I critique radical self-care rhetoric a lot but one of the main reasons I don’t like it is that it conflates work for social change with work to heal yourself, in ways that can really bog down political projects by bringing them down to the scope of the individual. so it’s bad for movements. but it’s also bad for individuals: if you’re going to be happy you need to develop the capacity to ameliorate your problems within the society we live in, not just the capacity to identify the systemic factors causing your problems. you can fight them as much as you want but they’re not gonna disappear in your lifetime and even if they do you’ll still have to deal with the scars. systemic oppression and personal suffering are obviously linked, but they are different things we need to deal with in different ways. it’s prevention and cure.
that’s one reason why an end to self-care by B Loewe — the principal claim of which is that “movement work is healing work” — is…not a good critique of self-care rhetoric. it’s the exact same idea, that social movements and self-care are the same thing, it’s just kind of callous about it.
you should read for badass disability justice, working-class and poor lead models of sustainable hustling for liberation, a more in-depth response to Loewe’s article by leah-lakshmi piepzna-samarasinha.