The American Solidarity Party invited me to be one of the featured speakers at their 2020 convention, and I spoke on vulnerability and visibility (in a speech that was an extension of my piece, “Locating Our Invisible Wounds” at Comment).
One way I went beyond the original article was weaving in Lewis Hyde’s discussion of usury in his book The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property. You can see the full passage I quoted at the link above, and here’s what I made of it in the speech.
It’s that image that has stuck with me “no individual can make a private living by standing in the stream where surplus wealth flows toward need.” Hyde is talking about a world that takes the dignity of need as seriously as the law of gravity. As water flows downhill, so, too, excess wealth, by its very nature, flows towards need.
But if we look at what we’ve built, we live in a world of dams, of stagnant ponds, of dry riverbeds at what used to be a delta. That natural flow has been diverted and the people who are in need have been hidden. We’ve all been complicit in their concealment, lest the fact of their need spur us to bring the dams down.
After my talk, I took questions during a live Q&A, which you can check out below (and had more questions about Bayesian statistics than most political conventions).