Wednesday, August 31, 2005

When The Levee Breaks


I've been to several blog sites and have seen extensive comments on the looting in New Orleans. It is a tragedy. However, let me say something here to all of you. The blogs I frequent are sites which often touch on the issue of the War against Islamofascism and anti-Semitism. If anyone ought to understand The Madness of Crowds, it ought to be those who know the history of anti-Semitism.

The truth about human society is that there is just a thin blue line which separates us from chaos. When disaster strikes, and society buckles, chaos will come rushing in just as sure as when the levee in New Orleans broke, and water flooded the city.

For people to take postures of morality on the issue of looting in this situation seems absurd to me. It seems to me there may be racism and classism involved in some of these criticisms. Remember, the people with money had cars, and they got out.

Imagine that you were one of the few people left stranded in a city teetering on chaos. Imagine the fear. Imagine the desperation. Some people may choose to deal with their situation by stealing a basketball goal as in this story from Michelle Malkin's site. A fireman who watched the absurd spectacle commented,

"It’s a f---- hurricane, what are you do with a basketball goal?"

Yes, exactly. What is he going to do with it? You can't play basketball on flooded, unstable streets, can you?

This incident demonstrates the chaos which has crept into the minds of those left behind to fend for themselves, without the thin blue line separating them from the chaos of the outer world. Some will "steal" food, and others might seek entertainment. In fact, seeking entertainment is a way of attempting to establish the normality of society, and fend off chaos.

The reality of the hurricane, and the devastation it has caused, is so much bigger than the action of the looters. To get angry with the looters in the aftermath of Katrina is almost the same as if you were to look out at the ocean and get angry that there is a buoy blocking your view.

I have to wonder if some of the anger being directed at the looters is really just an expression of the futility many of us feel at knowing that there isn't much we can do to help. And, maybe it is an expression of fright at the chaos we feel welling up within ourselves.

I am not trying to defend looting. I am only saying that I don't think morality is the natural state of mankind. We are Graced to be moral. And the culture we surround ourselves with gives us the strength to be moral. If the culture were taken away from us, we might find ourselves doing things we never thought we were capable of.

I think we need to stop criticizing those who were left behind.