London Riots and the “slow motion moral collapse”

The other day British Prime Minister David Cameron responded to the rioting in London by saying its root cause was “irresponsibility. Selfishness. Behaving as if your choices have no consequences. Children without fathers. Schools without discipline. Reward without effort. Crime without punishment. Rights without responsibilities. Communities without control.”
The riots resulted in thousands of arrests, millions of dollars in property damage, and five deaths.
Cameron went on to say, “We have been too unwilling for too long to talk about what is right and what is wrong. We have too often avoided saying what needs to be said, about everything from marriage to welfare to common courtesy.”
Cameron is right. The language of morality has largely disappeared from the cultural conversation. But, even once they begin to engage in the conversation about what is right and what is wrong, what will it look like? What will they say to the irresponsible, selfish, undisciplined young people of their country? There will be plenty of blame thrown around. There will be new programs and legislation. There will be debate over what caused this. And then life will go on without any fundamental change in the concepts of right and wrong.
Why? Because there is no moral authority. They will not seek moral authority in God (they gave that up a long time ago). They will not seek moral authority in the state. They have lost their authority in a series of scandals that have revealed corruption on all levels. They can’t seek it at home because parents have given up on raising children. So, where will the authority come from?


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