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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

WHAT IS TO BE DONE?

[When things are bleak, it is always nice to quote Lenin.  J  ]

David Palmeter said something in his useful comment that I think may offer some guidance regarding what we can do, and which speaks as well to the opening paragraph of my blog post.  Here is a part of what he said:  “All of this points to the importance of State and local elections, some of which will begin next year. These are vital not only as the breeding ground for national candidates, but because of their impact on our lives: local officials decide public school budgets and what gets taught (evolution by natural selection or creation “science”); public college and university support, restrictions on abortion rights and outrageous gun laws come from state legislatures; state and local prosecutors decide who gets charged for what crime and state and local judges decide how long those convicted spend in prison.

Bernie, I’m sure, will be focusing on these contests. You can set up a monthly contribution that will “painlessly” be charged to your credit card. Go do it.”

He is quite right that it is at the level of state and local politics that the actions of government most immediately affect us in ways that we can see and feel.  [I am afraid I must take a pause in donating money to Bernie.  I sent him so much he started sending it back, as I noted in an earlier post.]  What we need, and what is quite feasible in this age of social media connectivity, is a network of interconnected local organizations, each primarily focused on issues that are so immediate and palpable that there is no difficulty making clear how they affect one’s life.  These can then be knitted together into a movement during national elections.  If we can start to win control of city councils, local school boards, zoning commissions, mayoralties, state legislatures, and governorships, we can create a movement from the bottom with genuine national power.


Hardly a novel idea, of course, but one that needs repeatedly to be rediscovered.

2 comments:

Andrew Lionel Blais said...

Yes.... City councils, school committees, zoning commissions, mayoral seats, state legislatures, and gubernatorial seats are absolutely important. Even the position of registrar of deeds is important. I think that this is so for many reasons, not the least of which is developing a political class from below. However, this is also important because it might lead to a political class that is immune to the sorts of abstract criticisms that Clinton faced from people who should have been on her side. She's a liar, the emails, her relationship with bankers, et cetera. Even if in some sense all of it is true, it is irrelevant. Sit on a school committee for eight years, and by such standards, you will be dirtier than you can believe, and you will have a totally new appreciation for the degrees of dirt. The choice is not only that of comrades, but of things such as dirt or a department of education. A little dirt or the Evangelical Revolution being lead from the White House. Some muss or the destruction of Roe v. Wade. I grew up in a city. When the cops showed up, you became comrades with your most bitter enemy. You lied to protect someone that you otherwise imagined dead. The local political experience in question here is hardly that extreme, but the principles are importantly similar. Do you deny that there are Muslim children hiding in your attic, when Donald's immigration cops show up? Absolutely. Do you lie and tell one story to this group and another to that group, when you need the support of both to prevent the privatization of public schools? Yes. Do you stay clean? No, but you might save public schools for another day. I'm sickened by people who tell me that Clinton wasn't moral enough to be president, when such people have never been in a situation in which morality was so complicated that it required immorality. I'm pissed. I blather. ....'nuff said....

David Palmeter said...

Prof. Wolff--You probably hit tge maximum that can be given to a candidate for office, but as I understand Bernie's Our Revolution, it will operate as something like a PAC for non-billionaires. If so, there's no limit. You and Sheldon Adelson can write all the checks you please!