Sussex Anarchists are people who want to raise awareness of anarchist ideas in
Sussex and join together to struggle against capitalism and other forms of oppression.
Anarchism is the most beautiful idea we know. We think we need to get
out the positive message about what anarchism really means. We usually meet at the Cowley Club, 12 London Road, Brighton. Email
us at [email protected]
6.30PM, Monday April 18th
Cowley Club, 12 London Road, Brighton.
MON 18th 6.30pm *Meeting* Who Cares? An Anarchist Discussion on Care, hosted by Sussex Anarchists, All Welcome
The discussion will be kicked off by someone with personal experience of receiving care.
Classical left-wing thought has focused itself around the categories of work and labour. This is unsurprising. After all, we aim for the liberation of the oppressed. In a capitalist system, much, if not all, oppression has its roots in the ruling class’ control of the means of production. Consequently, a free society requires economic reorganisation. Feminist thought has exposed the myth of the private, by showing that economic domination extends into the realm of the sexual and of the domestic. Gender relations are conditioned by the capitalist requirement for an infinitely reproducible workforce. The work of childbearing, child rearing, home-making and caring for those unable to work has both fallen to women and oiled the gears of manufacture just as much as the blood and sweat of the labourers themselves. Our own social movements are often oblivious to these dynamics. We aim to return our labour and our bodies to their rightful owners, but forget that, in a capitalist society, emotional energy and love are as much commodities as the tangible goods we buy and the labour we sell. Those who take part in them are very often those with a surplus of these commodities. We tend to be people without pressing emotional commitments, childless, independent people and those whose children have now grown up. Those who care are conspicuous by their absence. Perhaps we can find new ways of organising that challenges and changes this.
We also forget that not everyone can sell their labour. Many of us have impairments, physical or mental, that inhibit our abilities to do productive labour. Many of us are forced into looking after others. This reduces our value in a capitalist society. The former the ones who need care. The latter those who provide it. Reliance on the support of others puts you in a precarious situation. It makes you vulnerable. Having to look after somebody is a burden. If they depend on you and you alone, they have power over you. The capitalist solution to this has been for care to be bought and sold. This brings a certain freedom to those that can afford to buy care. Not only are you in charge, but you can make someone else perform the tasks that you cannot do. It also gives a certain freedom to those who provide care. At some point, your shift will end. Your role is defined by your contract. If we are serious about ending capitalism, then we need to find new possibilities of social organisation that liberate care-givers and care-receivers along with productive labourers.