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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

NIGHT SWEATS


I spent a restless night, angry about the assault on voting rights in Texas, here in North Carolina, and elsewhere around the country, furious at the five Supreme Court justices who gaily gutted the Voting Rights Act [they are, I imagine, thrilled by the spate of anti-voting bills flooding through Republican-controlled state legislatures], and painfully aware of how little I can do about it.  What triggered the bad night was the grotesque story about ninety year old former House Speaker Jim Wright being turned away from the polls in his native Texas because his expired driver's license was not enough to establish the credentials of one of the best known persons in American politics.  Perhaps the most cynical maneuver is the so-called "two-tier" voting system proposed in Arizona and Kansas that would grudgingly obey federal voting laws that control federal elections while imposing separate voter suppression restrictions for state and local elections.

What we are witnessing is nothing less than a deliberate all-out assault on the foundations of popular democracy.  The right, panicked that it will never be able to assemble a majority of the actual citizens now and in the future living in the United States, is attempting to go back to the time when only white men had the franchise.  They are openly and without even the fig leaf of rationalization attempting to deny the vote to African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, students [here in North Carolina] and other suspect sub-populations.

The Supreme Court being what it is [were I a religious man I would be praying for flesh eating bacteria to strike Justices Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts], our only recourse is turn out at the polls at every election in very large numbers and vote the bastards out of office. 

Speaking of which, I must go to the polls today and make a selection for Chapel Hill Town Council, despite the fact that this is a contest with virtually no ideological content or significance.  Meanwhile, I shall await the expected defeat of Cuccinelli in Virginia.

2 comments:

Andrew Lionel Blais said...

This is the sort of thing that motivated my question of the other day. Here we have people that are quite happy to undermine democracy by any means necessary, and in their eyes, it is totally ok to do this. How is it possible to even start a conversation with such people? No significant fraction wonders about how they could bring you or me back into the American fold, but even so, how is the conversation with them to start? Can it even start?

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Andrew, I am still mulling an appropriate answer to your question, which is a very, very important one. It is not that I have an answer. Just that I need to get clarity about the problem and its significance. I will try later today.