We’ve all read books or watched films that involve Zombie Apocalypse killing – including murder and self-defence. When will killing differentiate, changing from self-defence to murder, at least as far as the social norm?
Within the first week or two chaos will reign – of course – and there will be plenty of self-defence as well as murder. Man is a beast of opportunity and many will be happy to rid him or herself of people they feel are undesirable, especially if there are no legal consequences.
I read an interesting article recently on human behaviour related to violence, trying to shine a light on why we kill. It was based around the culture that existed in regional pockets in California some fifteen hundred years ago, possibly not so different from post-apocalyptic life ten years down the line. From this study it revealed that it wasn’t gang killing gang, or marauders from far away. Looking at hundreds of burial sites the evidence points towards killing over resources rather than some sort of geopolitical or religious goal. Leave that sort of rampant killing to ‘modern man’.
In the article it split killing up between sharp force trauma and blunt force trauma, indicating that sharp was the more punitive and directed towards conquest, although they couldn’t link it to hunting as its origin. Blunt force trauma, on the other hand seems to be more aligned with opportunistic killing, perhaps ‘weapon-less’ combat or thuggery – “What me, officer? But I only have my trusty walking stick”.
When the zombie apocalypse becomes boring, in other words the zombie threat is all but gone, we will have to focus on managing our resources to survive in any numbers. Then we will once again witness the rise of the ‘haves’ versus the ‘have-nots’ – again. Then we will make our way back to sharp force trauma and the brutality we are used to in our modern age. At least we will be able to say with reasonable certainty that killing began over resources rather than an innate desire to kill.
It’s nice to know there are things we can depend on in a post-apocalyptic world! Human nature at its best.
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