It's said the human intellect is the highest achievement of evolution, but as George Carlin said: look what's telling us that. Mankind supposedly triumphed because of his tool making genius and organizational skills and language and ability to plan and provide for the future. None of these are the real reason. Man prevails because he has a hole card: he's the most creatively violent species the planet has ever produced. Deny it and you deny your own true self. If you've ever weeded a garden you have an understanding of the principle.
Oh, we feel guilty about it, we rationalize, we excuse, yet murder and mayhem is our default. Now consider which part of our population is growing faster. The ever-so-sensitive peddlers of tolerance and understanding aren't even replacing themselves while the coldly vicious and minimally sentient multiply unchecked. They can scarcely use tools much less make them, nor can they organize themselves much less anything else. But they are violent as a first option; irrationally, unpredictably, homicidally and proudly so. It is they who are prevailing, not their over-aware and over-educated keepers. You'd think smart people would notice these things.
The feral aren't the feral because, say, the educational system is defective—although it is defective and fundamentally so, we're now 24th in the world. Education fails to engage and redirect the feral because it's built around the fantasy that everybody will be smart and nice if nurtured just so. No they won't. No amount of education can improve the incurious. They will become what they admire—the stunningly stupid, criminally improvident and violently impulsive. They know it and we know it. The difference is, they admit it and we don't.
Willful ignorance has a lot going for it, the natural adaptability of the uncomplicated for one. When clever meets overthinker, bet on clever. Clever adapts. The overthinker mistakes complexity for adaptability. It's a bad mistake. Complexity is something engineers avoid because modes of failure increase exponentially while the benefits increase linearly, if at all. Complexity is costly in and of itself, but what overwhelms systems is the maintenance. Maintenance of complex systems is a sort of artificial adaptability, ad hoc changes for specific instances, inserted by hand so to speak, all very clumsy and after the fact. Eventually maintenance doesn't just overwhelm the system, it becomes the system.
For example, the cost to society of laws and regulations eventually reaches a point where no conceivable benefit could justify it. We're asked to believe lawlessness would exact an even greater price. Not proven, and not even a choice. Complex societies get so stupefying unintelligible, so convoluted and self-contradicting as to be the direct equivalent of lawlessness. "Government by enabling act" is getting to be so obvious even the media is noticing:
Using “prosecutorial discretion” as a pretext, he has exempted the vast majority of illegal aliens from the consequences of their actions. He has formally amnestied—without legislative authorization—more than a half-million illegal immigrants who claim to have come here before age 16. He is signaling that sometime this year he will unilaterally, and illegally, amnesty half or more of the roughly 12 million illegal aliens now living in the United States.
On no legal basis, all 4.5 million residents of the five
territories were quietly released from ObamaCare. It seems the costs of healthcare soared in these five territories due to uneconomic mandates... reports all of a sudden last week discovered new powers after "a careful review of this situation and the relevant statutory language," that enabled them to 'selectively exempt' American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, and Virgin Islands from Obamacare.
Nor does shrink from creating enemies of the state on the basis of "a reasonable suspicion to believe that a person is a known or a suspected terrorist", which they admit doing, with Soviet-style secrecy, on no evidence at all:
government is rapidly expanding the number of names it accepts for inclusion on its terrorist watch list, with more than 1.5 million added in the last five years.
For another, federal government is now so complex their agencies fail at inception, the Department of Energy for example. It was sold to the people during the oil crisis of the 1970s as a command system mandated to achieve energy independence. Clear enough. Instead we have buildings full of professionals working diligently to dismantle what energy independence we had and to frustrate future attempts. 's mandate was effectively annulled when the "discovered" coal and oil have—gasp!—downsides, and took them off the table. This twisted the into a self-paralyzing loop, like a thermostat where "off" and "on" are set at the same temperature. They can't abandon their mandate and they can't pursue their mandate—every energy source has a downside. So they've "gone lawless" and do neither, or occasionally, both.
Because modes of failure multiply with each patch, more maintenance means more failure. Once committed to this tar pit there's no -turn out. So they dither in ever-slower motion, with all the purpose of the purposeless, slowly toppling in place, as-is. A recent headline from parched California illustrates the concept, "California couple faces fine for brown lawn after complying with water-saving rules". Which gets us back to violence.
As always, complexity cedes ground to adaptability. We're well into it. We're no longer a nation of laws, we're a nation of men, specifically those men who were the first to figure out legitimacy is no longer a serious constraint, and there are no other constraints. Said another way, they adapted. The populace is just now noticing all enterprises are, or are becoming, criminal enterprises, "non-profit" and "faith based" organizations not excepted. It's no mystery how to adapt to lawlessness.
Absent legitimacy it's a sprint to whatever irreducible power center presents itself. As in any other no-rules fight, the violent prevail over the peaceful and the homicidal prevail over the violent. This isn't mere looting, major assets, even national assets, are in play. Mexico for example, one of the most violent countries on earth, is conquering—not merging with, conquering—the southwestern . National borders are always under control, the only question is by whom, and events are answering that question. We forfeited this essential element of sovereignty by getting wrapped around our own prissy little axle while Mexico and its domestic enablers adapted.
The middle class is the designated prey in all this. This is unwise. Middle class America is no less violent than any other people. They seem passive because they're results oriented. They rise not out of blood frenzy but to solve the otherwise insoluble. Their methods of choice are good will, cooperation, forbearance, negotiation and finally, appeasement, roughly in that order. Only when these fail to end the abuse do they revert to blowback. And they do so irretrievably. Once the course is set and the outcome defined, doubt is put aside. The middle class is known, condemned actually, for carrying out violence with the efficiency of an industrial project where bloody destruction at any scale is not only in play, it's a metric. Remorse is left for the next generation, they'll have the leisure for it. We'd like to believe this is merely dark speculation. History says it isn't.
Come such a time, we shall find our personal default mode to be as bad as we imagine. It had better be. When good people arrive at the bottom they'll find it already populated with masters of lawlessness and violence by both inclination and long experience. Chances are they aren't you, but don't despair, the learning curve is no more steep than the descent. Should societal norms give way altogether, should there be a catastrophe, it won't matter much who or what you are, only what you'll do or not do. And we'll all find out together.