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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Friday, February 23, 2018

THIS IS AN APPALLING COUNTRY

We are now having a national conversation about the desirability of restricting the purchase of semi-automatic assault rifles to private citizens twenty-one and older, a step considered so radical that Republican politicians willing to consider the idea are presented to us as profiles in courage.  [By the bye, John F. Kennedy's Pulitzer Prize winning book of the same name was actually written by aide Ted Sorenson, a fact so rich in irony The Onion could not have conceived it.]  I suppose it is beyond the reach of modern technology to design a weapon that is capable of killing only supporters of the NRA and that fires rosebuds at anyone else, but I can dream.

The protesting teenagers raise my spirits, although I do not believe they will prevail.  On the other hand, if they can inspire a national movement among the demographic least likely to vote, they could perhaps work some miracles.

7 comments:

s. wallerstein said...

Your comment about designing a weapon which only kills NRA members and fires rosebuds at others produced genuine laughter and few things make me laugh these days (no, it's more my age and the human condition than Trump). Thanks.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Either we laugh or we wikll start crying and be unable to stop.

s. wallerstein said...

I cry a lot. Until late middle age, I never cried, but I laughed frequently.

My laughter came from a certain illusory adolescent sense of superiority and when I landed, I began to feel part of it all and that makes me cry.

Ed Barreras said...

I recently read some astute analysis to the effect that the NRA and the far-right in this country are nothing except dormant paramilitary death squads — the sort that become active whenever Leftists come to power (think of the Contras in Nicaragua). There’s a lot of hand-wringing over the fact that these assault weapons serve no purpose other than to kill as many human beings as efficiently as possible. What’s rarely acknowledged is the obvious fact that the nut-cases who stockpile these weapons fully except to use them for exactly that purpose . They expect to kill leftists and minorities who are getting too uppity. This is all but telegraphed in their online discourse and in the propoganda emanating from the NRA (if you don’t believe me, look it up).

I worry about what should happen if the Left should gain some semblance of power, if gun reform does make some headway. Did you see the people at CPAC chanting “lock her up,” still, after all thes months? What happens if that bloodlust isn’t slaked?

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Ed Barrera, I am afraid you are giving voice to fears that keep me up at night. Having spent the first part of my life in an America whose FBI was run by J. Edgar Hoover, I cannot say these fears are new, but they are more intense now than they have been for some years.

Ed Barreras said...

I don’t know what to say except that Xanax has proven to be very effective. And what can we can do except continue to encourage the energy being generated on “our side”, while hoping that the far-right loonies prove to be as craven as their “centrist” brethren and fizzle out rather than explode?

James said...

Let us count the ways: Trump, the stronghold on the country by vile individuals such as the NRA leadership and lobbyists, the Koch brothers and their like, the seemingly all-pervading military fetishism, the vast income inequalities and the tens of millions living in poverty in the world’s wealthiest country, the racism, the corruption, the staggering influence of money on politics, the nightmarish concept of private prisons, and more... viewed from abroad, the United States is an astoundingly crazy country. (Not the the rest of the world is perfect; light years from it). Sensible observers our goings-on in your country can only hope that the decent Americans, who I firmly believe are still in the majority, can somehow take back their country, which also has so many fine things going for it.