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Position Statement on Critical Development

July 29, 2009

For Immediate Release [first published on July 29, 2009]

The League to Fight Neurelitism, a public sociology and an advocacy journalism project, actively promotes the consistent application of United Nations values on human rights and social justice to all persons on the Autistic spectrum.

While, on the one hand, the field of social and economic development has thus far been dominated by proponents of capitalist, or so-called free-market, practices, advocates of critical development propose, on the other, an assortment of anticapitalist, prosocialist perspectives on developmental issues. Notably, on each page of the Critical Development Studies Network website is inscribed one of the better-known maxims of Karl Marx, taken from his Theses on Feuerbach, “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point, however, is to change it.”

The League to Fight Neurelitism is strictly nonpartisan. We neither support any socialist or communist factions, nor do we oppose other political parties. Nonetheless, we hold firmly to the principle that struggles for Autistic emancipation, and for liberation more generally, can only be attained, comprehensively, once global capitalism and its corporatocracy, the framework of corporate governance, have been superseded by universal collectivization. Furthermore, although we reject the simplistic assertion that capitalism is the immediate or ultimate source of all agents of domination, we do contend that attempts to completely dismantle other oppressions will be thwarted, at every turn, by the contradictions within capitalist systems.

Given the considerably disproportionate rates of poverty in the Autistic community, the League has a vested interest in issues of development. Under capitalism, many Autists, when accounting for their difficulties in sufficiently producing according to expected neurotypical criteria, have remained economically marginalized. While public assistance, including disability benefits, can offer some relief and protection from disenfranchisement, it can also serve to reinforce the otherness of its recipients. Moreover, in addition to maintaining these Autists as second-class citizens, such “welfare,” used here broadly, promises none of the normative hope of advancement available to many others.

Collectivization, including the formations of such entities as cooperatives and credit unions, would replace industrial ownership by a bourgeoisie, or capitalist class, with common ownership by entire bodies of workers or consumers. While certain present-day corporations loudly proclaim the tokenism of their alleged profit-sharing, sometimes referring to their employees as associates, collectivization would altogether dispossess the bourgeoisie of class ownership and make them the equals among others. Finally, as everyone, Autists included, perform to their capacities, collective ownerships should serve as safeguards against significant marginalization.

Respectfully submitted,

Mark A. Foster, Ph.D.
Founding Director,
The League to Fight Neurelitism

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First published to: http://statements.neurelitism.com/criticaldevelopment.html

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 22, 2009 11:00 pm

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