The Party of
Within the Bounds
Of the LawPart II
Jaroslav Hasek in the 1911 electoral campaign by "The Party of Moderate Progress Within the Bounds of the Law"Ladies and Gentlemen, my friends, Czechs, and fellow-countrymen:
It is indeed a remarkable phenomenon that should be a party in Bohemia which has had the courage to come forward with a new program, one paragraph of which runs as follows: "Animals, be rehabilitated at last!" Thanks to the way animals have been regarded up to now, every one of them has undeservedly acquired an exceptionally bad reputation.Take for example, the pig. From time immemorial pigs have enjoyed the reputation of being swine. When people said, "You're a swine," it meant "You're a pig" and vice-versa. Indeed there have even been whole peoples who have boycotted pigs.Take the Jews for instance. Moses tried to prove that by eating pork people could contract venereal distease. And so in the time of Moses many Jews pleaded this in excuse for their treatment of pigs.Only under the influence of Christianity, which abolished all the Jewish laws, did the use of pork spread to such an extent that in the end the Catholic Church even introduced pork feasts, to show that Moses was not speaking the truth.All the same, the pig is still generally regarded as something unclean, because it wallows in mud, which after all only what balenologists recommend for human beings.Take for instance the spa at Piestany, and its mud. Even the aristocracy wallows in it for the good of their health, yet it probably wouldn't occur to anyone to call any aristocrat a pig. Nor is Dr. Kucera, who recommends this type of cure, a swine.Nonetheless pigs, who have given such a glowing example to suffering humanity, are still despised and their name serves especially now in election times as a term of abuse, by which an opponent seeks to characterize his enemy as a dishonourable creature.
But, ladies and gentlemen, have you ever seen a dishonourable pig? Doesn't a scalded pig in the window of a butcher's shop seem to you to be a creature of noble character, when even after death it smiles at those people who are going to eat it? I would like to know what you would do, if you were in its place.
I've also heard that at a political meeting a man shouted at a candidate "You hound." If this happened to me, I should thank that man for honouring me with the name of a dog, which is the noblest of creatures and I would promise to follow in the footsteps of that animal and retrieve from Vienna the electorate's demands. The only thing the public seems to be able to do is systematically to insult animals, calling the humble and faithful dog by the names of various tyrants. A milkman's dog, which patiently and devotedly draws a cart with provisions, is called Nero. A little toy dog, like a Yorkshire Terrier, which has never injured anyone, and is never tyrannical to anybody, is called Cæsar.
People talk of dogs with greatest contempt, just because their name is used as a term of abuse for human beings. And yet we see that dogs under the name of police dogs perform today yeoman service for the safety of all humanity.
It would therefore be only right for animals to be rehabilitated, at least as far as concerns these wisest representative of the whole animal kingdom. It would be a good thing if those who insult police dogs were prosecuted for insulting official personages.
Let us all in future do our best to see that animals are looked upon as beings which deserve the respect every political party, and that their names are not used by them for unwarranted agitation in the electoral campaign.