Here’s the thing. I am pretty left wing. (yes. It’s possible to be an apocalypse prepper and left-wing. Who knew?) Along with that goes a belief I’ve had for a long time – that you have a right to your personal choices, as long as they don’t directly harm others. Even if I think your beliefs are nauseating, your choices are immoral and selfish, I still think you have a right to all those things. (You also have to take responsibility for those things, which means you don’t get to whine when you cheat on your partner with 20 people and your relationship collapses)
Post Apocalypse however? That stops dead.
Why? Because the only reason we can afford to allow everyone the rights, consequences and responsibilties for their choices is how we live today. Things aren’t perfect right now, with a massive global recession and all, but while we talk about how hard it is we forget how hard it isn’t. Most of the readers of this blog live in one of the four richest countries in the world. Countries with organised infrastructures, organisations that exist to protect us, social safety networks to catch us when we fall. We can make our choices, fuck up and know that it will only impact us as an individual, and that we will probably be picked up, dusted off and put back on track.
Post apocalypse every choice you make stops effecting you as an individual. It effects every single survivor you know.
If you do something stupid that gets you killed, it’s not just a tragedy to your family, it’s a valuable resource gone. A fighter, a hunter, a scavenger just lost. And the group suffers.
In the modern world I support a woman’s right to reproductive choice. I’ve been with the same man for more than eight years and still haven’t had a baby because while I want one, I don’t feel ‘ready’ yet. I know plenty of women who never want one, and that’s fine. Go right ahead. Have none. Have 20. I don’t care, it’s your choice. But post apocalypse? Every woman who can, needs to. We need as many new humans as we can get.
Lazy? Don’t want to be fit and exercise? Don’t care. Your choice. Post apocalypse your unfitness could slow us all down, so you’d better get caught up or I will leave you behind.
Personal choice is a luxury we simply won’t be able to afford until things are rebuilt a bit. For years, maybe even a few generations, selfish westerners will have to learn to put the needs of the society ahead of their own wants.
Some days I’m not quite sure we can manage it.