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It’s ridiculous the way the British government and media are fretting over the causes of recent urban riots in England. They’ve been deluded by their own social reconstructionist rhetoric, and are left mouthing “why?” like fish gasping out of water.

In the aftermath and amid the debris, they are now analyzing how a majority of rioters did not fit the police profile of hooligans, or how the violence demonstrates the failure of previous indulgent, soft approaches to delinquent youths.

At a loss for better ideas, Prime Minister David Cameron has no choice but to fall back on a hard, punitive anti-crime line. I guess it’s too easy now to say that he ought to have taken such a stance from the start of his political career.

I think making sense of it all is simpler than the over-analyzing criminologists or social scientists pretend. (“It’s elementary, Watson!”) Sure, violence is terrible, but it’s fun — especially for bored, unemployed young people who see an opportunity for a great adrenaline rush during a languid, hot summer.

They even used their social media networks to turn it into a kind of dark street party.

The fact that violence is terrible but exciting is one reason why we will always have war, which is something to remember here in Japan when we prostrate ourselves every August before the idol of Peace with vows of “never again.”

But I could be wrong.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

grant piper

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