Why did Britain burn from August 6-10, 2011?
What made rioters take innocent lives, loot shops, and set them on fire?
How could Anders Behring Breivik murder 91 fellow Norwegians in cold blood on July 22?
Why did Greeks go to the streets in May-June, protesting against $153 billion being offered to bail out their economy?
At the start of this decade, who would have predicted that in less than two years
• Pakistan would have better credit ratings (BB-) than Greece (CCC), the so called "cradle of Western civilization, and a member of European Union?"
• That America's credit ratings would be downgraded to AA+?
• That Capitalism's engine - America - would borrow from "Communist" China and others $4 billion every single day to keep its unemployed from rioting?
• That Tunisians, Egyptians, and Syrians would launch mostly peaceful internal protests for change, while British would loot, burn, and kill without any agenda for political, economic, or social improvement?
It may be already too late to save the euro . . . the critical question is: Can America be saved from the evil that has gripped so much of its family, education, religion, economy, politics, law, media, and entertainment?
I would love to see the Arab world liberated and transformed, but I never expected the "Arab Spring" to bring forth the blossoms that the secular pundits anticipated. The secular intellectuals are clever. They have succeeded in turning Wall Street into a casino that makes many of them super-wealthy while bankrupting their nation. If individual wealth is the litmus test of success than Arab despots may have done better than Wall Street moguls. The secular worldview is simply too naïve to understand the West or teach the Arab world how to build a civilization that is free and just with equal opportunity for all. Secular intellectuals think that material factors and accidents of history such as "Guns, Germs, and Steel" (Jared Diamond) or Biology, Sociology, and Geography (Ian Morris) can account for freedom. They think that nation-building is about economic "killer apps" (Niall Ferguson) rather than ideas, morals, and culture. Such economic experts produced by ivy League universities are driving Western nations into bankruptcy.
While I remain skeptical about the Arab Spring, I am more confident about the Western Autumn ushering in a terrible winter. My short-term pessimism is produced by the underlying causes of the two phenomena.
The Arab Spring
It was a terrible tragedy that triggered the protests that were naively dubbed the "Arab Spring." On December 16, 2010, Mohamed Bouazizi, a street vendor in Tunisia was selling produce when Ms. Faida Hamdi, a city official, came along with her entourage looking for a bribe. He had not earned enough to repay $200 that he had borrowed to buy his goods, but she (reportedly) slapped him in the face, spat at him, confiscated his electronic weighing scales, and tossed aside his produce cart.
Bouazizi went to the governor's office to complain. When the governor refused to see him, Bouazizi set himself aflame. His self-immolation initiated the deadly demonstrations and riots throughout Tunisia and forced Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to relinquish the Presidency on January 14, 2011. He had misruled his nation for twenty-three years.
The fire spread to Egypt, forcing Hosni Mubarak to quit after 30 years of oppressive rule. Despots in Libya, Bahrain, and Syria, however, relied on the Islamic tradition of the rule-by-the-sword to fight back the wild fires of freedom. They exposed the naivety of the Liberal expectation that Twitter can triumph over tanks. The protests deposed two despots, but weeding is not gardening. Bouazizi had burned himself protesting against a civilization that denies human dignity and ridicules the idea of servant-leadership. Guns and germs did not produce these noble ideas of human rights and leadership. They came from the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Renaissance writers Salutati, Lorenzo Valla and Pico Della Mirandella understood the meaning of Christ's incarnation. If God had incarnated as a human being, then man was different than other animals. He possessed a unique value and dignity that had to be respected by the state. If the Deity sacrificed Himself on the cross to save sinful humanity, then leadership had to mean servant-hood. Human rulers needed to be shepherds, not wolves that oppress God's own children. Islam abhors incarnation and the cross. Secular intellectuals ridicule these historical/theological truths that seeded the kind of civilization that Muslim nations are now seeking. If Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are to liberate them from Islamic tyranny, then the social media will have to be used to challenge not just dictators but the very worldview that has dehumanized and oppressed Muslim nations.
It was Twitter and Facebook that brought out Social Media rioters, costing British economy around $400 million. Under British law, the taxpayers will have to pay the actual insurance cost for the buildings and looted goods. The looters weren't interested in the bookshops that made Britain great. Nor were they starving people, looking for groceries and medicine. The gangs were looking for electronic gadgets, trendy clothing, and designer shoes.
The London riots began because Metropolitan police responsible for gun crimes within the black community, shot dead 29-year old Mark Duggan. The police had been investigating him for a while. They believed that he was planning to take revenge on those who had stabbed to death, his best friend, 23-year-old rapper, Kelvin Easton. His killers had used a broken champagne bottle to stab him at the Boheme nightclub in Mile End, East London. The police say that Mark and Kevin were linked to the Star Gang, a part of London's blooming gang culture that has little respect for the traditional British value of lawful work and family life.
The police claim that they shot Mark in self-defense. He may have been a victim of an officer's mistake who thought that he needed to fire before Mark fired at him. But, it is important to ask: Are Mark Duggan and the rioters victims of poverty or of a postmodern secular culture that has killed the soul of a once great civilization?
Mark was an internet savvy young man who used Facebook under his alias Starrish Mark. His home page had pictures of him in a T-shirt bearing the words Star Gang, He may have been a good citizen, but messages from friends as well as other reports suggest that he may have been a drug dealer, linked to Star Gang and allied with North London gangs such as the Broadwater Farm Posse and Tottenham Mandem. It does not appear that Mark had a job. He was not married, but had fathered at least three children from one girl-friend, Semone Wilson. Her fourth child was still born.
Many people loved and respected Mark. Two hundred of them marched on the streets of Tottenham on August 6, protesting against his death. Some of them may have cared enough for him to urge him to be a man: to marry the woman he loved. But, at the end of the day such voices, if they were raised, were drowned by the evil that controls Hollywood, glamorizes out-of-wedlock sex, and promotes a heroism that is not heroic enough to love and serve one's own family.
The rioters were victims of a secular culture that teaches that the poor have a right to covet the wealth of productive citizens: that a democratic state exists to take from those who create wealth and distribute it to families whose fathers spend their time in night-clubs. However, this "entitlement culture" of the poor is not as damaging as the entitlement culture of the super rich. Towards the end of July 2011, USA's Government Accountability Office submitted the first ever top-to-bottom audit report that investigated how Federal Reserve has been using public funds. Its eye-popping report said that the Fed had spent $16 trillion in secretly bailing out the wealthiest banks and financial institutions of the capitalist world order. Why? Because the managers, who get paid millions of dollars in salaries and bonuses, keep sinking the ships they pilot. They believe that they are entitled to be bailed out by honest tax payers because they are "too big to fail."
The London mobs and the captains of secular capitalism are produced by the same entitlement culture. The difference is that Mark's loved ones did have a right to demand an inquiry into his death. They had the right to expect that Britain's law-enforcing agencies will behave better than Libya's and Syria's. A culture shaped by the Bible required that all human authorities function under the authority of God's law that says, "Thou shall not commit murder." The problem is that a group that had gathered to demand rule of law, started an orgy of lawlessness because it had not internalized the spiritual source of British culture. The riots suggest that some of Mark's loved ones may have been hardened gangsters who had neither fear nor respect for law?
On August 7, riots and looting spread to other areas of London as the police stood and watched without interfering. Police inaction encouraged looters to launch their assault on August 8 in cities such as Birmingham, Liverpool, Nottingham, Bristol, Medway and Leicester. By August 9, when mobs began looting Manchester city centre and Salford, Mark Duggan's death was no longer an issue. The majority of the rioters, colored and white, were British born and educated "Somali pirates."
The protest that turned into violent riots were the outcome of a secular education that has systematically destroyed the respect for law, moral conscience, love for nation, and fear of God. The mass criminality of the mobs exposed the foolishness of the cultural elite, who thought that they could use education, media, and entertainment to destroy the fear of God, and the biblical ideas of truth, morality, conscience, self-government, sex, love, marriage, family, personal responsibility, social discipline, work, good neighborliness, nation, and patriotism, and, at the same time, retain virtue, freedom, and a social order that fosters economic growth.
By 13 August, police had arrested 2,275 people of whom more than 1,000 have been charged. The riots took a toll of five lives. Three men keeping watch outside their locked shops, were run down, when a driver hit them at full speed and drove off.
Rioters knocked down a 20-year old college student for his bicycle. With a touch of sadistic gentleness, they helped the bleeding youth up on his feet, only to humiliate him by ransacking his backpack for his phone and wallet.
A teenage girl explained the riots to a BBC correspondent: We are looting, she said, "to tell the rich and the government that we can do whatever we want." That young woman needs to be heard. She was informing the world that Britain's secular education has bred plenty of women who are no different than Tunisia's Faida Hamdi, whose corruption forced Bouazizi's self-immolation and the Arab Spring.
Admittedly, the riots are not Britain's most pressing problem. They expose the folly that is destroying the West from within. Riots are a recurring phenomenon in France. By the time the riots begin in America, they will be much worse. After all, the UK has only about 2 million single-parent families. America has approximately 14 million. Over 40% American youth are growing up without their own fathers. Officially, unemployment in America is just above 9%. But in the nation's capital, Washington DC, the unemployment among black youth has reached 51%. The greater threat of social unrest, however, comes from the rich, not from the poor. American riots are likely to resemble Greece's than Britain's.
American government has just set up a 12-member Super-Committee to help reduce government spending by $2-4 trillion over the next decade. Its job is to dismantle the entitlement culture of the poor that David Cameron's government has been forced to undertake in UK. Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Italy are facing a similar need to reduce the entitlements of those who have been taught that governments exist to take care of them from the cradle to the grave. Reducing government budgets will increase unemployment and reduce revenue. America then will become like Greece, unable to pay for its domestic and international obligations. The creditors will be glad to bail out large and failing economic institutions, provided hardworking taxpayers are forced to pay for the mis-managers of American economy. That is what made the Greeks so furious.
Thankfully, the British government did not treat the rioters like "rats and cockroaches" (Muammar Gaddafi). However, Anders Behring Breivik, did treat fellow-Norwegians exactly as Gaddafi said they should be treated. Why did he do so? Because Western universities have raised a whole generation now that actually believes that human beings are nothing but evolved cockroaches. What Breivik did as an Individual, Germany had done as a state, barely seven decades ago, under its own Gaddafi. But racism is not an Aryan monopoly. The Syrian state is treating protestors as cockroaches today, The Englishman who drove into three shopkeepers in Britain was black: the shopkeepers were Asians. Race will become a menace unless educating people includes teaching them to obey the command, "love your neighbor as yourself."
The West's decline must teach the developing world the lesson that Moses taught a bunch of Hebrew slaves in order to transform them into a mighty and prosperous nation. He said that there wilderness experience was meant to teach them that "Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord." (Deuteronomy 8:3).
Europeans who went to colonize South America were looking for gold. The Puritans who came to North America were seeking God. North America ended up with God as well as gold. America (and much of Europe) is running out of gold now because secularized education has been teaching that gold was the only god worth seeking. Its greed-driven economics has bankrupted the West's soul and stalled its progress. The way to rebuild a better future is to follow the exhortation, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness then all these (material) things will be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33)