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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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
LECTURE ONE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d__In2PQS60
LECTURE TWO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Al7O2puvdDA

ALSO AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ONE THROUGH TEN ON IDEOLOGICAL CRITIQUE



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Friday, October 4, 2013

SOME IMPORTANT INSIGHTS INTO THE THINKING OF THE REPUBLICAN BASE

I just finished reading a thirty page report, filled with extensive quotations, of a series of focus groups that James Carville and some associates conducted with Tea Party Republicans, Evangelical Christian Republicans, and Moderate Republicans.  You can find it here.  If you are really interested in what people not like you are thinking, I urge you to take the time to read through it.  It is fascinating.  In many ways it supplements what I had to say on this blog, and also goes considerably beyond what I said.

On the one hand, the universal belief among the focus group participants that the left is winning was rather encouraging.  But since these folks are a large minority of the American public and aren't going anywhere, their utter alienation from contemporary America is very disturbing.

4 comments:

Otto Normalverbraucher said...

Interesting stuff, but as someone who does not identify with either major party, I'd like to see something comparable about the Democrats too.

James Camien McGuiggan said...

My lay opinion is that on matters about which the Republican base cares - social issues - the left is winning. It's on economic matters, about which the left cares far more than the right does, that the right is winning. So the surveyed people aren't totally divorced from reality.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

I don't think they are divorced from reality at all. They believe deeply that America is moving away from them in many ways, that it is not the country they grew up in and is becoming less so with each passing decade. And they are in fact right about that. They are of course clueless about the fact that the federal government whose "intrusion" into their lives they hate is the very same federal government that delivers their Social Security checks and gives them medical care through Medicare and ensures that the meat they eat will not be bug-infested, and so forth.

They are also deluded about in their belief that it is "righ people" who "give" them their jobs. But that is par for the course. What is most interewsting is the sense of despair and hopelessness they express, the belief that the liberals [socialists, muslims, whatever] have already won.

Those sentiments have, in other places and at other times, been the seedbed for fascism, and that really worries me.

Don Schneier said...

I regard the 'right'-'left' metaphor, like similar homogeneous horizontal images, as inappropriate to the incommensurable Plutocracy-Democracy disjunct. It, for example, continues to encourage the obnoxious belief that Reason inhabits some middle ground between them.