XXX
Prolegomena

Immanuel Kant, The Critique of Pure Reason

Thoughts without content are empty; intuitions without concepts are blind.

Eckart Förster (discussing Kant), The Twenty-Five Years of Philosophy: a Systematic Reconstruction (Harvard, 2012)

 . . . concepts have their basis in functions . . . .

Cognition does not consist merely in the collecting of phenomena

To make concepts out of representations one must be able to compare, to reflect, and to abstract, for these three logical operations of the understanding are the essential and universal conditions for the generation of every concept whatsoever.

Max Weber on Ideal Type

An ideal type is formed by the one-sided accentuation of one or more points of view and by the synthesis of a great many diffuse, discrete, more or less present and occasionally absent concrete individual phenomena, which are arranged according to those onesidedly emphasized viewpoints into a unified analytical construct.

Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power (462)

In place of "sociology," a theory of the forms of domination.
In place of "society," the culture complex . . .




History without philosophy is only a screen on which to project

the shibboleths of our time.

"Philosophy always arrives too late . . . .  The Owl
of Minerva takes flight only as the dusk begins to fall."

owl

"Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic

facts and personagess appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce."


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

This site deploys bio-emotional and cognitive-developmental concepts in the decoding of the historical trajectory: New Deal to Donald Trump.

the Sapient Paradox

Beyond the Sapient Paradox: Donald Trump and
the post-tectonic phase’ of human evolution

sss
Talkin' Shit: post-tectonic political discourse

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) Jan 12, 2018

Wow, just learned in the Failing New York Times that the corrupt former leaders of the FBI, almost all fired or forced to leave the agency for some very bad reasons, opened up an investigation on me, for no reason & with no proof, after I fired Lyin’ James Comey, a total sleaze!


Sarah Huckabee Sanders

This is absurd. James Comey was fired because he’s a disgraced partisan hack, and his Deputy Andrew McCabe, who was in charge at the time, is a known liar fired by the FBI. Unlike President Obama, who let Russia and other foreign adversaries push America around, President Trump has actually been tough on Russia,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.

Sinclair Lewis, Elmer Gantry

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

proto-Dorian Convention

lynching for rape discourse


talkin shit becomes the national language of the United States.

Maryanne Wolf  on Reading and Brain Plaasticity

 . . . the Council on Foreign Relations issued a report in which it stated with no ambiguity, “Large undereducationed swaths of the population damage the ability of the United States to physically defend itself, protect its secure information, conduct diplomcacy, and grow its economy.”

Donald Trump and the Sapient Paradox
the ‘speciation phase’ of human evolution

1)  What we may term the ‘speciation phase’ of human evolution (Renfrew 2006, p. 224, 2007a, p. 94), the period when biological and cultural coevolution worked together to develop the human genome and the human species, as we know it, was fulfilled already 60 000 years ago. This implies that the basic hardware—the human brain at the time of birth—has not changed radically since that time.

That brings us to the sapient paradox.

2)  There seems to have been a long—in fact, inordinately long—delay between the emergence of anatomically modern humans and our later cultural flowering. Both genetic and archaeological evidence converge on the conclusion that the ‘speciation’ phase of sapient humans occurred in Africa at least 70 000–100 000 years BP, and possibly earlier, and all modern humans are descended from those original populations.

the ‘tectonic’ phase

2)  Renfrew labels a later period, extending from 10 000 years ago to the present, as the ‘tectonic’ phase. This has been a period of greatly accelerated change, stepping relatively quickly through several different levels of social and material culture, including the domestication of plants and animals, sedentary societies, cities and advanced metallurgy. It has culminated in many recent changes, giving us dramatic innovations, such as skyscrapers, atomic energy and the internet. The paradox is that there was a gap of well over 50 000 years between the speciation and tectonic phases. The acceleration of recent cultural change is especially puzzling when viewed in the light of the hundreds of thousands of years it took our ancestors to master fire, stone tool making and coordinated seasonal hunting.


  Figure 1.  PISA Math Scores, 2003 to 2015: 21 Developed
                         Nations & East Asian Cities and City-States

Beyond the Sapient Paradox: Donald Trump and
the post-tectonic phase’ of human evolution
1.  Colin Renfrew, "Neuroscience, evolution and the sapient paradox: the factuality of value and of the sacred," Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2008 Jun 12; 363(1499): 2041–2047.); Colin Renfrew, The Sapient Paradox: Social Interaction as a Foundation of Mind (Video. 2016 Duke U. seminar)
2. Merlin Donald, "The sapient paradox: can cognitive neuroscience solve it?," in Brain.  A Journal of Neurology.  First published online: 2 December 2008


a catastrophic decline in cognitive performativity preceded and made possible the fascist victory of November 2018: a post-tectonic turning point?


Fascism is a concept, not an epithet

from Eckart Förster, The Twenty-Five Years of Philosophy: a Systematic Reconstruction (Harvard, 2012)

 . . . concepts have their basis in functions, by which Kant understands “the unity of the act of bringing various representations under one common representaton.” (A68).  A concept is a rule for combining certain representations (and thus also a principle for excluding certain others).  Thus the represesntations’white’, ‘grainy’, ‘saline’ are combined and ordered in the concept ‘salt, while the representations ‘colorless’, ‘liquid’, ‘tasteless’ (say) are not.  In this way a concept is a rule allowing me to unite certain representations and to bring them under a higher representation, i.e. the concept. (pp. 22-3)

Cognition does not consist merely in the collecting of phenomena; rather we strive to forge conceptual links between them and to grasp the laws of nature that are valid for specific classes of objects as cases of yet more general laws, whereby we are guided by the ideal of a unified explanation of nature. (p. 38)

“To make concepts out of representations one must be able to compare, to reflect, and to abstract, for these three logical operations of the understanding are the essential and universal conditions for the generation of every concept whatsoever.  I see, e.g., a spruce, a willow, and a linden.  By first comparing these objects with one another I note that they are different from one another in regard to the trunk, the btanches, the leaves, etc.; but next I reflect on that which they have in common among themselves, trunk, branches, and leaves themselves, and I abstract from the quantity, the figure, etc., of these; thus I acquire a concept of a tree.” (pp. 250-51)


"He’s not hurting the people he needs to be hurting.”
Lee Atwater has shown how the discursive and symbolic elements of the Southern Strategy were generated through the construction of a theatrical arena in which hatred is expressed and sadism performed.  This sado-sexual performativity is the essence of the GOP's mass appeal.  Well before Trump the evocation of evil and the channelling of rage against a scapegoat was the stock-in-trade of Republican politicians, who tapped into and gave expression to " . . . a whole tremulous realm of subterranean revenge, inexhaustible and  insatiable . . . " (Nietzsche, Geneology of Morals, III. 14)

The rhetorical violence of Trump rallies, not ideology and policies, is what is fundamental. The Trump performances--the audience, the cultural-historical context, and Trump himself as a therapeutic object with which the audience member can identify--become intelligible when viewed through the prism of certain key concepts:

• Nietzsche's concept of ressentiment;
• psychoanalysis's concept of the mechanisms of defense;
• Wilbur Cash's concept of the proto-Dorian convention;
• the Lacan-Atwater Signifying Chain;
• and Robert Paxton's concept of  transcendental violence.

On the right there are not issues, but postures, gestures, various encodings of the same sado-sexual reflex (the inner logic of racism).  Rage enacted in a political-media theater of violence, sadism, and revenge.  The cruelty of it all is the most important thing.  The vicarious thrill, the “enthusiasm for inflicting pain, suffering, or humiliation”(OED*): this is what is seen at Trump rallies.  The GOP's performative cadre** are specialists in herding hominids of a particular cultural-historical configuration.***

“I voted for him, and he’s the one who’s doing this,” an employee of the Federal prison in the Florida Panhandle said. “I thought he was going to do good things. He’s not hurting the people he needs to be hurting.” 

from Friedrich 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!

   * Oxford English Dictionary, "Sadism"; Mika Haritos-Fatouros, “Cruelty: A
        dispositional or a situational behavior in man?”  Behavioral and Brain
           Sciences (2006)
 ** Helmut Walser Smith, The Butcher's Tale (W.W. Norton, 2003);
       Sinclair Lewis, Elmer Gantry (novel,1927)
***Tara Westover, Educated (memoir, 2018); Bridges of Madison County
         (movie, 1995)

****‘It’s Just Too Much’: "A Florida Town Grapples With a Shutdown After a Hurricane, New York Times, 1-7-19.
      * also Melanie Klein's paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions.
    ** also Stuart Hall's floating signifier.
  *** Robert O. Paxton, The Anatomy of Fascism (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004)
**** Sadism, n.  The Oxford English Dictionary

You start out in 1954 by saying, 'Nigger, nigger, nigger."
the Lacan-Atwater Signifying Chain:
from Wikipedia: (Lee Atwater's Infamous 1981 Interview on the Southern Strategy)

As a member of the Reagan administration in 1981, Atwater gave an anonymous interview to political scientist Alexander P. Lamis. Part of the interview was printed in Lamis's book The Two-Party South, then reprinted in Southern Politics in the 1990s with Atwater's name revealed. . . . Atwater talked about the Republican Southern Strategy and Ronald Reagan's version of it:

Atwater: As to the whole Southern strategy that Harry S. Dent, Sr. and others put together in 1968, opposition to the Voting Rights Act would have been a central part of keeping the South. Now you don't have to do that. All you have to do to keep the South is for Reagan to run in place on the issues he's campaigned on since 1964 and that's fiscal conservatism, balancing the budget, cut taxes, you know, the whole cluster.

Questioner: But the fact is, isn't it, that Reagan does get to the Wallace voter and to the racist side of the Wallace voter by doing away with legal services, by cutting down on food stamps?

Atwater: You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger"—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a by-product of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me—because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger."
l
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!

from Timothy R. Pauketat, An Archaeology of the Cosmos: Rethinking Agency and Religion in Ancient America (Routledge, 2012), p. 30

Indeed, this is the very basis of the Western world, with religions that profess beliefs while simultaneiously disciplining bodies and purging them of their desires.

Big History and the Sapient Paradox

Trump supporter complains shutdown is 'not hurting the people he needs to be hurting'
The Sapient Paradox and Intelligence
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

the Sapient Paradox and the New Deal



Keynesian Elite in New Deal State, 1910-1939
d




The problem with philosophy is that it is treated as a discipline, instead of as the inner life and voice of thought itself, and therefore as something that should accompany any and all acts of thinking . . .  as something that cannot stand alone, something that cannot stand anywhere because it must be found everywhere . . .   And conversely, any attempt at thought that is not interwoven with this inner voice can only reproduce the shibboleths of its age, and is thus almost . . .  worthless.




the Two-Party System: Semiotic Regimes.  Sources

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

Alain Ehrenberg, The Weariness of the Self: Diagnosing the History of Depression in the Contemporary Age (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2009)

Eli Zarestsky, Secrets of the Soul: A Social and Cultural History of Psychoanalysis (Vintage, 2005)

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

Michael W. Miles, The Odyssey of the American Right (Oxford, 1980)
   
Anatol Lieven, America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism (Oxford, 2012)
   
Joseph E. Lowndes, From the New Deal to the New Right: Race and the Southern Origins of Modern Conservatism (Yale, 2008)

Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis, Dallas, 1963 (Twelve, 2014)



                  the Two-Party System: Semiotic Regimes
                       w

LEFT
RIGHT
Topology
          depressive
     paranoid-schizoid
Political style
 progressive
        proto-Dorian
Cognitive mode
   concrete & formal op
    pre-op and gestural
Regime type
   rational-bureaucratic
   (r-b and) patrimonial


Figure 1 and the Lacan-Atwater Signifying Chain bring us to the heart of today's reality.  Cognitive and emotional issues and processes take center stage.

Thus, it is the rhetorical violence of Trump rallies, not ideology and policies, that is fundamental. The Trump performances--the audience, the cultural-historical context, and Trump himself as a therapeutic object with which the audience member can identify--become intelligible when viewed through the prism of certain key concepts:

Nietzsche's concept of ressentiment;

psychoanalysis's concept of the mechanisms of defense*;

Wilbur Cash's concept of the proto-Dorian convention;

the Lacan-Atwater Signifying Chain**; and

Robert Paxton's concept of  redemptive violence***.

On the right there are not issues, but postures, gestures, various encodings of the same sado-sexual reflex (the inner logic of racism).  Rage enacted in a political-media theater of violence, sadism, and revenge.     The cruelty of it all is the most important thing.  The vicarious thrill, the “enthusiasm for inflicting pain, suffering, or humiliation”(OED****): this is what is seen at Trump rallies.  The GOP's performative cadre are specialists in herding hominids.

from Friedrich 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. . .  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 onl a way, an episode, a bridge, a great promise.



Genetic Ontology
Sources
(Full page here)
Primate
   Dominance and Deference
Mazur, deWaal, Wrangham . . .
Paleolithic
   Dynamic Egalitarianism
Whiten, Descola, Chase, Price . . .
Ressentiment & the Mechanisms of Defense:
(the dark energy of politics)
   Patrimonialism; Despotic regime;
   Racism; Nationalism; Fascism
Nietzsche, Deleuze & Guattari, Clarke, Paxton, Knox . . .
Bildung & the Will to Power (Jouissance)
   Progressive Narcissism; Individuation;
   Progressivism, Socialism, Communism
   the UAW and the Keynesian Elite
Hegel, Nietzsche, Vygotsky, Piaget, Kohut, Alcorn . . . Lacan . . .
Nihilism & the Last Man
   Regressive Narcissism and the   
   Culture of Consumption; Repressive
   Desublimation; Disindividuation;  
   Neoliberalism
Nietzsche, Hall, Ehrenberg, Stiegler, Illouz, Marcuse . . . Didion . . .


ss
genetic ontology
representative texts


Primate

Allan Mazur, Biosociology of Dominance and Deference (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005); Christopher Boesch, Wild Cultures: A Comparison Between Chimpanzee and Human Cultures (Cambridge University Press, 2012); The Evolution of Primate Societies, John C. Mitani, Josep Call, Peter M. Kappeler, Ryne A. Palombit, and Joan Silk, eds. (University of Chicago Press, 2012); "Collective Violence: Comparison Between Youths and Chimpanzees," by Richard W. Wrangham (Department of Antroropology, 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) in  Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1036: 233–256 (2004); Franz de Waal, Chimpanzee Politics

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


Paleolithic

Andrew Whiten and David Erdal, "The human socio-cognitive niche and its evolutionary origins," Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B (2012) 367, 2119–2129; Philip G. Chase, The Emergence of Culture. The Evolution of a Uniquely Human Way of Life (Springer, 2006); Kent Flannery and Joyce Marcus, The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire (Harvard, 2012)
Ressentiment & the Mechanisms of Defense
(despotic regime, white supremacy)

Fascism
Nietzsche,  Spinoza, Freud, Klein. Jackson Lears, Rebirth of a Nation: the Making of Modern America, 1877-1920 (2009); Joseph E. Lowndes, From the New Deal to the New Right : race and the southern origins of modern conservatism (2008), Carter, Robert O. Paxton, The Anatomy of Fascism (2004); Aristotle Kallis, Genocide and Fascism: the Eliminationist Drive in Fascist Europe (Routledge, 2009); Simon Clarke, Social Theory, Psychoanalysis and Racism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003)

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

FOX News
Progressive Narcissism; Bildung; the Will to Power
Nietzsche, Hegel, Vygotsky. Michael Eldridge, "The German Bildung Tradition"; Marshall W. Alcorn, Jr., Narcissism and the Literary Libido: Rhetoric, Text, and Subjectivity (New York University Press, 1994); Franco Moretti, The Way of the World: The Bildungsroman in European Culture (Verso, 2000); Stephen Rumph, Mozart and Enlightenment Semiotics (University of California Press, 2012); Harold Mah, Enlightenment Phantasies: Cultural Identity in France and Germany, 1750-1914; S.A. Smith, Revolution and the People in Russia and China: A Comparative History (Cambridge Univesity Press, 2008); Steve Fraser, Labor Will Rule; Rodgers, Atlantic Crossings; Zelnick, Dewey, Lenin, Vygotsky, Bronfenbrenner; Journey toward justice : Juliette Hampton Morgan and the Montgomery bus boycott;

Novels.  Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road; Jhumpa Lahiri, The Lowland (2013)

UAW Interviews.  Saul Wellman; Joe Adams; Edmund Kord; Norman Bully; Larry Jones; Cliff Williams; Ziggy Mize; Murray Body exec comm. minutes
Nihilism;
Regressive Narcissism and the culture of consumption;
repressive desublimation;
the last man
Nietzsche. 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); Republic of Outsiders: the power of amateurs, dreamers, and rebels;  The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food NYT

Eli Zaretsky, Secrets of the Soul: a Social and cultural history of psychoanalysis (Vintage, 2004); Alain Ehrenberg, The Wariness of the Self: Diagnosing the History of Depression in the Contemporary Age (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2010)

Novels.  Michel Houellebecq: The Map and the Territory (2010), The Possibility of an Island (2005), The Elementary Particles (1998), and Platform (2001); Richard Powers, Generosity: an Enhancement (2009);
Choire Sicha, Very Recent History: An Entirely Factual Account of a Year (c. AD 2009) in a Large City (2013); Vernon God Little

CNN & MSNBC; Facebook, Twitter  .  .  . 

vv


The term "elite" is used in popular political culture as a moral category.  It is a way of saying "bad" that doesn's make one look like an idiot. 
U.S. Political Economy by Sector, 1910-1938/47
 
i
Map from Colin Woodard, American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival
Regional Cultures of North America (Penguin, 2011)

This map shows the US really has 11 separate 'nations' with entirely different cultures}}} Matthew Speiser Business Insider
Monday 27 November 2017 16:00

Michael W. Miles, The Odyssey of the American Right (Oxford University
Press, 1980)
Anatol Lieven, America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism
(Oxford University Press, 2012)
Joseph E. Lowndes, From the New Deal to the New Right: Race and the
Southern Origins of Modern Conservatism (Yale Univesity Press, 2008)
a
www
Detroit East Side: UAW Locals: interviews
Leon Pody*
Murray Body
UAW Local 2
Frank Fagan
Murray Body UAW Local 2
Frank Fagan*
Murray BodyUAW Local 2
Lloyd Jones*
Murray Body UAW Local 2



Dick Frankensteen Dodge Main
UAW Local 3
Dick Frankensteen*Dodge Main
UAW Local 3
Charles Watson Dodge Main UAW Local 3
Harry Ross*
Dodge MainUAW Local 3
Richard Harris*
Dodge Main UAW Local 3
Joe Adams Dodge Main UAW Local 3
Joe Ptazynski
Dodge Main UAW Local 3
Earl Reynolds Dodge Main UAW Local 3
John Zaremba*
Dodge Main UAW Local 3



Sam Sweet
Plymouth
UAW Local 51



John McDaniel Packard
UAW Local 190
John McDaniel*Packard
UAW Local 190
Harry Kujawski Packard UAW Local 190
Eddie Dvornik Packard UAW Local 190
Adam Poplewski*
Packard UAW Local 190
James Lindahl***
Packard
UAW Local 190



Leonard Klue MICHIGAN STEEL TUBE UAW Local 238



Paul Silver/Ross/Adams
Detroit Steel Products
UAW Local 351



N = 35 interviewees
MIDLAND STEEL
UAW Local 410
John Anderson
CP, Midland Steel
MESA, UAW 155



Bill Jenkins Chrysler Highland Park
UAW Local 490



Tony Podorsek
body-in-white supervisor Dodge, Cadillac


Detroit East Side.  Connor Ave: UAW Locals: interviews
Jack Zeller
 Chrysler-Jefferson
UAW Local 7
Ed Carey*
Chrysler-Jefferson UAW Local 7
Francis Moore
Hudson
UAW Local 154
Minnie Anderson
Hudson
UAW Local 154
Leon Pody* Briggs UAW Local 212
Bill Mazey
Briggs
UAW Local 212
Ernie Mazey
Briggs
UAW Local 212
Ken Morris*
Briggs UAW Local 212
Art Vega*
Briggs UAW Local 212
Irwin Bauer
Budd Wheel
UAW Local 306