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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Monday, April 18, 2016

MUST READ

Read this.

8 comments:

Tom Cathcart said...

Sad but true. And, alas Bernie voted for it. Shame on them both.

s. wallerstein said...

The fact that Sanders voted for this bill indicates the need for a group of people who speak in the name of ideals, in the name of utopias, without any consideration for political realism.

Elected politicians are subject to lots of pressures and often don't have the time or psychic space to reflect on the consequences of their decisions. That probably happened to Sanders in this case.

Those who are utterly non-pragmatic, utopian, non-realistic, can avoid those pressures.

I think it's very very important to keep the two human types separate, although generally we tend to mix them. Sanders is probably as good as it gets for an elected politician in the U.S. today. Someone like Chomsky (I name him because he is very well-known), on the other hand, basically speaks in the name of ideals and that is very valuable. For example, Chomsky rejects all recourse to emotionality in his discourse (he tries to be dry and rational) because he want to convince people through reason: no elected politician can do that and get elected to public office.

Unknown said...

I just finished reading Frank's latest book, and I think his diagnosis of what has gone wrong with the Democratic Party is spot on. His thesis is that the party has abandoned blue-collar workers because it started to put too much emphasis on fancy academic credentials, expertise as illustrated through a mastery of jargon, and an obsession with rewarding "merit." It's nicely in the spirit of a lot of the discussion on this blog. -Mike

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Mike, I bought the book and started reading it -- like it a lot and have not yet finished it. I agree that his diagnosis is on the money. An interesting guy.

Michael Llenos said...

Xenophon's Socrates says there is nothing you can do in this world (especially politically) perfectly and without fault. And I am not condoning such legislation at all. But I believe politicians make mistakes and there is nothing to stop this from happening to all politicians. Even though the legislation was nefarious, I believe Bill, Hillary and Bernie to be good people. I also believe Trump, Cruz, the rest of Republicans and Democrats to be good people too. Some say that Winston Churchill's speech to the MP's of the House of Commons on March 7, 1916 on bringing back Lord Fisher was nuts. But Churchill was a human being. All politicians are human beings. And we tend to look more at a politicians faults than their accomplishments.

s. wallerstein said...

Michael Llenos,

I feel compelled to ask you what you mean by a "good person".

Michael Llenos said...

s. wallerstein,

Patriots. I think they are legal patriots who care more about making America better than following other pursuits. I believe they care more about the virtuous life than the good life. They take a lot of heat from their fellow Americans. I just want to stand up and say I believe they are good people who try their best at life.

s. wallerstein said...

Michael Llenos,

I agree with you that we tend to look more at a politician's faults than their accomplishments.

First of all, I myself don't use the term "good person", but I might refer to some people as "ethically scrupulous".

Trump does not seem to be what I would call "ethically scrupulous". For example, Trump University was an out and out swindle. Would you say that someone is ethically scrupulous who swindles lots of consumers saying (the video is online) that a university (which is not really a university) is a world class business school when it is only a series of incredibly overpriced (tens of thousands of dollars) pep talks?

Bill Clinton's behavior in the whole Monica Lewinsky affair does not fall in the category of ethically scrupulous behavior.

I could go on with more examples, but you get the idea.

On the other hand, Bernie Sanders, as far as I know, has led an ethically scrupulous life.

I'm not claiming that Sanders is the only politician who has led an ethically scrupulous life by any means. I don't live in the U.S. and so my knowledge of U.S. political figures is limited, by the way.