I clipped something that someone wrote about the appeal/fascination of the 'zombie apocalypse'. I think some of these thoughts are equally revelant to armageddon hopes/fears:
People are delusional in thinking that then end of civilisation would end their problems. It's like the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. Part of the fall of the classical Roman Empire is related to the proliferation of the Christian religion. People no longer felt a need to fix things about their society that were broken, because: "Fuck it! There is life after death!"
It's the same thing in modern times. People are unhappy with their lives and have a "fuck it... it's all gonna burn anyway" attitude.Apocalypse might end your first world problems, but the new problems would be a bit more intense. Being cold, wet and filthy all the time, scratching in the dirt to find food, starvation, no clean water, fighting off other starving hoards of humanity (aka zombies), getting sick easily, finding out how weak and out of shape you really are, and it goes on and on. -- I believe that at this point of societal breakdown people would go back on their primitive instincts. Rather than look for the "pretty" people which this current society has designated as desirable, strong people with a leadership mentality would ultimately become the sought after partner. Rather than look for that skinny pretty girl, take the girl that is a little plump and has some sort of physical trait that is desirable (ie. Fast, strong, etc..). She is most likely going to survive over some scrawny little women who was used to being given anything (No offense just trying to state my pseudo-facts) --
Well that or else they want to feel special, and being a last survivor would give them that. Rather than one among billions, they'd be one of only a few, and the survival of the species would be tied to their fate. Basic hero stuff, really.In fact I would argue that it is the preferred hero fantasy of those who realize that they are not so special. The apocalypse provides a plausible way for them to become special without any special skill or effort, just dumb luck. It's also a favorite of those who feel that their particular talents are unappreciated or underutilized in the modern civilized world.