Showing posts from March, 2017

SBS is no longer a diverse public sphere

Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) is the nation’s multicultural public broadcaster, and as such, its core mandate is to “inform, educate and entertain all Australians, and in doing so, reflect Australia’s multicultural society” (SBS Charter ). 

Like other public broadcasters, Britain's BBC and Australia's ABC for example, SBS was instituted as a public sphere, the function of which is to uphold liberal democratic values by providing a forum of free speech within which everyone can debate matters of collective importance, as equals, irrespective of their political views. In principle, the explicit multicultural mandate of SBS recognized that such equality had not historically been afforded to those with non-English speaking backgrounds, and attempted to rectify this lack of access to the public sphere by featuring non-white faces and voices. 
Yesterday, I read a couple of articles circulated by SBS on Facebook which seems to indicate that the custodians of the bro…

Health Crises, Factory Farming, and Corporate Welfare: Why Capitalism is not to Blame

Today I read a BBC article entitled “How Economics Killed the Antibiotic Dream” wherein the author characterizes the impending antibiotic crisis - fueled by factory farming practices - as an outcome of greed and free market capitalism.
This argument is subject to some of the same flaws as the one which advocates the introduction of taxes to curb the consumption of meat - and sugar for that matter - as a means to address a different health crisis: obesity.
The article points to increasing Western wealth as the source of the problem, arguing that as average household incomes increase, demand for meat increases, incentivizing farmers to increase their supply. Brutal factory farming techniques are the logical outcome of such demand as farmers rush to cash in on the potential profit and supply this demand. According to this narrative, this directly leads to the use of low dose antibiotics to curb the spread of disease among the animals, who are kept in extraordinarily unsanitary condition…

The Lack of Ethics in Cultural Policy Studies

Cultural Policy Studies emerged as a distinct subfield within Cultural Studies in the early 1990s, and is distinguished from its parent field by its focus on activism through policy. Adherents of cultural studies have traditionally aimed to illuminate how power is maintained by an elite few in the West through its examination of cultural practices and meanings. Cultural policy studies goes one step further and involves itself within the institutions that actively regulate the cultural industries such that the inequalities exposed through cultural studies scholarship might be eliminated.
The huge problem with this approach is that it is a blatant program of social engineering, and one which lacks any foundation of ethical principles to guide its practitioners. 
Insofar as the field is founded upon the philosophies of the French postmodern thinkers of the 1960s and 70s such as Michel Foucault, who deny the possibility of objective truth, cultural value (criteria of artistic excellence)…