Posts Tagged ‘pragmatism’

Pumpking versus Barak Obama

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

DCP_0186When Pumpking was a young cat, he was a pacifist. I saw him once attacked by a feral; although twice the size of the feral, he only cried and would not lift a paw, let alone claw someone. Then UPO, the cat sovereign of all the cats of the household, died. Pumpking was UPO’s natural heir, the biggest male of all the cats, no one doubted his ascendancy. Nevertheless, the girls started bitching, claws drawn, hissing, spitting, and in general, the cat population in the house was in turmoil. Pumpking, the pacifist, took them one by one and beat them up. Within a couple of hours, harmony was reinstated, and all the cat boys started adoring Pumpking and the girls respected him.

 For a couple of days he ate first, and even though there was plenty of food in many plates, he ate alone while everyone else was watching and drooling. Only when he finished his meal, did the others dare come to eat. A few days later, Pumpking allowed everyone else to eat first. To this day, he watches over his subjects and cares for everyone’s wellbeing. Of course, he is far from being a pacifist; whenever he deems it necessary, in spite of my objections, he claws whoever he thinks deserves it.

What happened to the pacifist? I asked Pumpking, how come he changed? He said, circumstances changed, so he too needed to change.

 “But you were a pacifist, you had ideals, ‘no clawing, no matter what’ was your motto. Your ideal was, ‘do not hurt another cat.’ Why did you change that?” I asked.

 “I didn’t,” he replied. “I prevented them from hurting each other and ultimately, themselves a lot more by hurting them a little. You know, as king, I have to be pragmatic.”

  “You are saying that being pragmatic is to give up on one’s ideals?”

 “That depends on the ideals,” Pumpking explained. “If said ideals are extreme, they are not pragmatic. I have a household to run. Sticking to extreme pacifistic ideals with cats who do not share the same ideals will create chaos, and they will hurt each other much more than I hurt them. Imagine a community of pacifists, who will not fight, no matter what. Imagine that this community is run over by another, barbaric nation, who wants to wipe them out. If they maintain their pacifistic ideals, they will be wiped out and with them, the pacifistic ideal. So to preserve the ideal for a time, when it will gain consensus, they must fight.”

 “So you are saying that you have compromised your ideals in order to preserve them? Sounds kind of paradoxical, don’t you think?”

 “Look at your world leaders. It’s OK they get elected with lip service to some ideals. When they are elected however, if they do not become pragmatic, if they do not show power and thereby gain respect, they are thought weak, and then they will be manipulated.”

 “How?”

 “By being paid lip-service, by holding him to his ideals and meanwhile dragging out time to do what they want. And then, this idealist in the leader position will try to achieve agreement with other nations because he does not believe in bullying, and his opponents gain more time to do what they want.”

 “And then?”

 “In the end, he will have to use force, but now, he will have to use much more force and he will hurt many more. He could have avoided that by using a little force to set things right in the beginning. Wanting to be politically correct and airing ideals of ‘let’s talk about it, let’s reach concession’ made him manipulable. So either barbarism wins or pragmatism.”

 “What about the ideals? Aren’t they worth living for?”

 “Meow, if pragmatism wins, with it, ideals will survive, even as some future goal. However, if the ideal wins in the short term, it is most likely that it will be its own terminator like the pacifistic ideals that allowed the barbaric nation to exterminate the community of pacifists.”