There is a disease that has plagued the world for the last hundred years. Lovelessness! This sickness, the result of the imposition of materialist teachings, affects all sections of society. Lovelessness, and the ruthlessness and lack of empathy that result from it lead to moral collapse. The incidents of looting that have taken place in recent months reveal the scale of that moral collapse. People across the world organize lawful or unlawful protests and marches to criticize policies and forms of administration in their own countries and to demand their rights; but acts of looting during such protests are a disgrace.
One example of this disgrace happened in Brazil. People began protesting against the ongoing economic crisis and the Brazilian government’s social policies in the country last June. In particular, the fact that Brazil was to host the World Cup led people to take to the streets. Some Brazilians are of the opinion that it is a mistake for money that should be spent on public services to be spent on World Cup projects instead.
Major acts of looting took place during these protests. Stores and shops are robbed in broad daylight due to the security void caused by the police going on strike. In an effort to stop the looting, the government is sending troops to the regions involved.
In fact, these acts of looting are an important example for understanding and exposing the moral collapse across the world. We know that acts of looting have taken place in many countries in the past in conditions of turmoil, when technical facilities are interrupted and security cannot be maintained.
A major electricity outage occurred in America and Canada in 2003. That outage paralyzed life in major cities such as New York, Detroit, Cleveland, Ottawa and Toronto. Acts of looting occurred when security measures failed as the sun set and darkness fell. An even worse and more thought-provoking event happened in the USA in 1977.
On July 13th, 1977, electricity in New York went down for 25 hours; ten minutes after the outage, not a shop remained in the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn or Harlem that had not been looted. Food, clothing and furniture stores were looted, and the looting went on until power was restored the next day. The damage was put at $1 billion, two people died and more than 3,700 looters were arrested.
Major looting across the country began in Argentina when the security forces went on strike in 2013. Hundreds of people were injured and the national economy suffered major damage in the looting that began when police in 17 out of 23 cities stopped work.
Similar events to those in Argentina and Brazil took place in the British capital, London, in 2011. Major disturbances broke out with the killing of a young black British man and several large stores were looted in the ensuing turmoil. Wealthy areas such as Notting Hill and Ealing were looted.
A different example of moral breakdown occurred in the Philippines last year. Numerous markets and aid organization warehouses were looted in the wake of a typhoon that struck the country in 2013. The interesting thing is that statements about acts of looting expressed irrational and shallow opinions such as these acts being caused by poverty, hunger, lack of water and opportunism.
Looking at these incidents, a very terrible picture emerges. Countries such as America, Great Britain and Canada are among the few that come to mind when peace, justice, order and security are mentioned; yet public order can disintegrate when the slightest turmoil or security weakness develops. Adequate military power and advanced technological means certainly do not prevent outcomes in which human values are rejected, such as theft and looting and destruction.
The events taking places in countries where looting is seen are analyzed in the context of cause and effect; there is a seriously mistaken perspective to the effect that such illegal activities are natural in the event of disasters or technical interruptions. Materialist analyses are offered by saying that despair, hunger, lack of water and opportunism cause such incidents and unethical incidents are, knowingly or otherwise, given a legitimate basis but nobody ever says that such illegal activities stem from moral deprivation and lovelessness.
The fact is that God recommends justice, love, compassion, patience and reason. Someone in possession of the moral values of God will never loot property belonging to someone else in times of hunger, thirst or despair. He will not regard the events or turmoil taking place as an opportunity to enrich himself illegally and will not regard property belonging to someone else as legitimate; he will know that this is a great crime in the Sight of God.
What needs to be done is to explain that all mankind has a Creator and that people will be held to account for their deeds after their deaths. Human love will naturally spread in communities that are bound to the love of God, and such unlawful incidents will never take place, no matter how dire the circumstances.