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"From each according to our abilities, to each according to our needs."
Make no mistake, this is the logic of fascism, plain and simple. And it demonstrates how such barbarism emerges “organically” out of capitalism in an epic of neo-liberalism, austerity, and decline. In a word, when capitalism falls apart, the ruling class cannibalises what it deems to be the least-productive, most-costly, “surplus population.” In Germany before WWII, this was Jews, gypsies, and disabled people. In Europe today, it is increasingly Arabs, immigrants, and, as ever, disabled people.
Euthanasia might be needed for poor people who cannot access palliative care, the new Lithuanian Health Minister has suggested. Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė was sworn earlier this month, but already she has made waves by backing an open discussion of the legalisation of euthanasia.
Without making any specific proposals, she told local media that Lithuania was not a welfare state with palliative care available for all and that euthanasia might be an option for people who did not want to torment relatives with the spectacle of their suffering.
The minister has also raised the idea of euthanasia for children. She noted that this option had been approved for Belgian children after a long public debate. It was an option which might be appropriate in Lithuania as well after public debate.
A move to a managed-care system threatens to set back the struggle for disability rights in New York and damage lives.
… BEYOND THE massive threats to quality and adequacy of services, there is a fundamental problem with treating disability as an illness—a construct that is inherent in the managed-care model. Managed care is based on measuring a person’s limitations and providing the minimum level of service required to fit within the capitation rate. A truly progressive system would look at a person’s strengths and aspirations, and tailor support and services accordingly.
More than 80 years ago, the Bolshevik pioneer of educational psychology Lev Vygotsky developed a concept of primary and secondary disability that remains revolutionary today.
Vygotsky maintained that the primary disability is the organic impairment—that which is physiologically different about the person. The secondary disability is social—deprivation and failure to develop because of society’s response to the person’s primary disability. Vygotsky believed that education should be focused on identifying the social disability and removing it with reconstructed and strengthened social relationships.
Vygotsky’s concept of secondary social disability and its implications for education can be extended to residential and day services, which should be geared toward support and enrichment to achieve a higher quality of social engagement based on the agenda of the individual.
It’s clear that the managed-care model, which will assess disability in terms of ability to live independently and meet the needs of employers, will never allow for supports and services to engage individuals with disabilities socially in order to pursue goals and interests of their own choosing.
And thus begins the end of the new “revolutionary” Ukrainian government … The price of membership in the EU is the sacrifice of the Ukrainian working class’ living standards …
The Kiev government will stick to unpopular austerity measures “as the price of independence” as Russia steps up pressure on Ukraine to destabilise it, including by raising the price of gas, Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk told Reuters.
The class structure of capitalism encourages men who wield power in the economic and political realm to become routine agents of sexual exploitation. The present rape epidemic occurs at a time when the capitalist class is furiously reasserting its authority in face of global and internal challenges. Both racism and sexism, central to its domestic strategy of increased economic exploitation, are receiving unprecedented encouragement. It is not a mere coincidence that as the incidence of rape has arisen, the position of women workers has visibly worsened. So severe are women’s economic losses that their wages in relationship to men are lower than they were a decade ago. The proliferation of sexual violence is the brutal face of a generalized intensification of the sexism which necessarily accompanies this economic assault.
Angela Davis, Women, Race, & Class
Damn. This was written in 1981, but is 100% apt in describing things as they stand now in 2013.
Capitalism’s “new normal” in the U.S. means Not Working. An austere economy throws American workers out of jobs and into prison, poverty, and welfare (which, given the US’ measly welfare rates, is basically equivalent to poverty).
Just 88% of men ages 25 to 54 are participating in the workforce today, down from 97% in 1956.
So where have all the men workers gone?
Some went into prison. Others are on disability. And still others can’t find jobs and have simply given up looking.
The trend is particularly pronounced among the less educated. As the job market shifted away from blue-collar positions that required only a high-school degree to more skilled labor, many men were left behind, labor analysts say. It’s harder these days to find well-paying jobs in manufacturing, production and other fields traditionally dominated by men without college diplomas.
But college men are leaving, too. The participation rate of those older than 25 and holding at least bachelor’s degree fell to 80.2% in May, down from 87.2% in May 1992.