This chapter explores new questions for human rights in a context of extreme poverty and inequalities of income, wealth, political power and biological life. Minimalist and contradictory narratives of poverty and inequality fail human rights by failing to offer coherent bases for vindicating basic minimum rights and realizing social justice. Minimalist, over-optimistic framings of poverty predominate, denying substantive rights universalism and masking inequalitys power effects. Poverty is important, since gross deprivations devastate the basic floor of rights universalism. Large and widening economic inequalities undermine solidarity and general duties to systematically uphold and substantiate human rights universality.
Since post-human threats reflect widening inequality, human rights duties ought to include constraining extreme wealth. Wealth concentration and its main mechanism, financialization, pose major threats to human rights and humanity in general. This chapter discusses three posthuman threats: algocracy, pharmocracy and chemocracy, which are underwritten by interests and instrumentalities of wealth itself, threatening each generation of human rights with disequalizing, exploitative and dehumanizing outcomes. Political agency has been manipulated and distorted, and human bodies and biological life have been exploited, injured, poisoned and killed. Focusing on poverty eradication alone does too little to protect human rights, let alone advance them. To protect both humanity and rights, human rights must resist the appropriation of the logic of rights by nonhuman entities and address the considerable political, human and ecological harms already inflicted