Thursday, February 17, 2011

Background on this story

First off, this story is partially fiction. I have no idea what people thought and said while they did this. It isn't fiction when it comes to the events. If anything, I choose to only write about a sample of the activities of the average police battalion during this period. By my extremely rough calculations approximately 20 police battalions shot at close range over a million people in 2 years.

I usually write stories about the near future. The future I see is really just the past in a new clothes. Men don't change - only the date on the calendar does. It is my belief that should there be a collapse of the economy, actually, I think it already is, then the future will be interesting.

This is a fragmented society held together by the most tenuous of bonds - electrons - and half remembered, half baked ideas of what a society should be. I personally believe should it come to that then America will not be a pleasant place to be for at least a generation.

You may believe that people such as the characters don't exist. They do. This story was reality for years a large number of people. The Germans and the Soviets lost more people in a single battle than the US did during the entire war. One out of five Poles died. The death rate in Ukraine was even higher. The Jews were exterminated. Ideological wars are religious wars and history has shown they are the most brutal.

The book that influenced me the most was Professor Brownings Ordinary Men: Police Battalion 101

In it Professor Browning wrote about a reserve police battalion consisting of middle aged men who had grown up before NSDAP gained power and were by all accounts normal people. These normal people went out and shot thousands of men, women, and children when ordered. Yes, they had the option to refuse. No one was ever punished for refusing. Very few did. Most pulled the trigger.

If you are interested in life after a major crash then keep this mind. It will be ugly. Reading about it may be entertaining but there is a huge difference between that and the reality. I do not believe everyone is evil nor do I believe everyone will be an enemy. I do believe that out of a 100 people the odds are pretty good at least one of them will be an evil piece of shit.

One of the questions I have thought about is what do you do when confronted by evil in the guise of a human? For most of us there is nothing really we can do in a functioning society. That is why we have the law. Law enforcement, at least to me, is at the core nothing but people who have sworn to protect the innocent and not so innocent from the true predators. This is where Gardener and Max come from. On the other side of them is the characters in this story. To appreciate what is right you have to know what is wrong. Not only know it but understand it as much as it can be understood, fear it, and kill it.

Edit: I do not believe that if the US tears itself a part we will be living simple wars of conquest and looting. We will experience ideological war. Total war. I hope it never happens.

Edit Again: I do know a little about what I am writing here


  1. Thanks for the context, nova - I find this historical work fascinating and far more chilling than the AA series - the speculation here is not whether it will happen but rather the nature of those involved who made it happen.

  2. Nova,

    I'm still a little confused. At one point you were saying this is the remnants of a memoirs, but now you are saying it's fiction? Is it both? Right now I'm having a "Things they carried" like crisis in figuring it out.


  3. thedreamer

    The book was written as a memoir so I could do the story. Kind of a fictional device like the Flashman series and Little Big Man. The events are true.

    After I did the research for my Pol Btl. book I was left wondering who the hell could do this? What kind of men could casually kill people at close range, do the other things they did, and then go have a beer?

    I read the Selected Records of the Ordnungspolizei, The RFSS-Komando Stab, and a bunch of other stuff in the original German at the archives. It was some mind boggling stuff and at times so sad that I had to stop.

    These guys escaped prosecution after the war for the most part and many went back to local LE.

  4. I agree: reading survival novels is very entertaining, but to imagine actually surviving in such times, much less saving one's children or loved ones, is a terrifying thought.

    In general, I believe people are capable of far worse acts than even our imagination can conceive. The atrocities of the Nazis and the Communists could never have even been imagined by the average pre-20th-Century European or American. In a similar vein, what will happen in a total collapse is too terrible for us to imagine, and the destruction will probably easily exceed that created by the mass-murderers of the 20th Century, as it will be total and inescapable. There won't even be a Switzerland to run to as there was for the lucky few of WWII.

  5. Here's another scary thought - if the german police could do what they did, survive the war, never face prosecution, and go back to law enforcement, what do you think would happen here in the US if our LEO and Military were given immoral orders? Is there some fundamental difference between the German society in the 1930's and the US in 2010 that would prevent a similar outcome here?

  6. Anon,

    I think that some LE would refuse, maybe even a significant minority. I say this despite the Marine Corp and University tests that show people generally don't have a problem with it.

    I know some that wouldn't and I know some that would shoot me in the head without a problem given the right moral figleaf. I would trust a VA State Trooper or County cop more than I would trust a fed to do the right thing.

    I am dancing around your point I think. If times were hard and you gave them extra pay, better living quarters and had a religious figure say it was all good then - yeah - especially if you wrapped it up by convincing them the people being shot were not quite as human and a threat - yeah. Not a problem.

  7. Oh yeah...escape prosecution? Sure. It all depends on who won the war. Hell, some of them might even become heros

  8. 1 out of 100 being evil is pretty close but I believe it is a bit more. That number is not important. What is important is those who follow the evil ones without question. Those are the real danger to the rest. Much like the reserve police battalions you mentioned.

    Not many have had to truly face evil. We are not far from the events you are describing. The difference is I don't believe it would be as easy for evil to prevail now as it was then. It will just involve a lot more collateral damage.

    Jim in MO.

  9. As we write these comments, the police in Wisconsin are having no trouble with being told to kidnap law abiding legislators.