XXX
From the New Deal to Donald Trump
Black Lives Matter
Elementary particles and associated comments, lists, transcripts, remembrances of things past (civic republicanism 1933-1943: Bildung  + חֻצְפָ), cognitive regimes, intersubjectivity and shared intentionality, proximal processes, biocultural niche (Schiller Hall, Fox News, MSNBC), cognitive performativity*, paranoid-schizoid position (the sado-sexual eigenvector of “Trump” performativities: ressentiment and the mechanisms of defense), the depressive position ("liberalism": nihilism, nietzsche, and you), the lynching for rape discourse, herding primates: semiotic regimes, patrimonialilism and the fundamental incompetence** of the Trump regime. fascism.

Deep structure of ressentiment and the precarious cultural-historical achievements of “civilization”: defining barbarism (while being mindful of James C. Scott’s discussion of the “barbarians” in Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States (Yale, 2017)).  The collapse of a civilization in the context of advanced capitalism; regression to primate; collapse of cognitive performativity across the board by one order of magnitude* in post-Fordist USA; the journalism of disintegration (Who Killed the Knapp Family? NYT 1-9-20);  hapless liberalism . . .  and more. 
patrimonial bacchanale: wholesale destruction of the rational-bureaucratic organizations of government.  Trump's covid 19 response explained.


 * see Measures of Cognitive Performativity  The gap between Obama and Trump is two orders of magnitude.  Cognitive performativity is context-dependent (as Ceci speculated twenty years ago).  Emotional overload short-circuits complex thought.  More.
Also see Proximal Processes
.
**
the fundamental incompetence of the Trump regime . . . more later

the evolutionary context of Trump's response to COVID 19
Brain Plasticity and biocultural niche
index2020A

index2020B
Kant
indexJuly2020
index2020July8
indexZora
Figure 1.  intersubjectivity and shared intentionality
the extended mind of the Unity Caucus (UAW)

(Bildung  + חֻצְפָ)

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

In a very real sense, human society over the last 100,000 years or more may have been characterized by a fundamental tension between relations based on dominance, hierarchy, and kin altruism (part of our primate heritage) and new capacities for social cognition, cultural learning, alliance building, and cooperation, whether the latter behaviors were learned or part of recently acquired innate tendencies (Boehm 2000, Stone 2008: 79, Tomasello et al. 2005).

excerpts from Daniel Dor, Chris Knight, and Jerome Lewis, The Social Origins of Language (Oxford, 2014).  Read these excerpts before continuing.

Eli Zaretsky's "The Mass Psychology of Trumpism" (London Review of Books, 18 September 2018) should also be read immediately.  It's about 13 paragraphs.

The President Who Doesn't Read: on the cognitive-linguistic gulf between oral and print culture


"He’s not hurting the people he needs to be hurting"
 aggression, violence, and cruelty in humans


from It’s Just Too Much’: "A Florida Town Grapples With a Shutdown After a Hurricane, New York Times, 1-7-19.

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.

two commentaries on Victor Nell, "Cruelty’s rewards: The gratifications of perpetrators and spectators
," Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2006) 29, 211–257

1.  from Mika Haritos-Fatouros, “Cruelty: A dispositional or a situational behavior in man?” Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2006) 29, p.230

The basic question remains, however: How far are aggression, violence, and cruelty in humans today the result of predisposition factors, or biological or archetypal processes, and how far are they the result of cognitive/emotional processes evoked by situational factors?

2.  from Albert Bandura, “A murky portrait of human cruelty,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2006) 29, p. 225

At the macrosocial level, Nell greatly exaggerates the prevalence of human cruelty.  There exist wide intercultural differences representing both warring and pacific societies with large intracultural variations and even rapid transformation of warring societies into peaceful ones.

Figure 2. intersubjectivity and shared intentionality
 The Keynesian Elite in the New Deal state
(Bildung  + חֻצְפָ)

hh
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;
also: the
Papers of John M. Carmody
Joanna Bockman. Markets in the Name of Socialism: The Left-Wing Origins of Neoliberalism (Stanford University Press, 2011): three reviews

MEMO Ben Cohen to Leon Henderson, June 12, 1939
MEMO Corwin Edwards to Leon Henderson April 12, 1939
FF to FDR 11-21-34 re. Leffingwell
Prelude to Trump: the Civil War in the UAW

Figure 1.  The UAW (Unity Caucus): Bildungsproletarians and Plebeian Upstarts, 1933-1943: Detroit and the lower great lakes.
(Bildung  + חֻצְפָ)

h


5. UAW Population Flows 

uu





    United States Population Density, 2000          Midwest Auto Parts, 2006
gg
, Delphi and Midwest Auto Parts
  More maps                from Fed Reserve Bank Chicago

Patrimonialism and Fascism


Randall Collins, "Patrimonial Alliances and Failures of State Penetration: A Historical Dynamic of Crime, Corruption, Gangs, and Mafias," The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 636,  July, 2011. 

Jane Schneider and Peter Schneider, "Mafia, Antimafia, and the Plural Cultures of Sicily." Current Anthropology, Vol. 46, No. 4 (August/October 2005), pp. 501-520

Patrimonialism* in action: Marie Yovanovitch says State Department 'being hollowed out from within' (UPI November 15, 2019):

Moreover, the attacks are leading to a crisis in the State Department as the policy process is visibly unraveling, leadership vacancies go unfilled, and senior and mid-level officers ponder an uncertain future and head for the doors. The crisis has moved from the impact on individuals to an impact on the institution.

from Richard Lachmann, "Coda: American Patrimonialism: The Return of the Repressed” in Patrimonial Power in the Modern World, Julia Adams and Mounira M. Charrad, eds. (Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science,  2011)

Patrimonialism, until fairly recently, seemed an archaic social form, largely replaced by bureaucratic rationalism. That confident view of modernity, in the histories that Max Weber and his followers wrote, deserves to be challenged as patrimonial regimes reappear in states and firms throughout the world.

Patrimonial regimes: primate roots? signal evolution and the social brain

Inside Wayne LaPierre’s Battle for the N.R.A. NYT 12-18-19 (patrimonialism)

the Elder Report (Elder is to Homer Martin as Michael Cohen is to Trump; patrimonialism)

Bert Harris case (Fisher Body, Flint: press room): UofM interview; Cliff Williams interview; Henry Kraus, Bud Simons--Black Legion)

*Paul Krugman.  "Review: ‘The Economics of Inequality,’ by Thomas Piketty" (NYT Aug 2, 2015)




from Immanuel Kant to Donald Trump
"Thoughts without intuitions are empty; intuitions without concepts are blind."

"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.

"I'm a very stable genius."
Henry Somers-Hall and Levi R. Bryant in Deleuze Two

the prime directive:  beware of the Cartesian presuppositional matrix
Focusing on the person of the Chief Executive and his various performative moments obliterates the bio-cultural 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.  The crude Cartesianism of mainstream (corporate) media short-circuits thinking.  The main value of such media is to serve as a foil against which we match our wits and develop our (biocultural and deeply historical) minds.

from Lambros Malafouris, How Things Shape the Mind (MIT Press, 2013):

"Escaping from our Cartesian prison requires more than a change in our academic language games."


Philosophy and History

Gilbert Simondon Page




on "conspiracy theory"
(a cognate of fascism/racism)

Umberto Eco, The Prague Cemetary (Mariner Books, 2012), pp. 39, 78-9, 101-105, 265, 341-2, 374

from F. Nietzsche, On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense

A mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, and anthropomorphisms—in short, a sum of human relations which have been enhanced, transposed, and embellished poetically and rhetorically, and which after long use seem firm, canonical, and obligatory to a people: truths are illusions about which one has forgotten that this is what they are; metaphors which are worn out and without sensuous power; coins which have lost their pictures and now matter only as metal, no longer as coins.

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

violence, aggression and cuelty
two commentaries on Victor Nell, "Cruelty’s rewards: The gratifications of perpetrators and spectators," Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2006) 29, 211–257

1.  from Mika Haritos-Fatouros, “Cruelty: A dispositional or a situational behavior in man?” Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2006) 29, p.230

The basic question remains, however: How far are aggression, violence, and cruelty in humans today the result of predisposition factors, or biological or archetypal processes, and how far are they the result of cognitive/emotional processes evoked by situational factors?

2.  from Albert Bandura, “A murky portrait of human cruelty,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2006) 29, p. 225

At the macrosocial level, Nell greatly exaggerates the prevalence of human cruelty.  There exist wide intercultural differences representing both warring and pacific societies with large intracultural variations and even rapid transformation of warring societies into peaceful ones. 

Figure 3. U.S. Political Economy by Sector, 1910 to 1939
input-output matrices: capital formations and the two-party system
uu

see Elites: Strategic and Otherwise

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


Keynesian Elite: Appendices

KE2019
The New Deal and Capitalism (fragments)
Urban Economics and Real Estate: Theory and Policy (re. Stanback and Complex of Corporate Activities, pp. 66 - )
North American Industry Classification System  
Standard Industrial Classification
Hiss List 
DLC List 

Figure 4a.  PISA Math Scores, 2003 to 2018:
21 Developed Nations & 4 East Asian City-States (SHMC)
H
note 1.   . . . several limitations in the data used in non-response-bias analyses submitted by Hong Kong (China) and the United States.  see"inexplicable anomalies"


This page uses figurative elements, including  graphs, tables, charts, and maps, to advance an analysis of the historical trajectory: the New Deal to Donald Trump.  The rule governing this page is to think in terms of these graphemes, which form a set of synthetic a prioris.  In certain cases a text is made to function as a grapheme.  The Lacan-Atwater Signifying Chain is one such a case.  Another is the Freud-Jamieson Black Hole of Liberalism.  They are also elementary particles.  That is, they are the building blocks of intelligibility within a hermeneutical modus operandi.  This may be what Deleuze means by transcendental empiricism, which is consistent with Hegel's notion of the concrete universal.  Also Alexander Luria's The Making of Mind:  Hermeneutical intelligibility vs. nomothetic explanation.

The first three graphemes

❖ The UAW: Bildungsproletarians and Plebeian Upstarts
❖ The Keynesian Elite
❖ Sectors of Capital

provide a necessary framework and point of departure for dealing with the historical trajectory in question: from the New Deal to Donald Trump.

The next two graphemes

❖ PISA math scores, 2003-2018
❖ The Lacan Atwater Signifying Chain

deal with cognitive and emotional processes.  Such processes are central to human existence.  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.  The sado-sexual eigenvector of “Trump” performativities goes back to the Know-Nothing roots of the GOP (Gniepp), later 19th century anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic political rhetoric, the lynching for rape discourse, the southern strategy, and the infamous Willie Horton episode in George H.W. Bush’s 1988 campaign.  Trump's performance coming down the stairs ("They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.") and the plaint of one of his supporters ("He’s not hurting the people he needs to be hurting)" should be placed in this broader context.

insert Jablonka: primate

On the sado-sexual eigenvector of the right, see see RMF; Imus; the Stupid Party; Zaretsky

Now we are witness to a patrimonial bacchanale and the wholesale destruction of the rational-bureaucratic organizations of government that continues unabated.
  This degree

Deep structure of ressentiment and the precarious cultural-historical achievements of “civilization”: defining barbarism (while being mindful of James C. Scott’s discussion of the “barbarians” in Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States (Yale, 2017)).  The collapse of a civilization in the context of advanced capitalism; regression to primate; collapse of cognitive performativity across the board by one order of magnitude; the journalism of disintegration (Who Killed the Knapp Family? NYT 1-9-20.  Hapless liberalism)

     Figure 4b.  PISA Math Scores, 2003 to 2018:
           18 Anglo-European Nations
a
see"inexplicable anomalies"
Problems with the U. S. Data:
Political (2006) and "Technical" (2018)

from 2018 PISA vol. I, Annex A 4

a few countries’ data failed to meet critical standards or presented inexplicable anomalies, such that the Adjudication Group recommends a special treatment of these data in databases and/or reporting.

The remarks that follow are speculative.  Apparently 1. a set of schools is initially selected to take the test.  2.  Not all nations met the minimum participation rate of 85% (U.S. participation rate was 65%).  3.  Other schools were selected to replace them, and the resulting participation rate for the U.S. of 76% failed to meet the 85% threshold but met the lower standard of 65%.  Until we can see the initial set of U.S. schools selected, the subset of those schools that were selected but failed to participate, and the new set of schools that were chosen to replace those that “failed” to participate, we have no idea what kind of skulduggery, if any, was involved.


the whole question posed above:

Deep structure of ressentiment and the precarious cultural-historical achievements of “civilization”: defining barbarism; The collapse of a civilization in the context of advanced capitalism; regression to primate; collapse of cognitive performativity by one order of magnitude; the journalism of disintegration (Who Killed the Knapp Family? NYT 1-9-20.  Hapless liberalism)

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

"Niche construction and semiosis: biocultural and social dynamics." Sinha

"The co-evolution of human intersubjectivity, morality, and language."  Jordan Zlatev






Donald Trump: the Last Ten Million Years
tl

From the Sapient Paradox to Donald Trump:
the Guttenberg Parenthesis and the Flynn effect
The Last 100,000 Years
uu



 the performative complex of the Southern strategy



from Dan T. Carter, From George Wallace to Newt Gingrich: Race in the Conservative Counterrevolution, 1963-1994 (Louisiana State U. Press, 1996), pp. 8-9.

The depth of Wallace’s racism—the degree to which it was part of his core beliefs—was always unclear.  He sometimes manifested an air of apologetic cynicism; when forced to break away from informal gatherings because of a speaking engagement, he would often turn to his friends and ask to be excused with a sheepish grin and a half-embarassed explanation: “I got to give ‘em a little nigger talk.”

Seymour Wolfbein, a Labor Department expert in the Kennedy administration, was convinced it was all an act. . . .  Wolfbein found Wallace fascinating and amusing, but hardly sinister, a kind of roguish political con man eager to let him in on the joke.

When confronted with the question of whether Wallace was “sincere” in his racial views, a Montgomery attorney who knew the governor well said it best.  “If George had parachuted into the Albanian countryside in the spring of 1962,” reflected John Kohn, one of Wallace’s advisers in the 1960s, “he would have been head of the collective farm by harvesttime, a member of the Communist Party by midwinter, on his way to the district party meeting as a delegate by the following year, and a member of the Comintern in two or three years.”  George, said Kohn, “could believe whatever he needed to believe.”

Wilmington's Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy
Republican Gomorrah


 the performative complex of the Southern strategy
Fyodor Dostoevski, Notes from Underground
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
Sinclair Lewis, Elmer Gantry
Wilbur Cash, The Mind of the South
Lillian Smith, Killers of the Dream
Tara Westover, Educated   

from F. Nietzsche, The Geneology of Morals, III, 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 Joseph E. Lowndes, From the New Deal to the New Right: Race and the Southern Origins of Modern Conservatism (Yale Univesity Press, 2008)

Politics is not merely the realm where preexisting interests, grievances, and passions are given expression.  Rather, it is in and through politics that interests, grievances, and passions are forged and new collective identities created.  Backlash, the ideological cornerstone and justification for modern conservatism, masks what was a long-term process whereby various groups in different places and times attempted to link racism, anti-government populism, and economic conservatism into a discourse and institutional strategy through linguistic appeals, party-building, social movement organizing, and the exercise of state power.  In the process, the very interests and self-understanding of these groups were continually under construction as they moved from coalition to collective political identity.  As opposed to being entrenched and traditionalist (or reactionary, depending on one's politics),  the Right that developed is better viewed as contingent, mobile, and highly adaptive, constantly responding to changing conditions on the ground. 4-5


the cognitive and emotional dimensions of the historical trajectory the New Deal to Donald Trump
In order to deal with the cognitive and emotional dimensions of the historical trajectory the New Deal to Donald Trump, it is necessary to assemble the literature indespensible for an understanding of what is happening.  Cognitive Modalities: a Summary of Sources, and Cognitive-linguistic Cardinality: the Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein summarize the cognitive side of this set of texts.  The first of these--Cognitive Modalities--enables a serious analaysis of Donald Trump's cognitive performativity.   Throw-away comments such as Trump speaks like a fourth-grader don't cut the mustard.  Others refer to his oral style of thought and speech, but do not bring to bear the relevant work, most notably Walter J. Ong's Orality and Literacy.  In The President Who Doesen't Read I have assembled a few excerpts from key scholarly works and related media stories bearing on the question of orality and literacy.  Figure 0.1. From the Sapient Paradox to Donald Trump: the Guttenberg Parenthesis and the Flynn effect, provides one context for assessing the historical significance of the Trump phenomenon.

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.  Figures 4a and 4b reveal the 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 (Wolf, Dupre).  Nor is it 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).  This site situates the cognitive performativity denoted by “Trump” in the context of recent work in archeology on the origins of language.  this is the governing principle that generated the page The President Who doesn't Read.


Cognitive development is an effect of history and politics, as well as evolution, and can suffer reversal or collapse.  This indeed is what is happening, and on a colossal scale.  Figures 4a and 4b suggest that a catastrophic decline in cognitive performativity preceded and made possible the fascist-patrimonial victory of November 2016.  And now the “technical” issues related to the 2018 U.S. results suggest that, had the school selection process been up to standard, the 2015-2018 leg of the U.S. score might well have continued its downward plunge.  Thus, the apparent improvement may actually masks a more serious deterioration of cognitive performativity, and is accompanied by the patrimonial corruption of the institutions that conduct these tests.  What happened to the Department of State is happening everywhere.
  Mafia principles govern.


The Trump Problematic: Part A, Cognitive Processes.
Decognification: The President Who Doesn't Read
Excerpt from Anonymous, A Warning (WAPO, 11-7-19)

I am not qualified to diagnose the president’s mental acuity,” the author writes. “All I can tell you is that normal people who spend any time with Donald Trump are uncomfortable by what they witness. He stumbles, slurs, gets confused, is easily irritated, and has trouble synthesizing information, not occasionally but with regularity. Those who would claim otherwise are lying to themselves or to the country.

David A. Graham, "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.”

"Who’s Afraid of Arabic Numerals?  Before there was a Western civilization, there was Islamic civilization." (NYT 6-4-19)  This is a striking qualitative supplement to the quantitative results in Figs 1a and 1b.

"Reading Scores on National Exam Decline in Half the States," New York Times Oct. 30, 2019.


from Edward Frenkel And Hung-Hsi Wu, "Republicans Should Love 'Common Core'.  National standards can revive the way we teach math and science," Wall Street Journal, 5-6-13

Mathematical education in the U.S. is in deep crisis. The World Economic Forum ranks the quality of math and science education in the U.S. a dismal 48th. This is one of the reasons the 2010 report "Rising Above the Gathering Storm" by the National Academies warned that America's ability to compete effectively with other nations is fading. . . .  [The report refers to] the current lock-step march to the bottom of international student performance in math and science.

Comment # 16 from "Math Gains Reported for U.S. Students"  (NYT Dec 9, 2008)

I was raise in France and lived in Singapore for few years with my 2 children (8 and 12). So I have a different perspective than most. An anti-intelectual culture prevails in the US (Sarah Palin) when my kids were in Singapore, they were highly interested in science and Math and ranked high among their peers in the 2 topics, within 2 years after our return to the US both kids lost all interest in Science and Math.
(signed) Nacer, Seattle

Maryanne Wolf, Reader Come Home: the Reading Brain in a Digital World (Harper, 2018), p. 152

 . . . 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.”

from “Naval Collision Adds to Fears About U.S. Decline in Asia” (NYT 8-22-17)

"It drives home growing worries about a competence deficit within American organs of power under the increasingly besieged Trump administration,” said Richard Javad Heydarian, a political analyst at De La Salle University in Manila.




Figure 0.1.  From the Sapient Paradox to Donald Trump:
the Guttenberg Parenthesis and the Flynn effect
jj


Figure 0.2. Donald Trump: the First Ten Million Years
gg



the ‘sapient paradox’.  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. 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.**

In a very real sense, human society over the last 100,000 years or more may have been characterized by a fundamental tension between relations based on dominance, hierarchy, and kin altruism (part of our primate heritage) and new capacities for social cognition, cultural learning, alliance building, and cooperation, whether the latter behaviors were learned or part of recently acquired innate tendencies (Boehm 2000, Stone 2008: 79, Tomasello et al. 2005).***

   *  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.)
  **  Merlin Donald, The sapient paradox: can cognitive neuroscience solve it?, in Brain.  A Journal of
Neurology.  First published online: 2 December 2008.
***   T. D. Price and G. M. Feinman, Chapter 1, “Social Inequality and the Evolution of Human Social
Organization”, in Pathways to Power: New Perspectives on the Emergence of Social Inequality (Springer, 2010)


Two Sliding Scales, and the Deeps Roots of Patrimonialism
Juan Carlos Gomez, Apes, Monkees, Children and the Growth of Mind (Harvard University Press, 2004)

The possibility that, at a reduced scale, the mind of an ape can be upgraded by giving him, on the one hand, a regime of socally controlled attention and interactive experiences with humans, and on the other, a new, more explicit form of representing the world, would confer dramatic support to the Vygotskian notion that higher cognition can be created through cultural processes of develoment that change the nature of cognitive ontogeny. (pp. 262-3)



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

 . . . modern culture contains within it a trace of each of our previous stages of cognitive evolution.  It still rests on the same old primate brain capacity for episodic or event knowledge.  But it has three additional, uniquely human layers: a mimetic layer, an oral-linguistic layer, and an external-symbolic layer.  The minds of individuals reflect these three ways of representing reality.  (p. 262)


Merlin Donald, "The mind considered from a historical perspective: human cognitive phylogenesis and the possibility of continuing cognitive evolution." In D. Johnson & C. Ermeling (Eds.) The Future of the Cognitive Revolution (Oxford University Press, 1997), pp. 360-61

Mimetic representations are evident in human children before they acquire language competence. . . .  They continue to be important in adults, taking the form of highly variable social customs, athletic skills, and group expressive patterns (such as mass demonstrations of aggression or rejection).



re. Donald Trump: the First Ten Million Years
two commentaries on Victor Nell, "Cruelty’s rewards: The gratifications of perpetrators and spectators," Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2006) 29, 211–257

1.  from Mika Haritos-Fatouros, “Cruelty: A dispositional or a situational behavior in man?” Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2006) 29, p.230

The basic question remains, however: How far are aggression, violence, and cruelty in humans today the result of predisposition factors, or biological or archetypal processes, and how far are they the result of cognitive/emotional processes evoked by situational factors?

2.  from Albert Bandura, “A murky portrait of human cruelty,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2006) 29, p. 225

At the macrosocial level, Nell greatly exaggerates the prevalence of human cruelty.  There exist wide intercultural differences representing both warring and pacific societies with large intracultural variations and even rapid transformation of warring societies into peaceful ones.   



The Trump Problematic: Part B, Emotional Processes
aggression, violence, and cruelty in humans
from Mary Helen Immordino-Yang and Antonio R. Damasio, “We Feel, Therefore We Learn: The Relevance of Affective and Social Neuroscience to Education,” in Emotions, Learning, and the Brain: Exploring the Educational Implications of Affective Neuroscience (W. W. Norton & Company, 2015)

 . . . learning is dynamic, social, and context dependent because emotions are, and emotions form a critical piece of how, what, when, and why people think, remember, and learn.    Intro, p. 17

In general, cognition and emotion are regarded as two interrelated aspects of human functioning.   p. 36


   Flying Squadrons  JB box 31  (re. Plebeian upstarts, Dodge Main, local 3: "anyone desiring to be member of this body must be . . . agressive and miltant, and have an understanding of the labor movement.")

JB 7-30-39/UAW Local 3 edition 7-26-39:

several score members of Dodge local 3 flying squadron, accompanied by  the/a local band, marched on GM picket line in Pontiac July 17 (T&D strike).  The following morning, Maintenance workers of Dodge local were given a hand in their organizational work by the squad (Earl Reynolds on this incident.).  Despite rain, several 100 members were at the gates to check dues receipts. . .   This dues check will be repeated in the future.

Bud Simon's account of his encounter with the Toledo Chevrolet plus members of the Toledo flying squadron (
Robert Travis to "Chas.")


Although not apparent or intended at the time, my study of an eastside Detroit UAW local turned out to be a study of the deveopment of this relationship  betwen bildungsorletaruans and plebs


Social Origins of Language
the Montgomery Bus Boycott
New Rochelle Jewish community caught inside coronavirus ‘containment zone’


Consider MSNBC.  It can only see isolated moments in the unfolding of this process of patrimonialization--this or that instance of corrupt behavior--but not the process as such (see Semiotic Regimes: the Two-Party System).  In this regard remember Immanuel Kant’s admonition: intuitions without concepts are blind.  The aversion to concepts such as patrimonialism and fascism in mainstream media discourse--that is, the aversion to formal operational thought--means understanding is not possible. 

Consider the  implications of the exclusion from media of the  entire body of modern scholarship relevant to achieving any dynamic, historical understanding of our current situation.*  It is thus not just Donald Trump who talks like a fourth-grader.**  Although it is the relationship between Trump and his audience at his rallies that is of significance, the MSNBC camerawork at these rallies remains resolutely focused only on the President and whoever is immediately behind him.  They could show so much more—we could learn so much more—if only . . . 



* MSNBC has its historians, but their performances are hagiographical, dwell on Cartesian minutia, and approach the problematic of our current situation in terms of norms not adhered to: Trump is not being presidential, etc.  But what is “Trump?”  Phenomenologically, historically, emotionally, and cognitively?  Never the slightest attempt at understanding.  Never the deployment of the conceptual vocabulary of the relevant scholarly texts and academic disciplines.  Why is this?  Semiotic Regimes: the Two-Party System  attempts to answer or at least clarify this question about the nature of this segment of the public sphere.

** "children think in an organized logical fashion only when dealing with concrete information that they can perceive directly.  Their mental operations work poorly with abstract ideas--ones not apparent in the real world." Development Through the Lifespan, Laura E. Berk, 291


                     Fascist Performativities?       ---------->

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 of the sado-sexual performativity that 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 semiotic regime.

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

A Neo-Kantian Views the semiosphere
Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Joseph N. Cappella reveal the incapacity of the liberal discursive field (e.g., MSNBC, New York Times) to comprehend, understand, or even simply observe the sado-sexual obsessiveness of right-wing rhetorical performativity. 

Why the vulgarity in this message does not alienate the churchgoing conservatives in his audiences is a question for which we have no ready answer
.


But sado-sexual performativity is the very core of the GOP's modus operandi.  Here (in this paragraph of Echo Chamber) it is sexual rhetoric that is primary.  The sadistic core of the GOP's policy intiatives


Inside Wayne LaPierre’s Battle for the N.R.A. NYT 12-18-19 (patrimonialism)

the Elder Report (Elder is to Homer Martin as Michael Cohen is to Trump; patrimonialism)

Bert Harris (Fisher Body, Flint: pressdroom): UofM interview; Clliff Williams interview



the Freud-Jamieson Black Hole of Liberalism
from Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Joseph N. Cappella, Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Estabisment (Oxford Univeristy Press, 2008), p.p. 188-89. (Emphasis added.)

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