“Random Violence” a sign of things to come

Over the last year we have watched violent protests in Greece and the United Kingdom over cuts to public benefits, as those nations are being forced to come to grips with the reality of gross over-spending and over-promising by their governments. Whether this reactive violence will spread to our shores is not yet clear, but the danger signs already are appearing.

Earlier this year, for example, union activists in Wisconsin staged protests that, while not overtly violent, bordered on deteriorating into such. These protests centered around measures proposed by the Badger State’s new governor to reduce benefits and collective bargaining rights enjoyed by public-sector workers, to help close a multi-billion dollar budget gap.

The reactions by beneficiaries of Wisconsin voters’ largesse were typical of people who have become dependent on government in one manner or another, and who view such benefits as “entitlements” to which they enjoy a fundamental and irrevocable right. When any person or institution then threatens those entitlements – whether a president, a prime minister, or federal or state legislators – the reactions become very personal and potentially violent.

In England, a country which has long viewed itself as far more “civilized” than to engage in domestic violence, was shocked last December when mobs of young people protesting cuts to education, attacked a limousine carrying Prince Charles and his wife to a charity event. More recently, protests sparked ostensibly by a police shooting, has morphed into widespread violence and looting by mobs of young people, many not even in their teens..

Some observers, including former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, suggest that the continuing violence stems from cuts in social programs advocated by Prime Minister David Cameron and his coalition government.

Livingstone, a self-described socialist, seems to be impliedly condoning the violence, even as he coyly chastises those who participate. He has said that, “[a] lot of these young people, they are criminals, yes, but there’s a disengagement – they feel no-one at the top of society, in government or City Hall, cares about them or speaks for them.”

In reality, sentiments such as those espoused by Livingstone are nothing more than petty excuses. These youth know exactly what they are doing. As one female protester explained to a reporter, “It’s the rich people. It’s the people who have all got businesses. That’s why all this is happening, because of the rich people.”

This is class warfare taken to the next level; from political rhetoric to street-level violence. It is Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals resurrected for the 21st Century.

Sadly, such madness is not limited to England; and is fueled by political rhetoric heard from Athens to Washington. The results are eerily similar. So-called “flash mobs,” coordinated via social media communications, are taking to streets and attacking innocent people in the U.S. just as in countries from Europe to the Middle East. Within our country, the attacks are not isolated to any specific region, and have been reported in several cities across the country, from the Midwest to the East Coast.

Racial animosities as well as economic hardships serve seemingly as catalysts for these violent incidents – further fueled by political rhetoric designed to subtly inflame resentment by those who do not share in economic rewards to the same degree as others. Endless news loops of talking heads stressing negative economic news and concomitant blame add more fuel to the philosophical fires.

Perhaps, as some observers opine hopefully, these acts of violence are but random and transient phenomena. To others, they portend a dark and frightening denouement to the Nanny State gone bankrupt. In either event, we ignore the danger signs at our own deep peril.

By Bob Barr — The Barr Code

161 comments Add your comment

John Rennpferd

August 15th, 2011
6:34 am

We are already experiencing “flash mobs” here in the United States without any austerity measures that directly affect the dependent class that has been created by the communist elements of our government. We will unfortunately experience worse violence than the international governments that are attempting to correct their spending errors. Social unrest and violence will occur when welfare reform poses direct affects on the dependent class that has been created. So far the parties that have been forced to accept change have more to loose. My memory may be fuzzy due to my age when these things last happened; when we went through similar social and economic issues in the late seventies and early eighties I recall tires being burned on the interstate on and off ramps here in Milwaukee and racially motivated shootings in the inner city.

Aquagirl

August 15th, 2011
7:48 am

“There is nothing more dangerous than to build a society with a large segment of people in that society who feel that they have no stake in it; who feel that they have nothing to lose. People who have a stake in their society, protect that society, but when they don’t have it, they unconsciously want to destroy it.”

–MLK Jr.

Moderate Line

August 15th, 2011
8:03 am

It is interesting that Bob did not mention the bombing in Norway or the Oklahoma City bomber. The anti-government rhetoric seems to be just as dangerous and if you total up the number of people killed who espouse such rhetoric. Also note, we are still more likely to be killed by criminals which are not politically motivated.

Please remember when Bob went on about shutting down a lemonade stand by a small town as being a “police state”. Isn’t such statement main purpose to inflame emotion? Doesn’t the inflaming of emotion by both the right and the left fuel these violent acts of terrorism? Demonizing the police who probably misinterpreted the law at worse which is why we have court system.

caslosgvv

August 15th, 2011
8:18 am

Many, perhaps most of those involved in mob violence are nothing more than common thugs who will use any excuse to loot and destroy. A large police presence and the certainty of punishment works wonders in situations like this.

Columbo

August 15th, 2011
8:42 am

Carlosgvv “A large police presence and the certainty of punishment works wonders in situations like this.”

Carlos you are simply brilliant! Nay…genius!! You were able to espouse the solution in one sentence. You are hereby appointed to head the flash mob police. You will soon receive an official Kojack police badge and tootsie pop.

JV

August 15th, 2011
8:47 am

“A large police presence and the certainty of punishment works wonders in situations like this.” Just remember caslosgvv, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

Hootinanny Yum Yum

August 15th, 2011
8:50 am

Agree with you 100 percent.

joe

August 15th, 2011
8:58 am

Atlanta has already had flash mobs…if you were at any of the Screen on the Green events this past spring, the gang thugs that were scoping out their “targets” were in fact flash mobs…we just didn’t have that term to apply to the situation. You NEVER saw that type of person at Piedmont Park, except on Thursday nights around 11pm. Just as the crowds were leaving, the assaults and robberies began.

Joe the Plutocrat

August 15th, 2011
9:06 am

Bob, this is pricesless coming from one who often laments the failures of government! your screed smacks of the fair weather college football booster who says “we won” in victory, but “they lost” in defeat. If social order is, in fact “breaking down or eroding; who is responsible? it seems to be “dirty pool” to blame the lowly unwashed masses for “rebeling” against what you have historically described as an oppressive, over-reaching “police state” is it not? what would you have these people do; sit back and passively accept their “medicine” as if Nurse Wrachet (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) knows what it best? and please cease and desist with the “flash mob” nonsense. this made-for-TV word is insulting, as it affords common criminals a certain level of credibility or recognition. riots are riots, looters are looters and arsonists are arsonists. the idea that you identify these losers as a “flash mob” makes the whole thing sound like some performance art exercise.

Joe the Plutocrat

August 15th, 2011
9:12 am

joe (and others), don’t you people undertsand that when you refer to criminal activity as a “flash mob” you are playing the plutocracy’s game? heaven forbit we would live in a city, state, nation where those authorized to maintain law and order (when they’re not groveling to lobbyists and special interests) would actually perform as expected? instead, with the help of the codependent media; some spin-doctor coins (or steals the phrase “flash mob” and we the People commence the time-honored tradition of focusing on the symptom and no the disease. the entire issue is laid at the feat of “thugs” and “gangs” and like Pontious Pilate (if you believe that fairy tale) the government washes its hands of any complicity (in the environment that fosters such behavior, and its failure to enforce its own laws).

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will crush the heads of the perverted New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions

August 15th, 2011
9:30 am

There will be no flash-mobbing or random violence by members in our separate self-determined Amish styled society because we have been wise. We have work extremely hard over the past 45 years putting systems in place to sustain our lives; and we are proud of our accomplishments.

By the power of God Almighty, our leaders taught us down through the years that there are only a few things more sacred than self determination, self reliance, and independence. As a result, members of our self determined society have been adorned with authentic faith, hope, and love for the brethren.

But on the other side of the equation, the very opposite is true. The vast majority of African Americans have been extremely foolish. Since the death of Martin Luther King Jr., integrationist African American leaders and their devilish black minions hijacked his Godly honorable independent version of integration and transformed it into a subversive dependent wicked system of belief under the banner of love and progressiveness.

African Americans have been taught in error that Americans, white people in particular, are responsible for sustaining their lives i.e. giving them food, clothing, shelter, employment, healthcare, education etc. As a result, that foolish unrealistic dependent system of belief has deprived African Americans of authentic hope, honor, dignity, self respect, and love for the brethren.

I can assure you that when the flash-mobs and violence rear their ugly heads in our country on a consistant basis, integrationist African Americans will be at the forefront of it. And after they have been crushed by the powers that be, I can reassure you that integrationist African American leaders and their devilish black minions will put a government spin on it and seek-out another group of gullible black people to deceive and exploit in exchange for money, fame, status, plush jobs, materialism etc.

Amen?

Richard D

August 15th, 2011
9:39 am

I don’t think the mobs in England are really engaging in any criminal activity. I think they are just acting out the plot to Atlas Shrugged. Didn’t this type of thing happen to Hank Rearden?

Devilish Black Minion

August 15th, 2011
9:40 am

Shut up TBO.

caslosgvv

August 15th, 2011
9:48 am

Columbo

When the hoodlums come and destroy your property and beat you to a pulp, your sarcasm will, suddenly, not be so cute and trendy.

Joe the Plutocrat

August 15th, 2011
9:54 am

caslosgvv (carlosgvv?), again, you’re playing the game. stop putting this ALL at the feet of the “hoodlum”. I am not giving ANY criminal a hall pass, but either we are totally free and authorizes to protect our lives/property as we see fit, or we are not (we are not). ditto the role of government/law enforcement; either it is a benevolent (but firm) protector of the citizenry, or it is an over-reaching, intrusive, self-serving monster. this is classic “divide and conquer” stuff, and as I said, the plutocrats are calling the shots (and worrying all the way to the bank).

Thomas

August 15th, 2011
9:55 am

Someday they are going to “Flash in” on someone with a AK-47 with multiple 30 shot clips and this kind of gargage will stop. Otherwise, ya better stay out of the way.

Bill

August 15th, 2011
9:59 am

Warren Buffet said “If we are experiencing class warfare, my class is winning.”

amy

August 15th, 2011
10:00 am

I didn’t know the Amish had internet. Blow out your candle and go away.

Bill

August 15th, 2011
10:01 am

Equating the London violence to the protests in Wisconsin not only stretches credulity, it suggests severe restraints on free speech.

Bill

August 15th, 2011
10:02 am

Similar to Aquagirl’s MLK quote, Bob Dylan said, “When you aint got nothin, you got nothin to lose.”

Don't Tread

August 15th, 2011
10:20 am

“A large police presence and the certainty of punishment works wonders in situations like this.”

Wonder why this sort of thing hasn’t happened in, say, Dallas, Texas? Or Phoenix, Arizona?

I’d make a bet that police presence has nothing to do with it, but the certainty of punishment has a lot to do with it. “Certainty of punishment” meaning the intended victim(s) have the means and the ability to deliver that punishment quickly with their legally carried concealed weapon.

caslosgvv

August 15th, 2011
10:25 am

Joe – 9:45

You can call them hoodlums. savages, law breakers or whatever. As for the rest of your post, I have read it four times and still have no idea what you are trying to say.

Joe the Plutocrat

August 15th, 2011
10:25 am

Thomas, interesting observation, but pure fiction at best (”The Road” “The Book of Eli” “The Postman” and any other post-apocalypse film you like). your Second Amendment fantasy is amusing, but I would ask you what happens when your 30 round clip is empty? better yet; what do you plan to do when one of the criminals dials 911 and reports “a homeowner with assault rifle is mowing down non-violent protesters”? when the whole thing comes to trial, do you think the fact than NONE of the dead protestors had a gun or a weapon might be germane? here’s my advice to you; go to your nearsest payn shop and purcahse 10-15 cheap handguns. file off the serial numbers, load them and keep them in a safe place. then the flash mob threatens your home, shoot the first 10-15 “mobsters” and one by one, place a gun in the hand of each corpse (and be sure to fire off a round or two; aiming for your font door, of course); then please “self-defense” (and be sure you have not modified your AK-47 to the extent that it is no longer “legal”).

Laurie

August 15th, 2011
10:28 am

“The reactions by beneficiaries of Wisconsin voters’ largesse were typical of people who have become dependent on government in one manner or another, and who view such benefits as “entitlements” to which they enjoy a fundamental and irrevocable right”. I sorta see your point, Pensions and healthcare benefits have gotten out of hand. But someone promised those things without setting aside money to fund them. And you forget another very big issue here. People working in the public and private sector have seen benefits promised to them by their employer fade away (that is IF they got to keep their jobs) or “reworked” while executives, managers, governors, legislators (you get the drift) get increased benefits, bonuses, salaries, etc… If we ALL had to bare the brunt of hard times, I think the average worker could deal with it. But many in the middlle class see the issue for what it is, which is greed and a sucessful move to redistribute wealth upward. While most of American have been suffering during the recession, members of Congress have seen their wealth increase. Marie Antoinette once said “Let them eat cake”, and we all know how well that worked out for her.

Joe the Plutocrat

August 15th, 2011
10:29 am

carlos, what I am trying to say is; to re-direct this conversation with glib terms like “thug” and “fash mob” is EXACLTY what the plutocrats want. in many ways this is like the immigration issue; everyone is up in arms about “securing the borders” and yet they seem to never ask the question; “who is hiring these people, and why are they not punished”? again, I am not saying criminals should run free, but seriously, you can’t have it both ways; either the government/state is responsible for enforcing the law, or it is responsible for creating an environment in which civil unrest is permissable.

Dick Bachert

August 15th, 2011
10:40 am

Sam

August 15th, 2011
10:42 am

True Progressives defending a 20 year old male’s right to loot and burn private property because they have “no voice”. While Michael Moore states that S & P executives should be arrested.

True Progressives showing their true selves. What’s great is they will lose this war of ideas and likely end up hurt badly in the process. Where will true Progressives turn? To 20 year old black males?

Yep, cause that’s about they’ll have left. That, and their wet beds. HAHAHAHHAHAHAAHAHAHA.

LawDawg

August 15th, 2011
10:46 am

“Earlier this year, for example, union activists in Wisconsin staged protests that, while not overtly violent, bordered on deteriorating into such.”

I know you hate unions and all, but this is just not true. They did not turn any more violent than tea party rallies and the counter-protests by conservatives in WI. Never let the facts get int he way of a good story, right?

LawDawg

August 15th, 2011
10:47 am

“In England, a country which has long viewed itself as far more “civilized” than to engage in domestic violence.”

The IRA and the various domestic violence that involved do not exist in Barrland.

Hugh Scott Shashy

August 15th, 2011
10:49 am

Atlanta has already had flash mob violence on trains and at stations within the last 4 months. These go unreported, and also it is racially motivated with African Americans attacking White riders on Marta.

Hugh Shashy,
CEO, NetNewsNetwork.net, htpp://www.NetNewsNetwork.net

LawDawg

August 15th, 2011
10:49 am

“Within our country, the attacks are not isolated to any specific region, and have been reported in several cities across the country, from the Midwest to the East Coast.

Racial animosities as well as economic hardships serve seemingly as catalysts for these violent incidents”

Oh, now it is the left who are displaying racial animus and attacking others over it. Tying socialism/class warfare and racism together? Nice one, Bobby!!!

JV

August 15th, 2011
10:59 am

Hey Joe the Blowcrat: Ever heard the the “Castle Docrine Law”. You’re an idiot.

caslosgvv

August 15th, 2011
11:09 am

Joe – 10:29

1. There is nothing “glib” about words like “thug” or “flash mobs’. These people are lawbreakers.
2. The government/state is most certainly responsible for enforcing the laws.
3. The wealthy are responsible for us having the best Congress money can buy, but most of us
don’t turn to violent crime because of it.
4. Big Business will not knowly create an environment where “civil unrest is permissible”. This is bad for the bottom line and NOTHING is more important than profit.

Joe the Plutocrat

August 15th, 2011
11:12 am

JV, nice moniker, as you are most certainly Junior Varsity. where’d you learn of the Castle Doctrine Law; a gun show, NRA pamphlet, the Turner Diaries? we the People have lots of laws, but I think you need to accept the fact that most laws are the “real world” equivalent of a hand job. that is to say; they exist to keep American citizens anestheized by the illusion that we have rights and freedoms. do you actually think ANY citizen who owns/operates a Soviet designed assault weapon is going to be viewed as a “law abiding citizen” by the very same police force that has failed in its sworn duty to “serve and protect”? listen, I am as big a 2nd Amendment advocate as there is; but the 2nd Amendment is just a bunch of words on paper (like the Castle Doctrine). I am just saying that all this “Dirty Harry/well, do you feel lucky punk” posturing is silly. when/if the poop really hits the fan, all bets will be off, anyway, and any person/family’s survival will be a function of of how well the bad guys are armed; and I think the “coppers” know this, which is why the coppers (and the National Guard, U.S. Army) have tanks, helicopters, LAWs, and lots more ammo than 30 rounds.

Joe the Plutocrat

August 15th, 2011
11:21 am

carlos (fix your typo), perhaps glib is the wrong word. my point is; when the media, pundits or politicos use a word like “thug” or “flash mob” is makes the WORD the issue (and not the issue – which is crime and civil unrest). as far as laws/law enforcement goes; as you note, the “government” is beholden to lobbyists and special interests; so the laws it cares most about are things like the repeal of Stegal-Glass, or the Commodoties Futures Deregulation Act of 199X (sic). we the People are fed a steady diet of partiotic pabulum from the 2nd Amendment to the Department of Homeland Security; and what do we have to show for it? the DoD/CIA, et al spen hundreds of billions of dollars; if not trillions between the first WTC bombing in ‘93 and September 11, 2001; and what do we (the People) have to show for it? ditto the people of Philadelphia, the MARTA riders who were attacked last year, or any other citizen who ever called the police to report a auto theft, burglary or whatever and was put on hold then instructed to “pick up an incident report and file a claim with your insurance company”. as far as “big business goes” it doesn’t care about “civil unrest” because it is permited to “steal” in other (legal) ways (try and figure out the concept of the “short sale”). again, I am not saying that criminals should be free to roam like a pack of coyotes, but this idea that the police are “on it” and when the police are not, we have the “second amendment” to protect us, is a fairy tale.

Devil's Advocate

August 15th, 2011
11:24 am

Hahaha…I think it’s funny how a certain type of people say that “hate crime” laws are invalid but then turn around and call actions by others “hate/racially motivated”. So blacks never commit crimes against other blacks? Every riot in world history (Watts, post MLK assassination, and LA) has been about black people?

I think along the same lines as those who say “crime is crime”. Either you’re willing to commit a crime or you’re not. Race, economic differences, etc are all just subplot details of the story (i.e. reasons). Take your pick what reason leads to a crime but does it really matter? I’m just curious why all the people who want to blame every crime on blacks totally ignore world history and anytime a non-black commits a crime.

Hillbilly D

August 15th, 2011
11:34 am

Most of the people who engage in these kinds of activities are just looking for an excuse to raise hell, break things, and take things that belong to somebody else. It’s not a political statement, one way or the other. It’s the classic case of how people behave when they get in a mob.

I’d agree with the earlier poster, one of the reasons for this type of thing, is that there is no fear of punishment. I’m all for rehabilitating people in prison but for that to work, they have to be willing to be rehabilitated. Most of the people I know who’ve spent time in the state and federal pen, have no interest in changing their lives. Punishment is the only thing they understand.

JF McNamara

August 15th, 2011
11:34 am

Did you ever think that you have this thesis completely wrong Bob. Modern America was been socialized on purpose to prevent the poor from taking from the rich in a violent way. Perhaps the problem is that the rich have become so selfish that they are creating their own demise.

The principle reason people work hard in America is because they have the illusion that if they work hard, they will become wealthy. While it is a (very) long shot, it at least keeps people placated. Once you remove the illusion (ie take away student loans), people will revolt, because you have taken the one thing away that gave them hope. Its not class warfare, its human nature, and its already been the spark of numerous overthrows just this year in the Middle East. The money was concentrated in a few hands, and the people got fed up.

The U.S. is not really in bad shape. We can avoid what is happening in Greece or the middle east by acting responsibly and raising taxes. If we don’t, 10 years from now, we’ll be having the same problems.

Sandy Bryant

August 15th, 2011
11:38 am

You must take a few minutes out of your day and listen to this video. It is hugely powerful. A Muslim in Canada, Tarek Fatah at IdeaCity 2011, warns of the loss of freedoms, and all that has made North America and Canada great. If a Canadian can see where we’re headed, why are we so blind???

http://www.livestream.com/ideacity/video?clipId=flv_fd017d81-dc18-42cc-821a-18b86fdea840

caslosgvv

August 15th, 2011
11:39 am

Joe – 11:21

So, if the police are not “on it”, and “we have the second ammendment to protect us” is a myth, what is your solution?

Trapped in a Red state

August 15th, 2011
11:45 am

Bob

If you want to make a more accurate comparison to the UK riots, I suggest you look for similarities like high unemployment, no chance for upward mobility, having no control over those who control our lives, lack of educational opportunities and having too much time with nothing to do….just look at the middle east for your comparisons…”when you’ve got nothing’, you got nothing to lose”.
America is heading in that direction and it has nothing to do with an “entitlement” mentality but more about a small group owning too big a piece of the pie. If the GOP gets their agenda in place, this country will also revolt.

UGA 1999

August 15th, 2011
11:46 am

Time to take up your arms. We will not sit back and let this become Greece or London.

roughrider

August 15th, 2011
12:01 pm

The big difference between Europe and America is that Europe’s citizens are not armed. In America, citizens will protect their business and homes with force if necessary.

MrLiberty

August 15th, 2011
12:04 pm

This is how you can expect the parasites to respond when the host finally takes some serious medicine. I don’t worry about the mob as much as I worry about the response of the government. They are the biggest parasite on the productive sector of society and have the most to lose. They also have the least respect for the law and for the citizens of this country.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will crush the heads of the perverted New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions

August 15th, 2011
12:12 pm

Amen MrLiberty!

killerj

August 15th, 2011
12:13 pm

You reap what you sew and I believe word global economy is at the bottom of the problem with every intention of making this happen,when martial law is put in place you will see who is the boss.

Eye Rolling

August 15th, 2011
12:15 pm

Bob, your premise is wrong, therefore your whole supporting essay is wrong. The Brits were not rioting due to ‘austerity measures’, it was nothing more than a group of copycat malcontents seizing an opportunity to capitalize over a surprisingly weak government force. I can’t believe that you are giving them credence by insinuating that their actions were a result of any kind of rational, level-headed thought.

UGA 1999

August 15th, 2011
12:17 pm

I like the parasite comparison….because that is EXACTLY what they are!

Marcus Banks

August 15th, 2011
12:35 pm

Trapped & JF MacNamara, you guys truly understand what’s happening. It’s depressing to see how many Americans can’t see that. The wealthy’s greed has blinded them to the truth. They act as if they aren’t culpable for any of it. I suggest people look at the causes of the French Revolution. It’s eerily similar to what’s happening here and now.

Marcus Banks

August 15th, 2011
12:36 pm

And to the racist Amish person, what are you talking about? What does integration have to do with anything? You’re seriously confused. I think you need psychological help immediately.