Equalities

Marxism and Autism

Published in Solidairty 434, 29 March 2017:

 

Can Marxism can help us to understand autistic experience in modern capitalism? How might Marxism inform our struggles for equality and liberation?

There are different approaches to understanding autism. Perhaps the dominant approach is a medical one: seeing autism as a disease or tragedy, and autistic people as being broken and needing fixing. Over recent years, a more progressive approach has developed. It stresses acceptance of autistic people rather than simply “awareness”, and demands rights, equality and support rather than abusive “treatments”.

This approach is based on the concept of neurodiversity: the recognition that the human species is neurologically diverse; that different people have different brain wiring. But this more progressive approach, while welcome, does not necessarily locate autism and neurodiversity within the social, economic and political structures of society. It is important to do this — firstly, because all disability exists in a social context; and secondly, because autism is largely an issue of how people interact socially. We are all expected to follow social rules, but who makes those social rules, and how?

Report: RMT Disabled Members' Conference

Yesterday saw RMT's first ever Disabled Members' Conference, held in London.

Although quite small (9 delegates, plus union officials), the important thing was that it took place at all, especially as rank-and-file members had pushed for its creation against the wishes of the union's national leadership. Now it is established, it will grow from year to year, as the union's other equalities conferences have done.

 

Marxism and Autism: Newcastle

05/04/2017 - 19:00

Janine introduces a discussion on Marxism and Autism. Can Marxism help explain the autistic experience under capitalism, and contribute to our fight against oppression?

Venue: Broadacre House, Market Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 6HQ

Disaffected Middle-aged Women

A new sociological category to scare the establishment ...

Somewhat like the angry youth
But rather longer in the tooth
We're gobby, feisty, loud, uncouth
We're Disaffected Middle-aged Women

Kicking our feet against the wall
Plotting in the shopping mall
Go tell them we're not playing ball
We're Disaffected Middle-aged Women

Video: What is Autism?

An introduction to autism, explaining what it is, common terms, with a plain-English account as well as the medical stuff. This video explains autism in terms of what is different about autistic people, rather than what is "wrong" with us.

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