As crashing economies and austerity measures slap ever more ferociously at the lives of the vulnerable and disenfranchised, the Western world, with all its hidden poverty and institutional racism, may continue to convulse.
Observers dismiss rioters as roaming bands of delinquents. Or well-organized, tech-savvy flash mobs. They're portrayed alternately as greedy opportunists or disaffected youth. Reflecting the diversity of urban Britain, they are everyone and no one. And they're just kids.
Whilst the Democrats and Republicans rail away at each other, and whilst the Mayor of London, Prime Minister, and all manner of others denounce thuggery and yobs, I am struck by troubling parallels that face America and Britain.