A while back I decided to create a zombie virus to wipe out most of the human race. That was fun and all, but now I'm faced with another problem - setting up a society.

I originally wiped out nearly all humans in order to create a better society, ridding the world of war and inequality.

Here's what's happened:

  • Only a handful of humans (around 100,000) are left.
  • Some things have been destroyed in the "fight", such as a few cities. However, it's not major zombie-apocalypse-movie destruction like the Eiffel Tower breaking.
  • No technology has been lost (Except for maybe the most cutting-edge stuff being developed in labs at the time of the attack.)
  • Farms and factories are still around, but currently there's no-one to operate them (computers still carry on as if nothing happened.)
  • All the zombies have been wiped out, taking most of the human race with them. There is no more virus, and no more humans can be infected.
  • As long as I can find a connected computer (which isn't very hard), I can use the Internet.
  • I am in a group of around 100 people, found after wandering for a few days.

Now I need to set up a society and repopulate the Earth. Is it still possible? And if so, can I make it peaceful and equal?

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    $\begingroup$ What is your definition of pure? Also, you probably should have laid the groundwork for your purer society before unleashing the zombie apocalypse, but ah, 20/20 hindsight... $\endgroup$
    – Cyrus
    Mar 23, 2016 at 14:44
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    $\begingroup$ Without defining pure this question cannot really be answered, I know you touch on it a little at the top but it could be a lot clearer. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Mar 23, 2016 at 14:58
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    $\begingroup$ In terms of 'everything is still running fine', unless it was in a future where such things can be automated you'd need someone to man the power stations and maintain cabling for the internet. It's not a static system like a building or monument. It's a continuous series of ongoing processes. $\endgroup$
    – Polyducks
    Mar 23, 2016 at 15:00
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    $\begingroup$ @HenryTaylor Learn what censorship actually is before you start throwing the word around. I don't KNOW that. However on balance of probability I decided that it most likely was the meaning and so I edited accordingly but also left a comment to explain - so if it wasn't what he meant he could say so. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Mar 23, 2016 at 17:03
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    $\begingroup$ "No technology has been lost"- I would strongly contest that. Even if everyone in your group of survivors were the best scientist and engineers, having access to a good laboratory or factory, you could not sustain modern technology without the economies of scale. Producing a modern computer or cell phone requires an immense supply line of very different materials and technologies, and requires many millions of consumers to be economically viable. The reason why people didn't invent modern technology sooner is not because they were morons, but because they lacked the economy and infrastructure. $\endgroup$
    – vsz
    Mar 24, 2016 at 7:16

6 Answers 6


There's several issues which should be addressed before you can establish a new world order:

Laying the Foundation

As Cyrus suggested, I would propose that you set up a group of people to kick start the re-population process before you unleash the virus. This way they will already look to you as their leader, and share your goals and ideals.

For example, you could gather a few hundred (or thousand) like minded individuals to come live on a remote farm. You can arm and organize them in order to protect and operate your facility - labs, fields, processing plants, etc. (the infrastructure doesn't have to be major, just enough to keep your group alive and at a decent tech level).

As survivors trickle in your group can indoctrinate and integrate them into your ranks.

As more and more people arrive you can start taking over the abandoned structures of nearby towns, and slowly expand.

Your group will have to be powerful enough to hold on to what they have, as well as impose their views on other groups they encounter.

If, for example, you run into a surviving military unit which claims that you should subject yourself to their authority, you must be able to convince them to join you, or fight them off.

If you run into a group of citizens led by a political figure who is trying to hold true to the Constitution/old government structure that might not fit with your ideology and objectives. You have to be ready to convince these people to join you, or take them out so that your ideology will prevail.

What this ultimately means is that you need a very dedicated group of people to act as the core of your community. A group of people who will borderline worship you, look to you as their leader, and follow your orders no matter what. It's far more difficult to establish this in the post apocalypse world than if you lay the foundations before hand (establish self sufficient facilities, recruit people to your cause, purchase arms, ammunition, seeds, provisions, etc.)

State of the World

A lot more technology will have been lost than what you're assuming (unless, of course, you also took major steps to preserve it). Keep in mind that you've killed off almost 7 billion human beings.

The world you'll be inhabiting is one forever changed. In the US alone you'll have 300 million bodies littering the landscape. This will cause pests, predators, and disease to run rampant. Animals which before were no threat to man will now multiply and get used to feasting on human flesh. This is a very dangerous setting for your followers.

Without human supervision a lot of infrastructure will have been destroyed as well. Power plants left untended will have suffered severe failures, fires, or elemental damage. Data routing centers will have similarly shut down due to loss of power, or other damage. This means that no, you won't simply be able to access the internet from any powered terminal.

Infrastructure will have been destroyed in humanity's fight against the zombies. Fires left unchecked will have burned down entire towns, and might still be raging in large cities more than several months after first being started, engulfing skyscrapers, and residential neighborhoods alike - the pollution would further harm survivors.

It won't be as easy as simply walking out of your bunker and claiming the world.

Loss of Technology

The sad fact is that the average human being is no smarter than people were 500 years ago. Sure, we're a little more educated, and have developed a different skill set than our farming ancestors, but it's still only that: a limited skill set.

What am I talking about and why is it important? People may know how to use a cellphone, or drive a car rather than plant and till a field, however very few of us understand the underlying principles or those technologies.

Good examples are cars, computers, and cell phones - something we take for granted on a daily basis.

Most of us know how to operate a motor vehicle, yet few of us have any idea how to perform more than minor maintenance, if that. If a car breaks down you need the help of an expert - a mechanic. The mechanic is, to us, a bit like what a blacksmith was to villages of old. He's an expert that can help you get your horse/cart/tool back in working order. However, while a mechanic may be able to take an engine apart and figure out what's wrong with it, he can't manufacture the complex parts needed to repair it. Specialized manufacturing capabilities and engineering knowledge is necessary for that. Experts in those fields don't grow on trees, and neither does the technology itself.

Computers are ubiquitous in our world. However, very few of us can take one apart and rebuild it. Even then, how many people truly understand how a motherboard, and RAM chip works? How many of us could build one from scratch? With what tools? You get my point. Cell phones are the exact same.

It was estimated, in a report I read a few years ago, that if you were to kill the top 10 000 or so technical experts in the world you would stop human technological advancement in its tracks, possibly for decades, and set civilization back, technologically. Why? Because only a very small number of experts truly understand the underlying principles behind a lot of these technologies. A lot of us might have some theoretical knowledge, or understand, in broad terms how a piece of technology operates, but only that handful of people would be able to sit down and design/build that piece of tech you take for granted.

And guess what. You've killed them all. This means that your group of survivors might scavenge technology from stores, warehouses, etc., but no human being will be advancing science again any time soon. You've successfully crippled the human race for generations.

Ideological Inconsistencies

In your title you claim that you want a more peaceful and equal society, however you're starting off my killing 7 billion people. That right there is a red flag.

Once society has completely crumpled you will step out into the battle scarred, corpse covered world, and find that chaos and violence rule the planet.

Groups of survivors will be living hand-to-mouth, scavenging the left overs from humanity's golden age. They will fight one another for the scraps of food, technology, ammunition, and fuel which they've collected. Bandit groups will roam the country - they will need to be dealt with, which undermines the idea of a peaceful society right off the bat.

Furthermore, in the absence of human beings predators will have bred and become far more confident. Wild animals will pose a pretty serious threat to people from now on. Your followers will need to defend themselves, which breeds a mindset of being ready to kill and be killed, not peace.

Last but not least, you've effectively plunged the world into a Dark Age. This is not a state of being which encourages equality between the sexes. Arguably, it's the industrial revolution which truly allowed women to emancipate themselves.

In a farming society which doesn't have the fuel or technology to sustain a modern farm women will ultimately revert to secondary roles. I'm not trying to be sexist, or misogynistic - it's simply the truth, however unpleasant. A woman cannot physically work the field the same way a man can, however your community will starve to death unless those fields are planted, tilled, and harvested.

This means that men will be required to perform the heavy lifting, while women will revert to the role of house wives: cooking meals for the men, raising the children, etc.

Some technological left-overs will allow them to perform other tasks. Modern firearms, for example, will allow a woman to just as effectively defend a fixed position as a man.

However it will become a lot more difficult to maintain equality when your society will slip back into classic gender roles (which are what allowed humanity to eventually reach this level of technological prowess - this was a "good thing" in the past, but simply not justifiable in our modern society).

Even if your community somehow manages to retain the mentality and technology which allow women the same rights, privileges, and opportunities as a man (due to your brilliant leadership, of course), that will certainly not be the case in most of the rest of the world. Women will have a tough going of it in this post-apocalyptic scenario.

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    $\begingroup$ Note that your interaction with other armed groups here is essentially the definition of war...so I think we've already established it's not possible this way. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Mar 23, 2016 at 15:28
  • $\begingroup$ @TimB - I suppose that if the OP recruited enough military experts, and stockpiled enough weapons/vehicles/ammo he might be able to storm out of his bunker/facility and take on pretty much anyone. It all depends on how prepared that group of followers is, both resource wise, and well as psychologically, to "take on the world" - or what's left of it. $\endgroup$
    – AndreiROM
    Mar 23, 2016 at 15:30
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    $\begingroup$ +1 for pointing out that virtually every bullet point the OP lists is mutually incompatible with a total world population of 100,000, and how rough things are going to be when all that stuff stops working. At that tech/population level, no community can afford to let a premenopausal female engage in activities that risk her ability to give birth to as many babies as possible before she dies from one of the many conditions from which modern medicine protects most mothers now, including childbirth itself. It would be suicidal to do so. And grandmothers are repositories of wisdom badly needed. $\endgroup$ Mar 23, 2016 at 21:31
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    $\begingroup$ Women are perfectly capable of farming labor, and in fact peasant women in the middle ages were expected to keep up their fair share of the agricultural tasks. Women in some societies (Vikings, for example) are widely believed to have been a vital part of the military. The idea that women need to do less physically demanding jobs as a practical matter of survival is not based in fact. You'd be better off noting that with only 100k humans left, any woman of childbearing age will be expected to be perpetually pregnant in order to help our species survive. $\endgroup$ Mar 24, 2016 at 4:46
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    $\begingroup$ @GrandOpener - I definitely think that you and me don't agree on some very basic definitions here. Let girls be girls, and let boys be boys. My sister never liked playing with toy cars, and construction sets. I never liked playing with her dolls. I'm pretty sure my parents aren't monsters for buying me construction sets, and her dolls. Take the social justice warrior stuff somewhere else, please. $\endgroup$
    – AndreiROM
    Mar 24, 2016 at 19:10

If you want to make it peaceful and equal, I would suggest having the virus strongly biased towards aggressive people. I am tempted to suggest "testosterone", but that would also target men.

Alternatively, make people somewhat "blissed out" by the cure. This is harder, because you say the virus is gone, so there's no real reason to keep up taking whatever the cure is. Addiction? Maybe the virus is dormant?

You would definitely want the virus to take out the army (which should be easy - they are on the front lines), especially those making the decisions (less easy - they're likely to have access to bunkers).

Perhaps taking marijuana would offer protection from the virus, so the remaining people have a high marijuana use?


Problem #1: 100,000 people on the face of the planet. How do you collect all the survivors? How do you communicate with them? How do you run needed infrastructure for anything?

The power grid will fail and the internet exists across the entire planet, Google servers however, may have a huge portion of it copied. Still need to keep some power plants running just to keep up local power supply. Your average coal plant has enough coal for power generation from 24hrs to about 3 weeks. Granted they are powering huge areas and this can be reduced, still you are limited in time.

You need power to run the sewer and water. Books are your best source of information that will survive. Survival will be difficult. Granted there might be enough canned and dried food to last a few years but food production will need to be high on the list of things to do.

How do you collect enough people to start your new society? To fly around the country you'd need a plane, fuel pilots license and knowing which airfields have enough fuel to fill you back up. Then you need to find people and convince them that you have a better solution than staying where they are.

Overall, you would have much more success if you started planning this and recruiting your cult following before you release the plague. If you have a vaccine that protects them you can go a long way to convincing them that you are a worthy leader.

So if you wait to see who survives you will not likely be able to have much influence on the survivors. They will likely tend to be independent people distrustful of others. Might just brain you if you try any funny business. But if you have plans at the start. Know where you want to hold up, plans on how to survive and live afterward, then the other survivors would be inconsequential to your plans of world domination and personality cult.

  • $\begingroup$ Who needs pilot licenses? They are an indicator that one can fly, but a person can learn to handle a plane without a license. $\endgroup$
    – JFBM
    Mar 23, 2016 at 16:21
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    $\begingroup$ @J_F_B_M - yes, however learning to fly is not trivial, especially for someone who is doing so in a post-apocalyptic world. Who will check that the aircraft is in any shape to fly? Who will explain how to handle it in bad weather, land it in high winds, etc. Learning to fly in a post-apocalyptic world is either an act of desperation or suicide. $\endgroup$
    – AndreiROM
    Mar 23, 2016 at 16:28
  • $\begingroup$ OK you don't NEED a license, but you really should have some idea how to fly before your first attempt. And a cessna would take a LONG time to ferry people to a location... $\endgroup$
    – bowlturner
    Mar 23, 2016 at 16:33

First, let us define what's peaceful. Fortunately for us, efforts have been made to give a peace index to countries on Earth. This is the Global Peace Index, at Vision Of Humanity.

The GPI is a composite index that measures peace based on 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators... The 23 GPI indicators can be classified under three broad themes: ongoing domestic and international conflict, societal safety and security and militarisation.1

Now that we have an empirical metric by which we can follow, if we want to be peaceful all we have to do is find which country has the lowest score (the closer to 0, the better.)

The top three most peaceful countries in 2015 were Iceland, Denmark, and Austria. These are the role models that we should follow. According to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Iceland has on an average an annual intentional homicide rate of... one. Just one person.

The reasons behind Iceland's peaceful nature have been deemed to originate in Iceland's lack of immense class divides - it's pretty evenly divided among all of its citizenry. There's also a distinct lack of hard drugs - according to a UNODC report in 2012, cocaine, ecstasy, and amphetamines had a usage rate of less than 1% by 15-64 year olds.

With a clean slate, you have a lot of time to figure out what causes strife. The problem is that you have to collect the survivors, and convince them that peace, logic, reason, kindness, and lack of classism is a favourable thing, and convince them that your landmass of peace is going to fare better for them than whatever place they decided to hole up in.

Maybe you're lucky, though. Maybe the survivors will find that they can't survive without cooperating with each other, and over time, their lack of cooperation will be their downfall and the problem population that you are trying to convince kill themselves off. Not your problem anymore.

Assuming you can gather up a lot of people in one place, you can start by... divulging the same information I just posted above. If you can talk to a leader or if you are a leader, you can gather up as many people in your location as possible through a strategic recovery or call (radio, internet, whatever is left over) and have talks of peace and how to maintain it.

You're going to have confrontation, though. And you only have one option - convince them, or take them out so your ideas are the ones that survive.

Or who knows - maybe you'll be lucky and the only survivors will be Jainists.

1 For a larger list of all of the indicators, you can find that here.


Public utilities (power, water/waste, communications (cell/internet) will fail relatively quickly. These all need constant maintenance and something so small as a circuit breaker tripping at a major distribution point can wipe out the grid for an entire county (been there, seen that).


  • the virus has exhausted itself
  • I am in my current location (general environs of Southern California) (i.e.: shelter is not a priority)


  • Organization and delegation of responsibility (my take on standard Army org).

    1. G-1 Personnel and recruitment
    2. G-2 Intelligence and Communications
    3. G-3 Planning, Ops and Training
    4. G-4 Logistics
  • G-4 Acquire transportation and stake out fuel depots. We can probably pump gas until the grid goes down. Finding a fuel truck is high priority, it can pump it's own fuel, can transport it, and hold a lot. It can maybe even pump fuel out of the tanks at gas stations after the grid goes down.

  • G-4 Find gun and sporting good stores. Get weapons and ammo, get water purifiers and containers. Try hardware stores for rain water collection cisterns. You will need the weapons and ammo to defend yourself, enforce your rule, or just keep them out of other peoples hands.
  • G-2 Hit up Ham Radio Outlet, get radios (portable and base stations). Also look for houses with both solar panels and radio masts. These can be long lasting comm centers.
  • G-3 Hit up libraries, bookstores and homes for books. Everything is needed but look for the Foxfire series and books that explain how to live off the grid.
  • G-1 Start a big fire on a hilltop somewhere. Use a tarp or blanket to interrupt the smoke stream (the smoke will be seen for a long distance, interrupting indicates it is under intelligent control and not just an accidental fire).
  • G-3 Start disposing of the bodies.

Longer term projects:

  • G-1 Develop specialists
  • G-2 Get a pilot from G-1 and start searching for other groups
  • G-3 Start a school system
  • G-4 Start a farm

Peaceful society will be farther away, for few reasons:

  • military training camps will be the most likely groups of people who are trained, ready, and have tools and independent infrastructure to fight off zombies and preserve the technologies they need to survive.
  • other groups of survivors will naturally try to get under the protection of such military groups. Cities will be useless, because infrastructure will fail without constant maintenance. Cities will be targets to occasional raids to get materials to bring back to camp.
  • you grossly underestimate the fragility of the infrastructure. Without constant maintenance work, it will fell apart, factories will burn by accidental fires. Power plants will stop producing electricity, and internet servers will be bricked. After Northeast blackout of 2003, it took from 2 days up to a week to restore power to some remote areas, while thousands of specialist were available to fix the problems. Your scenario has nothing like that. There is NO electricity or internet (except maybe small local sources on camps).
  • 100K survivors, spread in groups of few hundreds over planet, will have little means (or reasons) to communicate, and will have hard time to produce enough food to support themselves and necessary scientists. Technology (and medicine) will quickly revert to pre-industrial.
  • Survivors would have no reason to be nice and share knowledge or resources between groups. Your primary allegiance would be towards your tribe. If next tribe takes over your resources, they may pick some survivors, if they can benefit the tribe - and banish the rest to the wilderness.

Next steps:

  • get to some library and find a book (no electricity required) about how to make steam engine.
  • find a skilled carpenter who can make crossbows for your team, so you can defend yourself after you run out of bullets
  • whichever tribe figures out first how to make gunpowder will rule the planet.
  • $\begingroup$ Quick note - there's no more zombies. All of them died off, the remaining humans were either my team or got lucky and survived. $\endgroup$ Mar 24, 2016 at 0:13

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