Thursday, May 15, 2008

Reflections on Vengeance

For all those who extol the virtues of traditional, peaceful, aboriginal cultures, unsullied by the violence and greed of technological civilization, Jared Diamond has some reflections on vengeance in the Papuan highlands.

It's been said that the root of conservatism is the heartfelt belief that civilization is both precious and fragile. The Burkean war of all against all is not, after all, so very far removed from our daily lives. It lurks just below the surface, in each dark animal impulse we resist out of respect for morality and law. But those ideals make for a dangerously thin wall, and there are those who continue to dig at its foundations.

Further Reading: Theodore Dalrymple has said much more, and much better, on this topic.

1 comment:

elephantschild said...

Two words:

Original sin.