From the New Deal to Donald Trump

rampant patrimonialism and the nightmare of path-dependency



Randall Collins, "Patrimonial Alliances and Failures of State Penetration: A Historical Dynamic of Crime, Corruption, Gangs, and Mafias," The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 636,  July, 2011


Jane Schneider and Peter Schneider, "Mafia, Antimafia, and the Plural Cultures of Sicily." Current Anthropology, Vol. 46, No. 4 (August/October 2005), pp. 501-520

Patrimonialism* in action: Marie Yovanovitch says State Department 'being hollowed out from within' (UPI November 15, 2019):

"Moreover, the attacks are leading to a crisis in the State Department as the policy process is visibly unraveling, leadership vacancies go unfilled, and senior and mid-level officers ponder an uncertain future and head for the doors. The crisis has moved from the impact on individuals to an impact on the institution.



    (this site)             Patrimonialism and Fascism
patrimonial states: Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, United States
This page uses figurative elements, including  graphs, tables, charts, and maps, to advance an analysis of the historical trajectory: the New Deal to Donald Trump.  The rule governing this page is to think in terms of these graphemes, which form a set of synthetic a prioris.  In certain cases a text is made to function as a grapheme.  The Lacan-Atwater Signifying Chain is one such a case.  Another is the Freud-Jamieson Black Hole of Liberalism.  They are also elementary particles.  That is, they are the building blocks of intelligibility within a hermeneutical modus operandi.  This may be what Deleuze means by transcendental empiricism, which is consistent with Hegel's notion of the concrete universal.  Also Alexander Luria's The Making of Mind.  Hermeneutical intelligibility vs. nomothetic explanation.

The first three graphemes

❖ The UAW: Bildungsproletarians and Plebeian Upstarts
❖ The Keynesian Elite
❖ Sectors of Capital

provide a necessary framework and point of departure for dealing with the historical trajectory in question: from the New Deal to Donald Trump..

The next two graphemes

❖ PISA math scores, 2003-2015
❖ The Lacan Atwater Signifying Chain

deal with cognitive and emotional processes.  These two graphemes contain the key to understanding the election of 2016 and the subsequent patrimonial bacchanale which grows exponentially at the expense of rational-bureaucratic organizations.  With the release on December 3, 2019 of the latest PISA math results, we see an underappreciated aspect of American Exceptionalism: a cognitive decline that makes us unique among "advanced" "capitalist" nations.  With the increasing fascistization of American government and politics, we can now look back at the period 1938 to the present and understand the key role played by LASC in making possible the particular herding of primates known as the stupid party (the GOP).  I look at these process through the cognitive prism of the extended mind of the bildungsproletarians and plebeian upstarts of southeast Michigan ( Figure 1).
the cartesian a priori

To understand the present situation, thinking must first emancipate itself from the Cartesian presuppositional matrix--the ontological presupposition of the Cartesian self and its associated rhetorical elements of consciousness, belief, motive, ideology and interest.  Failure to do so has the effect, a priori, of blocking conceptualization of questions of ontology, agency, intentionality, habitus, networks and contexts.  And thinking must approach the question of "ontology" as a question of genetic ontology: the performative dimensions of ontology.

some elementary particles
Prelude to Trump: the Civil War in the UAW
Figure 1.  The UAW: Bildungsproletarians and Plebeian Upstarts, 1933-1943:
Detroit and the lower great lakes
(the Unity Caucus)
kk
see list of interviews
Bildung and Ressentiment
Civil War, 1936 to 1941: Midland Steel (readings)
Schiller Hall: Bildung and Modernity (readings)
Joe Adams on atheism of his peers (the Reuther group and beyond) North Dakota, Postel, Montgomery, Guttman
Orality and Literacy
Paul Silver (Detroit Steel Products) on print vs. oral cultures on the shopfloor ONG LURIA
Saul Wellman (CP, Flint) on escape from the idiocy of orality
Rosenfeld and Musso
Bildungsproletarians and their other
Herman Burt on Polish women
Bill Jenkins on the Bulgarians
Williams et. al. on hillbillies in Pontiac
LIST n=37
Shelton Tappes and Herman Burt on Uncle Toms
Frank Fagan on the "Americans"
Plebeian upstarts
Emergence of a UAW local
Bud Simon's letter; robt travis letter
Departmental biographies
Frank Fagan on welding and welders
Joe Adams and Art Grudzen on the Trim department
Edmund Kord's synoptic view
the Flying Squadrons: a workers' militia?

Events
Bud Simon on the firing of the two welders

•John Anderson re 3 locals
•John Anderson on CP in flux, critical period (this is part of Thermidor)
Joe Adams on 1943 strike

Earl Reynolds on first encounter
Edmund Kord on stubb out cigarettes
from Immanuel Kant to Donald Trump

"Thoughts without intuitions are empty; intuitions without concepts are blind."

"Philosophy always arrives too late . . . .  The Owl of Minerva takes flight only as the dusk begins to fall."

"Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce."

History without philosophy is only a screen on which to project the shibboleths of our time.

Hitler is to Trump as tragedy is to farce.


       United States Population Density, 2000                 
Midwest Auto Parts, 2006
hhgg
, Delphi and Midwest Auto Parts
  More maps                     from Fed Reserve Bank Chicago
                       October 20,2005

Figure 2. U.S. Political Economy by Sector, 1910 to 1939
input-output matrices: capital formations and the two-party system
hh

see Elites: Strategic and Otherwise

"The Origins of the "Welfare State": The Keynesian Elite and
the Second New Deal, 1910-1936" (manuscript, 1987)



Figure 3. The Keynesian Elite in the New Deal state
ke
Source: "Membership List, May 1927," in the Morris L. Cooke Papers, box 66,
FDR Library; and United States Government Manual 1937
for more info on Fig.2 click on Keynesian Elite: Career Matrix
also: the Papers of John M. Carmody
Joanna Bockman. Markets in the Name of Socialism: The Left-Wing Origins of Neoliberalism (Stanford University Press, 2011): three reviews

from OED, grapheme
.  1955   H. A. Gleason Introd. Descr. Ling. xxi. 302.


"A writing system consists of a set of graphemes plus certain characteristic features of their use."

Graphemes



From the Sapient Paradox to Donald Trump:
the Guttenberg Parenthesis and the Flynn effect



cognitive processes

The election of 2016 occured in the context of the situation indexed by Figure 4.  Many have commented on the cognitive performativity of the candidate and then the President, but don't take seriously the historicity, fragility, and reversibility of cognitive development as a cultural-historical phenomenon.  Figure 4 is an effect of cultural-historical developmental processes, of which schooling itself is only one of several key inputs affecting the cognitive and cultural development of situated organisms (not Cartesian selves).  Cognitive development is not a normative, inevitable process ("We were not born to read," Wolf).  It is an effect of history and politics, as well as evolution, and can suffer reversal or collapse.  This indeed is what is happening, and on a colossal scale.

Cognitive development is also not a solely ontogenetic process: the contextual and embedded character of mind; the social character of mind and agency; and the institutional and historical contexts of cognitive performativity must be borne in mind. (Jan Derry, Vygotsky, Philosophy, and Education, Wiley, 2013, pp. 17, 24)



first:and in the context of Rosenfeld & Musso: MAKE PAGE

The Trump phenomenon forces us to deal with these processes because primitive level of cognitive performativity and the sadism and racism--the fascism--of the modern Republican Party force us to do so.  He's not hurting the people he is suposed to be hurting"-----trump talks like a fourth grader.  sado-secual performativity at a pre-operation and gestural level of cvognitive performativity.  the degeneracy





Atwater--the right-wing political genius of his time (remember Willie Horton?)--reveals the performative formula of the Southern Strategy (Invisible Hands: The Businessmen's Crusade Against the New Deal, Kim Phillips-Fein.)










Figure 4.  PISA Math Scores, 2003 to 2015:
21 Developed Nations & East Asian Cities and City-States
w


"Reading Scores on National Exam Decline in Half the States," New York Times Oct. 30, 2019.

from Edward Frenkel And Hung-Hsi Wu, "Republicans Should Love 'Common Core'.  National standards can revive the way we teach math and science," Wall Street Journal, 5-6-13

Mathematical education in the U.S. is in deep crisis. The World Economic Forum ranks the quality of math and science education in the U.S. a dismal 48th. This is one of the reasons the 2010 report "Rising Above the Gathering Storm" by the National Academies warned that America's ability to compete effectively with other nations is fading. . . .  [The report refers to] the current lock-step march to the bottom of international student performance in math and science.



The Trump Problematic: Part A, Emotional Processes
aggression, violence, and cruelty in humans: Patrimonialism Resurgent?
from Mary Helen Immordino-Yang and Antonio R. Damasio, “We Feel, Therefore We Learn: The Relevance of Affective and Social Neuroscience to Education,” in Emotions, Learning, and the Brain: Exploring the Educational Implications of Affective Neuroscience (W. W. Norton & Company, 2015)

 . . . learning is dynamic, social, and context dependent because emotions are, and emotions form a critical piece of how, what, when, and why people think, remember, and learn.    Intro, p. 17

In general, cognition and emotion are regarded as two interrelated aspects of human functioning.   p. 36


two commentaries on Victor Nell, "Cruelty’s rewards: The gratifications of perpetrators and spectators," Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2006) 29, 211–257

1.  from Mika Haritos-Fatouros, “Cruelty: A dispositional or a situational behavior in man?” Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2006) 29, p.230

The basic question remains, however: How far are aggression, violence, and cruelty in humans today the result of predisposition factors, or biological or archetypal processes, and how far are they the result of cognitive/emotional processes evoked by situational factors?

2.  from Albert Bandura, “A murky portrait of human cruelty,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2006) 29, p. 225

At the macrosocial level, Nell greatly exaggerates the prevalence of human cruelty.  There exist wide intercultural differences representing both warring and pacific socities with large intracultural variations and even rapid transformation of warring societies into peaceful ones.   

Donald Trump: the First Ten Million Years
ttt


Two Sliding Scales, and the Deeps Roots of Patrimonialism

Juan Carlos Gomez, Apes, Monkees, Children and the Growth of Mind (Harvard University Press, 2004)

The possibility that, at a reduced scale, the mind of an ape can be upgraded by giving him, on the one hand, a regime of socally controlled attention and interactive experiences with humans, and on the other, a new, more explicit form of representing the world, would confer dramatic support to the Vygotskian notion that higher cognition can be created through cultural processes of develoment that change the nature of cognitive ontogeny. (pp. 262-3)



Merlin Donald,  A Mind So Rare: The Evolution of Human Consciousness (W. W. Norton & Company, 2001)

 . . . modern culture contains within it a trace of each of our previous stages of cognitive evolution.  It still rests on the same old primate brain capacity for episodic or event knowledge.  But it has three additional, uniquely human layers: a mimetic layer, an oral-linguistic layer, and an external-symbolic layer.  The minds of individuals reflect these three ways of representing reality.  (p. 262)


Merlin Donald, "The mind considered from a historical perspective: human cognitive phylogenesis and the possibility of continuing cognitive evolution." In D. Johnson & C. Ermeling (Eds.) The Future of the Cognitive Revolution (Oxford University Press, 1997), pp. 360-61

Mimetic representations are evident in human children before they acquire language competence. . . .  They continue to be important in adults, taking the form of highly variable social customs, athletic skills, and group expressive patterns (such as mass demonstrations of aggression or rejection).


The Trump Problematic: Part B, Cognitive Processes
Decognification: The President Who Doesen't Read
from Merlin Donald,  A Mind So Rare: The Evolution of Human Consciousness (W. W. Norton & Company, 2001)

 . . . modern culture contains within it a trace of each of our previous stages of cognitive evolution.  It still rests on the same old primate brain capacity for episodic or event knowledge.  But it has three additional, uniquely human layers: a mimetic layer, an oral-linguistic layer, and an external-symbolic layer.  The minds of individuals reflect these three ways of representing reality.  (p. 262)


from Merlin Donald, "The mind considered from a historical perspective: human cognitive phylogenesis and the possibility of continuing cognitive evolution." In D. Johnson & C. Ermeling (Eds.) The Future of the Cognitive Revolution (Oxford University Press, 1997), pp. 360-61

Mimetic representations are evident in human children before they acquire language competence. . . .  They continue to be important in adults, taking the form of highly variable social customs, athletic skills, and group expressive patterns (such as mass demonstrations of aggression or rejection).

From the Sapient Paradox to Donald Trump: the Guttenberg Parenthesis and the Flynn effect
bb



                     Fascist Performativities?       ---------->

Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense is the Genetic
Ontology of Trump's Theatrics

Lee Atwater has shown how the discursive and symbolic elements of the Southern Strategy were generated through the construction of a theatrical arena of the sado-sexual performativity that is the essence of the GOP's mass appeal.  Well before Trump, the evocation of evil and the channelling of rage against a scapegoat was the stock-in-trade of Republican politicians, who tapped into and gave expression to " . . . a whole tremulous realm of subterranean revenge, inexhaustible and  insatiable . . . " (Nietzsche, Geneology of Morals, III. 14)

The rhetorical violence of Trump rallies, not ideology and policies, is what is fundamental. The Trump performances--the audience, the cultural-historical context, and Trump himself as a therapeutic object with which the audience member can identify--become intelligible when viewed through the prism of certain key concepts:

• Nietzsche's concept of ressentiment;
• psychoanalysis's concept of the mechanisms of defense;
• Wilbur Cash's concept of the proto-Dorian convention;
• the Lacan-Atwater Signifying Chain;
• and Robert Paxton's concept of  redemptive violence.

On the right there are not issues, but postures, gestures, various encodings of the same sado-sexual reflex (the inner logic of racism).  Rage enacted in a political-media theater of violence, sadism, and revenge.  The cruelty of it all is the most important thing.  The vicarious thrill, the “enthusiasm for inflicting pain, suffering, or humiliation”(OED*): this is what is seen at Trump rallies.  The GOP's performative cadre are specialists in herding hominids of a particular cultural-historical configuration (ressentiment).  Hence the concept of semiotic regime.

*Oxford English Dictionary online, s.v. "Sadism"

the Lacan-Atwater Signifying Chain
from Wikipedia: (Lee Atwater's Infamous 1981 Interview on the Southern Strategy)

As a member of the Reagan administration in 1981, Atwater gave an anonymous interview to political scientist Alexander P. Lamis. Part of the interview was printed in Lamis's book The Two-Party South, then reprinted in Southern Politics in the 1990s with Atwater's name revealed. . . . Atwater talked about the Republican Southern Strategy and Ronald Reagan's version of it:

Atwater: As to the whole Southern strategy that Harry S. Dent, Sr. and others put together in 1968, opposition to the Voting Rights Act would have been a central part of keeping the South. Now you don't have to do that. All you have to do to keep the South is for Reagan to run in place on the issues he's campaigned on since 1964 and that's fiscal conservatism, balancing the budget, cut taxes, you know, the whole cluster.

Questioner: But the fact is, isn't it, that Reagan does get to the Wallace voter and to the racist side of the Wallace voter by doing away with legal services, by cutting down on food stamps?

Atwater: You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger"—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a by-product of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me—because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger."

A Neo-Kantian Views the semiosphere
Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Joseph N. Cappella reveal the utter incapacity of the liberal discursive field (e.g., MSNBC, New York Times) to comprehend, understand, or even simply observe the sado-sexual obsessiveness of right-wing rhetorical performativity.


the Freud-Jamieson Black Hole of Liberalism
from Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Joseph N. Cappella, Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Estabisment (Oxford Univeristy Press, 2008), p.p. 188-89. (Emphasis added.)

Limbaugh's attempts at gender-based "humor" are of the locker room variety.  As the California gubernatorial recall was heating up, Limbaugh informed his folowers that Leutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante--"whose name loosely translates into Spanish for 'large breasts'--leads the Terminator by a few pionts" (August 18, 2003).  A photomontage on the Limbaugh website shows a photograph of Schwartzenegger's head and shoulders from his Pumping Iron days as a body builder.  A naked woman has been transposed onto his shoulders.  Over her breasts is a sign reading BUSTAMONTE.  When Madonna endorsed General Wesley Clark, Limbaugh reported that she had "opened herself" to him.  Why the vulgarity in this message does not alienate the churchgoing conservatives in his audiences a question for which we have no ready answer.

Walter J. Ong, Orality and Literacy; and the Flynn effect
The figure above (unnumbered)--


the President Who Doesn't Read
A.  Donald Trump as Performative Complex
The election of 2016 occured in the context of the situation indexed by Figure 1, and is inconceivable outside this context.  But it cannot be understood until we add the emtional to the cognitive-performative side of life.  This can be donethrough the tudy of georaphy and the media.

Many have commented on the cognitive performativity of the candidate and then the President, but don't take seriously the historicity, fragility, and reversibility of cognitive development as a cultural-historical phenomenon; and thus, the significance of Donald Trump.  Figure 2 is an effect of cultural-historical developmental processes, of which schooling itself is only one of several key inputs affecting the cognitive and cultural development of situated organisms (not Cartesian selves).  Cognitive development is not a normative, inevitable process (Wolf).  It is an effect of history and politics, as well as evolution, and can suffer reversal or collapse.  This indeed is what is happening, and on a colossal scale.

Cognitive development is also not a solely ontogenetic process: the contextual and embedded character of mind; the social character of mind and agency; and the institutional and historical contexts of cognitive performativity must be borne in mind. (Jan Derry, Vygotsky, Philosophy, and Education, Wiley, 2013, pp. 17, 24)

Figure 1 suggests that a catastrophic decline in cognitive performativity preceded and made possible the fascist-patrimonial victory of November 2016. 


Focusing on the person of the Chief Executive and his various performative moments obliterates the cultural-historical dimensions of history.  The brutishness in language and behavior that are the chief characteristics of Trump's mass-oriented performances must be understood as manifestations of something of great ontological significance.  To understand this, thinking must first emancipate itself from the Cartesian presuppositional matrix--the ontological presupposition of the Cartesian self and its associated rhetorical elements of consciousness, belief, motive, ideology and interest.  Failure to do so has the effect, a priori, of blocking conceptualization of questions of ontology, agency, intentionality, habitus, networks and contexts.  And thinking must approach the question of "ontology" as a question of genetic ontology (see below): the performative dimensions of ontology.






                    But the new deal was bildung personified.  the attack on the new deal, which one can date variously from the “Rush Limbaugh” moment of 1933/4 (Wirt-Rand) to the defeat of FDR’s purge efforts in the Democratic primaries of 1938, to the masive defeat of new deal democrats in the industrial cities of the midwest in the November 1938 congressional elections. (Patterson)

But agency is composed of reason and passion, and so is both cognitive and emotional in its enactment. 


•1The election of 2016 occured in the context of the situation indexed by Figure 4.  Many have commented on the cognitive performativity of the candidate and then the President, but don't take seriously the historicity, fragility, and reversibility of cognitive development as a cultural-historical phenomenon.  Figure 4 is an effect of cultural-historical developmental processes, of which schooling itself is only one of several key inputs affecting the cognitive and cultural development of situated organisms (not Cartesian selves).  Cognitive development is not a normative, inevitable process (Wolf).  It is an effect of history and politics, as well as evolution, and can suffer reversal or collapse.  This indeed is what is happening, and on a colossal scale.

Cognitive development is also not a solely ontogenetic process: the contextual and embedded character of mind; the social character of mind and agency; and the institutional and historical contexts of cognitive performativity must be borne in mind. (Jan Derry, Vygotsky, Philosophy, and Education, Wiley, 2013, pp. 17, 24)

Figure 4 suggests that a decline in cognitive performativity in the contexts that matter preceded and made possible the fascist-patrimonial victory of November 2016. 


•2Focusing on the person of the Chief Executive and his various performative moments obliterates the cultural-historical dimensions of history.  The brutishness in language and behavior that are the chief characteristics of Trump's mass-oriented performances must be understood as manifestations of something of great ontological significance.  Corresponding to this symbolic brutishness in the spectacle of politics as thater of ressentiment is  the bacchanal of sleaze and corruption that is the essence of Trump's governing philosphy.

 is the mark of a rampant patrimonial regime of a primarily predatory nature in the process of devouring the legal-bureaucratic state. 

To understand this, thinking must first emancipate itself from the Cartesian presuppositional matrix--the ontological presupposition of the Cartesian self and its associated rhetorical elements of consciousness, belief, motive, ideology and interest.  Failure to do so has the effect,
a priori, of blocking conceptualization of questions of ontology, agency, intentionality, habitus, networks and contexts.  And thinking must approach the question of "ontology" as a question of genetic ontology: the performative dimensions of ontology.

the consituting of cultural-historical bodies: the body Trump

I proceeded immanently, from within the cultural-historical discursive fields generated by KE New Deal and UAW Det and SE Mich
on human nature

Chase
Dupre
Sahlins
Renfrew
Margaret Jacob re. Bildung: bildung and capitalism, and markets; and also vs. both.
Norm Bully and his father

donald trump may be in a class by himself

the deep state (paranaoid-schizoid positon)

ehen pres uses power for personal gain--misses the bigger  picture: this what patrimonial regimes and primate studies do
on the cognitive-linguistic gulf between oral and print culture

Luria
Ong
Rosenfeld
Flynn
On December 2 1851, followers of President Louis Bonaparte (Napoleon's nephew) broke up the Legislative Assembly and established a dictatorship. A year later, Louis Bonaparte proclaimed himself Emperor Napoleon III.

Frank Fagan and workers wanting him to drive a fancy car (Proto-Dorian convention/patrimonialism)
the mid-nineteenth century turn

Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1852)

Christian J. Emden, Nietzsche on Language, Consciousness, and the Body (U. of Illinois, 2005); Nietzsche's Naturalism (Cambridge, 2014)

Philippe-Joseph Salazar, "Reconnaissances of Marx", Philosophy & Rhetoric, Vol. 48, No. 4, 2015

Jerrold Seigel, Modernity and Bourgeois Life: Society, Politics, and Culture in England, France and Germany since 1750 (Cambridge, 2012)
Progressivism and Liberalism are opposites, not twins.  The genetic ontology of Progressivism is Bildung and the Will to Power; The genetic ontology of Liberalism is Nihilism.  Today's liberalism is referred as the left, covering over the genetic-ontological transformation of the post-war years (see Hall et. al.)  The New Deal is not represented in the above figure and table, The Two-Party System: Semiotic Regimes.  Donald Trump is a result of this genetic-ontological transformation.
Donald Trump and the sliding scale*

the Sapient Paradox
the Gutenberg Parenthesis
the Flynn effect
the Wolf premonitions


*Juan Carlos Gomez, Apes, Monkees, Children and the Growth of Mind (Harvard University Press, 2004)
The possibility that, at a reduced scale, the mind of an ape can be upgraded by giving him, on the one hand, a regime of socally controlled attention and interactive experiences with humans, and on the other, a new, more explicit form of representing the world, would confer dramatic support to the Vygotskian notion that higher cognition can be created through cultural processes of develoment that change the nature of cognitive ontogeny. (pp. 262-3)
This election result was decades in the making. On the one hand, a variety of fascist and ultra-nationalist currents worldwide found fertile soil in the displaced and discarded "white" populations that were the enormous if unintended by-product of post-industrial capitalism's truly explosive development. On the other hand, the FF-TS networks in Franklin D. Roosevelt, which in its heyday (1935-1947) understood and attempted to deal with this underlying dynamic of human capital liquidation and the need for a global trading regime that was subservient to the objective of national development--this party, over a period of decades, ceased to be.  (Block, Wolfe, Misruchi)  Thermidor graphic

The remnants of that party of FDR (Bernie, Sherood Brown) were eliminated by the Clinton revolution--the taking over of the Democratic Party by the forces arrayed around the Democratic Leadership Council. In place of the social democratic orientation of yesteryear,and more, general systems orientation

The transformation of Porgressivism into Liberalism (Clark, Ehrenberg, Zaretsky)

we got globalization uber alles. In place of an appeal to working class needs and recognition of the life experience of working people, we got, in this election, an appeal to college-educated women, a variety of life-style groups, and minorities. Democratic surrogates and media talking heads actually showed contempt for those stupid white people who lived, for example, in my state of Michigan.

The polls were wrong because the ground had shifted (and the cartesian trap exposed).

But also consider the role played by the Democratic Party in producing this electoral result: In place of an appeal to working class needs and recognition of the life experience of working people, we got, in this election, an appeal to college-educated women, a variety of life-style groups, and minorities. Democratic surrogates and media talking heads actually showed contempt for those stupid white people who lived, for example, in my state of Michigan.

Racism is real but also mutable, a psychological resource exploited by right-wing politicians but dependent on context: globalization, and the failure of the Democrats to address this existential threat to my rust belt neighbors.

The four axes of ontological catastrophe can be placed in historical contexts.  Instead of the great dream of the Enlightenment that was the core sensibility of Progressivism (the New Deal), Socialism (Scandanavian Social Democracy), and Communism, we have:

a. the wreckage not only of socialism but more broadly of Progressivism, of the entire cultural-historical self-formative project (Bildung) that grew out of the Enlightenment and gave us the Russian revolution, Scandinavian Social Democracy, and the American New Deal.  Bildunsproletarians and plebeian upstarts

b. the persistence of the political culture, psychological dispositions and praxiological modalities of ressentiment (the inner life of racism and fascism)

c. the triumph of nihilism as the socio-cultural engineering project of global corporate networks of unimaginable reach and power, generating an entropic process of disindividuation.  Mass consumption as a mode of absorption and transformation of the organism.  The fiction of freedom, the subversion of individuation, the inner logic of addiction, the commodification of distress, the infantilization of public discourse . . . in short, the dissipation of the species homo sapiens sapiens into a proliferation of effects.  DSM-V as the operating manual of the post-human ontology.  The incredible shrinking self.  This is the new Democratic party  whose rhetorical vector is liberal not progressive

the Two-Party System: Semiotic Regimes
(Media as Spectacle)
the Two-Party System: Semiotic Regimes
the Two-Party System: Semiotic Regimes                     
                             w

 LEFT*
RIGHT
Topology
            depressive
     paranoid-schizoid
Political style
 progressive
         proto-Dorian
Cognitive mode
     concrete & pre-op
    pre-op and gestural
Regime type
   rational-bureaucratic
patrimonial

1.  pro- and anti-war demonstrators' signs

from CNN newscast, 4:00 to 6:00 PM, 9-15-07: pro- and anti-war demonstrators' signs (applying the concept of cognitive regime):
                                                                                                                                      
           pro-war demo signs:     "Traitors Go to Hell!"
"Deport Anti-war Protesters!"    
"Treason!"                                   
     
           anti-war demo signs:    "End the War Now!"
                                                 "U.S. Out of Iraq!"                                                     
                                                 "Support the Troops!  End the War!"
                                                                                                                                     
2.  rabids vs. thoughtfuls

Analysis of comments sent to Connecticut Post, August 31, 2006 re. Jonathon Edington murder case (article no longer accessible)

g

strike a pose: Heine


gg



Here are the sources for this conceptualization of the Two-Party System: Semiotic Regimes:

Simon Clarke, Social Theory, Psychoanalysis and Racism (Palgrave Macmillan; 2003)

Alain Ehrenberg, The Weariness of the Self: Diagnosing the History of Depression in the Contemporary Age (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2009)

Eli Zarestsky, Secrets of the Soul: A Social and Cultural History of Psychoanalysis (Vintage, 2005)

Darrin M. McMahon, Enemies of the Enlightement: the French Counter-Enlightenment and the Making of Modernity (Oxford University Press, 2001)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
*Note on use of the term "Left."

Progressivism and Liberalism are opposites, not twins.  The genetic ontology of Progressivism is Bildung and the Will to Power;
The genetic ontology
of Liberalism is Nihilism.  Today's liberalism is referred as the left, covering over the genetic-ontological transformation of the post-war years (see Hall et. al.)  The New Deal is not represented in the above figure and table, The Two-Party System: Semiotic Regimes.  Donald Trump is a result of this genetic-ontological transformation.





the performative complex of the Southern strategy


*from Dan T. Carter, From George Wallace to Newt Gingrich: Race in the Conservative Counterrevolution, 1963-1994 (Louisiana State U. Press, 1996), pp. 8-9.

The depth of Wallace’s racism—the degree to which it was part of his core beliefs—was always unclear.  He sometimes manifested an air of apologetic cynicism; when forced to break away from informal gatherings because of a speaking engagement, he would often turn to his friends and ask to be excused with a sheepish grin and a half-embarassed explanation: “I got to give ‘em a little nigger talk.”

Seymour Wolfbein, a Labor Department expert in the Kennedy administration, was convinced it was all an act. . . .  Wolfbein found Wallace fascinating and amusing, but hardly sinister, a kind of roguish political con man eager to let him in on the joke.

When confronted with the question of whether Wallace was “sincere” in his racial views, a Montgomery attorney who knew the governor well said it best.  “If George had parachuted into the Albanian countryside in the spring of 1962,” reflected John Kohn, one of Wallace’s advisers in the 1960s, “he would have been head of the collective farm by harvesttime, a member of the Communist Party by midwinter, on his way to the district party meeting as a delegate by the following year, and a member of the Comintern in two or three years.”  George, said Kohn, “could beieve whatever he needed to believe.”

Cognitive Modalities: a summary of sources

Psychometrics ("Q"): Flynn, Nisbett, Ceci; Hernstein and Murray

•IQ tests
•PISA
•MEAP

Evolutionary: Donald, Mind: cognitive evolution Table 7.1 p. 260

•episodic (primate)
•mimetic (homo erectus, h. sapients)
•oral-mythic (h. sapiens sapiens)
•theoretic (required by modern capitalism*)
•post-theoretic (Foucault, Sellars, Deleuze)
Psychoanalytic: Freud-Klein: mechanisms of defense
•projection
•displacement
•reaction formation
•denial
•identification


Cultural-historical: Vygotsky, Luria, Bruner, Calvin, Flynn, Tomasello

• zone of proximal development
• joint intentionality
• intersubjectivity






Cognitive-linguistic Cardinality
אi


the Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein in the context of Merlin Donald, A Mind so Rare, Table 7.1, p. 260
(Appologies to Georg Cantor)

 i=4
Internet and the Extended Mind
 i=3
Foucault (Kant Hegel Nietzsche)
 i=2
Formal operational
 i=1
Concrete operational
 i=0
Oral-mythic/pre-operational
i=−1
Mimetic/gestural (homo erectus)
i=−2
Primate semiosis

The Development of Children Sixth Edition by Cynthia Lightfoot, Michael Cole, and Sheila R. Cole
Laura E. Berk, Development Through the Lifespan
Jerome Kagan, The Human Spark: The Science of Human Development  2013
Piaget, Genetic Epistemology

the political construction of identity

from Joseph E. Lowndes, From the New Deal to the New Right: Race and the Southern Origins of Modern Conservatism (Yale Univesity Press, 2008)

Politics is not merely the realm where preexisting interests, grievances, and passions are given expression.  Rather, it is in and through politics that interests, grievances, and passions are forged and new collective identities created.  Backlash, the ideological cornerstone and justification for modern conservatism, masks what was a long-term process whereby various groups in different places and times attempted to link racism, anti-government populism, and economic conservatism into a discourse and institutional strategy through linguistic appeals, party-building, social movement organizing, and the exercise of state power.  In the process, the very interests and self-understanding of these groups were continually under construction as they moved from coalition to collective political identity.  As opposed to being entrenched and traditionalist (or reactionary, depending on one's politics),  the Right that developed is better viewed as contingent, mobile, and highly adaptive, constantly responding to changing conditions on the ground. 4-5

אi
 אi

A SYNTHETIC A PRIORI TO SET YOUR HAIR ON FIRE

PHILIP ROTH ON THE INDIVIDUAL (THE SELFY SAMESELF SELF)

the sleazo-sphere (Babbitt)
s
A Mind So Rare, Table 7.1 p. 260

iאiא from What are some examples of Kant's synthetic a priori knowledge?

Kant thinks that there lie in the human cognitive faculties certain forms which are necessary for things to become objects of our cognition. If this is true, then synthetic a priori judgments are possible, for since the forms are necessary for there to be any experience whatsoever, we know a priori, i.e. independently of any particular experience, that all objects will conform to these forms. That is, the objects will have all those properties that the forms impose on them. This Kant calls transcendental idealism." 

Just so.  Below--elaborating on Kant/Hegel--I present several graphemes that not by compulsion or immanent necessity, but rather by varied atttempts to construct usable "synthetic a priori": here are some of them.  I call them elementary particles (ha ha)."
א
אi