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.

Beyond Survival

Humanity has long fought for more than just its mere survival. The comforts that we enjoy today are built upon the strive of our forefathers for a meaning in life beyond the biological instincts of survival and reproduction. As a head of state, I would have voted to go on the offensive against the zombies. From a militaristic standpoint, this feat would be arduous, if not unimaginable. The enemy are not conventional humans that are subject to the same dimension of emotion as all humans share. In conventional warfare, humans try “to push the other past its limit of endurance,” as said by General D’Ambrosia (273). However, the enemy does not tire or is not subject to the same “will” that humans are subject to.

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Although General D’Ambrosia was quite apprehensive about engaging an “enemy that was actively waging total war,” there is a certain advantage to the will of humans (273). This drive that humans have towards being dominant in their environment is what separates us from other species and the living dead. Whether this is biological, spiritual, or psychological, it fulfills the function of creating a sense of hope that was much needed. This sense of hope is not something that mere statistics can convey. Surrendering to the enemy and cutting our losses is not a human value, so to speak. Humans have succeeded and thrived when we take risks beyond what we imagine conceivable. This drive paired with the calculative strategy of newer generals is what helped Todd and millions of others feel that they were “reclaiming [their] future” (282). Moreover, the lack of hope was causing tangible problems as mass suicides, depression, and other psychological diseases began to emerge and sweep the planet. By simply planning for a future, humans create it.

Surrendering with White Flag

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Additionally, viewing this event as a war rather than an epidemic is important to improve morale. When fear and suffering are rampant, it is difficult not to victimize yourself, and it is even harder to victimize the cause of your suffering. Putting a face on the enemy, in fact simply stating that there was an enemy, created a pathway out of suffering that brought millions of people together across the world.

To effectively deal with the tangible problem of zombies, to overcome the political and economic constraints in coexisting with zombies, and to rise against our own psychology, a plan similar to the American military plan involving Todd must be implemented. This plan gives the appearance of winning the war against zombies, and often times this is enough to bring it into actuality. By bringing up a different option than simply implementing the Redeker plan and surviving through World War Z, Brooks gives us insight into the complexities that govern policy making and, on a deeper level, what it means to be human.

Citation: Brooks, Max. “The Great Panic.” World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. New York: Crown, 2006. Print.