A really interesting suggestion from a report on the Republican convention in the London Review of Books:
What’s new with Trump – though reminiscent of the anti-immigrant rhetoric at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th – is the replacement of the image of the dark-skinned freeloader with that of a horde overrunning the land: the criminal Mexicans and the terrorist Muslims ‘roaming free’. It is hardly a coincidence that the most popular genre of horror movies and television these days is zombies – mobs of zombies. Our only hope is a fortress – or a wall – to keep them out.
I’ve argued in the past that the resonance of the zombie horde reflects a liberal failure to imagine collectivity: the mindless and threatening mob substitutes for the collective uprisings proliferating in an ever more unjust world.
Are these explanations contradictory? I don’t think so, in fact they jointly explain the peculiarly overloaded status of the zombie: the menacing horizon of (potentially destructive) collectivity which lingers on in our individualised and post-political world.