One thing that the current moment should teach us is that we are all connected. Drawing on the radical Black feminist philosophy of the Movement for Black Lives, I explain why this moment is a critical one for understanding how to implement a politics of care.
Care, here, is not a mere sentiment. Nor does it indicate a posture of deference or coddling. Instead, care is a pragmatic value, requiring the provision of what is necessary for health, welfare, maintenance, and safety with serious attention to doing things correctly in order to avoid unnecessary damage or risk. In this way, the politics of care begins with the conviction that lived-experience matters and the reality of our experiences must be centered in our politics. That means it matters in a way that cannot be dismissed or set aside, when whole populations are hurting from harms inflicted by the ways we have structured society to systematically disadvantage some while systematically advantaging others. It matters that we have designed politics so that some voices are much more likely to have influence than others. And, it matters that during the current public health crisis, federal decision-makers and other political leaders are willing to testify to the disposability of hundreds of thousands of people for the sake of their idea of the economy.
The politics of care is, therefore, a redefinition of the purpose, priorities, and experience of politics away from dominant liberal, masculinist, and capitalist paradigms. It is a way of pursuing self, community, and political governance that values people as they are embodied in the world as it actually exists.
Presented by Deva Woodly, Associate Professor of Politics.
Prep reading: Black Feminist Visions and the Politics of Healing
View a recording of the event here.
In The Current Moment: Perspectives from the Social Sciences and Humanities, 11 professors from The New School for Social Research share their own in-depth analyses on how a variety of contemporary social, political, economic, cultural and ethical problems have been amplified by the pandemic.