2.28.2012

After Aliens Invade: Why Post-Apocalyptic Civilizations Might Be Okay


By on 10:22 PM


Civilization – human civilization – has only been around for about 5,000 to 10,000 years. Well, I guess it depends on what you consider to be ‘civilization,’ because the Agricultural Revolution (our big ‘ah ha!’ moment about domestication) took place anywhere from 7,000 to 10,000 years ago, and I’m rather partial to this settling down as a key hallmark of civilization. It's rather important, and one of the reasons why -- emotional trauma and potential environmental poison aside -- I'd rather live in a post-apocalyptic civilization than an ancient one.



Much like the evolution of cells into multi-cellular organisms millions of years ago, human civilization had more than one key starting point: Mesopotamia, India, China, and South America are buzzwords for our societal starting points. And though there’s death, hatred, war, genocide, and prejudice, we as humans have not done too badly for ourselves. By the Kardaschev scale, we’re nearly a global society; in terms of technology and industry, we’ve surpassed almost all imaginable measures of efficiency and growth; in terms of morality… we keep working on that, and the theories the collective human race have created show great promise (we just need to work on the practical aspect to keep up).

What does this have to do with surviving an alien invasion? Well, aliens might not agree with a positive outlook on humanity, for one thing. And that’s a pretty big thing to keep in mind.

With all anthropocentrisms, behavioral and economic arguments, and potential bloodthirstiness of invading aliens in mind, we face roughly three situations, though they all have different degrees and spectrums: one, they kill everyone; two, the aliens take over the planet and reconstruct the world as we know it, but our species is maintained; and three, they leave us alone.

When I briefly imagine an alien invasion that doesn’t immediately end in death or enslavement, I picture a mix of the first and third situations: large portions of the human race are extinguished, and the aliens leave a few survivors behind.

This situation would suck. Society has been destroyed, almost every population and every culture devastated to a large degree, and whatever mechanical workings of industry and development are practically useless with no workforce to produce with them and no large consumer force to demand their products. But there is one bright point that our ancestors from several millennia didn’t have.  

And it is: we know. 

We know what language is, how to build it and how to maintain and use it; even with the thousands of languages in the world, we don’t have to struggle with conceptualizing the idea of concepts – the format just needs a little work. We know that animals can be domesticated, and in fact have been crafted for thousands of years for that purpose. Plants, too. We know what electricity is (even if the average person doesn’t know what it really is and how it is), what physics is, and what technology is. There might be slavery (unlikely, with under-population, but possible) and a pretty hard-ass justice system, but we'll know it's wrong or temporary and will be less willing to justify inequality than we were in the past. Hopefully. The largest benefit to rebuilding civilization on the foundation of a destroyed one is that we would know the specific elements of the destroyed society, and the actualization of known-as-possible concepts can be expedited far more easily than the imagining of them can be.

And things are looking pretty hopeful, bad but hopeful, for our few survivors of an alien invasion… Then you have to think about Planet of the Apes (yes, the original and, yes, before the prequel) and “By the Waters of Babylon” (you remember – that awful short story that’s now mainstream middle school literature) and you have to wonder: why didn’t the aliens just put us out of our misery?

Questions, comments, or disagreements? Ideas of your own? Please leave a comment below!

Rachel is the co-founder of How To Survive Alien Invasion Novels, and spends her time writing, studying, and reading what would probably considered far too many books. Connect with her and Rusty on Twitter and Facebook, and click here to read more of her articles about alien theories and how to survive alien invasion novels.

About Syed Faizan Ali

Faizan is a 17 year old young guy who is blessed with the art of Blogging,He love to Blog day in and day out,He is a Website Designer and a Certified Graphics Designer.

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