Last post I referenced a newspaper editorial that suggested that the recent civil unrest in England was symptomatic of a much larger malaise – a lack of ethics in public life generally.
Now a leading UK thinktank (and not a conservative one as far as I can gather) has come out arguing that English society is “badly broken”
The Centre for Social Justice assessment
… this mayhem also exposes a broken section of British society – utterly detached from the values and responsibilities we expect of our fellow citizens …. a lost generation.
…. they project anarchy in public because it is what surrounds them at home. Many will have never known stable parenting or fatherhood role models. Such family breakdown and dysfunction has rendered countless young people damaged and directionless.
These are the actions of people who live in chaos, hopelessness and poverty. What they are doing is criminal, completely wrong and must be punished. But it is not entirely random; they believe they have nothing to lose and no one to answer to. Some even consider it normal. …. we need deep rooted social reform which understands that a section of Britain is badly broken and needs to be rebuilt.
Why try to be good?
Some of the issues the Centre has raised (e.g. poverty, family breakdown) have clear economic, social and political causes, but others (e.g. “utterly detached from the values and responsibilities we expect of our fellow citizens”, “family breakdown and dysfunction” and “chaos, hopelessness”) seem to be a direct symptom or result of an ethical vacuum in modern western culture.
Why should they be good?