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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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, August 1, 2018

ONE MORE WORD, COURTESY OF SCOTT JOPLIN

Let me add a cautionary warning to my efforts to promote on the ground political action.  Most of you probably recall The Sting, starring Redford and Newman.  Near the beginning of the movie, Redford goes looking for Newman to learn how to pull off the Big Con against Robert Shaw, who has had one of Redford’s buddies murdered.  He finds Newman sobering up in a whore house, and asks about the Big Con.  Newman agrees to help, but warns Redford:

“You're going to go for him.  I don't want a hothead looking to get even, coming back saying......"It ain't enough." 'Cause it's all we're gonna get.”

This has for years been my mantra in political work.  I could give it a deep psychodynamic ideological interpretation out of Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man, but you get the idea.  Nothing in politics, not even a revolution, turns out to be everything you wanted, and if you cannot live with that reality, then best you don’t even try.

2 comments:

Paul G. said...

I've got to say, Professor, assuming you're still talking about the Russia story--so if you're not, please ignore and excuse this comment--I'm surprised that you interpret the main thrust of left criticism of the story as naiveté, the complaint of those unwilling to live with the disappointments and compromises endemic to political struggle. The left criticism that I myself have found persuasive comes from a place of pragmatism: I am deeply worried about the long-term effects of giving into a political discourse of treason, of foreign interference--a political discourse that, moreover, soaks up crucial resources from and crowds out other stories and issues concerning far more important obstacles to genuine democracy in America and justice in the world. And, to boot: a political discourse that (heretofore) comes up short on substantial evidence.

Jerry Brown said...

Yeah Professor, "The Sting" was a good movie. And I am not quite as old as you or as academically accomplished for sure. But I am by no means a young man anymore and I have had my own life from which I draw various conclusions from my experiences and own education. And occasionally I disagree about some things and write comments or speak up to express that. None of that is intended to disparage you or your own experience. Politics is a contentious subject. And apparently I am already way out there on the left wing of it, at least in this country, and am somewhat used to that. I imagine you are somewhat used to that as well, or you should be at this point. You need to be able to deal with some arguments from the left as well as arguments from the right without really questioning the integrity of the arguer.