Invisible University: Transcendental Empiricism in Action
(Understanding "Trump")


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Figure 1.  The Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State, 1910-1939

Figure 2.  PISA Math Scores, 2003-2012: 25 Nations

Figure 3.  The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: Five Genetic Ontologies

Figure 4.  UAW, Southeast Michigan: Bildungsproletarians (Table of Interviews)

Figure 5.  Capital: Sources, Sectors, Firms and Functions, 1910-2016

Figure 6. cognitive developmental modalities* that span the history of the tribe hominini 
                   (cognitive-linguistic cardinality)

Figure 6. cognitive developmental modalities* that span the history of the tribe hominini 
                   (cognitive-linguistic cardinality)

Figure 6. cognitive developmental modalities* that span the history of the tribe hominini 
                   (cognitive-linguistic cardinality)


Figure 1. The Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State
Source: "Membership List, May 1927," in the Morris L. Cooke Papers, box 66, FDR Library,  and
United States Government Manual, 1937 
TS=Taylor Society business milieu; FF=Brandeis-Frankfurter legal milieu
LINK: The Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State, 1910-1939
The Degradation of Thinking

Bernard Stiegler, The re-enchantment of the world : the value of spirit against industrial populism, warns of

"the entropic vicious circle that leads to dissociation, desocialization, and disindividuation" ( p. 67) and notes that "the ecological crisis of spirit translates itself in the first place as a crisis of education." (p. 90)

Figure 2, PISA Math Scores, 2003 - 2012, 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." 

Schooling itself is only one of several inputs affecting the cognitive and cultural development of situated organisms--not Cartesian selves. 

From the standpoint of developing a dynamic ontology of really existing humans, Figure 2 is a window into the problematic of individuation.  I intend to transpose the conventional question of "education" into the more profound approach implied by the term individuation.

from Donald A. Landes, review of Andrea Bardin, Epistemology and Political Philosophy in Gilbert Simondon: Individuation, Technics, Social Systems (Springer, 2015)

Bardin, rather than seeking to discover a latent political philosophy in Simondon's work, follows Stiegler in seeing "the question of individuation" itself as "entirely political.

Figure 2 is not only about cognitive development, but about the conditions under which such development is either enhanced or subverted.  But Figure 2 also implies Figure 3, The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: Five Genetic Ontologies.  One cannot extricate the cognitive from the more broadly symbolic and emotional dimensions of homo sapiens in the post-speciation era.

Figure 1 is also about the Trump campaign (Donald Trump Talks Like a Third-Grader, Politico).  Reputable media observe the cognitive-discursive peculiarities of Trump's performances, and yet continue to take Trump's utterances at face value, arguing the merits and feasibility of building the wall and the ban on Muslims.  They note the dog-whistle character of Trump's rhetoric, but discuss only the whistle, never the dog: the cognitive and emotional reactions of the audience toward whom the whistle is directed.  If this is to be understood at all, a concept like pseudo-speciation is necessary (such a concept is the antithesis of racism).

                             Figure 2.  PISA Math Scores, 2003 - 2012: 25 Nations
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)

(the) Enlightenment in Ruins

The humanist ethos and Enlightenment presuppositions that animated progressive movements, from the New Deal to Bolshevism, now appear as little more than naïve hopes and wishful thinking.  If there is no such thing as human nature, then what is the nature of the peculiar and radically variable forms of life whose raw material is the species homo sapiens?  To what extent and in what way are these forms of life effects of power?  Questions of Ontology and Agency arise.  Ontology and Agency?  Two sides of the same coin.

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.

and from Nietzsche, Will to Power, § 863

“The values of the weak prevail because the strong have taken them over as devices of leadership.”
Understanding "Trump" as Genetic Ontology: I (pseudo-speciation)

Understanding "Trump" demands  a radical reconceptualization of that which is evoked and simultaneously  suppressed by the use of the term
human nature; a reconnaissance of the territory simultaneously evoked and suppressed by use of the term racism;  and a recognition of the genetic ontology that is the core of the "Trump" phenomenon: ressentiment and the mechanisms of defense

Figure 3 provides the theoretical fields that turn the merely empirical into a plane of immanence.  What is required is a deeper understanding of the relationship between Donald Trump's performances, the crowd reactions, the history of the Republican Party, and the role of media in the performance of the psychological processes of projection and identification that are the essence of mass politics.  (Lowndes)  Figure 3 is an attempt at one kind of ontology: an ontology of the subject.  But this subject is not the "individual."  The latter is an ideological fiction (Cartesian and bourgeois-Christian).  The subject is an effect of a multiplicity of forces converging on an organism; an effect of history, culture, and language. 

The Trump performances tap into and give expression to the heart of darkness that is itself both a product of civilization and something, perhaps more deeply rooted, that is amplified by civilization (Melanie Klein*), worked up sometimes into a frenzy of rage and other-direct hate.  The rhetorical violence of Trump rallies, not ideology and policies, is what is fundamental. The Trump performances--the audience, the cultural-historical context, and Trump himself as a therapeutic object with which the audience member can identify--become deeply intelligible when viewed through the prism of certain key concepts: Nietzsche's concept of ressentiment; psychoanalysis's concept of the mechanisms of defense; Wilbur Cash's concept of the proto-Dorian convention; the Lacan-Atwater Signifying Chain; and Robert Paxton's concept of  transcendental violence. 

On the far 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.  Christopher Browning (Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland) and Jan T. Gross (Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland) have provided us with descriptions of what can be achieved when this deep and unquenchable rage is turned into action by political leaders.

Nietsche go it right:

Here the works of vengefulness and rancor swarm; here the air stinks of secrets and concealment;  . . . and what mendaciousness is employed to disguise that this hatred is hatred!  What a display of grand words and postures, what an art of "honest" calumny! (The Geneology of Morals, II, 14)

Since the Reformation vengeance has been the core value of what in our own time have become known as the values voters.  This is the territory simultaneously evoked and suppressed by use of the term racism, and requires its own set of pages: a page I will call "Vengeance is ours, saith the masses."
Figure 3.  The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: Five Genetic Ontologies
Genetic Ontology
(Full page here)
Before the State

Dominance and Deference; Patrimonialism
Mazur, deWaal, Wrangham . . .  Piketty
Dynamic Egalitarianism
Whiten, Descola, Chase, Price . . .

Ressentiment & Mechanisms of Defense
      (the Atwater-Lacan Signifying Chain)
Patrimonialism; Despotic regime;
Racism; Nationalism; Fascism
the Trump campaign
Freud, Nietzsche, Klein, Lacan, 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 (entropy)
Regressive Narcissism and the   
Culture of Consumption; Repressive
Desublimation; Disindividuation;  
Nietzsche, Foucault, Deleuze & Guattari, Hall, Ehrenberg, Stiegler, Illouz, Marcuse . . . Didion . . . 

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. 

Bildung and the Will to Power

Figure 4 and Figure 1 are closely related.
  Agency, motive


1.  the unified field: KE-UAW
2.  the Stupid Party
3.  Marx and Jesus

This is expanded elsewhere; this page is my chance to put it all together, a combination of compressed text and various graphic elements.  I intend to demonstrate that a concept of genetic ontology is necessary if not sufficient, if we are to develop a more comprehensive and penetrating understanding of post-speciation homo sapiens.

Two names, two ghosts, haunt this site: Hegel and Nietzsche.  If you don't like what you see here, don't blame me.  Blame them.

The UAW as a Genetic Ontological Field:
Figure 4. Bildungsproletarians and Plebeian Upstarts: Detroit's East Side

Leon Pody*
Briggs, Murray Body
UAW Local 212, 2
Frank Fagan
Murray Body UAW Local 2
Frank Fagan*
Murray BodyUAW Local 2
Lloyd Jones*
Murray Body UAW Local 2
Dick Frankensteen Dodge Main
UAW Local 3
Dick Frankensteen*Dodge Main
UAW Local 3
Charles Watson Dodge Main UAW Local 3
Harry Ross*
Dodge MainUAW Local 3
Richard Harris*
Dodge Main UAW Local 3
Joe Adams Dodge Main UAW Local 3
Joe Ptazynski
Dodge Main UAW Local 3
Earl Reynolds Dodge Main UAW Local 3
John Zaremba*
Dodge Main UAW Local 3
Jack Zeller
Chrysler Jefferson Ave
UAW Local 7
Ed Carey*
Chrysler Jefferson Ave UAW Local 7
Francis Moore Hudson
UAW Local 154
John McDaniel Packard
UAW Local 190
John McDaniel*Packard
UAW Local 190
Harry Kujawski Packard UAW Local 190
Eddie Dvornik Packard UAW Local 190
Adam Poplewski*
Packard UAW Local 190
James Lindahl**
UAW Local 190
Ken Morris*
UAW Local 212
Art Vega*
UAW Local 212
Leonard Klue MICHIGAN STEEL TUBEa UAW Local 238
Paul Silver
Detroit Steel Products
UAW Local 351
N = 35 interviewees
UAW Local 410
John Anderson
CP, Midland Steel
Bill Jenkins Chrysler Highland Park
UAW Local 490
Tony Podorsek
body-in-white supervisor Dodge, Cadillac

* interviews conducted by Jack Skeels
** Lindahl collection at the Reuther Archives includes "Some Institutional Factors in Union Decision Making."  This reads as if it emerged out of
to intersubjective pr
a Emergence of a UAW Local (U. of Pittsburgh Press, 1975)

Flint and Pontiac
Norman Bully
Buick (Flint) UAW Local 599
Arthur Case*
Buick (Flint) UAW Local 599
Larry Jones
Chevrolet (Flint) UAW Local 659
Bill Genski
Fisher Body #1 (Flint)
UAW Local 581
Bill Genski*
Fisher Body #1 (Flint)
UAW Local 581
Bud Simons*
Fisher Body #1 (Flint)
UAW Local 581
Cliff Williams
Yellow Cab (Pontiac)
UAW Local 594
Bob Travis**

Henry Kraus**

George Addes*
Willys Overland (Toledo)

Joseph Ditzel*
Chevrolet (Toledo)

James Roland*
Chevrolet (Toledo)
Roy H. Speth*
Seaman Body (Milwaukee)

Ed Carey*

Midland Steel
Oscar Oden

Herman Burt
Paint Machine

Levi Nelson

Jim Peters

Joe Block
William Hintz
Ben Wainwright
Chester Podgorsky

Bob Brenner
Tool Room

Barney Kluck
Tool Room

Ed Tyll
Tool Room
George Borovich

John Perry
George Bidinger
Large Presses

One of the effects of the "discovery" of the "Keynesian" input-output matrix, its associated milieu, and its discursive field is the impetus this discovery gives to a further delineation of inter-penetrating fields of capital formations, politics, and genetic ontologies. 

In 1935-38 the Administration of FDR took a left turn, known as the Second New Deal.  This development makes no sense in the absence of a concept of the political-economic strategies of the mass consumption sector.  (see Pabon, Carlos E., "Regulating capitalism : the Taylor Society and political economy in the inter-war period." (1992). Doctoral Dissertations 1896 - February 2014. Paper 1187.)  Without an ontology of capitals nothing makes sense.

The strongest opposition to this Keynesian thrust within the Democratic Party came from the white supremacist South, and from the Catholic-based big-city machines in the North (Hopkins reports).
(Das) Capital(s): Sources, Sectors, Firms and Functions
Strategic Elites
Sectors of Realization
Firms and Functions
See Rosen for 1932 list

Belmont, Baruch, Brookings, Lovett, Harriman
Commodities in International Trade
Tobacco, Cotton, Sugar, Corn, Wheat, Copper, Oil
Legal Services
Financial Services
National Civic Federation

See Other People's Money, Pujo Committee, TNEC:

Morgan, etc.

Securities Bloc
Securities & Finance
Legal Services
Infrastructure (Railroads, Telephones, Electric Power, Urban Transportation)
Primary Materials (Iron & Steel, Coal)
Captive Capital Goods
Pollak Foundation
The Taylor Society: elite firms
Macy's, Bowery Savings Bank, Dennison
Mass Consumption I: Mass Distribution and Mass Housing
Mass Retailers
Producer Services
Real Estate
The Taylor Society: manufacturing firms Mass Consumption II:
Captive Production Inputs

Twentieth Century Fund
Committee for Economic Development
Modern Machinery

Post-Modern Capitalism: the Production of Subjectivities
Clinton Foundation

Return of the Repressed
Mayberry Machiavellis
The Price of Loyalty
Miles, Mayer
The Kansas Experiment
Provincial Capital Formations
Local Chambers of Commerce
Republican Gomorrah
Bill Jenkins
Staten Island
Sodalities Police, Fire, Local Gov't, Local Services
Coers, Trump, Koch Patrimonialism Koch Bros


In Hacked D.N.C. Emails, a Glimpse of How Big Money Works (NYT JULY 25, 2016)

 After Lying Low, Deep-Pocketed Clinton Donors Return to the Fore (NYT JULY 28, 2016)

Ego Clashes Exposed in Leaked Emails From Democratic National Committee (NYT JULY 24, 2016)

Search the DNC email database
(NYT JULY 28, 2016)

The Kansas Experiment (NYT August 9, 2015)

Joseph Stiglitz (Wiki) and the myth of the free market

The death of neoliberalism and the crisis in western politics   (the Guardian)

Arno J. Mayer, The Persistence Of The Old Regime : Europe To The Great War (Pantheon Books, 1981)

Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt

human nature; deification of the people

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

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

from Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power, § 863

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

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

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

two kinds of individuation (Hegel/Alcorn/Vygotsky-bildung and Simondon-individuation
two kinds of narcissism

Symbolic Misery, Vol. 2  (looked at, did not read: can be summarized as critique of nihilism)

Comment from Frank Bruni, The Trouble for Hillary, Frank Bruni JULY 30, 2016

Emile, New York 4 hours ago

Mr. Bruni's remarks about "how weak many Americans feel right now," and how they suffer from "disillusionment" has become the liberal path to empathizing with Trump's supporters. The problem is that it's a false narrative.

Trump supporters have always felt strong, not weak. Yes, they are full of hate, but not from disillusionment. Rather, hatred has always pulsed through their veins, and Trump simply amplifies it.

I have a home in rural upstate New York, in a town where I have to mingle with Trump supporters. The homes where Trump signs are posted attest to the fact that his supporters are not poor. And the Trump supporters I see around town do not behave the least bit as if they feel either weak or disillusioned. Mostly, they are loud and vulgar whites who, before Trump, held back from being openly racist, but are now willing to casually utter the most appalling things about Obama and his family, or make the grossest sexist asides, in full awareness that there [are] people around them whom they don't know who can hear them.

Dispense with this utterly false narrative that sees Trump supporters as sufferers. They are doing just fine. Most are what they've always been--arrogant, potentially dangerous people--fascists in the making.

Clinton can never hope to win any of them over. Her best strategy is to target the majority of Americans who recognize Trump's indecency, and make the case that no decent person votes for a man like Trump.

A Boy At A Trump Rally Called Clinton A ‘Bitch.’ That’s Not An Accident 

The GOP as the Stupid Party?  An Inadequate Conceptualization.  

Semiotic Regimes: Decoding the Two-Party System

The Imus Brouhaha and that which is called "Racism"

         Rabids and Thoughtfuls;


The Lacan-Atwater Signifying Chain

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."