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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Sunday, April 20, 2014

I THINK WE MAY BE WINNING

On Easter Sunday, it is only fitting that the reliably despicable Ross Douthat should once again rise from the dead with an incoherently dreadful column on Piketty.  I will not try to summarize it.  As Aristotle observed [I think], shit has no form, and hence cannot easily be apprehended by reason.  You may read it for yourself.  I take Douthat's column as a good sign, a harbinger of Spring.   When the rats on the sinking ship of capitalism pause in their scramble down the hawsers to acknowledge the reemergence of Marx from the dustbin of history [how's that for a mixed metaphor?], there is hope on this annual celebration of resurrection.

I cede pride of place to no man or woman in my capacity for optimism!

[I spell-checked this with WORD before posting, and was offered the option of adding "Douthat" to its memory, but declined, not wanting to taint the list with his presence.]

3 comments:

Magpie said...

Prof.

Things like "reliably despicable" and Aristotle's observation are the spice that, used wisely, give this blog its unique flavour.

Please, don't get copyrights on them... I'll add them to my own kitchen, just waiting for the right occasion... :-)

Robert Paul Wolff said...

They are yours for the using.

JD said...

It seems like a rather coherent column to me; a form is readily discernible. I'm not equipped to comment on the issue he takes with Piketty's economic analysis– his criticism is brief, and it's likely you could answer it much better than I can say whether it is true or false.

However, his point is clear. In fact, his point is only a suggestion (a suggestion, however, that he clearly takes to be the case): a neglected victim of capitalism's destruction has been the cultural and spiritual resources which past generations have relied on and which are counted as some of the dearest fruits of civilized societies. He is suggesting that these goods are more imminently threatened than even economic equality and that the left, due to a neglect of questions of spiritual care and the importance of shared culture, has failed to see this and so even presently fails to have a clear view of the crisis of our times. He is suggesting not just a crisis of means but a crisis of values, ethos and community sustaining mythos. He is chalking up some of the right's recent successes to its ability (if only in rhetoric) to tap into these insecurities and fears that we are losing, or have mostly lost, the spiritual and cultural goods which give money and means more than their base, sub-human value.