Anorak News | Youth Dinking And Violence: Delay It Until 21

Youth Dinking And Violence: Delay It Until 21

by | 16th, August 2007

Dizzy looks at the current story thread of youth drinking and violence:

This morning I was unable to get a copy of the Independent so I bought the Guardian instead, along with the Times. There seemed to be quite a consensual theme today that young people get pissed too much and turn into violent hordes and something must be done!

What I personally found most interesting about the coverage is that amongst all the solutions and explanations no one really, at least for me, seemed to hit the nail on the head for why it has happened. Sure, I think raising the age of purchasing alcohol to 21 ‘might’ have an impact simply because a shop keeper’s excuse that “they looked 18” become harder when it has to be “they looked 21” – at least in my personal view it does.

Having said this, the only problem with such a move could be the sort of situation that exists in the US today where youngsters reach that age and get out of their head then instead. You just move the problem of getting wrecked a few years, although you would hope that the maturity of say a 19/20 year-old drinking for the first time (because they look 21) is more advanced than a 14/15 year-old so they won’t end up stabbing someone or beating them to death.

However, this still doesn’t answer the question of why it has happened. For me personally, I think it’s the unintended consequences of many things we have done over the past few decades. To fix it does not mean we have to reverse those things necessarily, but we do need to pause and think about them rather than just applying a Band Aid to the situation.

For example, in the immediate past I would say that the introduction of “human” rights into our national statute (rather than just being in the Convention) as had an impact. A human right is a right conferred on anyone with the quality of being human after all. This means everyone from a baby upwards. Youngsters today, as a result of the human rights agenda permeating through the media, are not that stupid to not realise that they are can apply the rights to themselves.

Added to this you have the dominance of negative liberties – the freedom from – which are enshrined in human rights legislation. This leads youngsters to say “you can’t touch me” etc. Then we have paedophile panic which leads to adults fearing to intervene, and kids that are astute enough to make spurious claims in reverse – “don’t touch me you paedo!”

Also the dominance – dare I say – of multiculturalism has had an impact. Not should I add multiculturalism itself, but more the mode of philosophical thought that runs beneath it which promotes equivalence. This dominance of relativism, which started out as a school of thought in the philosophy of science and has found itself applied to culture and worse morality, has permeated through society right down to the youth, I’d say.

The result is that many kids today have no respect for the notions of right and wrong, because the dominant belief is that such concepts are only relative to the observer of them. Therefore what is right for me may not be right for someone else. If the adult world says that everything is relative is it any wonder that an increasing number of kids are growing up nihilists?

The slow decline of youth organisations – which has been driven by paedophile panic as well – has had an impact too, as has been the removal of National Service. That is not say National Service should be brought back, but its cultural impact on discipline and respect amongst peers in society cannot be ignored I think. The idea of a Policeman giving a kid a clip round the ear too is gone, for that is “abuse”, or even worse “police brutality”.

Put simply, the whole issue of “feral youth” today is of our own making over time. Unless we stop and acknowledge the interconnection of our actions, we will just be applying bandages to a gangrenous wound.

Posted: 16th, August 2007 | In: Reviews Comment (1) | TrackBack | Permalink