The functionality movement needs to unify by educating and reforming itself so as to become capable of transformatively educate and reform society at large. We need thus structurally diagnose society rather than assign inherent fault to individuals.
1. Democracy of Diversity
The history of “disability” is one of structural bullying and structural stigmatization in enforcing the cultural hegemony of ethnonormativity, a.k.a. “culture”.
Technological progress means that humans are socially constructed into becoming increasingly unable to survive without increasingly advanced socially hegemonic technologies. This means that technological developments makes human beings typically increasingly “disabled”.
The notion of “diagnosis” also means that society can disregard and discriminate a person with a diagnosis on the basis of the notion that the fault is in the individual and not in society’s lack of adaption to diversity.
The politics of disability has been been that of identity politics in marginalizing “disabled people” into niches of diagnoses whose advocates/lobbyists in practice compete among themselves for the attention of elected politicians.
The politics of functionality rather needs to leave the identity politics of physionomistic taxonomism and so the functionality movement needs to make joint demands as a unified movement for functional emancipation. About twenty percent of the legally adult population in Sweden is estimated to identify somehow with the label “disabled” and so this would be an important electoral segment if somewhat politically unified rather than prejudicially divided along the lines of taxonomistic diagnoses. This means that the movement needs to centralize its lobbying activities in creating a large, well-funded and influential lobby in every country.
While a unified movement with a unified and strong lobbying arm obviously needs to lobby for specific demands from specific functional communities needs the movement also make overarching structural demands of a politically transformative nature. While legislative change is essential is education even more important in that a new school subject of applied diversity needs to be created whose purpose would be to train students in how interact constructively in diversity of persons. Applied diversity will also need to be taught to all adults and should e.g. include learning how to not discriminate. The functionality movement should join with feminists, the LGBTQI movement and others in demanding that the subject of applied diversity is taught to everyone, including in professional educational tracks.
Applied diversity would create not only awareness of functional diversity as irreducible to Eurocentric taxonomies of diagnoses but would importantly teach practical social skills in how to interact with different others without reproducing demeaning structures of physionomism and DOLP (discrimination, oppression, lies and prejudice). If the demand for teaching the science of applied diversity to all is presented and advocated for together with other anti-physionomistic movements will it become possible to build political support much faster for this in legislatures.
In particular needs applied diversity become absolutely central to the teaching of architecture and engineering to the point that not accommodating functional diversity will rightly become considered as completely incompetent indeed.
A unified lobby will become very powerful in the various functional communities no longer needing to professionally lobby legislators as they will instead present their demands to the unified functionality lobby which will perform well-funded, extensive and highly professional lobbying activities on behalf of each and every functional community.
Identity politics is ineffective and tends instead to reinforce existing oppression such as through the physionomistic discourse of diagnostic taxonomies. The applied science of diversity will be the basis on which a unified functionality movement will stand and together will the diverse functionality movement be able to effect very substantial change.
One problem is that many in the movement are quite conservative in their outlook in simply looking for social privileges and special funding rather than functional equality in essentially asking for charity from the government. If functional discrimination is criminalized not only in hiring but also in architecture and technology will this effect very substantial change in society indeed. The movement’s current approach of typically asking for small things for small minorities is politically ineffective and the way to unify the movement is to first teach applied diversity within the movement itself. The reason why the functionality movement remains fractured along taxonomic lines is precisely that the movement itself lacks training in applied diversity.
The movement needs to embrace innovative political language of equality, universality and individuality in articulating emancipatory discourse in thus articulating new ethically innovative norms rather than as of now articulating “exceptions” to the current norms. The movement needs to oppose the language of functional exceptions in embracing a universal language of functional equality and societal individualization for all and not merely for persons with diagnosed functional variations.
The functionality movement needs to work with other movements opposed physionomism & DOLP including feminism, movements of purported minorities of desire, movements against ageism, the Animal liberation movement and others. Rather than seek emancipation for some need we seek emancipation for all. A unified functionality lobby working together with fellow anti-physionomistic movements have indeed the potential to become both democratically and discursively powerful in articulating the universality of diversity in functionality in universal emancipation indeed.
The tremendous functional diversity within the functionality movement needs therefore become transformed from as of now effectively a political liability of fractured special interest groups to instead resolutely move towards democratic unity in universal emancipation.
Advocacy and lobbying as based on diagnostic taxonomies reproduce physionomistic ideologies of dysfunctional physionomism and the diagnostic “apartheid” fragments the movement and makes it politically ineffective. Functionality advocacy at the regional and municipal levels need also become unified and synchronized as it is questionable if diagnostic patients’ associations are even needed.
A merged and unified functionally movement will not only have potential to become democratically powerful but will importantly also have the capacity to become democratically transformative in moving beyond current discourses and ideologies of physionomism, taxonomism and charitable special interest groups deserving attention and special funding.
A unified functionality movement needs importantly reform normative language use with respect to functional diversity and so move to phase out the physionomistic terminology & discourse of exception, aberration, abnormality and deviation with respect to functional diversity. Medical diagnoses should be numerically indicated on scales and this should no longer define “pathology” but ought rather rather simply define medical need for treatment and assistance.
Critical theory is certainly needed in this field as well and so needs to substantially deconstruct current hegemonic physionomistic ideologies of which the current movement certainly is part and hence is politically disabled by the hegemonically physiomistic paradigm of oppression. This means that critical theory needs to transcend current physionomistic categories in diagnosing society rather than society as of now finding inherent fault in individuals for being discriminated, oppressed and stigmatized indeed.