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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Monday, January 23, 2017

I'VE BEEN THINKING

One of the things you learn when you start teaching at a university is that although graduate students can probably handle being required just to write a final “term paper” for a course, undergraduates need some along-the-way feedback and evaluation to help them produce acceptable work.  Well, when it comes to the sort of political action we are trying to undertake in the wake of the Trump victory, we are all undergraduates, so there needs to be some way to keep track of what we are doing and keep our spirits up.  How can I help?

Here is an idea I had while taking the garbage out to the dumpster behind my condo building [I lead a rather romantic life.]  Suppose each Friday, everyone who wants to makes a comment on this blog about what he or she has done in the last week.  I will copy all the reports into a text and post it.  Folks can get some psychic credit for their efforts and also pick up tips from other people’s reports.  If enough people take the trouble to report in, and if people actually DO something, we can create the sense that in this little corner of the blogosphere, we are on the march.


What do you think?

12 comments:

Will said...

It seems like a good idea to me.

DML said...

Accountability is good, and so is a weekly reminder to do something.

David said...

I would participate, though my accomplishments might be meager some weeks.

Kid X said...

Dr. Wolff, and anyone else, I was wondering if you had any ideas about what Americans like me can do for the progressive cause while living abroad. I'm in Germany at the moment, and it pains me to watch all that is happening in the States with my political hands seemingly tied.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

S. Wallerstein, any ideas?

s. wallerstein said...

I'm not the best person to ask.

A while ago, you had a post about people like yourself with a commitment to being an American and you mentioned that some on the left have no special patriotic (if that is the word) commitment at all. I'm one of them.

I've been in Chile for almost 40 years. When I arrived here, I worked as a teacher in the Instituto Chileno Norteamericano de Cultura (which is run by the U.S. embassy, although they deny it and claim it is independent) and was fired after a year for participating in a strike, which demanded, among other things, that Chilean teachers receive the same pay as U.S. teachers. Since then, my only contact with the official U.S. community has been to go to the consulate every 10 years to renew my passport. I don't even know any other U.S. citizens here.

In the pre-internet days my only knowledge of what was happening in U.S. politics was reading Time or Newsweek or the Economist weekly.

I've participated actively in Chilean politics, in the human rights movement during the Pinochet dictatorship, I did the media and communications work for a Communist Party candidate for Mayor a while ago, I've marched for different causes, etc. Now I no longer march, but I donate to different causes and participate in a closed internet group on Chilean politics, of which I'm a founding member. As I get older, unless I go broke, I think that I will donate more and more.

So anyway, I would say to Kid X (from my point of view) to involve themself in German politics (which must be interesting), to learn from the Germans and if and when, they return to the U.S. to use what they learned in Germany to support causes that they believe in. The struggle against neoliberalism is international, and other movements such as feminism are increasingly so.

Kid X said...

Thanks, S. Wallerstein. That seems to me very sound advice.

Jerry Fresia said...

Kid X:

I've lived in Italy now for 13 years. I think we can do a lot, apart from attending marches and the like.

Michael Moore (check out his FB page) is posting daily actions; the first is calling or emailing your senators to oppose Betsy DeVos. I think there are a lot of organizations urging that sort of thing.

I also think that the best kind of solidarity is fighting for democracy whereever you happen to be; and there are fledgling movements here in Europe urging a European democratic movement like the one that Yannis Varoufakis has been organizing, DiEM25 (https://diem25.org/). Here is Varoufakis making the link between democratic movements in Europe and the US (http://bit.ly/2jtp6G6)

Chris said...

Professor Wolff and others may want to check this out:

https://justicedemocrats.com/home-2/?utm_expid=138498668-0.DbzB_JSuQ6u6dZl0XxJRfw.2

https://justicedemocrats.com/platform/

New group put together by members of Sander's presidential primary committee, and several progressive news outlets, to reform the democratic party by 2018.

Longtime lurker, first time poster said...

Kid X, I don't suppose you live anywhere near Stuttgart? I've been working there as a science postdoc, and I regret my lack of involvement in German politics. (To be fair, Stuttgart is fat and comfortable and bourgeois -- hardly a hotbed of left politics.) We could meet up to plot the best way in..

Kid X said...

Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions. Longtime lurker, unfortunately I'm living in Nuremburg at the moment, so I'm afraid we're a bit to far away from each other to do any satisfying plotting! (By satisfying I mean, of course, plotting over beers)

Anonymous said...

Is there a specific space to post our activity?