Bildung: Was Mozart a Communist: References
Robert W. Gutman, Mozart, a Cultural Biography (Harcourt Brace, 1999)

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

Karin Schutjer, Narrating Community After Kant: Schiller, Goethe, and Hölderin (Sayne State University Press, 2001)

Harold Mah, Enlightenment Phantasies: Cultural Identity in France and Germany, 1750-1914 (Cornell University Press, 2003)

Karl Emil Franzos, "Schiller in Barnow" (1876), in The German Jewish Dialogue: An Anthology of Literary Texts, 1749-1993, Ritchie Robertson, ed. (Oxford University Press, 1999)

Who Is This Schiller Now?  Essays on His Reception and Significance

10.  John A. McCarthy, "Energy and Schiller's Aesthetics from the 'Philosophical' to the Aesthetic Letters

11.  Maria del Rosario Acosta López, "'Making Other People's Feelings Our Own': From the Aesthetic to the Political in Schiller's Aesthetic Letters"

26.  Paul E. Kerry, "Schiller's Political Ideas: Who Cares?"

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

Rudiger Safransky, Romanticism: A German Affair (Northwestern University Press, 2014)

Margaret Jacob's in The First Knowledge Economy: Human Capital and the European Economy, 1750-1850 (Cambridge, 2014)

Alfred Kelly, ed., German Worker: Working-Class Autobiographies from the Age of Industrialization (University of California Press, 1987)

John Dupré, "Causality and Human Nature in the Social Sciences," in Processes of Life: Essays in the Philosophy of Biology (Oxford, 2012)

Bernard Stiegler, The re-enchantment of the world : the value of spirit against industrial populism (Bloomsbury Academic, 2014)

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

interview of Saul Wellman by Peter Friedlander

Lock; Bully; Jones

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

Leopold H. Haimson, "Russian Workers' Political and Social Identities: the Role of Social Representations in the Interaction Between Members of the Labor Movement and the Social Democratic Intelligentsia," in Zelnick, Workers and Intelligentsia in Late Imperial Russia (University of California Press, 1999)

Elliot L. Jurist, Beyond Hegel and Nietzsche: Philosophy, Culture, and Agency (The MIT Press, 2000), pp. 44-45, 52-63, 95-96

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

Murray Body Spring Division: Minutes
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 analysis the world could be understood, explained, and regulated.moz  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).




Stephen Rumph, Mozart and Enlightenment Semiotics  (University of California, 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 MORE 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 Wellbery summarized this paradigm in his study of Lessing's Laokoon: 'For Enlightenment semiotics, then, the progress of knowedge 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 Fuast 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

Chapter 4, Mozart and Marxism (discussion of Adam Smith, pp. 116- )

"'And hence it is, that to feel much for others and little for ourselves, that to restrain our selfish, and to indulge our benevolent affections, constitutes the perfection of human nature . . . . '" pp. 117-18

"Sympathy governed not only interpersonal relations, but also the evolution of personal identity itself.  We come to know ourselves only within society, claimed Smith, as we observe the reactions of our fellow humans.  We internalize these reactions over time . . . .  Like his teacher David Hume, Smith regarded personal identity as an a posteriori construct, resulting from an aggregate of experiences. . . .  as an emergent construct that could be traced to sensory experience." 118

"According to Smith, personal pronouns evolved as humans developed abstract thought.  The linguuistic self, like the moral self, emerged only gradually through a process of social exchange."  119

"This puts  a crimp in Marxist critiques that would map the bourgeois individual, social forces, or other abstract ideas onto the voices in Mozart's music.  Such readings skip a crucial step.  They ignore one of the most brilliant and enduring ideas of the Enlightenment--that individual consciousness only emerges within the collective strucutres of language." 137
the Enlightenment as a cultural-historical developmental leap
(the Symbolic Order of Progressivism)

Margaret Jacob's The First Knowledge Economy: Human Capital and the European Economy, 1750-1850 (Cambridge, 2014).   Jacob's emphasis on socio-cultural networks, circles, meeting houses of these first "industrialists"; her emphasis on the role of books as emotionally charged world-opening objects--one sees here both Vygotsky's notion of zone of proximal development broadened and historicized, and Alcorn's profound understanding of the development of self that can result from an an engagement with a text.  In this way Jacob expands our concept of the Enlightenment. 

This  requires a reconceptualization of what is called the Enlightenment--the Enlightenment as a cultural-historical developmental leap--an ontological leap, a cognitive revolution, a new Symbolic Order.  The superorganisism of the enlightenment . . .  from the 18th century to the New Deal (Schiller Hall, Detroit (and theUAW).  Scientific reasoning is not merely about knowledge.  It is about functioning on the formal-operational level.  In the adventure of it, the jouissance of developmental transgression and becoming, lies the secret of the bildungs-proletarians and plebian upstarts who gave us so many Nietzschean spectacles--the Toledo auto lite strike, midland steel sitdown strike, the flint sitdown strike, the 1943 Dodge Main strike . . .  One subset of pages on this site enters into the inner world of the übermenschen listed in Table 1.  Bildungs-proletarians of Southeast Michigan.

Alcorn's book . . . deepens these Vygotskian approaches by adding a psychological dimension . . .  Narcissism and the Literary Libido complements the reading of McElwain's letter to Frankfurter, Brandeis's letter to La Follette, the Wellman, Williams, Lock and Bully interviews (and Neal Leighton's moment of insight not followed through on), Morris L. Cooke's Presidential Address to the Taylor Society, Brougham's article in the TSBull, the report to the UAW's IEB on factionalism in UAW Local 190 Packard), Robert Travis's  September 1937 Report on Flint.  Alcorn works with the basic concepts of "self psychology" developed by Kohut and Kernberg.  (See the Keynesian Elite: a plane of immanence.) Greenberg and Mitchell




The excerpt below from
John Dupré, "Causality and Human Nature in the Social Sciences," in Processes of Life: Essays in the Philosophy of Biology (Oxford, 2012), is one of the best summaries available of what could be called the Progressive view of human psycho-cognitive development: it can serve as an introduction to Figure 1.

It is . . . clear that recognition of the variety of factors involved in development makes possible a diversity of individual outcomes within even quite narrowly defined populations. (285)

 . . . the human mind . . . involves a new level of capacity to transform the world beyond the organism. (291)

If I simply act in pursuit of whatever passing whim is uppermost at the moment I exhibit no more causal power than any other animal.  If I choose to build a bridge, write a book, or cook dinner, and subordinate my choice of actions to this decision, I exercise to a greater or lesser degree a distinctively human ability to shape the world.  In the social realm, the ability to conform to principle, above all moral principle, is the kind of regimentation of behaviour that constitutes a uniquely human achievement. (291)

 . . . it is the fitting of action into some kind of systematic pattern that distinguishes the truly free agent from one who merely has the ability to respond to the whim of the moment; and . . .  [what emerges is] the ontological picture of the human agent as an entity enabled to pursue complex goals or engage in patterns of action over time by the acquisition of a uniquely rich range of capabilities. (293)

I wish to emphasize particularly the ability of cultural evolution to transform the developmental niche.  And here, at least in contemporary developed countries, it seems clear that humans have learned in quite recent times to construct a remarkably novel environment for the development of their young. . . .  [T]hese prodigious changes to the human environment, concretizations of our rapidly evolving culture, profoundly affect the developmental resources available to growing humans.  For that reason their introduction should be seen as representing major evolutionary change. (284)
from Alfred Kelly, ed., German Worker: Working-Class Autobiographies from the Age of Industrialization (University of California Press, 1987)

As I said, I couldn't do his work. He doesn't even have any desire to go out on Sundays. He rests then. But when people like us have put in a whole week in a stuffy factory, we want to get some fresh air on Sunday and chat with our friends and probably have some fun. The old rural generation asks nothing more of life than to eat, sleep, and work; or at most to leaf through the local paper—that's their entire intellectual nourishment. The modern worker, however, demands more. He demands, at the very least, to take part in the pleasures of life. He wants to educate himself. From my school days, I had especially loved and valued books, and I still have today almost all the books from my last three school years. I constantly wanted to know more. But whenever I bought another book I was scolded. Book buying, amusements, going out on Sundays—that took money! My wife joined in preaching the same line; and later when I worked in the metal industry in Gera and occasionally bought another book because I made more money, I was still scolded. But they still couldn't stop me from building up a sizable library over a period of time. I was also given a large number of good books by my old school friend Dietzmann. . . .

So, as I said, because I wanted more out of life, my wife's family kept telling me: It's better to knuckle under; you should be satisfied with your fate. Why all this party and union busi­ness? It's OK to vote for the Social Democrats, but otherwise you should keep quiet. There have to be rich and poor. Oh, the intellectual horizon of these poor old country workers extends no farther than this! But I stuck to my opinions; and I had countless arguments with my wife about them. She would often say, the workers would certainly give us nothing if the factory owners don't even give us anything. Remarkable! No factory owner ever gave me anything but my scanty wages; and that was a lot less than what I actually would have earned. And I always told my wife my frank opinion about it. In the beginning all the instruction helped not a bit, but eventually she became shrewder. Now she's even gotten organized—all without my doing and in spite of the fact that she only works at home. She's become a member of the Textile Workers' Union. But in the first years of our marriage she hadn't reached such understanding. . . .
 

She grew up among peasants, uneducated; all she shared with her sisters were harsh words and bad food, mostly potatoes, bread, and chicory broth. Any view of a higher life of the mind was foreign to her. She considered all of my books a useless extravagance. I forgave her because she was still good­hearted and bore a lot of suffering. I compared her to a mater dolorosa when she used to sit on the coal box and complain bitterly of our sad plight.
 p. 250





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

"And  yet, in novel after novel, the protagonist of the Bildungroman, whose social origin is often in what German historians call Bildungsburgertum, or bourgeoisie of culture, does not direct his steps toward the Besitzburgertum, or bourgeoisie of property, but rather--think of the frequent episode of the hero's 'farewell to his bourgeois friend'--toward an aristocratic universe with which it feels a far deeper kinship." p. viii-ix) ... " . . . outside of work, what is the bourgeois?  what does he do?  how does he live?" (p. ix)

"All this compels us to re-examine the current notion of'modern ideology' or 'bourgeis culture', or as you like it.  The success of the Bildungsroman suggests in fact that the truly central ideologies of our world are not in the least . . . intolerant, normative, monologic, to be wholly submitted to or rejected.  Quite the opposite: they are pliant and precarious, 'weak' and 'impure'. (p. 10)

"The most classical Bildungsroman . . . conspicuously places the process of formation-socialization outside the world of work.  The process of formation-socialization placed outside work: a surprising and somewht disturbing development, given our automatic tendency to juxtapose 'modern ethics' and 'capitalism'."  25

"The two tensions--autonomy and socialization--are less predetermind in their development; their reconciliation is less evident and straightforward.  The attempt to join modernity and tradition remains: but these two historical and cultural poles acquire a more unusual and interesting appearance. . . .  The characters in Wilhelm Meister are not idlers.  If they make this impression on Werner itis because, as a proper merchant, he cannot conceive of work that does not bring with it renunciation, ascesis, sacrifice.  But the immense wager of the Society of the Tower, previously announced by Wilhelm in the letter to Werner on the difference between the noble and the bourgeois (Wilhelm Meister, V. 3) is that a kind of work can be created that would enhance not 'having' but rather 'being'. . . .  In this second sense, work is fundamental in Meister: as noncapitalist work . . . it is an unequalled instrument of social cohesion . . . .  It reinforces the links between man and nature, man and other men, man and hisemself. . . .  Work seems to have as its end the formation of the individual.  It is, in its essence, pedagogy.  This is the true occupation, much more so than its landed enterprises, of the Society of the Tower, which, after all, owes its origin to a pedagogical experiment.  Producing men--this is the true vocation of the masons in Meister. (28-29)


If twentieth-century heroes are as a rule younger than their predecessors, this is so because, historically, the relevant symbolic process is no longer growth but regression.  The adult world refuses to be a hospitable home for the subject?  Then let childhood be it--the Lost Kingdom, the 'Domaine mystérieux' of Alain-Fournier's Meaulnes.  Hence Malte's longing for his mother, or Jakob's anguished final cry ('Ah, to be a small child--to be that only, and forever!'); or, in a more militant vein, Törless's devstatiing sense of omnipotence: the most regressive of features, out of which will arise--through Le grand MeaulnesLe Diable au corps (1923), and Lord of the Flies (1954)--a veritable tradition of counter-Bildungsroman.  'What is the matter,' asks the hero of Meaulnes, 'are the children in charge here?'  They are, and readers of Golding know the end of this story, where childhood may well be the biological trope for the new phenomenon of mass behaviour.  The regression from youth to adolescence and childhood would thus be the narrative form for what liberal Europe saw as an anthropological reversal from the individual as an autonomous entity to the individual as the mere member of a mass.  Given this framework, the postwar political scenario could hardly encourage a rebirth of the Bildungsroman: that mass movements may be constitutive of individual identity*--and not just destructive of it--was to remain an unexplored possibility of Western narrative.

Homeless, narcissistic, regressive**: the metamorphosis of the image of youth in our century is by now a famiiar fact.  p. 231-2
(1913),
Bernard Stiegler, The re-enchantment of the world : the value of spirit against industrial populism (Bloomsbury Academic, 2014)

 . . . a modality of what we call psychic and collective individuation following the philosopher Gilbert Simondon. Individuation is the process through which individuals constitute themselves, never ceasing to transform themselves and, along with them, the societies that they compose—as such, psychic and collective individuation is the manner in which a society forms a body and unites itself, while at the same time inheriting an experience of the past, what is often called recognition, but also, and more broadly, knowledge. p. 7

The re-enchantment of the world means to bring about a return to a context of as-sociated milieus, and to reconstitute individuation as dialogic association and competition. p. 36. 

Intelligence is above all social, which is why it presupposes the development of as-sociated milieus . . . p. 55.





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

cognitive
Both Freud and Lacan argued that humans develop logical abstract thought in order to free themselves from childlike attachments to objects and images.  But logic and abstract thought do not end more primitive thought attached to objects; it simply pushes it into the unconscious.  5

Understood in the broadest sense, libido is a "psychic energy" that can invest almost anything with an attractiveness that does not at all seem sexual.  Both advertising and art attempt to orchestrate the flow of libido in order to reposition or revalue particular cultural items, ideas, or situations.  5

 . . . Kohut observes that whereas narcissism is usually associated with self-love (or the libidinal investment of the self), narcissism actually supports a wide array of libidinal investments.  People, material objects, human activities, and even thoughts can be invested with "narcissistic libido."  Narcissistic libido, not only for Kohut (unlike Freud), contributes to "mature object relations" (to healthy human relationships).  6

[on celebrity:]  Part of the psychic structure missing in the observer is pereived as existing in the object observed.  Kohut points out:

The intensity of the search for and of the dependence on these objects [people] is due to the fact that they are striven for as a substitute for the missing segments of the psychic structure.  They are not objects (in the psychological sense of the term) since they are not loved or admired for their attributes, and the actual features of their personalities, and their actions, are only dimly recognized.  7

For Kernberg narcissism is a term covering those processes whereby the various internal components--libido, aggression, and internalized objects--of the self are modified.  Kernberg's account of narcissism broadens Freud's account by seeing narcissism in developmental and not exclusively pathological terms. 12

Kernberg's explanation of the relationship between narcissism and libido is especially intersting because it suggests that libidinal attachments are not driven fundamentally by instinct, but driven by a culturally and psychologically conditioned flow of desire determined initially and most forcefully by early identifications with parents and caregivers. [Alcorn then quotes Kernberg]:

[Kernberg and primatologists]

"The biologically determined intensity of affects can be channeled into ever more complex intrapsychic motivational systems; but--except under extreme circumstances--there is no direct mechanical relationship between biological pressures and psychic functioning." Kernberg, Borderline Conditions (339-40) in Alcorn, 13

drives

Heinz Kohut, in a similar argument, suggests that "drives" are not biologically programmed "instincts," but are derivatives of early forms of identifications.  For Kohut, humans are "driven" most primordially by a desire to enlarge or secure the "being" of the self.  Any "abnormalities of the drives," Kohut argues, are merely "the symptomatic consequences of [a] . . . central defect of the self."  Kohut, like Kernberg, disavows traditional Freudian theory.  He argues that how we feel and what we want are largely the result of complex patterns of libidinal investments--not of instincts (innate biological drives)--directed primarily by our particlar attachments, identifications, and interactions with others. 

When narcissism is seen in the larger context of libido theory rather than in the more limited context of maladjusted behavior, we will be in a better position to undestand the configurations of perception, emotion, and cognition that fund rhetrical transformations.  The work of Kohut and Kernberg distinguishes between narcissistic personality disorders and narcissistic strategies for defense or development common to all people.  Kohut diverges more radically from classical psychoanalytic theory than Kernberg, but both men propose a theory of ego development emphasizing the role of narcissistic investments in the formation of the internal structure of the self.  The particular nature of our libidinal investments in processes such as emphathy, identification, idealization, loss, and mourning, for example, can alter who we are and what we think.  It seems only too true, thus, that the "rhetoric" of early character formation is the work of libidinal investment.  13-14

***This theory of development (found in different ways in both object-relations theory and self-psychology) empasizes that the struture of the self develops initially in terms of the child's earliest identifications.  Identification means, as Thomas Ogden states, not only "a modelling of oneself after the external object, but, as in the case of superego formation, a process by which the functions of the external object are instated within the psyche."  The self thus take its internal structure, its being, its emotions, fears, and motivations, from its interaction with others in its world.  Identification is not simply a gesture that identity performs; it is a gesture that can form and transform identity. 14

 . . . all acts of indentification, attachment, and admiration can be considered narcissistic.  Narcissism, in the broadest sense, does not refer to a specific model of deviant behavior.  It refers to a theoretical understanding of the dynamic relationships between our "internalizatons" of "external" objects and our libidinal models of aspiration and identity.  Although many theorists continue to emphasize the primary importance of early childhood experience in the development of self-structure, contemporary theorists are more open to considering the impact of adult experence on character.  15

***Theories of narcissism seek to understand the ways various needs and self-images are activated or adopted in times of stress.  Narcissism refers most fundamentally to a process: "the cathexis of the self," the self's libidinal involvement with itself, its mode of investing energy in evaluative, protective, and developmental functions.  In order to develop, the ego must cathext itself and must have itself as the object of its own aspirations.  If the ego did not cathect itelf there would be no superego, no ego ideals, and no truly human behavior.  Thus the growth of human identity is necessarily "narcissstic" in the broadest sense of the term.  Such a usage does not imply a negative character disorder; it merely characterizes the necessarily self-referential psychodyamics of individuation. 15

***If an understanding of narcissism helps us to understand the particular shifts in attention and interests that direct a reader's response to a text, an understanding of narcissism also can help to explain the larger force that makes rhetoric operate as a force of change.  In certain respects, self-identity is enormously conservative and resistant to change.  Freud emphasizes the ego's desire to preserve itself.  But at the same time, the ego wants to be greater and more powerful.  Narcissism thus merges as a form of desire in which the ego is willing to entertain change as a movement toward that ever mythical "greater being."  Narcissism presides over a state of affairs in which--because we always want to be more than we are--some aspect of the self, at some level, desires change.  Of course, the permutations and duplicities of change are enormously complex, but the central motive for change would seem to be narcissistic in nature.  We accept or embrace change only because we think it will somehow effect for us a "better" state of affairs.  15-16

***This observation indicates that, as a term, narcissism should imply dialogical--not solipsistic--relationships.  The attention we give the word narcissism usually triggers a dismissal of the ineluctably social nature of narcissistic relations.  Such a dismissal vastly oversimplifies narcissistic phenomena.    Narcissism needs an other.  It needs an other to impress, to model the self on, or to respond to.  Narcissistic behavior is thus especially involved with social fashion and social status.  However, the social dimensions of narcissist behavior, with their emphasis on vanity, are larger in scope than these terms sugggest.  16

***Freud's conept of primary narcissism, with its emphasis on a blissful oneness with an imagined other, suggests the self in isolation.  But secondary narcissism, which derives from primary narcissism, is emphatically social in its concerns.  Ellie Ragland-Sullivan explains that according to Lacan "Secondary narcissism, with its attributes of permanence as manifest in ego ideals . . . [is] the basic process of humanization as well as the cornerstone of human relations."  This insistence on a profound relationship between narcissism and "human relations" may seem surprising.  But if narcissism seeks to improve an image of the self by looking elsewhere for identification, then narcissism is an essentially social mechanism. . . .  It is the primary force working at the cutting edge of the self's differing from itself.  16

***In serving to enhance the self, narcissism has the goal of enlargement of being.  But narcissism has no innately specific direction.  Nothing and no one, in and of itself, delivers increased being to the self.  Plenty of people and things promise increased being.  But this promissory status is infinitely paradoxical.  16

***The things that deliver increased being to the self are largely imaginary.  Given this state of affairs, narcissism becomes closely tied to the imagination.  Imaginative experience helps to "supplement" objects and events with narcissist promise.  This dynamic relationship between narcissism and imaginative needs cannot be overemphasized.  Narcissistic energy is usually bound, although precariously, by rather specific signifiers or representations supported in their roles by culture, the family, or the singular nature of individual experience. . . .   narcissistic energy actively and constantly exercises the imagination in order to see, grasp, and respond to people and situations in new and more desirable ways.  Narcissistic energy funds both discourse and perception actively seeking to create a social and material word that can more fully satisfy narcissistic need. 16-17

In this context, writing becomes a rather powerful medium for transferring narcissistic needs int a social space.  17

As Freud points out, the reality of the artist's social recognition is a very powerful force.  We must understand why the artist is given such recognition and admiriation.

Fundamntally, the text mediates between the narcissism of the writier and the narcissism of the reader. . . .  If both the author and reader feel themselves 'recognized' in a satisfactory way, the pain of inner lack is ameliorated and a certain mysterious absent commoditiy, 'being,' issatisfactorily produced and consumed . . .    19-20

Just as the writier's desire gestures toward a reader, the reader's desire gropes toward an otherness desired and apparently configured in the text.  This divergence of author and reader from themselves, however, becomes the basis for a convergence of both author and reader on a textual medium that dramatizes, problematizes, reformulates--and in some paradoxical way satisfies--questions of being and value.  The convergence of both author and reader in the text provides the basis for a metaphysically complex community established by the fantastic nature of the  text.  20
On Becoming Communist: Flint, Michigan circa late 1940s

from an interview of Saul Wellman by Peter Friedlander:

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.

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.





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

I tend to agree with Charles Taylor that there are resources for self-reflexive thought, action and attitudes in all societies, but that the making of the self into a noun has been a relatively recent historical development associated with the West.  Taylor sees the modern western self as defined, first, by powers of reason, which are in turn associated with ideals of autonomy and dignity; second, by self-exploration; and third, by personal commitment. [Taylor, Sources of the Self, 113, 211]  7

This chapter goes on to examine that minority of workers who, having come into contact with western-influenced ideas of the self via the intelligentsia, strove to educate themselves and to acquire 'consciousness', a term that carries the idea of reworking oneself morally and intellectually in order to assert oneself against the world. p. 70

The 'conscious' worker who emerged in the last quarter of the nineteenth century were hardly typical of the majority of migrants who came to St. Petersburg.  They identified with the working class, at least in an idealized sense, yet often expressed a 'burning, pungent loathing of the utter self-devouring ignorance and incomprehension' of the ordinary worker.  'Conscious' workers sought to distance themelves from the latter, seeking to reconstruct their lives around the ideal of 'personality', struggling to develop as knowledgeable, autonomous individuals.  The worker memoirist Shapovalov recalled that as an apprentice fitter, he 'felt like a bird in a cage.  Life seemed like a prison, vague desires stirring in my soul--desires for space and air.'  For such workers, 'spiritual and intellectual dervelopment' was the means to achieve 'personality' and they responded warmly to the efforts of the intelligentsia to raise their level of 'culturedness' by teaching them the rudiments of high literacy and scientific culture.  Although most had a basic education in the village, such workers grabbed the opportunities on offer in the Sunday schools and evening classes of the capital.  'Why', asked a young fitter in a factory in the Nevskaia Zastava district, 'are our teachers such good people?  They are paid nothing and they lose their own time . . .  These are people who do not boast about their learning . . . but seek to share it with those who have no knowledge.'  pp. 76-7

Becoming conscious entailed not only sloughing off the corrupt habits of the 'dark masses'--drinking, fighting, gambling and so forth--but also the religious 'superstition' and political conservatism that befogged their minds.  In their struggle to forge a 'personality', conscious workers typically embraced the platonic ideal of self-mastery through reason, convinced that reason could liberate the people from the shackles of religion and monarchism.  Science magazine and brochures for the mass reader, dealing with topics such as astronomy, evolutionary theory and geography, and new technologies, such as radio and powered aviation, were immensely popular.  p. 78

We have seen that for 'conscous' workers in Russia and, to a lesser extent, in China reading was an activity that was central to self-fashioning, constitutive of what it meant to be a cultured and autonomous individual.  By contrast, the relation of the newly literate and semi-literate readers of the lower urban classes to new forms of commercially produced mass literature, produced with an eye to entertainment rather than education, was far less earnest. . . . p. 100

In Russia the appearance of commercialized forms of culture aimed at the urban masses alarmed both the tsarist government and many of the intelligentsia. . . .  The apperance of a literature designed to entertain rather than edify affronted the sensibilities of the intelligentsia, since it posed a threat to its aspiration to raise the cultural level of the masses and its ability to determine the value of ideas and images in circulation.  In 1908, the children's writer and literary critic Kornei Chukovskii, despite making a successful career as a commercial journalist,  described the prospect of a 'culture market' as 'horrifying', since 'only those [products] that are most adapted to the tastes and whims of the consumer' would survive.  The Copeck Newspaper (Gazeta Kopeika), founded in 1908, epitomized what many intellectuals most loathed and feared.  The most popular newspaper among St Petersburg workers, it had a circulation of 250,000 daily by 1910, and as its title indicates, cost one kopeck. . . .  Squeezed within its four or five pages were advertisements, domestic and foreign news, photographs, crime reports, accounts of low life and high life in the capital, and stories of success and hard luck.  Crucially, it published serialized fiction, much of it sensational in character, which allowed its readers vicariously to experience worlds of adventure, luxury, sexuality, crime and depravity.  pp. 100-101

Indeed, without denying the real potental for tension between individual autonomy and class-based collectivism, we may conclude that genuine forms of collectivism and cooperative action are possible only where class solidarity is grounded in autonomous individuals capable of demanding the recognition due to them as thinking, feeling persons.  Without that, new forms of group coercion based on weak individuality are likely to be the result . . .  110
from Leopold H. Haimson, "Russian Workers' Political and Social Identities: the Role of Social Representations in the Interaction Between Members of the Labor Movement and the Social Democratic Intelligentsia," in Reginald Zelnick, Workers and Intelligentsia in Late Imperial Russia (University of California Press, 1999)

For young, urbanized workers, the process of their development and self-definition as conscious workers consisted in the construction of a new, "scientific," "modern" world view, one that would replace the traditional convictions and values of peasant culture held by most of their parents.  The formation of such a world view entailed not only the construction of a notion of historical progress, based on the experience of the more civilized countries of the West and the history of their labor movements; it also entailed the construction of a new, "scientific" understanding of the laws that govern socety, the world of nature, and the universe as a whole.

In their propaganda work, the intelligenty of social democratic orientation also tried to transmit to the workers a feeling of solidarity with the international proletariat.  That feeling was based for the most part on the image that the propagandists formed of the working class and the workers' movement in the more developed countries of the West.  In part because of this, many young metalworkers found it difficult to experience a sense of solidrity with the "gray" workers of St. Petersburg's textile mills and even with those workers of their own enterprises whom they viewed as less developed.

One might even conclude that the experence of participating in propaganda circles and Sunday schools increased the estrangement of the young metalworkers (and printers as well) from other strata of the St. Petersburg working class.  The Social Democrats in the capital learned this harsh lesson in 1896-97 when, to their surprise, a "spontaneous" wave of economic strikes flared up and spread among the "gray" men and women of the city's textile and tobacco factories.  Despite the urgent calls of leaders of the Petersburg Union of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Woring Class, the young metalworkers and printers, including participants in the work of Marxist propaganda circles, displayed few significant signs of solidarity with the striking workers.  

The conduct of the metalworkers and printers encouraged the leaders of the Union of Struggle, who were trying to influence the development of the Petersburg labor movement, to shift from so-called "propaganda" to the tactic of "economic agitation."  This sharp change in the tactics of the Petersburg SDs was taken by many of the workers who attended the Marxist propaganda circles as a betrayal of their interests by the inteligentsia.  pp. 152-3
Also from Zelnick, Workers and Intelligentsia:

Deborah L. Pearl, "Narodnaia Volia and the Worker"

As propagandists saw it, their task was not simply to expose workers to new ideas about revolution and socialism, but also to help them to arrive at a wholly new way of looking at the world.  Circle studies, in which many workers were passionately involved, often had this effect, sometimes in ways even the propagandists themselves did not fully understand.  Mikhail Drei, a young law student and narodovolets in Odessa in 1880-81, was puzzled at the interest his circle of carpenters showed in discussions of science and the natural world.  "[T]hey became especially animated when our conversations turned to the topics of the origin of species, the phases of the moon, eclipses of the sun, the origin of the world, etc."  p. 59


S. A. Smith, "Workers, the Intelligentsia, and Social Democracy in St. Petersburg, 1895-1917"

For their part, the workers who joined the party were just as prone to idealize the intelligentsia, and just as prone to disenchantment if they discovered their idols had feet of clay.  For the "conscious" workers, the intelligent represented a world of culture and freedom to which they were eager to gain admission.  For Bolshevik workers more particularly, the Marxist intelligentsia represented a realm of science, access to which was vital if revolution were to succeed. p. 200
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 metioned idosyncracy, 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 conditons (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.
James R. Flynn, What is Intelligence?  Beyond the Flynn Effect (Cambridge University Press, 2009):

The scientific ethos, with its vocabulary, taxonomies, and detachment of logic and the hypothetical from concrete referents, has begun to permeate the minds of post-industrial peoples.  This has paved the way for mass education on the university level and the emergence of an intellectual cadre without whom our present civilization would be inconceivable. 29

What follows is my version of the cognitive history of the twentieth century. . .  Science altered our lives and then liberated our minds from the concrete.  This history has not been written because, as children of our own time, we do not perceive the gulf that separates us from our distant ancestors: the difference between their world and the world seen through scientific spectacles. . . .  As use of logic and the hypothetical moved beyond the concrete, people developed new habits of mind.  They became practiced at solving problems with abstract or visual content and more innovative at administative tasks." 172-174
TRANSCRIPTION OF INTERVIEWS HELD DECEMBER 13-15, 1978, WITH BOB TRAVIS BY NEIL LEIGHTON

TAPE NO. 1

DATE: December 13, 1978

INTERVIEWER: Neil Leighton

INTERVIEWEES: Bob Travis and Charlie Kramer, Los Angeles, California
U of M Oral Hit Project: Travis 

NL: That’s okay, sure. These fellows inside the plant, guys like Bud Simons and Walter Moore and the others, how did you identify them? These guys had been working there for some time. Did you pick ‘em because they had been in the ’30 strike?

RT: No, because Mort, you see, Mort... When Mort says he would―when this committee come to the Executive Board and wanted Mort to get out. And the Executive Board sheriff said, “After all, if Mort was Vice-President he should be doing something else except one plant or one town.” So Mort Says, “Well, I’ll assume my duties on one condition.” They said, “What is that condition?” He said, “If I can pick the guy that goes and takes my place in Flint.” They said, “Who’s the guy you’re gonna pick?” And he said, “I’ll pick me” (“me” refers to Bob Travis). And the Executive Board says, “Okay, Mort. Travis will be the guy that will go in your place.” That’s when I come in. And so I sat down with Mort. “Who do you get in touch with here?” “Get in touch with Walt Moore, Bud Simons, Joe Devitt, Jay Green.” Well, I really don’t know who else. That’s how I got in touch.

NL: Yeah. Did he ever tell you how he identified those guys? Because he came to Flint, what? The first time in Aug―no, June, I guess, June―of ’36. And he sums up the town very quickly, and he’s very good at that, you know.

RT: Yeah.

NL: That’s what I―the impression I get, of course, is from reading that this guy, you know, had the ability to drive around that town, ask a few key questions, and he had that situation pretty well summed up. But these guys, why I keep hitting on this, is that these guys―

CK: Well, it’s simple. They were the CP’s child. Two answers. They had gone through the whole business of the National Labor Board. They had gone through the building up of the union before that and the debacle―

RT: Two years before, yeah.

CK: The destruction of the AFL local during that period, and they were the only guys who stood up during that whole period. So they may or may not have been known as CP members or whatever, because it doesn’t make any difference, really. But they were bigger than the police or the CP organizers in there. That’s why he knew them, because, when―well, we can get into that later.

NL: Yeah, but you know the thing I’m interested in is that these guys have skills.

CK: And a history.

NL: And a history. That’s right, the skills that they get out of experience. And the reason I asked this question, and it sounds naive, is, of course, because it is one of the most interesting things for those of us working on this project is that after just a very short period of time in talking to a lot of rank-and-file people, you realize that, although they look like everybody else in Flint, they’re not, down deep they’re not. And their views on politics and religion may be the same as everybody else; they may be different. But there’s a certain level below which―and they’ve got these skills. Of course, the people coming out of the academic world, you know, particularly those out of a middle-class background, they cannot believe that anybody that hasn’t been to college can read.

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 metioned idosyncracy, 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 conditons (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.