In my posts I sometimes write about potential future scenarios. There are a lot of various potentials that can frame the settings for the conversations around how to prepare. There are some potential scenarios we discuss that don’t end with power coming back on, stores opening again and life going back to normal. Some catastrophic events don’t seem to have happy endings. At least in theory, “the end” of some scenarios may be so far away and the road you may have to take toward that end may be more than most can handle. Again, this is theory and not actual facts yet.
In most emergency situations where there is not widespread loss of life, the duration of the event has a relatively temporary span of time where people are impacted. Usually, after people dig out, first responders take care of the injured, power companies can turn the power on, the water subsides or the fires are extinguished, people can get back to their lives. This process almost inevitably involves some rebuilding, but we have a societal framework to fall back on; a support structure in place. There are others in our region, state, and country that come to our aid and lend a hand.
In man-made disasters we may not have the support net we have relied upon to some level for hundreds of years. If the entire country is in chaos, who will come to your aid? If the event we are living through doesn’t have an end; if the stores don’t reopen, if the power doesn’t come back on, then what?
There is a term we have used before and you may already be familiar with. It is called WROL (Without Rule of Law) and it is loosely describes a type of Mad Max world of anarchy. In a WROL scenario, for whatever the reason, there is no official law and order. You have seen this on a small scale recently in the forms of riots both in the United States and more prominently in other countries. With riots, the scenario is usually temporary and order is restored quickly. In a full blown WROL society, there is no order. There is no one to restore order either. Basically, there is nobody coming to save us from ourselves. This is just about the bleakest view of the future that I can imagine, but I for one don’t think it is a completely unfounded fear so we talk about in from the perspective of preparedness.
For most logical and responsible people, I believe there is a healthy fear of a WROL society. This is not what anyone in their right mind wants to go through. What I want to talk about today are two negative sentiments that usually spring out of conversations that revolve around a WROL event happening. There are two main sides that I would disagree with and take issue with.
Who is going to attack us?
The first type sentiment I hear expressed is one of disbelief that anything bad will ever happen to cause a total breakdown of society. Like many of you I am sure, you have seen comments where one person or another is making statements or prognostications about a society in the throes of WROL. Regardless of the message that is delivered or the tone that is used, there are people who disagree, sometimes vehemently with the author. No matter the level of experience or the pedigree of the expert, you will have people who say that the person who is talking about the potential of a society WROL is an idiot.
“Who is going to attack us?” or some version of that is what these detractors usually say. “Fear monger!” is another great one. Their idea is that simply because they have no belief that anything bad could ever happen to our way of life, anyone who says anything to the contrary is either an idiot, or someone trying to start trouble. Additionally, these people have so much faith, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary that the authorities always have their best interests in mind, the bad people won’t come to their town and the events of history would never come to pass again.
Why is this? You have to be willfully ignorant if you believe that bad things have not happened in history. It takes a special type of “idiot” to believe the “everything is fine, nothing to see here” view of the world. I talked about this a little in a recent post “The Final Straw: What Is America’s Tipping Point and What are You Prepared to Do When it comes?”. Is it really so hard to believe in chaos, riots, pandemonium caused by any number of events impacting your life? It isn’t for me.
Why are you so afraid of Revolution?
The second and more dangerous group in my opinion is the survivalists who welcome WROL because they feel that this will finally be their chance to kick butt and take names. If there is complete anarchy, they will be able to do whatever they want. Murder, theft and outright mayhem will be the agenda for their days or at least so they think. There is another group that believes a bloody revolution is the only way for us to get our country back and right the wrongs of so many years. Both are misguided in my opinion.
If events transpire in our lifetimes to cause a WROL type of society, a lot of people are going to get killed and I think a good many of them will be the same preppers and survivalists who are wishing for that day to come to pass. Why do I think this?
- Life isn’t a video game – I will admit right here and now I have never seen combat although I have served in the military. I have never been shot at and I have never shot anyone. Well, unless you count my friend with a BB gun back in middle school on a dare. I have never jumped off a bridge either. I have never committed suicide and I have never run my car off the side of a mountain, but I know what happens if you do any of those things. War isn’t fun. Fighting for your life isn’t cool and anyone who thinks it will be should have their head examined. If we are living in a world anything like a WROL society it will not be pretty. You have a gun? OK, how much have you practiced with your firearms? Have you practiced any small unit tactics? Do you have a force of people to protect you? No? OK, then you could very well end up dead. Do you have some training? Good, see point 3.
- Bad Guys won’t stand there waiting for you to shoot them – Again, I have never been in combat, so take this how you see fit. However, I do know that if someone is shooting at me I will be running and hiding. I would not expect anything less of someone who was trying to kill me. You have a rifle with a scope you say? Great, have you practiced hitting a moving target who is shooting back at you? Have you practiced with the type of stress you may feel if you have already been attacked and are possibly wounded?
- Your opponents will be trained too – A lot of preppers believe that all we need are a lot of firearms and we will be safe. Having a gun is something I recommend to get you to the first level of being on the same playing field as your opponent, but that is not a magical firearm. You have to know how to use it. You are ex-military you say and qualified as Expert at the range 20 years ago? Great! You and a lot of other people did too but that doesn’t really mean anything. Those pop-up targets weren’t shooting back at us in Basic training. And, military experience isn’t the only place that people who could come looking for you will gain that experience. If we have a major WROL scenario, the worst of the worst will survive. They will gain confidence from their victories as well as experience. Just because you have hit half-inch groups on targets with your AR, doesn’t mean that the people who will be your enemy haven’t too. Additionally, they will have the experience potentially of assaulting homes to obtain what is inside. They will likely have larger numbers than you at some point. Then what will you do?
- Don’t under estimate your enemies – This could be a combination of all of the above, but we would all be wise to consider that just having beans bullets and Band-Aids won’t do much for us in a WROL scenario. Can they help us? Absolutely, but they aren’t a get out of jail card. The people who survive a WROL society are going to be either very ruthless killers or very lucky at hiding. I think that if you have a really well stocked retreat location away from the rest of the world, you will have a huge leg up on the rest of us, but you will not be immune forever.
So what am I saying? Should we all throw in the towel and accept that we have no chance of surviving in a WROL world? No, not at all. The only point I am trying to make is that we should all dread a WROL society. We should do anything in our power to prevent that from ever happening. We should put just as much energy into preventing a WROL as we do preparing for one and I would caution anyone who is just “itching” for anarchy that you might not like it when it comes.
I have said before that I don’t want to advocate Revolution because I have too much to lose. I say this with the full knowledge and understanding that a political solution may be hard if not impossible to come by in our world at this time. Revolution may come in one form or another. It may come to us regardless of what we do, but I would be very sad on that day. I will do what is necessary to protect my family or our country, but I for one do not wish for the day when it may be necessary. None of us should.