New Scientist: Combat Colonialism With ... Cannibalism?

AP Photo/MGM Home Entertainment, Library of Congress

Note: Republished from February 21.

I've written before that Woke Will Eat Itself, but I didn't mean it literally. Now it appears that progressives at the New Scientist have decided to promote the idea of becoming fine young cannibals* as a way to deconstruct Western civilization and counter colonialism.


What this argument has to do with science is anyone's guess (via Twitchy):

To get more of this wisdom, one must pay to unlock the firewall. And believe it or not, I was sorely tempted to do so, albeit on my company credit card. That wasn't because I thought the authors of this chapter of To Serve Man would either repudiate the argument or make it more about science. I was and remain convinced that there are further nuggets of nonsense to mine in this idiocy.

Nevertheless, I chose to pass on offering financial support for this proposition. Bite not lest ye be bitten, as I never have had to say before now. So let us instead just chew on the excerpt provided here by Twitter user Leftism. 

There is no doubt that the revulsion to cannibalism is "culturally ingrained," but that's hardly limited to the West or to its religious faiths. Few large-scale cultures featured cannibalism as an accepted practice in recorded history; those that did tended to be small and isolated. Only in extremes has it happened otherwise, and there are Western examples of that too -- the Andes plane crash in the 1970s, the Donner party in the Gold Rush era, and in prison camps during World War II, for instance.

And even if one accepts that Western colonialism stamped out the practice, wouldn't that be ... good


On that note, let's consider how it ended. One history website notes that early medicine sometimes relied on "medical cannibalism," in the West and elsewhere. These do not appear to be a widespread practice, but to the extent they existed at all, the Enlightenment put an end to them:

The dawn of the Enlightenment in the 18th century brought an abrupt end to these practices: a new emphasis on rationalism and science signalled the close of an era where ‘medicine’ often revolved around folklore and superstition.

That is what makes this argument at a publication called "The New Scientist" even more ironic. Not only does this proposition have nothing to do with science, it appears to appeal to anti-science rather than science of any kind. Given the lead of the story -- which asks readers to "reassess our views" on cannibalism based on "compassionate" motivations behind it -- this is an appeal back to folklore and superstition.

That seems to be what's for dinner these days with progressives generally, too. In a Spiked article I headlined earlier, Stephen Knight wrote about a new push from the White House to incorporate "indigenous ways of knowing" into medical care. Based off of a Free Beacon report, Knight castigates the Biden administration for putting folklore and superstition on the same level as scientific research and progress, and also castigates the DEI movement that pushes for it:

There was a time when you could count on the left to defend science with the sort of zeal that would make a religious fundamentalist blush. Scientific knowledge was once gleefully wielded to expose and mock the magical thinking of creationists, anti-vaxxers, Flat Earthers, astrologers and homoeopaths. However, this staunch commitment to scientific empiricism has recently begun to waver. It is now increasingly coming into conflict with the new tenets of the ‘diversity, equity and inclusion’ (DEI) agenda. ...

Yes, some DEI advocates really do think that public-health bodies should seek the input of tribal elders and spiritual leaders – alongside, say, qualified physicians and epidemiologists. What’s more, they believe that racism is the only reason it has taken so long for indigenous knowledge to be utilised in this way. They argue that science is a ‘Western, colonialist structure’ that has only come to dominate our thinking thanks to white supremacy. This nefarious falsehood began in academia, with calls from activists to ‘decolonise’ science. Now it has reached the highest levels of the US government.


Knight blasts this ideological perversion of science and medicine as a fraud:

The claim that science is ‘Western’ is absurd, of course. One of the many wonderful things about science is that it does not discriminate. Science is a universal, cross-cultural concept. It invites anyone and everyone to participate and contribute to our growing understanding of reality. Science does not care about what you look like or where you come from. All science cares about is whether your methods and conclusions are sound enough to survive scrutiny. This clearly cannot be said for indigenous knowledge.

There's nothing about science that excludes "indigenous knowledge." The scientific method can test those theses too and render a verdict on efficacy and risks just as well as it can on Western pharmaceuticals. That method of replicable-results research may have come from the West, but it doesn't just benefit the West -- it benefits humanity because it relies on science rather than ideology. Untested folklore is no substitute for it, either.

So why are progressives pushing governments to abandon it? Probably for the conceit used by The New Scientist -- a mindless rebellion against a Western culture they hate. And this is no different than the anti-modern progressivism of the past 60 years; it's an outshoot of self-loathing Malthusianism, in which progressive Utopians want to force a return to agrarian subsistence-level living for a greatly reduced human population. That irrational belief system has turned into a neo-pagan religion of its own, with an Angry Earth Mother That Must Be Appeased through sacrifice. The more honest among them will set the goal at around one billion humans to keep Gaia from overheating, a figure that would eliminate six out of every seven humans currently on the planet.


"Reassessing" cannibalism on the basis of "compassion" would certainly accelerate their progress to that goal, no? You could deconstruct Western civilization more quickly by reinstituting human sacrifice, and clean up afterward by putting man-flesh back on the menu, boys! And guess who'd be on that menu? Hint: It wouldn't be the enlightened elites who sneer at the herd. 

Ask not for whom the dinner bell tolls .. it tolls for thee.

Progressivism isn't just a philosophy or ideology. It's a cookbook!

I believe I speak for most of us when I respond to the annihilationist progressives: Eat me. Figuratively, I meanFiguratively

* - IYKYK.

Addendum: When we talk about our fight against the progressives being existential, this is what we mean. If you want to fight against being next on the menu, become a HotAir VIP member today! In honor of the occasion, readers can use the SPECIAL promo code HANNIBAL to receive a 50% discount on your membership. I'm not kidding -- that promo code really works. Try it out!

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