Re: Social breakdown and the risk of violence
It’s my opinion that there is a very fine line between civility and hostility.
I can recall several conversations, hypotheticals with people I’d met in a variety of places where they’d expressed that they weren’t worried about shortages. Their solution was stealing from others, or generally “doing whatever was needed to survive”.
More disturbing yet is that most of them were prior or current military.
So, how much of it was bravado?
Not all that much, in my estimation. Gangs are a byproduct of a couple things:
1. Male bonding
The military is often a stew containing many of the same ingredients.
Please don’t misunderstand me, I believe that the military is overwhelmingly staffed by disciplined, principled men and women who are of high character. . . but it’s not the “rule”.
In a world dominated by strength in numbers and poverty, it’s my estimation that we’ll see a sharp increase in gang formation and activity – but perhaps this isn’t all bad. Several occasions of disasters spawning community “gangs” which came together for mutual defense can be noted from Hurricane Katrina and the L.A. Riots. There are other examples as well, stretching back to African Americans defending their communities from KKK Lynch Mobs – in short, this may add a “balance” to the situation.
It can’t be belabored too much. There will be violence, and as Asimov stated about Democracy surviving overpopulation in his interview with Bill Moyers, it will be very hard to maintain the human rights gains we’ve made in the face of overpopulation and economic poverty.
All we can do is pull together to the best of our ability to preserve the intellectual, moral and philosophical decency developed over the last few thousand years.