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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

IDLE CHATTER

I am warming to Paul Krugman.  His blog posts lately have been really fine piece of polemical snark.  Krugman is very smart, and his politics are progressive Democratic, which is to say, just about the best one can realistically hope for at the present time.  He is, of course, an enabler of capitalism, but if you refuse to take seriously anyone whose heart does not belong, as mine does, to Karl Marx, then you are condemned, in the immortal words of Callicles, to "whisper in a corner with a few boys" [and girls, but that is of course not what Callicles said, he being a fifth century B. C. Athenian.]  I mean, his politics are not any different from those of Jon Stewart, who is a worthy heir to the great tradition of Jonathan Swift.

Krugman's taste in music is deplorable, to be sure, and he does tend to get a little whiny about the fact that, like Rodney Dangerfield, he don't get no respect from the powers that be, despite having been right [as he repeatedly tells us] about the consequences of deficit spending in a time of near zero interest rates.  Nevertheless, these are difficult times, and we must take such comfort as we can find.

5 comments:

Chris said...

It seems somewhat hubristic to argue that he gets no-respect, when he's constantly on MSNBC, Bill Maher, meet the press, and has a blog and op-ed column in the NYTimes.

I mean short of being philosopher king, he has overwhelming influence and limelight given that he's an academic...

stephendarling said...

Dear Robert,

It would be great if you could pinpoint what's wrong with the positions of a Krugman and others,like Jeffrey Sachs. It seems to me that they all want to improve the capitalist system along some kind of Keynesian and Rawlsian line (a more just and fairer society). However, as I see it, they have no clear theoretical understanding of what gives rise to such things as poverty and inequality,for instance (especially Sachs). Have they neither read nor understood Marx's theory of capitalist accumulation? I would love to read your thoughts about what's wrong with their accounts of capitalism.

Stephen

Chris said...

Krugman has not properly read nor understood Marx

http://www.pkarchive.org/theory/keynes.html

Chris said...

And here's a very recent critique of krugman by a Marxist
https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/keynesian-economics-a-spectacular-success/

Chris said...

Forgot to mention, those links are for you Stephen, per your request.
:)