I got asked an interesting question the other day.
I reworded it slightly. I suspect that the questioner is not an American, or not one for very long, and really doesn’t understand rural areas. Especially not American rural areas, or Western American ones.
Q: Why is it that people don’t riot in rural areas? Not in the fields or desert, but place with more trees. Places with gas stations, malls, car dealerships, etc.?
A: Rural areas generally don’t have gas stations, malls, or car dealerships – or at least very few and far between. You find those things in cities and towns, not farming areas. Whether or not it is plains (relatively flat areas with mostly grass) or places with trees (mountains, river and creek valleys, etc.). So there aren’t these venues to encourage people to riot.
But that is not the only reason that people in rural areas don’t riot. They have better things to do. They work to make a living, make their lives better, and to BUILD things – not destroy them. They don’t have time to riot, or for that matter, to protest.
That even includes those market towns and small cities that are in rural areas: where there are stores (in or out of malls), car dealers, and convenience stores (that sell fuel). We have better things to do.
And for the most part, they don’t have much patience with anyone stupid enough to come out to the countryside (from the cities and towns) to protest and/or riot. In the USA, they might express their displeasure at such antics by doing some pest control: everything from rounding up the rioters for trespassing, disturbing the peace, excessive noise or blocking traffic, to more serious forms of pest control involving the use of boots and fists, rifles and pistols and such. Especially if the protesters/rioters do ANYthing to damage or take private property, insult women, or scare children.
And if all you have is one or two stores (convenience or trading post or whatever) in your township (that’s an area traditionally six miles on a side, thirty-six square miles) and someone decides to hold a riot around or in that store, they should remember that probably everyone in the rural area (a) knows that store’s owners and employees, (b) depends on that store for a lot of things they need and buy, (c) believes in helping their neighbor, and (d) has a low opinion of protesters, much less rioters and other people who break things, loot things, and break other laws. Oh, they are probably not patient enough to wait for the sheriff’s deputies to drive out 20–30 miles from the County Seat to deal with the mess.
Although rioters are generally stupid, I think that they might sense a little of all these things, and so stay away.
Anyway, that was my answer, but let me add some more.
There are many advantages to rural areas, including greater opportunity for freedom and liberty to grow and exist. We aren’t living cheek-to-jowl and most of the laws that people try to enforce in cities and towns (urban area) make even LESS sense in rural areas. (And even LESS in frontier areas: defined as places with less than 5 people per square mile.)
Rural people – especially those who are very diverse in their origins and beliefs and culture – tend to be the kind of people that look out for one another, also. Not in the sense of the nanny-state idiots that are far more common in those same urban areas, but in the sense of “I will help you because I would want you to help me.” Gee, the Golden Rule or the ZAP in practice!
Or to quote Ben Franklin and the United States’ first coin, “Mind your business.” Not necessarily your OWN business (though that is implied as well) but the business of living your life, not everyone else’s. The business of making a living and NOT at the expense of other people – voluntary cooperation, like buying and selling.
Nowadays, even rural areas have that wonderful (sarcastic here, please not) social safety net of welfare and all that stuff. But even today, after almost a century, rural people don’t tend to use that as much as city folks do. They tend to fend for themselves, and even do without something, and to help each other and NOT depend on some bureaucrat, educrat, or health-crat in town, or cities, or State capitals or DC. Not saying that rural people are perfect, or even good libertarians. There ARE a lot of people who are parasites on the body politic: welfare farmers, government agency employees, deadbeats, druggies who can’t control their addictions, and free-lance thieves (not just the government kind). But they have less opportunity for impact and control in rural areas.
At least here in the West, and many others of the Fifty States.
At the same time, there is still enough of that rural attitude to be found on the fringes of the urban areas: the edges of the suburbs, that it is no surprise that Antifa and BLM and the so-called anarchists don’t try to pull that nonsense even in the suburbs.
Whatever liberty or freedom exists in the Fifty States today, it is more common in rural areas. Liberty, peace, prosperity, and patience with one another. Mostly.