from  Daniel Dor, Chris Knight, and Jerome Lewis, The Social Origins of Language (Oxford, 2014). p. 4 (excerpts):

  . . . in the case of many nonhuman primates, dominance asserted through violence or threat is the internal principle of social organization . . . . primate-style dominance is periodically overthrown and then restored, only to be overthrown and restored again and again.
Herding Primates:
Semiotic Regimes and the Two-Party System

The graphic to the right (Topologies of the Two Party System) reflects the cumulative result of my empirical studies of popular discourse available over the internet.  It depends heavily on my reading of Simon Clarke, Social Theory, Psychoanalysis and Racism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), especially on his discussion of Melanie Klein's paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions.*  This text provided me with a conceptual framework that helps make sense of the mass of empirical materials now at our disposal.

The graphic image is of the Lorenz attractor, borrowed from Wikipedia's article on Chaos Theory.)  It represents the fundamental axes of the two-party system.  On the right, the parnoid-schizoid modality of being/becoming, most strongly rooted in the populist-Bourbon master (dorian knight) vassal relationship that Wilbur Cash describes.  But this white power structure rooted in the southern slave states was not the only white supremacist socio-political formation.  Sinclair Lewis's midwest was of even greater weight in the affairs of the nation, after reconstruction.  And within urban-industrial America, concentrated around the great lakes and the atlantic coast, there is a third racist acretion to the southern hegemony--catholics in the northeast and midwest, concentrated in the key occupations of white supremacy (on the formation of the herd as process): see below,  "assembling the base".

*The quote below is from Herbert L. Calhoun's review critical of Clarke's, Social Theory.   I hope this site addresses one of Calhoun's objections--the poverty of instructive examples that ought to be drawn from the whole of contemporary U.S. society.

The author confesses that the multilayered nature of racism is so complex that theory requires ample examples in order to consolidate any sense of final understanding. Yet he does not live up to this promise. The piece is bereft of instructive examples. The few examples the author offers never quite rise to the level of providing solid explanations of the content of his theories. Many pregnant possibilities seem to have been overlooked and left out even though they begged for exhibition and illustration: The whole of contemporary U.S. society, post-Apartheid South Africa, and Brazil's so-called racial democracy, were just a few examples that would have been wonderful illustrations of the utility of the author's often heavy-handed theoretical machinery.

Figure 1.  Semiotic Regimes: Topologies of the Two Party System


Political style
Cognitive mode
     concrete & pre-op
    pre-op and gestural
Regime type

assembling the the "base"

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)

Semiotic Regimes: Institutional Correlates


Left and Right: the Psychological Correlates of the Two-Party System
The original impetus for this kind of analysis emerged from a reading of the comments published in the Connecticut Post of August 31, 2006 re. the Jonathon Edington murder case (Rabids/Thoughtfuls).  I noticed the similarities between this set of comments and the pro- and anti-war demonstrators' signs in a CNN newscast, 4:00 to 6:00 PM, 9-15-07.

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!"

anti-war demo signs:     "End the War Now!"
"U.S. Out of Iraq!"
"Support the Troops!  End the War!"

Figures 1 is what resulted from this line of thought.

Note the distinction between the topology (where there is a structure on a set of elements) and the topography (which is simply descriptive) of the two-party system.

By topologies I mean the following: take the set of all statements made in a well-defined bounded discursive space (the two-party space). 

First, the rhetorical elements form two disjoint sets.

Second, there is a structure on each data set: a left structure and a right structure. Each data set has both a psychoanalytic and a cognitive dimension.

These psychological-semiotic structures are provided by Simon Clarke, Social Theory, Psychoanalysis and Racism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).  The Clarke text is deployed as interpretive grid.  Without this psychoanalytic framework it is impossible to understand the rhetorical performances of right-wing political actors--and the responses of their right-wing audiences/constituencies/herds.

from  Lyndal Roper, Witch Craze: Terror and Fantasy in Baroque Germany (Yale, 2004)

The hatred and terror that drove people to such violence were shaped by social tensions and religious beliefs, but the passions themselves derived from deeply rooted fantasies, extravagent in their evocation of demonic lovers and Satanic revels.  These fantasies shared, for the most part, a standard structure and a similar set of primary themes.   7

The cognitive-semiotic structures are provided by standard developmental theory (page, bibliography).  Pre-operational and gestural cognitive modalities dominate the right rhetorical set.  More abstract (formal operational) and factual (concrete operational) dominate on the left.  Indeed, the fundamental character of the left is its committment to science, explicitly, and bildung, implicitly.
a.  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)."

b.  and from Merlin Donald, A Mind So Rare (2002):

 . . . 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)

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


A third example of a well-defined bounded discursive space, this one from memory:

The Congressional debate on the auto industry bailout produced a similar disjoint bifurcation of a well-defined discursive space (Cong. Record trascript).  On the Left were references to the input-output matrix of auto production in the United States, and concerns about the systems impact of an autoxx industry collapse.  While poorly expressed (and never using the Chicago Fed's map of US parts plants: Delphi and Midwest Auto Parts), the Left's cognitive operations were focused on facts and concepts appropriate to a discussion of economic policy.

On the other hand, the Right confined iself to primarily moralistic arguments and accusations about rewarding the bad behavior of auto executives.  Of course the attacks on Detroit, as the iconic symbol of blacks and unions, were just one more performance of a r*c*st semiotic.  Absent from the set of of Right rhetorical elements were economic data and economic concepts--a striking omission in a debate on economic policy.  Instead it is the shibboleths of a provincial Protestantism that were repeatedly deployed.  

Indeed, GOP economic policy statements are nothing more than the shibboleths of a provincial Protestantism, and ought not be taken as real conceptualizations of things economic.  These statements are easily debunked by real economists (Zombie Economics, see Paul Krugman, Brad  de Long on the Ryan kill Medicare "plan" krugman).  However, by taking them seriously (that is what Krugman does when he addressed these statements as economic) the critics inadvertently lend credibiity to the pre-scientific cognitive performativity of the right.  The specific performative domain of today's rightwing politics is primarily preoperational and gestural.

There are psuedo-factual statements on the right: Jon Kyl says abortion services are “well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does”  is an example.  But this is actually a demonic accusation violence cloaked in a factical expressive modality, what I call a psuedo-concrete-operational expressive modality.  Of course, one might say John Kyl simply lied . . .  but that would 1) be too simplistic,  and 2) miss the whole point of this kind of analysis, which focuses on the audience and the audience reaction to statements made by political actors.

Semiotic Regimes: Institutional Correlates

Semiotic Regimes: Institutional Correlates

*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 to as the left, thus 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 an effect of this genetic-ontological transformation of progressivism into nihilism.  More on this later.

Besitzburgertum and Bildungsburgertum
from Franco Moretti, The Way of the World: The Bildungsroman in European Culture (Verso, 2000)

And  yet, in novel after novel, the protagonist of the Bildungroman, whose social origin is often in what German historians call Bildungsburgertum, or bourgeoisie of culture, does not direct his steps toward the Besitzburgertum, or bourgeoisie of property, but rather--think of the frequent episode of the hero's 'farewell to his bourgeois friend'--toward an aristocratic universe with which it feels a far deeper kinship." p. viii-ix) ... " . . . outside of work, what is the bourgeois?  what does he do?  how does he live? (p. viii-ix)

Cognitive Modalities: a summary of sources

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

•IQ tests
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)
Developmental: Piaget et. al.

•concrete operrational
•formal operational
•post-formal thought (Commons)
Psychoanalytic: Freud-Klein: mechanisms of defense

•reaction formation
Cultural-historical: Vygotsky, Luria, Ong, Bruner, Flynn,
Tomasello.  The Social Origins of Language (Oxford, 2014)

• zone of proximal development
• joint intentionality
• intersubjectivity
Four Stages of Piaget's Theory of  Development

Jerome Bruner, "Celebrating divergence: Piaget and Vygotsky"  Human Development 40.2 (Mar/Apr 1997): 63-73.

Piaget was principally (though not entirely) preoccupied with the ontogenesis of causal explanation and its logical and empirical justification. This was even the focus of his masterful studies of moral development, a topic that does not ordinarily lend itself to such an approach. Vygotsky, on the other hand, was principally (though not entirely) concerned with the ontogenesis of interpretation and understanding. Piaget devised methods of inquiry and a theory appropriate to analyzing how children explain and how they justify their explanations - and did it brilliantly. The price he paid, of course, was the usual price one pays for ignoring context, transactional dynamics, background knowledge, and cultural variation. To grasp how somebody interprets or understands something, which was Vygotsky's concern, requires that we take into account their cultural and linguistic background and the context in which they find themselves both `in the small', in the sense of a particular communicative situation, and `in the large' of a patterned cultural system. Vygotsky's emphasis, accordingly, was on situated meanings and on situated meaning-making, which inevitably generates a cultural-historical approach. The two approaches, in consequence, diverged increasingly as they matured perhaps, some would say, to a stage of incommensurability.

I think, and I hope you agree, that we are enormously fortunate to have had two such rich theoretical accounts as an inheritance from our mentors, even if they prove to be incommensurate. Just as depth perception requires a disparity between two views of a scene, so in the human sciences the same may be true: depth demands disparity. So I conclude this excursion into the thought of these two great developmental psychologists with a salute to their profound difference. To have had either of them as a guide would have been a gift. To have had them both is stronger stuff, and even though it may at times seem overwhelming, we are the better for it.

Cognitive-linguistic Cardinality (orders of magnitude/index of cognitive complexity)

the Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein in the context of Merlin Donald, A Mind so Rare, Table 7.1, p. 260 (Apologies to George Cantor)
אi index of cognitive complexity (Ceci)
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
Development Through the Lifespan, Laura E. Berk

Jerome Kagan, The Human Spark: The Science of Human Development  2013

Piaget, Genetic Epistemology

Stephen J. Ceci, On Intelligence: A Bioecological Treatise on Intellectual Development (Harvard, 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.22



Frameworks of Intelligibility (Bibliography 2)

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

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

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

Jean Piaget, Genetic Epistemology
I.  primate

II.  paleolithic

III.  ressentiment & the mechanisms of defense

IV.  bildung & the will to power

V.  nihilism

Radio Host Kevin James Walks into a Smackdown
(an eigenmoment)

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 incapable, 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

two from Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections (FSG, 2011)

It was true that Alfred believed the only thing wrong with the death penalty was that it wasn’t used often enough; true as well that the men whose gassing or electrocution he’d called for, over dinner in Chip’s childhood, were usually black men from the slums on St. Jude’s north side. (“Oh, Al,” Enid would say, because dinner was “the family meal,” and she couldn’t understand why they had to spend it talking about gas chambers and slaughter in the streets.) p. 128

The two Lamberts were crossing the courtyard when Gary’s anger found a fault line through which to vent itself. p. 210

The GOP as the Stupid Party: an Inadequate Conceptualization

Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense: the Current American Scene

Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense: from the First Crusade to the Limbaugh Tirade

I.  Primate
Language and Literacy

Daniel Dor, Chris Knight, and Jerome Lewis, The Social Origins of Language (Oxford, 2014)

Walter J. Ong, Orality and Literacy (Routledge, 2002)

A. R. Luria, Cognitive Development: Its Cultural and Social Foundations (Harvard, 1976)

Christian J. Emden, Nietzsche on Language, Consciousness, and the Body (University of Illinois Press, 2005)

A. R. Luria, The Making of Mind (Harvard, 1979)

Martyn Lyons, A History of Reading and Writing in the Western World (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)

Maryanne Wolf, Reader Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World (HarperCollins, 2018)

•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)

Allan Mazur, Biosociology of Dominance and Deference (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005)

T. D. Price and G. M. Feinman, Chapter 1, “Social Inequality and the Evolution of Human Social Organization”, in Pathways to Power: New Perspectives on the Emergence of Social Inequality (Springer, 2010)

Julia Adams and Mounira M. Charrad, Patrimonial Power in the Modern World (Sage, 2011)

Allan Mazur, Biosociology of Dominance and Deference (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005)

J. Arch Getty, Practicing Stalinism: Bolsheviks, Boyars, and the Persistence of Tradition (Yale, 2013)
J. Arch Getty, Origins of the Great Purges: The Soviet Communist Party Reconsidered, 1933 - 1938 (Cambridge, 1985)

Boris N. Mironov, "Peasant Popular Culture and the Origins of Soviet Authoritarianism," in Cultures in Flux: Lower-Class Values, Practices, and Resistance in Late Imperial Russia, Stephen P. Frank and Mark D. Steinberg, eds. (Princeton University Press, 1994)

Leonid Heretz, Russia on the Eve of Modernity: Popular Religion and Traditional Culture Under the Last Tsars (Cambridge University Press, 2008)

Darrin M. McMahon, Enemies of the Enlightement: the French Counter-Enlightenment and the Making of Modernity (Oxford University Press, 2001)

Michael Lynd, Made in Texas: George W. Bush and the Southern Takeover of American Politics, (Basic Books, 2002)

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

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

Shalom Avineri, “Marxism and Nationalism,” Journal of Contemporary History Vol 26, No. 3/4, pp. 637-657

Heather Boushey, J. Bradford DeLong, Marshall Steinbaum, After Piketty: The Agenda for Economics and Inequality (2017)

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)

II.  Paleolithic

Philip G. Chase, The Emergence of Culture. The Evolution of a Uniquely Human Way of Life (Springer, 2006)

John F. Hoffecker, Landscapes of the Mind: Human Evolution and the Archeology of Thought (Columbia, 2011)

Andrew Whiten, Robert A. Hinde, Christopher B. Stringer, and Kevin Laland, eds., Culture Evolves (Oxford University Press, 2012)

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

Carel P. van Schaik and Judith M. Burkart, "Social learning and evolution: the cultural intelligence hypothesis," Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B (2011) 366, 1008–1016

T. Douglas Price, Gary M. Feinman, Pathways to Power: New Perspectives on the Emergence of Social Inequality (Springer, 2010)

Kent Flannery and Joyce Marcus, The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire (Harvard, 2012)

from Franco Moretti, The Way of the World: The Bildungsroman in European Culture (Verso, 2000)

And  yet, in novel after novel, the protagonist of the Bildungroman, whose social origin is often in what German historians call Bildungsburgertum, or bourgeoisie of culture, does not direct his steps toward the Besitzburgertum, or bourgeoisie of property, but rather--think of the frequent episode of the hero's 'farewell to his bourgeois friend'--toward an aristocratic universe with which it feels a far deeper kinship." p. viii-ix) ... " . . . outside of work, what is the bourgeois?  what does he do?  how does he live? (p. viii-ix)

fascism in the context of co-evolutionary theory

III.  Ressentiment & the Mechanisms of Defense
(despotic regime, white supremacy, fascism)
Nietzsche, Freud, Klein.

Michael André Bernstein, Bitter Carnival : ressentiment and the abject hero (Princeton University Press, 1992)

R. I. Moore, The Formation of a Persecuting Society: Power and Deviance in Western Europe, 950-1250 (Blackwell, 1987)
R. I. Moore, The War on Heresy (Harvard, 2012)

Frank John Ninivaggi, Envy Theory: Perspectives on the Psychology of Envy (Rowman & Littlefield, 2010)

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

Eli Rozik, The roots of theatre: rethinking ritual and other theories of origin (University of Iowa Press, 2002)

Fyodor Dostoevski, Notes from Underground
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
Lillian Smith, Killers of the Dream

Sinclair Lewis, Elmer Gantry
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
Tara Westover, Educated   

"fascism" in Europe

Robert O. Paxton, The Anatomy of Fascism (Knopf, 2004)

Aristotle Kallis, Genocide and Fascism: the Eliminationist Drive in Fascist Europe (Routledge, 2009)

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

Arno J. Mayer, The Persistence Of The Old Regime: Europe To The Great War (Pantheon Books, 1981)

R. J. B. Bosworth, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Fascism (Oxford University Press, 2009)
Helmut Walser Smith, The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History (Oxford, 2011)

Ian Kershaw, Hitler, 1889-1936: Hubris (W.W. Norton & Co., 1998)

Richard Evans, The Third Reich in History and Memory (Oxford, 2016)

Franklin Hugh Adler, Italian Industrialists from Liberalism to Fascism: The political development of the industrial bourgeoisie, 1906-1934 (Cambridge, 1995)

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)

Helmut Walser Smith, The Butcher's Tale: Murder and Anti-Semitism in a German Town (Norton, 2003)

Darrin M. McMahon, Enemies of the Enlightenment: the French Counter-Enlightenment and the Making of Modernity (Oxford University Press, 2001)

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

"fascism" in the United States

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)

Jackson Lears, No Place of Grace: Anti-Modernism and the Transformation of American Culture, 1880-1920 (Chicago, 1983)

Gail Bederman, Manliness and Civilization: a Cultural History of Gender and Racein the United States, 1880-1917 (U. of Chicago, 1995)

John Pettegrew, Brutes in Suits: Male Sensibility in America, 1890-1920 (Johns Hopkins, 2007)

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),

Bruce Clayton, "No Ordinary History: W. J. Cash's The Mind of the South", in  Charles W. Eagles, The Mind of the South: Fifty Years Later (University Press of Mississippi, 1992)

W. J. Cash, The Mind of the South (Alfred A. Knopf, 1941)

Dan T Carter, From George Wallace to New Gingrich: Race in the Conservative Counterrevolution, 1963-1994 (Louisiana State University Press,  1996)

Thomas Frank, What's the Matter with Kansas?  How Conservatives Won the Heart of America (Metropolitan Books, 2004)

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)

for the origins of this approach, see test

 The "Two-Party System": Semiotic Regimes, and
 The Imus Brouhaha and that which is called "racism"

Max Weber

Deleuze & Guattari


Michael Mann

This site

Three regimes (charismatic, patrimonial, rational-bureaucratic)

Three regimes (primitive, despotic, capitalist)

Left vs. Right: (topologies of the two-party system)

Cognitive modalities (topologies of the two-party system)

Four networks of power

Five genetic ontologies (topologies of the two-party system)

IV.  Progressive Narcissism: Bildung and the Will to Power
Nietzsche, Hegel, Vygotsky.

Marshall W. Alcorn, Jr., Narcissism and the Literary Libido: Rhetoric, Text, and Subjectivity (New York University Press, 1994)

Michael Tomasello, Becoming Human: A Theory of Ontogeny (Harvard, 2019)

John Dupré, Processes of Life: Essays in the Philosophy of Biology (Oxford, 2012)

Jerrold Seigal, The Idea of the Self: Thought and Experience in Western Europe Since the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge, 2005)

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)

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

Marshall Berman, All That is Solid Melts Into Air (Penguin, 1988)

S.A. Smith, Revolution and the People in Russia and China: A Comparative History (Cambridge Univesity Press, 2008)

Reginald E. Zelnick, ed., Workers and Intelligentsia in Late Imperial Russia: Realities, Representations, Reflections (University of California,1998)

Reginald E. Zelnick, ed., A Radical Worker in Tsarist Russia: The Autobiography of Sëmen Ivanovich Kanatchikov (Stanford, 1986)

Adeeb Khalid, Making Uzbekistan: Nation, Empire, and Revolution in the Early USSR (Cornell, 2015)

Mark von Hagen, Soldiers in the Proletarian Dictatorship:the Red Army and the Soviet Socialist State, 1917-1930 (Cornell, 1990)

E. P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class (Vintage, 1966)

Jonathon Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (Yale, 2001)

Richard Schneirov, Labor and Urban Politics: Class Conflict and the Origins of Modern Liberalism in Chicago, 1864-97 (University of Illinois Press, 1998)

Charles Postel, The Populist Vision (Oxford, 2007)

Steve Fraser, Labor Will Rule: Sidney Hillman and the Rise of American Labor (Free Press, 1991)

*Daniel T. Rodgers, Atlantic Crossings: Social Politics in a Progressive Age (Harvard, 2000)

Joseph A. McCartin, Labor's Great War: The Struggle for Industriaal Democracy and the Origins  of Modern America Labor Relations, 1912-1921 (University of North Carolina Press, 1997)

Alain Ehrenberg, The Weariness of the Self: Diagnosing the History of Depression in the Contemporary Age ( (McGill-Queens University Press, 2010)

We are changing, of course, but that does not necessarily mean we are progressing.  Combined with all the forces that today exhort us to look into our own private lives, the “civilization of change” has stimulated a massive interest in psychic disorders.  It can be heard from all quarters, and it takes form in the many marketplaces that offer inner balance and tranquility.  Today, many of our socials 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.  pp. 185-6

As addictive explosion reflects depressive implosion, so the drug-taker’s search for sensation reflects the depressed person’s lack of feeling.  Depression, that crossroads of pathology, serves as a canvas upon which to sketch out the changes in modern subjectivity, the displacement of the hard task of being healthy.  In a context in which choice is the norm and inner insecurity the price, these pathologies make up the dark side of contemporary private life.  Such is the equation of the sovereign individual: psychic freedom and individual initiative = identity insecurities and the incapacity to act.  p. 232

V.  Nihilism: 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)

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)

Bülent Diken, Nihilism (Routledge, 2009)

Kieran Keohane, Anders Petersen, and Bert van den Bergh, Late Modern Subjectivity and its Discontents: Anxiety, Depression and Alzheimer’s Disease (Routledge, 2017)

Eva Illouz, Cold Intimacies: the Making of Emotional Capitalism (Polity, 2007)

Stanton Peele, Diseasing of America (Lexington, 1989)

Bernard Stiegler, The re-enchantment of the world : the value of spirit against industrial populism (Bloomsbury , 2014)

Robin Usher, Ian Bryant and Rennie Johnston, Adult Education and the Postmodern Challenge (Routledge, 1997)

Robin Usher, Ian Bryant and Rennie Johnston, Adult Education and the Postmodern Challenge (Routledge, 1997);

Allen Frances, Saving Normal: An Insider's Revolt Against Out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life (William Morrow, 2014)
The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food (NYT Feb. 20, 2013)

Eli Zaretsky, Secrets of the Soul: a Social and cultural history of psychoanalysis (Vintage, 2004)
Novels.  Michel Houellebecq: The Map and the Territory (2010)

Richard Powers, Generosity: an Enhancement (2009)

DBC Pierre, Vernon God Little(Faber & Faber, 2005)