Edited and Translated by People's Daily Online
The most severe riots over the past several decades have swept several districts of London and spread to other cities in the United Kingdom. Although the riots have been quelled with harsh security measures, people are still worried about whether London can host a safe Olympic Games next year.
Iran's senior officials have delivered a statement criticizing U.K. authorities for adopting "savage and cruel" measures to deal with protestors and calling on them to listen to the unsatisfied people's complaints and requirements. The criticism seems ironic because the United Kingdom took the lead in criticizing Iran for the "suppression of domestic rebels" after the inauguration of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009.
Leaving Ahmadinejad's statement aside, the double standards adopted by the United Kingdom and other Western countries has indeed caused dissatisfaction among many countries. In terms of riots or mass disturbances, if they occur in non-Western countries, Western public opinion will trot out labels such as totalitarian regime, official corruption and human rights violence.
Some Western media agencies with biased ideologies have even praised the "high tides of revolution" in foreign countries and blindly offered public opinion support. The Western public opinion will surely lead to more violent unrest in the chaotic countries.
Good governance, with a proper balance between freedom and order, is the common pursuit of all countries, and social administration is one of the many common challenges facing developed and developing countries of both the East and the West. Due to the global financial crisis, the social situations have deteriorated in many countries in recent years.
How should a country treat immigrants, troublesome youth and unemployed groups? How should it govern poor regions, treat Twitter and other new information dissemination tools and deal with extreme individual violence? Social administration is facing an increasingly complex situation.
In a sense, the riots in the United Kingdom could reflect its social administration problems. For example, the riots could reflect the immigrant integration problem. The riot of London was sparked when a minority youth was shot by police, and it triggered racial contradictions and class contradictions. The riots could also reflect the insufficient education of the youth. Of the rioters arrested at first, 70 percent were youths, and they are the so-called "morbid youth." The riots could reflect the Internet administration deficiency too.
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said that they are cooperating with the police, intelligence departments and industrial communities to discuss whether they should stop crime plotters from using social networking websites and services to communicate.
However, like what some Western media said, the root causes of the riots are hidden deeper. The polarization between the rich and the poor and social inequality are the fundamental causes of the riots. Some media said that the United Kingdom is currently more unequal in such aspects as salary, wealth and opportunity than any other period in its history.
The country's wealth distribution is seriously unfair, polarization is quite obvious, and social administration is deficient. When these conditions are present, violence and riots will grow in the fertile soil. Currently, the polarization between the rich and the poor is an issue that every country has to face and always tries to avoid. It is not surprising that an article published on the website of Atlantic Monthly asked: "Massive Riots: Britain Today, America Tomorrow?"
The riots in the United Kingdom are a mirror and also a living textbook.