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Drawing upon Alfred Sohn-Rethel's work, we argue that, just as capitalism produces abstract labor, it coproduces both abstract mind and abstract life. Abstract mind is the…
Drawing upon Alfred Sohn-Rethel's work, we argue that, just as capitalism produces abstract labor, it coproduces both abstract mind and abstract life. Abstract mind is the split between mind and nature and between subject/observer and observed object that characterizes scientific epistemology. Abstract mind reflects an abstracted objectified world of nature as a means to be exploited. Biological life is rendered as abstract life by capitalist exploitation and by the reification and technologization of organisms by contemporary technoscience. What Alberto Toscano has called “the culture of abstraction” imposes market rationality onto nature and the living world, disrupting biotic communities and transforming organisms into what Finn Bowring calls “functional bio-machines.”
The great difficulties which attach to the fixing of legal standards of composition for food products have now to be grappled with by the Departmental Committee appointed by the Board of Agriculture to consider and determine what regulations should be made by the Board, under Section 4 of the Sale of Food and Drugs Act, 1899, with respect to the composition of butter. As we predicted in regard to the labours of the Milk and Cream Standards Committee, so we predict now that the Butter Committee will be unable to do more than to recommend standards and limits, which, while they will make for the protection of the public against the sale of grossly adulterated articles, will certainly not in any way insure the sale of butter of really satisfactory, or even of fair, composition. Standards and limits established by law for the purposes of the administration of criminal Acts of Parliament must of necessity be such as to legalise the sale of products of a most inferior character, to which the term “genuine” may still by law be applied as well as to legalise the sale of adulterated and sophisticated products so prepared as to come within the four corners of the law. It is, of course, an obvious necessity that official standards and limits should be established, and the Board of Agriculture are to be congratulated upon the manner in which they are endeavouring to deal with these extremely knotty problems; but it is important that misconception on the part of the public and the trade with respect to the effect of the regulations to be made should be as far as possible prevented. All that can be hoped for is that the conclusions at which the Committee may find themselves compelled to arrive will not be such as to place too high and too obvious a premium upon the sale of those inferior and scientifically‐adulterated products which are placed in such enormous quantities on the food market.
One of the commonest excuses put forward in defence of the practice of treating milk, butter, meat, and other foods with ‘preservative’ drugs no longer possesses even the appearance of validity. Several of the large railway companies are adding refrigerator vans in considerable numbers to their rolling‐stock, and this fact should make it no longer possible for defendants to plead that the necessity of sending food‐products a long distance by rail involves the necessity of mixing preservative chemicals with them. Although the excuse referred to will not bear examination, it is a very specious one, and in those instances where evidence has not been brought forward to refute it, it has produced some effect on the minds of magistrates and others. It cannot be too often pointed out that such substances as boracic acid, salicylic acid, and formaldehyde are dangerous drugs, and that their unacknowledged presence in articles of food constitutes a serious danger to the public. Such substances are not foods, and are not natural constituents of any food. In most instances they are purposely introduced into food‐products to avoid the expense attending the proper production, preparation, and distribution of the food, or to conceal the inferior quality of an article by masking the signs of commencing decomposition or incipient putrefaction, and thus to enable a dishonest producer or vendor to palm off as fresh and wholesome an article which may be not only of bad quality, but absolutely dangerous to the consumer. The use of these substances, in any quantity whatsoever, and the sale of articles containing them, without the fullest and clearest disclosure of their presence, is as gross and as dangerous a form of adulteration as any which has at any time been exposed. In no single instance can it be shown that these drugs are, to quote the words of the Act of 1875, matters or ingredients “required for the preparation or production of a food as an article of commerce,” nor, of course, can it be contended that such substances are “extraneous matters with which the food is unavoidably mixed during the process of collection or preparation.” In reality, even under our inadequate and unsatisfactory adulteration laws, through which the proverbial coach‐and‐four can be so easily driven in so many directions, there ought to be no loophole of escape for the deliberate and dishonest drugger of foods. While the presence of preservative chemicals in any quantity whatever in articles of food constitutes adulteration, wherever the quantity is sufficient to allow the production of the specific “preservative” effect of the substance added, that fact alone is enough to make the food so drugged a food which must be regarded as injurious to the health of the consumer—in view of the inhibitory effect which, by its very nature, the antiseptic must produce on the process of digestion. To our knowledge the food market in this country is flooded with all sorts of inferior food‐products which are rarely dealt with under the Adulteration Acts, and which are loaded with so‐called preservatives. There will be no adequate protection for the public against the consumption of this injurious rubbish until the consumer sees the advantage of insisting upon an authoritative and permanent guarantee of quality with his goods, and until manufacturers of the better class at length find it to be a necessity for their continued prosperity that they should supply, apart entirely from their own statements, an independent and powerful guarantee of this kind.
We have observed in the reports of those engaged in the administration of the Acts several references to the practice of milking so that a portion of the milk is left in the udder of the cow, this portion being removed subsequently and not included in the milk sent out to customers. The inspector for the southern division of the county of Northampton reports that on a sample of milk being found deficient in fat to the extent of 17 per cent., a further sample was taken at the time of milking when a milkman was found to be not properly “stripping” the cows. He was warned. The analyst for the county of Notts writes: “The first strippings obtained before the milk glands have been normally excited by the milking are very low in fat yet are “genuine” milk in the sense that nothing has been added to or taken from it. It is nonsense to talk of genuine milk in the sense that everything that comes from the udder of the cow is to be taken as genuine milk fit for sale.” In a case tried before the Recorder of Middlesbrough, one witness said that among some farmers it was a common practice not to “strip” cows until after the milk was sent away.
While transhumanists and posthumanists understand the human condition as mutable, for transhumanists, this represents the possibility for enhancement, opening up a…
While transhumanists and posthumanists understand the human condition as mutable, for transhumanists, this represents the possibility for enhancement, opening up a teleological narrative of evolution toward. For posthumanists, it represents a fracturing of the liberal human subject, undermining its hegemonic principles. The former advocates the potentiality of instrumental rationality, the latter engages with values, demanding ethical consideration of the implications of the unmooring. This paper aims to conceive of a way to underpin posthumanist thought to enable to serve a more effective critique of transhumanist aims.
This is a theoretical paper that outlines a history of transhumanist thought and the roots of posthumanism. It provides a partially reconstructed enlightenment humanist framework to bolster the effectiveness of posthumanism as a critique of transhumanist thought.
The paper recognizes Theodor Adorno's conception that the central contradiction inherent to enlightenment thinking is the entanglement of knowledge and power. Hence, the metanarrative of progress as historical fact is fundamentally imbued with an imperial, colonizing force. For reason to achieve its promise as the organ of progress, it must become self-aware of its own limitations and its own potential destructiveness. Humility is, thus, vital in the task of preventing instrumental reason leading to inhuman ends.
Whilst developments such as “metahumanism” attempt to bring “posthumanism” and “transhumanism” into direct conversation, it is done from the perspective of uniting their positions. Here, the author endeavors instead to consider their antithetical nature and in particular whether posthumanism can provide an effective critique of transhumanism. Drawing on Adorno and Feenberg in particular, the author attempts to justify the posthuamanist theory but also to employ a partially reconstructed enlightenment humanism to bolster its fruitfulness as a critique of transhumanism.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the strategies and dynamics of the fledging accounting professional project in the context of boom, bust and reform in colonial…
The purpose of this paper is to examine the strategies and dynamics of the fledging accounting professional project in the context of boom, bust and reform in colonial Victoria. In doing so, the study provides evidence of the association of members of the Incorporated Institute of Accountants, Victoria (IIAV) (1886) and other auditors with banks that failed during the early 1890s Australian banking crisis, and addresses the implications for the professionalisation trajectory.
The study uses primary sources, including the surviving audited financial statements of a selection of 14 Melbourne-based failed banks, reports of relevant company meetings and other press reports and commentaries, along with relevant secondary sources, and applies theoretical analysis informed by the literature on the sociology of the professions.
IIAV members as bank auditors are shown to have been associated with most of the bank failures examined in this study, thereby not being immune from key problems in bank auditing and accounting of the period. The study shows how the IIAV, while part of the problem, ultimately became part of a solution that was regarded within the association’s leadership as less than optimal, essentially by means of 1896 legislative reforms in Victoria, and also addresses the associated implications.
The study reveals how a deeper understanding of economic and social problems in any context may be obtainable by examining surviving financial statements and related records sourced from archives of surviving business records.
The study elucidates accounting’s professionalisation trajectory in a colonial setting during respective periods of boom, bust and reform from the 1880s until around 1896 and provides insights into the development of financial auditing practices, which is still an important topic.