Dating Old Photographs: Tracing The History Of Old Photos

This critique of instrumental reason and the crisis of reason thickens further when we are asked to bear in mind that freedom and individual autonomy presuppose not only the rational control of nature but also the reduction of humanity to a well-regulated, efficient means of production. Class society and the State have always been validated — even in certain radical theories — by the role they play in rationalizing labor to a point where material production can ultimately be brought into the service of liberation. The toil of class society in extricating humanity from the domination of nature and myth is inextricably entangled with the toil of humanity in extricating itself from the domination of class society and instrumental reason. Indeed, the instrumentalization of nature as raw materials is thoroughly wedded to the instrumentalization of human beings as means of production.

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In part, this difficulty arises because our minds have been imprinted by a dualistic metaphysics of “structures” and “superstructures.” To dissect social experience into the economic and political, technical and cultural, has become a matter of second nature that resists any melding of one with the other. But this tendency is also partly due to an opportunistic political prudence that is wary of confronting the stark realities of power in a period of social accommodation. Better and safer to deal with technics as tools, machines, labor, and design than as coercive political institutions that organize the very implements, work, and imagination involved in the modern technical ensemble. Better to deal with how these means achieve certain destructive or constructive forms on the natural landscape than to explore the deformations they produce within subjectivity itself.

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Psychologically induced death was not uncommon in preliterate communities. To reinfuse the” artificial crafts” with the “natural arts” is not just a cardinal project for social ecology; it is an ethical enterprise for rehumanizing the psyche and demystifying techne. The rounded person in a rounded society, living a total life rather than a fragmented one, is a precondition for the emergence of individuality and its historic social hallmark, autonomy.

The cut of the low shoulder line filled in to the neckline by day followed through to evening dresses. Evening dresses totally exposed a woman’s shoulders in a style called the ‘bertha’. Sometimes the bertha neckline was trimmed over with a 3 to 6 inches deep lace flounce or the bodice neckline was draped with several horizontal bands of fabric pleats. There is no single method of dating an antique or vintage clock but there are some strong clues in some cases and subtle inferences in others that help determine when a clock was manufactured.

Dating Old Photographs: Tracing The History Of Old Photos

By freedom I mean not only the equality of unequals, but also the enlargement of our concepts of subjectivity, technics, science, and ethics, with a concomitant recognition of their history and the insights they provide over different “stages” of their development. I have tried to show not only how these aspects of freedom form a rich, increasingly whole mosaic that only an ecological sensibility can hope to grasp, but also how they interact with one another from organic society onward, without losing their own uniqueness in the rich diversity of the whole. No economic “base” underpins culture any more than a cultural “base” underpins economics. Indeed, the very terms “base” and “superstructure” are alien to the outlook that permeates this book. Reductionist and simplistic, these terms tend to reflect naive views of a reality whose wealth of interactions defies overly schematic and mechanistic interpretations. This book traces the landscape of domination from its inception in a hidden prehistory of hierarchy that long precedes the rise of economic classes.

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If the size of prehistoric house foundations is noteworthy for the absence of large individual dwellings and the adornments in burial sites exhibit no conspicuous wealth, we can believe that social equality existed in the community and that it had an egalitarian outlook toward its own members. Each trait, found singly, may not be convincing support for such general conclusions. But if they are all found together and if they are sufficiently widespread to be characteristic of an entire social era, it would certainly require a hard-nosed empirical outlook and an almost perverse fear of generalization not to accept these conclusions. As preliterate communities extended their range of acquired “relatives,” the traditional kinship nexus was probably increasingly permeated by the social. From this social substance there began to emerge a new civil sphere parallel to the older domestic sphere. We should not disdain these almost utopian glimpses of humanity’s potentialities, with their unsullied qualities for giving and collectivity.

But organic society, despite the physical limitations it faced (from a modern viewpoint), nevertheless functioned unconsciously with an implicit commitment to freedom that social theorists were not to attain until fairly recent times. Radin’s concept of the irreducible minimum rests on an unarticulated principle of freedom. To be assured of the material means of life irrespective of one’s productive contribution to the community implies that, wherever possible, society will compensate for the infirmities of the ill, handicapped, and old, just as it will for the limited powers of the very young and their dependency on adults. Even though their productive powers are limited or failing, people will not be denied the means of life that are available to individuals who are well-endowed physically and mentally. Indeed, even individuals who are perfectly capable of meeting all their material needs cannot be denied access to the community’s common produce, although deliberate shirkers in organic society are virtually unknown.