Kit Up Zombie Ops: Your Survival Philosophy


kit-up-theories-international-politics-zombiesHow you equip yourself for a zombie apocalypse depends largely on your personal belief systems.  Are you going to focus solely on self-preservation?  Or is restoring order to your country a transcendent objective?  How willing are you to share your resources with strangers?  And how discriminating will you be in shooting other human beings?

Author Daniel Drezner tackles such moral dilemmas on a global level in his book Theories of International Politics and Zombies.  Drezner is the real deal, by the way, a professor of international politics at Tufts University and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  Here’s how he breaks down America’s potential responses to a global zombie pandemic by ideology:

Realists would not risk American blood and treasure being the world’s zombie police.  In fact, they would take advantage of the outbreak in other countries to advance our own political and economic strength.  It’s every country for itself, especially under these circumstances.

Liberals would focus on global cooperation to quell the problem through international bodies like the United Nations and the World Health Organization.  Even if not every country pulls its weight, we will be better off by at least trying to coordinate our policies with other governments.

Neoconservatives would take swift, unilateral, military action and start establishing strong anti-zombie bastions worldwide.  There’s no time to haggle with second-tier players about what the best course of action is.  Zombies are an evil threat and must be dealt with decisively.

Constructivists would use the zombie epidemic as a means of uniting humanity’s differing worldwide cultures.  They would emphasize what we all share in common as people and establish a moral peer pressure for nations to act bravely and nobly in the face of the zombie crisis.

I find it interesting that these philosophies are also relevant on a micro level as they pertain to the individual person facing a zombie apocalypse – where every man’s home is his castle, and his land his kingdom.  What would your approach be?


23 Comments on "Kit Up Zombie Ops: Your Survival Philosophy"

  1. Just more prof that we need Assault Weapons and we need to ban liberals NOT guns. LOL;)

  2. what the **** are people on about with this zombie ****? it's b/s.

  3. the "realists" and "neocons" strike me as presumptuous* the other two… fictional, a teabaggers bad dream. He assumes that developed (1st world) countries would have some sort of advantage in an evenly spread zombie pandemic. Living off the land, keeping your options open, cope-ing* with a severe lack of infastructure or just "survival" are the domain of 3rd world countries. who's to say they THEY wont be the ones to come and save our butts. and if they do…? could anybody here stomach the Congolese or the Bolivians or the Pakistanies choosing from any of the 4 options stated above…?

    Daniel makes alot of assumtions about political philosophy, all of them reduced (simplified) to a trench of dispensationalist (end times) science fiction, and NO im not talking about the "zombie" part. That mope might actually be taking this stuff seriously.

    as for the rest… fecces encrusted punji stakes for the non-zombies. ball-pin hammer for the rest.

  4. Lol, if only had this been in the reading list for my 2nd year Theory module in Int. Relations. Would definitely help spruce up learning Fukuyama, Kant, Waltz and Mierschimer. Then again, I did use those lectures and seminars for pre-party powernaps. Karma.

  5. If we are going to depend on the UN, mankind is doomed. We may be anyway, in that 98% of the worlds population does not take the potential zombie threat seriously. I would prefer to slay zombies at a distance, that means firearms. Liberals and the UN want to greatly restrict firearm ownership, thus ensuring that any zombie slaying will be done with hand weapons at very close range. I don't like those odds.

  6. Realists. The UN is the most pathetic organization, ever.

  7. That's a great point – if a country is already in a state of relative chaos, then the chaos of an epidemic may not be as much of a shock to their collective system.

  8. The book does read like a slightly cheeky textbook, complete with footnotes, endnotes, and an extensive list of references. I actually wish it had been MORE academic with less frivolity. I hear you, though, on those dry college classes… I often wonder how I would fare in them now as an adult who no longer drinks four nights a week.

  9. Drezner asserts that zombies are a stand-in for what Donal Rumsfeld called "unknown unknowns." It's not a perfect analogy, but to a degree it's true.

  10. If exploration of zombie scenarios is not for you, I definitely get it. But here's another way to look at it. If you were in the middle of a societal breakdown, what would your objectives and rules of engagement be? Hurricane Katrina and the LA riots are plenty of evidence for me that rule of law can dissolve for a period of time even here in the U.S. IMO, it's not a waste of time to think about who you would be and how you would handle yourself in such a situation.

  11. Like George Carlin says, "slow and sloppy."

  12. JDsHandsomeSon | December 31, 2011 at 8:37 am | Reply

    An true apocalypse in America would overwhelm civil authority; it would be lucky to restore any semblance of order and security within our own borders, much less devote any thought or energy to intervening abroad or exploiting weaknesses overseas to our benefit. This is especially true with the ruling class we're saddled with today. And given the ideological bent of those in power now we cannot assume they would strive to empower America but would instead lend support to the "global community" under the foolish belief we are all one big harmonious, tolerant and inclusive brotherhood of man. We have no real friends out there. No one would come to our aid if we really needed it. They really think someone else will feed, clothe, shelter and protect them if we were to fail. Who would that be? The Russians? The Chinese? The Middle East? Mexico?

    On the question of how societies adapt to a total demise of empires, we need only look to history to see what happen in the at that time known world when Rome fell. It took a few centuries of anarchy and roaming nomadic tribes before the Europeans coalesced into a feudal system, whereby the peasants bargained with warlords for protection in return for all the fruits of their labor. Maybe that will be our fate. Maybe we'll have to join warring gangs and slaughter each other until the strongest gang emerges on top.

    Then it took another few more centuries for this system to evolve into nation states.

    Human behavior does not change. We are wired the same as the ancients and will do what they had to do, first achieving some kind of individual security, then allying with those like us, fighting those not like us, and so on until after a thousand years or so we're back to where we started 230 years ago. Let's hope that we don't burn down all the libraries so our descendants can at least catch up on what we did after inventing the wheel so they'll have a head start.

  13. On a related topic, why is gold considered the doomsday currency of choice for the nuke bunker in the backyard types? It's not liquid or easily carried around. Do I shave off portions to buy some bread? I think .22LR or variants thereof would be the ultimate currency in an end of world situation. Don't even mention the worthlessness of Bitcoin at that point.

    We do have recent case studies showing near armageddon in the world, as seen in any country ruthlessly dominated by a foreign power such as the Nazis or any other continuous siege, gold is meaningless at that point if a you are the "rabble."

  14. The UN would of collapsed at this point of the game as the delegates huddled in the safety of NY or their home countries and are all looking out for number one. You can't buy off or sanction zombies nor can you use crappy intel to justify anything since it's obvious how bad things are.

  15. I'm more of a cross between a "realist" and a "neoconservative". I wouldn't want Americian troops going off a dying in other countries that can't be saved, I also would want to restore order and safety in our counrty before we went off restoring oreder in other countries. But don't get me wrong; I would completely want to help our allies kick some zombie ***.

  16. …and your comments about the author and his theories speak to the nature of political theory itself: as a set of broad principles used to predict complex human behaviors, its practical application will always be wanting.

  17. thanks Brandon, again. a good way to blanket the "unknown unknown" real world threats and risks.

  18. Pat, for some reason I can't reply to the relevant post. In regards to your question, no, no way have I seen anything like that on Kit Up! You're right, we wouldn't let someone get away with that type of thing. I have seen it elsewhere though.

  19. Ally myself with a group large enough to fence sufficient acreage for agriculture, then start building a really kick-*** wall.

    With a moat.

    and alligators.

    I bet gators would love putrid zombie flesh.

  20. Well, I concede the gators might be a little difficult, but you have to admit, it'd be a nice touch. If no gators are possible, then I'd seek a northern climb where the zombies dead tissue would freeze solid.

    Simple palisade walls would be sufficient, but you'd need to have multiple fall-back safety areas in case there was a breach by zombies (if they get past the alligators). I'm thinking something like star-shape fort.

    If you aren't growing, you're dying and, according to Boyd, no organization/organism can live in isolation from its environment and survive. So that means you would need to conduct patrols, some long-range and some short-range. The short-range patrols would be to ensure there aren't massive hordes of zombies. The long-range patrol would be to seek out tools, equipment, supplies, etc. that the community couldn't create itself.

    hopefully the long-range patrols could bring back other survivors as well so the community could grow stronger.

    Zombies don't pro-create so the only way they can grow is by biting people. There are a finite amount of people, however, and eventually the zombies will run out of converts and the zombie population would plateau.

    From there, with good organization and sound tactics, it is a matter of time before the zombies succumb to "pacification". And sense they are stupid, too, zombies could be tricked into kill-zones.

  21. I'd go Book of Eli and roam the country living off the land. Permanent settlements in a realm of chaos beg to be raped and pillaged by nomads. You would also see every authoritarian wannabe dictator come out of the wood work to set up their own little fiefdom, and that worries me more than what the world would throw at me. The hearts of men are fickle and easily swayed by fear and/or greed, best to stay away from them entirely.

  22. Pat makes a very good point, the only real difference between a Katrina/LA riots scenario and a fictional zombie apocalypse is that the people in the real life situation aren't necessarily infectious and in a zombie apocalypse most infrastructure will still be intact and relatively functional (at least for a while). If you're still in doubt about the practicality of planning out a fictional zombie apocalypse then how about a scenario like the one shown in the movie, Contagion? Something like that would be very similar to a zombie apocalypse with the exception that the sick aren't trying to eat you but that doesn't mean that they still wouldn't try to attack you or your friend's and family.

  23. I agree somewhat, but there is a flip-side to the argument. The more advanced societies, if they can avoid total breakdown in their communications and scientific establishments, would have additional tools available to fight the threat than the third-world countries. Also, the more advanced countries could be in more of a position to lessen the panic and assist the citizens – though this would be a very limited degree in the beginning. Countries such as the US would also be more able to effect armed resistance by the citizens after the initial zombie attack.

    For example, the US or Russia or China could rapidly develop bio-war experiments which may prove effective against zombies, such as forensic etymologists and geneticists engineering a super-maggot which would rapidly eat the zombies. Such a solution could only come from a technologically advanced society.

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