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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A RESPONSE TO DML

DML writes:

“I will be there!

I am curious what you think about some of the criticisms of the march that have been popping up:
1. Its theme is too broad, so the message is too muddled.
2. Calling it a "women's march" alienates too many and distracts from the anti-Trump flavor of it. (#2 kind of contradicts #1).
3. Its too frivolous - women knitting pink "pussyhats" will make the march look not serious and turn people off.
4. Its too white.

All of these are concerns I've seen aired in in major outlets like the Washington Post and NY Mag. I've read stories of people not going to the march because of one of the above four reasons. And more dismayingly, I personally know people that are progressive, and politically active, that are not going to the march because of some combination of the above four reasons.

This last point is the most dismaying for me. I know a number of smart, politically engaged people that just don't think Trump is ushering in neo-Fascism. The organizers are saying its not an "anti-Trump" march but when one of my skeptical friends asks me to articulate in a few words what the march is all about - "anti-Trump" is the best reason I can give. And that is certainly the reason why I will be there.”

These criticisms reveal two things:  First, the armchair theorizing nature of the critics, and Second a deep misunderstanding of the nature of politics.  Look, the Women’s March on Washington began as a FaceBook post by two women who were dismayed by the prospect of a virulently anti-woman Trump presidency.  One day after they posted on FaceBook, 10,000 women had declared themselves in!  Then it really ballooned, and they have been trying to stay on top of what they hatched ever since.  The protest did not emerge from a seminar or planning session with carefully calculated messaging designed to serve a diverse constituency.  This is the way real political protest works.  I get the impression the critics are sitting in judgment on any groundswell efforts that may crop up, carefully evaluating them, passing judgment on them, rejecting this one for being insufficiently multi-ethnic, that one for dealing with surface concerns rather than addressing the true underlying problems, waiting until a protest comes along that comports with their refined sensibilities.

If they don’t like this one, fine.  Let them get off their asses and organize another one.  There is no limit to the number of protests allowable, at least not yet.  Better yet, they can organize a local version of the Women’s March and infuse it with all the characteristics they think lacking in the national march.  They can change the name, if they wish.  But let us see them do something, not just sniff and say that this march does not meet their standards.


I actually have no idea what the agenda of the Women’s March is, and I do not care.  It is anti-Trump, it is on the left as opposed to the right, it will embarrass the Republicans and embolden the Democrats, and it is SOMETHING to do.  That is quite enough for me.

5 comments:

Tom Cathcart said...

Right on!!

Stephen said...

There are a lot of ridiculous white liberal feminists involved, but the leadership of the March seems to be more along the lines of Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American who endorsed Sanders and has been a key leader in New York City Arab American activism.

Paul Kern said...

Hear, Hear Professor Wolff!!

mesnenor said...

I don't think "neo-fascist" is really the right word to describe Trump and his "alt-right" supporters. The term "neo-confederate" is much more apt, I think.

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