Paul Cantor’s series on the economics of the Zombie apocalypse continues with his analysis of the hit show The Walking Dead:
The Walking Dead suggests that government and other modern institutions connected to it do not offer solutions to catastrophic problems but in fact only exacerbate them. It offers a number of horrifying scenes in hospitals, revealing the savage battles that took place between zombies and military forces (unlike the C.D.C.’s zombie comic book, The Walking Dead does not balk at showing the government using force against its citizens). Supposedly the sites where the zombie infection might be cured or at least contained, hospitals turned out to be a means of spreading the plague among concentrated populations. As articulated in the television series and even more clearly in the earlier comic book version, the main government strategy for dealing with the plague was to concentrate people in major cities such as Atlanta, where, it was hoped, they could be protected more easily by civilian and military authorities. Many of the characters were lured into Atlanta by the promise of safety in numbers, only to find to their dismay that it was the zombies whose numbers prevailed in urban conflict. Government central planning came up with the centralization of the population as the solution to the problem—concentrate people and fix them within a supposedly defensible perimeter. But in The Walking Dead this standard operating procedure of governments backfires and only makes it easier for the ever-increasing horde of zombies to prey upon the remaining humans.