This site is an enquiry into the post-paleolithic development of the primate homo sapiens--of culturally, historically, and politically-based developmental differentiation and divergence that is qualitative as well as quantitative, and which, as Mary Midgley (The Solitary Self: Darwin and the Selfish Gene, p. 52) has noted, can be called "pseudo-speciation." This extraordinary variation is both cogntive and psychological, ontogenetic and phylogenetic, and context-dependent. In its approach to this variation this site is, among other things, the antithesis of the prevailing racisms, liberal as well as fascist. The axis around which this site revolves is The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: 5 Genetic Ontologies. It should be looked at now. This site is a rhizome.
three moments in the unfolding of the second copernican revolution
Nietzsche Hegel Vygotsky
The excerpt below from John Dupré, "Causality and Human Nature in the Social Sciences," in Processes of Life: Essays in the Philosophy of Biology (Oxford, 2012), is one of the best summaries available of what could be called the Progressive view of development:
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. (285)
. . . the human mind . . . involves a new level of capacity to transform the world beyond the organism. (291)
If I simply act in pursuit of whatever passing whim is uppermost at the moment I exhibit no more causal power than any other animal. If I choose to build a bridge, write a book, or cook dinner, and subordinate my choice of actions to this decision, I exercise to a greater or lesser degree a distinctively human ability to shape the world. In the social realm, the ability to confrom to principle, above all moral principle, is the kind of regimentation of behaviour that constitutes a uniquely human achievement. (291)
. . . it is the fitting of action into some kind of systematic pattern that distinguishes the truly free agent from one who merely has the ability to respond to the whim of the moment; and . . . [what emerges is] the ontological picture of the human agent as an entity enabled to pursue complex goals or engage in patterns of action over time by the acquisition of a uniquely rich range of capabilities. (293)For more along these lines, see The PISA Results: Evolutionary, Historical, Developmental, and Psychological Perspectives.
I wish to emphasize particularly the ability of cultural evolution to transform the developmental niche. And here, at least in contemporary developed countries, it seems clear that humans have learned in quite recent times to construct a remarkably novel environment for the development of their young. . . . [T]hese prodigious changes to the human environment, concretizations of our rapidly evolving culture, profoundly affect the developmental resources available to growing humans. For that reason their introduction should be seen as representing major evolutionary change. (284)
Figure 1. PISA Math Scores, 2003 - 2012: 25 Nations
NCES, Highlights PISA 2003, p. 14 NCES, Highlights PISA 2009, p. 18
NCES, Highlights PISA 2006, p. 12 OECD 2013 Key Findings, p.5
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, Port-
ugal and Spain in brown; the United States in red. These are the advanced capitalist nations
(some have been omitted for the sake visual clarity).
Also see Figures 2 and 3 in The GOP as the Stupid Party? An Inadequate Conceptualization
is more to Figure
than meets they eye. It is meant to be taken in the context
by Dupré others engaged in exposing the
scientific fraud of the prevailing racist paradigm* in public discourse
in which the Cartesian self is racially inflected (or rather where
there are different Cartesian selves for different "races"). On the
Enlightenment/Progressive paradigm in which the Cartesian self is the
philosophical foundation for a concept of the unity of mankind is
antithetical to the prevailing racist paradigm.
Nevertheless, understanding Figure 1 requires as a prerequisite
liberation from the presuppositions of Catersianism in either its
racist or liberal form.
Figure 1 is explicitly about cognitive development as an historical process, implicitly about the Enlightenment as a cultural-historical, cognitive-developmental inflection point in human history. Figure 1 is also at issue in The GOP as the Stupid Party? An Inadequate Conceptualization.
Fig 1 is not to be taken within the progressive enightenment ideology.
The GOP as the Stupid Party--which focuses on what should be seen as the praxiological, context-dependent cogntive inferiority of the GOP's rhetorical performativity--shows what happens if you take a fundamentally anti-racist approach to the issue of cognitive inequality, a word which will henceforth be dispensed with since it is an expression of Cartesian presuppositions. Political correctness dictates the avoidance of such questions of variations in cogntive perormativity (see Engeström and Miettinen), and there is a virtual taboo against speaking of Tea Party (that is, white**) cognitive performativity in such terms. This is a field effect (Bourdieu) of racism. Whether anti-communism as field effect is homologous with racism is still an open question. In both cases demonization of the other and ideologically organized hatred are instruments of power--of the same power***. They differ in the nature of the object, however. In racism, the object is the abject yet threatening other. In anti-communism, the object is progressivism qua new forms of capitalism**** (the New Deal).
The sharp decline in the scores of Finland and Sweden, and the significant decline of the scores of the Anglo-Saxon nations, suggests that the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries are where two lines of development--sociotechnical advance and cognitive regression--clash. Capitalism--at least advanced capitalism--requires advanced minds. Narcissistic regression--the culture of consumption (see Hall et. al., Criminal Identities and Consumer Culture)--undermines the very possibility of advanced cognitive development. Of course this is a speculation based on mere data and theory, and no match for the desperate clutching at straws of the cognitive primitives who tout educational reform, which in practice means cultural violence against both teachers and students led by hedge funds (see the the Board of Success Academy in New York) and the right-wing noise machine.
(see example 1 and example 2.)
Jonathan Marks' review
York Times science journalist Nicholas
Wade's neo-racist A Troublesome Inheritance:
Genes, Race and Human History (Penguin
Press, 2014). Also see Revisiting
Race in a Genomic Age (Rutgers, 2008). Even
Marks' blog (anthropomics),
as well as Jennifer Raff 's blog
to keep up to date.
** Elsewhere I deconstruct white into the severely, really, merely, and nearly white.
*** Power as concrete empirical networks of power--see Keynesian Elite.
**** Capitalism is a term that should be retired in favor of an empirically and theoretically more flexible and historical analysis of actually existing networks of power.
How We Became Human A Challenge to Psychoanalysis
|QHD-5 is part of an ongoing effort to understand the developmental consequences of power and the power of development. What distinguishes this site is that it is built out of a series of immanent, densely "empirical" investigations of historical processes in which power and its consequences and development and its consequences are at issue. To illustrate: in my investigation of the organization of the UAW in Detroit and Flint my informants objected to my use of the standard concepts of social formations, whether of class, culture, or occupation, and insisted instead on the importance of key individuals and small groups of workers not readily subsumable under the standard concepts of labor history. As the excerpt beneath the photo of Dodge Main from Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil suggests, an entirely different understanding of the events and processes that led to the creation of the UAW is required.|
above excerpts from Dupré are consistent with
Nietzsche's concept of the Will
to Power and
Hegel's concept of Bildung--the
fourth genetic ontology
of Dasein (see Bildung:
Was Mozart a Communist?).
Nietzsche was an in-your-face kind of guy, and his extravagant, confrontational, and arrogant rhetorical style, his hostility to "democracy", his contempt for the emerging form of life of mass society, and his appropriation by the Nazis (through his racist sister), and even worse, the strangely selective reading and misconstrual of Nietzsche's overall work by, for example, Mary Migdley and Roger Griffith (in order to make Nietzsche an aristocratic nationalist-racist they ignore his concept of ressentiment and his contempt for nationalism and anti-Semitism)--nevertheless, he describes with exquisite chutzpah the events and processes that one sees when one views the action--the organizational battles that led to the formation of the UAW--from the inside, immanently.
This judgement emerges from within the dialogic field (hence the concept of immanence--see Bourdieu) produced by my interviews of dozens of Übermenschen from Flint, Detroit's near east side (Dodge Main and vicinity, including my book on UAW Local 238/229--see Detroit's East Side, 1933‒1944), Detroit's far east side (the Conner Avenue area--Packard, Hudson, Briggs, and Chrysler), and the Ford Rouge plant. This judgement is confirmed by Nelson Lichtenstein's biography of Walter Reuther, which among other things is a detailed account of the events and processes of organizing on Detroit's west side. Sidney Fine's account of the Flint Sitdown Strike is also extraordinarily detailed. Both of these books confirm Nietzsche's statement even if their authors might cringe at the thought. BABSON
Dodge Main on Detroit's near east side, circa 1940
The very same new conditions that will on average lead to the leveling and mediocritization of man--to a useful, industrious, handy, multi-purpose herd animal--are likely in the highest degree to give birth to exceptional human beings of the most dangerous and attractive quality.
Friederich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 242
fourth genetic ontology of Dasein--Nietzsche's concept of the Will to
Power and Hegel's concept of Bildung--is also
critically important in
understanding the Keynesian elite, the left-wing of the Roosevelt
Administration (see The Keynesian
Was Mozart a Communist?).
from Bourdieu and Wacquant, An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology (University of Chicago, 1992)
[Bourdieu develops] "a sociological method consisting essentially in a manner of posing problems, in a parsimonious set of conceptual tools and procedures for constructing objects and for transfering knowledge gleaned in one area of inquiry into another. 'However important, the specific object of [this or that] research counts less . . . than the method which was applied to it and which could be applied to an infinity of different objects'"
Will to Power and Bildung--these concepts are drawn into the gravitational field of these two immanent domains: from within the dialogic field of the UAW interviews; and from within the diologic field of the Keynesian elite--the papers of MLC and the letters of LDB; the articles and discussion published in the Bull. of the T.S.
Will to Power and Bildung (WP) are also immanent in relation to the textual field of scholarship on Bolshevism. Smith and Chrysler.
Again, WPB is central to educational practice in Finland (Finnish Lessons), and to the work of Lev Vygotsky.
Society I: Keynesian
Elite in the New
Source: "Membership List, May 1927," in the Morris L. Cooke Papers, box 66, FDR Library and
United States Government Manual 1937
Fascism: Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense
To understand the central praxiological element in late nineteenth to mid-twentieth century Progressivism--from Louis D. Brandeis to V. I. Lenin, and from the metalworkers of Detroit to the metalworkers of Petersburg--Bildung and the Will to Power, the fourth genetic ontology of Dasein--is critical. To understand the modern right wing, also dating from the late nineteenth century but contining not only into the presnt but ito the future, we must turn to the third genetic ontology of Dasein: Fascism: Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense
axis around which this site revolves is
The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: 5 Genetic Ontologies (QHD-5)
The link above is the antithesis of the Cartesian delusion so central to neo-liberal ideology. Take a look at QHD-5 now, then continue. The term Dasein is used to problematize homo sapiens as a species unlike any other, whose "nature" it is to be subject to cultural and historical development as a result of its own activity, to be subject to the psychological consequences of such processes (Nietzsche), and to be capable of embarking on projects whose objective is self- and societal-transformation (Hegel's Bildung and Nietzsche's Will to Power).
Cognitive development is one of these fundamental transformations (see Figure 1 below), but it is not the only one. Nietzsche's last man is neo-liberalism's ideal and all too real human, and it is this brute fact of contemporary life that sets the agenda for any praxis that could be called progressive and/or revolutionary in the twenty-first century. And ressentiment--another of Nietzsche's fundamental concepts that gets us to the heart of fascism--also denotes a fundamental transformation of Dasein. There is no point in reading any of this site's pages without keeping the above link in mind. This site is a moment in the unfolding of the Second Copernican Revolution, and probably its swan song as well.
Thus, this site is an enquiry into the post-paleolithic development of the primate homo sapiens--of culturally, historically, and politically-based developmental differentiation and divergence that is qualitative as well as quantitative, and which, as Mary Midgley (The Solitary Self: Darwin and the Selfish Gene, p. 52) has noted, can be called "pseudo-speciation." This extraordinary variation is both cogntive and psychological, ontogenetic and phylogenetic, and context-dependent. (see Dupre, Causality and Human Nature in the Social Sciences.)
Fascism: Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense
The Keynesian Elite, 1910-1939
Minutes. Murray Body Committee Local 2 at Executive Board Meeting, April 26, 1939, Toledo Ohio (Addes Collection, Box 14.11, Reuther Archives Detroit) re. competitive situation in the spring and wire industry
Detroit's East Side, 1933‒1944
Philosophy and History (Deleuze's Transcendental Empiricism)
the misuse of Nietzsche (Migdley, Griffith)
2. Nietzsche and the UAW; Nietzsche and the New Deal; Nietzsche and bolshevism (who were Nietzsche's "blond beasts", in
3. Nietzsche and racism, fascism
4. Nietzsche and consumer culture (regresive narcissism)
Also see the interview of Jerome Kagan: Psychology Is In Crisis, and Kagan's The Human Spark: the Science of Human Development (Basic Books, 2013)]*