When does society begin to break down?

When does society begin to break down?

This is a discussion on When does society begin to break down? within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I am hoping we can keep this a serious discussion about what to expect, if we can anticipate anything. I've certainly read enough books about ...

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Thread: When does society begin to break down?

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    VIP Member Array G26Raven's Avatar
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    When does society begin to break down?

    I am hoping we can keep this a serious discussion about what to expect, if we can anticipate anything. I've certainly read enough books about EMPs, the Enemies Foreign and Domestic series, World Made by Hand, etc. However, I've never lived through anything like the extended issues that took place in the wake of hurricane Katrina.

    Obviously, if we lose power, water, or communications, things are going to be very bad. That all seems unlikely. And if they manage to pass the stimulus bill, things will probably be okay. Our stores still have food on the shelves (not everything), but many items are available, even if the stores are limiting quantities.

    My wife and I have been gaming out "what if" scenarios. We live in a small community with many people not making much money. Our county deputies make less than $16.00 per hour. How long will a person with no job and no savings who is unable to feed their children go before they become desperate enough to steal from a market, hold someone up in a parking lot, or break into a home to obtain food or things to sell?

    What do you guys and gals think? If you lived through Katrina or something similar I would be especially interested in hearing your perspective.

    Note: Perhaps I was not explicit enough when I posted this last night? My question is, "When does society begin to break down?" What do you think will be the trigger points? We've seen it before under different circumstances. I apologize if there is any confusion in anyone's mind about what this thread is supposed to be about.
    Last edited by G26Raven; March 26th, 2020 at 07:32 AM.
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    VIP Member Array jmf552's Avatar
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    As I said on another thread, it has only been three weeks since the first states declared emergencies. It has only been two weeks since this was declared a pandemic. We are less than a month into this and people are already talking SHTF.

    The stock market lost half its value in 2008-2009 and society did not collapse. Both my wife and I lost our jobs, as did a lot of other people. It took three years to come back to where it had been, but then it started going up again and went way up. This drop is not nearly as severe percentage wise and there was no SHTF then. Crime rates were on their way up this year until the pandemic hit. Since the pandemic, crime rates are down, even in NY and LA. You can get food and other necessities. This current situation is preventive, to "flatten out the curve" as they say. The death toll itself is not that high and the country is taking steps to keep it that way. First responders are still employed and they are still on the job.

    I think everyone should generally always give some thought to SHTF and have some preparations, don't get me wrong. But I don't see it here. I think the thing that will cause SHTF will be something we totally don't see coming. This isn't it.
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    Distinguished Member Array RedSafety's Avatar
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    From what I see and have studied, all it will take to start a mob is one desperate, and mentally unstable, person, listening to the fake news, and not even listening correctly, and he goes on a rampage. If one or two others, empowered by this one person, join in, it can easily escalate from there. I forget the sociological term for it, but all it takes is one person affecting someone else's weak resistance. As the numbers grow, they draw in exponentially more people. Examples are the LA riots and Ferguson, MO.
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    New Member Array rlggray's Avatar
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    If the gas stations close because they can't get fuel deliveries and the grocery stores close because they can't get supply trucks and law enforcement is overrun by crime because 1/2 or three fourths of the department is in quarantine, that's when society begins to break down, & fast. Imo.



    But I don't see that happening.

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    I believe most people will tend to work together for the common good during a time of crisis. The ones who were lone wolves before the crisis will be even more so during a crisis. Panic and hunger will make people look for help - or look for potential victims. Call me a Pollyanna, but I believe most of us would help each other, including banding together for protection against the wolves. FWIW, I don't think we will see those extremes this time around.
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    Distinguished Member Array Novarider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmf552 View Post
    As I said on another thread, it has only been three weeks since the first states declared emergencies. It has only been two weeks since this was declared a pandemic. We are less than a month into this and people are already talking SHTF.

    The stock market lost half its value in 2008-2009 and society did not collapse. Both my wife and I lost our jobs, as did a lot of other people. It took three years to come back to where it had been, but then it started going up again and went way up. This drop is not nearly as severe percentage wise and there was no SHTF then. Crime rates were on their way up this year until the pandemic hit. Since the pandemic, crime rates are down, even in NY and LA. You can get food and other necessities. This current situation is preventive, to "flatten out the curve" as they say. The death toll itself is not that high and the country is taking steps to keep it that way. First responders are still employed and they are still on the job.

    I think everyone should generally always give some thought to SHTF and have some preparations, don't get me wrong. But I don't see it here. I think the thing that will cause SHTF will be something we totally don't see coming. This isn't it.
    No its not yet but it could very easily be.

    Wyndham Destinations laid off all of their 39,000 employees for a minimum 30 days and will extend it if needed. Marriott and Hilton (just to name a few) also did the same. The tourism industry supports 15.8 Million jobs and nearly every single one of them are non existant right now. The city of Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and the surrounding area depend 100% on tourists. Every single attraction is currently closed, hotels are empty, national park is shut down and most people are out of work. Many other industries have also been crippled by this virus/shutdown. Extend that 2-3 months and where will we be?

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    Quote Originally Posted by G26Raven View Post
    I am hoping we can keep this a serious discussion about what to expect, if we can anticipate anything. I've certainly read enough books about EMPs, the Enemies Foreign and Domestic series, World Made by Hand, etc. However, I've never lived through anything like the extended issues that took place in the wake of hurricane Katrina.

    Obviously, if we lose power, water, or communications, things are going to be very bad. That all seems unlikely. And if they manage to pass the stimulus bill, things will probably be okay. Our stores still have food on the shelves (not everything), but many items are available, even if the stores are limiting quantities.

    My wife and I have been gaming out "what if" scenarios. We live in a small community with many people not making much money. Our county deputies make less than $16.00 per hour. How long will a person with no job and no savings who is unable to feed their children go before they become desperate enough to steal from a market, hold someone up in a parking lot, or break into a home to obtain food or things to sell?

    What do you guys and gals think? If you lived through Katrina or something similar I would be especially interested in hearing your perspective.
    A business owner told me that is happening right now in Las Vegas where his daughter lives.
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    VIP Member Array jmf552's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novarider View Post
    No its not yet but it could very easily be.

    Wyndham Destinations laid off all of their 39,000 employees for a minimum 30 days and will extend it if needed. Marriott and Hilton (just to name a few) also did the same. The tourism industry supports 15.8 Million jobs and nearly every single one of them are non existant right now. The city of Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and the surrounding area depend 100% on tourists. Every single attraction is currently closed, hotels are empty, national park is shut down and most people are out of work. Many other industries have also been crippled by this virus/shutdown. Extend that 2-3 months and where will we be?
    Why do you use a phrase like "has been crippled" for something that has been going on for three weeks? Tourism and hospitality will come back as soon as this eases up. Those industries have slumps for weeks and even months seasonally. And why should I mentally extend that for 2-3 months? I don't have a crystal ball. Do you?

    One thing I learned about being in desperate situations in the military is never panic, ever. Think and plan about "what ifs," but don't worry about them until they happen. It saps your energy and clouds your mind. Don't try to cross bridges until you get to them.
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    VIP Member Array maxwell97's Avatar
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    I agree with jmf, I don't see it here. Just another recession. And if things do start to break down, they can always modify the restrictions as necessary.

    For example, in MN the governor just issued a "stay home" order. It sounds like economic catastrophe, but it turns out that 78% of the workforce is employed in critical industries that are exempt from the order. So, yeah, it's damaging, but most people are still working (though many from home).

    Some people will be harder hit, and some may even turn to crime, but I doubt it will impact the statistics. I believe that crime rates aren't driven by desperate people trying to feed their families, but by gangs and habitual scumbags.
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    VIP Member Array Chaplain Scott's Avatar
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    As long as critical issues like power, water and the supply chain continue to operate, things will be "fine." Not great maybe, depending upon areas that rely on tourism, travel, etc. But as long as the basics are there, society will continue to run. The helpers will help, the thieves will still thieve. If the basics stop, then all bets are off. But, other countries who've been hit harder than we are, continue to function as a society.
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    If the power grid goes down.

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    Senior Member Array Arejay's Avatar
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    Consider this a dry run for now unless the trucks stop rolling
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    Maybe don't invest in fragile economies?

    Anyone working in businesses which rely on peoples' disposable income ought to be aware that if the economy sneezes, they may get pneumonia.

    More than ever, Americans need to have respect for the farmers, truckers and factory workers without whom we'd find ourselves in some pretty desperate times. I don't think Tom Brady, Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift and Leonardo DiCaprio do much to actually sustain or improve the lives of Americans as much as those involved in manufacturing, agriculture, communications and retailing of basic needs.

    There's no disrespect intended for anyone adversely affected by business closures and layoffs due to the current virus panic. I'm in aerospace and we were told yesterday that we will have two unpaid weeks of leave in the next month, due to the drastic drop in air travel. But all but our newest hires understand that aerospace is cyclical, depending on air travel and national defense spending, and that overall it's a good biz to be in. I do think, however, it's a good time to re-think career plans and have fallbacks in place if primary income is highly dependent on someone else's discretionary spending.
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    I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. In my life I’ve been through 18 Hurricanes including Andrew which flattened half of Miami-Dade County and Katrina which hit us as a strong CAT 1 storm before ripping across the state and into the Gulf and then powering up into a true killer storm. Back during Andrew I was still an officer in the Army Reserves. When my wife volunteered with our Church I called ARPERCEN and asked if I could lend the Florida Army Guard a hand without any pay. They approved and so I offered my services to the HQ of the 1/124 Infantry. They took a look at my military resume and made me the S3-Air. They gave me control of all the air assets available to the battalion. Most of the county was without power for weeks and water was a serious shortage item for the lower income areas. Looting in the central and South was bad, too. But nothing like Katrina because our local government wisely didn’t mess with gun ownership. The Cuban community would have hanged them from the city lamp posts. Seriously. They knew it, too.

    I got my own personal UH-1H helo and initially used it to recce for LZ’s that would allow for multiple lifts of CH-47 cargo birds in case we needed a rapid deployment of troops into a riot or mob scene. These were usually high school athletic fields. I also set up PZ’s whereby the lift capability of the CH47 could be put to good use. I had supplies palletized and rigged to sling load and then I assigned an able Lieutenant (I know, oxymoron) to supervise rigging sling loads for distribution deep into the disaster zone.

    In the meantime,?the other part of the state constitution militia clause came to life and began to operate in concert with both local law enforcement and the organized militia (National Guard) this second group is specifically mentioned in the state constitution as the UNORGANIZED MILITIA which is every citizen with a gun! The hardest hit neighborhoods in the southern part of the county got local crime interdiction forces up and running and they weren’t afraid to shoot! They preferred it if the real cops or Guard handled things but they were always ready to act. It was not unusual for a marked police car to stop and check with such a citizen strolling his neighborhood with either an AR15 or AK47 slung casually over a shoulder but with a magazine inserted and a round chambered. The cop and citizen-soldier would exchange info and not a word was uttered about the slung rifle. I have a ton of stories about that month or so before the schools reopened and I had to go back to work as a teacher. All I can say is that a well armed populace will take care of itself if there’s still hope that society WILL someday return. But on the other hand, look what happened to “society” in New Orleans when local government seized the guns from the population by force. It all went to HELL damn fast!
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 31 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; NRA Patriot Benefactor Life; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO. IDPA, USPSA, STEEL CHALLENGE competitor. RETIRED Social Studies Educator as of 12/7/2018

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