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Conservative Zombie Apocalypse @nytimesbusiness

September 24, 2012

Today Nancy Folbre in New York Times Business wrote “Conservatives and the Zombie Apocalypse“.

zombie nancy folbre

Folbre is an economics professor, she writes:

The basic right-wing story line evokes zombie apocalypse: The shambling, diseased living dead — Obama Zombies — are threatening human civilization. A self-described neoconservative Web site features a parody of Shepard Fairey’s Obama campaign poster featuring the zombie in chief.


Both narratives reflect the enormous economic anxiety Americans feel in the aftermath of a financial crisis and ensuing recession. Zombies and vampires represent archetypal middle-class fears: the fear of being pulled down by the needy or stomped on by the powerful.

But the two fears are not perfectly parallel. Because zombies are generally considered incompetent, they don’t constitute a serious threat unless they mobilize in very large numbers; hence the pressure to exaggerate the size of the zombie class.

Also, in most cinematic accounts, zombies don’t suffer from moral failings; rather, they have contracted a virus or been exposed to some environmental toxin (for an extended literary treatment, see “Zombies Are Us: Essays on the Humanity of the Walking Dead”).


Maybe the zombies are those likely to receive more in government benefits over their lifetime than they have paid in taxes. At the top of this list would be seriously injured military veterans in need of continuing care, along with those receiving costly Medicare-financed interventions in the last two months of their lives.

Recall previous ZombieLaw post: “Why Conservatives Like Zombies”

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