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surviving an "authority vacuumn"

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posted on Feb, 13 2010 @ 01:10 AM
Even in a society-wide collapse, rulers don't just disappear. They morph, but they never just leave town.

Think about it. Imagine a city that can no longer pay its police force. What will those officers do now? They still have the guns and the bullet-proof vests. They still have the keys to the motor pool, and the city government fuel-depot. Would the police just stand by and let looters steal their fuel? Heck, the 'officers' even have a jail they can use to hold prisoners in… The definition of "police officer" would probably change, as they deputize family and friends, and arm their neighbors to make sure THEIR people are safe.

What about violent gangs? If society collapsed, they'd still have the guns and the ammo, the organization to stay in control. Even if their supply of drugs dries up, they still find themselves armed in a city with closed and deserted stores. What's to keep them from taking over the nearest walmart, or target, or Lowes? Gang members have families, and they need support structures too, so gang ranks would swell, as they occupy local stores and pay their members in merchandise. A low level street gang would quickly morph into a more sophisticated entity, perhaps resembling a medieval fiefdom more than an urban gang.

What about the local hospital? Will the workers there just leave all the medical supplies to the looters? Wont they be tempted to steal it for themselves, or perhaps to cut a deal with what's left of the police, and pay the local militia to guard the hospital for them? Before you know it, the local government begins to take on the trappings of a miniature independent state. And what was once a hospital is transformed into a fortress…

History is replete with examples of EXACTLY this kind of behavior. It happened in the Paris Commune in 1871; After the French central government was deposed, the people of Paris quickly coalesced into a discernable local government, and even attempted to repel an invasion by the new National French Republican government.

It happened in Germany in the wake of World War I, and the roving bands of paramilitary Freikorps terrorized much of the nation. No response was ever found, and so the Friekorps became one locus of power for the fascist movement that began to coalesce around the Strasser brothers, Goebbels, and Hitler.

Somalia and Afghanistan are current examples. The fashionable term in government circles is to refer to them as "failed states," but this is exactly the sort of situation that survivalists need to take into account, one in which there is no central authority, and clans of armed thugs or ex-soldiers attempt to set up their own rival regimes.

Some historians believe that the legend of King Arthur is based on a Roman mercenary warlord who stayed behind after the Emperor in Rome withdrew his legions from Britannia.

Questions for survivalists:

-How do you prepare for the type of paramilitary units that often run wild in the vacuum of a failed state?

-How will local populations be most vulnerable, and what can we do ahead of time to reduce our own vulnerabilities?

-How could a survivalist profit from the extreme social mobility that follows a social collapse?

posted on Feb, 13 2010 @ 05:40 PM
you will always have the vermin out there that will take over (or attempt to)... with no authority in the city (which ever one) the strong will band together to prevent total lawlessness from prevailing. However since that would be what I consider to be a very hard time to live in, very hard decisions will have to be made.

The entire legal system as it were would be non existant. Thus from my point of view the dealings of the lawless will have to be brought to a quick and speedy end... Example: a person caught in the act of rape or killing would be hanged until dead..period.

The facilities that normally held this trash wouold be a total loss, and those in it will most likely escape. However since the bad guys in question will have guns...again a hard time for hard decisions. Do you hunt them down or just leave it alone.

Many will say that we must be compassionate with all those unfortunate people... I say hogwash. There are those that are smart enough to prepare and then there are those that were dumb as rocks and have that belief that the government will protect and provide. Not going to happen.

self reliance will be the key issue for people right now..learn it and understand it. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best mentality. There will be no order , no cops, no fireman, and clearly the hospitals will fail because they cannot afford anything...just like no one else can.

You had mentioned gangs... well when they come near your enclave... the answer will be simple... you kill them right to the last man or woman..because bear in mind they will have no hesitation to do this to you...not a bit. You are going to be doing what should have been done with them years back... elimination.

Looters will be shot on sight... mostly by business owners and they will do so until they are overwhelmed by the criminal element. At that point it will fall into the hands of those willing to defend their groups... strength in numbers will apply to people of all walks of life..

sadly there will be the usual ignorance of one race blaming the other for the problems bestowed upon the other.... and thus will racial tensions heighten and eventually explode. One would thin that after all that the nation will have been through up to that point that the ignorance of color would have stopped. No, in its own way it has never left.

The groups that believe in each other will fair the best, and simple to a later on evolvement of cities that are crime free mainly because it will not be tolerated in the least will emerge.. Eventually the so called government would try to restore order, but this is the clincher. Will people go back to the ignorance of what caused all of this in the first place...??

Some will want to and still want to believe in the cradle to grave crappolla.. and those people will be right where they belong..under a nanny government. These people that survived and fought will never back off from independence or self sufficiency..

People from what ever walk of life they were in will indeed walk away and go home, with the intent to take care of their own.. Rightly so in all aspects.

Now because history is fresh with this kind of thing. A lesson is to be learned. Prepare, prepare, prepare.

Preperation .... you become proficient with the weapons of your choice, and you band together now as a family unit or a unit of friends that you KNOW you can trust. You pol your efforts to prepare with food, medical gear, and a thousand other things while you have time. You plot evac routes to safe areas and you have areas pre-designated to meet your group.

Profit for survivalists.... This brings into bearing a large group of problems. Say there has been a total economic collapse. currency is no longer going to worth nothing and never will again... barter and trade for goods on hand will be the profit margins for all...

items for good trade will include ammo, weapons, food, medicines , etc.

Items the criminal element will want ... women, kids for sex and trade, guns ammo, drugs to get high, vehicles that actually run. And the list could go on...

but hopefully this gives you an idea of what you might expect. There are literally hundreds of militia groups across the nation. Some bad and many good ones. But remember those small units are often controlled by a heavy handed person with a control mentality.... you must be alert to all of that and not allow it to happen in your group. One leader is selected and all major things are placed for vote amongst your group. decisions are made in the finality by one single person based upon all choices available... The real problem is what to do to start over... That list my friend is nearly endless, but if you believe in staying alive and the restoration of common deceny then all things are going to be possible...

hope this helps

posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 12:27 PM
Don't forget silver and gold.
Fiat currency might be worth squat but I can tell you with fair certainty that humankind will still desire the shiny metal it's been digging out the ground for aeons

Silver over gold, but both are better than nowt.

posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 09:39 PM
Thanks for your posts.

I've been thinking about government-generated models from the 1980s regarding nuclear war. In the US, it would decided that the most likely way the cold war would turn hot would be a process of "nuclear creep," where a conventional war turned hot, and one side or the other decided to use "just one" atomic device to even the odds. In retaliation, the enemy would use "just two bombs" to keep the advantage....and so on back and forth until you reach a full out wave of nuclear detonations on both sides.

I think a similar model fits the collapse of society. The cops and security officers won't turn into thugs overnight. But when they cannot find a judge in the middle of the night, they'll take a legal shortcut and administer their own summary punishment. After that, they'll begin collecting their own taxes, followed by a "simplifying of the tax system." The new system will be that you pay as much as they need today.

This sort of thing happened when the Soviet Union Collapsed. There were intact army units scattered across the map of the former union. Most of them disbanded; but the ones furthest from home kept intact, and hired out their services to whomever could pay them a regular fee.

Watch the fire and ambulance crews start having "restricted range," where they avoid the worst parts of town. Over time, they reduce their zone to a smaller and smaller area--one that coincides with the people who can pay them "up front" for medical and fire "protection," with all that the term implies.

Currency is a tricky thing. People will clamor for gold, true; but there won't be nearly enough to go around. And just like in every other financial crisis (from postwar Europe to post-invasion Iraq), the people will go back to trading in the former regime's currency out of a need for small change. At first, it'll be "just paper." But later on, its value will rise because no one will be bothering to counterfeit any new notes. In Iraq, the value of the dinar plunged to nearly 4000 to the dollar. But over time, even before the US began taking the dinar, it rose to 1700 to the dollar in less than a year---235% return in twleve months isn't too shabby. Enough for me to risk a hundred bucks or so.

I believe that gold will quickly become a privileged currency; but it won't be the ONLY currency, and if everyone is ignoring the cash register during the riots, it just might be worth a second look....

posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 10:39 PM
Pay attention to life after a weather disaster. Local government is usually nowhere in sight right afterwards.

Before impending disaster, cell phones are used to notify loved ones to bulk up on supplies. Supplies in local stores run out within an hour. Things like water, paper plates, Vienna sausages, hot dogs, Pop Tarts, marshmallows, etc are quickly sold out.

Rumor says city will run out of water. Local stores run out of bottled water before officials announce municipal shortage. People frantically run through stores looking for few remaining bottles. Some buy $50+ worth of individual bottles sold in gas stations.

People buy generators for electricity. Said generators make lots of noise in an electric-free neighborhood. Ruffians steal generators.

Shelters are set up for those without electricity or water. Few go because they are afraid of looters. Many don't even know shelters are open because they don't have power. Radio stations keep playing music and don't announce important information.

People complain about the government's lack of preparation, but few blame themselves.

Survivalists, it's best to have prepared way in advance and keep a low profile than be out in that mess. People are quick to anger and blame. I'm glad I go to see all of that. I consider it a trial run for things to come.

posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 11:04 PM

Watch the fire and ambulance crews start having "restricted range,

watch the fire and ambulance crews start arming up in rural areas.
mostly these will be volunteer fire departments.
They for the most part have been organised for many years and in rural areas many are hunters and/or veterans

In the west of 1840s to 1900 in rural areas of the US outlaw gangs were dealt with by a local town sheriff and posse.

Many outlaw gangs lost members to town shopkeepers when trying to rob the town banks

One well documented gang that had this happen was the Dalton gang.

Early in the morning on Oct. 5 1892 five members of the gang, Bob, Grat, Emmett, Bill Power, and Dick Broadwell rode into Coffeyville. They tied their horses in the alley across from the banks, then strolled across the street and divided into two groups and enter the Condon National Bank and First National Bank. However they were recognized by citizens and the alarm was given. Townsmen quick armed themselves with weapons from the local hardware stores and took up positions to defend the town. As the bandits tried to make good their escape a fierce gun battle took place in which four citizens and four bandits loss their life. Emmett, the sole surviving member of the gang, was seriously wounded. He would recover from his wounds and stood trial for the crime. He was sentenced to life in prison, but was later pardon by the governor, and spent the rest of his days in California.

The main gun that killed outlaws in those days was not a sixshooter in the hands of a lawman but a double barrel shotgun in the hands of a banker, stage-driver or guard, or a shopkeeper.

[edit on 14-2-2010 by ANNED]

posted on Feb, 18 2010 @ 10:57 AM

Originally posted by Waiting2
Pay attention to life after a weather disaster. Local government is usually nowhere in sight right afterwards.

Agreed. Katrina is a case in point for major cities.

A lot of Law enforcement employed to maintain law & order in the most urban parts of New Orleans actually lived out in the 'burbs. And when things got rough, they naturally (in my opinion) decided not to show for work.

As another poster pointed out, police who "live where they work" will be far more likely to be a presence because of their social bond with their neighbors and friends.

That's one of my points with this thread: a policeman (prison guard, mall security, private eye) is most likely to defend HIS OWN neighborhood, rather than the one he was paid to protect, before the collapse.

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