Let’s play a game of “Rock, Paper, Scissors.” Better yet, let’s play a gamer of “Prepper, Marauder, Zombie.” First we need to define each of these nouns.
Prepper: Call them a prepper, survivalist, eccentric with a bunch of stockpiled food and ammo, doesn’t matter. It’s you. You have spent your time gathering the necessary resources and knowledge that will help you prevail during dire times, whatever those times may be. You have taken stock and inventory, done the math down to the last calorie; you know what is at stake and how long you can last. You live by a simple code: Survival of the fittest, not the survival of everyone. You have your own moral and ethical code that will guide you and your companions during those dark times. You are a hard target, not one that can be easily taken down.
Marauder: They prey on others through the use of fear and violence. They take what they want through force and intimidation. Don’t think of them as the anarchic bike gangs that television and fiction often portray them as, unruly in their pecking order, bowing down to the Lord of the Wastelands. Some may be of this caliber, others may be organized, disciplined, and operate as a well-oiled machine. They may use tactics or infiltration and subterfuge to take down their targets. Initially they will seek out easy prey, but sooner or later that prey will become scarce and they may have to go after something bigger.
Zombie: Those who are unprepared. Those who enjoyed life to its fullest, thinking that anything catastrophic would never happen in their lifetimes, and if it did they wanted to be “at ground zero when the bombs go off”, a phrase they often laughingly spat out between sips of bullshit. They weren’t at ground zero; there may not have been a ground zero, whatever it may have been they are alive…for now. They greedily consume the meager rations of corn chips, beer, and frozen pizzas that they have and go to seek out those who will give them aid. They will feed off of the living through begging, stealing, pulling at the heart strings, etc. They have a belief that they will be taken care of by their fellow man, the expectation of entitlement that we in the United States have bred into our population. Their definition of social welfare will be what you have stockpiled, and they are entitled to a portion of it. Turn them away and they will find someone else to mooch off of, die or become a marauder.
So, in this game the Prepper will defeat the Marauder through being a hard target and better prepared. The prepper may have companions with him, adding to the resilience and toughness of being a hard target. The prepper is prepared at all times. The marauder knows this and knows that any attempts at taking down a prepper could mean disaster or death for him.
The Marauder will defeat the Zombie as the zombie is unprepared for whatever comes his way. The marauder will rob, kill, or maim the zombie for anything the zombie may have of worth. The marauder may also indoctrinate or recruit the zombie, turning the zombie into a marauder. It isn’t until there are no zombies left that the marauder seek you out.
The Zombie will defeat the Prepper by preying on the prepper’s compassion. The zombie will be in a sorry state, possibly with children or the elderly and infirmed, telling stories of difficulties and how they are at death’s door. They may come at you with two children and a sick baby, all malnourished and just wanting something to eat. If you give to them you take away from you. This is how they devour you, this is how they kill you, and they will come in droves. Give them something and earn their gratitude as they beg for more, turn them away and earn their spite, turning them from a zombie into a marauder.
That is alright. Let the Zombie become a Marauder. This isn’t a game, survival never is, and in the end the Prepper defeats the Marauder.