“I want to show, among other things, why this question, the problem of breeding, is in many respects identical to philosophy, or at least identical to political philosophy.”
— Costin Alamariu, Selective Breeding and the Birth of Philosophy
“Dembeck, in a conjectural reconstruction of the history of the Persian cat, suggests that it was Cambyses who brought from Egypt the strain that was later developed into the furry Persian cat. Because of its association with evil, the cat was taboo in Sassanian Persia.
“To the Zoroastrians the cat was treacherous and one of the 'noxious creatures' (xrafstra), in contrast to the dog, which they praised for its loyalty.”
— Mahmud Omidsalar, Encyclopedia Iranica
“Tabula rasa is the essence of the [Persian] breed… the ideal Persian is a cypher, regarding its surroundings with the alacrity of a Sumerian votive, eager to witness and obey.”
— International Cat Fancier’s Association, Persian Show Standard (2023)
Released only three days ago, ideas put forth in Costin Alamariu’s Selective Breeding and the Birth of Philosophy are already being applied by judges at the International Cat Fancier’s Association, the world's leading feline eugenicists. Their newly updated Persian show standard is prefaced by a cryptic and disturbing note:
The Abbé Sieyès proposed during the French Revolution the creation of half-human worker castes, bred from unions between humans and various apes, which would take care of different types of manual labor and free mankind from this necessity. Lesser-known are summoning rituals conducted by the Zoroastrian priests of the Sassanian Empire, which sought to create an inexhaustible, hyper-agile, and relatively compliant "demislave" by fusing Ifrit with a prototypical version of the modern Persian cat. This project was never brought to fruition, but only due to the insufficient purity of the available feline biomass. For nearly a century, our efforts to bring forth the "immaculate Persian" have been thwarted, but Alamariu has finally given us the key. This year, we will attain the perfect specimen. The restoration of Ardeshir will soon follow: His servants will ascend, and the structures of this fallen world will be condensed into the ultimate and universal Tower of Silence.
In this week’s episode, we provide translations of select passages from Selective Breeding and the Birth of Philosophy and, along with an anonymous representative of the International Cat Fancier’s Association, attempt to get to the bottom of Costin Alamiru’s influence upon their new organizational goals.
The Cat Fanciers’ Association’s new Persian standards can be found here: https://cfa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/persian-standard.pdf
This podcast is a presentation of The Meow Library: https://meowlibrary.com