That All Animals Are Equal, is a most respected philosophy in the USA and other parts where plutocracy reigns. I explain why below.
Philosophy is not innocuous, far from it: it’s how people are ruled. Ruling over others is intrinsically evil. So evil, actually, that baboons, these super aggressive and militarized animals, have diluted rule in three ways. Baboons have two sort of “guides”, the rulers, and the innovators. In a baboon troop between alpha females, alpha males and numerous innovators, few adult baboons are just subjugated.
This makes the present situation of the human species all the more remarkable. We are subjugated. Rousseau said it was because of civilization itself. That was stupid (yet, it led to Nazism and Sovietism). In truth we are subjugated because of particular philosophies. Generally I target the (sort of) wisdom known as Abrahamism (Judeo-Christo-Islamism), because rather rabid citizens in America and the Middle East claim to believe in it enough to bomb others (see invasion of Iraq, etc.).
But then there are those philosophies which are a bit more sophisticated in the way they subjugate. The animal rights movements first blossomed under Nazism. Coincident with the rise of plutocracy, and the decay of everything else, this time in the USA, not Germany, it has also blossomed in the USA.
Peter Singer claimed in 1974 that “All Animals are Equal“. This made him extremely famous. He got a prestigious appointment at Princeton University. Many professional “philosophers” throughout the Anglo-Saxon juggernaut claim loudly to view Singer as the “greatest philosopher alive”. I have an adverse interpretation, naturally. Before I come to that, I should expose Singer’s fundamental idea. Let’s quote him extensively, lest I be accused to distort him. (Those who are more interested by what I have to say about them rather than what I view as sophisticated inanities, can hyper-jump after the quote.) Peter Singer wrote:
“I gave reasons for believing that the fundamental principle of equality, on which the equality of all human beings rests, is the principle of equal consideration of interests. Only a basic moral principle of this kind can allow us to defend a form of equality which embraces all human beings, with all the differences that exist between them. I shall now contend that while this principle does provide an adequate basis for human equality, it provides a basis which cannot be limited to humans. In other words I shall suggest that, having accepted the principle of equality as a sound moral basis for relations with others of our own species, we are also committed to accepting it as a sound moral basis for relations with those outside our own species – the nonhuman animals.
This suggestion may at first seem bizarre. We are used to regarding the oppression of blacks and women as among the most important moral and political issues facing the world today. These are serious matters, worthy of the time and energy of any concerned person. But animals? Surely the welfare of animals is in a different category altogether, a matter for old ladies in tennis shoes to worry about. How can anyone waste their time on equality for animals when so many humans are denied real equality?
This attitude reflects a popular prejudice against taking the interests of animals seriously – a prejudice no better founded than the prejudice of white slaveowners against taking the interests of blacks seriously. It is easy for us to criticize the prejudices of our grandfathers, from which our fathers freed themselves. It is more difficult to distance ourselves from our own beliefs, so that we can dispassionately search for prejudices among them. What is needed now is a willingness to follow the arguments where they lead, without a prior assumption that the issue is not worth attending to.
The argument for extending the principle of equality beyond our own species is simple, so simple that it amounts to no more than a clear understanding of the nature of the principle of equal consideration of interests. We have seen that this principle implies that our concern for others ought not to depend on what they are like, or what abilities they possess (although precisely what this concern requires us to do may vary according to the characteristics of those affected by what we do).
It is on this basis that we are able to say that the fact that some people are not members of our race does not entitle us to exploit them, and similarly the fact that some people are less intelligent than others does not mean that their interests may be disregarded. But the principle also implies that the fact that beings are not members of our species does not entitle us to exploit them, and similarly the fact that other animals are less intelligent than we are does not mean that their interests may be disregarded.”
There are so many wrong idea in the preceding quote, which contains all what Singer is famous for in a nutshell, that it’s hard to know where to start. I will keep to the mains (what gives electric shocks, yes).
Notice the preeminence of the word, and concept, of “interest” in Singer’s thought system. This may sound innocuous. It’s not. In Islam (as in Judaism and Christianity) charting interest to a fellow-man is forbidden (haram). I believe in moods.
By making the notion of INDIVIDUAL interest, which is the center, and crux of so-called “capitalism” or so-called “markets”, as in “free markets”, the highest value imaginable, Singer and his accomplices are, not so implicitly, putting “the market” (aka American imperialism), at the very top of the pyramids of all values.
So notice, that if we want no more sexism and raise, Singer says we have to embrace interest, thus markets. Plutocracy shall make you free!
No wonder Singer joined in 2011 the professoriate of New College of the Humanities, a private college in London, in addition to his work at Princeton. Instead of lashing out, with high taxes on plutocrats, and thus trample their delicate interests, Peter shall strive to prevent their suffering.
After all, plutocrats may be of lesser intelligence than us, yet, we have to respect their interests, because they are animals, and their right to life and no suffering, are primordial..
How come such stupidities have become so famous and respectable? Precisely because they force the philosophically minded, if they want to graduate, to respect stupidity. Thus the mood of abject submission to stupidity is enforced as the highest moral value, and proof of the highest smarts.
Now of course, Singer’s incredibly offensive message is disguised with mould red herrings about (correct) trivialities. Singer’s Key Idea is that equal does not mean the same (who could say otherwise?). Example: one doesn’t have to assign a right to abortion to men in order to assign it to women.
The real issue is the concept of equality. We make a mistake in thinking that it requires equal rationality, says Singer. Singer claims that rights used to be denied to women and non-whites on the grounds of their limited rationality.
To “prove” this, Singer rolls out an example. A woman feminist in England wrote an essay on women deserving equal rights: She pointed out that, just across the Channel, in Paris, a strong attempt had been made to give women the right to vote. A Cambridge philosopher replied by asking if “brutes” also deserved equal rights. That was in 1794. Singer says, then, yes, even brutes have rights.
Women had been fighting for their rights, and getting some, sometimes, for 22 centuries, ever since Roman Pater Familias were deprived of their right to kill their wives.
However Singer exhibits his own limitation: “limited rationality” was an Anglo-Saxon argument: in Antique Rome, there was NO assumption of limited rationality on the ground of difference of origin! Similarly for the successor regime of Rome, France. Racism, race, limited rationality, exclusion are ANGLO-SAXON concepts, enshrined in the congenital slavery of “blacks” (some of whom were white).
As a child I lived in Africa. French speaking Africa (more than 200 million people in Africa ). Once I crossed over into an English speaking African country. To my amazement, I found there were two sets of toilets at the customs. A first set, immaculate, very fancy, for “Ladies and Gentlemen”. In the distance there was another set, rough and disgusting, of a suspicious brownish color, for “Males and Females”. That was my first introduction to racism. (In French Africa, there were only one type of toilets.
When the Franks got to England in 1066 CE, they freed the slaves. They conducted a census: 20% of the population was enslaved. Recently the buried corpse of a Black African was found in England, post Frankish conquest. He was a free man.
Singer’s thesis of deep racism in history is not correct. Rome was NOT racist. The two large empires which made Western civilization, Roma and the Imperium Francorum, believed exactly that. That’s why seven queens of the Franks reigned around 600.
So what is the connection with Nazism? If Nietzsche were here, he would say: nihilism. By claiming that mold, lichen and arthropods have “equal rights”, Singer is trashing the human race, he may as well say cow dung has equal rights.
The Nazis were crafty enough to find that angle well before Singer. Nobody could accuse the Nazis to be inhuman, quite the opposite: they passed strong laws preventing cruelty to animals, and created vast and numerous national parks.
It was all a smokescreen. The interest of Nazis was to kill people, so they could suck their riches, from their hair, to their teeth (!), to the properties they owned before the Nazis stole them.
The solution to Nazism was to inflict on Nazis enough pain, suffering and death, so they will quit by force their pretense to animality.
The rise of plutocracy is directly connected to the mood we have equal right to sheep. No wonder Mr. Singer is well employed.