Connected Anarchy: The Age of Connectedness & the power of purpose

While this isn’t the usual thing I would blog about I feel compelled to say my bit on the London riots of last night. Some things I am qualified to comment on and others are just my personal opinion not necessarily facts.

While like most people I feel the same sense of disgust and revulsion when I see all the videos circulating online I can’t help but think that when it happens on this scale there is more to it than simply dismissing them all as idiots.

A Perfect Storm

I think there are a number of things at play. Personally I don’t think one is more significant than the other but rather as in the Middle East there is a perfect storm brewing.

Firstly I think there is a generation that has been let down by society. It isn’t a few bad apples it is a national societal problem which I think will become clear over the coming days as this spreads to other inner-city areas across the UK.

Secondly social media and mobile phones have connected us to our peers in a way never seen before. Without it there would be no Arab Spring and for sure no London Riots. The difference between the two is the Arab Spring is connecting around a purpose. The London riots show what this connectedness does without giving society and community purpose. It leads to anarchy.

I will address the matter of purpose a little later.

Detached & Disenfranchised 

Kids especially these kids don’t have buckets of empathy and so are prone to mob mentality of grotesque levels so are particularly vulnerable to an anarchic connectedness.

There is a whole list of society ills that led to a lack of respect for any kind of authority:

-Hands off parenting & teaching

-Society insisting on treating kids like adults

-The shadow of a corrupt world of politicians

-An increasingly violent world (I bet they see more blood and death on the BBC News than they do in any movie)

This leads to detached and disenfranchised members of society.

Unashamed Materialism

Combine this with high levels of unemployment for young inner city men (a recipe for disaster in any country) you have political unrest. The problem, referring back to my earlier point, is these people don’t even have a politick. Well they do but it’s unashamed materialism imported from the US. The fact they call the police the ‘Feds’ sums it up for me.

However this ghettoisation of older male teenagers is seeing them groom younger children for criminality (nothing new in other parts of the world think Brazil and elsewhere). Armies of ‘soldiers’ without empathy or anything to lose. How long has this kind of violence been inwards on itself? One young male after another shot of stabbed to death on our streets. This shocked but didn’t interrupt our day to day lives. Now it has united and turned outwards on to wider society – an unavoidable social consequence. It finally has our attention.

The fact this happened in August (holiday season) is no coincidence and without a fix could become as regular a fixture as the May Day riots.

Personally I think these older males should be charged with child abuse for their role as Fagan but it still doesn’t stop the momentum of why.

To purpose:

Connected and empowered is good…. with purpose. Without it you have anarchy. This is the new reality Governments around the world will face over the coming years. It’s the Age of Connectedness.

I believe here in the UK we need to invest in programmes (the new non-military version of national service) for our young unemployed in rewarding community-oriented initiatives.

It will help them develop empathy, keep them busy with money in their pocket, connected to a mission and purpose developing skills that will be very useful in future life.

Being able to work well with others will be the single most important skill in the Age of Connectedness. This should be our societal purpose.

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  • http://twitter.com/jamie247 Jamie Burke (@jamie247)

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