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I’m a liberal because I’m autistic

Discussion in 'Politics Discussion' started by AGXStarseed, Nov 28, 2017.

  1. AGXStarseed

    AGXStarseed Well-Known Member

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    (Not written by me)

    My experiences in the workplace have taught me all too well that bootstraps only lift so far


    To understand why I'm left-wing on economic issues, you first need to realize how devastating it is to be autistic in the modern workforce.

    I have no idea what it was like for autistic people who tried to get and hold down jobs before the condition was diagnosed in the mid-20th century — although I imagine it wasn't easy — but it is definitely hellish now. Given that I work at my dream job as a writer and am in the process of completing my Ph.D., I consider myself incredibly lucky today. But that wasn't always the case.

    When I was in high school, when a classmate heard me talk excessively and enthusiastically in response to a teacher's question (a common problem for me in those days) he cuttingly observed, "Dude, you'll never be able to hold down a job." For the rest of my teenage years and into my early 20s, he wound up being proved right: I got fired from several of my early jobs (grocery store bagger, burger flipper, convenience store clerk, that sort of thing) for offenses ranging from struggling to make eye contact and talking too much, to offenses that wound up being categorized as "abrasive" and "weird."

    "One of the things we always tell employers, and I tell groups when I'm speaking to them, is that most individuals on the spectrum when they lose a job, they don't lose it because of their performance on the job," Marcia Scheiner, president and founder of Integrate (formerly Asperger Syndrome Training & Employment Partnership), told Salon. "They lose it because of social missteps at work."

    It is impossible to accurately convey how traumatizing — and yes, the word "traumatizing" is not only appropriate here, but necessary — this is for individuals in the autistic community.

    When you try your hardest to hold down a job but are unable to do so due to factors beyond your control, the impact is profoundly demoralizing. When I spoke with other autistic friends and acquaintances for this article, all of them told stories about how they've grown terrified of being fired — some to a degree they admit is unhealthy and neurotic — because of all the previous occasions when something they said or did, but did not understand, caused them to lose a job.

    Note that I didn't say "most." I said "all."

    Even worse, because our culture insists that being unable to hold down a job indicates a deeper character flaw, many autistic people develop self-loathing as a result of their experiences. I know autistic men and women who are brilliant and hard-working but constantly refer to themselves as "bums" or "losers" because society has told them that, well, their inability to hold down a job proves that those things are true about them. If they dare trying to dispel those misconceptions with the facts about their situation, they're accused of coming up with excuses.

    So how prevalent is this problem?

    "Unfortunately in this space there is not a lot of good hard data," Scheiner said. "There are universities and hiring programs where they are starting to collect the data, but frankly there has not been enough known programs and pools of known individuals on the spectrum in employment that anyone can really collect valid data."

    Scheiner added that the solution isn't likely to come from the government.

    "The biggest thing that we think makes it easier for individuals on the spectrum to retain their work is training their employers. It's not something that the individual on the spectrum needs to do, it's something the employer needs to do," Scheiner told Salon.

    Fortunately, there are already individuals trying to do exactly that. Within the last month there have been stories about a mother and her autistic son opening up a bakery to employ other people on the spectrum, or a start-up that creates tech jobs for individuals with autism. There are also large corporations like Microsoft, SAP, Walgreens and Freddie Mac that have made a point to try to hire individuals with autism.

    These are all steps in the right direction, but they are nowhere near enough. And this brings me back to why I connect my decade-old experiences struggling as an autistic youth in the workplace with my larger belief in economic liberalism. In the end, we are only going to make life easier for autistic individuals in the workplace when we create a more compassionate, tolerant and inclusive atmosphere for everyone in the workplace.

    When you hear about someone who is unemployed, or who struggles to hold down a job, check yourself before passing judgment. Dismissing those individuals as screw-ups or layabouts isn't just cruel or intellectually lazy, it is also quite often incorrect. While libertarians and conservatives tend to blame the poor for their own plight, progressives recognize that factors beyond any one individual's control can often impose terrible socioeconomic suffering on them.

    Sometimes those factors are external, like the ups and downs of the business cycle or a company's decision to impose layoffs. Others are internal, like neurological conditions that we are only beginning to understand.

    Either way, because I was born autistic, I understand all too well that our current economic system is not the wisest or most just one that exists. You don't have to experience discrimination as an autistic person to recognize that. You just need to be someone who the invisible hand has, at one point or another, decided could be treated as less than human.


    Source: https://www.salon.com/2017/11/25/im-a-liberal-because-im-autistic/
     
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  2. Shiznown

    Shiznown Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, it is very disappointing that so many on the spectrum are die hard "progressives". To me that gives the world at large that all of us need and/or want government support and to just live off the system. It also makes people who are more right, or center leaning to view us negatively. That's how the whole "autistic screening" meme came about. Yes, it was ignorance that caused that meme, however most people who are autistic, I feel are taught "You can't do better. You need the government. You need these policies" I myself have received governmental aid, however I do not plan on living the rest of my life on tax payer money, nor would I want to. I also feel that if the dollar was strong and actually backed by gold and not debt, that I would have never needed aid, because I could simply pay for college working at a low end job like how people USED to do decades ago. Also, if the government wasn't involved in college, most people could pay for it out of pocket. College is a business, so when colleges know the government will pay for learning they jack the prices up and all other college jack up the prices to compete and make profit. I am for the most part a Libertarian and I have actually had many people, including those with aspergers hate me for it and my views.
     
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  3. BiKuo_Hao

    BiKuo_Hao Active Member

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    Being victim of discrimination does not make you a better human being. It is funny, how people become the monsters that they hate and denounce without even noticing it.
     
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  4. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Much like Temple Grandin, I've never understood why anyone would "marry" an idea- or ideal given that they seldom remain constant. Where at some point the idea wanes or fails, requiring either changing the idea or abandoning it altogether.

    Ironic to think I majored in political science. The lowest form of human behavior. ;)
     
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  5. WildCat

    WildCat and his scatterbrain V.I.P Member

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    I'd like to know the inside story behind why this gentleman (and others) got fired. If it's not necessarily job performance, then what was or is it? I understand how difficult it can be to hold down a job (and manage the rest of life on top of that) when you're on the spectrum...hell, many people off the spectrum struggle with it too, but it sounds to me like there's more to this article than meets the eye.

    Just curious, as I've held down employment for about a decade now - no help from any well-meaning agency and it's night shift - but I still have to deal with customers and then some on a daily basis. Not saying people like him are always at fault here, but people on the spectrum are not without faults either.
     
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  6. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    This does not appear to me to be correct, as far as social missteps on the job. I've not been fired from any job, although I have quit jobs, worked for companies that went bankrupt or were bought out. But then again, I've never had anything to fall back on, family or people to stay with originally, knew I was on my own.

    There was little option for me to fail at something, it meant I would become homeless. Was on unemployment insurance once, and went to forty job interviews in two weeks. Being relentless and obsessive does have it's good points. While I waited for a job to come up, I cleaned motel rooms, peoples houses, washed dishes, cooked meals for the elderly, pet sat. When I was layed off, I sewed in a sears factory, worked in a used textbook store at school, delivered lunches by bike and on foot to school faculty, gave private english lessons. There's always a job, doing something, if you have to. It's likely more a question of what sort of job.
     
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  7. Suiseiseki

    Suiseiseki I can't feel the back of my eyes

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    The more I saw of the left the more I became conservative.
    The more tolerance shoved down my throat the more intolerant I became.
    If someone told me 5 years ago I'd be a conservative and putting Christian items in my home I'd have called them insane, but here I am.
     
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  8. Mr Allen

    Mr Allen Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    If you vote Tory, and are in receipt of ANY form of benefits, then you deserve every cut they WILL hand out post-Brexit IMO.

    Sorry to be so blunt.

    Merry Christmas.

    For the record I voted Liberal at the most recent General Election.
     
  9. Propianotuner

    Propianotuner Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You're a liberal because that is the ideology that appealed more to you. Perhaps autism figured into it, and perhaps it was even the dominant influence.

    My ASD traits have stimulated me more in the direction of being profoundly skeptical of all political philosophies and groups, comfortable playing devil's advocate in most scenarios, favoring some ideas but not standing right behind any aside from what I consider to be the fundamentals:

    -The nature of what it is to be a person demands some consideration for, some allowance of self determination and expression, however that is to be implemented. This doesn't necessarily work out well if at all from system to system but it is the sole primary goal beyond provision and security.

    -Stable democracies only have been known to exist in resource plentiful environments. The Malthusian and Machiavellian perspectives prevail even there and as much importance as we put on Enlightenment philosophy, human rights, and so on, the basics of provision and security are seen to more by those common, callous measures observed everywhere, done in the name of stability and the self preservation of whoever is in rule.

    -The political arena is naturally sociopathic and no matter the personality of any individual upon entrance they must behave in a manner that recognizes there are many sharks in the water, vast incentives everywhere, and their own permanence is entirely dependent on their keys to power. The "keys to power" are the supportive, coercive caste which take their place in any and every government.

    -Corruption is a basic tool of government. It can be a bad thing however it can also be good. There are myriad examples of both inefficiency and efficiency associated with it. Corruption is not going anywhere.

    Given all of this, when I am told any narrative about how I should support this or that group, I normally give it the time of day because political philosophy fascinates me but I also must wash it down with a heaping mouthful of salt because it takes an inordinate amount of care for anyone to think clearly on the subject.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
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  10. abby normal

    abby normal Well-Known Member

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    anybody who suggests that one can "bootstrap" one's way through a 4 year college degree via minimum-wage mcjobs is, IMHO, talking about only people with exceptionally high-functioning and prodigious amounts of natural energy who can get by without any appreciable amount of sleep/down time, IOW not most of us.
     
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  11. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    And when i hear such an opinion my internal question : has this person taken the time to understand it, if not ignore.

    That does not mean that I have.
    I am at a certain level which could be :
    I know enough to know that it would take me a long time to reach that level of understanding and objectivity to give forward a reasonable opinion. Even if i took the time would it improve my life any?
    Have a cup of tea instead.
     
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  12. Propianotuner

    Propianotuner Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Absolutely on the money, my friend. If there's anything, in my mind, there's the pleasure of reasoning about something, and the challenge of being both skeptical towards outside sources as well as the self. Passion about being dispassionate.

    If ASD has influenced my political thought in any way, it's influenced me to sidetrack all of this emotional mush out there and observe that there are basic cultural and geographical underpinnings in place that determine which kinds of societies are possible around the world. All of the ideology one can dream of isn't able to change that in resource impoverished environments different forms of dictatorships and oligarchic arrangements, power concentration, federalism, outright autocracy and despotism, are most common, for example.
     
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  13. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    What interests me is sort of the 'spirit' (not religious) behind the ideological glue that holds things together.
    Sort of a network externality ie alexander bell invents the phone. Who does he ring? If everyone has a phone theres a benefit that would not otherwise be present.
    In a spirit of goodwill amongst people.. certain things can work better, creating resources that arent there with a more combative spirit.
    Think britain in 1946. Helping a guy out was just what you did.
    2018. Rules. If i help someone out, ive probably done it wrong and will get battered for it.
    In 1946 'jobsworth' was a derogatory term, now its hard to imagine being anything else.
    Its the people who do a little more


    So the spirit changes meaning some things that would have worked no longer work.
    Ie there's a network externality in the britain of 1946 meaning certain ideologies work better versus 2018.... where they might not.
    Perhaps im losing my point a little!
     
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  14. DuckRabbit

    DuckRabbit Well-Known Member

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    As Sam Harris says:

    "For better or worse, dispelling the illusion free will has political implications – because liberals and conservatives are not equally in thrall to it. Liberals tend to understand that a person can be lucky or unlucky in all matters relevant to his success. Conservatives, however, often, make a religious fetish of individualism. Many seem to have absolutely no awareness of how fortunate one must be to succeed at anything in life, no matter how hard one works. One must be lucky to be able to work. One must be lucky to be intelligent, physically healthy, and not bankrupted in middle age by the illness of a spouse.
    Consider the biography of any “self-made” man, and you will find that his success was entirely dependent on background conditions that he did not make and of which he was merely a beneficiary. There is not a person on earth who chose his genome, or the country of his birth, or the political and economic conditions that prevailed at moments crucial to his progress. And yet, living in America, one gets the distinct sense that if certain conservatives were asked why they weren’t born with club feet or orphaned before the age of five, they would not hesitate to take credit for these accomplishments."

    ~ Sam Harris, Free Will, 2012, New York: Free Press.
     
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  15. Suiseiseki

    Suiseiseki I can't feel the back of my eyes

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    Yeah I'm Canadian, I am not affected at all by your politics.
     
  16. ANTHONY LAF

    ANTHONY LAF Active Member

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    I'm liberal because it is the people on the bottom of the economic ladder that need help the most. Republicans give tax breaks for millionaires. We are all one and we should care about each other and the future of this world/country.

    Plus Bill O'Reilly said he would move to Ireland if Sanders won. So now you have two reasons to vote for him (if he runs)
     
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  17. abby normal

    abby normal Well-Known Member

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    let bloviating bill move to Ireland then, as they are way more socialist than America will ever be. i'm sure he knows this.
     
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  18. ANTHONY LAF

    ANTHONY LAF Active Member

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    he should move to tibet, he's a piece of garbage
     
  19. abby normal

    abby normal Well-Known Member

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    don't inflict that evil on the pureness and beauty of Tibet. no, a better place for him would be on Phobos or Deimos IMHO.
     
  20. ANTHONY LAF

    ANTHONY LAF Active Member

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    Oh I just met move far away