February 25, 2017: Ratland

Things are in the saddle, and ride mankind. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Meanings are not determined by situations, but we determine ourselves by the meanings we give to situations. Alfred Adler

Character is destiny. Heraclitus

The rats of Ratland had experienced it before: 100 rats and food for 50 will bring about rat-hell. Yet, oddly, enough food for all to live did not altogether eliminate rat-hell. And so what focus shall the rats of Ratland take?

Some offered there were too many rats and some of the lesser could be foregone for the greater good.

Some offered it was not provisions alone that help rats thrive, as a full-belly, though necessary, was obviously not the end of rat hell—civility should rule as wanting of some kind or the other will always find a way in.

Some offered that civility itself is the creation of class, however subtle the lines of demarcation between rats arise, as whose values shall rule the land?

Some replied the majority should determine the values and rules, even as others wondered about narrow majorities or about who does not or cannot participate in the count.

Some argued that power is necessary to enforce rules and values, regardless of who rules or what values run Ratland. A rat militia is a necessity to enforce rat law and a right judiciary to mete out rat justice. Some wondered what right and justice are.

Some argued that warriors, those who know how to take—though they may call it earn—what they want are the ones who should rule as they know how to succeed, to get what they want. Some wondered how knowing ways to take makes for right rule.

Some argued that it is not a warrior class who alone should rule, but that each rat be allowed sharpened claws and teeth as they have a right to protect their own and that civil disobedience is sometimes appropriate. Some worried about fangs and claws coming out first, rather than consideration.

Some offered that happy rats are busy rats and both conditions will work as a tired rat has little energy left to notice problems and therefore are more likely to bequeath their voice to others.

Some said rat freedom and rat government and a say for all rats will quell the likelihood of rat-anarchy and rat-hell. Some argued that dying by being talked to death is no better than dying of starvation.

Some said freedom of the rat press is necessary, as a voice from many is a voice for all. And some replied that only a few of the rat press are right and should be heard, while others in the rat press are seditious and should be stilled.

Some said the great unifier was an enemy, whether rats or cats.

And so it went and so it came to pass in Ratland: Enemies and wanting there are and threats must be abated, even eliminated. Fences and watchtowers were built as vigilance was needed—borders marking who was where and who got what. And some were heard and others silenced. It was a matter of safety for all.

And eventually the rats of Ratland came to accept class division of all kinds, whether economic, educated, religious, political, social, or any kind of demarcation. And the rats of Ratland embraced borders as it was clear rats were different and those differences required watching and the best way to watch was for rats to have a place to be put.

Somehow rat-hell never seemed far away. But that was the way it was—and even thought to be the default of rat-life in Ratland and the world around that land.

And borders and fences and watchtowers and guardians ruled Ratland. Freedom and well-being was clearly not safe without those entities. And who could reasonably argue with what was?

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