In response to today's previous post, this comment:
"I think you over-estimate the desire of private security to be BMoC. So long as the person they're paying/protecting isn't being a complete yahoo and/or doing things to put them in jeopardy, I would question the need/desire for a coup. Especially if the families of the private security were able to attend and a general comfort with following orders.
Some good reads in the survival genre discussing this leadership, or lack thereof, dynamic are the American Apocalypse series (terrible editing but good story); EMP: Equipping Modern Patriots series; Lights Out; One Second After series; and I think one these ended at Raven Rock near Gettysburg where a fairly developed character with an interest in history was killed (IRRC) I don't recall the exact book however -- The Remaining series, Max Velocity's series, Brushfire Plague series, Angry American's Home series, or possibly one of Matt Bracken's Enemies series or one of the Rawles books.
Point being, that people always look for leaders, concepts of honor don't disappear just b/c money is worthless, and hope for a return to "normal" will likely keep folks on the straight and narrow, especially if not starving and relatively comfortable, longer than if they know that the current situation was forever. How it plays is very situationally-dependent.
Lights out in particular has a good chapter or two on what can happen when wealthy and prepared folks sit behind their fences rather than extending patrols beyond them. Resonates as terrain aligns with own in central tx."
I think some folks underestimate the desire of other people to eat, what happens when they perceive anyone is in the way of that, and the urge to be what they are when completely unconstrained:
Let's be clear about a few things.
1) In any situation where a billionaire is decamping to their retreat bunker, and depending for their continued existence on their little mercenary band,
The "rules" as you understand them no longer apply.
In short, in such a situation, "private security" is neither.
People in charge beforehand, by virtue of money, laws, and stuff, won't be so when the nature of all those things changes fundamentally.
This is like trying to fly in space, when there's no more air for lift or maneuvering: it isn't going to go well when using wings and propellers is your whole plan, because it used to work ten minutes ago.
2) History is replete with lessons. One of them is that "leaders" earned those positions. By feats of arms. When warfare is a constant, as it has been for most of human history and at most times, those who win, lead. Someone thrust into the position who knows how to wave his arms, but not take a hill, is going to last leading people who know the latter for about as long as it takes anybody hungrier and less genteel to decide to pull off a coup. As several hundred former dictators can attest worldwide, going back to at least Julius Caesar.
Billionaires who became so without ever getting their nails dirty are going to be cupcakes in a box in front of grizzly bears, come "The Event." Kings and conquerors were the most brutal, bloodthirsty bastards in the pack, and the most brutal packs begat the commensurately most brutal practitioners, who literally cleaved people's skulls with swords at bad-breath distance to achieve and maintain their positions. Boardroom battles and hostile takeovers by people who've never hefted anything more ferocious than a pen or a cell phone are like watching Chihuahuas fight stuffed animals by contrast.
What does it look like when one world meets the other? It looks like terrorists taking over an OPEC meeting, and shooting the first guy in the face in front of everyone, just to establish who's in charge now, and as casually as brushing a fleck of lint off their cuff.
That's all of recorded human history, every single time.Scene I: heavily-armed terrorists burst into the room:
"Who's in charge here?""I am," said billionaire CEO Scrooge McDick, somewhat upset by the interruption. "So, what's all this about?"BLAM!BLAM!BLAM! McDick's torso crumples, as pieces of his face fly about the room and decorate the nearby walls and adjacent attendees."Wrong answer. Once again, who's in charge here...?""YOU ARE!" in unison from the terrified survivors.
3) When people are hungry, "honor" goes right out the window. And "hope" ain't a plan. People in the Soviet gulags, educated, civilized men, routinely sold each other out for a blanket or a crust of bread, in about a heartbeat, as recounted by pretty much everyone who survived and wrote about the experience. Hiding Jews and other "undesireables" in droves were outted by their own former neighbors for an extra ration coupon or the tiniest increase in prestige, from 1938-1945, inclusive, all over Europe.
Honor doesn't fill your belly. And whatever leanings or moral compass you might think you'll obey will exert not a whit of pull on the moral compass of others, and that's vastly truer when all societal underpinings go out the window in a hurry, which is the exact sort of situation under discussion.
Try reading some reality, rather than fiction, from Solzhenitsyn, FerFal, Selco, and others who've passed through actual fire, not fictional works of same by people who've never missed so much as a meal in their entire lives.
Most dystopian fiction is just bad prepper porn, not least of which because it's so unlike any experience in human history for most of the writers, and their imagination is rather more attuned to sales than reality. Hobbes' "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short" description of man in a state of Nature was based on a far closer acquaintance with it than that possessed by a convention full of popular authors currently, and conveys more stark reality in those five words than you'll get from five conex boxes full of pulp fiction doom porn.
As Louis L'Amour wrote frequently in his westerns, the problem with being an outlaw is that it means living completely outside the law: no protection by it, no rules, no security, no common civilization, and definitely no honor among thieves, cutthroats, and robbers. They exited civilization of their own accord, and seldom retired to die quietly in their beds. Now imagine entire societies who have the protection and trappings of civilization, society, and law suddenly ripped from them like a blanket on a cold morning.
Nuclear families and small tribal groups will fare somewhat better, because they'll carry most if not all of the trappings of civilization-that-was with them, as much as they can.
Most people don't even have that much, and no one will have anything much between themselves and their nominal neighbors, and it will become a race to the bottom.
How does that look? Watch food distribution scenes at the beginning of Blackhawk Down or anywhere else worldwide in newsreels from the Trashcanistans and Shitholias of the Turd World. This isn't fiction, for them it's called every day, forever, for their entire miserable lives, and as long as anyone of them can remember.
What restrains it here is some scraps of parchment, common assent to it, the prosperity it's brought, and the knowledge that without it, everywhere, throughout all of recorded human history is Trashcanistan, or Shitholia.
In about a month.
Mogadischu. Beirut. Baghdad. Belgrade. Buenos Aires. Acapulco. Rio. Mumbai. Berlin. Rome. Beijing. Saigon. Atlanta. Chicongo. Baltimore. Los Angeles. San Francisco.
Big cities. First-world cities and international destinations. Capitals, even, in some cases. They've all had blood in the streets when times got tough.
It's a different world when the only symphony in town is the staccato of gunfire, not-so-distant, and the only light at night that given off by nearby buildings, gloriously aflame.
Be someplace else.
Don't confuse proximity with alliance or allegiance.
Some people get this without being hit over the head with it, and understand that whistling past the graveyard to the tune of "Normalcy Bias Rag" isn't going to cut the mustard when mobs rule, bullets fly, and the former rules go away like early foggy mist on a hot summer morning.
Little problems - tornados, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, a job loss, personal injury, or divorce - are vastly likelier to happen, in fact almost a certainty, several times in any person's lifetime, and you should be ready for ten or twenty of them for every major meltdown you'll ever see.
Which was exactly what people in Pompeii thought right until the mountain rumbled that last time. What stockbrokers thought until one fateful day in October. And what Louis and Marie figured, until the mob showed up outside the gates.
You only have to get it wrong once, and then you hear the last lifeguard's whistle: