Outsourcing Care

RE: The Cyborg and the State

I'm inspired to respond to or collaborate in some way with this post by degrowther, which is such a lucid description of the challenges we face today brought on by an eroding social fabric, one that we have massively outsourced the care and maintenance of to the state, to institutions.

I hear so many people in my surroundings who watch or read the news daily and bemoan the state of the world with such despair. It is truly painful to witness so much suffering, and at one time, with a feeling of helplessness. We have lost (to a degree) a feeling of empowerment to act of our own accord to care for our neighbors and communities because the habit of outsourcing problems to the gov't, to institutions, has become so deeply ingrained. We are out of practice in caring directly for one another! And, the endless pursuit of growth and profit robs us of the time to practice this care well and often. As degrowther points out, by and large we are "cyborgs who have ceded a fundamental human ability to the State."

I see positive shifts, though, in the direction of decentralization of care and cooperative reinvestment in communities through the mutual aid groups that have popped up in the last few years (may they flourish well beyond this pandemic...) and a growing dissatisfaction among many with the current structures of power, economic system, and institutions that benefit such a small section of society. Perhaps this urge to engage arises naturally when we see how far in one direction a system has taken us and we are spurred to act as a form of correction, (re?)balancing power dynamics, reengaging in community care.

Everything is relationships. Any rips and tears in the social fabric, explosions that rattle us, stem from a break in our relationships. Theft—we have hoarded too much and one of our earth siblings is left out of the potential for abundance. Violence—perhaps a series of fraying relationships, leading to broken connections, isolation, despair and hatred, leading to further disconnection. Spammers, malicious hackers—yet more relationships to remind us that **nothing in this world is inherently "safe"—it is only safe to the extent that we build relationships, which protect and care for all beings.** If anyone is left out, disenfranchised, the entire community suffers.

We must care for one another or risk losing everything we love. We bear this responsibility collectively. "We keep us safe," the abolition motto reminds us. And, deep down, I believe we truly wish for little more than to take care of one another.

~ inkling home

Reach out: herbsandspices at pm • me