Peeling Back the Veneer of Civilization

We don't have cable, so I can only guess what's been playing all day today, but the situation in New Orleans is sickening --and shameful. Don't know what I'm talking about? Go to Instapundit or NRO's The Corner for dispatches on the descent into lawlessness. This is the reason looters should be shot --not to protect property, but to protect order, which is the foundation of peace in St. Augustine's famous formulation: "Peace is the tranquility of order." But you can read all that can be said on that topic elsewhere. I would only reflect that what's happening in New Orleans is what I mean when I say that the Left trusts too much in the Constitution and in positive law. Order can't last when a people's hearts are not attached to the principles that govern them, and that is why those principles cannot be infinitely attacked and mocked, but must be cultivated. Otherwise, the very instant force (in the form of cops) is removed, we see that civilization doesn't go very deep.
The scenes described in New Orleans remind me of the scene in Black Robe when an idealistic young missionary encounters (to-be-martyr) St. Isaac Jogues after mass. Seeing that Jogues' ear and several fingers are missing at the hands of the Indians he ministered to, the young man hisses, "Savages!" Jogues responds (it's been years so pardon me) something like: "So were we all. French. German. Savages --until someone brought us the faith." The loss of serious Christianity (not to exclude Judaism, but it has never had much interest in evangelizing) means the loss of civilization; every so often we get a little glimpse of what life was like before the advent of "the West." Not very pretty is it?