2011 September 29 Thursday
Bookstores Safe From Rioters

Granted, bookstores are hard to find any more. But if you happen to spot a bookstore when a riot is starting around you then run into the bookstore and go back into the shelves. In Clapham Junction London only the bookstore emerged untouched by rioters.

On the worst night of London rioting almost every shop in Clapham Junction was ransacked - except one. The bookshop.

In one of the most telling images of the summer, looters stole TVs, hair products and iPods, but the Waterstone's branch was left untouched.

The rioters are not angry intellectuals. The rioters are not students. The rioters are anti-intellectual or, more likely, indifferent to all things intellectual.

What the governments of London cities ought to do: Buy up large quantities of handcuffs and recruit law-abiding citizens who will help the police in event of a riot. Then when the riot starts use all police to tackle and handcuff rioters as fast as possible. Then use volunteers to put the handcuffed (and more thoroughly shackled if necessary) rioters onto trucks or buses. Then have barbed wire fenced-in fields set up where the rioters would then get driven in large numbers. The goal should be to build up the capability to arrest many tens of thousands of rioters per night. Then leave them

Soldiers could also be brought in to work with the police. Each police officer could get a soldier assistant assigned to help bring down rioters and shackle them.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2011 September 29 09:04 PM  Civilizations Order Maintenance


Comments
Mthson said at September 30, 2011 5:30 AM:

In a just world, we'd deal with rioters the way the Romans would have.

T said at September 30, 2011 1:04 PM:

"The rioters are not angry intellectuals. The rioters are not students. The rioters are anti-intellectual or, more likely, indifferent to all things intellectual."

Poor analysis. If someone stole books, it would be proof of low intelligence (and therefore an absence of intellectualism).

This is just an instance of the knapsack problem, and humans are decent at (approximately) optimizing some objective function.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knapsack_problem


Mthson said at September 30, 2011 2:17 PM:

T:

Perhaps, except that there are many $100 books in bookstores, and books have high re-sale value.

Rioters were filling their knapsacks with less profitable small items from other stores. Rioters aren't familiar with the world of books, so it wouldn't have occurred to them that books could be valuable.

Police in effeminate nations aren't allowed to arrest rioters, so time was a minimal constraint. In a lot of the videos, the looters are looting at a leisurely pace.

Wolf-Dog said at September 30, 2011 11:35 PM:

But if you are going to hide in a bookstore, make sure you have an oxygen mask and fire retardant clothes because in the future, the rioters might become so much more anti-intellectual than they currently are, that they might set the bookstores and libraries on fire in order to bring down the civilization.

I am sure you many of you have seen the Charlton Heston movie "The Omega Man", where the rioters burn books.

jerry said at October 1, 2011 10:25 AM:

Each police officer could get a soldier assistant assigned to help bring down rioters and shackle them.

They'd do better to have them "bring down" the leftist politicians and media scum that actually are responsible for this riot, and oh so many other similar acts of violence. This was racial matter, with the PC cops unwilling to get tough on rioting blacks. Other crooks later took advantage of the anarcho-tyranny, why wouldn't they?

no way hosť said at October 1, 2011 3:46 PM:

"Then when the riot starts use all police to tackle and handcuff rioters as fast as possible. Then use volunteers to put the handcuffed (and more thoroughly shackled if necessary) rioters onto trucks or buses"

Well wouldn't it depend on what the cause of the riot is?

Should the order be preserved even if a government is violating the people like many governments do day by day, year by year?

Should people always tolerate abuses from those in power?

Very, very poor analysis indeed Randall.

Reelality said at October 2, 2011 9:00 AM:

I am sure you many of you have seen the Charlton Heston movie "The Omega Man", where the rioters burn books."

A cool movie. Very science fiction, especially the part about rioters burning books.

Randall Parker said at October 2, 2011 4:29 PM:

no way hosť,

Very poor critique of my analysis.

Look, are shop owners the oppressors of those rioters? No. They are just shop owners and they deserve to have their property protected and their many customers deserve to have protected shops they can shop at. What happened in the London riots was not aimed at bringing down an oppressive government. The rioters had no justified moral claim for what they were doing. They just saw a way to give themselves Christmas presents at the expense of others.

T,

If someone stole books (or electronic book readers) it could be a sign they wanted to read books. Obviously, they had no interest in reading books. But they did have an interest in watching television and listening to music and getting devices for other purposes.

no way josť said at October 4, 2011 2:49 PM:

"The rioters had no justified moral claim for what they were doing"

I do agree that shop owners are not responsible, so you have a point there. However, everybody knows that riots are exactly that, riots. The mob is blind and when it rises it sweeps away and gives no moral justifications nor care to refresh anybody's memories.

On the other hand -and I'm not justifying the looting- rioters attacked shop owners because those are the only ones within reach, not the despot leaders of a country. You are just looking at the last straw, the drop that spills the glass, but ignoring years of years of abuse. Haven't you noticed that there have been riots in many countries during all 2011? The peoples of the world are angry and frustrated with their governments and authorities. People are sick of inequality. Even Tracy Chapman warned it in some of her songs. World War I did not start only because of an isolated shooting of one man.

Your "analysis" doesn't have the depth that is required for an analysis. Especially when you claim that "they just saw a way to give themselves Christmas presents at the expense of others"

Randall Parker said at October 5, 2011 10:25 PM:

no way josť,

You give these rioter credit they do not deserve.


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