The Scarcity Politics Of Online Autism

Jesse Meadows nails the problem with all the nonsensical handwringing over whether or not there’s an epidemic of fake autistic people online who, I guess the argument (such as it is) goes, are hopping onto some kind of trendwagon.

The main reason I’ve seen people hand-wringing over autism as an internet trend is the idea that people are getting attention they don’t deserve — and there’s that word, the one that crops up all the time in a world defined by scarcity.


This is why you get autistic people online with professional diagnoses mad at the self-diagnosed set, and why the mothers of kids with what they call “profound autism” are always railing against the neurodiversity movement. It’s a fight for resources, a rejection that there could be any common ground between people with varying levels of need because they believe the lie that there simply isn’t enough to go around.

Meadows turns to the excellent Health Communism, which I don’t seem to have discussed here at all but it’s among the sources that informed my saying things like “capital requires the negation both of solidarity and of capacity”. It’s definitely the source of me deciding to call myself overtly “surplus”.

Referring posts