Consider what constitutes the government of the United States, which we will use as an example, as it is indeed the strongest government, and the first and foremost democracy. This government, by and for the people, is founded by elections. Elections even in the best of times are difficult to pull off. Turnout is frequently low. Counts must be checked and rechecked for accuracy, and computers and the ready hands of volunteers assist in this process. And then there is the pre-election publication of candidates and their views, debates and other such enlightening affairs.
How would all this take place in a world having undergone a cataclysm such as we describe? The existence of electricity will be spotty. Communications will in the main return to what it was in the previous century, by letter or carrier. The concept of legislature even at the county level would be difficult to maintain, much less at the state or federal level. Add into this the fact that the geography will change. Some lands will disappear, others rise from the seas. The poles will align in different parts of the world. What is north? What is south? Maps previously drawn up will be useless. How can the polls be sure who is to vote when the survivors will wander, in search more of others living than anything else.
We are not describing a world where the established government is likely to continue as it was. We are describing a world where new forms of governing will emerge. The type will depend on the nature of the group of people. As we have detailed, there will be an increasing separation of Service-to-Other from Service-to-Self. Those groups oriented to Service-to-Other will not require the same controls that are required today. Rather than the problem of citizens stealing from each other, held in check only by the enforcement of law, these new communities will share. Consideration will be the rule, rather than the rule of law. For those groups oriented increasingly to Service-to-Self, no laws or corps of police would hold the self-serving actions in check. There, the rule of law is supplanted by the rule of the strong.
How will the governments take being so supplanted? Will they attempt to collect taxes, order cooperation, or demand allegiance? Some lone individuals will attempt to do so, perhaps in small bands, but where there is no food, and the citizenry is essentially homeless, these attempts will turn about on the so-called representatives of the people. Where is the government assistance? What does the government anticipate doing for its citizenry? Why, when the government was assuring the populace that they should not be alarmed by the approaching comet, should the populace now give any heed to the so called government? Any attempt to continue federal or state level government will in all likelihood be short lived. On the local level, there may be some continuance, according to the competence of the local government. Leadership will have to be earned.