A number of things have happened to America, and particularly to American society, which are not beneficial to the country or her people. High on this list are the entitlement mentality and the utter dependence upon the government. Whatever happened to the independent minded people who founded this country and caused her to grow into a world leader? They seem to have been replaced by a bunch of whiny children, who always have their hands out.
This is not only saddening, it’s dangerous. When people think they deserve things, just because they are alive, they tend to get angry when they don’t receive what they think they deserve. We’ve seen that in a way in the Ferguson demonstrations, as well as some of the angry rhetoric that has come out of the liberal camp when they don’t get their way.
If that much anger can be generated by a decision not going their way, what will happen when something serious happens, which denies them the basic necessities of life? How will those same people react to a meltdown of the electrical grid or a disruption of food supplies? I think I can tell you; they’ll turn out in droves to protest, but that protest will quickly turn to violence.
The Psychology of Mob Violence
Psychologists have studied what happens to people’s minds in a mob situation and can offer us some insight into why it is so easy for a mob to turn violent. It all hinges around the basis that when people are in a mob situation, they lose their identity. Instead of seeing themselves as individuals, they see themselves as part of the mob. They take on the mob’s identity and personality, in place of their own.
This makes it much easier for people to engage in violent acts, even if they normally wouldn’t. It’s not their anger that they’re expressing, it’s the mobs. It’s not them that are being violent, but the mob that is. They have no personal investment in the actions that are taking place, but are merely carrying out the collective will of the mob.
That also makes it easy to perform the acts of violence because there is an element of being anonymous when you are part of the mob. Nobody knows you and nobody is going to pick you out or call you out for your actions. That makes it easy for people to take actions that they normally would avoid, as there is no personal accountability; no fear of punishment or reprisal.
When people have entered into the mob mentality, it doesn’t do any good to reason with them. They are not thinking for themselves, but allowing others to think for them. They may not even recognize who those others are, just that they agree with the mob’s reason for being.
Mob situations always have instigators. These people aren’t caught up in the mob mentality, but rather using it to further their ends. Often, these people are “revolutionaries” who are more interested in destroying what exists, rather than build something better. They are angry people, who are striking out at the system, but using others to do the dirty work for them.
Avoiding the Mob
The best thing you can do with any mob is to avoid it. Granted, that may not always be possible, but it is always desirable. Mobs are unpredictable, so getting too close to one can put you in danger. However, considering how quickly a crowd can turn into a mob, avoiding one may by hard to do.
Avoiding crowds, as well as places where crowds may form to protest during times of unrest is the easiest way to avoid a mob. If a crisis occurs, stay away from town squares and government buildings. Those are the most likely places for protesters to gather and turn into a mob. By staying away from these places, you will most likely be able to avoid the mobs.
Staying informed about what is happening can be a help too. If you are forced to go downtown, especially anywhere near government offices, check the news to make sure that nothing is happening. You can also check police radio, using a scanner or scanner app on your cell phone. While many police departments are switching over to encrypted communications, not all are.
If You Find Yourself Caught in a Mob
Even with taking all the right precautions, you might suddenly find yourself caught in the middle of a mob. If you do, take a deep breath and keep your cool. You’ll need to get yourself out of that situation, but it’s going to take time. If you try and move too quickly, you’ll make yourself stand out as not being part of the group.
Whatever you do, don’t try to fight the mob. You don’t have enough ammo with you to take them all out. If you try to fight, all you are going to succeed in doing is getting yourself beaten or killed.
Step 1 – Blend in
That’s the first rule about surviving a mob; make yourself blend in. If everyone is in casual clothes, take off your coat and tie. If they are shouting, shout along with them, even if you don’t have any idea what they are saying. If everyone raises an arm to shake their fist, make sure yours is shaking right along with them. If they start running, then it’s time for your morning jog. The more you can do to make yourself look like part of the mob, the safer you will be.
I’m not suggesting that you become part of the mob, just that you look like you are. The last thing you want to do is to get sucked into the mob mentality and end up hurting someone else. Yell, chant and shake your fist, but keep your cool all the time.
Step 2 – Work Your Way to the Edge
You’ll need to gradually work your way to the edge of the mob. The key word here is “gradually.” If you make a bee-line for the edge, it will be too obvious. Take your time, not walking directly to the edge, but walking at a diagonal. If you can, make it look like you spotted a friend and are working your way over to where they are. But all the time, you are getting closer to the edge of the mob.
If the mob starts moving down a street, this moving towards the edge becomes easier to do. Since the street is probably not wide enough to accommodate the mob, you may find yourself along the edge, without even trying. Even if you don’t you’ll be closer to the edge, so you won’t have to go as far.
Mobs often start running, which makes it extremely easy to end up on the edge of the mob. All you have to do is run slower than everyone else, allowing them to pass you by. Act like you are winded and let them go past or use being winded as an excuse to work your way to the edge. In either case, the purpose is the same, to end up on the edge of the mob, where you can disengage.
Step 3 – Disengage From the Mob
Once you are on the edge of the mob, you need to start looking for someplace where you can slip away from the mob, without being noticed. If the mob started running and you allowed them to pass you by, then this will happen automatically. You’ll eventually find that you are at the back of the pack and everyone has left you. Keep running a bit more, until they are a distance ahead and then slip away.
In most cases, you’ll have to slip away from the side of the mob, not the back. That’s much harder, as people will be passing by the place where you slipped away and will see you. That may cause them to wonder what you are doing. So, you want to slip away in some spot where you can minimize the number of people who see you.
An open store can offer a way to get out of the mob, as well as a side street or alley. In places where they have narrow walking alleys, those are excellent places to slip away. Ideally, you want to be able to slip away and immediately get out of sight, so that the people following won’t see you.
Continue to act as if you are part of the mob, while slipping away. Chant or yell, along with them, just as you were doing before. Perhaps you can act like you’re winded, so you are stopping in a doorway to catch your breath. Keep up the act as long as people from the mob can see you.
Step 4 – Call for Pickup
You’ll want to have someone come and pick you up, to get you out of there. But you have to be careful about this, because you don’t want them to drive into the mob or anywhere that the mob can see them. That means giving them a location a couple of blocks away from where you are, where they will be hidden from view by the mob.
You’re going to have to make it from where you break away from the mob, to where your ride is going to pick you up. If you ask them to come and get you where you are, the mob could come back and block their car in. That might end up with them pulling your friend from the car and beating them or rolling the car over. By having them meet you a couple of blocks away, you protect them from danger, while making it easy for you to get away, once you get in their car.