One of the core beliefs of the crypto-fascist collapsitarians, who think the western world is headed for an economic and social apocalypse, is that when "the end" comes, all cities will collapse into hellholes of violence, rioting, looting, pillaging, and so on. This is one of the main reasons they believe in "prepping" for the catastrophe -- which they refer to as The End of The World As We Know It, or TEOTWAWKI -- and "bugging out" to a well-stocked, heavily armed and fortified compound in, say, Montana.
When this collapse of the cities is predicted, the example almost always cited is the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. According to this way of thinking, that aftermath was almost exclusively characterized by, on the one hand, looting and violence, and on the other, pathetic dependency on government to save the people. Cable TV coverage of the event stressed both these themes, because they made for dramatic images, and that is what right-wingers have in mind when they say the collapse of the cities will look like that.
They are, of course, ignoring all the incidents where people helped others, acted with compassion, shared their resources, and made peace. TV ignored these incidents too, for the most part, because they aren't conflict-y, and are therefore boring.
But the other reason the crypto-fascist collapsitarians talk about the collapse of the cities, and assume they will descend into a cauldron of violence, is that they're racist. Take a look at this post on a prominent collapsitarian blog. About the cities, the author says:
Misconception number four: Roving criminal hordes will come from the urban environment to your rural home or Bug Out Location (BOL). Nope, these people do not play chess or even checkers; they do not plan ahead much at all. Criminals, with few exceptions are lazy. And many are on drugs. Yes, a few will flee at the very beginning if they have a specific refuge in mind, the uncle with the farm, but most will not leave their familiar comfortable environment. Even if they have an operational vehicle capable of the trip it is likely to be low on fuel, particularly these days. They will burn up what little fuel they have driving around their usual haunts, to the liquor and drug stores, then to the convenience or grocery store like they did before the event, until their tank is empty. Walking or biking to save fuel will never cross their mind. No gas means no travel for this group.
They are stupid, lazy, and many are on drugs! Really!
Refuting those ideas, which are based on such an idiotic image of city dwellers, would be a waste of time. The only thing I can say in response is that that paragraph actually represents a more moderate prediction than the usual one, where crazed and armed city dwellers, having used up and then burned all the resources in their city, then go out to attack the good Christians in their Montana bunkers. (See my previous entry, Grim Dystopians Hoping for Complete Collapse.) So never mind that -- they are simply too lazy to do so!
It would be laughable, if not for the utter gullibility and ignorance of these collapsitarians, many of whom are elderly people who fall victim to tax-dodging schemes rooted in weird, almost schizophrenic ideas (such as so-called "truth language"). There is lots of money to be made from all the paranoia being served out there.