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Jul 10, 23

Capitalism is the Tumor, Solidarity Is Our Medicine

Reflections from Peter Gelderloos on his ongoing crowdfunding campaign and its implications for health-care, capitalism, and solidarity. Support his GoFundMe campaign here.

At the end of April I had a seizure and after some scans they found a brain tumor. At the end of June I had an operation in which they took out half the tumor and confirmed the diagnosis, glioma, which is technically fatal and generally incurable, but it is treatable.

And as far as glioma goes, it doesn’t seem to be growing very fast and has a relatively contained structure, which will make treatment easier.

At the moment I’m recovering from the operation and getting ready for radiation therapy. Probably in the fall I’ll start chemo, which should continue for roughly half a year. If those go well I might not have to have more operations or more chemo for a long time, but I will have to have regular MRIs to catch it as soon as the tumor starts to come back.

Aside from medication side effects and all the weird feelings associated with having one’s skull cut open and then stapled shut, I’m feeling well. I’ve been getting so much love and support. I’ve starting a crowdfunding campaign to help generate some more resources. Even before the operation, I already would have had to pay around $190,000 as someone without insurance. I’ve gotten temporary financial assistance from the hospital, but to receive financial assistance you have to stay poor (Medicaid, for example, requires you to be below the poverty line). So I suppose it is serendipitous that I just lost most of my income: I had gotten a job here in Cleveland driving a truck, which I can no longer do because of the seizure risk. These past years I have also been supporting some people close to me who are in prison or have chronic health problems; the solidarity I’ve been receiving has made sure they have continued to be supported despite my loss of income, and the crowdfund will help with that too.

With all the similar stories I’m hearing, it’s more clear than ever that we can’t look at health on an individual level. Our health is collective, and at best, communal. It’s all of us or none of us. So, since I have a larger platform than many people do, and since I have a better chance of surviving my encounter with the medical industrial complex given the white supremacy structured into those institutions, I am sharing this crowdfunding campaign with a couple other Cleveland organizers who don’t enjoy the same privileges I do. Some of them are maintaining their privacy, but others talk about their situations and the work they do on the GoFundMe page, so give it a read.

The fundraiser will be split four or five ways, but in a spirit of solidarity and togetherness we’re trusting that the result will not be scarcity, but abundance. Everything for everyone!

Let’s keep getting stronger as a movement! That means taking better care of one another, recognizing those who are doing the real work of solidarity and healing, and fighting the structures that are poisoning us.

love and rage,


p.s. if you want to read an essay from me every week or two, I’ve got a newsletter. And here are my latest books, if you want to help spread them:

photo: Gaspar Uhas via Unsplash

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