There will surely be violence as America’s population descends from 400 million to 100 million or less as energy production declines.
Leaders will emerge who blame some particular group for our suffering. So far it’s been those terrorist Middle Easterners sitting on top of “our” oil, but at some point our military won’t be able to venture abroad due to lack of oil and/or China, Russia, and Europe preventing us from invading the Middle East again. Violence will become local.
Many people have written about how the in & out groups might form:
- Ethnic (i.e. recent immigrants versus longer term residents, or whites vs blacks vs hispanics, etc).
- The Young vs the Old
- Mafias, gangs, drug lords prey on citizens
- Crazed leaders emerge like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and so on, who turn all against all, and maintain law and order with massive concentration camps, execute people for trivial crimes, perhaps prevent mass migrations, find an external enemy to unite people and America then attacks Mexico, Canada, Venezuela, or any other nation that has oil we want.
- Bible Belt: along religious lines
There is a new database designed to aid study of ethnic, religious strife worldwide. Those trying to understand these “sociocultural” animosities and conflicts – whether academics, journalists or nongovernmental organizations – now have a new tool at their disposal: a public database that pulls together multiple sources on trends in the composition of ethnic and religious groups in 165 countries, going back seven decades, to the end of World War II. The database is called CREG, for Composition of Religious and Ethnic Groups. It’s a project of the Cline Center for Democracy at the University of Illinois.
The Ethnic groups in the United States are AmerIndian (2%), Asian (5%), Black 10%, Hispanic 20%, White 63% (percents are guesses from small graphs)
But which comes first:
1) the ecological cause of the tension from hunger caused by drought, floods, etc, causes in / out groups to form along ethnic or religious lines
2) do the ethnic/religious conflicts happen BEFORE an ecological crisis while everyone is well-fed and the economic system is booming?
Trying to blame everything on political, social, and economic causes is one of the ways that the elite blind ordinary people to the role of natural and energy resources so that they can plunder resources.
In all times and places, at the height of any empire, people of different religions and ethnic groups from all over the empire and beyond gathered in cities and lived in harmony. If religious / ethnic tensions cause wars, then why doesn’t this happen when times are good?
But it is interesting to try to predict how the violence will play out, so I wonder if this database could be used to predict how in and out groups will form in America after oil shocks have gone on long enough to cause hunger in America.
Will the Presbyterians attack Catholics? Will recent immigrants be the main target? Old vs young, rich vs poor, educated vs uneducated?
Or will the 10 million men who have ever been imprisoned form new, or grow existing gangs while right-wing militia form from (former) national guard, military, police, security guards, and similar professions trained in weaponry?
That’s a common way for violence to unfold, not along religious / ethnic lines.
Even when that appears to be going on, Jared Diamond’s shows in “Collapse” that clearly the Hutu/Tutsi violence was triggered by ecology — there were no new farms to be had by young men, who then couldn’t marry which precipitated the violence. In regions were there were only Hutus, Hutus slaughtered each other.
In other countries:
Libya drifts after ousting prime minister. McClatchy News Service. March 13, 2014. San Francisco Chronicle.
The Coming Anarchy Shattering the Dreams of the Post Cold War. Robert D. Kaplan. 1994. New York Times.
Egypt collapse: declining oil & resources, overpopulation resources
Or will there be a crazy dictator like Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot who turn citizens against each other as informants, and/or unpredictably (or now predictably with this database?) single out certain groups to be executed/imprisoned/sent to work camps?