The Era of the Living Dead

June 23, 2010

Lock your doors, close the blinds, grab your shotgun and head for the tub Danny Glover style à la Lethal Weapon 2 (as fast as you can).  America is under attack.  Oil?  Disease? World Cup fever(click that link if you can only click one)? Socialism?  Nope.  Zombies!  They are everywhere.  Your first encounter was probably on MTV, back when they played music videos instead of bad lifestyle choices.  Then zombies invaded the  movie theatre, classic literature, commercials and video games.  Now they have invaded National Security Theory.  Is nothing sacred anymore?

We can’t say we didn’t see it coming.  Last year a few teens gave us ample warning in the form of a traffic sign.  But now a professor has harnessed the power of the undead for thinking about the defense of our nation.  The work is titled Theories of International Politics and Zombies (As a brief aside, I was reminded by a reader that titles are supposed to be underlined, please remind me of the rules about punctuation and parentheses, I’m learning).  The concept is brilliant.  Zombies constitute non-state actors of any sort that cannot be threatened by use of force or other means.  They can only be stopped through directed and not insignificant response.  This does not account for all forms of attack, for instance computer virus, but it does prepare for the enemy.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of this book is the comparison of 3 succinct schools of political thought, neo-conservatism, liberalism and realism.  These are 3 ends of the political spectrum but your views should be found somewhere in between.  Let’s look at a few examples.

Zombies approach, in full force, from graves across America.  They are slowly forcing their will on the people.  We respond with Military force.  First for major city centers, then for sub-urban and rural areas.  This is where the schools of thought would begin to differ.

Let’s first look at the liberalists.  After a moderate military response with some success alternative methods become necessary.  Social programs win the day and housing, medical coverage and unemployment benefits are extended to the brain-hungry invaders.  Will this be enough?  Can zombies adjust to social society? Or will they simply take advantage of the programs?

Next, the neo-conservatives.  War is waged on the undead.  Daily briefings are provided to the press to show progress.  Containment looks plausible, but inevitably it cannot be achieved.  Will we be able to train zombies in the ways of democracy?  Can we show them the light of the Western World?

Finally a look at the Realpolitik.  All out war consumes the zombie force.  Standard issue firearms are not enough and a significant part of the budget is diverted to research and development for a new weapon.  Now armed with the “President of the future’s last name”-rifle our military forces dictate the battle lines.  Walls are built to protect Americas largest cities and places of National interest.  Will we be able to protect our rural neighbors before the zombies feast? Or will they be considered an acceptable loss in the Global War on Zombies? Will zombie fences and walls litter the American countryside forever?

I have not read the book.  I have not been given any of the scenarios that are included in this book.  I will have to wait until later this year just like everyone else.  In the mean time, while zombies invade every aspect of our consumer life, we can hope that this book will provide guidance, in case Zombies invade our lives for real.


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