Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

To contact me about organizing, email me at rpwolff750@gmail.com




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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

ADVISE AND CONSENT: THE LAST LEGALLY PERMISSIBLE BLOOD SPORT

In an odd, twisted sort of way, it makes a certain amount of sense. If you are going to be elevated to the highest court in the land, there to sit for the rest of your life, empowered to issue legal rulings affecting generations of Americans yet unborn, you ought first to be required to wait quietly, a smile frozen on your face, while a brain-dead racist pipsqueak, a smarmy hypocritical Mormon wannabe, and a mean-spirited country-club Texan snarl at you and try their ineffectual best to besmirch your character. What better proof of judicial restraint? It is, I suppose, a salutary reminder to the candidate that though she is certain to be confirmed, and will, when she takes her seat next October, never again have to suffer the likes of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, Orrin Hatch, and Jon Cornyn, still she will have to contend with Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas and John Roberts and Samuel Alito.

Everything intelligent and useful that can possibly be said about this sorry spectacle has already been said. The most important observation, now a part of the conventional wisdom in the neighborhoods I frequent, though not yet more than a whisper in the rest of America, is that white and male are distinguishing and limiting markers as much as are Latina and female. The ultimate expression of the power of white men is their ability, like the cheshire cat, to fade from view, leaving only the benign smile of unchallengeable privilege. I speak with objective judicial impartiality, because I am a white man, which is to say fully human. You must prove to me that you are capable of speaking with a like impartiality, because you are Hispanic and a woman.

I mean, Puleeeeze.

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