Bad people in control

I wonder how bad people are usually in control and if its possible to change that. Criminal types are ruthless and tend to be
charismatic. I think of them as sales people.

It seems that in short time they’d be fragmented due to infighting and those who can work together would grow stronger. This doesn’t seem to happen though. Are most people bad, selfish, weak minded, need a leader, duplicitous, fearful or otherwise? How do the gangs work together when good people can’t?

Any insight into politics or human nature which allow this is greatly appreciated. Also you mentioned your neighbors got along just enough but there was little trust or cooperation. Any way to change this?

Currently many in the USA are catty, petty and this is rampant in
families. We don’t get along. Someone is always trying to get a deal
or a family member is using others. My own family doesn’t get along
although in a SHTF they might come together but who’s the boss? And
what to do with the lazy, unskilled members? ATM, there is no

I’m in the USA and there is much pent up anger here. In shtf, I think
this anger will add much violence to an already awful situation.

Thanks for all your posts, this info is timely and very rare.



Hello and welcome

First i do not think some things can be changed, yes in every specific situation, collapse, SHTF event i believe worst kind of people will be in charge, or try very hard to be in charge.

Yes, i think our society and way of living make us weak,most of us. When SHTF weak people vanish or connect to group with strong leader, to survive alone bad or good it is way to hard, problem is in fact that in desperate situations great number of people turns from good to bad.

You see in desperate situation man have tendency to gradually loose his morale, most of the people. It is easy to discuss this things in normal times and say “i ll stick to my decisions” but when is come to your life or life of your family member good man probably will do some bad things.
When you describing situation in your country it is like you are describing situation in my country, here is also everything going down, family values, respect, political situation crime and you can also feel anger here, like everything going to blow That is another reason why i believe things going to be bad again.
In hard times there is no democracy, if he do not obey, he is not a member and leader should be man who is capable to make decisions in tough time, it is not so hard to shoot you know, it is hard to make some decisions in hard situations.
I strongly believe that good cooperation between people in collapse can be made only in rural communities, very small places, where people know each other very well, where people are not so adapted on some things that make life in modern city.
And what to do with lazy unskilled member? Nobody was lazy in my time, if he is lazy he do not eat.
In towns everything come to smaller groups like families.In my case cooperation between street members was more based on fear then trust.

22 responses to “Bad people in control”

  1. Wills says:

    It seems to be basic human nature. People always look for the easiest way to get their needs met. In normal times it is easier to follow the social expectations, cultural norms, to get what you want. The consequences of not doing so are usually financial penalty or jail time. When social order breaks down people feel they will do whatever it
    takes to maintain their life. Higher reasoning like, “we are all in this together so we have to help each other out”,
    does not exist in people who only exhibited a veneer of civility in the first place. The veneer is only a facade used
    so they can fit in and exist without to much trouble within a culture.
    A social researcher , Lawrence Kolberg, did some work in the stages of moral development. It states the majority of adults never develop beyond stage 2 (self-interst) and 3 (conformity) and that the final stages 5 and 6 only occur in the most principled people who stive to attain them. Stage 5 and 6, which involves formal logic and moral reasoning. are where you need your fellow humans to be when you are in a SHTF situation. Stage 2 and 3 are where most people will be and who will be your enemies in SHTF.
    Its scary that the majority of our culture doesn’t develop the ability to do formal logic, ever during their lives.

    • ASD says:

      A good comment. Thank you. This is one of the last pieces of the jigsaw puzzle for me to understand to prepare my self for the coming collaspe.

    • D says:

      As nice as this sounds the stages of moral development is really only applicable in a highly developed society that has laws and easy access to basic necessities. Moralizing does not feed ones family or protect you from the people who are only operating on self interest. In a bad situation there’s a lot of times that bad things need to be done, things that no sane person would even consider now even when reading about survival stuff because reading about it and living it are different things, this doesn’t make someone a bad person it just means they know what it takes to survive. Honestly I would rather have 3 competent people operating on self interest standing with me then 10 moral mountains, because if someone is operating on self interest that I understand, everyone has their own version of morality and in a survival situation wondering where someone stands is dangerous.

    • Z says:

      Wills, Yes, you are so right, especially for the “Me, Mine, My” “My thrill” “My joy” Stage 1 & 2 type of people, to take from someone, or torture/kill someone for own’s satisfaction is Perfectly Right. It is Right because “I enjoyed it.”

      Great post !!

  2. Joe says:

    20% of people are doers. This includes Criminals, Business people and some politicians. They are willing to take risks to earn rewards. The rest are just followers. They dont like to take chances. They like the sure thing. They will follow whoever gives them the most. It has always been this way and will always be this way. They will do what ever it takes to survive.

  3. Wills says:

    So this poses another question. Doing whatever it takes to survive is what most will be involved with. This is a survival skill and needs to be enhanced, but does “whatever” mean whatever? How about cannabilism?
    Some people think there is nothing wrong with that if its too hard to find other food. Where do you draw your moral
    line, is it OK to shoot other people and then eat them or do you have to wait for them to die first?

    In SHTF thats the challenge. How do you hold on to what you own? Part of what you own is your moral compass
    and values. Are they not of any value when SHTF? I say they are. If you are one of the ones who don’t own any
    moral values, then you will find it easier to join a gang and do whatever they tell you and “whatever” it takes
    to survive. Unless you hold strong beliefs of right and wrong to start with, when SHTF you will look for the
    easiest path.
    There is a difference between having a well developed “will to survive” during SHTF and just taking the easiest
    road to finding what you want.
    Moral development of every member of your survival group does feed and protect your family. If someone in your group might just shoot you in the back to get what you have, then you have the wrong people in your group.
    But hey, Its OK because we are all just doing what it takes to survive, right?

  4. David says:

    I Selco, I really like your blog and posts. Some really helpful stuff for us survivalists. Deciding who will be in your “team” is a big issue. Lucky for me my children are really good people, and so are their partners. Beyond that.. it is not so easy…

    Without wanting to be the spelling police..:-).. I want to point out that the word morale..means confidence as in the military often you refer to the morale of soldiers. The word you want is moral.. which means knowing good or bad. plural morals.. as in “gang members have no morals”.

    In most of the developed “West” there are no small villages any more as there are in old Europe.. particularly the old East and Balkans. There are no working horses etc except as a hobby. In a collapse, the less developed countries are better prepared than the developed ones. There are still people living closer to the old self sufficient ways.

    • Selco says:

      Thank you David for comment.
      You are right, i meant moral, English is not my native language 🙂
      We here still have something like real rural village, working on fields, farming,growing animals,hunting.
      Of course, some things are changed at village over time,but people still easily ca “remember” some things.

  5. PrairieChick says:

    Living in a small (~5k) rural American village is still an option. After the Rodney King riots in 1992 I left Southern California to return home to one. We have the modern conveniences, internet, electricity, and running water. For the most part we also a strong sense of community and morality. I would say we do not conform as easily out here on the prairie as some people may believe. We do help our neighbors if we can. We will usually politely listen to what you have to say, but won’t offer to help you out unless it is useful to us.
    Most people have guns, at least for hunting the deer, geese, ducks and pheasant who also share our land. We also have cold weather for at least six months out of the year so most have deep pantries. When the SHTF in America, and I do believe that day is coming, I will look after myself and family first. My neighbors for the most part will look after themselves and their families. There are some that are unprepared but they will either learn, leave or die. That is the way it is and that type are easy to recognize. Keeping me alive is not their responsibility and neither are they mine.

  6. David says:

    What about using cans with a few pebbles in strung on a wire or string to act as a warning at night? Primitive.. but was used in WW2.

  7. Jeff says:

    I’ve talked with lots of people who say that when SHTF they’ll, “just go to ______’s house and take their food”. These people make me sick. Instead of preparing a storage of food during all the abundant years that we’ve had they plan to loot.
    It is our responsibility to start preparing now so we’re not part of the masses having to downgrade our moral standing in order to survive. Wills, I for one plan on being so well prepared that cannibalism will never be an issue. I’m hoping that my main concern will be who to let in our group.
    Thank you Selco for sharing your experiences.

    • Selco says:

      It’s lifestyle choice. The bad guys lead a very different life in these times. Not compatible with family or anything normal. They give up being civilized.

    • Wills says:

      I am not suggesting you think about cannabalism for yourself.
      I am suggesting you think about the cannabalism OF yourself.
      They, looters, will not stop once all the easily looted food is gone.
      The Walmart and Harris Teeter will go first, within a few days or weeks.
      Your home and pantry will be next.
      What will be next? Shooting deer and rabbits in the woods. Thats too
      uncertain and too much work for them.
      You will be next. If you are still alive.

      • lateToTheParty says:

        Why spend the energy to capture and eat the people? Before all the food is gone, just make others work for you. By this time, many will have died and the ones left will be tough. A gun in the face makes a person a farmer pretty fast. A lot, not all, of the ‘gangs’ will know that eating your slaves isn’t good business. Not when all you have to do is protect them and keep them in line. They’ll feed you and themselves. Plus that will leave you with women and toys (other humans) for playing with, You have a full future that way. Not that the real future is that important, but making other people do things is what a lot of gangs are good at doing.

        Turning to cannibalism is only for when no one can grow or raise anything. Until then, why chase food that shoots back? Many of the gangs will not be dumb. They will see the food going down and know it’s happening everywhere. If the only food left is in another group or in hunting and chowing on people, sure they will attack both. But I promise you, the smart ones will have ’employees.’ Who’s going to raise the cows and pigs for the barbecue? Who’s going to grow the grain more beer and liquor? Who’ll make the drugs they want? It’ll be like corporations, it’ll just be clearer who is in charge and who isn’t.

  8. Daaswampman says:

    Everything we think of as “goodness” depends on being secure and a full belly. Without that we become what we are. All that goodness goes out the window and human nature takes over. Not pretty, but it is what it is.

  9. Wills says:

    I often hear people say; “Well when the SFTF, I will plant a garden
    in the back yard and shoot some deer in the woods, we survived the
    Depression that way.” You are entirely right David that we would have
    a harder time than Europeans. Most people in America live in a city or
    suburb and can’t survive a week without a cell phone, credit card and
    shopping mall.
    America of 2011 is not America of 1930 neither morally, spiritually,
    physically or ethically. ” Oh, but didn’t the Balkans and the Russians
    just recently go through societal collapse and they are fine now?”
    True but do you think that applies to us? They already had a
    developed local-market agricultural system. They already had the
    belief that if they don’t work, they don’t eat. They didn’t believe
    that it was impossible to travel more than one mile without riding in
    their BMW or SUV.
    Lets face it, when this house of cards crumbles, that we call an
    economy and culture, we will put a new definition in the books for the
    word catastrophe and it will be ugly.
    The only way to mitigate the impact of whats coming is to start now
    with finding a retreat location (get out of the cities), compile
    stores of food, ammo, clothes, medicine and future barter items.
    Lastly but most important develop a network of trusted people to join
    you when it comes. Start training and making plans now.
    The Federal government has made plans for their survival during
    disaster, why shouldn’t you?

  10. John says:

    It is simple to me, I see this thing we are talking about with people turning bad as one thing…fear. People are ruled by it, controlled by it, changed by it, and ultimately killed by it, Fear. It is the operational tool of war, controlling a populace, herding animals, etc…with enough fear you can defeat an enemy without trouble. What is one of mans biggest concerns? Philosophy,religions, investigations into it have been at the forefront for centuries…FEAR of death. Fear is what rules mankind, in one form or another. Fear is even what causes us to be preppers to begin with. Fear and greed will be our downfall, sadly.

  11. Wills says:

    All men feel fear when faced with death or bodily harm. It is a survival instinct and can be used to help insure survival or can in itself be a destructive force. What deliniates survivors from non-survivors is the continued struggle or “will to live” versus those who simply give up and sometimes even try to hurry their fate.
    I would divide today’s society into two camps. Those of us who can see the handwriting on the wall and are trying to prepare for it as best we can and those who for many reasons do not want to see what is coming and
    refuse to do anything in advance. The second group will have an extremely hard time surviving without serious
    compromise to their health, safety, and mental being. It is going to be very hard even for people who are well
    prepared. So this leads to another question; Suppose your small group has managed to be prepared and are reasonably well set to hunker down and ride out the storm. Then suppose another small group of otherwise
    normal people discovers your location and decides they need some of what you have.
    How far will you go in defending what you have? Will you try to share some of your surplus knowing that at
    anytime they may decide to just come back and take what they want? Is is wise to interact with other people
    outside your group as any knowlege of your location and resources by others is an open invitation to
    violence? Thanks again Selco for posing these thought provoking and poignant questions to us ahead of time.

  12. Kathryn says:

    I would like to be part of a community or family larger than 2 or 3, but my extended family is worthless. My husband’s family is 1000 miles away, and don’t get the advantages of family either. My hope is to stick to our suburban home with a few good neighbors on our block. Is that a fantasy?

  13. Darin says:

    drastic times, drastic measures. had a large man pull a knife on me in a stairwell, it was fight or flight. my girl was behind me and instantly was to protect her within a split second he was out cold, but i quikly put him in a strangle hold till he stopped moving, and stopped was at this moment i realized i didnt want to kill him but it was too late. however i was able to stimulate his diaphragm to involuntary lung breath by going in under his floating rib and upwards, with a punch, i broke his rib. i straddled his backside like he was a donkey and wrapped my arms around his belly and jerked up several rythmic times and he was breathing on his own. he shit his pants and cryéd about hell, freaked me out to destroy a guy like that. my point is i think we can be tough and say ill kill him, but i was not my self for a couple days after that. if it was shtf and i used a gun the adrenalin would have been a lot. i dont know though i never been in war. id probably learn pretty fast, family group well orientated. im prepping my family, and getting others into the idea. learning a lot from your experiance…thanks

  14. Good Things says:

    This may be hard to comprehend as it took me a while yet with coonscious observation and measurement you will come to understand the following::

    First the scientific reality:
    4% of the population is psychopathic, (a self absorbed individual that keeps others, except themselves, from advancing.)
    4% of psycopaths are very dangerous psycopaths.
    Psychpaths are very good about having you think they are helping you.
    They are so good/believable/convincing that they move upwards and can occupy the highest positions in business and government.

    OK so what is it psycopaths fear?
    Ans: being found out. As such will do anything in their power to stop being found out.
    These tactics include but are not limited to: flattery, denial, distraction, obfuscation, lying, garnering support for their “side”, escaping blame wherever and however, never taking responsiblity for their actions and blaming conditions or others for why things are not getting done that are the direct responsibility of the psycopath.

    So the question now is, how do you find psycopaths out?
    There is one and only one sure way, Look and measure their worthwhile production.

    What is the cure?
    Confront them and fire them and if that is not possible avoid them and in no way associate with a psycopath once discovered.

    I would not have learned this unless taught by very intelligent/observantand productive business men.

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