Rich Monetti draws similarities between zombies and world politics.
Zombies are everywhere, and when will we be done with all this. That’s what I thought several years ago in being constantly bombarded with Walking Dead commercials. But I was told that it held great science fiction currency, so I decided to take a look.
While it probably gets most people ruminating about end of the world scenarios, it got me thinking about the beginning of the world. In our infancy, how did people group together in order to compete for limited resources. How ruthless or just where they in securing survival at the expense of their neighbors.
In one scene, our heroes come across an encampment where supplies have been left unattended, and thus they defer on helping themselves. That decision is called into question when the good guys later find the inhabitants slaughtered, and all the supplies gone to the spoils of a less enlightened group.
Internally, on the series, order among the autocratically lead clan is kept according to the laws of deception, fear and a careful cultivation of entitled superiority over everyone else. Even so, the more democratic brand of survival in the Walking Dead triumphs over evil. But if you could actually track the world to its origins, I believe you’d find most of us derive of the more despotic lineages.
Nonetheless, nations eventually formed, and such cutthroat necessity diminished among groups inside those borders. Legal and societal protections took precedence. On the other hand, we have yet to develop any real legal restraints that keep nations from fighting for those same limited resources.
Hence, nations still war as humans did at the outset — pursuing resource security and economic stability at home. Still, if your Roman Legions can’t be roused enough to invade Britain, an about face through Gaul has to be the standing order.
As such, it follows that in every war each side always tries to portray the other as the aggressor. In other words, public opinion mattered long before the invention of printing press, and governments have always been subject to this informal constraint.
But governments being constrained by external pressure – short of war is pretty new. King Leopold II’s horrific exploitation of the Congo Free State serves as a significant marker in informal regard. Killing approximately 10 million people in turning the area into a huge slave labor camp, the world was galvanized and resulted in the first mass human rights movement.
So in our enlightened age, you can’t just Genghis Khan yourself across the steppe. Then you have to ask yourself — what is Russia trying to get away with in the Ukraine.
Given the nuclear realities and opposing governments being unable to sell world wars to their populations, this leaves Russia free to pursue resource security in what they consider their sphere of influence.
The fact that Putin owns the Russian media, while enjoying immense domestic popularity, means the internal informal constraints are limited. Far more than say our government would face with such an action.
That doesn’t mean we are any stranger to the same impulses. We’re just more deft in going about it – especially in regards to what we consider our sphere of influence.
Once the possibility of the direct occupations that took place all throughout Latin America fell out of favor, establishing hegemonic puppets under the guise of the Cold War secured us everything from Sugar and Cooper to Oil and Bananas. Only recently has South America started to mirror the indigenous populations that make up the majorities.
Fortunately, we now have Muslim extremists to help sell intervention in the Middle East that keeps the energy flowing in our direction. So when will it end — never. Our only resource is to keep talking and staying engaged or we might just become the walking dead.
Rich Monetti lives in Somers, New York. He graduated with a degree in Computer Science from Plattsburgh State but changed careers to journalism in 2003. When not working on features, he's honing a screenplay loosely and humorously based on Richard III, and the events that led up to his demise. You can follow him on his blog.