Skip to comments.When The Music Stops – How America’s Cities May Explode In Violence
Posted on 09/04/2012 5:37:03 AM PDT by Travis McGee
click here to read article
We are at least 2 decades away from a Civil War.
Hysteria \Hys*te"ri*a\, n. [NL.: cf. F. hyst['e]rie. See Hysteric.] (Med.) A nervous affection, occurring almost exclusively in women, in which the emotional and reflex excitability is exaggerated, and the will power correspondingly diminished, so that the patient loses control over the emotions, becomes the victim of imaginary sensations, and often falls into paroxism or fits. [1913 Webster] Note: The chief symptoms are convulsive, tossing movements of the limbs and head, uncontrollable crying and laughing, and a choking sensation as if a ball were lodged in the throat. The affection presents the most varied symptoms, often simulating those of the gravest diseases, but generally curable by mental treatment alone. Hysteric
This paper examines the growth of government during this century as a result of giving women the right to vote. Using cross-sectional time-series data for 1870 to 1940, we examine state government expenditures and revenue as well as voting by U.S. House and Senate state delegations and the passage of a wide range of different state laws. Suffrage coincided with immediate increases in state government expenditures and revenue and more liberal voting patterns for federal representatives, and these effects continued growing over time as more women took advantage of the franchise. Contrary to many recent suggestions, the gender gap is not something that has arisen since the 1970s, and it helps explain why American government started growing when it did.
Here’s a question? Could Obama call on the Russians to come help stabilize our country? Is that what Obama meant when talking to Medved? I would not put it past him. But I do believe he would call for UN assistance in a heart beat. Then we would see who the true Americans are in our Armed forces... IMHO
Travis McGee wrote a really interesting (and viable) essay, and I think the reason he didn't include that (among other things) is because of time and space constraints. There are only so many facets and aspects one can introduce into a concept without starting to take away from it. However I agree with you completely that ethnicity is not the only issue, and in my opinion will not be the main issue once things really start moving (please note: I'm black - but not African American - thus I may be biased).
My reasoning is as follows. While the beginning stages of a societal breakdown will definitely be quite stark in terms of ethnic based strife (especially since rioters and looters will be from minority groups), and the scenario so clearly illustrated by Travis McGee will play out more or less as shown (ie rioters comprised of mostly urban youth cleaning out supermarkets, then attacking targets perceived as vulnerable, leading to the rise of countermovements - mostly White male - to stop the thievery and killing of the urban mobs). Also, as shown by Travis McGee, the countermovements can be very effective due to the superior tactics and weapons used (on aggregate).
However, very soon new dynamics will come into play. The US is a country of over 300 million people, and while minority populations are a part of that the nation as a whole is bigger than just 'minority urban youth.' The MUY mobs will be quickly defeated (and probably more so by hunger sapping their strength and will, making then to collapse inwards, than by lone wolves at the back of trucks). The big problem is that the rest of the country - the nonrioting placid law abiding citizenry - will also start going hungry. Need medicines. Water. They may take longer to break than the urban minority youth, but break they will.
Look at your average suburbian 'estate.' Many houses in close proximity to each other, absolutely no food or water storage (since there is always clean piped water and WalMart is only a 15 minute drive away), and total reliance on the system for everything (you name it - for security, medical care, everything). The average suburban home is just a more affluent version of a Section 8 home ...they all suck on the government teat, with the main difference being that in the ghetto it is more overt and by far more basic. But both average examples of each suckle hard and long off Uncle Sam.
When the system crashes most of suburbia, after spending the first week fending off the zombie like urban mobs moving from the inner cities into suburbia, will start to turn into zombies themselves. By the start of week two most homes will be out of food. At first they will rely on friends and neighbors who were better prepared, but by the start of week three even those neighbors will stop being as 'generous' once they realize things are not getting better as quickly as they thought they would. People can be very generous when they think they are in a short timeframe sh!t storm, but when there is no end in sight people start to hoard. That's when the fabric that was holding things together starts to shear and shunt. If a kid is sick and hungry a person will ask their neighbor nicely, and if told no will go home. Same thing day 2,3 and maybe 4. After a business week of a crying hungry and sick child, and the belief that the neighbor is 'unfairly' hoarding supplies, things quickly change.
In my (probably wrong) estimation, suburbia will be a huge killing zone. Not because of rioting black youth in the first week or two, but rather by the MUCH LARGER unprepared suburban population that is totally desperate and cognitively disparate. The minority urban youths will not last a week, but the average suburban home is surrounded by dozens upon dozens of homes (not to mention the hundreds more in neighbouring suburban estates arranged in close proximity), and most of those homes have people with absolutely ZERO preparation. At most they have one of those water cooler bottles, and maybe enough food for a week or two.
When the system collapses these people will band together to protect themselves from the first wave of 'zombies' - the inner city you. However, if things are not back to normal by the end of week two it is these same people who will become the second (much larger) pool of 'zombies.' A much more dangerous threat.
Now, the above applies to even Conservatives (even FReepers) who live in suburban areas with no preparation. A hungry child and a nagging spouse asking why there hasn't been any food and little water for 10 days doesn't care if you supported Gingrich or the Ayatollah. However, also consider that around 50% of the US is liberal. They will be even more unprepared than the average Conservative.
I think the continuation of your excellent essay, Travis McGee, should incorporate survival strategies for people who make it through the first acute wave of attack. Reason being in another week they will be facing a second chronic wave of attack by their own neighbors, many of whom will be as similarly armed (in weapon and mindset). In the rural areas this is not an issue since food and water will be available and people will work together (eg half farming with the other half doing protection duty), but that is not an option in suburbia.
If the system collapses, in the same way most black people will be killed by other black people (especially once excursions outside are met with hostile fire forcing the mobs to fall back to their home turf), most white people will be killed by other White people.
Fantastic reply, seriously, I would just tack it on to Music Stops. YOu are exactly correct, length considerations kept me focused on the first steps in a much worse progression.
Not only that, but if EBTs are cut off, so will medicare, social security, govt pensions including military pensions, etc. The urban cores will explode first due to smaller pantries, but the suburbs will be right behind them.
That few weeks you describe very well will be your cue to GET OUT OF DODGE if you have a fallback plan or escape pod. Otherwise, if “bugging in” you need to really rally the subdivsion for an epic struggle to survive. Not only in terms of security, but food production, one way or the other.
Luckily, where I live drinkable water is only 20’ down, and everything grows everywhere all year. (North FL). The first year might be like the pilgrims, with a high attrition rate. Assuming it doesn’t go totally Mad Max or 1984. Which it might.
By "stabilize" I assume that you mean put down the rebellion, not bring in foreign aid. I don't trust the man as far as I could throw him; I believe he'll do anything to retain power.
His attitude is Satan's; better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven.
I think all of the above is outrightly suicidal!
Now, before I am flogged and then drawn and quartered let me elucidate my point. All of the above is VERY IMPORTANT and of greatest prudence. It is important for people to arm themselves (and train, and I don't mean shooting at a paper target but dynamic reality-based training), and ofcourse having food and water reserves is simple common sense. It will be extremely helpful in the first two weeks after the cogs in the system get stuck.
The reason it is suicidal, however, stems from the fact that many Preppers I've read about have these caches of food, precious metal and firearms in suburbia! They will be dead in a month! I remember one FReeper who was saying how he even has a generator at his suburban home. Imagine the middle of week 3, when all your neighbor's are starving in darkness, and your home at the end of the street is the only one with electricity? With a nice loud monotonous drone of a genny? Goodness, even a c-grade Italian zombie movie director from the 1970s wouldn't include such an obvious 'come-get-me' in his movie script. What about all the guns? The 10 Mosins and 5 Kalashnikovs (and one AR-15 with the secret automatic adjustment)? Let's also assume one has 15 cousins living with him in the house (rather than the more likely wife and kids), and all 16 of you are crack shots. You live on the end of the street, and you have several dozen families with nothing to lose converging on you?
I think a lot of people have fantasies that it will turn out their way. Some personal version of Omega Man, with the Heston role being played by them. The problem is that, very quickly, a lot of placid nice neighbors, when driven by hunger and sickness and despair and desperation, will become marauding beasts that will form huge scavenger 'sweeper' gangs that will make the minority urban youth gangs seem like jokers. A mother seeing sustenance for her starving child cannot be stopped by anything less than a headshot. You would need veritable claymores around your property to fend off the inevitable crowds that would be sweeping suburbia.
Not to mention other viable but non-human perils that will exist. For example the huge outflow of sickness that will arise due to improper sanitation, water, and buildup of dead bodies. Or, and this one will be there a-plenty, huge fire outbreaks (due to arson, nature, or accident). It is quite interesting how combustible suburban estates can be, especially when there are no fire fighters (or flowing water for that matter) to put down the conflagration! Most preppers I've seen don't seem to consider such issues, and just talk of how many bricks of .22 ammo they have. The truth is that TEOTWAWKI will not be a fun experience - even for those best prepared for it in every way. It will be a veritable nightmare for 99.999% of people.
The way I view prepping for TEOTWAWKI is similar to how a weapon owner would view his pistol - as a way of fighting his way to his rifle. Same thing here - urban prepping is only useful for one thing! Making you survive the first 2 weeks so you can 'fight' your way to a previously prepared hideout that is FAR from the suburbs. As I said in a rural setting one has similar minded people, can share food production and protection duties (and can actually sleep ...the 'urban rambos' maybe think they can stay constantly awake to fight off Ramone and Tyrone), and they are a much harder target to attack. Unless people leave the suburbs in the first 2 weeks, before the roads have started to be blocked and well armed scavengers are up and about, they are dead.
Obviously the time to develop (and fund) an exit strategy is now, since when things 'are elephant' there will not be enough time to waltz to some rural community many miles away and charm them into feeding you and your get. But most people are developing (and funding) suburbia survival plans, and I wish them a lot of luck since they will absolutely need it. It is not impossible to do so, but it is beyond the reach of most people who currently consider themselves 'prepared' due to their coin collection, 10,000 rounds of ammo, and 'proven skills' shooting paper targets at the range.
Apologies for any spelling errors (using my iPhone, which has an interesting habit of twisting certain spellings) and faulty logic (I may be 100% wrong, but I really think a lot of preppers are 'pimping' their handgun when they should actually be practicing getting out of dodge before 2 weeks are out - and prepping NOW - because once things go belly up they will be very successful shooting the Ramones and the Tyrones, only to be killed 2 weeks later by 'gentle' Mr Davis and 'sweet' Ms Tracy ...and dozens to hundreds of similar 'gentle and sweet' souls). Any prepper plan that doesn't involve active plans to get out of suburbia the moment things look 'seriously funny' is an exercise in futility.
I sure hope so. My most fervent hope is that in two decades time I will be considered a foolish crank from early in the century, forgotten by history and laughed at roundly by the few who remember me at all.
A collapse of some sort is coming. I don’t think we can quite pin it down to what year, or decade even, because I suspect that once the democrats take power for good, due to changing demogrphics, they will raise taxes to incredible levels to keep the population under control with “free stuff’.
In time, the “free stuff” will run out....this time fo real, and that’s when the end will come for the republic. My guess: 20 or 30 years....perhaps a little longer.
See 511. When it happens, it will be breathtaking in its swiftness.
I don’t think the collapse will happen that fast everywhere. The collapse of the cities will provide plenty of warning to most other areas. The cities with their unique problems will go without food before the suburban and rural belts. It might be Zombie Apocalypse in the cities, but only Argentina elsewhere. Nobody can predict outcomes with certainty amidst such chaos and disorder. A total food supply everywhere the first month is only one projection. But in any case, it will hit the places with a 2 day supply of food in the pantry a few weeks before it hits the places with a 2 week supply. That difference will be vital. But in any case, I’d recommend NOT being near a big city, for when it hits it will hit there first and worst.
I’m thinking more like 2 years, MAX.
Shorter with Obama, longer with Romney.
I don’t know Travis. I know it’s coming. When it really starts there will be no way to stop it, and that’s what is going to shock the public. It will be fast & deadly. And the republic as we have known it will never be put back together again.
I noted that, and it's important. In modern America, our inner city poverty is not limited to blacks but includes large parts of the Hispanic community.
Bracken described the issues of tri-racial rather than bi-racial cities, with important parallels to the collapse of Yugoslavia and Beirut. He also drew parallels to Northern Ireland where both sides are white but are divided primarily by religion rather than race. He also pointed out the very important differences between urban, suburban, and rural residents, and between rich and poor income levels, which transcend racial lines.
I do not see Bracken attacking blacks or other minorities. There is a big difference between attacking a racial group for its alleged deficiencies and saying that if the economy falls apart, pre-existing racial tensions are likely to explode. Bracken is doing the latter, not the former.
The bottom line is that regardless of whether we think Bracken is right or wrong, our economy cannot sustain the current welfare state much longer, and we need to figure out what will happen when (not if, but when) it falls apart.
I have a longer post. After spending a lot of time reading this thread (and reading prior discussions of Bracken's books for a long time) I'm still debating whether to hit “send.”
Regardless of whether I hit “send” or not, when I say Bracken has a point about what could happen in a worst-case scenario — and I believe he does — I won't tolerate an accusation that I'm racist. I have an interracial marriage and have lived in inner-city communities, both black and Hispanic. That dog won't hunt with me.
Let's just say I share a lot more of Louis Foxwell’s optimism about the possibility of repairing the collapse of the black family, and hopefully preventing the impending collapse of the Hispanic family, much of which is due to federal welfare policies.
The question is what will happen if we run out of time and the welfare system falls apart along with a general economic collapse. Something like what happened with the Weimar Republic is unlikely today, but not impossible if we don't turn things around soon. Germany had no significant black population, but demagogues sure figured out how to exploit ethnic tensions against a different group of people. That specific example, which has little to do with the American racial experience and almost certainly will not be repeated here, does show us that pre-existing racial and ethnic tensions can be and often are exploited in times of keen competition for scarce jobs. Bracken is not doing that -- I think he'd love to see more black residents get jobs -- but it's pretty obvious that some inner-city thugs make a point of trying to stoke resentment against the perceived evils of "rich white people."
We ignore history at our peril.
If we can not get the government out of the compassion business we will be destroyed. Destruction comes primarily in the form of resentment about receiving compassionate assistance as an entitlement. No one should ever have a right to another person’s property or wealth. Most especially the government has absolutely no business providing any level of support to anyone other than military personnell. Corruption, depravity, destruction of family and community ensue from government welfare entitlement.
What will happen when food stamps stop? The private sector with its service agencies, churches and generous citizens will provide genuine help that does not perpetuate dependency.
After reading every one of nearly 600 posts, that is probably the most important one in this entire thread.
We don't primarily have a racial problem in our inner cities. We have a morals problem. The same immoral behaviors that are wrecking the black family are leading to major problems in Hispanic families as well and damaging poor white families.
People who have plenty of money may be able to afford to live immoral lives. People who are financially “on the edge” can't afford the consequences of broken homes. The lifestyle of a white upper-middle-class double-income professional couple won't be hurt as badly by the bad behaviors that lead to broken homes, but that's just because they have more of a financial margin for error.
Give it a generation or two more and watch what happens to white families if trends continue the way they're going now. Broken homes still tend to lead to broken kids, even if the mom and dad have enough money to buy lots of toys for the kids.
30 posted on Tue Sep 04 2012 08:15:16 GMT-0500 (Central Daylight Time) by reasonisfaith: “I think its important to remember things dont happen in real life like they do in the movies.” (Post 33) “Hollywood movies completely ignore the influence of God. But the Spirit of God lives in us. This is why the real world, and the way real people behave, is so different from the behavior of characters in movies about disaster and apocalypse.”
You are both right. When the “SHTF,” things happen which nobody had expected.
And Matt, thank you for this post:
42 posted on Tue Sep 04 2012 08:37:47 GMT-0500 (Central Daylight Time) by Travis McGee: “Watch the outstanding documentary on the Rodney King riots linked on Youtube on the original WRSA posting. This is part 2/5, and the Koreans get plenty of coverage. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRgaRtTURdY&feature=youtu.be “
Reality is far more complicated than what any of us can expect in advance because most of us don't know how we will react in crisis because we've never been tested. (To his credit, Matt Bracken is an exception due to his training. I'm not talking about him, but rather about how the ordinary civilian will respond.)
Some of those responses will be worse than ever could have been imagined; others will be better.
We have examples in the recent past, both in the New Orleans hurricane and the Los Angeles riots, of how people have responded better than expected in situations of urban breakdown. Some of them have been surprising.
As sf4dubya points out, few were more surprising than the response of Korean store owners in Los Angeles, many of whom had moved into inner-city minority areas and opened stores in places where they saw economic opportunity while others saw no chance.
If anyone thinks I'm overestimating the role of Koreans, as Kartographer posted at 137 on Tue Sep 04 2012 10:42:57 GMT-0500 (Central Daylight Time): “There arent that many inter-city food stores now. Most large chains pulled out years ago.”
Koreans probably aren't going to be a major factor in a New Madrid earthquake scenario in St. Louis or Memphis, but were in urban disturbances in Los Angeles, and will be in any similar disturbances in New York, Chicago, or other inner-city communities with a significant presence of Korean store owners.
Inner-city Korean stores often sell two primary products, food and alcohol, and in both cases at a steep price. That makes them targets of minority anger. It also makes Korean businesses likely to be targeted by those who want to get things be breaking windows instead of paying.
Major cultural differences in social interaction don't help. At the risk of stereotyping, let's just say Koreans too often think blacks and Hispanics are rude boors who talk too much, too loudly, and about too many immoral subjects, while Hispanics and blacks often view Koreans as bigoted cheapskates who don't like to socialize with others.
In any case, the Korean stereotype of being quiet and reserved led to the Korean response of fighting back rather than fleeing not being at all expected. Fighting back didn't fit the stereotype of Asians that existed in the American mindset before the riots. While those who have spent time dealing with ROK combat troops might have been able to anticipate how the quiet and patient Koreans would respond when forced into a corner, back then most Americans didn't understand what “kimchi temper” means, and most still don't.
How can we explain it?
Generally these Korean store owners were people who actually lived in the same areas as their businesses, sometimes in the upper floors of two-story storefronts which were originally built a hundred or more years ago for a shopkeeper to live above his business. Many people are willing to let their business burn to the ground and collect the insurance or just accept the loss, but people are much less willing to give up when their wife and kids are cowering in the bathroom upstairs while a mob tries to break in the front door of the business. Furthermore, when someone has moved to the other side of the ocean and invested their entire life savings into a business which may not have insurance, there is a strong motive to defend it even if their family doesn't live in the building. Investing sweat and tears into a business may mean more than dollars when it comes to deciding whether to risk one’s life by going up on the rooftop to start shooting at rioters in the street below.
On the other hand, just living in a neighborhood doesn't necessarily mean having the skills to defend it or expecting that a defense will be needed. Owners of retail businesses are used to dealing with shoplifters and the risk of an armed robbery. Bracken points out — correctly — that “gentrified” neighborhoods of upper-class and upper-middle-class people who have moved into poor communities and rehabbed beautiful but run-down older neighborhoods will become targets.
Virtually every Korean man living in South Korea has served in the military and therefore has at least some familiarity with firearms. While South Korea does not have a Second Amendment, Koreans who move to the United States and live in inner-city learn quickly why they need a firearm for self-defense. That cannot be said of most people who move into relatively safe “gentrified” neighborhoods.
None of this means I'm naive about what will happen to those Korean business owners in a long-term scenario of inner-city rioting. After the Rodney King riots, the Korean storekeepers only had to hold out for a few days and the police were able to get control of the situation relatively quickly. While Koreans have lots of family ties, unlike traditional Chinese and Vietnamese immigrant communities, modern Korean immigrants don't usually live in ethnic neighborhoods. That's especially true of inner-city Korean business owners who don't live anywhere close to each other’s businesses; they have isolated stores in dangerous neighborhoods with no easy way to get out.
In a major urban upheaval, many of those storekeepers will be among the worst casualties with families being burned alive on the upper floors of their stores and cell camera videos showing up on the internet of Korean women being dragged out of buildings and raped in the streets.
Of course, due to the close-knit nature of Korean families, we can expect a reaction of extreme anger by wealthy Korean suburban relatives of the people whose burning businesses and violated wives and daughters get videotaped and show up on the internet. We can expect that lots of Korean money will get poured into an angry response to widespread inner-city rioting. However, that kind of furious Korean counter-reaction will show up in the political realm days and weeks after the riots, not in armed response at the time of the riots.
Visions of the owners of Daewoo and Hyundai and LG paying for guns and heavy weapons to attack inner-city thugs in American cities are fantasy, though seeing suburban Los Angeles Korean businessmen spend a lot of money on ammunition and food for those who can help trapped Koreans may not be. We won't see anything like Mogadishu-style efforts to help trapped business owners, but as Matt pointed out, the police will respond to those with money and power, and I would not be at all surprised if wealthy Koreans demand help for inner-city relatives under siege, and pay lots of money to vigilantes if the police can't help. (Remember, while Koreans may show external respect for law enforcement, the assumption in Korea is that police are corrupt or at least corruptible, since money talks in Korea in ways it doesn't in America.)
Apart from direct tactical action to save relatives, seeing tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars of Korean money poured into punishing the rioters after the fact, or helping Korean refugees if society breaks down completely, are very realistic scenarios. I have Korean relatives who are still furious at the Communists six decades after some of their relatives were dragged north by retreating North Korean soldiers. A post-riot political system will have to deal with some seriously pissed-off Koreans with a lot of money and a lot of willingness to punish enemies.
Again, this may sound strange to those who do not realize how many inner-city businesses are Korean-owned. Combine the dynamic of small inner-city stores owned by recent Korean immigrants with the fact that many have wealthy extended families who immigrated earlier, and there's a recipe for major, major post-riot problems for whoever in government gets blamed for not stopping the riots.
Similar things could probably be said about the Indian and Pakistani immigrant communities; I don't know enough about their inner-city businesses to comment.
Bottom line is reconstructing the post-riot political situation will be no picnic.
Matt, thanks for posting this. We can debate how likely or unlikely a major urban breakdown may be, and many will dismiss your premise. They can't (or at least they shouldn't) dismiss your point of what would happen ***IF*** a major urban breakdown does happen, regardless of what caused it.
The differing experiences of SCalGal and buffaloguy in disasters show an important part of the problem. When flooding happened in the upper reaches of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, or when a tornado struck Joplin, buffaloguy is right that most Midwestern rural and small-town people remained calm and helped each other. However, New Orleans was a wake-up call — that simply isn't going to happen in some of our major urban areas.
I think most Americans who have spent generations living in a First World urban environment have no idea how quickly our own emergency response teams believe things would fall apart in case of a major disaster. Rioting and breakdown of law and order in our cities is expected when the government cannot provide necessary services.
For the moment, let's change Matt's premise to something that has nothing to do with politics so people are less willing to dismiss it.
I may know more than a little bit about plans for a New Madrid Fault earthquake scenario. (Hint: My community is a pre-designated staging area for disaster response.) The worst earthquake ever to hit the United States was not in California but rather in southeast Missouri two centuries ago. Geologists believe we've had two other massive quakes that were as bad or worse around the years 900 and 1400, and unfortunately, because small quakes are rare, we don't even have a very good idea where the fault lines are located.
If another New Madrid quake were to happen today, millions of people in multiple urban areas would be affected. St. Louis, Memphis, and several other second-level urban areas would be destroyed by the initial quake, aftershocks, and subsequent flooding. Seven million people would be homeless. Virtually every bridge crossing the central part of the Mississippi River and the southern part of the Missouri River would be destroyed. Many gas and oil pipelines would be severed, leading not only to local infernos such as what happened with the fires that destroyed San Francisco but also fuel shortages and supply problems all over the Midwest. All Mississippi River barge traffic north of Arkansas would be halted, at least temporarily. We would see urban chaos in St. Louis and Memphis and probably several other areas that would make the New Orleans hurricane response look like a picnic, and economic chaos would last for years in the region and for months on a national level.
Here is some secondary source media coverage and primary source original info on what disaster planners think is a moderate scenario. A moderate quake would be bad enough — a quake like what happened in 1811/1812, or those around the years 1400 or 900, would be far worse. Planning for worst-case scenarios is far more difficult and would involve a need for National Guard and likely federal military response rather than a primarily civilian response.
Those who want to dismiss Matt Bracken's scenario of what would cause urban chaos cannot dismiss the fact that in a major disaster, no matter what causes it, much of what Bracken warns would happen is going to happen and there's nothing anyone will be able to do about it for several days and possibly for several weeks. If a major disaster hits multiple cities at the same time or spreads to several major cities over a short period of time, the response time will extend from weeks into months, and could escalate to the point that the government loses the ability to bring things under control for a much longer period than that.
Bottom line: He's not talking fantasy. He's talking the reality of what happens when urban infrastructure breaks down. The only question is how long it will take to get help, and things get worse the longer things go on.
338 posted on Wed Sep 05 2012 17:21:49 GMT-0500 (Central Daylight Time) by Louis Foxwell: “Your facts are not in dispute. What is in dispute is the racist notion that the ghetto will rise up in violence when the gravy train stops. That is outrageously false.” (Post 325): “I am appalled that Freepers can be lulled into this mind set. This is the stock and trade of the democrat party. Theirs is the culture of fear that uses black violence to sell welfare. Welfare is the greatest single enemy of the black culture. It denies the common humanity if its recipients. It denigrates and slanders. It perpetuates itself and demands absolute obedience to its benefactors.”
A full-scale nationwide race war would surprise me greatly. That kind of theorizing belongs on Stormfront, not conservative websites.
I don't see Matt Bracken doing that, but worrying about what would happen with a major urban breakdown is a legitimate concern, and in America's inner city, race will be a major factor in any breakdown.
Louis Foxwell, you've been on Free Republic for a long time. We agree on the tremendous damage that welfare has done to the black community. I agree that a slow dismantling of the welfare state (i.e., welfare to workfare) can and has worked when it has been tried. The question is whether our economy has gotten so bad that the end of the welfare state will be a quick collapse rather than a planned phase-out, and what would happen in the event of a quick collapse.
Economic collapses have happened before which have made pre-existing bigotry much worse. Look at the Great Depression in the United States and how competition for scarce jobs exacerbated ethnic and racial problems. Look at the Weimar Republic in Germany and how Jews were made scapegoats. It is not unrealistic to ask what will happen if we can't get our own economy under control.
I hope you're right that a rapid collapse of the welfare state won't lead to violence; I hope even more that we never need to find out because we're able to have a slow transition process.
There is some evidence you are right and some that you're wrong.
I'm white. My wife is Korean. I've lived in inner-city communities, both black and Hispanic. I've served in what was once a white church in an inner-city neighborhood that successfully made the transition to become predominantly black, reflecting the makeup of the community. Matt Bracken is absolutely right about skin color becoming an identifier of a potential target and I know firsthand what it means to be identified as a target because of my skin color.
However, let's not paint urban minorities as evil. Especially, let's not underestimate the ability of responsible leaders within urban minority communities to organize their own groups trying to stop violence.
Let's look to history.
In Mayor Daley's Chicago during the riots of the 1960s, neighborhoods generally didn't burn if the Democratic Party's precinct captains reflected the ethnicity of their neighborhoods. Following Martin Luther King's assassination, minority leaders in those neighborhoods went house-to-house saying, “Why burn what we have? That makes no sense.” On the other hand, changing neighborhoods where the precinct captains were older white men hanging onto power by delivering minority voters exploded into race riots because the community structures that Daley relied on to deliver votes fell apart when terrified white residents fled mixed neighborhoods.
Matt will probably say that lack of food is a more powerful motivator of bad behavior than an explosion of rioting because of the shooting of Martin Luther King, and he's right. It will be harder for minority leaders to control the behavior of wild teenage gangs than it was in the 1960s because our nation has gotten worse in many ways over the last half-century.
However, the power of an angry white-haired grandmother in the minority community, or an older man who is a respected community leader (often but not always due to church leadership), is far from being irrelevant.
Such people can't prevent “wilding” by young gangs, but they can respond to outbreaks once they start, and some of those responses can be effective in ways that people outside the community cannot be.
However, having major social consequences in our urban areas if our government welfare system falls apart would not surprise me at all. That is especially true if a collapse of the welfare system comes following a major economic shock caused by a natural disaster beyond the government's ability to promptly repair.
Today, that's not going to happen. Our economy can take a major blow, get up, and start hobbling around. It won't be pretty but the bills will still be paid.
Five or ten years from now, I'm not so sure.
It’s a reply to a post on an internet forum, not an essay contest.
I think we all agree on a lot more than we disagree.
After the SHTF we are going to learn libertarianism the abrupt way. lol
This country, heck the whole WORLD, is driving headlong into a fiscal, governmental, and social disaster. It is as if those at the top know exactly what they are doing. We can see the cliff coming but we still trust them to swerve even though they are smiling like madmen intent on self-destruction.
I am already calling it the Great Fall. It won’t be Weimar (it might resemble it at one point) or the Great Depression but it’s going to be much much worse. That is my fear and I think it is only a few years away.
Thank you for pushing that “post” button. Very good points, and very interesting.
No question at all. Look at the worst white slums/”housing estates” in the UK to see this in progress. The best single indicator of social disfunction is the % of unmarried mothers. Daniel Moynihan had it right 40 years ago. Few listened to his warnings.
You bring society’s moral corruption down to the level of the individual where it properly belongs. Society is not immoral. People are immoral.
When immorality becomes wide spread people protect their own vice ridden lives by ganging up on those who want to clean up the mess. We see this best with abortion and homosexuality.
Pornography, theft and promiscuity are precious hidden sins for countless people. The demand for personal choice as justification for killing babies and sexual deviance covers up an agenda of individual licentiousness.
These are the motivators for insisting that no laws should infringe upon abortion, government confiscation of wealth or sexual deviance. These are the motivators for gangs and thugs who will kill and destroy.
Are there far too many who will destroy to gain some personal satisfaction? Of course. There are many more who will protect themselves, their families and their communities from thuggery.
If we are to prevail we must do so ourselves. We can not rely on government to solve any of our problems. That is not the role of government.
Yep, and unless my memory is wrong, one of your characters is a young soldier from Fort Leonard Wood who came close to becoming a meal for some of the local “wilders.” There might be reasons I cited New Madrid in responding to you ;-)
I have deleted a paragraph about how our emergency management director wants to use me in the event of a major disaster. It’s nothing important — presumably I would be replaced as soon as FEMA sent a professional to handle media relations — but his attitude is that since he knows I’ll be in his command center anyway unless I’m dead or incapacitated, he might as well use me to do something useful. The result is I’ve read a lot. I am no expert and I do not know anything about New Madrid plans that would not be public to anyone who asks. Nothing I know is OPSEC or even close to it; everything I’ve seen is public knowledge. Not only am I not “revealing secrets,” I wish more people outside California were listening and taking earthquakes seriously. If this post scares somebody into taking earthquakes seriously and planning for what could happen, it would be a good thing.
Let me be as clear as I can. What the advance planners foresee in a worst-case New Madrid Fault scenario is horrifying. Most plans anticipate a less serious quake than New Madrid two hundred years ago because the worst-case scenarios are beyond any reasonable possibility for advance plans to make much difference, and planning for a less serious quake will allow at least some preparation for something more serious. The scariest problem is we don’t even know where many of the southeast Missouri faults are, and we could get hit with a huge quake in the central Mississippi River valley someplace where nobody expects it.
A New Madrid quake such as what happened two hundred years ago, 600 years ago and 1100 years ago would be horrific beyond any other disaster, whether natural or manmade, that we are ever likely to face in the central United States. Only a simultaneous nuclear attack on St. Louis and Memphis would be worse, and even if that happened, unlike an earthquake, it would still leave most of the Mississippi River and Missouri River bridges standing outside the urban blast zone, and many of the underground gas and oil pipelines outside the immediate blast area might survive. Unlike bombs, earthquakes do massive damage both above ground and below ground, and depending on terrain, they may do it for incredible distances away from the epicenter of the quake. With our modern buried utility pipelines and cables, we won’t even know where much of the damage has happened for a long time after the quake, and fixing the damage may require digging up and inspecting thousands of miles of underground infrastructure.
Due to our local terrain and topography, our county is probably going to be the closest area with any level of usable infrastructure left west of the Mississippi River, and with a major Army engineer post that’s also the home of the chemical school and military police school, it’s pretty obvious why we’ll be the staging area to move things coming from points west of here into the disaster zone. Things will be bad enough for us due to lack of power and lower levels of damage depending on how far away from us the quake is centered, but most though not all of our roads and bridges will still be there. From our area eastward to the Mississippi River is likely to be an obstacle course of buckled roads, collapsed bridges, and twisted railroad lines — not what anyone wants to deal with when trying to get emergency relief supplies into a disaster zone.
God forbid that any of that actually happens. We’ve gone two hundred years with no quake and they seem to happen only about once every six hundred years.
But if one happens, the scenarios outlined in Bracken’s books may not be bad enough to describe what could happen in our major urban areas.
The response to New Orleans presumed that emergency supplies were available to send to the city after the hurricane left. In the event of a New Madrid earthquake, however, the short-term damage to the national economy would be catastrophic due not only to the local loss of life and property but also due to cutting off road, rail, and barge transportation in much of the central United States, as well as utility pipeline problems that go beyond supply issues to include massive fires. The San Francisco fire following their turn-of-the-century earthquake was caused by gas pipeline issues far less serious than what we would face today in southeast Missouri, and when that quake destroyed what was then California’s major city, we didn’t have a national “just in time” supply network that relied upon reliable transportation to keep the national economy humming along.
What we see with modern earthquakes in California is not comparable to what we would face with another New Madrid quake; it would be much worse. I’m not a huge fan of government regulation, obviously, or I wouldn’t be on Free Republic. However, buildings in California are designed better because of stricter codes to survive an earthquake. By contrast, most buildings in the central United States would collapse or be rendered unusable if they were in the zone affected by a major earthquake.
However, problems in urban areas aren’t just infrastructure problems; they are people problems.
Those who think a major natural disaster in an urban area would not produce New Orleans levels of urban chaos simply are not aware of what happens to urban populations left without food, water, and medical care for extended periods, especially if they face a breakdown in infrastructure and law enforcement. Rural people can and often will help each other. Urban residents simply do not have the capability to deal with a disaster of that magnitude.
Forget the food and water, sewage, and long-term needs, and think of what to do in a blasted-out city of several million people with most public buildings and private homes destroyed, little or no functioning communications, little or no medical attention, no way to put out raging fires devouring block after block of buildings left standing, and streets blocked with debris that makes it very difficult to get vehicles moving even if your tires haven’t been pierced by broken glass and you have enough fuel. You’ve got thousands of people dead, many more trapped inside buildings that will soon become blazing furnaces, and even more people with injuries ranging from critical to “walking wounded.”
Law enforcement in a situation like that basically doesn’t exist unless there’s a guy with a uniform within earshot. As a citizen, you almost certainly can’t call for help from the police because the cell towers and land lines will be down. At most, his handheld radio may be able to communicate with other individual officers since the central dispatch probably won’t be working. Handheld radios have a limited range, and while they’re better than nothing, there are coverage problems and dead areas even under the best of circumstances.
Imagine a large city with the main law enforcement radio towers knocked out, not just due to lack of electric power which can be fixed by a generator, but due to being toppled to the ground. Yes, relay systems via handheld units to communicate messages to and between officers can work, and sending out communications vans with antennas and a generator can help with coverage gaps, but relay systems will fill the airwaves with emergency traffic that today is done via in-car laptop computers and cell phones. Especially if the radio towers have been toppled, until an emergency communications center gets set up with an emergency tower, law enforcement won’t be able use their radios effectively to call for directions or for backup.
The same is true for medical attention. Most people who need immediate medical attention won’t get it and won’t have any way to get someplace where they can get it. Hospitals will be destroyed or overwhelmed with patients. EMTs and paramedics may or may not have functioning ambulances, and if they do, they won’t have effective communications. Unless the ambulances have four-wheel drive and a good supply of spare tires, they’re not going to be very useful in an earthquake-ravaged city with debris all over the streets.
Experience also shows that significant numbers of medical personnel, law enforcement, and firefighters won’t report for duty, either because they have no transportation to get to the hospital, police station, ambulance base, or fire station, or because they are dead, injured or incapacitated themselves, or because they are taking care of their own families. Our modern cities presume that people routinely drive significant distances to work. Imagine what happens when the vast majority of people can’t get to work without a four-wheel-drive vehicle, and maybe not even then.
Now take all that situation, which is bad enough, and extend it not for three or four days (the standard “shelter in place” recommendation) but extend it for several weeks. Add to it wintry weather conditions in an environment where aftershocks could be severe and cause already-damaged buildings to collapse completely. You now have an entire urban area full of a people with no means of shelter from the elements and no secure place to defend against attacks. Remember that you’re going to have raging fires consuming even the less-damaged parts of the city, with no way for firefighters to put them out except (maybe) tanker shuttles from the river.
Ask yourself, in a scenario like that, with hundreds of thousand if not a million or more refugees, how people will behave.
It won’t be pretty.
Again, I haven’t said one word about race in this post. What I’m describing would be chaos under the best of circumstances in an upper-class racially homogenous wealthy resort community. It would be chaos in a culture like Asia where people have been socially trained for centuries to respect authority. Given what we’ve learned about New Orleans, let alone the riots of the 1960s or those following the Rodney King incident, we have no reason to believe things would go anywhere near as well as the San Francisco earthquake a century ago. People back then at least knew their neighbors and had horses and carts to transport people and property out of disaster zones. We simply do not have the level of neighborly community in a modern American city to make what happened in the San Francisco earthquake likely if it were to happen today in a major American city — and New Madrid today would be far worse than San Francisco.
Yep. Earthquakes make hurricanes and fires look like teenage acne. Earthquakes and fires do a lot of damage above ground, but they leave the below ground infrastructure largely intact, and they don’t take out all of the bridges, overpasses and cell towers etc for 100s of miles. The police with their walkie-talkies (how long will their batteries last?) will not even be a factor after the first few days. And a “New Madrid” type earthquake could happen anywhere between Chicago, New Orleans and Charleston. It would change America forever. That’s why it made such a great backdrop for Foreign Enemies And Traitors: all bets would be off, the status quo would be smashed, and literally anything could happen.
“Imagine a continued, slow descent into poverty for most of us—”
That is pretty much how I expect it to go. Not with a bang but a whimper.
I just was pinged to a BTTT, and I reread your excellent post. That was quite comprehensive. It could be posted anywhere as a “what could happen” scenario. So much depends on Mother Nature’s rolling the dice. 600 years between 1812-level quakes might mean no worries for 400 years, or it could strike in the next hour. And unlike those very polite hurricanes, the big quakes give no warning. And they destroy below ground infrastructure even better than above.
I live in SF Valley (Los Angeles)so I’m doomed too, except for THIS —
Bump for later.
Mark for later read.
Bumping to the top, since it’s about to be referenced again.
So what to do? Will Obama "stop the music" and send thousands (even millions) of low info voters and EBT types imto the streets? Is Obama that arrogant and mentally corrupt enough to do that?
(Insert obvious answer here)
But it won't come to that. Not now. The debt ceiling has been raised 3 times already since Obama has been president and over 70 times in the last 50 years. And - with business as usual inside the Beltway - it will be raised again. They will compromise and stopping the music will have to wait for another day.
But - and let me clear - there will soon be a day when the music stops. It just ain't gonna be next week.
Had 2 threads open. And as I posted comment # 598 above - I meant to post it to Travis's latest thread.
Posted on Wednesday, October 09, 2013 9:47:06 AM by Travis McGee
Doesn’t it seem odd Obama has never condemned flash mobs?
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