Sunday, August 05, 2007

Chapter 4-7

From youth to hoary age, man takes an instinctive delight in all that pertains to warfare and the chase.

As a boy he twangs his arrows at the sparrows, trains and loads his toy-cannon, marshals his tin soldiers, brandishes his wooden sword, fights his mimic battles, builds his snow fortifications on the playground; and the proudest day of his life is that on which he becomes the proprietor of ‘a real gun.’

As a full grown citizen he practices homicide with repeating rifle, at moving targets, slaughtering tame pigeons with choke-bore breechloaders, hunts foxes, wolves, bears, pumas, over mountain and mere, wades up to his neck in swamps to kill teal, and travels to far lands in search of Big Game and nigger shooting.

The Indian fighters of North America take supreme joyance in slaying red devils; and to ‘pot a blackfellow’ in Queensland is boasted of round camp-fires under gum-trees as, ‘great fun.’

The Cape of Good Hope, Australia, New Zealand, North and South America, have been made into veritable human shambles and gory hunting grounds, within the memory of middle aged men. Indeed the delight which men take in slaying wild animals, is tameness itself, compared with the exultation they display in hunting, trailing, and slaughtering each other.

Man-hunts were organized systematically in Lacedaemon, when the helots became too numerous and too resistive. It is not improbable that as our own surplus ‘submerged tenths’ increase in numbers, they may be thinned out by similar battues.

At every meal we rend flesh, scrape bones, suck marrow, and daintily lap blood; just as our hairy troglodyte progenitors did. The food supply of all Christian nations is composed of the body and blood, the hides and marrow of both human herds and vast swarms of inferior brutes, living, dying, dead. The lives of countless hordes of hirelings, are daily being transmuted into juicy steaks and sirloins; that those who have money may buy and eat thereof. Not only do we ferociously compete for prey i.e. for subsistence; but we literally eat each other with voracity, relish, and mutual toleration. Thus properly understood, Darwinism is not very comforting doctrine for fat men.

Public buildings and frowning fortresses, capitols and prisons, ‘temples of freedom’ and cross-crowned cathedrals, have (every one of them) been constructed upon exactly the same general principles whereby the Pyramids of On and the Palaces of Nineveh were built, every riveted girder, every iron transom, every block of concrete, every solid, squared, and polished stone, has been bedded literally on a dying groan; by the hands of dehumanized and conquered decadents, insensate, -‘of reason void, of reverence full.’

There is nothing immoral, nothing abnormal, in these grim facts. All is in strict harmony with that cosmic enactment, the Survival of the Strongest.

In the language of Germany’s chansonist:
“The living current through the air is heaving,
Breathing blessings, see them bending;
Balanced worlds from change defending,
While everywhere diffused is harmony unending.”

Instinctively we understand that the struggle for existence is absolutely needful. We feel that Nature makes no mistakes, and therefore we accept her dicta because we must; not because it has been eloquently formulated, by sublimated visionaries; or reechoed, again and again, by thousands of human microphones.


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