It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it. We are not talking about the third shift at a factory in this podcast We are focusing on ethically challenging positions that many ‘respectable’ citizens will not do and yet avoid considering the consequences for those who, for one reason or another, are required to take them on. In fact, we increasingly shield and distance ourselves from many morally questionable activities that other, less privileged people perform in our name. Our guest, Eyal Press, in his eye-opening book ‘Dirty Work’ demands that we look at drone pilots who carry out targeted assassinations to keep us ‘safe’, undocumented immigrants who occupy the ‘kill floors’ of industrial slaughterhouses and guards who patrol the wards of our most violent and abusive prisons. These types of jobs exist in all societies, but don’t we have an obligation in a democratic society to question the morality of these roles and ask ourselves what the impact is on us, as well as those performing society’s most ethically troubling jobs? It’s time to consider some glaring societal enigmas directly and determine their hidden costs.
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