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This blog is associated with The Emancipated Autism Project™.

Name Changes

September 6, 2011
For Immediate Release [first published on September 6, 2011]

As is obvious from the header of the page, I have changed the name of this website once again. Perhaps I will eventually get it right.

I made the name change for three reasons: First, calling it a Sufi order, when I am not a Muslim, is obviously confusing. My own heart opened after I began studying Sufism, so I immediately wanted to have my own Sufi path. Still, no mater what name I use, I can express the same ideas. Second, I felt as though I was minimizing the significance of “Neurelitism” by not including it in the title. Third, The Asma Path, my other former Sufi order, is now called, Unities.

Here is the logic: The unity, or essence, of humanity is not, to me, merely an abstract concept. As we discover and acquire the attributes of human unity, that unity can be practiced in our daily lives. Decisions will be made consultatively.

Diversity, on the other hand, is a given. Each of us is an individual soul. We have particular capacities which can be developed throughout our lives. However, diversity by itself, like Autistic identity politics, can easily become a trap. If we focus upon the diversity, and neglect the unitying essence, societies, communities, and hearts may begin to fall apart.

Respectfully submitted,

Mark A. Foster, Ph.D.

Servant of United Against Neurelitism

Internet Learning Resources Media

December 28, 2009

I have created a blogging and podcasting portal, Internet Learning Resources Media™. This blog, two others, and my podcasts are linked from it:

www.ILRM.info

Mark A. Foster

Emancipatory Constructionism

December 24, 2009
The following is an introduction to my theoretical framework:

The explicit objective of the  transdisciplinary new critical theory used by The Institute for Emancipatory Constructionism, designated as Emancipatory Constructionism™, is emancipatory structurization. In present usage, a structurization may be regarded as any social structure (set of rules), group, or culture. Expressly, social constructions, whether emancipatory or dominative, are the naming, classifying, or categorizing of tropes (the attributes of individual actors) into structurizations. Whereas social constructions are the generative processes, structurizations are their byproducts. The Institute for Emancipatory Constructionism advocates a radical inclusion – defined as the incorporation of individuals who are frequently “othered” (marginalized or excluded).

Furthermore, Emancipatory Constructionism, which begins with an examination of the conditions of domination, is intentionally value laden, not value free. Its methodology is a conscious engagement in praxis, a public sociology perhaps, in transforming dominative structurizations into emancipatory ones. Although, situationally, dominative structurizations may be accepted, with or without utility, from oppressors, through concerted action, as a radical praxis (emancipatory action) and a critical pedagogy (emancipatory education), they can, at times, be deconstructed (that is to say, denamed), revealing their dialectical contradictions, and reconstructed (renamed) into emancipatory structurizations.

This neo-Marxian paradigm draws from three nominalist-cum-particularist rubrics. First, out of medieval nominalism comes a discourse on universals as names. Second, Marxian with Lockean, trope, and other modern nominalisms are employed. Finally, social constructionism with cultural sociology, postmodernism, poststructuralism, critical pragmatism, and other postisms are utilized to express an incredulity toward, and to oppose the dominations of, essentialisms, foundationalisms, and metanarratives.

My Meltdown

November 7, 2009

I am presently coming out of a meltdown. During these periods, which have at times lasted a few years, I discontinue most activities which are not directly related to my academic position. The meltdowns seem to occur when I am over-extended. In any event, this situation explains why I have not posted in about three months. Just, because I likely appear fairly neurotypical to the majority of people does not mean I do not have my share of difficulties. As I have gotten older, I have merely become more proficient at positioning my mask.

On the other hand, as a child, the meltdowns were usually unbearable. I was almost constantly surrounded by people. Try as I might to escape in a corner from perceptual overload, someone always came by to say something or another. As an adult, however, I have lived alone. Except for my job, I can choose to shut out the world at will. No one, based on their misunderstandings of my needs, attempts to supposedly “rescue” me. Perhaps that explains why, despite the awful prognosis delivered by my child psychiatrist, that I would spend my life on disability, I have shown him to be wrong.

Name Changes

September 7, 2009

For Immediate Release [first published on September 7, 2009]

Effective immediately, The League to Fight Neurelitism is The Collective to Fight Neurelitism. Additionally, the founding director of The League to Fight Neurelitism becomes the founding organizer of The Collective to Fight Neurelitism. Considering that the web identity of this project has been established under its now previous designation, arriving at the decision to make our twin name changes was certainly not easy.

We have been The League to Fight Neurelitism since our inception more than two years ago. While this duration would be quite brief in many other contexts, on the Internet, considering its comparative newness as a communications medium, two years continues to be a relatively long period of time. Nonetheless, following careful reflection, it was determined that the noun collective more closely conveys our methods and our purposes than league.

From the date of this project’s conception, our grounding has been in a recently minted social scientific approach called new critical theory. Although Marxist in background, new critical theory adds, depending upon the particular social theorist, certain themes out of postmodernism, poststructuralism, critical pragmatism, social constructionism, and so on.

To be precise, our view is that normative constructions of “collective,” as in Marxist collectivization (and related usages), and of “organizer,” when used after the fashion of a union organizer, are considerably more in keeping with our Marxist sociological moorings than a “league” and a “director.” In any event, notwithstanding the reasons offered for these two modifications, we hope that they do not significantly inconvenience anyone.

Respectfully submitted,

Mark A. Foster, Ph.D.
Founding Organizer,
The Collective to Fight Neurelitism

-30-

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

-30-

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

A Brief Note on Critical Pedagogy

July 20, 2009

In the morning, I will be flying off to the Autism Society of America (ASA) annual conference in suburban Chicago. I am both pleased and highly enthusiastic to be attending. It will be my first ASA conference.

Over this past week, I have initiated a process of transforming the website for my students into a critical pedagogy site. In other words, while continuing to focus on students, the website will be clearly framed around the rubric of critical pedagogy.

The fall semester is now just around the corner. As always, the summer vacation has gone by like a breeze. This fall, as during the past academic year, I will continue telling students I am an Autist. Likewise, I will, as before, use my own experiences as a member of an oppressed minority to examine the processes of domination and emancipation.