I do not want to Leave the Pond, I say.
We are going Home, says the Owner, departing into the Middle Distance.
Do you have Cheese? I ask.
No, says the Owner, I have a Commanding Tone and a Moral Dog who Knows what is Good for Him.
That is Oppression, I say. It appears that the Protestations of the Moral Dog have no Moral Force whatsoever, I say.
They have Plenty of Force, says the Owner, but the Owner has More Force. We are Going Home.
The Owner can Go Home, I say. I am staying in the Pond, I say. I refuse to be Oppressed, I say. I am Taking a Stand, I say.
The Moral Dog is exaggerating, says the Owner. One curtailed Wallow does not equal Oppression.
How many Curtailed Wallows would Equal Oppression? I ask. I am interested, I say, because I am Keeping Count, I say. When we reach Oppression I shall be sure to Tell You, I say. It seems to me that I have Got the Owner where I want her now, I say. I shall Take Notes for Jeremy, I say. Jeremy is Very Clear about the Rights of the Masses to Resist Oppression, I say.
I cannot hear you, says the Owner, it is Probably because you are in the Pond.
I am not in the Pond now, I say. You can hear me now, I say. Do not change the Subject, I say. There is a difference between Ordering the Moral Dog out of the Pond and Tempting him Nicely with Interesting Cheese, I say. You are Oppressing the Masses, I say.
There is Definitely only One of you, says the Owner. I see no Masses to Oppress.
The Masses can be Oppressed in Ones, I say. Karl Marx was clear that the Political Rule of the worker cannot coexist with the Perpetuation of his Social Slavery, I say. How Many Times must the Will of the Moral Dog must be Overthrown by Demand before he can Consider himself Oppressed? I say.
Ah, says the Owner, the Moral Dog has raised the puzzling slippery slope argument sometimes known as The Beard, in which a person with a full beard eventually becomes beardless as hairs of the beard are removed one-by-one.
This is surely Irrelevant to the Moral Dog, I say, since he Does not Have a Beard.
The Moral Dog sadly cannot have a beard, says the Owner, but he can Imagine One.
Why should the Moral Dog not have a Beard? I ask. It seems to me that I am being Further Oppressed, I say.
The Moral Dog is Misunderstanding the Point of the Beard, says the Owner. It was merely to ask the Moral Dog how we would know, were we to Remove the Man’s Beard one hair at a Time, when it had ceased to be a Beard?
We could try it and See, I say.
Do not even Imagine you could try it and See, says the Man. The Moral Dog and the Owner might then understand the Meaning of Oppression.
Haha, says the Owner. The Man is Probably making a Joke, says the Owner.
I am Probably not, says the Man.
We do not need to Try It, says the Owner. The fact is that, like the term Oppression, the term Beard is a vague one. This is why it would be Unclear at which intermediate point the Man, even if Pinned to the Ground in order to Ensure his Cooperate with the Plucking, would be Beardless. Would it be with the Loss of the First Hair? Or would it not be till the Loss of the Last? And would it depend on the Pattern with which the Hairs were Plucked? There are many Unanswered Questions.
There is one Answered Question, says the Man. I think there would be no doubt that he would be Oppressed throughout, says the Man.
I do not think this Metaphorical Beard Example helps in any way determine whether the Moral Dog is Oppressed today by the Totalitarian Owner’s ordering him out of the Pond, I say.
No, says the Owner, but it Got You out of the Pond, didn’t it?
The Moral Dog. Deceived by Philosophy. Oppressed by Beards.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.