This started out as a comment on Big Liberty’s Universal Healthcare and Fat post. When I set up my “About” page a mere seven months ago, I wrote, “I know next to nothing about politics but I’m willing to learn.” Much has changed since then, although I have to say I wasn’t completely clueless, either. It’s just that I tend to research any given topic extensively before I can form an opinion on it, and last fall I did not feel like I had reached that point yet.
I became interested in libertarianism as soon as it started to come up on the fatosphere feed. The general concept sounded good to me – freedom of choice for everyone, little to no government supervision et cetera. However, as I started to read more and more essays by self-proclaimed libertarians (note that I was unaware of there being a difference between American and European definitions of libertarianism at the time), I got the same sinking feeling that I get whenever I pick up a magazine or newspaper: Once again I did NOT appear to be part of the target audience. What do I care about a free market when I can’t work and have never had money of my own? How exactly am I supposed to make any choices if the only opportunity I am given is to survive on what little people like me are “generously” supplied with by either the state or a charity?
I will always be a sick person first, the daughter of a poor single mother second, and only then does Fat Acceptance come in. I am not looking at this from the same perspective as your average fat rights activist, especially since I didn’t grow up as a fat child. I only grew up poor and sick. Googling “libertarianism and disability” I actually found out that here in Europe, the general consensus seems to be that true libertarians must oppose capitalism. How exactly that got twisted around to be almost the opposite in America, I don’t know. This blog came up as one of the first search results, which I found quite amazing because I happen to agree with nearly every single word in that post.
The thing is this, I am tired. Tired of feeling worthless because I never had a chance to finish school. Tired of feeling irresponsible just because I dare to continue existing. Tired of never being part of the target audience.
I propose that we stop providing services only to those who can afford it based on a ridiculous definition of “productivity”. If I were living in America, I would be unable to afford healthcare because I’m sick, which I’m sure you’ll agree makes no sense whatsoever. I would have to be healthy in order to make money, but in order to become healthier I’d need to have money already. Whoever came up with this nonsense needs to be taught a thing or two on logic.
I have decided to officially identify as anarchist now, but I don’t care what you call yourselves – if you agree that capitalism causes harm, I’m on your side.
There are so many wonderful things that we could be doing RIGHT NOW to help each other out, improve our own quality of life, find cures for diseases and solutions for technical problems, reduce stress among the population, prevent crime, save the environment and end world hunger. We have the technology, the knowledge, the resources, the brilliant minds, the people who would be willing to work on those problems, we have everything that is necessary to make this world a better place. So why aren’t we acting already? Because the resources, technology, knowledge and time are only available to those who can pay.
I bet if there is extraterrestrial life somewhere out there, they are laughing at our stupidity right this minute. Even I, sick as I am, would surely find a way to contribute to someone else’s well-being if only I were given the opportunity, but instead I am forced to sit around and do nothing because the financial support I receive from my country helps me survive and not much else.
I don’t get how some people can NOT see this. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose. But we exist and we’re not going away anytime soon. I refuse to accept that people like me deserve no better options.
This is probably not the most eloquent post I have ever written, but … oh well. It’s better than staying quiet.