Spoiler alert.

It’s another day where I don’t have much to say because everything but I thought it was worth noting some of the parallels between s.e. smith on disability hierarchies (I don’t remember what blog or newsletter linked this, but it’s from 2021) and Jonathan Malesic on burnout one-upmanship this past week.

They aren’t analogous things (which is why I chose “parallels” instead), but together they got me to thinking about how the intrinsic field pushing us toward conformity and performance does its work in part by convincing us that there isn’t enough to go around. Its power is dependent upon the idea of scarcity.

The reason we have able people telling some disabled people that they aren’t disabled, and disabled people telling other disabled people that they aren’t disabled enough; the reason we have millennials, and black people, and autistic people all vying to have their voices heard in the burnout discourse—it’s because the intrinsic field makes for us so many battlefields.

Thing is, it doesn’t take much to convince us of this, because as it stands today it’s actually true. Not because there inherently isn’t enough to go around but because those with the wealth have convinced us that they deserve not just the lion’s share but some of the lamb’s, too, all out of proportion to the work they put into gaining it and at the expense of those whose work provided it to them.

The intrinsic field relies upon sowing these sorts of divisions between the various degrees, forms, and types of have-nots. The more we fight amongst ourselves for the scraps, the more they get to roll around in the spoils.