The Piranhas, the Birds, and the ‘Liberal’

by Kevin Alfred Strom

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY if a Liberal “social scientist” told you to jump into a pool filled with five hundred ravenous piranhas?

If you valued your life, you’d certainly refuse the invitation.

But what if the Liberal “social scientist” tried to convince you to go ahead and jump in, with the argument that “not all of the piranhas are aggressive. Some of them probably just want to make friends with you, and really aren’t hungry either. To say that a piranha is going to attack you, just because he’s a piranha, is a wicked stereotype, and probably contributes to the piranhas’ negative feelings about you.”

If that argument was made to you, would you then jump into the pool filled with piranhas? I don’t think so. You’d probably reason, quite logically, that even if there were one or two or even a dozen piranhas that by chance or due to a recent meal decided not to attack you, that certainly wouldn’t change the bloodthirsty behavior of the other 488.

And it certainly wouldn’t change the outcome of any foolish foray into the pool.

But let’s say you were foolish enough to listen to the Liberal “social scientist,” and you did jump into the pool filled with piranhas. You somehow managed to survive. You made it to the other side of the pool, where you jumped out, but you were seriously injured in the process. After you got out of the hospital, where your wounds were stitched up and your lost blood was replaced, you were paid a visit by your old “friend,” the Liberal “social scientist.”

Needless to say, you weren’t too happy to see him, but before you could say a word, he started talking.

“I’m awfully sorry to see how you’ve been hurt,” he said, “but it isn’t my fault at all, you see.”

You replied, “You mean, oh great and wise social scientist, that you can finally see that those piranhas are vicious and I don’t belong in the pool with them?”

“No, I don’t mean that at all,” answered the Liberal “social scientist,” “It’s not the piranhas’ fault that you almost got eaten alive. It’s not the poor piranhas’ fault at all! It’s your fault!”

“My fault!” you exclaimed, “How the Hell could it be my fault?”

“Ah, how little you bourgeois middle Americans understand,” sighed our Liberal genius, “Don’t you see that what happened to you only happened because those poor piranhas were underprivileged and hungry? If you’d given them enough food and a decent chance at life, then they wouldn’t have attacked you like they did. When was the last time you helped a piranha? They’ve been struggling for centuries while your kind lived in luxury. Don’t you think it’s time the tables were turned? And not only that, but you ordinary Americans have caused the poor innocent piranhas to feel left out in your society. Naturally they harbor negative feelings about you, when you never want to have anything to do with them. You should understand that we all hate what we don’t know. We must integrate piranhas into our society, keep them in our swimming pools and bathtubs and introduce them into all our rivers, mountain streams, and lakes. By associating with piranhas every day, and by feeding them as much as they want to eat, eventually a spirit of brotherhood will emerge and we and the piranhas will live together in peace, harmony, and joyous diversity evermore.

“But you, Mr. Ordinary American” — and here the Liberal “social scientist” thrust his flabby little finger into your face — “you are going to have to change your evil ways before we can have that happy world!”

“You’re out of your mind!” you replied. “Piranhas may be fine in the Amazon jungle, but you’re crazy if you think we can live and associate with them every day. We and they just don’t belong together — and if you’re so in love with piranhas, why don’t you go on a little swim with them? And if you think I’m going to waste my money and time feeding them and helping them multiply just so they can eat me and my family alive at some time in the future, Mr. Genius social scientist, then you’ve got another think coming!” With that you kicked his delicate carcass downstairs.

Still smarting from his fall, and rapidly retreating backwards, the Liberal “social scientist” shook his spindly fist and called back to you, “Your generation is hopeless. You’ll never understand the need to integrate with and support piranhas. But your children will. Our ‘brotherhood’ program at the elementary school will teach them that it’s their duty to live with and help the poor piranhas. They’ll be swimming with them every day at the school’s pool. And that’s just the first step! There’s nothing you can do about it!”

Gradually the voice of your former friend the Liberal faded away, but he certainly gave you something to think about, didn’t he?

The ‘Liberal Social Scientist’ Returns

Now it seems Mr. Social Scientist has become a bird lover. He’s still smarting from the last time you kicked him downstairs, but just to show you that there are no hard feelings, he has decided to invite you to a meeting of an organization he’s working with called the “Bird Benevolent Society.” Since you’ve always been a bird watcher and animal lover, and since you foolishly believe that the Liberal Social Scientist has learned a lesson, you agree that you’ll go.

On the appointed day you show up at the meeting hall, and find several hundred other people, some obviously drawn from the dregs of society by their appearance, but also mixed with a strong contingent of the empty-headed wealthy, whom you’ve seen at various charitable and “world-improving” functions in town. There’s the usual collection of “homeless advocates,” pervert agitators, “Feed the Africans” charity types, and a motley collection of minority activists and “Rainbow Coalition” idiots.

All the conversations in the room stop when our learned humanitarian friend, the Liberal Social Scientist, strides past his international banker and tax-exempt foundation friends up to the podium to address the group.

He clears his throat and begins speaking:

“Welcome dear friends and friends of progress,” he says, “to this meeting of the Bird Benevolent Society. I know that we are all united in our love for our feathered friends, the birds, and I know that we all yearn to bring them into the coming new millennium of progress and unity and global cooperation and peace. But the birds of this world are being held back by evil ideas and outmoded traditions that border on fascism. It will be the mission of the Bird Benevolent Society to enlighten the birds and help them to change their ways, assisted by you people of goodwill, and of course by government grants of taxpayer money and the behind-the-scenes help of my banker and foundation friends here beside me on the dais.

“We look at the world of the birds with dismay and sadness. Everywhere we find disunity, strife, misunderstanding, and conflict. We see the sparrows off in one corner among themselves, eating seeds and singing their songs; while off in another far corner are the eagles, fishing in the sea and singing an altogether different song. Every species and variety of bird seems to have its own place, its own territory, and this leads to conflict among birds. Every species of bird has its own habits and behavior and language and this leads to misunderstanding among our feathered friends. It leads to further and further separation and isolation among the different types of birds and we all must of course agree that this simply won’t do in this modern age of global unity, peace, and understanding. I call all this separation and misunderstanding ‘bird racism.’

“We must conquer these problems. What we will do is this: We will gather all the birds of the world together, and teach them a new way of living, all for their own good, of course. The eagle will nest with the sparrow, the chicken with the crows, and the cardinal with the chickadee. By close association, they will eventually come to love each other, aided by our extensive program of re-education which will replace the old bird-racist ways taught to the young birds by their parents. After a few generations of enforced togetherness, the birds will forget their evil old ways and will never know that they were separate species once upon a time. We will call this bird-paradise the ‘United Birds.’

“And then, my friends,” and here our Liberal Social Scientist’s eyes begin to gleam, “we will begin the final phase of our plan, which is really the ultimate solution to all the problems of the birds. We will teach the birds that it is virtuous and desirable for them to choose mates who are not of their own species. Black birds will mate with white birds, and red with yellow, and so forth. Our educational programs will teach them that it is the worst kind of wickedness and evil to oppose this. Of course, we know that this goes against the instincts of the birds, and so we might have some trouble with it. But within the structure of the United Birds, we will have complete control over all education and information received by the birds. Even their recreational activities will be under our guidance. So we are confident that, in time, our efforts to encourage cross-species mating will be successful, and there will be a new kind of bird in the world — one kind of bird — a one-world bird — a true citizen of the United Birds, with its mind and behavior molded by our scientific guidance, totally free of the old ways of separation and conflict.”

A huge wave of applause fills the meeting hall, and the wealthy members of the audience begin to pull out their checkbooks to make donations to the Bird Benevolent Society. But you’ve sat there politely listening to this nonsense long enough. You leap up onto the dais, grab the microphone, and begin speaking:

“You people are crazy to give money to this outfit! Bird Benevolent Society, indeed! This organization must be run by people who hate birds, not love them! Different species’ different habits and ways are the result of thousands and thousands of years of natural selection. Each is particularly suited to its environment, both in its physical appearance and in its mental makeup and behavior. That’s what makes a blue jay not only look different from a cardinal, but act different, too. The difference in external appearance is just a sign of the inner difference in genetic makeup, which determines how they act, what they eat, how they choose a mate and build a nest, raise their young and every other thing they do. If you force them to live together and to give up their different modes of living, you’ll just end up causing conflict, violence, confusion and misery for them instead of the paradise you’re promising! Their natural, inborn differences are what make our feathered friends what they are! Can’t you see that? Can’t you see that you’ll be destroying all that by making them all mix together, that you’ll literally be killing them? How dare you try to tear down all that Nature has taken millennia to build up! How dare you claim you are doing this for the ‘good’ of the birds! How dare you call yourselves bird lovers! And let me ask you this question, what the Hell good does it do for you to set up this United Birds nonsense? Why can’t you just leave the birds alone to live as they always have, just as Nature intended?”

At this point, your old friend the Liberal Social Scientist motions to a couple of burly men in dark uniforms, who proceed to remove you from the stage and into a back room, where you are roughed up enough to keep you quiet for a while. Then the Liberal Social Scientist enters the room and gives you a little lecture:

“My friend, my friend, you have so much to learn — and to unlearn — here in the New World Order. I can’t have you doing foolish things and wrecking our well-laid plans. But you have drive and energy that we may be able to use someday, once you learn the rules. So I will be happy to explain what we are doing in, ah, a bit more detail. Have you caught your breath enough to ask me some questions?

“Ah, well, I see you’re in no condition to speak at the moment. Here’s my handkerchief, wipe that horrid blood away. I hope you’ve learned your lesson and your place. I think I can anticipate your questions anyway.

“Look out that window on your left, and you’ll see our construction crews putting the finishing touches on our latest building project. You see they’re not working in wood or brick. Because they’re not building a headquarters for the Bird Benevolent Society. No indeed, they’re working in wire mesh, building a great dome, just one of many great wire mesh domes we are building, within which will be the United Birds itself. We’ve found that the poor birds don’t know what’s good for them, and are constantly trying to find a way to fly away from us, so we’re building these new homes for them, where our great social experiment can take place. Oh, it’s true, some have called them cages, but we prefer to call them planned housing projects. And of course, there are many birds outside the domes still living in the old ways, but soon we will have enough of the United Birds in our peace-keeping forces trained to attack their fellows who refuse to submit to our beneficent rule, and I can confidently predict that within a few years the United Birds will encompass all birds and there will simply be no place to fly to that isn’t already under our central administration. Then we can go on to the final stage of our glorious plan.

“Oh, and I almost forgot your final impertinent question. You wanted to know what we got out of it, what our personal motivation was for this plan for social change among the birds. I seem to recall you even questioned our right to call ourselves ‘bird lovers.’ Well we are bird lovers — of a kind. We want a world of peaceful birds, just as we said. Peaceful and docile. We want a world of well-educated birds, just as we promise. Educated — by us — to do what we want them to do. We want a world of birds which has forgotten their own separate and traditional ways, since those old ways might get in the way of our plans and might form the basis of loyalty and cohesion among some birds. We don’t want that. We want their loyalty to be only to us, only to the United Birds.”

And at this point he turns to face you directly, with his hooked nose only an inch in front of yours, and he concludes his little lecture:

“Then it will be much easier for us to practice our love of birds. We did it all for the love of birds!

And as he leers menacingly into your face you can detect the smell of raw flesh upon his breath, and you can see on his throbbing lower lip a thick drop of blood in which is suspended a tiny white feather.

*    *    *

These “Bird Lovers” Say They Love You, Too

I have little to add to this fable of the Liberal Social Scientist and the Bird Benevolent Society, except to say that the same kind of people who claim here to be bird lovers also say they’re just overflowing with love for you, too.

And if you can’t see through their nonsense about “world government” and “world law” and “peace-keeping forces” and “racial diversity” and the “democratic community of nations” and all the rest of it, then you and your family are nothing but food on the tables of your rulers, and you will deserve exactly what you get.

*    *    *

The illustrations used here were created by the Swedish Folktribunen.