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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Sunday, December 16, 2018

WHAT WE HAVE LOST


As some of you are aware, I spent a good deal of time in the early nineties sorting through the trove of family papers I inherited at my father’s death and writing two books from them, one about my grandparents and one about my parents [neither of which, of course, I published.]  I was especially fascinated by my father’s father, Barnet Wolff, who devoted his life to the Socialist Party and was one of its leaders in New York City during the first three decades of the 20th century.  As part of my research on his political career, I dug up the platforms for several years of the Socialist Party [the Norman Thomas organization, for those who are deep into this stuff] and observed that save for the proposal to collectivize the ownership or production, most of its planks had actually been enacted during the New Deal by the Democratic Party under the leadership of FDR.

This morning, as I was turning over in my mind ways to continue the discussion I started on this blog a few days ago, I checked in with the Abbreviated Pundit Roundup on The Daily Kos and found this striking account.  It details a number of revolutionary proposals, now being advanced by the most progressive wing of the modern Democratic Party, that were actually put forward by Roosevelt and in some cases in some form written into law.   Tears came to my eyes [I cry easily] as I reflected on how much we have lost in the course of my long life.  Rather than struggle to identify radical new themes to set the course of a resurgent progressive movement, we could save ourselves a good deal of time by simply resurrecting this seventy-four year old document.

2 comments:

Jerry Fresia said...

Rick Wolff often makes the point that whatever progressive legislation that is enacted in our system, say Glass–Steagall legislation, capital will find ways to whittle it away and then we have to start over again, which is another version of this blog.

So the question arises, what freedom now that capital/party leaders have needs to be taken away? and how?

s. wallerstein said...

What I think we should ask is why has that occurred.

Obviously, as Jerry Fresia points out, capital will try to whittle away any progressive legislation, but why have the masses accepted this so passively?

Marcuse gives some answers to my questions as do Adorno and Fromm, but they were all writing
over 50 years ago, if not longer ago, and the level of mystification seems to have increased since their time.

Has and why has this increased mystification taken over the minds of most of us?