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“The Walking Dead”: Anti-libertarian critique

I watched the first two seasons of “The Walking Dead” over the last couple of weeks, and am as thoroughly spoiled on the events of the third season as one can be without actually watching them. And some of the familiar beats struck me, the worn narrative ruts that other stories have carved, but we rarely pay much attention to.

There comes a moment in nearly all post-apocalyptic stories when the characters are compelled to take to the road. In reality, if there is such a thing, people would do the exact opposite. They stay in familiar halls, linger on the same few streets that are most comfortable. The staples of the genre’s thought experiment would hold true in the real world: the breakdown of order, the need to rummage further and further from home. But that need to expand would likely take place in a widening gyre, not an escape onto a road to the horizon. I Am Legend is perhaps the exception that proves the rule, in which the protagonist stays in his home for the entire tale, fortifying his little suburban ranch house against the end of the world.

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