Invisible University: Transcendental Empiricism in Action
Understanding "Trump"

(aa1971@wayne.edu)

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       GRAPHICAL SYNOPSIS OF SITE E



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
k
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
PART ONE: MIND

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 key 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 1 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 1 is not only about cognitive development, but about the conditions under which such development is either enhanced or subverted.  (Taken by itself, however, Figure 1 misses whole other dimensions of being/becoming . . . more)

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 1 is also about the effects of globalization, and about the impact of neoliberalism on the population of old America.
                             Figure 2.  PISA Math Scores, 2003 - 2012: 25 Nations
pisa
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)




Old America?




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.)





prots

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)

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--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.

A concept of pseudo-speciation is required to make sense of the two-party discursive field.  We are dealing here with different orders of being (and simultaneously with ontological instability: Simondon's metastability) having nothing to do with genes and everything to do with history and culture, culture and power, power and the reactions to power.

So much for the (bourgeois Christian**) myth of the people, that haze of the unspoken unthought givenness of "man" at the core of philosophies of "liberation".  In place of the people, specific genetic ontologies.  In place of the stability of forms, metastability and contingency.  This site is the antidote to the progressive/Marxist presupposition of progress, and of its presuppositional matrix of Cartesianism and materialism. 
"Man is the as yet undetermined animal." (Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, III, 62)  The undetermined animal?--or should we say today, determined in so many ways, all impossible.  So many axes of crisis.  One of these--ressentiment and the mechanisms of defense--is the inner logic, the genetic ontology, of that phenomenological bundle called "Trump".  Trump the orchestrator of the spirit of revenge, playing with his crowds, giving voice to and legitimizing a dark, pulsing insufferable rage, a pent-up fury, a hatred of . . . everything. 

  *Frank Ninivaggi, Envy Theory (Rowman & Littlefield , 2010)
**Karl Lowith, From Hegel to Nietzsche
Figure 3.  The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: Five Genetic Ontologies
Genetic Ontology
Sources
(Full page here)
Before the State

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

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;  
Neoliberalism
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. 

Looking Back.  The Fate of Post-Paleolithic Ontologies:
the wreckage of socialism, the p
ersistence of fascism, and the triumph of nihilism


Figure 3, The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: Five Genetic Ontologies, allows a survey of recent history in genetic-ontological terms:

First, 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, Brandeis, Alexander Bogdanov or Morris L. Cooke, 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 (See Charles Beard on Walter Lippmann. re. the origins of neoliberalism.), 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, whose craft involves the literary and scientific justification of existing arrangements (e.g., TED talks). 

Second, 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.  Once upon a time it was thought that fascism was a thing of the dead past; the word was taboo in the pages of the New York Times.  Today (2016) it is allowed . . . but not the concept.  The fear of Trump allows the word to be spoken, but not the concept to be deployed.
h
"Philosophy always arrives too late . . . .  The Owl
of Minerva takes flight only as the dusk begins to fall."


Third, 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.  Homo sapiens is now becoming a collection of hapless blobs of protoplasm gulping down vast quantities of salt, fat, and sugar; of psychoactive drugs both legal and otherwise; of ego-boosting and self-forming fashion statements; of life experiences (Viking River Cruises), all the while wallowing in media-provided concoctions of all kinds, from Downton Abbey and Housewives of Beverly Hills to the Jerry Springer Show and Duck Dynasty and Oprah (on the psychological dynamics of an Oprah audience, see Richard Powers, Generosity, pp.  ). This ever-expanding free-wheeling exercise of corporate power in the creation of the subjectivities of disindividuation becomes an "issue" unlike any other that homo sapiens has ever faced before.  This infinite differentiability of this uniquely bio-cultural historical species is what gives capitalism its "vitality."  It is what Marxists, with their obsession with the crisis of capitalism and the tendency of the rate of profit to fall, characteristically fail to grasp.

It is from this standpoint of the problematic of the
infinite differentiability of contemporary homo sapiens that the question of human ontology arises in its most urgent form.



Understanding "Trump" as Genetic Ontology: II

Figure 3 presents the sources necessary to investigate the psychological-emotional, cultural-historical dimensions of homo sapiens in the post-speciation era.  Figures 4 and 5 summarizes the texts and concepts necessary to evaluate the cognitive performativity of political actors, including participants in rallies and man in the street interviewees.  Figure 6, Topologies of the Two-Party System, enables one to see at a glance the two-party discursive field in its entirety.  The statements of newscasters, political spokespersons, analysts, and citizens are performances that are generated by the deep structures, the genetic ontologies, of modern life.  Genuine thought is rare.  Figure 6 presents the inner logic of the scripts of politics.  Figure six, when seen as a challenge to the citizen to take a meta-cognitive stance toward media, can become an instrument of Bildung, individuation, and cognitive development.  If this is done, even the most inane statements become not merely food for thought, but occasions for self-development, and thus an element in a new kind of politics.  One need not be a  passive spectator of the media spectacle: One can be an active critic.

Figures 2 through 6 represent an unfolding of the implications of Nietzsche's insight that "Man is the as yet undetermined animal."  But history has not only caught up with me; it has moved, with the rise of Trump, far beyond my expectations.  Don't get me wrong.  This question of ressentiment that Nietzsche formulated is at the core of the vast literature on fascism, whether or not these authors cite Nietzsche.  Robert O. Paxton, in his Anatomy of Fascism, foretold the rise of Trump.  After all, the fascist cultural-linguistic and psychological modality is not something that is characteristic only of Italy and Germany in the 1920s and 1930s.  Anatomy of Fascism was  published in 2004.  The Tea Party "movement" began in early 2009 following the inauguration of President Barak Obama.  Yet in the excerpt linked above (foretold) Paxton provides a pithy and preternaturally accurate description of what was to come.

Years before the rise of Trump, I began assembling several web pages made up of materials available over the internet:


Figure 4. 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)

Understanding "Trump"



Trump is primarily about the genetic ontology ressentiment and the mechanisms of defense.  Only secondarily is it about the circumstances under which this genetic ontology can be mobilized into a force of political significance.  And while


From the outset of his campaign Trump signaled that he would transcend the usual boundaries limiting the performance of ressentiment.  His initial foray into the performance of racism took the form of an attack on the legitimacy of Obama's citizenship.  He didn't say, "who the fuck is that n*gg*r in the White House": he performed that sentiment in the usual code language.  The media, deeply complicit in the racist performativity at the core of American politics, did not challenge Trump on the obvious intent of his performance.  Instead they played along.

But Trump's open attacks on Muslims and Hispanics puts him in the camp of fascism.  Fascism does not merely demonize whole groups of people.  It seeks their elimination through ethnic cleansing and genocide, and its violence is transcendental: its very appeal is its lawlessness, its brutishness.  [see disussion with Paxton on Trump re. fascism: Is Donald Trump a Fascist?  Yes and no, By Isaac Chotiner, in Slate.com]

Trump doesn't challenge anti-Muslim questioner at event   Rochester, New Hampshire spet 18, 2015("We need this question. This is the first question."  In New Yorkese: we need this q like we need a hole in thehead   Trump is taken aback by the question, shwoing that the dialectic had begun

  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.  This is why media discourse on the real-world economic grievances of white men simultaneously get it and miss it completely.  They are finally being forced to address what has been a trend obvious for decades, but not discussed in the media until the breakdown of elite control of public discourse in the primary campaigns of 2016.  What they miss is the deep structure of this rage; the cognitive primitiveness of its expression; the centuries long history of ressentiment as the inner logic of ultra-nationalism and fascism and racism


       Figure 5.  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 development)
    •    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

Figure 6. Topologies of the Two-party System
                 ly
                                                                                LEFT                                        RIGHT  

TOPOLOGY                          depressive*                      paranoid-schizoid*       
POLITICAL STYLE                        progressive                      proto-Dorian
COGNITIVE MODE                     formal + concrete        pre-operational + gestural
          + psuedo-concrete
         *Simon Clarke, Social Theory, Psychoanalysis and Racism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003)
PART TWO: LABOR

Figure 3. 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**
Packard
UAW Local 190
Ken Morris*
Briggs
UAW Local 212
Art Vega*
Briggs
UAW Local 212
Leonard Klue MICHIGAN STEEL TUBEa UAW Local 238
Paul Silver
Detroit Steel Products
UAW Local 351
N = 35 interviewees
MIDLAND STEEL
UAW Local 410
John Anderson
CP, Midland Steel
MESA, UAW 155
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**
Flint

Henry Kraus**
Flint




George Addes*
Willys Overland (Toledo)

Joseph Ditzel*
Chevrolet (Toledo)

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

Ed Carey*




(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
Shipping
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
C
onstruction
The Taylor Society: manufacturing firms Mass Consumption II:
Captive Production Inputs

Twentieth Century Fund
Committee for Economic Development
Modern Machinery
and
Continuous
Process
Multinationals





Post-Modern Capitalism: the Production of Subjectivities
Clinton Foundation
Media
neo-services


Return of the Repressed


Provincial Capital Formations
Local Chambers of Commerce

Sodalities Police, Fire, Local Gov't, Local Services

Patrimonialism Koch Bros
Trump
Strohs



PART THREE: CAPITAL


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
Piketty



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

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

Strategic Elites: Institutions and Individuals
Sectors of Realization
Firms & Functions
See Rosen for 1932 list

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

See Other People's Money, Pujo Committee, TNEC

Morgan
Securities Bloc

Pollak Foundation
The Taylor Society: elite firms
Macy's, Bowery Savings Bank, Dennison Manufacturing
Mass Consumption I:
Mass Distribution & Mass Housing


Mass Consumption II:
Captive Production Inputs

Twentieth Century Fund
Committee for Economic Development
Hiss List
Modern Machinery & Continuous Process Multinationals

The Clinton Foundation
The Democratic Leadership Council
Post-modern Capitalism: the Production of Subjectivities


Provincial Capital Formations
Local Chambers of Commerce

Sodalities


Patrimonialism




Comment from Frank Bruni, The Trouble for Hillary, Frank Bruni JULY 30, 2016
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/31/opinion/sunday/the-trouble-for-hillary.html?_r=0

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;

RMD

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."