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from Karen Barad, Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning (Duke University Press Books, 2007), 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 Muriel Combes, Gilbert Simondon and the Philosophy of the Transindividual (MIT Press, 2013), pp. 2-3

Simondon's approach entails a substitution of ontogenesis for traditional ontology, grasping the genesis of individuals within the operation of individuation as it is unfolding.





Figure 1.  The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: Five Genetic Ontologies
Genetic Ontology
Sources
(Full page here)
Primate
   Dominance and Deference; Patrimonialism
Mazur, deWaal, Wrangham . . .
Paleolithic
   Dynamic Egalitarianism
Whiten, Descola, Chase, Price . . .
Ressentiment & the Mechanisms of Defense/
the Atwater-Lacan Signifying Chain (the dark energy of politics)
   Patrimonialism; Despotic regime;
   Racism; Nationalism; Fascism
   the Trump campaign
Freud, Nietzsche, Klein, Foucault, Deleuze & Guattari, Clarke, Paxton, Knox . . .
Bildung & the Will to Power (Jouissance)
   the übermensch
   Progressive Narcissism; Individuation;

   Progressivism, Socialism, Communism
   the UAW and the Keynesian Elite
Schiller, Hegel, Nietzsche, Vygotsky, Piaget, Kohut, Alcorn . . . Lacan . . . Simondon, Stiegler
Nihilism & the Last Man
   Regressive Narcissism and the   
   Culture of Consumption; Repressive
   Desublimation; Disindividuation;  
   Neoliberalism
Nietzsche, Foucault, Deleuze & Guattari, Hall, Ehrenberg, Stiegler, Illouz, Marcuse . . . Didion . . . 



Figure 1.  PISA Math Scores, 2003 - 2012, is an effect of cultural-historical developmental processes, of which schooling itself is only one of several key inputs affecting the cognitive and cultural development of situated organisms--not Cartesian selves.  The Cartesian death star obliterates all possible horizons of thought, and nothing can be understood without this a-priori meta-cognitive maneuver.  This is one of several fundamental rules of procedure in the construction of this site.  Nazi bullshit artist Martin Heidegger's injunction to "let Being be" can be understood in this way.  This site is all about Being and Becoming.  The process of production of this site is called Transcendental Empiricism.  That said, now back to Figure 1.

Figure 1 is about more than schooling: it is about America as a failed state, a state unable to develop the population of old America* into a workforce capable of formal operational cognitive competence
And thus Figure 1 is, among other things, about the Trump campaign.

Figure 1 is an artifact of 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." 

From the standpoint of developing a dynamic ontology of really existing humans, Figure 1 is a window into the problematic of individuation. 

* old America.  It is already clear that in the U.S. unchurched as well as fundamentalist whites and blacks (and many working class Catholics) have been disgorged from the project of modernity, and now constitute, by twenty-first century standards, a barely literate mass, concentrated in the central cities, inner suburbs, small towns, and the rural heartland, and removed in toto from the possibilities of cognitive development implied by the term "education."  As the old America dies a sociocultural death*, it is being replaced by newer populations capable, for now, of cognitive development.**  The "White" portion of old America is Trump territory.

*see The Immigrant Advantage, by Anand Giridharadas in The New York Times, May 24, 2014.
**see Asian workers now dominate Silicon Valley tech jobs (San Jose Mercury News, 11-30-12.)


                    Figure 1.  PISA Math Scores, 2003 - 2012: 25 Nations
        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.

Money, Race and Success: How Your School District Compares (New York Times, 4-29-16)

Figure 2 is about  the  process of production of human beings of all kinds.

Thus, instead of a cognitively homogeneous citizenry of Cartesian selves (the inescapable presupposition of discourse in the public sphere), there is developmental
divergence (Nisbett, Calvin) producing fundamental differences in cognitive functioning among different historically and sociologically defined subgroups of the population.  These subgroups can be defined by the nature of their cognitive-linguistic practice, including inventories of basic expressions and rhetorical maneuvers, such as are seen in the Youtube videos of the Palin and McCain rallies of 2008, the Tea Party protests of 2009, and the mass of political ads produced for TV, as well as videos of newscasts and talk show interviews.  For example, Donald Trump's principle rhetorical move is to attach a pejorative adjective to a proper noun: lying-Ted, crooked-Hillary, little-Marco.  The sense of these rhetorical elements is determined by the Lacan-Atwater signifying chain. Nietzsche's concept of ressentiment and psychoanalysis's concept of the mechanisms of defense provide insight into the inner logic, the generative matrix, of this chain of signifiers.  It has been noted that Trump speaks at a third or fourth grade level.  It has yet to be noted that newscasters and commentators don't do much better.

When we add Stephen Ceci's* observations

. . . 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 (p. xiv)


and

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. (p. 22)

we possess some of the prerequisites necessary to understand the relationship between Donald Trump's performances, the crowd reactions, the history of the Republican Party, and role of media in the performance of the psychological processes of projection and identification that are the essence of mass politics.  Intelligence as contextualized, more or less complex performances?  Let us continue.  We are on the way to understanding the Trump phenomenon. 

From the standpoint of developing a dynamic ontology of really existing humans, Figure 2 is a second approximation.

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


Figure 2.  Bronfenbrenner's Bioecological Model of Human Development
b

from Making Human Beings Human: Bioecological Perspectives on Human Development, Urie Bronfenbrenner, ed. (Sage Publications, 2005)

The contemporary scientific study of human development is characterized by a commitment to the understanding of the dynamic relationships between the developing individual and the integrated, multilevel ecology of human development.  This approach to development is marked by a theoretical focus on temporally (historically) embedded person-context relational process; by the embracing of models of dynamic change across the ecological system; and by relational, change-sensitive methods predicated on the idea that individuals influence the people and institutions of their ecology as much as they are influenced by them. (ix)

Especially in its early phases, but also throughout the life course, human development takes place through processes of progressively more complex reciprocal interaction between an active, evolving biopsychosocial human organism and the persons, objects and symbols in its immediate external environment. (xviii)

Within the bioecological theory, develoment is defined as the phenomenon of continuity and change in the biopsychological characteristics of human beings both as individuals and as groups.  The phenomenon extends over the life course across successive generations and through historical time both past and present. (3)





At the right: Figure 3, the cognitive developmental modalities that span the entire history of the tribe hominini, which contains the genus homo (the only extant variety of which is homo sapiens sapiens) and the genus pan (this latter contains chimpanzees and bonobos).  Consider the excerpts from the work of Donald, Wrangham and Wilson, Price and Feinman, Gomez, Tomasello, Chase, Renfrew, Malafouris, Dunbar, Dupré and others in ArchaeologyAnthropology, regarding the ontologically indeterminate nature of homo sapiens as cultural-historical primate . . .  and note the references to Vygotsky.

Donald observes that contemporary homo sapiens' semiotic behavior "contains within it a trace of each of our previous stages of cognitive evolution."  Wrangham and Wilson state that "patterns of collective violence found among humans include similarities to those seen among chimpanzees."  Gomez writes of  "the possibility that, at a reduced scale, the mind of an ape can be upgraded by giving him, on the one hand, a regime of socially controlled attention and interactive experiences with humans, and on the other, a new, more explicit form of representing the world, [which] would confer dramatic support to the Vygotskian notion that higher cognition can be created through cultural processes of development that change the nature of cognitive ontogeny."  Malafouris and Renfrew, in How Things Shape the Mind, write that "the human mind exists as a historically situated actuality—that is, an emergent product of complex ecological relationships and flexible incorporative forms of material engagement."  And Dupre: "It is . . . clear that recognition of the variety of factors involved in development makes possible a diversity of individual outcomes within even quite narrowly defined populations."

The ontologically indeterminate nature of homo sapiens as cultural-historical primate.* This does not refer to a concept of "human nature" as commonly thought of.  The admittedly heuristic concept of the Cartesian Death Star is critical if we are to clear the ground for thinking the historicity and enormously complex variability of really existing humans, all of which unfolds in the post-speciation era.** (on the variability of really existing humans, see Dupre.)

Figure 3. cognitive developmental modalities* that span the history of the tribe hominini (cognitive-linguistic cardinality)

canThe Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein in the context of Merlin Donald, A Mind So Rare, Table 7.1,p. 260; Piaget; and Vygotsky (apologies to George Cantor)

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

*Michael Cole, Cynthia Lightfoot, and Sheila R. Cole, The Development of Children (Worth Publishers, 2009)

*Merlin Donald, A Mind So Rare: the Evolution of Human Consciousness (W.W. Norton, 2001)


*from Sue Taylor Parker and Michael L. McKinney, The Origins of Intelligence: the Evolution of Cognitive Development in Monkeys, Apes, and Humans (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999)


[Merlin] Donald . . .  proposes successive levels of mental adaptation (all of which persist in humans): (1) the episodic culture of monkeys and apes, (2) the mimetic culture of Homo erectus, (3) the mythic culture of modern Homo sapiens, and (4) the theoretic cultures of literate humans. (pp. 275-6; emphasis added)



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). 




* from Lambros Malafouris and Colin Renfrew, How Things Shape the Mind : A Theory of Material Engagement (MIT Press, 2013), p. 241

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

** from (Colin Renfrew, "Neuroscience, evolution and the sapient paradox: the factuality of value and of the sacred," Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2008 Jun 12; 363(1499): 2041–2047.):

What we may term the ‘speciation phase’ of human evolution (Renfrew 2006, p. 224, 2007a, p. 94), the period when biological and cultural coevolution worked together to develop the human genome and the human species, as we know it, was fulfilled already 60 000 years ago. This implies that the basic hardware—the human brain at the time of birth—has not changed radically since that time.

from Muriel Combes, Gilbert Simondon and the Philosophy of the Transindividual (MIT Press, 2013), pp. 2-3

When we retrace the genesis of physical and biological individuals or of psychic and collective reality, we always focus on the becoming of being, precisely because it is being that is individuated.  As such, being can only be adequately known from its middle, by seizing it at its center (by way of the operation of individuation and not on the basis of the term of this operation).  Simondon's approach entails a substitution of ontogenesis for traditional ontology, grasping the genesis of individuals within the operation of individuation as it is unfolding.



Figure 4.  The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: Five Genetic Ontologies

"Simondon's approach entails a substitution of ontogenesis for traditional
ontology, grasping the genesis of individuals within the operation of
individuation as it is unfolding."


Genetic Ontology
Sources
(Full page here)
Primate
   Dominance and Deference; Patrimonialism
Mazur, deWaal, Wrangham . . .
Paleolithic
   Dynamic Egalitarianism
Whiten, Descola, Chase, Price . . .
Ressentiment & the Mechanisms of Defense/
the Atwater-Lacan Signifying Chain (the dark energy of politics)
   Patrimonialism; Despotic regime;
   Racism; Nationalism; Fascism
Freud, Nietzsche, Klein, Foucault, Deleuze & Guattari, Clarke, Paxton, Knox . . .
Bildung & the Will to Power (Jouissance)
   the übermensch
   Progressive Narcissism; Individuation;

   Progressivism, Socialism, Communism
   the UAW and the Keynesian Elite
Schiller, Hegel, Nietzsche, Vygotsky, Piaget, Kohut, Alcorn . . . Lacan . . . Simondon, Stiegler
Nihilism & the Last Man
   Regressive Narcissism and the   
   Culture of Consumption; Repressive
   Desublimation; Disindividuation;  
   Neoliberalism
Nietzsche, Foucault, Deleuze & Guattari, Hall, Ehrenberg, Stiegler, Illouz, Marcuse . . . Didion . . . 



the Heart of Darkness: Donald Trump and The Lacan-Atwater Signifying Chain

Figures 1, 2 and 3 (and
Donald Trump Talks Like a Third-Grader) only get us so far.  Cognitive development is usually thought of antiseptically as operations occurring in an emotional void (Piaget).  But the Trump performance taps into and gives expression to the heart of darkness that is itself both a product of civilization and something, perhaps more deeply rooted (Klein), that is amplified by civilization (Ninivaggi*), worked up sometimes into a frenzy of rage and other-direct hate, of exterminatory violence.  The Trump performances--the audience, the cultural-historical context, and Trump himself as a therapeutic object--the proto-Dorian convention; Lacan-Atwater Signifying Chain; demonization, transcendental violence (Paxton)--this is our heart of darkness.

From the standpoint of developing a dynamic ontology of really existing humans, Figure 4 is a vital leap beyond the cognitivist orientation and limitations of Figures 1, 2, and 3.
  It includes psychoanalytical, cultural and historical texts, and literature (e.g., Balzac, Bellow, Roth). 

Not so easily categorized are the works of Nietzsche.  This entire site owes its existence in part to my encounters with Hegel and Nietzsche.  And my encounter with the associated milieu of the Keynesians, one the one hand, and the bildungsproletrians and plebeian upstarts whose activity produced the UAW;but also with the vietnam vet auto worker milieu of southest michigan in the 1970s; and also the entire contemorary semiosphere, not only of politics, but of the psychodramas on facebook and the trvialized cogntive process on twitter.  The GOP as the Stupid Party is thus an encounter with a milieu just as KE New Deal is an encounter with New Deal associated milieu, N=64 encounter and shareed itentonality from which to observe and comprehend  the world--as Paul Silver put it, in the auto factory of the 1930s you had the whole world; a homeomorphism.  This th wrld of withchunts,  and crusades of ultranationalism and fascism, and of today's Trump-Brexit reaction, are all parts of, regions of, the plane of immannece of resentment and the mechanisms of defense.But this world also interext the workd of the factories and communites of of southeat mchigan (Black Legion)

Ironically, it is the world of contemorary nihilism--see BBC doc. Facebookistan--that is mot opaque to me, that I cannot spontaenously grasp, that I must think hard about, and about which I cannot think

Thus, this whole site is moves between a world of texts--Hegel-Nietsche-Simondon et al--and a world of engagements--UAW etc.

This emotional tangle of rage has its effect, short circuiting higher-order cognitive processes (Ninnavaggi, Stiegler)

hown us how far we have fallen, how so many of us have become Morlocks (today's fascists); and how many have become Eloi (the modern nihilists).

Signifying Chain, Associated Milieu, and Individuation


from Wikipedia: Lee Atwater on the Southern Strategy

As a member of the Reagan administration in 1981, Atwater gave an anonymous interview to political scientist Alexander P. Lamis. Part of the interview was printed in Lamis's book The Two-Party South, then reprinted in Southern Politics in the 1990s with Atwater's name revealed. Bob Herbert reported on the interview in the October 6, 2005, edition of the New York Times. On November 13, 2012, The Nation magazine released a 42-minute audio recording of the interview.[9] James Carter IV, grandson of former president Jimmy Carter, had asked and been granted access to these tapes by Lamis's widow. Atwater talked about the Republican Southern Strategy and Ronald Reagan's version of it:


Atwater: As to the whole Southern strategy that Harry S. Dent, Sr. and others put together in 1968, opposition to the Voting Rights Act would have been a central part of keeping the South. Now you don't have to do that. All you have to do to keep the South is for Reagan to run in place on the issues he's campaigned on since 1964 and that's fiscal conservatism, balancing the budget, cut taxes, you know, the whole cluster.

Questioner: But the fact is, isn't it, that Reagan does get to the Wallace voter and to the racist side of the Wallace voter by doing away with legal services, by cutting down on food stamps?

Atwater: You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger"—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me—because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger."

Consider this example from Sophia Rosenfeld, A Revolution in Language: the Problem of Signs in Late Eighteenth-Century France (Stanford, 2001).  After you have read this excerpt, consider these two other examples of cognitive-discursive divergence, drawn from the current political scene: The Musso rant (right) and the Ground Zero debate

-- These texts and videos should be read and viewed before proceeding --

The enormous cognitive gulf between the enlightened representatives of the French Revolution and the village folk, between the two protagonists in the Ground Zero debate, and between Musso and the modern civilized citizen (John Cantin), has been inadequately conceptualized.  The two ontological modalities on display in these texts and videos are both emotionally and cognitively at odds.
[see semiotic regimes]

Here is an excerpt from Martin Bashir's interview of John Cantin where Cantin comments on the cognitive-linguistic brutishness of the crowd:

JC: However, when I went up I just looked at some of their signs and talked to them a little bit and realized they really didn’t know much about what they were there for. . .

MB: And this man in the red shirt [Musso] who approached you—the Boston Globe reports he was later arrested.  But what was he actually saying to you personally?

JC: Well, you know, I blocked him out.  He kept saying something about what kind of gun —he kept repeating—he had a very limited vocabulary from what I could see.  He wasn’t making a lot of sense, I don’t even know if he knew why he was there, for sure.  I don’t think he realized what we were actually there for.

from Thomas B. Edsall, Donald Trump, the Winning Wild Card, New York Times, March 8, 2016

Tom Davis similarly noted that the shift of the Republican base to more working class white communities has changed the cultural character of the Republican electorate. Republican voters are now more “guttural,” as Davis put it, more comfortable with Trump’s boastful, violent rhetoric and less connected to the cosmopolitan, modulated language of suburbia.



-- These texts and videos should be read and viewed before proceeding --

The site as a whole recognizes that the Internet is the techno-cognitive axis of a praxiological revolution in thought, where the extended mind is fused with philosophy  as the critical accompaniment to empirical practice.  It is now possible to do something that a book, by virtual of its technical limitations, could never do. The expanded semiotic capacity of the internet enables a wallowing in the existential muck of political life--the three videos below are cases in point.  This wallowing, however, can be done while keeping in mind an ever-expanding array of academic and literary texts.  This keeping in mind is something only a living human, embedded in history and culture, can do.

The point is not to select a particular theoretical perspective as true (e.g., Nietzsche, Freud, Klein, Winnicott, Piaget, Vygotsky, etc.), but rather to deploy it as a productive way of encountering (Deleuze), in this case, the rhetorical performances within the theater of ressentiment of the far right.  Hence the importance of clicking on the links, rather than skipping them as if they were footnotes.  This site is a rhizome.  Its principle of production is transcendental empiricism.  "Texts" and "data" coexist in a plane of immanence governed by consilience, attunement, and affinity.  The Brandom-Sellars observation is borne in mind:

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


the Musso Rant


Video: Martin Bashir interviews John Cantin on MSNBC.  Father of gun victim to hecklers: ‘What happened to my daughter wasn’t propaganda’

Video: Pro-gun advocate shamelessly heckles father of gun-violence victim before getting Tasered by police and arrested   Daily Mail 21 June 2013

Video: John Cantin's Speech at Mayors Against Illegal Guns Rally   Published on Jun 20, 2013

Article: Kelly Ayotte Criticized by Domestic Violence Activist, Examiner.com
johncantin
A security officer hovers near John Cantin as gun rights activist
Daniel Musso harasses him at a gun control rally


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 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.  Rage and pornography (Ted Cruz's bathroom attack ad against Trump).  Sex and violence in various covert as well as overt forms make up the entirety of the rhetorical field of populist Republicanism.  Lee Atwater has provided us with the pragmatics for the production of this Republican rhetoric; Jacques Lacan its concept.  Note Atwater's explanation of the way in which the issue of "taxes" in the GOP's rhetorical context functions as "Nigger, nigger."  Republican denunciations of "Hillary Clinton", seen as the extension of "Obama", thus are not issue-related.  It is the ultimate expletive, the synonym for the unspeakable: N . . . . . r.  Watch Trump rallies closely.  The audience is usually unfocused, almost bored in  the haze of broken English spoken by Trump.  Bored, restless, talking among themselves, cognitively not there, but waiting for the punch line, the expletive, the primitive, hate-filled denunciation.  Then they wake up, some more slowly than others, as they catch on, and howl their delight, only to subside into a state of not being.  This the pundits refer to as "energy."  This is, ontologically speaking, some really primitive stuff

And what is the punch line?  The transgressive allusion, the N-word lurking in the shadow of all that Trump says.








Donald Trump to Reshape Image, New Campaign Chief Tells G.O.P.  (New York Times, April 21, 2016)

Paul Manafort, bluntly suggested the candidate’s incendiary style amounted to an act. “That’s what’s important for you to understand: That he gets it, and that the part he’s been playing is evolving.”

Manafort has blurted out the truth of the relationship of political operatives to their various audiences.  The focus on Trump--does he really believe all the things he says--demonstrates the effect of the Cartesian Death Star on thinking.  Media coverage, including the rhetorical memes of "political strategists", in-house journalists, well-known commentators and the thousands of unknown contributors to the comments section of the New York Times, almost without exception ask all the wrong questions.  Trump has found the scene of an ontological catastrophe, the site of emergence of a pseudo-species defined by the genetic ontological of ressentiment and the mechanisms of defense.  What Trump says is a performance designed to elicit a
pseudo-species-specific response.  Wilbur Cash's concept of the proto-Dorian convention . . . . 
 
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.  Language on the threshold of gesture and reflex.  Regression to infantile narcissism via processes of identification, to a politics of patrimonialism: this is the Trump campaign.

Different orders of being?  Pseudo-speciation?  Does this sound racist?  Not at all.  In fact, this is the most thoroughgoing refutation of racism.  It is instead a further development of the line of thought opened up by Schiller (Aesthetic Letters), Marx (link), Dewey, Vygotsky, and Brofenbrenner.  A further development?  This means we must take into account the threefold catastrophe that characterizes our current situation: the wreckage of socialism, the persistence of fascism, and the triumph of nihilism.  Ontological questions arise, humanist presuppositions fall.  The 21st century is a brave new world; the 21st century is Nietzsche's century. 

The political spectacle of 2016 puts on display the forms of life of contemporary homo sapiens: Trump (greed and ressentiment, the paranoid-schizoid position, the proto-Dorian convention), Clinton (greed and identity politics, greed and nihilism, the depressive position), and Sanders (a feeble replay of Progressivism, a pale shadow of the New Deal, a remembrance of things past,
the depressive position).

And so we come to Bernard Stiegler's concern, the other threat to the cognition of civic republicanism

Bernard Stiegler, For a New Critique of Political Economy (polity, 2010)

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

Bernard Stiegler, States of Shock: Stupidity and Knowledge in the 21st Century ()

Bernard Stiegler, What Makes Life Worth Living: On Pharmacology ()

Signs and Machines: Capitalism and the Production of Subjectivity (Semiotext(e) / Foreign Agents) Paperback – May 2, 2014
by Maurizio Lazzarato

When Breath Becomes Air

Schiller in Barnow


The enormity of what is evident in Trump, disindividualtion, decognification, regression to an . . .   the permanent installation of the atwater-lacan signifying chain in a regressed population that in effect controls the House of Represetnatives and exercises a permanent veto on modern capitlist politics (primoridalism is excluded; so is nostalgia for a mhthical Smithian utpia of the small producre ina free market)

macroview

Simondon . . . .


Problematica empirica

Trump--RMD
UAW--Bildung
KE--Bildung/Baradian ontology



the wreckage of socialism, the persistence of fascism,
and the triumph of nihilism


a. the wreckage not only of socialism but more broadly of Progressivism, of the entire cultural-historical self-formative project (Bildung) that grew out of the Enlightenment and gave us the Russian revolution, Scandinavian Social Democracy, and the American New Deal.  The cultural-historical, cognitive-developmental ontology Bildung and the Will to Power has not disappeared.  It has been diminished in scope: no more Schiller, Compte, Marx or Brandeis, with their comprehensive, systems-oriented understanding of society, and their commitment to an open-ended developmental approach to human ontology.  No more struggle with the political power and ontological threat of concentrated wealth (FDR speech, Madison Square Garden, October 31, 1936).  Where once there was a Charles Beard, there now stands a mobile army of highly educated primates, ever sensitive to the wishes and expectations of the alpha males of our brave new economic order.  Where once there was an intellectual cadre conscious of its responsibilities and of its potential power, now there are yes-men, servants of power, who craft involves the literary and scientific justification of existing arrangements. (See Charles Beard on Walter Lippmann.)

b. the persistence of the political culture, psychological dispositions and praxiological modalities of ressentiment (the inner life of fascism), and the possibility that--frightening as this is--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.  Theories are not true or false; they are more or less useful in encountering and understanding empiricities: Key words: consilience, affinity, attunement.

c. the triumph of nihilism as the socio-cultural engineering project of global corporate networks of unimaginable reach and power, generating an entropic process of disindividuation.  Mass consumption as a mode of absorption and transformation of the organism.  The fiction of freedom, the subversion of individuation, the inner logic of addiction, the commodification of distress, the infantilization of public discourse . . . in short, the dissipation of the species homo sapiens sapiens into a proliferation of effects.  DSM-5 as the operating manual of the post-human ontology.

viewed from within horizon of shared intentionality

perspectival anchors:

Detroit metro: many loci/contexts

SE Mich: Midland: 1. Jim Peters-Joe Block-Herman Burt-Oscar Oden-Levi Nelson; 2. Podgorsky-Borovich; 3. Kluck

SE Mich: Pontiac: Williams-Henson

RMD semiosphere

Nihilism semiosphere

themes

new concepts: bildungsprol; pleb. upstarts;
old concepts: urban-rural (Paul Silver, Williams
conservative americans; migrant yankees
long circuits; associated mieliu; individuation; genetic ontologies of the subject; simondian ontologies of social formations

Why we need ontology: Alan Wolfe, "The Myth of the Limousine Liberal" (New Republic, May 3, 2016).  Review of Steve Fraser, The Limousine Liberal: How an Incendiary Image United the Right and Fractured America (Basic Books, 2016)

Steve Fraser, Bernie, The Donald, and the Sins of Liberalism (The Huffington Post 6-2-16)

Ontologies:

1. sodalities: primate power?  the Mafia

2. input-output matrices ("realization"): the ontologies of capitalism

3. subjectivities (5 Genetic Ontologies)

4. associated milieux

meta-stable formations (classroom episode re illegal immigration/labor markets)

But what about those highly respected critics--and there are many--who, on an intst become.  The issues
 of the day are petty things compared to the big question of the ontological transformation of homo sapiens which a new politics presupposes and requires.  Donald Trump has s
hown us how far we have fallen, how so many of us have become Morlocks (today's fascists); and how many have become Eloi (the modern nihilists).


hdg
Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog (Europa Editions, 2008)
But what about those highly respected critics--and there are many--who, on an intellectual plane, fight the power?  The problem: they presuppose the Cartesian self, they propose that we deal only with the externals of economy and politics, while seeking to preserve an as yet unconceptualized form of life that is unfit to live in the postmodern world, unfit to live because it can only react, can only complain, can only protest.  This is the great ontological question of today, a question at the heart of nineteenth and twentieth century thought: Schiller, Hegel, Marx, Dewey, Vygotsky, Balzac, Bellow, Roth: the ontologically indeterminate nature of homo sapiens as cultural-historical primate.  Once we abandon the idea of a given if vague humanity; once we realize that we are the big issue--the questions of inequality and the concentration of economic and political power are minor  compared to the question of what we are and what we must become.  The issues of the day are petty things compared to the big question of the ontological transformation of homo sapiens which a new politics presupposes and requires.  Donald Trump has shown us how far we have fallen, how so many of us have become Morlocks (today's fascists); and how many have become Eloi (the modern nihilists).
Detroit News, May 20, 1943
sd

Right: 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 the authors quoted below:

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")

Kirk and Gomory ("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.")

Stiegler ("the entropic vicious circle that leads to dissociation, desocialization, and disindividuation")

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")

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.

Two sets of texts do not appear in the list of sources (QHD-5): 1) works on cognitive development (see Bruner on Piaget and Vygotsky), and 2) works on psychoanalysis (an excellent overview: Greenberg and Mitchell)

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)

In ‘Screenagers,’ What to Do About Too Much Screen Time  (3-15-16)

Technology Addiction: Concern, Controversy, and Finding Balance (Common Sense Media)
How Facebook Warps Our Worlds (Frank Bruni, op-ed column 5-21-16)



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

Andy Grove’s Warning to Silicon Valley (3-25-16)

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)

Michel Houllebecq's 'Submission',  reviewed by Karl Ove Knausgaard (NYT, 11-2-15)



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)

U.S. Suicide Rate Surges to a 30-Year High (4-22-16)

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)

These are the three genetic ontologies* that Nietzsche conceptualized.  Two of them--ressentiment and nihilism--are relatively straightforward.  The will to power and the übermensch, on the other hand, are often misconstrued as proto-typically Nazi concepts.  I will demonstrate, in my analysis of the übermenschen (bildungsproletarians and plebian upstarts) who created the UAW, that it is Nietzsche who best characterizes the inner nature of the insurgent auto workers of southeast Michigan in the New Deal era.

The two genetic ontologies that precede the era of state power--primate (dominance and deference), and paleolithic (dynamic egalitarianism)--remain available to modern human assemblages.  They are important in ways that have already been explored--Wrangham, Mazur, de Waal, Whiten--and in ways that have yet to be examined.  To what extent do primate patterns of dominance and deference get worked up and integrated into contemporary political economic behavior?  Alternative explanations of greed and envy are possible and complementary.  The unending stream of pseudo-biological appologias for the way things are prefer genetic reductionism to history, ethnology, and psychoanalysis in explanations of contemporary human behavior.

Thse five genetic ontologies are not the only kind of ontologies possible.  Karen Barad's conceptualization of the ontological problematic enables an understanding of the New Deal that is developed on other pages on this site.  The Keynesian Elite is conceptualized in precisely the way Barad suggests.  But the genetic ontology bildung and the will to power is the vitalist core of the human side of a systems process suggested by Barad. 


*Miguel de Beistegui, Truth and Genesis: Philosophy as Differential Ontology (Indiana University Press, 2004).

Figure 4.  Taylor Society I: Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State
RRkenewdeal
Source: "Membership List, May 1927," in the Morris L. Cooke Papers, box 66, FDR Library and
United States Government Manual 1937

for more info on Fig.2 click on Keynesian Elite: Career Matrix

The preceding concerns with cognitive development and ontology grew out of my investigation of the origins of what I now see as a unified field of phenomena, from the shopfloors and neighborhoods of southeast Michigan to the Keynesian elite in the New Deal state.  But I began this work in the mid-1970s, fresh on the heels of the upheavals of the 1960s, and unaware, as we all were at that time, of the extraordinary turn of history.  Even in the time of Reagan and Thatcher we still had little idea of what was to come, although in retrospect we might have guessed.

Now we know.  Everything the New Deal stood for has been obliterated.  Now, within the space of reasons, there is no hope.  This becomes clear when one understands that the New Deal was the culmination of a cultural-historical-developmental process that began in the 18th century, seemed to at least partially triumph in the first half of the 20th century, and is now dead and gone, never to reappear.  The cultural developmental disaster that can be known as Trump (as long as we recognize that by this I mean the cultural-historical, cognitive-regressive processes that made his rise possible) is not only real; it promises to deepen rapidly.  This is the end of America as we once knew  it, the end, possibly, of the United States as a modern nation state.  Think Bladerunner and Mad Max . . .  for starters.  Then let your imagination run wild.{A}

To understand this extraordinary junction of world history, a close examination of the New Deal and the UAW is absolutely necessary.  As William Faulker has said ---- [KE2014B]--has good stuff

Three closely related events in early 1937: the Keynesians abortive drive to the left; Lippmann and the Mont Pleier origins of neo-liberalism, and the civil war in the uaw

But what about those highly respected critics--and there are many--who, on an intellectual plane, fight the power?  The problem: they presuppose the Cartesian self, they propose that we deal only with the externals of economy and politics, while seeking to preserve an as yet unconceptualized form of life that is unfit to live in the postmodern world, unfit to live because it can only react, can only complain, can only protest.  This is the great ontological question of today, a question at the heart of nineteenth and twentieth century thought: Schiller, Hegel, Marx, Dewey, Vygotsky, Balzac, Bellow, Roth




Bronfenbrenner's Bioecological Model of Human Development



from Making Human Beings Human: Bioecological Perspectives on Human Development, Urie Bronfenbrenner, ed. (Sage Publications, 2005)

The contemporary scientific study of human development is characterized by a committment to the understanding of the dynamic relationships between the developing individual and the integrated, multilevel ecology of human development.  This approach to development is marked by a theoretical focus on temporally (historically) embedded person-context relational process; by the embracing of models of dynamic change across the ecological system; and by relational, change-sensitive methods predicated on the idea that individuals influence the people and institutions of their ecology as much as they are influenced by them. (ix)

Especially in its early phases, but also throughout the life course, human development takes place through processes of progressively more complex reciprocal interaction between an active, evolving biopsychosocial human organism and the persons, objects and symbols in its immediate external environment. (xviii)

Within the bioecological theory, develoment is defined as the phenomenon of continuity and change in the biopsychological characteristics of human beings both as individuals and as groups.  The phenomenon extends over the life course across successive generations and through historical time both past and present. (3)





ss




psuedo-speciation vs. racism



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.  There are striking differences in cognitive and other behavioral phenomena among humans, but these have nothing to do with genes and everything to do with history and culture, culture and power, power and the reactions to power . . . and with politics.

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

Jonathan Marks and others have critiqued the current manifestations of racist psuedo-science, and historians of science have described the manner in which popular myths and powerful interests combine to produce this psuedo-science.  The most touchy subject of all, however, is to actually account for the enormous variation among contemporary humans.  An enormous segment of the "white" population is now going under, decomposing, clinging all the more desperately to its mythic being.  How far under?  Donald Trump's totally unexpected success provides a clue.  Stay tuned. 

We are dealing here with different orders of being (and simultaneously with ontological instability)
the sapient paradox s



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

**from review by Cadell Last, Explorations in Anthropology, Vol.12, No. 1, pp. 120–123.


Most striking today is the oblivousness of radical commentators to the deep restructuring of the bio-emotional corpus by the modern corporation, by modern corporate networks, by coherent bio-emotional strategic bodies (The Clinton Foundation).  They are still focused in the nineteenth-century incubus, the exploiting capitalist who deprives us of the stuff we need.  The enormous but unasked question re. The ontologically indeterminate nature of homo sapiens as cultural-historical primate.  There is no given, notauthentic, no natural, although the presupposition of the cartesian self  is constitutive of all discourse, and is treated as sthe given, the true, the natural (Neoliberalism)

See Sherry Turkle's Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age commdent section: here the qustion of Being is skirted, obfuscated with cartesian plaints



Joseph Henrich, How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter (Princeton University Press, 2015)  VIDEO


Stieger/UAW: individuation; long-circuits of individuation; transindividuation

This is my cultural-historical developmental vector: Bully, Williams, Wellman, Kord; Spring Council & Peterson-Reuther(Brookwood . . . )


the very formation of the action networks: a bildungsproletarian and associated network of plebeian upstarts; but bildungsprols part of superorganism, which itself condenses into KE/New Deal State and becomes a force in alliance with itself

Faulkner-Dewey-Wiederman-Cohen-Corcoran vs. Judge Gadola

Thus, Steiger, who confronts our condition of disindividuation/fanancialization, is brought into active relation with UAW as associated milieu

However, Stiegler et. al., in proposiing solutions--i.e., policies, therapies, etc., omits the one possible  praxiological-vitalist orientation of any efficacy: bolshevism 2.0