There was an article I read somewhere a few weeks ago. I think it was in The Australian by Greg Sheridan. It was on breakdown of governance and structured society. Soon after that the MH17 disaster happened. It brought that article to sharp focus for me.

In so many places around the world today, there appears to be deliberate discarding of a structured society and governance. Eastern Ukraine had for several weeks, showed no one was really in charged or claim to be. The Ukrainian government was up against separatist rebels as well as the Russians. Many say those rebels are proxies for the Russians but equally there were apparently fragments of groups all claiming different things. Nearly 300 innocent lives otherwise totally unconnected to the quarrel were lost as a result of such breakdown.

Then there is the situation in northern Iraq. Many blame Islamic State (formerly ISIS) for the plight of the Christians in Mosul. The Islamic State may rightly cause revulsion and yet they are only one of several rogue groups marauding across Iraq, undermining the formal government of Al-Maliki. It often comes across as no one being in charged, even the notorious Al Baghdadi, who at least projects the image of a reigning caliph.

Then you scan through the scenes of Egypt, Syria and maybe even parts of China and the sense is reinforced. It is as though groups are sprouting out which decide to do as they please, abiding only by the rules accepted within the respective groups. The formal governments don’t seem to matter too much.

I wonder if the self-determination mantra so priced by many is starting to demonstrate the risk of this mantra spreading and being given an elevated importance. No one is completely free. Everyone needs to come under the control of some regime. It is entirely legitimate for that control to be properly and strictly defined but where anything resembling anarchy takes any level of significance, maybe not immediately but not too far down the track the outcome is almost certainly disastrous.