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Its fundamental ideas are embedded in the discursive field that can be indicated by a set of nouns that includes Hegel-Nietzsche-Deleuze.  Its problematic is the Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: Five Genetic Ontologies, which picks up where Deleuze and Guattari left off.  Its politics--insofar as anything is left of the politics of the  developmental trajectory Enlightenment to New Deal--is embedded in and an outrowth of that trajectory; its mood is elegaic (well-captured by the third movement of Luciano Berio's Synfonia); and as far as "hope" is concerned, there is none to be found within the space of reasons.  This is Minerva's last flight.
Invisible University

aa1971@wayne.edu

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My use of Heidegger's term Dasein is dialectical not exegetical in intent.  Heidegger problematizes Being, but remains trapped in romantic longing (and not suprisingly ends up a Nazi); Nietzsche's concept of ressentiment, on the contrary, could be characterized as a clinical-historical account of a specific form of life that to this day is seen in the manifold of existence that contains fascism, McCarthyism and the Tea Party, reality TV, punk rock (Iggy Pop comes to mind) and the discursive material spewed forth in the theater of everyday life.  Ressentiment is one of the five genetic ontologies.

Bülent Diken, Nihilism (Routledge, 2009), confuses the issue of the quantum heterogeneity of Dasein by subsuming everything under the concept of nihilism.  (Nevertheless, this is a valuable text that should be read carefully.)  The pathological aggression of ressentiment manifested in the gun debate in the U.S., the orchestrated rage against various forms of the other, the behaviors that were the subject of two well-publicised trials (George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn, both in Florida), the "war on terror", and so much more, are what Diken and others refer to as active nihilism.  By so doing they mute the clinical edge of Nietzsche's concept of ressentiment.

What Diken and others refer to as passive nihilism also blunts the clinical edge of Nietzsche's insight.  The common notion of nihilism refers to the loss of meaning.  Nietzsche sometimes says that, but his more powerful conceptualization of the fundamental crisis of modernity is contained in the excerpts below.

from The Geneology of Morals, I, 10:

 . . . ‘happiness’ at the level of the powerless, the oppressed, and those rankled with poisonous and hostile feelings, for whom it manifests itself as essentially a narcotic, an anaesthetic, rest, peace, ‘sabbath’, relaxation of the mind and stretching of the limbs, in short as something passive.

and from Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Prologue, 5:

The earth has become small, and on it hops the last man, who makes everything small.  His race is as ineradicable as the flea-beetle; the last man lives longest.

For reasons that I will supply elsewhere, I call this regressive narcissism.  Relaxation of the mind (regressive narcissism)--that is one of the stories that can be teased out of Figure 1.  For more on Figure 1 click here: the PISA Results: Evolutionary, Historical, Developmental, and Psychological Perspectives.

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 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.  Nihilism as entropy.
                   PISA 2012 Scores Just Released (December 3, 2013)
      Figure 1.  PISA Math Scores, 2003 - 2012: 25 Nations
      p62
       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, Portugal and Spain in brown; the United States in red.   These are the advanced capitalist nations (some have been omitted for the sake visual clarity)
Ressentiment and regressive narcissism are two of the three genetic ontologies that emerge in the era of state power.  The third, Hegel's concept of Bildung (or progressive narcissism), was the inner life of the developmental trajectory Enlightenment to New Deal.  Bildung can be seen in action in the correspondence of the Keynesian elite of the second New Deal, certainly from 1910 onward; in the Brandeis letters; in works such as Atlantic Crossings and Labor Will Rule; in some of the UAW's internal documents; and in the discursive activity, both spoken and written, of Progressive businessmen.  But until Hegel's concept of Bildung is fused with Nietzsche's concept of the Will to Power, we will miss the essential thing.

Without a concept of the Will to Power we will not even have an inkling of what went on in the setting to the right.  There Dodge Main and its flying squadron, described in action by Paul Silver (local 351) (LINK), was the center of gravity of the the workers' militia on Detroit's East Side, where from the late 1930s through the war years a situation of dual power existed.  (Silver, Adams)  The quote from Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil below the photo of Dodge Main (Midland Steel's six buildings is in the lower center-right of the photo) sums it all up nicely, even if it is somewhat politically incorrect.  But if I were to chose a summary statement of the result of my 100 or so interviews, that would be it.
dodge
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.

Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil,  242
Nietzsche was an optimist


Its foil is the shibboleth of equality (or the plaint of inequality).  Its plane of imanence is the Communist milieu (salon) of New York, the UAW Socialist and "socialist" milieux of Detroit, Flint and Pontiac circa 1920s to 1940s, Vietnam veterans in southeast Michigan (Auto, Steel, and Teamsters, circa 1970s and 1980s), administrative and clerical workers from the major office buildings of Detroit, and the "streets" of Detroit.  The old timers were part of my extended family; the others I met through my job as an instructor in the Weekend College, part of the WSU center for urban and labor studies, where I taught from 1975 to 2010. 
Iggy Pop, Ready to Die Album Cover.  The album was released on April 30, 2013.  The Boston Marathon bombing occured on On April 15, 2013
iggy
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