The Owner is sad again.
What is wrong? I ask.
It is Ecuador, says the Owner, they are having a terrible time. This virus is destroying so much that is good.
Is there not enough to worry about here? I ask.
Aristotle said Solidarity involves making the interests of your fellow citizens as pressing as your own, says the Owner. Solidarity does not allow us to abandon the interests of any single one of our fellows for the sake of overall gains. Solidarity does not allow citizens to count even one as less important than the Rest. If we do not believe that then we do not have Sufficient Solidarity.
Do you think that the world will be a better place afterwards? I ask, because I have heard some of the Dogs in the Park say this. They say that what does not kill you makes you Stronger.
Stronger is not always Better, says the Owner, I do not think it will be better, because people we love will have gone. I think it will be a sadder place, a bruised place, a place in which we must hold on to those we love and Work Out how to recover. But perhaps we will be Better.
How? I ask.
Unity is a Great Thing, says the Owner. The greater the Solidarity that we show now, the better we will recover. That is what matters now. According to Rousseau, a properly ordered political community will defend and protect the person and goods of each associate with the full common force.
We Dogs have always known this, I say. That is why we Form Packs.
Exactly, says the Owner, but in this case the Pack must Exclude Nobody at all. In the face of this Virus our Community is the Whole World. This includes Ecuador. This is why I was crying.
Does it even include the Man that was Rude to us in the Park when you asked for my Ball Back? I ask.
The People with whom we must show Solidarity include not only those with whom we already feel Bonds of Kinship and Family, but also those to whom we do not, says the Owner. It is not Changing the way you treat those you Like that makes you a Better Person, but Changing the way you treat those you Do Not Like.
Like me and the Fox, I say.
Exactly, says the Owner.
So when he shouted that you were a Richard for Asking for my Ball since if he could get the Ball off his Dog he would already have done so, and you said the Ball is Obviously Important to your Dog, as it is clear that you Greatly Wish to Retrieve it but Cannot, so please accept is as a Gift, you were showing Solidarity? I ask.
I was, says the Owner modestly.
I am just checking, I say, given that he became Even Crosser, I say.
That was his Moral Failing, says the Owner, failing to make eye contact.
I raise one Eyebrow. Caspar and I have been working on this for weeks but I only got it right this morning. Really? I ask. Do you think perhaps you were layering Solidarity on with a Trowel? I ask.
I might have been, says the Owner, looking at her Toes.
Well, I say, if I can set an Example of Solidarity with the Fox then you can set an Example with the Man with the Ball.
Very well, says the Owner.
No more trowelling? I say.
One might lose Solidarity with the Moral Dog if he Rubs it In any harder, says the Owner.
I settle down for a doze. Sometimes the Moral Dog is on such Moral High Ground that further words are Simply Unnecessary.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.