Sep 042012

Take a look here:

When The Music Stops – How America’s Cities May Explode In Violence

The author of the piece posits a relatively minor social breakdown… EBT cards no longer function. From there, millions of urbanites who have been drawn into dependency upon the government for their food go on a rampage. The suggestion is that it starts like the Watts and LA riots… but amped up with the addition of technology “flash mob” abilities, and fueled by worsened ethnic tensions. Before long (so goes the hypothesis), we have a full-out race war.

The writer then goes on to describe the proper operation of anti-flash-mob “death squads,” trained snipers in the back of pickup trucks who set out to kill as many rioters as possible.


Sure, it’s slopping over in paranoia. But the question, as always… is it paranoid enough?

I dunno. I do know that the “War On Poverty” has set the US up to take one hell of a fall if something goes substantially wrong. We haven’t had really bad civil disturbances since the advent of Twitter and texting and such, so who knows how bad things could get.

 Posted by at 10:39 pm
  • Trimegistus

    The thing I find more than a little creepy about the upsurge in this kind of speculation (and its siamese twin the “zombie apocalypse” meme) is the _wishful_ tone that shines through the dire warnings. It seems like everybody is looking for a good reason to start killing.

    • Michael the Somewhat Civilized

      I don’t think it’s wishing for killing. I think it’s more wishing for resolution of the tensions, and there are no peaceful resolutions appearing.

      • Malex

        What tensions? If people hate cities, black people, civilization, book learnin’… they are free to move to the country and tune out. Where is the tension there?

    • Anonymous

      > the _wishful_ tone that shines through the dire warnings

      This is a constant in every stream of end-of-the-worldism. You’ve got your survivalists planning on being at the top of the heap after the EMP/plague/nuclear war/zombie apocalypse. You’ve got your greenies yearning for the return of nature after peak oil/ZPG/whatever. And to me most disturbing are the various religious traditions that call for God/Allah/Cthulhu/The Great Green Arkleseizure wiping off the bulk of humanity in an orgy of pain and screaming, leaving a paradise free of unbelievers/infidels/whatever for The Elect.

  • Ken R

    I can’t imagine the EBT cards would ever stop working, the Federal Reserve would just crank the money mimeograph machine faster. Sure, you’d end up with sudden hyperinflation, but that’s not such a bad thing, right?

    The idea that our vets will suddenly transform themselves into anti riot death squads… I just don’t see that happening. LA Riot Koreatown defense militia, that I could buy into. I mean, I’ve got my not- scoped AR, I can’t imagine riding around in a pickup bed with it.

    I wish there was a better sense of the time it takes for all that mayhem to break out and then for anti riot sniper teams to suddenly appear. My hasty guess is the expanded looting in suburbia kicks off, maybe five days after the initial outbreak. I do wonder how the mobs will get to the suburbs as the gas stations all go on day one. Then the vigilante snipers ‘evolve’, that takes what, six more days? By that point there won’t be any commuters to save as no one is going anywhere.

    Especially funny is the idea the mobs will coordinate their activities well nigh indefinitely. When the power plants go then the smartphones aren’t far behind, unless wannabe rioters are stocking up on solar rechargers at the Pre Big Badda Boom sale. Oh yeah, I’ve completely forgotten about the power to run all those cell towers.

    I guess if there is ever a run on FRS walkie talkies then we’ll know the apocalypse is nigh.

  • When I was in high school, I read about nuclear pilots; their job was to fly into the Soviet Union in the event of a nuclear war, drop off our half of MAD, and then (this was the plan, anyway) fly off again. I didn’t understand at the time why they almost wished they would be able to carry out the mission someday, but after I started doing martial arts I did. You just want a chance to prove that you can do what you’ve trained to do, consequences be damned. Of course, just because you want to get in a fight, doesn’t mean you pick one, and the martial artists I know would walk away from one if it were a viable option. Also, the feeling dies down a lot after you’ve been doing the whatever-it-is for a while. Also, with survivalists there’s the element of “told-ya-so,” since people tend to think they’re kooks.

  • Malex

    The fun part about all of these scenarios, espoused by preppers (gun stockpile builders) or those who predict the world to end in 2012, is that deep down, these people want the world to end or cities to erupt in “race wars.” It is a fetish about seeing cities or civilization collapse. It is a sure sign that the person has been left behind by society and the modern world, and is bitter about it. The race war part is usually a sign of, you guess it, fear of black people. A fear that could ironically be grounded in facts (that black males are far more likely to cause crime for example) but is usually just racism.

    In the more realistic scenario, a nuclear war, the cities would be destroyed anyway as would almost all inhabitants so no need to worry about them.

    • Anonymous

      > It is a fetish about seeing cities or civilization collapse.

      Some people just want to watch the world burn. It is a desire that knows no political, religious, ideological or racial boundaries.

      > The race war part is usually a sign of, you guess it, fear of black people.

      Except when the “race war” is being espoused *by* black people.

      Of course, though, when you hear someone yapping about a coming “race war” it’s typically some dumbass white skinhead socialist.

      > In the more realistic scenario, a nuclear war

      A *major* global thermonuclear war is not currently reasonably likely. While nuclear terrorism is certainly possible, that would probably entail the nuking of only a handful of cities. Bad, to be sure, and followed almost certainly by a global economic depression and an orgy of retaliatory killing (see Kratman’s “Caliphate”), but it seems very unrealistic to me that a large fraction of American, European, Asian cities would get glassed anytime soon.

      • Malex

        Perhaps it will go down like it did after the first Europeans landed in the Americas… everyone just left the cities and went back into the forest.

        • Anonymous

          > the first Europeans landed in the Americas

          Leif Erikson?