We have, for a very long time, been rendered less capable of caring for people even in our most intimate spheres, while being energetically encouraged to restrict our care for strangers and distant others. No wonder right-wing and authoritarian populism has once again proved seductive. It has been easily fuelled, given the profound difficulties and unbearable collective anxieties of living in an uncaring world. Defensive self-interest thrives in conditions like these since, when our very sense of security and comfort is so fragile, it becomes harder to care for ourselves, let alone for others. In this way, care has been – and continues to be – overshadowed by totalitarian, nationalistic and authoritarian logics that rearticulate and reorient our caring inclinations towards ‘people like us’. The spaces left for attending to difference or indeed developing more expansive forms of care have been rapidly diminishing. To appropriate a term famously used by Hannah Arendt, a systemic level of banality permeates our everyday carelessness. Hearing about catastrophes such as the vast numbers of drowned refugees, or the ever-expanding homelessness in our streets, has become routine. Most acts of ‘not caring’ happen unthinkingly. It is not that most of us actively enjoy seeing others left without the care they need, or that we share sadistic and destructive impulses. And yet we are failing to challenge the limits being placed upon our caring capacities, practices and imaginations.

The Care Manifesto: The Politics of Interdependence

The Care Manifesto: The Politics of Int…