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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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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Thursday, November 22, 2018

SOLIDARITY


Yesterday, I was contacted by a doctoral student at an American university with an appeal for solidarity with groups of Chinese university students whose efforts to assist workers to unionize are being repressed by the Chinese government.  He provided two links to news stories, here and here.  The gist of the matter can be gathered from this passage from one of the stories:

“Fear is sweeping through the campuses of China's elite universities following a nationwide government crackdown aimed at silencing left-wing student activists, who had been campaigning for greater rights and protections for ordinary workers.
Since August at least nine young Chinese labor advocates have been forcibly detained in major cities across the country, a sharp escalation in Beijing's campaign against student activism on university campuses.
"The whole of Peking University is like under the white terror now, (the security guards) will come after you even if you were just at the scene where the student activists were distributing leaflets," a student at the prestigious Peking University told CNN Tuesday.”

I was asked to provide a statement of support, which I will of course do, to speak out against this repression, which I am doing here, to boycott any future World Congresses on Marxism organized by the Chinese government [no problem there, I would never be invited], and most importantly, to spread the word, which I hope I am doing by this post. 

I cannot say I am surprised by these actions by the Chinese government.  Right here at home, good old Columbia University is fighting graduate student organizing tooth and nail [I shall take part in a panel discussion next Tuesday organized by the student union.]  By the way, one of Columbia’s “Global Centers” is located in Beijing.  They probably feel right at home there.

6 comments:

Jerry Fresia said...

What do you suppose World Congresses on Marxism organized by the Chinese government would look like? What elements of Marx, if any, would be brought forward, which obscured, which misunderstood?

On a somewhat related note - the boat rocking activities of senior scholars - Chomsky turns 90 on December 7: to wit, his recent assessment of the mid-term elections: https://bit.ly/2AeB1kz

RobinMcDugald said...

What you say here about the behaviour of the Chinese government vis-a-vis students acting in support of workers belongs, I think, alongside what I was trying to suggest needed to be kept in mind when assessing the declining trajectory of poverty in China (at “And Now For Something Really Important” below).

PS. Read it, liked it, JF.

David Palmeter said...

Off topic: Though we have to live with Citizens United and the billion dollar PACs of the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson et al., there’s some good news from NPR:

“The midterm elections illuminated a gap in Republican fundraising. While wealthy conservatives continued to fund party committees and superPACs, Democrats beat Republicans in the contest for small-donor contributions.”

“In 73 hot House races, Democrats raised more than $62 million from donors of $200 or less. Republicans raised barely $27 million.”

“The gusher shocked Republicans.”

Jerry Brown said...

I think Jerry Fresia's questions are really interesting and would love to hear your opinions about them. You know- if you are looking for a topic for a post or whatever. Wonder if they would let them read your reply in China.

Anonymous said...

In relation to David Palmeter's off topic comment, there's a lot to think about when it comes to the role of wealth in politics. And it isn't just on one side.

https://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2018/Senate/Maps/Nov23.html#item-5

David Palmeter said...

It certainly isn't all on one side, but the other side doesn't have the small donors to the extent the Dems do. In the best of all possible worlds, big money would be out of politics, but we aren't in such a world. The advantages of a lot of small donors are at least two: (1) their donations add up; (2) people who contribute as little as $5 or $10 are almost certain to vote.