Bildung: Was Mozart a  Communist?
(a plane of immanence)
mozmasonic
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".

from 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 analysismoz 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).
The excerpt at the right is from my interview with Saul Wellman, conducted in Detroit in 1975 or 1976 in Wellman's home.  

The Communist "Party" and Bildung

Habitus.  This is a good place to make my introduction.  One of Diego Rivera's assistants (not on this mural--the one in New York) was Ben Shahn, a friend of my mother's.  My godfather was Jack Gilford.  I baby sat for Jay Gorney (who together with Yip Harburg wrote Brother Can You Spare a Dime?) and Millard Lampell at a summer "resort" on Shelter Island teeming with Communists.  My mother's closest friend was the secretary to the president of the Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union.  Other close friends included the secretary to the president of the Hospital Workers Union, and Cedric Belfrage, the editor of the Guardian.  My mother was the secretary to David Livingston of District 65, Wholesale, Retail, and Department Store Union.  I spent lots of time at the house of a friend whose mother was secretary to Mike Quill, president of the Transport Workers Union.  One of my uncle's on my father's side was an organizer for UMW district 50 in New Jersey.  (He told me once that he might have met Morris L. Cooke at a meeting in Washington DC.)  And there's more, but you get the picture.  This was my immanent domain, within whose "social and discursive practices"(1) I became human (2).  Salon, Habitus, Immanent Domain

As it turned out, my immanent domain was much larger than I could have imagined at the time, and, as the reference to Goodman's book suggests, had deep historical roots.

Journey toward justice : Juliette Hampton Morgan and the Montgomery bus boycott
A fine old conflict / Jessica Mitford
biographies of Oppenheimer, Copland; rest is noise


1.  Dena Goodman, The Republic of Letters: A Cultural History of the French Enlightenment (Cornell Univesity Press, 1994), p. 2

2. Urie Bronfenbrenner, ed. Making Human Beings Human: Bioecological Perspectives on Human Development,  (Sage Publications, 2005)






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 ofwellman 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.
Inner logic of enightenment is developmental, as Rumph clearly states.  The conflict between it and the ancien regime is key(Vincent, McMahon)

trajectory: Mozart to Wellman (Ranciere, Magraw)
development
the bolsheviks
stalinism


Bildung is one of the five genetic ontologies.  It is of a fundamentally different order of being: it is dynamic, developmental, and, in relation to the primate, paleolithic, ressentiment, and regressive narcissistic genetic ontologies, transcendent.  That is, it breaks with

It is the antithesis of nihilism; its bow is not unstrung


Bildung (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

hegel
The term refers to the German tradition of self-cultivation, (as related to the German for: creation, image, shape), wherein philosophy and education are linked in manner that refers to a process of both personal and cultural maturation. This maturation is described as a harmonization of the individual’s mind and heart and in a unification of selfhood and identity within the broader society, as evidenced with the literary tradition of bildungsroman.

In this sense, the process of harmonization of mind, heart, selfhood and identity is achieved through personal transformation, which presents a challenge to the individual’s accepted beliefs. In Hegel’s writings, the challenge of personal growth often involves an agonizing alienation from one’s “natural consciousness” that leads to a reunification and development of the self. Similarly, although social unity requires well-formed institutions, it also requires a diversity of individuals with the freedom (in the positive sense of the term) to develop a wide-variety of talents and abilities and this requires personal agency. However, rather than an end state, both individual and social unification is a process that is driven by unrelenting negations.

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)

Franco Moretti, The Way of the World: The Bildungsroman in European Culture
(Verso, 2000)

Marshall W. Alcorn, Jr., Narcissism and the Literary Libido: Rhetoric, Text, and Subjectivity (New York University Press, 1994)

  
from Stephen Rumph, Mozart and Enlightenment Semiotics (University of California Press, 2012)

*In Enlightenment anthropology, mastery of signs went hand in hand with human progress, distinguishing civilized man from the primitive Naturemensch. p. 9

As [Condillac] declared, 'The use of signs is the principle that develops the seed of all our ideas'. . . .  Only signes institués (signs established by convention) permitted humans to develop rational thought 22-3

 . . . Condillac's theory amounted to a revolution in language.  The Essai inverted the hierarchy of reason and sensation, dethroning metaphysics and placing language in the service of scientific progress.  25

*Such a reading treats Mozart's symphony less as an act of communication and more as a process of cognition; less as an expression of emotion, more as an exploration of the feeling subject.  David Wellberu summarized this paradigm in his study of Lessing's Laokoon: 'For Enlightenment semiotics, then, the progress of knowledge toward ever greater distinctness of thought, toward an ever more refined analysis of our representations, is likewise a progress into language, a transition from perception and imagination to the manipulation of arbitrary signs in symbolic cognition.'  25

A new subject inhabits this world, an elusive self who resembles neither the transcendent cogito of rationalist rhetoric nor the productive Ich of idealist aesthetics.  The Enlightenment subject, Mozart's subject, is a creature of experience and signs.  He comes alive only when he senses, grasps, gestures, speaks, and interacts with other subjects.  Characters like Don Giovanni or Faust embodied this new appetite for experience. 60

By exploring the limits of representation, Don Giovanni probes the tensions within a materialist worldview, tensions that have only deepened since 1787.  In this sense, Giovanni remains a compelling protagonist for us moderns, who, despite all our attacks on the Enlightenment, do not easily escape its intellectual orbit. 77

from Friederich Nietzsche, Geneology of Morals, II, 12

The democratic idiosyncracy which opposes [the will to power] has permeated the realm of the spirit and disguised itself in the most spiritual forms to such a degree that today it has forced its way, has acquired the right to force its way into the strictest, apparently most objective sciences;  indeed, it  . . . has robbed life of a fundamental concept, that of activity.  Under the influence of the above mentioned idiosyncrasy, one places instead "adaptation" in the foreground, that is to say, an activity of the second rank, a mere reactivity; indeed, life itself has been defined as a more and more efficient inner adaptation to external conditions (Herbert Spencer).  Thus, the essence of life, its will to power, is ignored; one overlooks the essential priority of the spontaneous, aggressive, expansive, form-giving forces that give new interpretations and directions, although 'adaptation' follows only after this; the dominant role of the highest functionaries within the organism iself in which the will to life appears active and form-giving is denied.

from Reginald E. Zelnick, ed., A Radical Worker in Tsarist Russia: the Autobiography of Sëmen Ivanovich Kanatchikov (Stanford University Press, 1986): Introduction

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)
from Donald Reid, Introduction to Ranciere's The Nights of Labor: The Workers' Dream in Nineteenth Century France (Temple U Press, 1989)

   The caesura in Marx's work was not the result of an epistemological revolution in 1845, but of his disappointment with the failure of the workers' revolution three years later.  The break was marked by repression of the knowledge that artisinal workers opposed to the spread of large industry had formulated the idea of workers' emancipation.  Marx (and Engels) came instead to place their hopes for a new revolutionary order in the factory proletariat to come, which would be molded by the discipline of large industry.  With this development, the proletariat left the real of social experience to become a normative category consecrated by a certain Marxist "science." (pp. xxi-xxii)
As the Communist Party expanded in numbers and influence from the mid-1930s, its center of gravity became increasingly "middle class," as George Charney has noted (64, 139, 156-7, 176).  And this in the merely conventional sense of that term (as referring to occupation).  But, as Saul Wellman has observed in his interview with me, the Party recruited dozens of workers in Flint, Michigan, but couldn't keep them down on the farm after they got a whiff of the intellectual life waiting for them in Detroit.  Though "working class" in occupation, they were becoming "bourgeois" in the sense of Bildung referred to above.  At the level of cognitive and characterological development, there are two basic positions: barbarian and bourgeois (which correspond nicely with Melanie Kleins two basic positions: paranoid-schizoid and depressive).  The workers who took the lead and/or developed within the movement were--dare I say it--bourgeois.  In this regard consider the next panel, involving another personal encounter.



Mark D. Steinberg, "The Injured and Insurgent Self: The Moral Imagination of Russia's Lower-Class Writers"

Proletarian imagination : self, modernity, and the sacred in Russia, 1910-1925 / Mark D. Steinberg.
Author    Steinberg, Mark D., 1953-
Published     Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2002.

add: Party, State, and Society in the Russian Civil War (Indiana U pr, 1989)



S.A. Smith, Revolution and the People in Russia and China: A Comparative History (Cambridge University Press, 2008)

Bildung was the inner logic, the essential feature, of the relationship between intelligentsia and the becoming-conscious workers.  The forces of bildung, however, were quickly eclipsed by powerful contingenies and by the logic of state-building in the context of both traditional orientations and emergent 'consumerism'.  (see the four fundamental ontologies of post-paleolithic homo-sapiens  (add
3 major observations: 1.  the contingent nature of the revolution; 2. Bildung vs. mass culture; 3. " . . . if one does not give due weight to the resilience of 'tradition', it bcomes difficult to explain the apparent resurgence of 'traditional' values and orientations during what Crane Brinton called the 'thermidorean' phaes of revolution, i.e. high Stalinism in the Soviet Union and high Maoism in the People's Republic of China . . . " (p. 21)
The Wellman interview and the excerpts from Zelnick are cognitively enriched when read in the context of  the Flynn passage on cognitive development in modern times, the Gutman account of the intellectual context of Mozart's emergence, and Nietzsche's comment on the much misunderstood (and maligned) concept of the will to power.  (In the context of all of this, and more yet to come, the Mize interview makes sense.)

The larger point here is that the historical trajectory of cognitive and psychological development is a missing dimension in our historical understanding.  
interview with Ziggy Mize, vice commander of Local 3 (Dodge Main) Flying Squadron, conducted in the basement of the Dave Miller Retiree Center, Detroit
***

The Wellman interview and the Zelnick and Haimson excerpts converge on a common theme central to the making of the "working class": Bildung.  Notwithstanding the differences in space and time (Flint and Detroit in the 1940s; St. Petersburg in the 1890s-1905), we observe the same fundamental psychological-cultural-political phenomenon.  This phenomenon is the subject of Moretti's study of the Bildungsroman in European culture.  It is also the subject of Alcorn's study . . .

But one can go much further into this phenomenon, and view it as a stage in the development of homo sapiens' cognizing powers (William Calvin, A Brief History of the Mind: From Apes to Intellect and Beyond (Oxford University Press, 2004), James R. Flynn, What is Inteligence?  Beyond the Flynn Effect, ), and in so doing draw in Vygotsky and Piaget; and from another direction drawn in F. Nietzsche.

I think of it this way: imagine the human mind in the way Vygotsky et al do, and in the context of the history of cognition developed by Donald, and imagine the enlightenment as a developmental inflextion point in the history of cogintion *Calivin).  From Mozart to Lenin (or, if you prefer, to Louis D. Brandeis and Morris L. Cooke--this not only the busienss of  "intellectualsis" or professionals, etc.  It is the business of of increasingly large subsets of humans in modern soceties.

Although I have references various sources, the orginal acumulaton point (in the plane of immancence) was my own personal exprence that was historically entangled with the substance of the Welman interview.  For I was born into the new york left at its appogee.  Everyone I knew was  communist (not left leaning, or communist leaning but Communists: the cowering of contemporary scholars before the specter of McCarthyism renders their work almost irrelvant, forthe simply cannot come to grips with the real world of the CP, which, far from being a removable singulairuty--which is the way they reat it--was instead the ontolgical accumulation point of the New Deal.

The incredibly pervasive force --field of discourse--that makes of almost all scholars rhetorcal maneuvers perversions

Orson Welles; Katherine Hepburn; Arthur Miller; Robert Openheimer--in these biographies one can read (re. Deleuze and differance*)
*it is not Deleuze who must be rescued from the charge of being an author of eliptcal bullshit, but rather thought itself that must be rescued from the black hole into which it has been sucked.
Another major failure of the left is the inability to grasp the peasants as congnitively and psychologically retarded in their development, if one takes as ones metric the Proresivist, whiggish, enlightenment myth of the individual as ontologically homogeneous and above history.
The inner life of the membership/milieu of the Communist Party of the United States was not ideological, in the simplistic sense that one, in the search for the motives of individuals that led to association and participation in those things called Communist, would look for the ideas that somehow caused individuals to make their choices.  All the terms italicized are more than suspect (see philosophy and history): they are the fundamental elements of the mythic structure of modern society, and as such are useless for purposes of analysis.  

The inner life of the CP milieu was at the same time a moment in the unfolding of the historical dynamic of cognitive development.  What some saw as an obsession with theory as mere ideology was in fact the passion of the discovery of the power of formal operational thought.  The inner life of the CP is continuous with the development not merely of reason grasped as mere ideology; it was the very expression of the passion of the mind as a force unto itself.  This is something that in retrospect is perfectly clear to anyone who has grown up in that milieu and reflects upon it in the light of current scholarship. (see Vivian Gornick, The romance of American Communism (Basic Books, 1977.)  This an existential reality, not a superficial (merely ideological) committment.

The excerpt in the right panel, from Mozart, a Cultural Biography, could just as well describe the mentalité of the Communists I have known, of the milieu in which I grew up.  This was the intellectual dimension of the Left.  One has only to add to this Enlightenment mentalité some form of solidarity and one gets modern communism.

The Enlightenment understood as an inflection point in cognitive development as historical process; cognitive development as central to Bildung: this what must be taken into account when attempting to understand the modern.  Thus, the Enlightenment not merely as ideology, but, more fundamentally, as cognitive development.




The inner life of the membership/milieu of the Communist Party of the United States was not ideological, in the simplistic sense that one, in the search for the motives of individuals that led to association and participation in those things called Communist, would look for the ideas that somehow caused individuals to make their choices.  All the terms italicized are more than suspect (see philosophy and history): they are the fundamental elements of the mythic structure of modern society, and as such are useless for purposes of analysis.  

The inner life of the CP milieu was at the same time a moment in the unfolding of the historical dynamic of cognitive development.  What some saw as an obsession with theory as mere ideology was in fact the passion of the discovery of the power of formal operational thought.  The inner life of the CP is continuous with the development not merely of reason grasped as mere ideology; it was the very expression of the passion of the mind as a force unto itself.  This is something that in retrospect is perfectly clear to anyone who has grown up in that milieu and reflects upon it in the light of current scholarship. (see Vivian Gornick, The romance of American Communism (Basic Books, 1977.)  This an existential reality, not a superficial (merely ideological) committment.

The excerpt above right, from Mozart, a Cultural Biography, could just as well describe the mentalité of the Communists I have known, of the milieu in which I grew up.  This was the intellectual dimension of the Left.  One has only to add to this Enlightenment mentalité some form of solidarity and one gets modern communism.

On the other hand, the famous Marx quote about a class with radical chains was not only contradicted by the facts of the time in which it was written.  It was contradicted by all subsequent history of "marxist" movements in the West.

The Enlightenment understood as an inflection point in cognitive development as historical process; cognitive development as central to Bildung: this what must be taken into account when attempting to understand the modern.  Thus, the Enlightenment not merely as ideology, but, more fundamentally, as cognitive development.
***

A Radical Worker in Tsarist Russia: The Autobiography of Semen Ivanovich Kanatchikov, on self-improvement, sobriety etc.

Anti-racism and Bildung


Anti-racism is often misundertood as sympathy.  In some cases this is true, but in the case of the Communist subculture of which I was a part, and in terms as well of my own personal experience, anti-racism is a critical moment in the unfolding of Bildung. To put it most bluntly, anti-racism is fundamentally about one's own development as a thinking Being.  Anti-racism is about self-development through confrontation with and overcoming the culture of ressentiment.  Anti-racism is not only emotional and cultural.  It is a critical aspect of cognitive development, a testing ground where formal operational competence (which is also a form of inner discipline) grows in combat with the culture of ressentiment, and deconstructs the shibboleths of a pathological society dominated by the mechanisms of defense (the paranoid-schizoid position).

I doubt if any at that time (1930s to 1950s) understood their anti-racism in this way.
Jack Gilford.  In 1938, Gilford worked as the master of ceremonies in the first downtown New York integrated nightclub, "Cafe Society".  Gilford's career wasgilford derailed for a time during the 1950s and the McCarthy Era. He was an activist who campaigned for social change, integration and labor unions. He was quite active both socially and politically in left wing causes, as was his wife, actress Madeline Lee Gilford.  Gilford and his wife were implicated for their alleged sympathies by the House Un-American Activities Committee during the McCarthy Era. Gilford and Madeline were specifically named by choreographer Jerome Robbins in his testimony to the HUAC. Gilford and his wife were called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1953. The couple had difficulty finding work during much of the rest of the 1950s due to the Hollywood blacklist. Jack and Madeline often had to borrow money from friends to make ends meet.  (from Wikipedia)
What I am suggesting is that Bildung involved the emergence of formal operational competence, that the Enlightenment involved the emergence of the scietific frame of mind as a major force ithin modernizing socities, and that one fails to gsp the driving force of Bildung qua cognitive development.  In this sense, the enlightenent as developmental trajectory--thge emrgence of scince & form op complexity--is a continuous process from the timne of Mozart to the time of Earl Browder.


from ➞➞

This page has a double aspect.  It follows a conventional thematic--Progressivism to New Deal.  But the historical trajectory of these political forces originates in the Enlightenment, not simply in the sense of applying science to politics (the Brandeis Brief), but more fundamentally, in the double movement of Bildung(Alcorn and Piaget).

The politics of bildung is opposed by the poliics of resentiment.  But resentiment is  itself an inferior cultural-cognitive formation, inferior in a number of senses.  Fist, it is developmentally nferior--pre-op as opposed to formal op.  Second, it is inevitably an infeor force (Steiman and Nietzsche) in that it is the objct of manipulation by reactionary elites, and has no indpendent political existgence.

1.  Bildung
2.  Stalinism as a Removable Singularity (McCarthyism and Stalinism: Fundamental
Isomorphism (Lewin and Levien)
5.  NEP and New Deal (Minutes of Exec Bd, 1938 and 1939)
6.  KE and State Capitalism (NEP and New Deal)
7.  Death of Progresivism: Persistence, Ressentiment, Narcissism

from Karl Marx, A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, Introduction:

Where, then, is the positive possibility of a German emancipation?

Answer: In the formulation of a class with radical chains, a class of civil society which is not a class of civil society, an estate which is the dissolution of all estates, a sphere which has a universal character by its universal suffering and claims no particular right because no particular wrong, but wrong generally, is perpetuated against it; which can invoke no historical, but only human, title; which does not stand in any one-sided antithesis to the consequences but in all-round antithesis to the premises of German statehood; a sphere, finally, which cannot emancipate itself without emancipating itself from all other spheres of society and thereby emancipating all other spheres of society, which, in a word, is the complete loss of man and hence can win itself only through the complete re-winning of man. This dissolution of society as a particular estate is the proletariat.
narcisissm: regressive and progressive (developmental)

Bildung
thematic formulations:
Progressivism to New Deal
The Communist Party of the United States
The Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State

This page evolved from an initial effort to describe the inner life of the Communist milieu of the mid-twentieth century.  This historico-psychological as opposed to the individualist approach grew, rhizome-like, through the assemblage of similar textual elements.  Thus, starting with the Wellman interview (which confirmed my own experience as a Red Diaper Baby) as the point anchoring a plane of immanence, a biography of Mozart (Gutman), a study of cognitive development (Flynn), of Workers and Intelligentsia in Late Imperial Russia (Zelnick), of The Bildungsroman in European Culture (Moretti), Lenin's What is to be Done, the Minutes of the UAW Executive Board Meeting of April 26, 1939 with the (Local 2) Murray Body Committee, The Geneology of Morals (Nietzsche)

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)