The LA Times has been running a series on the incredible violence running through Mexican towns and cities due to the "war" between the government and the drug cartels, and the war between the Sinaloa and Gulf drug cartels. Due to successes in suppressing Colombia's drug cartels, the Mexican cartels have taken over.

Read through some of the articles and you'll see what a real, live Mad Max world looks like.

Ineffective and corrupt police often allied to one of the drug cartels. Army units sent in to restore calm are ambushed when local police tip off the drug cartels on army patrol routes. An honest, newly-imported police chief forced to resign when the local drug cartel carries out its threat to kill police officers until he leaves. Shootings and kidnappings in broad daylight. Families, including children, wiped out during home invasions.

I agree with iTulip's assessment that we are unlikely to see these conditions in the U.S. A Mad Max usually only develops when state authority has broken down due to wars (like WW 2 or Yugoslavia) or if there are certain pre-conditions that allow a so-called peaceful nation to tip into a Mad Max world.

Mexico has those pre-conditions and the U.S. does not. An extremely high level of poverty, that makes drug cartel life an attractive option for young and poor - at least they can make some money that way. An under-paid police force that is open to bribery, in order to supplement their meager pay. A society that openly acknowleges high levels of corruption in goverment, but seems powerless to change it. It all breeds a sense of hopelessness.

In the U.S., the police forces are still fairly honest. The citizens still have hope, are law-abiding, and elections are fairly honest. Accepting bribies while in government office is widely frowned upon and punished when caught. Society does its best to make sure crime does not pay, especially violent crime.

"Gunmen hit the homes of Carlos Reyes Lopez and his extended family; a 2-year-old nephew and five other children are among the dead. Reyes Lopez was a member of an elite agency tackling police corruption..."

"In the state of Zacatecas, residents of Villanueva demanded that the military take over. The soldiers came, but drug war violence got worse..."

"The police chief in violence-torn Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, quit Friday after several officers were slain this week and the killers posted threats that more would die unless he resigned...."