What would a post-apocalyptic world look like? Will we be able to retain our humanity or will we become feral?
As we all know, the world as we know it will eventually come to an end. Luckily, due to immense coverage of this topic by popular media, we have a pretty good insight into almost every possible outcome you could think of. My personal favorites are the ones ending with either a nuclear disaster of some sort or with an Artificial intelligence turning against humanity. The AI one will probably end up in machines exterminating humans quite quickly thus this whole topic we are talking about is losing its importance.
Okay, since we got that out of the way, let’s talk about the first possibility. This one can be a sensitive topic
for some people since it feels so close to home. What I’m referring to is the fact that our resources like oil and water are getting lower and lower every single day. And with so many countries having access to nuclear weapons these days, the possibility of this actually happening doesn’t seem so unlikely after all.
Now, is there a better way to address this topic than from a perspective of a well-known piece of media that we all know and love? Certainly not! I’m of course referring to a movie that perfectly fits this description and that is George Miller’s and Byron Kennedy’s movie called “Mad Max”. There are 4 movies so far and the fifth one will come out in 2023. In the first three movies, the world was destroyed by a nuclear war over oil resources while the fourth movie emphasized the fight over water.
This small change in concept actually changes a lot. We can live without oil, and we did for thousands of years, but we cannot live without water for more than a few days. What does that change you ask? Well, let’s say that a nuclear disaster of this sort happens in the real world. What would be the currency that we would use? Since the economy crashed, money isn’t an option anymore. If the war happened over water, then the most logical and simplest solution would be to use it as a currency too since it technically would be the world’s most desired resource. On the other hand, if the war happens over oil, then the water wouldn’t be a sufficient resource. From there, the solution would be something that can happen in both scenarios but is more likely to happen in the second one. This is how it would probably go. Small groups of survivors would start to form and eventually, they would merge with other groups in order to make a functional community. Inside every one of these communities, there would be a currency system of some sort that the people would use. Basically, the world would look like the old times when the currency in the form of coins was introduced and every kingdom had its own unique set of coins. But, why would they form these communities in the first place? Well, it all comes down to that one crucial question mentioned above and
that is if the humans will become feral or not. According to Mad Max, they most certainly will… In the movies,
survivors are almost always depicted as these cold-blooded, rageful lunatics with a serious lack of empathy and readiness to do anything in order to fulfill their needs. This is the main reason why people would form communities in that situation and why they did form the first communities back in the day, and that safety. Of course, there are other benefits of living in this sort of structure such as the ability to share knowledge and resources but everyone will agree that mere survival is priority number one.
Let’s say that you have survived the apocalypse and now you live in a somewhat stable and prosperous community (Full of feral, cold-blooded savages, but let’s leave that out for now). Would you have kids in a place like that? Both movies and scientists and analysts say that you would, and not only that but people would tend to have as many kids as possible so they could assure that the human race continues to exist and also so they could exploit them for manual labor since a young age.
Of course, if you don’t want to become one of the savages, exploit your kids in that way and you retained the sense of humanity in you, there was another way. You could take off into the wilderness and live all by yourself. This way of living has its upsides such as having your inner peace and living a highly moral life until the end. On the other hand, downsides are far worse, at least in my humble opinion. If you choose to live this way, you condemn yourself to have limited resources, poor hygiene, solitude, and obviously, since you are living on your own, you don’t really have any reliable form of protection around you. What this means is that this way of life will drastically shorten your life span.
That imposes a really important question on us that doesn’t necessarily have to be related to this topic only.
Short life as a saint or a long life as a sinner, what’s really better?