n


Man is a Bridge:
the Twenty First Century is Nietzsche's Century

This site is a rhizome made possible by the
Internet

bridgeloop
Edward Hopper, Manhattan Bridge Loop (1928)
Thus Spoke Zarathustra, I. 4

Man is a rope, tied between beast and overman--a rope over an abyss.  A dangerous across, a dangerous on the way, a dangerous looking back, a dangerous shuddering and stopping.

What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not an end: what can be loved in man is that he is an overture and a going under.


The Geneology of Morals, II, 16:

Let us add at once that . . . the existence on earth of an animal soul turned against itself, taking sides against itself, was something so new, profound, unheard of, enigmatic, contradictory, and pregnant with a future that the aspect of the earth was essentially altered.  Indeed, divine spectators were needed to justice to the spectacle that thus began and the end of which is not yet in sight . . . .  From now on, man . . . gives rise to an interest, a tension, a hope, almost a certainty, as if with him something were anouncing and preparing itself, as if man were not a goal but only a way, an episode, a bridge, a great promise.
Eelco Runia, Moved by the Past: Discontinuity and Historical Mutation (Columbia U. Press, 2014)

"how to make evolutionary sense of the fact that humans, alone among species, “took off” on a kind of autonomous development that made it their destiny “to ply the seas eternally?  p. 180

“The more we disarmed our environment the more we became our own environment.” 184

Stephen J. Ceci, On Intelligence: A Bioecological Treatise on Intellectual Development, expanded edition (Harvard University Press, 1996)

"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 . . . " xvi

"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

Man is a bridge


Homo sapiens as a species unlike any other, whose "nature" it is to be subject to cultural and historical development as a result of its own activity, to be subject to the psychological consequences of such processes (Nietzsche), and to be capable of embarking on projects (progressivism--Vygotsky) originating out of the logic of the Enlightenment whose objective is self- and societal-transformation (Hegel's Bildung and Nietzsche's Will to Power; Russian Rev. and New Deal).  [Runia (at the right);
Dupré, Chase, Nietzsche, and Wikipedia (below, 1❫, ❪2❫, ❪3❫, and ❪4]

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.  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.  (See Ceci's objection the term intelligence.)

This developmentalist perspective is naïve, not because it has failed--until recently Finland has been a stunning success story.  It is naïve because two of the most powerful ontologies of modern society, ressentiment (racism and all its cognates) and regressive narcissism (the psychological side of mass consumption in the post-modern era), are at best recognized only tangentially, if at all.  (Sahlberg and Illeris recognize the threat to development posed by the latter, but only tangentially.)

Cultural Historical Activity Theory (Bildung as educational theory--see the PISA Results: Evolutionary, Historical, Developmental, and Psychological Perspectives), notwithstanding its success in the nation where it was most fully implemented (Finland), does not address the vulgarity, violence and greed of modern life.  It does not address such phenomena as The Stupid Party; it has nothing to say about fascism as a generic phenomenon of modernity and as a central feature of American life.  Nor does it have anything to say about the cognitive effects of our enormously powerful corporate networks devoted to the stimulation of desire and envy.  Cultural Historical Activity Theory is Hegel with a smiley face, a utopian Progressivism.  But development can go awry; regression can occur; archaic forces persist and become the raw materials of opportunistic political elites; and an entirely new world of narcissistic regression and rampant desire gets added to the mix.  Shit happens, and the smile is wiped off Hegel's face. This is in part what Figure 1 is about . . . and what this site is about.
Figure 1.  PISA Math Scores, 2003 - 2012: 25 Nations
psa

Southeast Asian nations are in light blue; Scandinavian nations + Switzerland in dark blue; Anglo-Saxon nations in orange; France, Germany, Belgium and Poland in green; Italy, Portugal and Spain in brown; the United States in red.   These are the advanced capitalist nations (some have been omitted for the sake visual clarity).

The PISA Results: Evolutionary, Historical, Developmental, and Psychological Perspectivess

*** Brian Massumi, Power at the End of the Economy (12-29-2014)

*** Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism's Stealth Revolution (2-6-15)


This has the appearance of ideal types.  In dealing with history, these ideal tyypes are not subjects or agents, only a means of decoding praxis.

the cartesian subject writ large (e.g., the working class)

organisms, habitus, networks

superorganisms and historical trajectories
Shit happens . . .  enter psychoanalysis (a critique of democracy)

*****The explanatory power of cultural historical activity theory is not undermined by this post-modern turn of events.  On the contrary, when integrated with current psychoanalytic perspectives (drive, ego, object relations and self psychologies) and applied to areas that have hitherto been taboo (fascism, consumerism), the vital core of  CHAT (Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger) lights up the darkness.

That darkness is embodied in the kinds of transformative projects
originating out of the logics of capital and political power, whose purpose is the stimulation and exploitation of appetite and desire (Food, nihilism) on the one hand, and the mobilization and shaping of resentiment for political purposes, on the other.  Unlike the Enlightenment project, these projects of capital and power have no larger vision--no vision of any kind. (The three shibboleths of neoliberalism do not constitute a vision.) These projects are the antitheses of the Enlightenment project.  Ironically, their ideology--neoliberalism--can be seen as derived from the Enlightenment taken merely as ideology: 1. the presupposition of the rational individual in a market economy--of the Cartesian self as the ontological given and eternal truth of our being; 2. markets are magic; and 3. institutions don't matter.  But there is the other Enlightenment of Progressivism, of Veblen and Dewey, Lunacharsky and Lenin, of Institutional Economics.  This Enlightenment did critique the three major shibboleths of neoliberalism.  In place of the taken-for-granted eternal subject, a first approximation: the quantum heterogeneity of Dasein. At the risk of over-simplifying, one might say that progressivism arose out of civic republicanism; neo-liberalism out of commercial republicanism (Harold Mah, Enlightenment Phantasies, Cornell, 2003) LINK

A by-product of the latter (political mobilization of ressentiment): the
subversion of cognition development by the degradation of culture as zone of proximate influence; a by-product of the former (nihilism): Capitalism--at least advanced capitalism--requires advanced minds. Narcissistic regression--the culture of consumption (see Hall et. al., Criminal Identities and Consumer Culture)--undermines the very possibility of advanced cognitive development.  An external degradation of culture (the underminig of motivation), an internal erosion of the self-discipline that is the sine qua non of cognitive development.  Hence Figure 1: the PISA Results: Evolutionary, Historical, Developmental, and Psychological Perspectives.  {Rhizome; empirico-cognitive density; contrapuntal reading . . . transcendental empiricism}

Man is a bridge . . . Nietzsche's apparent contempt for the "people" is better read as a crude opening up of what is by now a long overdue critique of the people.  This site is an enquiry into the post-paleolithic development of the primate homo sapiens--of culturally, historically, and politically-based developmental differentiation and divergence that is regressive as well as progressive, pathological as well as creative, and which, as Mary Midgley (The Solitary Self: Darwin and the Selfish Gene, p. 52) has noted, can be called "pseudo-speciation."  To see what I mean, consider this example from Sophia Rosenfeld, A Revolution in Language: the Problem of Signs in Late Eighteenth-Century France (Stanford, 2001).  Two other examples are the Musso rant and the Ground Zero debate.  This excerpt from Merlin Donald ("The mind considered from a historical perspective: human cognitive phylogenesis and the possibility of continuing cognitive evolution.") provides a broader context.

These sites are construted in the spirit of Vygotsky and Luria


In its approach to this variation--this developmental differentiation and divergence--this site is, among other things, the antithesis of the prevailing racisms, liberal as well as fascist.

This fundamental cognitive divide revealed in the Rosenfeld, Musso, and Ground Zero examples between primitive and modern is the central feature of the two-party discursive field in the United States (Semiotic Regimes: the Two-Party System in the United States).

All this renders the prevailing concept of democracy naive in the extreme.  At the heart of the Enlightenment project is the deep contradiction between development and democracy (representative democracy vs. processural demomcracy--but the latter contradicts the assumptions of the former--there is no middle ground.  This is what emerges from the UAW Interviews.
The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: 5 Genetic Ontologies


primate

paleolithic

ressentiment & the
mechanisms of defense

bildung & the will to power

nihilism






On cognitive divides:


Murray Body Minutes; Musso rant, Ground Zero, etc.


Robert B. Brandom, Perspectives on Pragmatism: Classical, Recent, and Contemporary (Harvard, 2011), p. 36

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
Democracy and Individuation (Dupre and Smith)
the two-party discursive field

The links at the right begin the work of specifying the two-party discursive field.  Ressentiment, Fascism
*****
The above examples and the links to the right should be borne in mind.  B
earing things is mind is an operating principle of this site: The Internet makes possible a revolution in mind, where transcendental empiricism moves from the arid formulations of philosophers to concrete empirico-theoretical activity.  the Internet becomes the techno-cognitive axis of a praxiological revolution in thought, where the idea of transcendental empiricism becomes practical activity.  Transcendental Empiricism is another term for bearing things in mind.  Transcendental empiricism produces planes of immanence.  {the concrete universal of Hegel: Findlay's Hegel: a Re-examination}
Semiotic Regimes: the Two-Party System in the United States

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



pragmatism; interviews

Man is a bridge   On Nietzsche: exegesis must be replaced with philosophically informed empirical practice, whether of an intellectual or political nature.  It is the essence of the Nietzschean textual sensibility (the text as a discursive field that exceeds the boundaries of its "author") that it not be explained or interpreted--it must be transcended in the execution of its own intentionality--Nietzsche was groping in the dark, and his writings, as Bhattacharyya notes, are better taken as provocations to thought rather than as objects of exegesis.  Nevertheless, Nietzsche has given us key substantive concepts--ressentiment, the will to power, perspectivism, nihilism--that make the 21st century intelligible.  Eternal recurrence, on the other hand, is truly what one might called a bounded provocation.  Bounded, because as a provication to thought it is most frutfully pursued within the boundary conditions set by Nietzsche's major texts
*****
This intentionality must no longer be merely spoken or written from within the iron cages of our conventional existences (within disciplines and professions, unions and parties; and as consumers and
victims--the set of incredibly shrinking selves sometimes referred to as "the people").  This is what this site attempts. 

The incredibly shrinking self--this is Nietzsche's durable, usable concept of nihilism.

What is uncanny about Nietzsche's work is its increasing relevance as the world turns

Three loci of inquiry:

the "UAW"--as space between KE and shoploor
Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State {pages related to this:     }
Semiotic Regimes {the stupid party etc.}

The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: a first approximation





from Anindya Bhattacharyya,
Notes on Nietzsche’s eternal recurrence, in bat020.com (emphasis added):


Treating eternal recurrence as a systematic doctrine fails to do justice in my eyes to the profoundly anti-systematic and indeed anti-philosophical tenor of Nietzsche’s work. The eternal recurrence of the same is a provocation to thought rather than a mystery underlying it. To adapt an image from Gilles Deleuze’s 1962 book on Nietzsche, the thought of eternal return is “an arrow shot by Nature that another thinker picks up where it has fallen so that he can shoot it somewhere else” (Deleuze, ix).

Stambaugh makes a similar point when she states that any interpretation of eternal return is “forced to ‘go beyond’ Nietzsche’s writings, published or unpublished, on the subject… If one adheres strictly to what Nietzsche wrote about eternal return, it is impossible to ‘solve’ the enormous problems inherent in this thought.” (Stambaugh, p103).
Development; pseudo-speciation
bildung
developmental niche
zone of proximal development

"Nietzsche" as heuristic device

his themes are contemporary

hist problematic: why the strange proliferation fo Nietzsche shcolarship


The Interviews form a lens through which to examine ontologies, transformations

The interviewees are a radically unrepresentative group of auto "workers"--the creators--whose discursive praxis in the context of the interview setting as habitus generated a variety of cognitive effects.  The interview setting as habitus: there is a certain homogeneity to this group that ups the ante--some of them have had biographies written: reuther, Mortimer; all of them have provied me with autobiographical vignettes whose significance I did not grasp until decades later.  Superorganism (Forging Democracy)
Jim Peters
Norman Bully
Larry Jones
Ed Lock
Earl Reynolds
Joe Adams
Bill Jenkins
Harry Kujawsy
Percy Llewelyn
Paul Silver
A Tale of Two Kleins


(enter psychoanalysis) a plane of immanence:
Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense
*****
The least problematic of Nietzsche's concepts is ressentiment, although his perspectivism--especially since Foucault and Kuhn--could be seen as equally unproblematic.  Nihilism poses some problems, but these can be resolved by thinking nihilism in the present (more on this below and here).  The most problematic is undoubtedly eternal recurrenceWill to power should not pose great difficulties: it implies aufheben, emergence, praxis, agency, bildung.  All  of these concepts are entangled in a common vitalist sensibility.  It is the linkage of will to power with the
übermensch that gets commentators all bent out of shape, and leads them to see Nietzsche as linked to fascism.  The four excerpts above (Dupre, Chase, Nietzsche, and Wikipedia) should put the concept of will to power in a different perspective.  Excerpts 1, 2, and 4 provide a progressive view of the will to power.  Nietzsche gives us a non-euphemised look into the heart of darkness of civilization.  Macabre though Nietzsche's view is, it is still within the conceptual field of developmental differentiation and divergence.

This linkage of will to power and the übermensch with fascism is profoundly inconsistent with Nietzsche's work.  Nietzsche's contempt for the racism and nationalism of his times was unrestrained.  Thus, it is both surprising and problematical, in this regard, to see the strangely selective reading and misconstrual of Nietzsche's overall work by, for example, Mary Migdley, Bernice Rosenthal, and Roger Griffith.  In order to make Nietzsche an aristocratic nationalist-racist they ignore his concept of ressentiment (Geneology of Morals), which cannot be separated from his blistering condemnation of nationalism (BGE) and his hatred of anti-Semitism ("Just now I am having all anti-Semites shot").  Ressentiment is one of five genetic ontologies at the heart of this site.  When ressentiment is formulated in psychoanalytic terms, it becomes the key to unlocking the secret of the rage, brutality, and sadism that is the unyielding core of today's politics--today's fascist politics. 

Compare Marx (and later Marxists--see Avineri, “Marxism and Nationalism,” J of Contemporary Hist Vol 26, No. 3/4  pp. 637-657)  and Nietzsche on this score.

(As will be shown, Nietzsche's
übermensch comments are an uncanny description of the actual organizing process of the UAW in Flint, Detroit's west side, near east side, and far east side.  These comments also get to the heart of the emergence of the Keynesian elite.  (See KE in ND.)  Moreover, it is through a concept of the übermensch that one begins to grasp the nature of the anti-racism of both the Communists and the UAW creators.)







from Nietzsche, The Geneology of Morals, II, 14:

Here the works of vengefulness and rancor swarm; here the air stinks of secrets and concealment;  . . . and what mendaciousness is employed to disguise that this hatred is hatred!  What a display of grand words and postures, what an art of "honest" calumny!


from Nietzsche, The Geneology of Morals, II, 16:

Let us add at once that . . . the existence on earth of an animal soul turned against itself, taking sides against itself, was something so new, profound, unheard of, enigmatic, contradictory, and pregnant with a future that the aspect of the earth was essentially altered.  Indeed, divine spectators were needed to justice to the spectacle that thus began and the end of which is not yet in sight . . . .  From now on, man . . . gives rise to an interest, a tension, a hope, almost a certainty, as if with him somethin were anouncing and preparing itself, as if man were not a goal but only a way, an episode, a bridge, a great promise.

from Nietzsche, The Geneology of Morals, II, 22:

Oh this insane, pathetic beast--man!  What ideas he has, what unnaturalness, what paroxysms of nonsense, what bestiality of thought erupts . . .

All this is interesting, to excess, but also of a gloomy, black, unnerving sadness, so that one must forcibly forbid oneself to gaze too long into these abysses.  Here is sickness, beyond any doubt, the most terrible sickness that has ever raged in man . . . .  There is so much man that is hideous!--Too long, the earth has been a madhouse!

*****Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense is related to Deleuze and Guattari's concept of despotic regime.  On fascism today the two books at the right by Max Blumenthal are informed by a psychoanalytic sensibility.  On politics and political culture Miles, Lowndes and Lieven are indespensible.  On the phenomenology of ressentiment What's the Matter with Kansas.  There are many texts, videos, and images that amplify, extend, and make concrete Nietzsche's profound insight subsumed under the term ressentiment.  And let's not forget Italy and Germany: Macgregor Knox's account of the nineteenth century roots of genocide resonates with Nietzsche's comments on the nationalism and racism--the ressentiment--of his time.

Elsewhere in this site I will examine the forces of ressentiment as they played out in Flint, Pontiac, Midland Steel, Packard.  The factional fight within the UAW that broke out immediately after the Flint sitdown strike in the spring of 1937, and lasted until the 1941 NLRB elections (and then the race riots of 1943--Sugrue), was a fight between fascism and progressivism, as Henry Kraus and Wyndham Mortimer noted at the time.  Not only did fascism within the auto plants almost destroy the UAW.  It was the dress rehearsal for the resurgence of the fascist right in American politics, and its normalization within the semiotic fields of contemporary discourse (MSNBC, CNN, Fox News).  Ressentiment, as noted in the above links (Stupid Party, etc.) is the continuing existential presence that makes the likes of Joe McCarthy and Sarah Palin possible.
Macgregor Knox, To the Threshold of Power: Origins and Dynamics of the Fascist and National Socialist Dictatorships, Volume 1 (Cambridge University Press, 2007)

Robert O. Paxton, Antomy of Fascism ()

David Bromwich, "Working the Dark Side: David Bromwich writes about torture", London Review of Books, 8 January 2015

*****
***** I suggest here that there is a chronic existential catastrophe manifested in fascism, or better, to use Nietzsche's term, ressentiment. Usually something that is catastrophic is seen as a cataclysmic event rather than a chronic condition.  But that all depends upon the level of analysis chosen.  At the level of the organism homo sapiens historicus--post-paleolithic man--life is a series of catastrophes--eternal recurrence, repetition compulsion, mechanisms of defense . . .  The perpetual work of adaptation to power, and the tremendous range of possibilities opened up by the increasing symbolic and institutional complexity of Dasein, give us our being in the world, fractured, dynamic, creative, empathic, stagnant, withdrawn, depressive, bold, fearful, anxious, ecstatic, explosive, gregarious, autistic, etc. 

Klein becomes necessary when one reads Knox (or Roberto Bolaño, or Max Blumenthal); necessary in another way when one reads the semiosphere through Clarke.  It is not that Klein is "correct."  She is necessary now because few--Blumenthal is an exception, and so is Knox--seem able to look at the sadism in politics and society and call it by its right name (this is the burden of the page The GOP as the Stupid Party: an Inadequate Conceptualization).  Knox especially forces one to come to grips with the apparently deep structure of sadism in modern history {the history of despotic regimes+}.  In fact this web page drives home the point: when Bobby Jindal referred to the GOP as "the stupid Party" he was referring to the sado-sexual rhetoric of many of its tea party candidates.  The avoidance of the obvious is striking.  Call it stupid (Jindal); call it crazy (Krugman).  One doesn't need Klein to decode this.  This is the symbolic stuff of classical psychoanalysis.

The second compelling reason to take Klein seriously flows from the fundamental method of this site: the bringing to bear upon the stuff of the present the array of texts.  Reading Clarke while assembling the videos, texts, and graphic material of Tea Party performances, and then using the materials in semiotic regimes, Klein's two positions--the paranooid-schizoid and the depressive--provide a map of the territory.

Melanie Klein's dark view of homo sapiens is not widely accepted, but upon reading a recent Kleinian text (Ninivaggi, Envy Theory) I was struck by the disturbing resonance of such a dark view with the contemporary theater of sadism.  Robert Fisk's observations on the role of the Internet in school shootings and Isis recruitment puts the contemporary politics of sadism in a useful perspective.  Patrick Cockburn's story is actually about this persistent existential crisis.  This crisis manifests in a variety of ways in the contemporary world.  At the deepest level the National Rifle Association and Isis are fueled by and mobilize, through their performances, what Klein called the paranoid-schizoid position (Clarke, Social Theory).

It is in the theaters of ressentiment that include the politics of rage and identity that the organism's attempts to deal with this chronic catastrophe are on display.  Look again at The Stupid Party and at Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense: the Current American Scene: that's the concrete, everyday stuff that I'm talking about.  And look at Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense, which assembles contemporary texts indicating that this persistent catastrophe can be traced at least as far back as the First Crusade. To summarize: sado-sexual rage dominates the discursive practice of the GOP's relationship to its base.  This is the emotional side of right-wing politics, a bruitishness*, a sado-sexual obsessiveness, that results in institutionalized violence . . . .  a persistent existential catastrophe that Nietzsche diagnosed as ressentiment.  Marx (and his enlightenment phantasies) was wrong; Nietzsche was right.  That fascism was not an episodic disturbance but a deep structure of power--Macgregor Knox--is incresingly evident; that, as Paxton has shown, is fully operant in 21st century American politics.  One does well to focus not on the "failures" of Marxism, but on the peristence and tenacity of resentiment.  Marxism's failure was its naive Enlightenment faith, its overestimation of homo sapiens.  In the USSR (see Getty) the forces of ressentiment overwhelmed the revolutinaries of the Enlightenment

This recognition of the power to shape history of ressentiment into the 21st century is in part what makes this century Nietzsche's century . . . but wait, there's more.

*brutishness.  See excerpt from Rosenfeld, A Revolution in Language in PISA Results, and the Musso rant in Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense: the Current American Scene.



racism and the New York Times



*See Jonathan Marks'
review of 
New York Times science journalist (now retired)  Nicholas Wade's
neo-racist
A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History (Penguin Press, 2014). 

Also see Revisiting Race in a Genomic Age (Rutgers, 2008).  Even better, see
Jonathan Marks' blog (anthropomics), as well as Jennifer Raff 's blog to keep up to date.  

Geneticists say popular book misrepresents research on human evolution (Nature)

Letters: ‘A Troublesome Inheritance’
(NYT Book Review 8-8-14) /Stanford)





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



*post-mortem lynching.  The psychological and performative elements of a lynching occur after the death of the victim, but are otherwise fundamentally similar.  The inner logic of the lynching as generic phenomenon is developed in The Stupid Party.
*****
*****
*********
(nietz gets this in one way, Dupre in another)  For all that, it is worth bearing in mind that one can neither escape from nor reduce modern human behavior to our primate inheritance, all the more so since the rise of patrimonial capitalism, it could be argued, has--Tea Party--another formulation: the capaciousness of the opening up of culture as emergence means also new pathways to regression--the primate is ever ready to emerge under the tutelage of new gods--brutishness guide 


Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal, New Myth, New World: From Nietzsche to Stalinism (The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2002)

Mary Midgley, The Solitary Self: Darwin and the Selfish Gene (Routledge, 2014)

Mary Midgley, The Myths We Live By (Routledge, 2011)

Roger Griffin, Modernism and Fascism: The Sense of a Beginning under Mussolini and Hitler (palgrave macmillan, 2007)

Breivik: What is fascism? 

Max Blumenthatl, Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party (Nation Books, 2009)

Max Blumenthal, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel
(Nation Books, 2013)

Michael W. Miles, The Odyssey of the American Right (Oxford University Press, 1980)

Joseph E. Lowndes, From the New Deal to the New Right: Race and the Southern Origins of Modern Conservatism (Princeton, 2009) refers to the "foundational violence of modern Republicanism." (p. 2)

Anatol Lieven, America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism (Oxford University Press, 2005)

Thomas Frank, What's the Matter with Kansas (Henry Holt and Co., 2004)

Regeneration Through Violence: the Mythology of the American Frontier, 1600-1860

Iron Cages : Race and Culture in 19th-Century America

David R. Roediger, The wages of whiteness : race and the making of the American working class (Verso, 1999)

DeleuzeThree

A Species Unlike Any other

Index2014

Desire2014



Mazur

Critique of the Concept of Ideology

Why Klein?

Clarke and semiotic regime
Ninivaggi
Ib. a chronic existential catastrophe

Contesting Nietzsche (University of Chicago Press, 2013)



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

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


from Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power, § 863


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


from Yrjö Engeström and Reijo Miettinen, "Activity theory and individual and social transformation," in Reijo Miettinen, and Raija-Leena Punamaki, Perspectives on Activity Theory (Cambridge, 1999), pp. 25-6:

Differences in cognition across cultures, social groups, and domains of practice are thus commonly explained without seriously analyzing the historical development that has led to those differences.  The underlying relativistic notion is that we should not make value judgements concerning whose cognition is better or more advanced--that all kinds of thinking and practice are equally valuable.  Although this liberal stance may be a comfortable basis for academic discourse, it ignores the reality that in all domains of societal practice value judgements and decisions have to be made everyday.

Harold Mah,  Enlightenment Phantasies: Cultural Identity in France and Germany, 1750-1914 (CornellUniversity Press, 2003)



Macgregor Knox, To the Threshold of Power: Origins and Dynamics of the Fascist and National Socialist Dictatorships, Volume 1 (Cambridge University Press, 2007)

Daniel Chapelle, Nietzsche and Psychoanalysis (State University of New York Press, 1993)

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

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

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

Herman W. Siemens and Vasti Roodt, eds., Nietzsche, power and politics: rethinking Nietzsche's legacy for political thought (Walter de Gruyter, 2008)

Nandita Biswas Mellamphy, The Three Stigmata of Friedrich Nietzsche: Political Physiology in the Age of Nihilism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)

Robert Fisk on Isis: Propaganda war of Islamic extremists is being waged on Facebook and internet message boards, not mosques  (The Independent, 12 October  2014)

Patrick Cockburn, "Iraq descends into anarchy: Shia militias 'abducting and killing Sunni civilians in revenge for Isis attacks'"
(The Independent, 14 October  2014)

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

Bülent Diken, Nihilism (Routledge, 2009)

Bernard Reginster, The Affirmation of Life: Nietzsche on Overcoming Nihilism (Harvard, 2006)

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

Alissa Quart, Republic of Outsiders: the power of amateurs, dreamers, and rebels (New Press, 2014)

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Tobacco (HBO), Feb 15, 2015

Steve Jobs Was a Low-Tech Parent (NYT 9-10-14) (New York Times, February 20, 2013)

Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other (Basic Books, 2011)

II.  Nihilism

***In Nietzsche two formulations of "nihilism": a literary-cultural formulation of despair at the loss of values; and a clinical formulation that might be called reverse bildung: the unwinding of higher-level organizational structures and practices linked to cognitive development, self-discipline, and capacity for strategic planning/praxis: entropy.  See Dupre for a concise expression of this.  Mass consumption, regressive narcissism (Hall) the highest stage of nihilism conceived of clinically.  This is the triumph of capitalism.  Organization at the level of capital; but entropy at the level of culture. 

A further wrinkle on postmodern nihilism: state-sponsored regression to the primate, undoing of the Reformation, under the aegis of capital.  Markets in action.  No such thing as the "free market."  Many markets, organized in various ways.  Alfred Chandler Jr. on corporatization as the subversion of markets.

Strenger on the dissolution of the West

Veblen on hedonism; Nietzsche's implicit conept of entropy vs. organization; novels of Michel Houellebecq on repressive desublimation (Marcuse); Food article; schoools (relay University); drugs DSM-5

Heyman, Hall, Usher, Stegner, Food

Bülent Diken provides a concise review of nihilism while simultaneously demonstrating the dead-end of exegesis.  Nihilism is first of all considered as an effect of the loss of meaning, famously put by Nietzsche as the death of God.  Secondly is is considered to be an anarchic rage directed at all aspects of society.  Diken refers to this as radical nihilism.  This is nihilism as fascism.  I sugggest dropping the former altogether as reflecting the literary conceits of the scribbling classes, and recognizing the latter as fascism plain and simple: ressentiment and the mechanisms of defense orchestrated in the theater of ressentiment that politics, the media, and everyday culture  provide.  Diken also refers to the perfect nihilism of the übermensch.  This is confusing.  What he is referring to is the praxis, for example, of the creators of the United Auto Workers; of the cosmopolitan progressives who created the New Deal; and of the Bolsheviks.  More adequate to the task of understanding these fleeting achievements of homo sapiens is Hegel's concept of bildung fused with Nietzsche's concept of the will to power.  In perfect nihilism Bulent seems to be refrrring to the creative leap that is one way of thinking about emergence.



I draw only on the clearest and most relevant formulation of a concept of nihilism in Nietzsche: the last man.  See Nihilism

regressive narcissism and the culture of consumption (Hall)

repressive desublimation (Marcuse)

the last man

entropy



Diken passive nihilism 58

Marxism's failure is not to be seen in the Stalinism of the Soviet Union, but rather in the persistence and indeed the triumph of all that is antithetical to Marxism's naïve (as we can now see) Enlightenment presuppositions.  The most striking intellectual deficit of Marxism is that it never understood the two dominant modalities of Dasein since the rise of the state: ressentiment (at the beginning of history) and nihilism (at the end of history--the eternal now of our becoming).  If the reader has looked at the links in the above cell, s(he) must be overwhelmed not only by the persistence, but by the normalization of fascism in today's America.  As Robert Paxton has noted, fascism in the United States is as American as apple pie, and is treated with astonishing deference by the media (CNN and MSNBC).  And Nietzsche's concept of nihilism is an uncanny premonition of the culture of mass consumption now sweeping the world. (see Nihilism)

Entropy; Hall

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

Steve Jobs Was a Low-Tech Parent (NYT 9-10-14)

from: We never talk any more: The problem with text messaging, by Jeffrey Kluger (TIME, September 6, 2012): first comment

Went to a birthday party for my young brother in law who turned 19. Not sure I would call it a party. Just a bunch of people sitting in the couch texting while 2 of them played on the X-Box. I don't know who they were all texting given that they are all in the same room and not talking to each other. Were they texting each other? Were they texting someone else not there? I had seen simillar situations at restautants and even at the amusement park, but at a party? This one took the cake.


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

from: keywiki Saul Wellman

An organizer of young truck drivers in New York during the Depression, officer in the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War (wounded at the Battle of the Ebro), paratrooper during World War II (he was wounded and then escaped from the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge). He then moved to Detroit and became leader of Michigan’s Communist Party. During the McCarthy period Wellman lived underground, was arrested by the FBI, and was the lead defendant in Detroit’s most famous political trial, of the “Michigan Six.” After going to prison his conviction was overturned, and he then broke with the Communist Party. In his fifties, Wellman became a printer, a union leader, joined the New Left.[1]

II.  Bildung and the Will to Power

******
Aufheben, emergence, praxis, agency, bildung, the will to power ---these concepts are entangled in a common vitalist sensibility.  Hegel and Nietzsche are two sides of the same coin.  In this context the concept of the übermensch is widely applicable to the understanding of Bolshevism in Russia and the UAW in Michigan--and the Keynesian elite in the New Deal state.  The links below indicate better than any abstract exegesis of philosophical texts how the intentionality immanent in both Hegel and Nietzsche can be more deeply elaborated through "empirical" investigation.


Bildung: Was Mozart a Communist
 
The Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State, 1910-1939  

Detroit's East Side, 1933-1944  

Bildung and the Will to Power: the Interviews 


Bildung and the will to power describes the historical trajectory* Enlightenment to New Deal: the Enlightenment not misconstrued (as it usually is) as ideology, but, more fundamentally, as an inflection point in cognitive development as cultural-historical process--as not simply the emergence of the scientific frame of mind, but more profoundly, as developmental leap. Thus, the enlightenment as developmental trajectory of a superorganism marked by the emergence and continued development of science and formal operational competence (see PISA results): the habitus of progressivism.  ADD ALCORN

The excerpt at the right from the Wellman interview shows what I mean.  Bildung and the Will to Power (BWP) as the central force and principle feature of the rise of the UAW, and of Bolshevism, when these two nouns are deconstructed into their inner dynamic.  BWP as force, not as effect. This is what is so mistaken in the efforts to read back into the originary force of industrial insurgencies the effects of their combination with circumstances and other forces.  It is truly a mindless exercise to "blame" Stalinism on Marx or Marxism.

*Important moments within this trajectory are indicated by the proper nouns Galileo, Spinoza, Holbach, Diderot, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Darwin, Nietzsche, Freud, Brandeis, Lenin, Vygotsky, Piaget, Dewey, Pierce, Morris L. Cooke,  Ed Lock, James Lindahl, Wyndham Mortimer, Henry Kraus, Heidegger, Cassirer, Foucault, Sellars, Deleuze . . .
Excerpt from interview with Saul Wellman, a leading Michigan Communist

Saul Wellman
: Flint is what I consider to be the asshole of the world; it's the roughest place to be.  Now we recruited dozens of people to the Party in Flint, and they came out of
indigenous folk.  And those are the best ones.  But we couldn't keep them in Flint very long, once they joined the Party.  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.

Peter Friedlander:  to me that's one of the most significant processes of people becoming radicals, is this . . .

SW: but you lose them in their area . . .

PF: right.  You lose them, but I think something is going on there that I think radicals have not understood about their own movement . . .

SW: right . . .

PF: something about the urge toward self improvement . . .

SW: right . . .

and cultural advancement . . .

SW: right, right . . .

PF: and not to remain an unskilled worker in the asshole of the world . . .

SW: right, right.  But there are two things going on at the same time.  The movement is losing something when a native indigenous force leaves his community.  On the other hand the reality of joining a movement of this type is that the guy who is in the indigenous area looks around and says this is idiocy, I can't survive here.

marxbw
Karl Marx

klein
Melanie Klein

n
Friederich Nietzsche
II. Nietzsche and Marx

1.  Each attacked the emerging hegemonic bourgeois regime, Marx along the lines of class and economic hegemony, Nietzsche along the lines of culture and bourgeois-christian hegemony.  What they had in common was their overcoming of the field effect.

2. Each envisioned a cultural-historical developmental praxis as an immanent possibility, "as if man were not a goal but only a way, an episode, a bridge, a great promise."

3. Each viewed modern society as explosively dynamic, violent, repressive, fraught with contradictions, and as something to be fought with and overcome.  Yet it is Nietzsche, not Marx, who sees more deeply into the heart of our contemporary politics--who tells the story of the 2014 election better than anyone alive today:  --->

When one is faced with the current American scene where sadism and ressentiment are the main currency of Republican politics, it is only Nietzsche and Melanie Klein who can say I told you so.  (See the Musso Rant for example.  And see Frank Ninivaggi, Envy Theory: Perspectives on the Psychology of Envy, Rowman & Littlefield, 2010.  Ninavaggi takes greed--the greed of Wall Street--head-on as a clinical problem.)  

4. Thus, Nietzsche and Marx differ most strikingly, from the standpoint of our contemporary experience, when it comes to understanding the ressentiment, sadism and sheer brutishness of our present.  This is one of the genetic ontologies of Dasein that dominate today's world, something that should be obvious to anyone reading this page.  Hence the title of this page--the twenty first century is Nietzsche's century.

All this is necessarily tentative.  This question of ontology--of dynamic ontology--is hard to formulate, even though it is fundamental.  The alternative to this is the usual primitive Cartesianism entrenched in neoliberal dogma.  In my usage of the term ontology I am in accord with de Beistegui and Barad (and Midgley and Keller . . . ). Genetic ontology refers to the generative matrix of each class of phenomena.  Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense is thus both the overall characterization (ressentiment) and the generatrix (the mechanisms of defense) of a set of rhetorical performances provided for our convenience by Fox News.  

In Semiotic Regimes the two party discursive fields are isomorphic with Klein's Paranoid schizoid position (GOP, Fox News) and her Depressive position (Democratic politicos, CNN and MSNBC).

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

Karen Barad, Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning (Duke University Press, 2007)


from Nietzsche, The Geneology of Morals, II, 14:

Here the works of vengefulness and rancor swarm; here the air stinks of secrets and concealment;  . . . and what mendaciousness is employed to disquise that this hatred is hatred!  What a display of grand words and postures, what an art of "honest" calumny!


from Nietzsche, The Geneology of Morals, II, 16:

Let us add at once that . . . the existence on earth of an animal soul turned against itself, taking sides against itself, was something so new, profound, unheard of, enigmatic, contradictory, and pregnant with a future that the aspect of the earth was essentially altered.  Indeed, divine spectators were needed to justice to the spectacle that thus began and the end of which is not yet in sight . . . .  From now on, man . . . gives rise to an interest, a tension, a hope, almost a certainty, as if with him somethin were anouncing and preparing itself, as if man were not a goal but only a way, an episode, a bridge, a great promise.

from Nietzsche, The Geneology of Morals, II, 22:

Oh this insane, pathetic beast--man!  What ideas he has, what unnaturalness, what paroxysms of nonsense, what bestiality of thought erupts . . .

All this is interesting, to excess, but also of a gloomy, black, unnerving sadness, so that one must forcibly forbid oneself to gaze too long into these abysses.  Here is sickness, beyond any doubt, the most terrible sickness that has ever raged in man . . . .  There is so much man that is hideous!--Too long, the earth has been a madhouse!





Daniel Chapelle, Nietzsche and Psychoanalysis (State University of New York Press, 1993)



pisa
PISA Math Scores, 2003 - 2012: 25 Nations


The thinking on this site is immanent to three empirical fields.  

The first empirical field is largely but not entirely build out of stuff available on the Internet.  You have already seen this in the above three links//in the muck of ressentiment (GOP, RMD1 and RMD2); these pages together form a plane of immanence (Deleuze).  The philosphical sensibility behind their creation is today called transcendental empiricism, but for me it all began forty years ago when I began to grapple with Hegel's concept of the concrete universal, together with Heidegger's existential phenomenology as I encounted it in Medard Boss's Daseinanalysis and Psychoanalysis.  This resulted in my one and only book, The Emergence of a UAW, 1936-1939.

the second is the empirical field--the phenomenological field--of 
The Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State, 1910-1939.   The papers of Morris L. Cooke, the letters of Louis D. Brandeis, the Hearings before the Interstate Commerece Commssion know as the Eastern Rate Case, and the Bulletin of the Taylor Society (now available online)

the third is the set of interviews of about one hundred members, mostly men, who played a leading role in the creation of the UAW.  These interviews are supplemented with a small set of critical documents from the Reuther Archives that provide a rare window into socio-cultural processes and relationships.  In this respect these documents are assimilable to the habitus of the interviews.  I am now in the process of incorporating audio files into the pages on this site.

certain themes emerge in these interviews.  From the stnadpoint of the question of agency Nietzsche's concept of will to power and a concept of bildun are absolutely required.  That is, in order to make sense of the most densely empirical material one is required to make a philosphical leap (Midgley et. al.)
a Dasein-developmentally oriented praxis:

1.  See 
Bildung: Was Mozart a Communist.  

2.  A Progressive approach to
a Dasein-develop-
mentally oriented praxis can be found in the PISA Results: Evolutionary, Historical, Developmental, and Psychological Perspectives
.

Nietzsche as diagnostician of ressentiment and the bard of communism

Nietzsche's Kriegs-Praxis--a text that wants to live beyond mere textuality

Nietzsche as diagnostician of Dasein in its twofold dimensions: as will to power as cog and org; as ressentiment as disease.  This latter especially in regard to the bland cartesianism today dominant.

Nietzsche himself lives the problem of German philo--unable to act, it carried out the rev in thought . . . but at what price.

In the mid-1970s I interviewed a large number of workers involved in the formation of the UAW.  I thought I knew what I was doing, but I didn't. After I retired from Wayne State University in 2010 I began to listen to these tapes with an entirely different frame of mind than when I conducted the interviews.  Much of my effort could be described as a tedious barking up the wrong tree: the tree of culture (Kleppner, The Cross of Culture); and the barking of one enslaved to "the philosophy of representation characterized by the primacy of the concept."

So when I began listening to these tapes with new ears I was sometines struck and occasionally dumfounded by what I can only describe as Deleuzian moments.  In the photo of Dodge Main one can see across from the southeast corner of that plant the six buildings of Midland Steel (Local 410).  I interviewed about forty workers and managers from that plant.  At the lower left just west of the southwest corner of Dodge Main was Detroit Steel Products (Local 351), just ouside the photo.  North of Dodge Main by about five blocks but hardly visible in the photo was Michigan Steel Tube (Local 238).  My book (The Emerence of a UAW Local) is about that plant in the 1930s.  But one of the most astonishing moments in listening to these tapes after forty years came when I listened to the interviews with Joe Adams and Art ___ (last name unintelligible on my tape).  Both men were from the Trim department of Dodge Main, a stronghold of the union in that plant.  (The upper part of the Rivera mural is of the trim department at Ford.)  At the time I listened to these tapes, in 2013) I was hot on the trail of Bildung.  The explosive moment came when Joe and Art began to reminisce about a wartime strike in May of 1944.  Click here for a transcript.
It is these interviews that forced an understanding of bildung and the will to power into my thinking.  Not all the interviews, but many--Joe Adams, Ed Lock, Edmund Kord, Norman Bully, Larry Jones, Earl Reynolds . . . .

It is likely that I won't live long enough to review all these tapes, so I am putting together this website in such a way as to be able to add material from these interviews as I toddle along in my old age.
 Transendental Empiricism

Plane of Immanence
III.  Nietzsche and Marx: Bildung and the Will to Power


The operation of BWP is evident in conservative contexts.  Two biographies, one of George F. Kennan, the other of John W. Davis, are case histories of such developments.  But in their cases their development of Self is interesting, but lacks the far-reaching significance of BWP as the central force of the left.  The excerpt from the Wellman interview shows what I mean. 
Vitalism

Karl Marx, Theses on Feuerbach

The chief defect of all hitherto existing materialism - that of Feuerbach included - is that the thing, reality, sensuousness, is conceived only in the form of the object or of contemplation, but not as sensuous human activity, practice, not subjectively. Hence, in contradistinction to materialism, the active side was developed abstractly by idealism -- which, of course, does not know real, sensuous
activity as such.

Evelyn F. Keller,
"Self-Organization, Self-Assembly, and the Inherent Activity of Matter," in Transformations of Lamarckism : From Subtle Fluids to Molecular Biology,  Snait B. Gissis and Eva Jablonka, eds. (The MIT Press, 2011)

John Marks, Gilles Deleuze: Vitalism and Multiplicity (Pluto Press, 1998)




Minutes, Murray Body Committee as point of departure re. cognitive development and modalities

Minutes show sophisiticated concrete-operational performatitity of Manini, Hall, MCWiliams

Formal op of Reuther (see McElwain to FF; TS bull on planning)

contrst this with dont touch my medicare



Being and becoming o the shop floor

Pat Zombo (Packard); bulgarians at chrysler 490; Kord at 238
Earl Reynolds re Committee

a.  primordial groups
b.  anomie
c.  craft groups
d.  masonic culture linking lower management and upper working class

the UAW Creators ⊂Progressivism

h
An artist's interpretation of the hominins that lived near the Sima de los Huesos cave in Spain
from Baffling 400,000-Year-Old Clue to Human Origins  


w
Saul Wellman, Robert Thomson, and David Doran at Fuentes de Ebro during the Spanish Civil War
racism and the New York Times

*See Jonathan Marks'
review of 
New York Times science journalist Nicholas
Wade's neo-racist

A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human
History (Penguin Press, 2014).  Also see
Revisiting Race in a Genomic Age
(Rutgers, 2008).  Even better, see
Jonathan Marks' blog (anthropomics), as well as Jennifer Raff 's blog to keep up to date.  

Geneticists say popular book misrepresents research on human evolution (Nature)

Letters: ‘A Troublesome Inheritance’
(NYT Book Review 8-8-14)/Stanford)


race and class/nietzsche and marx

field effects
elites: static and dynmaic approaches
Nietzsche on the Question of Human Nature: Bildung and the Will to Power



h
An artist's interpretation of the hominins that lived near the Sima de los Huesos cave in Spain
from Baffling 400,000-Year-Old Clue to Human Origins  


w
Saul Wellman, Robert Thomson, and David Doran at Fuentes de Ebro during the Spanish Civil War
Detroit 1933-1944, and Petrograd, 1917-1918: an isomorphism



S. A. Smith, Red Petrograd: Revolution in the Factories, 1917-1918 (Cambridge University Press, 1983)

Steve Jeffreys, Management and Managed: Fifty Years of Crisis at Chrysler (Cambridge University Press, 1986)
Bildung and the Will to Power:
Nietzsche and Lenin/the UAW and the New Deal

Nietzsche's comments below the photo of Dodge Main & Midland Steel from Beyond Good and Evil,  and in in the following two cells from The Geneology of Morals The Will to Power, capture the texture and dynamic of the  praxis of Nietzsche's "exceptional human beings", as this dynamic emerges from Henry Kraus's account (Heroes of the Unwritten Story) dozens of interviews and key documents and books.  The emergence of the noun United Automobile Workers implicitly obscures this praxis, turning it into the mere means to the goal of institution formation and the achievement of collective bargaining objectives.


•••One might object that this is all ancient--Fordist--history.  Of what relevance is the praxis of the New Deal era "industrial working class" in today's post-industrial, post-modern world? Addressing this question is the burden of this entire site.  But if one combines Deleuze (and emancipates oneself from the tyranny of the concept, the disease of Platonism, and our debilitating Cartesian presuppositions--see Difference and Givenness) with Bourdieu (who demolishes the metaphysics of class in a different way and opens the way to a more flexible, disjunctive, and quantum understanding of action and power) then the whole enterprise of the progressivism of Lenin and Hillman, Vygotsky and Cooke appears in a different light.  (Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State, 1910-1939)  
Detroit's Vyborg District: Dodge Main and Midland Steel
d
The very same new conditions that will on average lead to the leveling and mediocritization of man--to a useful, industrious, handy, multi-purpose herd animal--are likely in the highest degree to give birth to exceptional human beings of the most dangerous and attractive quality.    

Friederich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil,  242
Mary Midgley, Are You an Illusion from Friederich Nietzsche, Geneology of Morals, II, 12

The democratic idiosyncracy which opposes [the will to power] has permeated the realm of the spirit and disguised itself in the most spiritual forms to such a degree that today it has forced its way, has acquired the right to force its way into the strictest, apparently most objective sciences;  indeed, it  . . . has robbed life of a fundamental concept, that of activity.  Under the influence of the above mentioned idiosyncrasy, one places instead "adaptation" in the foreground, that is to say, an activity of the second rank, a mere reactivity; indeed, life itself has been defined as a more and more efficient inner adaptation to external conditions (Herbert Spencer).  Thus, the essence of life, its will to power, is ignored; one overlooks the essential priority of the spontaneous, aggressive, expansive, form-giving forces that give new interpretations and directions, although 'adaptation' follows only after this; the dominant role of the highest functionaries within the organism iself in which the will to life appears active and form-giving is denied.
"The so-called 'motive': another error.  Merely a surface phenomenon of consciousness, an accompaniment to an act, which conceals rather than exposes the antecedentia of the act." {re Imus and that which is called racism}

Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols (Penguin, 1968), p. 49
Zarathustra's Germanity: Luther, Goethe, Nietzsche
Author(s): Joseph Westall and Joseph Westfall
Source: Journal of Nietzsche Studies, No. 27 (SPRING 2004), pp. 42-63
Friederich Nietzsche, The Will To Power, Book IV, 960

From now on there will be more favorable preconditions for more comprehensive forms of dominion, whose like has never yet existed. And even this is not the most important thing; the possibility has been established for the production of international racial unions whose task will be to rear a master race, the future "masters of the earth"; a new, tremendous aristocracy, based on the severest self-legislation, in which the will of philosophical men of power and artist-tyrants will be made to endure for millennia -- a higher kind of man who, thanks to their superiority in will, knowledge, riches, and influence, employ democratic Europe as their most pliant and supple instrument for getting hold of the destinies of the earth, so as to work as artists upon "man" himself.  Enough: the time is coming when politics will have a different meaning.
Desire2014.html
PISAEvPsych.html

Philohistory.html
Difference and Givenness.html

DetroitEastSide.html
Buick.html
UAW Factionalism.html
Bildung--the interviews.html
Minutes, Murray Body Committee.html

The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: 5 Genetic Ontologies


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

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


Bildung: Was Mozart a Communist
 
The Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State, 1910-1939  

Detroit's East Side, 1933-1944  

Bildung and the Will to Power: the Interviews  



Eternal Recurrence.html
RMDHistory.html
Bildung 2014.html



William M. Reddy, Money & Liberty in Modern Europe: a Critique of Historical Understanding (Cambridge Univesity Press, 1987)

Harold Mah, Enlightenment Phantasies: Cultural Identity in France and Germany, 1750-1914 (Cornell, 2003)
Marxism's failure: I

Marxism's failure is not to be seen in the Stalinism of the Soviet Union, but rather in the persistence and indeed the triumph of all that is antithetical to Marxism's naïve (as we can now see) Enlightenment presuppositions.  The most striking intellectual deficit of Marxism is that it never understood the two dominant modalities of Dasein since the rise of the state: ressentiment (at the beginning of history) and nihilism (at the end of history--the eternal now of our becoming).  If the reader has looked at the links in the above cell, s(he) must be overwhelmed not only by the persistence, but by the normalization of fascism in today's America.  As Robert Paxton has noted, fascism in the United States is as American as apple pie, and is treated with astonishing deference by the media (CNN and MSNBC).  And Nietzsche's concept of nihilism is an uncanny premonition of the culture of mass consumption now sweeping the world. (see Nihilism)

And the concept of a "class with radical chains" is a metaphysical chimera.  Indeed, the closer one looks at the working class upsurge of the 1930s and '40s--at Flint, Michigan (Buick, Fisher Body, and Chevrolet), Detroit's east side (Dodge Main, Midland Steel, Michigan Steel Tube, Detroit Steel Products, Chrysler-Highland Park), Detroit's west side (UAW Local 174), and Dearborn (the Ford Rouge complex)--the more useless the concept of class proves to be.

from Donald Reid, "Introduction" to Ranciere's The Nights of Labor: The Workers' Dream in Nineteenth Century France (Temple U Press, 1989)

   The caesura in Marx's work was not the result of an epistemological revolution in 1845, but of his disappointment with the failure of the workers' revolution three years later.  The break was marked by repression of the knowledge that artisinal workers opposed to the spread of large industry had formulated the idea of workers' emancipation.  Marx (and Engels) came instead to place their hopes for a new revolutionary order in the factory proletariat to come, which would be molded by the discipline of large industry.  With this development, the proletariat left the realm of social experience to become a normative category consecrated by a certain Marxist "science." (pp. xxi-xxii)

tycho

m
Karl Marx

klein
Melanie Klein

n
Friederich Nietzsche
Marxism's failure: II

Marx, and the enlightenment ethos of which he was a part, was indeed wrong, and in more ways than one.  Not only did the Enlightenment not acquire a proletarian or popular embodiment (the "class with radical chains").  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, UAW 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.  

I suggest here that there is a persistent existential catastrophe manifested in fascism, or better, to use Nietzsche's term, ressentiment. Usually something that is catastrophic is seen as a cataclysmic event rather than a persistent condition.  But that all depends upon the level of analysis chosen.  At the level of the organism homo sapiens historicus--post-paleolithic man--life is a series of catastrophes--eternal recurrence, repetition compulsion, mechanisms of defense . . .  The perpetual work of adaptation to power, and the tremendous range of possibilities opened up by the increasing symbolic and institutional complexity of Dasein, give us our being in the world, fractured, dynamic, creative, sadistic, stagnant, withdrawn, depressive, bold, fearful, anxious, petty, ecstatic, explosive, gregarious, autistic, etc.  

***
Daniel Chapelle, Nietzsche and Psychoanalysis (State University of New York Press, 1993)

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

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

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

Herman W. Siemens and Vasti Roodt, eds., Nietzsche, power and politics: rethinking Nietzsche's legacy for political thought (Walter de Gruyter, 2008)

Nandita Biswas Mellamphy, The Three Stigmata of Friedrich Nietzsche: Political Physiology in the Age of Nihilism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)

Robert Fisk on Isis: Propaganda war of Islamic extremists is being waged on Facebook and internet message boards, not mosques  (The Independent, 12 October  2014)

Patrick Cockburn, "Iraq descends into anarchy: Shia militias 'abducting and killing Sunni civilians in revenge for Isis attacks'
" (The Independent, 14 October  2014)
"Communism" take one: confronts power; grasps systems inner logic--but also carries froth baggage of enlightenment

"Communism" take two: bolshevism; will to power bildung--praxis runs contrary to ideology; ideology still enlightenment; outcome still welfare state state capitalism; Dasein untouched

 . . .

Five: confronts field effects; eternal recurrence as practice; bildung nd will to poer becomes explicie--abandomnet and critique of enlightenment

contradictions of marxism

bildung vs equality

veblen
Marxism's failure: III

Cartesian Myths: Neoliberal and Marxist

The Enlightenment presupposition of the rational individual in a market economy--of the Cartesian self as the ontological foundation of society--can no longer be seriously entertained. (Neither can neoliberalism's two other main shibboleths--that markets are magic and institutions don't matter.)

Marxism in the late 19th and throughout the 20th centuries, itself an expression of the Enlightenment, was trapped in the quagmire of Cartesianism.  In practice, its conception of human nature differed little from the atomistic hedonism of neoliberalism.  Marxism was never able to get beyond the cultural values of the welfare state.  Even its concept of the working class was built on a neoliberal concept of material self-interest.

Nietzsche was far more the Hegelian Marxist than either Hegel or Marx, in that his fundamental concept was of homo sapiens as a species unlike any other, whose "nature" it is to be subject to cultural and historical development as a result of its own activity, to be subject to the psychological consequences of such processes, and to be capable of embarking on projects whose objective is self and societal transformation--Bildung and the Will to Power . . .  and also to be subject to the unintended consequences of such projects.

Marx himself, as distinct from the Marxism that developed, is partially exempt from this criticism, as the excerpt below shows.  And as Hartmut Geist and Ulla Härkönen show [LINK] in their discussion of education in Finland, Hegel (and Dewey) still live. Nevertheless, in practice Marxism has always been the left wing of progressivism.  Zizek, Derrida, able to relate only to national liberation struggles and Fordist labor struggles.  The new global era is critiqued by what is left of Marxism from within the old Enlightenment/state capitalist framework.  The problem of Dasein as such is unconceptualized.  (But see The PISA Results: Evolutionary, Historical, Developmental, and Psychological Perspectives)

The embrace of the the new freedom (to fuck whomever, to eat whatever, to take drugs, to mutilate your body, etc.) of expression of a powerless hedonistic individual by today's left, rather than the critique of this new freedom as the expressive modality of nihilism--the incredibly shrinking self. and the conditions under which it arises and the fundamental taboo against a serious crituqe of power .  .
from Catherine Evtuhov, "Introduction," in The Cultural Gradient: the Transmission of  ideas in Europe, 1789-1991 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003):

In 1960, British historian Alfred Cobban made the rather dramatic pronouncement that there had been no major period of original political thought since the eighteenth century--that is, since the Enlightenment. . . .  [The] Enlightenment projects of rationality, progress, control, order, happiness, and the assumption of a universal humanity [have taken many forms, from Bolshevism to the New Deal to the contemporary European welfare state.] pp. 4-5

see Enlightenment link, especially parts on species being

*****
from "'Species-Being' and 'Human Nature' in Marx", by Thomas E. Wartenberg, in Human Studies, Vol. 5, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1982), pp. 77-95

What I want to suggest is that, in rejecting the notion of a fixed human nature, Marx is following a basic claim of Hegel's social theory, the claim that the form in which individuality is conceptualized or instantiated in a given social structure depends upon that very structure itself. Marx accepts this view of human individuality as historically and socially conditioned, and then he turns it upon those theorists, both philosophers and political economists, who accept a particular stage of human development as definitive of "human nature." In a move similar to the one he makes against Hegel--but this time following Hegel's lead--Marx argues that such views of a fixed, ahistorical human nature treat a particular form of development--one that is empirically accessible--as yielding a metaphysical truth about the world. . . . 


On the other hand, the inner logic, the generative matrix, of "Bolshevism" (why the quotes will become immediately apparent) was literally orthogonal to the immanent logic adduced by the phrase "a class with radical chains."
hn











h +  n  =  lc
Bildung  + the Will to Power  =  Bolshevism
Fine, Sitdown

Lichtenstein

Kraus

Friedlander

Jeffreys

neoliberalism (Veblen)
The Inner Logic of Bolshevism: Bildung and the Will to Power (I)


amland
Charles Sheeler, American Landscape, 1930
Detroit 1933-1944, and Petrograd, 1917-1918: an isomorphism



S. A. Smith, Red Petrograd: Revolution in the Factories, 1917-1918 (Cambridge University Press, 1983)

Steve Jeffreys, Management and Managed: Fifty Years of Crisis at Chrysler (Cambridge University Press, 1986)
  (
d1
The very same new conditions that will on average lead to the leveling and mediocritization of man--to a useful, industrious, handy, multi-purpose herd animal--are likely in the highest degree to give birth to exceptional human beings of the most dangerous and attractive quality.    

Friederich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil,  242
Friederich Nietzsche, The Will To Power, Book IV, 960

From now on there will be more favorable preconditions for more comprehensive forms of dominion, whose like has never yet existed. And even this is not the most important thing; the possibility has been established for the production of international racial unions whose task will be to rear a master race, the future "masters of the earth"; a new, tremendous aristocracy, based on the severest self-legislation, in which the will of philosophical men of power and artist-tyrants will be made to endure for millennia -- a higher kind of man who, thanks to their superiority in will, knowledge, riches, and influence, employ democratic Europe as their most pliant and supple instrument for getting hold of the destinies of the earth, so as to work as artists upon "man" himself.  Enough: the time is coming when politics will have a different meaning.
5 Genetic Ontologies

Primate


Paleolithic

Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense

Bildung and the Will to Power

Nihilism

The Inner Logic of Bolshevism: Bildung and the Will to Power (II)

During the Roosevelt era this was the site of an unfolding of of a Nietzschean drama of Bildung and the Will to Power.  What went on in this arena (and also in Michigan Steel Tube, Midland Steel, Detroit's west side and Flint and other arenas of praxis--notice I do not refer to them as plants) cannot be reduced to "an activity of the second rank"; to understand the "UAW" in its formative years is to understand "the essential priority of the spontaneous, aggressive, expansive, form-giving forces that give new interpretations and directions" to events.

from Friederich Nietzsche, Geneology of Morals, II, 12

The democratic idiosyncracy which opposes [the will to power] has permeated the realm of the spirit and disguised itself in the most spiritual forms to such a degree that today it has forced its way, has acquired the right to force its way into the strictest, apparently most objective sciences;  indeed, it  . . . has robbed life of a fundamental concept, that of activity.  Under the influence of the above mentioned idiosyncrasy, one places instead "adaptation" in the foreground, that is to say, an activity of the second rank, a mere reactivity; indeed, life itself has been defined as a more and more efficient inner adaptation to external conditions (Herbert Spencer).  Thus, the essence of life, its will to power, is ignored; one overlooks the essential priority of the spontaneous, aggressive, expansive, form-giving forces that give new interpretations and directions, although 'adaptation' follows only after this; the dominant role of the highest functionaries within the organism iself in which the will to life appears active and form-giving is denied.


from Philippe Descola, Beyond Nature and Culture (Univesity of Chicago Press, 2013), p. 25

The body is animated by kamo, a term meaning "life" but implying no clearly defined shape nor any essential nature.


"Communism" take one denotes the period and the semiotic structure of the Communist Manifesto, already referred to in terms of its most striking intellectual failures.  Bildung & the Will to Power refers to "Communism" as "Bolshevism", and takes as its point of departure Norman Bully's comment on leadership in Flint from 1933 to 1944 (milieu & habitus of the Socialist Party; Buick; Flint).

Communism take two focuses on the psychological and cognitive dimensions of vanguardism, which is best conceptualized by Nietzsche not Lenin.

The very sins vanguardism is accused of--the sin of its actuality and efficacy--were the warp and woof of the great politics that Nietzsche poeticized.  (It's OK to be a victim and complain: that's the approved posture; just don't do anything rash--above all, don't unbecome a victim!  See the politics of Eternal Recurrence: Ferguson Missouri

RMD; Nihilism; Proletariat; Persistence

counter-tendency: Arno J. Mayer, The Persistence Of The Old Regime

BWP: William Calvin, A Brief History of the Mind: From Apes to Intellect and Beyond (Oxford University Press, 2004)

Angus Burgin, The Great Persuasion: Reinventing Free Markets since the Depression (Harvard, 2012)

Veblen

sc
An estimated crowd of 10,000 men, women and children rally at a Communist demonstration at
Union Square in New York City, Aug. 1, 1932. The demonstration is part of a world wide protest against
war. Among pro communist signs are placards demanding the release of the Scottsboro boys.
(AP Photo)

Field Effects: Class & Race
Anselm/Intro p. 35

Effects made visible:
Amanda Ripley; I Got Schooled; Oppenheimer bio; race & intelligence debate
 (Emergence.  See below).  Man is a bridge . . .

Nietzsche's brutal critique of the Cartesian metaphysic is by now the "standard model" of continental philosophical thinking.  From Foucault to Midgley to Veblen . . .

Nietzsche's concept of man as a work in progress--"man is a bridge"--notwithstanding his rhetorical references to the ubermensch as Napoleon or as the great artist or to the "higher men" . . .  cannot be reduced to an Ayn Randian individualism (aka neoliberalism).

Nietzsche himself was part of a larger work in progress: the Second Copernican Revolution

Philo should not exist as such; it should be an integral part of actvity: intellectual, political, personal . . .


Leiter, Brian, "Nietzsche's Moral and Political Philosophy", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2013 Edition)
owl
communism

1.  Marx scientific socialism; calling out the ruling class; development of theory in opposition to and independent of the RC

2. Vanguard-Nietzsche-St Petersburg/SE Mich

3.  Kotkin & Mann on US/USSR

the cultural front (bolshevik vs. bolshevik on autonomy of culture)

race and class
•••
KEY on N. as praxis; the fundamental significance (not meaning) of his texts; as invitations to a new kind of praxis.  EXAMPLE  Eternal recurrence re Ferguson

Thus, the ubermensch can be considered as the object of a developmental project (the bildungsroman, the bolsheviks, the uaw), or as blonde beasts/interacial unions who are the executors of the developmental project . . . or both simultaneously.  It is the operating principle of this site that exegesis must be replaced with philosophically informed praxis, whether of an intellectual or political nature--or better a Dasein-developmental-oriented praxis.  (Elsewhere I will demonstrate that self-development is an inherently and necesarily political project.) That is, empirical investigations, and empirically-based imaginings of the Project(s) that humans might create in this time that Nietzsche foresaw, activity--the great politics of which Nietzsche only hinted at--replaces exegesis.  It is the essence of the Nietzschean textual sensibility that it not be explained or interpreted--it must be transcended in the execution of its own intentionality, an intentionality which is immanent and only implicit--an intentionality that must no longer be merely spoken or written of from within the iron cages of our conventional existences.  This is the meaning of Putilov/Dodge Main.

Three things stand in the way of that project.  The iron grip of cartesianism on our discourse and thought: the presuppositions of ego and motive that Nietzshe critiqued; the taboo on analyzing power in the concrete (rather than bemoaning welaht and inequality in the abstract); and

This intentionality has already made its preliminary (and maybe also final) appearances in the Enlightenment as developmental trajectory; in Progressivism from Brandeis to Lenin, from Cooke to Bogdanov; in the praxis--action-development--of

Nihilism--the terminal malady of our time--is the political economy of mass consumption (see Food article).

It must not be overlooked that Nietzsche's "great politics" has already come and gone. That his great politics--the various "Progressivisms" of the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth century--has flamed out, and we are left with a society whose major effects is 1. the production of the last man as ideal type made real; 2. the integration on a permanent basis of ressentiment as genetic ontology into the structures of power; and 3. the regression to the primate--field effect


substance (class) and representation (agents), where agency belongs to the class not the agent
heterogeneity and distance; praxis as the antithesis of representation




 
Marxism: four takes

take one:  ideology

take two: as part of a sequence (enlightenment as historical-developmental vector)

take three: "communism"--progressivism

take four: hegel-nietzsche: the 21st century

Marxism as an attitude toward power: race and class; field effects

eternal recurrence as a relationship to power: political events, media events interpreted as manifestations of power

nietz and marx/nietz contra marx (on culture)

nietz and lenin (will to power, inte'l racial unions)

ER and transcendental empiricism: Stupid Party: field and concept (the concept recurs every time the empirical is theorized (sado-sexual themes recurs in semiotic field of GOP right)



from Friederich Nietzsche, Geneology of Morals, II, 12

The democratic idiosyncracy which opposes [the will to power] has permeated the realm of the spirit and disguised itself in the most spiritual forms to such a degree that today it has forced its way, has acquired the right to force its way into the strictest, apparently most objective sciences;  indeed, it  . . . has robbed life of a fundamental concept, that of activity.  Under the influence of the above mentioned idiosyncrasy, one places instead "adaptation" in the foreground, that is to say, an activity of the second rank, a mere reactivity; indeed, life itself has been defined as a more and more efficient inner adaptation to external conditions (Herbert Spencer).  Thus, the essence of life, its will to power, is ignored; one overlooks the essential priority of the spontaneous, aggressive, expansive, form-giving forces that give new interpretations and directions, although 'adaptation' follows only after this; the dominant role of the highest functionaries within the organism iself in which the will to life appears active and form-giving is denied.


from Philippe Descola, Beyond Nature and Culture (Univesity of Chicago Press, 2013), p. 25

The body is animated by kamo, a term meaning "life" but implying no clearly defined shape nor any essential nature.
Bildung/Mozart

KE/New Deal
UAW:Bildung/WP

Stupid Party
RMD
PISA Results
***The liberal-Progressive side of of this trope of development is embodied in Lev Vygotsky's and John Dewy's pedagogical theory and practice.  Nietzsche's "blond beasts" are in this context none other than the educators and policy-makers who set out to shape the human materials at their disposal.

In this Nietzsche's thinking was of a piece with that of Dewey, Vygotsky, and the Institutionalists (Veblen, Pierce)   [Dupre, Kagan]

This developmental potential is the antithesis of neoliberal theory, whee caretsian hedonimsl forms the bedrock of presupsitons that genarte all dscourse nd theory.

***ON IDEOLOGY

1.  "Ideology" presupposes the Cartesian myth.  Ideas as the motives of individual actions--very anti-Bourdieu.  Examples: Stupid Party--what are referred to as the "ideas" about Obama care and women's rights, and the motives of voters' "choices, can better be seen as rhetorical elements in a theater of ressentiment, paranoid-schizoid position.

2.  There are key texts of Progressivism, but these texts function within a milieu and habitus.  They arise out of and reflect back on them.  These texts are moments in the unfolding of a project.
c

N's influence on Russia/Stalinism vs. N's texts as helping to understand Russia Stalinism

not history of ideas but history of praxes

do you believe in evolution

good (1)/bad vs. good(2)/evil:

uses of language in context of QHD  Chase


Nietzsche opened up a series of problematics.  The worst thing one can do is ask what did Nietzsche really think in the characteristic exegetical fashion of those still trapped in Cartesianism.  What use is to be made of Nietzsche's texts is the better question. And since he claimed to be looking into the future when writing of nihilism and the ubermensch

ideology vs. theatricality; ideology as index, as rationaliazation
Nietzsche on semiotics

What Nietzsche said of morality could just as easily be said about ideology:

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

Nietzsche, Twilight, p. 55  emph added
Hegel's concept of Bildung and Nietzsche's concept of Will to Power are two sides of the same coin.  (see Bildung: Was Mozart a Communist?)  hgel smiley face

the incredible shrinking self (the incredible smallness of being)
The actual practice of the Communist Party was contrary to its ideology: will to power/bildung--otherwise it wou