Time for a Tea-Party? The U.S. Politics of Ressentiment

This is one of my favourite university assignment topics – intertwining my two favourite subjects; politics and philosophy.  This context of this assignment was October 2013; Obama was the POTUS, and the US Ultra-Right wing Tea Party groups were ‘rising up’.  The issues in the USA now reminded me of this assignment – and I realised how it was still quite applicable in the age of “MAGA” and Donald Trump.

 

Fellow Patriots! It’s time to stand up and “Take America Back!”[1]

There was once a ‘land of the free and home of the brave’[2], where men were judged not by their level of education, but by their hard work and productivity.  They were exceptional people, with an exceptional purpose.  However, this idyllic, mythical history is not the world in which the US Tea Parties call home.  Since the 1960s, the ‘pace of contemporary social, cultural, economic, and political change [has been] unprecedented’[3]; this world is increasingly filled with egalitarianism, sexual liberation, differing cultures and moral values.  As their myth is challenged by this reality, they feel threatened, and become disillusioned.  Democracy, the government ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’, has seemingly failed them.  The State is no longer the neutral, impartial arbiter, but now has become an agent of minority interests.  Their great nation has been weakened by ‘un-Americans’.  Their identities, based on these myths and moralities, have been profoundly affected by modernity, leading them to an anomic dissonance caused by the realisation of transience, the ‘it was’[4].

These factors demonstrate what Nietzsche called ressentiment, and it is the task of this essay to provide a narrative explaining ressentiment, particularly its manifestation in the contemporary extreme-right conservative ‘Tea Party’ movement in the United States of America (US), which originated in 2009 with a ‘carefully planned “spontaneous” outburst of anger’[5] over economic and social issues[6].   It will be shown that this ressentiment has been directed at the State through an articulation of ressentiment nationalism; the State has been perverted from the inside, and has become ‘un-American’.

The US was formed around a national mythos of a Promised Land, and an American Exceptionalism.  These myths were based on a ‘White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant (WASP)’ ethnic core[7].  The ‘Promised Land’ for an ‘Ethnic Christian Nation’ was a deeply religious myth rooted in the beliefs of the population of the ‘New World’ of Early American history[8].  Between the first colonial arrivals, and the War of Independence; civil society was inextricably intertwined with the protestant religion[9], and one’s place in this society was ordained by God[10].  This new nation was granted by God, a ‘new Canaan’ and was thus sacred; a new Eden, which would succeed or fail according to the actions of the ‘American Adam’[11].

This ideology became embedded with the Puritans, and ‘Protestant Work Ethic’, then so with ‘The Spirit of Capitalism’[12].  Through hard work, they could obtain the ‘Promise’ of America – the ‘American Dream’: unlimited progress, social mobility, wealth[13].  This connection of social life with the religious ideology of the early American colonies was, in Weber’s thought, suggestive towards an ‘ascetic ideal’[14], which promoted the idea of working hard and saving money to prove God’s Grace; supporting the poor through taxation was seen as going against God’s purpose; ‘Unwillingness to work [was] symptomatic of the lack of grace[15].  This emergent ‘American’ identity was bolstered by the events around the ‘Great Awakening’ and the Revolution.  They were the ‘chosen people’ of God[16], who would dominate the land[17], and, without falling prey to immoral intellectualism[18], would create the ‘city on the hill’ that Winthrop, and later Regan, articulated[19].  Much as then, today this manifests as the laissez-faire individualist, allowing the capitalist ‘marketplace’ to be the determinant of one’s moral worth.

Furthermore, America would not be party to the ethnic strife of the Old World; their focus on individualism and liberty meant they could be the civic, cosmopolitan ‘smelting pot’ which transformed diverse individuals into ‘Americans’[20].  Unlike Europe, America was unburdened by the hierarchy and identity formed from a ‘common history’[21]; instead, one could be ‘American’ through adopting the ideology[22].  This myth suggested that America was the land of the noble, common people[23], brought together by a civic ideal and unhindered by ‘ethno-cultural nationalism’[24].  The tensions between their demanded individualism and the community of ‘Americans’ was discarded by the belief that no single culture would be dominant; each new arrival would be subtly changed by the ‘natives’, as would the natives be subtly altered.  The American nation thus could be truly diverse[25].  This was the ‘egalitarian, populist’ America, where their unique political history, with the importation of Locke’s political philosophy, and the ‘republican’ safeguards on democracy[26] made the US doubly special:  all were endowed with natural rights, and so were equal[27], and this equality plus the diversity of the people made majority rule work.

This established the idea of the ‘American Nation’ as ‘Exceptional’.  The nation’s ‘ideology [could] be described in five words: liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, populism, and laissez-faire’[28].  These ideals were enshrined in the US Constitution, and as has been seen, stemmed from their history.  Even as the emphasis on religion declined, with the avowal of secularism, the constructed national imagination promoted the idea that ‘America’ had a great purpose: to advance their republic, and be the model of the world[29].  These were the myths ‘of origin, history and destiny’[30] that formed the basis of their nationalism.

The ‘Glorious Past’ represented by this mythologised history no longer exists, if indeed it ever did.  It has been washed away by the new social milieu.  On one side, the various rights movements and immigration significantly affected social demographics[31]; since the womens rights, and civil rights movements, Women, African-Americans, and Immigrants from diverse countries are now capable of full citizenship[32], rather than the implicit, and sometimes explicit, discrimination allowed[33].  The projected demographic changes in American society, via birth-rate of minority groups, and legal (and ‘illegal’) immigration have suggested that by 2050, ‘whites will become a minority’ in America[34], which challenging the supremacy of the ‘White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant (WASP)’[35] ethnic core[36].  Likewise, the rising secularism and religious pluralism in the US has highlighted the divide between the past, and the present. On the other side, industrialisation and globalisation have destabilised the mythological notion of the adaptable, self-made, self-educated, self-reliant man[37], and replaced it with a [white] ‘wage slave’[38].  The days of the yeoman farmer, or even skilled manufacturing, are gone.  Rising wealth inequality, and job losses through corporate outsourcing overseas have eroded the great promise of America[39], and the bureaucratic state is ubiquitous[40].

Ressentiment and the US Tea Party

Ressentiment is an enduring, reactive attitude towards a hostile external stimulus experienced by the marginalised or powerless[41].  It is fertile amongst ‘[p]eople who yearn to be someone else’[42], or perhaps somewhere or some-when else[43].  Nietzsche argued that ressentiment was the basis of ‘herd’ morality[44], where the ‘plebian masses’ would band together against those who were truly noble.  The narrative includes three ‘character types’: Nobles, Slaves, and Priests.

On Nietzsche’s account, the noble’s morality was given under the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ dichotomy, where the ‘good’ was defined by, and expressed as, what they did and wanted; they actively assert themselves in the world, expressing themselves fully and honestly.  They ‘are’ the expression of their ‘will to power’, and act in a manner that is life-affirming.  Their morality affirmed the self; their qualities they had, like power, wealth, health, and ‘all things that involves vigorous, free, joyful activity’[45]. They were ‘good’; ‘Bad’ was merely an afterthought – it was whatever was ‘not good’.  Whilst not perfect, the nobles did not suffer from their lack, or feel thwarted in achieving their goals.

The Slaves, the ‘plebeian masses’, are poor, sick, or weak.  They are ‘bad’ in that they are ‘not good’, i.e., not ‘noble’.  Whilst barely existing in the nobles’ conception of the world, the slaves’ entire existence is framed in reference to the nobles.  They feel both admiration and hatred for the nobles; they believe they neither have their attributes, nor have the ability to get them.  Being unable to relieve the resultant anger and envy, they turn it inwards, where ‘hatred grows to take on a monstrous and sinister shape’[46].  This is ressentiment; ‘an emotion that does not promote personal excellence [like in the ‘noble’ morality] but rather dwells on competitive strategy and thwarting others’[47].  The Other[48] is perceived as all powerful, while they are ‘powerless to express these feelings actively against the person or social stratum evoking them… [This leads to] a continual re‐experiencing of this impotent hostility’[49].  Their belief that they are lacking causes them to repress their ‘whole negative impulse’ towards the source of their pain, which enables the detachment of ‘negative sentiment’ from its initial object, and the absorption of other qualities into these sentiments[50].  The ‘slaves’ resign; they cultivate their grievances, revel in their ‘ressentiment complaints’, and take comfort in blaming and shaming the ‘evil Other’, their ‘imagined revenge’.

There is one other class – The transitional ‘priestly caste’.  In Nietzsche’s narrative, the priest is a subset of the nobles, and so shares some ‘noble’ traits, but due to their desire for the power of the nobles, and their ‘incurable’ impotence[51] in achieving it, they also share the ressentiment of the slaves[52].  They hold this impotence responsible for the loss of their political supremacy.  Unlike the ‘slaves’, the priests cannot resign themselves to their impotence, because like the nobles, they see ‘themselves to be of a higher rank’, and so, unlike the slaves, expect to be able to realise their goals[53].  This makes them all the more dangerous; those of the noble morality had no requirement for cunning[54], but, in a backhanded compliment, Nietzsche writes that ‘[a] race of such men of ressentiment will inevitably end up cleverer than any noble race’[55].  They are willing to wait for their revenge, and they don’t forget.

The interplay between these three classes is Nietzsche’s ressentiment argument.  While modernity has been threatening for many in the US, those who identify with the ‘Tea Party’ movement feel particularly distressed over the path their ‘nation’ is taking.  Their ‘grassroots’ membership predominantly consists of older, educated, white, middle class, Christian men[56] with ‘internally generated’, ‘ethnic pride’[57] of their nation. It is an almost ‘primordialist fantasy’[58] of the ‘American Nation’; they see themselves as the ethnic descendants of the ‘Founders’, who are ‘the greatest group of Americans to ever live’[59].  They envision themselves as heirs to a proud, wholly ‘American’ culture, as well as the inheritors of strong civic values[60] which had been vindicated across US history; they[61] had conquered and tamed the New World[62], ‘settled’ the ‘European’ wars by their moral leadership and might[63], and had become the ‘leader of the free world’[64].  They were the ‘beacon on the hill’ that Winthrop saw them becoming[65].

The new nobility which has taken over US society since the civil rights movement has displaced the culture which the Tea Party supporters hold dear; their identities are tied into this idea of the nation, and the challenge to the hegemony of their cultural ideals, and a relative loss of cultural and economic power, is anomie-inducing.

“[E]very sufferer instinctively looks for a cause of his distress; more exactly for a culprit, even more precisely for a guilty culprit who is receptive to distress – in short, for a living being upon whom he can release his emotion … on some pretext or other: because the release of emotions is the greatest attempt … at anaesthetizing on the part of the sufferer … In my judgment, we find here the actual physiological causation of ressentiment  … in a yearning … to anaesthetize pain through emotion”[66].

The State, which once protected and entrenched their privilege and control, has been unable to maintain this stance in a post-civil rights world.  Their privileges have been equalised and spread to previously subjugated groups, leading to a downward trend in their position, relative to these other communities[67].  The loss of their imagined nation to this ‘usurper’ nation makes them feel angry, and they feel powerless to act.  Instead of recognising this as the ‘equality’ espoused by their treasured constitution, they perceived this as marginalisation, or discrimination against them[68].  “[I]t’s not the past that’s a ‘foreign country’”, writes Lepore, ‘[i]ts the present’[69].  They feel ashamed that they could do nothing to stop this decline, and admiring, because it hasn’t seemed to fail, despite its faults[70].  There is also a sense in which they admire the capacity of the State to provide them with benefits[71] – and resent the power this gives over them.  Theirs is an ‘orientation to the outside’[72], with an inability to face the existential pain of transience.  Despite the vocal impression of the Tea Party as the ‘voice of the nation’, their support is small.  Without significant backing, there will be no ‘anaesthetisation of pain’ via political channels.  They must be satisfied with their ‘imaginary revenge’, labelling any and all liberals, particularly the President, as ‘un-American’.

The ‘priestly caste’, the Tea Party Leadership, feel this pain also; the changes to society have been profound, and the necessity to ‘pander’, in varying degrees, to public opinion limits their capacity to roll-back or reshape the US in their own image.  However, they cannot be satisfied with mere ‘imaginary revenge’.  It is the priestly caste which acts as the catalyst for the ‘slave revolt in morality’, a ‘radical revaluation of their values… an act of the most deliberate revenge’[73].  They turn ressentiment creative; it at once negates all noble values, and replaces them with that of the ‘slave morality’.  It says ‘NO!’ to whatever is not of it; the hostile, evil ‘Other’ is to blame for their place in the world.  The priestly caste rejected ‘the aristocratic value equation (good = noble = powerful = beautiful = happy = blessed)’[74], and replaced it with a slave morality where ‘those who suffer are good, only the poor, the powerless, the lowly are good’[75]!  They no longer would see any good in those former values; they deigned them evil, and could thereby deign themselves ‘good’ since they did not possess them.  Since they, the Tea Party, don’t have the power to enact their will over the people, power over people must be evil.

The priest, via his respected image amongst the masses, also has the power to change the focus of ressentiment.  The ressentiment sufferers are

[F]righteningly willing and inventive in their pretexts for painful emotions… they rummage through the bowels of their past and present for obscure, questionable stories that will allow them to wallow in tortured suspicion, … they make evil-doers out of friend, wife, child and anyone else near to them. ‘I suffer: someone or other must be guilty’ – and every sick sheep thinks the same. But his shepherd … says to him, ‘Quite right, my sheep! Somebody must be to blame: but you yourself are this somebody … one thing has been achieved by it, the direction of ressentiment is… changed[76].

In turning ressentiment, the priest can manipulate the energy of the slaves toward the priest’s ultimate goal; a return to power, and their expected glory.  Their ressentiment can be directed inward, so as to consolidate a community of sufferers who will learn and pass on the priests values; this is clearly highlighted in statements by the TeaPAC:

Our mission is to restore a limited, constitutional government through effective, ongoing citizen participation. As citizens, we must accept ultimate responsibility for what has happened and what will happen in the future[77].

They direct the ressentiment inwards, citing the lack of ‘professional citizens’[78], in order to keep the ressentiment festering, and impress their value structure.  Since Tea Party supporters tend to be more authoritarian, libertarian, and nativist, as well as more fearful of change[79], the direction by their leaders provide a measure of security.  However, it also allows the ‘priests’ to manipulate them by simplifying all the issues into an ‘evil Other’– the State –, vs. the ‘moral Us’, and providing simplified solutions to fix any and all problems.

Since the nature of the modern world is such that ‘most people [have] few spaces for the joys of agency’, through a ‘national self-identity linked to a valorized and idealized nation-state’, and participation in nationalist causes[80], people could feel empowered, rather than powerless.  Populist politicians, including the Tea Party ‘priests’ have been able to mobilise the ressentiment nationalism of this group by appealing to their sense of belonging; their ‘nation’ is under siege by forces outside the ‘real’ American Nation[81]. Those forces are not merely construed as external to the State, but of it, and within it; they are the ‘undeserving poor’ who live off ‘our hard earned taxpayer dollars’; the ‘illegals’ who come in and take jobs, homes and welfare; in fact, anyone that doesn’t fit to their narrow sense of who the ‘real Americans’ are.  Even the State itself is evil – it has given itself powers in excess of what the founders intended.  These Others are construed as immoral merely through this ‘persuasive definition’[82] of them as such. This implicitly and explicitly directs the ‘slaves’ ressentiment outwards, providing a route for collective action[83]. They call for an ‘American Jeremiad’[84], identifying their idyllic past, the immoral present, and promoting a return to their beloved ‘America’.

This essay has argued that the U.S. ‘Tea Party’ movement exemplifies the attitude that Nietzsche described as ‘ressentiment’.  Their slogan, to ‘Take Back America’ is, in a sense, an attempt to take America back in time, and from, those they see as gaining, via illegitimate means, the fruits of their, and their forefathers, labours.  Seeing themselves as the rightful inheritors of the ‘American Dream’, enshrined in a series of national myths, the ‘Tea Party are sufferers of ressentiment railing against the States’ inability to manage the pace and direction of cultural and economic change.

 

 

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[1] Or its other variation ‘Take Back America’: Tea Party Campaign slogan.  See “TeaPAC: About Us,” TeaPAC, http://www.teapac.net/TP_PROD/.

[2] From the US national anthem, ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’.

[3] Wendy Brown, “Specters and Angels at the End of History,” in Vocations of Political Theory, ed. J.A. Frank and J. Tambornino (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000), 25.

[4] ‘It was’: that is what the will’s gnashing off teeth and loneliest tribulation is called.  Helpless against what has been done – of all things past it is an angry witness.  Backwards the will cannot will: that it cannot break time and time’s inordinate desire,- that is the will’s loneliest tribulation […] That time does not run backwards, this is its anger; ‘That Which Was’ – this is what the stone it cannot roll is called. Friedrich Nietzsche and Thomas Wayne, Thus Spake Zarathustra, (New York: Algora Publishing, 2007), http://murdoch.eblib.com.au/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=318662. 107.

[5] Lauren Langman, “Cycles of Contention: The Rise and Fall of the Tea Party,” Critical Sociology 38, no. 4 (2012): 470.

[6] “Cycles of Contention: The Rise and Fall of the Tea Party,” Critical Sociology 38, no. 4 (2012).

[7] Eric Kaufmann, “American Exceptionalism Reconsidered: Anglo-Saxon Ethnogenesis in the Nation, 1776 – 1850,” Journal of American Studies 33, no. 03 (1999); see also Matt A. Barreto et al., “The Tea Party in the Age of Obama: Mainstream Conservatism or out-Group Anxiety?,” in Rethinking Obama, ed. J. Go (Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2011), 10.

[8] Kaufmann, “American Exceptionalism Reconsidered: Anglo-Saxon Ethnogenesis in the Nation, 1776 – 1850,” 442.

[9] Ibid.

[10] J. Winthrop, “A Modell of Christian Charity,”  Collections of the Massachusetts historical society, no. 3rd series 7 (1630/1838), http://history.hanover.edu/texts/winthmod.html

[11] Ibid; S. Bercovitch, The Rites of Assent: Transformations in the Symbolic Construction of America  (Routledge, Chapman & Hall, Incorporated, 1993), 8, 9; R.W.B. Lewis, The American Adam: Innocence Tragedy and Tradition in the Nineteenth Century  (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1955).

[12] M. Weber, Weber: The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of the Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, trans. T. Parsons, Routledge Classics (London: Routledge, 2001).

[13] In the thought of many, this was obviously granted by the grace of God; whereas idleness would lead one in a downwards spiral into poverty, due to ones personal failures and lowering in the eyes of God. Erich Fromm discusses this in To Have or to Be?  (New York: Continuum, 2005).

[14] Weber: The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of the Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Ch5:159.

[15] Weber: The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of the Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.

[16] S. Bercovitch, The American Jeremiad  (University of Wisconsin Press, 1978), 105; See also Thomas  Jefferson, “Notes on the State of Virginia,” Lillian Goldman Law Library, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/jeffvir.asp.

[17] Bercovitch, The Rites of Assent: Transformations in the Symbolic Construction of America, 32.

[18] See Cotton, cited in R. Hofstadter, Anti-Intellectualism in American Life  (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2012), 46; Sowell argues that the ‘common man’ triumphed against the ‘presumptions of the arrogant.  See T. Sowell, The Quest for Cosmic Justice  (New York: Free Press, 2001), 187.

[19] Winthrop, “A Modell of Christian Charity”; Ronald Regan, “Remarks Accepting the Presidential Nomination” (at the the Republican National Convention, Dallas, Texas, August 23 1984), sourced at: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=40290.

[20] Emerson, as cited in Kaufmann, “American Exceptionalism Reconsidered: Anglo-Saxon Ethnogenesis in the Nation, 1776 – 1850,” 452.

[21] David Brown, Contemporary Nationalism: Civic, Ethnocultural, and Multicultural Politics  (London: Routledge, 2000), Ch 3; see also S.M. Lipset, American Exceptionalism: A Double-Edged Sword  (W.W. Norton, 1997); and Thistlethwaite, in The First New Nation: The United States in Historical and Comparative Perspective  (New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1963).

[22] American Exceptionalism: A Double-Edged Sword, 1-3.  This is also part of the critique of American Exceptionalism.

[23] M. Kazin, The Populist Persuasion: An American History  (Cornell University Press, 1998), 1.

[24] Brown, Contemporary Nationalism: Civic, Ethnocultural, and Multicultural Politics, Ch 3.

[25] Though, this idea of course has been challenged.  See Bercovitch, The American Jeremiad, 154; A. de Tocqueville, Democracy in America  (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1959), Ch 14.

[26] See James Madison, “The Federalist Papers No. 10: The Union as a Safeguard against Domestic Faction and Insurrection,” Lillian Goldman Law Library, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed10.asp.

[27] Thomas Jefferson et al., “The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776,” ibid. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/declare.asp.

[28] Lipset, American Exceptionalism: A Double-Edged Sword, 1.

[29] This can be seen in POTUS Wilson, and his ‘moral imperative’ to make the world ‘safe for democracy’, in Woodrow Wilson, “Request for Declaration of War” (at the Joint Session of the Two Houses of Congress, Washington, April 2 1917), sourced at: http://wwl2.dataformat.com/PDF/D04363.pdf 7.

[30] Lauren Langman, “The Social Psychology of Nationalism: To Die for the Sake of Strangers,” in The Sage Handbook of Nations and Nationalism, ed. G. Delanty and K. Kumar (London: SAGE, 2006), 74.

[31] Barreto et al., “The Tea Party in the Age of Obama: Mainstream Conservatism or out-Group Anxiety?,” 10.

[32] In theory, even if this is still sometimes lacking in practice.

[33] Slavery being the most prominent example of explicit discrimination; there is also the lack of women’s political and personal rights, and lack of institutionalised anti-discrimination even against Catholics, or the Irish to consider.  Bart Motes, “The Tea Party Wants You to Call Them Racist,” (2010), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bart-motes/the-tea-party-wants-you-t_b_649006.html; Joan Dowlin, “The Tea Party Movement Vs. The Civil Rights Movement,”  The Blog(2010), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joan-e-dowlin/the-tea-party-movement-vs_b_551100.html.

[34] Jeffrey S.  Passel and D’Vera Cohn. “U.S. Population Projections: 2005-2050 “. (Washington DC: Pew Research Centre, 2008), http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/files/2010/10/85.pdf.

[35] Kaufmann, “American Exceptionalism Reconsidered: Anglo-Saxon Ethnogenesis in the Nation, 1776 – 1850.”

[36]Barreto et al., “The Tea Party in the Age of Obama: Mainstream Conservatism or out-Group Anxiety?,” 10.

[37] Bercovitch, The American Jeremiad, 342.

[38] See M.J. Sandel, Democracy’s Discontent: America in Search of a Public Philosophy  (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1998), Ch 6, esp. 172-173.

[39] Henry Blodget, “Here’s the Biggest Problem in the American Economy,”  Business Insider Australia(2012), http://www.businessinsider.com.au/heres-the-problem-with-our-economy-2012-9.

[40] W. Brown, States of Injury: Power and Freedom in Late Modernity  (Princeton University Press, 1995), 68.

[41] Friedrich Nietzsche, Nietzsche: ‘On the Genealogy of Morality’ and Other Writings Student Edition, ed. Keith Ansell-Pearson, trans. Carol Diethe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), GM1:7-10. Scheler, as cited in Lita Crociani-windland and Paul Hoggett, “Politics and Affect,” Subjectivity 5, no. 2 (2012): 166.

[42] J. Portmann, When Bad Things Happen to Other People  (Taylor & Francis, 2000), 119.

[43] It is interesting to ask the meaning of the Tea Party wish to ‘Take America Back’? To when? From whom?

[44] Nietzsche, Nietzsche: ‘On the Genealogy of Morality’ and Other Writings Student Edition, GM7-10.

[45] Nietzsche: ‘On the Genealogy of Morality’ and Other Writings Student Edition.

[46] F. Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals : A Polemic., trans. D. Smith (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), GMI:7. Parts of this translation are more eloquent.

[47] Robert Solomon, “Nietzsche Ad Hominem: Perspectivism Personality and Ressentiment Revisited,” in The Cambridge Companion to Nietzsche, ed. B. Magnus and K. Higgins (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 210.

[48] Scheler suggests that ressentiment ‘is not in the same sense tied to definite objects… On the contrary, this affect seeks those objects, those aspects of men and things, from which it can draw gratification’.  See M. Scheler, Ressentiment  (Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Marquette University Press, 1994), 30.

[49] Merton, in Jock Young, “Moral Panic: Its Origins in Resistance, Ressentiment and the Translation of Fantasy into Reality,” British Journal of Criminology 49, no. 1 (2009): 12.  Following Reginster, I disagree with the final portion of the Merton quote.

[50] Panu Minkkinen, “Ressentiment as Suffering: On Transitional Justice and the Impossibility of Forgiveness,” Law and Literature 19, no. 3 (2007): 521.

[51] Bernard Reginster, “Nietzsche on Ressentiment and Valuation,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 57, no. 2 (1997): 8.

[52] Nietzsche, Nietzsche: ‘On the Genealogy of Morality’ and Other Writings Student Edition, GMI:6-7.

[53] Reginster, “Nietzsche on Ressentiment and Valuation,” 287 – 288. See also note 9.

[54] However, it ought to be said that those of the ‘noble’ morality did not see this lack as an obstacle to obtaining their values.

[55] Nietzsche, Nietzsche: ‘On the Genealogy of Morality’ and Other Writings Student Edition, GMI:10.

[56] Barreto et al., “The Tea Party in the Age of Obama: Mainstream Conservatism or out-Group Anxiety?; Langman, “Cycles of Contention: The Rise and Fall of the Tea Party.”

[57] David Brown, “The Ethnic Majority: Benign or Malign?,” Nations and Nationalism 14, no. 4 (2008): 771; Adams calls this ‘racial pride’, in J.T. Adams and H. Schneiderman, The Epic of America  (Transaction Publishers, 2012), 46.

[58] Matthew Levinger and Paula Franklin Lytle, “Myth and Mobilisation: The Triadic Structure of Nationalist Rhetoric,” Nations and Nationalism 7, no. 2 (2001): 177.

[59] Glenn Beck, as cited in Jared A. Goldstein, “The Tea Party Movement and the Perils of Popular Originalism,” Arizona Law Review 53(2011): 849.

[60] Brown, “The Ethnic Majority: Benign or Malign?,” 772.

[61] At least, they were descended from those who did – see Stephen Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined  (London: Penguin Group, 2011), 521. for an interesting discussion on these lines.

[62] D.H. Murdoch, The American West: The Invention of a Myth  (University of Nevada Press, 2001), 18.

[63] Woodrow Wilson, “President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points,” Lillian Goldman Law Library, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/wilson14.asp; Truman, in J. Fousek, To Lead the Free World: American Nationalism and the Cultural Roots of the Cold War  (University of North Carolina Press, 2000), 19-23.

[64] To Lead the Free World: American Nationalism and the Cultural Roots of the Cold War, 130.

[65] Winthrop, “A Modell of Christian Charity”; Regan, “Remarks Accepting the Presidential Nomination.”

[66] Nietzsche, Nietzsche: ‘On the Genealogy of Morality’ and Other Writings Student Edition, III:15.

[67] Though this trend is merely relative; substantively, the Tea Party Supporters are still economically better off. Liah Greenfeld and Daniel Chirot, “Nationalism and Aggression,” Theory and Society 23, no. 1 (1994): 85. suggest this is an inspiration for ressentiment.

[68] Gary Younge, “Race Is Central to the Fear and Angst of the Us Right,” (2013), http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/20/race-central-fear-angst-us-right.

[69] {Lepore@137}

[70] There has been admitted failure on both Democrat and Republican sides.

[71] “Hands off our Medicare!” is an odd placard noting Tea Party philosophy, yet when queried, they defend their receipt of government benefits by claiming that they deserved it because they paid into the system.  See Paul Briand, “Average Tea Party Member Is Baby Boomer,”  examiner.com(2010), http://www.examiner.com/article/average-tea-party-member-is-baby-boomer.

[72] Keith Ansell-Pearson, Carol Diethe, and Friedrich Nietzsche, Nietzsche : ‘On the Genealogy of Morality’ and Other Writings Student Edition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), http://murdoch.eblib.com.au/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=321153. GMI:10.

[73] Nietzsche, Nietzsche: ‘On the Genealogy of Morality’ and Other Writings Student Edition, GMI:7.

[74] Ibid.

[75] Ibid.

[76] Nietzsche: ‘On the Genealogy of Morality’ and Other Writings Student Edition, GMIII:15.

[77] “TeaPAC: About Us”.

[78] Ibid.

[79] Andrew J. Perrin et al., “Cultures of the Tea Party,” Contexts, Spring 2011, 74.

[80] Langman, “The Social Psychology of Nationalism: To Die for the Sake of Strangers,” 72.

[81] The ‘garrison nationalism’ discussed in Brown, “The Ethnic Majority: Benign or Malign?,” 783.

[82] Stevenson, in John Hill, “The Grammar of Restorationism,” The Australasian Catholic Record 88, no. 2 (2011): 179. Daly defines ‘persuasive definition’ as a definition which ‘gives a new conceptual meaning to a familiar word without changing its emotive meaning; and which is used with the conscious or unconscious purpose of changing the direction of people’s interests’.  Ibid.

[83] Nietzsche, Nietzsche: ‘On the Genealogy of Morality’ and Other Writings Student Edition, GMIII:15,20; Patrik Aspers, “Nietzsche’s Sociology,” Sociological Forum 22, no. 4 (2007): 484.

[84] Bercovitch, The American Jeremiad.

 


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