from the New Deal to Donald Trump:
Beyond the Sapient Paradox
the work of transcendental empiricism so far
"Philosophy always arrives too late . . . .  The Owl
of Minerva takes flight only as the dusk begins to fall."

"Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic
facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add:
the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce."

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

Hitler is to Trump as tragedy is to farce
Figure 1, The Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State, 1910-1939, and fig. 2 the people, taken together as a vantage point from which to look backward, to the Enlightenemt origins of Progressivism and the New Deal/UAW, and forward, to the breakdown and disapearance of Progressivism and the emergence of Trump as the representative man of a new age.  This new age can be summarized as the refutation of the civic republicanism of the founding fathers, and even more, as the next iteration of that which in the past has been called "fascism".  The new age is an age of a new kind of barbarism, made possible by the "overhead" costs (think tanks, Fox News, . . . ) of exercising hegemony becoming semi-autonomous, and then breaking through to the full realization of a politics of elimination and genocide.

The two-party discursive field is now entirely dominated by RMD on right, nihilism on the left.  Bild & WP, which was the fundamental feature of that which is subsumed  under New Deal-UAW, and which was the heart of Progressivism, is entirely absent from our current discursive practice in the field of electoral politics.  At its extremes, this dis field can be represented on right by various examples of brutishness, inc Trump rallies.  On its left, zucotti park, sanders camp (at best a feeble progressivism), clinton rhetoric (a coalition of cvictims).

"The Origins of the Welfare State: The Keynesian Elite and the Second New Deal, 1910-1936" (manuscript, 1987)

            Figure 2.  U.S. Political Economy by Sector, 1910-1938        
Figure 1.  Keynesian Elite in New Deal State, 1910-1939
Source: "Membership List, May 1927," in the Morris L. Cooke Papers, box 66,
FDR Library; and
United States Government Manual 1937
for more info on Fig.2 click on Keynesian Elite: Career Matrix

Joanna Bockman. Markets in the Name of Socialism: The Left-Wing Origins of Neoliberalism (Stanford University Press, 2011): three reviews
The End of History:
The President Who Do
esn't Read
"The President Who Doesn't Read," The Atlantic, January 5, 2018

Ironically, it was the publication of a book this week that crystallized the reality of just how little Donald Trump reads. While, like many of the tendencies described in Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury, Trump’s indifference to the printed word has been apparent for some time, the depth and implications of Trump’s strong preference for oral communication over the written word demand closer examination.  “He didn’t process information in any conventional sense,” Wolff writes. “He didn’t read. He didn’t really even skim. Some believed that for all practical purposes he was no more than semi-­literate.”

from David R. Olsen, "History of Writing, History of Rationality," in Eurasia at the Dawn of History (Cambridge, 2016)

Quotes Ong: "Without writing, the literate mind would not and could not think as it does. . . .  More than any other single invention, writing has transformed human consciousness." (48)

David R. Olsen, The Mind on Paper: Reading, Consciousness, and Rationality (Cambridge, 2016)

to understand the cognitive implications of literacy it is also necessary to see writing not only as a tool for solving problems but rather as a generalized means or medium for repesentation and communication that give rise to those unique forms of human competence we in modern society define as intelligence and rationality

Human beings were never born to r
from Maryanne Wolf, Reader Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World (HarperCollins, 2018), pp. 151-2 (emphasis added)

Human beings were never born to read.  The acqusition of literacy is one of the most important epigenetic achievements of Homo sapiens.  . . .  The act of learnng to read added an entirely new circuit to our hominid brain's repertoire.  The long developmental process of learning to read deeply and well changed the very structure of that circuit's connections, which rewired the brain, which transformed the nature of human thought.

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

. . . the primary ontological units are not 'things' but phenomena--dynamic topological / reconfigurings / entanglements  / relationalities / (re)articulations of the world.  And the primary semantic units are not 'words' but material-discursive practices through which (ontic and semantic) boundaries are constituted.  This dynamic is agency.

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

As for the future of nations like America and Britain, the prospect of the cessation of IQ gains poses an interesting question: could these nations go on meeting the demand for more and more managers and professionals and technicians?  p.  144

Figure 3 suggests that a catastrophic decline in cognitive performativity preceded and made possible the fascist-patrimonial victory of November 2016

The election of 2016 occured in the context of the situation indexed by Figure 3, and is inconceivable outside this context.  Many have commented on the cognitive performativity of the candidate and then the President, but don't take seriously the historicity, fragility, and reversibility of cognitive development as a cultural-historical phenomenon.  Figure 3 is an effect of cultural-historical developmental processes, of which schooling itself is only one of several key inputs affecting the cognitive and cultural development of situated organisms (not Cartesian selves).  Cognitive development is not a normative, inevitable process.  It is an effect of history and politics, as well as evolution, and can suffer reversal or collapse.

Cognitive development is also not a solely ontogenetic process: the contextual and embedded character of mind; the social character of mind and agency; and the institutional and historical contexts of cognitive performativity must be borne in mind. (Jan Derry, Vygotsky, Philosophy, and Education, Wiley, 2013, pp. 17, 24)

Mainstream elite media observe but do not comprehend the cognitive-discursive peculiarities of Trump's performances, and thus take Trump's utterances at face value, arguing the merits and feasibility of building the wall and the ban on Muslims.  They note the dog-whistle character of Trump's rhetoric, but discuss only the whistle, never the dog: the cognitive and emotional reactions of the audience toward whom the whistle is directed.  Media, therefore, must also be scrutinized in the context of Figure 3. 

Figure 3 suggests that a catastrophic decline in cognitive performativity preceded and made possible the fascist-patrimonial victory of November 2018.  (An alternative title for Figure 3: From the New Deal to Donald Trump.)

Focusing on the person of the Chief Executive and his various performative moments obliterates the cultural-historical dimensions of history.  The brutishness in language and behavior that are the chief characteristics of Trump's mass-oriented performances must be understood as manifestations of something of great ontological significance.  To understand this, thinking must first emancipate itself from the Cartesian presuppositional matrix--the ontological presupposition of the Cartesian self and its associated rhetorical elements of consciousness, belief, motive, ideology and interest.  Failure to do so has the effect, a priori, of blocking conceptualization of questions of ontology, agency, intentionality, habitus, networks and contexts.  And thinking must approach the question of "ontology" as a question of genetic ontology (see below). 

                Figure 3a.  PISA Math Scores, 2003 to 2018*:
           21 Developed Nations & East Asian Cities and City-States

           *to be released December 3, 2019

Programme for International Student Assessment WIKI

Korea and Japan are in light blue; Asia: Asian cities and city-states (C & C-S) are in light orange (see below for a breakout of the components of this category); Scandinavian nations + Switzerland are in dark blue; Anglo-Saxon nations in orange; France, Germany, Belgium and Poland in green; Italy, Portugal and Spain in red; the United States in yellow.

Of the European nations omitted from this graph, Croatia, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, and Cyprus scored below the United States in math.  Ahead of the United States but not shown are Estonia, Slovenia, Ireland, Austria, Russian Federation, Czech Republic, Iceland, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Lithuania, Hungary, and the Slovak Republic.

The United States does better on reading and science, but math is taken by many as the more important indicator.

from the New Deal to Donald Trump
What we are now engulfed in is the implosion of neo-liberal "society."  The term "society" is bracketed because, in the conventional use of the term, an ontological stability is implied, whereas in reality this society is in the process of blowing its brains out, and that along four axes of ontological catastrophe:

•First, the disintegration of cognitive performativities (decognification, disindividuation; Trump's rhetorical performances seen from the standpoint of literacy and cognition)

•Second, the explosion of fascist performativities within the orbit of the GOP (Robert O. Paxton, Anatomy of Fascism: "The legitimation of violence against a demonized internal enemy brings us close to the heart of fascism.").

•Third, the assault on rational-bureaucratic institutions--i.e., an assault on the very idea of science-based professionalism and public service.

•Fourth, the triumph of nihilism.  Sosme call this the neoliberal subjectivity; I call it the incredible shrinking self (see below)

The great dream of the Enlightenment, that reason and rational self-interest would one day triumph . . .
from J.G. Ballard, Kingdom Come (2006)

You have to think about England as a whole, not just Brooklands and the Thames Valley.  The churches are empty, and the monarchy shipwrecked itself on its own vanity.  Politics is a racket, and democracy just another utility, like gas and electricity.  Almost no one has any civic feeling. Consumerism is the one thing that gives us our sense of values. Consumerism is honest, and teaches us that everything good has a barcode.  The great dream of the Enlightenment, that reason and rational self-interest would one day triumph, led directly to today's consumerism.

The four axes of ontological catastrophe can be placed in historical contexts.  Instead of the great dream of the Enlightenment that was the core sensibility of Progressivism (the New Deal), Socialism (Scandanavian Social Democracy), and Communism, we have:

a. the wreckage not only of socialism but more broadly of Progressivism, of the entire cultural-historical self-formative project (Bildung) that grew out of the Enlightenment and gave us the Russian revolution, Scandinavian Social Democracy, and the American New Deal

b. the persistence of the political culture, psychological dispositions and praxiological modalities of ressentiment (the inner life of racism and fascism)

c. the triumph of nihilism as the socio-cultural engineering project of global corporate networks of unimaginable reach and power, generating an entropic process of disindividuation.  Mass consumption as a mode of absorption and transformation of the organism.  The fiction of freedom, the subversion of individuation, the inner logic of addiction, the commodification of distress, the infantilization of public discourse . . . in short, the dissipation of the species homo sapiens sapiens into a proliferation of effects.  DSM-V as the operating manual of the post-human ontology.  The incredible shrinking self.

The great dream of the Enlightenment, that reason and rational self-interest would one day triumph . . .

from J.G. Ballard, Kingdom Come (2006)

You have to think about England as a whole, not just Brooklands and the Thames Valley.  The churches are empty, and the monarchy shipwrecked itself on its own vanity.  Politics is a racket, and democracy just another utility, like gas and electricity.  Almost no one has any civic feeling. Consumerism is the one thing that gives us our sense of values. Consumerism is honest, and teaches us that everything good has a barcode.  The great dream of the Enlightenment, that reason and rational self-interest would one day triumph, led directly to today's consumerism.

The brutishness in language and behavior:
Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense is the Genetic Ontology of Trump's Theatrics

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  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 of a particular cultural-historical configuration (ressentiment).  Hence the concept of semioitic regime.

*Oxford English Dictionary online, s.v. "Sadism"

Figure 4.  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."

prerequsite for continuing: Semiotic Regimes, a short page based on analysis of cognitive performativity in various media.  Also see

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

The GOP as the Stupid Party?  An inadequate conceptualization

The Imus Brouhaha and that which is called "Racism"

Figure 2a is old, and in need of revision.  Bourgeois 1 and 2 are now conceptualized as the current discursive practices that evolved from commercial republicanism (b1) and civic republicanism (b2).*  The GOP used to be dominated by the Securities Bloc (see above, "Origins of the Welfare State," and Bush Family).

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

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 Friederich Nietzsche, The Will to Power, § 863

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

Semiotic Regimes
Analyzing Power Relations: Five Frameworks

Deleuze & Guattari


Michael Mann

This site

Three regimes (primitive, despotic, capitalist)

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

Cognitive modalities (topologies of the two-party system)

Four networks of power

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

Herding Primates:
the Psychological Correlates of the Two-Party System

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

We are changing, of course, but that does not necessarily mean we are progressing.  Combined with all the forces that today exhort us to look into our own private lives, the “civilization of change” has stimulated a massive interest in psychic disorders.  It can be heard from all quarters, and it takes form in the many marketplaces that offer inner balance and tranquility.  Today, many of our socials tensions have been expressed in terms of implosion and depressive collapse or, in a similar way, its flip side: explosions of violence, rage, the search for new sensations.  pp. 185-6

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


                     the "Two-Party System:" Semiotic Regimes

Political style
Cognitive mode
     concrete & pre-op
    pre-op and gestural
Regime type
   (r-b and) patrimonial

Here are the sources for this conceptualization of the Two-Party System: Semiotic Regimes:

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)

*Note on use of the term "Left."

Progressivism and Liberalism are opposites, not twins.  The genetic ontology of Progressivism is Bildung and the Will to Power;
The genetic ontology
of Liberalism is Nihilism.  Today liberalism is referred as the left, covering over the genetic-ontological transformation of the post-war years (see Hall et. al.)  The New Deal is not represented in in the above figure and table, The Two-Party System: Semiotic Regimes.

QHD-5 is the antithesis of the Cartesian a-priori so central to contemporary media performances.  The term Dasein is used to problematize 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 whose objective is self- and societal-transformation.  (On "human nature" see Sahlins.) TEST

Cognitive development is one of these fundamental transformations, but it is not the only one.  Nietzsche's last man is neo-liberalism's ideal and all too real human (nililism), and it is this brute fact of contemporary life that sets the limits for any praxis that could be called progressive in the twenty-first century. And ressentiment--another of Nietzsche's fundamental concepts that gets us to the heart of fascism--also denotes a fundamental transformation of Dasein.  First time as tragedy, second time as farce.  The possiblity of Trump ispredicated on the globalization and financialization of the Democratic Party.  One has only to look at the dems scorporate backeresf

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

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

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



ressentiment & the mechanisms of defense

bildung & the will to power


genetic ontology
representative texts: short version
long version


•Richard Wrangham, The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship Between Virtue and Violence in Human Evolution (Pantheon, 2019)
•Michael Tomasello, Becoming Human: a Theory of Ontogeny (Harvard, 2019)

•Allan Mazur, Biosociology of Dominance and Deference (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005)
•Christopher Boesch, Wild Cultures: A Comparison Between Chimpanzee and Human Cultures (Cambridge University Press, 2012)
Juan Carlos Gomez, Apes, Monkees, Children and the Growth of Mind (Harvard, 2004)
John C. Mitani et. al., eds., The Evolution of Primate Societies, (University of Chicago Press, 2012);
William Calvin, A Brief History of the Mind: From Apes to Intellect and Beyond (Oxford, 2004)
Franz de Waal, Chimpanzee Politics: Power and Sex among Apes (Harper & Row, 1982)

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


John F. Hoffecker, Landscapes of the Mind: Human Evolution and the Archeology of Thought (Columbia, 2011)
Renfrew, Frith, and Malafouras, The Sapient Mind: Archeology meets Neuroscience (Oxford, 2009)
Timothy R. Pauketat, An Archaeology of the Cosmos: Rethinking Agency and Religion in Ancient America (Routledge, 2012)
Michael Tomasello, Natural History of Human Thinking (Harvard University Press, 2014)
Lambros Malafouris and Colin Renfrew, How Things Shape the Mind : A Theory of Material Engagement (MIT Press, 2013)
Robin Dunbar, Clive Gamble and John Gowlett, eds., Social Brain, Distributed Mind (Oxford, 2010)
Andrew Whiten and David Erdal, "The human socio-cognitive niche and its evolutionary origins," Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B (2012) 367, 2119–212
Philip G. Chase, The Emergence of Culture. The Evolution of a Uniquely Human Way of Life (Springer, 2006);

After the State
Ressentiment & the Mechanisms of Defense
(despotic regime, white supremacy)

Nietzsche, Freud, Klein.

Michael André Bernstein, Bitter Carnival : ressentiment and the abject hero (Princeton University Press, 1992)
Frank John Ninivaggi, Envy Theory: Perspectives on the Psychology of Envy (Rowman & Littlefield, 2010)
Simon Clarke, Social Theory, Psychoanalysis and Racism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003)
Fyodor Dostoevski, Notes from Underground
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
Sinclair Lewis, Elmer Gantry
Tara Westover, Educated   
Lillian Smith, Killers of the Dream
Robert O. Paxton, The Anatomy of Fascism (Knopf, 2004)
R. J. B. Bosworth, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Fascism (Oxford University Press, 2009)

Mary Vincent, "The Spanish Church and the Popular Front: the experience of Salamanca province," in Martin S. Alexander and Helen Graham, eds., The French and Spanish Popular Fronts (Cambridge University Press, 1989)
Helmut Walser Smith, The Continuities of German History: Nation, Religion, and Race across the Long Nineteenth Century (Cambridge, 2008)
Darrin M. McMahon, Enemies of the Enlightement: the French Counter-Enlightenment and the Making of Modernity (Oxford University Press, 2001)
Aristotle Kallis, Genocide and Fascism: the Eliminationist Drive in Fascist Europe (Routledge, 2009)

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

Susan Juster, Sacred Violence in Early America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016)
Jackson Lears, Rebirth of a Nation: the Making of Modern America, 1877-1920 (2009);
Anatol Levien, America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism (Oxford University Press, 2005)
Joseph E. Lowndes, From the New Deal to the New Right : race and the southern origins of modern conservatism (2008), Carter, 
Thomas Frank, What's the Matter with Kansas?
Don E. Carleton, Red scare! Right-wing hysteria, fifties fanaticism, and their legacy in Texas (Austin, Tex. : Texas Monthly Press, 1985)
Thomas B. Edsall, Building Red America: the New Conservative Coalition and the Drive for Permanent Power (Basic Books, 2006)
Michael W. Miles, The Odyssey of the American Right (Oxford University Press, 1980)
Richard M. Freeland, The Truman Doctrine and the origins of McCarthyism: foreign policy, domestic politics, and internal security, 1946-1948  (New York University Press, 1985)
James William Gibson, Warrior Dreams: Violence and Manhood in Post-Vietnam America (Hill and Wang, 1994)
Kim Phillips-Fein, Invisible Hands: the Making of the Conservative Movement from the New Deal to Reagan (W. W. Norton, 2009)
Julia Adams and Mounira M. Charrad, Patrimonial Power in the Modern World (Sage, 2011)
Elmer Gantry;Heart of Darkness
FOX News
Progressive Narcissism; Bildung; the Will to Power
Nietzsche, Hegel, Vygotsky.

Michael Tomasello, Becoming Human: A Theory of Ontogeny
(Harvard, 2019)
Terry Pinkard, Hegel: A Biography (Cambridge University Press, 2000), pp. 49-50; 269-275; 369-370; 486-487
Shlomo Avineri, Hegel's Theory of the Modern State (Cambridge University Press, 1972), pp. 77-78; 132-139; 144-147; 166)
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;
Regressive Narcissism and the culture of consumption;
repressive desublimation;
the last man

Miguel de Beistegui, The Government of Desire: A Genealogy of the Liberal Subject (University of Chicago Press, 2018)
Carole Sweeney, Michel Houellebecq and the Literature of Despair (Bloomsbury Academic, 2013)
Kieran Keohane, Anders Petersen, and Bert van den Bergh, Late Modern Subjectivity and its Discontents: Anxiety, Depression and Alzheimer’s Disease (Routledge, 2017)
Alain Ehrenberg, The Weariness of the Self: Diagnosing the History of Depression in the Contemporary Age (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2010)
Steve Hal, Simon Winlow and Craig Ancrum, Criminal Identities and Consumer Culture: crime, exclusion and the new culture of narcissism (Willan Publishing, 2008)
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);

Novels.  Michel Houellebecq: The Map and the Territory (2010),  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  .  .  . 

Michael Tomasello, Becoming Human: a Theory of Ontogeny (Harvard, 2019): Shared, Collective intentionality; the cultural intelligence hypothesis

Simon Jarvis, Wordsworth's Philosophical Song (Cambridge, 2007): Beyond the transcript


PS: We organized—my own plant [Detroit Steel Products] was oganized; out of 1800 people we had only 40 people in the union, ’35 ’36
 . . . .

PF: when you had only 35 40 people in the union.  Were those 40 distinct sociogically?

PS: philosophically they were distinct.  They wanted a revolution.  They wre socialists or syndalists, some dues paying members of SP or CP or PP, some were Wobblies.  Some were just, some believed that didn't pay dues . . .
Detroit: Eastside Industrial Areas, 1941: Key Plants

Cognitive Regimes; Flynn Effect

If one looks at the east side as mocrocosm of New Deal (ahdn at that time Detroit was the grat ind.) from the stndpoint of agency, one sees the antithesisof widespread leftist notions of a potentially soaidary mass.

Homer Martin as proto-Trump

Genetic ontologies  in the new deal era, from Toledo to Saginaw

this is what is not found among the hegemoinic actors on the CIOside

see Fascism:

***Watch Trump rallies closely.  The audience is usually unfocused, almost bored in  the haze of broken English spoken by Trump.  Bored, restless, talking among themselves, cognitively not there, but waiting for the punch line, the expletive, the primitive, hate-filled denunciation: license has been given (Kallis).  Then they wake up, some more slowly than others, as they catch on, and howl their delight, only to subside into a state of not being.  This the pundits refer to as "energy."  This is, ontologically speaking, some really primitive stuff.  This is why media discourse on the real-world economic grievances of white men simultaneously get it and miss it completely.  They are finally being forced to address what has been a trend obvious for decades, but not discussed in the media until the breakdown of elite control of public discourse in the primary campaigns of 2016.  What they miss is the deep structure of this rage; the cognitive primitiveness of its expression; the centuries long history of ressentiment as the inner logic of ultra-nationalism and fascism and racism


Beyond sadism (the beating heart of the GOP), and related to it, are the cognitive consequences of a politics of bestiality.  It is not merely that Donald Trump Talks Like a Third-Grader  (Politico, August 13, 1915). 

Language on the threshold of gesture and reflex.  Regression to infantile narcissism (see Criminal Identities ) via processes of identification, to a politics of patrimonialism. 

Trump is the apotheosis of the GOP's core performativities.  In thhis sense there  is nothing new.  But what is new with the Trump campaign--and decisively so--is that a charismatic demagogue has literally hijacked the base of the Republican Party.  The genetic ontology of ressentiment produces a subject.  But that subject--the Trump enthusiasts one sees at rallies and in interviews and focus groups--has been embedded in the cultural-historical field of white supremacy (see The Imus Brouhaha and that which is called "Racism").  The containment of white rage has depended on two things.  First, an economy of white affirmative action guaranteeing great masses of "white" folk sole access to those sectors of employment embedded in local government (police, fire, govt administration, utilities, transportation, building services, construction, and even manufacturing).  And second, a semioitic regime of ego-reinforcing symbols (positive and negative identifications).  When you add the election of Barak Obama to the economic consequences of the regime of neoliberal globalization (which includes declining wages as well as job losses) you add insult to injury, and one gets a psycho-cultural crackup of world-historic proportions.  This is what Trump exploits.
James A. Good, A Search for Unity in Diversity: the "Permanent Hegelian Deposit" in the Philosophy of John Dewey (Lexington Books, 2006)

 Although Begriff  is generally translated as 'concept' or 'notion,' Hegel scholars often object that this obscures its relationship to the verb begreifen, which comes from greifen, to grasp or seize.  Thus Begriff is more than concept or notion because it implies that mind is activity, rather than substance, engaged in capturing, embracing, or encompasing its object within consciousness. 9

Hegel "spoke of a 'sunburst,' perhaps meaning the French Revolution or Enlightenment liberalism, both of which were profoundly impacting Germany at that time.  But rather than specific historical events, the sunburst was a new way of thinking, an attitude that rejected provincial beliefs and authoritative religions. 12-13  [Joe Adams on anti-religion of uaw; John Perry on conflict with clergy)

one myth and two taboos

the Myth of the Cartesian Self
the taboo against discussing class and race

Marx and Nietzsche

"7,500 Strike, Shut Three Chrysler Plants," Detroit News, May 20, 1943

This first block of interviewees were all early leaders of the emergent forces that came to be known as the UAW.  Most of them were "Debsian" Socialists, others were Communists.   Most of them were neither skilled workers in the sense as it was understood at the time (skilled trades & tool & die), but neither were they laborers or assemblers or press operators: they were welders, trimmers, skilled machine workers and repairmen. 

Frank Fagan (Murray Body) provides both a synoptic view of the operation and is in fact an embodiment of the kind of bildungs-proletarian who were at the center of agency.  He is an actor in his time, and a collaborator in mine the extended mind of the unity caucus

Most of them were part of the trans-Atlantic population movements out of central, northern, and western europe.

They were, most of all, intensely rather that merely literate. 

interviewed by Jack Skeels in 1960 have one  *
U of M interviews conducted by Neil Leighton  **
Interviews that I conducted in the mid-1970s have no asterik.

—Paul Silver comments on his job as paint tester—

In reviewing these interviews now [spring 2015/spring 2019] in the context of all that has happened in the world since then, which may be summed up as the wreckage of socialism, the persistence of fascism, and the triumph of nihilism--all pre-conditions for the emergence of trump.

These interviews are a set of dialogic unfoldings that cumulatively and retrospectively form a lens through which to examine the ontologies and events, the transformations and reactions, that are subsumed under the terms unionization and New Deal.  The factories, meeting halls, and neighborhoods of southeastern Michigan are laboratories in which to investigate the play of forces: first, the deep structures, the genetic ontologies (the principles of the production of practices) that dominate the manifold areas of human activity; and second, the irruption of forces of an entirely different kind, referred to variously as bildung and the will to power--aufheben, emergence, praxis, agency.

Liminal zones (Bourdieu)

(key concepts: liminality; individuation)


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
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***
UAW Local 190

Leonard Klue MICHIGAN STEEL TUBE UAW Local 238

Paul Silver
Detroit Steel Products
UAW Local 351

N = 35 interviewees
UAW Local 410
John Anderson
CP, Midland Steel

Bill Jenkins Chrysler Highland Park
UAW Local 490

Tony Podorsek
body-in-white supervisor Dodge, Cadillac

Detroit East Side: Midland Steel, UAW Local 410: interviews
Bob Brenner Tool and Die
Barney Kluk Tool and Die
Ed Tyll Tool and Die
Jim Peters
Chrysler line
Oscar Oden
Chrysler line
Ben WainwrightChrysler line
John PerryChrysler line
William HintzChrysler line
Joe BlockChrysler line
TiedermannChrysler line
George Bidinger
Large presses
George Borovich Large presses
Chester Podgorski Large presses
Louis VolettiLarge presses
Lawrence VolettiLarge presses
Herman BurtPaint Machine
Levi NelsonShipping & Recieving
Agnes Baransky
Small presses
Lotte Klas
Small presses
John Anderson
Organizer, Local 155

what does cog dev mean?  Nature of discursive or related performances

there is a "choice" between civilization and barbarism.  Actually, in retrospect, someone will write that only one outcome was likely, and that outcome is the one that has prevailed.
Detroit East Side.  Connor Ave: UAW Locals: interviews
Jack Zeller
UAW Local 7
Ed Carey*
Chrysler-Jefferson UAW Local 7
Francis Moore
UAW Local 154
Minnie Anderson
UAW Local 154
Leon Pody* Briggs UAW Local 212
Bill Mazey
UAW Local 212
Ernie Mazey
UAW Local 212
Ken Morris*
Briggs UAW Local 212
Art Vega*
Briggs UAW Local 212
Irwin Bauer
Budd Wheel
UAW Local 306

Detroit West Side & Dearborn: UAW Locals: interviews
Ed Lock
UAW Local 600
Percy Llewelyn
UAW Local 600
Shelton Tappes Ford
UAW Local 600
Shelton Tappes*Ford
UAW Local 600
John Anderson
UAW Local 15
Irene Marinovich (I)
UAW Local 174
Mary Davis

Stanley Novak

Blain Marrin
Tool & Die
UAW Local 157

Flint and Pontiac: UAW Locals: interviews
Norman Bully
Buick (Flint) UAW Local 599
Arthur Case*
Buick (Flint) UAW Local 599
Larry Jones
Chevrolet (Flint) UAW Local 659
Bill Genski
Fisher Body #1 (Flint)
UAW Local 581
Bill Genski*
Fisher Body #1 (Flint)
UAW Local 581
Bud Simons*
Fisher Body #1 (Flint)
UAW Local 581
Bert Harris**
Fisher Body #1 (Flint) UAW Local 581

Cliff Williams +Yaeger
Yellow Cab (Pontiac)
UAW Local 594
Charlie Yaeger*

Bob Travis**
UAW Local 581
Henry Kraus**

Garrison-FF-LDB re.
Joe Adams on oral agreements!
CP x-ref Packard (Christoffel and Lindahl)

Anderson, Ind: Delco-Remy; Guide Lamp (Victor Reuther)
Toledo, Milwaukee, South Bend, and Cleveland

Wyndham Mortimer White Mtr (Cleve.), Flint
Al Rightly
UAW Local 5
BOOK: The Auto-Lite Strike of 1934
George Addes*
Willys Overland (Toledo)

Joseph Ditzel*
Chevrolet (Toledo)

James Roland*
Chevrolet (Toledo)
Roy H. Speth*
Seaman Body (Milwaukee)

BOOK: Stalin Over Wisconsin
UAW Local 248
Garrison to FF re. Christoffel

Victor Nell, Cross-Cultural Neuropsychological Assessment: Theory and Practice
Haritos-Fatouros, fascism page

1871  Charles Frances Adams Jr. Rept to the RR commission
1910  ERC; Taylor Society formed
1911 (July 29)  LDB to Robert LaFollette re. Alaska
McElwain to FF, 117
1918 War Industries Bd; War Labor Bd.; Shipping Bd.
NJ Chamber of Commerce 1-26-22
Cleveland Chamber of Commerce-Carmody; FF and Croly
Can Prosperity be Planned
Some Notes on Labor Organizations
TS Bull re NRA and fascism

This first block of interviewees were all early leaders of the emergent forces that came to be known as the UAW.  Most of them were Socialists
NCES, Highlights PISA 2003                  NCES, Highlights PISA 2009
NCES, Highlights PISA 2006                  NCES, PISA 2012, Math       
NCES, PISA 2015, Math