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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Friday, December 2, 2016

A STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE, OR A CRY OF DESPAIR, AS THE CASE MAY BE

Little by little, I am creeping forward with this cockamamie plan I have conceived to foster a nation-wide network of activists.  Why on earth am I doing this?  The simple answer is, Because I feel just awful, and doing something, anything, eases the pain.  That is not a very elevated motive, I admit, but then, that is pretty much why God gave his only begotten Son to save Mankind, and look how that turned out.

At the moment, I have opened a Gmail account and learned, thanks to Google, how to create a distribution list.  Baby steps …

There is one very important point I need to clarify, and that is the real reason for this post.  My goal is to encourage some people all over America to form their own local action groups targeting local elections and ballot initiatives.  It is very definitely not my aim to enforce any particular ideological agenda, no matter how strongly I may support it.  For example, I am on record [with the DNC via a phone call] as supporting Keith Ellison for Chair of the DNC, but there are many Democrats who support other candidates.  So far as I am concerned, that is just fine.  The same goes for any of a number of hotly contested policy issues.  My role, if I have any, is to encourage and maybe facilitate folks in various places to get in touch with one another and start agitating, organizing, identifying candidates for local or state offices, and in this way maybe to move the political center of the country a little bit leftward.  I am absolutely certain that most of the people I manage to get in touch with will have politics to the right of mine.  That has been true all my life.  In my eyes, a Blue Dog Democrat is better than any Republican, a moderate Democrat is better than a Blue Dog Democrat, a progressive Democrat is better than a moderate Democrat, and a Socialist is better than a Democrat of any sort.  If there are folks out there who will only consider working to elect certified radicals, fine.  I will do what I can to help them.  If there are other folks who will only work to elect safe, comforting moderate Democrats, fine, I will help them too.  Of one thing I am sure:  If I am successful beyond my wildest dreams, the result will still fall far short of what I really want.  If I cannot come to terms with that, then I have no business getting involved in politics.  As Paul Newman says to Robert Redford in The Sting as he is explaining how to work the Big Con on Robert Shaw:  “When you are all done, you won’t get everything you want, but it is all you will get, so you will have to take it and walk away” [or words to that effect.]


I am in such despair that at this point I would be delighted to see Clinton miraculously replace Trump as our next President, even though when I thought that was actually going to happen, my heart was heavy at the prospect.  That tells you how deep the s**t is that we are in.

8 comments:

s. wallerstein said...

A tip: why don't you repeat your new Gmail address in every new post so that readers who missed the first post about your Gmail address can contact you?

Tom Cathcart said...

Is it time for us to start recruiting other left-of-center friends who may not be blog-visitors?

J. W. F. said...

So long as we can have a moment like this.

Chris said...

Again, not from a point of ideological purity, but from a purely strategic point (one Sanders is starting to endorse vocally and publicly now, that Thomas Frank is singing from the roof tops) blue dog democrats and wall-street democrats need to be shunned. They are what allows the dems to lose in the senate, house, and governor races, they are not winners, they are losers, especially in anti-establishment races. If that's the case we may have to avoid supporting them, no?

TheDudeDiogenes said...

Indeed. I have fond memories of thisfilm from a fairly young age; I would love to really live the political equivalent to successfully completing the con!

TheDudeDiogenes said...

Prof., your mention of Ellison running for DNC chair made me wonder, what are your thoughts, if any, about Pelosi retaining her place as the minority leader?

Chris said...

We can thank NP for the surveillance state that Trump is about to inherit.
http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/07/25/how-nancy-pelosi-saved-the-nsa-surveillance-program/

mesnenor said...

Prof. Wolff, I thought you, and your readers, might be interested in this review article on Martha Nussbaum's latest book.