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Drezner on Joss Whedon

October 29, 2012

What policies would best promote the zombie apocalypse?” posted By Daniel W. Drezner at is a reaction to Joss Whedon’s Zomney endorsement

Drezner, a Zombie Research Society board member, is author of Theories of International Politics and Zombies, a very enjoyable book that I consider important for my decision to pursue zombie studies. He is one of the few social scientists (excluding pop culture studies) in the field of zombie studies and his work is the closest to law. ZombieLaw mentioned his work in this prior zombie theory post a while back. Drezner uses hypothetical facts from zombie fiction to analyze how governments might react as a means to better understand international policy and government behavior.

His response to Whedon acknowledges that Whedon has fruitfully flipped the question from how governments’ prevent zombie apocalypse (an impossibility for Drezner), to whether some government policy might help incite the rapture. Whedon says Romney’s policies will be useful to reach the zombie apocalypse (a tongue-in-cheek plug for Obama) but Drezner considers the reverse. Drezner writes:

One could posit that [Whedon]’s got it backwards. After all, the key to preventing the spread of the zombie apocalypse is to slow down the infection rate and spread of the undead contagoion. Cuts to public services might actually discourage the 47% from congregating in public places, thereby making it that much harder for the initial cluster of the undead to be able to spread their pestilence and hunger for human flesh to others. Similarly, it is likely true that giving corporations a freer hand might incentivize one of them to take the Umbrella path to global domination, Romney’s tough stands on immigration will likely restrict the H1-B visas necessary to hire the Eurotrash that always seems to be a the top of the corporate ladder when Things Go Wrong.

It depends how you define zombies. And I don’t mean fast or slow. I mean socio-cultural epistemology. It’s about who you consider a person (consider the populist #occupy question of whether corporations are people?). And what is a monster? Drezner’s post also refers to Hurricane Sandy Frankenstorm as “zombiestorm”. But if meteorological Nature is the monster, so too, human nature.

Whedon’s zombie apocalypse smacks of fiscal cliff zombie congress sequester problems. The premise is based on zombies being more likely when government services are cut. In contrast Drezner reminds me of Bill Bonner zombies presuming that social security zombies are themselves the problem.

But there is never a one-handed an economist, see German zombie economics debate and then Paul Krugman vs. CNBC

All of these “zombies” are a way of minimizing the humanity of an other’s arguments. Like Voytek’s diagnosis of zombie, it presumes zombie condition before the examination. It’s like zombie racism. This is why it is so concerning to see military exercises that teach war with zombies. It removes all humanity. It presumes Otherness. Is that really how we ought to think about these things?


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