WROL or EROL Which is More Likely? — 79 Comments

  1. Jack as usual you are spot on. I do have a criticism. More often now than ever you sem to get angry and yell at your audience. Take a step back man and calm down. Your audience loves your work. Stop yelling at us.

    • Jim if you think I am yelling at you likely you are wrong. First youtube is NOT exclusive to my listeners and more idiots comment on youtube then any other place on the net, youtube is an idiot magnet. Next if I am talking about someone ripping you off, oppressing you, etc and yell it ain’t at you.

    • Well I listened to the video expecting lots of yelling, but didn’t see anything except reasoned rational presentation. Great job Jack!

  2. Jack, thanks for posting this – MainePrepper is spot on: I am a Viet Nam Veteran. My question is (as law abiding, honorable armed citizen) will the powers that be view us as part of the solution or the problem when things fall apart?

  3. This is daunting for me at 27 with little income to prepare. I have carpentry as a skill set and I’m learning food production. For those with a small income and little in the way of skills just getting started, my advice is to really focus on local community. I found like-minded people on, been meeting new people like crazy and it’s really paying off. Dropping the lone-wolf mentality has been a multi-year challenge for me but it may have been the most important thing I’ve done to prep beyond developing my skill sets. Best of luck to us all.

    • DoubleOught, you’re in a much better position than you realize. First, it sounds as if you have little to no debt. This alone will give you greater freedom of action than those saddled with excessive debt (student loans, mortgage, etc.). Second, you possess a VALUABLE skill as a carpenter — one that will likely be even MORE in demand as people are forced to repair and retrofit what they already have as opposed to building new. Just keep in mind that this path is one step at a time. I’m much less along than I would like, but I also remind myself that I’ve come a LONG way from where I was only a few years ago. Stick with it!

    • I admit to not having watched the video yet, but if history is any guide, then we are almost certainly facing EROL, not WROL. Just look at the advancement of the police state WITHIN the US over the last 20 years — thrown into overdrive in the 11 years since 9/11/01.

      Thucydides recognized this as far back as ancient Athens — her acquisition of overseas colonies compelled her to become a tyrant abroad, which led to her becoming a tyrant at home. We’re going through the same process. The authorities know what’s coming — and they’re preparing for it.

      I highly recommend reading/listening/watching Chris Hedges regarding this phenomenon. Start with his 3-hour C-SPAN author event series titled, “The American Empire is over… and the descent is going to be horrifying.”

      For those that hold the view that we will go to WROL — I ask to please cite ONE example of an empire in terminal decline (not post-collapse, but terminal decline) that went in that direction.

  4. ‘The more things change, the more they stay the same.’ Or become worse. Why? There is a reason.
    The Ominous Parallels by L Peikoff

  5. I have to wonder if we will actually see one extreme or the other. I think that when they have squeezed everything they can out of the economy they will announce a new currency & the general public at large will hail them as heroes. There may be some local riots but as soon as the bread & circuses are restored things will go back to normal except the TSA & other agencies will be out in the street. Incremental power grabs have worked well for them so far Why would they risk a full scale conflict?

  6. Jack,
    You misquoted that guy MainePrepper, you quoted him as saying “I am 100 percent sure of that…” when he really said ” I am very sure of that…”. It’s at minute 4:16 of his video.

  7. the indefinite detention portion of the NDAA has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge.

  8. Who is going to enforce EROL? Now I realize that there are some “loyalists” that will side with the Federal Government when EROL is triggered. However I believe that they “loyalists” are few, and those who refuse to disregard their oaths will be much larger in number. Especially since many in the military come from places that have patriotic values, and won’t easily disregard those values.

    • @BarnGeek you believe this only because it is what you WANT TO believe, there is nothing factual that you can base it on. This is not 1776 and we are not seeking independence from a mother nation 5,000 miles across an ocean.

      You also assume you know what patriotism is for another man. Preventing a city from burning is patriotic isn’t it. Were you ever in the military? Something tells me no, if so something tells me you don’t really remember being 19 and green, with a new M16.

      • You obviously haven’t discussed this with the troops at Ft Hood. You would be surprised at the answers. Sometimes, modern survival, u are clueless.

        • @forcemultiplier, having been a solider I actually know what people say and do are often different and that talking to a small number of a group is no indication of what the entire group will do. Talk about clueless you win a prize for it man.

      • Yes Jack, this is what I want to believe. What your proposing honestly scares the crap out of me. So this is my attempt at holding on to some faith in the decency of human beings.

        It is a faith that is misguided I know. Two thousand years ago when the spark of freedom was lit, men by their self destructive and self enslaving nature attempted to extinguish that spark by executing the one who lit it. I’m not talking about freedom just from a tyrannical government but freedom from our own self destructive nature, which is true freedom. You can live in a completely free society and still end up a slave. As long as there are men who declare themselves masters there will be slaves, even if those masters only master themselves.

        And your right, those slaves will obey their masters. Even to the detriment to their own morality. But there are those who have lived in true freedom, who know what it means to be a slave and know that there is freedom available for all. They will not easily give up that freedom, nor will they bow to a tyrannical government.

        I hope that the free will out number the slaves.

        • Now you are talking about belief in an idea, that is something to have faith in, ideas are stronger then man. That doesn’t mean you won’t have many people turn away and go into hell before they understand reality.

    • Hope so;
      What I think we’ll see in any real depression is :
      “A gubbermint job is a gubbermint job”.
      A badge; a fancy uniform; assumed authority ; 3 hots and a cot, will look pretty good to a lot of less than educated “citizens” (Who gladly put their stomachs ahead of Old school constitutional values.)

      IMHO Whatever military or guard have objections to the “reeducation/pacification program” will be reassigned to lesser contact with the public and replaced by a steady stream of the willing hungry( and less principled).

  9. MainePrepper is right, in my opinion. A partial collapse is what is far more likely. There will be pockets of OK’ness and pockets of horror–and lots of everything in between.

  10. I’m not sure EROL will really be “rule of law” so much as authoritarian rule, worse than we have now. I think that’s what Jack is driving at, but let me explain what I mean.

    The rule of law includes the idea of equal treatment under the law. Our Founders began with this and other ideas. But in America today, we don’t even have true rule of law: the laws are targeted by economic and social class, which in and of itself prevents equal treatment. Further, laws are being interpreted 1) to benefit the elite; 2) the benefit the protected classes; and 3) to oppress classes that are seen as a threat to the present order (e.g., gun owners, Tea Partiers, preppers, Constitutionalists, business owners, “the rich”, libertarians, Ron Paul supporters, etc.) All the evidence you need is in the Homeland Security ‘fusion center’ reports.

    Given this state of affairs, I think the future is more likely to be authoritarian rule in areas of larger population density, and no rule of law in rural, lower-population-density areas.

    Now, that will quickly change: the Feds will want to consolidate their gains and “pacify” (i.e., deny fundamental rights to) larger and larger areas outside the urban “Green Zones.” Also, self-government will spring up in the rural areas, as people select leaders from among themselves, and organize themselves as they see fit to provide for “common defense and general welfare,” as Jefferson might have put it.

    • @Backwoods under that definer we are already there, does a poor black kid with a gram of meth get treated the same as a rich celebrity with the same gram of meth?

  11. I’d love to hear Jack interview Maine Prepper on a different subject; namely what did life look like for the average Afghani or Iraqi while the S was hitting the F in their worlds? I’m not talking about the taliban member, but the average guy who was just trying to survive and protect their family. I’m curious if he learned things that made him a better prepper by observing how these folks who live in a much less stable environment (i.e. decades of waves between war and peace, constant political and social upheaval, both prior to and during the US occupation.)

    • I’d be happy to and I bet we agree on 99% of things to boot, tell him about the guest form if you want him on TSP.

  12. So what can we do? If we know it’s going to breakdown and the Gov. has more power, what can we do. I have a little boy that’s 2 years old. I don’t want him going to a internment camps becouse I belive in the US Constitution.

  13. Seriously grim and no ‘bullet point’ advice.. 🙂

    So here goes. If the SHTF.. (IMHO)

    – don’t be anywhere that rioting is going on/could break out (stupid places/people/things)
    – don’t settle anywhere that can be easily ‘cordoned off’
    – don’t settle anywhere that will be a ‘high value’ area to be secured
    – have caches (I’ll leave this to your imagination)
    – know and help your local LEOs. I know I keep saying this, but maintaining your own ROL means ‘the boot’ will be used somewhere else.

    @Val Anderson – For LEO/Military you’re either ‘known’ (safe) or ‘unknown’ (not safe). If you’re not known, you’re a potential threat and will be treated accordingly.

    During Katrina, as you know, LEOs, often from outside the area disarmed citizens. Being from outside the area, they assumed everyone with a gun was a threat.

    A friend of mine, who knew all of his parish police had the opposite experience.. the came to him to ask to borrow some of his Title II weapons. Which were returned with a thank you letter from the chief after things calmed down.

  14. What’s with Maine Prepper’s recommendation for ACOGs? Obviously they are “the” optic of choice, as they are commonly used by US forces. I’m in no position to dispute that fact, but for us civilian types, they cost more than a typical complete AR.

    I’d rather have a year of food, fuel, a means of commerce and a break action shotgun – rather than a Navy SEAL gear load out and nothing else.

    • Just that a rifle with that will be better then one kitted 10 ways to Sunday and still cost less. I agree with you though, I actually find the shotgun to be the ultimate survival tool, though I am more likely to recommend a pump. I need to do a show on why this is the case (shotgun) I guess.

      • Jack have you see Dave Canterbury’s break action 12 gauge videos on YouTube? A pump is great for home defense but Dave makes a good argument for the versatility of a single shot break action gun.

  15. Jack,
    Great video. Love it when you get worked up. It grabs my undivided attention every time you do. About the million sq ft building the NSA is building. You probably already have a thousand sq ft section devoted to you. Do you ever think about that? Keep up the good work.

    • One what is dedicated to me no I don’t think about it. I can’t worry about it, the sad fact is even if a giant file exists for “Jack Spirko” it won’t take up much space, it won’t take up a mouse fart of one hard drive, that really drives home the point of the DataCenter’s size does it not?

    • As a software engineer, my imagination wonders about this. I don’t doubt there exists the capability to monitor, capture and store a huge portion (maybe all?) of digital communication that takes place.

      What I’m not convinced of is the processing power. Even if uncle sam had 100x google’s CPU power, it wouldn’t be physically possible to do real time analysis on every byte of data. We’re talking Star Trek science fiction level.

      What I expect is they are data warehousing, When they get a lead on a person, group of key word, they can query and look for correlations on demand.

      So “prepping” and “survival” will become less conspicuous as our ranks grow 🙂

      • Don’t underestimate this ability but basically yes you are right. However you can use this information two ways as a programmer you know this. As a marketing analyst I know this too. Give me good data and I can tell you who is best to market Gillette razors to and who to totally ignore. NSA is likely recruiting the best marketing analysts they can find as part of this project. You would be shocked what a really great data poet can come up with. When you think about this data being used to create lists it is pretty scary.

        Worrying about a prepper list is missing the point by the way.

      • You don’t have to process it, you just have to suck it up and store it. As for processing, you can either search on demand, or outsource it to a botnet.

        I LOL at anyone who thinks the NSA doesn’t have one. 🙂

        Its estimated that in 1965 the NSA was 35 years ahead of consumer electronics. If we assume they’re even 6 years ahead now, Moore’s Law says their computers are 16x (1600%) faster than what is commercially available.

        See something like this:

        For what commercially available hardware is already capable of (GPU farms). Which doesn’t even get into better algorithms (NSA hires mighty smart people).

        • ‘Real Time Processing’ would have been the TIA program.

          The real stumbling block with it is the soft AI selecting the ‘threats’, to be vetted by a human, and acted upon. Think TIO (total information overload).. kind of like drinking out of a firehose.

          There are some advantages to being a ‘gnat’ in the era of giant states (see ‘Global Guerrillas’ book ‘Brave New War’).

          And of course bureaucracy (its inefficiency) can be your friend, when you’re trying to dodge the stomping boot.

          [Example: INS granted student visas to two of the 9/11 hijackers.. six months after 9/11]

  16. There are several comments along the lines of ‘our troops would never go along with this and would actively oppose it’.

    While I agree that many troops would disobey/oppose an unlawful order.. there are plenty of lawful orders they will obey.

    The LA riots. If troops had been ordered and duly authorized to enter the city and ‘restore order’ would they have done so? (And this was rioting in response to a trial verdict with no DIRECT hardship imposed on the rioters)

    Or as a hypothetical, lets say you had an earthquake in CA. The roads into LA are damaged so reliefs supplies are being brought into the port for distribution. Gangs/mobs are taking out the relief convoys to sell the supplies on the black market. Would a military member refuse to combat the gangs? Would they refuse to disarm them by force?

    There are plenty of missions for the military that don’t require them to (knowingly) violate their oath. (‘Take out that car with the Predator, intel says it contains a terrorist’).

    We’re not talking about Obamney or Rombama walking up to the podium on a military base and saying ‘its time to rip up the constitution, so round up all the .’

    What we’re talking about is actions that could be considered legitimate ‘policing actions’. The thuggery can be left to other less idealistic governmental organizations, who have already shown they have no problem with violations of human rights.

    A psychopath does not care if you’re both Americans.

    • While all of this is true, I still have a question. That is all of these soldiers have CO’s, and before an order is handed down to the guy “pushing the button” doesn’t it go through a command structure? I mean are all of those in charge going to mindlessly follow an order like a green 19 year old with an M-16? I’m asking because having no military experience I honestly don’t know. Aren’t there many in the chain of command who will refuse to violate their oaths? Or are they going to be fooled as well?

      • …for the decent, honorable, moral driven soldier, they will use their brain and not follow, or at least question “unlawful orders”, which is MOST of them.

        Others will blindly follow corrupt orders to the extreme. And worry about the firing squad later. And these are a very small percentage.
        (Yes there is good and evil in the military as well, I’ve seen it first hand. Soldiers are just humans with a haircut, and identical outfits.)

      • Rioting, looting, and arson are serious crimes. The oath says ‘support and defend The Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign AND DOMESTIC’ (empahsis mine). Most officers are well versed in the constitution and understand the restrictions of posse comitatus etc. However before troops are deployed an ‘army’ of lawyers in the White House and the Pentagon will have devised whatever legal argument is needed to justify the deployment. All officers and senior NCOs are careerists. Their salaries and future security (pensions) are dependent on not rocking the boat. Their wives and children often live in housing provided by the government on a military base…see where I’m going with this?

        • @Tunnel Rat let me add to your point on officers and NCOs a bit more the never have served DO NOT and CANNOT truly understand. I will do my best to convey it though. Most NCOs and officers at the O-3 level and beyond have something special something I honestly didn’t possess. This is specifically true in combat arms, special services like airborne, recon, ranger, etc. and Military LEOs such as MPs, SPs, etc.

          These guys tend to become very fatherly even in their 20s when most men are still boys at heart these guys see it as their role to take care of their boys. I was a guy with a fast track to senior NCO if I really wanted it. I didn’t and part of the reason is I just couldn’t see myself taking care of grown men the way the NCOs did.

          Now if a legitimate order comes down from command, people are burning down cities and the rebellion must be put down, that type of thing, those in charge will take care of their boys. That means making sure they hear what they need to hear to so that they can and will do their duty even if it is hard to do. They if they believe that it needs to be done will make sure their men can do it.

          I know this is hard to hear but again this is about putting down riots, rebellion, etc. Not pulling sleeping people from their beds for what they said or wrote yesterday. Yes our men will do it and this will also be hard to hear, if it comes to that, it may need to be done. If I will say that what will a 21 year old kid think when his SSG tells him the same?

          The problem isn’t the initial response. If I were president and 10,000 people were about to burn down a city, would I use force, deadly if necessary to put it down and save property and lives? HELL YES I WOULD!

          The problem lies in once government has power what will those currently in charge do with it? We know, they won’t let the crisis go to waste, people come down on Emanuel for saying that but it was one of the most honest statements ever made, though he is scum we should actually be grateful for that moment of honesty. It shows us inside the mind of the traitors running this nation!

          I also must relate the following. At the Sepp Holzer seminar, I met a young man about two years out of the USMC. Now I served over 20 years ago so we are definitely part of different generations of service. At one point about 6 of use were sitting around watching the excavator work on a dam project. The other four were talking about civil breakdowns.

          One said “I don’t believe US troops would ever fire on US citizens” the other three nodded with agreement. I looked at this man and he at me, our eyes met, nothing was said, nothing needed to be. It was one of the saddest moments in my life, we talked about it later but said nothing at the time. Neither of us could bare to tell these four rather young idealistic people so excited to be involved with something as cool as a Sepp Holzer build what we were thinking.

          Those that think it can’t happen are clueless.

        • Jack – I was/am one of those guys you describe. The Marine Corps tries to instill that fatherly instinct in all its officers, and does a fairly good job of it.

          In combat situations even officers have limitied sources of outside information available to them. Commanders are laser focused on mission acomplishment first and welfare of the men second. There is no third priority. There is no time for anything else.

          I took the information I was given from my higher commander and distilled it for consumption by my men. It helped them get through the fear, hardship and pain I am sure. Some of it later turned out to be completely false and fabricated. I didn’t know it at the time but I was repeating lies. By any legal standard I am innocent. That doesn’t help me sleep at night however. I can’t say that the majority of my peers suffer from the same bouts of conscience.

          Most will have no problem at all firing on Americans rioting in the streets because the welfare checks ran out.

    • US ‘Troops’ did enter LA during the 1992 riots. Marines from the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton were deployed in support of civil authorities. Marine Infantrymen were paired with LAPD officers on patrol. While LEOs made the actual arrests, having the Marine support effectivly doubled the LEO coverage in the city. There were instances where Marines had to fire their weapons in self-defense.

      • LOL it was rhetorical and I have seen the video too, eyeopener for sure.

        That said normalcy bias should not be the bane of prepper community it should be the last problem we have. I think you are on to something with American Exceptionalism though. I am pretty sure that is indeed a huge part of it.

        We are different, this is different, there has never been a nation like America, we are the world leader, the world is not stable with out us, on and on and on, God but even people who are smart can be stupid if you tell them what they want to hear.

        • haha. I think the bottom line is that we are in the midst of generations who have had their minds crippled by schools/media/etc, and are simply unable to think clearly. Preppers might be one step ahead of the pack, but I think Americans in general all suffer from the inability to take a single idea to a logical conclusion. I’m not saying accurately predict the future, but to just draw straight lines from A, to theoretical-B, to theoretical-C.

          If there’s one thing we have learned from history, it’s that almost nobody has learned anything from history.

          And, as for your last sentence, I have yet to find a cure for willful ignorance.

  17. Someone whom I trust and have no reason to doubt has been there, done that, and emigrated to the USA several decades ago after watching his home country erupt in violence. He is warning that he sees all the same political and economic signs that his country experienced just efore it all turned very violent. People, think South Africa; this happened less than half a century ago. We need to learn from recent history.

    • Well if you wanted to prove my point for me you just did it. What was the result of the break down in South Africa? A police state, that’s what. Talk to Carla Gericke who is the current president of the Free State Project and she can tell you all about it. She even discussed it a bit during our interview here at TSP,

      It is simple WROL exists in a power vacuum. It only lasts for any length of time in a worthless place, a desert, etc. Any nation with significant inherent value to its resources won’t ever have a vacuum for long.

      • To re-enforce your point, yes. Additionally it should be noted that in the first decades of the breakdown it was the cities which were the dangerous places to be. Now, it is the ranchers who are being slaughtered. In otherwords, no one bug-out location, be it rural or suburban/urban, is likely going to be dependably safe over the long-term.

        I’ve been a subscriber to Mainprepper’s channel for awhile now. However, the warning given this weekend by this man has chilled me to the bone. I guess it was past time for my normalcy bias to get derailed.

        Thanks largely to the Survival Podcast I have been preparing for the worst while hoping for the best. No longer do I dare hope for the best.

  18. Wow, Jack, when you brought up the image of the Texas and Alaska Guard having the firepower of the Nazi’s, but not having to fight other people with tanks, it got me thinking of that scene in iRobot where the humans “fight back”. That didn’t work out so well.
    Great video. You’re right, too. Maineprepper’s take on the HOW to be prepared to survive is spot on, but he is limiting himself with WHAT to be prepared to survive. Thank you again for the balanced approach – and massive research and preparation – you bring to all subjects related to modern survivalism.

  19. Hey Jack, in this situation, if you are living in a suburban area, is the .22 rifle still the best one gun choice or should it be a shotgun? (After you make sure you have a decent amount of food, water, and medical supplies of course)

  20. Jack when you say the gov is more prepared that us well uh yes.Any body that has lived in south west mo for any length of time namely Springfield MO can tell you about the underground cave system in Greene Co that is ran by the National Guard it is the single biggest underground storage in the mid west.Another note i was in the tornado that hit Branson MO on feb 29th it will amaze you how fast the national guard and law enforcement will close down entire areas for head counts.That was just ef2 and they were there faster than you can blink a eye now in a larger than life shtf just how fast can they over take a area i would say shockingly fast there is several airports in the area and within a 400 mile radius countless military bases with full time and reserve units a lot of what you say makes since lets just hope it never comes to that.

  21. EROL! Laws created on the spot by wanabee mini dictators… those in different brands and colors of uniforms. In CC, Tx we still have training aircraft that takes off from military airstrips that fly over our major traffic routes. Scares the h… out of me. My chest tightens up as imagination takes over wondering when are they going to drop bombs on us and burn us to the ground. I know those drone crafts can and are used loaded… not good. I usually prooz your comments looking for some bit of my prepping I’ve forgotten or missed to improve my extended families welfare. As a 68 year old wheelie, my cache mechanics take alot of effort. Looking for networking of like minds is difficult in my neigborhood filled with settled retired ostrich. Many at church are better for support networking and food prepping. If any of you out in the network haven’t got your food prep up to speed for dry shelf basics, it is worth a trip to the LDS cannery. I can’t buy it all so sharing that info is a good deed. Go to and find the PDF ‘Family Home Storage Center Products’. Check on the list of Bishop Storehouses in your area. Print your order, call the storehouse and ask hours of operation and how to place an order. There are pre-canned and cased products and food that has to be measured into #10 cans with oxygen packs. Be prepared to can your own specialty foods with the help of LDS volunteers. They will take checks but break out for joy with cash. No credit cards. The current manager told me sales have doubled from preppers, and saddened her that Mormon sales have dropped. I can guess the value of the dollars is putting the squeeze on hourly wage earners. I spend $50 round trip alone or $20 round trip with an other Sister. It is still cheaper than our local grocery. Thanks, Jack for today’s chatter.

  22. Thanks, Jack! As an idea for a follow-up program, I would love to hear your thoughts on the role, if any, that foreign powers might play in a WROL/EROL situation in CONUS or parts hereof. History is just replete with examples of foreign powers being called in for help by one side or another to a civil conflict or just plain insinuating themselves into that civil conflict based on whatever pretext – and then never leaving. If there is a WROL pocket that develops outside an EROL line, at least for a time, might not some expansionist foreign power leap at that chance to get a toe in the door? One thing mitigating against this, I think, would be the relative strength of the U.S. Federal Government (incl. those mob’d Guard units), that you talked about, especially relative to the foreign powers. Of course, that could change or is changing. One of my concerns is that a transnationalist progressive regime in DC, while not wanting to share power (isn’t that what that ideology is all about?), might be that much more ideologically willing to get some “UN” (etc.) boots on ground if they thought it would help them consolidate power under their own banner.

    • More fan fiction fantasy. The US needs no help to put down riots and rebellion. It scares me how much so many preppers underestimate the US government and local authorities for that matter.

      When Roman emperors needed a few tens of thousands of their own slaughtered they didn’t ask for help did they? They only had swords, spears and shields.

    • obviously not Jack..

      But this seems extremely unlikely. Who would we call in?

      We already have the largest military.
      All our NATO allies are busy with their own problems, and the Former Soviet countries sure aren’t going to be sending troops.
      The only Asian country we have a real relationship with is Japan and they have their own troubles.
      Canada? Mexico, Central or South America? Uh, no.

      UN troops? You mean 3rd world conscripts? Laughable. Half of them would be AWOL within a week of deployment 🙂

        • Yup. Another one where I was writing while u were replying.
          (I meant.. I AM obviously not Jack..)

          I think we need to agree less.. or I’m going to start looking like a sycophant. 😉

      • Well, I was hoping to get Jack’s thoughts on my fan fic daydream and he obliged! 😉 I agree this scenario is farfetched under the present circumstances. So many things would have to happen first, definitely not something to build preps around at present. And, while history is full of examples, I think, there are many reasons why those historical scenarios wouldn’t play out under our present circumstances. I think Rome had really degraded by the time their German, etc. mercenaries began placing themselves on Ceasar’s throne, for example. But I was thinking more of the Angles and Saxons in Britain, the Normans/English in Ireland, etc. I don’t know that the victors were always more powerful on paper (counting fighting men, weapons, etc.), but they were definitely better organized. At any rate, enough of this sidetrack.

  23. @karasukanzaemon’s comment made me think of a different show idea..

    Fiction vs. Reality:
    In (most) fiction, situations and characters are black and white. There’s a ‘good guy’ and a ‘bad guy’. American movies in particular make it EXTREMELY clear who the bad guy is (the one hitting the woman), so when the good guy kills him its ok to feel good.

    In reality, its not so clear cut. The policeman is ‘good’ when he arrests a thief or stops a robbery. ‘Bad’ when he gives you a ticket for talking on your cel phone or clubs a protester. ‘?’ when he evicts someone who hasn’t paid their rent or mortgage.

    In fiction, there is a smooth progression from problem to resolution, with a little bump in the middle to keep you interested. In reality, some problems are never resolved, go away by themselves, or become continually worse. Some problems are insoluble, with no satisfactory way to even bear them with dignity.

    Keeping this on subject of EROL.. the ‘government’ will be your ‘friend’ one minute (suppressing looting, keeping the lights on) and your ‘enemy’ the next (confiscating food stores, conscripting the ‘unemployed’ for public projects). The hat will never be black or white..

    And back on ‘k’s’ question.. when imagining/creating fictional scenarios.. we want an ‘Other’ as an enemy.. being oppressed by and resisting an occupying ‘foreign power’ is a black & white situation.. simple and comforting. Even the thought of being oppressed by and resisting your ‘neighbor’ (fellow citizens) is confusing and uncomfortable.

    Rather than feel and deal with that discomfort people run back to a simple black and white world.. and declare ‘our troops would never..’ ‘our government would never..’ ..knowing in their heart that its a lie.