Faculty Writing: On Environmental Damage and Capitalist Sabotage; Race, Class, Gender, and Health Activism; and an Intimate Autoanalysis

Writing in the Washington Post, R.H. Lossin asks what it would mean if we stopped thinking about environmental damage as a knock-on effect or simple cost of doing business and instead considered it a form of “capitalist sabotage”—a term coined to describe “destructive practices in the service of profit.” Capitalist sabotage, Lossin argues, “offers a way to think about environmental destruction that neither exonerates bad actors for lack of clear culpability, nor lapses into conspiracies” but is powerful enough to assign “blame for the harm that is done, knowingly, by a whole class of people who have common interests.”

Next, writing in Public Books, Danya Glabau calls for a meaningful reckoning with long-standing asymmetries in health activism along lines of race, class, and “the gendered organization of care within the family”: “In every context in which it is enlisted to do ideological or political work, the family inserts logics of hierarchy and domination and portrays them as natural and unmovable social facts. Why, then, should the family be a resource in advocacy and activism, when the point of action is to challenge hierarchies and systems of domination?” If “robust imaginings of better futures have any hope of becoming…reality,” Glabau urges, we need to begin to think “with history, across communities, and with people who have been so far left out.” 

And, in the inaugural issue of Parapraxis, Sophie Lewis performs an intimate self-psychoanalysis, confronting an injurious family past yet hopeful about present and future chosen communities of care: “I have ended relationships that resembled too closely my unrequited, unrequitable, competitive relationships with each of my parents,” Lewis writes, and “I have begun to feel genderlessly mothered—held—and known, in a surprisingly sustained way.”  

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