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The world has been taken over by a powerful and authoritarian regime that has a monopoly on military might. It is backed by the only worldwide legal religion that justifies the fascist regime. It teaches a philosophy that supports social order and harmony, while persecuting dissent. Humanity is inherently evil, and indulgence is a sin against God. Suppressing human emotions is necessary to maintain order in society.

The government and the faith work together to instill this belief. Cameras and other surveillance devices are placed where crime is thought to most likely occur, with some being seen and others hidden. Crime is met with harsh punishment, often a horrifyingly brutal death sentence or some form of mutilation. Gestapo like police forces roam the streets, and are given carte blanche authority to enforce the laws of the regime.

However, the authority and its religion realizes that human nature cannot be completely suppressed or controlled. They have instituted a law that creates a day in which there are no laws. Surveillance is shut down, as well as law enforcement. All acts of violence are allowed within a specific time frame, but government officials are exempt and protected. People are allowed to release their vile urges for that one day, with God turning a blind eye to their crimes.

Are there certain "rules" that need to be created during this purge like event to keep society sustainable?

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    $\begingroup$ See the Rwanda genocide. Sadly, the real world has ample examples of how to do this. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rwandan_genocide $\endgroup$ – a4android Aug 21 '17 at 2:26
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    $\begingroup$ Well, if all law enforcement is shut down, what does it matter if there are rules that should be followed during the purge? Who is going to enforce them? And the logistics of enforcing any kind of rule to a spread out, large and armed group hell-bent on shedding blood without any significant force... $\endgroup$ – DevourerOfStars Aug 21 '17 at 3:18
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    $\begingroup$ I've always found the purge concept lacking a critical element of believability - regardless of populism or circumstance or politics, the psycho- and sociopaths who commit what would otherwise be a violent felony aren't going to be able to wait a year. They're going to devolve and wind up dead or in prison. Roving bands of citizen protectors would 'circle the wagons' in defense, and inevitably this law would get repealed or the people behind it would have their houses burned down, with them inside. Law be damned - society protects itself. $\endgroup$ – Sean Boddy Aug 21 '17 at 3:59
  • $\begingroup$ This video might help you find an answer to this question, since it discusses the purge and the effects on society and the populace. youtube.com/watch?v=QMOpB5tSPVY $\endgroup$ – DevourerOfStars Aug 21 '17 at 5:06
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with sean, however, I'd the purges are a raged to target minorities (racial, political, professional, etc.) You could get people who otherwise function well in society to do tribe things. See the Holocaust for information on how it is done. Also, what kinds Mental help does the government give to people after the purge? Because anyone who takes pay in a purge needs intense mental help $\endgroup$ – Garret Gang Aug 21 '17 at 16:53
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Simply said: rules with no law enforcement authority are just wishful thinking.

Let's say one of these rules is "no more than 3 crimes per person". Who is going to count the crime per person? Who is going to punish those who fail to stitch to this rule?

Moreover, setting rules goes against the "logic" (if it may be called such) of the "purge".

Carnival was born with a similar intent: let the masses release tension by canceling separation between classes and let some days of wild fun happen. But still there was no "no law" situation. Just an increased tolerance, so that the drunk peasant could grope the noblewoman curves without being hung.

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The premise of the movie The Purge is focused on individual acts of violence. These tend to be personally tragic but when you are talking about millions of people the death of any one is insignificant.

The real threat to society of 12 hours without law is the ability to violate laws that protect people at scale. People would be able to make a business of collecting and storing toxic waste and rapidly dumping it during the purge. This would result in the mass poisoning of rivers without any recourse available for anyone who lives downstream. It only takes a moment to coordinate insider trading, or conspire to commit a future crime. These crimes would have massive effects outside of the intended 12 hour period.

All import restrictions wouldn't be enforced allowing anyone to buy anything. There would be a line of trucks at the border ready to drive a years worth of drugs into the country without any law enforcement to stop them. Want to sell weapons to terrorists? As long as the deal is complete within 12 hours it's all good.

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The Internet can be a terrible place because of anonymity. (Or, as is often the case, perceived anonymity.) People say stuff all the time on-line that they'd never say in real life, because they'd be pilloried for it, or worse.

I think you could institute The Purge fairly successfully if you could somehow guarantee anonymity for that one day a year. For example:

  1. Government-issued PurgeSuits. Wearing a PurgeSuit renders the wearer anonymous. Wearing the PurgeSuit on any day other than the purge renders the wearer arrested and made an example of.

  2. Government-issued PurgePills. Everybody reports to their nearest Post-Purge Administration Facility within two hours after the Purge to obtain their short-term memory-eraser pills. (Or perhaps two hours before the Purge to basically black out the next 24 hours.) Taking the pills renders the person unable to remember who specifically did what, while still giving them agency during the purge. Not taking the pills renders the person arrested and made an example of.

There are, of course, a number of ways for either method to break down, become subverted, be exploited by ne'er-do-wells, and what-have-you. And that's the stuff that makes for a good story.

Anyway, the short version is that you could get away with a Purge Day if you could leverage the power of anonymity. Or, at least, perceived anonymity.

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