We’re one big crisis or tragedy away from a full-on police state. From Doug Casey at caseyresearch.com:
Is a police state in the U.S. possible? Absolutely.
That’s because people are essentially the same the world over, regardless of their culture, religion, race, or what-have-you. A certain percentage of them are sociopaths.
There is a standard distribution of sociopaths across time and space. It’s a function of Pareto’s Law, better known as the 80-20 rule. 20% of the people do 80% of the work. Another 20% are responsible for 80% of the crime. 20% of the population always winds up with 80% of the wealth. And so forth, through all areas of human endeavor. This observation can be represented by a bell-shaped curve – a “standard distribution” – with a small minority at each extreme, but the large majority in the middle. The people who will take us to a police state are sociopaths – criminal personalities who don’t respect the liberty or property of others. And sociopaths gravitate towards government, and eventually come to control it.
My view is that 80% of human beings are basically decent, get along, go along types. 20% are what you might call potential trouble sources, that can go either way. But then you take 20% of that 20% and you’re dealing with the sociopaths.