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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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




Total Pageviews

Monday, July 30, 2018

LOW COMEDY


Once more I am reminded of the chasm between high theory and the quotidian details of political action.   It all feels like one of Shakespeare’s history plays or comedies, in which the scenes of drama or love at the very highest level of art and seriousness alternate with scenes of low farce.

After meditating on the terrifying possibility of a nuclear attack on North Korea or Iran triggered by the narcissism and infantile rages of Donald Trump, I turn my attention to trying to get the Ryan Watts Congressional campaign to keep track of the responses to my fund-raising mailing so that when I send a second appeal after Labor Day I can build into the letters a thank you for prior donations.  Not exactly rocket science, but it just might induce a few to give again, and at an even higher level.  Of such considerations is an on-the-ground political campaign constructed.

10 comments:

howard b said...

I've probably given more than I can afford to good political causes. But as (was it Marx who said) time is money, or time is votes

Anonymous said...

I am doing my best but I think Trump will win his 2nd term. I don't think the Mueller investigation will change much. However I do believe Trump has opened the door to ardent leftists and not the ones on TV. I think people are ripe for manipulation. Once people realize all those promises meant nothing, there will be outrage. Others more convincing than Trump will appear and terrify the corporate elite. It will get to the point where reality will force them to choose someone like FDR. Best outcome?

I don't think people realize how common Trump as a leader is around the world. People immigrate to the United States to escape such leaders.

I always viewed Trump as another Maduro (Venezuela).
Where did we go wrong to get to this point?
Why do so many believe fake news?
Do voters across the country really see themselves at such opposite ends?


Or was there a loss of control, a loss of narrative. Maybe there was a sense of purpose during the cold war but what now?


Trump will win his 2nd term, I believe that now...
What will come after? Does it get better or worse?

Was everything always on a shaky foundation?

There is no outrage at his behavior or actions... The silence is terrifying. Is there really an acceptance of this? Do voters crave this retribution at the cost of the nation? Would they rather set fire to this successful experiment?

Maybe state legislature should choose Senators...Have we given to much democracy to voters that are not responsible? Should we roll back some changes...?








s. wallerstein said...

Don't insult poor Nicolas Maduro by comparing him with Trump.

Maduro is incompetent, is mismanaging the economy, is a demagogue, but his heart is with bettering the situation of the poor, with ending economic exploitation, with transcending capitalism, with peace in the world, etc.

Maduro is not a gangster capitalist, has never publicly boasted of harassing women, has never threatened to invade anyone (although Trump has threatened to invade Venezuela), has never referred to other societies as "shit-holes", has never separated children from their parents on a systematic basis, etc.

By the way, I have no doubt that a part of Venezuela's ills (although not all of them, as Maduro claims) are due to a systematic campaign of economic sabotage and political subversion carried out by the U.S. government and the CIA, much as they worked to subvert Salvador Allende's democratically elected socialist government (which also mismanaged the economy) in Chile in the 1970's.

Anonymous said...

Trump is accomplishing what he was sent by the masses to do - giving a good smack in the face to the smug, 'liberal' intellectual political class in Washington that has largely forgotten about middle America. Details on policy are not so important as the daily spectacles of outrage and disbelief in mainstream media as the overeducated and well-cultured Judge Smails types of the world look on in horror at Rodney Dangerfield infiltrating their country club.

For reference:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDWvmKF1zoA

I too, think a second term is Trump's to lose. The Mueller investigation may bring down some of his buddies, but Trump himself will walk away unscathed with millions of loyal supporters in tow.

howard b said...

Geez anonymous you make Trump sound like Martin Luther or someone who actually can speak English. You really love America there, anonymous

Anonymous said...

Maybe the masses thought Trump would do that but is he really? I don't think he has much in common with middle america besides using their bourgeoisie daughters as high value courtesans. Maybe many in the masses desire to be like him. The freedom to cheat on their wives and indulge their whims. I find it odd he always felt the need to be married rather than just enjoying his time with many women.

Maybe the masses are disenfranchised. The polarization of education and income equality defines the current economic system. Many ignored the capitalistic markets developing around the world and to their dismay woke up to find they could never have the American dream of a high school sweetheart/wife, 3 kids, a home, nights at the elk's lodge. They found themselves going job to job. Aimless. Trying hard to achieve any success. Watching others progress in new markets that deem marketable credentials as a necessity for admission.

What does one do when a man has no marketable education, no trade skills, and arrives at the age 40. Do you really care about the common good?

There are generations of men and women in America that always thought a good enough job would be there. Sure economic growth is high but how much have wages risen? Are we all in precarious situations now...?

I don't think Trump wants to cause outrage with over-educated well-cultured types. He is one of them... He is causing outrage in a general sense with some of the masses. Especially with those who know he is opening a pandora's box. He is looking for a decent antagonist and has not found one. Sure some of those over-educated types are in outrage but he knows they are like him, they will complain, whine, and change the channel. I think he is poking at the masses. He is like a bully, poking away at the weak ones, the ones that can't say much. Then he will swiftly poke at others, again and again looking for an antagonist.

Will democratic socialists make an impact... Maybe, but I doubt it.

Both parties are faltering... The upcoming elections will demonstrate neither really has an ideology. Now that Republicans agree deficits are OK and Democrats agree conservative judges are OK... What will become of them? The lines are blurring.

As for Venezuela... Maduro might have had his heart in the right place but those Chavistas are quickly buying up the nicest homes in Westonzuela and Doral. Many in the know are draining as much from their treasury and pay their commission back. In times of such changes like Chavez, many Venezuelans (rich or poor) sided with the government to protect their interest or start an offensive against their competition. They played with fire and got burned and if lucky enough fled somewhere else. I don't think the USA needs to do much damage. They just allow them to come to the United States. Yes ... Chavistas are coming here not to promote social justice but mainly due to the fact America has better banking privacy laws than Switzerland.


https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/venezuela/article9601697.html

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/venezuela/article153397204.html

https://www.houstonpress.com/news/many-corrupt-venezuelans-hide-in-houston-and-miami-9335232

https://www.ft.com/content/25055a2a-6332-11e7-91a7-502f7ee26895

https://www.miamiherald.com/latest-news/article1941598.html

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/04/07/business/perverse-twist-u-s-seen-emerging-tax-haven-choice-craving-secrecy/






s. wallerstein said...

I don't doubt that there are corrupt Chavistas. I merely object to comparing Trump to Maduro.

By the way, the Miami Herald has been the voice of all the CIA directed campaigns against progressive regimes in Latin America since the Cuban Revolution: against Fidel, against Allende, against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua in the 80's, against Evo Morales in Bolivia, and against Chavez and Maduro in Venezuela. I don't see it as a trustworthy source of information about leftwing governments in Latin America. It specializes in disinformation in the service of gusanos.

Anonymous said...

I accept the objection to the comparison. Not the best comparison but there is some similarity. Their origins are completely opposite but their styles are somewhat similar.

And yes there has been manipulation of the media in the USA especially regarding leftists governments but there is some credibility here. Many people in power have used the chaos to attack their competitors or gain some political/economic advantage.

I have wondered why the USA is not that active in Venezuela or in the OAS. I suspect they have different intentions. I think they will not take a stand against Maduro on human rights or any other issues. They are waiting for a complete collapse. Why bother causing chaos when Maduro is doing it wonderfully on his own. Let his cronies into the USA, wait for a complete collapse in Venezuela, and then renegotiate oil/mineral governance and framework for foreign investors.

There is no need to subvert his government just offer some refuge for his cronies and wait...



MS said...

For an optimistic analysis predicting an Elizabeth Warren/Eric Holder ticket defeating Trump in 2020 see the following New York Times article:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/29/opinion/columnists/trump-loss-re-election-2020.html?emc=edit_th_180730&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=375637900730


Jerry Brown said...

Professor, if you are worried about a nuclear attack on North Korea or Iran, just think how much more worried the actual potential victims of that attack might be. I hope the children there are not losing sleep because they think the US might kill them and their families. Horrifying to think about. But even DJT is not going to kill millions of people at once without very, very, very good reasons. Even if he wants to. Hopefully.