Bildung: Was Mozart a Communist?
(a plane of immanence)
from WIKI. The inside of what is thought to be the lodge New Crowned Hope (Zur Neugekrönten Hoffnung) in Vienna. It is believed that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is depicted at the extreme right, sitting next to his close friend Emanuel Schikaneder. Oil painting, on display in the Vienna Museum Karlsplatz.
Emanuel Schikaneder (1 September 1751 – 21 September 1812), born Johann Joseph Schickeneder, was a German impresario, dramatist, actor, singer and composer. He was the librettist of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera The Magic Flute and the builder of the Theater an der Wien. Branscombe called him "one of the most talented theatre men of his era".
Robert W. Gutman, Mozart,
a Cultural Biography (Harcourt Brace, 1999)
Let your reason furnish the answer . . . ," the second priest in Mozart's The Magic Flute advises the questioning birdman, Papageno. The philosophe believed that through rational analysis the world could be understood, explained, and regulated. Its good was to be cherished, its evil conquered. European thought became permeated with the idea that society had the means to construct a better civilization, that through the exercise of reason, the human lot might be enobled. (pp. 20-21)
Progressive minds assigned the Bible's revelations and miracles as well as the Church's sacraments to superstition and looked upon ideas like God and the soul at best as ideals, at worst as illusions. The three boy messengers in The Magic Flute would assuredly proclaim: "Soon superstition will die, soon the wise will prevail. . . . Then the earth will be a paradise, and men will be like gods. (p. 21)
Science, though in its infancy, particularly threatened the credibility of the Bible. As early as 1712, the Marquise de Lambert observed that in the salon the Christian Mysteries had become a laughingstock: "Anyone but venturing a belief in God was thought to belong to the lower orders." Cardinal de Bernis remarked in his Mémoires that by 1720 people of quality for the most part ignored the Gospels. (p. 25).
Bildung and the Will to Power: Texts
Franco Moretti, The Way of the World: The Bildungsroan in European Culture (Verso, 2000)
Sophia Rosenfeld, A Revolution in Language: the Problem of Signs in Late Eighteenth-Century France (Stanford, 2001)
Dena Goodman, The Republic of Letters: A Cultural History of the French Enlightenment (Cornell Univesity Press, 1994)
Stephen Rumph, Mozart and Enlightenment Semiotics (University of California Press, 2012)
Robert W. Gutman, Mozart, a Cultural Biography (Harcourt Brace, 1999)
Dr. Michael Eldridge, The German Bildung Tradition
Terry Pinkard, Hegel: A Biography (Cambridge University Press, 2000), pp. 49-50; 269-275; 369-370; 486-487
Shlomo Avineri, Hegel's Theory of the Modern State (Cambridge University Press, 1972), pp. 77-78; 132-139; 144-147; 166
Elliot L. Jurist, Beyond Hegel and Nietzsche: Philosophy, Culture, and Agency (The MIT Press, 2000), pp. 44-45, 52-63, 95-96
Reginald Zelnick, ed., Workers and Intelligentsia in Late Imperial Russia (University of California Press, 1999)
Reginald E. Zelnick, ed., A Radical Worker in Tsarist Russia: the Autobiography of Sëmen Ivanovich Kanatchikov (Stanford University Press, 1986)
Steve Fraser, Labor Will Rule: Sidney Hillman and the Rise of American Labor (Free Press, 1991)
S.A. Smith, Revolution and the People in Russia and China: A Comparative History (Cambridge Univesity Press, 2008)
Urie Bronfenbrenner, Making Human Beings Human: Bioecological Perspectives on Human Development (Sage Publications, 2005)
Marshall W. Alcorn, Jr., Narcissism and the Literary Libido: Rhetoric, Text, and Subjectivity (New York University Press, 1994)
John Dupré, "Causality and Human Nature in the Social Sciences," in Processes of Life: Essays in the Philosophy of Biology (Oxford, 2012)
On Becoming Communist: Flint, Michigan circa late 1940s
Saul Wellman: Flint is what I consider to be the asshole of the world; it's the roughest place to be. Now we recruited dozens of people to the Party in Flint, and they came out of indigenous folk. And those are the best ones. But we couldn't keep them in Flint very long, once they joined the Party. Because once they came to the Party a whole new world opened up. New cultural concepts, new people, new ideas. And they were like a sponge, you know. And Flint couldn't give it to them. The only thing that Flint could give you was whorehouses and bowling alleys, you see. So they would sneak down here to Detroit on weekends--Saturday and Sunday--where they might see a Russian film or they might . . . hear their first opera in their lives or a symphony or talk to people that they never met with in their lives.
Peter Friedlander: to me that's one of the most significant processes of people becoming radicals, is this . . .
SW: but you lose them in their area . . .
PF: right. You lose them, but I think something is going on there that I think radicals have not understood about their own movement . . .
SW: right . . .
PF: something about the urge toward self improvement . . .
SW: right . . .
and cultural advancement . . .
SW: right, right . . .
PF: and not to remain an unskilled worker in the asshole of the world . . .
SW: right, right. But there are two things going on at the same time. The movement is losing something when a native indigenous force leaves his community. On the other hand the reality of joining a movement of this type is that the guy who is in the indigenous area looks around and says this is idiocy, I can't survive here.
Charles Sheeler, American Landscape, 1930
(River Rouge plant)
from the Ed Lock (CP, UAW Local 600) interview:
I was very active in MESA --- Ford in USSR petered out in March of 1933, and I was laid off. Several months later I found employment in a job shop as a milling machine operator. I got signed up in the MESA, that was a unionized plant. The job didn't last long. In that period I would hang out at the MESA hall, Schiller Hall on Gratiot Ave. . . It was very much a Left hall. I became very interested in union . . . I was very young, 20 yrs old. My father was AFL, a ship carpenter, but I didn't assimilate much from him. But I became very interested in the MESA, and one of the characteristics the time was that large numbers of radicals of all descriptions IWW, Communist, Socialist . . . would come to this hall, and we would sort of sit around and have big bull discussions with the old timers from the IWW and the Communists and whoever was there . . . We would all participate in these discussions, each of them would bring their literature round . . . I got involved so to speak, I was unemployed, but I would still go because I found these meetings fascinating, and I would participate in the distribution of leaflets.
|Schiller Hall on Detroit's
east side (St. Aubin & Gratiot)
. . . and one of the characteristics the time was that large numbers of radicals of all descriptions IWW, Communist, Socialist . . . would come to this hall, and we would sort of sit around and have big bull discussions with the old timers from the IWW and the Communists and whoever were there . . .
Reginald E. Zelnick, ed., A
Radical Worker in Tsarist Russia: the Autobiography of Sëmen
Ivanovich Kanatchikov (Stanford University Press, 1986):
Finally, the work [A Radical Worker in Tsarist Russia: the Autobiography of Sëmen Ivanovich Kanatchikov] has a definite artistic structure. It is a chronological account of the author's adventures--he is too straightforward for us to be able to use the modifier "picaresque"--in a wide variety of settings and situations, and of his encoungters with diverse characters, each of whom participates in his education, enlightenment, and moral development, whether by negative or positive example. It is, in a sense, a Bildungsroman . . . (p. xxix)
. . . because I found these meetings fascinating . . .
In the context of the Lock interview look again at Wellman's comment:
. . . once they came to the Party a whole new world opened up. New cultural concepts, new people, new ideas. And they were like a sponge, you know. And Flint couldn't give it to them. The only thing that Flint could give you was whorehouses and bowling alleys, you see. So they would sneak down here to Detroit on weekends--Saturday and Sunday--where they might see a Russian film or they might . . . hear their first opera in their lives or a symphony or talk to people that they never met with in their lives.
Goethe and Schiller; Bildung and the Party
When the Apprenticeship was completed in the mid-1790s, it was to a great extent through the encouragement and criticism of Goethe's close friend and collaborator Friedrich Schiller that it took its final shape.
R.D. Miller, discussing "heritage" in Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre, concluded that it was in this idea that Goethe had expressed his mature classical ideal of humanity according to which the individual contains within himself and embodies the general, such that a dedication to the life of others would not necessarily, from that point of view, imply renunciation of his own being.
Bildung and the Will to Power: Detroit's near east side
Dodge main UAW Local 3: the Joe Adams and Earl Reynolds interviews.
The books listed above provide an indespensible context for making sense of my own interviews with nearly one hundred UAW creators/authors/master craftsmen + journeymen + apprentices/artists. The terms leadership and rank-and-file are of little use. And to refer to the workers as a virtually homogeneous agent or metaphysical presence whom the leadership either "represents" or "sells out" is even worse. (See Getty on "Stalin as Prime Minister" for the way he applied Bourdieu and Foucault to this problem.) The best brief characterization the process of organization is provided by Nietzsche. Throughout this site the disease of Platonism is overcome. This is surely one of the meanings of Hegel's dialectic.
The words process and organization are struck through because, while they are conventionally used to describe, e.g., the organizing process (say the Flint sitdown strike), they fundamentally subvert the thought of Foucault, Bourdieu, Nietzsche and Deleuze . . . and even Hegel, and blot out the quantum heterogeneity of agency. Aufheben and emergence imply disruptive force; process and organization at best occlude and avoid, at worst supress any notion of agency as will to power. (See Mary Midgley's Are You an Illusion.)
Midland Steel--the first sitdown-strike in Michigan (led by Communists); Dodge Main (the battleship Potemkin of the UAW on the east side of Detroit, organized originally by Father Coughlin, the Chrysler company union, and a representative of the Keynesian elite in the New Deal state. By 1939, the arena of one of the most powerful workers' organizations in the world at that time.)
Friederich Nietzsche, The Will To Power, Book IV, 960
From now on there will be more favorable preconditions for more comprehensive forms of dominion, whose like has never yet existed. And even this is not the most important thing; the possibility has been established for the production of international racial unions whose task will be to rear a master race, the future "masters of the earth"; a new, tremendous aristocracy, based on the severest self-legislation, in which the will of philosophical men of power and artist-tyrants will be made to endure for millennia -- a higher kind of man who, thanks to their superiority in will, knowledge, riches, and influence, employ democratic Europe as their most pliant and supple instrument for getting hold of the destinies of the earth, so as to work as artists upon "man" himself. Enough: the time is coming when politics will have a different meaning.
Vyborg District: Dodge Main and Midland Steel
The very same new conditions that will on average lead to the leveling and mediocritization of man--to a useful, industrious, handy, multi-purpose herd animal--are likely in the highest degree to give birth to exceptional human beings of the most dangerous and attractive quality.
Friederich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 242