- by Gitabushi
There are plenty of spoilers in the following piece. If you aren’t caught up on the story, well, at some point you have to take responsibility for being weeks behind. There has been plenty of time for everyone to catch up on the storyline, so I’m not even going to try to avoid spoilers. I’ll put it below the jump, however. And the spoilers will be minor, I think.
Why isn’t anyone talking about how conservative the Walking Dead has gotten, and how hard it is pushing Far-Right principles in the first half of the current season?
Wait, wait, wait. Let’s back up a moment. What do “Right Wing” and “Far Right” mean, anyway?
I reject the Progressive/Leftist definition of Right and Left, which is based on adherence to or rejection of whatever Social Justice issue is fashionable at the moment. To the Left, the Right is racist, so Far Right must be really racist, like the KKK or Hitler.
This sort of formulation fails basic logic. For Left and Right to mean something, it has to be a spectrum, and it has to transcend issues that come and go, like school choice, homosexual adoption rights, etcetera.
No, I think the only formulation that makes any sense is for Left and Right to be a spectrum of freedom and rights, with the Left committed to group rights and group freedom, and the Right committed to individual rights and individual freedom.
According to the Left, specific rights and freedoms are assigned to groups, not individuals. They claim the Right to Bear Arms is a collective right, not an individual, for instance. Blacks have specific Rights due to being black. Women have rights exclusive to them by nature of being women. This is why being able to claim specific identities is very, very important to their ideology: it makes it easier for them to assemble groups that can receive special rights, while excluding the people they don’t favor from those same rights. Muslims are granted some Freedoms of Religious Expression the Left wishes to deny to Christians, for another example.
According to the Right, specific rights and freedoms are given to individuals, but to all individuals. The group you belong to, or aspire to join, or create out of hand-picked adjectives…none of these matter when it comes to rights. Police have the Right to Life, just as all blacks do, just as the unborn do.
To the Left, when the rights of individuals conflict, you look to their group to decide who wins. An unborn child’s Right to Life is trumped by a woman’s Right to Choose, because women (and especially Feminist women) are favored classes.
To the Right, in contrast, when the rights of individuals conflict, there is no way to resolve them. Each has an equal right to their Individual Rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. An unborn child has their inalienable Right to Life, and that trumps a woman’s Right to Choose, because the woman has a Right to Pursue her Happiness, but no Right to Get It in the manner she prefers.
This also ensures that Rights are boiled down to their most clear, most salient aspects. The Right to Liberty isn’t the Right to Do What You Want, because that would conflict with others’ Rights to Do What They Want. That conflict can’t be resolved, so the inescapable conclusion is no one has a right to Do Whatever They Want. “My Body, My Choice” sounds good, but you can’t do whatever you want with that body, if by doing so you take away someone else’s right to do what they want with their body…and the conflict is always inevitable. So we back it up, and the Right to Liberty merely means that no one can tell you what to do with your body in the absence of actions that take away others’ options for liberty.
Okay, so back to the Walking Dead.
In my formulation of Right vs Left, the Right to Life must necessarily include the Right to Self-Defense, which in turn includes the Right to Bear Arms (as enshrined in the 2nd Amendment, naturally). The Right to Liberty includes the right to choose your own leaders. The Right to Pursuit of Happiness includes property rights.
The Big Bad Guy in the Walking Dead violates each of those.
He imposes his control over any group he encounters. He does this so he can demand and take payment for “protecting” these groups. This, of course, is a shake-down racket, because what these different groups need protection from is Negan himself, and his thugs. And he convinces them to submit by killing one person, for no other reason than to cow the group.
To put it another way, Negan violates the Right to Life, to induce fear in others; so they are forced to submit to his rulership in a violation of the Right to Liberty; this in turn is exploited to seize valuables from the submissive groups, violating Right to Pursuit of Happiness by forcing them to pursue material items to satisfy Negan’s pursuit of happiness.
And one of the first things he does is take away all their guns, so they can’t resist his tyranny. Bam! There’s the argument for the Right Wing’s view of 2nd Amendment Rights: you have the right to have guns to be able to free yourself from a tyrant who takes however much of your stuff as he wants.
And what does Negan do with the stuff? Well, in some cases, they don’t even want the stuff, they just don’t want you to have it. They burn many of the items instead of using them. They take it away so Rick’s group won’t be too comfortable, so they will feel the oppression more keenly. The action places Negan’s core group above the groups that submitted. Group Rights, and Negan’s group has more rights than any other group.
Moreover, even in Negan’s base camp, there are rights assigned by Group. At the top is Negan, a Group of One, and he gives himself the highest rights. He gets the best-looking women, the most creature comforts, the Right to Decide Life and Death, and the Right to Determine Punishment based on his own judgment and decision, on top of the Right to Make Rules in the first place. Slightly lower in the hierarchy are his henchmen. They have the right to take anything from the working caste, and they even have the Right to have fun with Negan’s women, when he grants that permission as a reward. The worker caste has to work for everything they earn, and even small luxuries are expensive in points. And the system is calibrated by Negan so that the worker class can never be comfortable, nor can they ever purchase their freedom. Then there is the Prisoner Class, and they are treated even worse.
Has there ever been a better representation of how Socialist societies like the USSR, the PRC, Cuba, and modern-day Venezuela inevitably turn out?
Aside from the society that Negan set up, there are a few more aspects where the show embraces Right Wing values and abhors the Left.
For one, the Alexandria community had a gun registry. They knew how many guns they had, and who had them. Did it help them in any way to have that registry? Not that I can see. But when Negan wanted to take the guns, it provided an excellent checklist to make sure he got them all. Has there ever been a better argument displayed against the gun registry that the Left is always pushing for? I don’t think so.
For another, Negan erases the individual identity of people, teaching them to claim that they are all Negan. They say it with pride, or defiance. However, it is clear that this is an ideology that Negan pushed on them, imposing his identity over theirs, as an additional way to ensure loyalty. He wants them to lose their individual identity in the group identity of Negan that he has created to be larger than just himself…although, of course, he is the one that embodies, controls, and enjoys that group identity.
The inescapable conclusions of the first half of The Walking Dead, season 7 include:
- Right to Life for all is the most important right.
- The Right to Bear Arms is a vital right to safeguarding Life and Liberty
- It is worth risking your life to resist and be free of Tyranny
- Tyranny will take lives almost at random to get you to choose submission and uncomfortable security over a dangerous liberty
- Tyranny will assert ultimate ownership of all property
- Tyranny will take away the things you worked to gain, merely to keep you uncomfortable
- Tyranny wants you to be uncomfortable simply so they can be superior, and make your inferiority real to you
- Tyranny will always claim to be doing it for your own good
The Right should be writing articles about this, showing independents and the Progressive Voter Class that they are not well-served by Democrat politicians, using The Walking Dead as stark and persuasive examples of the society the Left wants to establish.