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Realpolitik (see also Political realism; from German: real “realistic”, “practical” or “actual”; and Politik “politics”) refers to politics or diplomacy based primarily on practical considerations, rather than ideological notions or moralistic premises. In this respect, it shares aspects of its philosophical approach with those of realism and pragmatism.
"Manchmal werden Leute den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht sehen."

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

026- The English Riots: Preface

The smashing of windows and looting of English high streets, has actualised the metaphor of breaking through the glass ceiling. Flying in the face of the perennial myth of a harmonious society, the English underclass known as chavs or scallies- depending on the dialect- have been conveniently scapegoated as the sole cause of the social upheaval across various cities in England between 6th and 10th of August 2011. The death of a relatively unknown individual, had spawned an insurrection against society itself, by a section of citizenry who we are taught to loathe -by mere virtue of their comparatively low socio-economic status and allegedly unrefined cultural habitude- by the mass media. During four days in August, a section of society chose to forgo the expected protocol for the procurement of goods, by simply taking what they desired. No glass door or window would keep them from obtaining what they had always desired, or at the very least, what had been marketed to them as their desire, yet which various factors had prohibited them from acquiring. Suddenly, a section of society had chosen to wait no more for their turn to partake in the materialism which we have been so ready to encourage on our terms; we, who are the so-called hard-working, tax-paying norm. Suddenly, the fragile balance between harmony and chaos had tipped to the point that those without the means to partake on our terms, but the will (and above all, opportunity) to take whatever they could get, had quite literally smashed through the glass ceiling of materialism. We have all seen the moment where the staff of a high end high street store, choose to eject people who do not appear like their idealised clientele.

"You do not belong here."

Many of us have the privilege of working in order to have the privilege of partake in materialism- amongst other necessities- and yet, we do not ask ourselves why a section of our society does not- or cannot- also aspire to partake as we do. Why are we ready to criticise them so readily for being unable to on our own terms? We have expressed greater concern in the last few days, over the superficial violation of our temples of materialism, and mourned the loss of earnings of the relatively privileged, than for the perennial state of destitution and lack of social and economic parity of fellow human beings. The wanton looting of our high streets was of course unlawful and abhorrent. Yet, we have demonstrated mediocre detest at best towards the highway robbery of our tax money by dozens of Members of Parliament and financial fat cats. We certainly were not discussing arbitrary judicial sentence severity for their theft, yet when it comes to some of the most vulnerable, pitiful individuals in our society, there is the sense that only European Union directives have stopped us from considering executing them en masse. For even a fleeting moment, those who participated in the riots across England, gained a sense of power and control in a social and economic environment which constantly pushes them to the exterior. Their endeavour was of course ultimately futile, for they are now being readily punished and further exiled from the so-called norm. However, for many who descended into this unlawlessness, the sense of having nothing to lose must have prevailed within them, and so the mindless awarding of harsh custodial sentences, only serves to vindicate the negative attitude that exists within the assailants toward world around them.

Over the following week, this site will discuss a variety of topics whose influences should not be ignored when attempting to establish the motivating factors leading up to the riots which swept through many cities across England. These will seek to extend beyond simple criteria which can be quickly summarized and presented for the sake ease of comprehension. We invite you to read, participate in, to appraise and critique our commentary, as we hope to play our part in stimulating a more profound, thoughtful and constructive discussion and response to the riots in England.

-chokobo- & -sandlefish-

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