Many people are preparing for hard times by stockpiling food and ammunition.  It seems reasonable to assume that if a disaster occurs, or society simply begins to collapse that those who have prepared to feed and defend themselves would be better off, but this may not always be the case.  A condition of simultaneous anarchy and tyranny may exist for a period of days or even months during which those who are best prepared become likely victims.

Consider what took place recently during six nights of rioting and violence in Sweden.  Police did little to stop the rioting, vandalism, and assaults.   Police policy was to largely leave the rioters alone and try not to escalate the violence.  When Swedish citizens finally started to defend themselves or their property from rioters the police arrested the citizens instead of the rioters.  The absurdity of the situation was summed up by a photo of a police officer placing parking tickets on burned cars.   So the police did almost nothing to prevent the burning of cars, but then ticketed the owners of the burned out hulks instead of arresting the vandals. 

People should always think very carefully about the possible ramifications of using a fire arm in self-defense.    We cannot assume that the rules of engagement will change just because there is wide spread civil unrest.   You cannot shoot a person just because that person is damaging your car or other property.  Only when your life is danger and there is no way to escape the threat can deadly force be justified with a slight exception for states with the castle doctrine. 

Here is a possible scenario:

Joe and Jane Prepper are having a quiet dinner of lentils and oatmeal a week or so after widespread civil unrest has begun.  The problems have not reached their neighborhood yet, but their eldest son is keeping watch just in case.   The son spots a group of people approaching and notifies Joe Prepper.  Joe watches as the group arrives in the driveway and breaks into his truck.  They strip the truck of anything useful and siphon out all the gas.  Jane calls the police and they inform Jane that a response may take days to arrive unless their lives are in immediate danger.  The 911 dispatcher does tell Jane that a police officer might be able to come out in a few hours if violence occurs.  The dispatcher sternly warms Jane not to threaten the visitors in any way or she and Joe will be arrested. 

Jane knows that the dispatcher is not bluffing.  She has heard of friends who have been arrested by the police and had their firearms confiscated for standing up to rioters and thieves.   Joe and his son cradle their carbine rifles and keep an eye on the visitors.  The uninvited guests set up camp in Joe’s backyard and begin to strip Jane’s garden of anything edible.   A few of them crap in the well and laugh.  Joe is getting pretty ticked off and he considers his options.  He and his son can probably engage the vandals, but they are outnumbered and it is possible that either or both of them could be shot.  He decides that if any of the thugs break into the house he will open fire, but he waits in the meantime.  Joe knows that if he does kill all of the unhappy campers in his backyard the police will come and arrest him.  He would then need to bug out and live as a fugitive, but that would mean leaving most of his food and other life sustaining preparations behind….  Joe waits and gets very angry.   By preparing he and Jane have simply made themselves targets and now they find themselves prisoners in their home. 

A police policy of ignoring all but the worst property crime and violence makes sense in this situation.  There is simply no where to put all of the thieves and rioters as things begin to unwind.  All of the jail cells fill up the first day.  Some police officers leave their posts.  Many of the rest have no handcuffs.  Police administration issues a simple directive—avoid escalation.  Don’t make the looters any angrier than they already are, and above all watch out for any would be vigilantes who might escalate the situation.  Be proactive and disarm any citizens who might be inclined to use violence.  The police exist to enforce the laws, but in the situation there is no ways to enforce all the laws.  The police try to keep the lid on by directing their authority against those people who will be most inclined to obey them.   The best prepared citizens are therefore tyrannized by what remains of authority, and terrorized by outlaws.    The police are not the enemy, but simple self-preservation means that a police officer may not be much of a friend either. 

The term anarcho/tyranny was coined by the late Same Francis.

What steps can be taken to prepare for anarcho/tyranny if any?