Tuesday, September 6

THE "LAVISH FUNDING OF PSEUDO-ACTION" RUNS HEAD-ON INTO "RE-PRIMIVITIZED MAN"

From whichever angle the inimitable Mark Steyn assesses the plodding relief debacle and lawless effrontery that has been the looting-lowbrow-feckless propensity of some in Louisiana in showcasing for all the world to see the depths to which certain people and cities can sink, you come to see in stark relief both America's glaring vulnerability and man's appalling atavism.

Some excerpts from his "Chicago Sun-Times" piece:

In the Atlantic Monthly a few years back, Robert D. Kaplan went to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and other failed jurisdictions of West Africa and concluded that many of the "citizens" of these "states," roaming the streets raping and killing, belonged to a phenomenon called "re-primitivized man."

Anyone watching TV in recent days will have seen plenty of "re-primitivized man," not in Liberia or Somalia, but in Louisiana. Cops smashing the Wal-Mart DVD cabinet so they can get their share of the booty along with the rest of the looters, gangs firing on a children's hospital and on rescue helicopters, hurricane victims being raped in the New Orleans Convention Center. . . . If you're minded, as many of the world's anti-Americans are, to regard the United States as a depraved swamp, it was a grand old week: Mother Nature delivered the swamp, but plenty of natives supplied the depravity.

The comparison with Sept. 11 isn't exact, but it's fair to this extent: Katrina was the biggest disaster on American soil since that day provoked the total overhaul of the system and the devotion of billions of dollars and the finest minds in the nation to the prioritizing of homeland security. It was, thus, the first major test of the post-9/11 structures. Happy with the results?

One thing that became clear two or three months after "the day that everything changed" is that nothing changed -- that huge swathes of the political culture in America remain committed to a bargain that stiffs the people at every level, a system of lavish funding of pseudo-action. You could have done as the anti-war left wanted and re-allocated every dollar spent in Iraq to Louisiana. Or you could have done as some of the rest of us want and re-allocated every buck spent on, say, subsidizing Ted Turner's and Sam Donaldson's play-farming activities. But, in either case, I'll bet Louisiana's kleptocrat public service would have pocketed the dough and carried on as usual -- and, come the big day, the state would still have flopped out, and New Orleans' foul-mouthed mayor would still be ranting about why it was all everybody's else fault.
It makes for some sobering reading.

SOURCE: "Chicago Sun-Times Suntimes.com"

HAT-TIP: "Little Green Footballs"