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Montaigne: Des Cannibales

Halloween 2019

They just don’t do cannibalism like they used to! Such was my response after reading “Des Cannibales,” Of Cannibals, the essay by Michel de Montaigne in his original French collection entitled Essais. The nature of human nature was his focus, and Montaigne focused well!

Montaigne had learned, second-hand, the cannibalistic practices of a tribe in Brazil, from a man who had “lived” amongst the cannibals for about a dozen years. Needless to say, that man was eager to make friends with that group! What this French philosopher learned way back in the mid-16th century can be most illuminating during these dreadful times of silly savagery amongst the entrenched political oligarchies feeding off of the body politic of We, the People.

The works of Montaigne are oftentimes satiric, but, as always with this philosopher, there is enough kernel of truth in the bite of his ironic derision that the words begin as, and remain universal truths. With candor, Montaigne word-paints a delicious compare-and-contrast between the Brazilian cannibals and the European elites of his day. Unlike the brutish opulent rulers of 1500s Europe, the Brazilian cannibals possess a reasonable, well-fed and well-oiled system of governance amongst themselves. They strike this Frenchman as far from barbaric and savage; they are instead rather equitable in the apportioning of their appetites to the dead among enemies of their tribe.

And while Montaigne does not condone the consumption of human flesh, he does make the point, with desert-dry wit, that savagery in the wild looks more humane than civilization in the city. Tribal politics and religion appeared less corrupt at that point in the Brazilian rain forest, long before the virtue-signaling Europeans of modernity descended upon the jungle to save it! Tribalism being what it still is in the Americas, and even on the European continent, one can easily expect the current cannibalism among the flaccid elite politicians to at least resemble the civilized mores of the noble savages of les cannibales.

Alas and alack! There is no virtue among the idiot nepotistic nephews and the laggard loopy swains of the fossilized Political Class within any civilized nation. Cannibalism extends now from in-fighting among those dumbbells in their bubbles to their rabid consumption of perceived enemies in other countries. No borders, no boundaries, no civility, no taste!

The same ad-pitch men and women are hired ‘round the globe so that the Political Head-Hunters can cannibalize at the same rate. Competition can be such a cruel dynamic on the world stage. It is only fair, and just, that the Cannibal Class of one democratic nation consume natives at the same rate as does the Cannibal Class of any other democratic nation. Thus is assured the synchronized and metered mutual self-destruction of the partisan parasites of We, the People.

We, the People, must therefore allow for some mercy upon any parasite known as the Politician. And that mercy demands patience. We must let the entire house of cannibal cards fall, pancake, and thereby put a benevolent and fitting end to the Fonctionnaire Clods clogging up State Houses everywhere. Whenever the carnival of les cannibales comes to town, ignore it. Their narcissism has become too toxic for any red-blooded person to breathe the same air they suck at public expense. Time, and gravity, are handily taking care of the Cannibal Class. All the citizenry need do is survive the unholy messes the politicians have made.

Work, laugh, eat wisely, and sleep well. Decades of decadence are finally coming to a crumbling end, worldwide. There’s gonna be an awful lot of dust. Clean air might actually be a real concern, for a change!


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