A Historical-Materialist Inquiry into the ‘Human and Animal’
The title of the conference for which this article was originally written, “Defining the Human and Animal,” raises for me two problems that required its reformulation.1 The first problem pertains to the syntactically conjunctive “and” that serves semantically to separate the “human” from the “animal.” Notwithstanding what I would call “ultraconstructionist” claims, most succinctly summarized by Anthony Synnott’s insistence that “the body social [or cultural] negates the body physical,” the differentiation implied by the formulation, “defining the human and animal,” begs a not irrelevant biological question, namely: is not “the human,” Homo sapiens, also an inhabitant of the animal kingdom; are human beings not, to paraphrase Friedrich Nietzsche, “animal, all too animal”?2 Nietzsche would certainly have grasped the irony of Carl Linnaeus’s somewhat sardonic, if not wholly misanthropic, choice to give the epithet sapiens to the genus Homo. In what was clearly intended as an insult, Linnaeus set his fellows firmly in the animal kingdom by baptizing humans with the same epithet he attached to ape species, Simia sapiens.3Read More »
LABOUR hit out yesterday at an “out of touch” Budget that shows the government is “not on the side of the workers” since Chancellor Philip Hammond’s spending plans fail to address poverty pay and falling living standards.
Jeremy Corbyn accused the government of failing to understand what daily life is like for millions of people and the “crisis” in Britain’s public services. He said Mr Hammond was “entirely out of touch with the reality of life for millions.”
The Labour leader continued: “Last night, over 4,000 people will have slept rough on the streets of this country.Read More »
by John Ellison
OFF the front pages in the more serious newspapers, and off and on since the beginning of the year, we have been given a series of signals that another financial catastrophe may be not far away.
An expected downturn in Britain’s economy — and for Britain’s people — according to the Observer’s business editorial on January 1, was staved off last year.
Though 2016 began with a rout on world markets, it closed with US and British stock markets touching record highs.Read More »
Granma | 08 March, 2017
Yoandra Ramírez Romero Photo: Yander Zamora
Her little boy is three years old and called Yoan Ramírez Romero.
His mother, Yoandra Ramírez Romero, watches as a plastic bucket fills with water while she talks to me. It is already almost half full, and the sound of water falling on water makes an unbearable racket.
I want to ask her to turn the tap off, but I don’t.
I talk to Yoandra as she holds a mop in one hand, and stands on one leg with the other resting over the knee. The floor is damp and she watches it. She listens to me and answers me in a low voice, which the sound of the rushing water does not let me hear clearly.
“I was pregnant and I decided to have the child.”Read More »