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Philosophy, Zombies, and War. Oh my!

May 20, 2007

What do not-zombie zombies and agnostic philosophers have in common? Normally probably nothing. But I’d like to share a similarity in messages or at least similar threads of thought that I picked up on in my consumption of two differing mediums today.

I was reading Selected Papers of Bertrand Russel at work, specifically the section covering “The State”. In that particular essay Russell addresses what he felt was good in the State, or Goverments, and where he felt it had overstepped its boundaries. He made suggestions on ways a government could make reforms so as to facilitate freedom and liberty but not at the sacrifice of war. In it a specific paragraph addressing how no one would question the powers of the state in reguards to quarantining a person infected with a plague came back to mind while I sat in a POS theater watching 28 Weeks Later. Now I’m not really sure if philosophers watch movies, let alone “horror” films, but I think that if Bertrand Russel had seen 28 Weeks Later, he’d might suggest that the Powers of the State were being abused in the case of the movie.

In a particular point in the movie, it becomes apparent that the citizens aren’t so much free as they are test subjects to see if Britain can be reborn, ironically under US “protection”. It feels that the US military was used not only to perhaps soften the british feel of the first movie, but also comment on the current state of the world. That or I just like to draw parallels with the current occupation/war in Iraq.  In 28 Weeks Later, the US has intervened, under the role of a World Policeman, and helped Britain defend itself against an internal threat as well as to help the UK get back on its feet. If this sounds familiar, oddly so, then maybe you too are thinking of the Iraqi situation.

The Iraqi situation brings to issue whether the US has the right to not only act as a world policeman and if perhaps it’s abusing this self-appointed position. I certainly don’t think anyone asked for the US to be the world’s officer. The US just assumed that after WW2 that it should take on that role. News of a newly created position in the Pentagon of “War Czar” and the war “industry” being a high profit business… leads me to think that the US has become less about the people and more about the State. I guess if you’re the Earth’s cop, you certainly need to have a lot of guns. But we aren’t the world’s policeman, we’re an empire… and it’s becoming annoyingly obvious.

But anywho, I liked 28 Weeks Later and Bertrand Russell is proving to be slowly but surely an enjoying and stimulating read; I recommend you watch and read both.

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3 comments

  1. I don’t think ANYONE wants the US to police the world. Because it would most likely end up in disaster. We’d all end up getting screwed over by those asshole you have as your government. I don’t want that. They’d probably kill all the Muslims too.

    I want to watch 28 Weeks later 😀 I shall do so.

    nice work


  2. I dont think there are any seriously literal political parallels in 28 weeks later, and to speculate so seems a bit silly to me. I could draw parallels about my own life from 28 weeks later, but they’re all circumstantial as any.

    But this is a rockin’ article. Great job.


  3. I agree on the silliness. The next thing I write up is probably going to be strictly over books, as I’ve recently purchased quite a few. I’m going through something of a hyperactive fit of reading.

    Bertrand Russell, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, George H. Smith, etc.

    The reading is proving to be beneficial. Can’t believe I’ve went this long without reading books on regular basis.



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