(the need for a concept of bruitishness {in QHD-5})

The GOP as the Stupid Party
Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense:
the Current American scene
There is a simple brutishness to the rhetorical performances of the right, an inexhaustible reservoir of rage, cognitively primitive, sadistic in impulse and sexual in symbolic content. This page contains images, videos, newspaper reports, and political ads that span the years 2009 to 2013.

Look at the video to the right and read the article.  John Cantin, who had just lost his daughter to gun violence, and was simply reading the names of recent victims of gun violence, was treated by the Tea Party crowd with a relentless brutishness--relentless and simple (as in simple-minded).  If you watch the entire video you will hear Cantin comment on the intellctual limitations of Musso.  The article gives you a sense of the texture of the event.  These people are not expressing an opinion on gun legislation; they are performing their rage in the theater of ressentiment that politics provides.

On the theater of ressentiment that politics provides read this excerpt from Eli Rozik, The roots of theatre: rethinking ritual and other theories of origin (University of Iowa Press, 2002).

the Musso Rant

Video: Father of gun victim to hecklers: ‘What happened to my daughter wasn’t propaganda’
A security officer hovers near John Cantin as gun rights activist Daniel Musso harrases him at a gun control rally

Article: Kelly Ayotte Criticized by Domestic Violence Activist, Examiner.com

"Understanding all of Cantin’s words was complicated by the din caused by the guns rights activists, who did not relent in their verbal harassment."
To the right are two examples of non-violent brutishness.  Remember, the video "I want my country back."  Here too the Internet is the techno-cognitive axis of a praxiological revolution in thought, where the idea of transcendental empiricism becomes practical activity, where abstract representations meet concrete phenomena.  It is vital that these videos are studied and remembered.
McCain Tries to Tame Flames He Earlier Fanned

  Redneck lady disses Obama    Sept 30
Whatever we mean by racism, these Tea Party images are what we are talking about.  The first two images barely conceal the racist thrust of the TP, and are virtually indistinguishable from the third image ("Impeach the Muslim Marxist"), the fourth image ("Obamacare"), the fifth ("niggar"), and the sixth ("monkeysee").

The exchange between Juan Williams and Newt Gingrich (1) and the crowd's response at Fox’s Republican presidential debate in South Carolina on January 16, 2012 puts on display the raw emotions at the core of the mass appeal of the right:

1. Gingrich Slams Juan Williams in Racial Exchange,   newsmax.com, 1-17-12

At a Gingrich rally the next day (2) a women thanks Newt Gingrich for "putting Mr. Juan Williams in his place."  

2. Republican Woman Thanks Newt For Putting Juan Williams In His "Place", Uploaded by hennehn on Jan 18, 2012

The issue here is not ideological, but performative.  It is not a question of whether a particular individual is a racist, not a question of  whether the statements made indicate the presence of racist motives and ideas.  What is the psychological content and purpose of these performances (of Gingrich and his audience)?  The answer is that
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.  This is the heart of darkness at the center of civilization--and the core psychodynamic logic that generates the rhetorical performances at the heart of the right of today as well as at the heart of the fascism of the 1920s to the 1940s.  Clinically, the textual materials are construed as needed out of already present symbolic materials.  The article below should be read in this context.

Judge Denies Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit Over Anti-Semitic Bullying in a New York School District (New York Times, November 4, 2014)


The legitimation of violence against a demonized internal enemy brings us close to the heart of fascism.  



from Eli Rozik, The roots of theatre: rethinking ritual and other theories of origin (University of Iowa Press, 2002), pp. 312-13

As thought, mythos never appears on its own but is always coupled with a logos--a thematic contextualization--which enables its assimilation into the system of values and beliefs of the society within which it is articulated.

The basic relationship between the audience and the fictional world thus ceases to be, as commonly conceived, one of watching a world of others with whom the spectator can identify or not and becomes instead a confrontation with the spectator's own inner being, including conscious and/or unconscious layers, in the shape of a (usually metaphorical) mytho-logical description.  Such a relationship cannot be understood in terms of identification, since it is the spectator on two different levels: being and self-description.

The combination of mythos and logos indicates that the ultimate aim of drama based on myth is to provide an opportunity for a culturally controlled encounter between the spectator and the deeper layers of the psyche and to integrate disturbing unconscious contents into conscious discourse.  When integrated into a drama, it becomes a complex object of experience that enables the spectator to confront the unconscious self with the shield of culture and even to make such a confrontation enjoyable.

A dramatic fictional world based on a myth may, therefore, be an opportunity not only to confront suppressed contents of the psyche but also to indulge in a suppressed method of representation.  Theatre may provide an opportunity to experience both within the context of a cultural permit.  Mythos, logos, and theatrical iconicity thus create a legitimate collective way of facing the unconscious: this is the arena where culture meets and subdues nature.
proto-lynchings: videos

Video: Black Man Verbally Attacked during Mosque Protests

Tea Partiers Mock And Scorn Apparent Parkinson's Victimhandout

Woman stomped by Rand Paul Supporters

Above videos demonstrate why Collective Violence: Comparison Between Youths and Chimpanzees is indespensible.
Wars "whose mainsprings are essentially political and internal" are fundamentally theatrical events in the arena of domestic politics.  One of the achievements of the Iraq war was the tremendous transfer of wealth to the top one percent in the United States, and the strengthening of the position of hedge funds in their raid on public schools.  In this regard there were, within the United States, both winners and losers in the Iraq war.

As can be seen in the materials on this page, the legitimation of rage against the other is the inner logic of the politics of ressentiment.  It makes little difference, from the standpoint of the mob, whether the enemy is internal or external; it's the psychic satisfaction of the performance that counts.

Wars in Asia . . .  since the loss of China

from Arno J. Mayer, Dynamics of Counterrevolution in Europe, 1870—1956 (Harper Torchbooks, 1971), p, 138

Here, then, is the paradox.  Whereas wars whose motivation and intent are primarily diplomatic and external retain their political purposes, as conceived by Clauswitz, those whose mainsprings are essentially political and internal fail to acquire a well-defined project." 

As for wars of primarily partisan and internal dynamic, they are decided by political actors and classes whose political tenure and social position tend to be insecure and whose latttiude for foreign policy decision tends to be circumscribed.  Precisely because their internal influence and control are tenuous, these actors and classes are inclined to have recourse to external war which, if successful, promises to shore up ther faltering positions. . . .  at the outset even the minimal external objectives of wars that are sparked internally have a tendency to be singularly ill-defined.

These videos
Campaign 2008: McCain-Palin Rallies: videos

Racist McCain Supporters in Pottsville, Pennsylvania

The Sidewalk to Nowhere, McCain Supporters in Bethlehem, PA,  

Sarah Palin Rally Causes Confrontation with Obama Supporters  Sarah Palin Supporters confront Obama Supporters after a Palin rally on October 21st, 2008. One supporter of Palin suggests that Obama could be the antichrist. Then some guy picks up horse feces, calls it Obama, and throws it at Barrett.

Hatred, Ignorance and Racism on Display Outside a Palin Rally in Ohio   Oct. 19, 2008 (read article as well)
These news accounts, because they provide existential texture, provide the material for  Deleuzian encounters where the conceptual materials in the theory and history pages are brought to bear on these texts.
Campaign 2008: McCain-Palin Rallies: news accounts

Accusations Fly Between Parties Over Threats and Vandalism

Published: March 25, 2010 NYT

Racist Incidents Give Some Obama Campaigners Pause, By Kevin Merida
Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, May 13, 2008

In Ex-Steel City, Voters Deny Race Plays a Role By Paul Vitellon
New York Times, April 4, 2008 (The rhetorical maneuvers of Pa. blue
collar whites)

The cognitive side of the brutishness of the right is capture in these articles and videos.

By now the "Keep Your Goddamn Government Hands Off My Medicare!" comment at an anti-Obama rally in 2010 has become well-known.  Unfortunately, disbelief and mockery were the liberal responses, when what was required at the least was a discussion of the intellectual limitations of the speaker.  "We" (those of us capable of making take it for granted that the general concept of government program subsumes specific programs, such as Medicare.  We cannot take such things for granted.  

Wolf's inability to define jihad is not due to the fact that he did not know what the word meant.  He was unable to function on the conceptual level required to answer the question.  To Wolf jihad was an epithet not a concept: "something other."

Moddow's interviews with _____ supporters during the election campaign reveals one of the key features of the right: their inability to respond and provide specifics.  Apart from the epithets they have acquired from the rhetorical performances of politicians and other "thought leaders," they remain mute.  This Cognitive muteness can be seen in Daniel Musso's harrasment of John Cantin at the top of this page in his descent into trivial weapons-detail questions.  This descent  iinto the trivial is a key element in right wing performativity.

The debate between L and R at the Ground Zero mosque confrontation is a classic demonstation of cognitive muteness

Keep Your Goddamn Government Hands Off My Medicare! Huffington Post, June 27, 2010

Anti-Obama Billboard: President? or Jihad?
November 23, 2009 MSNBC The ED Show (Video and transcript)

SCHULTZ:  . . . what does jihad mean to you, Mr. Wolf?wolf

WOLF: I think to me it means it's an extreme element of a struggle to overcome somebody. It can be interpreted probably some different ways. but to me it's-it's certainly not one of us. It's something other than what an American is, that I've been taught.

SCHULTZ: Jihad is religious war, is it not? The definition is religious war. You must have put that word up there for something. Do you think Barack Obama wants a religious war?

WOLF: I think it's definitely anti-Christian. Yes, I do.

Rachel Maddow Interviews Uninformed Protesters

Ground Zero Mosque Rallies Sept. 11 CNN (at 1 minute in) 

L.  We believe in the same document.  You just said you believe in the Constitution.

R.  I do believe in the Constitution

L.  But you just said you don't.

<this is where the psychic rupture>

R.  People were jumping out of the buildings; people were disintegrating, all over the city

L.  By terrorists.  you can't blame Muslims for the work of the terrorists.

R.  I'm not blaming Muslims.  But if they had the respect that they claim they have . . .

L.  Why should they have to appologize for the actions of radicals?

R.  I would rather see no church than a mosque right where people are going to to . . .
What is revealed in this performance is the cognitive vacuum, and the limited repertoire of rhetorical maneuvers, of the right. Kevin James could only deploy the rhetorical elements of demonization--in this case, the charge of appeasement (implicitly, of unspeakable evil)--without actually knowing what the word meant. 

Had Matthews not done his job so well, James might have gotten away with appearing to be a normal, college educated citizen. Instead, he revealed someone whose sole competence is in the deployment of demonic accusations.  James was able only to deploy myth-like archetypes (appeaser, appeasement), without actually knowing what the term meant, or what it was that Neville Chaimberlain actually did.  (You should click on the link to the right).

For the right wing pundit, facts are only the window dressing for demonic reference charged with sadistic intent and directed at the ontological enemy (secular humanism, Barak Obama).

The smear reflex is his sole rhetorical tool.

Kevin James is the case study of demonization as cognitive performance.  His rhetorical moves presuppose only a listener defined by his need to act out his rage, and saddled with a mind unable, in the political context (and perhaps in all contexts) of functioning above the preoperational level of development (Piaget).
Demonization Run Amuck
core rhetorical maneuver revealed
the anatomy of the smear

Radio Host Kevin James Walks into a Smackdown
Hecklers Taunt 200 in a March Against Racism  
By MARK A. UHLIG, New York Times, September 21, 1987

Racism Comes Home: The Howard Beach Case  (Queens Tribune, [re Dec. 20, 1986 ]

Right Wingers Wreak Havoc on Philadelphia Town Meeting, by Denise Dennis, Posted: August 3, 2009 10:09 AM  Huffington Post
Harold Ford Jr not for Tennessee

Rep. Graves (R-MO) Attacks Opponent's "San Francisco Values" in New TV Ad