Viability Versus Values

In the event of a zombie apocalypse, I would support a defensive strategy to protect the citizens rather than an offensive strategy. An offensive strategy disregards the infrastructure, resources, capabilities of low-income countries, which hold a majority of the world’s population. An offensive strategy does not take into consideration the realities of living in a post-apocalyptic. Rather, an offensive strategy places value on pre-war ideals such as political power and land ownership. Ultimately, a defensive strategy is the most ethically, politically, and tactically sound position to take due to its consideration of the difficulties of a post-apocalyptic world.

Tactically, a defensive strategy accounts both for the eventual elimination of zombies and the availability of the dwindling resources of an apocalyptic situation. Though it may initially seem as if a defensive strategy may be neglecting the job of working toward returning society to a pre-war state, but this ignores the biology of organisms. Stated within the novel, “all we had to do was stay safe while our enemy rotted away” (Brooks 265). Acting defensively would decrease the rate of new cases of the virus and over time the zombies would eventually deteriorate. Additionally, the resources of the survivors such as weaponry, food, and military personnel would not be spread around a large land area as they would be in an offensive campaign.


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The more interesting dilemmas of choosing between an offensive and defensive strategy are their ethical and political implications and their impact on the country’s ability to rebuild infrastructure and government. Politically, taking an offensive strategy only takes into account pre-war society and its values. For example, offensive strategy takes on the task of regaining land back from the enemy, the zombies. Though larger land availability would provide greater access to resources, desire for land partly originates from the social status brought about by owning large swaths of land. This is exemplified within the novel as the United States is the only country to support an offensive strategy. Driven by emotion, the US president states, “[the living dead] robbed us of our confidence as the planet’s dominant life form”(Brooks 266). As the greatest world power before the war, it is natural that the US would desire to return to the pre-war level of global power. The choice to be offensive and continue to seek power is also ethically questionable. Defensive strategy is centered around prioritizing the survivors of the war rather than land acquisition.

How one deals with a threat as large as a zombie apocalypse is dependent on how one defines the conflict and the opponents. The characters in the novel must determine whether or not to treat the apocalypse as a war or as a pandemic. In the most technical senses of the term, the zombie war is a pandemic, a disease prevalent throughout the global. Despite this, realistically, the zombie war is just that – a war. Though the zombies may not hail from a specific nation, they do represent disease itself. Treating the pandemic as a war allows survivors to fight against the zombies without being influenced by the idea of fighting sick people rather than violent enemies.
A defensive strategy is a superior route in dealing with a zombie because of its consideration of resource availability, political conflict, and ethical viability. Though wealthy countries, such as the United States, may want to take the offensive route, such countries are too focused on pre-war values to despite such values having no standing in a post-apocalyptic society.


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