Invisible University

SITE MAP


(aa1971@wayne.edu)

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


Steve Jobs Was a Low-Tech Parent (the New York Times, 9-10-14)

Screen Addiction Is Taking a Toll on Children (the New York Times,  7-6-15)


The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food (the New York Times, 2- 20-13)


bb
Brooklyn Bridge in the Age of Steam and Sail
pseudo-speciation

This site is an enquiry into the post-paleolithic development of the primate homo sapiens--of culturally, historically, and politically-based developmental differentiation and divergence that is regressive as well as progressive, pathological as well as creative, and which, as Mary Midgley (The Solitary Self: Darwin and the Selfish Gene, p. 52) has noted, can be called "pseudo-speciation."  To see what I mean, consider this example from Sophia Rosenfeld, A Revolution in Language: the Problem of Signs in Late Eighteenth-Century France (Stanford, 2001).  Two other examples, 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 (see the GOP as the Stupid Party?  An Inadequate Conceptualization.)

The three links to recent New York Times stories in the cell above, when read in the context of this site, exceed the intentions of their authors.  Read them together with these brief excerpts from Ehrenberg ("Today, many of our socials tensions have been expressed in terms of implosion and depressive collapse or, in a similar way, its flip side: explosions of violence, rage, the search for new sensations"), Stiegler ("the entropic vicious circle that leads to dissociation, desocialization, and disindividuation") and these more lengthy excerpts from Hall et. al (here) and Usher..  Then look at the Nietzsche excerpts in Nihilism.  It's not a pretty picture.

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 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.

*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.


              Figure 1.  PISA Math Scores, 2003 - 2012: 25 Nations
pi
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.
Taking Note: 3 Curent Texts

1.  "Reports on gene prevalence are already alleging the existence of deep racial differences in traits on which society puts a high price. Recall the microcephaly research conducted by Bruce Lahn and colleagues, mentioned in the preceding chapter. This renewed controversy over racial differences in brain development and intelligence illuminates the problems genomicists face as new technologies are applied through old optics like racial divergence theory. Haplotypes, SNPs, and even noncoding regions of DNA are being read through a racialist lens in well-respected labs just as aspects of the social environment are left by the wayside, unaccounted for, and unexplained.  Debates and retractions only generate more notoriety for scientists who search for genetic causes. Even after the contention and dismay over racist findings die down, the imprimatur of genomics lingers."  Race Decoded : The Genomic Fight for Social Justice (Stanford University Press, 2012), pp. 199-200.

2.  review.  Sociology April 2014 vol. 48 no. 2 417-418

" . . . the book successfully illuminates the political agility of race; ultimately, recognising the salience of race in the laboratory does not necessitate the assumption that race exists. Rather, this position on race is focused much less on what race is or is not, and much more on what the invocation of race can do as a dexterous tool of political agency, compelling new kinds of bodies into the arena of biomedical research."

3. Tejaswini Ganti, "Neoliberalism" (Annual Review of Anthropology
Vol. 43: 89-104, 2014)
 

Department of Anthropology, New York University, New York, NY 10003; email: tganti@nyu.edu


entanglements:
Packard KKK trial--Black Legion rept as local govt--Norm Stamper/cops-James Jones-Ira Todd--Ferguson stories & videos

Commies: Packard KKK trial-Spain/Vincent

Landon R.Y. Storrs, The Second Red Scare and the Unmaking of the New Deal Left (Princeton University Press, 2012)

neoliberalism

Hedgehog; in the light of
1.  understanding hominin development

Sapient Mind

Archaeology and the Senses

Gomez

2.  critiquing racist biology

Revisiting Race in a Genomic Age

Race Decoded : The Genomic Fight for Social Justice (pp. 199-200)

Processes of life : essays in the philosophy of biology

The Epigenetics Revolution: How Modern Biology Is Rewriting Our Understanding of Genetics, Disease, and Inheritance

Transformations of Lamarckism : From Subtle Fluids to Molecular Biology

Epigenetics: The Death of the Genetic Theory of Disease Transmission

The Genius in All of Us: New Insights into Genetics, Talent, and IQ

Evolution in Four Dimensions: Genetic, Epigenetic, Behavioral, and Symbolic Variation in the History of Life (Life and Mind: Philosophical Issues in Biology and Psychology)
In place of any actual study of real humans in their development, we have gross oversimplifications based on prevailing ontological myths (these days dressed up in gene-talk).  Thus, when I speak of psuedo-speciation, I am refering to culturally, historically, and politically-based developmental differentiation and divergence, and I do so in the context of a vast and growing body of work along those lines, from Piaget, Vygotsky, Bruner, Bronfenbrener and Dewey to Tomasello, Cole, Ceci, van Oers, Gomez, and many others.  Almost all of these works are published by major academic presses (Harvard, Springer, Cambridge, etc.).  I have assembled a number of excerpts from these works on three separate pages: 1) Developmental Divergence; 2) the PISA results; and 3) Archaeology-Anthropology.  These links/pages are examples of Hegel's Absolute in action, as further developed by Cassirer and implemented in the construction of this site (More on this here). 

In just the past fifteen years there has been an explosion of work of far-reaching significance, which I am just beginning to assimilate now, in the Spring of 1915.  Most strikingly,  Lev Semenovich Vygotsky appears in these works as a seminal figure.  Such a cultural-historical developmental mode of thinking, in my own view, is a key characteristic of Hegel's work . . .  and of Marx's.  One of the pillars of this site an attempt to understand the cultural-historical, cognitive-developmental side of  both the communists among whom I grew up, and the bildungsproletarians who created the UAW, 64 of whom I interviewed in the mid-1970s.  It is these personal experiences that become intelligible in a way never before possible.  Reading the works listed at the right in the context of these interviews, listening to these interviews now in the context of these works . . .

But these works refer primarily to the cognitive side of this cultural-historical varation.  As such they do not address 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.  Nor does it have anything to say about the cognitive effects of our enormously powerful corporate networks devoted to the stimulation of desire and envy.  Cultural Historical Activity Theory is Hegel with a smiley face, a utopian Progressivism. But development can go awry; regression can occur; archaic forces persist and become the raw materials of opportunistic political elites; and an entirely new world of narcissistic regression and rampant desire gets added to the mix.  Shit happens, and the smile is wiped off Hegel's face. That's in part what Figure 1 is about . . . and what this site is about.

sl
Pieter Claesz, Still-Life with Burning Candle, 1627
This is just the beginning of creating a broad enough context for interpreting, for example, the political-theatrical (contextualized cognitive and psychological) performances of the right: The GOP as the Stupid Party: an Inadequate Conceptualization; or for interpreting the civil war within the early UAW (see Bildung: Was Mozart a Communist?, Commies!, and the Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State), unfolding at the same time and generated by the same  inner logic as the Civil War in Spain (see Chicago Tribune 2-19-1939, pp. 1 and 12).  It is important to grasp the point of The GOP as the Stupid Party: sexual obsessiveness, rage and sadism--the stuff of Nietzsche's concept of ressentiment and Freud's concept of the mechanisms of defense--is a major force in history, the dark energy of politics, our heart of darkness manifested everywhere--on talk radio, Fox News, Republican rhetoric, everyday practice of the police, inter-personal conflicts . . .  With this in mind as a context for historical understanding, we can comprehend police violence, phenomenologically and analytically, as homologous with fascist violence. 

The graphic to the right represents 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).  This is not my field--not by a long shot.  Nevertheless, what is obvious is the necessity of bearing in mind the relevant contemporary scholarly work, in many disciplines, in any attempt to understand the present.  Consider these excerpts from the work of Merlin Donald, Wrangham and Wilson, and Price and Feinman (below right), and other authors (Gomez, Tomasello, Chase, . . . ) excerpted in ArchaeologyAnthropology, regarding the ontologically indeterminate nature of homo sapiens as cultural-historical primate. . .


Figure 2. cognitive developmental modalities that span
the history of the tribe hominini

w
This next graphic summarizes a more extensive bibliography that includes the aforemention cognitively oriented work, but adds--decisively--the Nietzschean trio (ressentiment, will to power, nihilism), and thus addresses what Cultural Historical Activity Theory leaves out: modalites of social and psychological being (as distinct from cognitive performativity) that I subsume under the sign of Dasein.  Here they are in summary form: The Quantum Heterogeniety of Dasein: Five Genetic Ontolgies [QHD-5].  This is a representation of the The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: Table of Sources.  This Table is generated by the application of the Cassirer Inclusion Rule and the Margolies Exclusion Rule.  (What Rules are these?  Click on Philosophy and History.)  The table at the right is a reminder of what is contained in the Table of Sources understood as a product of the application of the two rules.  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.
      Figure 3. The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: 
                              5 Genetic Ontologies                       

Genetic Ontology
Sources
primate:
dominance and deference
Mazur, de Waal, . . .
paleolithic
dynamic egalitarianism
Whiten, Chase, Price, . . .
ressentiment & the mechanisms of defense:
despotic regime, racism, nationalism, fascism; guilt
Nietzsche, Clarke, Paxton, Knox, . . .
bildung & the will to power:
progressive narcissism, individuation
Hegel, Nietzsche, Vygotsky, Alcorn, . . .
nihilism:
regressive narcissism and the culture of consumption; repressive desublimation; disindividuation; the last man; depression
Nietzsche, Hall, Ehrenberg, Illouz, Alexander, Stiegler, . . .

A New Kind of Politics?

Meanwhile, while considering these quotes, what would be the antithesis of the Musso rant and the Ground Zero Debate, of politics as we know it today? 

Imagine a new kind of politics such as might only be found in the imagination of a sci fi writer or filmmaker.  The antithesis of Bladerunner or Mad Max.  The scene is Baltimore (or Ferguson).  Inside a police van a sign: "Enjoy your ride, 'cuz we sure will."  One element of fascism is sadism, politicized and institutionalized.  Many of the smaller, more predatory police departments--Baltimore, Ferguson, Inkster--fit the bill to a tee.  And the residents of these cities know this, not at the level of social science theory and history, but at the level of collective historical up-to-and-including-the-present experience.  And this sign--"Enjoy your ride, 'cuz we sure will."--is only one of an infinite sequence of moments that in their collectivity are what we mean by racism.  All this is discussed elsewhere.  For now, we are interested in a new kind of politics.

Instead of protesting, instead of getting into the kind of argument that only affirms racism--the argument about whether the cops who killed Freddie Gray were racist, rather than adopting a Nietzschean posture: "there they go again.  It's the same old shit, over and over again--eternal recurrence--the infinite sequence of moments."
 
Re. Ferguson and Baltimore, instead of protesting: a phenomenological investigation, a joint enterprise of students and faculty of anthropology, history, political science, etc., with victims of police violence.  In Baltimore, for example, where the victims and the students and faculty (from Johns Hopkins and other universities) could create a discursive field of shared intentionality wherein the victim is no longer a victim, but a phenomenologist, a historian, a theoretician, whose relation to the academics is not as informant or victim but as intellectual collaborator, as co-constructor of a discursive field.  (Some of my interviews with UAW organizers had this quality.) 

Such a discursive field would also be a zone of proximal development.  This would have implications for a new kind of politics, a politics whose main objective would be the continuous development of "new capacities for social cognition, cultural learning, alliance building, and cooperation" (Price and Feinman at the right)--a politics that is at least conceivable, even if impossible.  Such a politics would be a politics of Bildung, a pragmatic politics without a final goal, which in any event could only be a utopian fantasy in the absence of the development of new capacities in the process of overcoming current afflictions.  Such a developmental politics would lack ideology in the usual sense of doctrine (whether the dogmas of neoliberalism or the dogmas of marxism).  Such a politics would dynamically reappropriate The Enlightenment heritage through a process of decanonization.  Put another way, no more exegeses of Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche and Lenin.  Think of authors as nodal points in the flux of thought and experience.  The development of new capacities . . .

Such a politics--a politics of bildung--would find that there is much to learn from the bildungsproletrians who created the UAW.  This may only be a dream, but is effect is to throw into sharp relief the major theme of this site . . .  The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: 5 Genetic Ontologies

The situation that we face today . . .

a. the wreckage of socialism;

b. the persistence of fascism*;  and

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. 


 . . .  could be described as the triumph of neoliberalism (
Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval, The New Way lf the World: On Neoliberal Society, Verso, 2013).

Neoliberalism as ideology is bult on three propositions:

1. that the rational individual--the Cartesian self in a market economy--is the self-evident ontological given and eternal truth of our being ("The so-called 'motive': another error.  Merely a surface phenomenon of consciousness, an accompaniment to an act, which conceals rather than exposes the antecedentia of the act." Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols (Penguin, 1968), p. 49)

2. that markets are magic; and

3. that institutions don't matter.

Neoliberalism as practice is something entirely different, and is neither neo nor liberal.  (Angus Burgin, The Great Persuasion: Reinventing Free Markets since the Depression, Harvard, 2012)  To see this, we need to assemble the works that comprise Figure 3, The Quantum Heterogeniety of Dasein: Five Genetic Ontolgies.
from 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)


from 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).


from Richard W. Wrangham (Department of Antroropology, Peabody Museum, Harvard University) and Michael L. Wilson (Department of Ecology and Behavior, University of Minnesota, and Gombe Stream Research Centre, the Jane Goodall Institute, Tanzania), "Collective Violence: Comparison Between Youths and Chimpanzees"

cultural and biological approaches provide complementary rather than alternative perspectives in the analysis of human behavior. (p. 234)

Abstract: Patterns of collective violence found among humans include similarities to those seen among chimpanzees.  These include participation predominantly by males, an intense personal and group concern with status, variable subgroup composition, defense of group integrity, inter-group fights that include suprise attacks, and a tendency to avoid mass confrontation. . . .  Youth gangs . . . differ from chimpanzee communities as a result of numerous cultural and environmental influences including complex relations with non-gang society. . .  Nevertheless, the concepts that sociologists use to account for collective violence in youth gangs are somewhat similar to those applied by anthropologists and biologists to chimpanzees. . . .  We therefore view the similarities in aggression between humans and chimpanzees that we review here as being adaptive responses to local conditions, predicated on an inherent male concern for social status. (p. 233)


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).

from Philip G. Chase, The Emergence of Culture. The Evolution of a Uniquely Human Way of Life (Springer, 2006)*

Human behavior and ape behavior, like that of all mammals, is guided in part by ideas, concepts, beliefs, etc. that are learned in a social context from other individuals of the same species.  Among humans, however, some of these are not just learned socially but are also created socially, through the interactions of multiple individuals. . . .  Culture cannot be understood at the level of the individual alone.  Knowing the motivations and mental constructs of the individuals invlved may be necessary to understand cultural creations or cultural changes, but it is not sufficient.  It is also necessary to analyze the interactions of those involved.  In this sense, human culture is an emergent phenomenon in a way that nonhuman "culture" is not.  As Mihata (1997:36) put it,

what we describe most often as culture is an emergent pattern existing on a separate level of organization and abstraction from the individuals, organizations, beliefs, practices or cultural objects that constitute it.  Culture emerges from the simultaneous interaction of subunits creating meaning (individuals, organizations, etc.)

This emergent property of human culture has important implications.  It makes the nature of human social life different in fundamental ways from that of all other species (in spite of the continuities that also exist).  It makes it possible for groups of humans to coordinate their behavior in ways that are impossible for nonhumans.  It changes the relationship of the individual to the social group.  Because culture provides motivations for the behavior of the individual, it gives the group a means of controlling the individual that is absent among other primates.  Among all living humans, culture provides a (uniquely human) mental or intellectual context for almost everything the individual thinks or does.  pp. 2-3


*Reviewed by Leonid Vishnyatsky, Institute for the History of Material Culture, Dvortsovaya nab. 18, St. Petersburg, 191186, RUSSIA
Bernard Stiegler, The re-enchantment of the world : the value of spirit against industrial populism (Bloomsbury Academic, 2014)

The prevailing event today is the loss of individuation qua pauperization (cognitive impoverishment) and the growth of information to the detriment of knowledge. (p. 83)

The ecological crisis of spirit translates itself in the first place as a crisis of education (p. 90)

the entropic vicious circle that leads to dissociation, desocialization, and disindividuation . . . ( p. 67)

The risk of disindividuation (p. 81)

Individuation is always at once psychic and collective. (p. 82)

The risk of . . . an entropic process of disindividuation.  (p. 82)


William H. Calvin, A Brief History of the Mind (Oxford, 2004)

It is just in the last 1 percent of that up-from-the-apes period that human creativity and technological capabilities have really blossomed.  It's been called "The Mind's Big Bang."  In our usual expansive sense of "mind," the history of the mind is surprisingly brief, certainly when compared with the long increase in brain size and the halting march of toolmaking. xiv

  . . . there are emergent properties lurking in anything that produces a steep gradient. . .  I can imagine softwiring emergents in the brain intensively engaging in structured stuff at earlier ages.  The steeper gradients between rich and poor may produce surprising social effects unless we do something about the rich getting richer.  Emergents are hard to predict, and they are not all beneficial . . .  (pp. 177-78)


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

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

As addictive explosion reflects depressive implosion, so the drug-taker’s search for sensation reflects the depressed person’s lack of feeling.  Depression, that crossroads of pathology, serves as a canvas upon which to sketch out the changes in modern subjectivity, the displacement of the hard task of being healthy.  In a context in which choice is the norm and inner insecurity the price, these pathologies make up the dark side of contemporary private life.  Such is the equation of the sovereign individual: psychic freedom and individual initiative = identity insecurities and the incapacity to act.  p. 232
Figure 3, The Quantum Heterogeniety of Dasein: Five Genetic Ontolgies, must be

Frederick C. Beiser, The German Historicist Tradition (Oxford, 2011); Renfrew, Frith, and Malafouris, The Sapient Mind: Archaeology meets neuroscience (Oxford, 2009)

Figure 2, cognitive developmental modalities that span the history of the tribe hominini, is now joined with Figure 3.  This is a synthesis of the outlooks of Piaget and Vygotsky.  Piaget developed the language and concepts that describe and help to analyze actual cognitive performances.  Thus, Vygotsky and Luria, in their work in Central Asia, build upon Piaget's acheivement.  One application of this approach is the "Two-Party System": Semiotic Regimes.

Second, modalites of social and psychological being (as distinct from cognitive performativity): Dasein.  One form this critique takes (and this owes something to Deleuze and Guatarri, who are my prehistoric--that is, pre-internet--ancestors) is--and this is only for starters--The Quantum Heterogeniety of Dasein: Five Genetic Ontolgies [QHD-5], a summary representation of which appears at the right.  This is the point where you click on the The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: Table of Sources.  This Table is generated by the application of the Cassirer Inclusion Rule and the Margolies Exclusion Rule.  (What Rules are these?  Click on Philosophy and History.)  The table at the right is a reminder of what is contained in the Table of Sources as a product of the application of the two rules.  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.
LINDAHL TRIAL
 the historical-psychological (or the cultural-historical, as long as it is understood that included in the latter is the understanding that Nietzsche and psychoanalysis provide). 

And third, there is the work of novelists, especially of the post-war (WWII) period: Bellow, Ellison, Roth, . . . Lahiri, Powers, Rahman.  Here a key word might be efflorescence; another the dark side of complexity on the one hand, its astonishing yet restricted development (Intel finalists) on the other.  All bounded by an extraordinary subservience: In the Light of What We Know . . . Mazur, Biosociology of Dominance and Deference (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005)

Among other things, this means that questions of belief and motive are seen as symptoms of a sclerosis of thought, manifestations of the above presupositional matrix.  
Figure 3. The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein:
5 Genetic Ontologies



The far-reaching significance of this collapse is glimpsed by some.  Bernard Stiegler, Ehrenberg

*I will argue throughout this site that the Russian Revolution and the New Deal (and Finnish Social Democracy) are homologous; that their common root was committment to science, planning, and human capital development; that their social base was amongst cosmopolitan moderns, in the universities, in workplaces (white collar and blue collar), and in progressive business and management milieux.





 The latter can be viewed at a glance in
The Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State.

But more, and to the heart of the matter, the inner life of the progressive field: and that their intentionality, their habitus, and  (the generative matrix of their praxis; their genetic ontology) and their habitus was bildung.  These latter involved identifying with and striving to achieve and further develop formal operational cognitive competence.  Their fundamental ontological modality--the generative matrix of their praxis--was Bildung.
  I say this on the following basis: my own studies of the Keynesian elite and of the UAW; and on a selected number of texts related to the Russian Revolution.  Thus, the wreckage of socialism refers to--esp in the usa--the disintegration of this historical praxis-formation of progressivism.


And yet this rhizomic nature of the beast must be "tamed" at least to the degree that some portions of the work can be stabilized.  So far there are three such stable regions: Stupid Party, PISA Results, and Keynesian Elite.
But now it is possible to do more, to provide some kind of overview of the work so far, a map of the territory, sketches of new regions of stability.  In this way I hope to have my cake and eat it too: to live the rhizome but produce at the same time what can be called bookified regions of stability that would be to varying degrees intelligible to readers, an intelligiblity dependent on the reader's education (formal and informal), experience, and "politics."

For example, the Figure at the right list the bildungsproletarians associated with the formation of the UAW whom I interviewed in the 1970s.



Another area of stability is QHD-5

Police shootings page and provincial vs. modern

  Thus, if you scroll down and view the variety of graphics on the right hand side of this page, you will see Figure 1, The PISA Math Scores; Figure 2, The Quantum Heterogeniety of Dasein: Five Genetic Ontologies; Figure 3, Some Bildungsproletarians of Southestern Michigan; Figure 4, U.S. Political Economy by Sector, 1910-1938, Figure 5, Taylor Society I: Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State.

Then there are short bibliographies, also strung along the right-hand column: groups of key works on nihilism, neoliberalism--things that must be kept in mind

And also a group of links to news articles, websites.  These short  pieces--some of only a paragraph--when read  in a wider context, can become cognitive supernovae

These are the three indicators of what this site is attempting.

Then there are the "finished" pages, pages that have found their centers of gravity.

And there is the whole situatedness of the process of production of this site as a whole, its immanent domains:

And finally, there is erruption; efflorescence; excrescence; symptomology; enervation


see AE4 for psuedo-concrete modality
Figure 3.  Some Bildungsproletarians of Southeast Michigan, 1920s to 1940s
(
my dialogical co-constructors under the sign of shared intentionality)  Complete list here.)

The question is agency

ref: disindividuation

           Detroit's East Side
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
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

There are two major modes of understanding human development.  One is associated with the name Vygotsky.  Indeed, there is something of a Vygotsky rennascance in that Tomasello, Gomez, Whiten et. al--Biologists, archeologists . . .   see LINK.

But this mode is Progressive, by which I mean it concentrates on cognitive development and the acheviements of civilization to the virtual exlusion of the psycholgical side, the dark side, the siade where history is enacted, where everyday life is played out in a counterpoiit to the shiley image of the media and others.

The context for this seemingly politically incorrect concept of pseudo-speciation is provided by Price and Feinman (right) and Ames, "On the evolution of the human capacity for inequality and/or egalitarianism," in Pathways to Power.  This is clarified in an instant by noting the reference to Vygotsky by some biologists studying the development of intelligence in both primates and humans (Tomasello, Lopez; Whiten, etc).  It goes without saying that

  Ceci suggests that we speak of cognitive complexity rather than intelligence.  This is the approach taken in this site. 

Figure 1 should be taken in this context (for discussion of Fkgure 1 see The PISA Results: Evolutionary, Historical, Developmental, Psychological).

Speaking Subjects: Language, Subject Formation, and the Crisis of Identity by
Phillip M. Carter
Department of English
Duke University:

this critique calls attention to identity’s epistemological baggage (e.g. collusion with neo-liberalism and Englightenment-era humanism) and theoretical tendencies (e.g. overestimation of agency) and suggests, instead, a turn to poststructuralist theory of subject formation.  p. iv

by tracking the fluctuations in the way linguistics has theorized the social, I argue that the turn to mentalism brought about by Chomsky stunted the capacity of contemporary linguistics to engage in social analysis. Second, I argue that ‘identity’ is an artifact of the historical fluctuations that lead to the contemporary moment in linguistics.  pp. 1-2

I had no way of knowing in that moment, my first in that space, how important the cafeteria was to the organization of sociality at Bedlington. It took about a day to realize the cafeteria was an entrepôt for rumors and gossip and about a week to realize it was a theatre to perform status. To figure out that the cafeteria was a site where Bedlington’s social structure was instantiated, where social formations were made and undone, and where subjects found themselves mired in a morass of social, psychic, and material forces that constitutes, if imperfectly, the field of meaning in which they know themselves, took quite a bit longer. pp. 235-6 (the first day.  233-48)

Commentary
Practice, power and the past
SHERRY B. ORTNER, Journal of Social Archaeology
Department of Anthropology, Columbia University, USA

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

Steve Jobs Was a Low-Tech Parent (the New York Times, September 10, 2014)

below, what Steve Jobs was protecting his own children from:





Common Core, in 9-Year-Old Eyes (the New York Times, June 14, 2014)

Man is a Bridge (Pseudo-Speciation) 


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 do justice to the spectacle that thus began and the end of which is not yet in sight . . . .  From now on, man . . . gives rise to an interest, a tension, a hope, almost a certainty, as if with him something were anouncing and preparing itself, as if man were not a goal but only a way, an episode, a bridge, a great promise.

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

Steve Jobs Was a Low-Tech Parent (the New York Times, 9-10-14)
Beyond Good and Evil, III, 62

 . . .  Man is the as yet undetermined animal . . .


Thus Spoke Zarathustra, I. 4

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

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



Eelco Runia, Moved by the Past: Discontinuity and Historical Mutation (Columbia Univeristy Press, 2014), p. 180, 184

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

The more we disarmed our environment the more we became our own environment.


Hegel is to Kant as Vygotsky is to Piaget

This concept of "pseudo-speciation" is more concretely specified in:

resources: The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: Five Genetic Ontologies

applications: Figure 1.  PISA Math Scores, 2003 - 2012: 25 Nations and The PISA Results: Evolutionary, Historical, Developmental, Psychological

The GOP as the Stupid Party: an Inadequate Conceptualization;

The Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State
The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: 5 Genetic Ontologies
Genetic Ontology
Sources
primate:
dominance and deference
Mazur, de waal, . . .
paleolithic
dynamic egalitarianism
Whiten, chase, price, . . .
ressentiment & the mechanisms of defense:
despotic regime, racism, nationalism, fascism; guilt
Nietzsche, Clarke, Paxton, Knox, . . .
bildung & the will to power:
progressive narcissism, individuation
Hegel, Nietzsche, Vygotsky, Alcorn, . . .
nihilism:
regressive narcissism and the culture of consumption; repressive desublimation; disindividuation; the last man; depression
Nietzsche, Hall, Ehrenberg, Illouz, Alexander, Stiegler, . . .

The twenty-first century is Nietzsche's for two very good reasons.  Ressentiment . . . fascism (DG's despotic regime).  And nihilism

The books by Ehrenberg and Illouz, together with these two articles from the New York Times, can be taken as an answer to the question: A bridge to what?

pathological as well as creative . . .  Nihilism

The works listed at the left should be read with Nietzsche in mind.  These works vary in their approach but they are all complementary, and converge on an account of contemporary Dasein radically antithetical to neoliberalism's apotheosis of the consumer.  Neoliberalism is bult on three propositions:

1. that the rational individual--the Cartesian self--in a market economy-is the self-evident ontological given and eternal truth of our being;

2. that markets are magic; and


3. that institutions don't matter.



Utopian capitalisms: Stiegler, Alexander, Berk, Brandeis



On Markets, Free and Otherwise (the socio-cultural engineering project of global corporate networks of unimaginable reach and power, generating an entropic process of disindividuation)

Markets as arenas, fields of action

B. K. Alexander, The Globalization of Addiction: A Study in Poverty of the Spirit (Oxford University Press, 2008, 2010)

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

Eva Illouz, Cold Intimacies: the Making of Emotional Capitalism (Polity, 2007)

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

Gary Greenberg, Manufacturing Depression: the Secret History of a Modern Disease (Simon & Schuster, 2010)

T.J. Jackson Lears, No Place of Grace Antimodernism and the Transformation of American Culture 1880-1920 (Pantheon,1981)

Bernard Stiegler, The re-enchantment of the world : the value of spirit against industrial populism (Bloomsbury Academic, 2014)

Stanton Peele, Diseasing of America (Lexington, 1989)

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

Steve Jobs Was a Low-Tech Parent (the New York Times, 9-10-14)


Pseudo-Speciation
Karl Marx, Theses on Feuerbach (1845)

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


Also Philip G. Chase, The Emergence of Culture. The Evolution of a Uniquely Human Way of Life (excerpt)

Gomez

Tomasello

Chase

Bruce G. Trigger, Understanding Early Civilizations (Cambridge, 2003)

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

The possibility that there exists a more restless relationship between intelligence and context, in which thinking changes both its nature and its course as one moves from one situation to another, is enough to cause shudders in some research quarters.  It represents a move toward a psychology of situations . . .  xvi

The term intelligence is often used synonymously with "IQ", "g", or "general intelligence", especially in some of the psychometric literature. . .  however, the ability to engage in cognitively complex behaviors will be shown to be independent of IQ, g, or general intelligence . . . cognitive complexity will be seen to be the more general of the two notions and the one most theoretically important to keep in mind when referring to intelligent behavior.22
pathological as well as creative: Ressentiment

This is just the beginning of creating a broad enough context for interpreting, for example, the political-theatrical (contextualized cognitive and psychological) performances of the right: The GOP as the Stupid Party: an Inadequate Conceptualization; or for interpreting the civil war within the early UAW, unfolding at the same time and generated by the same  inner logic as the Civil War in Spain (see Chicago Tribune 2-19-1939, pp. 1 and 12).  It is important to grasp the point of The GOP as the Stupid Party: sexual obsessiveness, rage and sadism--the stuff of Nietzsche's concept of ressentiment and Freud's concept of the mechanisms of defense--is a major force in history, the dark energy of politics, our heart of darkness manifested everywhere--on talk radio, Fox News, Republican rhetoric, everyday practice of the police, inter-personal conflicts . . .  With this in mind as a context for historical understanding, we can comprehend police violence, phenomenologically and analytically, as homologous with fascist violence.  This could be the framework for a phenomenological investigation, a joint enterprise of students and faculty of anthropology, history, political science, etc., with victims of police violence; in Baltimore, for example, where the victims and the students and faculty (from Johns Hopkins and other universities) could create a discursive field of shared intentionality wherein the victim is no longer a victim, but a phenomenologist, a historian, a theoretician, whose relation to the academics is not as informant or victim but as intellectual collaborator, as co-constructor of a discursive field.  (Some of my interviews with UAW organizers had this quality.)  Such a discursive field would also be a zone of proximal development.  This would have implications for a new kind of politics, a politics whose main objective would be the continuous development of "new capacities for social cognition, cultural learning, alliance building, and cooperation" (Price and Feinman)--a politics that is at least conceivable, even if impossible. (new link)  Such a politics would be a politics of Bildung, a pragmatic politics without a final goal, which in any event could only be a utopian fantasy in the absence of the development of new capacities, new ontologies.  Such a developmental politics would lack ideology in the usual sense of doctrine (whether the dogmas of neoliberalism or the dogmas of marxism).  Such a politics would dynamically reappropriate the Enlightenment heritage through a process of decanonization.  Put another way, no more exegeses of Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche and Lenin.  Think of authors as nodal points in the flux of thought and experience.  Such a politics--a politics of bildung--would find that there is much to learn from the bildungsproletrians who created the UAW. 

Such a politics may well be impossible.  It may well be--in fact it looks like--homo sapiens has found its ultimate forms in ressentiment and nihilism, the one persisting, the other expanding.





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
Francis Moore Hudson
UAW Local 154
McDaniel Packard
UAW Local 190
Harry Kujawski Packard UAW Local 190
Eddie Dvornik 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


Friederich Nietzsche on the Bildungsproletarians of southeast Michigan

It is Nietzsche who best summarizes the praxis of these bildungsproletrians in southeast Michigan. 

from Friederich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil,  242

The very same new conditions that will on average lead to the leveling and mediocritization of man--to a useful, industrious, handy, multi-purpose herd animal--are likely in the highest degree to give birth to exceptional human beings of the most dangerous and attractive quality.    

from Friederich Nietzsche, The Will To Power, Book IV, 960

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

              Detroit's West Side
 John & Minnie Anderson
Fleetwood

Irene Marinovich
Ternstedt

Dorosh (Silver/I)


CP Petrakovitz (II)
CP east side dist org

*Joe Jeffries (II)
Great Lakes Steel

*Al Rightly (III)
Studebaker

Mary Davis


Stanley Novak
CP
Blain Marrin
Tool & Die Local 157

Ed Lock
Ford 600

Percy Llewelyn
Ford 600


To repeat the main theme of this site: 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 concept of divergence and differentiation emerged out of my effort to understand, on the one hand, the inner drive, the generative matrix, the psycho-cultural context and praxis, of the communists (whom I have known from birth), and the socialists, communists, and syndicalists (whom I met in the 1970s in southeast Michigan) who created the UAW; and on the other hand, the persistence of phenomena variously labeled as racism and fascism, and know by their more benign names as neo-conservatism and the Tea Party.            Flint and Pontiac
Norman Bully Buick (Flint)
UAW Local 599
Larry Jones Chevrolet (Flint)
UAW Local 659
Bill Genski Fisher Body #1 (Flint)
UAW Local 581
Cliff Williams Yellow Cab (Pontiac)
UAW Local 594
Saul Wellman
Flint
CP

***The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: 5 Genetic Ontologies

This site is nothing less that a critique of the "people", and of the bourgeois-christian/cartesian presuppositional matrix that underlies almost all discourses on the cultural-historical trajectory of homo sapiens.  Among other things, this means that questions of belief and motive are seen as symptoms of a sclerosis of thought, manifestations of the above presupositional matrix.  One form this critique takes (and this owes something to Deleuze and Guatarri, who are my prehistoric--that is, pre-internet--ancestors) is--and this is only for starters--The Quantum Heterogeniety of Dasein: Five Genetic Ontolgies.  This is the point where you click on the Table of Sources.  This Table is generated by the application of the Cassirer Inclusion Rule and the Margolies Exclusion Rule.  (What Rules are these?  Click on Philosophy and History.)  The table at the right is a reminder of what is contained in the Table of Sources as a product of the application of the two rules.  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. 

Bildung: Bildung: Was Mozart a Communist?; The Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State; Bildungsproletarians on the Making of the UAW


Chapter 9
A Dual-Processual Perspective on the Power and Inequality in the Contemporary United States: Framing Political Economy for the Present and the Past 

The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: 5 Genetic Ontologies
(compressed)

Genetic Ontology
Sources
primate:
dominance and deference
Mazur
paleolithic
dynamic egalitarianism
Whiten
ressentiment & the mechanisms of defense:
despotic regime, racism, nationalism, fascism; guilt
Nietzsche, Clarke, Paxton, Knox
bildung & the will to power:
progressive narcissism, individuation
Hegel, Nietzsche, Vygotsky, Alcorn
nihilism:
regressive narcissism and the culture of consumption; repressive desublimation; disindividuation; the last man; depression
Nietzsche, Hall, Ehrenberg, Illouz, Alexander, Stiegler



Pseudo-speciation is a performative and phenomenological, not an ontological concept.  Ontological denotes a deep givenness of structure and performance (e.g., the neo-racist ontology of the two works cited above).  Pseudo-speciation, unlike the evolutionary theory from which this term is borrowed, is supra-organic, referring not to the organism as a member of a species but to a super-organic field of performativity, so that it is not only possible but commonplace for the same organism to move from one pseudo-species (zone of performativity) to another, or to inhabit both fields simultaneously (see account of a classroom episode).  It is here that the concept of pseudo-speciation and genetic ontology meet.  This is obviusly a work in progress.  What I can say with certainty is that failure to think along these lines--to incorporate in a philosophically rigorous way the latest work in archeology, biology, psychoanalysis, history, and developmental psychology, etc.--is not an option.  This is the Cassirer rule.)

***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), 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.

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 everyday.

 
from Friederich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, p. 55

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


Allan Mazur, Biosociology of Dominance and Deference (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005)

Marcel Gauchet, The Disenchantment of the World (Princeton, 1999)

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

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


a. the wreckage of socialism/progressivism*;

b. the persistence of fascism**;  and

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. 

To most observers who care to think about these things
, the current situation represents a dramatic break with the whole historical dynamic that gave us the Russian revolution, Scandinavian Social democracy, and the American New Deal, so much so that it can be referred as the epoch of the threefold catastrophe, except that epoch implies some kind of stability within a delimited period of time.  Better to drop the term epoch and just leave it at the threefold catastrophe that we are living through, a moment characterized by the most explosive and yet unfathomable instability, notwithstanding Fukuyama-esque celebrations of the end of history (Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man).  In other words, to use the language of complex systems and catastrophe theory, we are on the brink of or already entering into a singularity.  --breakdown of socialization qua bildung

Certain works allow us to approach this question of the singularity of the threefold catastrophe: Hall; Ehrenberg (The Weariness of the Self);  Stiegler--but especialy nietzsche: hence, the 21st century is N's century


Further remarks on the anti-nature nature of human "nature"

Ancient--Paleolithic--homo sapiens was capable of (Chase)
. . . wreckage of socialism, persistence of fascism

*I will argue elsewhere that the Russian Revolution and the New Deal (and Finnish Social Democracy) are homologous; that their common root was committment to science, planning, and human capital development; that their social base was amongst cosmopolitan moderns, in the universities, in workplaces (white collar and blue collar), and in progressive business and management milieux; and that their intentionality (the generative matrix of their praxis; their genetic ontology) and their habitus was bildung.  These latter involved identifying with and striving to achieve and further develop formal operational cognitive competence.  Their fundamental ontological modality--the generative matrix of their praxis--was Bildung.  I say this on the following basis: my own studies of the Keynesian elite and of the UAW; and on a selected number of texts related to the Russian Revolution.  Thus, the wreckage of socialism refers to--esp in the usa--the disintegration of this historical praxis-formation of progressivism.

**The generative matrix of fascism is ressentiment and the mechanisms of defense.  "The legitimation of violence against a demonized internal enemy brings us close to the heart of fascism."  (Paxton p. 84)  Paxton sees the Tea Party as a current manifestation of the inner logic of fascism.  Today's public exposure of fascist police violence reveals only the tip of the iceberg. Police forces vary sociologically according to the demographics they either serve or prey upon (Cleveland, Inkster)  2) nevertheless the blue wall of silence encapsulates the nature of the hegemonic culture and habitus of all police departments and precincts great and small.  3) the statement 99.9 % of cops are OK is a hopelessly naive and indeed primitive expression (i.e., on a fourth grade level of development)  if taken at face value, but also an index reflecting the degree to which our soft fascist culture establishes the boundaries of speech.  "As semiotics it remains of incalculable value: it reveals, to the informed man at least the most precious realities of cultures and inner worlds which did no know enough to ‘understand’ themselves."
Man is a Bridge/Pseudo-speciation (cont.)

Modern Homo sapiens is a species capable of:

1. 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.  This concept, however, can be seen as implied by the theory and practice of progressive education.  Any future progressive politics 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.  Other kinds of projects, originating out of the logics of capital and political power, are 1) the stimulation and exploitation of appetite and desire, and 2) the mobilization and shaping of resentiment in the struggle for political power.  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 the axiomatic of accumulation or the drive toward hegemony.  Secondarily, however, their impact is enormous, for there are . . .

3. . . .  manifold unforseen consequences of these projects of stimulation, exploitation, and manipulation. 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 that Nietrzsche so aptly anticipated:


Nietz: as semiotics . . .

A 2015 case of a unformed fascist gang assaulting a black man (Inkster, Michigan) revealed that the officer charged with assault was dismissed from the Detroit Police dept; got a job at the Highland Park P.D. from which he was also dismissed; and ended up in Inkster.  Inkster, Michigan and Ferguson, Missouri.  Case of Cleveland cop

precincts and small towns does not vary: juror B7; interview with J. Jones; standard format of coverups and denials.

u ask.  Review the GOP as the Stupid Party

there is a much broader question here of the existential crisis manifested in the more violent expressionsof resentiment.  ehnce the genetic ontology rmd.

also the performative context of GOP stand your ground gun religion
cc


The "exceptional human beings of the most dangerous and attractive quality" were the nuclei of the extraordinary praxis of those nominally called "workers".   In one sense this is all ancient (Fordist) history; in another sense its significance for understanding the (neoliberal) present has yet to be fathomed.  The present can only be understood through an understanding of the wreckage of socialism as a bildungspraxis, the persistence of fascism, and the triumph of nihilism.
sodalities vs. the enlightenment



The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: Five Genetic Ontologies

The table at the right, The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: 5 Genetic Ontologies, puts Figure 1 in a broader context, elaborates with some specificy the implications of Nietsche's man is a bridge metaphor, and provides the means to better understand our recent history of wreckage, peristence, and triumph of socialism, fascism, and nihilism.  This is an effort to come to grips with the post-paleolithic development of the primate homo sapiens.

The cognitive divide revealed in the Rosenfeld, Musso, and Ground Zero examples between primitive and modern discursive practices (primitive and modern?  A first approximation, soon to be abolished . . . ) is the central feature of the two-party discursive field in the United States (the "Two-Party System": Semiotic Regimes).  It crops up also in Cliff Williams' (UAW, GM Truck & Bus, Pontiac) description of precisely this divide within the workforce of Pontiac, Michigan.  In Piagetian terms (the second approximation), the two-party discursive field is dominated on the left (liberal) by concrete-operational and pre-operational, and on the right (fascist) by pre-operational  and gestural cognitive modalities.  Missing almost entirely from the two-party discursive field is both the formal-operational cognitive modality of scientific thought, and the hermeneutical complexity of Geisteswissenschaften.  (Geisteswissenschaften in action: understanding Ferguson, Missouri.)  Formal-operational competence is characteristic of the internal discursive practice of the Keynesian Elite, but is not in evidence in the public sphere (for exceptions that prove the rule see 2008 Presidential campaign). 

These cognitive modalities are essential elements of contemporary cognitive psychology, and their deployment is a necesary but not sufficient condition for the understanding of such political phenomena as (for example) Rudolf Giuliani's charge that Obama
doesn't love America, and the rhetorical dance during the 2012 election around the question of who "built it."  It is my intention is to reconfigure developmental psychology in the service of decoding cognitive-discursive praxis throughout the entire semiosphere.  Examples: Mitt Romney's soliloquy on Michigan's trees; the Minutes of the Murray Body Committee UAW Local 2 at the Executive Board Meeting, April 26, 1939; the nihilistic chatter that characterizes much of CNN's discursive activity; comments posted on websites; the manner in which r*c*sm is discussed (Geisteswissenschaften is essential if we are to understand the phenomenological bundle denoted by the term racism).  And now, the brouhaha over Indiana's moral equivalent of lynching, The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which can takes its place in the plane of immanence that is The GOP as the Stupid Party: an Inadequate ConceptualizationAlso takings their places Ferguson e-mails, report on police re Boston Mar. bombing

***Following Ceci (right),The word "intelligence" ought to be retired in favor of cognitive complexity.  Rather than using measures of "intelligence" (like IQ), one ought to give descriptions of actual contextualized cognitive-discursive performances, bearing in mind Ceci's comment on the restless relationship between intelligence and context.  In this regard this whole site is a continuation of Vygotsky and Luria's work in central Asia in the 1930s (Luria, Making of Mind).  In this work Vygotsky and Luria historicized Piaget, just as Hegel historicized Kant.  It is this kind of understanding that motivated the gathering of sources under the rubric of the Five Genetic Ontologies.  The reader should click on the Table of Sources now.  (This Table is generated by the application of the Cassirer Inclusion Rule and the Margolies Exclusion Rule.  (What Rules are these?  Click on Philosophy and History.)

Three of these five genetic ontologies are central to Nietzsche's mature work (from 1882).  Two of them, ressentiment and nihilism, are clearly developed.  (See Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense and Nihilism.)  A third, bildung and the will to power, requires further development in the light of twentieth-century events (such as the Russian Revolution and the New Deal, the latter including the Keynesian Elite and the UAW).  The dying embers of Bildung are what Slavoj Zizek & Co. dance around.  Bildung in an especially concentrated form--that was the essence of Bolshevism--see the Wellman interview.  And see S.A. Smith, Revolution and the People in Russia and China: A Comparative History, Cambridge Univesity Press, 2008.  This book is indespensible.  Extensive excerts can be found here.  Also see Reginald Zelnick, Workers and Intelligentsia in Late Imperial Russia, University of California Press, 1999.  Steve Fraser's account of Sidney Hillman's first two decades is one of the best biographical accounts of the passion of bildung.  Even Stephen Kotkin's Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928, cannot help but elucidate the inner cultural-historical, psychological dynamic of Bolshevism as Bildung even as he denies its existence.
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Pseudo-speciation and the Threefold Catastrophe
 

---
the South African novelist "J. M." Coetzee has written an interesting essay on Philip Roth: " . . . a signal that the hunting season can commence."  Think "stand your ground laws" encouraging righteous homicide (Katz, Seductions of Crime, chapter 1, "Righteous Slaughter") as such a "signal", and George Zimmerman as one who heard and correctly interpreted that signal.

This is the emotional energy mobilized, stimulated, and manipulated by the economic and political elites associated with the ideology called neo-liberalism.  This mobilization occurs within a symbolic discursive framework whose cognitive modality is pre-operational and gestural.  This whole ensemble is a psuedo-species, chacterized by its cognitive and emotional performativity. 

In its approach to this variation--this developmental differentiation and divergence, psychological as well as cognitive--this site is, among other things, the antithesis of the prevailing racisms, liberal as well as fascist.  Figure 1 is an effect of this variation.  (For more on Figure 1 go to The PISA Results: Evolutionary, Historical, Developmental, and Psychological Perspectives.)

These two dimensions of differentiation, the cognitive and the psychological, are antithetical to one derivative of the Enlightenment; let us call it the liberal humanitarianism indistinguishable from the Nihilism that Nietzsche wrote about.

 of commercial republicanism.  The key shibboleth of the latter is equality.  We are not supposed to talk about deeply structured inequality--we are not supposed to point out the absurdity and the stupidity of the slogan you can be anything you choose to.  This deeply structured inequality has nothing to do with genes and everything to do with history, politics, wealth and power.  The most direct and successful confrontation with this deeply structured inequality took place within post-war Finland.  On the other hand, an alaternative current of the enlightemnent--civic republicanism--can be seen as committed to development as much as to democracy.  Indeed, it can be shown that democracy is woefully undertermined and sel-contradictory as a concept.  Egalitarianism and evelopmentalism two very differnt things.  Marxism was fundamentally devleopmentalist raher tha ppulist.


Charles Taylor, A Secular Age (INDIVIDUATION)



Mitchell and Greenberg, Freud and Beyond

Hall et. al.

Smith,

Zelnick

Fraser

N=37 Bildungsproletrians

N=38 Midland


***And finally, depressing because this entire site leads to what at present seems like an inescapable conclusion: that nihilism and resentiment, the coexistence of incredibly shrinking selves (nihilism), and the permanent existential crisis that expresses itself in the politics of revenge and envy (ressentiment, the GOP base), are the now and future of homo sapiens.  It is simply impossible, under the present circumstances, to resurrect without major even violent alteration the progressive hopes and perspectives of the era of insutiral capitalism.

But why organize a discussion of this threefold catastrophe around Nietzsche?  Answer?  Because Nietzsche was strikingly--uniquely--prescient.  Nietzsche is to the post-modern era what Marx was to the era of industrial capitalism.  Nietzsche--and Marx--were immune to the field effect.  The Mind (the Absolute, not the individual mind) drives straight through conventions, shibboleths, prohibitions; drive through them and develops further by encountering and overcoming them.  The Pandora's box that Kant-Hegel opened proliferates in Marx, Nietzsche, Dewey, Deleuze--you get the picture.  Some call this the second Copernican revolution.  Brandom calls it a second Enlightenment.  But it is Nietzsche who speak most incisevely and directly to the era of the threefold catastrophe.

Critique of the people.  Consider the wreckage of socialism, which in part and only in part is the flip side of the persistence of fascism.  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.  Indeed, ressentiment took as is special object of hatred the habutus of the enlightenment (Vincent, McMahon).  This is seen clearly in the inner life of the United Auto Workers in Flint, Pontiac, Detroit, and Dearborn.  Elsewhere in the site I discuss the catastrophic civil war within the UAW from mid-1937 to April 1941, based on collaborative discussions characterized by a shared intentionality with 64 bildungsproletarians.*  This civil war was a microcosm of American politics as a whole in the period commencing with the rise of McCarthyism (which began with the late 1937/1938 reaction to the New Deal).  Nietzsche's understanding of ressentiment tells us more about the Tea Party and its predecessors than anyone writing today, and forces us to take a broader view of that which is called fascism.  (See Paxton.)  Two pages on this site are spun off from this concept of ressentiment: Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense, and The GOP as the Stupid Party: An Inadequate Conceptualiation.

If socialism was opposed bodily--if an eliminationist streak ran like a permanent electric charge through the politics of ressentiment (McCarthyism); if a politics of political terror could define the performance of the major media and of politicians in both parties, so that the entire sphere of public discourse was shaped by this terror (e.g. in a recent review of Stalin sheila fistzptrick writtes with a straight face about the inadequacies of dealing with the soviet union in terms of an evil demon dominating the entire appartus of government so that in effect there is no history to be written, the very fact of having to say that in 2015 is testimony to the exgtraordinary power of the white terror--and the extraordinary submissiveness of primates with doctorates




 . . . To most observers who care to think about these things

 . . .  certain works


Slavoj Zizek's "A Plea for Leninist Intolerance."

Bernard Stiegler, The Decadence of Industrial Democracies (Polity, 2011)

Bernard Stiegler, The re-enchantment of the world : the value of spirit against industrial populism (Bloomsbury Academic, 2014)

Alcorn, Narcissism and the Literary Self

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

Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval, The New Way lf the World: On Neoliberal Society (Verso, 22013)

Paul de Gayand Glenn Morgan, eds., New Spirits of Capitalism: Crises, Justifications, and Dynamics (Oxford, 2013)

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

Charles Taylor, A Secular Age (Harvard, 2007)

Naomi Klein

Judith Butler

Carlo Strenger
 Nietzsche's warning of the advent of nihilism--the future speaks even now in a hundred signs--is now being taken seriously.  Stiegler writes of disindividuation, of entropy.  Figure 1 is one of those signs pointing to our already well-advanced process of decognification.  Decognification is played out in real time on CNN.  Nihilism is now; Nihilism is everywhere.  Just consider the implications of these two articles:


***Nihilsim as the socio-cultural engineering project of global corporate networks of unimaginable reach and power, generating an entropic process of disindividuation.  The most incisive psychoanalytically informed analysis of contemporary nihilism is Steve Hall, Simon Winlow and Craig Ancrum, Criminal Identities and Consumer Culture: crime, exclusion and the new culture of narcissism (Willan Publishing, 2008).  Click here for extensive excerpts.  In this context, read  Common Core, in 9-Year-Old Eyes (the New York Times, 6-14-14).  Read this with Hall and Stiegler and Nietzsche in mind, and you are on your way to becoming a transcendental empiricist.

Nietzsche on Nihilism

from Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power, Preface, 2

What I relate is the history of the next two centuries. I describe what is coming, what can no longer come differently: the advent of nihilism.n This history can be related even now; for necessity itself is at work here. This future speaks even now in a hundred signs, this destiny announces itself everywhere; for this music of the future all ears are cocked even now. For some time now, our whole European culture has been moving as toward a catastrophe, with a tortured tension that is growing from decade to decade: restlessly, violently, headlong, like a river that wants to reach the end, that no longer reflects, that is afraid to reflect.
(Slavoj Zizek asks, "how are we to remain faithful to the old in the new conditions?"  I'm not sure what he means by this, but this entire site does just that (see remarks below on the cultural-historical trajectory, Enlightenment to New Deal), and in so doing is inevitably discourses marked and delimited by the field effect.


A second main point of this site is to open up the question of Being/becoming, of Dasein.  Without this it is impossible to understand the current situation.  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."  Hence the references above to the work of Price and Feinman.  This cultural-historical opening  But much more must be added . . .

Norman Yoffee, Myths of the Archaic State: Evolution of the Earliest Cities, States, and Civilizations (Cambridge, 2005) is an invaluable resource in this exploration of the current situation (and is only 275 pp.).



" . . . the past is both the past as such yet present with the present as well." Levi R. Bryant, Difference and Givenness: Deleuze's Transcendental Empiricism and the Ontology of Immanence (p. 114). 

“The past isn’t dead.  It isn’t even past.”  William Faulkner, 1951.

Working within this kind of conceptual framework things, problems, and issues seemingly unrelated appear in a new light.  The recent video-related revelations of police violence and the civil war within the UAW in the late 1930s are two such "things."  Perhaps this is best developed through a narrative of my work on the UAW during April, 2015.

Amongst the workers in the uaw in flint and pontiac (and also in Packard and Hudson, and other plants in Detroit) the Black Legion, cousin to the KKK, was a real force in 1936-1939.  That's what I was working on in April.  In 1936 there was a grand jury investigation of the Black Legion which uncovered significant penetration of local government and law enforcement agencies in Pontiac, Flint, Royal Oak and Highland Park.  The black legion, after the flint sitdown strike had created a new institonal froawork for oportuists, took control of flint local 156 and pontiac local 159.  I had interviewed six uaw organizerts from flint and poitiac in the 1970s, and have begun to transpose them to digital format and listen to them after a laspe of forty years.

I also got a strikng insght from Bill Jenkins, leader of Chrysler local 490 in highland Park, on the sociological situation in pontiac.   Ark. group

As I am resrching this stuff while at the same time the whole string of recent police shooting is capped by the shooting of freddy___ , I am recalling an interview with a detroit police officer about his experience of racism in his precinct.

seen in the context of

sodalities

1. interview with James Jones
2. discussions with Ira Todd
3. 4 cops in class discussion of Green case
4. Juror B7
5. Donald Sterling
6. Ferguson
7. Inkster (Detroit-->H.P.-->Inster P.D.)
8. Cleveland Tamir Rice
9. Blumenthal re police riot

the erformance of racism: rhetorical maneuvers and jabs