I have nothing but bad experiences in Clairmont. Case in point: I was doing this whole philosophy thing. I had somehow been swindled it to it, and had been regretting it ever since. But, as I am as stupid as I am stubborn, I hadn’t chucked it in and gone on my merry way. Which, is as it (now) seems, would have been the better way to go. In addition to being stupid and stubborn, I have this tendency, from time to time, to slide into a severe case of assholism. I tend to do and say things that, in fact, belie my true intentions — which was how I had gotten myself in to the business of philosophy in the first place. I, for some reason, had decided to let other people think that I actually cared, or care, about what’s going on in the world outside of my neighborhood. Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually a very compassionate person — but in a very kind of abstract way. I care in the same way that a greeting card wishes that you recover from your cancer. Sure, the sentiment is there, but it lacks substance. Anyway, I was knee-deep in an assholic fit, meaning that I was really in for convincing people that I was one of those types who cared so compassionately about those who are less fortunate than I. And, it so happened that Peter Singer was to give a speech about moral obligations (or something like that) to the underdeveloped world. And, it was in Clairmont. Great. So… I go, along with a couple of friends, to see Singer speak. Truth be told, I was looking more for a reason to be out of the house than to see some philosopher drone on about why I should feel guilty about living in the best damn country in the whole world ( if you don’t get the sarcasm here, I feel sorry for you). So, we went, and settled down to hear Mr. Singer explain how we (and really, we are morally obligated to do so) can help others who are living in desperate poverty around the globe. Now, I’m no stranger to the occasional conspiracy theory, and Mr. Singer plays a role in them, particularly those dealing with concepts like population control and eugenics. And frankly, it’s not difficult, when you read Singer’s work, to see where someone might interpret his views as such. I’ll say that, after watching a few clips of Singer speak on YouTube, that it’s pretty easy to make a connection between Singer’s philosophy and the New World Order’s ultimate plan for humanity. During his talk, Singer said that our problems (hunger and severe poverty in the underdeveloped world) are not matters of politics or ethics, but technical. It’s a matter of figuring out the right solution. For Singer, it’s removing the incentive for greed. Greed, according to Singer, leads to hoarding, and hoarding leads to dependence of others for others to meet their needs. So, for example, if the guy who lives on the coast puts up a big fence around his property, which includes the shoreline, and because of that fact he is the only one who catches fish, and he choses not to share them, and the only food for miles is fish, then I will enevitably depend on him for my food. Singer’s solution is to get rid of the monetary system and religion. That, according to Singer, will be the trick to feeding the world. All we have to do is do it. (it’s so simple, right?). But, as I was listening, I began to hear the words of Johnathan Swift inside my noggin. What Singer was offering us was a proposal, correct? And if just removing religion and money will start the ethics ball rolling, why end there? I mean, if the solution isn’t moral or political but technical, wouldn’t getting rid of the have-not’s be an even better solution? Techincally speaking, of course. During the summer, my house is floodded with ants. Those nasty black ones that stink when you smash ’em. So, after having box after delicious box of Fruit Loops succumb to the black menace, we decided to nip the problem at the source. I can’t remember exactly what it was that we used (it was hazardous to humans and domestic animals, that much I remember), but the problem soon abated. Now I can eat Fruit Loops. We solved the problem by getting rid of what was taking something away from us — and more specifically– from me (something, I might add, that I had earned and bought with my own money). But, the ants served no purpose to me other than not being a pest. What if they weren’t so unuseful? What if, even in their demise, the ants could serve a purpose? And that is exactly what third world people can do! The way to get rid of greed (because getting rid of god is so much more difficult) is to lop it off at the source. But greed is only manifested at the expense of someone else. That is, it’s difficult to be really greedy if everyone is getting the exact same amount of stuff. If I got five lap dances and the guy next to me got five lap dances, then the other guy would be just as happy as I ( assuming that the quality of the talent was equal). And if we both got six, well, you can say that we were equally greedy, but neither would feel deprived of anything except for maybe a few bills. It’s only after I’m invited to the champange room that the situation becomes unequal and charges of not fairity are leveled against me. Why? Because I got more than I deserved to get. So, what about food? What about water, or money, or whatever natural or unnatural resource we have or can get? Well, technically speaking, there wouldn’t be a problem over lap dances if I were the only gentleman in the club. If the other people who would look at what I’ve got and get jealous were not there, there would be no greed. And if there is no greed, there is no problem. So… when it comes to the underdeveloped world, I say that we stop looking at Swift as satire and seriously take the Swift-Singer proposal as real, workable policy. We should get rid of the underdeveloped world. But you see, people are not ants. They actually can serve a purpose after you’ve ridded yourself of them. I was watching the miniseries “V” awhile back, and Marc Singer (hey! coincidence?) was in the mothership with “Martin” amid the bodies of thousands of people wrapped up and ready to ship to the visitors’ homeworld. The reason why they were doing so, Martin explains, is that their planet was in need of several precious resources. In addition to needing warriors for their great leader’s wars, they also needed water and food — which was where the people come in. They didn’t consider the political or moral implications if their problem, they simply went for the easiest technical solution, which was to head for the planet with six billion food packets ready to be crated up and shipped home. The real bonus is, is if we replace our food with people, we can save all that corn that we won’t be eating for biofuels! I had heard that Singer is a utilitarian, and that a problem with utilitarianism is the fact that sometimes the theory bears out wacky outcomes, like proposing that we eat those who are less fortunate. I say, that’s a problem only if we are looking at the problem morally. It’s the ethics that bind us to outcomes that we may not want. But Singer himself said that the solution isn’t ethical, but technical. And technics need not tie itself to morality. If we want to actually solve our problems, maybe we need to grow beyond our primitive need to check to see if everything we do is alright with some father in the sky. After all, Singer himself said that a way to solve the world’s problems is to get rid of religion. So, no sky father, no moral cop looking over our shoulders. (I know there’s a quote that goes something along the lines of without god, all things are permitted, or something like that). So, following Singer’s guidelines, it seems that really the way to solve the problem technically, is to 1) get rid of the problem, and 2) eat the problem, thus solving our own problems with factory farming and e-coli outbreaks as a result of animal waste run-off. I have a feeling that our animal friends at PETA will not object to this solution, as no animals will abused in the eating of people. So there. I can say, with absolutely no reservations or sense of irony, that Peter Singer wants me to eat the underdeveloped world. I’ll take mine with ranch dressing, if you don’t mind.