When the Moral Levee Breaks

Thursday, September 1st, 2005

Lee Harris presents a quintessentially conservative point of view in When the Moral Levee Breaks:

To me, the looting came as no surprise: it was a completely natural phenomenon. It was exactly what my own theory of the social order would have predicted. What else should you expect when a civilized order collapses?

He continues with an anecdote from history:

[F]or the last couple of days, I had been reading a book about the Sandwich Islands, now known as Hawaii, and what Captain Cook, the great English explorer, had observed about its people, and, indeed, about all the various peoples that he had discovered tucked away on their paradise islands in the middle of the nowhere called the South Pacific.

They were all thieves.

Cook was enough of a multiculturalist not to take great moral umbrage at the thieving ways of the savages of paradise. His attitude, after landing on several thieving islands, became: “Oh well, what can you expect?

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