Anomie & Anarchy

Picture: Emery Way

Well, we’ve had a strange couple of weeks haven’t we? An unseasonable cold spell brought the usual stories of travel disruption, domestic hardships, helpful neighbours and community spirit. All stuff to reinforce national self stereotypes and often quite heartwarming.

Concurrent with this we’ve had some very un-stereotypical demonstrations with much anger (Real and simulated) and out of control mobs.

Like most of us, I’m sure, I have no problem sympathising with the plight of these students faced with the prospect of racking up huge debts on their own personal account instead of on the National account as it has been up to now. That much is easy because whether or not I agree with them, I understand their position.

What I can’t sympathise with, because I can’t even begin to understand it, is the gleeful manner some among them wound themselves up to a state of frenzied anger to attack policemen and property to further their aims. I have no point of reference by which I can judge them as all I see is so detached from how we are as a nation.

How the most online, connected and communicative people in history, living in a stable democracy can end up thinking that this is their best chance of achieving their ends baffles me and make me feel like a stranger among them.