The 4 'P's

Posted 9/30/07

Disclaimer: The following article is the sole opinion of Arthur Helms. ZWN and it's affiliates do not influence, endorse nor are accountable for Mr. Helms opinions. Bookmark and Share

Throughout modern history, the peoples of the world have always fallen into one of four categories in the face of plagues, natural disasters and national strife; the Panics, the Profiteers, the Pretermits and the Prepared.

The Panics are comprised of those that have decided that running around screaming nonsensically, blaming the plague on everything from radiation to the hand of God or the emergence of the 12th Imam will in some way aid their position or personal safety. The woman who reportedly feared infection from possibly tainted baby formula to a degree that she felt murder-suicide was the only answer is a perfect example of a true Panic.
The actions of the Templars of God and other reactionary groups of religious zealots, doomsday seers and simple, backward-thinking people also fall into this category. Their need to do something… anything… in the face of the situation regardless of the worth of their actions to the common or uncommon good overrides logical thought and the development of practical solutions. These are by far the most dangerous of the P’s. Their actions are based on little more than pure fear, dire speculation or even, in the case of wild speculation on who to blame for the problem, simple political or religious hatred. If you find yourself on the wrong side of the plague, you’ll be far safer running towards zombies if it means moving away from the Panics.

Then we have the Profiteers. Companies touting miracle vaccines and preventive pills with no real proof of their effectiveness fall into this category, right alongside those that risk infection (and carrying it back to uninfected areas) and death by looting and raiding plague areas left deserted by reanimation and/or military action. Store owners that double and triple their prices on prized goods like lumber, weapons, bottled water, canned food etc during senseless panic buying fall into this category, as does that shifty fellow in New Mexico and others that run “zombie farms” for the rich and sadistic to indulge in their zombie hunting fantasies.

Profiteering in times of national and even global strife is a common and often completely acceptable practice, often being considered as a bedrock of capitalism. Many fortunes were made by the Carpetbaggers of the post-Civil War southern states, and even the U.S. government and private industries engaged in a form of it in the early years of World War II with their “cash and carry” weapons sales to our European friends before Japan decided to wake the sleeping giant. If you find yourself in a plague situation, knowing a few Profiteers can be a life saver so long as you remember to stash away some cash.

While they don’t fuel panic buying and spread dangerous misinformation, the decided lack of knowledge and preparation quickly make the Pretermits a burden to everyone around them should a true outbreak hit. Currently, the bulk of Americans find themselves in this “P” class. With so few real, documented occurrences of the walking dead in the U.S. it can be difficult for most of the population to get too excited about it all. Sure, Americans with loved ones serving overseas in the military, attached to NATO forces and humanitarian agencies or even traveling or living abroad may be more in-tune with the global happenings related to Necro-Mortosis. But by and large, the typical American watches the television news or checks out ZWN, looks out his window and, seeing no zombies shambling down Main Street changes the channel to a Friends episode he’s seen eight times this year. We Americans have this uncanny ability to completely ignore all but the most sensational of happenings when they’re not in our backyard. At least you don’t have to worry about them the way you do the Panics or even the Profiteers. If the plague hits the U.S., the Pretermits will rapidly disappear, melding into the ranks of one of the other three P’s just as easily as they could the ranks of the dead.

The final “P” are the Prepared. Paramilitary, private militia groups, so-called “survivalists” and “mountain men” and those with stocked emergency shelters fall into this category. This doesn’t mean you have to squirrel away MRE’s and bury gallons and gallons of gasoline in your backyard to belong to the Prepareds, though. Keep in mind that the average zombie becomes rather ineffective after two months and, except for extreme examples, won’t be functional after three or four months. With today’s modern food preservation technology, light and strong materials and new innovations brought about specifically to combat, deter and survive the undead hordes, a family of four could prepare themselves and their home against the first and largest wave of an outbreak with only some effort and a little money. Even if an outbreak never occurs in their town, the effort and money spent surely won’t go to waste. Floods, hurricanes, tornados and other natural disasters can kill you as easily as a zombie horde, and I sleep better at night knowing I was able to fit enough dehydrated food, spare batteries, a few properly chosen and secured weapons, basic survival gear and medicines in a small corner in my basement.

The plague is far from over, and every indication is that it will get worse in the world before it will get better. I pray the day never comes where the U.S. experiences the outbreaks other nations have suffered. However, I always pray with my eyes open. As for you dear reader, the time has come for you to make your choice as to which “P” you belong. I suggest you choose wisely though. If it ever comes down to infection, the dead won’t give you four options to choose from.

Arthur Helms is a syndicated columnist who has dealt with a host of social and political issues. His previous syndicated column, “Logic, Please?” offered commentary on a host of world-view issues as seen through the cold yet bright light of plain logic, demonstrated fact and simple common sense.

While the academic and political elite often dismissed his commentary as “too simplistic” for our complicated times, his books of collected columns and hundreds of national speaking engagements each year attest to his connection to a readership yearning for simple answers to complex issues. Helms recently ended his syndicated column to sign on exclusively with Zombie World News, providing a fresh, logical,
plain-English view of the plague and to bring some common sense to what many perceive to be a senseless situation.

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