There has been a lot of recent unrest in the UK, leading to violent riots and the usual political pundits spouting their opinions about the causes of such disruption and behaviour. But this social phenomenon does not appear to be a recent development. Claims made about moral decay in today's society are looking at a very narrow spectrum of history and also, in my opinion, viewing history through typical rose-tinted glasses. I wonder how much of this is a generational thing. The cries of increasing immorality seem to occur on a fairly regular cycle, every 2-3 decades.
"Hooligan: A history of reputible fears" published in 1982 following the civil unrest and riots of the previous year, charts peaks of social disorder and the political and cultural reaction towards it. It illustrates how moral decay" is not a recent occurrence. The history goes back to the 16th century where songs that make heroes out of criminals (analogous to gangsta rap music of today) cause similar cries over decreasing social morality. This blog (http://www.economist.com/blogs/bagehot/) provides a nice summary of the book.
So is this a generational thing? When are politicians and newspaper columnists going to stop taking the easy route of playing the blame game, scapegoating every hot topic or recent innovation with claims that this is the reason for the problems? Because, if historical evidence is to be believed, it is not the so called decay in social morality that is to blame. There are other, more fundamental, issues in society. For example, significant class inequality. But addressing that type of thing is much harder than claiming it is social media/rap music/rises in liberalism/bad parenting/teaching or general "moral decay". I can't say that I am confident that politicians will ever take the harder path over the easier one with nice soundbites, so I expect we will just be doomed to keep repeating the same cycle. Isn't there a saying about repeating the mistakes of history floating around somewhere?
Skeptical kinkster musing on whatever takes my fancy!