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Imagine dystopia. You hear that word frequently. What does it mean? Picture it in your mind’s eye. Dystopia is a world where the police will not protect you. They refuse. And at the same time, you are not allowed to protect yourself. So, who does that leave in charge? Who runs a world like that? Well, young men with guns. They’re in charge— the cruelest and most violent element of any society, the people with the least to lose, the shortest time horizons, the shallow reservoirs of impulse control. People like that have all the power.
You have no power and that means that everything you have is theirs. That’s the end of civilization. It exists in pockets around the world, Mogadishu, famously, but if you think it’s confined to Mogadishu, you haven’t been to Chicago lately. This past Friday, just before noon, a 30-year-old man called Ryan King walked out of a gym in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood. Bucktown is a former Polish enclave just west of Lincoln Park. That’s one of the nicest parts of the city. Real estate websites describe Bucktown as young and hip, a place where recent college