Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Recent Riots and the Entitlement Complex

Lately as I read the news, I get more and more depressed about the future of the world. I wonder how children are raised as I see and infer the values of teens and 20 somethings. Are they raised so poorly, or are they in fact less intelligent? Where did this massive entitlement complex that I've been witnessing come from? I did a lot of reading on various protests during the height of the occupy movement, and it’s forefront on my mind again with the protests and riots in Quebec.

There have always been and will always be protests and riots. In 2003, I was part of an aquaculture rally. Environmentalists showed up to protest fish farming with their little signs and we were prepared with our own. What I noticed though is ours didn't have derogatory words and vile comments on them. Because of this, we were using our signs to cover theirs up - not because we felt our message was more important, but because there were children in the crowd. The so called pro-environmental anti-fish farming protesters got quite upset by this. We got physically threatened by the environmentalists, so I just stood close to my professional accountant husband who just happens to be 6'2” with 52” shoulders. Why did the environmentalists/protesters believe they had a right to threaten us in any manner or for any reason? I would never think to physically threaten anyone.

With the occupy movement last year, the protesters took over parks in all kinds of cities maintaining it was their right. The one overriding message I received from the movement was money should be given to everyone who has never earned it as long it's taken forcibly from all those who did.  I saw millions of dollars of damage caused by the occupiers in these cities, including my own, justified by them as a consequence of the occupation.  I saw people hurt, assaulted and killed in various places due to the occupation.  The occupiers wanted rules changed to suit their wants and desires, and they wanted anyone who worked for a living to be harmed economically. I question where this attitude of money for nothing comes from. When did this attitude of physically harming each other consequence-free spring forth?  I also ask why due process is good for occupiers, but should be thrown out the window for anyone with more than two cents to rub together?  I wished for the occupiers to be removed from my city park using lawful means.  The occupiers on the other hand felt it was their right to break the law as long as they were protesting some non-issue.

In England last year and Greece this year, there were anti-Austerity protests turned riots. In both cases, during the riots cars and buildings were damaged and vandalized, and looting was rampant. Arson attacks were also common in both cases. There were many injuries and arrests.  The damage was so excessive that the countries are in economic crisis. I'm having a problem understanding the mentality that says “the government is doing something I don’t like, quick, destroy something!”  In the videos that I watched, most of the people throwing things, screaming, marching down the street appeared to be in their twenties.

From what I read, the countries are in trouble and are in a situation where they MUST borrow money. The creditor countries gave them terms and conditions, as I would expect. In an effort to save their economies, the troubled countries agreed to the terms and conditions, but the citizens said no, they want status quo. It was status quo that was killing their countries in the first place. So, to make their respective governments do exactly what they wished, the citizens trashed their own backyards.  Apparently money can be invented from nothing, but what do I know - I've only gone to school, on my own dime, for business and finance related topics.

In Montreal, students began protesting over a tuition increase proposal of $325 every year for 5 years. Considering Quebec resident students have the lowest tuition of any Canadian, that isn't bad. Our tax dollars pay the rest of their school costs. Quebec students on the other hand think this is a total slap in the face, and have actually stopped going to school to protest this increase. At first the protests were peaceful. The striking students went from peaceful protesters to violent rioters in no time flat. Rocks have been thrown, bank windows have been broken, cars have been attacked and lit on fire, journalists have been pepper sprayed, and officers have been injured. The damage they’ve caused so far is probably far more than the proposed increase.  That, to me, would mean all taxes in Quebec should increase to cover the cost of the riot.  I've read of about 85 arrests so far, but who knows what else is happening. Now, here's the best part: in at least one of the schools, the striking students are contemplating a class action lawsuit against the school to prevent the school from penalizing them for boycotting classes or missing exams!  http://bit.ly/K4y48X  I beg your pardon? Did I actually read that correctly?

In each of these examples, the protesters seem to be demanding something for nothing or want life to be easy. When it's not, the peaceful protest becomes a violent riot. That is one severe entitlement complex and it's not contained by one city or even one country, it seems to be everywhere. I have my own theories on why the younger generations are affected by this “little emperor” complex. (I do realize I'm making sweeping generalizations.)

I'm 35 years old so I'm not really that much older than those of whom I'm speaking, but I seem to have a very different attitude. The twenty-somethings today and those younger seem to have grown up completely differently than I have, with a different value set. I've been told that comparing to myself isn't fair as I did part of my growing up in Inuvik, NWT, but I disagree.

I believe that the generations just younger than mine have not been given any rituals. I'm not only talking religious rituals, I'm talking any. Families don't generally sit down together for supper, kids don't have chores, there is no game night. If a family tries to do any of this, a lot of times, the children try to rebel against it because it's not viewed as “cool”.  They’d rather be texting, facebooking, gaming, what-have-you.

The only consistent ritual that younger generations were raised with today is political correctness. Very few other rituals were introduced to them or if they were, it was not consistent They were not taught religion, or given chores, or even taught they had to work for their toys. If they played team sports, everyone was given a participation certificate and no one won, because everyone was a winner. In school, no one could fail. Children are even taught how to speak correctly so as not to accidentally offend anyone. This is their ritual. Any other morals and ethics are left out because it might be some kind of secular teaching and that's not good for them.

The problem with this type of teaching is, it does not prepare children for the real world. It gives an entire generation an entitlement complex so big, deflating it becomes near impossible. With this, they learn that if the whine, cry, and paint a banner, they too can change the world.  If they were given any other ritual - be it family or religious - I believe they’d have another moral and ethical basis to work from. But because family is an inconvenience and religion is not politically correct, they were not taught there are in fact real world consequences to their actions, and not everything is easy. There is actual work involved in world-changing situations, so when things don't go their way, they have an emotional melt down.  

The only things they have ever been taught is “power of positive students” and they can't fail no matter what. Being truly denied is not something they are equipped to deal with. When all out denial or opposition happens, and they're in large groups, they go off the deep end and feel a violent rampage is well within their right, as their lives have never before had anything except for positive consequences.

Instead of protesting or rioting, these people need to realize that they need to work at change. Things don't happen all at once and all actions - positive or negative - have consequences. I'm hoping that something is learned from these riots before something more severe happens. People have already been hurt and killed; personally, I don't want those numbers to increase.

I just had the advantage to sit and talk with my husband’s grandmother.  She’s 92 and said something very interesting to me about these protests and riots by entitled twits who want something for nothing.  “This is what I gave 5 years of my life for?” is all she had, and all she needed to say.  She served during World War II and she’s disgusted with protesters and rioters today, and I don’t blame her one bit.  She can’t believe why people start massive protests and what causes riots.  She served so we could have freedom and she sees it being squandered.  The entitlement complex is working us towards severe socialism and dictatorships when we should be working towards more freedoms.

My dad escaped East Germany for freedoms and the entitlement complex of these people is causing government to create laws that control us more and more.  I have a big problem with this.  He came here because it’s a free and democratic country.  What these highly self-entitled protesters and rioters don’t realize is, with their wanting something for nothing, we’re slowly losing our rights and freedoms.

Due process doesn't always work in my favour, but it is there for a reason. I don't wish to live in a world of anarchy, nor do I wish to live in a socialist dictatorship. I work within the laws, and use them. I try to change them if I don't think they're right, but try I'll never burn down the buildings the laws are written in.

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