I did not anticipate civil unrest and the destruction of American cities, but of course in hindsight it seems obvious that locking the poorest Americans into their crummy tiny urban apartments for months, while taking away jobs from most of those who formerly worked, would lead to them eventually emerging and entertaining themselves in ways that wouldn’t be entertaining for the mansion-dwelling governors who ordered the lockdowns. (see “Your lockdown may vary”)
Police departments in the U.S. murder citizens on a regular basis (and why not, since they are generally immune from being fired). The typical police murder does not bother too many Americans or even make the news. This one was unusually disturbing and unusually thoroughly documented on video, of course, but I still don’t think it would have been enough to trigger nationwide riots back in, say, 2019.
In addition to the lockdown itself having put non-mansion-dwelling Americans into a bad mood, I wonder if the lockdown created a general environment of lawlessness. Unlike in Sweden, for example, Americans were told that everything had changed due to the killer virus and therefore their Constitutional rights were inoperative. Since the old laws didn’t apply to the government, maybe the old laws against looting didn’t apply to the subjects?
Is it fair to say that a lot of Americans actually did anticipate this kind of breakdown of society? There was a huge run on guns and ammo back in March, right? I discovered that several of my friends had become new gun owners. These included female physicians in their 40s, for example, living alone in cities. I scoffed at them, saying that the militarized U.S. police state would keep the ghetto-dwellers quietly imprisoned, watching TV while consuming alcohol and opioids purchased via Medicaid.
Readers: Were these riots easy to foresee?
Bonus: Some pictures from a recent helicopter trip over Dover, Massachusetts -- https://philip.greenspun.com/blog/2020/06/02/urban-riots-predictable-after-lockdown/