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August 09, 2011


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I don't exactly disagree with what you've written: certainly the current events must be influenced by crowd psychology and as well the ability to communicate crown behavior so quickly and easily. I also hasten to add that I'm definitely not very well-informed about the current riots. Still, isn't it also possible that there's a very good reason for what's occurring--namely not a particular incident ("root cause") but an endemic sense of despair or lack of opportunity? In fact, the greater that endemic rage, the less would be needed to trigger riots.

I'm also not sure that rioting is evidence of a lack of community or rootlessness.

I am not defending rioters! But it may be that they have some perfectly good reasons, and not much outlet, for their anger.


"Crowd behavior", of course, not "crown"...

erin newby


it seems to me that rioting is sparked when a community reaches a breaking point of poverty and separateness and ignorance and anger. of course, it gains momentum because people, often people with no justifiable rage, have inexhaustible resources of stupidity and greed and self-justification when they're behaving badly en masse.


I didn't really want to get into grand sociological explanations - I'll leave that to Guardian columnists. I'm just trying to get at what makes these riots distinctive versus previous ones. They do seem different.

erin newby

but, but, but i demand your grand sociological explanation.


Am reasonably sure that 'poverty' should not encompass possession of RIM blackberries.


Why, Ejoch? They're everyday gimcracks.

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