Economic, Social and Psychological Reasons Behind Rioting
By now, this photo has gone viral
Riots are sometimes orchestrated evnts
Riots do not fall upon us ready made out of the heavens like the rain or snow, but are the result of a long series of accumulating trigger events that build up and then detonate at a time of a single causative event. In fact, in many circumstance, riots are encouraged and triggered by the very forces that suggest to us that they are against them. Among the causative events are things like a lack of opportunity and vision for a future of any kind, economic collapse, a sense of futility and oppression on all sides and a pent up rage without outlet that has built up over a lifetime of bullying, hypocrisy, censorship of all kinds, lies and obvious corruption. Just about anyone is prone to exploding under circumstances that serve as a trigger cause, especially if they have been pent up over a long time without an outlet. Most rioters tend to be young adults or children as defined by various legal systems. They often occur when a large group of people collect in a purposeful crowd. It may start off small, but soon escalates to sometimes engulf entire countries. Let us examine some of the contributing factors in this phenomenon.
It has been recorded in the Bible, that without a vision, the people perish. Today this can be seen from the lack of real opportunity that leads to a vision of a lack of a future of any kind. The young generation over the last several decades has been seeing a diminishing future potential over the decades. This is no more true than now, where expensive, high interest student loans now take much of a lifetime to pay down. This leaves little opportunity for getting things like transportation, a home and the goal of raising a family. Despite a higher education, the opportunity for advancement is very slight ending in low paying, hard working jobs or unemployment with the risk of homelessness. The cities of the developed world are now filled with the these casualties of economic manipulation. The frustration here is immense, covered up only by the fact that few people communicate about this and thus most are ignorant of the true scope of the problem that encompasses a whole “throw away” generation. They were sold on the grandeur that was possible for them, but seldom materializes. It is an illusory story and is repackaged generation after generation of a glorious utopian future with no path explained as to how to get there. This results in self blame, total frustration and a festering anger with no outlet, except when there is a major event where people move unconsciously in mass.
To the foregoing is the instability of the economy under the anarchy of capitalism. This includes total economic collapse due to policies that are enacted by bank directors and CEOs that manipulate money for their own profit usually through the devices of interest/usury and fractional reserve banking. A few oligarchs decide the course that history takes and it is usually mediated through highly profitable wars. War of course, gobbles up a lot of the frustrated youth who are sold on the glory of war or who are manipulated through some false flag to join the cause en-masse. It takes the experience of the front to wake them up to the dreadful reality and the lack of support after returning home should they be lucky enough to survive the encounter. The youth do not benefit from war in any way whatsoever. Many suffer post war effects like shell shock and in the modern theater, effects such as Gulf War Syndrome due to exposure to monstrous inventions like agent orange, other chemicals, poor treatment in the field and spent uranium. Some realize this and take risks in supporting causes like the anti-war movement and the ban the bomb movements of the past. These are often met by the armed might of the state that wants the highly profitable war industries to continue. Collectively, ware told it is a war against evil and terrorism, and we behave like terrorists to enforce our will on others half a world away for easy access to resources. This clumsily and thinly veiled lie soon becomes apparent and the truthfulness required by the elders of the youth becomes in itself an exposed lie and an exercise in hypocrisy. It is all manipulated to ensure that profit is maximized. Even though there are alternatives, these are suppressed.
Many young people have a sense of futility and feel oppressed on all sides and this expresses itself through music and fashion. It also expresses itself in wild parties, high risk activities and occasionally, mass riots. Much of this activity is manipulated in order to make further profit. Whole industries have evolved to make money from music, fashion, parties and high risk individual and mass sports.
Bullying is pervasive in society and the contemporary rally against bullying in schools is an exercise in futility as the very nature of school is about entraining and compliance to a work-a-day order in life. What is learned in school is often not applicable on the job and on the job training is required by the work place in most instances. The school system has its own bullying with grades that create an order of apparent intellect from the brightest to the dullest, at least as far as the usual rote memory is concerned. But the modern schools are places of censorship where what is given as education is highly selective. Children and students are not taught to think freely, but to comply to a set regimen whether secular or religious. Bullying can be covert and it starts virtually at birth, follows the child into school and from there into the work place. In addition, public relations notwithstanding, people continue to be bullied for a host of reasons, whether due to being of an ethnic minority, on economic grounds such as dire poverty, sexual orientation and more. It seems that reforms to correct this problem are forever under challenge and struggled to bring into temporary existence. If all of this does not burn a person out, then if will cause an increasing anger to fester inside of the people thus affected. Sometimes this pent up and festering anger explodes, such as in the Watts riots and in Stonewall NY.
Hypocrisy is the result of saying one thing and doing something else. Who has not heard the phrase, “Do as I say and not as I do.” This phrase in itself is an implied bullying, but worse, a justification of a double standard and a bald faced lie. Hypocritical and lying is so common place that it even puts the truth into doubt. Non of this is helpful to anyone except those who are in control. Lies and corruption seem to be the every day experience of politics, where promises are made and not kept. Parties and candidates that appear on the surface to be different, prove to be virtually identical when given the trust of running the government. This in itself has resulted in the dropping numbers of people who vote in such so-called democratic regimes that are often democratic in name only. What we are left with is a sham filled with lies, where everyone is involved with all kinds of corruption. Nor is it by any means limited to politics as it pervades the corporate and economic sectors. This adds fuel to the mix, especially among those who are forced to protect and cover up such activity in order to remain gainfully employed.
Censorship pervades the whole of society and is not limited to questions of sexuality versus age of majority questions. Information of all kinds is under strict control. In fact, we can even read about the earliest censorship in Genesis when we learn of the concern of the Elohim over the acquisition of the knowledge of good and evil by the original couple. So in punishment, the Elohim put a death sentence on humanity by denying access to the tree of life and driving them out of the garden of Eden. Since then, censorship has been busy. There have been five notable library burnings, perhaps more, in history. These were the burning of the library in Alexandria in Egypt, the burning of the Persian libraries in ancient Baghdad, The burning of the Jewish libraries when Rome sacked Israel, the destruction of the Maya libraries and Hitler's mass book burnings. The loss of knowledge has been stupendous and stupefying. In many ways, the dark ages of almost a thousand years evolved out of these events. In the case of the Maya, sources record that the people wept as they saw the Spanish destroy a thousand years of research. But since many of the Maya saw what the Spanish did and the fact that the various city states took over a century for the Spanish to conquer completely, there is reason to believe that a copy of the entire library is still intact and hidden away in desert regions, just like the Dead Sea Scrolls were during the Roman period in Judea. Information is hidden in plain sight as many people do not know how to understand a legal text, or an arcane scientific text and texts written in a composite of languages designed to keep most people ignorant and specialists informed. The current trend to dumbing down is perhaps the cruelest censorship as no alternatives are supplies whatsoever. People censored from the economy are left with no other recourse than to beg or steal, as they know no other way to survive. This humiliation on a mass scale involving billions all over the world has to be a source of bottled up rage, waiting for the opportunity to detonate.
What some can have, most others cannot. This ostentation is paraded daily via direct contact and over the mass media. We are inundated by advertizing in all directions and forms about the “good life” that translates into the consumerist life that many can only envy as they see people roaring about in high end cars and openly displaying the symbols of the good life openly denied to most. This consumerist envy is another contributor to rage that when expressed, sees the wanton destruction of and looting of these symbols.
We are given a substitute world of illusions and ignorance in place of one that is substantial and meaningful. Take a hard look at what most of us value versus how we really feel and want for our lives and real goals. Our collective attention is focused on money, which for the most part today due to rampant devaluation, is fictitious capital. We are more concerned about the progress of a favored football or hockey team than in the real issues of poverty, war and economy. This connection to and concern over the illusory made itself plain in the recent play-offs for the Stanley Cup between the Canucks and Bruins. This illusion was provided because it is highly profitable, it is a mock war in place of the real bullets and bombs war where people can vent pent up rage under control and it is very distracting, turning attention away from very serious and real conditions such as the collapse of the environment and the economy. The mock battle is a two edged sword that translates to blessing and celebration for the winner and cursing and ruination for the loser. While Boston celebrated a hero's welcome, Vancouver burned, all over a game. As in the days before the games and during, the aftermath saw the same economic problems still unsolved, i.e., the poor forced to dig through garbage for a living, homelessness and a sudden leap in crimes of destruction and looting. War continued in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan throughout and still rages where real people suffer real collateral damage in ways far more serious than the mere loss of a hockey game even with the following riot. We also love to escape through many other means like Television, fireworks and endless parties where vast amounts of alcohol and drugs are consumed.
The elite know that the people are fed up and thus seek out ways to get the masses to vent pent up rage in meaningless ways. Provisos are included for “worst case scenarios” and actually encouraged where people explode into riot, manipulated to vent the anger of the youth in futility. There is another time tested and true reason for this. This orchestrated explosion provides the excuse required for clamping down on peoples' liberties. This is important for issues like the off-shore war effort where compliance at home is of the utmost importance. Coupled with ignorance, the police who in the case of the Vancouver 2011 post game loss riot, actually refused to interfere with people involved in safety violations just prior to the main riot; the same trigger that initiated the 1994 riot over an identical cause. In addition, at 9 PM, many security people and media were told to move out just prior to the police sealing off a large section of the downtown after which they ran riot on the protestors. As in 1994, battlefield quantities of tear gas were released and people were trapped with now way out. This formed the crux of crowd control where the state ran riot on locals, tourists and by standers who got caught in the real class war. The ignorance of the rioters was apparent when they had no more concern than the agony of defeat over a strung out series of several games upon which they had placed a lot of hope, only to see it smashed to smithereens. If put to the question, most would be unaware of the general strike ongoing in Greece at the same time, the revolution unfolding in Yemen, the approaching default of the US and European economies and the biggest banks or the horrendous reality unfolding all around the world's food belts. The riots it seems were planned for events and allowed to unfold for several purposes as stated. The end result is a tarnished reputation for Vancouver that not only put ma and pa businesses out of business for good, but also drove away tourism, that sacred cash cow of the current non-summer. The Vancouver elite showed all their meanness in all of it's evil glory on the 15th of June 2011. Tourists were proven correct when they say that Vancouver is the meanest city they've ever known. The watershed of this particular incident saw days of an attempt at reparations via volunteer clean ups and a general atmosphere of apology and lovey dovey expression. But the real damage will take months to repair and bottled rage has just intensified.
The role of violent mass spectator games to get frustrated people to vent is apparent. Violent contact sports such as hockey, soccer and boxing are popular, highly profitable and a way to work up the masses into a warlike attitude. Watching the last series of the Stanley Cup playoffs was a good example as one player in the sixth game had vertebra shattered by roughing up in the game. Raymond is now in hospital in Boston recovering from severe injuries that will take several months of convalescence and post injury physiotherapy. It is unlikely that he will ever return to hockey and play for the Vancouver Canucks. But that is not all. High sticking, tripping, body slams into the boards at high speed and bench clearing brawls are the norm and not the exception. Every game is riddled with penalties for violent infractions. The watchers are enthralled and sometimes will get involved in local brawls over games. The largest brawl in 17 years just unfolded. After the loss by the Canucks in game seven, there was a real fear that some of the enraged fans would physically tear their former heroes to shreds. The Canucks and Bruins required an armed escort out of the rink; something not to loudly publicized as the riot swarmed all around just outside the arena.
With the explosion of a riot comes the risk of full blown revolution. This is the thing that the elite flirt with every time they set up the conditions for a mass riot. But, as the masses are by and large ignorant of their real destiny being distracted by violent sport, the opportunity to change the world in a single night was missed again. The elite heaved a sigh of relief while the masses licked their collective wounds physically and psychologically. For some 6,000 years, things like this have unfolded with every oppressive civilization that ever lived its duration in history. Of these, some of the more infamous were the Romans, Spartans, Mongols, the Maya warrior city states, Imperialist Britain and currently the US and its allies. We will only see an end to rioting and warfare by fulfilling the dreams of humanity in an egalitarian world society of liberated people managed in a planned economy.
Was this event deliberately encouraged?
There are post riot effects, trauma and rage is still bottled up
The 2011 riot was a class explosion, though unconscious in the midst of a hockey loss. This was in response to bosses who kept wages down and working conditions unacceptable in the legislated roll backs forced over the last few decades. As a result, most workers hate their jobs and their bosses who are for the most part, psychotic ogres. Union busting enforced by legislation, even as the current Postal strike turned lock out was underway at the same time of the games and post games riot. The lock out of Canada Post employees occurred on the very day of the riot! Post riot; bosses are being told by a lawyer not to fire workers that participated in the riot as this could “backfire” in a human rights battle. This is a small victory in the class war, but it needs to go much further and be far better organized than a chaotic venting of pent up frustration. Now that the city is going to prosecute and fine every participant they can get their hands on, they need to have them working even under horrible conditions in order to generate the wages that can be garnisheed. But even the $500,000 tab is far short of the $4 to 5 million estimate in damages and is more of a cruel act of vindictive punishment heaped upon grotesque working conditions and miserly wages paid out under fascistic bosses in a long winded program of austerity.
This is not a one time thing! The cause and conditions are still there; the bosses still arrogant and behaving like greedy hogs at the trough. Poverty, even when fully employed, hunger, homelessness, greedy landlords and bankers existed before, existed during and still exists now after the riot. There will be riots over and over again if conditions remain the same or worsen. They show every sign of worsening, which will heighten the potential for riots in the near and far future. Austerity in places like Greece have resulted in huge demonstrations and rioting. Alleged US intervention in Yemen has caused a country wide demonstration of millions lead by Muslim clerics that threatens a revolution like that in Iran in 1979. At some point, the leap from unconscious venting of frustration to conscious awareness of what is to be done to end these oppressive conditions once and for all, will be made and at that point, the whole greedy facade of the capitalist show will come crashing down.
Frustration with the sum of everything has become the center of attention in the experience the average worker, employed of unemployed. Life is over regulated. Ads pollute every line of sight. Hands, physical and virtual are thrust into their faces on a continual basis asking for cash they do not have. Oh yes! They will accept standard credit cards. Speaking of which, an increasing number of venues accept standard credit cards only. A standard credit card for the uninitiated, is the item granted by a large bank at interest. Prepaid credit cards are usually not accepted, excluding the thrift conscious out of the market. This is part of the unsustainable spending cycle that almost everyone except the desperately poor are now caught up in.
With the towering amount of heaped up frustration on their heads, they lost it and blew up in Greece, Yemen, Vancouver and many other places. The result was a riot that the state underestimated and did damage that left the downtown looking like it had been carpet bombed.
Individual rage became collective rage when a few individuals started the riot going even before the game had ended and it was apparent that Vancouver was going to lose the Stanley cup again, just as in 1994. Though police were warned, nothing was done until it was far too late. Looters went on a rampage, trashing and taking nearly $5 million. In addition, some hooligans attacked the vulnerable who could not get out of the way and looted them almost to nudity. Though people stepped in a day or two later, the individuals who were attacked this way suffered psychological trauma that lasts to this day. They are likely to suffer a lot longer, especially if they don't get post trauma counseling. But the ones who got traumatized were attacked by those who were traumatized in different ways. This is a vicious self feeding cycle unless the truth behind all of this is revealed.
The imperialist order in the world today in its serious means of crowd control, likes to keep people destabilized and this is achieved by various means. Accumulating evidence is beginning to suggest that the riot was engineered in order to create a condition of trauma in the collective. To that end, it was highly successful. The fact that ten recommendations that were made following the 1994 riot were not fallowed and the fact that less police were on duty than in 1994 with a crowd three times the size suggests something suspicious to say the least. We learned from the 2010 Toronto G8-G10 Summit what the police were capable of and this suggests some kind of engineered manipulation was in place for the 2011 riot as well in order to accomplish two thing: To create the excuse to curtail civil rights: To create an atmosphere of terror and psychic trauma so that people are suspicious of each other, one against all others. This is cause for question along with other emerging facts, such as the attack on the defenseless and suggestions by some businesses that rioters and looters should be shot.
Stats show that the average household in Canada is spending $1.47 for each $1.00 limit. That is, the $1.00 is the ceiling and the $.47 is extending buying power with high interest credit, which is above that ceiling and unsustainable. Banks are warning of a debt bomb worse than the sub-prime crisis of 2008-09. This occurred because of shrinking wages and rising prices, putting to rest, that old saw that rising wages drive inflation. The capitalist solution to shrinking wages was interest bound credit cards and “short term” indebtedness, that has become a mainstay that is unsustainable and not payable in the long term.
While Vancouver rioted, a fundamentalist Islamist "revolution" unfolded in Yemen
An unusual event followed the day after the riot
This work is co-written by myself and W. F, Raymond, who provided the inspiration for this series. This is particularly true for the section "There are post riot effects, trauma and rage is still bottled up"