dem
Charles Demuth,
From the Garden of the Chateau

the Twenty First Century is Nietzsche's Century
b

This site is a rhizome made possible by the Internet
k
Brian Slawson, Clearing Storm
the Question of Human Nature

The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: 5 Genetic Ontologies

primate

paleolithic

ressentiment & the
mechanisms of defense

bildung & the will to power

nihilism

I.  Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense

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 (nihilism), and his appropriation by the Nazis (through his racist sister), make the
Nietzschean moment in the thought of the west unpalatible to many and easily carricatured.

 Consider the strangely selective reading and misconstrual of Nietzsche's overall work by, for example, Mary Migdley, Bernice Rosenthal, and Roger Griffith.  In order to make Nietzsche an aristocratic nationalist-racist they ignore his concept of ressentiment (Geneology of Morals), which cannot be separated from his blistering condemnation of nationalism (BGE) and his hatred of anti-Semitism ("Just now I am having all anti-Semites shot").  Ressentiment is one of five genetic ontologies at the heart of this site (click on link at the left).  When ressentiment is formulated in psychoanalytic terms, it becomes the key to unlocking the secret of the rage, brutality, and sadism that is the unyielding core of today's politics--today's fascist politics . . .  The links below suggest that Nietzsche is now more relevant than ever.

The GOP as the Stupid Party: an Inadequate Conceptualization

Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense: the Current American Scene

Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense: from the First Crusade to the Limbaugh Tirade

(Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense is related to Deleuze and Guattari's concept of despotic regime.)
Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal, New Myth, New World: From Nietzsche to Stalinism (The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2002)

Mary Midgley, The Solitary Self: Darwin and the Selfish Gene (Routledge, 2014)

Mary Midgley, The Myths We Live By (Routledge, 2011)

Roger Griffin, Modernism and Fascism: The Sense of a Beginning under Mussolini and Hitler (palgrave macmillan, 2007)

Christa Davis Acampora,  Contesting Nietzsche




Daniel Chapelle, Nietzsche and Psychoanalysis (State University of New York Press, 1993)

Max Blumenthatl, Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party (Nation Books, 2009)

Max Blumenthal, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel
(Nation Books, 2013)

Michael W. Miles, The Odyssey of the American Right (Oxford University Press, 1980)

Joseph E. Lowndes, From the New Deal to the New Right: Race and the Southern Origins of Modern Conservatism (Princeton, 2009) refers to the "foundational violence of modern Republicanism." (p. 2)

II.  Bildung and the Will to Power

Aufheben, emergence, praxis, agency, bildung, the will to power ---these concepts are entangled in a common vitalist sensibility.  Hegel and Nietzsche are two sides of the same coin.  In this context the concept of the übermensch is widely applicable to the understanding of Bolshevism in Russia and the UAW in Michigan.  The links below indicate better than any abstract exegesis of philosophical texts how the intentionality immanent in both Hegel and Nietzsche can be more deeply elaborated through "empirical" investigation.

Bildung: Was Mozart a Communist
 
The Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State, 1910-1939  

Detroit's East Side, 1933-1944  

Bildung and the Will to Power: the Interviews  

Bildung and the will to power describes the historical trajectory* Enlightenment to New Deal: the Enlightenment not misconstrued (as it usually is) as ideology, but, more fundamentally, as an inflection point in cognitive development as cultural-historical process.  The Enlightenment as not simply the emergence of the scientific frame of mind, but more profoundly, as developmental leap. Thus, the enlightenment as developmental trajectory--the emergence and continued development of science and formal operational competence--from the time of Mozart to the New Deal. (Formal operational competence: see PISA results.)

The operation of BWP is evident in conservative contexts.  Two biographies, one of George F. Kennan, the other of John W. Davis, are case histories of such developments.  But in their cases their development of Self is interesting, but lacks the far-reaching significance of BWP as the central force of the left.  The excerpt from the Wellman interview shows what I mean.  BWP as the central force and principle feature of the rise of the UAW, and of Bolshevism, when these two nouns are deconstructed into their inner dynamic.  BWP as force, not as effect.  This is what is so mistaken in the efforts to read back into the originary force of industrial insurgencies the effects of their combination with circumstances and other forces.  It is truly a mindless exercise to "blame" Stalinism on Marx or Marxism, as if all of history could be reduced to the moral musings of a small child (but this is the essential character of mass political discourse and cognition).

*Important moments within this trajectory are indicated by the proper nouns Galileo, Spinoza, Holbach, Diderot, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Darwin, Nietzsche, Freud, Brandeis, Lenin, Vygotsky, Piaget, Dewey, Pierce, Morris L. Cooke,  Ed Lock, James Lindahl, Wyndham Mortimer, Heidegger, Cassirer, Foucault, Sellars, Deleuze . . .
Nietzsche as diagnostician of ressentiment and the bard of communism

Nietzsche's Kriegs-Praxis--a text that wants to live beyond mere textuality

Nietzsche as diagnostician of Dasein in its twofold dimensions: as will to power as cog and org; as ressentiment as disease.  This latter especially in regard to the bland cartesianism today dominant.

Nietzsche himself lives the problem of German philo--unable to act, it carried out the rev in thought . . . but at what price.

marxbw
Karl Marx

klein
Melanie Klein

n
Friederich Nietzsche
II. Nietzsche and Marx

1.  Each attacked the emerging hegemonic bourgeois regime, Marx along the lines of class and economic hegemony, Nietzsche along the lines of culture and bourgeois-christian hegemony.

2. Each envisioned a cultural-historical developmental praxis as an immanent possibility, "as if man were not a goal but only a way, an episode, a bridge, a great promise."

3. Each viewed modern society as explosively dynamic, violent, repressive, fraught with contradictions, and as something to be fought with and overcome.  Yet it is Nietzsche, not Marx, who sees more deeply into the heart of our contemporary politics--who tells the story of the 2014 election better than anyone alive today:  --->

When one is faced with the current American scene where sadism and ressentiment are the main currency of Republican politics, it is only Nietzsche and Melanie Klein who can say I told you so.  (See the Musso Rant for example.  And see Frank Ninivaggi, Envy Theory: Perspectives on the Psychology of Envy, Rowman & Littlefield, 2010.  Ninavaggi takes greed--the greed of Wall Street--head-on as a clinical problem.)  

4. Thus, Nietzsche and Marx differ most strikingly, from the standpoint of our contemporary experience, when it comes to understanding the ressentiment, sadism and sheer brutishness of our present.  This is one of the genetic ontologies of Dasein that dominate today's world, something that should be obvious to anyone reading this page.  Hence the title of this page--the twenty first century is Nietzsche's century.

All this is necessarily tentative.  This question of ontology--of dynamic ontology--is hard to formulate, even though it is fundamental.  The alternative to this is the usual primitive Cartesianism entrenched in neoliberal dogma.  In my usage of the term ontology I am in accord with de Beistegui and Barad (and Midgley and Keller . . . ). Genetic ontology refers to the generative matrix of each class of phenomena.  Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense is thus both the overall characterization (ressentiment) and the generatrix (the mechanisms of defense) of a set of rhetorical performances provided for our convenience by Fox News.  

In Semiotic Regimes the two party discursive fields are isomorphic with Klein's Paranoid schizoid position (GOP, Fox News) and her Depressive position (Democratic politicos, CNN and MSNBC).

Miguel de Beistegui, Truth and genesis : philosophy as differential ontology (Indiana University Press, 2004)

Karen Barad, Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning (Duke University Press, 2007)


from Nietzsche, The Geneology of Morals, II, 14:

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


from Nietzsche, The Geneology of Morals, II, 16:

Let us add at once that . . . the existence on earth of an animal soul turned against itself, taking sides against itself, was something so new, profound, unheard of, enigmatic, contradictory, and pregnant with a future that the aspect of the earth was essentially altered.  Indeed, divine spectators were needed to justice to the spectacle that thus began and the end of which is not yet in sight . . . .  From now on, man . . . gives rise to an interest, a tension, a hope, almost a certainty, as if with him somethin were anouncing and preparing itself, as if man were not a goal but only a way, an episode, a bridge, a great promise.

from Nietzsche, The Geneology of Morals, II, 22:

Oh this insane, pathetic beast--man!  What ideas he has, what unnaturalness, what paroxysms of nonsense, what bestiality of thought erupts . . .

All this is interesting, to excess, but also of a gloomy, black, unnerving sadness, so that one must forcibly forbid oneself to gaze too long into these abysses.  Here is sickness, beyond any doubt, the most terrible sickness that has ever raged in man . . . .  There is so much man that is hideous!--Too long, the earth has been a madhouse!
lc
Enough already!

Christa Davis Acampora, Contesting Nietzsche (University of Chicago Press, 2013)

III.  Enough of endless exegesis: a word about the Nietzsche industry:

It has been said unto you that "Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it."

"


But I say unto you, philosophers today are obsessed with the exegesis of Nietzsche rather than with the practical consquences of such thinking associated with his name but by no means limited to his writings or the very practice (or should I say the mere practice) of philosophy.  Even if nothing can be done in the conventional political sense of praxis, thinking can be done, the kind of thinking that eternal recurrence opens up.  Consider this comment below:

from Anindya Bhattacharyya, Notes on Nietzsche’s eternal recurrence, in bat020.com (emphasis added):

Treating eternal recurrence as a systematic doctrine fails to do justice in my eyes to the profoundly anti-systematic and indeed anti-philosophical tenor of Nietzsche’s work. The eternal recurrence of the same is a provocation to thought rather than a mystery underlying it. To adapt an image from Gilles Deleuze’s 1962 book on Nietzsche, the thought of eternal return is “an arrow shot by Nature that another thinker picks up where it has fallen so that he can shoot it somewhere else” (Deleuze, ix).

Stambaugh makes a similar point when she states that any interpretation of eternal return is “forced to ‘go beyond’ Nietzsche’s writings, published or unpublished, on the subject… If one adheres strictly to what Nietzsche wrote about eternal return, it is impossible to ‘solve’ the enormous problems inherent in this thought.” (Stambaugh, p103).

Eternal recurrence and the Internet: first fruit of this approach in the three links above on ressentiment and the Stupid Party.
three j
Enough of endless exegesis: a word about the Nietzsche industry:
pisa
PISA Math Scores, 2003 - 2012: 25 Nations
It is the operating principle of this site that exegesis must be replaced with philosophically informed praxis, whether of an intellectual or political nature.  That is, empirical investigations, and empirically-based imaginings of the projects that humans might create in this time that Nietzsche foresaw--activity, the great politics that Nietzsche only hinted at--replaces exegesis.  It is the essence of the Nietzschean textual sensibility (the text as a discursive field that exceeds the boundaries of its "author") that it not be explained or interpreted--it must be transcended in the execution of its own intentionality, an intentionality which is immanent and only implicit--an intentionality that must no longer be merely spoken or written of from within the iron cages of our conventional existences (disciplines, professions, consumers, neoliberal citizens--the set of incredibly shrinking selves that we call the people).

The thinking on this site is immanent to three empirical fields.  

The first empirical field is largely but not entirely build out of stuff available on the Internet.  You have already seen this in the above three links//in the muck of ressentiment (GOP, RMD1 and RMD2); these pages together form a plane of immanence (Deleuze).  The philosphical sensibility behind their creation is today called transcendental empiricism, but for me it all began forty years ago when I began to grapple with Hegel's concept of the concrete universal, together with Heidegger's existential phenomenology as I encounted it in Medard Boss's Daseinanalysis and Psychoanalysis.  This resulted in my one and only book, The Emergence of a UAW, 1936-1939.

the second is the empirical field--the phenomenological field--of 
The Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State, 1910-1939.   The papers of Morris L. Cooke, the letters of Louis D. Brandeis, the Hearings before the Interstate Commerece Commssion know as the Eastern Rate Case, and the Bulletin of the Taylor Society (now available online)

the third is the set of interviews of about one hundred members, mostly men, who played a leading role in the creation of the UAW.  These interviews are supplemented with a small set of critical documents from the Reuther Archives that provide a rare window into socio-cultural processes and relationships.  In this respect these documents are assimilable to the habitus of the interviews.  I am now in the process of incorporating audio files into the pages on this site.

certain themes emerge in these interviews.  From the stnadpoint of the question of agency Nietzsche's concept of will to power and a concept of bildun are absolutely required.  That is, in order to make sense of the most densely empirical material one is required to make a philosphical leap (Midgley et. al.)
a Dasein-developmentally oriented praxis:

1.  See 
Bildung: Was Mozart a Communist.  

2.  A Progressive approach to
a Dasein-develop-
mentally oriented praxis can be found in the PISA Results: Evolutionary, Historical, Developmental, and Psychological Perspectives
.

In the mid-1970s I interviewed a large number of workers involved in the formation of the UAW.  I thought I knew what I was doing, but I didn't. After I retired from Wayne State University in 2010 I began to listen to these tapes with an entirely different frame of mind than when I conducted the interviews.  Much of my effort could be described as a tedious barking up the wrong tree: the tree of culture (Kleppner, The Cross of Culture); and the barking of one enslaved to "the philosophy of representation characterized by the primacy of the concept."

So when I began listening to these tapes with new ears I was sometines struck and occasionally dumfounded by what I can only describe as Deleuzian moments.  In the photo of Dodge Main one can see across from the southeast corner of that plant the six buildings of Midland Steel (Local 410).  I interviewed about forty workers and managers from that plant.  At the lower left just west of the southwest corner of Dodge Main was Detroit Steel Products (Local 351), just ouside the photo.  North of Dodge Main by about five blocks but hardly visible in the photo was Michigan Steel Tube (Local 238).  My book (The Emerence of a UAW Local) is about that plant in the 1930s.  But one of the most astonishing moments in listening to these tapes after forty years came when I listened to the interviews with Joe Adams and Art ___ (last name unintelligible on my tape).  Both men were from the Trim department of Dodge Main, a stronghold of the union in that plant.  (The upper part of the Rivera mural is of the trim department at Ford.)  At the time I listened to these tapes, in 2013) I was hot on the trail of Bildung.  The explosive moment came when Joe and Art began to reminisce about a wartime strike in May of 1944.  Click here for a transcript.
It is these interviews that forced an understanding of bildung and the will to power into my thinking.  Not all the interviews, but many--Joe Adams, Ed Lock, Edmund Kord, Norman Bully, Larry Jones, Earl Reynolds . . . .

It is likely that I won't live long enough to review all these tapes, so I am putting together this website in such a way as to be able to add material from these interviews as I toddle along in my old age.
 Transendental Empiricism

Plane of Immanence
III.  Nietzsche and Marx: Bildung and the Will to Power



Vitalism

Karl Marx, Theses on Feuerbach

The chief defect of all hitherto existing materialism - that of Feuerbach included - is that the thing, reality, sensuousness, is conceived only in the form of the object or of contemplation, but not as sensuous human activity, practice, not subjectively. Hence, in contradistinction to materialism, the active side was developed abstractly by idealism -- which, of course, does not know real, sensuous
activity as such.

Evelyn F. Keller,
"Self-Organization, Self-Assembly, and the Inherent Activity of Matter," in Transformations of Lamarckism : From Subtle Fluids to Molecular Biology,  Snait B. Gissis and Eva Jablonka, eds. (The MIT Press, 2011)

John Marks, Gilles Deleuze: Vitalism and Multiplicity (Pluto Press, 1998)


Bildung and the Will to Power (cont.)





h
An artist's interpretation of the hominins that lived near the Sima de los Huesos cave in Spain
from Baffling 400,000-Year-Old Clue to Human Origins  


w
Saul Wellman, Robert Thomson, and David Doran at Fuentes de Ebro during the Spanish Civil War
racism and the New York Times

*See Jonathan Marks'
review of 
New 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 better, see Marks' blog (anthropomics), as well as Jennifer Raff 's blog to keep up to date.  

Geneticists say popular book misrepresents research on human evolution (Nature)

Letters: ‘A Troublesome Inheritance’
(NYT Book Review 8-8-14)/Stanford)

race and class/nietzsche and marx

field effects
elites: static and dynmaic approaches
Nietzsche on the Question of Human Nature: Bildung and the Will to Power


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 human psycho-cognitive development (in contrast to Nietzsche's dark and far more accurate view):

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)

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)
h
An artist's interpretation of the hominins that lived near the Sima de los Huesos cave in Spain
from Baffling 400,000-Year-Old Clue to Human Origins  


w
Saul Wellman, Robert Thomson, and David Doran at Fuentes de Ebro during the Spanish Civil War
Detroit 1933-1944, and Petrograd, 1917-1918: an isomorphism



S. A. Smith, Red Petrograd: Revolution in the Factories, 1917-1918 (Cambridge University Press, 1983)

Steve Jeffreys, Management and Managed: Fifty Years of Crisis at Chrysler (Cambridge University Press, 1986)
Bildung and the Will to Power:
Nietzsche and Lenin/the UAW and the New Deal

Nietzsche's comments below the photo of Dodge Main & Midland Steel from Beyond Good and Evil,  and in in the following two cells from The Geneology of Morals The Will to Power, capture the texture and dynamic of the  praxis of Nietzsche's "exceptional human beings", as this dynamic emerges from dozens of interviews and key documents and books.  The emergence of the nounUnited Automobile Workers implicitly obscures this praxis, turning it into the mere means to the goal of institution formation and the achievement of collective bargaining objectives.


•••One might object that this is all ancient--Fordist--history.  Of what relevance is the praxis of the New Deal era "industrial working class" in today's post-industrial, post-modern world? Addressing this question is the burden of this entire site.  But if one combines Deleuze (and emancipates oneself from the tyranny of the concept, the disease of Platonism, and our debilitating Cartesian presuppositions--see Difference and Givenness) with Bourdieu (who demolishes the metaphysics of class in a different way and opens the way to a more flexible, disjunctive, and quantum understanding of action and power) then the whole enterprise of the progressivism of Lenin and Hillman, Vygotsky and Cooke appears in a different light.  (Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State, 1910-1939)  
Detroit's Vyborg District: Dodge Main and Midland Steel
d
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
Mary Midgley, Are You an Illusion from Friederich Nietzsche, Geneology of Morals, II, 12

The democratic idiosyncracy which opposes [the will to power] has permeated the realm of the spirit and disguised itself in the most spiritual forms to such a degree that today it has forced its way, has acquired the right to force its way into the strictest, apparently most objective sciences;  indeed, it  . . . has robbed life of a fundamental concept, that of activity.  Under the influence of the above mentioned idiosyncrasy, one places instead "adaptation" in the foreground, that is to say, an activity of the second rank, a mere reactivity; indeed, life itself has been defined as a more and more efficient inner adaptation to external conditions (Herbert Spencer).  Thus, the essence of life, its will to power, is ignored; one overlooks the essential priority of the spontaneous, aggressive, expansive, form-giving forces that give new interpretations and directions, although 'adaptation' follows only after this; the dominant role of the highest functionaries within the organism iself in which the will to life appears active and form-giving is denied.
"The so-called 'motive': another error.  Merely a surface phenomenon of consciousness, an accompaniment to an act, which conceals rather than exposes the antecedentia of the act." {re Imus and that which is called racism}

Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols (Penguin, 1968), p. 49
Zarathustra's Germanity: Luther, Goethe, Nietzsche
Author(s): Joseph Westall and Joseph Westfall
Source: Journal of Nietzsche Studies, No. 27 (SPRING 2004), pp. 42-63
Friederich Nietzsche, The Will To Power, Book IV, 960

From now on there will be more favorable preconditions for more comprehensive forms of dominion, whose like has never yet existed. And even this is not the most important thing; the possibility has been established for the production of international racial unions whose task will be to rear a master race, the future "masters of the earth"; a new, tremendous aristocracy, based on the severest self-legislation, in which the will of philosophical men of power and artist-tyrants will be made to endure for millennia -- a higher kind of man who, thanks to their superiority in will, knowledge, riches, and influence, employ democratic Europe as their most pliant and supple instrument for getting hold of the destinies of the earth, so as to work as artists upon "man" himself.  Enough: the time is coming when politics will have a different meaning.
Desire2014.html
PISAEvPsych.html

Philohistory.html
Difference and Givenness.html

DetroitEastSide.html
Buick.html
UAW Factionalism.html
Bildung--the interviews.html
Minutes, Murray Body Committee.html

The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: 5 Genetic Ontologies


the PISA Results: Evolutionary, Historical, Developmental, and Psychological Perspectives
.

The GOP as the Stupid Party: an Inadequate Conceptualization

Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense: the Current American Scene

Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense: from the First Crusade to the Limbaugh Tirade


Bildung: Was Mozart a Communist
 
The Keynesian Elite in the New Deal State, 1910-1939  

Detroit's East Side, 1933-1944  

Bildung and the Will to Power: the Interviews  



Eternal Recurrence.html
RMDHistory.html
Bildung 2014.html



William M. Reddy, Money & Liberty in Modern Europe: a Critique of Historical Understanding (Cambridge Univesity Press, 1987)

Harold Mah, Enlightenment Phantasies: Cultural Identity in France and Germany, 1750-1914 (Cornell, 2003)
Marxism's failure: I

Marxism's failure is not to be seen in the Stalinism of the Soviet Union, but rather in the persistence and indeed the triumph of all that is antithetical to Marxism's naïve (as we can now see) Enlightenment presuppositions.  The most striking intellectual deficit of Marxism is that it never understood the two dominant modalities of Dasein since the rise of the state: ressentiment (at the beginning of history) and nihilism (at the end of history--the eternal now of our becoming).  If the reader has looked at the links in the above cell, s(he) must be overwhelmed not only by the persistence, but by the normalization of fascism in today's America.  As Robert Paxton has noted, fascism in the United States is as American as apple pie, and is treated with astonishing deference by the media (CNN and MSNBC).  And Nietzsche's concept of nihilism is an uncanny premonition of the culture of mass consumption now sweeping the world. (see Nihilism)

And the concept of a "class with radical chains" is a metaphysical chimera.  Indeed, the closer one looks at the working class upsurge of the 1930s and '40s--at Flint, Michigan (Buick, Fisher Body, and Chevrolet), Detroit's east side (Dodge Main, Midland Steel, Michigan Steel Tube, Detroit Steel Products, Chrysler-Highland Park), Detroit's west side (UAW Local 174), and Dearborn (the Ford Rouge complex)--the more useless the concept of class proves to be.

from Donald Reid, "Introduction" to Ranciere's The Nights of Labor: The Workers' Dream in Nineteenth Century France (Temple U Press, 1989)

   The caesura in Marx's work was not the result of an epistemological revolution in 1845, but of his disappointment with the failure of the workers' revolution three years later.  The break was marked by repression of the knowledge that artisinal workers opposed to the spread of large industry had formulated the idea of workers' emancipation.  Marx (and Engels) came instead to place their hopes for a new revolutionary order in the factory proletariat to come, which would be molded by the discipline of large industry.  With this development, the proletariat left the realm of social experience to become a normative category consecrated by a certain Marxist "science." (pp. xxi-xxii)

tycho

m
Karl Marx

klein
Melanie Klein

n
Friederich Nietzsche
Marxism's failure: II

Marx, and the enlightenment ethos of which he was a part, was indeed wrong, and in more ways than one.  Not only did the Enlightenment not acquire a proletarian or popular embodiment (the "class with radical chains").  The ‘people’, even in its "working class" moment, became the mass base for right wing, nationalist, racist, xenophobic cognitive modalities, political cultures, and socio-culturally contextualized character formations. (Blanning, Paxton, Clarke, Sugrue)  These modalities of ressentiment are ontologically prior to the political forces that utilize, absorb, and manipulate them (see Right-wing Elites in the Postwar era; Red Scare, UAW links).  That is why answers to such questions as
What’s the Matter With Kansas?  cannot be given in political terms or through political analysis.  

I suggest here that there is a persistent existential catastrophe manifested in fascism, or better, to use Nietzsche's term, ressentiment. Usually something that is catastrophic is seen as a cataclysmic event rather than a persistent condition.  But that all depends upon the level of analysis chosen.  At the level of the organism homo sapiens historicus--post-paleolithic man--life is a series of catastrophes--eternal recurrence, repetition compulsion, mechanisms of defense . . .  The perpetual work of adaptation to power, and the tremendous range of possibilities opened up by the increasing symbolic and institutional complexity of Dasein, give us our being in the world, fractured, dynamic, creative, sadistic, stagnant, withdrawn, depressive, bold, fearful, anxious, petty, ecstatic, explosive, gregarious, autistic, etc.  Melanie Klein's dark view of homo sapiens is not widely accepted, but upon reading a recent Kleinian text (Envy Theory) I was struck by the disturbing resonance of such a dark view with the contemporary theater of sadism.  Robert Fisk's observations on the role of the Internet in school shootings and Isis recruitment puts the contemporary politics of sadism in a useful perspective.  Patrick Cockburn's story is actually about this persistent existential crisis.  This crisis manifests in a variety of ways in the contemporary world.  At the deepest level the National Rifle Association and Isis are fueled by and mobilize, through their performances, what Klein called the paranoid-schizoid position (Clarke, Social Theory).
Daniel Chapelle, Nietzsche and Psychoanalysis (State University of New York Press, 1993)

Frank Ninivaggi, Envy Theory: Perspectives on the Psychology of Envy (Rowman & Littlefield, 2010)

Simon Clarke, Social Theory, Psychoanalysis and Racism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003)

Thomas Frank, What's the Matter with Kansas:  How Conservatives Won the Heart of America (2004)

Herman W. Siemens and Vasti Roodt, eds., Nietzsche, power and politics: rethinking Nietzsche's legacy for political thought (Walter de Gruyter, 2008)

Nandita Biswas Mellamphy, The Three Stigmata of Friedrich Nietzsche: Political Physiology in the Age of Nihilism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)

Robert Fisk on Isis: Propaganda war of Islamic extremists is being waged on Facebook and internet message boards, not mosques  (The Independent, 12 October  2014)

Patrick Cockburn, "Iraq descends into anarchy: Shia militias 'abducting and killing Sunni civilians in revenge for Isis attacks'
" (The Independent, 14 October  2014)
"Communism" take one: confronts power; grasps systems inner logic--but also carries froth baggage of enlightenment

"Communism" take two: bolshevism; will to power bildung--praxis runs contrary to ideology; ideology still enlightenment; outcome still welfare state state capitalism; Dasein untouched

 . . .

Five: confronts field effects; eternal recurrence as practice; bildung nd will to poer becomes explicie--abandomnet and critique of enlightenment

contradictions of marxism

bildung vs equality

veblen
Marxism's failure: III

Cartesian Myths: Neoliberal and Marxist

The Enlightenment presupposition of the rational individual in a market economy--of the Cartesian self as the ontological foundation of society--can no longer be seriously entertained. (Neither can neoliberalism's two other main shibboleths--that markets are magic and institutions don't matter.)

Marxism in the late 19th and throughout the 20th centuries, itself an expression of the Enlightenment, was trapped in the quagmire of Cartesianism.  In practice, its conception of human nature differed little from the atomistic hedonism of neoliberalism.  Marxism was never able to get beyond the cultural values of the welfare state.  Even its concept of the working class was built on a neoliberal concept of material self-interest.

Nietzsche was far more the Hegelian Marxist than either Hegel or Marx, in that his fundamental concept was of 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, and to be capable of embarking on projects whose objective is self and societal transformation--Bildung and the Will to Power . . .  and also to be subject to the unintended consequences of such projects.

Marx himself, as distinct from the Marxism that developed, is partially exempt from this criticism, as the excerpt below shows.  And as Hartmut Geist and Ulla Härkönen show [LINK] in their discussion of education in Finland, Hegel (and Dewey) still live. Nevertheless, in practice Marxism has always been the left wing of progressivism.  Zizek, Derrida, able to relate only to national liberation struggles and Fordist labor struggles.  The new global era is critiqued by what is left of Marxism from within the old Enlightenment/state capitalist framework.  The problem of Dasein as such is unconceptualized.  (But see The PISA Results: Evolutionary, Historical, Developmental, and Psychological Perspectives)

The embrace of the the new freedom (to fuck whomever, to eat whatever, to take drugs, to mutilate your body, etc.) of expression of a powerless hedonistic individual by today's left, rather than the critique of this new freedom and the conditions under which it arises and the fundamental taboo against a serious crituqe of power .  .
from Catherine Evtuhov, "Introduction," in The Cultural Gradient: the Transmission of  ideas in Europe, 1789-1991 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003):

In 1960, British historian Alfred Cobban made the rather dramatic pronouncement that there had been no major period of original political thought since the eighteenth century--that is, since the Enlightenment. . . .  [The] Enlightenment projects of rationality, progress, control, order, happiness, and the assumption of a universal humanity [have taken many forms, from Bolshevism to the New Deal to the contemporary European welfare state.] pp. 4-5

see Enlightenment link, especially parts on species being

from "'Species-Being' and 'Human Nature' in Marx", by Thomas E. Wartenberg, in Human Studies, Vol. 5, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1982), pp. 77-95

What I want to suggest is that, in rejecting the notion of a fixed human nature, Marx is following a basic claim of Hegel's social theory, the claim that the form in which individuality is conceptualized or instantiated in a given social structure depends upon that very structure itself. Marx accepts this view of human individuality as historically and socially conditioned, and then he turns it upon those theorists, both philosophers and political economists, who accept a particular stage of human development as definitive of "human nature." In a move similar to the one he makes against Hegel--but this time following Hegel's lead--Marx argues that such views of a fixed, ahistorical human nature treat a particular form of development--one that is empirically accessible--as yielding a metaphysical truth about the world. . . . 


On the other hand, the inner logic, the generative matrix, of "Bolshevism" (why the quotes will become immediately apparent) was literally orthogonal to the immanent logic adduced by the phrase "a class with radical chains."
hn











h +  n  =  lc
Bildung  + the Will to Power  =  Bolshevism
Fine, Sitdown

Lichtenstein

Kraus

Friedlander

Jeffreys

neoliberalism (Veblen)
The Inner Logic of Bolshevism: Bildung and the Will to Power (I)


amland
Charles Sheeler, American Landscape, 1930
Detroit 1933-1944, and Petrograd, 1917-1918: an isomorphism



S. A. Smith, Red Petrograd: Revolution in the Factories, 1917-1918 (Cambridge University Press, 1983)

Steve Jeffreys, Management and Managed: Fifty Years of Crisis at Chrysler (Cambridge University Press, 1986)
  (
d1
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
Friederich Nietzsche, The Will To Power, Book IV, 960

From now on there will be more favorable preconditions for more comprehensive forms of dominion, whose like has never yet existed. And even this is not the most important thing; the possibility has been established for the production of international racial unions whose task will be to rear a master race, the future "masters of the earth"; a new, tremendous aristocracy, based on the severest self-legislation, in which the will of philosophical men of power and artist-tyrants will be made to endure for millennia -- a higher kind of man who, thanks to their superiority in will, knowledge, riches, and influence, employ democratic Europe as their most pliant and supple instrument for getting hold of the destinies of the earth, so as to work as artists upon "man" himself.  Enough: the time is coming when politics will have a different meaning.
5 Genetic Ontologies

Primate


Paleolithic

Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense

Bildung and the Will to Power

Nihilism

The Inner Logic of Bolshevism: Bildung and the Will to Power (II)

During the Roosevelt era this was the site of an unfolding of of a Nietzschean drama of Bildung and the Will to Power.  What went on in this arena (and also in Michigan Steel Tube, Midland Steel, Detroit's west side and Flint and other arenas of praxis--notice I do not refer to them as plants) cannot be reduced to "an activity of the second rank"; to understand the "UAW" in its formative years is to understand "the essential priority of the spontaneous, aggressive, expansive, form-giving forces that give new interpretations and directions" to events.

from Friederich Nietzsche, Geneology of Morals, II, 12

The democratic idiosyncracy which opposes [the will to power] has permeated the realm of the spirit and disguised itself in the most spiritual forms to such a degree that today it has forced its way, has acquired the right to force its way into the strictest, apparently most objective sciences;  indeed, it  . . . has robbed life of a fundamental concept, that of activity.  Under the influence of the above mentioned idiosyncrasy, one places instead "adaptation" in the foreground, that is to say, an activity of the second rank, a mere reactivity; indeed, life itself has been defined as a more and more efficient inner adaptation to external conditions (Herbert Spencer).  Thus, the essence of life, its will to power, is ignored; one overlooks the essential priority of the spontaneous, aggressive, expansive, form-giving forces that give new interpretations and directions, although 'adaptation' follows only after this; the dominant role of the highest functionaries within the organism iself in which the will to life appears active and form-giving is denied.


from Philippe Descola, Beyond Nature and Culture (Univesity of Chicago Press, 2013), p. 25

The body is animated by kamo, a term meaning "life" but implying no clearly defined shape nor any essential nature.


"Communism" take one denotes the period and the semiotic structure of the Communist Manifesto, already referred to in terms of its most striking intellectual failures.  Bildung & the Will to Power refers to "Communism" as "Bolshevism", and takes as its point of departure Norman Bully's comment on leadership in Flint from 1933 to 1944 (milieu & habitus of the Socialist Party; Buick; Flint).

Communism take two focuses on the psychological and cognitive dimensions of vanguardism, which is best conceptualized by Nietzsche not Lenin.

The very sins vanguardism is accused of--the sin of its actuality and efficacy--were the warp and woof of the great politics that Nietzsche poeticized.  (It's OK to be a victim and complain: that's the approved posture; just don't do anything rash--above all, don't unbecome a victim!  See the politics of Eternal Recurrence: Ferguson Missouri

RMD; Nihilism; Proletariat; Persistence

counter-tendency: Arno J. Mayer, The Persistence Of The Old Regime

BWP: William Calvin, A Brief History of the Mind: From Apes to Intellect and Beyond (Oxford University Press, 2004)

Angus Burgin, The Great Persuasion: Reinventing Free Markets since the Depression (Harvard, 2012)

Veblen

sc
An estimated crowd of 10,000 men, women and children rally at a Communist demonstration at
Union Square in New York City, Aug. 1, 1932. The demonstration is part of a world wide protest against
war. Among pro communist signs are placards demanding the release of the Scottsboro boys.
(AP Photo)

Field Effects: Class & Race
Anselm/Intro p. 35

Effects made visible:
Amanda Ripley; I Got Schooled; Oppenheimer bio; race & intelligence debate
 (Emergence.  See below).  Man is a bridge . . .

Nietzsche's brutal critique of the Cartesian metaphysic is by now the "standard model" of continental philosophical thinking.  From Foucault to Midgley to Veblen . . .

Nietzsche's concept of man as a work in progress--"man is a bridge"--notwithstanding his rhetorical references to the ubermensch as Napoleon or as the great artist or to the "higher men" . . .  cannot be reduced to an Ayn Randian individualism (aka neoliberalism).

Nietzsche himself was part of a larger work in progress: the Second Copernican Revolution

Philo should not exist as such; it should be an integral part of actvity: intellectual, political, personal . . .


Leiter, Brian, "Nietzsche's Moral and Political Philosophy", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2013 Edition)
owl
communism

1.  Marx scientific socialism; calling out the ruling class; development of theory in opposition to and independent of the RC

2. Vanguard-Nietzsche-St Petersburg/SE Mich

3.  Kotkin & Mann on US/USSR

the cultural front (bolshevik vs. bolshevik on autonomy of culture)

race and class
•••
KEY on N. as praxis; the fundamental significance (not meaning) of his texts; as invitations to a new kind of praxis.  EXAMPLE  Eternal recurrence re Ferguson

Thus, the ubermensch can be considered as the object of a developmental project (the bildungsroman, the bolsheviks, the uaw), or as blonde beasts/interacial unions who are the executors of the developmental project . . . or both simultaneously.  It is the operating principle of this site that exegesis must be replaced with philosophically informed praxis, whether of an intellectual or political nature--or better a Dasein-developmental-oriented praxis.  (Elsewhere I will demonstrate that self-development is an inherently and necesarily political project.) That is, empirical investigations, and empirically-based imaginings of the Project(s) that humans might create in this time that Nietzsche foresaw, activity--the great politics of which Nietzsche only hinted at--replaces exegesis.  It is the essence of the Nietzschean textual sensibility that it not be explained or interpreted--it must be transcended in the execution of its own intentionality, an intentionality which is immanent and only implicit--an intentionality that must no longer be merely spoken or written of from within the iron cages of our conventional existences.  This is the meaning of Putilov/Dodge Main.

Three things stand in the way of that project.  The iron grip of cartesianism on our discourse and thought: the presuppositions of ego and motive that Nietzshe critiqued; the taboo on analyzing power in the concrete (rather than bemoaning welaht and inequality in the abstract); and

This intentionality has already made its preliminary (and maybe also final) appearances in the Enlightenment as developmental trajectory; in Progressivism from Brandeis to Lenin, from Cooke to Bogdanov; in the praxis--action-development--of

Nihilism--the terminal malady of our time--is the political economy of mass consumption (see Food article).

It must not be overlooked that Nietzsche's "great politics" has already come and gone. That his great politics--the various "Progressivisms" of the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth century--has flamed out, and we are left with a society whose major effects is 1. the production of the last man as ideal type made real; 2. the integration on a permanent basis of ressentiment as genetic ontology into the structures of power; and 3. the regression to the primate--field effect


substance (class) and representation (agents), where agency belongs to the class not the agent
heterogeneity and distance; praxis as the antithesis of representation




 
Marxism: four takes

take one:  ideology

take two: as part of a sequence (enlightenment as historical-developmental vector)

take three: "communism"--progressivism

take four: hegel-nietzsche: the 21st century

Marxism as an attitude toward power: race and class; field effects

eternal recurrence as a relationship to power: political events, media events interpreted as manifestations of power

nietz and marx/nietz contra marx (on culture)

nietz and lenin (will to power, inte'l racial unions)

ER and transcendental empiricism: Stupid Party: field and concept (the concept recurs every time the empirical is theorized (sado-sexual themes recurs in semiotic field of GOP right)



from Friederich Nietzsche, Geneology of Morals, II, 12

The democratic idiosyncracy which opposes [the will to power] has permeated the realm of the spirit and disguised itself in the most spiritual forms to such a degree that today it has forced its way, has acquired the right to force its way into the strictest, apparently most objective sciences;  indeed, it  . . . has robbed life of a fundamental concept, that of activity.  Under the influence of the above mentioned idiosyncrasy, one places instead "adaptation" in the foreground, that is to say, an activity of the second rank, a mere reactivity; indeed, life itself has been defined as a more and more efficient inner adaptation to external conditions (Herbert Spencer).  Thus, the essence of life, its will to power, is ignored; one overlooks the essential priority of the spontaneous, aggressive, expansive, form-giving forces that give new interpretations and directions, although 'adaptation' follows only after this; the dominant role of the highest functionaries within the organism iself in which the will to life appears active and form-giving is denied.


from Philippe Descola, Beyond Nature and Culture (Univesity of Chicago Press, 2013), p. 25

The body is animated by kamo, a term meaning "life" but implying no clearly defined shape nor any essential nature.
Bildung/Mozart

KE/New Deal
UAW:Bildung/WP

Stupid Party
RMD
PISA Results
The liberal-Progressive side of of this trope of development is embodied in Lev Vygotsky's and John Dewy's pedagogical theory and practice.  Nietzsche's "blond beasts" are in this context none other than the educators and policy-makers who set out to shape the human materials at their disposal.

In this Nietzsche's thinking was of a piece with that of Dewey, Vygotsky, and the Institutionalists (Veblen, Pierce)   [Dupre, Kagan]

This developmental potential is the antithesis of neoliberal theory, whee caretsian hedonimsl forms the bedrock of presupsitons that genarte all dscourse nd theory.

ON IDEOLOGY

1.  "Ideology" presupposes the Cartesian myth.  Ideas as the motives of individual actions--very anti-Bourdieu.  Examples: Stupid Party--what are referred to as the "ideas" about Obama care and women's rights, and the motives of voters' "choices, can better be seen as rhetorical elements in a theater of ressentiment, paranoid-schizoid position.

2.  There are key texts of Progressivism, but these texts function within a milieu and habitus.  They arise out of and reflect back on them.  These texts are moments in the unfolding of a project.
c

N's influence on Russia/Stalinism vs. N's texts as helping to understand Russia Stalinism

not history of ideas but history of praxes

do you believe in evolution

good (1)/bad vs. good(2)/evil:

uses of language in context of QHD  Chase


Nietzsche opened up a series of problematics.  The worst thing one can do is ask what did Nietzsche really think in the characteristic exegetical fashion of those still trapped in Cartesianism.  What use is to be made of Nietzsche's texts is the better question. And since he claimed to be looking into the future when writing of nihilism and the ubermensch

ideology vs. theatricality; ideology as index, as rationaliazation
Nietzsche on semiotics

What Nietzsche said of morality could just as easily be said about ideology:

To this extent moral judgment is never to be taken literally: as such it never contains anything but nonsense.  But as semiotics it remains of incalculable value: it reveals, to the informed man at least the most precious realities of cultures and inner worlds* (*see Rothschild) which did no know enough to ‘understand’ themselves.. Morality is merely sign-language, merely symptomatology . . ..

Nietzsche, Twilight, p. 55  emph added
Hegel's concept of Bildung and Nietzsche's concept of Will to Power are two sides of the same coin.  (see Bildung: Was Mozart a Communist?)  hgel smiley face

the incredible shrinking self (the incredible smallness of being)
The actual practice of the Communist Party was contrary to its ideology: will to power/bildung--otherwise it wou

Bildung and the Will to Power: sources

Exegesis is contrary to the provocative intentionality of Nietzsche's work.



"Kriegs-Praxis