From a reader:
Look at failed states, and see how they fail.
Nothing, and nowhere in history, does a gigantic black hole form that sucks all of reality down into itself.
Some areas are relatively unscathed, at least by violence.
Others are apocalyptic hellholes.
Most fall somewhere in between.
Expect the same in any future difficulties where you are.
Baltimorons, Chicongo, Bahstun, DC, and NYFC could expect a rather rough time. Dallas, Miami, Buffalo, not so much.
I doubt we’ll see anything like a civil war, as such.
What we’re liable to get is things working less, or not at all, especially in areas where the margin between functional everyday life and disasterpiece theater is thinner than others.
There will be shortages. Areas that can’t be served by the central government, federal or state, and require more of that 24/7/365, will degrade.
Areas with lesser reliance on Big Brother will fare much better.
Human interactions and governance is called politics. Politics is getting along with everyone else, to the maximum extent possible. War is a continuation of politics, by other means.
Everybody lately likes to yak about DeepState. That’ll be every federal, state, and county employee, in all likelihood, not to mention the dependents of same, and retirees tied to their pension paychecks.
That’ll be every retired cop and firefighter, and every former bureaucrat, every retired teacher and administrator from K-Ph.D.
That accountability list is getting pretty fucking huge at this point.
Add in all the people (snowflakes, airheads, useful idiots, entertainment do-nothings et al) who don’t think like you do, and it’s approaching 50% of everywhere. Or worse.
Those of you in tax-haven Red State heaven may find you have one helluva lot more pension teat-sucking fifth columnists than you imagined, all of whom have, as their first interest, the maintenance of the entire status quo, who won’t be subscribing to your newsletter, marching in your parade, and will likely dime you out given half a chance and any enticement from TPTB.
And they’re in your AO, and they all get a vote too; either at the ballot box, or via Rule 308. You have a limited option-set for accommodating them or exterminating them, and every choice has its pros and cons.
Functional society lives in a very narrow pH range between totalitarianism and anarchy; anyone who thinks they’re going to yank the lever very far in either direction and fix everything by killing everyone who disagrees with them will pull the walls of the trench onto their own head, whether we’re talking political power, legitimacy, or getting zipped into body bags. Which all tend to be fairly correlative, especially in sportier times.
There ain’t gonna be no Grand Strategy where you carve out a Redoubt, a New South, or a Flyover Paradise.
Ain’t. Gonna. Happen.
Ask a Milosevic what happens when you try.
If you’re very lucky, you may have a coherent state (as in One of the Fifty), and one that has your best interests at heart. Worst case, it’ll be coherent, and want you dead, gulaged, re-educated, or whatever term of art applies come the day.
Most folks will have a county, or a few counties, with roughly similar interests. Large counties, with geographic barriers, may devolve to civilizational outposts, surrounded by No Man’s Land areas or varying functionality.
In short, things are liable to look more like the Wild West than the Walking Dead.
Things will become better, and worse. Rougher, simpler, meaner, and more focused on your choices and day-to-day existence. There will be bandits, savages, and brigands in the wastelands. They’ll all want to come to the bright lights of the city for all the reasons folks do now, and did then.
But there aren’t likely to be front lines; scores will be settled far more personally, in back alleys or bar room brawls. Some people will try and build industry and commerce, and the order of civilization and prosperity.
Others will try to burn it out, rob it, and subjugate it. Like always, everywhere.
This, boys and girls, is why we study history: lessons from Deadwood, Tombstone, or the South Side of Chicago circa 1930 will have as much to do with reality then as now.
Expect devolution, not revolution.
This is why how big your ranch is, and how many ride for your brand, and our host’s none-too-subtle reminders of local, Local, LOCAL should be your guiding principles.
If you’re in unfriendly territory, you aren’t going to take down the next Hitler or Stalin. But you damned sure better know how to get around the local goon squad, know who your friends and allies (and the collaborators) are, and plan for monkeywrenching bad things and bad people to the extent of your capabilities.
Or, be prepared to hide, and ride things out.
A nighttime partisan (or twenty) can make it through.
A known outlaw, enemy of the state, or a refugee, is one step from a cattle car, and oblivion.
As an added bonus, the ability to get along in rough times confers a lot of skills and capabilities that also work if, contrary to likelihood, things do go all apocalyptic at some point.
Nobody survives on a desert island unless they’re actually that isolated and alone.
Everywhere else, you have to deal with things slowly getting shittier.
If people really wanted things to get that way, they’d either cut the cord now and withdraw, or start instigating the collapse.
Neither of those are in any evidence, to date.
You can assume that means people either like things as they are, or would prefer them to be better.
Work to make them better, while preparing for them to get worse.
And don’t get all butthurt when your wildest fantasies don’t happen.
You won’t get what you like, and you won’t like what you get.
Invest what you have to in order to get to the other side of bad times, and invest what you can spare to stave those bad times off for as long as possible.
We had about 50-60 years where that wasn’t so much the everyday struggle it was for the other 6000 years of recorded history.
Coffee break’s about over.
When the ground transportation lines get cut to starve out the Reds (or the Reds cut them to blame on the “patriots”), everyone is gonna be hungry, angry, scared, and mean.
Use what time remains to bump your odds higher in such a situation.