So! I went to make cookies that require a fluffy meringue today. But when I got to Red Mixer with the eggs, Red Mixer told me that zie wasn’t going to be doing anything without Red Spatula, and that was that. I went and got Red Spatula, and we made cookies. All was right in the world. When I told Will about this, we giggled together about the strong state of solidarity in the kitchen (which is also home to Red Coffeemaker and Red Toaster). Then he pointed out the window at the snow covered driveway and said, “And outside? Siberia!” We had a good laugh over that.

But the truth is, I am a little bit commie. The kind of little bit commie that owns a beat up and dog-eared copy of the Marx-Engels Reader, and occasionally will slip something into conversation about self-alienation or how our cats long to own the means of production collectively. My poor brother who works in finance has wound up doing a fair amount of research after he and I have one of those talks that starts with him expressing his dissatisfaction at work. He now knows more than he ever really wanted to about Marx and Gramsci. I believe in a bit of socialism, I do.

I guess what it comes down to for me is that I believe we should all take care of each other well, and that we should all have a place at the table when the decisions are being made.*

Does that make me radical? I don’t think it’s particularly radical to strive to be nice to each other. Nor do I think it’s particularly radical to be a good sharer. Or to make sure that everyone has affordable healthcare – everyone. Or to make sure everyone has affordable access to education – everyone. And enough to eat and a place to live. And the basic stuff, you know, like dignity and the ability to live without fear or shame. Or that everyone really means, you know, everyone. Or that we can do things together that will benefit that everyone.

I don’t think any of that stuff is bad news, do you? So why is that so many people are terrified about ZOMG SOCIALISM AND COMMIES!!1! We’re not talking Stalin and Mussolini here, folks – that’s totalitarianism and fascism. We’re talking about the healthcare systems in Canada and Australia and France**. Can we just get clear on that? Yes, we’re talking taxes. But we’re also talking about sharing that tax money around so people are protected. Simply: we’re talking about being less greedy.

There’s your public service message for the day. So please stop trying to insult me by calling me a commie or  socialist. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.***

What it means is that we have to be universally kind to each other in order to enact universal kindness. What it means is that we can live well together if we all invest emotionally in living well together. What it means is that we can take care of ourselves in the context of being a community, a nation, a world of people, without losing our individual identities. What it means is that in a couple hours two loaves of bread will come out of my oven, and you, friend, are welcome to one of them.

*I’m told this also makes me a bit of an anarchist, but I’m not 100% sure I buy that.
**And Finland, and the UK, and Israel, and – must I go on?
***From The Princess Bride. But you already knew that.

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