Zombie apocalypse logic inevitably paints humans — the ones who survive, anyway — as selfish, dangerous, and ready to turn on one another when confronted with hardship. It’s a vicious, social Darwinist vision of a society that unravels quickly and easily; the only things apparently holding us together are police departments and electricity. […] … The basic tenets of zombie logic also track with hardline conservative principles (self-sufficiency, individualism, isolationism), which have been increasingly forcefully articulated over the last fifteen years. In his 2012 book, Thomas Edsall examines the work of Wharton professor Philip Tetlock, which found that conservatives “are less tolerant of compromise; see the world in ‘us’ versus ‘them’ terms; are more willing to use force to gain an advantage; are ‘more prone to rely on simple (good vs. bad) evaluative rules in interpreting policy issues’ are “motivated to punish violators of social norms (e.g., deviations from traditional norms of sexuality or responsible behavior) and to deter free riders.” Sound familiar? Pretty much describes the moral compass of successful zombie survivors. Funny, then, that Republicans actually tend to hate the Walking Dead. […] Regardless, the proliferation of zombie culture, at this point, is mind-boggling. How are we, as an audience, still enthralled by the same scenario, the same brain-dead villains, the same emptied wastelands? “It’s feeding back on itself,” [Daniel] Drezner said. “Every time someone says we’ve hit peak zombie, something else comes along.”
The provisional XS hypothesis: Zack-prep is the commercial-aesthetic response to the death of conservatism. The progs can’t be stopped by any political mechanism yet installed, so it’s time to stock the basement with ammo and beans. Naturally, they’re going to say: you shouldn’t be thinking like that! It’s encouraging that so many people are.