In the novel I Am Legend. the hero finds himself, apparently, as the lone survivor of a pandemic that turns people into a form of zombie-vampire. The infected get a fever, appear to die, but then turn into a blood thirsty monster that desires to kill and eat other living creatures. The book is credited with starting the genre that remains a popular concept for movies and TV series. The book is a little more realistic, in that the monsters are not un-dead. They are merely infected with some sort of virus.
Unlike most Hollywood versions, the book sets up an interesting set of conditions that makes the hero’s story plausible. Again, the infected are not rotting corpses running around randomly looking for brains. Instead, the infected have a degree of awareness and sentience. They coordinate their efforts, plan ahead and seem to understand what’s happening to them. They are also strictly limited to nighttime activity. That means they come out well past sunset and retreat before dawn.
This sets up the bulk of the book. The hero has about 14 hours per day to operate, free of the vampires. The story is set in Los Angeles, so weather is not an element of the story. He uses his time to make his home impenetrable, scavenge for supplies and research the cause of the pandemic. Because he has nothing but time, he eventually figures out that some sort of a virus has infected everyone and he uses this information to get better at killing the vampires as they sleep in their hiding places.
The book is worth reading, even if you have seen all of the Hollywood zombie shows. The purpose here though is the math of the situation. The surviving humans in such a situation, where society is slowly being conquered by a weird rage virus, would be faced with a simple problem. They own the daylight hours and therefore must use that time to overcome their disadvantage at night, when the infected come out to hunt. Put another way, they must win more in the daytime than they lose at night, in order to survive.
Let’s assume a scale of zero to ten. The infected, relative to the humans, have the maximum ability at night. They are a ten for the ten hours a total darkness, because their senses are tuned for it by the virus. Humans, in contrast, usually sleep at night and are not nocturnal creatures. We can still operate, using artificial light and other contrivances, but at best we are maybe a three. Some people will be better than others, but over all, the human effectiveness is a three. Simple math gives the vampires a 100-to-30 edge at night.
Now, things change in the daylight. The ten ours when the sun is clearly in the sky gives the humans their best advantage. It is the ultimate advantage because the vampires are in their sleep phase. The humans are at a ten in the daytime, while the vampires are a zero, so this changes the math to humans 130, vampires 100. If we take the in between hours around dusk and dawn, and generously give the vampires a five and the humans an eight, then the overall math is humans 132, vampires 120. The humans have a slight edge.
The thing is though, the humans have a period of unrestricted movement. This unlimited advantage during the day means they can reset the battlefield every day, giving themselves a little edge in the nighttime. They could vampire-proof their compounds and expand their safe area by going around and clearing the vampires out from their hiding places. This is what happens in the book. The hero gets so good at killing vampires in the daytime, that their numbers rapidly diminish during the night. He’s slowly winning.
This makes for a bad movie, so the script writers make the humans extra stupid so they never take advantage of their assets. They also make the infected super-human or able to defy the laws of physics in some way. They know the audience will side with the humans and they know people like being in the underdog role. The long running television series, The Walking Dead, has the infected magically animated, even as their flesh is long past the point of being useful. It is animated skeletons like Jason and the Argonauts.
This is the mistake outsider political movements often make. They see themselves as the humans, fighting some evil, rather than viewing themselves as the virus infected zombies looking to overthrow the natural order. What makes the Matheson book so good, is he looked at the situation from the point of view of the infected, not just the hero. In the book, some of the infected begin to figure out how to operate in the daytime hours. They are not maximally effective, but they can function. This completely changes the math.
When Richard Spencer walks onto a college campus to give a speech, he is no different from an infected zombie vampire showing up in a camp of humans, to sell the benefits of vampirism. It’s no wonder they set upon him with a fury. More important, he is operating in their space, where they have an infinite advantage. It’s a fight that the infected cannot win, because they have no ability to operate in that environment. The same is true of planned public protests. Charlottesville was just a vampire killing exercise for the Left.
Just as the vampires in the novel carried the day by adapting to the daytime and using that to subvert the advantages of the human, the alt-right needs to become day walkers. If instead of a Spencer strolling on campus to get killed, imagine an alt-right guy getting an IT job at the NYTimes. Imagine if Pax Dickinson was still operating as a CTO at a major media company, while helping the alt-right. It’s the reason the Left is obsessed with doxxing people. They lie awake at night thinking about day walkers getting inside the wire.
The alt-right and affiliated groups need to forget about confrontation. Sure, some of their members and supporters are there just so they can brawl with Antifa, but an army of Chris Cantwells is an army of vampires that are useless in the daytime. There’s nothing to gain from losing to the other side on their turf, playing by their rules. The alt-right needs to go underground, in order to become day walkers, with the ability to walk among the Left in their own areas, learning how to turn their advantages into liabilities.