Invisible University

Why "Deleuze"?

History without philosophy is only a screen on which to project
the shibboleths of our time

Transcendental Empiricism

the Encounter ­­­ Image of Thought­­­­ — Planes of Immanence

 . . . Deleuze's transcendental empiricism attempts to overcome the opposition between concepts and intuitions . . . that has characterized most of the history of philosophy and which arises from the assumption of a finite subject whose receptivity is conceived of as passive. Bryant (ix)

go to DeleuzeOne
go to DeleuzeTwo
go to DeleuzeThree
go to DeleuzeFour

If the name "Hegel" stands for a mode of thought, the name "Deleuze" can stand for a crisis for that mode of thought.  In the era of neoliberalism, and in the wake of the collapse of the historical left (this includes the Keynesian Elite in the New Deal state), philosophy falls into a kind of anomie, turning ever inward, making elaborate lateral moves and suffering stylistic excess.  

Yet in my fifty year effort to put "Hegel" into action, the results of which can be seen in the pages that make up this site, it was only at the end (2012-1
3) that I discovered that what I was doing is best described by the "Deleuzian" concepts of: transcendental empiricism, the encounter, plane of immanence, image of thought

Figure 1 is about, or can be taken as, many things.  But it is certainly about the cultural historical development of "intelligence," and the way that development has varied over the past century or two.  Althought the scientific discourses on intelligence are of recent origin (both the racist-genetic reductionist and the Vygotskian developmentalist discourses emerge in the early 20th century), philosophy's concerns about "Mind" inevitably includes intelligence.

Yet if philosophy's chief concern is with Mind, it is strangely silent in the face of the dramatic transformations of actual cognitive and expressive modalities only now becoming intelligible (Flynn) and problematic (Hall).  Flynn is about the emergence on a large scale of formal operational cognitive capabilities; Hall is about the way a mass consumer culture of regressive narcissism undermines the development of these capabilities.  It is in this context that one should study Figure 1.  PISA Math Scores, 2003 - 2009.  Figure 1 is an effect of cultural-historical developmental processes, of which schooling itself is only one of several key inputs affecting the cognitive and cultural development of situated organisms (not Cartesian selves: an image of thought whose pervasive presence and perverse effects Deleuze warns us about).  Figure 1 is about the history and fate of the Enlightenment.  It is also about processes of production, not only of goods and services, but of human beings themselves.  And thus (but only incidentally) figure 1 is about America as a failed state, a state unable to develop its "native" population into a workforce capable of formal operational cognitive competence.  
Figure 1.  PISA Math Scores, 2003 - 2009: 21 Nations +
U.S. New England + U.S. South + OECD average
PISA 2009 Results: What Students Know and Can Do – Student
Performance in Reading, Mathematics and Science (Volume I)

re. Figure 1: Why Math?  

The two excerpts at the right emphasize the the critical place of mathematical thinking in the development of our cognitive powers.  Although such powers had already developed among isolated elites in ancient times, basic mathematical literacy, as part of the three Rs, is a recent development, and the education of the "masses" (usually statistically large minorities and majorities) in algebra, triginometry, and calculus emerges only in the late twentieth century.

                                                                 bias to the abstract (math score minus reading score)
abOne can create a new measure of cognitive performativity by analyzing the spread between reading, science, and math for each nation. Singapore, Hong Kong, Macao and Shanghai show a large positive divergence between reading and math. The United States showed the largest negative divergence beween reading and math.  

All this is new. Although it sems unlikely that the United States will emerge from this new kind of dark age, it is unclear whether this is a global rather than local feature of a post-modern world.

from Teaching Math to the Talented (Education Next, Winter 2011, Vol. 11, NO. 1 

We give special attention to math performance because math appears to be the subject in which accomplishment in secondary school is particularly significant for both an individual’s and a country’s economic well-being. Existing research, though not conclusive, indicates that math skills better predict future earnings and other economic outcomes than other skills learned in high school. The American Diploma Project estimates that “in 62 percent of American jobs over the next 10 years, entry-level workers will need to be proficient in algebra, geometry, data interpretation, probability and statistics.”

from Amanda Ripley, The Smartest Kids in the World, and how they got that way, Simon & Schuster (2013), pp. 70-72.

Math is a language of logic.  It is a disciplined, organized way of thinking.  There is a right anwer; there are rules tht must be followed.  More than any other subject, math is rigor distilled. Mastering the languge of logic helps to embed higher-order habits in kids' minds.  The ability to reason . . . to detect patterns and to make informed guesses.
The US differs from other advanced nations in two fundamental ways.  The first is seen in Figure 1: the failure to develop beyond the concrete operational level--the criterion of modernity established by Flynn.  The second is indicated by the excerpt to the right.  What Lieven is describing is what Nietzsche conceptualized as Ressentiment, and what I developed in Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense.  This was the first page I constructed that could be described as a plane of immanence, one of Deleuze's fundamental concepts.  But I did not at that time think of it as such.  Rather,  it was Hegel's concept of the concrete universal, which I first encountered in Findlay (ref to right), and which played a role in the way I went about constructing my one and only book, that provided the sense of what could be done with the wealth of graphic images and political-cultural performances available over the Internet.  

If philosophy does not inform praxis--thought as well as action--then, as I said above, it falls into a kind of anomie, turning ever inward, making elaborate lateral moves and suffering stylistic excess.  Thus, I simply do not see the point of the kind of writing characteristic of philosophy today, even if I continue to (attempt) to read it.  Philosophy lives only by going beyond itself, while history without philosophy is only a screen on which to project the shibboleths of our time--and by history I mean everything human.  
from Anatol Lieven, America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism (Oxford University Press, 2005)

America is the home of by far the most deep, widespread and conservative religious belief in the Western world, including a section possessed by wild millenarian hopes, fears and hatreds—and these two phenomena are intimately related. . .  [A]t the start of the twenty first century the United States as a whole is much closer to the developing world in terms of religious belief than to the industrialized countries (although a majority of believers in the United States are not fundamentalist Protestants but Catholics and “mainline,” more liberal Protestants).  p. 8

J. N. Findlay, Hegel a Re-examination (Collier Books, 1958)

Wendell Kisner, "The Concrete Universal in Žižek and Hegel," International Journal of Zizek Studies, Volume Two, Number Two

The persistence of Ressentiment and its incorpationinto politics helps to explain the right wing triumph of the twentieth anc twenty first century

A little learning is a dangerous thing (Pope)

A little learning is a dangerous thing;
drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
and drinking largely sobers us again.

In Birkhoff and Mac Lane I have indeed read only pp. 124-26, and that shallow draught did indeed intoxicate my mind (I refuse the reductionist substitution of brain).  These two pages render compactly intelligible the workings of RMD: the shit that emerges--gun discourse etc--comprise the elements; but the elements are rlated to each oter thrugh the mechanismsn of defense: that is, the inner structure, the geneative logic of resentiment as phenomena is the mechanisms of defense.

But how does this explain the stupid party; how does it explain figure one?  How does it explain the failure of advanced capitalism in America?  How does this expain both the communist party and anti-comunism?  How, how, how?
One cannot distinguish the popular discourses of desire and ressentiment from the elite discourses of politics and policy; nor can one completely separate what biologists tell us about our evolutionary lineage (Wild Cultures)

Immanence as a methodology is to be distinguished from the concept of a plane of immanence.  RMD fulfills all the requirements of a plane of immanince (Birkhoff and Mac Lane, A Survey of Modern Algebra, 4th ed., .  See also Semiotic Regime.  An immanent methodology paranoid schizoid and depressive positions: their utility in seeing the emergents

but I am not ure wht to do with KE2013.  What I am sure of is the efficacy of immanence as methodology.  Assuming you have clicked on KE and seen the graphics, you can see that what I did was very simple.  I started within the thing itself: the us govt manual for 1937, the key adminstators identified with the seoncd new deal admin agencies; and then from within this social gropu worked backwards to construct a carer matrix.  A typical one is shown here: ____________________ .

Beginning from within the thing itself--this is no ding an sich!  The "thing" referred to has none of the ontologcal characteristics of thinginess (we underestimate the philosophical significance of Stephen Colbert).  
Figure 1 must be placed in context.  This context must be adequate to the task of covering the entire range of contemporary observable cognitive performances.  Merlin Donald, Juan Carlos Gomez, and James R. Flynn provide this context:

from Merlin Donald,  A Mind So Rare: The Evolution of Human Consciousness (W. W. Norton & Company, 2001)

 . . . 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)

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).

Flynn (at the right) is referring to the concrete operational and the formal operational stages of cognitive development.  Formal operational competence is the sine qua non of participation the modern economy of the third industrial revolution (see Blinder in cell to the right).  Right wing media perform at the pre-operational level or below.  Liberal media performances are at a pre- and concrete-operational level.  Formal-operation discourse is entirely absent from all media.  (see The Two-party System: Semiotic Regimes) (Deleuze: planes of immanence)

Thus, in today's America we see fundamental differences in cognitive functioning among different historically and sociologially defined subgroups of the population.  These subgroups can be defined by the nature of their cognitive-linguistic practice, including inventories of basic expressions and rhetorical maneuvers, such as are seen in the Youtube videos of the Palin and McCain rallies, Tea Party protests, and the mass of political ads produced for TV, as well as videos of newscasts and talk show interviews.  Some of these materials are assembled in Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense, which brings together Nietzsche's concept of ressentiment and the psychoanalytic concept of defense mechanisms (Freud et. al.) and characterological positions (Klein et. al.) The cognitive aspect of these materials is dealt with in Developmental Divergence.  These two pages are essential if we are to understand the contemporary dissapation of Mind.
from Juan Carlos Gomez, Apes, Monkees, Children and the Growth of Mind (Harvard University Press, 2004)

But is there any evidence that nonhuman primates may experience something akin to a cultural shaping of their minds in the way Vygotsky implied for human children?   . . . .  More recently, Tomasello (1999) has emphasized the "socialization of attention" and cognition in general as the explanation for higher achievements (by human standards) of human-reared apes.  Although the two approaches emphasize very different factors, in fact from a Vygotskian perspective they are complimentary.  Vygotsky's view was that adult mediation was optimally achieved through the use of signs and symbols, especially speech and language.  In his view, higher cognitive processes--the processes that differentiate humans from other apes--could only be created through this sociocultural mediation.  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 socally controlled attention and interactive experiences with humans, and on the other, a new, more explicit form of representing the world, would confer dramatic support to the Vygotskian notion that higher cognition can be created through cultural processes of develoment that change the nature of cognitive ontogeny. (pp. 262-3)

from James R. Flynn, What is Intelligence?  Beyond the Flynn Effect (Cambridge Univesity Press, 2009)

The scientific ethos, with its vocabulary, taxonomies, and detachment of logic and the hypothetical from concrete referents, has begun to permeate the minds of post-industrial peoples.  This has paved the way for mass education on the university level and the emergence of an intellectual cadre without whom our present civilization would be inconceivable.  p. 29

Science altered our lives and then liberated our minds from the concrete.  This history has not been written because, as children of our own time, we do not perceive the gulf that separates us from our distant ancestors: the difference between their world and the world seen through scientific spectacles. . . .  As use of logic and the hypothetical moved beyond the concrete, people developed new habits of mind.  They became practiced at solving problems with abstract or visual content and more innovative at administative tasks. p. 172-174

from Alan S. Blinder, Center for Economic Policy Studies, Department of Economics, Princeton University, "CEPS Working Paper No. 163," May 2008

At the risk of some (but not much) exaggeration, the nation’s K-12 education system never adapted to the Second Industrial Revolution. Yet we are now, I believe, in the early stages of a Third Industrial Revolution, often called the Information Age.  p. 6
Figure 1 includes test scores of four New England states and three deep South states. Such refinements can be carried further by viewing Figure 1 through the prism of Intel Science Finalists.  The infamous racist text The Bell Curve, which makes a great deal of the 15 point gap between white and black IQ scores, glosses over its own observation that Ashkenazi Jews and Asians score about 15 points higher than whites (you understand of course that this is meant to be taken ironically: IQ is bullshit).  As Figure 1 suggests, one of the more interesting effects of racism is that it effectively prohibits conceptualizing the cognitive-performative inferiority of the whitest of whites: the severely and the really white base of the GOP (but not the merely and the nearly white). As the analysis of the Intel Science Finalists demonstrates, these are useful distinctions, closely related to the ARDA typology (fundamentalist Protestant, mainstrean Protestant, and Catholic), but with a more coloquial bite.

Consider The Stupid Party (so designated by the leader of GOP, Bobby Jindal): it has, with the collaboration of the liberal media as well as Fox News, conducted a decades-long jihad against modern thought, against the teaching profession, and against public schools, thus contributing to the situation represented by Figure 1. 

Then consider the force of narcissistic desire expressed within the field of mass consumer culture, orchestrated by multinational corporations, and celebrated by the media,which undermines to deadly effect the inner discipline that is the sine qua non for cognitive development: The crusade against reason meets the bio-industrial complex (see The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food). The result is entropy, the dissipation of Mind, instantly visible with the flick of a switch.  (CNN, Jersey Shore, Lizard Lick Towing, the Kardashians, etc.)  All this contributes to the effect measured by PISA and
represented by Figure 1.

Figure 1 is something that we encounter, that forces thought into new directions. In this sense it cannot be taken as dead data--it lives in the thought that it provokes--it's alive!
IQ is bullshit: 

Stephen J. Ceci, in On Intelligence: A Bioecological Treatise on Intellectual Development (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)

situated organisms:

"The possibility that there exists a more restless relationship between intelligence and context, in which thinking changes both its nature and its course as one moves from one situation to another, is enough to cause shudders in some research quarters.  It represents a move toward a psychology of situations . . .  " (Ceci, p. xvi)
The Dissapation of Mind and the Singularity

It is already clear that in the U.S. fundamentalist whites and blacks (and many working class Catholics--hence my reference above to America as a failed state in relation to its "native" population) have been disgorged from the project of modernity, and now constitute a barely literate mass, concentrated in the central cities, inner suburbs, small towns, and the rural heartland, and removed in toto from the possiblities of cognitive development implied by the term "education."  As the old America--Christian America--dies a sociocultural death (see links to left to New York Times articles), it is being replaced by newer populations capable, for now, of cognitive development (see Intel Finalists and Asian workers now dominate Silicon Valley tech jobs, San Jose Mercury News, 11-30-12)

Because the media performs this cognitive decline, the decay of reason is invisible within the cognitively decaying public sphere.  One can observe the rhetorical performances of talking heads through the prism of e.g. English Grammar for Dummies (Wiley, 2010) and spot the decay of the logical structure of language in: subject-verb agreement when the subject is modified by a prepositional phrase; uncertainty in the use of prepositions (the speaker knows a preposition belongs in a sentence but just doesn't know which one to use); the use of phrases such as very unique, very major and others whose meaning precludes such quantitative modifiers; use of terms such as over-exaggerated and over-hyped (redundancies indicative of semantic dissolution); misuse of fewer and less . . .  and so on into the night of cognitive dissipation.

This rotting away of the mind can also be measured and evaluated by deploying the resources of developmental psychology and psychoanalysis.  The objective is not to infer something ontological (remember, we are dealing with situated organisms, not Cartesian selves), but rather to analyze cognitive performativity. Releveant empirico-theoretical resources are assembled in Developmental Divergence and Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense.  The latter is a plane of immanence; the former is a collection of empirico-theoretical resources, but lacks the inner coherence characteristic of a plane of immanence.  (But Bildung: Was Mozart a Communist, is a coherent plane of immanence, as is The Keynesan Elite in the New Deal State, 1910 to 1937.)
Crumbling American Dreams

Appalachian Hope and Heartbreak

‘That’s as Bad as It Gets’, by John Branch July 25, 2013 NYT

‘Beyond the Tree Line’, by John Branch July 25, 2013 NYT

Charles Murray's sequel to The Bell Curve (Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010)

Asian workers now dominate Silicon Valley tech jobs (San Jose Mercury News, 11-30-12)

from Asians: Too Smart for Their Own Good? (New York Times, 12-19-12).  

Some white parents have reportedly shied away from selective public schools that have become “too Asian,” fearing that their children will be outmatched. Many whites who can afford it flock to private schools that promote “progressive” educational philosophies, don’t “teach to the test” and offer programs in art and music (but not “Asian instruments,” like piano and violin).

This statement has a double meaning.  The obvious one is that parents fear Asian students' cognitive superiority, but these parents also are rejecting the obsession with tests that is the hallmark of No Child Left Behind, the signal achievement of the GOP (see The Stupid Party).  These upper middle class parents may sense that they too, despite their high incomes and their whiteness, are being treated as if they were . . .  N*****s.
A Dynamical Representation of Bildung; Flux and Context (diachronic and synchronic)

1.  Two Cross-Sectional Representations

The Historical Vector, 1632 -- 1957 (the Four Ontologies)

1632 is as good a starting date as any: Both Locke and Spinoza were born in that year

1957 is from American Communism in Crisis, 1943-1957 by Joseph R. Starobin


The Name of the Singularity

But it is very difficult to approach the implications of Figure 1, very difficult to set it in historical context.  Once the question of formal-operational competence is raised, as distinct from the mindless discourse on education--mindless because it occurs in a theoretical and historical vacuum--we are in a new realm, where what was once confined to the educated middle class becomes a requirement for modern citizenship.  One can see the difficulties raised by simply refering to Passi Sahlberg's Finnish Lessons: What can the World Learn from Eductional Change in Finland (Teachers College Press, 2011).

Although most commentators gloss over the political and cultural-historical foundations of Finland's cognitive-developmental success, preferring to look at the educational reforms of the 1970s, Sahlberg makes it clear that it was in the immediate post World War II political environment, in which a "New Deal" coalition governed, unobstructed by a completely discredited right (which had collaborated with the Nazis), comprised of the Social Democratic, Communist, and Agrarian Centre parties--laid the foundations for what was to develop in the next sixty years.  And of course, these leftists made education their major goal (pp. 16-17).   Especially important was the work of three key committees.  The first, the Primary School Curriculum Committee, established in June of 1945, was led by Professor Matti Koskenniemi. A second, the Education System Committee, began its work in 1946, and was chaired by the National Board of Education's Director General Yrjö Ruutu, an ally of the Finnish Communist Party.  The third, the School Program Committee, was established in 1956 under the leadership of Reino Henrik Oittinen, Director General of the National Board of Education and a Social Democrat.  The work of these three committees laid the foundation for subsequent developments (Finnish Lessons, pp. 17-18).  Yet when Sahlberg summarized his book for publication in the American Educator ("A Model Lesson: Finland Shows Us What Equal Opportunity Looks Like," American Educator, Vol. 36, No. 1, Spring 2012), he omitted this vital information, referring only to the "The post-World War II era [as] one of political instability and economic transformation, but it also [giving] rise to new social ideas and social policies--in particular the idea of equal educational opportunity."

That he mentioned these the left-wing parties at all is remarkable; that he omitted mentioning them in his article, however, is telling.  For it is precisely in this apparently slight omission that a whole world of thought--or anti-thought--opens up.  For the opposite of what occured in Finland occured in the U.S., and one of its major effects is seen in Figure 1.

the Singularity

"Lately I've been thinking that the cold war is almost worse for art than the real thing--for it permeates the atmosphere with fear and anxiety."  Aaron Copeland quoted in Alex Ross, The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007), p. 209


THE FORCE THAT DISTORTS THE TEXT: the singularity is the "place" where the empirical and existential facticity of Bildung and Progressivism disappear over the event horizon instantiated by anti-communism and sustained throughout the semiosphere.  The effect of this force is seen in the peculiar textual maneuvers around the problematic of the "Communist" "Party" in virtually all texts, including the books written by Communist leaders.

1.  The General Problem of The Image of Thought (presuppositions; generative

The Image of Thought Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Beyond the bounds of the dogmatic image of thought: the development of critical, creative thinking in the mental health professionsJ Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs. 2013 Jun 20.  (PDF article)

Bryant page

Pragmatists page

2.  Encountering the Image of Thought in four biographies: anti-Communism as genetic and immanent logic of text production

Ray Monk, Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Inside the Center (Doubleday, 2012)

Chritopher Bigsby, Arthur Miller, 1915-1962 (Harvard, 2009)

Joseph McBride, What Ever Happened to Orson Welles?  A Portrait of an Independent Career (University of Kentucky Press, 2006)

William J. Mann, Kate : The Woman Who Was Hepburn (H. Holt, 2006)

3.  Communists Tell Their Stories: Unconscious Determinates and
Misapprehensions (Communists as immanently anti-communist)

4.  The "Communist Party" as accumulation point of progressivism
SCCWP - Number of Communist Affiliations of Sponsors  

Scientific and Cultural Conference for World Peace  
SCCWP - Sponsors' Affiliated Organizations   (Jay Gorney, Millard Lampell)

Cooke and Ickes  NCPAC

An extraordinary force--let us call it anti-communism for now, keeping in mind that it cannot be left at that--perverts not only public discourse and scholarly writing but thought itself.  The effects of this force can be seen in virtually every text that approaches the forbidden zone.  Read, for example, the four biographies (Welles, Hepburn, Oppenheimer and Miller) and one can see the effects of that extraordinary force on the strange rhetorical maneuvers as the biographers approach the forbidden zone: the "Communist Party."  Or read the Wikipedia article on Jack  Gilford; or the discussion of Aaron Copeland's politics in The Rest is Noise.  

Why this is important, in the context of Figure 1,  I will now explain.  For we are not talking about mere literacy, which is closely associated with the Reformation and with industrialization and urbanization.  We are talking about the achievement of formal operational competence (Flynn et. al.) among large segments of modern human populations.  President Obama talks about STEM education, the foundation of which is formal operational competence.  Thus we are really talking about the degree to which, in the third industrial revolution, a nation posesses a modern population capable of entering STEM occupations (and much more besides).

Estimates vary as to the degree to which contemporary adult Americans possess such competence.  Some estimates are as high as 50% of the college-educated population.  On the other hand, in the media formal operational competence is notable not merely for its absence: it is dismissed (usually with a smug chuckle) or demonized.  Elsewhere I discuss the rhetorical performances found in the media (this includes politicians, commentators, and the hosts of shows).

An unperverted mind would immediately know that the kind of advanced cognitive praxis found in the modern sciences, social as well as physical, was a result of a "revolution of the mind," (Israel) of an intellectual "project,"(Pagden xv, 15), the result of "the historical evolution of the human mind." (Pagden 13)  

The unperverted mind would know that this revolution of the mind took on a social and therefore political form with the Enlightenment, which, though confined at first to the salons and publishing houses of the enlightened aristocracy and the new middle class, soon captured "all the literate public that then existed" (Pagden xv).

The unperverted mind would know that this socio-cultural and cognitive-developmental process only began with the Enlightenment; that its developmental dialectic soon gripped the artisans who became the first articulate critics of early capitalism (Ranciere) and the early 19th century radical nobility (Marx's father in law and mentor, the Baron Ludwig von Westphalen); that by the late 19th century it would grip the masses of the Russian intelligentsia and the modern "middle classes" of American Progressivism* (and reach its peak of development in the Taylor Society and the Keynesian elite in the New Deal state); that it would inflame the passions of the Jewish masses of eastern Europe (in Yiddish it was called the Haskalah); that it would become a real force in the factories of Petrograd and Detroit, and even in Flint Michigan in the post-war 1940s:

(Interview with Saul Wellman, former leader of the Michigan Communist Party, talking about native white Anglo-Saxon workers who joined the Party after the war.)

"Because once they came to the Party a whole new world opened up.  New cultural concepts, new people, new ideas.  And they were like a sponge, you know.  And Flint couldn't give it to them.  The only thing that Flint could give you was whorehouses and bowling alleys, you see.  So they would sneak down here to Detroit on weekends--Saturday and Sunday--where they might see a Russian film or they might . . .  hear their first opera in their lives or a symphony or talk to people that they never met with in their lives."  

(Also Joe Adams interview: Trim department; union-management committees; Flying Squadron; 1944 strike.  And Joe Noble: loading deck, Woodhaven stamping: CLL senior essay)

The point is: the anti-communist crusade was a war on Bildung and the Enlightenment, and its effects were far more than merely political.

Jonathan Israel, A Revolution of the Mind: Radical Enlightenment and the Intellectual Origins of Modern Democracy (Princeton, 2010)

Anthony Pagden, The Enlightenment: and why it still matters (Random House, 2013)

Pervert (verb) Oxford English Dictionary: To turn aside; to interfere with or distort.

from Robert B. Brandom, Perspectives on Pragmatism: Classical, Recent, and Contemporary (Harvard, 2011):

*"But classical American pragmatism can also be seen differently, as a movement of world historical significance--as the announcement, commencement, and first formulation of the fighting faith of a second Enlightenment." (p. 36)  The Taylor Society is American pragmatism in action.

The late twentieth and twenty first centuries are where two lines of development--sociotechnical advance and narcissistic regression--clash. Capitalism--at least advanced capitalism--requires advanced minds; narcissistic regression undermines the very possibility of advanced cognitive development. This is already evident in the labor force composition of Silicon Valley and in the socio-cultural profile of Intel Science Finalists.  

Figure 1 can be taken as marking an inflection point in human history, where intelligence itself (and thus technology) is undermined by the further development what we call capitalism.  This is very clear in the case of the United States. 

Narcissistic regression (the psychology of mass consumerism), Bildung (progressive narcissism: Alcorn--the singularity), and Ressentiment are three of the four forces--genetic ontologies--that drive praxis. The fourth and oldest--our biology, our primate inheritance--persists and is available to hegemonic elites as a pool of primate affect evident everywhere in popular politics, organizational behavior (Mazur), and everyday life. (Wrangham, de Waal, Mazur)  The Enlightement vision, from the eighteenth century to Progressivism  and the New Deal to the post-war Finnish state (Figure 1 at the top) now appears to be a naive hope that lived for a century or two.  If the United States is taken as the most advanced expression of predatory market capitalism, then the bottom line of Figure 1 must be seen as this form of capitalism's greatest if unintended effect. Another form of capitalism--developmental state capitalism--is evident in not only Finland, but also Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea. On developmental state capitalism see The Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State, 1910 to 1937.
Collective Violence: Comparison Between Youths and Chimpanzees, by Richard W. Wrangham, Department of Anthropology, Peabody Museum, Harvard University, and Michael L. Wilson (Department of Ecology and Behavior, University of Minnesota, and Gombe Stream Research Centre, the Jane Goodall Institute, Tanzania [Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1036: 233–256 (2004)]


de Waal (1+)
Developmental divergence: 35 mya to present

The inability of American society to generate the advanced minds critical to the development of advanced capitalism is masked by the enormous inflow of skilled and educated Third World middle classes into the U. S. labor force, including those born here of immigrant parents.  (See, e.g., lists of Intel Science Talent Search Finalists for 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.)  In developmental diveregence I show how the concept of Zone(s) of Proximal Development, rather than the concepts of race and ethnicity, helps not only to explain "Asian" dominance, but also deconstructs the "white" minority subset into ZPDs.  For an early albeit implicit demonstration of the effectiveness of the concept of ZPD, see Zena Smith Blau, Black children/white children: competence, socialization, and social structure (Free Press, 1981).  In this context the widespread use of the rhetorical elements of"race" is an effect of racism, a reflection of the cognitive primitivism and pathology of organisms and cultures, but not a valid scientific concept.

The current convergence, in the United States, of economic decline, attacks on teachers and on the public sector as a whole, but especially narcissistic regression and the evangelical crusade against formal-operational thought (the impact of which is made clear by application of the ZPD concept), might reasonably be expected to deepen this inter- and intra-national developmental divergence. Cognitive decline--the decay of structure and discipline in cognitive performativity--is well underway, and has been for decades.  The releveant empirico-theoretical resources are assembled in Developmental DivergenceBildung: Was Mozart a Communist, and The Keynesan Elite in the New Deal State, 1910 to 1937.

from Wiki

All the non-human hominoids are generally thought of as highly intelligent, and scientific study has broadly confirmed that they perform outstandingly well on a wide range of cognitive tests – though there is relatively little data on gibbon cognition. The early studies by Wolfgang Köhler demonstrated exceptional problem-solving abilities in chimpanzees, which Köhler attributed to insight. The use of tools has been repeatedly demonstrated; more recently, the manufacture of tools has been documented, both in the wild and in laboratory tests. Imitation is much more easily demonstrated in "great apes" than in other primate species. Almost all the studies in animal language acquisition have been done with "great apes", and though there is continuing dispute as to whether they demonstrate real language abilities, there is no doubt that they involve significant feats of learning. Chimpanzees in different parts of Africa have developed tools that are used in food acquisition, demonstrating a form of animal culture.
Summary of above so far:

Bildung--Hegel's concept augmented by Vygotsky et. al.--is the most human--that is, the most advanced--of ontological modalities, developing as a second emergence (see Chase for first emergence)--that is if homo sapiens sapiens is defined as the language using primate (the first emergence: Chase) then the development of the modern individuated organism of the Enlightenment is the second emergence (homo sapiens sapiens sapiens, which has its roots (acording to Hegel) in the Reformation, but only fully develops as a social force in the Enlightenment.  What enables this to be called a second emergence is that it constructs, out of the matrix of language, a new ontological modality capable of being the negating through transcendence (Aufheben, my good man.  Aufheben!) of both our primate inheritance and ressentiment.  It is this second mergence that contaqins within it the possiblity of further development of our cognizing powers: formal operational competence.

The current discussion in the usa on education involves, on the one side, the demonization of formal operational thought (Michelle Rhee's denuciation of causal models in which poverty is an independent variable: "poverty is no excuse")

As such, it is the otological foundation of modern civilization.

(individuation is a dialectical-developmental process that must be distinguished from the ideology of individualism.  The populist-individualist ideologues are notable for their limited individuation.  The individualist suffers from limited development.  Individuated humans, on the other hand, are notable for the dialectical relationship to culture and society.)

human reprsents an even further development along those lines.  Bildung transcends both our primate inheritance and resentiment--indeed, it emerges in dialectical combat with both (CP and anti-racism).  Nothwithstnding the now obvious historical limiations on the development of bildung --the "Left"--it is the fourth ontology; it is the foundation of modern science and organization (this is what makes progressivism and the Taylor Society, as well as Dodge Main and Flint, so c rtically intersting.   Wellman's enlightened recruits were few indeed; but they di reprsent of genauine developmental leap over their environment--the asshole of the orld).

There is no question that Wellman's comment captures the inner life of the CP--I should know: I was born into the midst of it; so were many of my friends.  I was present when "members" gathered informally to chew the fat and drink coctails; I knew quite a range of the members, and as a kid growing up I was attuned to the essence of the culture of the household: books! ideas! discussion!  There were party meetings, of which I have no personal knowledge (but see Charney); and there were the activities in the public sphere--not only union organizing and picketing, but also demonstations, public meetings (NNC and ICCASP and NCPAC), which are matters of public record, and theater performances (in the mid '50s my mother took me to see Waiting for Lefty).  And, at the very heart of the "Party," were the salons, a phenomenon usually thought of in relation to the eighteenth century Enlightenment (see Wikipedia article).  Nevertheless, this term best captures my own personal experence (as a kid of course) of the gatherings at my house, some of them fundraisers for the National Guardian.

Only with this in mind is it possible to approach the question of Stalinism.  How could the people I knew succumb to this manipulation from abroad of their political praxis?  Or did they?  The answer is complex, and one must set out an array of facts and situations.  For example, reading the Oppenheimer biography one finds that the Stalin-Hitler pact was not swallowed easily or for long (and G. Charney, iin an interview I cnduct, noted that at that time after meetings in which the parthy line was discussed there ws grumbling in the hallway; and of course the Party lost 50% of its membership at tht time, mostly among the americaniΩed (enghlish as a first language)

what heroes did i as a kid encounter? not marx and lenin and stalin, but einstein and Jefferson and all the heroes of the Enllghtement.  It  is in this context that the question of "Stalinism" must be addressed: tht is, wellman's brief is acuruate; what has to be expained is stalinism at the local lvel; and what is obvious at the outset is that the stalinization of these movements of Bildung is a sign of the histiical weakness of bildung as ppolitical practice.  Its inner weakness (Purdy, Revolutionary Road); and its outer weakness (the workng class was racist not progressivism; the whole enterprise was built upon an as yet un understood myth (see my myth of the working class: Detroit, Pointiac, Flint, Akron and Minneapolis)

the singularity is code for the forces undermining cognitive development in the United States: it is a way of looking at the effects of anti-communism in terms of the distortion of progressivism into a satanic carricature.  But it also brings to the fore a fundamental question about the forces of reaction.  It raises the question of fascism; raises it and transforms it.  And it is Nietzsche's concept of ressentiment that is at the center of this effort at understanding.  It is Ressentiment that is our Heart of Darkness.  It is ressentiment
Balzac, Lost Illusions

xxx  Bildung and Zaretsky

Post-Biological "Speciation" Among Homo Sapiens

all this talk about cognitive performance arises from encounters with the empirical manifold (the plane of immanence) of popular discourse in a variety of media, including especally the audience-directed discoure of discursive elites, students in ripoff university, immersion in shopfloor and office environments, and neighborhoods of Detroit metro, espeically zip codes  48219, 48220, 48223, 48234    

Good Night and Good Luck
Bridges of Madison County  
The  culture of ressentiment is a fundamental characteristic of modern society

Ressentiment is civilization's evil twin.  It accompanies the rise of the state, and persists with greater force and effect into the twenty first century than anyone--except Nietzsche--thought possible. Ressentiment is the deep structure of the real, a fundamental element in the making of the West. 

Ressentiment emerged as an adaptive response to the discipline imposed by power in the first civilizations (Schmookler).  According to Nietzsche, ressentiment is more than simply a form of adaptation of an otherwise intact organism to power.  Ressentiment is the chief characteristic of “natures that, denied the true reaction, that of deeds, compensate themselves with an imaginary revenge.”  (Bernstein, Bitter Carnival: Ressentiment and the Abject Hero (Princeton University Press, 1992), p. 102)  It is a fundamental reconfiguring of the organism, an alteration of Being, a transformation of Becoming.  It is something new, contrary to the existence of hunter-gatherers.  It is a particular type of Being that is the characteristic element of the age of civilization and the state.

This adaptive response is empirically and clinically developed in psychoanalysis's concept of the mechanisms of defense. 
Marx, and the enlightenment ethos of which he was a part,  was wrong in a decisive area.  Not only did the Enlightenment not acquire a proletarian or popular embodiment.  The ‘people’, even in its "working class" moment, became the mass base for right wing, nationalist, racist, xenophobic cognitive modalities, political cultures, and socio-culturally contextualized character formations.* (Blanning, Paxton, Clarke; Sugrue)  These modalities of ressentiment are ontologically prior to the political forces that utilize, absorb, and manipulate them (see Right-wing Elites in the Postwar era; Red Scare, links).  That is why answers to such questions as What’s the Matter With Kansas?  cannot be given in political terms or through political analysis.

Ressentiment is the dark energy against which the Enlightenment is powerless.  It bubbles and explodes in the 2009 anti-"Obamacare" town hall meetings.  Some see ressentiment as backlash--as episodic 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.  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, magnificently in your face and on display in the 2011-12 GOP primary debates.

The activity of provincial, archaic and traditional elites (Persistence of the Old Regime), together with newer firms in the west and south and newly emergent crony capitalist formations (Enron, World Com), and now a whole new set of predatory financial institutions plays a critical role in the politicization of ressentiment.

the activity of these old and new elites, in aiding and abetting the construction of the political structures of mass mobilization (Town Hall meetings), is decisive in determining the political effectiveness of anti-modern right wing movements, which otherwise might languish in a populist stew of ineffectual rage. (Red Scare)  But they do not call into existence these ontologies of ressentiment, of the right, of anti-modernism.  They merely utilize and shape them.  (See Right-wing Elites in the Postwar era.)

That which is called Marxism can be taken as the Enlightenment embattled, confined, demonized and defeated.  (more on this later)

What the left shares with the right today is a common deification of the "People".  In the public sphere politicians and pundits alike invoke "the People" as the Good and the True.  The same can be said of much of scholarship. 

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.

and from Nietzsche, Will to Power, § 863

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

This entire site has as one of its primary purposes the deconstruction of "The People."

It is in this context that "fascism" must be reconsidered.

"Fascism" is a word that is bandied about--by those on the left as well as on the right--as an epithet not a concept.  It is also thought of as something limited to the 1920s and 1930s; something that is of historical interest only; or, conversely, an epithetical slam used to smear political enemies.  Robert O. Paxton's The Anatomy of Fascism (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004) provides an antidote to this kind of simple-minded approach.

The link--
The Stupid Party--is about fascism, as is the link Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense.  Fascism also has a cognitive dimension.*

First, Paxton provides us with a concept of fascism.  Paxton is a leading scholar who belongs to what I call an ε/δ (epsilon delta) set of scholars: out of the set of all scholars who deal with fascism, no matter how much you reduce the number of scholars contained in that set, Paxton is ineliminable.  

Second, Paxton applies his concept of fascism to the pre-Tea Party American political scene (he considers the American Ku Klux Klan to be the first fascist organization, and goes on to discuss American fascist movements of the 1930s).

Third, in a book published in 2004 Paxton desribes the anti-Obama Tea Party uproar of 2009 with uncanny prescience:

Today a "politics of ressentment" rooted in authentic American piety and nativism sometimes leads to violence against some of the very same "internal enemies" once targeted by the Nazis, such as homosexuals and defenders of abortion rights. . . .  The languge and symbols of an authentic American fascism would, of course, have little to do with the original European models.  They would have to be as familiar and reassuring to loyal Americans as the language and symbols of the original fascisms were familiar and reassuring to many Italians and Germans, as Orwell suggested. . . . No swastikas in an American fascism, but Stars and Stripes (or Stars and Bars) and Christian crosses.  No fascist salute, but mass recitations of the pledge of allegiance [one minute and 45 seconds into the video above right].  These symbols contain no whiff of fascism in themselves, of course, but an American fascism would transform them into obligatory litmus tests for detecting the internal enemy.  p.  202 (Emphasis added)

This paragraph was published five years prior to the event it describes.  But the event it describes was one of many similar events in the anti-Obama upsurge of the summer of 2009, including town hall meeting disrupted by fascist violence, and anti-obama rallies with open display of guns and implicit threats of violence.

*from Donald: "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)."

(In this context Wrangham and Wilson's Collective Violence: Comparison Between Youths and Chimpanzees is once again essential reading.)
"I want my country back!"  
("The language and symbols of an authentic American fascism . . . ")
RINO [Republicans In Name Only] American Traitor Rep. Mike Castle
Tap-Dances Around Obama Birth Certificate (July 20, 2009)

Time Magazine assesses the relative intelligence of its readers:
from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, February 14, 2012:
TIME Magazine's U.S. Edition

"Fascism" as a Plane of Immanence

from Robert O. Paxton, The Anatomy of Fascism (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004):

The legitimation of violence against a demonized internal enemy brings us close to the heart of fascism.  p. 84

Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.  p. 218

The United States itself has never been exempt from fascism.  Indeed, antidemocratic and xenophobic movements have flourished in America since the Native American party of 1845 and the Know-Nothing Party ofthe 1850s.  In the crisis-ridden 1930s, as in other democracies, derivative fascist movements were conspicuous in the United States.  The Protestant evangelist Gerald B. Winrod's openly pro-Hitler Defenders of the Christian Faith with their Black Legion; William Dudley Pelley's Silver Shirts (the initials "SS" were intentional) . . . .

Much more dangerious are movements that employ authentically Amerian themes in ways that resemble fascism functionally.  The Klan revived in the 1920s, took on virulent anti-Semitism, and spread to cities and the Middle West.  In the 1930s, Father Charles E. Coughlin gathered a radio audience estimated at forty million around an anticommunist, anti-Wall Street, pro-soft money, and---after 1938--anti-Semitic message broadcast from his church in the ouskirts of Detroit.  For a moment in early 1936 it looked as if his Union Party and its presidential candidate, North Dakota congressman William Lemke, might overwhelm Roosevelt. . . .  p. 201

continued below
the Holocaust was not an essential element of fascism

re. Paxton's comment: "Much more dangerious are movements that employ authentically Amerian themes in ways that resemble fascism functionally."

Christopher Browning, The Origins of the Final Solution : the Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939-March 1942; with contributions by Jürgen Matthäus (University of Nebraska Press, 2004)

Was the Holocaust a necessary or contingent event--necessary in the sense of flowing from a deep ontology (Hitler's expression of ressentment taken as determinative: the intentionalist school); contingent in the sense of being an event shaped more by circumstances.  Browning takes the latter position.

from wiki: Browning is a functionalist in the origins of the Holocaust debate, following the principles of the "moderate functionalist" school of thought, which focuses on the structure and institution of the Third Reich, moving the focus away from Hitler. Functionalism sees the extermination of the Jews as the improvisation and radicalization of a polycratic regime. Functionalists do not vindicate Adolf Hitler yet they recognize that many other factors were involved in the Final Solution.

This makes the Holocaust a removable singularity: a particularly brutal but nevertheless not essential element of German fascism.  The essential elements of German fascism (Paxton) are the same as those of contemporary American "conservatism."  Had the rage against Muslims during the Ground Zero Mosque near pogrom (let us call it what it was) been operationalized and produced a large number deaths (and who knows how close we came to that), we might have gotten an event similar to German fascism's Kristallnacht.

plane of imm
Fascism as the Central Feature of Modern American Politics

Steve Fraser's Labor Will Rule: Sidney Hillman and the Rise of American Labor (The Free Press, 1991) intersects with Paxton's Anatomy of fascism, and is essential reading if one has the stomach for confronting our heart of darkness.

This book is many books, or rather, it is the way history should be done.  First of all, it is not a biography.  Remove the merely biographical stuff, and what remains is the single most important history of that most critical of period in the making of the modern world: Progressivism to New Deal.  It must be placed in the context of Michael Mann's The Social Sources of Power in its dealings with elites.  It begins with a discussion of the Haskalah (the Enlightenment with a Yiddish accent) not as ideology but as cultural-historical developmental process that includes cognitive and characterological development as a principle axis of the unfolding/development of Being: Bildung.  It is direct rather than evasive in its dealing with r*c*sm and f*c*sm among workers which I discuss in Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense (after the Flint sit-down strike in 1937 the Black Legion, a part of the Homer Martin faction, controlled the UAW in that city.  There is some evidence that John L. Lewis had him eliminated).  Above all, Fraser confronts the fallacy of misplaced conreteness wherein much history writes of "the working class" and "the union" whereas in fact there is only chaos, disintegration, and migration . . . and the construction of new forms of praxis, new structures of authority: here, the concept of emergence not representation (once more "Deleuze") is crucial.  Transcendental empiricism is concerned with isolating the genetic and immanent conditions of existence of the real.  (Miguel de Beistegui).   Here is where the Deleuze-Bryant--"an identity that maintains itself through topological variations.'--is similar in deployment to Paxton's--"in ways that resemble fascism functionally."  Plane of Immanence

hillfrom Michael Mann, The Sources of Social Power.  Volume II: The rise of classes and national states (Cambridge University Press, 1993)
It is a basic tenet of my work that societies are not systems.  There is no ultimately determining structure to human existence--at least none that social actors or sociological observers, situated in its midst, can discern.  What we call societies are only loose aggregates of diverse, overlapping, intersecting power networks.  p. 506

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.  p. 638

Joseph E. Lowndes, From the New Deal to the New Right : race and the southern origins of modern conservatism (Yale University Press, 2008) refers to the "foundational violence of modern Republicanism" (p. 2).  "The fashioning of Wallace's antigovernment populism was a moment of founding violence for the modern Right . . . " (p. 78)  (For the centrality of violence in the performatvity of the Right see Alex Jones vs Piers Morgan On Gun Control, CNN 1/7/2013).

Senator Lindsay Graham on why we need assault weapons:

“In 1992 you had the riots in Los Angeles,” Graham said. “I think it was the [Rodney] King event, but you could find yourself in this country in a lawless environment through a natural disaster or a riot. … And the story was about a place called Koreatown. There were marauding gangs going through the area, burning stores, looting and robbing … and raping.”

NRA’s Wayne LaPierre, Lindsey Graham play the ‘racial scare’ card in gun control debate,  the Grio, Joy-Ann Reid  February 14, 2013
These are not the owls of Minerva
Vincent Van Gogh - Crows Flying Over A Wheatfield (1889)
A Guide to Fascism in Media Reports

The two excerpts at the right: a part of Paxton's definition of fascism and Jamieson's perplexity in the face of Rush Limbaugh's fascist performances.  The latter reveals the cognitive disabilities of liberalism.

attacks on women (problem: basis of appeal to white women)
attacks on voting rights (see in context of town hall violence 209)
stand your ground and the Zimmerman case  (the hunting season had begun)

Liberal complicity with fascism (Lib discourse endows fascist performtivities with legitimacy by responding on their own (fascism's) terms: hypocrisy, rather than disease
Paxton: Fascism "pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion." (Paxton)

from Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Joseph N. Cappella, Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Establishment (Oxford Univeristy Press, 2008), p.p. 188-89. (Emphasis added.) See Carter, p. 78 n. 37

Limbaugh's attempts at gender-based "humor" are of the locker room variety.  As the California gubernatorial recall was heating up, Limbaugh informed his followers that Leutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante--"whose name loosely translates into Spanish for 'large breasts'--leads the Terminator by a few points" (August 18, 2003).  A photomontage on the Limbaugh website shows a photograph of Schwartzenegger's head and shoulders from his Pumping Iron days as a body builder.  A naked woman has been transposed onto his shoulders.  Over her breasts is a sign reading BUSTAMONTE.  When Madonna endorsed General Wesley Clark, Limbaugh reported that she had "opened herself" to him.  Why the vulgarity in this message does not alienate the churchgoing conservatives in his audience is a question for which we have no ready answer.

Planes of Immanence/concrete universal/moment in the unfolding of being

To understand
" . . . the supreme act of philosophy is not to think the plane of immanence, but to show, in an image, that is is there."  Beth Lord, "Deleuze and Kant," in the Cambridge Companion to Deleuze (Cambridge University Press, 2012), p. 99

from Levi R. Bryant, Difference and Givenness: Deleuze's Transcendental Empiricism and the Ontology of Immanence (Northwestern University Press, 2008) 

A style or essence is what we might refer to as an identity of difference, or an identity produced through difference.  It is not a type or a kind, but rather a rule of production, a genetic factor.  It is an identity that maintains itself through topological variations.  It is for this reason that we speak of morphological essences or diagrams of becoming.  68

Although Deleuze himelf never makes reference to the notion of topological essences, the theme can be seen to run throughout his work. . . . Insofar as a topological identity is produced between the variations a structure can undergo, Deleuze is also able to maintain the being of concrete universals which are no longer opposed to particulars. 70-71

Figure 2, Topolgies of the Two Party System, summarizes the materials found in Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense and Developmental Divergence: Cognitive Development in History.  A few of the concrete instances found in these pages are given here.

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!"

Figure 2. Topologies of the Two-party System: Semiotic Regimes

                                        LEFT                                        RIGHT  

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

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

The pro- and anti-war demonstrators' signs above, and the table to the right, are moments in the unfolding the two-party discursive field.  In the competing demonstrations there are references to issues on the one side, while on the other side one sees only the demonization of the anti-war demonstrators. The rage directed against the other is a principle axis--an eigenvector--of the right.  A large percentage of right-wing expressions are of this character.

Thus, pro- and anti-war demonstators' signs provide two distinct topologies on the semiotic manifold of the public sphere. 

Rabids vs. Thoughtfuls (right) also provides two distinct topologies on the semiotic manifold.  

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.  See chapter 8, "Melanie Klein, Racism and Psychoanalysis," and chapter 9, "Projection, Projective Identification and Racism."

The cognitive-semiotic structures are provided by standard developmental theory.  Pre-operational and gestural cognitive modalities dominate the right rhetorical set.  More abstract (formal operational) and factual (concrete operational) dominate on the left.

The cognitive structures on the discursive manifold are provided in Developmental Divergence: Cognitive Development in History.

Note that the psychological dimension of the Right is discussed in 
American Exceptionalism: Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense.  (I have not yet dealt with the Left as discursive set on a semiotic manifold.)  Now I go one theoretical step further: the Mechanisms of Defense/Positions provide the structure on the set of all right-wing semiotic productions.  In Clarke's text, this is the paranoid-schizoid position (after Melanie Klein): rage seeking a target; exclusion.

The psychological structure on the set of all left-wing semiotic productions is given by the depressive position (Melanie Klein again): concern for others; inclusion.

Note that the discursive manifold of the public sphere does not include elite discursive activity (by definition not present in the public sphere), such as the internal correspondence of the Keynesian elite.  (see Person to Cooke)


The comments summarized in the table were sent to the Connecticut Post at the end of August, 2006 in response to an awful story of mistaken revenge.  (Click on Rabids vs. Thoughfuls to see the comments.  These comments are no longer available online.)  The Wikipedia entry on Jonathon Edington provides the context for these comments.

Jonathon Edington (born October 29, 1976[1]) is a Fairfield, Connecticut, United States, patent lawyer who achieved national notoriety when, on August 28, 2006, he murdered his neighbor, Barry James, after being told that James had molested Edington's two-year-old daughter. There has been no evidence found that Barry James molested Edington's daughter or anyone else.[2] On August 30 Edington was released on $1 million bond. It was widely expected that Edington would attempt to mount a psychiatric defense at his murder trial,[3] however Edington instead pled guilty to the crime and was sentenced to 12 years in prison on August 31, 2007.[4]

The story  generated a large amount of press coverage in the United States and overseas.

The responses to the Connecticut Post story have been organized into two categories--rabids and thoughtfuls.

These two sets of responses also provide two distinct topologies on the semiotic manifold of the public sphere.

from Gene M. Heyman, Addiction: A Disorder of Choice (Harvard Univesity Press, 2009)

Critics of consumerism have often blamed social institutions or "society."  The analysis presented here does not deny that social forces play an important role in promoting excessive consumption levels.  What it adds is the point that there would be excessive consumption levels even if advertising did not exist.  As long as choices are made from the local perspective, and this is usually the perspective tht people take, the favored good will be consumed excessively.  Advertisers and merchants encourage this tendency, and conversely, ascetic movements counter this tendency.  (p. 35)

from Gary Greenberg review of Addiction: A Disorder of Choice, in New Scientist, July 25, 2009

Heyman shows how the failure to sacrifice short-term gains (getting high) for long-term gains (sobriety-aided productivity) is endemic to a consumer culture.

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food (New York Times, February 20, 2013)

Joanna Moncrieff, The Myth of the Chemical Cure: A Critique of Psychiatric Drug Treatment (palgrave macmillan, 2009)

Jerom Kagan, The Human Spark: The Science of Human Development (Basic Books, 2013)

‘That’s as Bad as It Gets’

‘Beyond the Tree Line’

Charles Murray's sequel to The Bell Curve (Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010)

Risky Rise of the Good-Grade Pill, by NYT, by Alan Schwarz, NYT (June 9

In Their Own Words: ‘Study Drugs’  by Alan Schwarz, NYT (June 9, updated June 13, 2012)

At Stuyvesant, Allegations of Widespread Cheating,
Published: June 26, 2012, NYT

February 5, 2010, 4:25 PM NYT
At Top City Schools, Lack of Diversity Persists

Eli Zaretsky, Secrets of the Soul: A Social and Cultural History of Psychoanalysis (Vintage, 2004)

Criminal Identities and Consumer Culture: crime, exclusion and the new culture of narcissism.  Steve Hal, Simon Winlow and Craig Ancrum (Willan Publishing, 2008)
from WIKI:

Primates have advanced cognitive abilities: some make tools and use them to acquire food and for social displays;[90][91] some have sophisticated hunting strategies requiring cooperation, influence and rank;[92] they are status conscious, manipulative and capable of deception;[93] they can recognise kin and conspecifics;[94][95] and they can learn to use symbols and understand aspects of human language including some relational syntax and concepts of number and numerical sequence.[96][97][98] Research in primate cognition explores problem solving, memory, social interaction, a theory of mind, and numerical, spatial, and abstract concepts.[99] Comparative studies show a trend towards higher intelligence going from prosimians to New World monkeys to Old World monkeys, and significantly higher average cognitive abilities in the great apes.[100][101]

Gomez; Wrangham cog dev and persistence of ancien regime

I interviewed about 40 workers and two managers (works mgr and vp frame div). Emerging from these interviews was a sense that the variations in remembering the events, structures, and processes of the history of the Local by the dozens  of interviewees were a source of insight into the deep structure of the local's history. Conflicting memories, differing perspectives, differing cognitive modalities became the object of thought.  That which positivists view as a failure to arrive at objective Truth--irreducible differance--became the royal road to deeper insights.  This also a good example of an immanent practice (immanence is one of Deleuze's favorite words).

Cliff Williams on mob behavior

One of Deleuze's themes--the image of thought (apparently he is referring to
Foucault: A Postmodern Kantian or Parodic Nietzschean?  

Deleuze, Hegel, and the post-Kantian tradition
Daniel W Smith
Philosophy Today;
2000; 44

Transcendental Empiricism

The notion that concepts are created is therefore intimately connected with the notion that philosophy begins with an encounter with that which is outside of it . . . .  In this sense we can say that while there is a definite discipline of philosophy (the discipline of creating concepts), this discipline can only operate by reaching beyond itself, in encounter with that which is not philosophy.  p. 5
Henry Somers-from Steve Hall, Simon Winlow and Craig Ancrum. Criminal Identities and Consumer Culture: crime, exclusion and the new culture of narcissism (Willan Publishing, 2008)

Thus we must suspect that consumerism somehow interferes with the maturation process, preventing the individual's interest from being drawn towards objects and signs--especially those which are ethically, politically or scientifically charged and thus attractive only to the mature individual--that lie outside the consumer sphere. . . .  Once fully unleashed, as it was in the 1960s, consumer culture simply betrayed, brushed aside and demolished the weak forces of the liberal-left, whose rather apologetic appeals to social justice and meritocracy and half-hearted support for the democratic socialist political movement that was attempting to properly replace the old order could not compete with consumer culture's immensely seductive imagery and economic dynamism . . .   (173)

The alternative is the narcissist's joyride driven by the fetishistic command to circle permanently around objects associated with others who seem to offer vague recognition of the self and represent a concrete form of competence in the immediate environment.  (185-6)from Steve Hall, Simon Winlow and Craig Ancrum. Criminal Identities and Consumer Culture: crime, exclusion and the new culture of narcissism (Willan Publishing, 2008)

Thus we must suspect that consumerism somehow interferes with the maturation process, preventing the individual's interest from being drawn towards objects and signs--especially those which are ethically, politically or scientifically charged and thus attractive only to the mature individual--that lie outside the consumer sphere. . . .  Once fully unleashed, as it was in the 1960s, consumer culture simply betrayed, brushed aside and demolished the weak forces of the liberal-left, whose rather apologetic appeals to social justice and meritocracy and half-hearted support for the democratic socialist political movement that was attempting to properly replace the old order could not compete with consumer culture's immensely seductive imagery and economic dynamism . . .   (173)

The alternative is the narcissist's joyride driven by the fetishistic command to circle permanently around objects associated with others who seem to offer vague recognition of the self and represent a concrete form of competence in the immediate environment.  (185-6)from Steve Hall, Simon Winlow and Craig Ancrum. Criminal Identities and Consumer Culture: crime, exclusion and the new culture of narcissism (Willan Publishing, 2008)

Thus we must suspect that consumerism somehow interferes with the maturation process, preventing the individual's interest from being drawn towards objects and signs--especially those which are ethically, politically or scientifically charged and thus attractive only to the mature individual--that lie outside the consumer sphere. . . .  Once fully unleashed, as it was in the 1960s, consumer culture simply betrayed, brushed aside and demolished the weak forces of the liberal-left, whose rather apologetic appeals to social justice and meritocracy and half-hearted support for the democratic socialist political movement that was attempting to properly replace the old order could not compete with consumer culture's immensely seductive imagery and economic dynamism . . .   (173)

The alternative is the narcissist's joyride driven by the fetishistic command to circle permanently around objects associated with others who seem to offer vague recognition of the self and represent a concrete form of competence in the immediate environment.  (185-6)from Steve Hall, Simon Winlow and Craig Ancrum. Criminal Identities and Consumer Culture: crime, exclusion and the new culture of narcissism (Willan Publishing, 2008)

Thus we must suspect that consumerism somehow interferes with the maturation process, preventing the individual's interest from being drawn towards objects and signs--especially those which are ethically, politically or scientifically charged and thus attractive only to the mature individual--that lie outside the consumer sphere. . . .  Once fully unleashed, as it was in the 1960s, consumer culture simply betrayed, brushed aside and demolished the weak forces of the liberal-left, whose rather apologetic appeals to social justice and meritocracy and half-hearted support for the democratic socialist political movement that was attempting to properly replace the old order could not compete with consumer culture's immensely seductive imagery and economic dynamism . . .   (173)

The alternative is the narcissist's joyride driven by the fetishistic command to circle permanently around objects associated with others who seem to offer vague recognition of the self and represent a concrete form of competence in the immediate environment.  (185-6)
, "Introduction," in the Cambridge Companion to Deleuze (Cambridge University Press, 2012),  p. 5

Given the view of the enviroment as an extension of the mind and as an entangled part of the inseparable whole organism-and-environment, the behaviour of an organism can be properly understood only in a specific context.  The context becomes part of the problem-solving activity, and it is not just the space within which problem solving takes place.  This is the contextualist or situated approach to cognition.  According to this aproach, a concept is no longer a static object in the mind, but an 'object' in the extended mind/brain/environment system.  Since what transpires in this system is a loop of mutual actions, it is more proper to view concepts as processes that occur over relatively short tme spans and that involve an interplay between the properties of the organism and the proerties of the context.

If concepts are processes assembled on the basis of organismic and environmental components that form an interactive loop, the concept is necessarily characterized by a certain variation.  Thus, each time a concept is being assembled when the cognizer engages in a problem solving activity within a specific context, the performance of the relevant task is by its nature variable and dependent upon the specific context.  Since time is an intrinsic variable in dynamic phenomena, the context can never be the same, even if the same task is repeated over and over again within the same controlled experimental conditions; repetition by itself makes a difference.  The variability and fluctuation in measurements are not due to extraeous factors that are irrelevant to the task; they are inherent chracteristics of the phenomenon.  pp. 3-4

Cognitive developmental change: theories, models and measurement By Andreas Demetriou, Athanassios Raftopoulos (Cambridge University Press, 2004)

Writing on transcendental empiricism reveals the dead-end of philosophy, insofar as it begins within the discursive field of philosophy, thus contradicting the premise of transcendental empiricism.  Within this site we begin instead with encounters*--for example, with Figure 1, PISA Math Scores, 2003-2012, or with Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense, which assembles internet-accessible videos, graphics and texts expressive of right-wing political performativity in the USA.  

*"Something in the world forces us to think.  This something is an object not of recognition but of a fundametal encounter." (Deleuze, DR 139-40) in Bryant, p. 92

Transcendental empiricism is an empiricism insofar as it must rely on the force of an encounter [emph.added] to engender thought.  Here it is not the object of the encounter that is important.  The aim is not to represent the object, or to draw a sensation from the object.  Rather, the object of the encounter is the occasion of thought, but not that which is to be thought.  p. 92--3

 It would therefore be wrong to suppose that the encounter is an encounter with a positive reality or a something.  What is important in the encounter is not the object or concrete experience, but the problem.  [emph added] p. 102

from the Oxford English Dictionary: (use of the word) Concentrate.  1794. R. J. Sulivan View of Nature V. 395   The lineaments thus become collected, or rather concentrated in our imaginations, and acquire force from concentration.

vs. dissipate

Figure 2, Cognitive Regimes, borrows the image of the Lorenz attractor in summarizing the results of two pages: Bildung: Was Mozart a Communist; and Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense (eternal return).  Both planes depend upon a third page, Developmental Divergence and American Politics:
Cognitive Development in History.  

Planes of Immanence/Semiotic regimes
History (SE Mich view from the shopfloor; KE Prog to ND)
Mann (as plane of immanence: 4 factors)
Mann on power

(1)  Stephen Ceci
from Eugene W. Holland, "Deleuze and Psychoanalysis," in Cambridge Companion to Deleuze (Cambridge University Press, 2012)

For Nietzsche, human beings express will to power, and will to power is mostly unconscious; consciousness is strictly epiphenomenal.  Moreover, what consciousness there is for Nietzsche is transitory and unreliable: the psyche is a battleground for warring forces or perspectives, and consciousness represents merely the momentary victory of one partial perspective over others--or indeed its disguise, as something other than conquering force.  p. 307-8