Western civilization has been chiefly described by the essential notion of a social contract. From France and its’ overthrow of the Absolute Monarchy and a reign of terror replaced by the nascent seed of democracy with fraternity, equality and liberty; England’s overthrow of the feudal life and class society of Kings, Lords and common folk replaced by a parliament to European countries similarly killing, hanging or otherwise disposing of their dictators, Monarchs, Czars and Kings. Most fundamental to the historic metamorphoses of plutocrats, city states, dictatorships and monarchs has been the recognition of the basic rights of all peoples to, what we call, the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Gerrymanders and Salamanders
Elemental in the division and distinction of the old feudal, monarchistic or dictatorial cultures has been the essential recognition of and adherence to the basic belief or lack thereof in the equality of rights and liberties for all as distinguished from the privileged, the few or one distinct group or sect of culture separate and unequal from others.
In the US, we have recognized women wanting enfranchisement, African Americans, Hispanics, Irish and Asian Americans expecting equal treatment under the law, and in every ‘Western civilization’ or modern industrial country there has been, until recently, an implacable march toward a recognition and affirmation of freedom for all.
Fundamental to this has been the consequential recognition of the attendant responsibilities arising from such universal enfranchisement including, but not limited to, the care and feeding of those, who for whatever reason, are unable to care for themselves.
So like the Salamander and the Gerrymander, the crux of the question of their existence is the balance between their personal interests and those of the greater society.
The Gerrymander, defined as ‘the division of (a territorial unit) into election districts to give one political party an electoral majority in a large number of districts while concentrating the voting strength of the opposition in as few districts as possible,’ was designed to give concentrated power to a social or economic group so to get some bill or piece of legislation in force, a way of taking local control for local interests, presumably serving the local populace.
The Salamander, a mythical creature has been recognized by men of ages to be able to endure the wilting power of fire, while still possessing the soft moist tender skin of a child or infant with all the apparent, obvious and physical contradiction.
The Gerrymander, built to benefit a small group and espouse their interest has, like the Salamander, metastasized and turned into a lethal poison pill for society at large as the representatives of these Gerrymandered districts or neighborhood have unintentionally become so insulated from the culture and country at large, that they are immune to the wishes of their constituents and beholden only to the special interests of business or plutocrats who, with money and gratuity, have taken control. With this unnatural and feudal relationship with the Gerrymandered citizenry, they [Plutocrats] can thereby insure their election and re-election regardless of the will of the constituents. A simple example on point is the vote against gun control, favored by 90% of the American public yet voted down summarily by the personal interests of a Gerrymandering few.
The Salamander, originally born in an ecosystem with all of the natural defenses like those of free and fairly elected officials, in the time of their progeny, the very strength and inviolability they had acquired from their millennia of evolution with fire, taught them a cowardly remorselessness which like the Gerrymanderer, evolved in them the similarly perverted and plutocratic notion that there is only delight, and in fact no harm, to be gained in the peculiar pastime of eating their young.
How, in the calculus of the life of the child, unable to fend for themselves and dependent on society, does the future of most, portend a certain death? How, in an ecosystem of balance, might there be such an innocuous critter as the Salamander giving birth to young whose loss to the population is predetermined? How, if poverty is the leading indicator of educational success or failure and education is the leading indicator of success or failure of our young and more than half our children live in poverty do we not, like the Salamander consign our most valuable treasure to the meal of an elder, willful, wanton and heedless of the impact on society writ small or large?