Capitalism, socialism and dysability – Simon Stevens’ Viewpoint
I am always been interested in whether people with impairments were better off under capitalism or socialism. These systems replaced feudalism, where productivity was measured in terms of output of families where people with impairments could make some contribution without being seen as defective. The question is how did each idealogical system deal with people with impairments as defective people. Under capitalism, people would have to fend for themselves. People with impairments had the freedom to try to find work that suited them or in large family situations, they were looked after by their family.
Those who profited from capitalism often set up charities, to help them get into heaven, which looked after people with impairments, often in a residential setting. How the socialist state deals with people with impairments they regard as defective is solely dependent on the moral appetite of the regime. Corbyn’s proposal within an era where people with impairments, which is technically most people, wish to self-define themselves as defective, is to keep them at home on a minimum income with minimum support, encouraging assisted suicide or mercy killings as a way out. In the reality of 2018 in the UK, we have a mixed economy, somewhere between capitalism and socialism. People with impairments enjoy the support provided by a state-controlled health and social care system, with the freedom to be enterprising under a mostly free market system.
I believe it is this balance that has enabled the slow meaningful inclusion of people with impairments into society as the idea that people with impairments are naturally defective is being challenged. If I had to choose to live under poor capitalism or poor socialism, it would have to be capitalism because I would have a fighting chance to have some control over my life as oppose to simply being locked away by the state.
Unilever’s New Model of Capitalism
Citizens of the world are less and less supportive of capitalism solely based on maximizing short-term profits. More and more companies are acknowledging their obligation to all the participants in their business, from the shareholders, to the employees, to the communities they operate in. Unilever is one such company, realizing and owning their need to contribute to the societal welfare and environmental impact for the countries it operates in. They want to propose a new model of capitalism that focuses on the long term, in which companies try to solve social and environmental problems and give equal importance to the needs of communities, as well as their shareholders. Unilever has over 400 brands worldwide under its umbrella, ranging from foods to household cleaners, including Lipton, Knorr, Dove, and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream; sold in almost every country, with two billion people using a Unilever product every day.
Unilever developed the brand Lifebuoy with a marketing strategy based on campaigns to educate mothers and children to adopt this simple gesture. It has a triple advantage – the consumer is healthier, the company sees a decline in health care costs for its employees, and Unilever benefits from increased sales of soap. Unilever’s greatest impact is within the agricultural sector. Worldwide, the company purchases 12% of the world’s black tea, 3% of the tomatoes, and 3% of the palm oil. Unilever is connected with more than one million small farmers alone.
They are able to work directly with the farmers to improve their productivity through a partnership with local and international organizations, expand their distribution efficiency, and train them in new techniques. Oxfam estimates the number of small-businesses that Unilever touches is more than half a billion, and improving their lives and businesses is an effective way to reduce poverty.
Understanding the anxious mind
Extrapolating from a study he had completed on toddlers,he suspected that the most edgy infants were more likely to grow up to be inhibited,shy and anxious. Kagan went on to find many more such children,and watched a big chunk of them run into trouble with anxiety or other problems as they grew up. AGE OF ANXIETY. The tenuousness of modern life can make anyone feel overwrought. Now,with thousands losing jobs and homes,futures threatened by everything from diminishing retirement funds to global warming – it often feels as if ours is the Age of Anxiety.
Psychologists have put the assumptions about innate temperament on firmer footing,and they have also demonstrated that some of us,like Baby 19,are born anxious – or,more accurately,born predisposed to be anxious. With slight variations,they all have reached similar conclusions: that babies differ according to inborn temperament; that 15 to 20 per cent of them will react strongly to novel people or situations; and that strongly reactive babies are more likely to grow up to be anxious. WHAT IS ANXIETY. Anxiety is not fear,exactly,because fear is focused on something right in front of you,a real and objective danger. When the fear starts to interfere with functioning,worrying turns into a clinical anxiety disorder,of which there are several forms: panic,social anxiety,phobia,obsessive-compulsive,post-traumatic stress and a catch-all called generalised anxiety disorder.
Taken together,they make anxiety the most common mental illness. COPING WITH ANXIETY. Having all the earmarks of anxiety in the brain does not always translate into a subjective experience of anxiety. In the modern world,the anxious temperament does offer certain benefits: caution,introspection,the capacity to work alone. An anxious temperament might serve a more exalted function too.