When things change in a disaster or due to unrest, knowing what to do can be difficult. Dealing with governmental change can be overwhelming, especially if law enforcement, fire departments, and medical assistance are also overwhelmed. This is very likely to happen in a case of anarchy. Knowing how to survive anarchy can be the thing that brings a person safely out the other side of the chaos.
What is Anarchy?
The word comes from the Greek “anarchia” which means “without ruler.” This can refer to a variety of related situations, such as:
- “A social state in which there is no governing person or group of people, but each individual has absolute liberty (without the implication of disorder).”
- “A social state where order and individual responsibility prevail.”
- “Absence of government; a state of lawlessness due to the absence or inefficiency of the supreme power; political disorder.”
- “Absence or non-recognition of authority and order in any given sphere.”
- “Acting without waiting for instructions or official permission… the root of anarchism is the single impulse to do it yourself: everything else follows from this.”
- “No rulership or enforced authority.”
What these formal definitions do not include is the possibility of violence and destruction. Rioting gives a bit of a taste of what anarchy would be like, though riots are a separate situation since the government is still in control, though even riots can expand to the point where control is no longer possible without an all-out war. The only real difference between riots and anarchy is that it is assumed that riots will be stopped or controlled by the governmental authority.
It is unlikely that a riot situation would occur in rural areas, due to the distance between ‘targets.’ People would get tired too quickly and the oncoming mob would quickly be put down by local armed citizens.
What Are the Dangers of Anarchy?
Crowds of people who are unhappy or angry, on their way to loot and burn, are likely to cause damage to anyone who gets in their way – or that they perceive to be in the way. This is more likely to be a danger in a big city, where they may already be living and primed to jump into chaos when it occurs.
Crowds of people who heard that food and shelter were available, heading to take advantage of it, may also be a danger to others who may be in the vicinity.
Terrorist cells that may exist in the area (there are many across the nation), may attack people in their own homes in such a situation. Even rioters may attack those who are sheltered in their own homes in some cases.
Fight or Flight?
The best defense against becoming a casualty of anarchy is to not be in the city when it happens. People who evacuate will not be in the middle of the chaos. Bugging out is the best option for survival. No matter how prepared you are, there is always a chance that a rioter or terrorist could breach your defenses, resulting in a fight to the death.
Surviving in place is what many preppers get set up to do, but the dangers of staying in the middle of anarchy much surpass the dangers of leaving to a safe place. Having a prepared bag, a good vehicle, and an emergency plan will go a long way toward safety.
When to leave may be the most difficult part of bugging out. It is imperative to be aware of what is happening at all times. Keep tabs on news and information in the world. Check the internet for more details about the things on TV or radio. This will give valuable information that will aid in assessing when to leave town.
Consider these scenarios:
- The emergency rooms in the area announce they are closing due to a large amount of patients with a dangerous disease (such as Ebola or severe flu) that they are unable to handle. Most people would choose to hole up in their homes but leaving town may be what keeps the household safe.
- A nuclear event in the Middle East is a good time to bug out, before World War Three erupts.
- The caldera in Yellowstone National Park explodes. Escape quickly and get safe as soon as possible.
Getting out of town before people begin to panic and tie up every road with excessive traffic is a key to surviving. Full roads of upset, nervous, and frustrated people can be just as dangerous as the anarchy one is leaving to avoid. Getting out before others is much easier, just like going on vacation. Neighbors and coworkers may not even realize that it is not a vacation until you are long gone.
Even if the situation results in nothing, returning from the bug-out location is simple enough. It is better to have missed a day or two of work and used a bit of fuel and come back safe than to get trapped in anarchy that may result in fatal injuries.
If it turns out that leaving before anyone else does not happen, either from necessity or from a lapse in judgment, there are still things that can be done to increase the chances of coming through it.
- Get out of town on foot. If there is a national park or other wild area, this would be a place to hide and survive.
- If it is possible to get to a less populated area to stay with a friend or family member, this would be better than staying in the middle of anarchy.
- As a last resort, have a hiding place inside the home.
Most of the time, anarchy is localized, even when it is large scale. It generally will lose momentum and become controlled by remaining authority figures eventually. However, people tend to change in a situation like massive anarchy when everyone is forced to fend for themselves. Trusting others in that type of situation can be unwise.
Once things begin to settle, however, finding groups that can be trusted will be important. Many of these groups are likely to have people with military or law enforcement experience leading them and helping to defend against any anarchists that might still be causing problems. Learning how to survive anarchy may mean that you lead one of these small groups to bring some degree of normal life back after the chaos of anarchy.