Originally Posted by marksman
Food. Shelter and water and security are primary goals for everybody. I don't see anyway with these drastic of circumstances that all these things don't collapse almost instantly.
Exactly. Ultimately everything boils down to basic survival, if not for oneself, then for one's loved ones. Lack of electricity not only means loss of communication and transportion of goods and services, but the collapse of our banking system.
Right now what determines who gets what goods and services is money. The relatively few who violate that rule are often punished, thus minimizing the amount of theft that takes place.
But when most people no longer have any access to their money, how do they even buy the remaining supplies that are left? And once those supplies are gone, then what happens?
What happens is that more and more people begin stealing from stores, and then from one another as they run out of their own resources. So even if law enforcement was completely unaffected by tbe blackout, the problem would quickly become too big for them to handle.
When people are starving, suddenly the fear of going to prison is not such a big deal anymore. And with the lack of weapons and communication of the military and law enforcement agencies at a large scale, the only options for people in those groups would be to leave to go protect their families or form their own militias to maintain order.
This is how all the militias, including Monroe's, were able to gain power. Most, like Monroe's, probably started out with good intentions to bring order back to the lawlessness that had resulted from the blackout. And people were willing to join and/or support them because they wanted to be kept safe.
But what happens when another militia rises up, and says their way is law? There would no longer be any higher court to settle the dispute. Thus, things would likely often boil down to "might makes right", and the militias that remained would grow stronger and impose stricter laws to prevent future uprisings.
Comparing the United States government to militias doesn't work because a militia doesn't need to maintain power at the national level. The current power structure of the United States depends on a chain of command that requires a significant amount of technology to back it up. Without that, there is no order as a nation.
The reason the country is called "The United States" is because states wanted to maintain some independence. As communication and travel improved, state independence lost much of the weight it once had, but if we were to once again be cut off from the bulk of the rest of the country, it wouldn't take long for local power to once again rise up.