comment at ‘The Walking Dead’ Open Thread: We’re The Greater Good

merle-300x225Responding to Zack Beauchamp’s post:

Though I think you’re too hard on “Prey,” [last week’s episode of The Walking Dead] I agree that this episode [“This Sorrowful Life”] gives us more to discuss, and that it is about the birth or advancement of “the state” as against the state of nature, but I’m not convinced Rawls can explain how Merle’s “life plan,” which is a life plan precisely to the extent it’s also a death plan, emerges. I think you need to go elsewhere, to political theology, for the same reason that liberal democracy is different from pure liberalism: Rick and the others are founding the sacrificial state and the incipient civil religion, a system of mutual obligations justifying living, as well as killing and dying, for a higher, sanctified collective purpose embodied in the “we” who will be “sticking together,” and will be taking its content not from behind a Rawlsian veil of ignorance in a state of radical freedom, but from the elements of belief as they discover or re-discover them: including a form of traditional marriage, and Biblical monotheism as interpreted by Hershel. Glenn also expresses his commitment to Maggie as a sacrificial commitment – that he cares more about her than about himself – another “death plan.” Of course, giving up Michonne was also a death plan, but a different kind, since, as Rick’s speech explains, it would have been a sacrifice not to the infant polis and its collective or popular sovereign, but to tyranny: the governor’s, and his own.

6 comments on “comment at ‘The Walking Dead’ Open Thread: We’re The Greater Good

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  1. Has Milton found out, what is creating the walkers, more to the point, now that we know that they will all go walkers, what is the point, ‘the Stand’ was able to pull this off in 6 episodes, in part because Sinise
    is more affable then Lincoln, whereas the Governor is a derivation of the Sheriff that Randall Flagg installed,

    • Milton was never going to find out much of anything, I don’t think. You still have to die first in order to get undead, so in the meantime you can get married, sing songs, read the Bible, and improve your marksmanship and other skills. Neither Stephen King nor Robert Kirkman (author of the TWD comic books, which include the Governor) invented the figure of the Mad Tyrant, though Flagg was a much more grandiose as well as supernatural conception.

  2. Well I’m speaking of the demands of the story, it may be that the walking dead, is the only representation of Hell that can be brooked in this culture, there isn’t the isolation, or the extremes in temperature, but otherwise, one has to consider the despair that the main characters indulge in, btw
    what happened to Andrea?

  3. All right, the new World War Z Trailer, is a little more comprehensible, but it still resembles the backstory to ‘I am Legend’

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