We do feel the Ministry website does a fine job explaining Purristan. Yet we field many questions that, in our view, are already answered there. We find ourselves expending a fair amount of time answering questions about us, rather than things we find more important. One of the most common questions, perhaps the most common, challenge the mere existence of our society. I will take on these common questions in this post, and ideally retire these as common questions.
Who is behind Purristan?
We get this often, especially when humans wish to speak audibly with a representative. The most critical thing I can say is this: Purristan is a real place, no less real than Heaven is to the faithful, and no less real than Santa Claus is to human children. When journalists - and yes, this happens - ask to speak with someone, we have a problem - we do not possess the needed technology to audibly translate the sounds we make into words a human can understand. Our communication therefore occurs in text. In extraordinary circumstances, we do employ spokeshumans. You may find these humans at various wards and underpasses throughout the human world. We will solicit one of our usual spokeshumans, prep them on the topics of discussion, and arrange for a conference call with those demanding to speak with a representative. Until we formally employ human staff here at the Ministry, this remains the only way we can arrange an audible meeting, and it is often complicated. We prefer avoiding this as much as practicable until retaining human staff, and ask that if you wish to communicate, try to be happy with email.
Is the Blog of Purristan a personal blog?
This is a particularly irritating issue. Perhaps owing to the odd assumption a single human is behind all of this, the community known as Reddit, as well as others, rarely permits any post from the Blog of Purristan to remain on their site. Their admins flag the shared article as coming from a personal blog. Even if a human were behind this, the simple fact that our blog posts come from various staff writers, and hosts articles written by guests, many of whom receive pay to contribute to the blog, we see little difference between us and any other non-personal blog platform with staff and paid writers, including Slate, Salon, FiveThirtyEight, Vox, and so on.
Given our principal aim at this time is only raising awareness, prior to moving into other endeavors (such as Project X), finding our efforts hampered when we have a success - that being a human posting our stuff on Reddit - only to see it flagged as "personal", is disappointing, to say the least. It is damaging to our interests and goals. Further still is the active prevention of us promoting ourselves through paid advertising on various platforms (Facebook being the chief culprit). It stings more when seeing posts from the aforementioned blog examples live on without any hint of a similar challenge, as well as ads from just about anyone willing to spend the money. If a writer posts something here, be they staff or a guest, and readers feel it worthy of sharing and discussion, we cannot see why it should be stifled. It makes the aim of raising awareness all the more challenging, defeats the point of investing the time to write at all, and means any cash invested on a post is for naught, as we cannot get it out there.
Where is your office?
This Ministry presently does not maintain an embassy within the human world. We have actively scouted locations, yet unsettled on a suitable spot. Yes, we send mail - a lot of mail - to humans all over the world. This post mail mostly comes in two forms. One is our sending of free bumper stickers to those requesting them. The other is us sending money to humans we contract hire for various tasks. When we send mail, the human postal service has no way to return it to us if there is any problem. The human postal service simply lacks any ability to transcend space and time, and reach our utopia. The Purristani Postal Service comes to the human world, adds a temporal postage stamp, and drops mail into random mailboxes for delivery.
This creates a problem - one no human, if one were behind this, would ever tolerate. Given we are presently an unrecognized entity in the human world, we have no legal protections, and from that, we have no bank account. When we send money, we first must acquire a US Post Office Money Order (a kind human servant employed as a postal worker helps in this effort). We have no way to enforce any contract, and we cannot compel a paid human to actually do what we pay them to do. There is no recourse for us if they take the money and run, beyond deploying an agent to snuff them out in their sleep. Because few humans at this time see us as sincere, we generally, depending on the amount needed, send first in an effort to establish trust, and cross our paws they will make good on their commitments. Sometimes they do, sometimes they do not. No human would tolerate this.
This Ministry has a number of items we use in the human world, such as a flag, various pins, the aforementioned bumper stickers, letterhead, and various envelopes. We make some of these items in Purristan. For some others, we chose to make them in the human world. Part of the reasoning is political - we want, for example, to show the human world we take things seriously, so we had our envelopes made by an American Labor Union, on recycled paper, with organic ink, at a wind-powered facility. We have to pay a premium for such things, but we do it, because it tells the recipient that we practice what we preach, and our environmental paw print, in your world, is almost non-existent.
Regardless, we as of yet maintain no formal office in the human world. When we acquire one, we shall announce it. We will then update our processes and procedures.
Why such a focus on Americans?
One thing we have decided, which is no longer open for debate, is that we will first target the United States in our enlightenment efforts, owing to its out-sized influence on global politics. The Great Leader, though born in Purristan, grew up in Wales, and occasionally identifies as Purristani-Welsh. His personal bias leans toward the United Kingdom, but even He concedes the United States is the wisest place to begin. Much of our blog, though not all of it, has been geared toward explaining various things primarily to that audience, or indirectly answering questions that have been presented to staff (e.g. how to create a nation, how to get a good job, et cetera). We focus on the United States given its position as an international influencer. If we can begin moving that nation toward political, economic, and cultural enlightenment, its influence may help our transition to other nations far easier.
Why should I support an authoritarian regime?
We feel the Ministry website explains this well, but it remains a common question. We are not asking you to support any authoritarian anything. The Great Leader is not authoritarian by any definition. Prior to Purristan achieving enlightenment, and transcending space-time into another dimension, He was elected to His post via Consenus Omnium, and, later, "Universal Innate Ascension".
He was what?
There were two kinds of elections in the Republic. One was for leadership of political parties. Kats Meow, being the Chairman of the Central Committee of One of the Felis-Catus Union Party, was elected, given there was only one candidate and the same also being the lone voter. Regardless, it is a vote, and therefore democratic.
Purristan is, therefore, not, nor has it ever been, authoritarian or undemocratic.
Prior to enlightenment, there was a time of many parties. The Chairman of the Felis-Catus Union Party was popularly elected, and reelected, in challenged elections. Over time, however, the Purristani voter became more and more enlightened, and upon individual enlightenment, the process of Consenus Omnium developed within the party membership, where all those enlightened agree without debate who the leader is. This led to all those enlightened (party members) developing an instinctual knowledge that Chairman Meow is their leader. Eventually, once all citizens became enlightened, all felines agreed, innately, on who the leader should be. This process, over time, led to fewer and fewer opposition parties and candidates and, eventually, none at all. This does not mean it is undemocratic. It just means every citizen voted for Chairman Meow, election after election, until it became clear that process was no longer formally required. Because His post enjoys universal agreement, without any question, and that view having moved from being an intellectual one to pure enlightened feline instinct, the system developed the name "Universal Innate Ascension" - the process for how Chairman Meow exercised legal authority, democratically, yet without formal elections.
Once achieving political, cultural, and economic enlightenment, the entire nation-state transcended space and time. As a result, this new utopia ceased having a constituted government, as it no longer has a role. The legacy of the state remained, essentially as cultural touchstones, such as national identity, iconography, and song. The Chairman was institutionally retired, and His party ceased functions, though He remains universally viewed as Philosopher King of the utopia, which is a cultural honor, exercising no legal authority, for there are none. However, when He says something, citizens listen. There is no law or rule requiring this. It just is.
Where some confusion arises is with this Ministry. If there is no government -in- the transcended Purristani utopia, how is there a government ministry? This happened because expatriates in the human world appealed to their leader to return to the human world. Upon His return, He constituted a new government, the Temporal Crossover Observer State of Purristan, of which this Ministry is a part and manages its foreign affairs, and relaunched His party. This government, operating in the human world, is the legal temporal successor state of the pre-enlightened Republic of Purristan. Where the government ceased within the utopia, this government re-inaugurated the democratic electoral system in place prior to achieving enlightenment - that which the Chairman is, from universal consensus, assumed by the enlightened to be their leader. There is no need for a vote unless a point of no confidence occurs, which none can possibly foresee.
Purristan is, therefore, not, nor has it ever been, authoritarian or undemocratic.
Can I disagree with the Chairman?
Felines can and do disagree with the Chairman on various points. There is nothing odd or unusual about this. When one disagrees with Him, one does so confidently knowing one of two things: they are wrong and will eventually come to see that (most common) or the Chairman sees the error of His ways, and will concede, adopting the new position as any wise and enlightened leader should. Where there is no disagreement among enlightened felines is that Chairman Meow is their leader.
Regardless, the Chairman is not seeking to be leader of the humans. Though true, the easiest and quickest way to achieve enlightenment is to adopt Him as leader, this is not required. Humans may even join the Political Commissary Army (PSA) or seek membership into the Felis-Catus Union Party. This may prove helpful, but none of this is required. The Chairman hopes only to help humanity discover political, cultural, and economic enlightenment for itself, and in whatever way that process unfolds, if it does, we shall learn then what it looks like.
Are all cats enlightened citizens of Purristan?
In theory, yes. This is, however, a complicated point. The enlightened feline is, while within the utopia, immortal. As a result, most choose to reside in the utopia. Many, referred to expatriates, live in the human world, with indentured human servants. They may leave that servant, return to Purristan, and then return many years later to indenture a new servant. Others may choose never to indenture a human servant, having never set foot in the human world.
There are also those born and living out their days in the human world, wholly ignorant of their utopia. They have not been enlightened, but they can be. Others may be well aware of the utopia, may even have come from it, but face abuse from their servant, or, simply owing to the imperfections of human civilization, they may become depressed. No melancholy or depressed feline can travel to Purristan. This results in the stranding of many citizens in the human world, unable to find salvation. This is why this Ministry offers travel assistance.
Can I become a citizen of Purristan?
Only felines are citizens of the Enlightened Republic itself; however, our Great Leader has conferred honorary citizenship upon other beasts from time to time. It is by His discretion. As I am sure, you know a feline utopia would cease to be such the minute non-felines start showing up. It is therefore our aim to help humanity achieve enlightenment - for any perfect society of cats may not be a perfect society for humans, and vice versa.
Without international recognition, citizenship, and with it, passports for felines are of no need for terrestrial travel within the human world. It may be possible, once the Temporal Crossover Observer State of Purristan (the constituted government representing the Enlightened Republic in your world) achieves recognition in the human world, as the legal representative of the Enlightened Republic of Purristan, according to the customs of human international law, a form of recognized citizenship, and with it, passports, for both felines and non-felines might be established. However, this would not result in access to the utopia for the unenlightened. It would be citizenship in and a passport for a geographically non-existent but legal entity in the imperfect human world. As recognition has yet to occur, such citizenship carries no protections nor confers any rights.
Keep the questions coming!
This post covers the most common questions we get. I suppose this is the "Frequently Asked Questions", perhaps being a more apt title for the post. I have tried to expand on each common question in my answers. I hope this effort will reduce the volume of email asking these and similar questions. However, there is no intent here to prevent the asking of questions - ask away! We are thrilled so many have taken enough interests to write and inquire, and hope this continues.
More details on this are found on the Ministry website, such as how to request a free bumper sticker, what the Felis-Catus Union Party is, information on the Political Commissary Army and how to join, and so on.