◎ Drafts №10 | Theses

◎ Drafts №10 | Theses
Photo by Angela Compagnone / Unsplash


Over the past few weeks that I've been writing ◎ Drafts, I've been thinking more and more about the ways that I can use psychoanalysis and social work that does not suck to engage with, and possibly change, the different ways that ideology (i.e., fundamental fantasy, of phantasy) enable people to do the worst things to themselves, others, and the world.

I tend to write a lot about psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic praxis here, and today I want to write more about what I've been calling social work that does not suck. (Honestly, that's a horrible title, and I'll need to come up with a better one, but it is what I'm using here as I develop the ideas a bit more.)

To do this today, I want to share 12 theses with you. When writing these, my goal is to succinctly articulate my thinking about this in the clearest way possible.

My guess is that after I share them with you, I'll think about them a lot more, and I'll probably revise them.


The exploitation of people's needs by other people

  1. Human subjects all have (real) bodies.
  2. Human bodies have needs. Examples of these needs are the air we can breathe, drinkable water, shelter, nutritious food, and a level of socialization with other human bodies.
  3. One of the technologies human bodies use to get what they need is money because money can be exchanged for access (or easier access) to many of the things we need.
  4. When people don't have access to what they need, they get desperate. The longer a person does not have access to what they need, the more desperate they get.
  5. The more desperate a person is, the more vulnerable they are to exploitation. Exploitation is where someone who has access to what is needed grants access to what is needed, but only if someone does something they would not normally choose to do.
  6. People who exploit other people can create stories to justify their exploitative behaviors. Sometimes these stories are believed to be true by the exploited as well as the exploiters. (i.e., The exploiter and exploited will believe that the exploiter is justified in exploiting.) If enough people believe the stories justifying exploitation, the exploitation will continue.
  7. If history is used as a guide, it will stand to reason that there will always be some level of exploitation in human societies. Be that as it may, if the level of exploitation grows to an extent where enough people do not believe the story justifying it, people will demand that something change (e.g., that the exploitation stop, or that it is paused for a time, or that it is turned down).  
  8. One of the ways that exploiters get people to believe the stories justifying their exploitation is by giving people access to commodities and experiences they want (but don't need)—the more comfortable and entertained a group of people, the more exploitation they will tolerate.

Moving from the exploitation of people by other people to the exploitation of the environment by people.  

  1. The production of what human bodies need is contingent on the environment producing enough of what is needed to support the number of bodies needing what is needed.
  2. In addition to exploiting people, human bodies can also exploit the environment.
  3. Unlike people, we can't pacify the environment's reaction to exploitation by giving the environment things that will amuse it.
  4. We are currently experiencing the environment's reaction to continued exploitation.

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