|A new human ontology—Trump—emerges
new human ontology—Trump—emerges. This a new cultural-historical
formation—metastabile, associated milieu—that Figure 2 provides a
“measure” of. Those who have paid attention to Trump’s
cognitive-linguistic performances have noted though not understood this
new cultural historical formaton, this new form of being human.
the brutishness in language and behavior that are the chief characteristics of Trump's mass-oriented performances.
Language on the threshold of gesture and reflex. Regression to infantile narcissism via processes of identification, to a politics of patrimonialism.
The “Debate” over guns following the Browrard cty school shooting (N=17) and all such “debates” that will folooww in the two-party discusive field
Ressentiment is the dark energy against which the Enlightenment is powerless. It bubbles and explodes in the 2009 anti-"Obamacare" town hall meetings. xxx Some see ressentiment as backlash--as episodic and event-driven; they are wrong. There is a deep structure of rage that is endemic to our more broadly conceived historical situation (Nietzsche, Klein, Conrad)—inchoate rage expressed in the theater of ressentiment that politics provides. This is the heart of darkness at the center of civilization--and the core psychodynamic logic that generates the rhetorical performances at the heart of the Right. This was written at the time of the 2011-12 GOP primary debates. Now, during the 2016 GOP primary season, it even more to the point.
Marx Was Wrong . . .
. . . the ideals, methods and vision of the Enlightenment did not acquire a proletarian or popular embodiment. Instead, persecution and extermination of a variety of “others” in the guise of ultranationalism and/or religion swept across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (when for a while some thought it was a thing of the past resolved by Allied victory in WWII) and has taken over the executive branch of the united states, dominates the lower house, and has established a semiotic alternative (FOX News) to the dominant corporate-liberal discourse of the two major networks (MSNBC and CNN)..
The ‘people’, even in its working class moment, became the mass base for right wing, nationalist, racist, xenophobic cognitive modalities, political cultures, and socio-culturally contextualized character formations. (Anatomy of Fascism, Clarke; Sugrue) These are ontologically prior to the political forces that utilize, absorb, and manipulate them (Red Scare). That is why answers to such questions as What’s the Matter With Kansas? cannot be given in political terms or through political analysis.
The activity of provincial, archaic and traditional elites (Peristnece), together with newer firms in the west and south and newly emergent crony capitalist formations (Enron, World Com, some Insurance cos, some Wall street firms, Dick Cheney's secret meeting with energy ceos) in aiding and abetting the construction of the political structures of mass mobilization (Town Hall meetings) is decisive in determining the political effectiveness of anti-modern right wing movements, which otherwise might languish in a populist stew of ineffectual rage. (Red Scare) But they do not call into existence these ontologies of ressentiment, of the right, of anti-modernism. They merely utilize and shape them.
This is dark energy against which the Enlightenment is powerless. It bubbles and explodes in town hall meetings. Some see ressentiment as backlash--as epsisodic and event-driven (ie, school busing, student radicalism); they are wrong. There is a deep structure of rage that is endemic to our more broadly conceived historical situation (Nietzsche)-- inchoate rage seeking expression in the theater of ressentiment that politics provides. This is the heart of darkness at the center of civilization.
***That which is called Marxism can be taken as the Enlightenment embattled, confined, demonized and defeated. Marx himself can also be taken as the last Hegelian--almost a footnote to Hegel (Das Kapital); while it was Engels* who developed "Marxism" as a positivist variant of the enlightenment which, following WWI, and in a less eschatological form, developed into the modern forms of Liberalism known as Social Democracy and the Welfare State.
"Reconnaissances of Marx" by Philippe-Joseph Salazar, Philosophy & Rhetoric, Vol. 48, No. 4 (2015), pp. 413-427
Michael Walzer, "Puritanism as a Revolutionary Ideology", History and Theory, Vol. 3, No. 1 (1963), pp. 59-90,
"For all his concern with revolution, Marx was himself the product of the same world which produced the great social novels, those elaborate, many-volumed studies of manners, status, and class relationships in which the fundamental stability of the society as a whole and of character (what would today be called 'identity') within the society was always assumed. And Marx never questions the second of these assumptions: bourgeois and proletarian appear in his work as formed characters, free at least from psychological instability even while their struggle with one another tears apart the social order."