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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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

Saturday, February 21, 2015

FELLOW SUFFERERS


People who know me personally are aware that I have a number of facial tics and twitches that, as I have explained in my Autobiography, have been with me since I was five years old.  This fact makes me sensitive to, and sympathetic with, others who have analogous minor afflictions that do not rise to the level of crippling disabilities.  I reflected on this today as I was reading Paul Krugman's latest blog post.  He and most of his colleagues in the Economics profession have a language disorder that manifests itself, so far as I am able to tell, not only in their speech but also in their use of written English.  I refer, of course, to their curious inability to pronounce or write the words "Karl Marx."  It is unlikely to be an inherited trait, and it seems equally unlikely that it is a consequence of their physical surroundings, but it may very well be something in their social environment.  My tics, I am told by doctors, can only be treated by medications whose side effects would be more serious than the tics themselves.  I suspect that Krugman and his associates confront a somewhat similar dilemma.  The impact on their economic well-being of overcoming the disability would probably be enormous, although simply being able to say the words from time to time might bring some immediate relief.  My heart goes out to them.

5 comments:

Magpie said...

You may be right on that, Prof.

I mean, it's either that or these people really lack balls.

-------

Disclaimer: I and only I am responsible for the things I write. The recipients and hosts of my comments are not to be made responsible for my words.

Charles said...

Some folks do name names: "Read these books; there is much to learn from them. And then pick up Machiavelli, and then Marx."

That's the last paragraph of Walzer's review of Sunstein's latest "nudges" in the current NYRB.

Ludwig Richter said...

If the disability is due to a phobia, there are therapies that can help sufferers of Marxaphobia. For example, exposure therapy "involves the exposure of the patient to the feared object or context without any danger, in order to overcome their anxiety." (Wikipedia)

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Ah, but how to carry out the exposure "without any danger"?!

Ludwig Richter said...

In a way, Paul Krugman made a start when he used the "M" word in his review of Piketty's book in the New York Review of Books.

"It’s not just the obvious allusion to Marx that makes this title so startling. By invoking capital right from the beginning, Piketty breaks ranks with most modern discussions of inequality, and hearkens back to an older tradition."

Krugman can overcome his phobia. He just has to really, really want to change.