Will societal norms and values change in a post-Apocalyptic Earth?

Dec 2009
In the event of a complete civilization collapse, will societal norms change in developed society to something primitive to that of that of much early times? Or will humans still to their morals and values of equality and democracy? How fixed can concepts like freedom, justice, equality, etc or do they change instantly in the face of the lack of institutions to back them up? Shows like the Walking Dead show that peoples in an apocalpyse will try to hold on to that ideals of society as long as possible, but nobody knows if that will work in real life. Can the same values be there or will they be more akin to early agricultural societies?
That's a great question ..........but one history has already shown and the answer isn't pretty.

Communist Russia in Starlin's time, when the Communists had a failure in crops resulting in the starvation of the Ukraine and Russia there were "rumours" that some people were eating their own children.

.............. as Starlin had leaflets printed out and put up addressing this exact issue I think it was more than just a rumour.

As that famous line in Batman goes, "Starve the people and watch them all become criminals".

We are civilised because our infrastructure allows us to be, we are all a product of our environment.

It comes down to survival at the end of the day.

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
during the great collapse of the 12th century BC , linear B writing disappeared
if the medium is gone , the information is lost
a future society might not be able to access digital information ,due to a lack of spare parts ,once the last CD driver snuff its mortal coil
I suppose they might remain as decoration for a while
There was no collapse in the 12th century. We've covered this before. The so-called collapse and subsequent "dark age" are artificial constructs to try and reconcile the dodgy chronology we've been saddled with. If the chronology is revised, we see a gradual and orderly transition into the Archaic Period. Linear B was just a script used for administration; it was never used elsewhere in society. If we examine the use of Linear B and the Phoenician scripts in light of the revised chronology, we see both being used at the same time, with the latter gradually superseding the former and evolving into the Greek script .

David Vagamundo

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
Atlanta, Georgia USA
If you haven’t, you might want to read Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz, which imagines what the long-term consequences of such a catastrophe might be.


Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
you are possibly right
but somehow I don't think sitting under an oil lamp looking as a CD will provide much information
of course the information could be copier as long as printers have paper , power and ink
this would create the resurrection of an old profession
monks faithfully copying texts they do not understand ,
something similar is mentioned in a book called "a canticle for Leibowitz "
a post apocalyptic monastery dedicated to a long dead saint who preserved some fragment of knowledge

quotes from the book

“Because a doubt is not a denial. Doubt is a powerful tool, and it should be applied to history"

“I'm not so sure he's mad, Father. Just a little devious in his sanity.”

“But neither infinite power nor infinite wisdom could bestow godhood upon men. For that there would have to be infinite love as well.”

“Men must fumble awhile with error to separate it from truth, I think- as long as they don't seize the error hungrily because it has a pleasanter taste.”

“....Nature imposes nothing on you that Nature doesn't prepare you to bear.”

“Ask for an omen, then stone it when it comes -- de essentia hominum.”

“Listen, are we helpless? Are we doomed to do it again and again and again? Have we no choice but to play the Phoenix in an unending sequence of rise and fall? Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, Greece, Carthage, Rome, the Empires of Charlemagne and the Turk: Ground to dust and plowed with salt. Spain, France, Britain, America—burned into the oblivion of the centuries. And again and again and again. Are we doomed to it, Lord, chained to the pendulum of our own mad clockwork, helpless to halt its swing? This time, it will swing us clean to oblivion.”

“Soon the sun will set'- is that prophecy? No, it's merely an assertion of faith in the consistency of events.”

“What's to be believed? Or does it matter at all? When mass murder's been answered with mass murder, rape with rape, hate with hate, there's no longer much meaning in asking whose ax is bloodier. Evil, on evil, piled on evil. Was there any justification for what they did—or was there? We only know what that thing says, and that thing is a captive. The Asian radio has to say what will least displease it's government; ours has to say what will least displease our fine patriotic opinionated rabble, which is what, coincidentally, the government wants it to say anyhow, so where's the difference?”

“The trouble with being a priest was that you eventually had to take the advice you gave to others.”

“If you try to save wisdom until the world is wise, Father, the world will never have it.”

“Speak up, destiny, speak up! Destiny always seems decades away, but suddenly it's not decades away; it's right now. But maybe destiny is always right now, right here, right this very instant, maybe.”

“Fire, loveliest of the four elements of the world, and yet an element too in Hell. While it burned adoringly in the core of the Temple, it had also scorched the life from a city, this night, and spewed its venom over the land. How strange of God to speak from a burning bush, and of Man to make a symbol of Heaven into a symbol of Hell.”

“It is said that water is for cattle and farmers, that milk is for children and blood for men.”

“It never was any better, it never will be any better. It will only be richer or poorer, sadder but not wiser, until the very last day.”

“How can a great civilization have destroyed itself so completely?"
"Perhaps,"said Apollo, "by being materially great and materially wise and nothing else.”

“... for no change comes calmly over the world...”
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