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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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

To contact me about organizing, email me at rpwolff750@gmail.com




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Monday, February 20, 2017

A PLEA TO MY READERS

On a normal day, this blog gets between 1500 and 3000 visits.  As near as I can tell, something like 5000 or so people world-wide follow the blog.  But only several dozen people comment with any regularity.  That, I gather, is normal for the blogosphere.  I would imagine that virtually all of my readers are anti-Trump, and that a majority, but by no means all, fall on the left side of the political spectrum.

I have been talking for several weeks now about the importance of winning House seats and state legislative and gubernatorial seats all across America.  The contest that has been mentioned on this blog a number of times is the by-election in April for the 6th Georgia House seat, with Jon Ossoff as the Democratic candidate, but there are important elections this year in Virginia and New Jersey and a good many other places.

Here is my plea:  Don't comment on the blog if that is your preference, but please, please, get involved locally if you happen to live in a state or district that has an election this year.  Give money, volunteer, make calls, ring doorbells, talk to friends, go to Town Halls, participate in demonstrations. whatever you find comfortable and, as they say in the trade, ego-syntonic, but DO SOMETHING.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

TRYING TO GET MY BEARINGS

The daily flood of outrages, leaks, performance theater, and sheer evil emanating from the Trump White House can be so distracting that it is easy to get caught up in the news cycle and lose sight of what is important.

Let me suggest two things we keep our eyes one, two of many deserving our attention.  The first is the apparent intention of the Administration to begin greatly expanded assaults on undocumented residents.  Unfortunately the law is on Trump's side, but wherever and whenever we can, we need to shield those being targeted and try to create safe spaces where they can hide from the ICE [The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service.]  America has a long tradition of this sort of thing, reaching back way before the internment of Japanese-Americans to the slave patrols, or "paterolers," who went into the woods after runaway slaves.  There is no need to reference Nazi Germany.  This is as American as apple pie, and we need to fight it.

The second thing is by-elections and off-year elections wherever they crop up.  Like many of you, I have donated to the campaign of Jon Ossoff to take Georgia's Sixth House District on April 18th.  There are other races coming up this year, and every one of them is vitally important.  Fantasies about Trump leaving the White House are enticing, but the real struggle is to seize as much power as we can from the Republican Party.  Despite regional concentration, gerrymandering, and voter suppression, there are enough of us to take back at least a part of the government, if we can just get our people to the polls.

Meanwhile, I have devoted two days to doing my taxes, and I am almost done.  I am simply thrilled that my pittance will be put to such good use by the government!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

FRIDAY LIST #4 A DAY LATE

Friday List #4

David Palmeter said...
Contributions to the Osoff campaign and to the DCCC.

David said...
1. Joined our Neighborhood Action Coalition.

2. Wrote to Rep. Jayapal to ask her to cosponsor House Resolution 78.

3. Drummed up support for February 23rd demonstration at the offices of Rep. Dave Reichert (R).

4. Made a contribution to Jon Ossoff's campaign.

C Rossi said...
1. Wrote to Sen. Casey agreeing with him on his vote against several of DT's nominees.
2. Wrote to Rep Meehan disagreeing with him on his position on repeal of ACA and asking him to have a live town hall meeting in the district.
3. Wrote to Sen. Toomey asking that he come to Philadelphia (he never comes here) and hold a constituents meeting and complaining about his support for DT's nominees.
4. Convened a meeting of Philadelphia Area Veterans for Peace (I'm President of the Chapter) to discuss strategy and cooperation with other local groups to protest DT's and Repub's actions and proposed legislation.
5. Contributed to Planned Parenthood; increased contribution to UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
6. Supported New Sanctuary Movement's protest against deportation of undocumented persons by ICE in Philadelphia.
Kid X said...

Signed up to give $10 a month to Bernie's "Our Revolution".

Anonymous said...
1) Made a contribution to Jon Ossoff's campaign.
2) Wrote to my senators to thank them for their votes against the past week's nominees and urge them to oppose Gorsuch.



Critton Childers said...

Welcome back to the NC and to your blog!

another small pebble: I donated to the North Carolina Democratic Party.



Blogger Tom Cathcart said...

Friday report: Gave a bit of $ to an unlikely group---the FDR Foundation at Adams House, Harvard, who, up till now has been dedicated to making a shrine out of FDR's room in Adams House, but who now are concerned about protecting immigrant students and faculty. More importantly, by far, Eloise and I had a talk with the woman who cleans our house every other week, and said, "We don't know your status or that of your helpers, we don't need to know, we don't want to know. We just want you to know that if anyone gets in trouble, we hope you'll include us as people you can reach out to for help." She played it very cool at first, not tipping her hand. Later in the day, I got a big hug.

Will said...

1) Donated to Ossoff campaign.
2) Met with Senator Shelby's state political director to discuss concerns.
3) Called local senators and representatives about particular legislation.



Friday, February 17, 2017

SIMPLE PLEASURES

This is a link to a site on which someone who claims to be an expert on the interpretation of non-verbal cues gives us detailed analyses of such things as Trump press conferences.  I have not the slightest idea whether this is at all reliable, or even serious and not a satire, but I find it enormous fun to read.  We are in for the worst time in recent American history, and we all need to find relaxation and amusement where we can.  Enjoy.

LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE FRIDAY LIST

Now that my blogger nightmare is behind me, I can work up another list of everyone's doings, although it won't appear until tomorrow.  So let us hear what you have been up to.

BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN

Well, here I am again.  Probably most of you think there is nothing remarkable about that fact, just the Old Philosopher bloviating again.  Little do you know.  Yesterday, at 8:47 a.m., I posted a brief report of my return to the United States.  Not a problem.  Several hours later, I undertook to post something further, and was informed by an irritating little logo that, so far as Google was concerned, I did not have any blogs.  Did I wish to create one? The logo asked. 

There followed a frenzied six hours or so of unsuccessful efforts to get Google to acknowledge that I did indeed have a blog, indeed two blogs, and had been posting almost daily for eight years.  I called the University of Massachusetts OIT help desk.  They could not help.  I called UNC.  No luck.  I checked my Southwest Airlines frequent flier miles and formulated a plan to fly out to Google headquarters south of San Francisco and throw myself on their mercy.  I tried calling every Google regional office I could find, and discovered, not surprisingly, that I could not talk to a human being.  [Since there are probably only half a billion people with blogs, I can understand their hesitation.  It would take a support force the size of Pakistan’s population to staff a human help line.]

Then, this morning, I decided to find my way to one of the UNC walk-in help offices [suitably located right next to the UNC Hospital Emergency Room], where a lovely young woman agreed to try to help.  Ten minutes later, I had recovered my blog administrative page.  I offered her flowers and candy but she declined.  So I told her that if she ever needed a letter of recommendation, she had but to ask.


Once again, we see that in this new world, the young explain to the old how things work.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

HOME AGAIN, AND A MEDITATION ON THE VIRTUES OF CAUTION

Well, we are home, and my wife seems fine.  She is upset that we cut our trip to Paris short, but I was adamant.  When your eighty-four year old wife with MS is taken to the emergency room, you come home to your own doctor, no matter how good she feels.  That is just common sense.

After we boarded the airplane at Charles de Gaulle airport, we sat for an hour and a half while mechanics looked for, found, and installed a door handle to replace one on our plane that wasn't working properly.  Many of the passengers were irritated, but with my new-found wisdom, I was not.  Suppose, I thought to myself, the pilot had said, "It is just a door handle, for heaven's sake," and had taken off on time.  And suppose we had crash-landed and the inability to open a door condemned ten passengers to a fiery death.  I am old enough to consider it a miracle that I can leave Paris at 10:45 a.m. and arrive in Raleigh-Durham airport eight and a half hours later.  I can wait another ninety minutes to be certain everything on the plane works, even the coffee maker.

While I was away, I see that the Trump Administration started to unravel.  Now is the time for us to maintain maximum pressure, especially in every single by-election, from House of Representatives to local school board.  Once I have unpacked, restocked the refrigerator, and gotten my sleep turned around, I shall have some things to say about what is happening politically.

There is something spiritually refreshing about not having to make excuses for a Democratic Administration that is only fitfully admirable.