Is The Walking Dead’s Negan a metaphor for government?

AMC has sure cashed in on gold with the extremely successfully adaptation of the popular comic series “The Walking Dead.” The show of the same name just wrapped up it’s sixth season with the moment many have been finally waiting for, which is the revelation of popular comic book bad guy Negan. Minor spoilers ahead, but who did or didn’t die will not be revealed.

Who is Negan?

Negan is a charismatic, but sadistic man who leads a group of ruthless zombie apocalypse survivors known as The Saviors. The group itself is big and does as it pleases. In the comic book series, the Saviors are known for their acts of violence and committing crimes. Their group name came from their leader Negan, who would demand half of the supplies from the Hilltop Colony and in return would protect them from zombies. The catch was that they were to comply with the demands of Negan and his cronies.

At first glance, Negan sounds like a killer and maniac. The problem with this is he is leader, although dark and cruel, and knows how to control people. He’s hardly dumb and knows how to manipulate to get his way. If the zombie apocalypse never happened, he could probably rival House of Cards’ Frank Underwood fairly well in an election.

More so to the point, Negan and the Saviors are much like government.

The Hilltop Colony was long forced to submit to the demands of The Saviors, who had more numbers, better weapons, and otherwise were better equipped to exploit other civilizations more than the Hilltop Colony was to defend themselves. They were forced to forfeit much of their supplies and rations to a group that claims to be their protectors.

What is the price of thoughtcrimes?

Negan responded to the killings of his own people by killing a member of Rick’s group. This is the death penalty simplified, with Negan avenging his own fallen with an eye for an eye.

Now some may simply look away from this point and call this radical, because government may not brutally destroy people like Negan will. Maybe.

Government forces people to pay taxes and as uncomfortable of a thought as it is, not all taxes go to rainbows, unicorns, and world peace. A lot of it goes to making sure our political leaders live comfortable lives and that we have plenty of bombs to drop on foreign countries.

The Survivors do the same. Their taxes are going to themselves for their own benefit, while they make sure they have the weapons supply to stand up to groups who don’t stand down.

Negan’s people don’t operate under a policy of nonaggression and noninterventionism, it’s actually quite the contrary. Foreign policy, especially for the United States, is largely political for the elite that has little regard for those affected by their actions.

Negan’s New World Order is something to be feared for Rick and the survivors in the television series. Fans who have read the comic book series already know what to expect and even if it is watered down a bit for television, it will still be ugly and make the previous big bad guy, The Governor, look like a kitten.

How exactly does this correlate with the systems that human beings live under in the real world? It’s actually quite similar, minus the zombies. Government demands resources, a demand that grows with time. It provides protection, but demands submission to the greater power in return for it. The price for defiance can be great.

You would think in a zombie apocalypse, people would use the new world to not follow the paradigms set by the real world we know around us. Apparently, humans prefer big government.

Chris Dixon

About Chris Dixon

Chris Dixon is a libertarian-leaning writer. In addition to writing "Undercover Porcupine", he is also the Managing Editor for The Liberty Conservative and writes for Cleat Geeks and Medium.