If the policy went on strike or took part in a mass resignation, how long would it be before there where riots?
In other words, is it law enforcement which keeps us from each other’s throats?
I was working in No 10 at the time of the riots in 2011. People who were trying to grapple with the problem kept asking ‘why are people behaving in this way’? I was approaching the issue from the other end. Why don’t we all behave in this way?
If we look at examples when the law is not enforceable such as a war zones, a natural disasters or states of emergency it is clear that rape, looting and barbarism soon become evident.
But not everyone automatically reverts to this ‘if I want it, I’ll take it’ approach! There are also numerous stories of selflessness and heroism.
So, if the police disappeared and you could do whatever you wished with total impunity, where would you stand on the spectrum between caring for the greater good and look after you and yours?
This isn’t just a decision we have to make when faced with extraordinary situations but also in everyday situations. Recently we have seen powerful people who think they have impunity such as bankers, police, politicians and journalists decided to look after No1!
It’s the values people hold now that will dictate how they react to a situation. So to answer the original question of how long it would be before the riots is dependent on whether or not you believe most people are selfless or selfish.
This is why we promote personal and social development, to help people assess their values and consider how they want to live their lives.
It is this reflection and commitment by each individual that builds a strong and healthy society.
It is only when there are no riots or national emergencies taking place that we can strengthen ‘social fabric’ by investing in personal and social development.
Once social fabric does start to tear however we are reliant on force and faith!!