Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mutant Zombie Bikers

The theme keeps cropping up, and it's time to dispel the nonsense and lore.
Overwhelmingly, it's fueled by both good and bad apocalyptic fiction, which is generally a poor source for serious factual information.

Most of the people yapping about their preps now aren't that bright, but the BS Fantasy Factor goes off the scale when one hears from those alleging that come the day, they're going all WROL to go take everybody's stuff, or trying to raise the alarm about the inevitable rise to dominance of such folks.

Ain't. Going. To. Happen. Like. That. At. All.

The best example: the dipshit from Doomsday Preppers was a felon with priors for child molestation, was subsequently arrested post-shooting his mouth off, and is now back in prison for some good time. If there's a collapse tomorrow, he'll be eaten by his fellow inmates, if the prison guards don't simply start solving that problem for everyone in the first place under Rule 308.

Other bad people travelling in a pack are going to have a life expectancy measured in days if not hours once things get sporty, chiefly because living outside the law means living outside all law, including gaining any assistance from anyone, and getting regularly back-stabbed by your erstwhile allies 24/7/365. To presume they won't be hunted like rabid dogs by mutual consent is historically ignorant.

Furthermore, positing that suddenly there will be honor among thieves runs contrary to every experience of 6000 years of recorded human history.
It isn't going to change when TSHTF, and those planning otherwise are in for the rudest surprise of all.

It's far likelier that "Wanted" posters will go up, and bounties offered, and they'll be shot at from hill to hedge, and hung from every tree and lightpole coast to coast, the day after the first ones arise, and in perpetuity.

Anybody actually prepared to hunker down for 6-12 months will face 30-70% less problems just from the probable die-off that would occur in a societal collapse, and there won't be any Marquis of Queensbury rules, ACLU, plea bargains, defense lawyers, lenient judges, or parole boards five minutes after things kick off for those who choose the mutant zombie biker route under those circumstances. There also won't be any medevacs, Red Cross, or safe havens. A convoy of them coming down the road like some sci-fi Hell's Angels is far more likely to fare about as well as the British march from Concord Bridge back to Boston than it is to openly ride roughshod over the plains like the riders of Genghis Khan. If you want to know how that tactic works, look up the James Gang's raid on Northfield MN. Note the box score.
Crime will be dealt with by drumhead courts, sentences will be a rope or a bullet, about a minute after the verdict, and the crops will grow green in the spring over the graves of those who took a me-first approach to life.

People who decide to live felony stupid in or after any sort of problem have been foolishly conditioned like hothouse flowers for two generations to expect that everyone will helpfully stand around and wait for The Police and The Courts to enforce law and order while being preyed upon.  The actual reality (as it is turning out even right this minute in places like Detroit to a more modest extent) is that crime will dwindle and virtually disappear, because the death penalty will be back in vogue, and the waiting period will be about as long as it takes any citizen to squeeze a trigger or tie a knot. Recidivism at that point will be about as prevalent as resurrection is now: zero. The official mascot of two-time offenders will be the passenger pigeon, or perhaps the dodo. Even the peones in Mexico have reached saturation on the amount of $#!^ they'll take from the cartels with the "government" still in place, and no history of self-reliance, and they've been disarmed down there forever, officially. That should be instructive to anyone.

The people on Flight 93 are a typical guide to the reaction - and the OODA loop timeframe - once the average American realizes the rules are changed.
About an hour, on average. With butter knives and kitchen implements, if necessary.
As the new normal is where our nation lived for nearly 300 years, it won't be a particularly difficult or strange transition to make, except for the people on the wrong side of "Let's Roll", and who are almost universally completely and utterly ignorant of both history and human nature.

Human existence, in the worst scenario, might revert to the Middle Ages.
It will not revert to Cro-magnons vs. Neanderthals, and if it did anywhere, however briefly, the Neanderthals would fare about as well in Round Two as they did in Round One.
Last I looked, my ancestors stopped operating in tribes around 1066AD at the latest, if not more like around 400 BC.
The people still operating tribally after those points in history were mainly sporting practice for those who didn't, as their lack of further human progress or history might helpfully portend. And the only tribes on this continent were virtually wiped out to man, except for those who could adapt to running casinos, on land so bad that nobody else wanted it. Not my idea of a successful paradigm.

Note what I'm not saying:
I'm not saying no one will try, nor that you shouldn't prepare for the possibility.
But the failure curve will preclude just about any serious suggestion that learning will occur before they achieve room temperature. Hell, crime doesn't even pay now - look at our prison population - and yet we have a never-ending conga line of the terminally stupid who still try it, firmly convinced that they're smarter than all of society, despite the evidence of 3,000,000 of their colleagues in stripes.

My counsel is to stop looking at examples from Bosnia or Mogadischu, let alone Road Warrior or The Walking Dead unless you want to know how Bosnians, Somalis, or Hollywood screenwriters react to societal disruption.
If you dropped Topeka or Spokane into any of those places, there would be a militia, posses, a big wave of hangings, and shortly afterwards a thriving city-state, probably inclined to start conquering the savages nearby and exerting their influence in ever-widening ripples, because that's how we roll, going back to at least 1603. We can count the number of times savages have gotten the better of this society on our fingers, and if we knock out the Lost Roanoke Colony and Custer at the Little Bighorn, you could probably do it on your thumbs.

If there is any risk or threat during or after a serious catastrophe or collapse from some faceless Them, it comes from where you'd expect it to: those prepared, organized, and operating under color of authority, but using that last for their own selfish ends, first, last, and always.

We joke that the scariest words now are "I'm from The Government, and I'm here to help you." And with only the evidence of our lying eyes in minor disaster to minor disaster stretching back to forever to fuel that suspicion.
If things get to the point that society gets set back a century or so, the minute The Man decides that the correct course of action is to take an interest in what you and your community of whatever size are up to, and what resources you possess, rather than working to coordinate the success of communities everywhere while leaving them largely alone to sort out local problems, rest assured that your primary target has probably just pulled into view.

Any enforced socialism, at that point, shall be a hanging offense.


Paul said...

While I tend to agree with your assessment I don't want to be the target that trips the rest of the community to the danger the gangs represent.

Keep your powder dry.

Anonymous said...

Best post I've read in a long time! Thanks

Hillbilly said...

I disagree with your analogy.
WAR LORDS,organized cartels. Gangs seems so...Rudimentary. Whenever a profit is to be had, crime will exist. With out rule of law organized crime will flourish as in Somalia and Central America. Biker gangs are in fact "Well Organized"
Why wouldn't they prevail in their A.O. The "James gang" did quite well for 10 years during the reconstruction period.

Mark Matis said...

Yes, indeed, Topeka or Spokane might do as you say. But the hive dwellers in Seattle or Chicago or the Big Crapple or most any other major hive would instead fit right in. Do note that the Right People would be protected, of course. Just as they are now in Somalia et al...

Anonymous said...

Much of what is said here is true. The first thing I will do is join the local sheriff's militia to protect my local community.

GreenEyedJinn said...

The situation along our southern border with the drug/crime cartels doesn't quite fit in this analysis. And one of the other problems that come along with city-states are noblemen and tyrants.
I seem to remember the term "Mutant Biker Zombie" (MZB) was coined in David Crawford's "Lights Out." I think that story was a good read and sort of straddles your post and the concept of a Mad Max world.

Baron Bodissey said...

Excellent work! I agree 100%.

A minor factual correction: the Lost Colony wasn't at Jamestown (Virginia), it was at Roanoke Island near Manteo, N.C. The colony disappeared between 1587 and 1590, when English ships were unable to resupply it, due to the war with Spain.

The Jamestown colony (1607) was a commercial operation for the Virginia Company, and managed to survive, although just barely.

Aesop said...

Thanks Baron. I knew that, but biffed it. Fixed now.

And GreenEyedJinn, you clearly haven't spent any time on the Southern border. Much like the US Army in South Korea, the main reason the Border Patrol is there is to protect the cartel coyotes and their migrant mules from the wrath of the local inhabitants, not the other way around. The residents tolerate the pretense of law enforcement there because government, such as it is, still exists.

Five seconds after that is no longer operative, and possibly sooner despite that, the area will become a free-fire zone, and I assure you the last place you want to be is between any of 10,000 border inhabitants and the beaten zone from their musketry.

Anonymous said...

the fundamental unit of male organization is the GANG. Not the organized city state. 1066 was the battle of hastings...when the Normans invaded..they damn near lost but what followed was not was baronial rule..and tenuous at best.
A better guide to collapse is perhaps the 400 year run of the border reiver cultures of the Scots/English Marches....and that was entirely "tribal".

As this collapse proceeds you will not see organized city states existing for long...we will rapidly collapse to the level of baronial rule (warlords) or tribalism...."Clans".

The center will not hold I fear....

Anonymous said...

Not only are you wrong but you are dead wrong.

First off look at the gangs that exist. They are structured, organized, so organized that their leaders can control them from inside prison. They deal in violence, they obey, they are armed.

And standing against them are a sniveling pack of girl scouts who can't agree if a flagpole should be allowed in someone's front yard? By people who don't know how to make water potable, or have ever touched a gun, much less used one.

With only five days food supplies in most stores, what do you think will happen, not in prisons, when the food runs out? A huge neighborhood watch armed to the teeth ready to cooperate and work together?

Dream on, most people can't tell you who lives three houses down. They have little knowledge and less preparation for a disaster.

If the police and authorities didn't exist, ie southside Chicago, what would you do if 20 armed individuals appeared before your home? Forgive me if I am not impressed by your scenario. I've seen communities in warzones, I know how they operate.

At the end times, people will unite under a strong leader who has the skills, ability, and wit to persuade people he can get them through a disaster.

Jimmy the Saint said...

It's not exactly historically accurate to say that outlaws would simply be shot down. Yes, they would *eventually* get wiped out, and would likely have short careers on an individual level, but outlaw gangs and pirates historically did have successful runs.

They simply face the problem of having to be lucky every time, whereas their opponents only have to be lucky once - the James/Younger gang's raid on Northfield is a prime example.

Anonymous said...

Gangs do not get shot down/wiped out or any other such nonsense. If stability is regained they are simply called something else....Barons are warlords....maybe if you call them regional public administrators you would feel better?

Anonymous said...


Aesop said...

The Anonymous rants overlook that they're positing that things that apply with through the acquiescence/studied incompetence of the government now will still somehow magically continue when the government has devolved to being the local town council, the sheriff of same, or the guy on the street whose business, home, and family are directly imminently threatened.

That's simply delusional.

You also keep pointing to other places in the world where gangs and warlords thrive - in the universal absence of an armed population, a tradition of free self-government, or any long history of self-reliance and personal liberty.

None of which applies here.
The Asian transplants Columbus found when he arrived here had a tribal structure. The Spanish, and later other cultures, arrived with both weapons and civilized community.

So who won that one?

Five seconds after the ACLU is a memory, it will be open season on bandits pretty much anywhere, on sight and where found, and the places you think they'll thrive have no means to sustain them. Even cannibals run out of things to eat eventually.

And the government forces hate competition.

You're barking at the moon.

Anonymous said...

I hope you are right, and tend to think you may be. But I also fear you may be wrong. Funny thing about the future--even our best guess is still only a guess.

It's going to be a crazy time either way, and I for one will continue to expect the best, and prepare for the worst. Your posts on the subject provide a useful point of view.

Sharon Secor said...

I love what you do here. It is an absolute pleasure to visit. Thank you for your time. I write for a living, so I have a pretty good idea of how much time you invest here and I want you to know I do appreciate it. I wish you well on the other side of what's to come.

Best Regards,

Sharon Secor

amphibspook said...

Thanks for the reality break.

Anonymous said...

Aesop, I enjoyed your article, and to a point agree with you. Because my neck of the woods was referenced a few times I would like to clarify a few points. The James boys survived and thrived in Missouri because of the extreme distaste left in the mouths of most residents of Clay, Jackson, Lafayette and Platte counties. I’m sure I left some other counties out so forgive my short list.

Your article intrigued me because I have thought about how this area would react to a national failure. People around here have passed down family stories about how bad those times were. In short folks in this part of flyover country have a long memory.I have come to the conclusion that it would be very close to what happened in the 1860s. Most folks aren’t aware of the type of mind set and fighting that took place here. Just look up “UNDER THE BLACK FLAG”

No quarters given, none expected! There was no surrender, read about Centralia Mo for a reference. Just to give the readers an idea of this area. Just 12 miles north Bloody Bill Anderson is buried, to the south about 12 miles William Quantrill is in his resting place. From here to the James farm as the crow fly’s is about 30 miles.

P.S. They still celebrate Younger days in Lees Summit MO.