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.