SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
2. Select Email/Password Information.
3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.
Subscribers can find additional help here. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!
Having just posted on the curious ransacking of the office of Siegelman’s attorney, I just want to make clear that I am in no way suggesting that the forces involved with the Siegelman prosecution had anything to do with this or any of the other curious goings-on in Alabama. After all, we know that Karl Rove was in Hershey, Pennsylvania through the weekend.
But it is worth considering – would people who committed the sorts of crimes that went on in court all the way through the Siegelman prosecution hesitate for even a second about a petty burglary? On this point, Thomas de Quincey put it very well in his little essay Murder Considered as one of the Fine Arts (1827):
If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination.
And the next thing you know, he’ll be putting his commas outside the quotation marks. And with that, all human civilization will collapse.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Amount by which the number of government jobs in the U.S. exceeds the number of manufacturing jobs:
The sound of mice being clicked may induce seizures in house cats.
In Turlock, California, nearly 3,500 samples of bull semen were stolen from the back of a truck.
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
“Civilization masks us with a screen, from ourselves and from one another, with thin depth of unreality. We habitually live — do we not? — in a world self-created, half established, of false values arbitrarily upheld, largely inspired by misconception, misapprehension, wrong perspective, and defective proportion, misapplication.”