Disability: A Politics of Labor and Crossroads
I think a labor model of disability, where disability and labor directly inform each other and disability is produced as both a social and subjective conflict with labor, is better than a social model, because a social model often implies the suffering caused by inability to do personal labor is socially caused. Even in the best conditions psychosis or chronic pain and fatigue is distressing for this reason. I don’t think any ideal conditions could really fix these problems without individual medical intervention. There’s also the conflict of producing an environment that satisfies the needs of disabled people, as well as the problem of how a lot of disabled people feel alienated from a model that distances themselves from the success they’ve personally found in treatment.
It was a very important development in understanding disability, especially in an era of mass social eradication, but serves a specific political purpose that needs a radical change in the modern era… especially since there is a growing rift between disability and labor (to the point that interests conflict with each other greatly in places like accessibility). This conflict moves the extermination imperceptibly into other political conflicts, and the social model provides no stable political material grounding to the struggle. Interestingly while I don’t think they were informing each other quite a few sects of the generalized criticism of “anti-psychiatry” developed a similar strongly social position but were similarly lacking in critical nuance. I should probably research thta in the future.
The medical model is really a product of capitalism; that much is very obvious. I think it should be used as a means to demonstrate why a labor-focused model is more accurate - the medical model deliberately ignores the anti-productive force of disability to emphasize productivity. The medical side of things is true in the sense that it can be effective and replicated, but the question not being asked here is really “why do we need this accessibility/medication in the first place?”. These things do have a purpose but when we analyze what that purpose is currently its one that ultimately comes to participating in a society whose purpose is to exploit and mutilate - leading to a progressive cycle of self destruction, like a CPU that is forced to surge with charge by reducing its off clock cycle as much as possible.
This is why some treatments are more controversial than others, because the diversion between “get back to work” and “get back to laboring” grows. When the work is what produces the disability it becomes very much a political conflict of interest. What makes this so complicated too is that every disability has a very different impact. You can’t understand disability without a diverse knowledge set extending from biology/medicine to sociology, psychology, and all the things that come attached to those. So instead I think one has to look towards what produces disability, both as a subject and as a reality.
Disability is inherently a transverse politics.