Although many countries that opt to use a Hobbesian State of Nature end the war with what could be considered a small victory; at what price did they achieve that victory? And how does which type of course of action we use determine how we feel about what we owe other individuals and society as a whole? Kreider provided us with two definitions of the state of nature that fall under the umbrella that is the social contract theory, which begin to answer his proposed question.
The first being the state of nature as defined by Thomas Hobbes is that of a pre-societal state.
In eneral terms this means there would be no government or any form of laws, leading citizens towards a constant state of war. As a result of this, people would be motivated solely by self interest, and would not have any regards towards others needs. This relates to a lecture on Zombies and Sociology given by Dr.
Peters. Dr. Peter’s pointed out the fact that society begins to fail as a whole when its institutions breakdown. Government, the economy, religion, education, media and family are all institutions of society.
In a Hobbesian state of nature it is likely that very few of these intuitions would ontinue to stand, the first to go being government and economy. It is also worth noting that in a Hobbesian state of nature, individuals are motivated to act out of fear, which Professor Gillard mentioned in his lecture. This explains why people act only to meet their personal needs, they are so blinded by fear that they fail to rationalize the needs of others. Locke takes a different approach when it comes to defining the state of nature, which places more emphasis on others.
The second definition for state of nature was defined by John Locke. According to Locke in the state of nature an individual was otivated by self interest and also rationality. He argued this was the natural law or the law of reason. IJnder the law of reason it was assumed that everyone had some basic rights or rights of natural law those being life, liberty and property. In addition individuals are able to recognize and respect the natural rights Of other people. To do so they fulfill their own needs while letting others meet their needs as well.
Professor Kroening talked about how humanity is not a biological concept in his lecture on Zombies and Biology. This means that people have to actively choose to allow others to meet their wn needs in a Lockean state of nature. I will argue that countries that use a Hobbesian state of nature and experience victory do so at the cost of great lose. In the book World War Z, the first interview in the chapter Turning the Tide takes place between the main narrator and Xolelwa Azania on Robben Island, Cape Town Province, United States of Southern Africa.
Azania is describing the military plan referred to as the Redeker Plan, that ultimately saved the Afrikaners and their government. The Redeker Plan was first known as Plan Orange or Orange Eighty-Four before it was revised with knowledge of he zombie infestation, was designed by Paul Redeker, a man that people label as dispassionate (105). In summary the Redeker Plan proposed to save Southern Africa by means of determin ing which Afrikaners would be saved and which had to be sacrificed (107).
The small fraction of those deemed worthy of saving would be brought to a special “safe zone” where forces would be consolidated (108). Individuals left behind were to be herded into “special isolated zones” where they would be kept alive, well defended and resupplied as needed. This was all so those left behind could act as “human ait” by distracting the undead so they would not be able to follow the retreating military into the designated “safe zone” (109). The day that Paul Redeker presented his plan to the presidents surviving cabinet was the last day that anyone saw him alive.
After much convincing, Azania who stepped in for Paul Redeker after he disappeared was able to convince the president’s cabinet to let him take the lead and the project began. Although the Redeker Plan ultimately saved Southern Africa from a disaster they had poorly prepared for it occurred at the expense of the majority of civilians rights to aw of reason. It stripped people of their right to liberty, property, and also took away a person’s right to life as it left no chance of survival for one designated group. Because of this would argue that the Redeker plan is Hobbesian in nature.
Even though the Redeker Plan was enacted for the good of South Africa as a whole and not for the concern of individual self interest, typical of a Hobbesian state it cannot begin to dismiss the fact that the vast majority were not given a chance to survive. believe that we owe our fellow human beings an equal chance at survival when institutions break down, and he Redeker Plan did not allow for this. In an interview recorded between the narrator and Philip Alder in Armagh Ireland, Alder describes how Germany executed their own version of the Redeker plan during the Zombie War.
Alder was a German soldier at the time of the Zombie War and was given the title of commanding officer after a freak accident in which his commanding officer became infected. He was stationed in Hamburg Garrison, which had become heavily infested. He and his troops were involved in an attempt to barricade the city and hold down the fort until further help could arrive. He received an rder to retreat, which Alder described as not being unusual and as something that had occurred before. But unlike the previous orders to retreat he was told by his commanding officer not to move the civilians.
Alder struggles internally with this and is only prompted to follow through with it after the commanding officer of the entire Northern Front General Lang demands that he comply, threatening that Alder and his men will be prosecuted with “Russian efficiency'(1 13) if they did not carry out his given instructions. After following through, Alder feels great remorse over completing the orders for what was effectively mass murder. In the interview Alder describes how he was able to rationalize and understand the orders he was given, to retreat and lead civilians behind.
He attributes this to learning the details of the Prochnow Plan or Germany’s version of the Redeker Plan used in Robben Island, Cape Town Province. Much like the Redeker Plan, the Prochnow Plan was both a mix of Hobbes’s state of nature and Locke’s state of nature. The Prochnow Plan is somewhat a state of nature, as described by Locke, because the government was still standing as an institution. This is similar to a Hobbesian state of nature in a sense, because the government hose to abandon the civilians in Hamburg as their troops where valuable assets, who Were needed more somewhere else.
In a Hobbesian society when there is a shortage of supplies needed to ensure the quality of need, such as food, water and shelter are scarce, people experience serious competition with one another to sustain basic quality needs. Soldiers were scarce and an incredibly valuable resource or a condition of the quality of need, which is why they were told to retreat in order to complete more important courses of action in the Zombie War. The civilians were given very little chance of survival without the government protecting them.
I would argue that the chance of survival falls under a basic right in natural law in a Lockean style state of nature. This is the biggest reason I would consider the German version of the Redeker Plan to be Hobbesian in nature. Although there are many countries that use a State of Nature closer to that of Hobbes definition during the Zombie outbreak, just as many use a Lockean State of Nature. In the section Cienfuegos, Cuba in the chapter Around the World and Above the narrator speaks with Seryosha Garcia Alvarez, who describes how Cuba won the Zombie War.
He attributes his countries success to multiple factors, ncluding suspending all internal travel, the geographical location of the country itself, having a high percentage of doctors on the island which allowed Cuba’s leaders to know the true nature of the infection weeks before the first outbreak was reported and mobilizing both their internal territorial militias along with their regular army (229). All these things allowed Cuba extra time to prepare for the war before the Great Panic.
Another factor contributing to their win of the Zombie War Alvarez, described was around five million refugees that entered Cuba by boat or from the mainland, who ere referred to as “Nortecubanos” (231 After these Nortecubanos arrived they were told “While under my roof, you will obey my rules”, and were placed under the jurisdiction of the government’s “Quarantine Resettlement Program”. All of these people were put to work as field hands regardless of their prewar status or occupation.
Eventually ten percent of the Nortecubanos were allowed to work outside of the resettlement center performing jobs that Cubano’s no longer wanted to do. Although they were paid very’ little, their wage was converted to a point system which allowed hem to buy the freedom of other detainees. Within six months of starting the new program the centers were drained of detainees, who had fully integrated themselves with the rest of society (231). Shortly after their full integration Cuba became “the Arsenal of Victory” (232). This occurred shortly after the world governments went on attack.
It affected Cuba so positively because Cuba became a hub for training grounds, manufacturing, air travel and had an estimated ten thousand dry docked ships in its ports. Overnight it created a middle class that had money to spare. I would attribute Cuba’s success not nly to the items listed by Alvarez in the interview but also to the type of State of Nature used during the Zombie War. I believe that Cuba used a Lockean State of Nature to win the Zombie War. The government continued to stand during the war, as did their laws. In the months before the Great Panic and the Zombie War, Cuba’s economy was failing as an institution.
The world’s government going on attack and the additional 5 million workers, in the form of refugees, allowed Cuba’s economy to thrive and grow exponentially; leaving them much better off in the end. Although while the refugees where placed in the settlement camp and were orced to abide by certain rules; they were not stripped on their natural rights. Allowing ten percent of the centers population to have outside jobs, while allowing them to buy the freedom of others still in the camps demonstrates how strongly Cuba felt about allowing refugees to keep their natural rights to life, liberty, and property.
In Locke’s definition of social contract theory, a large amount of focus is placed on meeting your own needs while simultaneously letting others fulfill their own. The steps Cuba took in handling their population of indigenous people and refugees did just hat. There was little to no breakdown of institutions in Cuba during the Zombie War and they treated their people well, which is what believe allowed them to come out of the War as a stronger country. This relates to Professor Curls essay where he spoke about how apocalypses serve as a transition for society.
The pre-zombie war state of Cuba was one of “quasi isolation” (228), or that of internal distress. The zombie outbreak served the purpose of transitioning Cuba from a disgruntled country to that of a thriving one of power overnight. Cuba experienced a positive transition where there as not a loss in population from decimation, but a large gain; which cannot be said for all countries and that is why I consider it one of the most successful territories to come out of World War Z.
I believe the losses incurred by Southern Africa and Ireland from using the Redeker Plan or another version of that plan goes against what we owe each other as individuals. Cuba demonstrated that it is possible to allow people to keep their natural rights while dealing with a potentially disastrous Zombie War. In South Africa and Ireland they choose which individuals where worth saving and which should be left behind. Although this is something that can be rationalized as a decision made for the greater good of the country as a whole, I feel that it is too drastic of an action to be taken.
Cite this World War Z Compare and Contrast
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