Who Watches the Watch Monogs? is a philosophical book first published in LY 392 (by Pritt Publishing, now known as Talon Tomes). It was written by a former orchardist named Rico, early in his twenty-year imprisonment for murder, in 363. The title is based on the slang term "watch monogs," which in this sense refers to people or groups responsible for safeguarding the public interest. In fact, the book is generally credited with expanding that definition beyond its original meaning. Where it initially referred primarily to police, it has come to refer more commonly to groups whose responsibility it is to ensure that groups like the police don't abuse their power. Hence, the police were the original "watch monogs," but now there are also watch monogs who watch the police. (Or, particularly following the Chaos War of 912, groups that watch the government, to ensure nothing like The Cabal happens again.) The title also references a Terran phrase in another language, which translates as "Who Watches the Watchmen?" or "Who Will Guard the Guards Themselves?"

Rico was inspired to write his book after being tricked by a police detective named Bash into helping him locate and kill some mostly harmless gangsters, the Rapscallions. Bash did this by burning down Rico's family's pineana orchard, and framing the Rapscallions for the crime. After his part in the unjustified homicides, Rico greatly regretted his actions, but the incident also led him to consider just how truly important it is that ordinary citizens should be able to fully trust those in authority, such as police, who have sworn to uphold the law and protect the citizenry. And so he began writing down his various philosophical thoughts on the matter. The book eventually touched on a great many ethical subjects, well beyond just Rico's first-hand experience with small-scale police corruption. Ever since the first police department had been organized in Tonad in 238 (just over a century before Rico's birth), efforts had been made to ensure that anyone hired as a police were of strong moral fiber. However, the incident caused by Bash was neither the first, nor the last example of abuse of power within the Land's various police departments. (Nor, indeed, is it only police who may abuse positions of authority.) And so, ever since Rico's book was first published (nearly three decades after it was written), it has become required reading for anyone wishing to join the police. And it has led to stricter screening of applicants to such positions, and more concentration on ethics in the training of applicants. It has also inspired other books, including Balance of Justice, written by Thomas Justicar in 889 (nearly five centuries after Rico's book was published).

Another important figure who was a great admirer of Rico's book was Poss Primus, who had read it when he became a police in Triscot, in 869. Years later, he moved to Kimrin, and eventually became that village's police chief. In 901, he was a key figure in the organizing of the Army in Kimrin, and throughout the Northern Alliance. He believed that the same book which inspired him and the police under his command to be ethical in the execution of their duties should also inspire members of the military to recognize that with power comes responsibility, so he encouraged those under his command in the Army to read it. (And after the Coming of the Order, when he became Marshal, he continued to recommend it to all members of the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps.) One of the prime tenets put forth by Rico in his book is "question authority." (This tenet is qualified, in the book, by various stipulations, such as the need to sometimes follow orders quickly, in the heat of battle. But the point is to think about the reasons for the orders, and to determine for oneself whether the orders are just, rather than becoming mindless automata and potential tools of corruption.) It is this kind of thinking that led Primus to oppose the Cabal during the Chaos War, and which led the leaders of the Cabal (including Tovan Middlebury and Althis Portman, who had served under Primus ever since the Coming of the Order) to realize they'd need to engage in deceptive manipulations, to ensure those under their command would follow their orders.

Aside from police and military, the book has also long been assigned by masters to their students, and has more recently been included on the syllabi of many universities' philosophy courses. It has also become common for people in fields such as business, journalism, and politics to be expected to familiarize themselves with the ideas laid out in the book, to hold themselves to a high standard of conduct.

See alsoEdit

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