(NaturalNews) Most Americans are living in a fairytale where they think grocery stores will always have fully-stocked shelves and local police will always respond when they dial 911. In truth, despite the best efforts of our men and women in blue, society sits atop a thin veneer of what I call "feigned politeness," underneath which festers the ever-present potential for social chaos: thievery, murder and violence.
Today a 23-year-old woman in Houston was killed in a car crash after pulling out of a private drive into fast-moving traffic. After she was killed, onlookers stole the groceries out of the back of her SUV.
As the Houston Chronicle reports (1):
"...eyewitnesses told police they saw people steal groceries out of the dead woman's SUV."
It's not yet clear whether this happened while the mother lay dead in her SUV or after her body was removed. It's difficult to imagine someone stealing groceries out of a vehicle once emergency responders arrive on the scene, so it seems more likely this theft took place while the woman's dead body and injured children were still in the vehicle.
My heart goes out to this young mother for the double tragedy -- she not only lost her life but was also spiritually insulted by onlookers who stole her groceries instead of trying to help the woman or her children.
I have to ask: What kind of anti-human criminal witnesses a fatal car crash and sees it as an opportunity to score some free groceries?
It's this kind of callous, uncaring, cold-hearted attitude that now seems to pervade American society -- a society that has lost its way and abandoned ethics, values and compassion.
A hint of far worse things to come
Keep in mind this took place during a time when society is relatively civil. There has been no nuclear attack from Russia, no nationwide power grid failure, no shut down of government-funded EBT cards and no social unrest to speak of. Yet even in these relatively peaceful times, people are stealing groceries out of the car of a fatal accident victim.
This, I believe, is a sign of where things are headed. And it's not a pretty picture.
Fortunately, we have it good right now. I enjoy living in a relatively civilized society where most people obey traffic rules, courteously stand in line at the grocery store and adhere to the kind of boundaries every civil society must have in place in order to function. I'm more than happy to play by the same rules as part of this "social contract" of politeness which benefits everyone. But I'm also not naive about how rapidly all the niceties can vanish in a crisis. Nor am I blind to the reality that some people are lifelong criminals, mentally insane, or poisoned with heavy metals to the point where they've lost control of their own impulses.
So while I gladly participate in a polite society, I also recognize it's an artificial social construct which can suddenly collapse in a variety of circumstances.
How quickly the politeness of society can disappear might even surprise you. I've personally witnessed the rapid breakdown of human politeness in developing nations, where desperation transforms seemingly nice people into dangerous criminals. I've trained alongside cops who have shared true stories of what they witness behind the curtain, in the private homes of wife abusers and drug dealers. And I've known quite a number of soldiers and veterans who have horrifyingly witnessed acts of violence so undignified and insane that they refuse to even talk about them to most people.
Desperation breeds criminal intent
The truth is that desperation turns almost anyone into a dangerous criminal who will do almost anything to survive. Stealing groceries out of a dead woman's car is just the start. In a real crisis, there will be groups of armed criminals looting and shooting their way to any supplies they can get their hands on: food, medicine, weapons, precious metals, cash, street drugs and more. These gangs will not operate on politeness. They will operate entirely by the rules of force -- rules with which most members of law-abiding society are entirely unfamiliar.
Interestingly, gang members are actually the best prepared for these scenarios, because they already speak the language of coercion and violence. They understand what force means, and they have far more experience surviving in the face of threatened violence than those who have never encountered such circumstances.
Combat veterans, police officers, firefighters and EMT responders are also far better prepared for these circumstances than ordinary citizens who never encounter real-world emergencies. Anyone who has dealt with the threat of violence and urgent, life-and-death scenarios on a routine basis simply has more experience to deal with the realities of people going crazy when the food supply is disrupted.
Those who have never trained in emergency situations, on the other hand, are more likely to "freeze" or panic, both of which vastly reduce survivability.
A real-world food crisis is inevitable
There is no question in my mind that America is headed for a crisis of such magnitude that within the first week of the crisis, most of the population will be begging for Martial Law. This is especially true in the cities, where police will be rapidly overrun by criminals, creating an unprecedented opportunity for criminals to pillage and loot without any real risk of being stopped.
What kind of scenario could set this off? There are plenty: an EMP weapon launched by North Korea and detonated over North America, a massive natural disaster such as the Yellowstone caldera exploding, nuclear strikes against America by Russia or China, the crash of the U.S. dollar and a global debt implosion, a cyber attack that shuts down electronic banking and transactions, a string of nuclear disasters from domestic power plants, acts of terrorism against U.S. cities, and so on.
Many people living today cannot imagine such things happening because they are psychologically biased due to a phenomenon called "normalcy bias." All people tend to believe that whatever they experience on a day-to-day basis is "normal" and therefore likely to remain consistent through all time. This bias is what causes them to be unable to consider future repercussions of present-day trends.
As a practical example, most of us suffer under the normalcy bias delusion that when you turn on the faucet in the kitchen, water will always come out. We've seen this happen so many times that we now take it for granted and believe it will always happen, almost as if by magic. Even though humans living 200 years ago would have been shocked to see clean water coming out of a kitchen faucet, today we are shocked if it doesn't come out of the faucet! That's normalcy bias.
Why looters steal all the food first
During any widespread breakdown of social order, food will be nearly impossible to acquire through ordinary means of commerce. The looters will target convenience stores and pharmacies first, aiming for food and prescriptions. Once those are all wiped out, looters will hit the Wal-Marts and grocery stores. Electronics stores will also be hit, but only by those too stupid to realize you can't eat plasma TV screens to stay alive.
The street-wise people will all try to acquire and store up as much food and water as possible. This will quickly wipe out all the inventory on store shelves across every city affected by the riots. It may even start out somewhat civil, with people offering to stand in line and pay for the goods. But before long, criminals will invoke the use of force to get what they want, and the thin veneer of polite behavior will be shattered, replaced by "might makes right" as those who threaten the most violence acquire the most food.
Once all the commercial retailers of food are completely wiped out, looters will turn their attention to the private neighborhoods and homes where they know food supplies are readily found. The challenge is that these homes usually contain people -- people who don't want to give up their food and water supplies. So the use of force becomes a necessary component (in the minds of the looters) to separate these people from their supplies.
The easiest way to accomplish this, if you're a criminal, is to impersonate the police or emergency responders. Knock on a family's front door, yell through the door that you're with the local police department (or FEMA, or whatever), and when they answer the door, they either get kidnapped and tied up, or shot on the spot. It most upper-class neighborhoods, people are automatically trained to be obedient to government authorities -- that "normalcy bias" again -- so impersonating these officials is a simple but effective way for criminals to gain immediate compliance.
Now, most of us who live in a polite society can never imagine engaging in such behavior. We are even shocked just to read about it. But you have to understand that in the mind of the criminal, the fall of law and order is a license to unleash their most destructive ambitions. And they don't have compassion for fellow human beings. They don't resonate with love. They operate purely on animalistic, selfish greed and self-preservation, and if that means putting a few bullets through some anonymous suburbia people they don't know anyway, that's just what it takes.
My advice to all Natural News readers is to be polite and behave in a civil manner in society, but at the same time be prepared to encounter others who will abandon all such ideas in a time of crisis. The best way to make sure you don't become a victim of all this is to get prepared in advance so that you have extra supplies of all the essentials (food, water, flashlights, etc.) in anticipation of an outage of some kind.
Also, be prepared for others to resort to coercion and violence to get what they want. Because the biggest threat in any disaster is not the disaster itself but the desperation that rises out of it and how that transforms law-abiding citizens into desperate criminals.
Think about this: if onlookers would steal groceries out of a dead woman's car even in "good" times, imagine what starving people will do in desperate times.
In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.
With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.