Read more about the history of the welfare state here Unsurprisingly, however, the hypocrisy of government applause rightly produced some online mockery, including the suggestion that following the example of the government replacing pay rises and benefits for health workers with a regular round of applause, the practice looks likely to be rolled out across the private sector. At least on a rhetorical level, governments worldwide are responding. Here’s how we can revive it’ Over the last half century, women have joined the labour market in droves, but time has not expanded to include more hours in a day. One reason for this is that it has been traditionally viewed as women’s work, hitherto done freely and largely invisibly in the home, and more generally taken for granted. While many liberals and leftists consider the nebulous notion of “resistance” in broad terms—how do we participate? Care is our individual and common ability to provide the political, social, material, and emotional conditions that allow for the vast majority of people and living creatures on this planet to thrive —along with the planet itself. Listen to all our best journalism on the go with our new audio app! In order to craft a genuinely caring politics, we must therefore first acknowledge the complexities of care: that both our need for care and our practices of care can generate anxiety and ambivalence alongside relief and pleasure. The Care Manifesto, then, is not just a book in praise of care. From the series Family Portraits by Max Catterall. We can’t take care of every living being” – bacteria, mosquitos, and rats come to mind as those In reality, care work has always been both underpaid and undervalued, from time immemorial, and remains so today. Read ‘98% of all animal species on Earth have a PR problem. This is why I wanted to speak to Lynne Segal. This probably explains the hopeful note on which The Care Manifesto ends: “In our current moment of rupture … we have a rare opportunity” – if not to start a revolution, then at least to revolutionise the way we understand and practise care. Caring (whether for, about, or with) is also often entangled with expressions of guilt or shame over whether care is being done well or even adequately. Andreas Chatzidakis and Lynne Segal are members of The Care Collective. Taking care of children is largely seen as the job of parents, restricted to the nuclear family. If it sounds like a lot, it is. Speakers included: Susan Cueva, Eleonore Kofnam, Ruth Pearson and Lynne Segal. It focuses not only on “hands-on” care, the direct work of “looking after the physical and emotional need of others”, but also sees care as “a social capacity and activity involving the nurturing of all that is necessary for the welfare and flourishing of life”. So let’s stop merely applauding front-line care and essential workers, and force those who can, whether in government (local and national), parliament, or business, to show they really mean it by insisting on radical systemic change whereby we have the resources to nurture and to build the necessary infrastructure to ensure the welfare and flourishing of human and non-human life. “care chain”, Andreas Chatzidakis is Professor in the School of Business and Management, Royal Holloway. When you feel that you’ve been able to give something, that you are needed, that’s so important for all of us.”. She points to Trump, the US president, as the prime promoter of this kind of rugged individualism – taking off his face mask in front of the camera, telling US Americans not to fear Covid-19, and forever calling people either winners or losers, as if society were one big struggle for survival, rather than an intricate web of interdependence and mutual support. In the past decades, neoliberal capitalism has drawn on this longer history of devaluation whilst reshaping and deepening it. Some feminists have therefore called for the ‘ungendering’ of care and its radical revaluation. It might be utopian, and yet, Segal said, “at the same time it seems so obvious that this is what we need”. Meanwhile, many parents have had to make do without school or childcare, which, especially when they had to do paid work and provide homeschooling to boot, turned out to be As Segal told me, care “can be rewarding but only if you put sufficient time and imagination into it”. Anniversary Prof, Psychology & Gender Studies, Birkbeck, Uni of London, Care researcher, exploring conceptual aspects of the care crisis. Even the least likely have rolled out major economic aid packages in the name of care for the nation (although recent analysis shows that these packages are organized mostly to the benefit of the wealthy). For while caring, in its great and unrecognised diversity, is always in huge demand, it can only be made profitable if wages are kept very low. We also now know that the importance of caring extends well beyond that of hands-on care. Our ability to care needs care, too. It’s surely not that most of us have enjoyed seeing nurses’ salaries held back and their training bursaries removed, or seeing so many people left without the care they need. The Care Manifesto: a slim, hot-pink volume that serves as an inoculation against She distinguishes between “caring for”, “caring about” and “caring with.”. What doesn’t help, Segal said, is the fact that in industrialised, individualist countries like the United Kingdom, “independence” counts as one of the greatest possible goods. These are crucial and useful distinctions. It translates into reclaiming all forms of genuinely collective and communal life, adopting alternatives to capitalist markets, and reversing the marketisation of care and care infrastructures. Read ‘Borders don’t just keep people out. Invest in ties with your local community. That sounds lovely, but it doesn’t change the fact that for most of us, there is a hierarchy of care. Max Catterall’s family portraits attest to the tendency to recognise ourselves in other lifeforms. and borders should be opened up so that we can take better care of migrants. The Correspondent is a platform for member-funded, ad-free journalism, and membership is choose-what-you-pay! underpaid nurses which, in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crash, saw the emergence of a plethora of grassroots mutual aid initiatives. The Care Collective (Andreas Chatzidakis, Jamie Hakim, Jo Littler, Catherine Rottenberg and Lynne Segal) was formed in 2017, originally as a London-based reading group aiming to understand and address the multiple crises of care. many families In order to practice promiscuous care, we will need enough resources. We need people to know that there are others who can support them, and with whom they can talk about these contradictions and conflicts.”. The Care Collective Each coming from a different discipline, we have been active both collectively and individually in diverse personal, academic and political contexts. Lynne Segal and Catherine Rottenberg are part of the Care Collective, whose forthcoming, were released from hospitals back to care homes, without first being tested for Covid-19, personal protective equipment health workers need, reversing the marketisation of care and care infrastructures. might not feel like taking care at all. The now weekly clapping, which Johnson (pre-hospitalisation) and his Chancellor cheerfully joined, does offer a crucial moment of genuine collective celebration for an increasingly isolated population. Because yes, taking care can be a hard and difficult thing to do. Continuous cutbacks to welfare, austerity measures and the privatisation of care have led to expensive nurseries, understaffed elder care homes, and less provisions for adolescents with mental health issues.”, Moreover, privatisation means that healthcare has to conform to the logic of market capitalism, which in turn makes it hard to actually take good care. But this will disappear overnight unless and until we start to build more enduring and participatory infrastructures of and for care now. There seems to be ever less time and space, then, for care. In addition to universal care, The Care Manifesto also advocates for an ethics of “promiscuous care”. enabling us all to take better care of the Earth; the Green New Deal,