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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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




Total Pageviews

Monday, March 18, 2013

AND NOW CYPRUS

No sooner had I stumbled into a discussion on  this blog of political tendencies in Europe, a subject about which -- I hope it was clear -- I am woefully ignorant, than a financial crisis erupts in Cyprus that threatens once again the survival of the Eurozone.  [There is a long story in the NY TIMES today that starts on the front page and continues on page B6, if you are interested.]  With all its flaws, which seem to be manifold, the effort to create and sustain a pan-European economic union and something like at least a partial framework for political cooperation is one for which I have very powerful positive sentiments.  The sixty-eight years between the end of World War II and the present day is the longest sustained period of peace in the Franco-German heartland of Europe since the eighteenth century or even, depending on how you think about it, since the Middle Ages.  I have not the slightest idea how this continuing crisis of the euro is going to play out.  But I really hope that a way is found to stabilize the Eurozone financially, and that economic and political structures are established that make it impossible for Europe once again to descend into the hell of fascism and war.

5 comments:

formerly a wage slave said...

I assume you know about the Nazis in Greece---not "neo" at all, according to Yanis Varoufakis, but genuine Nazis who roam the streets attacking foreigners and leftists, and have the support of police. And, the Nazis are in Parliament too........And you might also want to call to mind the re-birth of anti-German sentiment with the popular joke that Merkel can now do what Hitler could not, rule Europe. (RD Wolff says its a joke in the South of Europe. I've heard it in the Center.) But check out Varoufakis' blog, if you don't know about it, that is.
My impression is your remark about "partial" cooperation is way off target. Maybe you're trying to be polite, but every time the people vote on something and the vote goes the "wrong" way from Brussels' point of view, they are asked to vote again....That's patently not democracy. I'm no expert,so check out Varoufakis..... From where I sit, Central Europe joined the EU thinking they would someday be as rich as Germany, and it's not going to happen. Plus, adding insult to injury I deeply resent the fact that here in the Czech Republic I pay a tax when I purchase milk or bread or any food item---15%. People tell me that it is not connected to the bankruptcy of German banks, but I remain unconvinced.......That tax money is certainly not going for public services, like say buses or trains because they are as crowded today as they were in 1996.....

formerly a wage slave said...

You may say I've gone to far in what I'm about to say... But I recently heard a German almost become teary-eyed about the thought that the EU was a way for him to maintain his respect as a European. But the same man would dismiss with condescension any suggestion that a workplace should not be managed top-down, or that there might be democracy in the workplace......And that seems to me to be the micro-version of the joke. He doesn't want war because he's guilty about Germany's past and because it would interfere with business. But class warfare waged against workers every day is just fine with him.....

formerly a wage slave said...

err, t o o far above (typing error)

Robert Paul Wolff said...

I opened this topic in the hope that others more knowledgeable than I would contribute, and they have. Far be it from me to question the report of someone actually living in the Czech Republic! Thank you for the insight.

formerly a wage slave said...

I should mention, however that my remark above was a bit unfair to Germans, since after all German workers haven't been doing so well either. If you want some really knowledgeable, it's worth considering Yanis Varoufakis's blog.
There is a bizarre if developing oddness in my situation. I am only developing the linguistic skills needed to have casual conversations with ordinary people. But, the woman who handed me the key to the laundry room today, when I spoke to her, clearly identified the problem of a growing divide between rich and poor, as well as the conviction that things weren't going to get better soon. I'm pretty sure that the university here is actually making a profit off users of their washing machines (There are no laundromats locally.) so, it was some kind of solidarity when she adjusted the rate to fit my actual usage. (Discounting me now because I'd been quick the previous time that I'd used the laundry.) I'm always heartened by such things. But I should balance that conversation with another conversation I had with a, say twenty-something year old student about politics. He was fed up with things too. But---and this is what makes the story worth telling---a middle-aged woman walking by (I assume she works in one of the university buildings) must have overheard enough to guess the jixt of our conversation and she shouted loudly and energetically at us (as if we were fools), telling us not to waste our time talking about politics. What I would have liked to have said to her was that the sort of politics we were talking about was equally economics, and that means the question of what I'm going to pay for food or rent or visiting a doctor...and she'd better damn well care about such things.