You wake up tomorrow, and it's Wednesday again. Everybody remembers it, but whatever was physically done today is undone. Your favorite mug, which the dog knocked over, is un-broken. The kid down the street who got hit by a car -- his leg is just fine, and the bike is okay, but he remembers the pain.
People are pretty freaked out, but no one does anything rash. (Mrs. Kendall keeps Johnny home, though, and he doesn't get hit.) Mostly we look for news on the subject, but nobody knows anything, or if they do, no one is talking. But then the next day, the same thing happens. Lilly has gone into work for the past three days as a dental assistant, but she has had to work on the same emergency root canal every day. The next day the patient doesn't show. Who wants to go in for dental surgery every day for the rest of their life?
With no reason to suspect tomorrow will be any different, her roommate buys a gun to commit suicide, just to see what it is like. The next day, he's alive again, but with the horrifying memory. But now there's proof that there are no consequences, so he robs a bank. The next day, he wakes up with no gun and no money, but the cops remember what happened, and they arrest him.
QUESTION: I could go on, but the local is easy. My question is about the global. What do societies do? What does the government do? Anything that anyone does that takes more than 24 hours to complete is a waste of time, unless the intended result is mental. Nothing can be stored on a computer or chalkboard or anywhere. Still, everyone can memorize what they can, and agree to collaborate again the next today.
How it happened is irrelevant. If it was caused by mankind, it isn't something they can just undo. But it just as easily may have happened somewhere across the galaxy, and there is no way for humanity to stop it.
This takes place today, in our world, with no technology we don't have today. (Of course, if 100 years of research and 12 hours of production can make an advance, we could build it every day.) How do we deal if this goes on for years, centuries, millennia?
Most of the above is simply setup so that everyone understands the scenario I propose. My question is both simple and specific: What can a government do to retain control and prevent lawlessness in this situation? One answer so far has suggested that it couldn't, and no others have addressed this question. If an individual's actions have no consequences beyond twenty-four hours, when locking them up and even killing them doesn't last, how can a government maintain order?