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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Saturday, June 25, 2011

NEWMAN TELLS REDFORD

Everyone who has spent a lifetime fighting for ideals against hopeless odds has a little piece of folk wisdom, a mantra, tucked away in his or her head -- something to come back to, something to think about, something to keep the spirits up. Today is a good day, a day for victory laps. Last night, New York voted to legalize same-sex marriages. The vote was hedged round with all manner of protections for churches, synagogues, and mosques where the least whiff of homosexuality carries with it the scent of brimstone, but Cuomo and Bloomberg, a whole lot of Democrats and a crucial handful of Republicans made it happen.

At times like these, I think of my little mantra -- a line from that great Newman/Redford movie, The Sting. Redford's buddy, Luther, has been murdered by Doyle Lonnegan [the late, great Robert Shaw], and he comes looking for Newman in a whorehouse to learn how to get back at Lonnegan by playing "the big con." Newman agrees, after sobering up, but he warns Redford: "I just don't want a hothead comin' back halfway through sayin' it's not enough, because it's all we're goin' to get."

There is great wisdom in that line. Nothing is ever perfect in politics, no candidate ever meets one's impossibly high standards, no victory is ever without compromise, but in this fight, which goes on for a lifetime, we don't need any hotheads who come back halfway through saying it's not enough, because it is all we are going to get.

2 comments:

Chris said...

Woah.
No way professor.
It's not enough!
It's not enough until it's legalized on the federal level, or state by state by state!

Let's stop, breathe, applaud the victory in NY, and then carry onward. No?

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Sorry. I did not make myself clear. Of course we should go on to fight in every state. The point is not to worry about the compromises thar were necessary to win in New York.