Population, Population, Population
If an apocalypse of biblical proportions were to take place, and by “biblical” I mean literally out the book of Revelation, where one third of the globe’s population is wiped out, then the US would be home to as many people as it was in the early 1970’s. Now, the ’70’s were bad–so bad, in fact, that they gave this country its first full-blown survivalist wave, the predecessor to the one that we’re currently in. But that decade was by no means the Thunderdome.
Wiping out two thirds of the population would bring us back to the opening decades of the 1900’s, the era of the early seasons of Downton Abbey and Boardwalk Empire. Neither of these two shows look anything like The Walking Dead to me.
Killing off a whopping 90% of the population would take us back to 1860, the year that Abraham Lincoln was elected as the 16th president of the United States. I also saw the movie Lincoln, and it, too, did not look like The Walking Dead.
Losing 99% of our population would take us back to the post-Revolutionary War period of the 1780’s. At that point, Harvard University had already been operating for about 150 years. Again, Rick Grimes’ group of survivors would be out of place here.
My point is this: with only 1% of our present population, humanity had arts and letters, transatlantic trade, a thriving stock market (in London, at least, and a few years later in the US)–in short, we had civilization. It was not a Hobbesian “state of nature.”
Sure, the immediate aftermath of a sudden event that wiped out 99% of the population would look pretty much like a textbook “state of nature,” but before long we’d be back to doing our thing. And I’m pretty sure the stock market wouldn’t take more than a few days off, at most. Which brings me to my next point.
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