from Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, I. 4
Man is a rope, tied between beast and overman--a rope over an abyss. A dangerous across, a dangerous on the way, a dangerous looking back, a dangerous shuddering and stopping.
What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not an end: what can be loved in man is that he is an overture and a going under.
from Yrjö Engeström and Reijo Miettinen, "Activity theory and individual and social transformation," in Reijo Miettinen, and Raija-Leena Punamaki, Perspectives on Activity Theory (Cambridge, 1999), pp. 25-6:
Differences in cognition across cultures, social groups, and domains of practice are thus commonly explained without seriously analyzing the historical development that has led to those differences. The underlying relativistic notion is that we should not make value judgements concerning whose cognition is better or more advanced--that all kinds of thinking and practice are equally valuable. Although this liberal stance may be a comfortable basis for academic discourse, it ignores the reality that in all domains of societal practice value judgements and decisions have to be made everyday.from Ammon Hennesy: (personal recollection of Hennesy comment during a week on an anti-war march New York to New London, Connecticut, 1960. See UNITED STATES of America v. Victor RICHMAN et al. For context see Radical Pacifism in Modern America: Egalitarianism and Protest)
"The masses are asses."
Today's discussions of 'consciousness' and 'the self' too often suppose that items such as these . . . are timeless elements of the human condition. Goldstein's work shows how strongly they have been formed by forgotten events in our past.
History without philosophy is only a screen on which to project
the shibboleths of our time
the Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein:
Five Genetic Ontologies (Planes of Immanence)
|Immanence is probably the key process for Hegel, Nietzsche (Will
to Power) and
Deleuze, but few seem to have done anything with it as a guide to
empirical practice. Immanence can in practice mean many
things. On this site immanence and genetic ontology are two sides
of the same coin. In my exploration of ressentiment and the
I began in the
midst of the semiotic flux of the performativities of ressentiment
available on the Internet. (See The GOP as the Stupid Party?
An Inadequate Conceptualization, and Ressentiment and the
Mechanisms of Defense). In these pages I transform Deleuze's concept of trascendental empiricism into the practice of transcendental empiricism, giving form to the genetic ontology* ressentiment and the mechanisms of defense.
Deleuze and Guattari's synthesis of Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud was an important attempt to broach the problematic of genetic ontology* circa 1972/1980. The excerpt below is a good summary of their insight.
from Eugen W. Holland, Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus: Introduction to Schizoanalysis (Routledge, 1999), p. 58
The account which Deleuze and Guattari provide of three modes of social-production--savagery, despotism, capitalism--is best understood not as a history of modes of social-production but as a geneology . . . Geneology, in the sense of the term Foucault derives from Nietzsche, is based on the premise that historical institutions and other features of social organization evolve not smoothly and continuosly, gradually developing their potential through time, but discontinuously, and must be understood in terms of difference rather than continuity, as one social formation appropriates and abruptly reconfigures an older institution or revives various features of extant social organization by selectively recombining them to suit its own purposes. As Deleuze and Guattari put it, "the events that restore a thing to life [in a given form of social organization] are not the same as those that gave rise to it in the first place."
Six tremendous developments have occured since then.
First, the Internet has revolutionized the potential development of thought itself, and has given new meaning to a concept of empirical field. That is, the Internet makes possible the transformation of Deleuze's concept of trascendental empiricism into the practice of transcendental empiricism.
Second, not only the peristence but the efflorescence of "fascism": see the transcendental-empirical moment Paxton's text ↔ Youtube video here;the 2009 GOP performance
Third the triumph of nihilism, the last man, regressive narcissism: entropy. Here Hall's work is indespensible. The last man is everywhere.
Fourth. Re. Holland's formulation "as one social formation appropriates and abruptly reconfigures an older institution or revives various features of extant social organization by selectively recombining them to suit its own purposes" This is perhaps the creepiest, perhaps also the most tremendous, development of our times, the signal marker of the twenty first century: the axiomatic of capital seizes hold of biology (Food article), psychology, education/cognition, while intensifying primate, ressentiment, and regressive-narcissistic tendencies and potentials at the expense of paleolithic and bildung. The axiomatic of capital is entangled with resurgent patrimonialism.
Fifth. The death of the Enlightenment project as radical praxis (the 3rd force), 18th century to Lenin/FDR. Context: M. Mann's The Sources of Social Power (Vol. 2):
America has not so much been exceptional as it has gradually come to represent one extreme on a continuum of class relations. America has never differed qualitatively from other national cases. Differences have been of degree, not kind. . . . Explanations asserting an original and enduring American exceptionalism . . . have only a very limited truth. 638
*On representation, Russia was at the opposite extreme from the United States. . . . But even the eastern edge of the western ideological community experienced the more liberal legacy of the Enlightenment. . . . Among Russian professionals, gentry and aristocrats, and state administrators, a self-conscious, partly autonomous intelligentsia emerged, advancing alternative versions of progress. 660
Sixth. The resurgence of “patrimonial capitalism” (Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty (Harvard, 2014). See Paul Krugman review
Implications: developmental trajectory Enlightenment to New Deal. Habitus is ontologically prior to the "individual"; Bildung and class are orthogonal concepts; or: the Left is dead.
*Miguel de Beistegui, Truth and genesis: philosophy as differential ontology (Indiana University Press, 2004)
Five Genetic Ontologies
table above right (Five Genetic Ontologies) is an assemblage of
sources, and is meant to indicate the nature of the source selection
process. Only works that have acheived the status of
state-of-the-art elite publications are included--must be integrated
into the project that is this site.
Dasein is constituted by psychological and cognitive
Questions of power and violence are pervasive, but are minimal in the habitus of the paleolithic and Bildung.
Reently, patrimonialism has emerged as a major question (Krugman, Lachman, Adams
Cognitive Modalities: a summary of sources
• Flynn, Nisbett, Ceci
Donald, A Mind so Rare: cognitive evolution Table 7.1 p. 260
• episodic (primate)
• mimetic (homo erectus, h. sapiens)
• mythic (h. sapiens sapiens)
• theoretic (required by advanced capitalism)
• post-theoretic (Foucault, Sellars, Deleuze) (Commons?)
Piaget et. al. (Cognitive develpment)
• concrete operational
• formal operational
• post-formal thought (Commons)
Freud-Klein: Mechanisms of defense LINK
• reaction formation
Calvin, Flynn, Donald, Oesterdiekhoff
a framework for evaluating American Exceptionalism in the context of: Merlin Donald, A Mind So Rare, Table 7.1, p. 260
(Appologies to Georg Cantor)
i = 4 Internet and the
i = 3 Foucault (Kant Hegel
i = 2 Formal operational
i = 1 Concrete operational
i = 0 Oral Mythic/
i = -1 Mimetic/gestural (homo
i= - 2 Primate semiosis
from Stephen J. Ceci, On Intelligence: A Bioecological Treatise on Intellectual Development, expanded edition (Harvard University Press, 1996)
"The term intelligence is often used synonymously with "IQ", "g", or "general intelligence", especially in some of the psychometric literature. . . however, the ability to engage in cognitively complex behaviors will be shown to be independent of IQ, g, or general intelligence . . . cognitive complexity will be seen to be the more general of the two notions and the one most theoretically important to keep in mind when referring to intelligent behavior." p. 22
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)."
Topologies of the Two Party SystemLEFT RIGHT
TOPOLOGY depressive* paranoid-schizoid*
POLITICAL STYLE progressive proto-Dorian
COG MODE formal + concrete pre-operational + gestural
*Simon Clarke, Social Theory, Psychoanalysis and Racism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003)
"The very same new conditions that will on average lead to the leveling and mediocritization of man--to a useful, industrious, handy, multi-purpose herd animal--are likely in the highest degree to give birth to exceptional human beings of the most dangerous and attractive quality."
Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 242
Reading Nietzsche through the prism of the "givens" produces a sifting and sorting, a lining up, through consilience, of texts, events, agents, and actions. Nietzsche's writings on nihilism and the last man entangle with the phenommenological world of mass consumption as seen in the media; his writings on ressentiment (sometimes called active nihilism) entangle with the phenomenological world of the Tea Party and right-wing media, as can be seen in The GOP as the Stupid Party? and Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense; and his writings on the Will to Power entangle with my interviews with UAW creators, Nietzsche's "blond beasts" without whom there would have been no UAW.
I refer to creators rather than agents or activists (and defninitely not to the rank-and-file!) because to do otherwise would be to obliterate the critical elements emergent out of the dialogic field. Those dialogic elements become intelligible through a fusion of Hegel's concept of Bildung and Nietzsche's concept of the will to power.
Detroit's East Side as a Theater of Becoming, 1933-1944, is one of those pages. The key to its intelligibility is Bildung: Was Mozart a Communist? Will to Power and Bildung render intelligible certain "accidental" comments that I noticed upon listening--almost forty years later--to my interviews of UAW activists conducted in the mid-1970s.
Primate Boesch, Wild Cultures; Mitani et. al., Evolution of Primate Societies, de Waal, Chimpanzee Politics, Mazur, Biosociology of Dominance and Deference)
Paleolithic (Flannery, The Creation of Inequality, etc)
Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense (Despotic; Fascism) Nietzsche: nihilism: active
Progressive Narcissism (bourgeois; sublimation: Bildung/individuation/state) Hegel,Alcorn; Rumph, Mozart and Enlightenment Semiotics, Moretti, The Way of the World: The Bildungsroman in European Culture; S.A. Smith, Revolution and the People in Russia and China; Haimson; Wellman interview
Regressive Narcissism ([repressive desublimation], individualism/market/consumer driven Hall, Marcuse, Zizek: Nihilism (passive)