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How to Not Critique Capitalism

December 16, 2010

In the preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, Karl Marx famously argued that the economic base of a society determines its superstructure. Marx argued, in other words, that the stories a society tells itself — through its literature, art, philosophy, religion, politics, and law — are all generated by impersonal “relations of production.”

It goes without saying that most legal scholars, political scientists, and other intellectuals within the United States are not Marxists. Many nevertheless subscribe to a version of economic determinism not at all unlike Marx’s — a rare convergence between rival ideologies that I attribute to our shared Enlightenment heritage. Significantly, this is a heritage that liberals and conservatives alike share with Marx.

But how can it be? Isn’t Marxism diametrically opposed to everything we in the US stand for? If I am to disagree with the popular wisdom, a few examples are in order. I will begin with a book by a pair of left-leaning legal scholars. In Red Families v. Blue Families, Naomi Cahn and June Carbone search for common ground between red and blue models of the family and manage to offer a number of creative proposals. When it comes to the economy, however, the authors are far less intellectually daring. Take, for example, the following passage:

What the red family paradigm has not acknowledged is that the changing economy has undermined the path from abstinence through courtship to marriage. As a result, abstinence into the mid-20s is unrealistic, shotgun marriages correspond with escalating divorce rates, and early marriages, whether prompted by love or necessity, often founder on the economic realities of the modern economy, which disproportionately rewards investment in higher education. Efforts to insist on a return to traditional pieties thus inevitably clash with the structure of the modern economy and produce recurring cries of moral crisis (p. 2).

Notice Cahn and Carbone’s repetitive use of phrases like “the changing economy,” “the economic realities of the modern economy,” and “the structure of the modern economy.” A fundamental critique of capitalism is apparently not possible. Rather, to the extent that the red family paradigm clashes with economic “realities,” Cahn and Carbone insist that it must be jettisoned. Likewise, if capitalism tends to conflict with the values of Blue America, the best we can do is tinker around the edges — by increasing the minimum wage, reducing the number of hours in the work week, extending health care benefits, and so forth. (These proposals are set out in a later chapter.) In short, we must be — to borrow a word that Cahn and Carbone seem to relish — “realistic” about what can be accomplished.

Like Cahn and Carter, political scientists tend to place a lot of faith the power of in economic fundamentals. In his satirical piece “What if political scientists covered the news?” Christopher Beam summarizes a few common clichés within political science:

Obama now faces some of the most difficult challenges of his young presidency: the ongoing oil spill, the Gaza flotilla disaster, and revelations about possibly inappropriate conversations between the White House and candidates for federal office. But while these narratives may affect fleeting public perceptions, Americans will ultimately judge Obama on the crude economic fundamentals of jobs numbers and GDP.

Chief among the criticisms of Obama was his response to the spill. Pundits argued that he needed to show more emotion. Their analysis, however, should be viewed in light of the economic pressures on the journalism industry combined with a 24-hour news environment and a lack of new information about the spill itself.

It is, in other words, not narratives that ultimately matter, but economics. Or, more precisely, the narratives are an effect of the economics.

To reiterate: I don’t at all mean to brand left-leaning academics as crypto-Marxists. Or, at least, if legal scholars and political scientists are crypto-Marxists, so is the editorial board of the National Review crypto-Marxist for publishing Jim Manzi’s piece, “Unbundle the Welfare State,” which likewise takes it for granted that human values are necessarily an outgrowth of economics.

A sane political philosophy — such as that proposed by the British distributists over a century ago — would seek to bring economic relations in line with human nature. Manzi, by contrast, looks for ways to preserve our inhuman economic system, despite plainly acknowledging that it “appears to conflict with human nature.” Manzi summarizes:

The deep anxiety created by the choices offered to individuals in a free society was noted at least as early as ancient Athens, and a modern, extensive capitalist economy exacerbates this condition greatly. We simultaneously seek autonomy and desire to be part of an organic community. Further, while human beings are skilled at the social tasks required to act upon exchange within small face-to-face groups, it is unnatural to build alliances, judge intent, form emotional bonds, and trust others across a vast, impersonal modern market economy.

Based on such remarks, one would expect Manzi to make the case for a generous welfare state or perhaps go on to sharply critique capitalism. As it turns out, Manzi draws attention to the conflict between capitalism and human nature merely as a means of acknowledging that we ought not do away with the welfare state altogether. The bulk of his essay, however, is devoted to “unbundling” the welfare state — which is evidently too ambitious for Manzi’s liking:

We want a welfare system as one part of a political economy that manages the conflict between capitalism and human nature in a fashion that achieves our shared goals, while putting a minimum of drag on market productivity and growth.

Far be it for human nature to put a significant drag on market productivity and growth!

I should be clear that Manzi is not suggesting that capitalism is in every respect at odds with human nature — a position that would be inconsistent with his conservatism. Humans, Manzi tells us, have an instinct for bartering and private property, an instinct with which capitalism is in accord. If I may be permitted a brief rebuttal, consider the following remark by GK Chesterton: “Too much capitalism does not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists.” Insofar as it concentrates power in the hands of the few (as does state socialism) capitalism is just as out of sync with the human instinct for private property as it is out of sync with other aspects of human nature. So no dice.

The general tendency of deterministic thinking is, in sum, to reinforce the status quo. For if our economic system is both inevitable and unchangeable, what sense is there in fundamentally critiquing it? Marx himself seems to have recognized this conundrum. His solution, briefly, was to argue that capitalism contains within itself contradictions, the resolution of which is the inevitable transition to communism. Once again, however, Chesterton’s thinking is far more incisive than its rivals. Progressivism, Chesterton quips in Chapter 7 of Orthodoxy, is “the best of all reasons for not being a progressive”:

Some people . . . seem to believe in an automatic and impersonal progress in the nature of things. But it is clear that no political activity can be encouraged by saying that progress is natural and inevitable; that is not a reason for being active, but rather a reason for being lazy. If we are bound to improve, we need not trouble to improve.

Authentic progress consists of sketching out a vision of human flourishing — however at odds with current economic “realities” — and working towards it. There is no substitute. Not the endless compromises and minor reforms in which the US ruling class places its hopes. And certainly not in the view that the human race is on an unstoppable march toward utopia.

So where does this discussion leave us? I have quoted Chesterton approvingly and am in agreement with much of the distributist vision. At the same time, I have significant reservations about the neodistributism of John Medaille and others. For one thing, Medaille makes the perfect into the enemy of the good. The truth is that, however theoretically desirable, the reduction of state power at this time would be disastrous. In order to even begin working toward a healthy body politic, we need first to stop the bleeding and stabilize the patient. The only practicable way to do this, as Medaille is surely aware, is through Keynesian economics and a generous welfare state. The other problem I have with neodistributism is its reactionary stance. By all means, let us work toward the widespread distribution of property, worker ownership of the means of production, and decentralized political authority. But surely it is possible to achieve these ends without a wholesale return to monarchy (which Medaille has recently defended), patriarchy, or traditional Catholicism.

In order to identify and correct the limitations of the present, we’ll need to draw upon the wisdom of the past. Yet the past has its limitations too!

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. Jim Manzi permalink
    December 16, 2010 7:49 am

    This is a really interesting post. But we part company when you say that my recent NR article “takes it for granted that human values are necessarily an outgrowth of economics.”

    This is almost the exact opposite of my argument. The whole first part of that piece focused on why the conflicts between human nature and capitalism implied the necessity of specific political welfare state institutions to ameliorate the effects of a market, and that conservatives should not make the mistake of designing a theoretical political economy that ignored this.

    Best,
    Jim

  2. innocentsmithjournal permalink*
    December 16, 2010 11:29 am

    The precise wording of the quote you’ve excerpted was perhaps unfortunate. Keep in mind that I was trying to describe the common ground between you and Karl Marx — so naturally I was a bit tongue-tied!

    If you skip ahead to the following paragraphs, I think my summary of your essay is consistent with the one you give here. My point is that you are simply taking capitalism for granted — as though it is simply not possible for the US to choose an economic system (e.g. distributism) better suited to human nature and values. Instead, what we must do is, as you put it, “ameliorate the effects of the market.” (Marx likewise assumed that the economic “base” must be taken for granted, though he obviously would disagree sharply with you as to its merits.)

    This mentality I call in the post “economic determinism.” It is nearly ubiquitous, by the way, so I’m trying to point out a larger trend and its repercussions more so than single you out for criticism.

  3. December 16, 2010 3:13 pm

    Morality is about action in the world; economics (or rather, political economy) is about those particular actions necessary for the material provisioning of society. As such, morality and economics do not stand apart from each other. Indeed, an economic system will reflect a system of values and support it, but it a particular system will support one particular set of values better, or even in opposition to, other values.

    Moral and economic statements are not radically different; “The worker ought to be paid a just wage” is both economic and moral, that is clear; but the statement “labor is nothing more than a commodity with a market-clearing price” is a moral statement about man and his role in the world. There is not a neat division between the two.

    As for “making the best the enemy of the good,” normally I would agree with you, but these are not normal times. Things are indeed falling apart, and the “democratic” center will not hold, for the simple reason that it hasn’t held for some time. There is no fix within the current institutional framework.

    We will indeed get a monarchy, like it or not. The only question is whether it will be a tyranny or a polity, and it does us no harm to think about such questions in advance, especially since the “advance” is not all that far off.

  4. innocentsmithjournal permalink*
    December 16, 2010 4:43 pm

    John,

    I am absolutely thrilled that you have read and commented on this post! I recently read your book “Toward A Truly Free Market” and consider it a big step in the right direction of engaging distributism with contemporary economics.

    As far as your remarks on the interconnectedness of economics and morality, I am in complete agreement. And as a Catholic, I too look to Church teaching on solidarity and subsidiarity for moral foundations. I am even sympathetic to your Aristotelianism, a perspective I was introduced to through the writings of Alasdair MacIntyre (whom I highly revere).

    I nevertheless find myself in limbo between liberalism and distributism. Perhaps it would be helpful if I elaborated on the concerns I raised in the post. First, while my views on marriage and the family are probably conservative by most standards (see the previous few posts), I nevertheless find the Church’s teaching on contraception unpersuasive (see my post “The Faulty Logic of the Contraception Ban”). Along those lines, I found all the male-centered language in your book, as well as your definition of a just wage as the wage a “man” would need to support his family, off-putting. I’m as stalwartly opposed to abortion as the next Catholic, but do we really want to act as though feminism has had no genuine insights or worthwhile accomplishments?

    (By the way, I take no pleasure whatsoever in being a “liberal” Catholic. Despite consistently attending mass, I have not taken communion in years, which is a great source of sadness to me.)

    Another item in my list of disagreements was traditional Catholicism. Your book seems to assume that realization of the distributist ideal is only possible in the event of a mass conversion to Catholicism. I am more of a pluralist insofar as I think distributism has the potential to build a coalition of support that incorporates a wide range of perspectives — even if Catholic social teaching remains its source and its finest articulation. (EF Schumacher was, incidentally, for a time in his life a Buddhist, a religion that also seems to point toward the distributist ideal.)

    Finally, your point about monarchy. I’m a bit unclear as to what you mean when you say that “we will get a monarchy, like it or not.” We’re already an oligarchy and an empire, that much is for certain. But are you anticipating that the executive branch will somehow plot to override the other two branches of government?

    Thanks again for commenting.

  5. December 16, 2010 8:28 pm

    Dear I.S., I am in a similar position, since liberals are convinced I am a cretin conservative, while conservatives believe I am (as one commentator put it) a commie-dem. The truth is, I am a proud cretin conservatives, but most conservatives today wouldn’t know conservatism if it bit them in the ass. Most of our pseudo-conservatives spend most of their time pushing the most radical form of liberalism, that advocated by Ludwig von Mises, the self-proclaimed “man of 1789.” They are for “family values,” while working to destroy the economic base of the family, which ironically is being upheld by the liberals. Go figure.

    I read your “Faulty Logic” article, and of course (being a cretin) I disagree that the logic is at all faulty. That is a debate for another day, but for now let me note that chemical contraception is the greatest technological change in the history of mankind; every other change has altered our relationship with the world, but the pill changes, fundamentally, the relationship of man and woman, the most basic of all human relationships. I do not think it changes it for the better.

    I agree that feminism is necessary today, but most feminism I see is indistinguishable from misogyny. To make women the same is to make them nothing; worse, it is to make them optional, another consumer good that one may–or may not–choose from a universe of consumer goods. Altering women has altered marriage. An institution that used to be oriented not to the happiness of the adults but to the future of the children and the species is now another utility for adults, and children are an optional extra, like leather seats in a Buick. One or two are fine; any more are at best ostentatious and at worst Catholic–and that’s the very worst, as we all know.

    If marriage is just about the adults and their convenience, then anything is justified, and their can be no arguments against gay marriage, or polygamy, polyandry, divorce, marriage with your sister, or anything else. But then, neither is there any reason for the gov’t to involve itself in the question, or for gays (or anyone else) to seek approbation from society for their private choices.

    Let me split this tirade in two.

    • December 16, 2010 10:37 pm

      …most feminism I see is indistinguishable from misogyny. To make women the same is to make them nothing; worse, it is to make them optional, another consumer good that one may–or may not–choose from a universe of consumer goods.

      Can you expand on this thought? As a self-identified feminist, I don’t recognize the ideological belief that men and women are the same in feminism– at least, feminism of the mainstream variety. Radical feminism is often a different story, but as with anything else, the radicals are usually the loudest and get the most attention.

      I’m gathering from what you have said that you may believe that feminism intends to make women and men identical, at least in terms of marriage and family. I would beg to differ, though. I would venture to guess that a lot of women, perhaps even a majority, would prefer a traditional role in the family and with child-caring, as well as most men. But what about those who don’t? For a woman who prefers a more traditionally “male” role in the family, why not support her desire to do that, and perhaps find a man (assuming she’s heterosexual) who prefers to care for the children during the day? The most important “tenant” of feminism is the opportunity to determine what one really wants (women as well as men) and have the opportunity to follow through with those desires.

      My apologies if I misinterpreted your comment.

      • December 17, 2010 12:06 am

        April, you seem to be saying what I am saying in a different form: marriage is a convenience, a utility, to fulfill the desires of the adults. So one configures the menu choices to suit their needs, as with any other consumer purchase. Want a career and a family on the side? Find the right combination of job, man, and number of children, possibly 1 or 0, that suits the desires.

        Maybe that’s the way it should be done, but then you go on to ask why shouldn’t society “support” such choices. Pardon me, but why should society take any notice of them whatsoever? Why have an institution of marriage at all? Just write the necessary contracts with the concerned parties and do as you wish.

        But in fact, such choices are not really individual, but social. A given system privileges some choice and denigrates others. For example, the median male wage has been flat since 1973; 37 years is a long time to go without a raise. The response was for most families to put wives to work in the wage market. The median family was one-income in the 70’s, and 2 incomes a few decades later. Hence, a wage earning wife is now a widespread expectation, and most men don’t earn enough to support a family on their own wages. The system selects for certain choices, and cannot possibly support all choices for everyone.

        This is where the pseudo-conservatives go wrong. They want family families while reducing wages to their lowest level; these are incompatible, and hence incoherent, wishes. Feminism was supposed to be about freedom, especially the freedom of women to enter the work force. But a choice isn’t free if you have to take it, and most women feel they have no choice.

        Societies have made certain choices, part of which were dictated by biological/social imperatives, and part of which involves various degrees and kinds of freedoms. But the freedom is of necessity circumscribed. Our society, alone of all human history, believes that all choices are possible, but this is simply not true, and hides the real situation, the real social choice that is being imposed.

      • December 18, 2010 12:44 am

        Maybe that’s the way it should be done, but then you go on to ask why shouldn’t society “support” such choices. Pardon me, but why should society take any notice of them whatsoever? Why have an institution of marriage at all? Just write the necessary contracts with the concerned parties and do as you wish.

        In my first reply, I was under the impression that you were opposed to this, because of this statement:

        Altering women has altered marriage. An institution that used to be oriented not to the happiness of the adults but to the future of the children and the species is now another utility for adults, and children are an optional extra, like leather seats in a Buick.

        Judge Vaughn, when ruling that a ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, touched on the ways in which marriage has been altered in his ruling, noting that women’s liberation movements have, as you said, altered the institution in many ways, and in ways that many of us think of as “normal” now.

        Maybe that’s the way it should be done, but then you go on to ask why shouldn’t society “support” such choices. Pardon me, but why should society take any notice of them whatsoever? Why have an institution of marriage at all? Just write the necessary contracts with the concerned parties and do as you wish.

        Let me rephrase my original question: For what reason would anyone stand to benefit from opposing such an arrangement? Meaning, of course, unorthodox gender roles or roles within a marriage. If the ultimate goal is to provide a stable union between two people that will provide a stable foundation for children, then who performs which roles, as parents, should be irrelevant.

        This is where the pseudo-conservatives go wrong. They want family families while reducing wages to their lowest level; these are incompatible, and hence incoherent, wishes. Feminism was supposed to be about freedom, especially the freedom of women to enter the work force. But a choice isn’t free if you have to take it, and most women feel they have no choice.

        This is very much true, and I feel that pressure myself. I wonder which came first, the lack of increase in men’s wages, or women joining the workforce in larger numbers? The response to women’s justifiable demand to have access to the same opportunities as men possibly produced unintended negative consequences. Of course, this doesn’t mean that it was better back when no one had a reasonable choice in the matter. But what is the solution?

  6. December 16, 2010 8:49 pm

    I am surprised that you got that I required a “mass conversion” to Catholicism in my book. I can only recall one passing reference to the Social Teachings, but then an author is not always the best judge of his own works. In any case, I think the theory works at the level of macroeconomics (as demonstrated by actual experience)and hence can be applied in a variety of social settings–though not in all. We would have to move away from the conviction that self-interest (whatever that is) is the sole motivator of humans, or that humans are anything but a mass of desires which marketeers then seek to fill. But those are beliefs that would kill any rational economic theory.

    The executive branch has little to do with it, as does any visible political institution. People run for these offices believing that they will somehow run the country, only to find the country runs them. And if anyone tries to challenge that arrangement, they will be run out of office in short order. The country is formally a democracy but materially an oligarchy. Even that wouldn’t be so bad, but the oligarchs are incompetent. Sensible oligarchs work toward a certain level of widespread prosperity that leaves the people happy and the oligarchy in power. But the rulers are too greedy and too stupid to accomplish this. And they cannot hold things together for much longer. I look for a military gov’t before the decade is out, likely in the 2014-2016 timeframe, with a President Palin or Petraeus (depending on how they want to work the deception) as a figurehead.

    But it won’t work. The army is too small to hold the country, and certainly too small to hold back the blood-dimmed tide; we be living–are living–Yeat’s nightmare. But as a English Master, you should be able to decipher those tea leaves.

    Our task (as I tell my students) is to rebuild absolutely everything from the ground up, and that is inherently a distributist task.

    • innocentsmithjournal permalink*
      December 18, 2010 11:03 pm

      John,

      Surely a strong argument can be made that, as Ross Douthat puts the point in his post on the topic, contraceptive use “reflects a kind of ‘social sin.'” To quote Douthat again, the trouble many Catholics have is “getting all the way to the logic of the absolute ban” and “grasping the distinction between barrier methods and fertility charting as means of regulating family size.” I think I have read enough Aquinas to understand the argument (that procreation is the “final cause” of sex) better than most. While by no means ready to reject the Thomist framework altogether, I think the notion of “final cause” as applied to contraception is a bit simplistic.

      If the argument from “final cause” fails, as I think it does, what you’re left with is a useful social critique, but not cause for an absolute ban. To take a parallel case, The Industrial Revolution was no doubt due to the avarice and cold inhumanity of a few rich man, and in that sense reflected a social sin. And from that social sin have resulted all kinds of problems — environmental degradation, urban squalor, and so on. One solution is to argue that whole thing was a disaster and that we should all sell our cars and TV sets and go live on the land. This is basically what Chesterton and Belloc advocated, a position that is consistent with their unequivocal condemnation of feminism and contraception. What Chesterton and Belloc didn’t realize, however, was that industrialization would not ultimately be an unqualified evil (just as contraception has not been an unqualified evil.) Certainly, I am grateful for the technology that has made our online dialogue possible! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

      Of course, the modern world has both abandoned and forgotten Aristotle’s four causes, which poses a much larger and more fundamental problem: how to settle disagreement between rival and “incommensurable” traditions. (Alasdair MacIntyre has written about this problem brilliantly in “After Virtue,” “Whose Justice? Which Rationality?” and “Three Rival Traditions of Moral Enquiry” — all of which I would highly recommend.) When I said in the previous post that your version of distributism seems to require a mass conversion to Catholicism, I had in mind its reliance on teleology. Is distributism only possible in a society that has rejected Kant and Hume in favor of Aristotle and St. Thomas? If so, wouldn’t that society necessarily be Catholic?

      • December 19, 2010 12:03 am

        I have read the works of MacIntyre that you mention, but it seems to me that you are trying to make of MacIntyre a relativist, and we both know that won’t wash. I’m sorry you think Aquinas is “simplistic,” but that’s not really an argument, at least not until you share your reasons. And I don’t know where Chesterton and Belloc advocate the things you say they advocate, and I thought I was pretty familiar with their thought. Perhaps you can point me to the relevant passages.

        As for a reliance on teleology, that is not specifically “Christian,” it is specifically human, for it founds all practical reason of whatever tradition; indeed, there cannot be a practical thought unless there is a purpose, a telos. Only having an end makes practical thought practical. Those who pretend to have no telos are merely hiding their agendas, as MacIntyre points out. Telos is not some added extra to the practical reason, it is the foundation.

        No social order is based on Hume; only disorder. It takes a few centuries for an idea to be fully worked out, and Hume’s time is up, and our’s along with it. We will need to rebuild, and it won’t be based on Hume.

        But in any case, none of this addresses the post you actually wrote, but a previous one.

      • innocentsmithjournal permalink*
        December 19, 2010 4:25 pm

        John,

        Please see my new post for a discussion of the Chesterbelloc’s take on industrialization. I plan to write a second post responding to your comments on Alasdair MacIntyre within the next few days. The short version of my reply is that I partially retract my statement that the Chesterbelloc viewed industrialization as an “unqualified evil,” but think that you are seriously misreading MacIntyre. (Though you are right that he is not a relativist; neither am I.)

        A couple of quick additional notes. First, I didn’t at all mean to suggest that Thomism is “simplistic,” but, rather, that the way in which it is often applied to the issue of contraception seems to me simplistic. My reasons for holding that position are stated in the previous post. Second, my previous comment was intended as a follow up to two specific points I made in this post: that neodistributism relies too much on patriarchy (hence the discussion of contraception) and that it relies too much on traditional Catholicism (hence the discussion of teleology).

        As an aside, I’d just like to reiterate that I’m a huge admirer of your work and am in agreement with much of it.

  7. December 18, 2010 10:41 am

    April, I am opposed to it, but that is not the question. The question is, “If ‘marriage’ is just about what adults want to do, why have any marriage laws whatsoever?” If two adults–or three, or ten–want to do this or that, well and good, but why on earth call it “marriage”? Why on earth should the law take any note of it one way or the other?

    But this is never what marriage is about. We marry for richer or poorer, better or worse, for purely practical reasons. Without marriage, there is no family, and without family, there is no social order. We are in a stage of decadence that will shortly lead to collapse (very shortly) because you cannot have a social order, including economic order, without ordered families; a “society” of individuals is a contradiction in terms.

    How do we free women so that they may freely choose a domestic life? By giving men a family wage. There is no other way. Period. It is not that women have no economic function; indeed, they have the primary economic function because the home will always, even today, remain at the center of the use economy. But their function is not necessarily in the exchange economy. We have lost the distinction between the two, so that few people–and fewer economists–would even understand the terms. Yet they are the primary terms of economics, because the exchange economics exists only to support the use economy.

    • December 19, 2010 1:22 am

      But what you’re basically saying is that, ideally, society would simply go back to an era when women weren’t able to earn a wage that supports her family. And this doesn’t free women to choose a domestic life, it just replaces the requirement to work outside the home with the requirement to either be a homemaker, or subsist on subpar wages if she needs to support a family without a husband or male who will be earning “family wages.” It’s not a choice for her if only men have access to earning a “family wage.”

      I see the benefit to this, of course, as middle class families were able to have a parent home raising their children and keeping the home, and the other able to financially support them. The family was more stable, and statistically speaking, the children were in the best possible environment. There is a function and a benefit to maintaining these roles, but maintaining that who plays which role is to be determined by gender is to actively marginalize people, and cause them economic and social hardship. This is why women’s liberation movements existed in the first place.

      The best option would be a way to promote this ideal of a family-wage-earner and a full-time parent, and somehow enforce it in the workplace, but in a way that does not punish people who are not suited for “traditional” roles, or the roles deemed ideal by society.

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