Dr Angela Hobbs wrote a very interesting post, titled Plato and the England Riots, where she analyses how the Platonic threefold source of harmony of the psyche, is linked to the England Riots.
The last paragraph ends as follows:
..if we want to diminish looting and the abuse of our banks and taxes, we have to pay far less attention, and accord far less status, to the supposed ‘goods’ that such activities seek (I suspect it is unlikely that anyone stole a copy of the Republic). Our current predicament is not just a case of the unnecessary appetites run amok; it is a case of the unguided thumos run amok as well. Our society needs to scrutinize itself without flinching from some unpalatable truths, and then seek to renew itself, including its educational institutions, in ways which will allow for true psychic harmony to be achieved and maintained. As long as rewards and status are given, and can so clearly be seen to be given, to selfishness and greed, we cannot pretend that the riots are nothing to do with us.
What I find most interesting in the article, is that Hobbs does not ignore the items looted but does not treat them as central to the riots. The status items are representative of the status-symbols that are endorsed by the society at all its levels and reflect the imbalance between reason, thumos and apetite. Therefore, the looted items are central as sources of esteem, but their importance ends there. Unfortunately, David Cameron and the coalition government, choose to focus on the items being stolen, creating a very convenient stereotype of the people that engage in the riots, and very consciously ignore all the other levels of analysis.