Do Not Just Survive – Overcome

To overcome an enemy or to overcome a force, which would be easier to tackle? When considering the zombie conflict, one could either draw the line between humans and zombies or between humanity and an epidemic. But to fight against an enemy is easier to comprehend and plan for than trying to prevent against an intangible infection. One suggests a two-sided fight, while the other suggests a one-sided attempt at survival. As a head of state, I would vote to go on the offensive during the Honolulu Conference in order to label this conflict as a war against zombies rather than a survival against disease to maintain the ethical considerations that defines humanity as well as to actuate my people effectively.

 

The Redeker plan is compared to “inhumane” events of history, such as Nazism because of its social elitist elements of saving some, while sacrificing the rest. On the other hand, if the WWII comparison is extended, the plan discussed at the Honolulu Conference is reminiscent of the celebrated D-Day. This comparison is drawn from the motivation to fight for the “human spirit” incorporated in this plan. This “human spirit” is one the few factors in differentiating humans from zombies, helping humans view this fight as a battle against enemies rather than against previous loved ones and victims. With this plan, humans attempt to save those they had previously abandoned, which is a demonstration of elements of the humanity, such as cooperation and care – ideas that zombies, who just act for survival, lack. Giving the population this reconnection with the “human spirit,” would allow them to more easily trust me, which is another important characteristic of humanity.

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Cooperation is part of the “human spirit”

To implement the plan just for ethical reasons is a foolish decision for a leader. But one of the biggest benefits of going on the offensive and seeing this conflict as a war, is providing a conceivable end goal for the population. Having a tangible goal gives greater motivation. Going back to the WWII comparison, leaders who were able to tap into the morale of their population were able to more effectively motivate the population. Comparing purely the strength and economy of Germany to the US, one would say that the US was vastly superior during the time. However, the fervor of Germany’s population compared to the apathy of America’s population led to Germany making a huge impact in World War II, largely as a result of Germany mobilizing and cooperating as a whole country, illustrating the importance of morale. Although sending a limited number of soldiers against “[t]wo hundred million zombies” seems like “a very gloomy prospect for victory,” (Brooks, 271), it is still surmountable obstacle that can be overcome by chipping away the number. In comparison, an untouchable virus that could only be prevented against and not won against is demoralizing. Thus, to be able to inspire the population to act would perhaps yield better results than just having them wait until the “enemy simply rot[s] away,” (Brooks, 265).

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Morale can impact the war

One could say that humans are most powerful when they are motivated by ideas that transcends simple survival and movements that transcends themselves. Only by transcending our own numbers could we even hope to overcome all odds to win this war.

Regaining Control of Our Future

To frame the zombie epidemic as a “world war,” we acknowledge that there are two sides to this conflict, and that their respective goals clash with each other. While humans are concerned with preserving their race, the zombies are a unified unit waging total war, driven by their need to feed. In this situation, defense does not offer a permanent solution: we are only holding off the zombie forces temporarily, rather than decisively stopping the zombie epidemic. In fact, we grow weaker because every person we lose either dies, or becomes a zombie (and then dies again). The zombie population is made even more dangerous because they do not abide by the basic restrictions of being “bred, fed, and led” (Brooks 271).

Thus, if I were a head of state in World War Z, I would vote to go on the offensive, and attack the zombies with military forces. Because the zombie population is not held together by morale, it does not have a “maximum emotional psychology breaking point” (Brooks 273)—but the human population does. To circumvent this disadvantage, humans need to rally forces and eliminate the zombies methodically. Rather than wait for the zombies to slowly infect us all, we are now actively seeking them out and regaining control over the situation.

From a tactical standpoint, the army’s position and the amount of ammunition are crucial. A productive battle position is also a simple one: people are “massed in a straight line, two ranks: one active, one reserve […] Theoretically, with everyone either firing or reloading, we could keep Zack falling as long as the ammo held out” (Brooks 277). With enough resources, we not only outlast the zombies, but also ensure their defeat. By gradually killing each zombie and seeing concrete results, we also build morale, a crucial element to our success because we are fighting against enemies who do not need morale to keep going.

However, this approach raises questions about ethics. Although some argue that attacking the zombies is a death sentence, those who go into battle are aware that they may not make it out alive. Each person is “already a veteran in some sense” because “anyone who couldn’t roll wouldn’t have made it this far in the first place” (Brooks 276). A new, more experienced team can then be assembled, promoting both effectiveness and a sense of solidarity.

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To successfully deal with the zombie crisis, humans need to work as a team.

If we think of the zombie crisis as an epidemic, it suggests that an “infection” is spreading. “Infection” is hardly a tangible foe, which makes it difficult for humans to fight together against this common enemy. If we think about the zombie crisis as a war, however, it implies that humans are fighting against their enemies—the zombies—and we are armed with “heart, instinctive, initiative, everything that makes us us” (Brooks 308). In the narrator’s interview with Todd Wainio, we see the impact this sort of spirit and morale-building can have. He states that after the battle (in which the plan to attack was implemented), “[i]t was different vibe, one-eighty from two days ago. I couldn’t really put a finger on what I was feeling, maybe it was what the president said about ‘reclaiming our future.’ I just knew I felt good, better than I had the entire war” (Brooks 282). The “war” Wainio describes here consisted of humans defending against zombies and fighting a losing battle. But now, we are waging a new kind of war—this time, with intention to actively eliminate our enemies. The concept of “reclaiming our future” is abstract, but by unifying the human population, it motivates us to keep fighting so that the human race has a future.

Resources:

  1. Brooks, Max. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. New York: Crown, 2006. Print.
  2. Photo of teamwork (http://blog.vihaanworld.com/post/team-building)