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Neurodiversity and politics


Unknown Speaker 0:00

No, I'm not still mad or blocked or anything fine. Today, I'm going to try to fuse my worlds. My hope is to convince the leftists who make up the vast, vast, vast, vast majority of my Twitter following, that they should be talking and caring more about neurodiversity, as well as convincing some of my autistic and the followers that you might be more interested in leftist political theory than you think you are. quick intro for any new viewers before we begin. My name is Mika. And I make videos about philosophy, politics, autism, and neurodiversity. So please subscribe and hit the bell. If that sounds like stuff you like. I will be doing a q&a at some point soon to celebrate my first 100 subscribers. But God asked me some questions about like to trying to not have flashbacks of the time, my friends or stop me up at my own party. So ask me anything you like it on here in the comments on Twitter or Instagram and just q&a somewhere in it. So now, I also now have a link in the description to a cofee account. So if you would like to support me by buying me a coffee, then you can do that below and it would be immensely appreciated. You might notice that it's a bit sparse looking. And that's because we are moving to Germany in a couple of weeks. So I might be some interruption to your regularly scheduled programming. But I will keep you updated. And I will be getting started with the videos as soon as we're settled. It shouldn't take too long. somewhere. So, comrades, what's a neurodiversity? It's a relatively new concept. The term itself was coined in the late 90s. And it challenges the way we think about human neurology. You see, the accepted traditional way of thinking about brains is well, it's a sensualist is really see the established way of thinking about neurology is that there is one way in which brains work properly and out that deviates from that is disordered exponents of neurodiversity would hold that when it comes to neurology variation is in fact, the norm. This is something also echoed by the work of Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett, who is someone I've only mentioned a couple of times. That's a very basic summary of the concept, but there are also many different positions and yes, debates within the movement. It is a civil rights movement, and it's one which aims to overturn many ingrained assumptions. Radical, a prominent position taken by neurodiversity advocates is to advocate for the social model of disability. I am in disability I thought we were talking about neurology probably should have clarified, neurodiversity although it is probably best known as being connected with the autistic community who, as far as I know, we're just the first ones to use it is actually an umbrella term, which covers an ever growing number of neurodevelopmental and mood or personality conditions, including but not limited to ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, developmental speech disorders, dis knowmia, Tourette's, intellectual disabilities, bipolar, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia and depression. Now, the opposite of the social model of disability is what is known as the medical model. And it should be said now that we're not rejecting this out, right, it does still apply in many cases. The issue is, is that traditionally this has been the only way of regarding disability. And it can be problematic in many ways, which my fellow left to call should be well accustomed to. It places so much onus on the individual like the disability is only within them ignores questions like what do we actually mean when we say disabled, and can changes to the environment actually change how disabled an individual is or is not at any given time? An experiment of the social model of disability would say that it is the material environment and conditions which are in themselves disabling. Sound familiar, we've got anti individualism, anti essentialism and material analysis.

Unknown Speaker 5:00

you'll actually be all over this. Not seeing it, though. Not apart from autistic being slapped on the end of a list of minorities sometimes, I'm not saying much chatter about neurodiversity at all in leftist circles. I mean, there was that that one time when several quite influential leftist youtubers as a lot of fun on Twitter with calling out essentially mocking someone who clearly suffered from some kind of sensory processing disorder for for making demands on the internet. They even said, Please, come on, spine, spine,

Unknown Speaker 5:43

spine. No, I'm

Unknown Speaker 5:46

not still mad or blocked or anything. Fine. So in a bit, I'm going to get into a few of the most specific struggles and fights within the neurodiversity movement. Things which, you know, we could really use the help of the International left, but first for my nd friends. What's a leftist? And what am I won for? I'm just gonna briefly explain all of leftist ideology.

Unknown Speaker 6:16

Just just, I'll just be a sack.

Unknown Speaker 6:19

Okay, so leftism, which is a word I'm gonna use is a very vague term, another umbrella term. But for today's purposes, it's just gonna mean, like all of the left, not, as in they're a monolith. Because but just all the different traditions and ideologies and theories on the left. Okay, so like due to the fact that the modern left have never actually had power. It makes describing what it is that all that much more difficult, because like, like neoliberalism, you can just point to a load of countries and just be like, what they do that, but there are various themes, which do tend to run through a variety of leftist thought. And I would say that one of the predominant ones is to do with who owns the means of production, it's commonly held on the left that the means of production. And by that we mean all natural resources necessary human needs. And production infrastructure should not be owned by private citizens, but should either be owned by everyone or the workers within a certain industry. And can I just say, to hold that there should be no private ownership of the means of production has nothing to do with personal property, which is something that the right will often say about socialists and communists that they're going to, we're going to come for your personal property, it's like we're not interested in coming around for your second car or your Tally. We just want the workers who made your car and your tally, to get the profits which they generated rather than the vast, vast, vast majority of it going to a few shareholders who created nothing. Other common themes include further democratizing decision making, giving citizens more recourse over any representatives, if not installing direct democracy, and the abolishment of hereditary power and lifelong positions. There is much debate about what if any power estate should have and how the intersectional nature of society can be analyzed? As I said, there are many different ideologies on the left. And honestly, whenever I hear someone make blanket statements about the left and what the left think and do, I know it's coming from someone who spent zero time listening to leftists. You've got out on the left from state socialists, to libertarian anarchists, if I absolutely had to pick an ideological label, you know, to put to put on my badge, when when I go and visit the anti for membership Guild Hall, it would probably say, a narco something or other. And because I'm basically being the idea that any hierarchy of power should be absolutely justifiable or it shouldn't exist. So for an easy example, that that middle manager guy that you see at your office, like once a month, whose whole job seems to just be relaying information from one department to the other, and somehow taking a bunch of credit along the way, his job wouldn't exist. However, hiring teachers to have an authority over a classroom would still probably be a thing. Sure to just set onto capitalism, should

Unknown Speaker 9:50


Unknown Speaker 9:52

the overarching theme of the left is anti capitalism, which we believe because it's true this acetates exploitation. And for me personally, I don't think it's particularly important that I subscribe wholeheartedly to one school of thought, and read all the books and get completely entrenched in this one way of pushing for anti capitalism. My ethos is more or less That I will support any leftward moving progressions because they are few and far between. So now we've got the introductions out of the way. What's the point of this video? My point today is that neurodiversity as a concept is something which is confronting deep rooted political and ideological assumptions. And the people who are not neurotypical are facing the same far right inspired backlashes, as the wider left is, and we need to be supporting each other. So what's going on? What is the neurodiversity movement actually up against my word? Where do we begin? I'm going to try and do this speedily. autistic kids and kids with ADHD and OCD are often subjected to a type of therapy called ABA. ABA was designed by a man evil obus, who believed that autistic kids weren't really people and that you had to turn them into people through intensive and invasive therapy. His techniques were then used by George rackers to LGBTQ plus, people will know as being on the founding board of the homophobic Family Research Council, as well as being a scientific advisor for the National Association for Research and therapy of homosexuality, an organization offering gay conversion therapy. This is something that the left rightly and loudly condemn. And although it is still a thing that happens, gay conversion therapy is widely seen to be pseudoscientific and abusive. However, in many countries such as the USA, ABA is seen as the gold standard for treating spectrum conditions. The cases of PTSD stemming from ABA treatment and the testimony by those who have been through it makes it clear how abusive it can be. And it's completely pseudo scientific. It completely ignores the desires or experiences of the patient, and instead focuses on the child's outward behaviors, while making them feel ashamed of their inclinations in nature. I talked about why exactly ABA is pseudo scientific in one of my previous videos, why we do now I was going to try and hit you with some precise stats, but it's actually quite hard to find statistics about neurodiverse people and their experiences, as it tends to be broken up into the different conditions. So do excuse the vagueness quickfire, people who would fall under the neurodiverse umbrella are far more likely to be unemployed or in unstable work, more likely to have daily care needs or other health issues, far more likely to suffer from mental health problems, way, like nine times more likely to die of suicide, more likely to experience police brutality, more likely to be the victim of medical discrimination, more likely to experience problems with addiction, more likely to be the victim of a crime, more likely to experience physical violence, more likely to be sexually assaulted, more likely to be wrongly detained or institutionalized, and more likely to identify as LGBTQ AI plus, and you might look him from the inside and go, well, that looks to be loads of organizations and things designed to help but honestly, right, it is a sodding minefield, let's just focus in on autism for a sec. Because I don't know actually, if there's a load of organizations out there to help other neuro types, but for autism, yeah, yeah, we do have quite a few and quite a few of them seem to just because a moron than God at this point. If you want to learn more about that I recommend Stephanie Bethany's video on the truth about Autism Speaks, Autism Speaks being the main one to attract the wrath of the autistic community. But there are loads out there, we're guilty of the same kinds of stuff.

Unknown Speaker 14:36

So very briefly, the main beef is that they don't actually seem all that interested in autistic people. They tend to be more focused on the parents of autistic children with very high care needs and curing autism, a thing which isn't actually possible and is highly contested as a concept. But the problem is, it's these organizations which get all the attention And all the funding and then therefore can literally get to speak for the autistic community. They focus a lot on the costs of autism, and they produce promotional material, which is honestly atrocious, like seriously. So they produced a film in which a mother talked in front of her daughter about wanting to murder her, and only not doing so because she had another daughter who was not autistic. By the way, autistic kids are murdered by their parents at an alarming rate. And this is often reported in a way that is somewhat sympathetic to the parent. So neurodiverse advocates are fighting against a model of disability which is inherently individualistic, and therefore beneficial to the right. We are fighting against the material conditions which are inhibiting us and therefore making us more disabled. We represent one of the biggest minorities out there, one which spans across all cultures, genders, and all, ever everyone. And the intersectionality between a typical neurology and race, particularly in white majority nations is some scary. Please check out the autistic while black hashtag to learn how being black in a white supremacist state can be made worse. the validity of the concept of neurodiversity is highly contested among essentialist thinkers, there are people out there strongly pushing back against the idea that neurology just is diverse. And they're painting the neurodiversity movement as dangerous as being damaging to the progress being made of ABA type conversion therapies. And there's also significant crossover between the just the essentialist individualistic types to a year, yet anti Vax complete fruitcakes, but yet to accept the truth that neurology is diverse, is a huge threat to many established ways of thinking about human nature, the right absolutely loved their essentialist views of human nature, and in labeling as degenerate anything which doesn't fit into the established view. They fight against the truth that loads of people, millions and millions of people are fundamentally ill fitted for the systems that they have designed, the ones which they promise will bring us equality. And if we just accept that this is just a part of human nature, not a disordered form, not to degeneracy, not something that needs to be eradicated. And I think that that raises some really cool questions for the left. I think it offers significant ammo for these culture wars we find ourselves in, and it offers the opportunity to maybe do some self reflection to see if you haven't internalized some essentialist views of human neurology, and my neuro diverse bodies. leftist politics is the tool by which we will see the environmental changes we so desperately need, materialist understandings of human nature, social models and analyses. And the very concept of from each according to their ability to each according to their needs, is not just a good idea. But I reckon it is absolutely necessary for this idea to be the baseline assumption of how a society is to function if we're ever to see all kinds of humans thrive as well as survive. So comrades, nd friends, I hope you both took something from this today. Please Like if you did, and let me know your thoughts in the comments below. As I've said, things might be a bit up in the air for me over the next coming weeks, as we're moving to Germany, and yeah, the q&a world will fall somewhere during that move. I'll use that as the buffer.

Unknown Speaker 19:34

So yeah, like, subscribe, follow me on things, and I will see you next time from

Unknown Speaker 19:42

a different country.

Unknown Speaker 19:46

Dry down, I'm dreading having to actually do it. Looking forward to being rather miss that view.

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