Ddi 12 ss disabilities Neg Dartmouth 2012 Andrew 1 ddi 12 ss disabilities Neg Strategy Sheet



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Breaking down capitalism is a prerequisite to preventing the oppression of the people with disabilities-capitalism was the first system to segregate people with disabilities

Russel and Malhotra 02 [MARTA RUSSELL AND RAVI MALHOTRA; Writer on the political, social and economic aspects of disablement AND Malhotra-B.A. Joint Honours, Political Science/Law (Carleton), M.A. International Affairs (Carleton), LL.B. (Ottawa), LL.M. (Harvard), S.J.D. (University of Toronto), of the Bar of Ontario, Associate Professor. “CAPITALISM AND DISABILITY”; Socialist Register, Vol. 38]
Historical materialism provides a theoretical base from which to explain theseconditions and outcomes. Under feudalism, economic exploitation was direct andpolitical, made possible by the feudal concentration of land ownership. While a¶ few owners reaped the surplus, many living on their estates worked for subsistence¶ and disabled people were able to participate in this economy to varying¶ degrees.13 Notwithstanding religious superstition about disabled people during the¶ Middle Ages, and significant persecution of them, the rural production process¶ that predominated prior to the Industrial Revolution permitted many disabled¶ people to make a genuine contribution to daily economic life.14¶ With the advent of capitalism, people were no longer tied to the land, but they 212 SOCIALIST REGISTER 2002¶ were forced to find work that would pay a wage — or starve; and as production¶ became industrialized people’s bodies were increasingly valued for their ability to¶ function like machines. Bosses could push non-disabled workers to produce at¶ ever increasing rates of speed. Factory discipline, time-keeping and production¶ norms broke with the slower, more self-determined and flexible work pattern¶ into which many disabled people had been integrated.15 As work became more¶ rationalized, requiring precise mechanical movements of the body, repeated in¶ quicker succession, impaired persons — the deaf or blind, and those with mobility¶ difficulties — were seen as — and, without job accommodations to meet their¶ impairments, were — less ‘fit’ to do the tasks required of factory workers, and¶ were increasingly excluded from paid employment.16 And so ‘the operation of the labour market in the nineteenth century effectively depressed handicapped people¶ of all kinds to the bottom of the market’.17¶ Industrial capitalism thus created not only a class of proletarians but also a newclass of ‘disabled’ who did not conform to the standard worker’s body and whoselabour-power was effectively erased, excluded from paid work.18 As a resultdisabled persons came to be regarded as a social problem and a justificationemerged for segregating them out of mainstream life and into a variety of institutionsincluding workhouses, asylums, prisons, colonies and special schools.19¶ Exclusion was further rationalized by Social Darwinists, who used biology to¶ argue that heredity — race and genes — prevailed over the class and economic¶ issues raised by Marx and others. Just as the ‘inferior’ weren’t meant to survivein nature, they were not meant to survive in a competitive society. Legislation,¶ influenced by Social Darwinism and eugenics theory, was enacted in a number¶ of jurisdictions for the involuntary sterilization of disabled people.20 Advocates of¶ eugenics such as Galton, Dugdale and Goddard propagated the myth that there¶ was an inevitable genetic link between physical and mental impairments and¶ crime and unemployment.21 This was also linked to influential theories of racial¶ superiority, according to which the birth of disabled children should be regarded¶ as a threat to racial purity.22 In the notorious Buck v. Bell decision of 1927, the¶ US Supreme Court upheld the legality of the forced sterilization of disabled¶ people. At the extreme, Nazi Germany determined that disabled individuals werean economic burden and exterminated tens of thousands of them.23 But even in¶ ‘democratic’ America bean-counting logic prevailed: by 1938, thirty-threeAmerican states had sterilization laws and between 1921 and 1964 over 63,000disabled people were involuntarily sterilized in a pseudo-scientific effort to¶ prevent the births of disabled offspring and save on social costs.24 Whether or not¶ codified into law, the sterilization of disabled people was common in a number¶ of countries in the first half of the twentieth century, including Britain,¶ Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, and Canada.25

Critique of capitalism most precede postmodern analysis – failure to acknowledge the material causes of ableism confines their project to the bounds of capitalist ideology





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