Tom McLaughlin

A former history teacher, Tom is a columnist who lives in Lovell, Maine. His column is published in Maine and New Hampshire newspapers and on numerous web sites. Email: tomthemick@gmail.com

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mob Mayhem


“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs . . .”

So begins Rudyard Kipling’s century-old poem “If,” which comprised the text of a card I got graduating eighth grade and has stuck with me ever since. In the ensuing forty-six years I saw how rare it was for someone to actually do it - to stay centered within oneself in the midst of hysteria. To achieve that is to live beyond the influence of the mob.

Mobs are big news with riots in England and flash mobs assaulting people and property in the United States. The first night of London riots was said to be in response to police shooting a young black man, variously described as a “father or four” and “tied to London gangs.” That night’s rioting may have started spontaneously, but it continued and spread to other UK cities with electronic social network coordination, and that is a common thread in both the UK and in the United States. Another common thread is race, though the mainstream media in both countries try to ignore it.2011 London riots

As Kipling said, it’s indeed difficult to keep your head when all others about you are losing theirs because we’re all subject to peer pressure. If one is ever going to grow up, to mature, to become an adult, it is necessary to have made an individual decision. Each of us has to ask himself/herself one question, and it can be phrased in various ways: Am I the captain of my own ship, or am I at the mercy of whatever winds blow around me? Am I controlled from within or from without? Do I rule myself, or do others rule me? Do I behave the way I choose to, or do I behave the way I think others want me to? Unless each of us decides how to be and has the discipline to follow his or her own rules, we’re no better than herd animals - part of the mob.1992 LA riots

Meeting new people, it doesn’t take long to sense whether they’ve asked themselves that question and answered it. Personal rules vary, but contain common elements of respect for individuals, families, their dignity, their property, which successful civilizations championed for millennia.

Observing rioters in 2011 London or 1992 Los Angeles, it’s evident they have either avoided the question or never considered it at all. Each is controlled by whatever others around them do. There are no individuals who make choices and take responsibility. They’re part of a tribe, a race, a mob, and the mob is impulsive. It doesn’t think. It doesn’t reflect. It doesn’t make decisions. Pants hang below asses. Sub-woofers blare (c)rap music full of anger, hate, selfishness and nihilism. The mob acts it all out, mindlessly, in the default mode of the horde.David Starkey

British historian David Starkey claimed that white youths involved in last week’s riots were imitating black gang culture. Naturally, he was branded racist by the liberal media, and I’m sure I will be as well. As a long-time public school teacher, however, I can attest that white boys mimicking black gangster culture were consistently my least-functional students.Prime Minister Cameron

Groups of individuals tend to be civilized and creative. Mobs are invariably barbaric and destructive. Liberal mainstream media proclaim the young, all-black or mostly-black and male mobs making mayhem are comprised of frustrated victims of discrimination and lack of opportunity. Conservative media say they’re products of the liberal welfare state responsible for our “slow-motion moral collapse.” UK Prime Minister David Cameron blames: “Children without fathers. Schools without discipline. Reward without effort. Crime without punishment. Rights without responsibilities. Communities without control. Some of the worst aspects of human nature tolerated, indulged - sometimes even incentivized - by a state and its agencies that in parts have become literally demoralized.”Economist Thomas Sowell

Some officials in UK government threaten to cut welfare for anyone arrested during the riots. American economist Thomas Sowell writes: “While the history and the races are different [in England and America], what is the same in both countries are the social policies and social attitudes long promoted by the intelligentsia and welfare state politicians. A recent study in England found 352,000 households in which nobody had ever worked. Moreover, two-thirds of the adults in those households said that they didn't want to work. As in America, such people feel both ‘entitled’ and aggrieved.”

As my grandmother used to say, “Idle hands are the devil’s tools.”Mayor Michael Nutter

Here in the US, the mainstream media strenuously avoid the racial angle of destructive flash mobs springing up in Milwaukee, Peoria, Chicago, Kansas City, and other cities across the country. Liberal media rabidly report white-on-black assaults like the James Byrd case in Texas, or even imagined ones like the ludicrous Duke Lacrosse Team “rape” case in North Carolina. Mainstream media and government officials tripped over each other to trumpet their outrage over something completely fabricated. For black-on-white assaults and robberies, they’re virtually silent. If mentioned at all, young black men are called “youths.” The only media reporting it honestly are blogs and Fox News. The only government official confronting it is Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, who told pillaging blacks in his city: “You have damaged your own race. . . . Take those God-darn hoodies down, pull your pants up and buy a belt ‘cause no one wants to see your underwear or the crack of your butt.”

The demography of the mob may differ through history from biblical times through the French Revolution to the 21st century, but there are things common to all: they’re nasty, brutish, ugly, and enemy of the individual.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Texas Transplant said...

As a British subject by birth and a naturalized American by circumstance and choice, I believe that your column today perfectly sums up the political, social and human viewpoints of the recent unrest, rioting and looting in the UK and this country. Thank you for putting it all in perspective.

8/17/11, 9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes Tom you have summed it up nicely. Now what?

8/17/11, 6:56 PM  
Anonymous Stanley Manning said...

Now what, you say? Now Tom sits back and feels superior, that's what. He has such a keen grasp of the obvious it makes me quiver as much as he does when he looks at gay porn. What a pontificating bore.

8/18/11, 5:02 AM  
Anonymous Frostproof said...

Anon, Tom comments, he does not make policy. To answer your question: You contact your representatives and demand at least honest acknowledgement of the issue. Good luck.

Stan, in any crowd it's easy to spot the real pontificating bore. He's the one who first slings that mud at someone else.

8/18/11, 5:34 AM  
Anonymous aliledar said...

Well stated, Tom, and well said Frostproof in response to the real "pontificating bore"! When will the present-day liberals, media and and elites open their eyes to the obvious?

8/18/11, 8:05 AM  
Anonymous Clyde said...

Oh the irony!!!!

Yet you yourself belong to a domesticated dumbed down population of sheep who believe in things like nationalism and liberal media bias. Nothing happens without cause today Tom. you're being played like everyone else by an elite group of banksters who long ago took over this and every other country on this planet. It could not be ,ore obvious. Yet you choose to believe that there are terrorists put there waiting to get you or big scary gay black men who want to steal your tee eve and rape your daughter.
Grow up. In fact wake up!! It's all a ruse!! There are no such things as nations anymore. Just corporations. Your e,prions are being manipulated by people who know exactly what they are doing and you play right into their hands. Genius!

8/18/11, 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Frostroof said...

Clyde, I urge you to stock up on tinfoil and blood pressure medication. Please post here when you will be out driving so the rest of us can stay safe at home.

8/18/11, 5:20 PM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

I'll put my faith in my own constitutional nation-state, Clyde. It's the best thing humans have come up with to guide themselves in at least five millennia.

Mobs are much more scary than corporations. You're not one of those anarchists who burn down Starbucks in Seattle, are you Clyde?

8/18/11, 6:00 PM  
Anonymous Stan said...

Frostroof said...

Clyde, I urge you to stock up on tinfoil and blood pressure medication. Please post here when you will be out driving so the rest of us can stay safe at home.

I guess "mudslinging" is only boorish when liberals do it. As Naran on AMG is so fond of saying: pot, kettle, black.

You fools are such hypocrits. Tom has obvious disdain for most Americans. How can you love a country yet hate her people?

8/18/11, 8:17 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

I slightly disagree. I don't think people get influenced by the mob; they're just bad people waiting for any opportunity to wreak havoc. See the riots in Vancouver after the Stanley Cup Finals (GO BRUINS). People were "ready" for riots outside the stadium. They didn't care about the games, they just wanted to take advantage of havoc to do things they normally couldn't. I wish I could believe in trusting others to do the right thing, but I'm proven wrong every day.

Like Alfred summed up so neatly in Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight:" 'Some men just want to watch the world burn.'

8/18/11, 8:32 PM  
Anonymous Frostproof said...

Stan: "Tom has obvious disdain for most Americans. How can you love a country yet hate her people?"

The mobs (really herds) represent a very small group of Americans - unfortunately a vocal and violent group. I have nothing but pity for them. Hatred is an emotion I reserve for those who actually have some potential but choose to squander it. The mindless dopes in the mobs are good only for cannon fodder.

8/19/11, 7:58 AM  
Anonymous Clyde said...

You'll put your faith in What, Tom? If you haven't noticed our constitution is close to meaningless and we are a republic that is fading. Mainly because we are occupying six countries right now. For absolutely no other reason than money. Group mentality or agent provocateurs? Simply look for who stands to benefit from all that chaos? Hmm. Ya think there may be an attempt on our second amendment rights here in the USA as a result of all the "riots"? Look at what fear mongering has got us. The TSA. and they are out of control.

Mobs are scarier than corporations huh? Haliburton scares the hell out of me. So does GE. etc.

There is no such thing as a country anymore Tom. It's all corporations.

We are all being played and the sooner you all stop playing along the better.

Your beloved "constitutional nation- state" is a war mongering mob that detracts more freedoms from its subjects everyday. Not to mention kills them with excessive taxes, and doesn't provide health care or education. falsifies the truth to start wars, etc.. Yeah, greatest system we have come up with!! enjoy your slavery do ye?

8/19/11, 8:52 AM  

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