Who’s exploited?

June 5, 2023

UK children’s charity Barnado’s says that a record number of children are in danger of online ‘exploitation’ as parents struggle with the cost of living and can’t afford summer break activities or holidays (Guardian).

By ‘exploitation’ they mean specifically criminal activity (drug dealing) or sexual abuse via online grooming. The treatment of children in capitalism is often appalling, especially when there’s money to be made out of them. But the term ‘exploitation’ should not be confined to cases of extreme abuse. In fact, all workers are exploited. Otherwise there can never be any profit for employers. Ever. Exploitation isn’t just a cruel and unusual feature of ‘bad’ capitalism, it’s built in.