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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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



Total Pageviews

Friday, July 10, 2015

NIGHT THOUGHTS


Well, I have had my fun with The Donald -- full bore schadenfreude, to be honest ["shameful joy," for those who are wondering.]  Now, let me give voice to some rather deeper fears.  Virtually everyone who has commented on the towering Trump has observed that the real story is the existence of a non-trivial segment of the American people who resonate to his bloviating.   This segment is small, as everyone reassuringly remarks, but I think that underestimates its destructive potential.

I am old enough to be haunted by the turn to horrific fascism of Weimar Germany, the culturally and intellectually most advanced and exciting place in pre-War Europe.  I am old enough to recall the anti-communist hysteria fueled by the unhinged accusations of Joseph McCarthy and his fellow red-baiters.  And I am marginally well-read enough to be aware of the countless other examples of violent, irrational, destructive right-wing outbursts in the past several hundred years.

No, Donald Trump will not win the Republican Presidential nomination.  I rather doubt he will get enough votes in this or that primary to collect a single delegate to the Convention.  But the millions of hysterical, deeply disaffected, paranoid Americans represented by his "ten percent in the polls" are not going to evaporate simply because the Donald takes his hair and slouches off to one of his towers. 

What would be the effect of yet another financial debacle -- virtually a certainty in light of the current state of American capitalism?   A more plausible and less ridiculous avatar of the rage it would trigger could wreak terrible damage on this society, all of it aimed at the people I identify as my comrades and the principles I embrace.

What is to be done [if I may channel Lenin]?  I do not know.  Do readers have suggestions?

1 comment:

TheDudeDiogenes said...

Sadly, no. Every bit of news, whether about politics (here or abroad), the environment, or the economy only seems to add to the foreboding stormclouds on the human horizon. I must say, I can very much relate to several of the scientists interviewed for this recent Esquire piece, the subheading of which reads: "Among many climate scientists, gloom has set in. Things are worse than we think, but they can't really talk about it." The scientist, Guy McPherson, "left his job, and moved to an off-grid homestead to prepare for abrupt climate change" and some of my close friends are planning to basically do the same. We're looking at buying some land, building an Earthship and growing as much of our food as possible. I honestly feel a bit like Publius Varrus and Caius Britannicus in Jack Whyte's The Camulod Chronicles, in which two former Roman soldiers foresee the end of Roman rule in Britain and set up the fortified commune Camulod in response. (Prof. Wolff, if you are looking for some fiction to distract you, you could do much worse than this series historicizing the Arthurian myth!)