide a way forward and a way out for these people.
They are products of a culture which gives them so much unconditionally that they are let off learning how to become human beings. My dogs are better behaved and subscribe to a higher code of values than the young rioters of Tottenham, Hackney, Clapham and Birmingham.
Unless or until those who run Britain introduce incentives for decency and impose penalties for bestiality which are today entirely lacking, there will never be a shortage of young rioters and looters such as those of the past four nights, for whom their monstrous excesses were ‘a great fire, man’.
Forbes says the following in their article, English Riots, Moral Relativism, Gun Control, and the Welfare State:
I wrote earlier this year about the connection between a morally corrupt welfare state and the riots in the United Kingdom.
But what’s happening now is not just some left-wing punks engaging in political street theater. Instead, the U.K. is dealing with a bigger problem of societal decay caused in part by a government’s failure to fulfill one of its few legitimate functions – protection of property.
Audio of some rioters telling the reporter that the riots are “conservatives” fault, and that they are rioting to show the rich they can do what they want. This is what years of class-warfare/politics gets you… much like multiculturalism… it divides people and makes them think that they can never grasp at greatness by building and creating. Rather, it teaches people to destroy and to live off others.
- Police lose control of London's streets for THIRD night...
- Riots spread across UK...
Rioters rob people on street, force them to strip naked...
- 'Showing the rich people we can do what we want'...
- Cameron cancels vacation, recalls Parliament...
- Plans to triple police...
- Gloves to come off, water cannons to come out...
- 'Possible' will use plastic bullets...
- IOC frets about 2012 Olympics...
- GUARDIAN LIVE...