Saturday, 29 February 2020

Jason Stanley on Trump's India visit

Jason Stanley writes in the Guardian-
In the early 20th century, the US deployed citizenship strategically to exclude non-whites and non-Christians, which impressed Hitler.
In 1905, Britain passed a law, the first of its kind, to end or greatly reduce Jewish immigration. An Indian Member of Parliament voted for it as did some Jewish MPs.
Why did Britain and America exclude 'colored' immigration? The answer given at the time was they wanted to protect the proletariat from low wage competition. In other words, immigration controls were linked to popular sovereignty. Furthermore, the working class genuinely did not like people who did not look similar to themselves. This was Democracy in action. What impressed Right Wing Germans was America's relative freedom from Communist subversion. Furthermore, there appeared to be a 'scientific' basis for things like segregation and eugenic laws and Henry Ford's rabid anti-semitism- all of which the Germans believed helped contain the Red Menace while also pandering to working class prejudices.

Hitler was a windbag thoroughly indoctrinated in an anti-semitic ideology by the German Army and the ultra-Nationalist Professors it hired for the specific purpose of combating Leftist propaganda. It was not admiration for the US or any other country which caused Hitler to pursue an evil agenda. However, it must be said, Hitler improved the lot of the German working class. That is why his people had blind faith in him as the Divinely inspired Fuehrer.
In Part II of Mein Kampf, he decries the idea of a state in which “race and nationality” play no role in citizenship, proposing a “national state”:
Stanley may be surprised to learn that no contemporary of Hitler thought a State could be constructed on any other basis than 'race and nationality'. Stalin's theory of Nationality was actually more stringent than Hitler's.
“Anything crazier and less thought-out than our present laws of state citizenship is hardly possible to conceive. But there is at least one state in which feeble attempts to achieve a better arrangement are apparent: the United States of America, where they absolutely forbid [the] naturalisation of certain defined races, and thus are making a modest start in the direction of something not unlike the conception of the national state.”
Mein Kampf is a little misleading as to Hitler's true opinion of America. As subsequent events showed, he thought it was too mongrelized to present a genuine challenge.

It should be remembered that Germany and America imposed similar immigration barriers at around the same time- i.e. the 1890s. Indeed, the American policy of returning anyone they didn't think would be productive forced European countries, as well as the steamship companies (who were forced to repatriate rejected candidates at their own cost) to make things harder for those seeking to cross borders- even if the final destination was America.

Imperial Germany had tough rules on residency and work permits. It frequently expelled foreigners- Russian Jews in particular- in their thousands. The first world war greatly worsened the conditions of 'resident aliens'- more especially those from enemy countries. Concentration Camps for 'enemy aliens' sprang up. Oddly, the Brits were worse than the Germans in this matter. Even more oddly, the first politician to interest himself in the plight of the internees was Sir Oswald Moseley.
My wife’s great-grandfather Takayuki Yaokawa Sato was a fisherman by trade. At our family gatherings, we show an old American photo of him, with a fishing pole, proudly holding a large fish. Sato, a Japanese immigrant, married Grace Virginia Woods, a US citizen, in the early 20th century, when the country was gripped by fears of a “yellow peril” and the supreme court declared Asians ineligible for naturalisation. In concert with the 1907 Expatriation Act, which revoked citizenship to American women who married non-citizens, this deprived Woods of her citizenship. She only regained it upon her husband’s death.
In 1931, an amendment to the Nationality Act restored citizenship to American women who had married an Asian immigrant who was not eligible for Naturalization.

Why bring up Japan? Historically, they have been the least hospitable to immigrants or the descendants of immigrants. Japanese women who married non Japanese men in foreign countries were not allowed to bring their children back with them to Japan. Thus there many 'stranded wives'- e.g. in Manchuria.
US immigration policy was a source for Hitler’s “national state” vision.
No. That lunatic thought the US was already too mongrelized but, in 1925, did not think it politic to say so. Why? Germany was dependent on American loans. Furthermore, America was admired. However, Hitler's true opinion of America was revealed when he quite gratuitously declared war on it though his pact with the Japs did not oblige him to do so.

On the other hand it must be admitted that the American policy of wearing clothes did influence Hitler who would otherwise have roamed around in the nuddy. This would have seriously impeded his ascent to power coz he had a tiny dick.
In September 1935, the German government realised this vision with the Nuremberg Laws, which prohibited non-Aryans from marrying those of “German blood” and created a category of second-class citizenship for Jews. Here too, Hitler was influenced by American ideology, in particular the Jim Crow anti-miscegenation laws. At the time, my Jewish father was a German citizen in Berlin, where he had been born in November 1932. On 15 September 1935, he became a second-class citizen.
By October of 1933, Jews had been excluded from many professions and even the ownership of land. They were already treated as 'non-Aryan' subjects without even the sort of 'second class' rights the Americans gave Black people in the South.
Stripping minority groups of the state protection associated with full citizenship leaves them vulnerable to brutal treatment.
Nonsense! Killing and robbing them with or without the color of law is all that matters. There are plenty of countries which, on paper, have wonderful laws. Yet minorities are massacred.
In Hannah Arendt’s phrase from The Origins of Totalitarianism, citizenship is “the right to have rights”.
Rwandan Tutsis had the 'right to have rights'. This did not stop their being slaughtered on a massive scale. They they fought a war and won. That's what gave them back their right to have rights.
The Nuremberg Laws coincided with the building of large detention centres – concentration camps – for those affected by them. The US Holocaust Museum describes a concentration camp as a zone where the legal norms of arrest and imprisonment do not apply.
What about the massacre of the Armenians? There were no Camps and no 'legal norms'. Yet millions died. Laws don't matter unless there is an incentive compatible mechanism for their enforcement.
The European-American concept of a national state had influence outside Europe. VD Savarkar, the Indian political theorist who ushered in Hindu nationalist ideology, was influenced by European ethno-nationalism.
So was Gandhi who quoted Mazzini. But Savarkar was a disciple of Shyamji Krishna Varma who in turn was associated with Swami Dayanand who was the disciple of Virajanand Dandeesha who was the disciple of Purnanand Giri and so on and so forth.

On the other hand, it must be admitted that Savarkar was influenced by the European habit of gaining nourishment by eating food. Had he not copied the European in this respect the poor fellow would have starved to death.
He took the Nazi treatment of German Jews to be a model for eventual Hindutva policy towards India’s Muslim residents.
Nonsense! Savarkar's anti-Muslim views date from the early Twenties. There may be people who want to kill all the people of a different faith but they don't want to do it in the expensive way that the Nazis did. Mob violence is cheaper.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is a Hindu nationalist movement dating back to the mid-1920s, many of whose members venerated Savarkar.
But so did most Indian Nationalists. Why? The guy had spent a lot of time in prison for trying to fight the British.

The RSS was set up by a Doctor in imitation of the Congress Seva Dal which had been set up by another Doctor and to which Jawaharlal Nehru belonged.
Senior leaders, such as MS Golwalkar, were influenced by Mussolini and Hitler.
But it was Mahatma Gandhi who met Mussolini and was greatly taken with him. The cretin said he thought Mussolini was working towards the same goal as himself. In 1938, Govind Vallabh Pant, Premier of U.P- the largest state- said 'Italy has its Il Duce. Germany has its Fuehrer. We have the Mahatma'.

Senior Congress leader Netaji Subhas Bose actually went to Berlin to meet Hitler and gain his help. Bose and Nambiar recruited Indians who ended up in the Waffen SS. By comparison, the RSS was a weak sister to the muscular Hinduism of the Congress Party.
The Bharatiya Janata party, the political wing of RSS and now India’s ruling party, has begun to implement changes in citizenship laws that echo the Nuremberg Laws.
The BJP is not the political wing of the RSS. Indeed, the only reason the RSS has preserved its ethos and remains respected is because it is not political.
India’s new Citizenship Amendment Act allows for a fast-track to citizenship for non-Muslim migrants, thereby discriminating against Muslims.
India has always granted citizenship to refugees from Islamic persecution. It has always denied citizenship to economic migrants from Islamic countries. However, it must be said, under Nehru, some non-migrant Muslims were unfairly deprived of property which was taken over by 'the Custodian of Evacuee (later 'Enemy') Property'. Thus, deprived of resources, they were forced to migrate to Pakistan.

It is not discriminatory to recognize that Muslims don't have a well founded fear of persecution in an Islamic Republic. However, as a matter of fact, not theoretical speculation, non Muslims in some such places have been forced to abandon their property and flee so as to preserve their life and their religion.
The proposed national register requires residents to prove their citizenship with documentation – which many in India lack.
But they will get the documentation when they register. It is worth having because it enables them to access benefits and entitlements. It is sufficient for the vast majority of Indians to speak in one's mother tongue to be immediately freed from any risk of being marked as a 'doubtful' case.
Together, these laws place Muslims without documentation in a quandary.
It only places people with an entitlement to documentation from their country of origin in a quandary.
Large detention centres are being built to house India’s Muslim residents who are declared ineligible for citizenship.
Why? Because the Supreme Court undertook to compile a Nationality Register which had been promised by successive Governments but which they had failed to deliver. Wikipedia states- ' The first detention centre in Assam had come up in 2008 under orders of the Gauhati High Court.[4][12]  In 2011 the Assam government, when Congress was in power both at the Centre and in the state, had set up three detention camps[a] with hundreds of illegal immigrants.[14] In 2018, Rs 46 crore was sanctioned for a detention camp by the Narendra Modi government.[12]
Why did Modi's government sanction money for this purpose? The answer is that they knew that the Supreme Court was going to publish the Nationality Register. This would set off a furore in Assam and perhaps spark a pogrom like the Nellie massacre of 1983 which forced Indira, and later Rajiv, Gandhi to bring in laws to protect the indigenous people of the North East from demographic displacement.
Like the US immigration policy so admired by Hitler, these laws are a mask: they are designed to privilege Hindus in the citizenship laws of the world’s largest democracy.
This idiot thinks Hitler needed a mask! The guy kept saying 'Aryans are great. Non-Aryans are shit' but nobody understood what he was saying. So he had to pass some laws. Then Jason's grandpappy was able to discover that 'Jews were second class citizens'. Hitler didn't like Jews. He didn't want to hug and kiss them. He was actually a nasty anti-semitic piece of shit.

Hindus are already privileged in India. Muslims are not. Everybody with eyes in their head can see this for themselves.
Trump leads an administration that seeks to return the US to the national state of Hitler’s adulation.
Rubbish! Hitler shot himself. Nobody wants to emulate that cretin.
In many respects, Modi’s India is considerably further along this path. The student has become the teacher.
When was India America's student? Never. We thought Americans were stupid, vulgar, racist, cunts. They emulated us by adopting things like affirmative action twenty years after we paved the way.

In what respect is Modi's India ahead of America? America, with a quarter of India's population, detained about 400,000 people a year under Obama who deported 3.2 million people. By comparison, India has scarcely deported anyone and its Detention Centers currently house little more than a thousand people.
There is more to fascism than changing citizenship laws. Fascist movements seek one-party rule: over the courts, the police, the military and the press.
So, Modi's India- where Detention Centers and Nationality Registers are set up on the orders of the Bench- is not Fascist at all. After all, the same thing happened under Manmohan Singh.

By contrast, Obama and Clinton- who deported more than Obama- are Fascists. The American President gets to chose Supreme Court nominees. The Indian Prime Minister has no such power.
They involve a cult of loyalty to a single leader and nostalgia for a mythic past when the nation was dominated by the privileged group.
So, the Republican Party is a Fascist organization.
But the core of fascist ideology is realised in changing citizenship laws to privilege a single ethnic group.
Thus when Britain changed its citizenship laws in 1983 to privilege people of British ancestry and discriminate against those born in Britain to foreign parents,  it was expressing the fascist ideology at its core.
This is why we regard the Nuremberg Laws as a defining moment in German history, and the concentration camp as the defining Nazi institution.
Stanley is wrong. The Nuremberg Laws weren't even a defining moment in German legal history let alone German history per se. Too much had already been done. It was clear that the Nazi regime was a lawless one. Some may have found it in their interest to pretend otherwise. But the truth is self-evident.

Other countries- the British in South Africa, the Americans in the Phillipines, had used Concentration Camps. What makes the Nazis uniquely evil is the gas chambers. But where in the law books of the Reich can you find any provision for them? Perhaps Stanley is a Holocaust denier. If there is no law permitting a thing, it could not have happened.
History has been rightly horrified by the Nuremberg Laws and their consequences.
The Nuremberg Laws did not matter. Nazi murderousness- with or without legal sanction- is what horrifies us. It is an easy matter to pass nice Laws but to behave like a beast.
Why, then, are so many countries going down this path?
Which countries? America? Trump is building gas chambers is he? Congress should deny him funding.
Fascism thrives during moments of perceived crisis, which can be represented as a zero-sum battle for group survival.
Fascism was thriving in Spain during the Fifties and Sixties. There was no 'perceived crisis' at the time.
Why did Fascism thrive in the first place? The answer is that the Communists were even more horrible.
The climate crisis, already taking the form of water wars between Indian states, is an example.
Tamil Nadu is acutely affected by 'water wars'. Why isn't it 'Fascist'? How come it isn't clamoring for immigrants to be deported? Assam has too much water. But it does want the Bengalis to leave.
The solution is international agreements, which recognise that we humans share similar fates – that our similarities far outweigh our differences.
Very true. Which is why we must support the Islamic Caliphate. Only conversion and strict adherence to the true faith can save us from an eternity of Hell Fire. Our similarities outweigh our differences, so we must all learn Arabic so as to be hear and obey the orders of God's Viceregent on Earth.
This liberalism is denounced as “globalism” by figures such as Trump, while liberals and leftists who defend India’s secular constitution are denounced as “anti-national” by the BJP and its acolytes.
 There appears to be an 'international agreement' amongst academics of a certain type that denouncing Trump and Modi is a salutary thing. However, there is a countervailing global agreement that such academics are cretins who can't argue their way out of a paper bag.
Trump’s triumphant visit to India demonstrates just how global ethno-nationalism, and its more violent sibling, fascism, has become.
But anything which is 'demonstrated' to Stanley is hopelessly wrong because he is a cretin. All nationalism is 'ethno-nationalism' because ethnos means 'Nation'. Since the fall of the great Empires, the whole world has consisted of nothing but Nation States. Fascism is not the sibling of Nationalism. Hitler and Mussolini wanted to conquer and rule over other Nations. Even Franco wanted to conquer Portugal.

Trump's visit to India demonstrates the same thing as Obama's visit or Dubya's or Clinton's. India is growing in importance. That's it. That's the whole story.

Friday, 28 February 2020

Guy Longworth on Porn & the Philosophy of Language

Prof. Guy Longworth writes in Aeon-
The right to produce pornography has sometimes been defended by appeal to the idea that it is a special case of a right to freedom of speech
There is no 'right' to produce pornography or anything else which is repugnant. I don't have a right to fart in your face. What obtains is a Hohfeldian 'immunity' under highly circumscribed circumstances- e.g, you are Swiss and sitting down, rather than politely offering me your seat, in a crowded Geneva tram and me arse is up against your phiz and we've all been eating nothing but fondue and, like, the Spirit of Carl Jung descended upon me and a Calvinist Himmelfart occurred spontaneously.

Rights aren't philosophical, epistemic or Universal. They are local, protocol bound, and either provide an incentive compatible remedy under something like a bond of law, or else they are 'Bullshit'.

It is true that Philosophers may refer to Rights. But, since such Rights are not linked to Remedies, this is merely a figure of speech- something metaphoric. A meta-metaphor is created when Rights are referred to as arising out of something which resembles the Laws of Physics. In other words, a mere figure of speech is treated as a fact about the world and a further figure of speech is constructed on that basis. The result of such sloppy thinking is likely to be an ex falso quodlibet explosion of nonsense. 

In the case of pornography, the question is not about production- save in so far as others may be involved- but about dissemination. Furthermore, from the legal point of view, 'the right to expression' is never absolute and only has a remedy in law where it is suppressed in an arbitrary manner such that due process is denied. 

Longworth takes a different view-

However, that defence is effective only insofar as the exercise of that right doesn’t at the same time undermine others’ freedom of speech.
This is nonsense. Hohfeldian analysis of Rights is pertinent here. What we are speaking of is an 'immunity'. It is effective no matter to what degree it undermines others' freedom of speech. That is how immunities work. Where you have an immunity, no one else has a 'freedom'.

A freedom which has no defence against a rival claim is not a freedom at all. A prisoner may say 'I have the freedom to walk out of the Jail'. He gets beaten by the guards when he tries to do so. Is it the case that he really was free but that his freedom had no defence against the freedom of the guards to kick the shit out of him? No. He wasn't free in the first place. He was a prisoner.

It may be my view that Longworth & his chums are 'undermining my freedom of speech' by refusing to take cognizance of my psilosophical arguments. However, coz I don't got a PhD in that shite, nor am I teaching it somewhere nice, they have an immunity in this respect.

Suppose this were not the case. Then, for any given crime, an 'actio libera in causa' would provide a defence in Law. In other words, you could commit any crime or nuisance simply by deliberately getting into a state such that an immunity of a relevant sort would arise.
And it has been argued – for example, by Catharine MacKinnon in Feminism Unmodified (1987) – that the production and consumption of (at least some forms of) pornography can have precisely that effect on women’s freedom of speech.
But that argument has been disregarded because it was silly. It did not feature a plausible 'Structural Causal Model'. There were many countries where women's 'freedom of speech' was non-existent for the same reason that Porn was very scarce and its possession subject to drastic punishment. Conversely, Nordic countries with lots of Porn had superior freedom of speech for women.

Suppose I think the women in my life talk too much. Will my looking at a lot of porn really cause the women around me to fall silent?

Why is this cretin mentioning MacKinnon? The answer is that there is an academic availability cascade, involving J.L Austin, focused on her foolish notion that 'pornography constructs women's nature'. As the Judge who decided against MacKinnon's Indianopolis Ordinance banning porn that showed women in a subordinate position, observed MacKinnon was seeking to legalize Thought-Control. Porn which showed women as equal, was fine no matter how gruesome and graphic
Some feminist philosophers, like Langston & McGowan, defend MacKinnon by saying the judge did not understand what she was saying. Porn does something which is bad. It is not like other speech. But, if this is the case, then Porn could be used to produce that bad effect. Instead of drone-striking Terrorists we should bombard them with Gay porn of the vilest description. They will then get busy buggering each other to death.

Indeed, if some speech acts really do things, then- in some sense- magic works. Instead of going to Harvard, smart kids would be queuing up to go to Hogwarts.
Moreover, instead of wasting money on the Pentagon, we should get Hollywood to make movies depicting our enemies as perpetually on their knees sucking off strangers. Instead of spending money on police officers, we should have music videos depicting armed robbers as constantly jamming their shotguns up their own backsides.

McGowan writes-
This is nonsense. Saying 'I do' does not constitute the act of marrying. That action is performed by the Registrar or Priest in accordance with the law. All that the couple do is affirm that they want the act to proceed. Speaking constitutes only the act of speaking. Promising is not necessarily a speech act but a verbal contract may involve a promise. It depends on the jurisdiction.

What a legislator in Pretoria says does not enact legislation. The President of the Republic has to sign off on it. Then the thing has to be enforced. If some guy in a uniform isn't arresting and removing Blacks who are trying to vote then it may be the case that the law is a dead letter. Speech does not by itself subordinate anybody. Being beaten by a bunch of goons may have that effect even if they are completely silent. Humans have been subordinating animals for a long time now. It really isn't necessary to be Dr. Doolittle to achieve this result.

MacKinnon wrote
This is nonsense. All that matters is the material consequences of not behaving as people with power want you to behave. Speaking authoritatively does not matter. Mums may do so because they love us and don't want to beat us. But a sociopath won't bother. He may laugh while he burns our ears off for some minor infraction. We don't give him backchat, the way we do our darling Mummy. We tiptoe around him smiling ingratiatingly.

Words and images aren't how people are placed in hierarchies. It is their immunities and entitlements which establish who is top dog.

McGowan speaks of two different types of 'authoritative speech acts'-
Exercitive speech acts are not authoritative. However, a coercive mechanism which punishes transgressions of a certain sort may make a 'best guess' at what rule it upholds into an action-guiding statement. Mum's saying something doesn't make it so. We push and prod till we find out where her genuine 'red line' is. The same is true of any non-sociopathic type of authority.

Similarly no 'verdictive' speech act is authoritative unless there is a coercive mechanism of a sadistic type. But if there is, then that act could be omitted- possibly with even better results. Prudence would militate for even more irreproachable conduct. There is always a 'moral hazard' in setting down limits. People may feel they can sail close to the wind. Overstepping the mark, initially perhaps by accident, they become sceptical that the rule will be enforced. We have a slippery slope towards a scofflaw type anarchy.

Some people like talking but it is safer to talk nonsense. Don't commit yourself save for consideration. The Philosophy of Language is useless because Economics militates for Silence and Cunning. It may be that most pornographers have a misogynist agenda. But they keep quiet about it so as not to reduce their market share. By contrast, Philosophy is masturbatory. It keeps trying to play with itself even if it can't find its pecker.

Consider Longworth's essay which begins with the flaccid recognition that-

 Total autonomy is a myth.
This is like the discovery that you aren't hard and it isn't long enough to turn on the TV now you've lost the remote. 
Not being hard doesn't matter so long as you can get hard when it would do most good. As for 'autonomy' all that matters is whether there can be a 'partial ordering' or 'poset' corresponding to relevant states of the world.
Much of what each of us does depends on others playing their part.
Which is why we try to ensure the thing is 'incentive compatible'- i.e. others have an incentive to 'play their part'. This is a purely economic matter. We don't say a guy who can dine at any restaurant he likes is 'heteronomous' or dependent on others for food.
I can’t close the suitcase without your help.
But if you pay me to do so, I don't think of you as helpless.
You can’t find your way to the station without mine.
But if you hire me as your guide, I don't think of you as an abject waif or stray.
Neither of us will drive the train that gets us to Blyth. And so on, and so on.
But, if we can pay money for tickets then we are 'autonomous'. We could have chosen to hire a car or a helicopter or whatever.
However, some of what I do seems closer to being solely up to me.
What you do with your discretionary income is solely up to you.
I type, and then delete, the word ‘expression’. You suggest ‘word’. I scowl. Where should we draw the line, or lines, between the things we do that depend on others playing their part, and the things we can do freely, without depending on others?
Game theory answers this. If the outcome of your action depends on another's reaction, then and then alone does this question arise. However, for large enough groups of players under certain economic conditions you get 'open markets' and so the reactions of others ceases to matter. Only their 'opportunity cost' is relevant and so long as it does not change, we need not puzzle over their motivations.
And what turns on the answer to that question?
Economics.
One key battleground here concerns some of the specifically linguistic things we do.
Nonsense! There is no battle, and thus no battleground, for some stupid shite made up by psilosophers.
Your uttering some words seems to be solely down to you.
No. It is solely down to the circumstances. You don't say, 'Happy Birthday Mummy!' to a fat guy who is writing you a parking ticket.
Your persuading me to replace one word with another, by contrast, depends on my cooperation: your attempt to persuade me will be successful only if I accept what you propose.
So, persuading only succeeds if the object of persuasion is persuaded. Why stop there? Let our knowledge increase. Say 'persuading geese to be geese only succeeds if geese are persuaded to the geese.'
What about your act of proposing that I make the change, sandwiched as it is between your merely uttering some words and your ultimate end of persuading me? Is your proposing autonomous, or is it like persuading, in that it depends on others playing their role?
Proposing and persuading are autonomous if the person doing so is doing it of their own volition for some purpose determined by themselves. It does not matter whether they succeed or not. On the other hand, if a gangster says he will kill your family unless you persuade somebody to do something, then you are not acting autonomously even if you do succeed.
J L Austin, a British philosopher working around the mid-20th century, made important progress in trying to classify the linguistic things we do as acts of speech or speech acts. In his book How to Do Things with Words (1962), Austin called the act of uttering meaningful sentences – eg, ‘You should write “word” there’ – a locutionary act. Acts of that sort might be performed with any of a variety of further goals, from practising one’s diction or performing in a play, to commanding or persuading. And he called the act of persuading someone to replace one word with another, or offending someone by calling into question their literary abilities, a perlocutionary act. These are acts that depend on consequences beyond the merely linguistic: I will have persuaded you only if you accept the course of action I proposed; I will have offended you only if you take offence.
The problem here is that there is no 'Momus window' into the soul. We don't know our true intentions nor the true motives of others. Some one who does what you say may not have been 'persuaded' at all. They may be seeking to lull you into a sense of false security so as to get the better of you at the end of the day.

Austin died young. Had he lived longer, it is likely that his views would have evolved to take into account scientific developments.
Austin distinguished locutionary and perlocutionary acts from a crucially important third sort of thing we do with words. Acts such as proposing, or stating, or telling, or asking, or warning, or refusing he called illocutionary acts.
These represent urgency or preference intensity. However, they need not be linguistic at all.
As can be seen from the list of examples, this sort of act is of central importance. Illocutionary acts are our basic moves in the game of linguistic communication.
A baby crying is performing a very effective illocutionary act. But so is a dog wagging its tail and holding its leash in its mouth.
We rarely perform locutionary acts without doing so in order to perform illocutionary acts.
Sadly, the 'bullshit' which passes for philosophy is a counter-example.
We utter meaningful sentences in order to tell people things, or ask people things, or perform some other illocutionary acts. And although we also perform illocutionary acts with further ends in view – in this case, perlocutionary ends – we will have achieved our minimal communicative ends in performing an illocutionary act even if our further ends are frustrated. For example, it might be important that I warned you even if I failed to dissuade you.
It might be more important to establish that it would have been a waste of breath to attempt a warning.
Austin’s aim was to clarify the distinction between illocutionary acts and acts of the other two sorts, the locutionary and the perlocutionary.
Austin failed because there is no 'Momus window'. For an evolutionary reason, we don't know, can't know, the true motives or psychological consequences of any communicative strategy.
His thought was that we perform illocutionary acts in uttering meaningful sentences (hence the Latin il); and we perform perlocutionary acts by performing illocutionary acts (hence the Latin per).
Sadly, we have no way of knowing if our sentences are meaningful. We can only verify whether or not they solve a coordination or discoordination problem.
His idea was that the performance of a locutionary act in propitious circumstances constitutes the performance of illocutionary acts.
But there is no way of determining if circumstances really were propitious or if they only appeared so at the time. Shouting at the TV may, purely coincidentally, have the desired effect. But, a better route is to come up with a plausible Structural Causal Model pertinent to the situation.
And the performance of an illocutionary act can have among its further consequences the performance of perlocutionary acts.
Or the thing may be a coincidence. Alternatively, there may be a wholly different Structural Causal Model which is operating.
A useful intuitive marker of illocutionary acts is that it makes sense to try to do them by making explicit what one is up to. For example, it makes sense to try to warn someone that the ice is thin by saying: ‘I hereby warn you that the ice is thin.’ By contrast, it would be senseless to attempt the same trick with a perlocutionary act: ‘I hereby convince you not to skate,’ is hopeless.
Nonsense! The guy who says 'I hereby convince you' does indeed convince you if he is holding a gun and has a reputation for cold blooded murder.
So, you perform the illocutionary act of proposing that I replace one word with another in performing the locutionary act of saying: ‘You should write “word” there’; you perform the perlocutionary act of persuading me to rewrite by so proposing.
But you can never know if you have ever actually done so. I may do as you say for some devious reason of my own, rather than because you have succeeded in persuading me.
We utter words in order to propose, or tell, etc; and we propose, or tell, etc, in order to persuade, inform, etc. We perform locutionary acts in order to perform illocutionary acts; and we perform illocutionary acts in order to perform perlocutionary acts.
That may be true of some people. Others would speak of habit, or a conventional reflex, rather than any type of deliberate 'performance'.
Illocutionary acts are therefore sandwiched between our merely uttering meaningful words and extralinguistic consequences.
But anything at all can be sandwiched in this way. Nemolocutionary acts are those performed by an invisible sucker-fish called Nemo which has stuck itself to illocutionary acts. Thanatolocutionary acts are attached to Nemo because every second that passes brings us closer to death.
From Austin’s perspective, our question about illocutionary acts is this. Can performing an illocutionary act depend on others playing their part? Can others figure in the propitious circumstances that enable us to perform such acts in performing locutionary acts? Austin seems to have thought so:
I cannot be said to have warned an audience unless it hears what I say and takes what I say in a certain sense. An effect must be achieved on the audience if the illocutionary act is to be carried out.
But you could be said to have warned the audience if you point in wordless horror at some approaching menace and then shit yourself and then run away.
Austin’s plausible suggestion caught on. It is now common to hold that illocutionary acts are distinctively subject to an uptake condition of the sort that Austin suggested – to hold that you will not have proposed, or warned, or told, etc, unless and until an audience recognises that what you are trying to do is proposing, or warning, or telling.
This is very foolish. A warning is a warning even if does not have the desired effect. On the other hand, it isn't a warning if it does have the desired effect but only because the audience is acting in a devious or perverse manner.
On this sort of view, illocutionary acts fall on the side of the things we cannot do unless others play their part.
Rubbish! We may, in the course of a soliloquy, utter a warning which we ourselves heed.  Thinking aloud is still thinking. Furthermore, a Schizophrenic may hear Voices which lead him to do things which later turn out to be highly beneficial.
The question whether Austin’s suggestion is right is important in thinking about freedom of speech.
This is not the case as the author will amply demonstrate over the course of his article.
For, on one hand, we don’t think of this as concerning only our freedom to utter meaningful words – to perform merely locutionary acts.
Freedom of speech means freedom to say what we want. Some idiot may call this 'locutionary' but we have the right to call him a cretin and tell him to go fuck himself.
And, on the other hand, we don’t usually think that people’s freedom of speech is confounded just because they are unable to persuade other people, or to bring about any other such further consequences.
We do think that 'freedom of speech' means that good and truthful people persuade other good and truthful people in a manner such that the commonweal is advanced. That is why we support this freedom.
So, we don’t think of freedom of speech as just a matter of freedom to perform perlocutionary acts.
Freedom is about potential outcomes. Whether a 'perlocutionary act' has been performed may never be verifiable. What matters is that the freedom to perform it existed.
If that’s right, then in thinking about freedom of speech we are mainly thinking about freedom to perform specifically illocutionary acts.
Potentially illocutionary acts. It is impossible to verify if they are specifically illocutionary.
Obviously enough, such freedom depends on freedom to perform locutionary acts, since it is typically only in performing such acts that we are able to perform illocutionary acts. One way of undermining freedom of speech is therefore to block the performance of locutionary acts – for example, by violence or threat. We can think of the effect here as a form of locutionary silencing. However, Austin’s distinction between locutionary and illocutionary acts makes space for the possibility that freedom of speech might be limited in another way: by disabling their capacities to perform illocutionary acts.
How do you disable the capacity to perform something which know one can verify? Indeed, even in the absence of a locutionary act, an illocutionary act may have been performed. Consider the silence of the battered wife. It may speak louder than a thousand words.
And Austin’s suggestion that illocutionary acts can be subject to an uptake condition indicates a route to such disability. According to that suggestion, my performing an illocutionary act, such as warning or telling, depends on others being willing and able to recognise what I am trying to do. It is this that enables me to perform such acts. So, if others are unable or unwilling to recognise that I am trying to tell them something or warn them of something, then I won’t be able to tell or warn. That aspect of my freedom of speech will be distinctively undercut. We can think of such an effect as a form of illocutionary silencing.
Equally, my ability to perform magic is undercut by the fact that when I say 'Expecto Patronum', the Dementors- aka my teachers- don't disappear.

A Freedom is not undercut if its exercise does not have the consequences you want. It is only undercut if some unlawful action is taken to prevent its exercise.
Asking whether performing illocutionary acts depends on others, and so whether such illocutionary silencing is possible, has potential moral and political significance.
It is potentially highly mischievous. You can turn people against Freedom by misusing the term.
One important arena in which the question has come to the fore concerns the standing of pornography.
Austin died at a time when Lady Chatterly was still banned. Clearly, art was being wrongly identified as porn.
The right to produce pornography has sometimes been defended by appeal to the idea that it is a special case of a right to freedom of speech. However, that defence is effective only insofar as the exercise of that right doesn’t at the same time undermine others’ freedom of speech. And it has been argued – for example, by Catharine MacKinnon in Feminism Unmodified (1987) – that the production and consumption of (at least some forms of) pornography can have precisely that effect on women’s freedom of speech.
The internet has greatly increased access to porn. Has 'women's freedom of speech' declined? No. It has increased.
One form this argument takes is the following. According to Austin’s suggested uptake condition, performing an illocutionary act depends on being recognised to have attempted to perform it.
If the performer recognized it, that is good enough. Moreover, if the performer realizes that the thing is futile, she saves her breath and can move on to doing something more productive.
If one’s audience doesn’t see what one is up to, then one will have failed to warn them that it’s late, tell them the time, refuse another drink, etc. Being recognised as having attempted to perform an illocutionary act depends in turn on our attempt taking a form that is recognisable as such by our audience.
But audiences can walk away or throw stuff at you. Most of us don't have audiences. Professors may do so- but that type of captive credential craving audience will demonstrate, by the manner in which they live the rest of their lives, the singular futility of Academic illocutionary acts.
In ordinary circumstances, we can rely on a sort of match between, on the one hand, our abilities to make such attempts and, on the other hand, our audience’s ability to recognise such attempts. In those circumstances, it is typically straightforward to bring our audience to recognise our attempts. We are able simply to do what it takes to get our audience to see what we’re up to – for example, by uttering the words: ‘It’s time we left.’ However, being able to do this depends on our audience having appropriate abilities, and in particular on their having abilities to recognise attempts that match our abilities to make such attempts. For example, if I tried to tell a monolingual German speaker that it’s time we left by uttering the words ‘It’s time we left,’ then it is unlikely that they would be in a position to see what I was trying to do. Although I have an ability to make recognisable to fellow English speakers what I am up to, and although the German speaker has the ability to recognise such attempts by fellow German speakers, my ability and the German speaker’s ability don’t appropriately match.
This is silly. You just point at your watch and gesture towards the exit. Then you leave. The other guy will follow you if he thinks you are smart.
If that is right, then to meet Austin’s uptake condition depends on our, and our audience, having appropriately matching abilities.
No. It depends on them sharing a broadly similar Structural Causal Model. If we see smart people doing something, we do it to. This is Tardean mimetics. On the other hand you are unlikely to be persuaded if a homeless dude comes up to you and says 'You really should read the works of J.L Austin. His theory of illocutionary acts made me the man I am today'.
The difficulty now is that such matching abilities can be lost. Suppose, for example, that I regularly attempt humour by pretending to warn you that there is a fire, and that you know this about me. In pretending to warn you that there is a fire, I exploit my ordinary abilities to make recognisable that I am trying to warn you that there is a fire. To begin with, you might have been fooled by my pretence, via the operation of your ability to recognise attempts to warn you. Eventually, however, it is likely that your abilities will change: you will come to see my attempts to warn you as, instead, attempts to pretend to warn you. You acquire an ability to recognise attempts to pretend, rather than attempts to warn. Furthermore, it is likely that you will lose your ability to recognise my attempts to warn you that there is a fire. A fire breaks out, and I try to warn you, but you lack the ability to recognise what I’m attempting: all you can see is an attempt to pretend. As a consequence, uptake fails. If Austin’s suggestion is right, then I am unable to warn you.
This is what happened to Moral Philosophy. It kept crying wolf till people thought maybe wolves aren't such bad things. They may eat Moral Philosophers which is helpful to the environment.
Now suppose that the cause of such a shift in your abilities is not my undertaking foolish attempts at humour, but rather malicious and misleading gossip about me by some third party. ‘He’s always pretending that there’s a fire,’ they say. Trusting them, you come to see my attempts at warning not as what they are, but rather as attempts at pretending to warn. Match between our abilities is lost. I try to warn you about the fire. Uptake fails. According to Austin’s suggestion, I am unable to warn you. Malicious gossip has led to my illocutionary silencing.
This is silly. If the other guy isn't responding, you say 'fuck is wrong with you?' He says 'Look, Smith told me all about you. Pull the other one'. You reply 'Did you know Smith has a conviction for arson? Tell you what, I'm giving you my gold watch to come with me. When you see there really is a fire, you return it to me. Also kick Smith's head in next time you see him.'
The argument that pornography can undermine women’s freedom of speech is based on the idea that men’s consumption of pornography can have similar effects on their abilities to recognise which illocutionary acts women are trying to perform.
Yes, yes. We know. Men are all as pure as the driven snow. If they rape women it is because they weren't educated properly or else some Media Baron made a lot of money by brainwashing them with Porn. We should immediately release every single child rapist from Prison. Those poor dears need to be sent to a good College with a first rate Gender Studies department. They are the true victims of the evil Capitalist system.
Crucially, the central claim is that some forms of pornography train their consumers to see women’s attempts to refuse sexual intercourse as attempts only to pretend to refuse sexual intercourse.
Similarly, some forms of advertising train consumers to think that people who say 'please don't hit me on the head and run of with my Rolex' are actually expressing an urgent desire to be hit on the head and relieved of their Rolex.

No doubt, a rapist who is caught will have a sob-story for the Jury. He won't admit he is an evil bastard. He will present himself as the victim of Society who was only doing what he had been told was the right thing to do.
Such pornography either presents women as always willing, in a way that can undercut evidence to the contrary provided by what they say, or it presents women as regularly only pretending to be unwilling.
But this occurs even in societies where there is no pornography. Indeed, even babies and goats have been accused of seducing their rapists and having derived unholy joy from their life threatening injuries.
In either case, its uncritical consumption can undermine men’s abilities to recognise women’s attempted refusals of sexual intercourse as such.
In such cases, there is a 'reasonable person' test. I may be inspired to commit rape and arson after watching a Bugs Bunny cartoon. However, I know that I will be sent to jail if I yield to this temptation. No reasonable person would act in such a manner. I may need to see a psychiatrist. I certainly should not act on my impulse.

If women grant that doing something which is legal can cause a reasonable man to rape women then women should permit the quashing of rape charges against any man who watched legal porn.

Furthemore, a rapist who does not like porn would find it advisable to buy some dirty magazines so as to give himself a defence in law.
In that way, pornography can lead to failures of uptake.
Nonsense! It can lead to failure to get a hard on when confronted by a real woman.
And according to Austin’s suggestion, that can make women unable to perform acts of refusal.
Did Austin really make such a stupid suggestion? No. He wasn't an utter cretin.
If that is right, then the consumption of pornography can lead to a distinctive form of illocutionary silencing.
If that is right, then rapists who watched porn should have their convictions quashed. Nothing was their fault. They deserve compensation out of the public purse for all the suffering they had to endure while incarcerated.
Before proceeding, it is very important to notice two things about this argument. The first, and most important, is that the advocate of the argument is not claiming that illocutionary silencing is the only negative potential consequence of men’s inability to recognise acts of refusal, or that it is the worst such consequence. (Or, indeed, that this is the only negative consequence of the consumption of pornography.) Obviously, there can be other, and far worse, consequences. What the advocate wants to emphasise is that, in addition to other potential consequences, the consumption of pornography can have specific consequences for women’s freedom of speech.
Very true! Thus when Elizabeth Warren says 'No more fracking!' what men hear is 'Yes! Yes! Yes! Frack the fuck out of me big boy.'
The second thing it is important to notice is connected with the first. Failure to refuse sexual intercourse is not the same as consenting to sexual intercourse. So, even if the argument succeeds in showing that women can be prevented from refusing sexual intercourse through a man’s inability to recognise them as so attempting, it does not support the claim that the man is thereby permitted to undertake sexual intercourse.
Sadly, this is not the case as the law currently stands. It is no defence in law to say- 'My girl friend raped me. I knew it was pointless for me to deny that I wanted to be tied up and dosed with Viagra. I also knew it would be pointless to tell her I did not want to go up to her hotel room and pay a £1000 for sex. That is why I didn't say anything. But I did not consent to sex with that woman. Nor did I consent to her taking money out of my wallet. Why are you charging me with having sex with an underage prostitute? I am the victim of theft and a serious sexual assault.'
If the argument that pornography can undermine women’s freedom of speech is successful, then it presents a challenge to the free-speech-based defence of pornography.
No. The two things are not connected. If it is true that porn can undermine women's freedom of speech then so too can any form of communication. Why? The primary purpose of porn is not to convey the idea that women want to be raped. Rather it is that people masturbate rather than find willing or unwilling sexual partners. Porn would not be a financially viable industry if people rape rather than jerk off.

On the other hand the primary purpose of many different types of communication- including privileged communications such as may be heard in a court room- may be to popularize this idea. There are still many religious groups which consider that a wife should never show any sort of eagerness for or pleasure in sexual intercourse. In other words, the ideal of conjugal intimacy involved not consent but a sort of disgusted obedience.

By contrast, some 'mainstream' porn may be justified on the grounds that if helps change attitudes to women's sexuality in a positive manner. Furthermore, if masturbation becomes an accepted alternative to sex, the lot of vulnerable women- in particular young girls- may be improved as the demand for prostitutes falls.

On the other hand, every one can agree that child porn is wrong because kids have no capacity to consent. Perhaps this should be extended to 'simulated' rape porn.

The proper 'Law & Econ' defence of porn is that masturbation is not wrong in itself. Enabling people to masturbate more frequently may have health and other social benefits. For historical reasons, some jurisdictions protected porn under the rubric of 'free speech'. This was foolish because such protection could extend to highly repugnant material. Now, it is true that the First Amendment has been interpreted to differentiate between 'obscenity' and pornography, but- clearly- that isn't good enough because to prove that something is utterly without social value is to set the bar too high.
That defence relied on the idea that censoring pornography would have only a negative impact on the distribution of freedom of speech.
And thus some potential 'social value' would not be realized.
However, if pornography itself has a negative impact on the distribution of freedom of speech, then censoring it might have a net positive impact on that distribution.
But if it does so then there is a Superior Structural Causal Model of the world which Judges should follow. This would involve quashing the convictions of some brutal rapists who claim to have been influenced by porn.
Deciding whether or not censoring pornography will have an overall effect on the distribution of freedom of speech that is positive or negative will depend on comparing the negative effects of pornography on women’s freedom of speech with the negative effects of censorship on pornographers’ freedom of speech.
But to do this one would have to have a Structural Causal Model which made testable predictions. This is an issue for Statisticians and Econometricians. Philosophy can offer no guidance.
(In coming to such a decision, we would need to consider the potential effects of the consumption of pornography on women’s freedom to perform illocutionary acts other than acts of refusal. Although those acts are obviously of great importance, there is no obvious reason to think that they are the only potential casualties of the sorts of illocutionary silencing liable to be brought about by the consumption of pornography.) 
Very true! Porn may be causing people to believe that I am not Beyonce and Obama's love child. This is highly detrimental to my financial prospects.
Is the argument that pornography can undermine freedom of speech successful?
No. It is a stupid argument. The fact that people watch porn does not cause them to rape women, in the mistaken belief that they are consenting to intercourse. Nor does it rot the part of the brain which picks out likely candidates for the role of Obama & Beyonce's beautiful baby- which, I can assure you, I am.
One key premise in the argument is that the consumption of pornography can cause men to lose their abilities to recognise women’s attempts to refuse sexual intercourse. Whether that is so is a large, and delicate, empirical question. However, the premise is independently plausible, and there is some empirical evidence that consumption of pornography can have relevant effects on men’s attitudes and abilities.
This is the definition of Junk Social Science. The fact is, thanks to the internet, young people are watching much more porn but are raping less.
(An even more difficult empirical question, bearing on the comparison discussed in the previous paragraph, concerns the extent and strength of such effects.) However, even if we accept that premise, the argument seems to depend on the further claim that Austin’s suggested uptake condition applies to illocutionary acts in general, and to acts of refusal in particular. Should we accept that further claim?
No. We can't know for certain whether an 'illocutionary act' succeeded.
The claim in question is that you cannot perform an illocutionary act, and in particular an act of refusal, unless your audience recognises that you are attempting to perform such an act, that you are trying to refuse. Is that true?
No. In law there is a 'reasonable person' test. Speaking generally, a reasonable person knows the difference between rape (except perhaps statutory rape of people who look much older than their chronological age) and consensual sex.
One thing that makes it difficult to address the general question is that it is not entirely clear what the criteria are by which acts of speech count as illocutionary, as opposed to locutionary or perlocutionary acts. Consider, for example, the act of cursing. It seems possible to curse when alone. However, that would show only that there are illocutionary acts that can be performed alone if cursing is an illocutionary act rather than a locutionary act. Consider, for another example, the act of informing. In this case, successful performance seems to require that one’s audience becomes informed, and that seems to depend, in turn, on uptake. However, that would show only that there are illocutionary acts that cannot be performed alone if informing is an illocutionary act, rather than a perlocutionary act such as persuading.
Suppose you persuade yourself to do something and others imitate you, then a 'perlocutionary act' has been performed. But we can't be sure that this is the case because there is no Momus window into the soul.
So, the question whether illocutionary acts depend on uptake is hard to answer without more information about Austin’s three-way distinction among speech acts.
A question whose answer depends on knowing the unknowable is not something we should waste time on.
In the face of that difficulty, we might turn instead to specific examples, assuming for the time being that they count as illocutionary. However, that course raises difficulties of its own. Consider, for example, the act of telling someone something. In cases in which there is a failure of uptake, we sometimes speak of having tried, but failed, to tell someone something: ‘I tried to tell you, but you were too engrossed in the news to listen.’ But equally often, we stick to our guns: ‘I did tell you, but you were obviously distracted and didn’t take it in.’ So, our ordinary thought about telling doesn’t seem decisively to support Austin’s suggestion over its denial. Similarly, we sometimes speak of having refused without uptake: ‘You must not have heard me refuse your offer of another glass.’ Again, ordinary thought seems indecisive.
Moreover, they can never be verified.
A third approach would be to try to treat Austin’s suggested uptake condition as itself marking off the illocutionary acts, or one special range of illocutionary acts, from the other sorts of speech acts.
But it would suffer from the same defect.
Consider what is involved in your persuading someone of something. There is your uttering some words. There is your recognisably trying to propose something to your audience. There is, perhaps, your proposing something to them, whether or not they recognise it. There is your audience recognising that you are trying to propose something to them and, thereby, your opening up a channel of communication with them. And there is your exploiting that channel by persuading your audience and their thereby becoming persuaded. Bringing about your audience’s recognition of what you are trying to do is surely something that you do, albeit with their cooperation. Whether or not this act is captured by the ordinary notion of proposing, it still involves a distinctive sort of achievement involving the opening up of a channel of communication, without yet exploiting that channel in order to bring about further, perlocutionary consequences.
But this can be wholly non-linguistic. Thus, the Philosophy of Language is irrelevant.
Acts of this sort are clearly subject to Austin’s uptake condition.
Nonsense! When we imitate a guy who is doing well for himself there is no communication and no uptake. But this smart guy knows what is going on and may act strategically so that it is as though he did communicate and there was uptake.
Can they figure in the argument in place of either a less clearly delineated class of illocutionary acts or specific examples of acts, such as warning or refusing? The difficulty facing this suggestion is to connect acts of this sort – acts that depend on recognition – with our concern to protect freedom of speech.
Nothing depends on 'recognition'. What matters is whether the outcome of 'following' a guy is good for us or bad for us.
In advance of further discussion, it is not clear that acts that depend on uptake are the sorts of acts that we are concerned to protect when we are concerned to protect freedom of speech.
We are only concerned to protect freedom of speech because it is socially utile. But, such freedom may be suppressed if the opposite turns out to be the case.
There is more to say about the three approaches we’ve considered to this point, but suppose that they all fail. Would that mean that the argument that pornography can undermine freedom of speech also fails? Not immediately. Although that argument is often presented as depending on Austin’s uptake condition, it is possible to develop a version of the argument that depends only on a weaker condition. The uptake condition, recall, has it that illocutionary acts depend on recognition. A weaker condition would be that the performance of illocutionary acts depends not on attempts to perform them being recognised by their audience, but only on their being recognisable.
The problem here is that anything is potentially recognisable as anything else. A man may mistake his wife for a hat. This 'weaker condition' gives illocutionary force to the rantings of imaginary lizards from the 44th Dimension.
The weaker condition is more plausible than the uptake condition, at least when we consider specific examples. ‘I told you, but failed to do so in a way that you were able to recognise’ seems immediately bad in a way that ‘I told you, but you were obviously distracted and didn’t take it in’ isn’t.
Why? The first is more polite. You could say that to your boss, laying stress on the 'I failed to so' bit. The second is not polite. You should not say that to your spouse because the stability of a marriage depends on a mutually convenient fiction that each gives ear to the other's pet peeves.
Furthermore, the weaker condition can sustain a version of the argument.
But at the price of sustaining the argument that you have an imaginary lizard up your butt and it, not you, is talking.
According to this version of the argument, the problematic effect of pornography isn’t preventing recognition of attempts to refuse. It isn’t supposed to serve, for example, as a momentary distraction. Rather, its alleged effect is undermining men’s abilities to recognise such attempts, and so rendering those attempts unrecognisable by their audience.
Why not simply say 'All rapists are innocent. They thought they were having sex with furniture. They did not recognize that a human being was involved.' ?
If that is right, then the argument surrounding pornography provides one example of how questions about the autonomy of speech acts can have potential moral and political significance.
If that is right, then people influenced by 'arguments surrounding pornography' may be committing epistemic rape because they have lost the ability to recognize that 'fuck off, you big fat cretin' does not mean 'Wow! You sure are a smart dude, Prof.'

This has potential moral and political significance because an imaginary lizard from the 44th Dimension may climb up their bum and use them as a meat puppet.
But it is plausibly only one example of a wider class. Acknowledging our dependence on others, even with respect to what we can do with words, is essential to understanding the proper extent of our freedom.
If this guy is dependent on me, among others, even with respect to what he can do with words, then he must acknowledge that he is well and truly fucked. That is the proper extent of his freedom. No doubt, he may appear to reply 'I am not compelled to acknowledge any such thing.' But that's just the imaginary lizard talking. 

Reitter & Wellmon on Max Weber

Paul Reitter & Chad Wellmon write in the 'Chronicle Review'.
In 1908, Weber had taken on the powerful minister in charge of higher education in Prussia, Friedrich Althoff.
Althoff has been described as the Bismark of the German University of System. But he wasn't a Minister, merely a Civil Servant with a lot of connections in the right places who found ways of making himself indispensable to the concerned Ministers. In general, he is considered to have favored merit and originality in making appointments- much to the ire of entrenched cliques. However, because he had greatly advanced German Science and Mathematics, his position was unassailable. Still, anti-Semites and anti-Catholics felt Althoff was too liberal while Social Democrats hated him for preventing one of their own gaining an official appointment.
Althoff died in 1908. Weber made it clear a couple of years later- i.e. once it was safe to do so- that though Althoff had done much for German Higher Education, the means he employed were Dictatorial.
The case in question concerned the appointment of the economist Ludwig Bernhard to a full professorship at the University of Berlin.
This was done by the Kultusminister, Ludwig Holle. There followed a 'Battle of the Professors' with the 'Historical School'- Wagner, Schmoller & Weber opposing this upstart 'Business Economist' whose focus was on the present- not the misty past or the utopian future. Bernhard was friendly to free Enterprise but  ended up close to Hugenberg thus helping open the door to Hitler.
The Ministry of Culture and Education had long exercised final authority over all faculty hires, but it typically consulted closely with faculty members before making an official offer. In this case, however, Althoff had, as Weber saw it, simply installed his preferred candidate for reasons that had nothing to do with quality and everything to do with the fact that Bernhard’s research agenda advanced the state’s interests. 
Is this really true? Bernhard's father was of Jewish heritage, he himself was sympathetic to Polish Nationalism- indeed, unlike Weber, he spoke Polish- and. furthermore, was a new type of 'business economist'.  Thus, Weber was bound to oppose him. But, to be clear, no German Professor was not pretending to 'advance the State's interests' because, in the main, they were Civil Servants.
Weber would later move closer to Schmoller's Verein für Socialpolitik which sought a middle way between laissez faire and Socialism. However, Weber and his comrades were still on the side of 'positive'- i.e value judgment free- Social Science, as was Bernhard.
Whether out of conviction or opportunism, many academics supported Althoff’s appointment.
But many opposed Bernhard because he seemed a bit Jewy and, what's worse, hoped to make Economics more useful to Businesses.
But Weber insisted that allowing scholarship to be so closely aligned with the state’s agenda meant, as he wrote a year later, cultivating “political obedience among university students,” and this was sure to prove catastrophic for German universities.
Weber came to this view rather late in the day and only once Althoff was safely dead. Indeed, the discontented 'Humanists' in the German Universities- who felt they had lost out to the STEM subjects and their Commercial applications- were re-discovering around this time Wilhelm von Humboldt as the visionary father of the German University which the Althoff System had displaced from the hypokeimenon of the alterity of its own imaginative incubus under conditions of agglutinative saltation within the boundaries of some Teutonic shite or the other.

This led these stupid krauts to say ridiculous things- as if they all weren't a bunch of lemmings who had to be told which cliff edge to jump off.

The plain fact of the matter is that Germans of any type who failed to display 'political obedience' got short shrift. Why? Coz they were living in Germany. Those guys don't want freedom. They want beer and sausages and a Fuehrer who will make them feel good about themselves.

Weber, who couldn't consummate his marriage, speaks of castration when nothing but a limp dick obtained.
It would lead to the “castration” of academic freedom and stunt the “development of a genuine” scholarly character.
Shite which is of a genuinely scholarly character is still limp dicked shite.
Universities, he suggested sardonically, may have been better off under the church’s influence; at least then they pursued something other than money and power. 
What was that? Who knows? Who cares? Those guys weren't finding the cure for cancer- that's for sure.

Returning to Reitter & Welmon's article, which asks why a bunch of stupid students in Munich would invite Weber to talk to them in 1917- the answer being that he was out of a job and was writing a bunch of articles for the newspapers which appeared 'Liberal' and 'anti-annexationist' and thus offered the hope of a negotiated peace- we find this

 it was understandable why the students in Munich were drawn to Weber. They belonged to the Free Student Alliance, an organization devoted to championing the lofty ideals of the German research university — the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, Bildung or moral education, academic freedom, and the democratization of all these goods — at a time when those ideals appeared to be imperiled by disciplinary specialization, state intervention, the influence of industrial capitalism, and the war.
This is mad. The year is 1917. These kids would get drafted and shot or else might slowly starve. They didn't give a flying fart about Bildung. They just didn't want to starve or get shot.
Writing over the years as a kind of insider-outsider, Weber had distinguished himself as an extraordinarily erudite and forceful defender of an ideal university.
Actually it was the 'liberal' theologian Von Harnack & Eduard Spranger & other such fools who had created the cult of the Humboldtian University which excited German students because it would mean Germany could fuck over foreigners not by killing them- which involved the risk of getting killed- but through purely Academic means.
Like so many German intellectuals, Weber celebrated the outbreak of hostilities.
Why? He thought Germany would win. France would pay a lot of reparations like it did in 1870- which is what permitted Germany to go on the Gold Standard- and so there'd be plenty of beer and sausages and Professorships for everybody.
Yet by the summer of 1917, he had concluded that the war was essentially lost.
It was lost in 1914 at the First Battle of Marne. Weber was as stupid as shit.
What proved to be Germany’s undoing was the failure of Germans to think for themselves.
No. It was the fact that the French and the Brits kept shooting them. The Russians however put up a poor show. Germany's undoing arose out of Germans ability to think for themselves because stupid people thinking for themselves fuck up big time.
Neither the credentialed experts of the sprawling state bureaucracy nor the literary aesthetes of its cultural elite had shown any capacity to grapple intelligently and creatively with the problems of the day, and German universities had helped to cause the situation.
Fuck off! The problem was that the General Staff was as thick as shit. Boring bureaucrats and silly 'aesthetes' don't matter. It wasn't the Universities but the War College which had screwed up.
Academics, intellectuals, and bureaucrats — those formed by Germany’s internationally esteemed universities — had all been guilty of an unreflective compliance to the state and its institutions and had directly contributed to the disasters that now faced the country.
Nonsense! They had shown 'reflective compliance' coz they thought Germany
would win big like it did in 1870. The thing was possible. But the British Expeditionary Force turned out to be surprisingly good. Britain won the war because it was prepared to throw millions of young men into the meat grinder of the Marne. Luddendorf's big mistake, in 1918, was to attack the Brits rather than the French. The Brits did fall back- but this tends to increase British fighting spirit- so the Somme chewed up Germany's future and spat it out coz that future was shite.
All this must have been very much in the forefront of Weber’s mind when, on November 7, 1917,
Coincidentally, this was the day of the Bolshevik Revolution- another German own goal.
he stepped to the podium to address an audience comprised mostly of students in a small theater connected to the bookshop in Munich where the Free Student Alliance met. Facing an uncertain future, the students, too, must have been thinking about the war. Germany was in the midst of a severe food shortage, and though defeat was by no means a foregone conclusion, a truce was the best that could be hoped for. In the meantime, millions of young men had died.
Why were these guys listening to a windbag? The answer is that the Social Democrats had split and windbags like Weber might (as in fact did happen) be useful enough idiots to create a new Party which would whimperingly make peace with the Allies before these precious young people got shot or starved to death.
How, in this context, was one to think of the vocation of the scholar?
As a useful idiot, who'd secure peace at any price or else act as the Kerensky for a Lenin.
Walter Benjamin, one of the leaders of an affiliated student group at the University of Berlin, had recently claimed that the vocation of university students was to be “authors of a transformation” of knowledge, the university, and, ultimately, “humanity.”
Vocation? Surely he meant vacation? Spring break can be really transformative.
A radical call, but one that evoked, that was indeed rooted in, the grand sense of purpose that the architect of the modern German educational system, Wilhelm von Humboldt, had assigned to it some hundred years earlier, when he described the university as the “pinnacle” of the nation’s “moral culture.”
But the 'pinnacle' of Germany's 'moral culture' remained somewhat lower than the pinnacle of any other nation's cowpat.
Yet Weber, to his audience’s dismay, began his lecture not by articulating an ideal but rather by delving into the practical challenges and liabilities of academic lives and careers. The university was riddled with structural problems: terrible teaching, workplace discrimination, the exploitation of the labor force, an arbitrary hiring process, and an ever more specialized, businesslike, and consequently uninspiring understanding of the scholar’s vocation.
Why did Weber talk in this manner? The answer is he was a German pedant. Being boring and stupid was what came naturally to him. It wasn't like he had any new ideas or solutions to old problems.
All of which his audience was no doubt well aware. Yet Weber didn’t offer any suggestions about how to reform working conditions, or much hope that the university as an institution could be transformed. As to specialization, he presented it as a basic feature of scholarly life. Not only was specialization here to stay, but Weber appeared actually to affirm its value at the expense of more traditional moral education. He went so far as to say that specialization was less of a threat to German scholarship than were those who used the idealism of the past to call the present order in question.
What he didn't say was 'German Universities need to get rid of worthless academic availability cascades. We need STEM subject research so as to grow more food and produce better munitions. We don't need fucking sociologists or political philosophers or Marxian economists.
If before the war he had worried about conservatives aligning scholarship too closely with the state, now, as Germany’s political and social order teetered, Weber was just as concerned about professors posing as prophets, trying to shape students’ souls in the classroom. Professors who sought to fill a void of meaning from the lectern had found an eager audience in Germany’s zealous youth. They denounced disciplinary boundaries and intellectual fragmentation in the name of some lost, or future, harmony and wholeness. In doing so, they were undermining their own authority and the legitimacy of the university itself. They were overreaching. What they sought was simply no longer to be had, and had likely never existed. Expert knowledge had dramatically expanded over the course of the previous half century. There were too many disciplinary perspectives and too many competing moral ideals, too much pluralism in too many areas, for any responsible scholar to hold out a hope of integrating them all. Weber was effectively declaring that the mission of the Humboldtian university — to lead people to a higher level of moral consciousness — was no longer viable. So, what was to be done?
STEM subject research working closely with State Governments and Business Enterprises such that technological innovations could raise the standard of living and make the Nation more secure.
In “The Scholar’s Work,” typically known as “Science as Vocation” (first published in 1919), Weber argues that to responsibly lead a life of the mind in the academy, a person had to recognize that universities shouldn’t provide more than a limited moral instruction.
Nor should they provide anything at all save laboratories and some seminar rooms for Math mavens. The life of the mind can't be lived in a place filled with gormless undergraduates and hysterical grad students. Teacher Training Colleges and specialist Institutes may be useful. But, Universities aren't useful.
Nor should they impart ready-made worldviews. The purpose of universities is to advance scholarship and to educate students by pursuing knowledge in an open-ended way.
Institutes can 'advance scholarship' by offering prizes and getting wealthy amateurs to subsidize a few full-time researchers doing the donkey work.  An Althoff, or a 'publish or perish' competitive culture might have the same effect. But in most countries, most of the time, scholarship has languished in the Universities.
Institutions of higher learning would be “going beyond the boundaries of scholarship if they were to provide not only knowledge and understanding but also beliefs and ‘ideals.’
Is an example of a value judgement albeit of a meaningless sort.
 Scholars had to exercise self-restraint. Acting otherwise would violate professional ethics and undermine the legitimacy of academic freedom, and also close off precisely the space students needed to develop the highest intellectual and moral capacities and commitments.
Everybody has to exercise self-restraint. No particular 'space' is required for 'students' to develop because they are not fetuses.
Paradoxically, a form of moral asceticism was needed to protect the particular moral education that could sustain the scholar’s calling within the modern university.
Bullshit! Genuine scholarship occurs where there is the motive and ability to achieve the thing. You can have as much 'moral asceticism', or as little, as you like, but there's no guarantee that the thing will be produced or not produced.
One of Weber’s names for this asceticism was Wertfreiheit, or “value freedom.”
But asceticism is not a value freedom. It is either self-deception or  bullshit.
Often translated as “value neutrality,” the term has elicited much criticism. Since Weber’s day, it has invited the charge that he was an epistemologically naïve positivist. Yet on more than one occasion, Weber himself ridiculed the notion that a scholar could ever simply “let the facts speak for themselves” or muster complete disinterest. Scholarship required certain ideals, values, and virtues.
Which the cretin thought he possessed. He wrote a book called 'The Religion of India' without knowing shit about India or its Religions or its Society. That isn't scholarship. It is stupidity.
In fact, the values that Weber identified as essential for scholarship turn out to resemble the ones that today’s advocates of moral education tend to foreground as a counterpoise to research training: inclusiveness, intellectual integrity, courage, and a principled commitment to intellectual and value pluralism, among others.
Sadly, one can have all these qualities while still being as stupid as shit.  Conversely, a racist bastard can make great discoveries. Enlightened self-interest suffices to stop people faking their results and also encourages them to move out of areas where peer review sucks.
For Weber, research training should include imparting those values, which are at once scholarly and moral.
Like not writing 'scholarly' books called 'The Religions of India' if you have never been to India and know nothing of its Religions.
Weber considered universities uniquely well-equipped to form students into mature, independent, self-reflective subjects with “the capacity to think clearly and ‘know what one wants.’”
He was completely wrong. Universities are and were wholly unequipped for any such thing. They are a place to prolong neoteny, by excluding economic imperatives, for a Credentialist purpose. They are the opposite of the real world. Any 'morality' inculcated in such places is a hot house affair which will soon wither and die once a living has to be earned.
Universities shouldn’t shy away from values; rather, they should induce students to reflect conscientiously on the values they presumed to be their own; they should teach students to understand how their own moral claims and values will conflict with those of others, and that acting in accord with their values will have specific social consequences.
This shite is stuff we all understand by the age of 4. Why not say 'Universities should not shy away from potty training?'

 For this teaching to happen in a scholarly way, students and university teachers alike need “value freedom,” a concept oftentimes mistaken for value neutrality.
No they don't. The thing is meaningless bullshit. The big problem is cognitive biases and poor training in Bayesian and other methods.
As Weber understood it, however, value freedom functioned like an imperative to take responsibility for one’s freedom and, thus, one’s own ultimate commitments and values.
Any economic process involves taking responsibility for one's choices. The more one is involved in economic choices, the less you need some stupid Professor saying 'you chose the chocolate pudding. You may now want the cheesecake but that's not the choice you made. Stop crying. Everybody thinks you are a great big baby. Take responsibility for your own actions you worthless pile of shite! You are 45 years old! Get a fucking job already. Getting another PhD in finger painting isn't gonna help you any.'
Neither specialized scholarship nor the modern, disciplinary university could ground and sustain one’s highest ideals and loves. The “ideals” a student “should serve,” “the gods he should bow before” are, to Weber, ultimately a matter that students must figure out for themselves and should come down to where their passion lies.
Coz, like Weber, their wives had inherited wealth. Indeed, Weber probably thought of himself as the sort of 'aristocrat' who had a special 'calling' to politics coz wifey could support him financially and thus he was 'independent' of the State. This was a very silly view. The State was what guaranteed that inherited wealth wouldn't suddenly disappear.
Even — indeed, especially — the choice to follow the scholarly calling and adopt its ideals and values can’t be justified through scholarly deliberation alone. A measure of faith is necessary. 
And a larger measure of stupidity and indifference to the suffering and sacrifices of others.
Weber’s embrace of asceticism, empirically grounded scholarship, and value pluralism in “The Scholar’s Work” invited immediate criticism.
The world was crashing down around their ears and yet they thought it worthwhile to criticize a cretin.
But a more prominent target in recent years has been Weber’s account of disenchantment, which puts “de-magicking,” or Entzauberung, at the center of a master narrative of the West.
De-magicking occurs when people beat and kill witches, magicians and so forth because they aren't making gold and diamonds on demand. If the guy claiming the supernatural power first robs and kills anyone who fucks with him, and then gets everybody to kiss his ass, we don't say he is a warlock. We say he is God's anointed.
This narrative has become a popular foil in scholarly discussions of the tenacious persistence of myth, magic of all kinds, the occult, and religion in Western culture. That is, in identifying the continued existence of people who pray or claim to commune with spirits, scholars often claim to be unsettling a reigning comprehensive narrative largely attributed to Weber and “The Scholar’s Work.”
But Weber didn’t suggest that disenchantment was simply another name for secularization. Intensely pious 16th-century Calvinists, he argued in The Protestant Ethic, had helped disenchant the world by denying the Catholic sacraments their “magic.” 
Yes, but those shitheads were big on burning witches. James I had a Calvinist for a tutor.
Similarly, humanistic scholarship, such as philology, along with the natural and physical scien­ces, acted as agents of disenchantment by stripping literature and nature of certain mysteries and eroding the belief that the world has in itself, independent of any human activity, “any such thing as a ‘meaning’!”
Only 'humanistic scholars', or other such shitheads, talk about stuff like whether the world has meaning even if no human beings exist. Why not simply ask whether Nature will feature in David Attenborough Documentaries even if Life had never evolved on earth. ?
Often overlooked is that in the very lecture in which Weber developed his most extensive account of disenchantment, he also discusses the longing for re-enchantment, transcendence, and utopia — both inside and outside the university. As Weber understood it, the very agents of disenchantment, such as disciplinary, university-based scholarship, had created a desire for re-enchantment, leading to a cult of “authentic experience,” especially among cultured elites and intellectuals, those most likely to be fully enmeshed in, if not enthralled with, the modernizing systems of rationality.
But drugs gotta feature otherwise the thing gets real lame, real fast.
Nowhere was the desire for re-enchantment more evident than among those devoted to the modern humanities.
i.e. tossers.
German intellectuals and scholars had relatively recently begun to invoke “the humanities” as moral compensation for a world experienced as lacking meaning and value.
Yup. Having the shit beaten out of you does tend to make you whine about 'humanity'.
Reflecting in 1930 on the debate Weber’s lecture had provoked over the past decade, the philosopher Erik Wolk described Weber as “the model for the crisis of the modern humanities.”
So, a mentally ill cretin who couldn't even fuck his wife was the 'model' for other tossers. BTW, Erik Wolk was one of the few Professors (apparently he's made a contribution to Church Law) to get sacked after Hitler came to power for being too Nazi! Wolk participated in the 'Aktion Ritterbusch'- a War time project to use the Humanities to help Nazify Europe. Later he got honorary Doctorates in plenty coz he was such a swell guy- not a Nazi at all- but an Evangelical Christian Jurist with an abiding commitment to some shite or the other.
Wolk did not mean that Weber had offered an exemplary analysis of the contradictions that characterized the study of art, history, literature, and philosophy in universities; rather, he meant that Weber himself was “the model;” he was the crisis personified.
But what was that 'crisis'? It was simply the fact that Germany couldn't get richer through warfare- as it had done in 1870. It could only fuck up big time. That's it. That's the whole story.
By performing what the modern disciplinary humanities could offer, Weber embodied their “tragically tense ethos.”
This is unfair. Weber was much stupider than average. The guy was supposed to be an economist- but was too crap in that subject even for Germany. Then he went mad and wrote stupid shite of a madly eclectic kind. Then he died and his wife spent some money on making out he was smart and then some stupid Professors jumped on the bandwagon because Weber had died before he could come out as a Heidegger or Schmitt type Nazi.
He had turned disciplined, specialized, and ascetic thinking into a distinctly moral example of how one might choose to live and to commit oneself to intellectual work today.
This could be said, with greater truth, of a paranoid hobby. The problem with 'intellectual work' is that it needs to be both utile as well as unmercenary to qualify as such. Otherwise it is merely the expertise needed to thrive in a trade.
He embodied the contradictions of the crisis of the humanities — that they could be justified both as method and moral formation, as both knowledge and ethos.
Weber embodied being a stupid windbag. There was no 'crisis of the humanities' in countries which had
1) always regarded 'the Humanities' as a merely ornamental part of elite paideia. It functioned like a handicap in horse racing, to compensate for the different weights of jockeys. Having a brain full of useless shite was the penalty for being born posh. It leveled the playing field in one sense. In another, it meant that people like Boris Johnson would be intellectually and morally contemptible enough for the hoi polloi to elect.

2) not let the Army General Staff fuck up the country by provoking wars it was bound to lose. This meant pedagogues could continue to ignore reality they way they are paid to.
But for many of his contemporaries, Weber’s insistence on a narrow, highly constrained conception of the ends of scholarship was precisely the problem, woefully inadequate to the demands of crisis.
The only adequate response to the 'demands of crisis' is to shit yourself and run around screaming hysterically.
Unlike many of his German contemporaries, Weber did not believe that the world, however disenchanted or rationalized, lacked meaning.
Then why talk shite about magic and enchantment?
The real problem was not a lack of meaning, but rather a surfeit of it, what he termed the “polytheism of values,” the proliferation and increasing proximity of distinct values and value orders.
Did this cretin not get that there was actual polytheism in days of yore?
As Freud would in Civilization and Its Discontents, Weber enjoined readers to come to terms with the difficulty of modern life and avoid sham solutions that would make things vastly worse: professors affecting prophetic airs, political and otherwise, in the classroom, and thereby enfeebling the university. In effect, Weber went after the push for re-enchantment that many humanists took to be their vocation, suggesting such humanists lacked intellectual maturity and “manliness,” and more than a few struck back.
To read Weber today is to be reminded of the moral urgency of sober, unglamorous thinking in times of crisis.
Sober, unglamorous thinking is needed all the time though, no doubt, it may be relatively useless once the crisis is upon us.
But Weber also offered a vision of scholarship as a meaningful and deeply moral way of life.
As opposed to a meaningless and immoral way of passing the time.
He sought to combine idealism and realism to preserve the ethical integrity and moral legitimacy of the pursuit of knowledge and truth.
But failed to add in pragmatism and a dash of oregano to preserve something which has no need of any such ingredient. Only utility matters in the pursuit of knowledge and truth.
Weber repeatedly tells his readers that without a visceral passion for scholarship that scholarship itself cannot entirely account for, it makes little sense for young people to subject themselves to the vagaries — indeed, the horrors — of the conditions of labor in the university.
Right! Coz working at a Uni is so much worse than turning tricks at a truck stop.
Given the poor pay and arbitrary hiring process, scholarship and intellectual work have to generate “passion” as only a not-entirely-rationalizable belief in an ultimate ideal can in order to make any sense as a profession.
Which is why trading blowjobs for the price of a Happy Meal has to generate 'passion' as only a not-entirely-rationalizable belief in an ultimate ideal can explain why very poor people with substance abuse issues persist in that profession.
Scholarship may be an agent of disenchantment,
Historically, the opposite was the case. Dr. Faustus or Dr. Dee or Paracelsus were typical of the Academy whereas Lawyers, like Bacon, and Merchant Mariners and Engineers and Architects and inventors and so forth, showed superior rationality because it was useful for them to do so. But such has it always been.
and re-enchantment may threaten scholarship, but scholarship also requires enchantment, a passion that can’t be fully accounted for.
This is only true if the thing is a hobby with no reputational benefit.
Weber addresses the need for ­ideals as well as an empirically based assessment of the world — of an internal passion and a frank account of reality — by adapting a term of religious derivation to modern times, the word that appears in the titles of “The Scholar’s Work,” as well as in the second lecture Weber delivered in the Munich series, “The Politician’s Work”: Beruf, or what we translate variously as “calling,” “vocation,” or “work.”
Sadly, a 'vocation' which is well paid or which has reputational advantages is going to attract people whose 'calling' is a 'Kavka toxin' type strategic belief.
In order to articulate the paradoxical notion of a true calling in a time when the gods who might issue it have absconded or been drowned out by modernity’s rational structures, Weber draws on the analysis of Calvinism that he had presented more than a decade earlier in The Protestant Ethic but had continued to return to as part of his wide-ranging studies of world religions in the final decade of his life. 
So, the silly man kept repeating a lesson he was incapable of learning. Calvinism is still Christianity. Christ calls to sinful, suffering, human beings. A vocation is a hearkening to the call to be of service to the good shepherd.
For Weber, “vocation” had two meanings: a traditionally religious one, as in a calling from God,
to God
and a professional one, as in one’s job or employment.
which yet is Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam.
Vocation referred to both an individual form of specialization and a social category or form of organization.
As a matter of politeness, we speak of Medicine or Teaching as a vocation though, of course, they are professions like any other. But this is merely a manner of speaking.
Ultimately, vocation became an end in itself.
Only if the underlying activity was wholly inutile even in the eyes of those who shared the same Credo.
One worked not only to earn money but also to be part of something greater than oneself.
But, speaking generally, there was more than one way to earn money and more than one bigger thing one could be part of.
The division and specialization of labor were not problems to be solved; they were moral solutions for a new reality.
No, they were economic, not moral, solutions to the same old reality- viz. the existence of scarcity.
To lead a meaningful life in the modern West was to commit to a vocation and be transformed by it.
Nonsense. A 'gentleman' did not have to commit to a vocation. The point of going into business was to make your pile so that you could stop being a businessman and live like a gentleman. To have been 'transformed' by your trade was to be rendered permanently declasse.
Weber considered scholarship and politics two such vocations.
Because they are so similar, right? Why not add being trapeze artist and employment as a Cost and Management Accountant.
The scholar and politician lived, as he put it, not only “from” their vocation, earning a living from it, but also “for” it.
But both had to pretend they weren't in it for the money.
They lived from it psychologically, deriving meaning and value from the role they served in a social world. 
This is the opposite of the truth. The true scholar knows he serves no role in the social world. Rather, he is a link in a chain stretching back and forward across the abyss of Time. Similarly, the true politician prefers to pull the strings behind the scenes. Even if she holds a high position, her popular persona may be diametrically opposed to her true views and agenda.
For most of Germany’s cultured elite, Weber’s vision of politics and scholarship amounted to a bleak, existential liberalism, a hopeless capitulation to modernity made up as a heroic realism.
In other words, an Enlightenment without a Frederick the Great.
Weber had poked a hornet’s nest that had formed over decades, unleashing a swarm of ideas about rebirth, renewal, and the recovery not just of scholarship and politics but about which ways of living and working in the modern world might be meaningful. 
Weber gained political importance as a member of the German Democratic Party- which he initially opposed because it was Republican whereas he was a Monarchist.  In his view, Germany should not have surrendered. He thought Ludendorff had panicked. His backing for full Democracy was an over-reaction. Interestingly, Weber was enthused by Rathenau's call for a levee en masse to continue the fight and only desisted when it became obvious to him that Bavaria would then separate from the Reich. In any case, once Revolutionaries grabbed power, it became obvious that the State would need all its strength to defeat the internal enemy and thus it was futile to continue the War.

At times, took a gloomy view of the future of his class-
Weber saw a conflict between the scholarly life- where only principles matter- and that of the politician- where compromise is essential. He withdrew from the Democratic Party, after losing an election, and quit active politics.
This is his own, somewhat garbled, but very German, letter explaining his decision.

Reitter & Wellmon take a 'glass half full' view of Weber. However, it is anybody's guess what direction he would have taken had he lived longer. My guess is he would have supported Hindenberg's rule by decree though, like his brother, the Nazis would have silenced him once they took power.
One of the questions raised in Germany in the 1920s that continues to be debated, and in our view misunderstood, is what Weber meant by value-free or value-freedom. American sociologists, led by Talcott Parsons, embraced the concept and celebrated Weber as its founding figure, as they sought to develop a scientific and methodologically rigorous social science that could serve the modern liberal state.
Max Horkheimer, the German philosopher and leading member of the Frankfurt School, remembered Weber this way too. Weber’s refusal to use his scholarly acumen to help construct a better society, Horkheimer said in 1962, decades after hearing the politics lecture as a student, was a result of his commitment to value-freedom. This inhibited his thinking and trapped him in the values of a liberal “bourgeois society.”
A more reasonable view is that Weber's values were that of a bygone age. He wanted a limited Monarchy of the late Victorian type. He considered Socialism to be a swindle. But the world had changed and he could not change with it because, after all, his calling was to the past.
An influential critique from the left, that of the German émigré Hans Gerth and the young Columbia sociologist C. Wright Mills, by contrast, took Weber to be a nostalgist. In their introduction to From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, which included the first widely available English translations of Weber’s two vocation lectures, they suggested that Weber had been a reluctant advocate of technical rationality. He was ultimately an “old-fashioned liberal” for whom “the decline of the humanist and the ascendency of the expert” were further signs of the “diminished chances for freedom” in Western modernity.
In other words, one's freedom to be a late Nineteenth Century bore had been reduced by the passage of time.
All of these readings fall short. They misunderstand the tension at the center of “The Scholar’s Work” and “The Politician’s Work.” This tension is the double bind that is both the burden and the possibility of living in a disenchanted world.
Everybody lives in a world without magic. Some people refuse to accept that this is so and get ripped off by charlatans. But this isn't a 'double bind'. It is stupidity.
In a world that abounds with competing values and moral claims, what Weber called “the polytheism of values,” intellectual work is of paramount importance.
Nonsense! Doing sensible things is of paramount importance. Writing nonsense may be described as 'intellectual work' but isn't really. It is isn't really.
If anything binds humans across space and time, it is, according to Weber, their capacity to create meaning.
Sadly, one can 'create meaning' till the cows come home but no 'binding' occurs if the thing is useless.
The purpose of intellectual work is to help make possible meaningful forms of life for this world.
The purpose of all useful work is to make life possible. Where there is life there is meaning.
More than a hundred years later, the questions Weber faced are still with us.
Very true! But only if you are Sabrina, the teenage witch.
Our own liberal institutions have proven not to be as robust as many imagined, with ascendant far-right movements, intensifying inequality, endless war, and feckless cultural and political elites undermining confidence in the durability of democracy itself.
When has this not been the case? Institutions aren't 'liberal'- at least in the view of Libtards.
The invisible hand of history, the market, or Reason have failed to guide us to universal peace and prosperity.
History does not have an invisible hand. Markets are about Supply and Demand. There isn't a 'universal' demand for peace- some like War. The Supply condition for universal prosperity does not exist for Malthusian reasons. Technology may change this- but that requires some genuine scholarly work- not yet more mindless bullshit.
To read Weber’s vocation lectures today is to be reminded of the moral urgency of sober, unglamorous, disciplined thinking in times of crisis.
No it isn't. It is to marvel at the stupidity of Sociology as an academic subject.
It is to be reminded, as Weber put it in “The Politician’s Work,” that ethics can be and often are “used in morally disastrous ways” in both the academic and political spheres, ways that preclude an honest and responsible reckoning with the world in which we find ourselves.
Who doesn't know that people who talk about 'ethics' are either stupider or more sociopathic than average?
On the campuses of today’s universities, especially in the United States, student activists are making moral demands and defending ideals, but mostly outside of the classroom and lecture halls and within a bureaucratic system of moral management.
But a lot of those students are getting swindled. The 'bureaucratic system of moral management' is the P.R aspect of a Ponzi scheme.  It is very expensive. At the end of the day the students are paying for their own further impoverishment. On the other hand, academics in useless departments can get better paid jobs as administrators.
While some scholars try to accommodate them, many more simply work to keep these higher-education factories running on their own adjunct labor. And most presidents at our leading universities muster ceremonial acknowledgments of the institutions’ past purposes but spend their days overseeing multibillion-dollar global enterprises. Who but a blessed, tenured few could continue to believe that scholarship is a vocation?
Useful scholarship can find a market outside the Academy. People will pay to read well written, well researched books. By contrast, credential seeking cretins are obliged to read crap.
To read “The Scholar’s Work,” then, is to be confronted with the possibility that our own universities are, for many, inhospitable places for pursuing intellectual work as a calling.
Quite true. We must get rid of young people stinking up the place with their pheromones.
Since our duty as scholars is to understand our current conditions and to take responsibility for our own future, these are questions we have to answer for ourselves.  
Everybody has a duty- failure to perform which may result in death- to 'understand' current conditions and to take responsibility for our future. On the other hand, once one has performed this duty adequately, one can while away the tedious hours in any manner one pleases.

The history of German Academia, from 1870 to 1945, proves only one thing. Scholars are wholly ineffective in opposing any type of political catastrophe. A call to scholarship is, more often than not, a call to cretinism. Equally, it must be said, very good intellectual work can be produced simply because, for those with a comparative advantage in it, it is well remunerated.
The same is true of politics. But then it is also true of plumbing. A guy who likes tinkering with pipes may flood your house. It is better to call in a qualified plumber who doesn't like his job, but does it because it is well paid and thus allows him to pay off his student loans.