So in this political climate/feeding frenzy we are floating in like flotsam I am curious as to how my daily activities equate to my political leanings? So I am starting with this – am I a Socialist because I feed the wild birds both at my home and office?
First, let’s define socialism and then I can trace my activity back to my politics?
SOCIALISM – well, here it gets sticky because within the general definition of socialism – there are different schools of thought – Marxism, Reformists, Leninist, Trotskyists, Utopian, etc.. so now before we get to the birds I have to make a distinction and I guess perhaps I lean toward Marx (if I lean anywhere at all) “from each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution.” Ultimately, I don’t know whether I am a socialist at all but I do believe in some sort of leveling of the classes so that opportunity exists for all to achieve. I just have never understood why sharing the wealth is so counter intuitive to America at large. I am not suggesting a free ride but I am suggesting a less capitalistic endeavor and a more utopian socialist community like New Harmony.
I started feeding birds partly due to my mother – her Germanic heritage led to the natural inclination of feeding all people and all beings – so it was always done at my home as I grew up.. salt licks for the wild deer, peanut butter suet balls and any stale grain product for the birds, grain corn for the squirrels and on and on. She always fed nature and as a consequence we had a plethora of amazing wildlife as a backdrop to our youth! Cardinals, blue jays, woodpeckers, squirrels, deer.. all knew they were welcome and would be fed. Why did she do it? Because she thought she should share her “wealth” of food to the creatures of the wild and in return they provided entertainment and a color spectrum to our world. Mom would not have defined herself as a socialist for doing what she did – far from it but many people would ask what did she get in return? Did the animals provide some sort of return on investment – that’s the question.. or was it truly a altruistic gift? I can’t answer for her but for me it is a “grounding” process.. I watch the social interactions as the wildlife feed and I notice.. maybe that’s it – it makes me take note.. away from my Iphone, Ipod, Facebook, Netflix and any other number of created distractions – it makes me stop, listen, look, laugh and it is real!! 100% unfettered reality..
It is not just me giving but I receive as well.. perhaps it is not as tangible as what I give – e.g., food but it puts me in a space that allows me to truly see.
Perhaps feeding the birds is socialism if socialism is ascribed as Tocqueville and Delors view it in their writings –
For me, socialism has always been about liberty and solidarity, but also about responsibility
Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.
Alexis de Tocqueville