Human Exceptionalism

Humans as Harvestable Crops

This story from the Daily Mail in the UK is a sobering reminder of the increasing tendency to use poor people as commodities, that is, as so many harvestable crops. The Mail’s story concerns the health costs too many poor women pay for selling their eggs so that prosperous infertile women can give birth. (Imagine how much worse it could become if therapeutic cloning created a hyper-demand for eggs.) We read from time to time of the scandalous organ markets wherein poor people sell kidneys and parts of their livers out of desperation caused by terrible poverty–sometimes with fatal results. For those libertarians and others who believe that markets solve all: Such attitudes are leading us toward a social Darwinism in which the poor are looked upon as mere natural resources for the rich.

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