Notes and Fragments (On Capitalism and Gender, Perhaps)

1. On the idea that what is professional and also healthy is to act in individualistic, self protective ways: to what economic and other models does this supposition correspond?

2. It appears to me to be neither healthy nor supportive of the profession.

3. I say that, of course, because I’m a union man and either socialist or anarcho-syndicalist, I do not understand myself well enough yet to know.

4. I note that in practice, not to act in individualistic, self protective ways, seems to encode one as “feminine.”

5. Academia is not the only context in which I have seen  a political attitude get (re)converted into a service or charity oriented one.


2 thoughts on “Notes and Fragments (On Capitalism and Gender, Perhaps)

  1. Re 1 – it’s very neoliberal, or at least derived from that. There’s this idea that the best organization for human affairs is for everyone to pursue their own self-interest in a market kind of way. This framework holds that collective action (including but not limited to unions) is inherently bad and illegitimate because it messes up the operation of so-called free markets.

    It’s interesting because there’s an assumption that the aggregation of all these individual choices kind of gloms together into the best, most legitimate, most rational expression of What Everyone Wants. But the choices have to be made individually. Any attempt to “skew” things by encouraging people to identify with a group and act in the group’s interest rather than their own personal individual interest is seen as an illegitimate and unfair attempt to game the system.

    Well and how about that, I think I just got a nugget of an idea for what to do with a paper I’ve got to write. Yay for blogs!

  2. Yes, this sort of neo-Smithian twist on it is the current mode. But I was taught this save-yourself-if-you-can model was right when I was a child, as a mode of survival in a wicked but all powerful system. Now it is actually supposed to be a good thing, and the system appears to be seen as a benevolent god. Hm.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s