Monday, March 28, 2016

Violence after the election?

With the current state of division in the United States people wonder if there will be violence after the election. Let's face it, no matter who wins, a lot of folks are going to be displeased.

The big question is, what are they going to do about it?

Consider that most people aren't invested enough in the process to even vote, so we are already at a minority of people willing to do anything. Factor in the people who don't believe in violent solutions and the number goes down. Add those folks who are law abiding and the number shrinks again. Throw in the timid and the apathetic and it's a pretty small number.

That doesn't mean there won't be violence, but it'll be limited. Handfuls of people aren't going to violently overthrow the establishment.

The biggest root cause of revolution is people missing meals. The whole Arab Spring coincided with drought and food scarcity. Hungry people are angry people. We don't even need the circuses, just the bread is enough to keep most folks in order.

While revolutions have taken place due mostly on political grounds, they are rare. I don't see it happening this time around either.

Even a major economic collapse won't be enough -if everyone is getting enough to eat. Smart governments do two things to stay in power during troubled times. The first is to make sure everyone has enough food. The second is to give young males something to do. During the depression the government had many different programs to put young people to work. The pay wasn't great, but it was something. Also, the way things were set up most of the money went back home to their folks. I bet those families really encouraged their young people to stick with the program.

Of course, another way keep the young people busy is to go to war. That can be risky, as most of those young people will come back and will know how to kill. If conditions are still bad after the war those folks just might take things into their own hands.

In short, the conditions on the ground aren't conductive to full blown generalized violence. On the other hand, if idle youth start missing miles, head for the hills.



  1. Agree with your analysis and conclusion.

    However, I would not equate the risk now with 20-30 years ago. Now seems tangibly higher to me. Increased social polarization (racial, religious, financial, political), long-term economic problems, greater militarization of the populace and police forces, and the basest national political campaign in our lifetimes, if not in our history. Politicians and media heavyweights, historically those with cooler heads during troubled times, have become the arsonists.

    Add to that some intangible feeling that people in general seem to be itching for a fight.

    In less volatile times, I've seen occurrences as mundane and non-eventful as storm warnings cause social unrest, and the storm itself opens a small door of opportunity which often manifests as looting. Hard to say what is enough to trigger which type of reaction. That said and to your point, in those situations, most people are helping themselves and their neighbors survive the storm, vs. wreaking social havoc.

    Overall, I hope nothing is triggered, because my sense is that the whole shebang is a bit closer to a tinderbox than usual, and wildfires, once started, are very hard to control. Often, you just have to wait until they burn themselves out.

    1. I must there is a danger of people suddenly reaching a tipping point and all going mad. It's happened in the past.

      The US has had some close calls in the past, but good leadership saved the day. Don't know where we are going to get those leaders now.

  2. Liberals? Really? They are by and large unarmed and more likely to write an angry Facebook post than rise up.

  3. Ditto SB's reply. I'm thinking that, not counting actual black criminals (not pot smokers, etc), the group you described is not the social group traditionally armed to the teeth and constantly flaunting it. Think recent shenanigans in Oregon.

  4. Liberals??? Like Yoda said, the so called "patriots" that took over Malheur were nothing but pigs and law breakers. We need rule of law, not misinformed misfits and their version of the Constitution. They did not do their history.