Invisible University

SITE MAP


(aa1971@wayne.edu)

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

(this is not good news)

the Sapient Paradox: Psuedo-Speciation and Transcendental Empiricism


(Luciana Berio, Sinfonia, Third Movement. Full text here)

Agency is about the most difficult problem there is in philosophy
Bruno Latour, Reassembling the Social, 2005, p. 51
The situation that we face today (man is a bridge)


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 (see The Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State, Bildung: Was Mozart a Communist?, and The UAW: Darkness and Light, 1933-1944: a Mapping);

b. the persistence of the political culture, psychological dispositions and praxiological modalities of ressentiment (the inner life of fascism) (see GOP, RMD); the possibility that the inner logic of ISIS and the Tea Party are identical, That ISIS is the Tea Party on steroids, and that Melanie Klein's is the voice most in tune with our time (which is not the same as affirming the validity of her theoretical perspective);

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.  (An interesting book: Sami Timimi, The Myth of Autism: Medicalising Men's and Boys' Social and Emotional Competence, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)

from Lawrence J. Hatab, A Nietzschean Defense of Democracy, p. 28

  . . . the happy nihilism of the 'last man,' who makes everything comfortable, small, and trivial.

1. Directly to the right: Figure 1.  PISA Math Scores, 2003 - 2012: 25 Nations. (For more on Figure 1 see the PISA Results: Evolutionary, Historical, Developmental, and Psychological Perspectives).  This figure is pregnant with all sorts of meanings, prospective as well as retrospective.  The development of our cognizing powers, and the subversion of that development.  Nihilism and ressentiment against bildung.

2. Above right: the New York Times on Dasein.   Out of the set of all New York Times articles subsets can be formed.  The New York Times on Dasein is one such subset.  The Times on Dasein can be read in the context of Ehrenberg ("Today, many of our social 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"); Stiegler ("the entropic vicious circle that leads to dissociation, desocialization, and disindividuation"); these more lengthy excerpts from Hall et. al. ("This specific mode of identification and desire, motivated by the terror of helplessness and insignificance that afflicts each prematurely born and maladapted human being in early childhood, is, of course, infantile narcissism, and it creates and sustains precisely the types of unconscious desires and drives that consumer culture and its para-political civic life require"); and Usher ("consumption is a matter of consuming signs, it is the experience itself that counts, i.e., that signifies and defines").  A plane of immanence is formed when this is done.  This plane of immanence can be given a name: Nihilism.  This is the inner world of neoliberalism.
     Figure 1.  PISA Math Scores, 2003 - 2012: 25 Nation
p62
Southeast Asian nations are in light blue; Scandinavian nations + Switzerland in dark blue; Anglo-Saxon nations in orange; France, Germany, Belgium and Poland in green; Italy, Portugal and Spain in brown; the United States in red.  (The advanced capitalist nations.  Some have been omitted for the sake visual clarity).

Note the decline in the Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian nations.  The results of the 2015 tests will be released in December of 2016.

These above four cells, and those below, are an attempt at opening up, from a progressive and anti-racist/anti-fascist standpoint, the kinds of questioning of Existence and Being opened up by that most famous and influential fascist, Martin Heiddeger.  This entire site, however, is profoundly "American" and "empirical"--American in the sense that it emerges out of the shared intentionality of a set of milieux within which, at various times in my life, I was immersed, one of the most important of which was the milieu of pragmatists and institutional economists who were the architects and administrators of the second New Deal.  My chief mentor under whom I served my apprenticeship, was Morris L. Cooke, the central figure in the network of progressives that can be seen in the follwoing links.
FDR Library: Morris L. Cooke Papers


Psuedo-speciation

Consider the GOP rhetorical performances of the Summer of 2015: What are the psychological and cognitive characteristics of the audience response in these theaters of ressentiment that politics provides?  One must wonder at the primitive and repetitive nature of the discourse of the current leader on the right, not merely his racist attacks on a variety of others, but also his primitive language (I like; I don't like; good guys; bad guys; I'm great--so great it will make your head spin; he's stupid; what a face; you're ugly, fat, on the rag . . . ).  At what grade-level is the Trump rhetorical performance?  Donald Trump Talks Like a Third-Grader.  (Politico, August 13, 1915.  Chart at right from For presidential hopefuls, simpler language resonates: Trump tops GOP field while talking to voters at fourth-grade level, Boston Globe, Auguast 20, 2015.)  This fourth-grade mentality holds the sphere of public discourse hostage.  Applying the Piagetian schematic (as presented by the "Vygotskian" Michael Cole) to the rhetorical theatrics of politics and the various media outlets--and referring to Figure 2 at the right--enables us to assign a place in the cognitive-linguistic scheme of things.  CNN: third to fifth grade; MSNBC: maybe fourth to sixth grade; PBS Newshour: perhaps at the level of a high school graduate.  (See Cog divergence LINK)

This rhetorical performance of the right is not only cognitively primitive.  It should be obvious that on the right there are not issues, but postures, gestures, various encodings of the same sado-sexual reflex (the inner logic, the generative matrix, of racism).  Rage enacted in a political-media theater of violence (psychologically, the "issue" of immigration is the script for a generalized lynch-mob): This is the essence of what is called "Conservative" today.  And not only rage, but political pornography.  Sex and violence make up the entirety of the inner logic, the generative matrix, of populist Republicanism.  These sado-sexual fixations may dress themselves up as issues, as if they were subject to rational debate and beholden to empirical checks (remember Willie Horton?).  Language on the threshold of gesture and reflex.  Regression to infantile narcissism via processes of identification, to a politics of patrimonialism. 

American Patrimonialism: the return of the repressed, Richard Lachmann   Patrimonial power in the modern world
special editors, Julia Adams, Mounira M. Charrad  
Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Harvard, 2014).  See Paul Krugman review:  the resurgence of “patrimonial capitalism”

The context in which to understand this stuff is provided by several pages already noted above (The GOP as the Stupid Party: an Inadequate Conceptualization, etc.)  Pay special atttention to the excerpts from Michael Walzer and What's the Matter With Kansas, the Wiki excerpt about GOP's Lee Atwater, and the proto-Dorian convention.  Keeping such things in mind is part of the practice of transcendental empiricism.

From a cognitive developmental standpoint it is all very primitive (see Theda Skocpol's discussion of the Tea Party here).  From a psychological standpoint Nietzsche captures the essence of GOP rhetorical performativity:

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!

Figure 2 (right) implies the question of cognitive variation, differentiation and divergence as a major dimension of our post-biological development as a species. 


George W. Bush Tries to Suppress Publication of PISA Data

from How Pisa became the world's most important exam, BBC.com, 26 November 2013

Among the starkest revelations has been the decline of the US school system. This former education superpower has been caught up and left behind by many other countries, particularly in Asia.

This was distasteful medicine and Mr. Schleicher says that the U.S. administration was deeply unhappy with the 2006 results and was trying to apply pressure on the OECD.

The U.S. politician who intervened to defend the importance of publishing the results was Ted Kennedy, says Mr. Schleicher. Kennedy, who had chaired the senate committee on education, had become very supportive of the Pisa project.

"It was Senator Kennedy who saved my life at the OECD," he says.

          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          Figure 2.  Donald Trump Talks Like a Third-Grader
grade level
This news story below reveals another dimension of the post-biological processes of variation, differentiation and divergence that dominate the post-New Deal epoch now unfolding.  Psuedo-speciation is a concept whose time has come.  The fact is, more shit is happening today than you can shake a stick at. 
hs




The analysis by Dr. Deaton and Dr. Case may offer the most rigorous evidence to date of both the causes and implications of a development that has been puzzling demographers in recent years: the declining health and fortunes of poorly educated American whites. In middle age, they are dying at such a high rate that they are increasing the death rate for the entire group of middle-aged white Americans, Dr. Deaton and Dr. Case found.

The mortality rate for whites 45 to 54 years old with no more than a high school education* increased by 134 deaths per 100,000 people from 1999 to 2014. [From 601.4 in 1999 to 735.8 in 2013.]

“Wow,” said Samuel Preston, a professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania and an expert on mortality trends and the health of populations, who was not involved in the research. “This is a vivid indication that something is awry in these American households.”

David M. Cutler, a Harvard health care economist, said that although it was known that people were dying from causes like opioid addiction, the thought was that those deaths were just blips in the health care statistics and that over all everyone’s health was improving. The new paper, he said, “shows those blips are more like incoming missiles.”

They concluded that taken together, suicides, drugs and alcohol explained the overall increase in deaths. The effect was largely confined to people with a high school education or less. In that group, death rates rose by 22 percent while they actually fell for those with a college education.

Steve Hall and Simon Winlow, Rethinking Social Exclusion (Sage, 2013)

* see CNN ORC International poll of Nov 27 to Dec 1, 2015 for Trump's support among non-college subset, p. 36.
American Exceptionalism
death
All-cause mortality, ages 45–54 for US White non-Hispanics (USW), US Hispanics (USH), and six comparison countries: France (FRA), Germany (GER), the United Kingdom (UK), Canada (CAN), Australia (AUS), and Swe- den (SWE).
from Death Rates Rising for Middle-Aged White Americans, Study Finds (New York Times, 11-2-15)

The mortality rate for whites 45 to 54 years old with no more than a high school education* increased by 134 deaths per 100,000 people from 1999 to 2014. [From 601.4 in 1999 to 735.8 in 2013.]
***   pseudo-speciation (Hegel-Marx-Nietzsche-Vygotsky)

The above article helps to emphasize the main objective of this site, an enquiry into the post-paleolithic development of the primate homo sapiens--of culturally, historically, and politically-based developmental differentiation and divergence that is regressive as well as progressive, pathological as well as creative, and which, as Mary Midgley (The Solitary Self: Darwin and the Selfish Gene, p. 52) has noted, can be called "pseudo-speciation."  (This dying off of middle age whites without any college education, presented in this article as an epidemiological issue, has psychological and cultural correlates as well.)

To see what I mean when I say pseudo-speciation, consider this example from Sophia Rosenfeld, A Revolution in Language: the Problem of Signs in Late Eighteenth-Century France (Stanford, 2001).  Two other examples, drawn from the current political scene, are the Musso rant and the Ground Zero debate.  The enormous cognitive gulf between the enlightened representatives of the French Revolution and the villages folk, between the two protagonists in the Ground Zero debate, and between Musso and the modern civilized citizen, has been inadequately conceptualized.  The concept of pseudo-speciation--a variation on the theme man is a bridge--holds the key to decoding, among other things, the two-party discursive field of American politics, the inner life of those who created the UAW, and the patterns of police behavior so much in the news.  This concept of pseudo-speciation also holds the key to deciphering both Figure 1 and the rhetorical performances of the GOP (The GOP as the Stupid Party?  An Inadequate Conceptualization.)  This page--The GOP as the Stupid Party--is a plane of immanence.  It's theme is: Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense.  Compare the Democratic and Republican debates of the Fall of 2015: a concept of psuedo-speciation is required to make sense of the differences, which are fundamental.  We are dealing here with different orders of being (and simultaneously with ontological instability) having nothing to do with genes and everything to do with history and culture, culture and power, power and the reactions to power, all made possible by that wonder of wonders, mind and language:

The turn of the twenty-first century has seen a new era in the cognitive and brain sciences that allows us to address the age-old question of what it means to be human from a whole new range of different perspectives. Our knowledge of the workings of the human brain increases day by day and so does our understanding of the extended, distributed, embodied and culturally mediated character of the human mind.  (From this Oxford University Press blurb re. Colin Renfrew, Chris Frith, Lambros Malafouris, The Sapient Mind: Archaeology Meets Neuroscience, 2009)

This site is a rhizome

r

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.

transcendental empiricism applied: planes of immanence result


names as nodal points in (or merely as a means of reference to) the flux of thought and experience:


. . . Kant-Hegel-Marx-Nietzsche-Heidegger-Vygotsky-Deleuze . . .
. . . Dewey-Lenin-Brandeis-Cooke-Carmody . . .
. . . Mortimer-Anderson-Kraus-Simons-Williams-Jenkins-Kord . . .

from Robert B. Brandom, "The Centrality of Sellars's Two-Ply Account of Observations to the Arguments of 'Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind', Tales of the Mighty Dead: Historical Essays in the Metaphysics of Intentionality (Harvard University Press, 2002)

 . . . according to Sellars's view, the difference between theoretical objects and observable objects is methodologcal rather than ontological.  That is, theoretical and observable objects are not different kinds of things.  They differ only in how we come to know about them. (362)

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

 . . . the error will arise in that Kant treats concepts and intuitions as differing in kind [emphasisi added) and thus being externally related, rather tha discerning the manner in which they only differ in degree. (28)
*** pseudo-speciation vs. racism

Some might say a concept of
psuedo-speciation smacks of racism.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

This concept of pseudo-speciation is the antithesis of the varieties of neo-racism that now permeate the semiosphere--for example, Nicholas Wade's neo-racist A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History* (Penguin Press, 2014), and Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending's neo-racist The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution (2009).  Serious neo-racist works, such as these, have three characteristics.  First, " . . . the authors employ an undefined and oftentimes arbitrary racial classificatory scheme, assume race to be a natural fact, use ethnocentric metrics to measure intelligence (but see Ceci's critique of the concept of intelligence) and attempt to lay the ground work for the racial classification of humanity by intelligence."**  Second, these works merely dress up in psuedo-scientific terms the dark side of neoliberalism--its racist mass appeal; and third our whole culture seems to be animated by a feverish hostility to understanding humans as extremely complex cultural historical, ontologically indeterminate organisms.

Indeed, one might say that the racist conception of human difference is not only intellectually null.  It is also a symptom of the primitive cognitive processes characteristic of racism.  This site takes the bull by the horns, and addresses human differences from a cultural-historical and a political perspective.  Taking the bull by the horns means goring not a few sacred cows.  When this is done
our number one sacred cow bites the dust--the  myth of the individual, the Cartesian self in a market economy (the self-evident ontological given and eternal truth of our being, the selfy self-same self)--and is replaced, as a first, and only first, approximation, by the Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: Five Genetic Ontologies

Agency is about the most difficult problem there is in philosophy
Bruno Latour, Reassembling the Social, 2005, p. 51

Racism and agency--the dialectical tension between these two logisms (I am wary of using the term concept) generates much of the activity on this site.


*See Jonathan Marks' review and blog (anthropomics).  Also Geneticists say popular book misrepresents research on human evolution (Nature)

**reviewed by Cadell Last, Explorations in Anthropology, Vol.12, No. 1, pp. 120–123.
The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: Five Genetic Ontologies
(Five Principles of the Production of Practices)
Genetic Ontology
Sources
(Full page here)
Primate
   Dominance and Deference
Mazur, deWaal, Wrangham . . .
Paleolithic
   Dynamic Egalitariaism
Whiten, Chase, Price . . .
Ressentiment & the Mechanisms of Defense
   Despotic regime; Racism;
   Nationalism; Fascism
Nietzsche, Clarke, Paxton, Knox . . .
Bildung & the Will to Power
   Progressive Narcisism; Individuation
Hegel, Nietzsche, Vygotsky, Alcorn . . .
Nihilism & the Last Man
   Regressive Narcissism and the   
   Culture of Consumption; Repressive
   Desublimation; Disindividuation
Nietzsche, Hall, Ehrenberg, Stiegler, Illouz . . .

from Pierre Bourdieu, In Other Words, pp. 107-8

 . . . the anthropological foundation a theory  of action, or of practice, and which is condensed in the notion of habitus: the relation which obtains between habitus and the field to which it is objectively adjusted . . . is a sort of ontological  complicity, a subconscious and pre-reflexive fit.  This complicity manifests itself in what we call the sense of the game or ‘feel’ for the game (or sens pratique, practical sense), an intentionality without intention which functions as the principle of strategies devoid of strategic design, without rational computation and without the conscious positing of ends.  (By way of aside, habitus is one principle of production of practices among others and although it is undoubtedly more frequently in play than any other—‘we are empirical’, said Leibniz, ‘in three quarters of our actions’—one cannot rule out that it may be superseded under certain circumstances—certainly in situations of crisis which disrupt the immediate adjustment of habitus to field—by other principles, such as rational and conscious computation . . . )

(But see Pauketat's critique of Bourdieu in An Archeology of the Cosmos: Rethinking Agency and Religion in Ancient America, 2012: 30)

Ostensibly, Pierre Bourdieu . . . rejected structuralism and reinserted human actors back into history . . . .  Bourdieu and other post-structuralists did not eliminate the notion of mental templates.  They simply made the mental templates smaller.  Like structuralists before them,, their post-structural approaches retain "a substantial dose of residual cognitivism" (Malfouris 2004: 55), believing the motivations of their human subjects to reside in the mind (Ingold 2000: 64).  To adapt Daniel Miller's (2005: 17) phrase, they reify people as subjects by purifying them of objects.
<----Man is a Bridge, Psuedo-speciation, and Vygotsky redux

The works listed below are of vital importance for two reasons.  First, their further development of Hegel-Marx-Vygotsky.  Second, their critique of Cartesianism, that is, of the deep structure of contemporary discourse

Colin Renfrew, Chris Frith, Lambros Malafouris, The Sapient Mind: Archaeology Meets Neuroscience (Ooxford, 2009)

Robin Dunbar, Clive Gamble and John Gowlett, eds., Social Brain, Distributed Mind (Oxford, 2010)

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

Philippe Descola, Beyond Nature and Culture (University of Chicago Press, 2013)


Bruno Latour, An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns (Harvard, 2013)


Niels Johannsen, Mads D. Jessen & Helle Juel Jensen, eds., Excavating the Mind: Cross-sections through culture, cognition, and materiality (Aarhus University Press, 2012)

Yannis Hamilakis, Archaeology and the Senses: Human Experience, Memory, and Affect (Cambridge, 2013)

 Lambros Malafouris and Colin Renfrew, How Things Shape the Mind : A Theory of Material Engagement (The MIT Press, 2013): excerpts

Michael Tomasello, Natural History of Human Thinking (Harvard University Press, 2014)

Clive Gamble, John Gowlett and Robin Dunbar, Thinking big: how the evolution of social life shaped the human mind (Thames & Hudson, 2014)
c
"how are we to remain faithful to the old in the new conditions?"
Slavoj Zizek,
A Plea for Leninist Intolerance
*** The striking thing about the above works, as already mentioned, is their elaboration of the fundamental insight of Hegel-Marx.  Here is an excerpt from How Things Shape the Mind:

If the intrinsically plastic human brain undergoes constant change subject to various developmental, environmental, and cultural factors, it cannot simply be assumed that “anatomically modern human intelligence” refers to a fixed and stable speciation event. As we saw in chapter 3, for Material Engagement Theory the hallmark of human cognitive evolution is metaplasticity—that is, ever-increasing extra-neural projective flexibility that allows for environmentally and culturally derived changes in the structure and functional architecture of our brain.

Many of these authors cite Vygotsky as a major landmark in the development of this advanced understanding of human developmental plasticity; none of them, as far as I can see, cites Marx, even though Vygotsky was himself a "communist".  This intellectual "cleansing" of Vygotsky (see "Vygotsky in English: What Still Needs to Be Done" by René van der Veer and Anton Yasnitsky) is an index of the kind of forces at work perverting academic work at the highest levels.  I say this, even though  throughout this site I dispose of Marx's concepts of class, the class struggle, and the special historical role of the "class with radical chains," the industrial proletariat.  Marx was also wrong on nationalism (Shalom Avineri, “Marxism and Nationalism,” J of Contemporary Hist Vol 26, No. 3/4  pp. 637-657), failing to recognize that the deep structure of nationalism was ressentiment (one of Nietzsche's key concepts). 

On the other hand, Marx did foresee globalization, but so what?  He was wrong about politics, wrong about the modes of subjectivity then developing among the species homo sapiens, and thus wrong about history.  Nietzsche got right what Marx got wrong.


What can the above Zizek quote possibly mean?  Four comments:


1. First comment: an intellectual practice that would dynamically reappropriate the Enlightenment heritage through a process of decanonization.  No more exegeses of Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Lenin, Deleuze . . .  Think of authors as nodal points in the flux of thought and experience.  Be aware of the crippling effect of the Cartesian presuppositional matrix on the usefulness of texts.  An intellectual practice that engages the world as something to be understood and as a field of practice.  To be understood?  That is the aim of this site.  As a field of practice?  Even if only as thought experiments, Deleuzian science fictions: Ferguson, Missouri and Detroit, Michigan.

2. Second comment: a careful choice of ancestors qua symbolic order.  Above comment refers to a cultural ancestry, embodied in but not reducible to texts.  But ancestry?  Are we speaking of genes?  Not at all.  Households and extended families are of developmental significance as zones of proximal development embedded in wider cultural and historical fields.  Beyond such kin-based zones of proximal development are the networks of auto workers, for example, formed in the context of the worldwide cultural, economic, and poliltical upheavals of the first two industrial revolutions, circa 1750 to 1950, known by some cultural anthropolitists as sodalities: generative social spaces for agency, imagination, and social action.  Figure N, Bildungs-proletarians of southeastern Michigan, is the sodality out of which arose the perspective taken by this site.

3.  But there is an apparent contradiction between these two.  The first is an incorporation of the entirety of the western canon as a living project, but without reference to "class".  This many Marxists would find objectionable.  The second is a very explicit, precisely defined reference to what, in the context of southeast Michigan in the 1930s, could be called the vanguard of the industrial proletariat of north America.  Do these two loyalties really clash, or do they rather imply each other?

4.  And finally, the dissolution of species-being, of any possibility of considering homo sapiens sapiens circa 2015 and beyond as any kind of stable subject.  A certain biological core, but only as a point of departure, only as the raw material upon which so many forces work.  This is the end not only of socialism, liberalism, conservatism.  It is the end of the subject, the end of Man, the end of that which is presupposed by each of the three ideologies of the modern era.  Man has been dissipated into a proliferation of effects.  The question is no longer what is to be done, but what are we to become, if indeed there is even a "we" to speak of.  See psychoanalysis, novels, Joan Didion's essays, New York Times on Dasein, cable news, Facebook, Twitter, etc.  More on this later and elsewhere.

<--- the Enlightenment as a cultural-historical developmental leap
(the Symbolic Order of Progressivism)

Nevertheless, the fundamental insight of Hegel-Marx, further developed by Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Freud, and continued by other "philosophers", has now become the cutting edge of an interdisciplinary effort by archaeologists, anthropoligists, developmental psychologists, and neuroscientists, known today as Material Engagement Theory.  Thus the above right tocotta on a theme by Slavoj Zizek ("how are we to remain faithful to the old in the new conditions?").  "Marx" as a nodal point in the flux of thought and experience.  Against exegesis.  Hegel as point of departure.  The living reading "mind" as an inseperable part of any text.

Consider Margaret Jacob's in The First Knowledge Economy: Human Capital and the European Economy, 1750-1850 (Cambridge, 2014).   Jacob's emphasis on socio-cultural networks, circles, meeting houses of these first "industrialists"; her emphasis on the role of books as emotionally charged world-opening objects--one sees here both Vygotsky's notion of zone of proximal development broadened and historicized, and Alcorn's profound understanding of the development of self that can result from an an engagement with a text.  In this way Jacob expands our concept of the Enlightenment. 

This  requires a reconceptualization of what is called the Enlightenment--the Enlightenment as a cultural-historical developmental leap--an ontological leap, a cognitive revolution, a new Symbolic Order.  The superorganisism of the enlightenment . . .  from the 18th century to the New Deal (and theUAW).  Scientific reasoning is not merely about knowledge.  It is about functioning on the formal-operational level.  In the adventure of it, the jouissance of developmental transgression and becoming, lies the secret of the bildungs-proletarians and plebian upstarts who gave us so many Nietzschean spectacles--the Toledo auto lite strike, midland steel sitdown strike, the flint sitdown strike, the 1943 Dodge Main strike . . .  One subset of pages on this site enters into the inner world of the übermenschen listed in Table 1.  Bildungs-proletarians of Southeast Michigan.

Alcorn's book . . . deepens these Vygotskian approaches by adding a psychological dimension . . .  Narcissism and the Literary Libido complements the reading of McElwain's letter to Frankfurter, Brandeis's letter to La Follette, the Wellman, Williams, Lock and Bully interviews (and Neal Leighton's moment of insight not followed through on), Morris L. Cooke's Presidential Address to the Taylor Society, Brougham's article in the TSBull, the report to the UAW's IEB on factionalism in UAW Local 190 Packard), Robert Travis's  September 1937 Report on Flint.  Alcorn works with the basic concepts of "self psychology" developed by Kohut and Kernberg.  (See the Keynesian Elite: a plane of immanence.) Greenberg and Mitchell
The broader context

from Karen Barad, Meeting the Universe Halfway, p. 141

 . . . 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.

The Russian Revolution and the New Deal (and Finnish Social Democracy) are homologous:
their common root was committment to science, planning, and human capital development; and their social base was amongst cosmopolitan moderns, in the universities, in workplaces (white collar and blue collar), and in progressive business and management milieux; their psychological disposition was the jousisance of a developmental cognitive leap.  This general cultural-historical-political dynamic is better understood by approaching it through the American experience of Progressivism, New Deal, UAW: there is no such thing as American exceptionalism:

Michael Mann, The Sources of Social Power.  Volume II: The rise of classes and national states (Cambridge University Press, 1993)

America has not so much been exceptional as it has gradually come to represent one extreme on a continuum of class relations.  America has never differed qualitatively from other national cases.  Differences have been of degree, not kind. . . .  Explanations asserting an original and enduring American exceptionalism . . . have only a very limited truth.  638

On representation, Russia was at the opposite extreme from the United States. . . .  But even the eastern edge of the western ideological community experienced the more liberal legacy of the Enlightenment. . . .  Among Russian professionals, gentry and aristocrats, and state administrators, a self-conscious, partly autnomous intelligentsia emerged, advancing alternative versions of progress.  660 here
*** the sapient paradox and Vygotsky's heart of darkness

The above referenced "Vygotskian" works refer primarily to the cognitive side of this cultural-historical varation.  As such they do not address two conterposed psychological dispositions: First,  the vulgarity, violence and greed of modern life.  They do not address such phenomena as The Stupid Party; they have nothing to say about fascism as a generic phenomenon of modernity and as a central feature of American life.  Second, they have nothing to say about the cognitive effects of our enormously powerful corporate networks devoted to the stimulation of desire and envy.  Cultural Historical Activity Theory is Hegel with a smiley face, a utopian Progressivism. But development can go awry; regression can occur; archaic forces persist in new guises, and in addition ressentiment (fascism, racism, Tea Party) becomes the raw material upon which opportunistic political elites so successfuly operate (their names are legion: Palin, Trump, McCarthy, Carson, Bachman . . . ).   Thus an entirely new world of narcissistic regression and rampant desire gets added to the mix with primate regression and ressentiment--the old shit and the new.  Shit happens, and the smile is wiped off Hegel's face. This is Vygotsky's heart of darkness.  Vygotsky was not wrong.  He was right on, but did not go far enough, did not look into our heart of darkness, the nemesis of the progressive hopes of Dewey and Brandeis, Marx and Lenin, Cooke and Vygotsky.

It takes a Nietzsche to give us a language equal to the task of comprehending the human zoo that is the real world of neo-liberalism.  To summarize: Homo sapiens is a species unlike any other, whose "nature" it is to be subject to cultural and historical development as a result of its own activity, to be subject to the psychological consequences of such processes and of other complications and developments, and whose behavior contains but cannot be reduced to the "biological."  We are now in the post-biological epoch, and have been since the upper paleolithic.


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

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


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

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

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

from 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!
< --- the post-biological epoch and the sapient paradox

1.  from (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.):

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. On the sapient paradox see Merlin Donald, The sapient paradox: can cognitive neuroscience solve it?, in Brain.  A Journal of Neurology.  First published online: 2 December 2008.  This is a commentary on The Sapient Mind: Archaeology Meets Neuroscience, cited above.  Below is an excerpt from this commentary:

Colin Renfrew's keynote article in this volume focuses on what he calls the ‘sapient paradox’, a puzzle that has been a thorn in the side of prehistory researchers for some time. 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.

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.

If human beings were biologically modern 70 000 years ago, why the long delay before this cultural potential was realized?


The Vygotskian thought complex has so far been concerned with understanding cognitive development and applying that understanding to developing educational policies and practices that would further this development.  (See Finland)  What this site does is carry this mode of thinking further, generalizing zone of proximal development, and adding Alcorn and Freud, all in the service of understanding the origins and development of Table N, the peristence of archaic and perverse features in poliltics.

Zizek

Figure 2. cognitive developmental modalities that span the history of the tribe hominini (cognitive-linguistic cardinality)
c
canThe Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein in the context of Merlin Donald, A Mind So Rare, Table 7.1,p. 260 (apologies to George Cantor)

אi

i =  4  internet and extended mind
i =  3  Foucault (Hegel, Nietzsche . .
i =  2  Formal operational
i =  1  Concrete operational
i =  0  Pre-operational/oral-mythic
i = -1  Mimetic/gestural
i = -2  primate




The cognitive developmental modalities that span the entire history of the tribe hominini, which contains the genus homo (the only extant variety of which is homo sapiens sapiens) and the genus pan (this latter contains chimpanzees and bonobos).  Consider the excerpts from the work of Donald, Wrangham and Wilson, Price and Feinman, Gomez, Tomasello, Chase, Renfrew, Malafouris, Dunbar, Dupré and others in ArchaeologyAnthropology, regarding the ontologically indeterminate nature of homo sapiens as cultural-historical primate . . .  and note the references to Vygotsky.

Donald observes that contemporary homo sapiens' semiotic behavior "contains within it a trace of each of our previous stages of cognitive evolution."  Wrangham and Wilson state that "patterns of collective violence found among humans include similarities to those seen among chimpanzees."  Gomez writes of  "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 socially 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 development that change the nature of cognitive ontogeny."  Malafouris and Renfrew, in How Things Shape the Mind, write that "the human mind exists as a historically situated actuality—that is, an emergent product of complex ecological relationships and flexible incorporative forms of material engagement."  And Dupre: "It is . . . clear that recognition of the variety of factors involved in development makes possible a diversity of individual outcomes within even quite narrowly defined populations."


Thus, modern Homo sapiens is a species capable of:

1. First, progressive projects originating out of the logic of the Enlightenment whose objective is self- and societal-transformation.  (Hegel's Bildung and Nietzsche's Will to Power--see Dupré, Chase, Nietzsche, and Wikipedia
here).  This is the project of Progressivism, both bourgeois and socialist.  A major expression of the enlightenment developmental project is found in the work of Dewey and Vygotsky in education, in Marx, Lenin and Brandeis in politics, in the Taylor Society in management (see The Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State), and in the praxis of the creators of the UAW (see Bildung: Was Mozart a Communist?)  The cultural-historical strategy of the Progressives-Socialists is most clearly expressed in the voices of post-war Finnish educational policy makers.  At that time the concept of brain plasticity had not yet been developed (except by Vygotsky in the late 20s early 30s--but no one kneew of his work.  See Van der Veer 2008).  This concept, however, can be seen as implied by the theory and practice of progressive education.  Any future progressive politics--we re now entering the world of science fiction--will have to have as its centerpiece this developmental strategy, with the difference being that today we are living through a process of decognification, and the question facing "the masses" is one not of exploitation but of an imposed existential catstrophe that has cogntive and cultural as well as economic dimensions.  (Notwithstanding the apparent impossibility of such a politics emerging as a real practice, it can still be thought.)

2.  Second, economic projects, originating out of the logics of capital: a) the stimulation and exploitation of appetite, envy, and desire, euphemistically refered as the free market of consumer choice; and b) the axiomatic of accumulation--accumulation for its own sake, the great spectacle of our time, embodied, for example, in the Citizens United decision.  This accumulation--this exponential growth of sheer greed (and out of what inner neediness does thi grow Frank V.)--this is extraordinary, especially since it seems to a degree qualtiatelly developed, in the US, beyond anything seen in Europe (but maybe China is more like America in ths respect.  This seems to be consiste with captailism with asian values, a bullshit phrase that means capitalism unchecked by civic republicanism in its progressive phase

3.
Third, political projects, originating out of the logic political power: the mobilization and shaping of resentiment in the struggle for political power (Koch Brothers and the Tea Party).  Unlike the Enlightenment project, these projects of capital and power have no vision rooted in the higher cultural achievements of homo sapiens (Veblen, neolib) unless we call the apotheosis of consumption a vision.  Their object is primarily  or the drive toward hegemony.  Secondarily, however, their impact is enormous, for there are . . .

4. . . .  manifold unforseen consequences of these projects of stimulation, exploitation, and manipulation of envy, appetitie, desire, and rage. Here is one such consequence: Capitalism--at least advanced capitalism--requires advanced minds. Narcissistic regression--the culture of consumption (see Hall et. al., Criminal Identities and Consumer Culture)--undermines the very possibility of advanced cognitive development by undermining the self-discipline that is the sine qua non of such development.  In addition, in the United States the war on science is much more than ideology and politics.  It penetrates and degrades the zones of proximal development that are the sites of intellectual growth.  Figure 1 in part shows the result of this war.  This is discussed in The PISA Results: Evolutionary, Historical, Developmental, and Psychological Perspectives. 

4.  And more--it is here we need the great novelists, who provide us with maps of an unknown and unspeakable world the interior of which Nietrzsche so aptly anticipated:



Table 1.  Bildung-proletarians of Southeast Michigan


Bildungs-proletarians of Flint and Pontiac: interviews

Norman Bully Buick (Flint)
UAW Local 599
Larry Jones Chevrolet (Flint)
UAW Local 659
Bill Genski Fisher Body #1 (Flint)
UAW Local 581
Bud Simons*
Fisher Body #1 (Flint)
UAW Local 581
Cliff Williams/Henson Yellow Cab (Pontiac)
UAW Local 594
Charles Yaeger*
Yellow Cab (Pontiac)
UAW Local 594
Saul Wellman
Flint
CP


Bildungs-proletarians of Detroit's East Side: interviews
Frank Fagan
Murray Body UAW Local 2
Dick Frankensteen Dodge Main
UAW Local 3
Charles Watson Dodge Main UAW Local 3
Harry Ross*
Dodge MainUAW Local 3
Joe Adams Dodge Main UAW Local 3
Joe Ptazynski
Dodge Main UAW Local 3
Earl Reynolds Dodge Main UAW Local 3
Jack Zeller
Chrysler Jefferson Ave
UAW Local 7
Francis Moore Hudson
UAW Local 154
John McDaniel Packard
UAW Local 190
Harry Kujawski Packard UAW Local 190
Eddie Dvornik Packard UAW Local 190
James Lindahl**
Packard
UAW Local 190
Leonard Klue Michigan Steel Tube UAW Local 238
Paul Silver
Detroit Steel Products
UAW Local 351
N = 35 interviewees
Midland Steel
UAW Local 410
Bill Jenkins Chrysler Highland Park
UAW Local 490
Tony Podorsek
body-in-white supervisor Dodge, Cadillac

***Consider the role of financial and political elites in revitalizing the anti-intellectual cultures of ressentiment (the Scopes Trial of 1927 must therefor be viewed as a premonition of things to come--first time s farce, second time as tragedy), degrading zones of proximal development, and subverting the teaching profession; and also 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. This is an instance of psuedo-speciation: working class Christian fundamentalists, both white and  black, and working class cultures of ressentiment, both Catholic and irreligious, are undermined from birth in their cognitive development, confined to gestural and pre-operational modes of practice, increasingly isolated from "middle class" employment and lifestyle possibilities, and for whom instant gratification of the impulse of the moment is called "freedom" (see Dupre).  This is the neo-liberal base.  Its seeming embrace of neo-liberal dogma, however, does not reflect either belief (which presupposes the Cartesian self) or reason.  One must distinguish between a primate that can speak and one that can reason (as Deleuze does).  This is a phenomenon that must be approached clinically.  (Review the video of the Ground Zero debate.) What Nietzsche said of morality could just as easily be said about ideology.  The critique of neo-racism is at its weakest when it confines itself to the merely scientific errors of these scientists playing the role of psuedo-scientist.  More significant is the adaptation of these scientists to the subtle demands of power, that web of hedge-funds managers, the vulgar neo-rich (see the documentary The Queen of Versailles), and politicians who mobilize fractured primates into fascist political mobs, and who reward those who might know better (the stable of approved experts) to jump to the tune of institutionalized ressentiment.  The primate modality of dominance and deference (Mazur) is alive and well. 

Pseudo-speciation is less a clear concept than an open invitation to develop a bundle of closely related concepts that would specify more concretely the inner logic of man is a bridge.  Thus, it already appear in two guises: first, as a way of looking at the cognitive performativity of the stupid party, in which Piaget and Donald are applied to the task of decoding the rhetorical practice and PISA test scores of the severely and really white: the GOP base.  And second, as a way of decoding the peculiar behavior of experts who offer their services to the alpha males of our primate band.

A concept of pseudo-speciation is necessary if we are to understand the threefold catastrophe, which is in part a ressult of the socio-cultural engineering project of global corporate networks of unimaginable reach and power, generating an entropic process of disindividuation.
Daseinanalysis

Simone de Beauvoir, America Day By Day

Novels

Cable TV ads

Cable TV news

habitus vs. milieu (inner vs. outer)
***

 Essential to understanding this situation (wreckage, persistence, triumph): a concept of pseudo-speciation.  The "people" must be deconstructed; certain shiboleths (democracy, freedom, equality, justice) retired or at least desacrilized; and above all, the ontological presupposition of the Cartesian self and its associated rhetorical elements of consciousness, belief, motive, ideology and interest must be "bracketed", its fangs pulled, its spell broken.  This is the central strategy of the works listed above under Vygotsky redux ("escaping from our Cartesian prison requires more than a change in our academic language games."  How Things Shape the Mind).  Only then does reason stand a chance.

Be aware of the crippling effect of the Cartesian presuppositional matrix on the usefulness of texts.  This has the effect, a priori, of blocking conceptualization of questions of ontology, agency, intentionality, habitus, networks and contexts.

***Hence the concept of pseudo-speciation.  Homo sapiens is a species unlike any other, whose "nature" it is to be subject to cultural and historical development as a result of its own activity, to be subject to the psychological consequences of such processes and of other complications and developments, and whose behavior contains but cannot be reduced to the "biological."
a critique of the "people"

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

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


from Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power, § 863


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


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

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



Such Cartesian presupposions preclude consideration of homo sapiens as a cultural-historical phenomenon. 


neo-liberalism in action

Unequal, Yet Happy, The New York Times, 4-11-15

from Leonid Heretz, Russia on the Eve of Modernity: Popular Religion and Traditional Culture Under the Last Tsars (Cambridge University Press, 2008)

If anything, Marxism, with its fundamental humanism, does not even approach the utter materialism  of present-day Western trends such as neoliberal economic theory, "rational choice" political science, neurochemical psychology, and reductionist Darwinist/geneticist sociology.  Given the pervasive materialism of our contemporary worldview, we must make a great effort of empathy to understand the culture of people vitally concerned with things which mean nothing to us.  (p. 9)

from Jerome Bruner, "Celebrating divergence: Piaget and Vygotsky"  Human Development 40.2 (Mar/Apr 1997): 63-73.

Piaget was principally (though not entirely) preoccupied with the ontogenesis of causal explanation and its logical and empirical justification. This was even the focus of his masterful studies of moral development, a topic that does not ordinarily lend itself to such an approach. Vygotsky, on the other hand, was principally (though not entirely) concerned with the ontogenesis of interpretation and understanding. Piaget devised methods of inquiry and a theory appropriate to analyzing how children explain and how they justify their explanations - and did it brilliantly. The price he paid, of course, was the usual price one pays for ignoring context, transactional dynamics, background knowledge, and cultural variation. To grasp how somebody interprets or understands something, which was Vygotsky's concern, requires that we take into account their cultural and linguistic background and the context in which they find themselves both `in the small', in the sense of a particular communicative situation, and `in the large' of a patterned cultural system. Vygotsky's emphasis, accordingly, was on situated meanings and on situated meaning-making, which inevitably generates a cultural-historical approach. The two approaches, in consequence, diverged increasingly as they matured perhaps, some would say, to a stage of incommensurability.

I think, and I hope you agree, that we are enormously fortunate to have had two such rich theoretical accounts as an inheritance from our mentors, even if they prove to be incommensurate. Just as depth perception requires a disparity between two views of a scene, so in the human sciences the same may be true: depth demands disparity. So I conclude this excursion into the thought of these two great developmental psychologists with a salute to their profound difference. To have had either of them as a guide would have been a gift. To have had them both is stronger stuff, and even though it may at times seem overwhelming, we are the better for it.
Figure 2. cognitive developmental modalities that span the history of the tribe hominini (cognitive-linguistic cardinality)
c
canThe Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein in the context of Merlin Donald, A Mind So Rare, Table 7.1,p. 260 (apologies to George Cantor)

אi

i =  4  internet and extended mind
i =  3  Foucault (Hegel, Nietzsche . .
i =  2  Formal operational
i =  1  Concrete operational
i =  0  Pre-operational/oral-mythic
i = -1  Mimetic/gestural
i = -2  primate




The cognitive developmental modalities that span the entire history of the tribe hominini, which contains the genus homo (the only extant variety of which is homo sapiens sapiens) and the genus pan (this latter contains chimpanzees and bonobos).  Consider the excerpts from the work of Donald, Wrangham and Wilson, Price and Feinman, Gomez, Tomasello, Chase, Renfrew, Malafouris, Dunbar, Dupré and others in ArchaeologyAnthropology, regarding the ontologically indeterminate nature of homo sapiens as cultural-historical primate . . .  and note the references to Vygotsky.

Donald observes that contemporary homo sapiens' semiotic behavior "contains within it a trace of each of our previous stages of cognitive evolution."  Wrangham and Wilson state that "patterns of collective violence found among humans include similarities to those seen among chimpanzees."  Gomez writes of  "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 socially 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 development that change the nature of cognitive ontogeny."  Malafouris and Renfrew, in How Things Shape the Mind, write that "the human mind exists as a historically situated actuality—that is, an emergent product of complex ecological relationships and flexible incorporative forms of material engagement."  And Dupre: "It is . . . clear that recognition of the variety of factors involved in development makes possible a diversity of individual outcomes within even quite narrowly defined populations."


Pseudo-speciation: Genetic Ontologies

Dupre: "It is . . . clear that recognition of the variety of factors involved in development makes possible a diversity of individual outcomes within even quite narrowly defined populations."

Figure at right summarizes The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: Table of Sources.  Notice that the three post-paleolithic genetic ontologies are built around three of Nietzsche's key concepts: ressentiment, bildung and the will to power, and nihilism. 

Figures 1 and 2 are about cognition.  They leave out modalites of social and psychological being/praxis (as distinct from cognitive performativity).  Figure 3 is both biological and psychoanalytical.  The post-paleolithic genetic ontologies are effects of power: 1. in Nietzsche's sense of power as confinement and its effect: ressentiment; 2. in Foucault's sense of power as productive (bildung: see Dupré); and in a third sense of power: nihilism as the effect of the socio-cultural engineering project of global corporate networks of unimaginable reach and power, generating an entropic process of disindividuation. 

A note on politics--a new politics.  To grasp this fifth genetic ontology--nihilism--is to pose a fundamental existential dillema never before faced by a species.  Dupre puts it well, if I may summarize: we are becoming, from a cultural-historical-psyhological standpoint, nothing.  Nothing but a bundle of little things--appetites, fears, needs: the incredible shrinking self (the self of Hegel and Kohut).  The  ultimate "freedom": being-free creatures, ontological nullities, bundles of desires and impulses, media cannon fodder.  What is to be done?

But to return to Figure 3.  The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein is generated by the application of the Cassirer Inclusion Rule and the Margolies Exclusion Rule (see Philosophy and History).  A different kind of rule is the Meta-cognition Rule (Vygotsky redux authors).  This rule demands critical awareness of the crippling effect of the Cartesian presuppositional matrix on the usefulness of texts: the Cartesian self and the associated rhetorical elements of belief, motive, ideology, and interest).  This matrix appears in its crudest form on cable TV "news" shows.  But it has been hegemonic in much of academic discourse.

QHD-5 should be thought of as an operator deployed in any encounter with an "empirical" field.  The GOP as the Stupid Party: an Inadequate Conceptualization is a result of such a deployment.  It is a plane of immanence.  New shit happens: the Summer of 2015 political campaign.  But it's the same old shit, and it finds its place in this plane of immanence.  Nietzsche's eternal return of the same.  One of the beauties of transcendental empiricism is the transcendental side--the theoretical formulations and concepts--makes the shit that happens--the empirical side--more deeply empirical.  (The interview with Jim Peters: Midland Steel--Plymouth line--Assembly department is a case in point, revealing the structure and practice of white supremacy in the plant and in the nation.  I have not yet transcribed this interview.  Stay tuned.)
the quantum heterogeneity of dasein: five genetic ontologies
genont

Figure 3 disposes of one of  neo-liberalism's three main assumptions, that of the rational individual in a market economy--of the Cartesian self as the ontological given and eternal truth of our being.  Neo-liberalism's two other major assumptions are that markets are magic; and that institutions don't matter.
Much of modern history and politics can be understood as manifestations of the three post-paleolithic genetic ontologies of ressentiment, bildung & the will to power*, and nihilism.

Ressentiment emerged as an adaptive response to the discipline imposed by power in the first civilizations.  According to Nietzsche, ressentiment is more than simply a form of adaptation of an otherwise intact organism to power.  Ressentiment is the chief characteristic of “natures that, denied the true reaction, that of deeds, compensate themselves with an imaginary revenge.”  (Bernstein, Bitter Carnival, p. 102)  It is a fundamental reconfiguring of the organism, an alteration of Being, a transformation of Becoming.  It is something new, contrary to the existence of hunter-gatherers.  It is a particular type of Being that is the characteristic element of the age of civilization and the state.  It is the psychological heart of ultranationalism, racism, and fascism, all of which, contrary to Progressive/Enlightenment assumptions, are alive and well in the 21st century.

Bildung and the will to power is the inner logic of the historical trajectory Enlightenment to New Deal.  The Enlightenment not misconstrued (as it usually is) as ideology, but, more fundamentally, as an inflection point in cognitive development as cultural-historical process--as not simply the emergence of the scientific frame of mind, but more profoundly, as developmental leap. Thus, the enlightenment as developmental trajectory of a superorganism marked both by the emergence and continued development of science and formal operational competence (see PISA results): the habitus of progressivism; and by the hermeneutical complexity of the Geisteswissenschaften: the Second Enlightenment of Hegel,  Dewey, and Vygotsky.  (See Oliver Sacks, "Romantic Science.")  The psychological side of this cultural-historical trajectory is developed by Alcorn (Narcissism and the literary libido) and by Hall.  Both of these works illuminate in the most striking way my interviews with UAW creators (bildungs-proletarians and plebian upstarts), the cultural-historical development of Bolshevik workers, and my own experience growing up in a Communist milieu in New York.

The wreckage of socialism?  Enlightenment hopes of a rational collective subject arising in response to the challenge of capitalism proved to be illusory.  Instead, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries ressentiment triumphed over bildung as the hegemonic existential modality of homo sapiens.  In this regard Stalinism, fascism and McCarthyism are homologous (on Stalinism see Harris, Getty, Mironov, Haretz, Lewin, Smith, and especially Wendy Z. Goldman, Terror and Democracy in the Age of Stalin: the Social Dynamics of Repression, Cambridge 2007).  The failure of the political offshoots of the Enlightenment (Marxism, Progressivism, etc.) reflects not the inherent limits of these "ideologies", but rather a cultural-historical catastrophe that unfolds on the level of Dasein.

*Bildung--Hegel's concept of individuation--belongs with Nietzsche's concept of the will to power.  This will become clear in the discussion of the bildungs-proletarians of the UAW.  An important book: Alcorn, Narcissism and the Literary Libido.
Bildungs-proletarians of Flint and Pontiac: interviews

Norman Bully Buick (Flint)
UAW Local 599
Larry Jones Chevrolet (Flint)
UAW Local 659
Bill Genski Fisher Body #1 (Flint)
UAW Local 581
Bud Simons*
Fisher Body #1 (Flint)
UAW Local 581
Cliff Williams Yellow Cab (Pontiac)
UAW Local 594
Saul Wellman
Flint
CP


Bildungs-proletarians of Detroit's East Side: interviews
Frank Fagan
Murray Body UAW Local 2
Dick Frankensteen Dodge Main
UAW Local 3
Charles Watson 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
Jack Zeller
Chrysler Jefferson Ave
UAW Local 7
Francis Moore Hudson
UAW Local 154
John McDaniel Packard
UAW Local 190
Harry Kujawski Packard UAW Local 190
Eddie Dvornik Packard UAW Local 190
James Lindahl*
Packard
UAW Local 190
Leonard Klue Michigan Steel Tube UAW Local 238
Paul Silver
Detroit Steel Products
UAW Local 351
N = 35 interviewees
Midland Steel
UAW Local 410
Bill Jenkins Chrysler Highland Park
UAW Local 490
Tony Podorsek
body-in-white supervisor Dodge, Cadillac
Another homology: the Russian Revolution and the New Deal (and Finnish Social Democracy) are homologous: their common root was committment to science, planning, and human capital development; and their social base was amongst cosmopolitan moderns, in the universities, in workplaces (white collar and blue collar), and in progressive business and management milieux.  This general cultural-historical-political dynamic is better understood by approaching it through the American experience of Progressivism, New Deal, UAW. 

Even corporate America wants campaign finance reform to stop crony capitalism
  Zephyr Teachout, Guardian

CED Unveils Report on Crony Capitalism in America


Crony Capitalism . . .  CED Report  

Michael Mann, The Sources of Social Power.  Volume II: The rise of classes and national states (Cambridge University Press, 1993)

America has not so much been exceptional as it has gradually come to represent one extreme on a continuum of class relations.  America has never differed qualitatively from other national cases.  Differences have been of degree, not kind. . . .  Explanations asserting an original and enduring American exceptionalism . . . have only a very limited truth.  638

On representation, Russia was at the opposite extreme from the United States. . . .  But even the eastern edge of the western ideological community experienced the more liberal legacy of the Enlightenment. . . .  Among Russian professionals, gentry and aristocrats, and state administrators, a self-conscious, partly autnomous intelligentsia emerged, advancing alternative versions of progress.  660 here

The Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State
k