Mob Behavior: What separates civilization from barbarism?

After a Virginia, USA school decided to sell their used Apple iBook laptops really cheap, panic and stampede ensued, as humans exhibited their worst behavior. The local newspaper, the Times Dispatch also has an article and even a slideshow showing people pushing and trampling on falling fellow human beings. Slashdot also has some comments, some from those who attended.

This kind of behavior is rare in Western societies, but is part of daily life in some third world countries. It is often attributed there to several factors, like overpopulation, lack of resources, limited services, ...etc.

Imagine a Western society that experiences a shortage of some vital resource, such as fuel, bread or water, would this uncivilized behavior take over? Would human selfishness cause some to get that resource at all costs, even if it means harm to others? Would "harm" here include depriving others of this resource, or even trampling them?

This is just one indication that common decency and civil behavior is just a thin veneer over a more animal-like core of human being that gets out whenever it has the chance.

A mob is the most dangerous thing one can get caught in. A mob has no leader, has no logic or reason, and no sense of right or wrong or morals. People who as individuals would not do bad things will certainly do them if they are in a mob where responsibility is diluted and spur of the moment actions happen.

From the above, it is clear that mobs are not limited to hundreds or thousands of people in the street chanting slogans because of a political or religious reason. Some mob behavior can be exhibited in smaller groups (e.g. a group of soldiers in war, who think there is no law, and are encouraged by others behaving badly, and again diluted responsibility).

We also see mob behavior in situations such as sports fans going on a rampage and destroying property and even killing people. Some Canadians, who are normally very nice people can turn into mobs because of things such as hockey. Another case of unruly mobs is when groups want political, social and economic change, such as the Seattle World Trade Conference




Uncivilized Behavior in Western Societies

Good question.

In my view, the effects of human trash being or becoming the reason of major upheaval in Western countries are to be expected much higher than in any developing country.

This is simply so because the Western mindset is completely rotten, savage and barbarian since many hundreds if not thousands of years.

I have spent a childhood in constant fear and violence, having grown up in Germany. And this went on and on until I could eventually leave not only Europe but the whole Western world and become a citizen of Asia, first Indonesia, then Cambodia. Then I learnt about human values, about peace, and true civilization, and about friendship.

It's the Western world where the greatest massacers of the future will occur. What has the white Western culture brought to the world other than violence, perversion, oppression, slavery and mental illness?

Read for example Nostradamus regarding France ... And those cultures that today by the cleanest of all countries were 'cleansed from prostitution', i.e. Thailand and the Philippines were great cultures - before they were pervaded, and perverted, by the Western mindset!!

Ahh yes, home of the Khmer

Ahh yes, home of the Khmer Rouge. Thanks Commies!

Mob Behavior: What separates civilization from barbarism?

To give a clear-cut answer: Culture.

What is culture? Well, it's quite awesome to answer this question in the affirmative. It's about as difficult as answering in the affirmative what love is, or life.

Krishnamurti suggested that in those cases we should try to look at the question from the negative observer standpoint. Thus the question would be: what is *not* culture? The answer clearly is: post-modern international consumer culture, the neo-colonian imperialist global industry culture is not culture. It's not culture because it's not based upon cultural values, but on pure greed and exploitation.

A culture is where people have a basic agreement about values, and apply these values in their daily lives. This is not the case in Western consumer culture as it is today exported all over the world.

It's a *fake-culture*, and by overriding and gradually annihilating the cultures of the countries where it's going to be established, to stay with the examples of Philippines and Thailand, it virtually erases *true* and long-during cultures and replaces them by a fake culture that is based upon our modern handphone values.

That's another form of stampede, gloriously publicized in worldwide forums and news agencies, as the 'exportation of worldwide democracy' ...