A Clockwork Orange
Dillow quotes one passage:
If a group of local children were playing truant from school and hanging around on a street corner, people in deprived areas would be less likely to feel that people would do something about it than those in more affluent areas.
He suggests the reason:
.... it’s to do with power.
What people in deprived areas are deprived of is not (merely) money; in any historic or global perspective, the average tenant in such areas is amazingly prosperous.
Instead, what they lack is a feeling of power. From childhood, through schooling and into meaningless jobs, the poor learn that they have little ability to control or improve their own lives. This leads them to tolerate bad behaviour and littered environments in a way that richer people – who have a (possibly inflated) sense of their power – do not. They just feel that they don’t have the power to change things.
Of course, being managed from cradle to grave by liberal state school teachers and case workers might have something to do with that.
Could it be, then, that one solution to the problem of anti-social behaviour is to give power to the poor, ideally from an early age. If you bring democracy into workplaces, estates and even schools, people will get the impression that they can change things. This will give a sense of empowerment that will encourage people to intervene to counteract anti-social behaviour. The advantage of democracy - proper democracy, not an occasional choice between identical managerialists - is that it, eventually, changes the culture for the better.
Alexis de Tocqueville made just this point. The great benefit of democracy, he said, is that it (in the long-run) creates a civic spirit, and an active interest in improving one’s community....