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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Saturday, August 12, 2017

SAME OLE SAME OLE

Those among you who live in the United States have probably seen reports of the confrontation in Charlottesville, VA between white supremicists and members of the Ku Klux Klan on one side and protesters against them on the other.  There has been a good deal of commentary to the effect that Trump’s presidency is empowering and legitimating the racists, and of course that is true.   But it is useful to remember that the American colonies were built on slave labor [as well as other forms of unfree labor] and lying at the heart of the United States is structural racism that persists to the present day.  Indeed, one of the reasons why America, alone among advanced capitalist nations, has never had a strong, successful socialist movement [my grandfather’s efforts to the contrary notwithstanding] is that after the slaves were freed, and four million men and women well prepared for industrial, agricultural, and craft labor entered the free labor market, white labor unions struck a devil’s bargain with employers accepting lower wages in return for an exclusion of the Black workers from the workplace.  Even such low wage jobs as department store sales clerk were for a long time closed to Black women, and the reason why Black Pullman Sleeping Car porters were often leaders in the Black community is that those service jobs were the best available to Black men, and hence drew the smartest and ablest men from the Black population.

The election of a Black president aroused, and right-wing media legitimated, already widespread deep seated racial prejudice.  Progressive politicians like Bernie Sanders need to embrace Black members of the working class, along with White workers who are prepared or can be brought to make common cause with them.  Identity politics is not in conflict with class politics.  In the United States, they are inseparable.


These are depressing times.

2 comments:

Tom Cathcart said...

If there's any reason for hope here it's that the frankly Nazi bent to their protest may turn off a broader segment of the population than they think.

Matt said...

In truth, I'm glad to see that the white supremacist protesters are as clear as they are in linking the confederacy with Nazis. Before moving to Australia recently, I spent a lot of time in rural Pennsylvania, western Maryland, and West Virginia, for whitewater kayaking. It would make me sick to see people flying the flag of treason in defense of slavery all over those areas - areas that were not even confederate! I hope these events can help drive the parallel home.