Queen Anne’s Island was settled by an offshoot of the Australasian expansion in the first milennium B.C.E. A small party of European convicts landed in the early nineteenth century and subsisted by cannibalism of the native population. The descendants of the convicts continued to practice cannibalism of the natives until in World War II the island became a refueling station for the US Navy and after the war a British colonial officer (Sir Jeffry Pauly, a distant cousin of the physicist) established a parliamentary government.
Before departing Sir Pauly instituted the following rules to foster the growth of democracy and the mutual respect and civility which undergird that noble form of self-rule
It is forbidden to say that anybody on the island deserves to be food for anybody else or is fated by God or genetics to be a meal
It is forbidden to accuse anybody of being genetically predisposed to cannibalism.
The prominent convict-descended ideologue and politician “ROUGH WILLY” has never said anything remotely racist or cannibalistic. Some natives suspect him — maybe most — because he owns a collection of human cook books. However Rough Willy’s supporters accuse the natives of violating the rule of civil society which states you cannot accuse your fellow citizens of racism and cannibalism.
I myself find cannibalism morally repugnant. I follow the golden rule in its epistemic variety “That which I would not want others to think of me, do not think of them.” So I hesitate to call Rough Willy and his rough supporters crypto-cannibals. After all, if I am quick to call others cannibals, doesn’t that suggest in my own mind the cannibal lurks uncomfortably close to the surface?
My girlfriend Dawn says quite the opposite. She is a vegan, but she says if she were a cannibal she would be smart enough to lie about it to get the good government jobs. She views the smallest infraction on the part of Willy and his crew — e.g. the recent “Ape Feast” where they dressed great apes in human clothes, then slaughtered them and feasted on their flesh in a giant party/BBQ — as a sign we are dealing with unreconstructed anthropophagi.
I deny this. If we call each other cannibals what hope is there for democracy and the rule of law on Saint Anne’s? My neighbor Joshua supports Willy and seems perfectly happy living on beef, lamb, turkey and chicken. Some day I mean to ask him what he means when he says he misses “the good old days.”