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Old 07-12-2003, 05:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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3 meals away from Anarchy?

There is a theory that if we all missed only three consecutive meals (for whatever reason . . . power cuts, transport problems, nuclear/biological scare etc,) . . . society would completely disintigrate into Anarchy.
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Old 07-12-2003, 05:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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all that free time usually ends in anarchy in one form or another
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Old 07-12-2003, 06:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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my guess is that it would take a few more, though perhaps not much....as evidence i would cite the new york blackouts. There was some mayhem, but mostly people waited patiently for society to be restored....
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Old 07-12-2003, 06:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hmm, "theory", or really nonsensible hypothesis? You decide.
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Old 07-12-2003, 06:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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good point; a theory has to be tested to be called a theory...
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Old 07-12-2003, 08:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I read an interesting OTA report from the late 70's that concluded that some 'bad guys' would only need to blow up a couple of our oil refineries to throw the US into a (temporary) state of anarchy.

Simply by removing our ability to transport goods and services, people would quickly be denied even basic needs like food, and would thus riot/do whatever they needed to in order to eat.
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Old 07-14-2003, 08:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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yeah well, imagine 6 billion people being crabby with low blood sugar levels at the same time because they missed out on 3 consecutive meals. Of course there would be pandemonium & anarchy.
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Old 07-14-2003, 05:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I guess it depends on the circumstances, too. I mean, does an army unit quit fighting just because it's hungry and people are shooting at it? Did Britain collapse into anarchy during the Second World War?
Some crises, like earthquakes and fires, can lead to temporary anarchy, but it would take something pretty serious to shake a society to pieces. I think you'll find that the "three meals from anarchy" statement was written by an anarchist who was pretty keen to see it happen.
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Old 07-14-2003, 10:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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An army is a special situation . . they expect hardship. Ditto a nation at war. I dont think it would take much at all to shake a developed society to pieces. Turn off the power and prevent people buying petrol/gas (the fuel blockade in the UK 18 months ago had a lot of people very worried!) . . and it would all quickly unravel. Perhaps not anarchy . . . there are third world countries who live without much power and fuel . . . . . . but they are used to that. I doubt the people of the USA or the UK could tolerate the loss of power/gas and the food they are used to. Few people know how to kill and cook an animal . . . . . . . .
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Old 07-17-2003, 10:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I would have to say that potential anarchy is more concentrated in some places. In a small town, it might take a lot to spark a riot, but in L.A. all it takes is a tape of officers beating a black man.
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