Please get off me, says the Owner. I am writing about Oppression in Liberal Societies. The Police are to Deploy Facial Recognition Cameras, which I believe is a Serious Threat to Civil Liberties.
But, I say, Surely the Police can be Trusted. There, I have finished it for you. Now we can play.
It is not that Simple, says the Owner. It gives the State a Power over Our Liberty which we cannot be sure it will Always Exercise Wisely. Sometimes even the Most Committed Liberals resort to Oppression by claiming that the Ends Justify the Means.
But Squeaky Cat wants to Play, I say.
We have Played already, says the Owner. Now I have to work.
I cannot believe you are Rejecting Squeaky Cat, I say. Squeaky Cat wishes to Discuss it Further.
I do not wish to discuss it for even another second, says the Owner, looking Grumpy.
Squeaky Cat and I Confer in the Corner.
Please stop Squeaking, says the Owner. I have to work.
It is not me Squeaking, I say. It is Squeaky Cat. He is Bored.
It is not My Fault that he is Bored, says the Owner. His Boredom is His Responsibility. As is his Squeak.
Squeaky Cat says he has a Right to Squeak, I say. He says if All Mankind minus One were of One Opinion, and Only One Person were of the Contrary Opinion, Mankind would be No More Justified in Silencing that One Person than he, if he had the Power, would be Justified in Silencing All Mankind.
Squeaky Cat did not say that, it was John Stuart Mill, says the Owner, and he also said ‘the Liberty of the Individual must be thus far Limited; he must not Make Himself a Nuisance.’ Squeaky Cat’s Right to Speak is therefore Limited by My Right not to have my Work Interrupted by Squeaking.
Squeaky Cat is not a Nuisance, I say with Dignity. It is the Crushing of his Hard-won Freedom that is a Nuisance.
Yes, well, says the Owner, Stanley Fish says when Determining the Limits of Freedom of Speech we must consider in every case What is at Stake and What are the Risks and Gains of Alternative Courses of Action.
What are the Risks and Gains of Squeaky Cat Exercising his Right to Free Sqeuaking, as opposed to Not Exercising his Right to Free Squeaking? I ask.
If You keep Squeaking Him, says the Owner, Someone may take his Squeaker out.
Sometimes even the Most Committed Liberals Resort to Oppression by claiming that the Ends Justify the Means, I think. I do not say it aloud, given the Serious Threat to my Civil Liberties (given that the Moral Dog is not sure that his Own squeaker Cannot be Removed, he does not wish to Take the Risk) but I think it Extremely Loudly.
Dammit, says the Owner. I give in, lets’s go and Play.
I have made my Point.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.