I am always been interested in whether people with impairments were better off under capitalism or socialism. Before the current debates in the UK about which is best, I remember the cold war and I had the opportunity to visit a number of European countries in the 1990s and saw firsthand the effects of socialism.
It is important to understand that both systems see individuals as productivity who are measured on what they can contribute to the workforce. These systems replaced feudalism, where productivity was measured in terms of output of families where people with impairments could make some contribution without being seen as defective.
The industrial revolution was the cornerstone for the birth of capitalism and socialism, and the creation of individuals being considered as commodities of Labour. It was also the creation of disability as individuals who could not deliver the labour expected of them in a factory setting, units per hour were deemed to be defective and traditionally disabled.
The question is how did each idealogical system deal with people with impairments as defective people.
Under capitalism, people would have to fend for themselves. People with impairments had the freedom to try to find work that suited them or in large family situations, they were looked after by their family. Those who profited from capitalism often set up charities, to help them get into heaven, which looked after people with impairments, often in a residential setting.
For me, my enterprising spirit means there would be a chance for me to succeed without interference from others.
Under socialism, that includes communism, the Nazi party and Corbynism, Labour is strictly controlled where everyone has a role to play and motherhood is regarded as a contribution to the state. Defectives are seen as being unable to contribute to the workforce and therefore to the objectives of the state.
How the socialist state deals with people with impairments they regard as defective is solely dependent on the moral appetite of the regime.
For the Nazis, the solution was simple, kill us as the undesirable burdens on the state we were.
Many communist and socialist countries locked us away in large poorly run residential settings to show the public they could pretend to have compassion for those defective. Those injured by war were always treated with more respect and dignity.
Corbyn’s proposal within an era where people with impairments, which is technically most people, wish to self-define themselves as defective, is to keep them at home on a minimum income with minimum support, encouraging assisted suicide or mercy killings as a way out. My response has been well documented elsewhere.
In the reality of 2018 in the UK, we have a mixed economy, somewhere between capitalism and socialism. People with impairments enjoy the support provided by a state-controlled health and social care system, with the freedom to be enterprising under a mostly free market system.
I believe it is this balance that has enabled the slow meaningful inclusion of people with impairments into society as the idea that people with impairments are naturally defective is being challenged.
If I had to choose to live under poor capitalism or poor socialism, it would have to be capitalism because I would have a fighting chance to have some control over my life as oppose to simply being locked away by the state.
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