Making Room for Difference
An Anarchist Response to Disability
I won’t name the city or the group--it isn’t necessary. Similar situations have occurred in every anarchist community. A middle-aged man with obvious mental health difficulties attached himself to an anarchist activist project in a major city. He had time and energy to spare. He also had difficulties managing his behavior sometimes. A group of young women thought his occasionally aggressive words and actions were threatening, and they were lobbying for his expulsion from the collective. Others grumbled that his personal hygiene was lacking, and that his presence drove away potential members.
Feb 28, 2015
Anarchist Response to Disability
Fifth Estate History
Foucault’s happy pre-Enlightenment “ship of fools” was a fantasy: the reality of life with disability (particularly developmental disability and mental ill health) before charitable/government involvement ranged from outright murder, to banishment into charitable and religious institutions, to imposing the full duty of care on women within the confines of the family home. All of these practices continue alongside government and corporate services today.
Mar 7, 2016