When I saw a disturbing story about a woman shot to death by her estranged husband in my own city it obviously caught my attention. Worse yet, this is coming on the heels of me reading about the breakup of the Nephite society (3 Nephi 7) in the last couple of days. When I was reading that I had started to ask myself “could our society dissolve like that?” I also wondered about what that would actually mean in our time. my initial answer to that question was that yes, having our society dissolve into insular groups with independent standards of behavior is a more or less remote possibility for all societies.
After reading stories like I read today I have to admit that that power of society to create norms of behavior is weaker than we might think. It’s a stark reminder of how thin the line is between civilization and anarchy.