Print this post Print this post

Zombies & the Decline of the West:
A Review of Brian Patrick’s Zombology

1,619 words

Brian Anse Patrick
Zombology: Zombies and the Decline of the West (and Guns)
Arktos Media, 2014

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, unbeknownst to the author of this review when it was written, Prof. Brian Anse Patrick passed away on the night of December 26/27 at the far too premature age of 62 after suffering from cancer. He was well-known to many as the author of numerous books published by Arktos and elsewhere, as a Professor of Communication at the University of Toledo, as a championship target shooter and advocate for gun rights, as a CCW permit instructor, as well as through his many lectures and interviews on the subjects of propaganda and the American gun rights movement. We at Counter-Currents express our condolences to his many friends and family. Prof. Patrick was a truly American original in the best sense of the word, a champion of the pioneering spirit, and he will be missed.

Want to know why our world is going to hell? Brian Anse Patrick has a theory. It could be wrong. Most theories are. But it could also be right. One thing’s for sure . . . it’s a lot less boring than all the other theories out there. So we should hear him out on this one. At the very least, we’ll be entertained.

So, basically, it all starts and ends with zombies. But are zombie the cause or the effect of Western civilization’s decline? Are they the disease or the symptom? Or perhaps both? If so, how can zombies – as horror movie creatures, quasi-religious symbols, and/or mass-marketing phenoms – have such emotional resonance with so many people? And what does all this have to do with firearms? These are some of the questions Patrick asks in his engrossing book, Zombology: Zombies and the Decline of the West (and Guns).

Did you know that rifle manufacturers now market lines of “zombie killer” weapons? One company, Mossberg, has produced a lever-action shotgun which uses standard .30-30 cartridges. Why would this be useful during a zombie apocalypse? Because, as Patrick puts it:

[W]here the commerce of everyday life has been disrupted and ammunition is no longer available in stores, finding or scavenging the ruins of civilization (or old farmhouses such as the one depicted in Night of the Living Dead) for a box of .30-30 cartridges, a standard cartridge dating from the eve of the twentieth century, might be easier than finding cartridges for AR-15 platform rifles.

These gun guys think of everything, don’t they?

In Zombology, Patrick stresses that if the zombie mythos can pervade the thoroughly mainstream and pragmatic culture of the National Rifle Association, like it did in 2012 during their 141st annual meeting in St. Louis, then exactly how far has it pervaded Western civilization? The answer is very far.

On one hand, zombies (or, killing them, really) is big business. Of course, there are hundreds of zombie-related movies, TV shows, and video games. Zombies appear in literature as well, most notably in the “. . . and Zombies” literary fiction parody sub-genre, with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies perhaps being the archetypal example. Predictably, there are also various forms of zombie porn.

On university campuses for over a decade now, students have been engaging in refereed “Human Versus Zombie” (HVZ) contests, wherein the human team must hit members of the zombie team with Nerf gun darts before being tagged and turned into zombies themselves. HVZ has become a nationwide phenomenon, complete with its own Website.

Curiously enough, there is also the annual “zombie run” marathon held in Detroit. ZERT stands for Zombie Eradication Response Team and is a real thing. It is part of an International Zombie Collective, which offers instruction concerning the suppression of zombie outbreaks in various conditions. Members receive actual firearms training, along with official patches and T-shirts, all for an annual fee of $29.95. Even the US Center for Disease Control has made use of zombies by depicting a zompocalypse in its emergency training programs. Zombies are officially everywhere. Patrick notes that in 2011, a conservative estimate puts the contribution of zombie-related enterprises to the US economy at $5 billion.

On the other hand, zombies can be seen to typify the decline of the West. They can describe how many of us zombify ourselves when we resort to pharmaceuticals to “take the rough edges off the daily grind.” Zombies can also be seen as representative of how many Westerners have become zombie-like in our mindless mass-market consumerism. From a Rightist perspective, zombies also exemplify the “zombie-like masses of non-productive citizens” (Mitt Romney’s 47 percent) who are catered to and encouraged by our Left-wing, liberal elites. Patrick dedicates an entire chapter, “Citizen Zombie,” to this depressing topic. Again from a Rightist standpoint, Patrick draws parallels between zombies and the concern over the wave of Third World immigration which is currently threatening to devour the West. “Malthusian Anxieties,” he calls it. Just as with zombies, there are more of them than there are of us, he observes. And they just keep coming.

Perhaps even deeper than this, zombies embody the ennui and detachment many of us feel with our cultural institutions, whether they are national, religious, or otherwise. Patrick paraphrases William Manchester in his writings on Winston Churchill as saying that at the height of the British Empire, the entire elite class in Britain had the same education, read the same books, and generally shared the same patriotic outlook. This sense of identity is what made Britain and other Western nations great, and is conspicuously lacking in the West today. Just as we have become untethered from our ancient identities and institutions, zombies have become untethered from the cycle of life and death. And the results, in both cases, are terrifying. (Patrick also has an interesting aside concerning what he terms the “Negro God,” which is the depiction of blacks as being noble and heroic while white men are usually portrayed unsympathetically in zombie films.)

According to Patrick, Western civilization may have passed the “weirdo-density threshold” beyond which zombies have become a near-integral part of our collective consciousness (or unconsciousness). The idea of group psychology crops up a lot in Zombology, so expect many references to Carl Jung and Jungian psychoanalysis. As Patrick puts it, “The zombie phenomenon represents a profound disturbance in the Western collective unconscious caused by anxieties over the decline of Western civilization.”

But it’s not all gloom and doom. The great zombie phenomenon also teaches self-reliance, especially with guns. In fact, it is generally recognized that the best way to “kill” a zombie is through the Central Nervous System Disconnect (CNSD). This is just a fancy way of saying “blow its bloody head off,” and what better way to do this than with a loaded firearm? Firearms are the great equalizer in the human war against zombies, and, as such, we owe a lot to zombies for their current high demand.

Patrick points out that George Romero’s iconic film Night of the Living Dead came out in 1968, the same year as the influential Federal Gun Control Act. Since then, membership in the NRA has more than quintupled. Patrick states explicitly that “zombie consciousness proselytizes for gun culture.” More than this, the zombie culture not only reflects current firearms fads and fetishes, but informs them, too. It is the classic case of life imitating art.

But, conveniently for both the Right and Left, this particular art does not and cannot imitate life. In real life, labeling a group or race of people as a threat and targeting them for death would be considered politically incorrect, to say the least. On the other hand, there are no activist groups lobbying for zombies in Washington. As a result, zombies are a win-win for the modern West. The Left gets to fret over its existential ennui, and the Right gets to play out its favorite survivalist fantasies and shoot up as many bad guys are possible. Is there any wonder that the “zombie consciousness” is so widespread?

The West, as Patrick tells us, has always perceived itself to be in a state of decline. He discusses Homer’s assertion that his was a “degenerate age.” According to many Christian tenets, including Original Sin, we are all most likely going to Hell. Then, of course, there’s Edward Gibbon and his six-volume Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, a decline so gradual that it took over a thousand years. So, are zombies any different? Perhaps they are simply a manifestation of what has been a part of the West throughout its history? In the past, Westerners were concerned with the Second Coming. Since the Second World War, we’ve worried about UFOs, Bigfoot, and Communists, and, more recently, catastrophic global warming scenarios. Now, it seems that we have settled upon zombies as our existential doom du jour (or du siècle, who knows?). Perhaps our brains need zombies as much as zombies need our brains?

In any event, in Zombology Brian Patrick makes a convincing argument that zombies represent much more than just animated corpses that can walk, talk, and devour. They are a manifestation of what is actually menacing Western society these days, both from without and from within. In his final chapter, he provides ten rules to follow in order to not become a zombie. But these rules can apply to anything that’s threatening us. They boil our dilemma down to the same zero-sum game that human protagonists must play out in nearly all the zombie movies. It’s either us or them. So we’d better internalize these rules soon, because it seems that it’s only a matter of time before we, that is, the men of the West, will be playing a new version of this zero-sum game. And there is a good chance that we won’t be fighting zombies.

If you enjoyed this piece, and wish to encourage more like it, give a tip through Paypal. You can earmark your tip directly to the author or translator, or you can put it in a general fund. (Be sure to specify which in the "Add special instructions to seller" box at Paypal.)

6 Comments

  1. Peter Quint
    Posted January 12, 2017 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    George Romero’s living dead movies are classic Marxist propaganda. In “Night Of The Living Dead” all white males are depicted as weak and stupid; the black protagonist is continually displayed as highly intelligent, and courageous; the black protagonist slaps his white counterparts around at will, and the white female protagonist is continually displayed as turning to him for advice–they are continually played off each other. The white men with the rifles at the end are portrayed as racist rednecks. In “Dawn Of The Living Dead,” people are holed-up in a mall, and they are eventually overran due to renegade whites; again the black protagonist is displayed as dominant, and at the end he flies off with the white female to procreate elsewhere. In “Day Of The Living Dead,” scientists are working in an underground base trying to learn how to control the zombies, or cure them; again everything goes wrong, and the black helicopter pilot flies off with the last white female to procreate on an island somewhere. In fact, during the movie he states to the white female that they should be on an island having babies. George Romero was a typical Marxist Jewish director injecting his poison in horror movies. These movies are hard-core Marxist propaganda!

    • Posted January 12, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      Brian discusses that in the “Negro God” section of the book.

  2. Dr. Krieger
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Brains…

  3. Moe Oeolycus
    Posted January 10, 2017 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Off topic a bit but it’s interesting how the survivalist ethos of the zombie genre clashes with the pie-in-the-sky fantasy land of liberals. Romero’s zombie movies are full of contempt for white rednecks out drinking beer, listening to country music and hunting zombies with gleeful abandon…they are much less preferable than groups with a black leader, strong woman, etc. (Like Dawn of the Death where all the white guys get killed and the brotha rides off into the sunset wit da white woman.)

  4. Gunnar Tyrsson
    Posted January 10, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I’m really sorry to hear about Brian. I first heard him in an interview on Red Ice; my condolences to his family. This was an interesting review oh his book, and it is abundantly clear that zombies have been a part of the collective Zeitgeist for some time. I shoot quite a bit, and my local gun range/store has quite a few zombie targets to choose from. What is a zombie? A creature not quite living or dead, who inhabits a kind of twilight world, animated only by its overpowering desires. Sound familiar?

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared.
 
Comments are moderated. If you don't see your comment, please be patient. If approved, it will appear here soon. Do not post your comment a second time.
 
Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*
*

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

    Kindle Subscription
  • EXSURGO Apparel

    Our Titles

    Confessions of a Reluctant Hater (2nd ed.)

    The Hypocrisies of Heaven

    Waking Up from the American Dream

    Green Nazis in Space!

    Truth, Justice, and a Nice White Country

    Heidegger in Chicago

    The End of an Era

    Sexual Utopia in Power

    What is a Rune? & Other Essays

    Son of Trevor Lynch's White Nationalist Guide to the Movies

    The Lightning & the Sun

    The Eldritch Evola

    Western Civilization Bites Back

    New Right vs. Old Right

    Lost Violent Souls

    Journey Late at Night: Poems and Translations

    The Non-Hindu Indians & Indian Unity

    Baader Meinhof ceramic pistol, Charles Kraaft 2013

    Jonathan Bowden as Dirty Harry

    The Lost Philosopher, Second Expanded Edition

    Trevor Lynch's A White Nationalist Guide to the Movies

    And Time Rolls On

    The Homo & the Negro

    Artists of the Right

    North American New Right, Vol. 1

    Forever and Ever

    Some Thoughts on Hitler

    Tikkun Olam and Other Poems

    Under the Nihil

    Summoning the Gods

    Hold Back This Day

    The Columbine Pilgrim

    Confessions of a Reluctant Hater

    Taking Our Own Side

    Toward the White Republic

    Distributed Titles

    Tyr, Vol. 4

    Reuben

    The Node

    Axe

    Carl Schmitt Today

    A Sky Without Eagles

    The Way of Men

    Generation Identity

    Nietzsche's Coming God

    The Conservative

    The New Austerities

    Convergence of Catastrophes

    Demon

    Proofs of a Conspiracy

    Fascism viewed from the Right

    Notes on the Third Reich

    Morning Crafts

    New Culture, New Right

    The Fourth Political Theory

    Can Life Prevail?

    The Metaphysics of War

    Fighting for the Essence

    The Arctic Home in the Vedas

    Asatru: A Native European Spirituality

    The Shock of History

    The Prison Notes

    Sex and Deviance

    Standardbearers

    On the Brink of the Abyss

    Beyond Human Rights

    A Handbook of Traditional Living

    Why We Fight

    The Problem of Democracy

    Archeofuturism

    The Path of Cinnabar

    Tyr

    The Lost Philosopher

    Impeachment of Man

    Gold in the Furnace

    Defiance

    The Passing of a Profit & Other Forgotten Stories

    Revolution from Above