Would you want to survive the end of civilization?
Let’s say the end of the world as we know it is coming — but someone offers you a priceless spot in their guaranteed-to-be-safe bunker, so you can be one of the chosen few who rebuilds the Earth. Would you want to survive, and emerge into the post-apocalyptic wasteland? Would the positives of playing a role in a new society outweigh the loss of creature comforts? Or would you rather just go out with the majority of the human race?
I wouldn’t last long in a Mad Max-style world — the most complex thing I can do to my car is replace its refrigerant. I’d probably die in the first couple of months — or once my glasses broke, whichever came first.
But what if the new world resembled ours, just a little more rugged and difficult? Would you enjoy the opportunity to rebuild society? Here are a few of the positives and negatives associated with a civilization changing event to help you decide.
The top image of a civilization extreme shown in Mad Max 2: Road Warrior.
Your new world lacks the creature comforts of today – no electricity, no communication, no instant access to a plethora of information. Hell, the information that lies in your head likely carries little value.
If you have read any of the 99 issues of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead, you know that surviving in a new world with few skills amidst packs of zombies and dangerous people is no way to live. Thankfully, the end of the world as we know it probably wouldn’t include flesh-eating zombies. The end of civilization, however, would bring with it a lack of communication, resources, and lead to immense amounts of unbearable drama, due to fear, hunger, and power grabs.
Do you want to live in a situation where every day includes a dangerous search for food, your nights involve defensive formations to protect those in your community, and you never know what the next moment will bring?
This type of vicious world definitely has its extremes. The bad times would cease over time as groups of people join together to reform civilization, but he birth pains of this new civilization will be severe. Would you want a part in the new world?
What if the end of civilization leaves you in a reasonably safe place, amongst family and friends? The television show Jericho explored such a scenario. An independent community relied on itself to survive, with scant information about the outside world. In this case, it might be fun to start things over — maintain a background set of laws to maintain order, but re-create society in your image. This view might be a tad bit on the optimistic side, but it’s a possibility.
Your new life will lack a number of the meaningless stresses of today — no e-mail to check, no presentations to give, no centuries old baggage stemming from geopolitical conflicts. The slate is wiped clean — why not take advantage of the positives inherent in a second chance?
Would you want to survive a devastating event that turns society on its head? The role you play in the rebuilding process might be a large one — how do you weigh the pros and cons?
Images from Image/Skybound and CBS Paramount Network Television.