Invisible University
(aa1971@wayne.edu)

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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
(Genetic ontologies and the historicity of Being)

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

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.


from Eelco Runia, Moved by the Past: Discontinuity and Historical Mutation (Columbia U. Press, 2014)
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. pp. 180-84


Luciano Berio, Sinfonia (Third Movement).  Full text here.
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 of 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.
The situation that we face today: the wreckage of socialism, the persistence of fascism, and the triumph of nihilism Graphs, Tables, and Charts: Overview of Site
The Wreckage of Socialism

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.  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 (Zizek, Less Than, 488); their psychological disposition was the jousisance* of a cognitive-developmental leap combined with an inclusive humanism.  This broadly conceived Progressivism presupposed not merely the expansion of literacy but, more importantly, the growth of homo sapiens' cognizing powers.  (See Cognitive modalities: a summary of sources here.)  To a degree these two related developments characterized the nineteenth and much of the Twentieth Century.  In the Twenty First Century, however, this delusion is unsustainable.  (Donald Trump Talks Like a Third-Grader.  (Politico, August 13, 1915.  For presidential hopefuls, simpler language resonates: Trump tops GOP field while talking to voters at fourth-grade level, Boston Globe, Auguast 20, 2015.)

Capitalism builds on two fundamentally opposed processes: organization (as a form of discipline), and an entropic drive emergent out of the proliferating appetites and desires of a population driven by increasingly complex psychological needs, stimulated and expressed in the marketplace.  Vast sectors of the mass consumer market are built out of and through the perversion of primal needs (Butler), and these perversions are the content of the semiotic atmosphere that shapes and limits most minds. These appetites and desires of postmodern capitalism gnaw away at the potential for self-discipline that is central to cognitive development.

The media penetration
of the nooks and crannies of everyday life, its orchestration of desire, its deployment of demons and heroes, its influence on reconfiguring the reference points for self-discipline, has yet to be appreciated, for it is not only as a theater of desire that the media functions.  It also functions as a theater of ressentiment.  And most importantly, perhaps, it provides powerfully influential models of language use and cognitive processing for a large subset of the population.  (See Bronfenbrenner's bioecological model here.)
the Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State
RRkenewdeal
Source: "Membership List, May 1927," in the Morris L. Cooke Papers, box 66, FDR Library. and the United States Government Manual, 1937
One effect of exponentially increasing appetite and desire that is the central cultural/institutional/economic feature of late capitalism makes its appearance in United States: Obesity Rates, 1990 -- 2009.  This graph is about appetite and desire, about cravings irrepressible and irresistible, about deeply buried needs that can never be met. Figure 2 is the history of these moments.  How much of this is the ultimate outcome for an animal subjugated to the disciplinary order of capital but liberated to consume? Is it the price paid for the discipline endured, the secret out-creeping of what’s left of the animal man, the last place where one(‘s appetites) can roam free?

In the United States especially, an extreme culture of individualism and pursuit of instant gratification radically undermines the cultural disciplines that are essential developmental resources. [On the Edge, Getting Paid] 

A weak public sector, a defeated and broken enlightenment, and a triumphant culture of ressentiment and demonization hegemonic at the level of the public transcript, are all negative factors undermining cognitive development. 

The demonization of science, the permanent war against science as an institution (today it is evolutionary theory, climate science, and developmental psychology) must also be counted as a negative force. 

At the level of social and economic policy, a high child poverty rate and a sharply destabilized economy for the bottom half are major factors undermining development.

Under these circumstances decognification and cultural decay are not only inevitable, but already and irreversibly underway.
United States: Obesity Rates, 1990 -- 2009
ob
       1990                       1995                        2000                        2005                  2009
The Persistence of Fascism

The persistence of fascism--the political culture, psychological dispositions and praxiological modalities of ressentiment (Nietzsche's concept).  Ressentiment is the inner life of fascism, racism, and ultra-nationalism
In the United States fascism has become normalized, legitimized within media discourse.  Consider the GOP rhetorical performances of the Presidential campaign of 2015-16: 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 . . . ).  This rhetorical performance of the right is not only co
gnitively 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: 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.  (See The Stupid Party.)  These sado-sexual fixations may dress themselves up as issues (such as abortion or Obamacare), as if they were subject to rational debate and beholden to empirical checks.  One should understand that the rage against Obama (constantly evoked in the GOP "debates") is racism at its most primordial.

At what grade-level is the Trump rhetorical performance? 
Donald Trump Talks Like a Third-Grader.  (Politico, August 13, 1915.)  For presidential hopefuls, simpler language resonates: Trump tops GOP field while talking to voters at fourth-grade level, (Boston Globe, Auguast 20, 2015).  Milbank: Trump’s ‘Captain Underpants’ campaign (Washington Post, Feb. 26, 2016).  This fourth-grade mentality holds the sphere of public discourse hostage.

Compare the Democratic and Republican debates of 2015-16: a concept of psuedo-speciation is required to make sense of the differences, which are fundamental
(a first approximation: the Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein).  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 more we disarmed our environment the more we became our own environment."  (Mind: embodied, extended, enacted and distributed; construction and deconstructon of the subject.)

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 (Cantin), has been inadequately conceptualized.  The two ontological modalities on display in these texts and videos are emotionally and cognitively at odds.  Of immediate relevance: this excerpt from Jeremy E. C. Genovese, "Piaget, Pedagogy, and Evolutionary Psychology."

Language on the threshold of gesture and reflex.  Regression to infantile narcissism via processes of identification, to a politics of patrimonialism.
  This all caught on video, available on the Internet, there for all to see and study.  Certain American classics of the 1940s should be reread today: Lillian Smiths's
Killers of the Dream, Wilbur Cash's The Mind of the South, and others.  "The fundamental historicity of Being" (Zizek, Less Than Nothing, p. 108).

Cognitive Modalities: a summary of sources


PSYCHOMETRICS

     •    Flynn, Nisbett, Ceci

EVOLUTIONARY (phylogenesis):
 
Donald, Mind: cognitive evolution Table 7.1 p. 260 (see LINK)

    •    episodic (primate)
    •    mimetic (homo erectus, h. sapiens)
    •    mythic (h. sapiens sapiens)
    •    theoretic (required by advanced capitalism)
    •    post-theoretic (Foucault, Sellars, Deleuze) (Commons?)

DEVELOPMENTAL (ontogenesis):

Piaget et. al.  (Cognitive develpment)
    •    pre-operational
    •    concrete operational
    •    formal operational
    •    post-formal thought (Commons)

PSYCHOANALYTIC                                                             

Freud-Klein-Kohut-Lacan: Mechanisms of defense . . .
     •    projection
    •    displacement             
    •    reaction formation
    •    denial

HISTORICAL-DEVELOPMENTAL-Vygotsky, Luria, Bronfenbrenner,
                      Calvin, Flynn, Donald

see Archaeology LINK

The Triumph of Nihilism

The triumph of nihilism as the socio-cultural engineering project of global corporate networks of unimaginable reach and power, generating an entropic process of disindividuation.  Mass consumption as a mode of absorption and transformation of the organism.  The fiction of freedom, the subversion of individuation, the inner logic of addiction, the commodification of distress, the infantilization of public discourse . . . in short, the dissipation of the species homo sapiens sapiens into a proliferation of effects.  DSM-V as the operating manual of the post-human ontology. 
The vortex of un-becoming . . . and the point of departure for a new kind of politics (or not).

The New York Times on Nihilism.   Out of the set of all New York Times articles subsets can be formed.  The New York Times on Nihilism is one such subset.  The Times on Nihilism 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"); Kirk et. al., Mad Science: Psychiatric Coercion, Diagnosis, and Drugs, Transaction Publishers, 2013 ("The quest of biological psychiatry, adopted and aided by DSM, is to claim a brain disease for every human trouble. On the one hand, the drug industry’s marketing efforts and its massive infusions of money to support psychiatric activities, and on the other hand psychiatry’s enthusiastic acceptance of the partnership, have completely subsumed psychiatry as a satellite branch of the multinational pharmaceutical industry.); 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. (The fundamental historicity of Being.)

1.  The New York Times (and others) on Nihilism

Screen Addiction Is Taking a Toll on Children (7-6-15)

Steve Jobs Was a Low-Tech Parent (9-10-14)

Teens spend nearly nine hours every day consuming media (W. Post 11-3-15)

Is Internet Addiction a Health Threat for Teenagers? (7-16-15)

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food (2-20-13)

Evolution’s Sweet Tooth   (6-5-12)

Today’s Exhausted Superkids (8-15-15)

Failure to Thrive (3-12-15)

Unequal, Yet Happy (4-11-15)

The Immigrant Advantage (5-24-14)

In Heroin Crisis, White Families Seek Gentler War on Drugs (10-30-15)

Death Rates Rising for Middle-Aged White Americans, Study Finds (11-2-15)

Drug Overdoses Propel Rise in Mortality Rates of Young Whites (1-20-16)

How the Epidemic of Drug Overdose Deaths Ripples Across America (1-19-16)

Heroin Epidemic Increasingly Seeps Into Public View (3-6-16)

The battle to free Taunton from heroin’s deadly grip: as overdoses soar, a struggling city looks for answers (Boston Globe, 3-19-16)
Markets and Nihilism



Figure 3.  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 Egalitarianism
Whiten, Descola, Chase, Price . . .
Ressentiment & the Mechanisms of Defense
   Despotic regime; Racism;
   Nationalism; Fascism
Nietzsche, Deleuze & Guattari, Clarke, Paxton, Knox . . .
Bildung & the Will to Power (Jouissance)
   Progressive Narcisism; Individuation;
   Progressivism, Socialism, Communism
   the UAW and the Keynesian Elite
Hegel, Nietzsche, Vygotsky, Piaget, Alcorn . . .
Nihilism & the Last Man
   Regressive Narcissism and the   
   Culture of Consumption; Repressive
   Desublimation; Disindividuation;  
   Neoliberalism
Nietzsche, Hall, Ehrenberg, Stiegler, Illouz, Marcuse . . .



Mozart to McCarthy--you get my drift.  There are many levels on which to understand McCarthyism, many ways to approach it.  Landon R.Y. Storrs, The Second Red Scare and the Unmaking of the New Deal Left (Princeton University Press, 2012) provides an opening. 

It is in this same theoretical context that one can browse through the issues of the Bulletin  of the Taylor Society, wherein the Second New Deal was developed from the mid-1920s to the August 1933 issue in which the corporatism of the NRA (the "first" New Deal) was questioned (An Interpretative Forecast of the NRA: Is the Trend Toward Fascist or Socialized Self-Government?).


But
then, all this is also applicable to the cosmopolitan Progressives who comprised the staff of the state apparatus associated with the Second New Deal.  Thus, the UAW (Unity Caucus) and the Keynesian elite are homologous: they spring from and are an expression of the same cultural-historical existential vector* that begins more or less with the Enlightenment and ends, more or less, with the anti-modernist terror of McCarthyism. 

* The concept of a superorganism is useful here.  "The superorganism account of human sociality: How and when human groups are like beehives", by Selin Kesebir (Personality and Social Psychology Review. 2012 Aug;16(3):233-61).  Also: Superorganism (Wikipedia).
Some Bildungs-proletarians of Detroit's East Side: interviews (1975-76)
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
*   Jack Skeels interviews, Walter P. Reuther Library
** d

Zizek, Less Than Nothing, p. 643; Yovel, Hegel's Preface to the Phenomenology
xxxxxxxx


A precursor to McCarthyism is to be found in the UAW's Progressive caucus, which was seen by key leaders of the Unity caucus (Kraus, Mortimer), and by a former member of the Progressive Caucus (Paul Silver) as fascist.  This theme is developed on several pages on this site; here it is only introduced as the persistence of fascism.   Modernist cosmopolitanism vs. Fascist provincialism and traditionalism (family-God-country):  these are not simply counterposed ideologies (The shibboleth of ideology is the evil twin of Cartesianism).  They are such fundamentally different ontologies that they must be understood as psuedo-species, as different from each other as homo sapiens sapiens is from homo erectus, with the difference being that this is not a biological but a cultural-historical developmental difference (see below).  At a minimum, what is required is a concept of the post-biological quantum heterogeneity of Dasein, "The fundamental historicity of Being" (Zizek, Less Than Nothing, p. 108). 

Without this, it is impossible to understand the actual rhetorical performances and crowd reactions in today's (2015) right-wing rallies.
The third level of agency is political.  Below, from Jack Skeels' interview (of September 25, 1960, Reuther Library) with James Roland, a UAW übermensch from Toledo:

Skeels: Was there a feeling from 1931 on that there would be a need for unionization, you think?  Or do you think it came all of a sudden?

Roland: I Think it came with the NRA and Roosevelt.  I think the confidence the working man had in Roosevelt and in the NRA led to the organization of the mass production industries, not only in Chevrolet but others and Auto-Lite.


the fourth is contingency as the action-space within which the three levels of agency--biological, cultural-historical, and political--come together in the production of events.  This line of thought emerged out of my attempt to understand that something inexpressible whose inexpressibility is covered up by the use of event-names--the Flint Sit-down strike of 1936-37, for example.  An ontological coherence of this event is presupposed: it was, supposedly, generated by the will of the workers to acheive dignity, better conditions, etc., the usual fluff that covers over the black hole of becoming; the usual Cartesianism--the working class as the Cartesian self writ large.

Agency & Genetic Ontology
3 Planes of Immanence

interviews

KE

Stupid Party

Development vs. Democracy: the elitism of sucking up to the people vs. the elitism of progressivism

the same cultural-historical existential vector that begins more or less with the Enlightenment and ends, more or less, with the anti-modernist terror of McCarthyism
The thhird level of agency--Charles Frances Adams Jr, LDB, TS, Brookwood, New Deal
Agency:

1. Nietzsche;

2. Alcorn-Mozart semiotics

3. Progressive networks/institutions (New Deal "state")

4. Election of 1932/NRA (7a); mid-1935 breakout of KE (second New Deal) Wagner Act; Election of 1936

2.  the persistence of fascism

The persistence of fascism--of the political culture, psychological dispositions and praxiological modalities of ressentiment (the inner life of fascism); 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).  In the United States fascism has become normalized, legitimized within media discourse.  Nevertheless if one focuses on the inner logic of fascism--ressentiment--rather than on its outward form--street violence, concentration camps, the Führer principle--then we have today the Führer principle in practice, exhortations to racist violence, and the promise of the camps.  And this brings us to Figures 1 and 2. (See Paxton on KKK, Black Legion, Coughlin  Zizek wrong on fascism 434
 
Figure 2.  Donald Trump Talks Like a Third-Grader      
grade level
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.  In the context of Fig. 1, an interesting New York Times article: Reforms to Ease Students’ Stress Divide a New Jersey School District (12--25-15).  The kind of cogntive issues implied by figure 1 played a major role in my interviews of Nietzsche's "exceptional human beings of the most dangerous and attractive quality," conducted in the 1970s.  I refer to these auto workers as Bildungs proletarians, an ontological designation that arose out of a Hegelian investigation of agency.  Together with the plebeian upstarts, these workers constituted the forces of creation within the field of action provided by the auto industry, the New Deal, and the Enlightenment as historical vector and developmental field.

On 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 above 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 enables us to assign a place in the cognitive-linguistic scheme of things.  Fox News and 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 is one dimension of a concept  of psuedo-speciation.  "The fundamental historicity of Being" (Zizek, Less Than Nothing, p. 108)
*Michael Cole, Cynthia Lightfoot, and Sheila R. Cole, The Development of Children (Worth Publishers, 2009)
bb




hnv
Nietzsche, Hegel, Vygotsky: three who thought the historicity of Being
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 two ontological modalities on display in these texts and videos are both emotionally and cognitively at odds.  Of immediate relevance: this excerpt from Jeremy E. C. Genovese, "Piaget, Pedagogy, and Evolutionary Psychology."

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 more we disarmed our environment the more we became our own environment.  (Mind: embodied, extended, enacted and distributed.) construction and deconstructon of the subject

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).  Postures, gestures, various encodings (floating signifiers) of the same sado-sexual reflex--we are no longer in the land of the Cartesian self and its motivations and interests.  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 the other, 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 (see GOP as the Stupid Party).  Language on the threshold of gesture and reflex.  Regression to infantile narcissism via processes of identification, to a politics of patrimonialism.  Certain American classics of the 1940s should be reread today: Lillian Smiths's Killers of the Dream, Wilbur Cash's The Mind of the South, and others.  "The fundamental historicity of Being" (Zizek, Less Than Nothing, p. 108).

"truth has the structure of fiction" Less than Nothing, 252, 494)
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 Johathan Israel, A Revolution of the Mind: Radical Enlightenment and the Intellectual Origins of Modern Democracy (Princeton, 2010)

Sovereign in appearance, in reality the common people in a direct democracy are the slaves of 'perverse demagogues' wo know how to manipulate and flatter them.  In direct democracy the people often have no real conception of what liberty is and their rule can be harsher than that of the worst tyrant.  Liberty without reason, held d'Holbach, is of scant value in itself; consequently, the 'history of most republics,' he admonished, 'continually conjures up the gruesome picture of nations bathed in their own blood by anarchy.' (p. 64)


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.
Racism and Psuedo-speciation

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.  ("The quest of biological psychiatry, adopted and aided by DSM, is to claim a brain disease for every human trouble."  Kirk et. al., Mad Science)

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 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***Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Vygotsky, Descola, Latour; the Sapient Paradox: . . .  Figure 3 will be discussed below and throughout this site.  (Genetic ontology and transcendental empiricism: the genesis of the pages)

*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.

***
Miguel de Beistegui, Truth and genesis : philosophy as differential ontology (Indiana University Press, 2004)
Figure 3.  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 Egalitarianism
Whiten, Descola, Chase, Price . . .
Ressentiment & the Mechanisms of Defense
   Despotic regime; Racism;
   Nationalism; Fascism
Nietzsche, Deleuze & Guattari, Clarke, Paxton, Knox . . .
Bildung & the Will to Power (Jouissance)
   Progressive Narcisism; Individuation;
   Progressivism, Socialism, Communism
   the UAW and the Keynesian Elite
Hegel, Nietzsche, Vygotsky, Piaget, Alcorn . . .
Nihilism & the Last Man
   Regressive Narcissism and the   
   Culture of Consumption; Repressive
   Desublimation; Disindividuation;  
   Neoliberalism
Nietzsche, Hall, Ehrenberg, Stiegler, Illouz, Marcuse . . .

The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: Five Genetic Ontologies

from Wikipedia:

Heidegger sought to use the concept of Dasein to uncover the primal nature of "Being" (Sein), agreeing with Nietzsche and Dilthey that Dasein is always a being engaged in the world: neither a subject, nor the objective world alone, but the coherence of Being-in-the-world. This ontological basis of Heidegger's work thus opposes the Cartesian "abstract agent" in favour of practical engagement with one's environment. Dasein is revealed by projection into, and engagement with, a personal world - a never-ending process of involvement with the world as mediated through the projects of the self.

Heidegger raised the question of the ontological status of homo sapiens.  The obscure romanticism of his language is not unrelated to the fact that he became an important Nazi (the rector of the  University of Freiburg).  His static primordialism is in sharp contrast to the dynamic historical and developmental ontological thinking of Hegel-Marx-Vygotsky.  The weakness of the latter triad is in their naïve progressivism, the assumption that modern rationality would become the dominant ontology of modern society.  They did not comprehend the volcanic force of ressentiment that showed its face in the ultra-nationalism of the nineteenth century and the fascism of the twentieth century . . . and today almost everywhere.  Nor did they grasp that nihilism (neoliberalism's greatest if unintended achievement--see New York Times on Nihilism at the right) was the ultimate result of the cultural logic of capitalism. 

The one thinker of that epoch who got it right, who speaks to our Now of the twenty first century, is Nietzsche.  Of the five genetic ontologies three belong to the era of state power.  Ressentiment: again and again it appears, always claiming to be new, always the same old shit.  Eternal return (of the same old shit).  Bildung and the Will to Power.  Here Nietzsche and Hegel should be supplemented with some key contemporary texts, including Alcorn and Dupre.  It was Alcorn who opened my mind to an understanding of the pre-1960s left: the Communists and Socialists of New York and southeastern Michigan.  It was Alcorn who enabled me to make sense out of what Saul Wellman (Communist Party Detroit) and Cliff Williams (UAW Pontiac) were telling me.  On nihilism: the last man; disindividuation; decognification; the incredible shrinking self--it is uncanny how dead-on Nietzsche's scattered comments are in the  early Twenty-first century.

Genetic ontology (Miguel de Beistegui: "Transcendental empiricism is concerned with isolating the genetic and immanent conditions of existence of the real"), historicity of being (Zizek), Modes of Existence (Latour), psuedo-speciation (Mary Migdley)
; Paul James, Globalism, Nationalism, Tribalism: Bringing Theory Back In

Ontology, Transcendental Empiricism, Emergence
1.  The New York Times (and others) on Nihilism

Screen Addiction Is Taking a Toll on Children (7-6-15)

Steve Jobs Was a Low-Tech Parent (9-10-14)

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food (2-20-13)

Today’s Exhausted Superkids (8-15-15)

Is Internet Addiction a Health Threat for Teenagers? (7-16-15)

Failure to Thrive
(3-12-15)

The Immigrant Advantage (5-24-14)

In Heroin
Crisis, White Families Seek Gentler War on Drugs (10-30-15)

Death Rates Rising for Middle-Aged White Americans, Study Finds (11-2-15)

Drug Overdoses Propel Rise in Mortality Rates of Young Whites (1-20-16)

How the Epidemic of Drug Overdose Deaths Ripples Across America (1-19-16)

Teens spend nearly nine hours every day consuming media (W. Post 11-3-15)

Unequal, Yet Happy (4-11-15)
3.  The triumph of nihilism (and the New York Times on Dasein)

So far: the wreckage of socialism and the persistence of fascism . . .  and now:

T
he 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 (see Dupre), 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-5 as the operating manual of the post-human ontology.  The vortex of un-becoming . . . and the point of departure for a new kind of politics (or not). Zizek doesen't know how right he is when he says (843) . . . . .  and 453 "no final Aufhebung

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"); Kirk et. al. ("The quest of biological psychiatry, adopted and aided by DSM, is to claim a brain disease for every human trouble. On the one hand, the drug industry’s marketing efforts and its massive infusions of money to support psychiatric activities, and on the other hand psychiatry’s enthusiastic acceptance of the partnership, have completely subsumed psychiatry as a satellite branch of the multinational pharmaceutical industry.); 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. (The fundamental historicity of Being.)

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.

Donald Trump on waterboarding  

Trump Rally Goer: Ted Cruz A "Pussy" 

The grotesquely obvious sado-sexual chain of signifiers (abortion, the wall, all lives matter (deployed aggresssively against black lives matter, once again suppressing recognition of any black presence as citizens; also, similarly, the use of the term urban to signify black, the people without a name, the people who exist only in the shadows of racism )

The rhetorical performance of the elite-mass dialectic consists solely of this (the question of taxes has over the decades become linked with welfare and blacks)

patrimonialism: doers, toughness: regressive identification

Clinton likewise, women et al as dependents not citizens, who are recognized as recipients or victims, not as citizens "Fighting for Us" not an apppeal to citizenship

vs. Sanders analytical Progressive analytical framework, appeal to citizens

Who's that owl?  Minerva?  Why now?  Why fly?  Why fly now?  Is flight even possible?  The owl of Minverva flies only by night.  That time has come, but there's no owl in sight.  Oy vey.
owl

Who's that owl?  Minerva?  Why now?  Why fly?  Why fly now?
Is flight even possible?  It has been said that the owl of Minverva flies only
by night.  That time has come, but there's no owl in sight.  Oy vey.