I simply cannot get over the reports of wild anarchy coming out of New Orleans. If the reports are true, it's Lord of the Flies with adults.
What does it mean that it takes less than 3 days for all semblance of law and order to disappear? For the police to abandon their posts and participate in the looting themselves?
Around the internet and on tv, people are talking about "the thin veneer of civilisation" (Golding), explaining that given the opportunity, people will do whatever they want no matter the consequences for others, exclaiming that "You see this happen in third world countries, but here?"
Of-course, there's a certain amount of truth to this, but it's not the whole truth. For the fact remains that there are much poorer, less developed areas of the world -- Bangladesh, for example -- which flood or suffer from other natural disasters regularly, killing and injuring thousands there as well, destroying thousands of people's property and entire towns, leaving them in truly dire straits -- and as far as I know, we don't see this kind of behaviour. Nor did we see this kind of behaviour in the aftermath of the tsunami.
How do we explain what's going on in Louisiana by comparison?