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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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, April 9, 2020

A CHEESEPARER'S RESPONSE TO A CHEESEMONGER


Dominic Coyte writes this from London:

“Dear Mr Wolff,
I am currently enjoying similar house arrest in London. I am a cheesemonger by trade, but like you enjoy reading Karl Marx and Immanuel Kant (although, the net enjoyment is likely neutral). I find the critical enterprise of Kant inspiring. I find the transformational thrust of Marx equally so and, according to the weakness of a philosophical bent, feel inclined to merge them both in a view of the world that harmonize my prejudices.  Freedom seems the key. Rightly or wrongly, I am pursuing the Labour Theory of Value to yield the common arch stone. This I will continue because it interests me. However, this morning I heard Joseph Stiglitz on the radio talking of the financial impact of Covid-19. Contrary to how I had been thinking about the aftermath of the pandemic - what to do with the debt - he presented this crisis as a historic catalyst to reforge economies and propel the new Green Deal. Many thoughts spring to mind on the back of this, but I wondered what you thought about this?
Hope you are well. I'm just off to make myself a cheese sandwich.
Regards
Dominic Coyte”

First, let me say that although I am comfortably ensconced in my Retirement Community quarantine, the one thing I have been unable to obtain is edible cheese.  Would that zoom could be enhanced to provide assistance!

I am delighted to learn that Stiglitz, the best of the American Nobel economists, sees this hope.  I agree completely that this health and economic disaster creates the possibility for dramatic positive changes in America’s plutocratic society.  Lord knows, Biden is about the worst possible Democratic nominee to fight for, or indeed even desire, such changes, which, in addition, would take a Democratic House and Senate and a Senate Majority Leader willing to abrogate the filibuster.  Nevertheless, coming out of this disaster America is going to be in really bad shape, and conceivably the pressure may be irresistible.

As I sit here struggling to keep my wife and myself safe, all the while preparing for a zoom-facilitated visit this evening to a University of Wyoming class studying the Critique, it is comforting to imagine that some good may come of it all.

3 comments:

David Auerbach said...

We here in the Triangle have more than two excellent local cheesemakers. My two favorite are Boxcarr Cheese and Chapel Hill Creamery both of which are currently offering safe on-farm pickup. Furthermore Fickle Creek Farm has various pickup points; they are offering Chapel Hill Creamery's cheese as well as their products which include eggs, pork, beef, and vegetables. We are getting weekly deliveries from L'il Farm (who are consolidating some produce from other farms like FourLeaf.) We are keeping our supplies lines short and haven't been inside anywhere (except our house) in over a month. Boxcarr cheese Chapel Hill Creamery

Christopher J. Mulvaney, Ph.D. said...

I believe Stiglitz to be correct on the possibility of significant emancipatory change happening after the election. Clinton's loss, and Trump and the Republicans being what they are, generated a 'Blue Wave.' With the criminally negligent conduct of Trump et.al. in response to the covied -19 virus, amplified by the coronavirus related negligence of almost all republican governors, in conjunction with their efforts to maintain voter suppression, I would expect the 'Blue Wave' to become more like a tsunami. Here's to Hope!

Michael Hobart said...

The long link below is Stiglitz's article from today's New York Review of Books, quite worth a gander.

https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2020/04/08/a-lasting-remedy-for-the-covid-19-pandemics-economic-crisis/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NYR%20Virginie%20Despentes%20Sinophobia%20a%20virtual%20seder&utm_content=NYR%20Virginie%20Despentes%20Sinophobia%20a%20virtual%20seder+CID_90fbcb4421117f2cfad44ac4504702e0&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_term=A%20Lasting%20Remedy%20for%20the%20Economic%20Crisis