Sunday, December 10, 2006

Chapter 4-4

In the department of Natural History it is axiomatic that all kinds of living beings, from protozoa to man, subsist and propagate, through and by the destruction of feebler competitors, belonging to the same species or to kindred species.

Thus, the big fish eat the little fish, the big trees (by absorbing and monopolizing the nutriment) “eat up” the little trees, the strongest animals eat the weak animals and so on, ad infinitum.

Man is no exception. Conquering and masterful nations have ever been ravenous devourers flesh-food, and most of them have also been man-eaters. The slaughter-houses of Christendom reek with the dying effluvia of millions and millions and butchered brutes, that man, the King of Animal, may by day eat flesh, drink blood, and gnaw bones.

Even cannibalism is not extinct in far lands, nor quite unknown in the centers of our proudest civilizations. With the first great revolutionary cataclysm, its revival upon a gigantic scale is not an improbability.

During the eleventh century, man’s flesh was cooked, sold and eaten in England, and Englishmen may again revert to anthropophagy, if ever their imported food supplies should be suddenly and entirely cut-off, either by convulsion of nature or acts of war. Ship-wrecked crews have repeatedly saved themselves by casting lots and devouring some of their number, and shipwrecked nations (loaded up to the hatches with seething cargos of festering useless nondescripts) may yet be driven to do the same.

Innumerable are the folk-lore legends, relating to ancient and modern man-eaters. Formal human sacrifices upon the Altars of Idols are quite common. In Mexico and Ancient Britain, prelates butchered their victims (generally young virgins) in public, amid the acclaim of musical instruments, the chanting of beautiful liturgies, and the hosanna shouts of the mob.

The modern prelate does not employ the rude smoking gun gully-knife, but uses other weapons, ten times more keen and more destructive. For every human sacrifice ‘offered up’ in olden times, millions are offered now.

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