Riot criminality is a product of consumerism and social breakdown

Commentator after commentator, from politicians to journalists, is blaming the recent chaos in London and beyond on “criminality”. What does that even mean? Crime is a product of social conditions, not a thing in and of itself. Recognising that people smashing, looting and burning are committing crimes is not an explanation – of course they’re criminals, what they’re doing is against the law.

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