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Final Paper (It always comes back to capitalism!)

Bella's picture

Hi all! Here's my final paper, which explores the links between capitalism and ableism in the American workplace:

Thank you all for a great semester! 


Hazel's picture

Hi Bella, that was a wonderful read! I am so happy you chose this topic for you final paper because I have been reflecting and talking about it for the past couple years as well. I agree that capitalism was not designed for disabled workers, but honestly I would say it was not designed for anyone at all but the top 1-5% that tremendously benefit from it. I am saying this as I am thinking about how disability and chronic illness is not a defined category but a spectrum, and most of us will fall on it at some point in our lives, even if temporarily. The ‘healthiest’ bodyminds get torn down by the capitalist system as the end goal is always the maximum labor and profit at any cost of health and happiness. Eventually we all get hurt by capitalism, and that is another reason we should fight against it— for everyone around and ourselves.

Your point about exploitation of disabled workers and them being treated as less human that able-bodied folks reminded me of our conversations on eugenics and early immigration practices. Has anything really changed at all? 

I love that you talked about the college culture of productivity and many manifestations of it, ranging from students’ diminishing sense of self-worth to structural barriers that disabled people face in higher education. I myself had realized the evil of capitalism and its connection with ableism my sophomore fall when I overworked myself so much that I literally thought I might have not survived, mentally and physically. It opened my eyes to what we do here in college and how it hurts us every day. I try to rewire my brain now, too! I do not let myself question my healthy choices, and encourage my friends and classmates to do the same. Step by step, we might actually get somewhere with that in the future.

It was lovely seeing you in class this semester, and I learned so much from you! Happy graduation, and I wish you all the best (including understanding and anti-ableist healthcare providers)!