Knocking People Over, says the Owner, is Bad Enough. But Failing to Look After them when they Fall is Abject Dereliction of Duty. I cannot believe I have seen this in the So-called Land of the Free.
That Man is Lying on the Floor, I say.
He is clearly Badly Injured, says the Owner, and the Policeman who pushed him over is not even checking him. Hergest, you are seeing Oppression happening Live on the Evening News.
Perhaps he is lying there on Purpose, I say.
And Perhaps he has a Fractured Skull, says the Owner. America is Oppressing its people through the Very Police who are meant to protect their Freedom. This is a Dangerous Moment in History.
It is for the Man on the Floor, I say.
It is for the State itself, says the Owner. In a community held together by Solidarity, if you Oppress one then you Oppress All. Oppressed People may rise up and Change the Social Rules and, even the Social Order.
That is rather like saying that when the Moral Dog is Refused Cheese on Morally Arbitrary Grounds the Owner is Oppressing not only the Moral Dog but all Dogs Everywhere, and we should rise up and Demand Cheese, I say. For Example, I add, as my point is an Important One, were the Moral Dog to be Refused Cheese purely because it is before Eight o Clock in the morning, despite displaying Exemplary Behaviour for Many Hours, such Behaviour might be Justified.
If the Owner were to do such an Inexplicably Awful thing, says the Owner, then she would indeed be Oppressing All Dogs Everywhere. However the Only Reason the Moral Dog has displayed Exemplary Behaviour for the last few hours is that he has been Asleep with Squeaky Cat, who does not Allow any Nonsense. Cheese is a Reward for Good Behaviour, not for No Behaviour. This was not therefore Oppression at all.
I do not see why, I say. These Cheese Rules are of your making, I say. Is it not Oppression if you deny the needs of the Moral Dog, whom you have purchased and enslaved? I am due Reparations, I say. Jeremy the Beagle says they can be taken in Cheese, I say.
I have not Enslaved you, says the Owner. I admit that Money Changed Hands but it was not for the Moral Dog but for the Time and Care that had been Lavished Upon Him. Neither have I Oppressed you. Oppression occurs when one group is subordinated while another is privileged. Such Oppression is maintained by a variety of different mechanisms including social norms, stereotypes and institutional rules and behaviours.
Such as Institutional Rules regarding the Timing of Cheese, I say.
Cheese is a Privilege, says the Owner, but Equality is a Right. America is on the Brink of Revolution. I hope they Manage it this time.
You are seriously Advocating Revolution? I ask. The last time it happened I recall that all the tea was thrown into Boston harbour. I suspect there may also have been Cheese Sandwiches, which is itself a tragedy. Subsequently a Great Deal of Unpleasantness Ensued. Surely you do not want such a Revolution?
There is more than one kind of Revolution, says the Owner. America needs a Revolution in the Relationship between the Police and the People. A Revolution in its notion of Equality. A revolution in its understanding of Opportunity. A revolution in its approach to Difference. And we must stand with them. As Marx said, the proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains.
I think you would get on with Jeremy the Beagle like a House on Fire, I say. I think you should meet.
You are still not getting Reparations, says the Owner.
The Moral Dog. Most definitely Institutionally Oppressed.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.