Will the Government be able to maintain control and order?

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Assumption: Y2K has an impact necessitating this.

The Federal, State, and Local governments are dependent on the very same fragile infrastructures that virtually all of us have been dependent on. Yet, I have seen the opinion expressed that the government will be able to step in and be effective as a result of being able to largely bypass this fragile infrastructure, primarily due to them having either a separate way of providing for key components (Power, Communications, Transportation, etc.) in tandem with well developed, detailed, feasible, and implementable contingency plans. This opinion has been stated by several folks that I know and respect who are Y2K informed.

I just don't get it though - or should I say I do not understand how this can be realistically possible. If they actually did have all required key functions and plans set up ahead of time I would agree. But I do not think that they will have a viable working alternative infrastructure to depend on at the level needed to maintain control and order nationally.

Related questions have been raised about whether troops will 'show up for work' or stick around to guard their own families. Also, for this to work would require a lot of personnel, supplies, and coordination between agencies and governments at all levels. Key components would need to be set up ahead of time and tested to ensure all alternative mission-critical functions would be available. Although we see signs of some of this, with the upcoming NG mobilization exercise planned for early May for example, my opinion has been that they will have their hands full trying to maintain control and order. At most they will be able to perform effectively only on a sporadic and local basis, depending on the actual severity and scope of the crisis.

Perhaps a combination of using the existing infrastructure components that still function, together with alternative components to fill in the gaps will be, at least in theory, possible. Also tied in with this whole scenario is the length of elapsed time between when substantial failures begin and when they are fixed. If it is longer than a certain period, ( 72 hours? One week? Two weeks?) people are going to be reacting and the unraveling of any semblance of control could escalate rather quickly.

Maybe this is just another one of my "vexing" questions, since there are critical unknowns. But as I said, I have heard some people express these opinions. I would like to believe they are right: that control and order will be maintained. I think that this question is important, since I do not understand why some folks believe this is not only possible, but realistic. Any ideas, and what is your opinion?

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), February 20, 1999


Rob, I certainly think that there will be "order" and "control" to varying degrees in different locations. I have a (bad) feeling that in some places, there will simply be barricades and troops to keep people in and if they burn and loot, to hell with 'em. The idea may be to protect certain areas and let other areas fend for themselves. Unfortunately, there may be racial criteria involved. New York City is once again embroiled in a nasty racial fight, after 4 white cops shot 41 bullets at an unarmed black man. Given the propensity for this kind of thing to happen, and Mayor Guiliani's lax attitude towards it, I wouldn't be at all surprised if they protect Manhattan and let large swaths of the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens burn to the ground. This is among my biggest fears...

-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), February 20, 1999.

First I question the assumption that "they" are in control. "They" go to great pains to tell folks "they" are.

Next,...I'm one of those rapidly aging idealists who still maintains that:

Should governments (natural disaster or Y2K infrastructure failure, notwithstanding) disappear, life as most of us know it will go on with little change. I bet it will come as a great shock to many, given how long the schooling (brainwashing) has gone on that we cannot exist without government.

I have never understood the utility of governmental bureaucracy other than to burn up hard-earned money on the appearance of a Great Father somewhere looking after all the children...a sort of loco parentis for a god of children that never grew up. I take that back. I understand it in the way Juvenal, the Roman rhetoritician understood it c. 60-140 A.D. Duas tantum res anxius optat, Panem et circenses. The people long eagerly for two things -- bread and circuses.

So....(I'm getting to it, I promise),...do I think it will be that the government will come charging over the rise on their white horses to save the hapless, beset settlers, a la a B Western? Nope. Why folks continue to hope in the possibility is certainly amazing to me. Read Orwell, or Huxley, or Heinlein, or others.

-- Donna Barthuley (moment@pacbell.net), February 20, 1999.

I have no great feeling that the local police, national guard, federal forces, or the UN will be on my side. My greatest fear is that I will be rounded up along with the rest of the senior citizens (subjects) and delivered to a place for starvation.

-- dave (wootendave@hotmail.com), February 20, 1999.

Donna, if you go to the DMV for your driver's license or city hall for a permit for something, (here in NYC, anyway) you will discover another major reason for the huge government bureaucracy: to provide jobs to huge numbers of people who are either not very educated, not very competent or not very interested in pursuing more challenging work. (the sheeple?) Sometimes it feels like there are these bizzare procedures in place in order to create more jobs so that one has to "go stand in that line now and the clerk will tell you which line you need to wait in..."

What would all these people do otherwise? (I know, I know..they'd have to get a life...)

-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), February 20, 1999.

****What would all these people do otherwise? (I know, I know..they'd have to get a life...) ****

Yep! O dem changes! Pay no attention to that be-sheeted woman on the hill.

-- Donna Barthuley (moment@pacbell.net), February 20, 1999.

If the stuff hits the fan then it will be important that we stick together as a nation. There are those who will view us (USA) and our wealth and they will/do want it!

Today had an interesting experience with my nephew and his friend. They are doing a class project and it has to do with firearms, firearms safety etc. The kids (fourteen) are showing, on video, how to load, operate and shoot many different types of weapons. These are kids I am talking about and they are expecting something. I do not propagandize them and rarely see them. My home is out in the sticks so I allowed them to film their school project here, with live fire etc.

At the end of the day my brother said, "I have some new neighbors on the street and they have posted a bunch of weird signs, 'keep out' and that sort of thing. He is gonna visit them today.

Point! If you people are heading for the hills get off your high horse! People do not take kindly to a bunch of techno hippies moving in and then posting everyone out. We are a nation of people and we will survive as such. Hold your fire until you are sure I am the enemy.

We don't want a bunch of fat ass Rambos running around thinking they are it. Just because you have gotten a whiff of FREEDOM does not give you the prerogative to come around and start stuff/dung/shit.

Try thinking! United we stand, divided we fall!

My sons are in the military and I have very difficult time thinking that they will come and take me (or you) away! Some of the best people I have ever meet were/are American military men!

-- Mark Freeman Hillyard (foster@inreach.comakafreeman@cali.com), February 20, 1999.

Obviously in locations of critical interest to their contingency plans, the government will take measure (dare I say even extreme measures) to maintain control. Knowing that "All power flows from the barrel of a gun.", look for force of arms to be used to maintain order and control in those locations.

At the same time, there will be a "carrot" to go with the "stick" of force. The locations the government wants to keep in line will also be those that stay "on-line" with regards to electric power. It's very reasonable to assume that if no power will lead to urban rioting, then keeping the power on in those urban areas will keep the masses happy and content as they watch Jerry Springer re-runs.

For the rest of the country which isn't considered critical to government activities, there may be token presences of government representatives and forces. But I don't look for places not on the "list of 120 cities" or near military installations to have a very visible or vigorous show of government activity.

There may be exceptions for key transportation hubs, coal mines and the like. But by and large, unless there are activities by the population out in the country and smaller cities which invite outside intervention, there may well not be much activity involving the federal government in those locations. And as long as the state and local governments and the citizens of those places keep their houses in order, not having the federal government around trying to call the shots every day is just the way things were intended to be and should be in this country.


-- Wildweasel (vtmldm@epix.net), February 20, 1999.

Dave: Defend yourself anyone who attemps to violate your rights. Even if they kill you, you will still die free. I gather you're a senior yourself... I'm 40, with a lot of life ahead of me. I'll risk it all rather than become a slave.

For anyone who has never read it, here is something written by William Cooper in his book, "Behold A Pale Horse", which is must reading if you want to make sense out of what is happening to this country and the world. It parallels my philosophy exactly:

This Is My Creed

I believe first in God, the same God in which my ancestors believed. I believe in Jesus Christ, and that he is my saviour. Secondly, I believe in the Constitution of the Republic of the United States of America, without interpretation, as it was written and meant to work. I have given my sacred oath "to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies foreign and domestic." I intend to fulfill that oath. Third, I believe in the family unit, and, in particular, my family unit. I have sworn that I will give my life, if it is required, in defense of God, the Constitution, or my family. Fourth, I believe that any man without principles that he is ready and willing to die for at any given moment is already dead and is of no use or consequence whatsoever.

-- Why2K? (who@knows.com), February 20, 1999.

FreeMAN!!! WHAT KInD OF A FOOL IS UPsET because PEOPLW HE DOES NoT KNoW PUT up kEEp OUit SIGNS????? ARE you feeling UPset THAT YOUR sMaLL CHILDiSH CUrIoUS MIND REmAINS UNSATISFied??? Why do you fEEL COMPELLed TO ACT the bUSIboDY?????? HALT!!!!EnouHGH!!!!WHO do yOu think YOU AREMRS KrAvitz????? FOOLISH CHiLD!!!!

-- Dieter (questions@toask.com), February 20, 1999.


Well said. Do I see a Libertarian in the gathering?


I don't think the government has a chance of keeping order without weapons used against the population. Once that happens it will be every man or community for themselves, will we ever get our country back? Nope! Our gov has been regulating every one of our rights to death.

To me that means they want absolute control. What are you going to do about it if "they" do? Will you wait for order, than back to a kinder more regulated life in the aftershock?

-- Rick (blaklodg@aol.com), February 21, 1999.

Agree with WildWeasel, especially about rural areas. They'll be left largely alone, which, on balance, will be a net positive. Remember Milne? GET OUT OF THE CITIES NOW! Or have a bugout plan in place.

The other weird "positive" is that there may be a great need for the carrot if we are facing international crises, especially those requiring troops. In that instance, much of the available resources (think "oil") will have to go to military. Keeping the populace motivated to serve/support overseas will be tough if we are managing an internal police state .....

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), February 21, 1999.

Some very good points made on the thread. Since I was 'thinking out loud' on this one, I mixed my thoughts up to some degree. What I was really trying to get at was the following:

Can anybody substantiate the opinion (which I still just do not see as realistic) that a separate compliant infrastructure (or a combination as originally described in the question) either exists now or will exist before the rollover. And if so, can it potentially be efffective enough to allow for subseqcontrol and order?

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), February 21, 1999.

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