The Handmaid’s Tale – A lesson in the dangers of socialism

I’ve watched a few episodes of the Handmaid’s Tale.  Admittedly, you get the gist of the series after the fist few episodes.  The real short version:

From Wiki: The plot follows a dystopian future following a Second American Civil War wherein women, called “Handmaids”, are forced into sexual and child-bearing servitude.

Me: Many women (and men) are left infertile reportedly due to environmental factors.  The women that are fertile are forced to bear children for couples (seemingly always wealthy or at least government connected) whose wives are presumed to be infertile.

This line of thinking seems to fit with the Socialist/Communist Karl Marx mantra: from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

These women (handmaids) clearly have the ability to bear children.  The infertile couples clearly have difficulty conceiving children and have a perceived need to raise children.  I would like to think that most people can agree that forcing these women into sexual and reproductive servitude is wrong.  Yet, doesn’t this scenario fit exactly into the classical Maxist statement quoted above?

How is it morally incorrect to force fertile women into reproductive servitude to meet the reproductive “needs” of other people yet morally correct (or acceptable) to force other working people into servitude to meet needs of others.

An oft quoted line in the series is from Genesis 30:1:

When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!”

Needs, in the eyes of many, can be subjective.  Our present society proposes several “needs” that are subsidized for the poor, which aren’t requirements for maintaining life.  The fictional society in this story line certainly seems to frame raising children as a need.

Who decides which “needs” of whom deserve forced enlisting of the services of others in order to fulfill?  Who decides which services are acceptable to seize?  Once you put the infrastructure in place to enlist/enslave people to meet the needs of other people, it could get used in ways you never intended or even foresaw — ways that would horrify you.

You Betcha! (4)Nuh Uh.(3)

  8 comments for “The Handmaid’s Tale – A lesson in the dangers of socialism

  1. Corinthian Scales
    March 10, 2018 at 12:45 am

    So sorry to read that you're Incel.

    Find a wholesome gal, start getting some buns in the oven.

    Shithole countries don't have 2A. Minimum a million legally per year enter.

    Let that sink in.


    You Betcha! (2)Nuh Uh.(1)
    • yo
      May 1, 2019 at 9:55 am

      Hell yeah Brotha

      You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(1)
  2. Margaret Atwood
    March 15, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    LOL you should consider reading the book.......... it's a look into a dystopian theocratic regime, not so much a 'lesson in the dangers of socialism'

    You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(2)
    • Phillip Hofmeister
      March 16, 2018 at 4:25 pm

      The series was a dystopian theocratic regime as well.

      Socialism, by definition, is the government ownership of the means of production. The womb, by definition, is a means of production (producing a child). How could women be forced into reproductive servitude unless the government claimed ownership of their means of reproductive production?

      I think it's more than fair to label this behavior for what it is: socialism (religious zealotry or not).

      You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(3)
      • Melissa Ringey
        September 21, 2019 at 11:25 pm

        After rereading this novel (I read this when first published), I see clearly that while Margaret Atwood may not have realized it, that this novel is exactly an example of government overreach, which is exactly what socialism is. Initially one thinks it is a great example of the horrors of the religious right, it is an example of when any one political or religious majority takes over a society, whether they are religious zealouts or environmental zealots! It is the same idea of losing one's personal freedoms for the greater good against one's will.

        You Betcha! (1)Nuh Uh.(0)
  3. maria hamilton
    May 27, 2019 at 9:55 am

    I agree with you. It touches on both sides of the political agendas. The left with their ideas of a perfect utopian society where the government “the eye” controls everything. It also mixes in Christian religious beliefs and the rights ideas of conservatism to the extreme. I think The author wanted to show the dangers of both political parties! If we can’t live together and work out the worlds problems by meeting in the middle we’re doomed. We all see how that worked out in the book from her view of the future.

    You Betcha! (1)Nuh Uh.(0)
  4. Bob Dole
    August 31, 2019 at 6:56 pm

    You are confusing From means To needs as a dichotomy. Its not a one way transaction between one and the other, but both at the same time. In other words you cant give away someones means if it also takes away what they need. Marx goes into great detail describing every different need, but simply his "need" has the meaning of "well being". He includes even immaterial things like entertainment and learning as needs. So in Tale a child for an infertile couple would be a need, they are not giving anything from thier means for it they are just stealing it. Not to be a baby making slave is an even greater need that is not being met and they are only giving thier means with nothing in return.

    You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(0)
    • Bob Dole
      August 31, 2019 at 7:17 pm

      To elaborate: The way that would work out for both parties under socialism would be the exact way that adoption works now. One couple gets thier need/baby by giving some means/money. For the other person the baby is not a need and is the means and the money is the need. The problem for Marx and socialists comes when the person who has the baby actually does have it for a need but they also need the money so they must juggle thier needs and give one up which goes against the princple and makes the exchange unfair for the other party.

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