Aeon has an essay by a young PhD candidate whom I imagine to be intelligent, good hearted and diligent. Yet his essay is ignorant mischievous shit. Why is that? The answer is that the poor fellow is studying Philosophy rather than doing something useful.
Tyler Re is a PhD student in philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. His research is on the philosophy of labour and German idealism.
His essay is titled-
Freedom at work
In Industrial Econ and Management Studies there has been extensive research on every aspect of work. When will more freedom in planning and execution raise job satisfaction? How will it affect efficiency? More crucially, what threats and catastrophic outcomes might arise when there is no freedom at work- everything is regimented?
The answers to these questions, of course, are older than Aristotle. They are 'ideographic' not 'nomothetic'. A suave discretionary 'economia' always trumps rigid 'akreibia'. By the time of Cicero, it was the clever 'epicurean' economists who had prevailed. Thus, after the Renaissance, Political Economy, when not bureaucratic and Mercantilist, was wholly 'utilitarian' or concerned with 'ophelimity'. However the application of mathematical 'optimization' methods (the so called 'Marginal Revolution') was a late nineteenth century development. In America, which thanks to the 'spoils system', had no bureaucratic mercantilist Political Economy, economics was either amateur and sociological or a branch of engineering or statistical mechanics. Sadly, Hoover- the ultimate engineer-philanthropist concerned with preventing 'wasteful competition' and putting a floor under wages so as to defeat the 'iron law'- didn't know monetary theory or what we would call 'Macro-economics'. Thus, the elitist nutter, Roosevelt took over and shat on everything till Herr Hitler & Tojo San rescued Capitalism from what ought to have been its final crisis.
To be frank, Cowles Commission and, later Rand Corp or MIT type Mathematical Economics was utterly stupid because it assumed perfect information, no Knightian Uncertainty etc. But by the beginning of the Seventies some American economists were discovering how the actual American economy had been working for decades. Workers were paid 'efficiency wages' not the 'marginal product'. Why? Boss says 'kindly stop farting in my face!' You reply 'fuck you boss. My transfer earnings are zero coz you pay the marginal product of labour. This means I can tell you to stick your job up your arse. I will just walk down the road and get a job which pays the same'. American Corporations were competing with each other to make their employees affluent and healthy so not to have workers incessantly farting in their faces. Also, a lot of these guys had been in the Army together. They felt part of the same team. True, this meant women got paid less and had their bottoms pinched. Maybe Blacks couldn't be promoted such that they supervised Whites. Still, this was a far cry from Marxian exploitation and confiscation of 'surplus value'.
Sadly, the A-rabs upset the apple cart by demanding to be paid top dollar for their petrol. But, by then the women too were revolting. The final straw was the rebellion of the institutional investor who preferred to back the Asset Stripper rather than get ass-raped by a Management elite which had become addicted to Gulfstream biz-jets and three Martini lunches.
Still, the cozy 'Dad's lads', featherbedded, work culture of the Sixties and Seventies was only actually destroyed by the stupidity, cupidity (or, in some cases, Mafia or Marxist infiltration) of the Unions- often public sector- which caused the median voter to rebel and vote for Reagan or Thatcher.
The freeing of Capital markets- i.e. lifting of exchange controls- and China's industrialisation (which put an end to 'cost push' inflation)- created a new paradigm of post-Fordian prosperity based on rising asset prices and increasing returns to 'non-tradeables'. This was 'Economic Rent' pure and simple. Short run, it exists. Middle term, it can still be profitable to fight over a share of that pie. Long term it disappears.
Of course, if Technology changes faster than it can spread, then some 'Tiebout models' (essentially, Marshallian industrial districts with fiscal autonomy or 'subsidiarity') can be rentiers simply and thus ideological or philosophical arguments for why a particular group (e.g elderly Iyers who are as fat and as stupid as fuck) should get a bigger slice of the pie, can retain salience. But, there is a superior alternative. The fact is, the sciences which study productivity have advanced to a point where even yours truly- an imbecilic Iyer simpleton- could be assisted to having a marginal product greatly in excess of the cost of any type of life-style I could physically and emotionally sustain. I'm not saying I couldn't pork a super-model. I just couldn't do it very often. Also, I could tolerate life in a palatial mansion with plenty of butlers for only about a week. There's a reason stupid and lazy men like me need to live in small homes and have simple diets. Any woman who looks after us is- quite obviously- doing it out of the same Angelic impulse as accords us the minimal affection even the slimiest snake or Prince of the un-kissable Frogs needs just to abide God's plan and remain ignominiously alive.
Still, the fact remains, the science of 'productivity' enhancement has evolved to a point where any Eliza Doolittle's 'capabilities' can be quickly realised in a manner such that there is still 'surplus value'- i.e. profit to be made from that operation. Indeed, Shaw himself was aware that just as there already were female actuaries and other such fin-tech mavens making mega-bucks in the City in late Victorian London- so too had the rudimentary techniques of the Yankee Count Rumsford been greatly refined. Labour had itself created an alchemical science of Labour which could, if not turn a sow's ear into a silk purse, yet put a Silk Hat on those who deal in pork bellies.
Given that, over the last century and a half, a number of technocratic professions and a huge social-scientific literature has developed in the field of Labour Economics and that, moreover, properly benchmarked experiments in this field are being conducted all across the globe, it is sad indeed that young Tyler- who I'm sure is a very decent fellow- has written such a foolish and ignorant essay for Aeon.
I don't blame the boy. I ask, who is supervising his PhD? What is the point of studying 'philosophy of labour' if your teachers keep you in ignorance of 'Labour Economics'?
In his essay, Tyler says-
'There is always a demand for more jobs.
There may be a demand for more self-employment or the substitution of producer co-operatives for wage employment. We probably should lower manpower costs, or have them financed differently, so as to remain competitive in key fields. There is no reason to prefer 'jobs' per se save for people with decreasing returns to post-puberty education.
But what makes a job good?
It increases welfare, broadly defined. This is because welfare is good. Jobs are only good if they increase welfare. Indeed, everything is only good from that perspective.
For that, Immanuel Kant has an answer'
No. Kant said nothing about wage employment. Indeed, he didn't even condemn slavery or say much against serfdom which was only abolished in Prussia after his death. There was some vague idea, popularised by Scottish writers, that if workers and peasants were free to contract then there would be greater productivity. But there was empirical evidence against this. Indeed, there was a type of slavery in certain parts of the UK till fifty years after Kant's death.
Work is no longer working for us. Or, for most of us anyway.
Perhaps Tyler means that jobs aren't as safe and don't offer as much career progression as, according to Obama type mythology, existed at one time.
But why is this? The answer is obvious. Knightian Uncertainty has increased. We don't know which big company currently thought to be a highly desirable employer, might not be laying off thousands just a year or two down the line. Worse, we don't know which types of jobs, which currently seem prestigious and safe, won't simply disappear even in five years time.
It is the rapid pace of technological change which has raised Knightian Uncertainty. There is no point clinging to 'essentialist' or 'externalist' definitions or conceptions of what is or isn't a good job. If only for this reason, Kant's work is utterly useless.
Citing lack of pay and promotion, more people are quitting their jobs now than at any time in the past 20 years.
So what? Economists give a clear explanation of what is happening. Philosophers are useless in this the field no matter what bee they may have in their bonnet.
This is no surprise, considering that ‘real wages’ – the average hourly rate adjusted for inflation – for non-managers just three years ago was the same as it was in the early 1970s.
Tyler may have noticed that America has experienced a lot of immigration- a lot of it unskilled.
At the same time, the increasing prominence of gig work has turned work from a steady ‘climb’ of the ladder into a precarious ‘hustle’.
Obama does tell one or two fairy stories about this 'ladder'. But that was an example of rents being redistributed for political and other reasons by a relatively protected organized sector. But, new technology has disrupted it. Look at Biden trying to help the Unionized workforce in Detroit. No matter what he does, Elon Musk and the non-unionized sector will prevail. Electric vehicles represent a 'disruptive' technology which destroys 'economic rent'. Thus the thing can't be redistributed by political or juristic processes.
Of the growing number of people working through apps like Uber or Taskrabbit, nearly 70 per cent of them say that they do so on the side, supplementing a main income that is too low to provide for life’s necessities.
Tyler is saying 'if they had good jobs, they wouldn't be 'cheating' on the side'. Clearly, the 'gig economy' is promiscuous. Hustling is naughty. You should get married to a nice spouse and get a nice job and keep climbing ladders rather than getting jiggy in the gig economy.
Even young and upwardly mobile professionals must change jobs, rather than stay in them, in order to grow in their careers.
What if they also divorce their wives? Worse, what if they just have sex with lots of people without ever getting married? OMG, what if they do the dirty deed with people of their own gender! That's just WRONG! Kant would so not have approved. He was even against masturbation.
Almost perversely, the loss of stable careers is branded as a benefit.
Just as some perverts label having sex with someone who isn't married to you to be a benefit.
Sarah Ellis and Helen Tupper, both career consultants, argue that we ought to embrace these ‘squiggly careers’ as a new, more ‘flexible’ norm.
Embracing is totes perverse. You may hug your mummy and daddy up to the age of 5. After that, if you give anybody a peck on the cheek who is not your spouse then you are a pervert who probably works in the gig economy.
Politicians claim that the solution to our work problems is ‘more jobs’.
But only 'good jobs' will keep you climbing ladders rather getting into naughty or perverted habits. Also 'good careers' walk like John Wayne. Naughty or 'squiggly' careers waggle their buttocks or sway their hips.
But simply increasing the number of bad jobs won’t help us avoid the problems of work.
Because jobs don't help us avoid the problems of jobs.
What we need, it seems, is not more work, but good work. But what exactly is good work?
Welfare enhancing work.
The United States Department of Labor identifies a ‘good job’ as one with fair hiring practices, comprehensive benefits, formal equality of opportunity, job security and a culture in which workers are valued. In a similar UK report on the modern labour market called ‘Good Work’ (2017), Matthew Taylor and his colleagues emphasise workplace rights and fair treatment, opportunities for promotion, and ‘good reward schemes’. Finally, the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights has two sections on work. They cite the free choice of employment and organisation, fair and equal pay, and sufficient leisure time as rights of workers.
Nothing wrong with that. Governments are big employers themselves as is the UN. Let them ensure they treat their workers well by all means. The problem is, if they do stupid shit, they will run out of money to pay those workers. Good jobs have to be welfare enhancing in the broad sense. If they aren't there will be a cash crunch or fiscal cliff.
What all three of these accounts have in common is that they focus on features of jobs – the agreement you make with your boss to perform labour – rather than on the labour itself.
Your contract specifies that.
The fairness of your boss, the length of your contract, the growth of your career – these specify nothing about the quality of the labour you perform.
Because, if you are hired as an accountant you know you will be expected to perform boring accountancy type work.
And yet it is the labour itself that we spend all day doing. The most tedious and unpleasant work could still pay a high salary, but we might not want to call such work ‘good’.
We say it is a good job if it is welfare enhancing- i.e. doing something else wouldn't have produced as much welfare.
(Only a brief mention is made in the Taylor report – which totals more than 100 pages – of the idea that workers ought to have some autonomy in how they perform their job, or that work ought not be tedious or repetitive.)
But there have been plenty of studies which seek to put numbers to the relevant trade-offs.
This is not to say that the extrinsic aspects of work like pay and benefits are unimportant; of course, a good job is one that pays enough. But what about work’s intrinsic goods? Is there anything about the process of working itself that we ought to include in our list of criteria, or should we all be content with a life of high-paying drudgery?
Sure. Why not? A boss might feel being sucked off by super-models while taking cocaine in his private jet is an 'intrinsic good' which compensates for the drudgery of running a Hollywood Studio.
Philosophers try to answer this question by giving a definition of work.
But, philosophers are stupid. To define work you need to know a lot about economics.
Since definitions tell us what is essential or intrinsic to a thing,
No. Because of Knightian Uncertainty- i.e. ignorance of all possible states of the world- we never know what is 'essential' or 'intrinsic' to anything. All we can do is pick an intension with a relatively well defined 'extension'. This may involve arbitrary cut-offs. Currently, if I make myself a sarnie, that labour is not 'work'. If I make a round of sarnies for my colleagues so we can have a working lunch, that same labour is 'work' even if only I ended up eating the sarnies.
a definition of work would tell us whether there is anything intrinsic to work that we want our good jobs to promote.
No. What Tyler is talking about is magic. Look up the definition of a thing in a Magic Dictionary and you discover that saying 'abracadabra' 12 times when standing on your head causes the thing to come into existence. Sadly, real life doesn't work like that.
The most common definition of work in Western thought, found in nearly every period with recorded writing on the subject, is that work is inherently disagreeable and instrumentally valuable.
That is a description. It is not a definition. The fact is sex and taking a dump have also been described that way. I personally find neither disagreeable at all.
It is disagreeable because it is an expenditure of energy (contrast this with leisure), and it is instrumentally valuable because we care only about the products of our labour, not the process of labouring itself.
Economists came to understand that 'disutility' represented 'opportunity cost'- i.e. the best alternative foregone. Let us suppose I am paid a thousand dollars an hour to eat pepperoni pizza while having sex with a nice looking woman. I feel this is a good job. Then I am offered a hundred thousand dollars to eat caviar while ploughing a super-model. Sadly, I can't break my contract. I now look upon my work as a menial chore. My 'disutility' has increased though nothing 'intrinsic' has changed. More simply, the fact that I am contractually obligated to eat pizza while fucking is now a 'bad job' because the good job is better paid and has better perks.
On this view, work has little to recommend it, and we would do better to minimise our time spent doing it.
Which is what drives technological innovation and productivity growth.
A theory of work based on this definition would probably say that good jobs pay a lot (in exchange for work’s disagreeableness) and are performed for as little time as possible.
No it wouldn't. Economists have a good theory of work. They are smart- at least when compared to philosophers.
But this is not the only definition at our disposal. Tucked away in two inconspicuous paragraphs of his book about beauty, the Critique of Judgment (1790), is Immanuel Kant’s definition of work. In a section called ‘On Art in General’, Kant gives a definition of art (Kunst in German) as a subset of our more general capacity for ‘skill’ or ‘craft’ (note that Kant’s definition should not be limited to the fine arts like poetry or painting, which is schöne Künste in German, which he addresses in the following section of the book). In other words, Kant defines art as a particular kind of skilled labour.
No he doesn't. He says that a thing about which judgments are aesthetic (rather than utilitarian) is likely to be a work of Art iff it was produced or discovered and celebrated by humans. Kant then goes on to babble some foolish shite of the type he felt he had been paid to produce. The stupid pedant thought he had a 'good job'.
Kant’s definition of art as skilled labour will direct us to the intrinsic features of work that we ought to include in our conception of good jobs.
So, the only 'good jobs' are those done by artists. Tyler is welcome to take this view. But why the fuck is he studying philosophy instead of doing art? Doesn't he get that he won't be qualified to do any 'good job' if he carries on in this fashion?
Kant defines art using his analytic method, which is a way of getting at what a thing is by distinguishing it from what it is not.
Nonsense! The thing-in-itself can't be got at. Kant thought maybe everybody smart would have the same 'phenomenology' if they bought into his theory. But his theory was shit. Only shitheads bother with it.
His first distinction concerns the difference between things produced by natural forces on the one hand, and things produced by human effort on the other.
This was before Darwin. It turns out Life is produced by Natural forces. What matters is the 'fitness landscape' which features radical Knightian Uncertainty- which is why essentialism or talk of what is 'intrinsic' is useless.
Art, as skilled labour, is an instance of the latter.
Kant lived in a comparatively primitive age. Much of what he considered art was at best interior decoration. In Literature, Pope's Essay was considered great philosophy in Germany. We consider it skilful but not profound. We may be wrong.
He writes:By right we should not call anything art except a production through freedom, ie, through a power of choice that bases its acts on reason.
Fuck that! Kant's more romantic students would have thought the most sublime work of art would be the one the painter produced when under a trance or when possessed by an emanation.
For though we like to call the product that bees make (the regularly constructed honeycombs) a work of art, we do so only by virtue of an analogy with art; for as soon as we recall that their labour is not based on any rational deliberation on their part, we say at once that the product is a product of their nature (namely, of instinct).
What great rational deliberation was involved in the creation of the Opera or of Symphonic Music or the Ballet? The fact is the ancient Greeks had statues of naked dudes before they had philosophers standing around discussing what made a particular sculptor better than others.
Kant was a stupid man but his backward part of the world was trying to rise by reading Scottish authors who wanted Scotland to catch up with the South of England, Holland, etc.
The capacity that allows humans to create art is our freedom, our ‘power of choice’.
Nonsense! Plenty of great art was created by slaves. Not having your head chopped off if you failed to please your patron was a powerful motivator to create something beautiful rather than boring.
This is what distinguishes human labour, which is free, from the labour of the bees, which Kant will go on to say is ‘constrained’ or ‘mechanical’.
Kant wasn't talking about the serfs or the slaves or the shop-keepers or others of the middling sort. Under an enlightened despot, some 'beamten'- senior government employees including Professors- should have more intellectual or aesthetic freedom so as to do 'catch up' growth.
What enables humans to produce freely is that they raise their object in the ideal world first, as a concept or purpose in consciousness, before raising their object in the real world.
Nobody bothers to do any such shite, though there was a time when poetasters may have pretended otherwise. The result was turgid shite.
This is what Kant means when he says that our act, our labour, is ‘base[d] … on reason’. Bees do not have this capacity for purposive activity,
But they are purposive whereas lots of stupid shit was done- in Revolutionary France- in the name of reason. The fact is reason is only arbitrarily linked to purpose or, to put it another way, no purpose is associated with category theoretical 'naturality'
which is why we do not consider their products works of art, but merely effects of nature. For the bee, the honeycomb is a product of instinct.
We may just as easily say that Art and Philosophy are products of instinct. All societies seem to have some such thing.
The bee has no choice but to produce according to the standards it has been given by nature.
Kant had no choice but to write stupid shite because his subject was nonsense.
Since humans have the ‘power of choice’, we are ‘free’ to produce according to any concept or standard we desire. This means that, if we want, we can produce according to the bee’s standard (a point Karl Marx will go on to make in his 1844 Manuscripts).
We wondered why Tyler was so much against promiscuous 'gig economies'. It turns out the bee in his bonnet was an actual bee. The drones do no work and have sex with the Queen- right? That's naughty. Good jobs involve climbing ladders, or flying around, rather than having sex.
Already then, we can see that Kant gives us a preliminary philosophy of work
This simply isn't true. Kant could have tried to build on Adam Smith's work, as he had on Hume's, but he couldn't because he came from a backward place. Smith had been in France and had talked to top financial officials. Thus Kant stuck with armchair philosophy of a retarded type.
with his distinction between art (as skilled labour) and nature. Skilled labour is essentially purposive.
So is shitting.
The product of our labour is based on a purpose,
as is the product of our taking a piss
and this purpose makes possible the product in a way that brute nature could not.
Whereas brute nature can easily do any of the 'non-purposive' things we do to idle away the time. That's why you often see elephants playing compute games while flamingos attend cocktail parties to exchange polite chit-chat.
To identify human labour with purposiveness is to highlight the importance of thinking in the labour process.
Writing a sentence like this highlights the complete absence of thinking in the budding philosopher's 'process'. Work is related to the provision of a good or service. That defines its purpose though, obviously, some work will mis-fire or be counterproductive.
Unlike the animal, for whom labour is a mere effect of nature,
there are plenty of 'working' animals- e.g. sniffer dogs at airports. Humans have been delegating some tasks to animals for tens of thousands of years.
human labour is a product of thinking and acting, in coordination with each other.
Police dogs think and act as do horses etc.
The more our thoughts and plans are reflected in the product of our labour, the more ‘human’ our labour is.
To whom? If we are human, our labour is human. If we are a dog, it is doggie labour.
This insight has deep implications for the question of what makes work good,
only in the shallow mind of a cretin.
especially in light of capitalism’s division between the planning and the execution of labour.
There is no such division. Perhaps this nutter is thinking of GOSPLAN in the Soviet Union. Plenty of labourers were executed under Stalin.
In a typical Capitalist enterprise, there is a Managing Director who has a budget and makes various contingent plans and who directs operations in the hope of making a profit. If 'scope and scale' economies are available, manufacturing may be brought under one roof. If not, why not let people do the work in their own cottages? They are welcome to manage themselves.
In capitalism, most workers are permitted to execute only their bosses’ purpose at work.
No. Under all regimes, an 'on-site' worker is only permitted to do what he is told to do and to wear what he is told to wear. But if the guy works from home he is permitted to go around naked. He is paid for the quality of his work-product not his attendance or obedience.
They themselves do not determine what purpose to execute. Using Kant’s language, we might say that most workers do not have ‘the power of choice’ at work.
Kant did not use such language about workers in his own era. Serfdom in Prussia still existed.
Workers can choose to quit but their 'power of choice' is not more or les constrained that that of customers. I am not welcome to get naked in McDonalds though I don't work there.
Rather, that power resides exclusively with their bosses. This makes many workers mere animals at work,
which animals? Aardvarks? That would be cool.
since what is produced is ‘not based on any rational deliberation on their part’.
Sadly, most jobs require some 'rational deliberation'. If a sweeper tries to sweep the boss, he is sacked. He needed to use his reason to distinguish between the floor and a human being standing on the floor. Aardvarks, on the other hand, are considered to act in a cute and funny way when they try to hoover up any ants that might happen to be up the boss's skirt.
So, while labour in capitalism is determined by some purpose (ie, the bosses’), it is importantly not the workers’ purpose.
But this is also true of labour under Communism. The difference is, under the latter, you may get shot for being a saboteur or a Zionist agent or something of that sort.
Take a look at some of the more prominent theories of good jobs and you will be hard pressed to find any reference to purposiveness.
You will also be hard pressed to find any reference to respiration. Workers who forget to breathe in and then breathe out are at risk of suffocation.
That is because the modern organisation of work is so thoroughly structured by this division of labour into purposive planning by management on the one hand, and brute execution by workers on the other,
This was also true of the traditional organisation of work. How does Tyler think the Pyramids were built? It is a different matter that 'monetization' has replaced 'subsistence' type near autarky across great swathes of the globe.
that it is often taken for granted. The strictness of this division may vary by workplace, but the very idea of management presupposes the categories of planner and executor.
We all make plans which we ourselves execute. It is convenient for us to use recipes or directions written down by experts in specific fields.
Yet, here we see that such an organisation of work prevents many of us from exercising our distinctly human capacity for purposive activity, making our work feel ‘constrained’ and ‘mechanical’ rather than ‘free’.
This cretin is writing in a mechanical manner without any 'application of mind'. To be human is to be distinctly human. We don't become less or more human if we feel our work is boring or liberating or or abiding philosophical value.
Within the domain of things produced through human effort, Kant makes a further distinction between things that can be produced merely by following pre-given rules, and those that require some kind of judgment or creativity. Kant calls the former ‘scientific’ and the latter ‘technical’.
Tyler pretended he cared about 'good jobs' for Joe Lunch-bucket. He lied about Kant having said something interesting in this context. But, it turns out Kant was only interested in smart scientists, reduplicating experiments or using mathematical techniques, and highly skilled technicians- e.g. expert metallurgists or agronomists- useful to the 'enlightened despot'.
Art, as skilled labour, is technical. He continues:Art, as human skill, is also distinguished from science ([ie, we distinguish] can from know), as practical from theoretical ability, as technic from theory (eg, the art of surveying from geometry). That is exactly why we refrain from calling anything art that we can do the moment we know what is to be done, ie, the moment we are sufficiently acquainted with what the desired effect is. Only if something [is such that] even the most thorough acquaintance with it does not immediately provide us with the skill to make it, then to that extent it belongs to art.
All of which has nothing to do with 'good jobs'. Holding the family of the scientist or technologist may yield superior results to leaving the fellow free to pursue whatever project takes his fancy.
Art is distinguished from science because in order to engage in artistic production, we need more than a theoretical understanding of what we are trying to produce.
Not really. One may say 'Alexander Pope was more of a scientist than an artist. His poetry is algorithmic'. Equally one may say 'Einstein was a poet, not a scientist.' But this is merely a manner of speaking with little utility.
There is a gap between ‘know[ing] what is to be done’ and our actual ability to do it.
Which is why Chemistry is separate from Physics.
Art, in other words, involves productive indeterminacy.
Everything does- even having a wank.
Kant’s idea that art is productively indeterminate is a consequence of his claim that: ‘There can be no objective rule of taste, no rule of taste that determines by concepts what is beautiful.’
There can be an objective rule. The problem is that it will be arbitrary. This does not mean there can't be a consensus that it holds for some useful purpose. Thus, it was appropriate for the
For our painter, this means that the process by which she paints something beautiful cannot be codified in rules.
Sadly, for any given purpose, there probably is just such an algorithm. Ultimately, there would have to be an 'arms race' between AI art and AI art critics of exactly the type which saw every genre of modern painting reaching peak market penetration just when it was recognized as meretricious trash.
Rather, she must use her ‘genius’, Kant’s term for our ‘talent for producing something for which no determinate rule can be given’.
The problem with dragging in words like 'genius' or 'soul-force' or 'sublime' or 'celestial' is that any alethic content our comment might have evaporates completely. The thing is purely imperative. One might as well say 'Van Gogh is God!' 'Salvador Dali was a stupid poseur!'
As Kant might say, ‘even the most thorough acquaintance with [the manual] does not immediately [fix the bike]’
That depends on the manual. If it was written by a genius maybe it can fix the bike while teaching you to love your abusive step-son.
At first glance, the art-science distinction does not seem relevant to the question of work.
Nor at second glance. You have to be very very stupid to see any fucking connection.
Composing the electrical wiring of a home can be taught by rules in a way that composing a beautiful poem cannot.
I have seen plenty of such 'ritigranths' for poetry. Following them would indeed have won you accolades at the time just as, at present, a poem describing your rape by your uncle written in your own shit while incarcerated for protesting climate change would win you accolades- save perhaps from that comatose uncle of yours.
Perhaps this is where our artistic concept of work breaks down. Kant disagrees, citing shoemaking as a kind of work that falls on the ‘art’ side of the art-science distinction. The implication is that any kind of work that involves indeterminacy in how to produce the object in question has an artistic element.
No. The implication is that a skilled shoemaker can make an elderly pedant a pair of shoes which turn out to be comfortable and water-proof. Stuff like that matters as you get older.
Consider Matthew Crawford’s example of the motorcycle mechanic in his essay ‘Shop Class as Soulcraft’ (2006): a mechanic must check the condition of a starter clutch on a decrepit 50-year-old motorcycle. In order to do so, however, he must remove the engine covers, which are fastened with screws that are stripped. Drilling out the screws risks damaging the engine. ‘The factory service manuals tell you to be systematic in eliminating variables,’ Crawford writes, ‘but they never take such factors into account.’
In India, the mechanic can't fucking read. But he can keep a fifty year old car or bike on the road better and more cheaply than any American. We call it jugaad. This doesn't mean the Indian mechanic wouldn't have been a lot better off working on an assembly line in Detroit.
Crawford’s mechanic may know what ‘the desired effect’ is – fix the bike – but the way to achieve that effect is not fully specified by any set of rules he has when he starts working. The mechanic lacks, in Kant’s words, ‘the skill to make it’.
No. A good mechanic can 'make it' but he will tell you that there are trade-offs. The resale value of a collector's item falls if you don't use original parts. But there is always a way to make the thing work. I recall some thirty years ago when some venture capitalists went out to India to buy antique cars. They were running fine, but they were held together by jugaad.
He might have great familiarity with the motorcycle service manuals, but as Kant might say, ‘even the most thorough acquaintance with [the manual] does not immediately provide us with the skill to [fix the bike].’
Similarly, even the most thorough acquaintance with the Kama Sutra can't turn you into a great lover if- like me- you are a fat fuck with little stamina. Also, there is the problem of getting a woman involved.
There are practical problems – problems of implementation, of contingent and unpredictable environments – that cannot be grasped scientifically (ie, theoretically) prior to production. This means they cannot be taught by a manual, a supervisor, or a master craftsman, but must be learned firsthand. It is the difference between ‘knowing’ about something and the ‘practical ability’ of performing it.
How is this relevant to the paucity of 'good jobs'? Guys who have 'genius' or great skill and the ability to innovate or improvise can set up on their own. Joe Lunch-bucket just needs a place he can get away with the wife eight hours a day, five days a week, which enables him to buy her nice things so she puts up with him the rest of the time.
The term I have been using to describe the kind of practical problems one encounters at work is ‘productive indeterminacy’.
Which is when you call the supervisor. Anyway, that type of indeterminacy exists in every walk of life- including having a wank.
Kant’s distinction between art and science tells us that work – which falls on the ‘art’ side of the distinction – is productively indeterminate because the process of working cannot be exhausted by explicit instruction.
Nonsense! Kant didn't think menial or routine work was either 'artistic' or 'scientific'. True, a particular shoe-maker who gets that an old man is likely to have developed certain typical problems with his feet can make allowances and make a pair of shoes the fellow will find comfortable. But we also know that expert cooks or dressmakers or hair-dressers who understand that we are ageing and who know how to make us feel good about ourselves aren't really 'geniuses'. It's just that what they are, in a discreet manner, doing for us, enables us to keep our routine for a decade or two longer than would otherwise be the case.
Put another way, there is always a gap between, on the one hand, the rules and instructions for how to perform one’s work and, on the other, what is required to actually produce the desired product or service.
In a 'good job' you are paid provided you followed the rules even if the desired product or service was not delivered. That is why a tenured job as a Philosophy Professor is a 'good job' though it makes your students stupider and more ignorant. It is a different matter that we might say this entire industry should be shut down as it does not enhance social welfare. But, looking at the 'opportunity cost' of studying philosophy we might find that it is minimal. If these guys weren't studying stupid shit they would be doing yet stupider shit.
Here the similarity to Kant’s artist comes into relief. When the artist sets out to make something beautiful, she is faced with the productive indeterminacy of knowing the outcome to be achieved yet having no rules to follow to achieve it.
So what? All this means is that she should adopt a piecemeal approach. Is the rough sketch beautiful? No? Stop and try again. But there is a similar rule in industrial econ or operations research.
Instead of following rules, she must use her judgment to reflect on (Kant’s term) which rules – the artistic techniques, styles, etc – are best suited to the outcome she desires. In Kant’s words, she must use her ‘genius’.
Tyler was lying when he said Kant had something to say to help the country's unemployed. Kant was only interested in geniuses. What is the point of saying we should create good jobs for Joe Lunch-bucket based on the fact that he is actually Picasso.
It is the same with our worker. Reconsider the motorcycle mechanic. The mechanic has a suite of ‘rules’ – common techniques and tests – he learns as an apprentice. But, when faced with an actual motorcycle, he must reflect on which of these rules and techniques to apply to an indeterminate work environment.
No. He should imitate what the other guys are doing. Mimetics matters in most jobs. 'Reflecting on rules and techniques' does not.
At the outset, the mechanic does not know in fact which technique is correct. He must use his judgment to figure out which is most appropriate given the circumstances.
No. He must rely on the judgment of the guy training or supervising him. Tyler doesn't understand that even illiterate people become apprentices and then learn a particular skill to an expert level.
And it isn’t just manual labour that requires judgment and creativity.
Very true. Even sex works requires judgment, creativity and a PhD in the Philosophy of Kantian Prostitution.
All jobs have indeterminacies that cannot be resolved through mere rule-following.
A lot of 'good jobs' in the Civil Service do. You can't get sacked if you followed the rules.
The psychodynamic theory of work, a prominent thesis about work in contemporary French social theory, argues that ‘no amount of prescription, however substantial or refined, can foresee all the possible variations in the concrete, real context in which the [work] is to be performed.’
So what? All that matters is whether spending time and money on 'prescription' more than pays for itself.
For the proponents of the psychodynamic theory, adjusting for these ‘variations’ is just the quintessential experience of working.
Yet, nobody who has actually done a job thinks so. You do what you are told or you do what the smart people are doing or you do as little as you can get away with.
What does Kant’s idea of productive indeterminacy – drawn from his distinction of art from science – tell us about good work?
Nothing. It applies to wanking not to stuff you get paid to do
According to Kant, overcoming productive indeterminacy through judgment rather than rule-following is an essential part of what it means to work.
No. Kant didn't think that the serfs in the fields were overcoming shit of a cognitive type.
The use of judgment at work makes our labour feel free, creative and deliberative.
Judges have to send people to jail. Do they really feel free or creative?
If, on the other hand, our judgment at work is blocked, our work can feel less ‘playful’ and artistic, and more ‘mercenary’ (a distinction Kant makes in the next paragraph).
This may be important to an Ayn Rand type architect or a transgender dress designer who believes everybody should chop their tits off. It doesn't apply to any of the types of jobs poor people need. On the other hand, it is true that a lot of American police officers do feel they should be allowed to shoot people if they think those people might possibly be black. This is a matter of 'playful' and 'artistic' freedom. Sadly, a black officer was sent to jail for shooting a white lady jogger who scared him when he was sitting in his car. Thus, from his point of view, she was black and male and desperately needed a hole in the head.
That any one particular job involves a lot of rule-following need not be troubling for our account of good work. Some socially necessary jobs simply don’t require a lot of judgment, or can be performed only when standardised. Trash collection appears to have both of these features. It makes sense that regulations for trash collection – whether to pick up, eg, construction waste – across an entire city ought to be determined by a central agency, rather than by individual sanitation workers.
Nonsense! An economist would say, 'local workers should set rates for different types of waste'. This is 'allocatively efficient' because the central agency faces a mathematically intractable problem in information aggregation and setting optimal rates. This is because of 'interdependence' in the relevant cost matrix.
If Kant is right, the standardisation of trash collection may make such work feel tedious.
It is tedious. Fuck is wrong with this nutter?
But this need not mean that trash collection is simply ‘bad work’.
It is great work if you can do it from 5 AM to 10 AM and get paid the average wage. Lots of novelists and artists and so on worked on 'the bins' after they left College so as to have the leisure to produce their masterwork.
Recall that the use of judgment is not the only desideratum of good work.
It is not a desideratum at all. I don't want to have to send people to prison or, even worse, release crazy serial killers on a technicality.
In exchange for performing socially necessary but tedious work, sanitation workers would ideally be compensated with additional pay, benefits, and safe and regular working conditions.
Or not. Supply and Demand are all that matters. If we are starving, we don't give a shit about garbage in the streets. Indeed, we may ourselves be shitting in the streets. We can't afford to pay for food, let alone policemen and garbage collectors and so forth.
The problem with rule-following, however, is that the modern organisation of work appears to reduce, in general, the level of judgment required by workers. Managers regulate the labour process in the name of efficiency and standardisation, but in doing so they appropriate many of the decisions workers would have otherwise made. Put another way, management transforms workers from judgers to rule-followers.
But management is being disintermediated by cheap, ubiquitous, monitoring technology. This means rules get disintermediated by results. You can see this happening in the 'gig economy'. Initially, there are a lot of rules for contractors because Head Office has taken legal advise. Then, once there is a big enough data set to see that what is most profitable is just focusing on customer welfare. You can jurisdiction shop or obfuscate ownership so as to reduce compliance costs.
The most extreme way you might become a rule-follower at work is if your job is scientifically managed. The central idea of Frederick Taylor’s scientific management is that managers of labour, not the labourers themselves, ought to control the labour process to the greatest extent possible.
No. His idea was that a special type of 'time and motion' study could raise productivity even further. Manufacturing was already highly regimented. What followed was studies which showed that quality control could rise, absenteeism and attrition could fall, repetitive stress injury etc. could be reduced by doing all sorts of things which made work more enjoyable or less draining. Nobody told Tyler about this.
‘The work of every workman,’ Taylor writes, ‘is fully planned out by the management … and each man receives … complete written instructions, describing in detail the task which he is to accomplish, as well as the means to be used in doing the work.’
But Taylorism could be used in India where the workers were illiterate. The point of having Taylor type manuals was that it made easier for the next bunch of consultants who came along. In other words, Taylorism was important because it professionalized a new profession which already existed in an ad hoc manner. The smart typist who joins the firm at 16 can be mentored in 'Work Study' by the time she is 20 and can become a profit centre for the Department as a consultant.
Taylor’s vision of a scientifically managed workforce
was based on what had already existed for a century
is one in which management decides ahead of time exactly what work to do and how to do it. But such control over the labour process leaves the worker with little to do but follow management’s rules. Importantly, scientific management tries to anticipate any and all indeterminacies in the labour process and incorporate them into the workers’ instructions ahead of time. This means it is the manager, not the worker, who gets to use their judgment at work. The result is that workers are faced with less productive indeterminacy, and are robbed of whatever opportunities for judgment and creativity their work once afforded them.
No. You can have Quality Circles and so forth. Taylorism was very popular in the Soviet Union. Anarchists too thought that Worker's Councils would do Taylorism better than Corporations. Sadly, workers preferred to slack off or steal anything they could get their hands on.
Such scientific management of labour is still, as Harry Braverman writes in Labor and Monopoly Capital (1974),
Fuck is wrong with Tyler? Why quote a book from 50 years ago?
the ‘bedrock of all work design’, even if the term ‘Taylorism’ has fallen out of fashion in management circles. You can find its most extreme forms in Emily Guendelsberger’s
who had to take shitty jobs at Amazon, McDonalds etc when the paper she worked for closed. Still, she had a college degree and, clearly, had been mollycoddled somewhat. I had a friend who was a commodity trader who had to take shitty jobs for a couple of years after his firm went bankrupt. He didn't like the work or the pay but had no problem with having limited bathroom breaks. This is because he was well educated. The purpose of Skool and Collidge is to get you to control your need to shit, piss, knife people, or gossip about sex. These are actually work skills.
investigation of low-wage work in On the Clock (2019), but you don’t need to go to an Amazon warehouse or a McDonald’s kitchen to see its effects.
You could go to a dealing floor and see guys in expensive suits working just as hard and showing equal focus on their job.
Even highly coveted jobs have elements of scientific management, like sales jobs with pre-written scripts and quotas.
This was news to Tyler. He thought the girls at McDonalds smiled at him coz they liked him. When they said 'have a nice day', it was because they lurved him.
Importantly, in these jobs, managers exercise their judgment ahead of time
because management requires foresight
so workers don’t have to.
But they need to understand that if their employer is shitty he is likely to go bust. It is a good idea to switch to a better firm while you already have a job in your hand.
Freedom and discretion at work have always been sources of conflict between labour and management.
No, but agitators may make them sources of conflict so as to extract a rent. Equally, middle management can worsen conditions for workers, thus affecting productivity, till they are given a better deal.
Just look at the history of the labour movement and you will find countless examples of conflict over who determines the work process.
The history of the labour movement shows there is no fucking labour movement unless agitators can extract a rent. But this can kill the golden goose.
Yet this conflict seldom informs our theories of good jobs.
Because we are informed by something better- e.g. actual Labour Economics.
Kant’s idea that workers must resolve productive indeterminacies by judging rather than following rules fixes this.
How? Suppose I'm a postman. I follow the rule 'ring twice' for 'recorded delivery'. The customer may say 'the postman should have gone round the back and checked if I was in the garden'. Maybe, I should use my judgment doing stuff of this sort but the fact is, mate, I just don't get paid enough. Fuck you and the Kant you rode in on.
Of course, work that involves judgment is not enough. A job with opportunities for judgment but terrible pay is no better than its converse
Pay is all that counts. If you are having to use your judgment a lot then it is easier to dismiss you for cause.
But Kant’s theory urges us to be sceptical of the call for ‘more jobs’ if no consideration is given to what those jobs will be like.
Why be sceptical of unemployed peeps saying we'd like there to be more employers clamouring for our service? It is in their direct interest that this happen. If an economy has a lot of unmet labour demand because wages and standards of living are so high- that's a good thing. No doubt, people who want to pay peanuts for butlers and valets will be unhappy. But why give a fuck about them?
Currently, because technology based Knightian uncertainty has increased, what sort of investment and what sort of industries should we encourage so as to increase the supply of good jobs?
One answer is to find a high valuing niche and create a Marshallian industrial district on the basis of a localized 'Tiebout model' or fiscal mix. But a disruptive technology could wipe the thing out. Consider the quartz crisis for Switzerland. True, the Swiss managed to ride it out but they had enormous financial resources. The average 'industrial district' can't do this more particularly if it has Bolshie trade unions. What about a 'worker's participation' based 'Mittelstand' model? That worked for Germany- right? Maybe. There was an 'accelerator' effect because China had an enormous appetite for Capital goods. But that was catch-up growth. Germany hasn't yet really had to deal with truly disruptive tech. Japan, of course, has great 'duality' (i.e. huge productivity gap between the big guys and the SMEs) That problem seems to be getting worse.
For America, the problem remains migration- both internal and external. Maybe, global warming will reverse the flight to the non-unionized South. But we don't know if any high value adding sector. What happens if the Global Intellectual Property regime collapses completely along with 'exorbitant privilege'? Suddenly knowledge is only as valuable as its encryption. But hacking can be done from everywhere.
No doubt, for a decade or even two decades, a coalition can be cobbled together such that 'Dad's lads' have good jobs with some of those jobs allowing you to exercise your judgment as to whether you want to be a girl today or an aardvark. But these aren't the jobs most people will be doing. They may find a way of disintermediating the coalition of the comfortable and bien pensant.
Kant can certainly help us here- but only if we can identify an enlightened despot who can quickly kill any bunch of people who pose an internal or external threat. Meanwhile, reintroducing serfdom, if not slavery, could help fossilize production techniques such that exogenous shocks only lead to 'quantitative' changes- i.e. a few million die of hunger in a bad year- which is the sort of thing Philosophers have traditionally been totally cool with.
Tyler's essay drew some comments on Aeon to which he responded thus-
the reason most people work is because they have no other options for securing the means of subsistence.
This is false. There is no reason to believe a cunt who says 'the only reason I take a lot of drugs/alcohol or spend a lot of time sodomising little kiddies is because there's just no other way I could cope with the horrific demands of my job/ vocation/ destiny as a drug addled pedophile sociopath who is, like, totes, critiquing Neo-Liberal Patriarchy or some such shit.'
The question is why, where one can live for free in prison or, if Society finds that cheaper, rely on a Social Welfare safety net, a particular person does an ill-paid, high disutility, job. The answer tends to do with reproductive opportunities or the Price equation. Having a job, for a man, may mean getting a wife and kids who know you are their Daddy. For women, it may mean, not having to hand your kids over to Social Services or some Religious Orphanage which will make a profit by selling them off.
More recently, holding down a job which pays above a certain threshold may be a requirement to bring in a bride, or groom, from overseas.
It is foolish to suggest that some Malthusian 'iron law of wages' applies in advanced economies when the thing is wholly absent even in the Third World where the proportion of the population which receives wages is miniscule.
In economies like ours, most people must find a job in order to survive.
Because the unemployed starve- right? The truth is, the unemployable can easily get classified as disabled. But this may affect their reproductive success or life-chances with respect to 'reputation' and other such intangibles.
It is one thing to be on the dole because one is working on one's Rock Opera and is 23 years old. It is another to be on disability and pretending to be a Rocker when you are in your fucking Fifties and are taking a cocktail of pills so as to stay out of the nut-house.
This makes them dependent on the people who offer the jobs - the owners and managers of capital.
Fuck off! The biggest employer is the State. Tax payers- i.e. everybody who buys a six-pack- are the owners of 'Capital'. As for its managers, they are shittier than Donald fucking Trump.
This dependence of workers on bosses is, I suspect, responsible for the kind of abhorrent working situation some of you describe.
None of the commentators described any 'abhorrent working situation' affecting themselves. One guy falsely claimed that Malaysian workers were being fucked over compared to South Korean or Singaporean workers. This simply is not true. Malaysia has always been better for 'workers and peasants' than anywhere else I can think of. That's because Malays are smarter and better than any people I've ever fucking met. I assume this has something to do with Islam. On the other hand, I may simply be expressing a common declasse Tamil sentiment.
It’s also responsible for the lack of agency at work I’m trying to describe in the piece.
Sadly, not having 'work' means not having 'agency'. People work or study or do other non-magical shite because gaining 'agency' means becoming a little bit more fucking grown-up.
That is to say, I think both of the effects we describe come from the same source.
the 'solar anus' of paranoia
Here’s one example that comes to mind.
In the piece I say that bosses appropriate productive indeterminacy for the sake of efficiency.
But Tyler only says this because he is shit at writing English correctly. Bosses 'appropriate' the determinate, not the indeterminate, output of production. They seek to increase that 'determinate' component and, if they succeed, allocative efficiency has indeed done so.
What Tyler, in an ignorant and paranoid manner is getting at is the notion that if all workers were free then, thanks to Magic of Kali Ma'rks, they would produce everything anybody might possibly need while having consensual gay sex with each other and saying 'Boo to Racism and Genderism and Speciesism and the sort of Democracy in which a Trump or a Biden- as opposed to a young Lesbian lizard of Hispainic heritage- can become POTUS.'
Companies will standardize a work process, denying the worker of her judgment, so that her labor is as efficient - and so productive - as possible.
Not if they want to stay competitive. They have to change the work-process- which, speaking generally, can't be standardised beyond a certain point- or else suffer local, and then global, losses. But this was known to the ancient Phoenicians!
They are able to do this because our worker has no other choice.
Your 'worker', my dear Tyler, being an archetypally disabled, transgender, Lesbian whose kids- all goats- are being held captive by a Neo-Liberalism which demands the right to lobotomise proletarians while sodomising them with the suppository of homophobia.
She is relatively powerless compared to her employer, since she needs their salary in order to survive.
We are all relatively powerless compared to the Supermarkets where we buy our food.
But her dependence means that her employer can subject her to other kinds of abhorrent working conditions
they can beat and sodomise her and remove her kidneys one at a time so as to increase their profits
also for the sake of efficiency.
The Capitalists don't 'lay-off' staff or grant 'redundancy payments'. They take those whose productivity has fallen off and turn them into Soylent Green. Wake up Sheeple! You are eating your own proletarian progenitors!
For instance, they may force her to work in an unsafe environment
which is what my wife did when she left me in charge of the baby.
(e.g., if they haven’t provided important safety equipment or given the worker enough rest from strenuous labor),
That's the definition of heterosexual marriage- Tyler dude!
or to take home significantly less money than she generates on behalf of the company.
I didn't even get paid for ploughing my wife. BTW, she divorced me soon enough and later said I had ceased to be 'cute' coz I'd put on weight (which only happened because she was fucking cooking for me and my son!) and, anyway, I am as stupid as shit. Needless to say, she was WHITE. Admittedly, no woman of my own colour would have had sex with me back then- the early Eighties- coz I iz Ugly, Stupid, and have a totes shit Personality. On the other hand, if no actual Africans were present in your native land, I could pass for one such coz I'm about six foot and genuinely darker than a lot of sub-Saharans. But I'm not 'Krishna' coloured. I'm 'Kala' coloured. My complexion is that of a dump you take the morning after you went on a fucking pub-crawl and ended up ordering a phal curry.
This is how I interpret Ian’s examples.
This is the foolish notion that Malaysian workers are being gypped. The fact is that country, thanks to the Brits, was a fucking paradise for ordinary peeps. You then had real smart politicians who just went on raising the material living standard of the 'bhumiputra' Malay, which turned out to be great for the Tamil or Hakka.
The handsome and charismatic Dr. Mahatir put the fucking boot into Soros back in 1998. Malaysia was the first Democratic country to boycott Biden's 'Democracy Summit'. Why? Biden had been Veep when the majority of the 1.3 million Muslims we killed in our 'War against Terror' were most inexcusably and randomly killed.
For Trent, Malaysia is just a 'shithole' inhabited by slightly darker peeps. It is nothing of the sort. BTW, Vivek Ramaswamy is plenty darker than any Malay. Yet, Trent's own peeps may vote for him. Why? The guy gets that if America loses to China in cutting edge-tech, then Beijing can force any part of America to embrace 'austerity'.
Indeed, a decade or two from now, Tyler might have a choice between teaching CCP approved philosophy or being 're-educated'.
It is not an inherent feature of Malaysian jobs that workers get paid $340 for every $1000 they produce.
Malaysian workers, like all workers, 'add value'. They don't produce it. Marx's 'Labour theory of Value' was a stupid misunderstanding of a particular political argument in England- viz. even the Aristocrats would be better off without the 'Corn Laws'. The problem was, as even Jews smarter than Ricardo, let alone the drunkard Marx, acknowledged at that time, was that the indigenous population would lose 'moral economy' type entitlements. Indeed, once this was reversed, sentiment against immigrants increased. That's why England first restricted Jewish immigration before following Germany down the path to 'Universal' Social Insurance or non-universal, purely parochial, entitlement.
One should remember 'Kristallnacht' was a response to a stupid Polish Jew killing a Homosexual German Diplomat to protest deportation of illegal Jewish immigration.
Rather, it is the product of the dependence of workers on companies myopically focused on efficiency and productivity.
Tyler is myopically focused on getting a PhD in useless shite. But to whom will we impart it? Geese?
In situations like this, you should expect to find unsafe and underpaid work in addition to work that is reduced to its simplest operations and which involves little judgment.
Tyler's metier involves a wholly antagonomic judgment. It is a farewell to reality. But why should tax-payers subsidize his hegira into ontological dysphoria? Only if the cunt is saying he needs his dick chopped off might we rally together to finance the thing.
SECOND POST SCRIPT
Tyler aint young. He is bald. Fuck! He probably did his PhD while serving time under RICO.
That's cool. Criminals give me a wide berth. You have to actually be a chicken, rather than just come across as chicken, in order to get plucked.
Why is this illiterate cunt writing this ignorant shite in Aeon? How fucking Racist is that 'organ'?