Tag Archives: exploitation

Richard Dawkins

To a survival machine, another survival machine (which is not its own child or another close relative) is part of its environment, like a rock or a river or a lump of food. It is something that gets in the way, or something that can be exploited. It differs from a rock or a river in one important respect: it is inclined to hit back. This is because it too is a machine that holds its immortal genes in trust for the future, and it too will stop at nothing to preserve them. Natural selection favours genes that control their survival machines in such a way that they make the best use of their environment. This includes making the best use of other survival machines, both of the same and of different species.

Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene, Oxford, 1976, p. 67

Jeffrey Reiman

The invisibility of exploitative force in capitalism results from the fact that, in capitalism, overt force is supplanted by force built into the very structure of the system of ownership and the classes defined by that system.

Jeffrey Reiman, ‘Exploitation, Force, and the Moral Assessment of Capitalism’, Philosophy & Public Affairs, vol. 16, no. 1 (Winter, 1987), p. 12