When the Apocalypse Comes, Will Anything Change?: Gay Marriage, Black Lives Matter, and The Rule of Law
Savannah Law Review, Vol. 3:57, 2016
20 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2016 Last revised: 26 Aug 2016
Date Written: August 8, 2016
When society collapses, the rule of law will cease to operate. What a person owns and what rights she has will depend not on proper title or originalist interpretations of the 14th amendment, but on whether she can protect what she has with a sword or a gun. This essay, part of the Savannah Law Review’s symposium on The Walking Dead, argues that modern American society already operates in the same way, minus the zombies.
Using the lawless post-apocalyptic life portrayed in The Walking Dead as a foil, I argue that life today is not as “lawful” as most assume. The civil rights movement in the 1960’s, the struggle for LGBTQ rights, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the recent standoff at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge all reveal that the rights promised by legislatures and constitutions are often very different from the rights people actually enjoy. Rather, the “laws” we believe protect us are nothing but words on paper until, and unless, individuals and society fight to make them a reality.
Keywords: Rule of Law, Criminal, Policing, Civil Rights,The Walking Dead, Black Lives Matter, Gay Marriage, LGBT, Malheur Wildlife Refuge, Ammon Bundy
JEL Classification: KOO, K11, K12, K14, K4, K40, K42, Z18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation