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From its beginnings, the zombie apocalypse has been the horror fiction of scarcity.
But Cantor sees something else going on in the darker backstory: The thrust of these end-of-the-world scenarios is precisely for government to grow smaller or to disappear entirely.…
, sees at least one version of the zombie narrative as an update of the “annihilation narrative,” in which “hordes of hostile savages lay siege to a fortress inhabited by a virtuous population of defenders, generally portrayed by white people.” But because today “it would be politically incorrect to portray white conquerors mowing down non-whites …
we turn to the undead as a stand-in for the unwashed hordes who threatened us in the days of yore.” The heroes in “are no longer necessarily white people,” Mc Maken writes, but are nevertheless agents of what white people traditionally represented in 20th century film, namely, order, civilization, safety, and enlightened rule; and these things were in turn provided by the nation-state and its army of military and scientific experts.
“They do that because that’s what we do,” says Thompson.