Sections V.4E and V.4F of II.1 (“The Problem of Scale (Part 1)”)

Disabling Phenomenology, Shadows of Former Selves, and Deviant Skills

O.G. Rose
23 min readOct 24, 2023

In Honor of a 2023 Parallax Course

Frozen Glory Photography


As technology and professionalism are treated as the sources of legitimization and “goods” for a society, the citizenship increasingly turns to experts to determine “right courses of action,” which would be fine if people were “experts” relative to their mastery of Rhetoric. But experts of Discourse are those who direct society in a “low order” fashion, and this suggests why ‘as society gives professionals the legitimacy to define rights, citizen freedoms evaporate.’⁶⁰² We become “masters” in having access to experts and technology, but this ironically means we are powerless (exactly as Hegel warned with his “master-slave dialectic”), which might contribute to us losing empowerment and motivation, contributing to “The Great Stagnation.” Paradoxically, as we become more habituated to relying on experts and technology, we actually become more needy, but we often overlook this “neediness” precisely because we seem to gain efficiency and expertise. This in mind, ‘[t]he only way to prevent the escalation of needs is a fundamental, political exposure of those illusions that legitimize dominating professions,’ which is to say we need to recognize Rhetoric over Discourse — Discourse has seemingly disabled us from being capable of doing.⁶⁰³

But isn’t it arrogant and foolish to speak against experts and technology? I mean, they’re experts — who do we think we are? ‘Is it not perverse to denigrate the very people who have painfully acquired the knowledge to recognize and service our needs for welfare?’⁶⁰⁴ Aren’t we prideful fools? And aren’t I using a laptop right now to type this work? Fair questions, but we should first note that ‘[t]he arguments implicit in these questions are frequently advanced to disrupt and discredit public analysis of the disabling effects of industrial welfare systems which focus on services.’⁶⁰⁵ However, if the questions are not used as weapons and genuine, we can start replying to them by noting that Illich is not against the existence of experts, but against defining an expert almost exclusively as someone who “manages” or “uses a technology.” We don’t readily associate the term “expert” with someone skilled in something that a machine could do or a company be hired to take care of — we might instead think of the person as irrational and somewhat silly to master what could be outsourced. This is what Illich resists, as he resists assuming that we are irrational unless we involve technology in our production. It is an ethos and zeitgeist that Illich opposes, for it organically and gradually organizes us in favor of (self-effacing) Discourse at the expense of Rhetoric. Furthermore, it is a game Artificial Intelligence will ultimately win.

Audio Summary

Why is this ethos so problematic? It disables people and makes them dependent, and even if I could call a mechanic to fix my car, by having the ability to fix it, I am more able to deal with the situation of a broken car. There is much talk today on the importance of decentralization in currency, but we see here a possible “decentralization of ability” that Illich realizes is missing in favor of a “centralization of ability” in experts and technology. Since this has occurred, people are then dependent on those systems and more likely to go through life afraid precisely because they are disabled, and then the only way to address those fears is to turn to the system to help. And so the system causes us to live afraid which we then must turn to the system to overcome (a dynamic discussed in “Concerning Epistemology” by O.G. Rose), which is to say the “centralization of abilities” changes our entire experience of the world to favor the system and Discourse. This brings to mind what Ivan Illich discusses involving water, which has become ‘an observed fluid that has lost the ability to mirror the water of dreams.’⁶⁰⁶ ‘Water can no more be observed,’ he adds, ‘it can only be imagined, by reflecting on an occasional drop or a humble puddle’ — but unfortunately we may have also lost imagination (considering “The Great Stagnation”), meaning we are trapped in a world of H20 (without really being “trapped,” because we cannot imagine anything different (thankfully?)).⁶⁰⁷ Illich here is not saying that water isn’t H20, but that we’ve lost the ability to see things as “two things at once” (a capacity to perceptive paradox that seems required for creativity and honoring “lack”); at the same time, he writes on fire that ‘the fact that we cannot separate our experience of passion from the element of fire and cannot imagine fire without passion in no way implies that the two are at all times perceived as versions of the same principle,’ which means we should not reduce both of these experiences to say “causality”; rather, we should be able to see in a flame both the principles of “causality” and “creation,” science and poetry, etc. at once.⁶⁰⁸ ⁶⁰⁹

Everything in the world under Discourse becomes “low order” ‘stuff’ which ‘is a-historical’ and ‘has no history’: the possibility of “many waters” or “many versions of a thing” is lost before the empirical facticity of H20.⁶¹⁰ Everything furthermore becomes ‘scarce and that calls for technical management,’ and indeed, without creativity, renewable energy, and “intrinsic motivation” (the things of Rhetoric), everything is scarce, and “rationally” in response to that scarcity we turn to management which trains us into habits of Discourse that make that scarcity worse — causing a self-feeding cycle (all under Affliction).⁶¹¹ This is a consequence of misidentifying “fundamental value” as not “a dialectic of energy/creativity,” as we’ve discussed, and it results in “what’s fundamental to an economy” being something like gold, “trust,” or something else which is managed by experts like bankers or politicians. We ourselves cannot participate in what produces “fundamental value,” and so in this way without the dialectic we become disabled. We cannot add value to H20 by thinking of it as “water,” per se, and this is a significant problem if ‘water [is] needed for dreaming city as a dwelling place.’⁶¹²

For a world of “low order stuff,” all we need is causality and Discourse; if there was “high order stuff,” we might need creation and Rhetoric, but such is the not the case under a worldview in which there is “H20” but not “water.” Whether in terms of fear or “H20,” our very experience of the world has shifted to favor Discourse and management by experts and technology, and if they define the metric of “successful management” as “increasing comfort,” then as long as we head toward a “Rat Utopia” (John Calhoun), their legitimacy and trustworthiness increases in our (trained) eyes (yes, our mental health worsens, but we have experts for that, and experts with “secret/technical knowledge” is all we need). In addition to seeing the world in terms of fear and raw facticity (H20), there is also the problem of seeing everything in terms of “price” and hence “monetary incentives.” If I see cars as “worth $40,000” primarily before I see them as beautiful, functional, usable, enabling, etc., then I can habituate myself to thinking in terms of “someone would be incentivized to buy that at $40,000, especially less.” My incentive for interacting and engaging with things is not relative to my sense of how they can “extend my humanity” relative to the skills and abilities I have (which I lack, being disabled), but rather in terms of “what is a good deal” or “a fair value.” This places my perception in the realm of economics and markets, which habituates me to favor “the expert class” of economists and businesspeople. Not necessarily, but if I lack any “high order” or Rhetorical training (which can help me pay Attention to if I’m thinking of everything only in terms of price), then I’m likely to lack a dialectic in my mind that can help me avoid falling completely into Discourse. Furthermore, I’m also likely to be trained to think that something which cannot be priced or sold is somehow “less real” than what can, and this will habituate me to contribute to Discourse against those who work to “enable” themselves outside the system. In this way, overly-considering pricing can lead to me seeking “bestowing” from prices and to be “dragged out of Plato’s Cave” by them (when they ironically are the Cave, the Affliction — perhaps the Cave only works to keep some people stuck if it seems to promise that someone will come “drag them out”).

Fear, “autonomous facticity,” “autonomous pricing” — all of these can habituate us into Discourse and away from helping cultivate the environment in which people can be conditioned into “intrinsic motivation.” On the topic of pricing, it would seem that monetary incentives, in a society lacking creativity, might not incentivize creativity and so market sustainability, but materialism and market self-implosion (via Discourse). If incentives only direct individuals to produce or consume, rather than create and recycle, wealth can be distributed until it runs out versus created and multiplied. Capitalism requires not only incentives to produce and consume, but also incentives to create and creatively recycle, which is to say it requires Rhetoric. Creative incentives tend to be self-created, so a free environment that encourages and cultivates “intrinsic motivation” is necessary for a Capitalistic system (versus the socioeconomic environment of America today that labels the creative as reckless, insensitive, and impractical) — a point on which we will consider “shadow work” again.⁶¹³

Jerry Brown, the Government of California as of 2013, recalls how his friend Ivan Illich was ‘radical because he went to the root of things,’ which is to say ‘he strove to open up cracks in the certitudes of our modern worldview.’⁶¹⁴ Without this, we might think we are advancing, but our metric by which we determine advancement could be wrong. ‘How often the hand of the clock advances depends on the language of the ciphers on the quadrant,’ after all.⁶¹⁵ As we’ve been discussing, a critical certainty Illich critiqued was our “culture of management,” which funny enough (in line with his concern that the modern world was a corrupted Christianity) Illich possibly saw (while trying to avoid ‘an anachronistic projection’) in changes in the Church which lead to members ‘act[ing] as public officials’ who ‘engaged in preaching at ritual occasions and had to preside at functions’ — in other words, members of the church began having “special functions” (like ‘the state provided for the administration of justice’), much like our experts today found in ‘the teacher, social worker, or educator.’⁶¹⁶ As Sajay Samuel puts it, ‘priests became pastors by defining their ‘own services as needs of human nature’ and by linking salvation to the obligatory consumption of those services’ — and so a move was made that the State embodies to this day.⁶¹⁷

It would be another topic, but I find it interesting how much attention Illich places on the loss of language as contributing to our “culture of expertise” and “centralized skill,” writing ‘[d]ependence on taught mother tongue can be taken as the paradigm of all other dependencies typical of humans in an age of commodity-defined needs’ (suggesting the terms “Discourse and Rhetoric” are appropriate).⁶¹⁸ Illich notes we can learn our own language on our own, without help from institutions, and yet go to school to learn a language we’d pick up on our own without school, concealing from us our own capacity. Since language is emphasized as “central to being human,” if we think we learn from school, then we come to think that it is thanks to institutions that we are “fundamentally human” — and so we prime ourselves to be organized by Discourse and profoundly disabled. Perhaps the “centralization of skill” (and mass disablement) is far easier when the world is under a “centralized language” (where people believe they are humans because of institutions)? Hard to say.


Now, to be clear, Illich is not saying that humans don’t need society to be human (the “wolf boy” comes to mind), but rather that we don’t need the State (a point which suggests Rothbard). Unfortunately, our very capacity to think of a difference between these two seems disabled by Discourse (perhaps because it benefits Discourse for these to be conflated, for it seems absurd to say humans don’t need State/society). Sajay Samuel saw in Illich an effort to stop ‘the [long] war against subsistence,’ though Illich himself liked ‘the word ‘vernacular’ in its historical reference to what is ‘homemade, homegrown and homebred […] to refer to what people do for themselves, whether that is singing, cultivating crops, building homes or playing.’⁶¹⁹ ⁶²⁰ Why is this so consequential? Because ‘[t]he separation of people from vernacular practices delivers them to a regime of scarcity,’ which disables them and also justifies force, for if there are scarce resources they must be justly managed (‘scarce goods and services can be maintained by force, as with zoning laws prohibiting backyard or rooftop chicken coops’).⁶²¹ There is no need for an aggressive “Big Brother” where people need “Big Brother,” which suggests that Illich falls between Orwell and Huxley with Kafka: the State, trained by Discourse, “sets the board” so we are disabled, and then, also trained by Discourse, we are organized by our own minds to end up like Josef K.

‘[T]he economy is better understood as a machine for the production of scarcity,’ and the word “production” here is critical, not merely “distribution” (if no one can raise chickens, eggs are made scarce, and so we need a system to distribute those scare eggs).⁶²² Where we lack “the dialectic between energy and creativity,” “scarcity” seems like it must have a role, and in a way it indeed must for the system to continue; thus, paradoxically, where scarcity is limited, it must be produced. Under this, ‘the modernized poor are those who are prevented from living outside the economy and yet are forced to occupy its bottom rungs.’⁶²³ Hegel taught us that in “the master/slave dialectic” the slave has the power, and the system seems to have taken that lessen to heart: now, the slave only has power within the bounds of dependence. Could we live off the grid? Yes, but that means giving up society and accepting an “isolationist strategy” — the option we are looking to avoid, though perhaps we will fail.

Critically, where a people are disabled, there tends to be an emergence of uncompensated “shadow work” needed so that people reach and access the services they need in their disablement. To quote Illich at length:

‘But, argued Illich, the thoroughgoing dependence on cash is only the visible tip of an even deeper injustice. A society around putting people to work will necessarily create ‘shadow work,’ which Illich defined as the unpaid toil needed to make commodities and services fully useful. If one has to buy eggs because one cannot keep chickens, then the effort of going to the market, finding a parking spot, and returning home comprises frustrating shadow work. One is engaged in shadow work when doing one’s homework because one is compelled to attend school, or when surfing the internet to get information on one’s medical options. The hours lost in commuting to make oneself useful to an employer is shadow work necessary to ‘make a living.’ ’⁶²⁴

We have to work hard to work hard for money. And the work we do to be dependent on the system isn’t thanks to the system, and yet we’ve been trained not to see it as work, and so we don’t see “shadow work” as empowering. We do a lot on our own to serve the system, and yet since it isn’t paid, it isn’t work, and so we keep seeing ourselves as incapable (to the benefit of Discourse). ‘[Illich] speculated that the economy would collapse if all the shadow work required for its functioning were to be paid for. How much would Facebook be worth if its users were paid for their efforts to produce content and consume advertisements’ (a point which suggests our modern debate over “data-work”).⁶²⁵ Why don’t we notice any of this? Well, it’s at least partly because we experience the world according to the phenomenology and framing of fear, “H20,” pricing…our very experience of the world is trained by Discourse to not see how Discourse works (so it goes with Affliction, A/A). Furthermore, ‘[s]hadow work remains hidden partly because it is sentimentalized,’ suggesting that “romanticizing” is also part of the problem.⁶²⁶ Illich notes how we tend to see “housework” in a romantic way, as we tend to think about “making sacrifices to take care of the family” as we sit in traffic for a long commute or help the kids with homework. ‘Illich noted that sentimentalizing such shadow work as ‘quality time’ [for example] is the kind of dishonesty needed to live with the iniquities inherent in commodity-intensive markets.’⁶²⁷ We are trained by the system to create morals around the system (as Nietzsche understand), and so our Affliction (A/A) becomes ethical, and that means it becomes wrong to given Attention (A/B) beyond it. We are damned saints.

A way I have thought about this is the difference between “house” and “home” (with every home also being a house, but not every house also being a home). When the house is a place of “shadow work,” that means it is basically a place we sleep so that we can get ready for work the next day. It is where we watch the sports and movies we need to recharge for work, and it is the place where we help children with homework to get them ready for more institutional involvement. The house is a place which ‘supports and deepens the dependence on a life given to employment, even when there are few jobs available.’⁶²⁸ When this occurs, the house loses the quality of a home as a center of hospitality, visitation, community, art, and life. The house becomes more like a hotel room than a center as gathering life, which means the house becomes a “shadow of its former self.” “Shadow work” has a double meaning: it is work “in the shadows” of the system (on which the system depends and yet isn’t acknowledged by the system), and it is also work which can devolve a thing “into a shadow of what it once was or could be” (“shadow work” is always an “(in)to”). Worsening the problem, a house incubates Discourse, which makes it hard to regain a home of Rhetoric, and so “shadow work” also creates conditions of Affliction in which we cannot image an alternative. And so we find ourselves stuck without being able to think that we are stuck.

Everything which is made a “shadow work” becomes “a shadow of what it could be”: writing as a craft becomes copywriting; speaking as oration becomes communication; work becomes employment; character become law; creativity becomes production; society becomes State — everything is weakened and disabled and so dependent on the system which disabled it, but since the system then “enables us,” we easily don’t think of ourselves as disabled but easily better off (we gain the world). And so the system which disables us is experienced as enabling us, which means “house” and “home” become similes as the distinction is forgotten and ‘[t]he consumer is trained for obsolesce.’⁶²⁹ Furthermore, ‘[t]he more the citizen is trained in the consumption of packaged goods and services, the less effective he seems to become in shaping his environment’ (he becomes an Afflicted being of causation and Discourse).⁶³⁰ When we then find ‘benevolently impose[d] [on us] a straightjacket of traffic jams, hospital confinements, and classrooms,’ even if we realize we are trapped, we likely lack the ability to break free of what the word calls ‘development.’⁶³¹ Investment and money can then be directed toward these efforts to help the poor, and when the poor are less capable, they may give thanks.

Highlighting this irony, Illich writes:

‘The lowering of the skill level through so called economic development has become even more visible in Latin America […] It is clear that not one single country can afford to provide satisfactory modern dwelling units for the majority of its people. Yet everywhere this policy makes it progressively more difficult for the majority to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to build better houses for themselves.’⁶³²

Can we imagine a world where the State provided trainings so that the homeless could learn to build houses? Not only would homelessness perhaps improve, but the homeless would also acquire skills with which they could feel empowered, useful, and hirable. Wouldn’t that mean someone out there wouldn’t have the skills if these previously-homeless people were given a job? Yes, and if the day ever arises where everyone can build their own homes, then the previously-homeless can look to gain new skills, which they easily will have more motivation and hope in doing, seeing as they’ve already done it before. Hard to say, but here we might begin to suggest the great systemic consequences of a disabled people, in that the lack of a skill to build houses can then lead to both a crisis in housing and employment, which can also lead to sociopolitical consequences. Furthermore, if feeling disabled lead a people to feeling hopeless, we might also begin speaking of “The Skill Crisis” as a take on “The Meaning Crisis,” as coined by Dr. John Vervaeke and discussed throughout Belonging Again (Part I).

“The Meaning Crisis” is a term which is meant to capture the sense that life lacks meaning, and it is a phrase that I think is useful and helps people move into an important discussion. However, as Zachary “High Root” Fishman has noted, meaning is not something we can gather with our friends and do: friends can eat together, play videogames, talk — but they cannot “mean.” “Meaning” is not a verb, but a description. We can say that speaking with friends is meaningful, but we cannot say friends “mean together” and this be meaningful. Meaning is a description of something else, not itself.

Ivan Illich understood that a world which only associated “wage labor” with “labor worth doing” would be a world in which people did not develop skills by which they could feel empowered and capable. Without this feeling, it would be hard for life not to feel meaningless, because people wouldn’t have the skills to do what was meaningful to them. This is critical: there is an argument to be made that many people often know what is meaningful to them, but they don’t have the skills to realize or obtain those meanings. Sure, there is a percentage of people for whom the universe is empty and lacking meaning entirely, but for many the universe is meaningless because I cannot reach what is meaningful to me (and thus the meaningful is not part of my life). I could find writing novels important, but I might lack the skills to write a good novel; hence, I know what is meaningful to me, but I’m not able to realize that meaning. The problem is a lack of skills, a lack which can cause me great pain.

Dr. Vervaeke will discuss “ecologies of practices,” and in this he often includes “serious play” and the like, and so Dr. Vervaeke himself is aware of the primacy of skills. Here, I only want to emphasize skill and speak of “an ecologies of skills,” which is what I take is meant by “ecologies of practices,” so this this not a critique. Rather, following Illich, I want to place the emphasis away from “Metaphysical Maps” which give the universe meaning and instead focus on how people feel disabled because all they are capable of doing is “plug into a system” for wages. This is primary in people feeling like life is not worth living, for the only life they have the skill to live is the life of an employee. And many people hate their jobs. Unfortunately, since they don’t have any other skills outside that job, they are stuck. To develop skills outside of wage labor, they would have to do “shadow work” or develop abilities that don’t make money, and that is activity which Discourse and the zeitgeist can make us feel like “deviants” for doing. “Shadow work” is precisely what is required so that we might become Children and “leave Plato’s Cave on our own,” and to help “spread Childhood” then we need “the cave” to incubate within people the ability and willingness for them to engage in what is now considered “shadow work,” which means people must be incentivized to develop the skills needed so that they leave Plato’s Cave on their own. If this is not done, then I don’t think we will “spread Childhood.”

Skills are also central in people feeling like life has meaning because we do not easily feel meaningful if no one around us understands our meaning. If I find meaning in a metaphysical theory of Emergentism but my neighbors don’t understand the theory, I can feel isolated and alone; furthermore, if I must basically give a college lecture for my neighbors to understand my meaning, that too will likely fail, for the majority of people won’t understand. But if I have the skill to cut down a tree, my neighbors can easily recognize what I am doing even if they don’t understand how I’m able to do it; in this way, if I find meaning in cutting down trees, this is a meaningful act that can also be socially recognized and hence not a meaning which must lead me into social isolation or atomism (but it is also a “way of life” cut off from those who are disabled). My meaning is meaningful, and on this point, we can say that a “skill” is where recognition and meaning meet — which is required for us to feel meaningful.

Without recognition, my relation to my meaning will be fragile and tentative, and it will prove likely to break with the first bit of stress. Please note that “recognition” is not the same as “validation,” and in fact “validation” can be dangerous, for we are “extrinsically motivated” if the reason we do x is because it is validated by others. Rather, recognition is very automatic and simply a matter of people reacting to what is right in front of them. “Validation” often requires people to tell us we are validated, while we can receive “recognition” from someone just by noticing the look on their face.

Again, there are many people who know what they find meaningful but feel incapable of realizing it: “The Meaning Crisis” in that sense can be a result of meaning making people feel off and like failures. Far from the lack of meaning, it is the presence of meaning which can be a torture, precisely because people lack the skill and ability to realize that meaning. We live in a world where people don’t know how to talk with one another, how to tell stories, how to play music, how to work with their hands — we live in a world where people are disabled and lacking skill, because the only skills we are encouraged to have are those which make us money, and thus we are bound and trapped by the system and Discourse. We are disabled. We are powerless except in the context of the system, which can make us seem like masters because we have the skills to work the system, but really the system is the master because it has removed from us the abilities we possessed outside of work (we do not benefit from this “slave/master dialectic”…).

Rhetoric emerges from “the space of shadow work,” the realm outside of economics in which people develop skills, discernments, and abilities which are not given wages, and if nobody develops themselves in the space because “it won’t make them a job,” then ironically wealth will lessen. Discourse will prevail, and “The Great Stagnation” will worsen, because nobody will know how to “leave Plato’s cave on their own,” and increasingly the “stimulation of demand” will work less and less, meaning nobody will come to “drag us out” of the cave. As of 2023, if we are indeed also facing a Fourth Turning, then we are facing a Fourth Turning with a Great Stagnation, and so we cannot assume growth and increasing wealth will help us through that Fourth Turning. This time might be different because we must be different.

Wealth emerges from a people who relate to something which cannot be quantified, a mystery: we cannot readily value the worth of a skill a person is developing that isn’t paid for, and yet it is that kind of “internal coordination” outside of “price-side coordination” which makes “price-side coordination” even possible. If the only skills we have are those at our job, when our job is gone, we will feel powerless, and if we hate our job, we will always feel powerless. Then we will feel meaningless, but this follows from a lack of skill, which we will also make us feel off in our “free time.” To escape that feeling of powerlessness, we can turn to consumption and distraction, but then it is not always the meaninglessness of the universe that drives people into junk food; it can also be a hope to escape the feeling that they have no skills. And so the humanities and arts matter. And so hobbies can make us feel like we have the skills to navigate relationships But we do not have hobbies under Discourse, and so we feel pain in First World Nations where we are surrounded by comforts, services, and goods. We do not need to feel pain, and yet we do. And so, disabled, we turn to the system. We feel pain that we don’t need to feel. ‘By becoming unnecessary, pain has become unbearable.’⁶³³





⁶⁰²Illich, Ivan. The Right to Useful Unemployment. Brewer Street, London: Marion Boyars Publishers, 1978: 80.

⁶⁰³Illich, Ivan. The Right to Useful Unemployment. Brewer Street, London: Marion Boyars Publishers, 1978: 53.

⁶⁰⁴Illich, Ivan. The Right to Useful Unemployment. Brewer Street, London: Marion Boyars Publishers, 1978: 41.

⁶⁰⁵Illich, Ivan. The Right to Useful Unemployment. Brewer Street, London: Marion Boyars Publishers, 1978: 41.

⁶⁰⁶Illich, Ivan. H20 and the Waters of Forgetfulness. London, UK. Marion Boyars Publishers, 2012: 76.

⁶⁰⁷Illich, Ivan. H20 and the Waters of Forgetfulness. London, UK. Marion Boyars Publishers, 2012: 76.

⁶⁰⁸Illich, Ivan. H20 and the Waters of Forgetfulness. London, UK. Marion Boyars Publishers, 2012: 6.

⁶⁰⁹This suggests the “Dialectical Monism” of Hegel, as described in The Absolute Choice.

⁶¹⁰Illich, Ivan. H20 and the Waters of Forgetfulness. London, UK. Marion Boyars Publishers, 2012: 4.

⁶¹¹Illich, Ivan. H20 and the Waters of Forgetfulness. London, UK. Marion Boyars Publishers, 2012: 76.

⁶¹²Illich, Ivan. H20 and the Waters of Forgetfulness. London, UK. Marion Boyars Publishers, 2012: 11.

⁶¹³Creative incentives can prove more important than monetary incentives. Monetary incentives can work for Rhetoric when they contribute to a person’s sense of purpose and creative end, but not when they replace purpose and creativity. The woman who takes care of children because she believes it is her purpose in life perhaps will be insulated by monetary compensation (unless she needs it to keep taking care of children), while a woman who needs money to paint will be motivated by it. Every situation is different, and there is no perfect system through which to allocate resources. However, creativity can “perfect the imperfect,” or at least build it toward something better. What enables creativity should be considered to help determine which system of allocation and/or incentives to use relative to a given phenomenon.

Monetary incentives to get children to read, for example, only jumpstart their love of learning if the incentives intentionally guide the children to a state where they can cultivate creativity and purpose for themselves, which is to say if there is a move from Discourse to Rhetoric. It is possible that the introduction of money to an artist for his or her work may transform the artist’s “toward-ness.” Consequently, it may become more difficult for the artist to enter the “flow” state (as expounded upon by Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi), which may negatively affect creativity and Rhetoric. Expanding this thought out, it is possible that once Artifexians begin creating wealth, the Artifex class will become less “Artifexian.” Ironically, the profitability of the Artifex may ruin it, suggesting another reason why “The Great Stagnation” might occur. That said, the Artifex class is still the only way to keep the material dialectic from collapsing the entire system (following “The Creative Concord” by O.G. Rose); therefore, the cultivation of character and “intrinsic motivation” are of the utmost importance.

⁶¹⁴Illich, Ivan. Beyond Economics and Ecology. “Preface” by Jerry Brown. London, UK: Marion Boyars Publishers, 2015: 9.

⁶¹⁵Illich, Ivan. “The War Against Subsistence.” Beyond Economics and Ecology. London, UK: Marion Boyars Publishers, 2015: 29.

⁶¹⁶Illich, Ivan. “The War Against Subsistence.” Beyond Economics and Ecology. London, UK: Marion Boyars Publishers, 2015: 33.

⁶¹⁷Illich, Ivan. Beyond Economics and Ecology. “After Illich” by Sajay Samuel. London, UK: Marion Boyars Publishers, 2015: 18.

⁶¹⁸Illich, Ivan. “The War Against Subsistence.” Beyond Economics and Ecology. London, UK: Marion Boyars Publishers, 2015: 37.

⁶¹⁹Illich, Ivan. Beyond Economics and Ecology. “After Illich” by Sajay Samuel. London, UK: Marion Boyars Publishers, 2015: 17.

⁶²⁰Illich, Ivan. Beyond Economics and Ecology. “After Illich” by Sajay Samuel. London, UK: Marion Boyars Publishers, 2015: 18.

⁶²¹Illich, Ivan. Beyond Economics and Ecology. “After Illich” by Sajay Samuel. London, UK: Marion Boyars Publishers, 2015: 18.

⁶²²Illich, Ivan. Beyond Economics and Ecology. “After Illich” by Sajay Samuel. London, UK: Marion Boyars Publishers, 2015: 19.

⁶²³Illich, Ivan. Beyond Economics and Ecology. “After Illich” by Sajay Samuel. London, UK: Marion Boyars Publishers, 2015: 19.

⁶²⁴Illich, Ivan. Beyond Economics and Ecology. “After Illich” by Sajay Samuel. London, UK: Marion Boyars Publishers, 2015: 19–20.

⁶²⁵Illich, Ivan. Beyond Economics and Ecology. “After Illich” by Sajay Samuel. London, UK: Marion Boyars Publishers, 2015: 20.

⁶²⁶Illich, Ivan. Beyond Economics and Ecology. “After Illich” by Sajay Samuel. London, UK: Marion Boyars Publishers, 2015: 20.

⁶²⁷Illich, Ivan. Beyond Economics and Ecology. “After Illich” by Sajay Samuel. London, UK: Marion Boyars Publishers, 2015: 20–21.

⁶²⁸Illich, Ivan. Beyond Economics and Ecology. “After Illich” by Sajay Samuel. London, UK: Marion Boyars Publishers, 2015: 20.

⁶²⁹Illich, Ivan. Toward a History of Needs. New York, NY: Bantam Book, 1980: 65.

⁶³⁰Illich, Ivan. Toward a History of Needs. New York, NY: Bantam Book, 1980: 65.

⁶³¹Illich, Ivan. Toward a History of Needs. New York, NY: Bantam Book, 1980: 66.

⁶³²Illich, Ivan. Toward a History of Needs. New York, NY: Bantam Book, 1980: 106.

⁶³³Illich, Ivan. Toward a History of Needs. New York, NY: Bantam Book, 1980: 122.




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