Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Philosophy and the Riots

I have just been reading some remarks on the work of German philosopher Ernst Junger (by Mounier).

Junger, it seems, was a philosopher who adhered to the view that in the nihilistic contexts of modernity, action becomes freed from all restraint and individuals become fired with a passion and intensity for ecstasy and/or power.

This is obviously one explanation for events such as the recent riots. However, does it really explain such events? Surely we need to factor in the very brutal reality of the current recessionary environment into this?

It is no suprise that the last serious riots in the UK were during the last serious recession (early 1980s). What, then, is the relationship between cultures of nihilism and economic forces?

Neil Turnbull