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Thread: Looting and destruction of Aldi shop in Dublin.

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    Looting and destruction of Aldi shop in Dublin.

    Won't put footage of it here as I'm sure we are all tired of looking at it but how thick can you be to rob and destroy a shop where you and your friends and neighbours depend on for shopping?,small kids were among the looters.

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    Capped Player nigel-harps1954's Avatar
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    Lidl.

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    International Prospect osarusan's Avatar
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    Thankfully these were so dumb that they posted themselves doing it on social media sites.

    Hopefully all criminals will be as thick and helpful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nigel-harps1954 View Post
    Lidl.
    I stand corrected.

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    Capped Player nigel-harps1954's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the 12 th man View Post
    I stand corrected.
    It's an easy mistake to make. There's very Lidl differences between both shops in the grand scheme of things.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Yeah, Aldis shops look the same nowadays.

    Seriously though, 24 hours of snow and this is what happens. I know it's a tiny minority, but **** me, it's braindead stuff to be up to. A jail sentence for the main idiots is a must, but there's underlying issues there that won't be addressed by locking a few loo-lahs away.

    Though not sure if there's the political appetite to try address that problem. Or, to be honest, where to start with it. Fewer people let go with a warning after 20+ prior convictions? Reduce welfare to make work more financially appealing?

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    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Or increase wages to make work more financially appealing. And make sure that there is a well-educated work-force with work to go to while you're at it.

    The sort of opportunistic crime that occurred at the Lidl store is symptomatic of social inequality and those involved most likely engaged in it because they feel they have very little to lose on account of their material circumstances. Reducing welfare would only increase relative poverty, thus widening that material inequality and the sense of social alienation.



    Your proposal would be counter-productive in that it would only serve to cause even greater resentment and desperation within disadvantaged or impoverished communities, such as that where the looting occurred. People from such communities already have little stake in wider society, but such a policy would only lead to greater social problems and lack of cohesion than already exists. The concept of the welfare state was conceived by ruling classes in order to pacify the potentially restless working classes and lumpenproletariat, after all.

    It is no surprise that Scandinavian social democracies, for example, have such low crime rates; they provide progressive welfare systems, ensure greater levels of equality and enjoy a much more homogenised sense of community without significant internal class tension or conflict as a result. They also tend to favour rehabilitation over punitive justice, which helps. These sorts of investments in society as a whole evidently pay off for the greater good, well-being and welfare of all.

    When you refer to the underlying issues, are you referring to social inequality or are you referring to something else? I'm not convinced there is a political appetite to try address the problem either, particularly given some of the negative and condescending opinions the Taoiseach clearly harbours in respect of working class people.

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    Club Member backstothewall's Avatar
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    But can Scandinavian governments make those sort of systems work for them because they are dealing with Scandinavian society. I just can't imagine a branch of lidl being pulled apart by locals with heavy plant machinery in Stockholm.

    It's a chicken and egg situation in many ways. The legal system here will hammer them, and correctly so imho. In our society it is important that an example is made of these morons.
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    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by backstothewall View Post
    But can Scandinavian governments make those sort of systems work for them because they are dealing with Scandinavian society. I just can't imagine a branch of lidl being pulled apart by locals with heavy plant machinery in Stockholm.
    I would suggest that this is because Scandinavian society is more egalitarian and has fewer internal or class tensions than we do. Obviously the differences are rooted in differing histories, but I'd like to believe it is possible to create greater equality and raise living conditions for all in Irish society. I would be surprised if this happened and incidents like the Lidl looting still occurred. It is no surprise that the looting occurred in Jobstown, one of the country's poorer or so-called "dodgiest" areas.

    Incidents like this don't necessarily have to be indicative of "Irish traits"; I think they have more to do with material and structural conditions rather than some innate Irish culture or moral failing. I mean, you wouldn't get Irish people living across the city in D4 doing that, not necessarily because I think they're a better calibre of person with greater moral fibre or whatever, but because they live in a totally different set of socio-economic conditions - stable, secure, included and invested in society - that are far removed from the relative poverty, financial difficulty and sense of societal exclusion or alienation experienced by many others elsewhere in much poorer parts of the country.

    I always thought it interesting that Iceland was a country with high gun-ownership rates, yet violent crime-rates are very low there and gun-crime virtually non-existent. One big difference between it and, say, the US, where gun-crime is off-the-scale, is that Iceland is one of the most equal societies on earth. The US happens to be one of the most unequal.

    It's a chicken and egg situation in many ways. The legal system here will hammer them, and correctly so imho. In our society it is important that an example is made of these morons.
    I'm not justifying the looting, nor advocating anarchy, but I do think there are more effective and imaginative ways of dealing with these issues so that people don't feel driven or attracted to doing things like this. It might involve a bit more work and foresight than cutting benefits and dispensing traditional retributive justice, but we can and should strive to do better as a society because the vindictive approach clearly doesn't work if this sort of crime still happens. It's also easy to just dub the culprits "thugs" and "scumbags", but the issue is a bit more complex than that. (I'm not accusing you of simplifying it, by the way. I'm just speaking generally.)

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyInvincible View Post
    Or increase wages to make work more financially appealing. And make sure that there is a well-educated work-force with work to go to while you're at it.
    Well this is true.

    I don't know if the reducing welfare idea would be as negative as you put it. I get the points you're making, but let's be honest here - Ireland has a very good welfare system. Yes, there are countries which have a different model - welfare as a factor of full salary for short-term unemployed for example - but we're still quite good. 188 a week isn't a huge amount to live off (speaking from experience), but then there's other factors such as social housing (gone extreme here to be honest), medical card, fuel allowance, child benefit, back to school allowance, household benefits, free travel pass, etc. OK, you can't get them all, but they add up. It's quite high compared to England (73 a week I believe?) And then there's the travel savings of not going to work, and the possibility of some, shall we say, extra-curricular earnings. Compared to, say, going to work for 35 hours and getting 350/week gross, it's quite reasonable.

    Can we compromise and agree that welfare is too close to minimum wage?

    I agree you could increase basic wages and aim for a more equal society, and that this would be beneficial. It does seem that the State is going the opposite direction though, with cheap labour coming in from abroad creating a bit of a race to the bottom situation. Take Musgaves as an example; two years ago, they went to Poland to fill jobs because they couldn't fill them here; these are likely a subset of the kind of people who are living 45 to a flat.

    So a flip side of looking at that situation is that Musgraves weren't paying enough to fill the roles. Musgraves aren't short of cash - 73m pre-tax profit last year - and they can surely afford to pay a more equitable wage. If it leads to slightly higher prices (across the whole sector), that's something we as a society should accept, I think. If there was a more limited pool of potential employees to choose from, I think you'd find a more equitable wage structure. (Yes, Musgraves isn't the State, but the State are certainly facilitating the idea of importing cheap labour). I agree the US has huge inequity - hard to argue otherwise - and it does seem as if we (and Europe, by a kind of reverse extension) are going the same way unfortunately.

    Also, let's not go putting Scandinavia up on such a pedestal relative to us. Yes, they're generally very safe societies - but they way you've written about it makes Ireland out to be much worse. In fact, we have it quite good here too. The EU reports our theft rate to be far better than all of Scandinavia, Iceland excepted; in fact, Sweden and Denmark were the top two in terms of thefts reported per capita in 2015. Burglaries - similar story. Drugs - similar story. Robbery - we're not so good, but still ahead of Sweden (But then of course, how does Sweden define a theft being reported? How do we define it? And do such differences mean the conclusion you imply - that Scandinavian countries have a lower crime rate than here - can't actually be implied?)

    Similarly, let's not also start thinking that social inequality is a peculiarly Irish problem. In fact, Ireland has a relatively flat social structure - certainly compared to, say, England.

    I agree that -

    It's also easy to just dub the culprits "thugs" and "scumbags", but the issue is a bit more complex than that.
    - but I think it's proper to note that these guys are thugs and scumbags. Yes, there's issues there which the State and the community need to address, but equally people need to take responsibility for their own actions too. There's been a serious dearth of that here in recent years, the furore any time a repossession order is issued being the nadir I think, though that's a different thread.

    What's the conclusion of all that, in terms of solid recommendations? Dunno really.

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    Quote Originally Posted by backstothewall View Post
    I just can't imagine a branch of lidl being pulled apart by locals with heavy plant machinery in Stockholm.
    True. They're more likely to form a co-operative with a gender balanced ruling council, then vote on how best to disassemble the store, remove the goods and put it all back together again, having sorted the loot into recyclable/non-recylable piles. Probably leave it looking better than before into the bargain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    Can we compromise and agree that welfare is too close to minimum wage?
    Having lived on both, no. The difference is quite substantial, and living on minimum wage is crap enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyInvincible View Post
    I'm not justifying the looting, nor advocating anarchy, but I do think there are more effective and imaginative ways of dealing with these issues so that people don't feel driven or attracted to doing things like this. It might involve a bit more work and foresight than cutting benefits and dispensing traditional retributive justice, but we can and should strive to do better as a society because the vindictive approach clearly doesn't work if this sort of crime still happens. It's also easy to just dub the culprits "thugs" and "scumbags", but the issue is a bit more complex than that. (I'm not accusing you of simplifying it, by the way. I'm just speaking generally.)
    I'm quoting this bit because we more or less agree on everything else you've said. Clearly we need to do more for those communities who need most help. There are a million examples of things we don't do nearly enough (north or south) to give people the tools to improve their lot in life. Lack of Childcare, Mental Health services, Adult Literacy programs and Vocational Training for school leavers all jump immediately to mind as issues which make it impossible for people to fulfil their potential.

    But. 2 buts actually.

    But 1: You can take a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. None of the examples i've given can work well work unless people participate enthusiastically. Very often people can be stuck in a vicious cycle. After years/decades/generations of existing on state benefits the near impossibility of breaking that cycle can make any effort to improves ones lot in life seem like a pointless waste of effort. You can require participation as a condition of receiving state help but people simply show up to mark time if you do that. There are obviously jobs out there if people can be trained to do them, but how can you convince somebody drained of self worth by a lifetime of hopeless unemployment that they can have a future where they are somebody who "gets up early in the morning"? Because if you can't do that all the adult literacy courses in the world will make no difference at all. I have no idea what the answer is to this unfortunately. I suspect the botom line is that anything that might be successful would be a lot more expensive than the potential benefit to the rest of society. Or to put it another way it's easier for the taxpayer to hand them a few quid every week and leave them to get on with it.

    But 2: All everyone has said about this being true, you still can't tolerate people brazenly knocking down supermarkets. This was a crime of opportunity rather than desperation. If it hadn't snowed it would never have happened. Society just can't tolerate this, not least because they have hurt their own community who already have it tough enough. They will rightly have the book thrown at them by the courts.
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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Darwin View Post
    Having lived on both, no. The difference is quite substantial, and living on minimum wage is crap enough.
    You're not supposed to live on the dole though. It's intended as a temporary support while you look for new work; you're supposed to have some manner of savings to support yourself during that time as well.

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    Banned. Children Banned. Grandchildren Banned. 3 Months. Charlie Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    You're not supposed to live on the dole though. It's intended as a temporary support while you look for new work; you're supposed to have some manner of savings to support yourself during that time as well.
    You really don't have a clue about how difficult life can be for other people, do you?

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    I've been on the dole for far more than I'd have liked, so have some idea, yes.

    It still doesn't follow that you're meant to live off the dole alone.

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    I'm sure you're not meant to. A lot of people have to. Or at least had to, over the last decade.

    My own experience with the dole was fairly crushing for a lot of reasons. At one point I spent around six months of temp work earning less on than I would have if I had not been working at all (worked out in the long run). The bureaucracy when trying to transfer to the temp work system was beyond irritating, where I ended up being overpaid at one point. And the Department itself is full of holes: on two separate meetings years apart, I discovered my name, work history, qualifications and gender were incorrect on DSP records. And that second meeting was to try and sign me up for a training scheme I wasn't actually eligible for, on account of said qualifications (though the officer I spoke to had the good grace to be mortified when he realised what happened).

    But yet, to get back to the topic at hand, at no point during that experience did I ever feel the need to engage in any kind of illegal activity to get by, whether planned or via sudden opportunity. I have degrees, prior experience, a support network, and things worked out long term. I think that dependence on dole is only part of the problem: some of the people who would have ransacked that store just don't have access to the same opportunities for education and advancement that I did.
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    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    Similarly, let's not also start thinking that social inequality is a peculiarly Irish problem. In fact, Ireland has a relatively flat social structure - certainly compared to, say, England.
    I'm not saying Ireland is the worst. It isn't and often features highly - higher than the UK, in fact, which is an incredibly unequal society - in average quality-of-life and general equality indexes. We still have real poverty here though - Jobstown is a particularly deprived area - and, so long as we have that, it's something that needs to be tackled. The main point I'm making is that there are models elsewhere in the world from which we can perhaps take inspiration in order to more effectively tackle it.

    Just on the UK, you're right that the dole is 73 a week. For what it's worth, it is also the only country in the so-called developed world where workers are getting poorer whilst the country is getting richer.



    but I think it's proper to note that these guys are thugs and scumbags. Yes, there's issues there which the State and the community need to address, but equally people need to take responsibility for their own actions too. There's been a serious dearth of that here in recent years, the furore any time a repossession order is issued being the nadir I think, though that's a different thread.
    I guess we're free to use whatever labels we want to demonise and "other" people. I just don't see a huge deal of fundamental value or worth in those particular ones. What do they actually tell us? It's simplistic to just dub them "thugs", as if they were born with some inherent moral defect and aren't a product of a particular set of social and material conditions. Would one find many "thugs" across the city in D4? If not, why not? If on the extraordinary off-chance the same thing actually happened in an affluent area, would the term "thugs" even be used or would it just be a case of "youngsters messing about" or of "eejits having a laugh"?

    It's not necessarily about absolving people of responsibility. By pointing out the causal connection between poverty, inequality or social alienation and looting or crime, one is not denying criminals agency or a portion of responsibility, nor is one claiming they are "forced" by their circumstances to react by looting or criminality, nor is one infantilising them. To recognise the causation is to do exactly the opposite. It is to point out that some human beings will decide - through the use of their rational and reasoning faculties and adult decision-making capabilities - that looting or crime is justified as a crude way of redressing the inequality and frustration they experience, as a means of attacking the unjust system that they perceive excludes them or to give them the sort of life that they see others from more privileged backgrounds living and enjoying.

    The Italian and Irish mafia emerged in the US, for example, because they were two prominent social groups who were systematically excluded by the dominant WASP society at the time, so they made it their business to set up sort of parallel societies and make a living out of dealing with whatever the dominant society didn't deal with, or illegal things, in other words; things like racketeering, smuggling, fraud, counterfeiting, robbery, bribery, money laundering, gambling, loan-sharking, weapons trafficking, drug trafficking, extortion, prostitution, pornography and theft.

    Rather than absolving people of responsibility, it's really about recognising the causal factors behind crime, unrest and dysfunction (often poverty, inequality, exclusion, alienation, neglect, vulnerability, criminalisation, classism, pathologisation, etc.) and, based on that, properly tackling those causes by engineering a social policy that will diminish the likelihood of these types of dysfunctional behaviours manifesting themselves. Dysfunctional behaviour - and all humans are capable of it in the "optimal" conditions - is usually a sign of a dysfunctional society or set of social circumstances.

    I often repeat this quote by Noam Chomsky on the key task of social policy as it's a good one: "The task for social policy is to design the ways we live and the institutional and cultural structure of our lives so as to favor the benign and to suppress the harsh and destructive aspects of our fundamental nature."

    Quote Originally Posted by backstothewall View Post
    I suspect the botom line is that anything that might be successful would be a lot more expensive than the potential benefit to the rest of society. Or to put it another way it's easier for the taxpayer to hand them a few quid every week and leave them to get on with it.
    I'd say you're probably correct in your suspicion that maintaining the status quo is the easiest and cheapest way for taxpayers and members of the propertied or moneyed classes of "dealing with it". In reality, it doesn't really deal with it at all, of course. It just lets it continue to exist or stagnate and sort of pretends it isn't there. And these communities have next to no real political representation, so their voice can be very easily ignored.

    Doesn't acknowledging that the rest of society takes the lazy way out indict the rest of society and factor us into the causes too though? If there is something we can do that is within our power to help the situation but we continually and knowingly choose not to take that course of action because we're simply not bothered or aren't prepared to make the necessary sacrifice, it's a bit rich for us to then point the finger and dub more helpless and less privileged people "scumbags" when they engage in the sort of conduct we dislike that is a direct symptom or manifestation of the social problems that we're content to let exist because we just couldn't be arsed properly dealing with them. That's a terrible dereliction of social responsibility by and a terrible indictment of "respectable" society.

    Some ways of potentially helping the situation or things to strive for perhaps: funding university attendance (students are paid to go to uni in Denmark, AFAIK); better subsidising childcare and providing greater assistance for single mothers especially; greater public funding in healthcare, including mental health (I believe Ireland spends proportionally less on healthcare than other developed countries); investment in communal groups, activities and socio-cultural outlets; decriminalise drugs (like Portugal has done to great success) and make abuse a health matter rather than a criminal matter; stop pathologising, criminalising or forbidding perfectly valid forms of working-class youth culture, expression and recreation that are just as personally and socially harmful or harmless as many other commonly accepted recreational activities.

    But 2: All everyone has said about this being true, you still can't tolerate people brazenly knocking down supermarkets. This was a crime of opportunity rather than desperation. If it hadn't snowed it would never have happened. Society just can't tolerate this, not least because they have hurt their own community who already have it tough enough. They will rightly have the book thrown at them by the courts.
    I wasn't suggesting tolerating it. I was suggesting the exact opposite, in fact; that being dealing with it properly and effectively. I also accept it was a crime of opportunity, but this opportunism happened in Jobstown and not in, say, D4 for a reason. And it has nothing to do with some inherent superior morality or with the calibre or stock of people living in these respective areas. It has everything to do with structural conditions and material circumstances experienced by those who perpetrated the demolition and looting. That's not to "let them off the hook", but it is to say that they very likely would not have done it had only they existed in a different set of circumstances. I'm suggesting there are better ways of dealing with this than by taking a "hard line" through a moralistic, punitive and ultimately counter-productive penal system.

    A friend of mine from Derry who's a senior criminology lecturer at John Moore's University in Liverpool recently happened to give an interview (now on YouTube) about the UK's penal system (amongst other related and mainly female-focused penal matters) and succinctly demolished the case for taking a "hard line" stance (from 15m59s):



    Throwing people into prison is often "justified" on the basis that it "protects the public", "deters crime", "rehabilitates the offender" and "serves as a punishment". Prison doesn't actually do any of the first three things effectively (and she points to stats and research to demonstrate that), so its only "effective" function really is to act as a means of punishing and morally shaming people - by inflicting pain and causing further harm - but what's the ultimate point in that? Is it just to massage the egos of the rest of us so we can reassure ourselves how "morally superior" we are to these "undesirables", many of whom are victims themselves who may even suffer from mental health problems and other issues in their lives that many of the rest of us couldn't even imagine? The traditional tack is hardly conducive to ridding society of crime or dysfunction.

    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    You're not supposed to live on the dole though. It's intended as a temporary support while you look for new work; you're supposed to have some manner of savings to support yourself during that time as well.
    Whether you're supposed to have savings or not, that doesn't really deal with reality; there are plenty of people who simply don't have the luxury of savings as some sort of back-up or safety net, through no real fault of their own. What should they do?

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    International Prospect osarusan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyInvincible View Post
    It's not necessarily about absolving people of responsibility. By pointing out the causal connection between poverty, inequality or social alienation and looting or crime, one is not denying criminals agency or a portion of responsibility, nor is one claiming they are "forced" by their circumstances to react by looting or criminality, nor is one infantilising them. To recognise the causation is to do exactly the opposite. It is to point out that some human beings will decide - through the use of their rational and reasoning faculties and adult decision-making capabilities - that looting or crime is justified as a crude way of redressing the inequality and frustration they experience, as a means of attacking the unjust system that they perceive excludes them or to give them the sort of life that they see others from more privileged backgrounds living and enjoying.
    How do you know, or why do you assume, that this is their motivation for doing what they did?

    Also, we have had serious social deprivation in different areas of Irish cities for years, decades. And I think we can all agree that with social deprivation there is going to be a rise in some kinds of crimes and social problems, certainly.

    Yet, to the best of my knowledge, we haven't ever seen an act of looting or destruction like this before, not anywhere in this country (or indeed in many other countries in Western Europe). Even by the standards of a socially deprived area like Jobstown, this is completely off the scale in terms of wanton destruction. So I am not convinced that the people carrying out an act so rare, so different from the norm, can be described as being a product of their environment.

    Finally, given the nature and circumstances of the crime itself (how long it would take, how obvious it would be to the public that it was taking place, etc), and the fact that the people involved made posts on social media sites definitively proving their involvement, I would not give too much credence to the notion that the people involved made much use of "their rational and reasoning faculties and adult decision-making capabilities".
    Last edited by osarusan; 15/03/2018 at 11:10 AM.

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    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by osarusan View Post
    How do you know, or why do you assume, that this is their motivation for doing what they did?
    That shouldn't be an exhaustive list of possibilities, but they are just suggestions (that I believe to be plausible) as to why people might engage in looting or crime of this nature.

    Yet, to the best of my knowledge, we haven't ever seen an act of looting or destruction like this before, not anywhere in this country (or indeed in many other countries in Western Europe). Even by the standards of a socially deprived area like Jobstown, this is completely off the scale in terms of wanton destruction. So I am not convinced that the people carrying out an act so rare, so different from the norm, can be described as being a product of their environment.
    Just off the top of my head (because I was living in Manchester at the time), there was widespread rioting and looting in major cities throughout England (including Manchester) during the summer of 2011: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_England_riots

    Similarly, it was people from materially underprivileged backgrounds who were engaged in that unrest. They may not have been guided by a particular ideology, but you can be sure their anger and sense of social injustice and alienation was very much political. I had a friend studying the reasons for that unrest and the reasons given for involvement by those engaged in it were similar to those I outlined above. Of course I don't know exactly what was going on in those people's heads at the time, but I think we can make educated guesses based on situation, actions and environment.

    What do you think they're a product of if not their environment?

    Finally, given the nature and circumstances of the crime itself (how long it would take, how obvious it would be to the public that it was taking place, etc), and the fact that the people involved made posts on social media sites definitively proving their involvement, I would not give too much credence to the notion that the people involved made much use of "their rational and reasoning faculties and adult decision-making capabilities".
    Is that to imply that they were non-thinking automatons, that it just happened by chance for no real reason and that they are not capable of responsibility?

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