transcendental empiricism at work

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)

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 Werner Stark,  Sociology of Religion: A Study of Christendom (Fordham University Press, 1966-72) vol. 1, p. 188

As democratic convictions became settled . . . 'the people' emerged increasingly as the true sovereign, and the conception gained ground that 'the people' is sane and sound, and its voice, at least to some extent, is sacred.

from Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power, § 863

The values of the weak prevail because the strong have taken them over as devices of leadership.

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 a week on an anti-war march with)

"The masses are asses."
 Figure 1.  PISA Math Scores, 2003 - 2012: 25 Nations, becomes intelligible only within the context of a concept of the Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein. It should be studied carefully.  It is central to any understanding of that which we call capitalism (see Link).  Less obviously, it is central to understanding the cognitive and affective dimensions of Progressivism, which includes, among others, Vladimir Lenin and Louis D. Brandeis (see Bildung: Was Mozart a Communist and The Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State).

The site as a whole recognizes that the Internet is the techno-cognitive axis of a praxiological revolution in thought, where the extended mind is fused with philosophy as the critical accompaniment to empirical practice.

Under these techno-cognitive conditions data condensed into graphical modes of representation becomes not only ppossible but obligatory.  Figure 1 is not to be taken as a mere embellishment of the text, but is instead a permanent presence, a fundamental node of the thinking that is this site.  It must be borne in mind, and will appear throughout in iconic form.  Once you have studied figure 1, its compressed reproduction functions as a reminder of its theoretical context: The PISA Results: Evolutionary, Historical, Developmental, and Psychological Perspectives.

Integrating internet-accessible Images and videos into the fields of cognition also becomes possible and therefore obligatory.  Two pages--The GOP as the Stupid Party?  An Inadequate Conceptualization, and Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense--demonstrate the validity of this obligation.

What emerged at first was Topologies of the Two-Party System: Semiotic Regimes.  Further work along these lines led to the conceptualization of the
Five Genetic Ontologies

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 Hall, Marcuse, Zizek: Nihilism (passive)

(At present I am integrating the concept of Nihilism into this schematic.)
                            PISA 2012 Scores Just Released (December 3, 2013)
                          Figure 1.  PISA Math Scores, 2003 - 2012: 25 Nations

Southeast Asian nations are in light blue; Scandinavian nations + Switzerland in dark blue; Anglo-Saxon nations in orange; France, Germany, Belgium and Poland in green; Italy, Portugal and Spain in brown; the United States in red.   These are the advanced capitalist nations (some have been omitted for the sake visual clarity).
Nietzsche's concept of Ressentiment was the generative matrix of my first attempt at constructing a plane of immanence.  

What I mean by genetic ontology is most clearly seen R&MofD.  The delightful portrait to the right of myself as other (I plucked this bit of anti-Semitic iconography out of the cloud) is deconstructed psychoanalytically.  The mechanisms of defense is the generative matrix of the image generated.  If you have looked at The Stupid Party you will have seen how the vast set of rhetorical performances of the GOP can be described as obsessed with sado-sexual themes and images.  It was this sado-sexual performance of some of the most extreme Republican candidates in the 2012 election that caused Bobby Jindal, then Chairman of the GOP ________ , to refer to his own party as The Stupid Party.  

The Third Ontology/regime/genetic matrix
If we do in fact turn to the cognitive performativity of political actors and audience-participants (theater: Eli Rozik, The roots of theatre: rethinking ritual and other theories of origin), we find a truly undeveloped, primitive, and reactive

A problem with this right-left dichotomy (notwittanding support for this vrom vincent and McMahon) is that it excludes the historical left of 19th and eraly 20th centur socialism, populist, and communist.  What is thought of as left today can be encapsulated (quote Zizek et al)

Because I was born six months before pearl harbor into a milieu of active communists with important positons within the New York labor movement; and because my extended family through marriage included a vast network of "socialist" within and around the Reuther circle; and because in the 1970s I conducted a couple of hundred interviews of uaw originals many of whom were in my extended family (and one can speak of these circles of activists as over the years forming an extended family);

and because there is now a body of work on working class culture and bolshevism in pre-rev russia; andanother body of work (Ranciere, Magraw);

that is, if the left of passive nihilism and thr right active nihisim in topologies of th two party system are what se seee today, it ws bildung and the will to power that grasps in its essence the inner dynamic of the "left" as praxis--wellman interview
Topologies of the Two Party System
(semiotic regimes)

      LEFT                        RIGHT  

            TOPOLOGY            depressive*                     paranoid-schizoid*       
            POLITICAL STYLE       progressive                      proto-Dorian
            COG MODE               formal + concrete            pre-operational + gestural
                                                                              + psuedo-concrete

       *Simon Clarke, Social Theory, Psychoanalysis and Racism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003)             
The problem of ressentiment, as developed by Nietzsche, and Paxton's Anatomy of Fascism, when taken together, force a recalibration of the coordinates of modern politics.  Fascism, as conceptually constituted by Nietzsche-Paxton, is a general process, a constelation of forces generating certain effects, underlying the specifities of rightwing politics, from the First Crusade to the political theater of the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin affair.  It is this general process that also underlies the GOP's rhetorical performances around the issue of gun regulation.  Fascism in this sense is one of the five genetic ontologies.

re. Anti-Oedipus (1972) and A Thousand Plateaus (1980): primitive, despotic, and capitalist regimes.  It is now 2014, and a massive revolution has occured since the publication of Capitalism and Schizophrenia in those disciplines that speak to the problematic presented by Deleuze and Guattari.  This threefold geneological characterization of world and history must be altered (in the manner of Aufheben) into five genetic ontologies that I present here.

Deleuze & Guatarri were moving in the right direction: their concept of regimes linked to forms of biopower--primitive, despotic, and


Figure 2.
cognitive-linguistic cardinality

a framework for evaluating cognitive performativity in the context of historical-developmental psychology

(Apologies 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

I replace this threefold with a fivefold:

The requirements, procedurees, and results of geneological analysis are quite unlike those of historiographical narrative.  In Chapter Three, Deleuze and Guattari do not intend to account historically for the emergence of capitalism from older social forms, nor do they pretend to represent concretely any formally or actually extant society.

Bryant on two kinds of "causality"

But the QHofD also reframes the question of Stalinism.
Cognitive Modalities: a summary of sources


     •    Flynn, Nisbett, Ceci

EVOLUTIONARY (phylogenesis):
Donald, Mind: 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)

    •    pre-operational
    •    concrete operational
    •    formal operational
    •    post-formal thought (Commons)


Freud-Klein: Mechanisms of defense

    •    projection
    •    displacement             
    •    reaction formation
    •    denial
    •    paranoid-schizoid position
    •    depressive position


Vygotsky, Bronfenbrenner, Ceci, Calvin, Flynn, Donald, etc.

   •   bio-ecological systems theory/cultural historical activity theory
   •   zone of proximal development
   •   zones of proximal influence

Even more massive is the relvolutonary potential of the internet, a potential that becomes actual in the pages of this site (links in top row).

Finally, the regime of capital subsumed under the concept of neoliberalism

And the persistence of fascism as genetic ontology

Cognitive developnent vs. neoliberalism

the incredible shringing self: Hall, Marcuse, Houllenbeq
Topologies of the Two Party System summarizes the following pages:

The GOP as the Stupid Party?  An inadequate conceptualization

Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense

Bildung: Was Mozart a Communist?

the Keynesian Elite

the PISA Results: Evolutionary, Historical, Developmental, and Psychological Perspectives

Appetite and Entropy: Subverting Cognitive Development

Semiotic Regimes (cognition, ressentiment, and desire)
from Eugen W. Holland, Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus: Introduction to schizoanalysis (Routledge, 1999)

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 continuusly, 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 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."

To this extent moral judgment is never to be taken literally: as such it never contains anything but nonsense.  But as semiotics it remains of incalculable value: it reveals, to the informed man at least the most precious realities of cultures and inner worlds* (*see Rothschild) which did no know enough to ‘understand’ themselves.. Morality is merely sign-language, merely symptomatology . . ..

Nietzsche, Twilight, p. 55  emph added

Desire/Mass Consumption/individualism (: Hall, Marcuse [repressive desublimation], raunch culture)--the incredible shrinking self/the incredible smallness of being): reality shows; CNN/MSNBC

Zizek, "Against this temptation, one should rather follow the unsurpassed model of Pascal and ask the difficult question: how are we to remain faithful to the old in the new conditions? Only in this way can we generate something effectively new." [10]
These two epigraphs (above right) suggest the purpose of this page (and this entire site): a critique of the people and of the "people."  That is, an analysis of really existing humans and their behavior; and a critique of the bourgeois-Christian zeitgeist that underlies all contemporary discourse from Zizek to Santorum.  (Christian sentimentality: helping the people--Dr.s without borders, Occupy WS--helping the people to exist in the prescribed form and within the prescribed limits--Zizek is almost there, but, just as Barad and Hawkings must sneak reality back in, so Zizek must sneak back in the bourgeois-Christian subject.  The whole point of the concept of species being is continual/discontinuous development.  Zizek has it right when he says that it is better to think well and maintain and develop the great tradition than to undermine this very possibility by acting within the limits of the present.  Nothing better demonstrates this than the pathos of Occupy: oh poor little us, we are deprived of the possibilities of consumption by the big bad banker.  Lets have a free and open meeting where everyone can freely utter little quips, zeremiads, and bromides, all within the limits of the pssible permited by that self-regulating self policing system that needs no policemen because we are the police.

Figure 1 is a summary* of what on the surface is the merely ideological division within the modern world.  I am now susperceding the concept of ideology by taking up its materials within the triple framework of Topology (the two modal organizations of disjunct defensive postures); political style; and cognitive modality.  This is already out of date: the postmodern culture of regressive narcissism (the culture of postmodern mass consumption) is already destabilizing this assemblage. (Zizek: "Eric Hobsbawn defined the concept of the twentieth century as the time between 1914, the end of the long peaceful expansion of capitalism, and 1990, the emergence of the new form of global capitalism after the collapse of 'really existing socialism.'")

the late twentieth and twenty first centuries are where two lines of development--sociotechnical advance and cognitive regression--clash.  Capitalism--at least advanced capitalism--requires advanced minds. Narcissistic regression--the culture of consumption (see Hall et. al., Criminal Identities and Consumer Culture: crime, exclusion and the new culture of narcissism)--undermines the very possibility of advanced cognitive development.

Figure 1 is politically incorrect: it simultaneously smashes the great ontological shibboleth of equality while destroying racism on two levels

Figure 2, cognitive-linguistic cardinality, is one aspect of the quantum heterogeneity of dasein.  (Emergence is an inherently quantum phenomenon)  While keeping these two figures in mind, one should cllick on The GOP as the Stupid Party?  An Inadequate Conceptualization.  Then  look again at the indented paragraph above.  Something is happening, Zizek at. al., and it is not a mere externality (global warming, famine, mass murder

Yet we now know that the forces of the Enlightenment, as they developed in the 19th and 20th centuries, failed to grasp the deeply rooted nature of ressentiment. 

Instead of ressentiment being merely the remnants of the old order (clothing itself in the rhetoric of "traditional values"), and merely a reaction to the Enlightenment, it was an essential product of the relationships of power, an effect of domination, that, far from withering away, has become the dominant ethos, the core performativity, of American politics today.  (And not only in America--but it is only America that I know.)

This is where "Marxism" was and is so wrong . . . the Enlightenment did not acquire a proletarian or popular embodiment.  The ‘people’--the 'gray mass' as Zelnick's conscious workers* saw them--became the mass base for right wing, nationalist, racist, xenophobic cognitive modalities, political cultures, and socio-culturally contextualized character formations. (see Anatomy of Fascism)  These are ontologically prior to the political forces that utilize, absorb, and manipulate them (Red Scare*).  That is why answers to such questions as What’s the Matter With Kansas? (by Thomas Frank)  cannot be given in political terms or through political analysis.

Ressentiment is the dark energy against which the Enlightenment is powerless.  It continually bubbles forth and sometimes explodes as in the Town Hall meetings of 2009 and the Ground Zero mosque hysteria of 2010 (see RMD).  Some see ressentiment as backlash--as epsisodic and event-driven (ie, as reactions to ghetto rebellions, school busing, student radicalism); they are wrong.  There is a deep structure of rage that is endemic to our more broadly conceived historical situation (Nietzsche)--inchoate rage expressed in the theater of ressentiment that politics provides (The fascist aesthetic).  This is the heart of darkness at the center of civilization--and the core psychodynamic logic that generates the rhetorical performances and receptions at the heart of the Right.