The news on Katrina from outside the USA ||

I've tried to keep away from this because my reaction has been seriously confused. But the responses on this post tipped me over the edge.

"The animals that are committing these crimes are not the same Americans who believe in our nation's high moral stature. Rather, they are the product of a politically correct curriculum which preaches the moral bankruptcy of this country; at least, when it isn't preaching that morality is non-existent. What we're seeing on the news, then, is simply the embodiment of liberal values, and the natural tendency of people live up (or down) to the expectations of their communities."

"First - grab a clue stick. The US is a federal system. Bush doesn't have the authority to order evacuations of cities or to move troops into them. The reason the evacuation was delayed was because the Mayor of New Orleans didn't want to declare one."

"New Orleans' poverty level is not all that different than elsewhere in the US - 30ish% vs 27%."

So. the problem is too much socialism in the USA. Thanks, McCarthy. The country as a whole can't do anything until the local government request it. Well thanks again, you founding fathers.

But it's that last one that really freaks me out. There's a joky metaphor there that's particular apt. The only reason the successful classes have their heads above the shit is that they're standing on the shoulders of a 30% underclass buried in it. Can a society really call itself civilised or preach "high moral stature" when it depends on 30% of it's population being below the poverty level?

Apart from being eerily like any number of science fiction novels (Metrophage, Escape from New York, Distraction) this feels to me like the beginnings of the French Revolution. Any time the mob loses access to the basic necessities of life like water and food, the mob will revolt. Human beings want to survive and in desperation they will do almost anything to do it. Add easy access to guns, mix in the sudden cessation of the drug supply and leave basic resources unguarded and a swift fall into anarchy is hardly surprising. And the central power's reaction is entirely predictable, send in the cavalry to restore order and try and keep a lid on it.

Has Katrina ripped away the facade and exposed the rotten core? Just as the spiraling cost of bread exposed the rotten core at the heart of the French Kingdom?

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[ 05-Sep-05 8:17am ] [ ]