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Old 10-03-2012, 02:40 PM   #61
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I'm confused... is it unlikely or isn't it? You seem to be arguing that it is likely and inevitable.
Don't be obtuse.

The entire situation is implausible. My argument is that in this particular set of circumstances, I don't think that the devolution is society is all that unrealistic. And nor does anyone else who's ever written a post-apocalyptic story, where the complete breakdown of society is a given.

I have no interest in debating this further with you, since I don't see any flexibility of thought processes with which to work with. Especially since you consider 15 years "a short amount of time".
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:47 PM   #62
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Any of you who think the breakdown of society on this show is unrealistic should go stand outside of a Walmart when it opens on Black Friday.
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:51 PM   #63
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Any of you who think the breakdown of society on this show is unrealistic should go stand outside of a Walmart when it opens on Black Friday.
Sigh...I'm the one who started this and it veered off of my original thought.

Breakdown is totally realistic. The loss of country identity and having the U.S. be a dirty word is totally unrealistic and would never happen in a 15 year span. Certainly not if it started with military people, who are much more sensitive to Country/flag/patriotism than most people (on average, anyway).
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:57 PM   #64
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Don't be obtuse.

The entire situation is implausible. My argument is that in this particular set of circumstances, I don't think that the devolution is society is all that unrealistic. And nor does anyone else who's ever written a post-apocalyptic story, where the complete breakdown of society is a given.

I have no interest in debating this further with you, since I don't see any flexibility of thought processes with which to work with.
So I'm obtuse and inflexible in my thought process because I disagree with your assessment of things like FEMA and the military? Yeah, ok...

As to your post-apocalyptic assessment... yes, a story that is post apocalyptic typically assumes that something has led to the breakdown of society. They also typically explain why all known forms of military and government collapsed. Here it is being suggested by you and others that no such explanation is needed -- you just assume by default that humanity would devolve into brutal dictatorship militias.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:05 PM   #65
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Sigh...I'm the one who started this and it veered off of my original thought.

Breakdown is totally realistic. The loss of country identity and having the U.S. be a dirty word is totally unrealistic and would never happen in a 15 year span. Certainly not if it started with military people, who are much more sensitive to Country/flag/patriotism than most people (on average, anyway).
I'm looking forward to an episode where they go around to the huge number of people with us flags tattooed on their body from before the power loss and make them remove them somehow.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:12 PM   #66
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Sigh...I'm the one who started this and it veered off of my original thought.

Breakdown is totally realistic. The loss of country identity and having the U.S. be a dirty word is totally unrealistic and would never happen in a 15 year span. Certainly not if it started with military people, who are much more sensitive to Country/flag/patriotism than most people (on average, anyway).
Yeah, I'm with you. I can see a vast number of tiny military dictatorships...but they'd still mostly be calling themselves the United States, except the ones that are run by the anti-government militias that are out there now, just PRAYING for civilization to collapse.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:27 PM   #67
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Breakdown is totally realistic. The loss of country identity and having the U.S. be a dirty word is totally unrealistic and would never happen in a 15 year span. Certainly not if it started with military people, who are much more sensitive to Country/flag/patriotism than most people (on average, anyway).
I do agree with this. It seems.... weird. I can see former soldiers being nostalgic for what once was, but not the outright hostility.

Although I suppose that probably the first step in imposing order in a dictatorship is forced conformance - i.e. you're with us, or you're against us, and if you're against us, you're dead.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:38 PM   #68
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So I'm obtuse and inflexible in my thought process because I disagree with your assessment of things like FEMA and the military? Yeah, ok...
What you wrote makes a lot of sense. That's probably the real reason the pirate decided to stop debating the issue with you.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:45 PM   #69
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Breakdown is totally realistic. The loss of country identity and having the U.S. be a dirty word is totally unrealistic and would never happen in a 15 year span. Certainly not if it started with military people, who are much more sensitive to Country/flag/patriotism than most people (on average, anyway).
So far though, the ones who consider the United States to be a dirty word are the ones who are or have enforced the new order.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:48 PM   #70
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That's kind of my point. I don't buy the "people would run to their families" kind of argument. I would imagine the best way to protect my family would be to fall in line with a group of people who can defend. And after a collapse like that, it would be local law enforcement, national guard posts, etc.

I'm not saying it's impossible, but it's quite a sell to say only this Monroe guy can inspire people to join him in his quest to restore order...
But what do you think keeps local law enforcement, national guard, marines, etc showing up to work everyday? I would argue a paycheck and the ability to provide for their families. You take that away and I would predict that wouldn't be military for very long.

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Seriously you guys? how many military people you know would pledge allegiance to the Monroe Republic and kill people trying to revive the U.S.? I can understand if this was 250 years later, but 15? no fraking way.
I'm not saying they would plege allegiance to Monroe (or any other militia), I'm saying they would stop being military and focus on their families. This would easily lead to militias to prosper.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:52 PM   #71
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What you wrote makes a lot of sense. That's probably the real reason the pirate decided to stop debating the issue with you.
I stopped debating with him because he refuses to consider other possibilities. When we're talking about hypothetical situations only loosely based in reality, that's frustrating.

I still don't see how local government is going to be of much help in the event of a disaster such as this one. Do they have food and water stockpiled away? Doubtful. They would have to import it from somewhere. Where and how? No cars/trucks/planes/trains are working. If you're on a river, sure, you could use a raft or something. Guess what - there are very few rivers west of the Mississippi.

Then there's the supply issue. Where do the supplies come from? Most of our food these days is not grown or produced locally. It's shipped large distances. That's going to be a problem if the ability to move large quantities over long distances in a short period of time is all of a sudden lost overnight. People in rural areas would probably be okay. In places like the Central Valley in CA, where a lot of agriculture takes place, they would probably do fine. But big cities would be warzones inside of a month. So I think the show has it right in that regard.

So I'm not all that impressed with the argument that "local government would step in and save everybody!" That's Pollyanna-ish to the nth degree.

I give a little more credence to the idea that the local military bases would probably help in the community. That's exactly where I think the show is going with the militias and warlords in terms of how they got started.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:53 PM   #72
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I stopped debating with him because he refuses to consider other possibilities.
That's not what it looked like to me. He is making sense, and you are not.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:54 PM   #73
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Sigh...I'm the one who started this and it veered off of my original thought.

Breakdown is totally realistic. The loss of country identity and having the U.S. be a dirty word is totally unrealistic and would never happen in a 15 year span. Certainly not if it started with military people, who are much more sensitive to Country/flag/patriotism than most people (on average, anyway).
I would agree that the U.S name thing is silly and highly unprobable but so far it hasn't been a very big plot point and we only know about Monroe. Perhaps that's just his "rules".
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:55 PM   #74
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That's not what it looked like to me. He is making sense, and you are not.
Fine. Explain to me how the local government is going to step in and save the day/maintain order when they have no ability to a) communicate with people other than in person and b) provide food and water once local supplies are used up.
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:03 PM   #75
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I think people tend to accept loss of freedom to avoid living in anarchy. At first it would be about scrounging stuff, but soon you would realize that you have to learn to grow food, raise animals and make basic needs for yourself. Then you plant a nice crop, and when harvest comes a band of thugs come and steal it. You would be willing to throw in with anyone who could stop that and not worry about what they call the country. Probably most people are paying their "taxes" and being left alone--we're just seeing the ones who aren't.
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:12 PM   #76
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LOL

This thread and the discussions about the societal possible breakdowns is way better than the actual show, all we need is a concept and a theory to spark good intelligent conversation here.

The show is insipid, predictable, and tiresome, but these threads are philosophical and thought provoking and elicit individual thought processes and theories. If I knew what irony was, I'd call this ironic.........



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Old 10-03-2012, 04:19 PM   #77
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I still don't see how local government is going to be of much help in the event of a disaster such as this one. Do they have food and water stockpiled away?
Are you assuming "local government" means just the local county or city? There are also state governments that have armed forces supporting them in the form of national guard units. Additionally, there is the local military bases and local military groups. Those are the groups that would be expected to take action locally and where it does not obviously lead to slaughtering local citizens on a whim or declaring the united states null and void.

I would expect such groups to have a fair amount of supplies compared to most everyone else. In any case they certainly have guns and a well established chain of command. In order for them to be unable or unwilling to police the local area as is their sworn duty, something has to have happened. If the explanation given or un-given is that they just abandoned their duties then I don't see it as realistic. That's not to say there isn't a possible explanation. I just can't see it being the default behavior of people. It is possible that what we see in the show is just one small exception to the general behavior within the US, but it doesn't seem to be framed that way. I think the writers wanted a mad-max-like world but were too lazy to properly get there.

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Doubtful. They would have to import it from somewhere. Where and how? No cars/trucks/planes/trains are working. If you're on a river, sure, you could use a raft or something. Guess what - there are very few rivers west of the Mississippi.
Chicago is east of the mississippi. The show takes places around chicago seemingly. Things could get problematic in desert-like areas but I can't imagine the chicago area having issues with water. There's an abundance of farms relatively nearby, many run by technology-shunning groups. You'd think that the amish would become major superheroes in this storyline, come to think of it.

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So I'm not all that impressed with the argument that "local government would step in and save everybody!" That's Pollyanna-ish to the nth degree.

I give a little more credence to the idea that the local military bases would probably help in the community. That's exactly where I think the show is going with the militias and warlords in terms of how they got started.
It seems like if you keep posting long enough you will find that you actually don't think it is plausible for society to have collapsed so quickly and allowed a villainous overlord who murders on a whim to take over without further explanation. Or perhaps you think it is inevitable for the national guard and local military to turn for the worse and become brutal dictators in less than 15 years...?
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:41 PM   #78
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It seems like if you keep posting long enough you will find that you actually don't think it is plausible for society to have collapsed so quickly and allowed a villainous overlord who murders on a whim to take over without further explanation. Or perhaps you think it is inevitable for the national guard and local military to turn for the worse and become brutal dictators in less than 15 years...?
Again, there is not a "single villainous overlord" that society has allowed to take over. There are *many* militias/warlords. We've just seen one so far. So we can''t just assume that society has allowed him to completely take over. All we know is that he runs this little corner of the country.

And I think 15 years is a really long time, when every day is going to be a struggle for survival. I'm not the only one here who thinks that society would break down pretty quickly. We're far too much of a consumer-driven nation at this point, and we've lost the ability to produce that made us a superpower. Especially once electricity was removed. So yes, if someone comes along that wields enough power - and brutality - many people are going to willingly fall in line because they lack the ability to resist.

And the ones who don't? Well, they form a rebellion. Like we've seen the past 2 episodes.
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:47 PM   #79
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I agree that 15 years is an extremely long time for things to drastically change in the scenario that they have created and that desperate people will do desperate things including giving up freedoms (which has been demonstrated plenty in history).
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:18 PM   #80
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Are you assuming "local government" means just the local county or city? There are also state governments that have armed forces supporting them in the form of national guard units. Additionally, there is the local military bases and local military groups. Those are the groups that would be expected to take action locally and where it does not obviously lead to slaughtering local citizens on a whim or declaring the united states null and void.
Unless the local/state military somehow develops superpowers, I still don't see how they are going to be able to do much good beyond the area immediately surrounding their base. There's no way the military would be able to police an entire state.

Let's look at the total number of enlisted military for 2012. This includes everything (reserves, national guard, army, etc). That number is 2,255,100.

If you look at the active number of deployed military in the continental U.S at the start of 2012, that number was 1,017,418. There are 847,100 reserve troops (may not all be in continental U.S.), but they may or may not be able to get to their bases. Let's assume they can though. That's a total of 1,864,518 enlisted people in the continental US. Not all of these people are technically soldiers. There are pilots, technicians, etc, but let's just assume there are 1,864,518 available soldiers in the U.S.

Let's take this number and divide by 48 which is not totally accurate since forces wouldn't be divided equally, but it should be "good enough" for this demonstration. That gives about 38,844 soldiers per state. That's definitely an over-estimation, but I'll use it.

Since the show is set near Chicago, I'll use Illinois as the state. Illinois has a population of 12,869,257 people. That means that for every "soldier" in Illinois, there are about 331 people. That means that each soldier has to police 331 people assuming they the military wants to police the entire state. Under normal circumstances this would be possible, but without vehicles and with people in a panic state it would not be possible to maintain order at that ratio. I suppose the military could maintain order by killing rioting people, but I doubt that would last long and it wouldn't be any better than having a militia.

The best the military could do is to take control of areas near military bases and police that. That would leave the "lawless" areas to local militias.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:19 PM   #81
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Again, there is not a "single villainous overlord" that society has allowed to take over. There are *many* militias/warlords. We've just seen one so far. So we can''t just assume that society has allowed him to completely take over. All we know is that he runs this little corner of the country.
So far, by all indications, there is a single villainous overlord running the chicago area. And how did he come to power when the same area would have plenty of national guard and local military units who you too think were likely to become active, benevolent forces in the local area? Did they within 15 years devolve into mindless psychopaths obeying a low-to-mid-level military dude who previously had abandoned his post? And did they also agree to formally abandon the united states and all it stood for and treat anyone who did not as enemies guilty of the highest order of treason? Perhaps monroe put something in the water to accomplish this?
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:27 PM   #82
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See the post above yours.

To add to that, how many active duty/reserves were located in the area when the blackout hit? How many active bases are in the Chicago area? How many of the troops stationed there were deployed? How many were in airplanes at the time? (Because they are undoubtedly dead). Maybe one of those falling planes hit the base and wiped them out.

Who knows. But 15 years is a *long* time. Maybe the local cops and soldiers keep doing their duty for a week or two while everything goes to hell around them. But if they have families, that's probably all we could expect of them. Faced with protecting their family and trying to find supplies to survive on, "doing their duty" is going to come in a distant second. One day, 2 guys don't show up. The next, 5 more. Within a week, no one is showing up.

Again, 15 years is a tremendously long time, when surviving for a month is going to be hard. I think that old allegiances are going to fall pretty quickly, once you realize that the USA, as you know it, is dead, or at least not able to help you save your family.

Now, the show may never satisfactorily explain this to me, or to you. But after 3 eps, I'm at least willing to consider the possibility that it could go down like that, and I'm not ready to rule it out as being preposterous. But maybe you just have more faith in the human condition than I do.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:48 PM   #83
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Since the show is set near Chicago, I'll use Illinois as the state. Illinois has a population of 12,869,257 people. That means that for every "soldier" in Illinois, there are about 331 people. That means that each soldier has to police 331 people assuming they the military wants to police the entire state. Under normal circumstances this would be possible, but without vehicles and with people in a panic state it would not be possible to maintain order at that ratio. I suppose the military could maintain order by killing rioting people, but I doubt that would last long and it wouldn't be any better than having a militia.

The best the military could do is to take control of areas near military bases and police that. That would leave the "lawless" areas to local militias.
You just described the Chicago area. It contains a few key military bases (e.g. the navy RTC) as well as the second largest police force in the united states. It would be quite something for Monroe to take dominion over this area if all of those soldiers are still around and waving the US flag.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:50 PM   #84
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For some reason I have faith that police officers would be dedicated to their duties beyond "a week or two." Call me crazy.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:22 PM   #85
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For some reason I have faith that police officers would be dedicated to their duties beyond "a week or two." Call me crazy.
I normally would as well.

But in a situation like this, I'm not so sure. I just think that when something like this goes down - whether it be zombies, aliens, The Event, or The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia - your first instinct is going to be to take care of your family. Everything else is secondary.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:40 PM   #86
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For some reason I have faith that police officers would be dedicated to their duties beyond "a week or two." Call me crazy.
In this scenario...I think that is crazy. Maybe military would hold on a little longer.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:11 PM   #87
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Unless the local/state military somehow develops superpowers, I still don't see how they are going to be able to do much good beyond the area immediately surrounding their base. There's no way the military would be able to police an entire state.
And yet Monroe's regime has eliminated the vast majority of civilian-held firearms in the entire region. Why is Monroe able to police the entire area when you say the legitimate police and military are unable to do so?
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:12 PM   #88
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So far, by all indications, there is a single villainous overlord running the chicago area. And how did he come to power when the same area would have plenty of national guard and local military units who you too think were likely to become active, benevolent forces in the local area? Did they within 15 years devolve into mindless psychopaths obeying a low-to-mid-level military dude who previously had abandoned his post? And did they also agree to formally abandon the united states and all it stood for and treat anyone who did not as enemies guilty of the highest order of treason? Perhaps monroe put something in the water to accomplish this?
Adolph of Austria never was promoted beyond the rank of Gefreiter or Private when he served in the German Army.
He was also convicted of high treason and yet managed to become head of State.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:17 PM   #89
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After 15 years, the iPhone still had an 11% charge? Wow!

(Yes, really, I assume that's a function of electricity no longer "working," thus meaning it doesn't discharge.)
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:25 PM   #90
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And yet Monroe's regime has eliminated the vast majority of civilian-held firearms in the entire region. Why is Monroe able to police the entire area when you say the legitimate police and military are unable to do so?
Well, we've already seen that Monroe isn't able to effectively police the entire area because a) some people still have guns, and b) there is a rebellion working to subvert him. Monroe rules through fear - apparently by random acts of cruelty through his traveling bands of henchmen - and by defusing the ability of others to rise to power (by confiscating weapons when they are discovered).

The difference is that Monroe presumably rose to power in a vacuum, after society had devolved. Order from chaos and all that. He wasn't trying to prevent it from devolving, as the legitimate police/military would have tried to do. They would have been fighting a losing battle from Day 1, whereas Monroe was able to be more opportunistic. Just speculating here, but I imagine that the Monroe Rebublic started out as a good thing - providing some security to its members, the ability to focus on starting over and setting up a new infrastructure instead of just surviving the general lawlessness - but then went bad for one reason or another.
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