Sometimes, this is expressed in the crudest terms. The average child, we are told, in the UK “costs” £20,000 in the first five years of its life. People are frequently heard to say “We can’t afford to have another child”; as though children themselves were the kind of item of consumption that must vie with a new car or a skiing holiday in the economic calculus which now governs emotions and spirit no less than the daily purchases essential to our lives.
And indeed this is what happens. Industrialising humanity is the next logical step after the industrialising of society. If human beings must be disaggregated, broken down and then re-assembled so that the need for more and more marketed inputs can be assured in perpetuity, so much the better for the health of the economy.