"Thoughts without intuitions are empty; intuitions without concepts are blind." Semiotic Regimes: the Two-Party System

QHD-5 is the antithesis of the Cartesian a-priori so central to contemporary media performances.  The term Dasein is used to problematize homo sapiens as a species unlike any other, whose "nature" it is to be subject to cultural and historical development as a result of its own activity, to be subject to the psychological consequences of such processes (Nietzsche), and to be capable of embarking on projects whose objective is self- and societal-transformation.(On "human nature" see Sahlins.)

The positive side of this self-transformative process is found among progressives; the negative side, in the capture of the historical specifii  species proclivities and contranditons by certain elittes.

The Imus Brouhaha and that which is called "Racism"

the "Two-Party System": Semiotic Regimes

the post-speciation epoch and the sapient paradox

The GOP as the Stupid Party?  An inadequate conceptualization

Decoding the Semiosphere: ressentiment and the mechanisms of defense

The Quantum Heterogeniety of Dasein: Five Genetic Ontologies* (QHD-5)

Five "principles of production of practices" (Bourdieu, In Other Words, p. 108)

*Miguel de Beistegui, Truth and genesis: philosophy as differential ontology (Indiana University Press, 2004)



ressentiment & the mechanisms of defense

bildung & the will to power

sapient paradox

At the right: Figure 3, the
cognitive developmental modalities that span the entire history of the tribe hominini, which contains the genus homo (the only extant variety of which is homo sapiens sapiens) and the genus pan (this latter contains chimpanzees and bonobos).  Consider the excerpts from the work of Donald, Wrangham and Wilson, Price and Feinman, Gomez, Tomasello, Chase, Renfrew, Malafouris, Dunbar, Dupré and others in ArchaeologyAnthropology, regarding the ontologically indeterminate nature of homo sapiens as cultural-historical primate . . .  and note the references to Vygotsky.

Donald observes that contemporary homo sapiens' semiotic behavior "contains within it a trace of each of our previous stages of cognitive evolution."  Wrangham and Wilson state that "patterns of collective violence found among humans include similarities to those seen among chimpanzees."  Gomez writes of  "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 socially controlled attention and interactive experiences with humans, and on the other, a new, more explicit form of representing the world, [which] would confer dramatic support to the Vygotskian notion that higher cognition can be created through cultural processes of development that change the nature of cognitive ontogeny."  Malafouris and Renfrew, in How Things Shape the Mind, write that "the human mind exists as a historically situated actuality—that is, an emergent product of complex ecological relationships and flexible incorporative forms of material engagement."  And Dupre: "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."

genetic ontology
XXXXX Primate: Texts XXXXX


Richard Wrangham, The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship Between Virtue and Violence in Human Evolution (Pantheon, 2019)
Michael Tomasello, Becoming Human: a Theory of Ontogeny (Harvard, 2019)

Allan Mazur, Biosociology of Dominance and Deference (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005)
Christopher Boesch, Wild Cultures: A Comparison Between Chimpanzee and Human Cultures (Cambridge University Press, 2012)
Juan Carlos Gomez, Apes, Monkees, Children and the Growth of Mind (Harvard, 2004)
John C. Mitani et. al., eds., The Evolution of Primate Societies, (University of Chicago Press, 2012);
William Calvin, A Brief History of the Mind: From Apes to Intellect and Beyond (Oxford, 2004)
Franz de Waal, Chimpanzee Politics: Power and Sex among Apes (Harper & Row, 1982)
Julia Adams and Mounira M. Charrad, Patrimonial Power in the Modern World (Sage, 2011)
Getty, Practicing Stalinism ()

genetic ontology


John F. Hoffecker, Landscapes of the Mind: Human Evolution and the Archeology of Thought (Columbia, 2011)
Renfrew, Frith, and Malafouras, The Sapient Mind: Archeology meets Neuroscience (Oxford, 2009)
Timothy R. Pauketat, An Archaeology of the Cosmos: Rethinking Agency and Religion in Ancient America (Routledge, 2012)
Michael Tomasello, Natural History of Human Thinking (Harvard University Press, 2014)
Lambros Malafouris and Colin Renfrew, How Things Shape the Mind : A Theory of Material Engagement (MIT Press, 2013)
Robin Dunbar, Clive Gamble and John Gowlett, eds., Social Brain, Distributed Mind (Oxford, 2010)
Andrew Whiten and David Erdal, "The human socio-cognitive niche and its evolutionary origins," Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B (2012) 367, 2119–212
Philip G. Chase, The Emergence of Culture. The Evolution of a Uniquely Human Way of Life (Springer, 2006)

Donald Trump to Reshape Image, New Campaign Chief Tells G.O.P.  (New York Times, April 21, 2016)

Paul Manafort, bluntly suggested the candidate’s incendiary style amounted to an act. “That’s what’s important for you to understand: That he gets it, and that the part he’s been playing is evolving.”

Manafort has blurted out the truth of the relationship of political operatives to their various audiences.  The focus on Trump--does he really believe all the things he says--misses the point (and reflects the unconscious a-priori of Cartesianism).  Media coverage, including the rhetorical memes of "political strategists", in-house journalists, well-known commentators and the thousands of unknown contributors to the comments section of the New York Times, almost without exception ask all the wrong questions.  Trump has found the scene of an ontological catastrophe, the site of emergence of a pseudo-species defined by the genetic ontological of ressentiment and the mechanisms of defense.  What Trump says is a performance designed to elicit a
pseudo-species-specific response.  Wilbur Cash's concept of the proto-Dorian convention . . . . 
We are dealing here with different orders of being (and simultaneously with ontological instability) having nothing to do with genes and everything to do with history and culture, culture and power, power and the reactions to power.  Language on the threshold of gesture and reflex.  Regression to infantile narcissism via processes of identification, to a politics of patrimonialism: this is the Trump campaign.

Different orders of being?  Pseudo-speciation?  Does this sound racist?  Not at all.  In fact, this is the most thoroughgoing refutation of racism.  It is instead a further development of the line of thought opened up by Schiller (Aesthetic Letters), Marx (link), Dewey, Vygotsky, and Brofenbrenner.  A further development?  This means we must take into account the threefold catastrophe that characterizes our current situation: the wreckage of socialism, the persistence of fascism, and the triumph of nihilism.  Ontological questions arise, humanist presuppositions fall.  The 21st century is a brave new world; the 21st century is Nietzsche's century. 

genetic ontology
Ressentiment & the Mechanisms of Defense: Texts
Ressentiment & the Mechanisms of Defense
(despotic regime, white supremacy)

Nietzsche, Freud, Klein.

Michael André Bernstein, Bitter Carnival : ressentiment and the abject hero (Princeton University Press, 1992)
Frank John Ninivaggi, Envy Theory: Perspectives on the Psychology of Envy (Rowman & Littlefield, 2010)
Simon Clarke, Social Theory, Psychoanalysis and Racism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003)
Robert O. Paxton, The Anatomy of Fascism (Knopf, 2004)
R. J. B. Bosworth, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Fascism (Oxford University Press, 2009)
Mary Vincent, "The Spanish Church and the Popular Front: the experience of Salamanca province," in Martin S. Alexander and Helen Graham, eds., The French and Spanish Popular Fronts (Cambridge University Press, 1989)
Helmut Walser Smith, The Continuities of German History: Nation, Religion, and Race across the Long Nineteenth Century (Cambridge, 2008)
Darrin M. McMahon, Enemies of the Enlightement: the French Counter-Enlightenment and the Making of Modernity (Oxford University Press, 2001)
Aristotle Kallis, Genocide and Fascism: the Eliminationist Drive in Fascist Europe (Routledge, 2009)

Macgregor Knox, To the Threshold of Power: 1922/33: Origins and Dynamics of the Fascist and National Socalist Dictatorshhips, Volume 1 (Cambridge, 2007)

Susan Juster, Sacred Violence in Early America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016)
Jackson Lears, Rebirth of a Nation: the Making of Modern America, 1877-1920 (2009);
Anatol Levien, America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism (Oxford University Press, 2005)
Joseph E. Lowndes, From the New Deal to the New Right : race and the southern origins of modern conservatism (2008),
Dan T. Carter, 
Thomas Frank, What's the Matter with Kansas?
Don E. Carleton, Red scare! Right-wing hysteria, fifties fanaticism, and their legacy in Texas (Austin, Tex. : Texas Monthly Press, 1985)
Thomas B. Edsall, Building Red America: the New Conservative Coalition and the Drive for Permanent Power (Basic Books, 2006)
Michael W. Miles, The Odyssey of the American Right (Oxford University Press, 1980)
Richard M. Freeland, The Truman Doctrine and the origins of McCarthyism: foreign policy, domestic politics, and internal security, 1946-1948  (New York University Press, 1985)
James William Gibson, Warrior Dreams: Violence and Manhood in Post-Vietnam America (Hill and Wang, 1994)
Kim Phillips-Fein, Invisible Hands: the Making of the Conservative Movement from the New Deal to Reagan (W. W. Norton, 2009)
Julia Adams and Mounira M. Charrad, Patrimonial Power in the Modern World (Sage, 2011)

Fyodor Dostoevski, Notes from Underground
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
Sinclair Lewis, Elmer Gantry
Tara Westover, Educated   
Lillian Smith, Killers of the Dream

Wilbur Cash

genetic ontology
Bildung and the Will to Power: Texts
Progressive Narcissism; Bildung; the Will to Power
Nietzsche, Hegel, Vygotsky.

Michael Tomasello, Becoming Human: A Theory of Ontogeny
(Harvard, 2019)
Terry Pinkard, Hegel: A Biography (Cambridge University Press, 2000), pp. 49-50; 269-275; 369-370; 486-487
Shlomo Avineri, Hegel's Theory of the Modern State (Cambridge University Press, 1972), pp. 77-78; 132-139; 144-147; 166)
Marshall W. Alcorn, Jr., Narcissism and the Literary Libido: Rhetoric, Text, and Subjectivity (New York University Press, 1994);
Franco Moretti, The Way of the World: The Bildungsroman in European Culture (Verso, 2000);
Stephen Rumph, Mozart and Enlightenment Semiotics (University of California Press, 2012);
Harold Mah, Enlightenment Phantasies: Cultural Identity in France and Germany, 1750-1914;
S.A. Smith, Revolution and the People in Russia and China: A Comparative History (Cambridge Univesity Press, 2008)
Alexander Luria
Steve Fraser, Labor Will Rule;
Rodgers, Atlantic Crossings;

Right: the New York Times on Nihilism   Out of the set of all New York Times articles subsets can be formed.  The New York Times on Nihilism is one such subset.  The Times on Nihilism can be read in the context of the authors quoted below:

Ehrenberg ("Today, many of our social tensions have been expressed in terms of implosion and depressive collapse or, in a similar way, its flip side: explosions of violence, rage, the search for new sensations")

Kirk and Gomory ("The quest of biological psychiatry, adopted and aided by DSM, is to claim a brain disease for every human trouble. On the one hand, the drug industry’s marketing efforts and its massive infusions of money to support psychiatric activities, and on the other hand psychiatry’s enthusiastic acceptance of the partnership, have completely subsumed psychiatry as a satellite branch of the multinational pharmaceutical industry.")

Stiegler ("the entropic vicious circle that leads to dissociation, desocialization, and disindividuation")

Hall et. al. ("This specific mode of identification and desire, motivated by the terror of helplessness and insignificance that afflicts each prematurely born and maladapted human being in early childhood, is, of course, infantile narcissism, and it creates and sustains precisely the types of unconscious desires and drives that consumer culture and its para-political civic life require")

Usher ("consumption is a matter of consuming signs, it is the experience itself that counts, i.e., that signifies and defines")

A plane of immanence is formed when this is done.  This plane of immanence can be given a name: Nihilism.  This is the inner world of neoliberalism.

Two sets of texts do not appear in the list of sources (QHD-5): 1) works on cognitive development (see Bruner on Piaget and Vygotsky), and 2) works on psychoanalysis (an excellent overview: Greenberg and Mitchell)

genetic ontology
Nihilism: Texts
Regressive Narcissism and the culture of consumption;
repressive desublimation;
the last man

Alain Ehrenberg, The Weariness of the Self: Diagnosing the History of Depression in the Contemporary Age (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2010)
Steve Hal, Simon Winlow and Craig Ancrum, Criminal Identities and Consumer Culture: crime, exclusion and the new culture of narcissism (Willan Publishing, 2008)
Eli Zaretsky, Secrets of the Soul: a Social and cultural history of psychoanalysis (Vintage, 2004);

Miguel de Beistegui, The Government of Desire: A Genealogy of the Liberal Subject (University of Chicago Press, 2018)
Carole Sweeney, Michel Houellebecq and the Literature of Despair (Bloomsbury Academic, 2013)
Kieran Keohane, Anders Petersen, and Bert van den Bergh, Late Modern Subjectivity and its Discontents: Anxiety, Depression and Alzheimer’s Disease (Routledge, 2017)

Bülent Diken, Nihilism (Routledge, 2009); 
Bernard Reginster, The Affirmation of Life: Nietzsche on Overcoming Nihilism (Harvard, 2006);
Robin Usher, Ian Bryant and Rennie Johnston, Adult Education and the Postmodern Challenge (Routledge, 1997);
Republic of Outsiders: the power of amateurs, dreamers, and rebels

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food NYT

Novels.  Michel Houellebecq: The Map and the Territory (2010), 
Richard Powers, Generosity: an Enhancement (2009);
Choire Sicha, Very Recent History: An Entirely Factual Account of a Year (c. AD 2009) in a Large City (2013); Vernon God Little

CNN & MSNBC; Facebook, Twitter  .  .  . 

for the original version of QHD-5 click here