Statism and Ableism
As an autistic transwoman, I believe that the best bet for both queer and disabled liberation is by abolishing the state and overthrowing hierarchy whereever sees fit. Disabled people under a statist society will always be at a disadvantage, since statist societies prioritize able-bodied people over disabled people. The only reason people like me are seen as disabled and not merely “eccentric” is because we cannot produce, we cannot contribute to capital’s stranglehold on production.
This is literally the only reason I am disabled. Under a non-statist society, one based off of true libertarian principles such as mutual aid and free association, disabled people would not be valued or devalued solely based off of their ability to contribute to capital, off of their ability to produce. I propose a synthesis of disabled and anarchist tendencies called divergent anarchism, to encompass both physiodivergent and neurodivergent people.
It will serve the same function as queer anarchism, or anarcha-feminism, or black anarchism etc does, providing a means of analysis that will provide a true path to liberation for disabled people. Disabled people can produce items of value comparable to that produced by able-bodied people, but society as it currently stands does not, and can not, value the products made by us in the same way it values the products made by able-bodied people. Nor will it value us as it values able-bodied people.
Statism is inherently ableist, the systemic issues that come with statism cannot be solved by mere reforms. All reforms merely serve as stopgap solutions, to kick the can further down the road for future generations to deal with, to placate the masses as to not seriously disrupt the flow of capital. Disability is stigmatized just as race/ethnicity is, or gender is, or lack thereof, or biological sex is, etc etc etc. The Fabians and their social democrat/democratic socialist descendants are stool pigeons for the state and hierarchy by virtue of being reformist in the first place.
“We’re not like those radicals, see? We want to reform the system, not abolish it,” cries the socdem/demsoc, but in the end when hierarchy deems it appropriate they too will be sent to the camps as we are/will. The Quisling always gets his comeuppance at the end. Appeasement does not work, reformism does not work. To truly liberate disabled and other marginalized people, we must abolish the very system that oppresses us, not make peace with and submit to it as vassals.
Assimilation politics serve the benefit of the oppressor, not the oppressed. Barack Obama is a keen example of this, being a biracial man, the son of a Luo Kenyan man and an Irish-American woman, as well as being the first African-American president of the United States. Throughout his presidency he was jeered and subjected to hostile opposition solely based off of the color of his skin, derided as being a “communist, Muslim, atheist, gay man” etc, having his native born citizenship questioned, as well as having all of his actions opposed at every single turn, even when his policies were not too different from his white, Republican predecessor.
Why, you ask? Because he was deemed black, and therefore “not a True American” by American society, despite being the personification of assimilation politics. Take Obama’s example as a lesson for all people insistent on assimilating into mainstream society, if you are a marginalized person, you will continue to be stigmatized no matter what actions you take.
Now I am not black, so I will not comment on what is best for African-Americans, I will only comment on what I see is best for disabled folk. Having outlined why statism is inherently ableist, and why reformism doesn’t work, let’s now take a look at authoritarian socialist takes on disabled liberation. The same thing applies here, in all of the so-called “socialist countries” of the world, people have been valued solely by their ability to produce, even in so-called “worker’s states.”
If you could not work, or you wanted meaningful control over the products of your own labor etc, you were deemed an outcast, a criminal, and marginalized as such. From 1928 onward, striking was a capital offense in the USSR (Cliff, 1954), and if striking, the most basic of methods of labor resistance, was outlawed, and labor was oppressed despite supposedly having control of the means of production, what does that mean for disabled people, who arguably got/get it even worse than laborers under such so-called “worker’s states?”
All statism is ableist, end of story.