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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

HOW CAN ONE BLOG ABOUT THESE THINGS?

In just one day, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, who is moonlighting as the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, tells a gathering of more than a thousand lobbyists that as a Congressman, he had a rule that if a lobbyist contacted his office, he, Mulvaney, would not agree to see him unless he donated money, and he then encourages the lobbyists to spread out across Washington and bribe Republican members of Congress.  Meanwhile, the White House physician, who, after examining the President, announced that if he gave up cheeseburgers he could live to be two hundred, is revealed as a "candy man" who would walk up and down the aisles of the President's plane on long overseas flights handing out prescription uppers and downers freely to the press and Presidential aides.

Now look, I am not Jonathan Swift, and never claimed to be, but even the immortal satirist would have a difficult time ridiculing people like this.  Who needs satire when a transcript will do quite as well?

4 comments:

Jerry Fresia said...

"Who needs satire when a transcript will do quite as well?"

Exactly; it seems that we have slipped into a realm where satire completely misses the point. Late night satirists, for example, come across as somewhat naive and irrelevant.

Nietzsche, as s. wallerstein has noted, is very good at using language powerfully. He seems to have presaged our predicament in 1888: "I describe what is coming, what can no longer come differently: the advent of nihilism. This future speaks even now in a hundred signs; this destiny announces itself everywhere ....for some time now our whole European culture has been moving as toward a catastrophe, with a tortured tension that is growing from decade to decade: restlessly, violently, headlong like a river that wants to reach the end, that no longer reflects, that is afraid to reflect."

s. wallerstein said...

Trump epitomizes what nihilism is for Nietzsche: the loss of all higher values.

Unfortunately, the creator of new values, who Nietzsche calls for, is nowhere in sight. Maybe she'll emerge from the high school kids: Emma Gonzalez or someone like her?

David Palmeter said...

I'm reminded of the remark attributed to Tom Lehrer: "Political satire died when Henry Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize." Apparently he didn't really say that, but I'm going to believe it and attribute to him no matter what.

Charles Pigden said...

Well I don't know Jerry. I am getting a real kick out of Stephen Colbert and Seth Myers. Also they (and their writers) were both pretty good at the expense of the Admiral Doctor Candyman, though he is a pretty easy target.