The lifestyle companion to www.urbansurvival.com and www.peoplenomics.com
The Neighbors get Nasty?
We briefly addressed the possibility that you might have neighbors that will be a drag on your resources. In other words, they bring nothing but themselves to the table, feeling that they are “entitled” by virtue of living near you. Now, bear in mind that many people living around you truly feel that they are “entitled” to share your goods; our government has subsidized and insured their lives since they were born. They believe, having never read the document, that the Bill of Rights entitles them, as your neighbor, to whatever you have “out of common decency”. You may also simply live next to some “bad eggs”, and they can incite or cause trouble because you have what they want or think they need.
Please – some of you may be grinning or smiling right now. That is good – you are already ahead in the game. For those of you who are identifying with the neighbor who believes he is “entitled” to another's goods by law, please read the Bill of Rights:
Nowhere will you find that you are entitled to anyone else’s property. You are free to do most anything, but nobody owes you anything – food, water, clothing…nothing. You are not “entitled” to anything your neighbors have, and they do no have to share. Neither is your government required to feed and clothe and shelter you.
Thus it might behoove you to bring something with you in the event of a neighborhood BBQ when times are tough. It might be good to actually get to know your neighbors NOW, and help them out when you can. Doing them a favor will not entitle you to anything they have. But I can assure you that it will make them and you better neighbors, and possibly friends. And THAT is what it is ALL about!
Most of us have been taught to believe in the “American dream” of unlimited prosperity. It is soon to be modified, and our little electrical outage is just a symptom of the coming changes. We have also been led to believe that the government will take care of us. My wife believed this for years, as her grandparents and parents infused her with their Rooseveltian ideals of government. The following link will help you understand just a few aspects of how well most Americans have been unconsciously manipulated by our government and media:
Let’s not forget our setting; the electrical grid is down for weeks. Gas pumps will not work, stranding motorists with empty tanks at convenience stores. The cops’ computer systems may be down, which means they will feel anxious not knowing your history or lack of history when they confront you. This means they will be more anxious during work, and more likely to react inappropriately. EVERYONE will be on UNFAMILIAR ground, increasing their anxiety levels. And that means some will cross the unwritten line into violent behavior – be they cops or commoners.
When people are in groups, they are not rational. They become emotionally linked when they face a common threat or any type of joint adversity. This has been true for thousands of years, and if you think about it, I am sure you can remember riots here in this country. There are numerous links for “Mod Psychology”, but this one can probably serve as a starting point:
Now, as we talked about when covering food, the average grocery store contains enough food for about 2-3 days of STANDARD consumption. When the lights go out, people will rush to the store for one primary thing – batteries. After batteries, any other light source will go even more quickly. Those with all-electric homes will soon buy up all the charcoal for their own use when they realize they are without fire to cook food. When you go into a store preparing for a hurricane, it isn’t uncommon to buy much more than you need, especially when you see the shelves standing half-empty. Half-empty shelves can quickly induce you to “get it while you still can”, for everything from matches to marshmallows. If you think about it, in a very short period, the store shelves will be fairly empty.
What happens when a father with 2 or 3 very small children shows up at the store looking for a flashlight? He then finds nothing there to make light with at all – no matches, no charcoal, no candles, nothing. Let’s assume that he has a newborn; they are out of diapers, formula, and the baby is poop-filled, crying loudly. He asks the store manager if he has any formula. “I’m sorry sir, but you’re too late. It has all been bought.” A simple enough statement, but from the standpoint of the harried father with a hungry, crying infant…it could easily be felt by him as a reproach. The use of the words ‘you’re too late’ might be enough of a trigger to set this man off completely, as it implies that it is HIS fault. Violence erupts between them, and the anxiety level rises again in everyone.
Repeat this several times, and now the store manager begins to become defensive. He is “on the lookout” for troublemakers. When a man gets a bit short with him, the employees eject him from the store. Now those outside the store have seen someone exactly like them (customer) ejected from the store. There are many more customers than employees, and when the ejected man makes up some cock and bull story to elicit sympathy, he gets it readily from those in the same predicament he is in. NOW, we have a mob. And soon the grocery store is shambles, and completely emptied of anything remotely of value.
The cops show up, but they are too late. The whole thing was over in 20 minutes, and they were all tied up by traffic snarls. Had they been there, the outcome may have been the same. And if not, as anxiety levels increased even more over the next few days, and unprepared people get hungry, the uniforms will just not mean as much.
In this situation, government may become more of an adversary than an aid. The immediate concern of your local government will be to maintain order without electricity. I assure you there are not enough traffic cops for each traffic signal, no matter where you live. And without those signals, the cops will be busy with wrecks at intersections. They will also be busy with patrolling for looters, as criminals view darkness as their shield. Hungry people with time on their hands make excellent criminals. A curfew may be established.
There is a movie out called Das Experiment worth watching. It places student volunteers in a closed environment as guards and prisoners. And after a short while, they become inseparable from the parts they are playing. There is also a website dealing with this early 1970’s experiment:
While we wouldn’t quite be prisoners, with an after-dark curfew, under high stress and anxiety and in a relatively new situational environment, one could easily begin to feel imprisoned. But perhaps the most critical thing here is that if you think about it, when police are forced to become more aggressive and confrontational to keep the peace, they too are reinforced in a negative direction. They will “fall into” the parts of prison guards. There have been numerous papers written about this, but it should be understood by anyone in an urban setting that as things deteriorate, the police may not be sympathetic to you at all. They may actually become thug-like in the performance of their duties, simply because it works and they are feeling threatened at every turn. Watch Das Experiment – then think about what could possibly happen.
As you might imagine, martial law could easily be declared in a disrupted urban setting. Hardcore survivalists would call this “bug-out time”. If this happens, comply. In an urban setting, everyone is over-stressed. You and your family or neighborhood may be outnumbered. Confrontation or disobedience under the Patriotic Act could put you away forever without even a trial or explanation of the charges against you. Governments don’t have consciences, only people do. Getting stupid and pulling your guns out will get you killed. THEIR guns shoot faster, there are more of them, and they don’t play fair when you are threatening THEIR lives.
No matter what you have to protect, it is useless to you if you are dead. You are useless to your family if you are dead. From this we should learn that it is better for everybody you love and hold dear that you are NOT DEAD. If this simply flies in the face of what you believe in, then you should probably leave suburbia. But you had better have a place to go. If this is you, the word “bugout” in a Google search will get you started.
I concern myself with antsy or ornery neighbors because when push comes to shove, they will usually behave badly. Why? Well, because in any given random mix of people, you have bad eggs. And under stressful situations, people react very differently. It is very likely that you will have many of the “unprepared” near you, and they will be envious of your preparedness. If you are arrogant or standoffish, they could well band together and take things from you when it gets nasty, maybe even try to kill you for your “stuff”. It’s always easier to justify things when your target is behaving like an ass. Right? So, how do you fight this?
You EDUCATE those around you and provide a way out of this mess that they can work towards. You take the time to tell them what they must do. You reassure them and provide them with ACTIONS that will help them get fed, stay clothed and survive. By doing this, you make yourself an ally rather than a rich target. Remember; most of America is blind to the coming problems and required societal adjustments that must be made. You are now considered a “fringe-type” survivalist whacko. But when the lights go out, your status can and should change drastically. You make yourself the resident “go-to” guy and then you will cease to be a target and become a local asset. People will “owe you one” for helping them when things went bad. And as insurance, you might want to invest in some padlocks and such to insure that your neighbors cannot steal from you easily and then regret it later. Such is human nature when the chips are down in the 21st century, and any other century perhaps.
We have run through just a few short scenarios here dealing with elementary psychology and human interaction. The mere fact that you can easily imagine this should be indicator enough that it is not only plausible, but probable. It all depends on how stressed the urban environment becomes as resources become scarcer. But if you have followed some rudimentary preparedness tactics and incorporated them into your lifestyle, you should have no reason to visit a shopping center where this type trouble may start. You will be ready, and thus able to adapt with minimal fuss using systems, resources and devices already on your property.
What is critical for you is to be prepared, and stay that way. Prepared mentally with your knowledge and prepared materially with “the right stuff” to survive nicely in suburbia when things get dicey. Adequate preparation and knowledge of how to handle your basic needs will lower YOUR stress and anxiety levels, enabling you to react in your best survival interest.
All contents © 2005 George A. Ure