Bizarrely the week before the riots hit London and spread to other cities and towns I came across three related resources. I started to read John Armstrong's In Search of Civilization. It isn't a long book, it's very readable and the print's pretty clear too. There are several threads to glean from the text, points that highlight the civil need for h2cm. Armstrong's book on Goethe is on the shelf, so come the winter it will see the light of night.
I also heard of the Journal of Modern Wisdom. I've received a review copy and already a student nurse will hopefully benefit from one article on the concept and meaning of 'depression'. A tag line for this publication reads - for public thinkers and the thinking public. Events here clearly demonstrate that while the acquisitive crime (as described on BBC Radio 4) was taking place the thinking public were indoors. They were no doubt safely and law-abidingly thinking. Listening to some of the people interviewed on the news you appreciate the challenge of public health, individual health and personal responsibility. The televised dialogue (harangue) between a shop keeper and those who are quite rightly angst ridden about the death of a young man in London apparently at the hands of the police starkly reveals the interpersonal gaps - the vast distances that exist in (this) society.
Watching the Prime Minister step forth to pronounce on events, the distances involved transcend the political, racial and spiritual colour of No. 10. While the world over a single death is one too many. Listening to the news over the past few days you realise that a license-to-kill should belong to fiction and film; a license-to-thrill belongs in the privacy of one's home (I could expand on this - but not here); but using the events as a license-to-riot reveals a patent inability to think, to reflect and critique matters even in a basic 'responsible adult' way. That is the way of the mob.
Politicians: you* should be very worried. What exactly is a broken society symptomatic of?
This brings me to the third source. Oxford University Press are kindly forwarding a review copy of Bortz' Next Medicine - The Science and Civics of Health. I'm really intrigued with the apparent emphasis in this book on the civic - the public as patient and the role of personal responsibility in health care. I look f/w to reading and writing more on these themes ...