Perverted Utilitarianism Or: Cannibalism Gone Dry in a World Without People

I am going to try to take down some kind of history of what happened, in case someone ever happens across these words, though I am no writer and I doubt there will be anyone left to read it. I suppose you could call me lucky for still being alive at this point. I’m not sure I feel that way.

When it all started there were about two billion of us, by my estimate. John Mill’s grandson got elected prime minister and then, when the Great War ended Mill III took control of the League of Nations. He was so attractive then, with different ideas on liberty than his grandfather, but he was a staunch utilitarian through and through and he might be called the reason we’ve survived this long. I, and probably Mill, too, never expected it to happen the way it did. Utilitarianism- Mill told us even God was for it.

In the beginning, it all worked fine. Mill changed some of the laws and some of the governments so that every law was based on the basic concepts of utilitarianism- whatever would bring the greatest happiness to the greatest number. Everything seemed perfect until the land stopped producing food—something about a virus, so new and widespread the scientists couldn’t stop it—and the bottom of the food chain gave out. Soon after that, we had hunted most of the animals that were left unstarved.

When the food ran out, we stopped being so happy. Mill, as always, asked what would make the greatest number of us the happiest that he could. We told that what would make us happy would be full bellies. Mill understood what he had to do, and so we had our solution- we would have to eat some of our own.

At first it was only the ones that deserved it. Dissenters and criminals of utilitarianism’s laws were the targets. As a bonus, killing the ones holding us back would make us all happier anyway. Getting rid of the ones bringing about the least happiness would also lessen the number of hungry mouths and, more importantly, get some meat back on the table.

When we ran out of prisoners, immorals, and unhappy people, there were still a few million of us, all still under Mill’s guidance. I don’t know what we would have done without him. But we were still hungry. Because they didn’t stand much of a chance anyway, and all they were doing was stealing food from the healthy, we ate the sick and the elderly. We ate the young.

When there were a few thousand of us, our hunger was the only thing holding back our abundant happiness. Mill helped us decide that if it made nine people happy to eat one person, it would be worth it. We kept that up for a while, until this morning. There are only three of us left, and I’m sure I’m going to be chosen winner of the lottery. At least I won’t have to deal with what Mill does with the other guy once I’m gone. I guess my real luck is in my chance escape.

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