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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON THE THOUGHT OF KARL MARX. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for Robert Paul Wolff Marx."




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Saturday, February 24, 2018

A RESPONSE TO SOME COMMENTS


I have, I confess, been somewhat puzzled by Lindsey’s reactions to my comments on the ongoing Mueller investigation, and, perhaps not surprisingly, I have found myself in agreement with Ed Barreras, LFC, and S . Wallerstein.  But all of this, as I said, amounts to no more than speculation on our part.  I really care about only one thing:  the danger that the expressions of skepticism by Lindsey and others of the same persuasion will weaken the commitment of anti-Trump folks to fight for the defeat of Republicans in the upcoming elections.  So long as Lindsey is prepared to join me with in that fight, I am content.

Did Russian interference have an effect on the outcome of the 2016 election?  Well, considering how close things were in a handful of key states, I would say the answer is almost certainly yes.  So did the weather, so perhaps did a competing football game, so also, as far as we know, did a vagrant strain of stomach flu.  I think we can be confident that voter suppression efforts by Republicans had an effect, perhaps so large as to swamp all these other possibles.  Will we ever know?  Of course not.

All of us who are not personally acquainted with Donald Trump and the members of his administration are compelled to rely on third person sources of information.  [Lindsey, are you quite sure that Trump is in fact President?  Could that not be a complex lie told by Clinton forces to conceal the fact that she was actually elected and inaugurated and is even now doing the bidding of her corporate masters?  Is that the real reason for the rapid rise in the stock market, assuming that really happened?  Absurd, you say.  But are you certain Obama was really born in Hawaii?]

Well, you see the problem.  I am quite certain that the sun rises in roughly the same place every morning because I see it, but I only have it on the testimony of others that that direction is the East.  I am under the impression that I live in North Carolina but could this actually be a little bit of Texas?  How do I really know?

4 comments:

Michael Llenos said...

How do I really know?

Dr. Wolff,
I thought the same thing when they ran that political commercial about the apple. There was an apple on a surface and someone said: "nothin' will change the fact that this is an apple." I thought, how can you 100% positively know it is an apple? You can't. There must be some philosophy out there based on Utilitarianism with a twist. If the majority believe it to be an apple then it must be an apple. The majority of everyone on earth is devoted to this sort of philosophy concerning basic ideas. Of course, there are always exceptions. But if you don't believe it is a verified apple, you are peer pressured into believing it by being called foolish or dumb etc.

Jerry Fresia said...

Did the Russian trolling have an impact on the 2016 election? Perhaps one or two votes here and there; basically negligible. The trolling farm spent about 100k on the US election (not the 1.2 million as Rachel breathlessly claimed, which was the world wide budget). The paucity of the posts (which were incredibly lame) amounted to 1 post to every 23,000 posts on FB. And many were post election posts. Was the Kremlin behind it? No proof yet. Proof of hacking? Nope. Politicians claiming all of this was an "attack" on the US: too many to list. Politicians wanting to dig into the domestic subversion of the electoral process (such as cross-check), zero.

So what is this about? It's about maintaining establishment politics, suppression of turnout, and maintaining the narrow range of our political debate. It's Cold War II. The Mueller indictments of Russians was a political act intended to marginalize those who like the attacking Russians who "sow discord": BLM, Jill Stein, Bernie Sanders, anyone on the left or anyone fed up with the American oligarchy, neoliberalism, and the student movement builders. Let's not forget: the CIA/security state has a long history of trying, with disinformation, to start a war with Russia (recall that they did by providing false info to JFK re Bay of Bigs believing he would bomb Cuba and pressing feverishly, if not madly, for JFK to attack Cuba when missiles were discovered there. Let us not forget the sub headlines in many of the newspapers following JFK's assassination: "Pro-communist is suspected shooter."

I don't see Russiagate rallying the Democrats come Nov. Quite the contrary. I see Russiagate pushing out of the news the long list of actions taken by Trump that harm both his base and the common good and turning off the precariat that is utterly fed up with American electoral politics. How many voters know, for example, that Trump rescinded the regulation that had made it more difficult for the mentally ill to buy guns? This should have been headline no. 1 for days; instead, we were treated to the outrage of both party leaders that Russia, armed heavily with nuclear weapons attacked America and that the "attack" was akin to Pear Harbor and 9/11.

The CIA, the NSA, and the FBI are not our friends.

Jerry Fresia said...

At the risk of becoming as obsessed with the Russiagate story as Russiagaters themselves, I urge everyone to
read this brilliant, zany, funny response to the greatest misdirection of our time:

Me, Bill Moyers and Rachel Maddow
by JOHN ESKOW

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/02/26/me-bill-moyers-and-rachel-maddow/

Andrew Lionel Blais said...

Could Lindsey be a Russian operative?