March 28, 2017

295

Well, Wafers, we can get all excited and blame Trumpi for the chaos and disaster that is engulfing the US, but really, Don is but a reflection of ourselves. There are so many articles on what we are doing to ourselves on a daily basis, it's hard to keep up. Here's just one (somebody cited this on the previous post):

http://wqad.com/2016/02/29/mans-powerful-letter-about-the-struggles-of-being-a-teacher-getting-a-lot-of-attention/

Our future is riots, martial law, detention centers, and nationwide dementia. Meanwhile, there are two little words that the progs cannot absorb into their tender little brains: "It's over." I mean, come on guys: Is the Pope Catholic? Does a bear shit in the woods?

-mb

166 Comments:

Blogger jjarden said...

Trump just signed our Death Warrant! 

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/27/politics/trump-climate-change-executive-order/index.html

4:45 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Went down to my father's house over the weekend. He lives in central VA, about 10 mile east of Charlottesville, in a semi-rural area where about a year ago, unfortunately, some douchebag one subdivision over set up a firearms range. Now dad and all of his neighbors are treated to formerly peaceful Saturday afternoons that sound like third world war zones. One the way into town, we passed several broken down residences squatting one large lots where, among the budding flowers and cherry trees in the foothills of the Blue Ridge, the local cretins have seen fit to pile broken down cars and rusted farm and lawn equipment everywhere as if to deliberately despoil all the natural beauty around them.

In C-Ville, we attended a lecture on acting and Hollywood by Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad fame that was being given as part of the University of Virginia's Festival of the Book. All over town, technodouchbags were ignoring the warm sunny day and staring at their screens. The guy sitting next to us at the lecture hardly looked up from his texting the whole time.

All in all, just the two Americas, living side by side but a million miles apart, collectively unaware that their whole horrid way of life is rapidly careening towards oblivion.

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Vincent in Auvers said...

As regards the specimen you linked to in the previous post, that’s a face I’ve sadly come to be intimately acquainted with over the past six months. This is the sort of visceral hatred I mentioned in one of my earlier posts. My mother and I went to a Japanese garden last week and got these same looks. The tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife. Even if they can tell you’re a native and hear that you speak perfect English, they still refuse to melt. Came across another interracial family who sat next to us as we ate and the young husband, appearing vaguely Mediterranean, very well put together and obviously American, just looked defeated.

With my studies now complete, I’ve holed myself up back at home to have a reprieve from this nonsense. Practicing the piano, learning French, preparing great food, and planning my escape. What I’ve noticed is that it’s nearly impossible to feel animosity when you’re engaged in purposeful activities. Why don’t these people turn off the television and do something meaningful with their lives instead? It’s baffling.

I’ve also been reading Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and it looks like much hasn’t changed since Nietzsche’s day:

“State, I call it, where all drink poison, the good and the bad: state, where all lose themselves, the good and the bad: state, where the slow suicide of all—is called ‘life.’…Just see the superfluous! They are always sick; they vomit their bile and call it a newspaper. They devour one another and cannot even digest themselves…Just see the superfluous! They gather riches and become poorer with them…See them clamber, these nimble monkeys! They all want to get to the throne: it is their madness—as if happiness sat on the throne! Often mud sits on the throne—and often also the throne on mud.”

7:27 PM  
Anonymous NJ Guy said...


I once heard folksinger Utah Phillips say "Is a bear catholic, does the Pope shit in the woods?"

9:06 PM  
Anonymous Z R said...

https://m.mic.com/articles/172257/democrats-edited-anti-capitalist-pro-socialist-message-out-of-photo-in-promo-image

No shit. Sent this to my friend who is a Trump guy, he is also a hippie organic farmer.

I sent it to simply i.d. the 'no shit' moment that the progs would make the erase. But he thought it was a support of a socialist revolution, "Socialism seems dangerous. Has it ever even worked? It's a step towards communism...It's literally never worked...besides maybe nationalist socialist Nazi germany...People aren't equal...Hard Times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, weak men create hard times."

I don't even know what to say. I think socialism in an American context would be the same system perpetuated in a different way. Has there ever been a successful socialism?

9:14 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

In this article, MARCH 28, 2017
Fake News: the Unravelling of US Empire From Within
by JOHN MCMURTRY,the author writes about the long history in the US of perpetuating it's crimes under the guise of fake news.

He says "Trump is America come to meet itself".

A worthwhile read at the counterpunch site.

Marianne

10:51 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...


Here's a panel that WAFers might appreciate:

Panel w/ John Michael Greer, James Kunstler, Chris Martenson, Frank Morris & Dmitry Orlov 3-25-2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kthhSwyv2H0

4:06 AM  
Blogger Dominic O'Malley said...

Once again I disagree. Not shur what wurld you are frum, but USA still that city that shines from a hill. Proud to be an amerikan cause at least I know I'm free. We rule. The best amerika is yet to come. No more apologeez for wars. I'm sick of it.

5:19 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

remo-

Cdn't run it (half-page rule).

Dominic-

Wafers salute you. Keep thinking as you do, and tell as many people as possible. Your insights can only be described as cutting-edge. It's folks such as yrself who will make America great again. Onward!

mb

12:21 PM  
Blogger remo26 said...

Here’s a song from the Legendary Pink Dots with poignant lyrics for the current state of decline and denial in the wake of a broke Madoff investor committing suicide by jumping from his $36M NYC apt. yesterday.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/investor-burned-by-bernie-madoff-jumps-to-death-from-manhattan-hotel/ar-BByY51i?li=AA4Zjn&ocid=spartanntp

LPD - Mirror mirror https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_qROYxQpi8

Mirror mirror on the wall, really wish I had the balls to look you in the eye, but I don’t. I propose that we wait until the morning. There’s 1,000 things to fix, and I’m feeling pretty sick. I prefer the window … And mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? Not you, you fool, it screams. You’re in the last 500. 499 are flies, swatted mercilessly, died before they made it to the jam jar. Mirror mirror in the trash, I tried but wound up smashing you. Too sad, too old, too bashful. I swear I have a good side. Best to keep it stashed. If you want to see it, best you look away. Mirror mirror – lies!

12:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Apparently we still hafta look at the grotesque face of Hillary. Jesus, I thought that was over:

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/28/politics/hillary-clinton-speech/index.html

Take me now, O Lord.

mb

12:36 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

East Timor: The slaughter made possible thanks to the Amerikans. President Bill Clinton cut off military aid to Indonesia in September 1999 was too late already.
http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB62/

Guatemala: Amerikan and Israeli involvement in the massacre of the indigenous.
https://www.democracynow.org/2013/4/19/exclusive_allan_nairn_exposes_role_of

Gaza: Amerikan weapons gift to Israel, just in time. Even Bernie approved the bill.
https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/rania-khalek/obama-gives-19-billion-weapons-welcome-gift-israels-racist-government

The reasoning one of the Wafers illustrated is the same given by Sam Harris and Fareed Zakaria -that, if the blacks n natives of america and the Guatemalans n Salvadorians could take the brutality of the empire without much protest, why don't the muslims? The only thing that differentiates the two is the religion -it must be Islam's fault then. IMO, the gripe is really about that they without modern military have put up an effective fight, and that's unacceptable. Interestingly the disproportionate victims of that fight is muslims themselves that is hardly ever mentioned.
The question thus is not why they hate us. The question should be why there are still many muslims (and Latinos, Timores, etc) who don't hate us.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pL0qlSAv0Iw

2:49 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Neil Postman, forgive them for they know not what they do.

From today's ars technica website, this "appreciation" of the cloud and its potential to make the lame rise and walk again, to restore vision to the sightless, and to make little Johnny a winner in his struggle for the legal tender. The article opens with this:

"The Library of Alexandria was one of the most important libraries of the ancient world. Its vast number of scrolls, collections of works, lecture halls, and meeting rooms were a boon to education. In many ways, the cloud has the potential to have just as revolutionary an effect as the Library of Alexandria—it can liberate education, enabling teachers to be innovative and spontaneous."

How teachers see the classroom redefined by the cloud | Ars Technica
https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/03/cloud-changes-school-2/?comments=1

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Texas man arrested for having sex with a fence.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/texas-man-arrested-allegedly-sex-fence-article-1.2991903?utm_content=bufferf48ec&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=NYDailyNewsTw

3:06 PM  
Anonymous John said...

Vincent in Auvers- I know what you're feeling. I walk into a a restaurant or a store and I often get the hate stare, the stare that burns. The worst thing is when I enter an establishment and people who were talking, notice my presence, and suddenly get quiet. It's as if my presence is a stain on the environment. It's funny but tragic at the same time. What frightens me is that I know all of this hate is only going to get worse. As America continues to slide into social death, scapegoating will provide a convenient answer for many people. They're talking about American greatness and I'm humming Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" to myself, thinking about not setting off any American Gestapo tripwires on my way back home.

why are more people not worried about the arbitrary detention of American citizens at the border...I guess the truth is too painful....

3:29 PM  
Blogger Rosegarden said...

Am I the only one who is appalled at George W. Bush's new book "Portraits of Courage" and his art show in Texas? There are 66 portraits of injured soldiers. Some of the soldiers must have approved of the use of their images as they posed with him for the publicity shots. But I think he exploited these men and women twice – first when he sent them to a useless war and then when he used their injured bodies (and minds) as his canvass.

5:53 PM  
Blogger Patrick D. Fitzgerald said...

ZR,

"Has there ever been a successful socialism?"

If you are asking about Democratic Socialism, then yes there have been successes there (Northern and Western Europe, Canada).

If you are talking about socialized industries, like state run oil or mining companies, then yes again.

Cuba is repressive, but hasn't inflicted anywhere near the damage on the world that capitalist empires have. Vietnam won their war with us and is still around.

I guess another related question is has there ever been a successful capitalist project? Concentrating wealth, decimating ecosystems and alienating humans from themselves and their fellows wouldn't be my definition of successful.

Guess it depends on how you define success though,

cheers

6:36 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

I'll admit to being pretty jaded about American depravity, but this awful story about a Florida woman who paid human trafficking coyotes $3000 to smuggle to her a pregnancy surrogate whom she then physically abused while trying to use a syringe to impregnate the woman with her boyfriend's sperm shocked me:

http://www.clickorlando.com/news/woman-paid-smugglers-to-bring-woman-from-mexico-as-pregnancy-surrogate?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

And while we are on the subject of really bad parenting decisions, a Texas man was sentenced to 15 years for assaulting his pregnant girlfriend--though looking at his mugshot makes you wonder why any woman would go within 100 feet of him let alone carry his baby:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/jacob-pauda-sentenced-prison-assault-pregnant-girlfriend-lubbock-texas/?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

It's incredible how shit like this seems to happen every day somewhere in Trumpland.

9:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Rose-

I heard he's #1 on Amazon rt now, and was hosted on Ellen DeGeneres' show. It's quite grotesque, the rehabilitation of a war criminal. He publishes a piece of garbage, and garbage eagerly buys it. Last days of empire!

mb

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Esca,

The more interesting question to me is: what would all these ISIS and derivative group fighters do if they knew they were actually working for the US government?

The war on terror is the gift that keeps on giving. Arms sales, economic/political/geo-political vacuums created aplenty to be exploited. Nebulous boogeymen to inspire the US of American sheeple to throw away their rights and privacy. And, to top it all off, no discernible way that victory would have to be acknowledged.

The groundwork is already being laid to keep the gravy train rolling post Mosul and Raqqa. They will just light new, ready and waiting powderkegs in Africa and, particularly, Asia.

You'd like to think they'd be smart enough in Asia not to fall into that trap. The Saudi king, however, just made a whirlwind tour of the region. Somehow I think he was spreading more than good cheer.



10:46 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

America is just one large museum...the Museum of Fart.

https://youtu.be/gur4RFOH2x4

1:36 PM  
Anonymous NJGuy said...


A difference between Hitler and George W. Bush is that the former did his painting
first, then invaded countries. George W. first invaded than painted...

3:27 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

This is good on the exhaustion of liberalism:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-exhaustion-of-american-liberalism-1488751826

4:52 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Bush's stupid book was also #1 this past weekend on the Washington ComPost's "nonfiction" bestseller list. Plenty of establishment types trying to rehabilitate the evil fucker, I guess. You got to wonder at the mindset of those who allowed Bush to paint their portraits. He's is responsible for what happened to them, and it was all based on an outright lie. That has to be the ultimate example of American cognitive dissonance.

Meanwhile, in the face of such obvious evidence to the contrary, we have yet another example in idiotic prog wishful thinking. This guy is jonesing so bad for Hedges's "revolution," that he even puts the telltale phrase, "We MUST" in parentheses:

"Is this image of the coming awakening overly idealistic? Far from it. We’re not painting a picture of how things might look if we were to turn around the decades-old corporate assault on our lives, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Rather, this is a sober assessment of what we must see if we are to have any possibility of beating back that assault. Mapping out the path ahead – navigating around multiple obstacles, through difficult terrain – is not utopian. On the contrary, it’s how you win. When the giant reawakens this time around, hold onto your hats. We’ll be in for quite a ride."

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/30/good-morning-america/

6:36 PM  
Anonymous tam said...

I was gonna say: "What if they *do* know, somewhere deep inside [in the tiny gaps that aren't entirely filled by consumerism yet] that it's over?"

But I've gingerly tested this several times with Ams the last few months, and I hafta agree: they have no clue that it's over. Ams of all stripes think it's still going on...

The meager exception: first generation Ams (yep, I'm one). Our parents' stories from the oppressive lands they escaped are too fresh in our minds. We've noticed the intellect gap since we were little. In high-school, I knew I could smoke a doob before classes in my Am school, no prob, I'd still get an A. But no-way-no-how could I get through any of my European classes in half-relaxed mode! ... God bless Am!

6:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

tam-

They have no clue about *anything*. Also check out post from Bill Hicks. I have repeatedly said that in the US, even the smart ones are dumb. Hillary's lecturing on 'diversity' (instead of figuring out that pol. correctness brought her down), Hedges is urging 'revolt', Michael Moore is doing something equally moronic, etc. What wd wake these folks up? Therapy?

Golf-

Shelby Steele is a great writer. Check out "The Content of Our Character."

mb

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Fruit Woman said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers-
Planned Parenthood vote happened in The Senate. Does anybody know why this was passed with a simple majority when so many other times we'd need the so-called super majority? Guess it doesn't really matter. It looks as if the concept of the "free clinic" has finally outlasted its usefulness. Oh well. And whatever happened to the right to privacy in the doctor's office? I used to think that was the point of Roe v Wade. - fruit lady
MB- Sorry you had to see that video of Hillary. Hope you don't start having nightmares again.

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-congress-planned-parenthood-20170330-story.html

9:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Fruit-

Delighted to have u back. Keep in mind that when a civilization dies, everything goes to hell in a basket. All that persists is Hillary's face. Lots of projectile vomiting on the horizon, I'm thinking.

mb

9:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This looks kinda interesting:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/mar/30/the-islamic-enlightenment-christopher-de-bellaigue-review

10:44 PM  
Blogger Manol said...

Neoliberalism is another form of religion. Probably, as Dr. Berman says, the only American religion is America itself.
In Chile, this was very clear, because neoliberalism was imposed under a military dictatorship. Just replace the priests with economists in ties talking about freedom when you can't get out of your house at night because of the curfew. It's even ironic to watch American series in the 80's on TV preaching freedom when the censorship of the press here couldn't be more evident.
Now, replace the infidels with people who criticizes the economic model calling them communists or humanoids, and you get the whole picture.
I don't care much about Islam, but I see it as a natural response of mindlessness religion to another religion, neoliberalism, which also claims to be a revealed truth.
For those who care, Manfred Max-Neef, our Chilean version of Morris Berman: "America is becoming an underdeveloping nation"
https://youtu.be/hjcbBnM2OUo

6:32 AM  
Anonymous Jim Kaufman said...

https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-2-500th-birthday-for-the-father-of-historyand-fake-news-1490884822

happy b day to Herodotus, 1st historian

6:38 AM  
Anonymous Marcus said...

@ our blog host MB,
That book cover looks beautiful/contents look interesting.
Know anything of the author Christopher de Bellaigue...was just reading he was accused of Armenian genocide denial, found that surprising

7:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

I keep thinking of the American news cycle, and the American attention span, roughly that of a gnat. Events generate great excitement; a short while later, no one gives a damn. I wonder what's going on w/Black Lives Matter, or the pussy hats. No more demos against Trumpo? I wonder how many Americans can identify Dylann Roof (less than 10,000, I suspect). 'News' now happens on Twitter, reflecting Trumpi's own nanosecond attention span. Is the Mexican wall still on? Are Israeli settlements now a no-no? Finally, it's all just meaningless 'entertainment', of a sort; all words, as Trumpola said of Hillary. Like the president, Americans are incredibly superficial. Their focus on something, or dedication to something, lasts a wk or a month, at most. What emptiness, these lives!

mb

7:52 AM  
Blogger Arthur V. said...

Dr. Berman, interesting that you mention Black Lives Matter as I was wondering what became of it just the other day. I live in Chicago, home of Jesse Jackson, but I haven't heard about it in a big way since around Christmas when there was a small march down Michigan Avenue.

This leads me to a brief point. The more I look around at both 'right' and 'left' the more I believe the demise of empire will be a whimper not a bang. Of course, there is always the chance of a black swan event. I allow that. But presuming that does not occur I think the United States will slowly break up much as the Roman Empire did. One day the nobles in Britain, for example, saw the Romans weren't around much anymore and figured they better move on with business. Here the feds will slowly back away until local communities realize they are on their own. What comes then. . .who knows?

Thoughts, please.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Art-

I've actually said this b4. Decline of Rome was a combo of daily erosion plus 'nodes' of destruction, like the Visigoth sacking. Our nodes are things like 9/11, or the crash of 2008. There will be many more, I'm guessing; and while we are waiting for those, the relentless deterioration of the culture and society will continue. Maybe we shd call it bangwhimper.

The disappearance(?) of BLM and the pussy hats suggest that Americans have no real staying power, and basically no political vision at all. The pattern is just Event/React/Peter Out, until the next Event. When I compare this to the SDS Port Huron Statement of 1962, I can only shake my head. There's nothing to us, really; we are just shadows, and everything going on rt now is just shadow boxing.

mb

12:00 PM  
Blogger Frantisek Panuskova said...

MB:
"I keep thinking of the American news cycle, and the American attention span, roughly that of a gnat. "
Coming from a TV-culture where the main news are presented by a person behind a desk calmly reading from a paper (or nowadays teleprompter). So, arriving over here again in 2014, I took up my hold habit of watching PBS and BBC news, the closest I could find. A while ago, being intrigued by the idea of crossing parallel universes, I started hopping the three cable news outlets, when their shows are on.
- What struck me right from the get-go is that almost all of them cover one, maybe two topics only per day. That's it! The same event gets regurgitated by the various hosts as the hours go by. Apparently, the American brain cannot digest more than one subject per evening.
- My 2nd observation is the combative yelling. Yelling over each other when the pundits are on. Yelling into the camera if the anchor goes solo.
- 3rd, lots of colorful, blinking, moving stuff in the background plus numbers and banners about unrelated topics below in front. 100% protection against any form of focused thinking.

The real currency here are the commercials. The rest is just audio-visual lure for them.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

"grab my P, but thou shan't ride me."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrzD-zqWwWc

Circus USA has come to town.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

This idea of shadows intrigues me. It's not merely that the US has become incoherent; in a way, it also seems to be disappearing. What is it? Where is it? "The Shadow knows." Remember that ol' radio show?:

http://www.oldradioworld.com/shows/The_Shadow.php

Maybe Americans no longer exist, except in a basic biological sense...

mb

4:44 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

Connecticut Bill Calls for Weaponized Police Drones

"Connecticut is taking steps to become the first state to allow law enforcement to use drones capable of deadly force, following the release of viral videos that featured weaponized UAVs.

Legislation regulating drone use in Connecticut breezed through the state House Judiciary Committee this week and now heads to the entire House of Representatives for a future vote.

If passed and signed by the state’s governor, House Bill 7260 would make Connecticut a leading example for states attempting to arm law enforcement with drones capable of utilizing deadly force. Only North Dakota currently allows armed drones for its law enforcement agencies, but the state requires 'less than lethal' weaponry such as a stun gun."

https://www.rt.com/usa/383005-connecticut-police-deadly-drones/

^ One of those smart, civilized Blue States I hear so much about

4:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

AS-

This is gd, and hopefully other states will follow. But I am also hoping for each state to be equipped with a nuclear device, to be used at the discretion of any law enforcement officer.

mb

5:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

The Cambridge Five...MacLean, Burgess, Philby, Blunt, Cairncross. On and off, over the yrs, this story has been a minor hobby of mine. I don't know why, but I find it fascinating, esp. from a psychological pt of view. There are lots of biographies out of this group, with conflicting takes on what happened; so many loose ends that will probably never get tied up. It's also interesting to realize that the Cold War was already being fought in the 1930s. And then the absorbing novels of John le Carre...

mb

9:58 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

I missed seeing this article in Foreign Policy when it appeared on 18 February 2017. Fellow WAFers and the GSWH may find it worth their time.

"In 2014, following the Russian invasion of Crimea, The Washington Post published the results of a poll that asked Americans about whether the United States should intervene militarily in Ukraine. Only one in six could identify Ukraine on a map; the median response was off by about 1,800 miles. But this lack of knowledge did not stop people from expressing pointed views. In fact, the respondents favored intervention in direct proportion to their ignorance. Put another way, the people who thought Ukraine was located in Latin America or Australia were the most enthusiastic about using military force there."

"How America Lost Faith in Expertise: And Why That’s a Giant Problem"
https://fbkfinanzwirtschaft.wordpress.com/2017/02/18/how-america-lost-faith-in-expertise-and-why-thats-a-giant-problem/

10:05 PM  
Anonymous finn macool said...

Then there's good old Graham and his deep affection for Philby even after Philby was exposed. I agree with that one, MB. endlessly fascinating. Blunt in particular for me as I'm an artist.

10:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

finn-

Check out bio by Miranda Carter.

Glimpse of a turkey farm:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/a-look-inside-the-obamas-kalorama-home/2017/03/27/2bdb77f2-0e6a-11e7-9d5a-a83e627dc120_gallery.html?hpid=hp_no-name_photo-story-c%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.5ea7a643082b

mb

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

One thing that I have come to notice about America is that we now have the worst of both worlds when it comes to social life and political life. Some places like Italy have weak state institutions and low levels of trust in formal organizations like the government but relationships based on family and friends seem stronger. The contemporary United States has both low levels of trust in formal institutions (except the military, which is telling) and a degraded informal sphere as family bonds and friendships have declined.

Anglophones like to dump on Southern Europeans for their corrupt and inefficient governments and weak economies but I would say that in the long run they will weather their crises better than we will because at least they have stronger support systems among family and friends. I guess it is similar to the Hispanic paradox in the U.S. where Hispanics often have superior mental health compared to non-Hispanic whites despite being poorer and worse off when it comes to other health indicators like obesity.

1:36 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

Sorry, I don't post Anons. You need a real handle. Also pls send messages to most recent post. Thank you.

mb

1:56 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Someone already posted this:

https://www.elitetrader.com/et/threads/the-exhaustion-of-american-liberalism.307431/

Not to be missed.

mb

2:07 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Every day the US is getting punished. This is what I mean by relentless erosion:

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/31/us/arkansas-executions-witnesses-wanted-trnd/index.html

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/31/us/atlanta-interstate-85-fire-collapse/index.html

2:19 AM  
Anonymous Vincent in Auvers said...

Tom-

This ties in with Max Weber’s ideas on the origins of capitalism. With the Reformation, the assurance of salvation in the afterlife through one’s membership in the church was stripped away and replaced with the Protestant work ethic. Enterprise and money-making became the new virtues, meant to serve as a distraction from or consolation for the loss of psychological security that comes with the assurance of salvation. This myopic focus on work and business makes for very efficient, orderly, and wealthy societies but also has the effect of making people more calculating in their relations and making social life more rational (Weber’s “iron cage”). The Southern European and Latin American countries are predominantly Catholic and never developed this imperative for hustling (to such an advanced degree) and so retained their faith in each other rather than in the marketplace. The strong social solidarity in these places may not ensure survival in cases of existential threat (e.g., nuclear war), but you're right: it does appear to make daily life a lot more pleasant regardless of material circumstances. I’m not so sure about Mexicans in the U.S. There was a study linked here showing that they had significantly increased levels of mental illness after arriving, though anecdotally many of them do seem a lot happier than their Anglo counterparts.

What I don’t understand is why there are such low levels of trust in American institutions. Per Durkheim, dissatisfaction with institutions only arises where there is a disconnect between the values held by these institutions and those held by the people. Both seem to be in accord from my perspective: Become rich and powerful at any cost. Why the anomie, then? If Americans distrust the government, they should just as equally distrust themselves.

3:41 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Vince-

Not that puzzling. The ideology may be the same, but for most, the American Dream hasn't worked out. Lots of people believe (correctly) they've been screwed; hence, the attraction (for many) of Trumpi. Whereas Hillary wasn't offering any real material change, and that was extremely obvious. "Make America Great Again" actually meant, "I'll make it great again for *you*". If he fails to do that, the natives will get restless.

mb

4:00 AM  
Anonymous Charlie said...

atl resident here ... this place is insane.

http://news.blog.ajc.com/2017/03/31/breaking-3-in-custody-in-connection-with-i-85-fire-bridge-collapse/

Oh good, they've arrested 3 hobos. Probably Muslim hobos. From Mexico. Certainly not people in desperate need of drug rehabilitation and mental health assistance.

http://www.thedrive.com/the-hammer/8825/the-domino-effect-of-the-atlanta-highway-collapse

9:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Charlie-

Yeah, probably Jewish Muslim hobos from Mexico. Really, I don't understand why Trump isn't requiring anyone who is not a white Christian to wear a yellow star. Meanwhile:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/01/european-citizens-have-never-had-it-so-good

mb

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Touchy said...

https://www.sciencenews.org/blog/growth-curve/touches-early-life-may-make-big-impact-newborn-babies-brains

Coming into our Senses

Touches early in life may make a big impact on newborn babies’ brains

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Schlomo said...

Here's an example of so many of the pathologies affecting America all in one video. And watch towards the end when you see the line of customers spaced out like zombies, trained by authoritarianism to never intervene for justice. The only one who tries to intervene is a foreign male who clearly is aware that if he intervenes too much he will be the one charged with a crime, in America.

https://m.liveleak.com/view?i=aa7_1490982861

10:38 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

The first paragraph in that "Good Morning America" essay reminds be of something I read yesterday (not for the first time, mind you):

"If there is hope, wrote Winston, it lies in the proles... But the proles, if only they could somehow become conscious of their own strength, would have no need to conspire. They needed only to rise up and shake themselves like a horse shaking off flies. If they chose they could blow the Party to pieces tomorrow morning. Surely sooner or later it must occur to them to do it? And yet-! "




"...All that was required of them was a primitive patriotism which could be appealed to whenever it was necessary..."

http://lolheaven.com/get-a-brain-morans/

10:42 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Charlie--that piece from The Drive is an outstanding assessment of the Atlanta freeway collapse that dramatically points out the real insanity of America's deliberate neglect of its infrastructure. In my lifetime, I've gone from taking a family vacation out west as a kid back in the mid-1970s and remembering how we had to frequently leave I-90 for the old two lane arteries because it was still under construction, to now seeing the whole Interstate highway system slowly begin to fall apart from old age. As the article states, just one bottleneck in the wrong place can throw a huge portion of America's entire transportation system into disarray, yet because of our refusal to pay taxes and our myopic shortsidedness, we've put ourselves in a position where one relatively minor incident can paralyze a whole region.

It's also hysterical the collapse is expected to really hurt the Atlanta Braves in the first season in their new stadium, given the monumentally stupid decision to place it in the suburbs of a metropolitan area that already has some of the nation's worst traffic, not to mention the corrupt way local officials jammed taxpayer financing of the stadium down the public's throat without even allowing a vote. For all of that, I would like to suggest that we WAFers begin a "Free The Atlanta Three" campaign on behalf of the hobos who started the fire. Our hats should be off to them for doing more to illustrate the absurdity of the American way of life in one day than any 100 prog websites do in a whole year.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Schlo-

Wonderful tape. What a true American this woman is! (vulgar and demented) Go, Suzy, go!

Touchy-

Good stuff, but not new. I covered some of this territory in 1989, in ch. 1 of CTOS.

mb

4:55 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

Trump's Rollback of Coal Rules Electrifies Wyoming Workers

"'It's not all rosy right now. But anytime you can see the future and know that the United States, you know, is working with you rather than against you, that alone is nice,' Gillette Mayor Louise Carter-King said. She predicts the community will 'come out of this bigger and better than ever' thanks to clean-coal technology and overseas exports."

https://apnews.com/838fcdc2344b403f98f59bc04050fee4/Trump's-rollback-of-coal-rules-electrifies-Wyoming-workers

China Outpaces India in Internet Access, Smartphone Ownership

"94% of Chinese ages 18 to 34 own a smartphone, compared with only three-in-ten Chinese age 50 and older."

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/03/16/china-outpaces-india-in-internet-access-smartphone-ownership/

Soon someone will have to make a Dark Ages China blog.

6:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

AS-

Well, looks like Trumpi is coming thru for the working classes. Go Trumpi!

As for China, I think I warned them abt this stuff, but did they listen? Check out my Preface to the Mandarin edn of WAF:

http://morrisberman.blogspot.mx/2013/08/preface-to-chinese-edition-of-why_29.html

mb

7:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pussy hats on the march!:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/03/31/its-time-to-drop-the-vagina-as-a-protest-symbol/?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-b%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.32ec92461e25

9:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

A great man has passed on:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/apr/01/yevgeny-yevtushenko-russian-poet-babi-yar-dies-84

9:21 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

MB, from the pussy hat on the march article:

"But that a gesture of solidarity was necessary to unite a fractured movement doesn’t mean it’s the appropriate way forward. The obvious problem with vagina-motif protest is that it leaves out some women — namely, trans women. Not all women have vaginas, and not all vagina-havers identify as women. A rhetorical strategy whose goal is universality falls short if it excludes some of the most marginalized women."

Omfg. I'm thinking all a prog can see as it engages in introspection is its own colon.



10:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

You need to check in w/a real handle; I don't post Anons. Thank you.

comrade-

Low pt of the essay, I agree; amazingly stupid. But she has some useful stuff to say abt the foolishness of the response to Trump, e.g. pussy hat marches. It's exactly that type of politically correct foolishness (among other things) that got him elected, and then the soft-headed progs respond to his election by running around in pussy hats and offering no political vision at all. America hasta be the dumbest population in the entire world. We need to expand the phrase 'dumbing down' to include the forces sucking us into the sewer.

I began documenting American idiocy in the Twilight bk, in 2000, and every year since then has revealed more astonishing acts of stupidity; until by now, these acts are breathtaking and everywhere, and occur practically on a daily basis. We have a president who is flailing around, having no clear idea of what he is doing, and protesters also flailing around, having no political clout nor even an idea of what political clout consists of. What I said earlier abt shadow boxing I think captures the situation fairly well: Americans have no more substance to them than characters in a Pinter play, or perhaps one by Pirandello. 'Turkeys' certainly does apply here: buffoons flapping their wings and squawking. It feels like the whole thing is abt to tip over into nothingness. Why *not* call 911 when McDonald's shorts you a burger? Why not fuck a van, or a goat, or a fence? Why not start screaming that a couple who kissed in public were engaging in sexual intercourse?

Creatively speaking, it might make sense to replace the legend on US currency--IN GOD WE TRUST--which is a bald faced lie--with WE HAVE SHIT FOR BRAINS--which is not.

mb

12:20 AM  
Blogger remo26 said...

In an interview with Ruth Ben-Ghiat, history prof. at NYU & author about Italian fascism, and described as leading figure in media battle against Trump, the following comment was posed. “One by-product of the constant need for control is loneliness at the top. Mussolini had many of his friends and supporters executed, including his son-in-law, and Trump, too, seems to operate within a narrow circle of supporters and family.”

She answers, “Democracy is based on trust. I was just reading a very interesting book by a German sociologist about the Nazi salute [Tilman Allert's 'The Hitler Salute: On the Meaning of a Gesture']. If you and I had run into each other on a Berlin street in the 1940s, we would have had to stop and raise our hand and say ‘Heil Hitler.’ So Hitler comes into our meeting; he’s an absent but very present third party. When that happens, the bonds of society are broken and people are set against each other. You use informers, you use conspiracy theories, secret police; people don’t know who to trust anymore. At the same time, it’s a double-edged sword because the leader himself begins to lose trust, and every associate is a potential enemy. That personality type also tends to be paranoid – they have a clan and kinship mentality.” She mentions the loyalty oath that Trump had at his rallies and the direct-reach Tweets as examples of creating these authoritarian bonds, while severing the ability for rational thinking.

- remo

4:31 AM  
Blogger bp said...

been listening to a number of your video presentations on you tube - I've quite enjoyed your point of view and insights - I myself spend 75% of my time out of the US - difficult for me to be there long - cognitive dissonance - I am in China and I agree it is sad to see the adoption of the US culture of consumerism - not sure where that will go - but for now I am always glad to see more of your presentations - only thing I would like to hear you speak more about is the collapse of capitalism across Western Civilization - I think this time around it will be a tad more than a collapse of the US Empire

5:21 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

bp-

On that subject, check out work of World Systems Analysis schl, e.g. Immanuel Wallerstein.

mb

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Just watched the video of the woman in the Santa Monica restaurant-needless to say, highly disturbing. But what I found even more disturbing is the boyfriend taking a video of the entire situation rather than protecting his girlfriend who I feel was under some danger especially as the crazed woman approached them. Really, what kind of boyfriend or even human is he who would rather capture the event on his tech-crap than making sure his girlfriend was safe? I personally couldn't imagine taking video in a similar situation. My girlfriend would surely have left me and rightly so.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan-

Yr probably rt, altho he might have felt that making a video and then letting it go viral wd be the best way to counter-attack. Perhaps the really best way, however, wd have been to have someone else video the scene, while he advanced on her and kept saying, "You're a douche bag," over and over. This might have possibly derailed the poor dear. Not much love in her life, I'm thinking.

mb

9:26 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Schlomo-

Many thanks for the Suzy tape! Wafers need to rally behind Suzy. There hasta be a position she could fill in the Trump admin.

Wafers-

I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but I want to share w/u all a recent experience. I was in downtown LA last week, and discovered that I was hungry. So I decided to drive over to Langer's Deli (corner of #7th and Alvarado) for lunch. As I approached the deli, I couldn't believe my eyes: hundreds of homeless, drugged-out, and destitute people were camped out all over the place. Families w/children are living in tents in McArthur Park. It was haunting sight; a sign of serious social neglect and moral failure that's sure to deepen. As I waited to turn onto 7th, a homeless man was in the process of taking a shit off the curb into the gutter right in front of Langer's. All the while, patrons were sitting inside the deli eating their #19. I tell ya guys, it was surreal. I was sickened and left kinda floundering as a result of all this, so I decided to split.

Miles

11:55 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Wow. I confess, I wd find it a tad difficult devouring pastrami in that context. I guess for a lot of Angelenos, it isn't a problem. This is a surreal scenario, as you say; I think we're going to see a lot more of them in the next few yrs. A kind of dystopian America is taking shape now, b4 our eyes, as has been chronicled in a # of novels by now, like "The Mandibles."

mb

12:03 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

"Boss Baby"...the highest grossing and most popular movie in America...this is what film art has descended to, and it's very fitting for a profoundly infantile culture.


http://usat.ly/2nLnc6s

1:32 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


"touches early in life may make a big impact on newborn babies’ brains."

Touchy, your post on "touch" is what MB calls "The Basic Fault" in CTOS.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3eLCUG2HPY

The lifelong consequence on an individual who was bereft of tender touch at a formative age is the same what happens to a nation. Amerika is the bastard child of the British who was, forget about tender anything, kicked in its mother's stomach before being born. The resulting sullen child was then banished from home -who later punched bloody its English parents and found "independence" on a distant land. Talk about THE-basic-fault!! The rest is history that became the realms of future psychologists for analysis. The basic-fault has no remedy, thus terminal. Amerika can't un-kick itself out of its basic damage. WAF ipso facto.

Here's OSHO on that subject: The child is crying for milk or the warmth of a hug, and you give him a pacifier.
http://www.osho.com/iosho/library/read-book/online-library-sexually-psychologically-money-2df14ed7-dc2?p=a129f5b7af30d0c9835ffca36a86a193

If you have ever hugged (please don't) an amerikn you'll literally feel his "basic fault." The flap-slapping you receive on your back is his way of showing discomfort, involuntarily telling you to leave his sulky carcass alone. Next time on an elevator try standing a bit closer (please don't) to an amerikn and sense her TBF vibe.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous erwin jennings said...

you libruls make me laugh. america ain't perfect but what countrys is? and george bush was one of the gratest presidents we ever had but maybe trump will do better still

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Suzanne said...

Good article on how the current generation of elite students have essentially empty brains:

http://www.mindingthecampus.org/2016/02/how-a-generation-lost-its-common-culture/


Also - McLuhan was right. With the rise of electronic media, we have truly entered a post-literate age:
https://thewalrus.ca/the-rising-tide-of-educated-aliteracy/

4:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Erwin-

I fear yr not very bright, my man. We make fun of liberals here, and we are pro-Trump, altho probably for different reasons than you. Why not find out the context in which u.r. operating b4 shooting off your mouth? Do you even know what 'context' means? I don't mean to offend you in any way, but the truth is that yr a turkey, a douche bag, and a piece of congealed vomit. Have a nice day. ps: Yr spelling is a total embarrassment, reflecting the goat turds lodged inside your (very small) cranium. But my feeling is that YOU are making America great again, so I'm excited to have you on the blog. Yr a moron, and a shithead.

Suzanne-

Great essay by Deneen. Of course, many writers have been saying much the same thing for decades, myself included, but it can't be said often enuf. In any case, I'm sure Erwin (see above) will appreciate it. I personally am waiting for his cutting-edge intellect to deconstruct it, defeat the 'libruls', and lead us to 'grate' insights. Go Erwin! You da man!

mb

6:12 PM  
Anonymous erwin jennings said...

yep i figgered you would make fun of me like libruls always do cause you can't come at me with anything else. course you wouldnt say shit like that to my face tough guy.

7:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Erwin-

Anything *else*? That wasn't bad enough? Jesus, you really are a dumb piece of dog poop. Just tell me what more it is you want, and I'll supply it. As far as saying it to yr (presumably ugly) face: the real problem is that when people see that face of yours, it's all they can do not to toss their cookies. In the meantime, stay on the blog; we 'libruls' love you! Oh, BTW, informal rule here: no more than one post every 24 hrs (can you count to 24, Erwin?). Yr a cockroach, Erwin; yr a carbuncle on the ass of humanity. You walk down the street, and people vomit in paper bags. Have you looked in a mirror lately? BTW, there's an apostrophe in 'wouldn't', and you need 'Of' before 'course'. Plus a comma after 'face'. And who says 'figgered'?What year was it you graduated Princeton, again?

mb

ps: For God's sakes, stay out of the gene pool!

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Capt. Spaulding (Hooray)! said...

Hey Dr. Berman --- I think Erwin's deliberately trolling you to provoke you. I suspect that the author, whoever she or he is, is self-consciously writing in "Redneckese" (for me, "figgered" is the giveaway) to get your goat. I'd ignore him/her/it - not worth a single second of your time.

Peace,

The Capt.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Capt.-

Yeah, I did figger that was what was going on, but I'm having too much fun to stop. My goat is really enjoying it. I love these people: they are what made America great, and hopefully they will restore the country to its former greatness. But I need your help: he apparently wants me to call him a turkey, douche bag, etc., to his face. This would also be fun. What do you think of the following conditions:

1. 1st of all, Erwin, I'm a Dodge City kinda guy. It hasta be guns, not fists. Altho if you do have a gun, you might save yourself a bit of trouble if you were to blow yr brains out in advance of our meeting.

2. We shall meet 1 wk from today in front of the cathedral in Guadalajara, at noon. You will pay my airfare to Guadalajara, in advance.

3. You will wear a large sign around your neck saying YO SOY UNA PIEZA DE MIERDA.

Did I leave anything out?

mb

9:24 PM  
Anonymous Capt. Spaulding (Hooray)! said...

Yes, Dr. Berman, you did:


4. Does your face look anything like this? [Insert photo of Dylann Roof, Shaneka Torres, Lorenzo Riggins, etc.]

- Capt.

9:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Now hold yr horses there, Capt.: Let's not put Shaneka and Lorenzo (both of whom I love) in the same category as a mass murderer, por favor. I mean, all Lorenzo did was call 911 because McDonald's shorted him a burger. OK, he's no Einstein, but at least he didn't kill 9 people in church. And Shaneka...well, she probably needs an anger management course, plus a free supply of bacon for the rest of her life (McDonald's left the bacon off of her cheeseburger by accident).

However, I will say this, wh/I've said b4: a very large % of the American population is both violent and stupid, and there's lots of data to back that up. (E.g., 24% say it's OK to use violence in the pursuit of yr goals--this from a poll of a few yrs back. This is just scratching the surface.) MLK once said that the most dangerous thing in the world was the combination of anger and stupidity. He was talking abt Bull Connor, of course, but in one way or another, Bull and Erwin are representative, icons of America. There's a basic spectrum in the US of violence/stupidity, and depending on the degree, most Americans fall somewhere on that spectrum. Erwin is thirsting for a fight, because that's all he knows; he's also as dumb as a bag of hammers. As we progress along the spectrum, we finally arrive at Dylann Roof, Charles Whitman, and Lt. Calley. Calley murdered people who wrote poetry on a daily basis when he, like Bull or Erwin, didn't even know what poetry was. It's eerie to think abt it, but this *is* America. (Think of the crowds that lined up to see "American Sniper"; you can bet Erwin saw it several times. He ain't no aberration, this guy. He and many other Americans wd give Calley a medal.)

mb

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Vincent in Auvers said...

Suzanne,

I can confirm that most of these “elite” students are indeed quite vapid. Lots of ambition, confidence, and highly specialized knowledge, but completely devoid of character—literally a bunch of clones. I always had one of the classics to read with me on the shuttle ride into school, and I saw maybe three or four people my entire time there reading anything of substance. Usually they had their ears plugged up with music or were browsing Pokemon or social media nonsense on their phones. And these were graduate students! There were a few exceptions, though. I did overhear some kids (undergrads) discussing Montaigne, and I spoke with a couple of girls who had read Kafka, Camus, and the Frankfurt School authors. What I noticed was that the really smart ones either weren’t what you would call conventionally attractive or were struggling with mental problems. It makes sense, I suppose. I mean, if you’re attractive or socially well adjusted, you’re going to be well received by society and so there isn’t much incentive to spend your youth in books. Some of the most well-rounded and intelligent people are those who have been overlooked by society for whatever reason—they turn to literature, philosophy, art, history, etc. in part as consolation for not being able to partake of the good life. As for the rest of them being non-judgmental, that’s just bunkum. Come from the wrong social class, and they won’t hesitate to make their displeasure for you known. Doesn’t matter if they know you’re more intelligent—if you don’t have the privileged background and the shiny exterior, you’re scum on the bottom of their designer boots.

10:44 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Miles--why do you hate America? Don't you realize it is verboten to even acknowledge a homeless person unless and until such time as they accidentally set a fire that destroys a major freeway artery? I'd suggest immediate counselling to get rid of your feelings, as they will do you no good in Trumpenstan.

Speaking of which, here's an update on the freeway fire. It seems the homeless guy who set it was smoking crack at the time. What's interesting are two of the other top headlines on the local Atlanta TV website's new story. One states that several Georgia counties are passing new work requirements for food stamp recipients, virtually guaranteeing that there will be more people forced into homelessness, who might then start major fires. But the "Most Popular" story is about how grotesquely obese reality TV subject Mama June, who lost her trailer trash freak show because she allowed her boyfriend to sexually molest her daughter, is now SKINNY! Because that's what's really important in this freak show of a fucking country:

http://www.cbs46.com/story/35036795/major-fire-breaks-out-on-i-85-in-atlanta#ixzz4cxOUMULJ

Free The Atlanta Three!

11:20 PM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

@Miles Deli: What you witnessed in LA is now so glaringly obvious that it even manages to garner a mention in the nation's "newspaper of record".

7:00 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...


Former president of Uruguay Jose Mujica has died.

http://elpulso24.com/2017/03/27/america-de-luto-muere-el-expresidente-jose-mujica-en-un-hospital-de-california-a-sus-82-anos/

He was a humble, principled, compassionate man. I can't think of another national leader like him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GX6a2WEA1Q

7:11 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Somebody asked me for link to my essay on Dual Process, but sent it to an old post. Here is the link:

http://morrisberman.blogspot.mx/2016/05/dual-process-only-game-in-town.html

In future, pls send messages to latest post; no one reads the older stuff. Thank you.

8:04 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Waferinos-

I have gd news. A small, hi-quality publisher has agreed to publish my next bk, a collection of essays entitled *Are We There Yet?*. The Span trans will be out in Jan., so I'm hoping that the English version will get done b4 2017 is out. More on this later. In the meantime, I need to crack out the champagne and the chopped liver.

mb

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Julia said...

https://longreads.com/2017/04/03/building-in-the-shadow-of-our-own-destruction/

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

anecdote of dual process:

I work @ a wildlife rehab center in the Southeast. I've been getting to know a beautiful female coworker, and after giving her a fav book of mine, she gave me a copy of her favorite, Narcissus and Goldmund by Herman Hesse. I'd never read this one, and it's all about the artistic and monastic life...be still my heart!

ever read it MB? I'm taking her out on a date this wkend to see a concert of the composer John Luther Adams' 'Songbirdsongs'. A renchantment of MY world!

I would call this an exceptionally singular week in the USA

1:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Michael-

Yes, I read it long ago, along w/several other of Hesse's works. Good luck on yr date; hopefully she'll leave her cell fone at home.

Julia-

I think Woody Allen referred to it as "Ozymandias mencholia."

mb

1:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Michael: Sorry, melancholia.

4:15 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB-

Congratulations on publication on your new collection of essays, MB. I will most certainly look forward to reading the book. Probably too late, but perhaps Erwin could learn a few things from it, no? Jesus H. Christ, Erwin hasta be one of the most abominable trollfoons to ever show up here. WTF? Another day, another douche bag, I tell ya. I'm pullin' for u in Guadalajara, BTW.

MB, Wafers-

Sorry, my previous post should read MacArthur Park.

Michael-

Nothing better than springtime Wafer luv. Yr new gal sounds like a keeper, let us know how it goes... "Demian" is my favorite Hesse book.

Mister Roboto-

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto, for the article on the homeless of LA.

Bill-

Should Wafers write to President Putin and ask if he can take over soon? I stand at the ready w/my Kalashnikov.

Comrade Miles

5:13 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

"A Bridgeport man said he was reaching for his wallet to pay his restaurant bill when he shot himself in the buttocks."

http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Reaching-for-his-wallet-diner-shoots-self-in-11030727.php

Louisiana man opens fire on a woman and her toddler:

http://www.wwltv.com/news/local/st-bernard/police-man-opens-fire-on-woman-toddler/427534820

Five Men Shot at Pittsburg Birthday Party

http://m.sfgate.com/crime/article/Five-men-shot-at-Pittsburg-birthday-party-11044575.php?cmpid=reddit-mobile

"Police in Paterson say they have seized an assault weapon from a man who was using it to threaten a family member."

http://www.dailyprogress.com/police-man-threatened-family-member-with-assault-weapon/article_e808de8f-1bd6-56d3-aba9-b131d7395f02.html

Mass shooting stats so far for 2017:

- 106 verified mass shootings
- 161 people killed
- 340 people wounded
- 501 total casualties (killed & wounded)

An average of 1.21 mass shootings per day

https://www.reddit.com/r/GunsAreCool/comments/631d0q/here_are_your_march_2017_shooting_figures_america/

5:29 PM  
Blogger Edward Miessner said...

mb,

From my comment on your previous post: yes, it's happening everyday now.

On a possible nervous breakdown for USAian society, some one named 'Quinn' has something to say, but to paraphrase GW Bush, in included some weird shit about "Red State Americans" going after "Blus State Liberals" that got the Automatic Earth to include a snippet several days ago:

https://www.theburningplatform.com/2017/03/28/second-foundation-empire-crumbling/

https://www.theautomaticearth.com/2017/03/debt-rattle-march-30-2017/

5:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Many thanks, but in future pls watch length.

Note to Erwin-

Sorry, man; couldn't post it; it violates 24-hr rule. Shit, I *knew* you cdn't count to 24! Man, what a dummy you are. Look, Erwin, I'm going to level w/u: you are hurting, and you know it. I actually say this with some compassion. Why wd u even be bothering w/me, really? I'm a minor intellectual figure who isn't even on the radar screen in the US. My articles don't get published, by and large; my bks barely sell. There are a ton of folks out there you might pick as reasonable targets: Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, Ralph Nader, etc.; but you pick *me*, a relative nonentity? Wake up, bro; this is absurd.

But the hurting part is the real issue here. Let's face it: yr not very bright (you know this), and yr life hasn't really amounted to very much. There are things you might be able to do to change your situation, but rather than go inside and search your soul, and try to deal with those things, you project your self-hatred outward. You identify w/Geo Bush because he is a very similar type of guy: an alcoholic, empty, with a deep inferiority complex, who murdered huge #s of innocent people to swagger, to show he was a man. You do the same thing, amigo; you didn't fight in Iraq or anywhere else. Like that whole crowd--Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz--yr a chicken hawk. Yr not a man, Erwin, and that haunts you.

I'm not yr problem! YOU are yr problem. So sure, let's say we met in front of the cathedral in Guadalajara, and you blew me away. Not likely, but let's say you did it. What wd you have accomplished? The next morning you wd still hafta get up, look in the bathroom mirror, and see the truth: a quite ugly motherfucker whose life hasn't amounted to very much, and is not likely to. Is that what you really want?

You won't take any advice from me, of course, but let me suggest a path for you, a path with a heart, even tho it will be ignored:

1. Jesus, man, get yrself some education. There are extension courses and community colleges everywhere. You simply don't want to remain as dumb and clueless as you are. You show up on this blog and tell me that we are all liberals and anti-Trump. Had you read anything on the blog beforehand? Most of us crap on liberals and are genuinely happy Trump defeated the super-douche. Why not take some courses in sociology, or American history?

2. Find a decent therapist and begin the process of dealing with all that pain and anger you've got bottled up inside. It's a shitty way to live. Do you really want to be bitter and friendless on yr deathbed? Do you really want yr last words to be, "Ha ha, that Berman, I showed *him*!" Wd that amount to a satisfying life, do you think? Your hero, Bush, lives like that, and is to be pitied--as are you. But you don't have to waste the rest of yr life as a broken, angry, and very uncreative human being. Change is possible, and you need to give it a shot.

3. Don't waste yr time w/this blog, or any other blog. It won't improve your life one iota. Instead, why not go abt crafting a real life for yourself. Why not take up tennis, or study French? Jesus, there's so much more to life than spleen, and I'm hoping you come to see that.

So farewell, my friend; I do wish you the best. You think I'm yr enemy, but yr better off looking within. Good luck.

mb

5:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

AS-

Good info, thanks. In future, pls watch length.

AS, Ed-

At this pt anyone who thinks America has a future has rocks in his/her head. Here's another clear sign of our disintegration:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/02/unwanted-advances-on-campus-us-university-professor-laura-kipnis-interview

mb

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Mauricio,

Good to hear you're putting out another book. Are We There Yet. I remember a couple of weeks ago when I read you weren't going to write another book, feeling sad at what felt like such a loss to all of us and your wider audience.

So congrats on a book of essays.

Marianne

7:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

M-

No, I meant another bk past *this* one. I finished this a while back, and have been going thru the usual struggle of trying to find a publisher. Finally, I got a bite. But that's it. This is bk #14, and I've had it. I'll still do articles, lectures, interviews, the blog; but as for bks: outta the question. Too much hassle, and then all of 56 people read it anyway. I'm done. It's yoga, Italian, and classical guitar for me.

mb

7:31 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Congratulations Morris! Looking forward to buying and reading your new book.

8:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Dan-

I haven't read much of the work of S.Y. Agnon (Nobel Prize, 1966), but there's an interesting profile of him by Robt Alter in the April 6 issue of the NYRB. This also looks interesting:

https://www.amazon.com/Only-Yesterday-S-Y-Agnon/dp/0691095442/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1491277285&sr=1-1&keywords=agnon+only+yesterday

Unfortunately, priced too high for me to buy it...

mb

11:47 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Hey Erwin--before you go, I've done you a huge solid, dude. Found you a potential life partner, in fact. Don't know how old you are, but this chick is 57. If you're around the same age, or just dig older women, I'm tellin' ya, she's your perfect match. Just click on the link below and check out that classic American face. She a hottie, man, a real cougar who purrs like a jaguar.

And from what I can tell, you two probably have similar interests. She almost certainly voted for Bush twice, and given the Tangerine Dream Dictator's tenuous grasp on reality and determination to only believe stories he reads on his good buddy Alex Jones's Infowars, she no doubt climbed on the Trumpster bandwagon before it even hit Iowa.

And I gotta tell you, man, I down with her on that whole Sandy Hook parents thing. I mean, fuck those people getting all whiny about their first graders getting blasted at school. The little brats shouldn't have gotten in the way of Adam Lanza's bullets, amirite? Anyway, send us all a postcard from your honeymoon at Dollywood--I mean, of course, after the blushing bride finishes up her jail time an' all. Good luck, buddy!

http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/brandon-woman-jailed-for-missing-court-in-sandy-hook-threats-case/2318914?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

11:55 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Interesting article on a Gallup poll about what Americans are worried about. Among Americans making $30,000 or less a year, 67% worry a great deal about hunger and homelessness, the highest percentage ever recorded by Gallup since they started asking the question in 2001. Even more affluent Americans are reporting increased worries about hunger and homelessness.

See: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/04/wolf-richter-economy-ruined-many-americans.html

12:09 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...


The article included in my comment from a day or two ago about the death of former president of Uruguay, Jose Mujica, was fake news! WAFers did not say anything about it, and if nobody looked at the article that's just as well. Mujica is alive and (presumably) well.

This sets the record straight :

http://www.montevideo.com.uy/contenido/Las-redes-sociales-matan-a-Jose-Mujica-por-segunda-vez-en-dos-meses-338877

a couple of excerpts from Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_Mujica) :

"In September 2013, Mujica addressed the United Nations General Assembly, with a very long speech devoted to humanity and globalization. The speech called on the international community to strengthen efforts to preserve the planet for future generations and highlighted the power of the financial systems and the impact of economic fallout on ordinary people. He urged a return to simplicity, with lives founded on human relationships, love, friendship, adventure, solidarity and family, instead of lives shackled to the economy and the markets."

" On 1 March 2015, Mujica's term as president came to an end. According to BBC correspondent Wyre Davies, 'Mujica left office with a relatively healthy economy and with social stability those bigger neighbours could only dream of.' "

If Mujica had known Lewis Mumford they would have been friends.

3:39 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Marc-

The guy's a Wafer, no doubt abt it.

mb

5:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Meanwhile, Americans are stupid; Mexicans are smart:

http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/03/news/economy/mexico-pivots-eu-trade-talks/index.html

http://money.cnn.com/2017/02/14/news/economy/mexico-is-turning-away-from-us/?iid=EL



5:37 AM  
Blogger David Parent said...

Hello Wafers and Morris Berman hope your all doing well,
I have been following John Bellamy Foster since the late 1990's and I think this well written item(link below) says it all about just how screwed the USA and the rest of the planet is! But the only thing it does not postulate is the Election of Donald Trump is the tipping point for Human/Western Civilization (if it ever exist at all) plunging off cliff into the abyss to dark times and all encompassing doom!

https://environmentaljusticetv.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/trump-against-the-planet/

Now for a more local context we here in Vancouver Canada have major housing crisis..for the average Joe the city is already becoming way to expensive to find place to live with one bedroom apts. going for 1700 to 2200 Cdn a month. Yet all levels of govt have got their head buried in slow moving glacier up here in Canada meanwhile all big rich Puke developers are getting in on the action and by doing so driving artificially cost of housing even higher because of scarcity of rental Apts. This is crazy because everyone in Canada knows to survive you need to have a roof over your head in the Great White North.
http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/matt-robinson-silence-from-big-vancouver-developer-suspected-of-illegal-short-term-rentals

6:44 AM  
Anonymous S Tate said...

http://m.motherjones.com/environment/2016/12/tumbleweeds-attack-stroomer

some analogy in there

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

American movie habits have not changed. In 1966, Dean Martin came out with the 2nd Matt Helm movie, Murderer's Row. It made more money than Blow-up, A Man and a Woman, and Harper. As for students reading, I've been a substitute teacher since September mostly in high schools and can count on one hand how many students took the opportunity to read or catch up on a previous lesson. All were involved in some form of techno-crap. What was even more disturbing was to see recently arrived Asian students equally involved with their phones. Not to engage in stereotypical thinking, but aren't Asians, especially newcomers, supposed to be highly studious? Needless to say, among high school students Gresham's law certainly applies-bad drives out good.
Yes, great essay by Deneen. But I think before asking who taught Plato, you might need to ask do you know who Plato was? Doctor, thanks for the S.Y. Agnon information. I'll look at it shortly.

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Swampman said...

Good to see you again Bill Hicks

11:13 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Here's an interesting bk: Michael Hamilton Morgan, "Lost History".

From Omar Khayyam:

"Both thou and I are born alike
Though some may sink and some may soar
We are all earth and nothing more."

mb

3:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Progs call for this, progs call for that! They've got Trumpi quaking in his boots:

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/04/no-walls-no-war-no-warming-progressives-call-priorities-shift

5:16 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB & Wafers,

Well, if I were President Kushner, I would order a series of aerial dronings on progressive sanctuary cities. Indeed, LA, NYC, and perhaps SF for good measure would be selected to face complete and utter obliteration. I mean let's get going already! I wanna see major displacement; horrific maiming; economic chaos; street fighting and rebellion.

Miles

ps: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qK5N2LavUZQ

5:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

It's really a drag, innit? I was all set to see some major shit, and instead Trumpi is just flailing around in some incoherent fashion. Which I realize is part of the decline, but the fact that he hasn't rounded up all nonwhite nonChristians and made them wear yellow stars and stuck them in detention camps in Idaho is vastly disappointing. As for Chuck: wish I had a shirt like that! I wd call it my anti-prog shirt. It's light yrs from a pussy hat.

mb

6:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

I'm trying to figure out in what way the gringos involved in this shdn't rightly be labeled war criminals:

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2017/apr/04/the-american-expats-moving-into-the-mexican-riviera-and-breaking-up-indigenous-communities

6:28 PM  
Blogger bp said...

thanks for the link to Dual Process lecture - I am rather a luddite, but would like to see you twitter as then I could keep up with what you have to say easier - yes, I know easier for me maybe not so easy for you

7:55 PM  
Blogger C. J. Timmins said...

Ladies and gentlemen, my fellow Wafers, we have ourselves a new arbiter of the progressive miasma. Of course it takes a soda ad, starring a frickin Kardashian. "It is a tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury Signifying nothing." ABSOLUTELY nothing: http://nymag.com/thecut/2017/04/kendall-jenner-uses-the-trump-backlash-to-sell-pepsi.html

Now if that doesn't motivate revolution, I don't know what will. As long as it looks and sounds good, like an Obama speech, the progs will gladly listen.

10:17 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Looks like philosopher Richard Rorty was a WAFER too..


https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/19/donald-trump-us-election-prediction-richard-rorty

10:25 PM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

On the lack of literature readership,
Kids don't read literary classics; And even if they did- would they understand them? Dante's Divine Comedy was published in a time where literacy rates were only 10% in Italy. Did that mean that most Italians had no critical thinking faculties or were bad citizens? The printing press didn't come about until the middle 1400's- literacy for most of history was a privilege of the ruling class, nobles, priests and the wealthy bourgeoisie. It wasn't until late 1800's that literacy surpassed 80% of the American population. The white and well off early colonists had a literacy of 100% yet their indentured peasants and slaves weren't afforded the same privilege. Isn't controlling access to knowledge a method of controlling the masses? Is full literacy in the best interests of the ruling classes? Literacy rates have never been as high as they are today- more than 90% of Americans know how to read and write and do basic math(that doesn't mean they can fully understand a classic, though)- yet things aren't as good as we could have envisioned. Reading isn't enough. Were all of the French Revolutionaries 100% literate? Not likely. Knowing how to organize a political action to solve a common community problem requires identifying the problem together. It could be that what is missing today is the face and face interaction in public spaces where citizens can discuss their problems, form into groups and find political solutions. Consumerism and now technology killed the face to face public space distracting us with endless entertainment. Had the MLK's civil rights uprising happened any later than it did it might have run the same fate as BLM did today- peter out.

10:44 PM  
Anonymous Vincent in Auvers said...

Congrats on the new book, MB. I still haven’t read Neurotic Beauty yet but thinking of picking up a copy. I’ve always felt an affinity with Asians here in the US temperamentally speaking. I don’t know much about Japanese culture—my exposure is limited to Kurosawa films, Tanizaki novels, and owning a lovely little Japanese tea set which I use to prepare matcha—but it seems to be (or to have been) a lot more refined than what passes for culture here. I recently took an Asian art history course and we learned about the ancient Japanese tea ceremony called Sado, or the Way of Tea, which emphasizes attention to detail and the comfort of one’s guests. It takes three pourings to get through one cup with my little set—really slows the mind down. I’m looking forward to learning some of the history of the country and how modernity has tainted things.

John: I just saw your post. It sounds like you know what’s up. For me, the hatred isn’t immediate. The first response is something like fear, followed by anger for making them feel uncomfortable. They will either refuse to look me in the eye when I engage them or will look at the ground and quickly walk past to avoid any interaction, but the main motivation appears to be discomfort with themselves. I don’t think I have it nearly as bad as African Americans do in this country, though in some sense I now understand what it is they must deal with on a daily basis. It really is funny, though. I’m tall but very slender and kind of boyish and frail looking; a lot of women could probably overpower me without too much effort. To see these big, burly, 6’2”, 250-pound muscle heads panic when they see me is hilarious. It’s like those old cartoons with the elephant tiptoeing around the mouse. Here’s an article which captures this insularity and its effects quite nicely:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/04/dina-nayeri-ungrateful-refugee

1:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

Actually, I predicted the rise of fascism in America in CTOS (1989), but without the remarkable specificity of Rorty. He did see the ultimate consequences of political correctness, for one thing.

mb

1:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Where are the pussy hats, I ask you?:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/04/05/why-would-millennial-men-prefer-stay-at-home-wives-race-and-feminism/?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-a%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.a548d36d0f7a

9:52 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Meanwhile, where do Americans put their attention? On relations of power? On social inequality? Environmental degradation? No; on the possible racial nuances of a Pepsi ad. Sigh.

mb

9:55 AM  
Anonymous COS said...

Now for a bit of sanity in academia....Maybe an offering by MB in Mexico city along similar lines. I think the latter would be a hit by the way. Fun and yes a moneymaker:)

http://www.thedp.com/article/2017/03/penn-7-hour-class-on-existential-despair-this-fall

10:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

cos-

Definitely my kinda guy. It's a drop of health in an ocean of shit, but what the heck.

mb

10:58 AM  
Blogger Frantisek Panuskova said...

MB and Wafers,
Preparing for my voluntary remigration this summer and sorting through my books, I came across Alfred Döblin's "Destiny's Journey" (Schicksalsreise). Read it again. Like many WWII Jewish/left intellectual Germans he was forced to undertake more than one escape. First, in 1933 at age 55, from Berlin to Paris. In 1940, at 62 with his wife and young son, from Paris to the south of France and via Spain and Portugal out of Europe. With many other refugees he then traveled on the Greek ship Nea Hellas to New York and crossed the continent to L.A. Organizing all (wartime) travel permits, exit-, transit-, entry visas and passenger tickets - all of which have short term expiration dates and some inter-dependencies - when you are out of money, homeless, hungry, in a maelstrom of other refugees and have a deadly enemy at your heels, must have been a nerve-wrecking and emotionally exhausting bureaucratic hell. Not sure I would have survived. Better get some of these things organized before all hell brakes lose.

Not getting any easier though. Heard from a US friend in the Netherlands that since December it has become more difficult obtaining residence status there. Another acquaintance tried the UK and could not get in.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Karl Kolchak said...

MB--this quote from the last WaPo article yo posted caught my attention:

"Part of the reason that today’s young adults are less likely to hold egalitarian gender attitudes regarding the division of family life is that minorities, especially Hispanics, make up a growing share of American millennials. (snip) Here, Hispanic families’ long-standing embrace of male breadwinning and female homemaking stands in tension with American progressivism’s commitment to gender equality in the home."

That ties into a post-election analysis I read in which the writer, a Clinton campaign volunteer, encountered a young Hispanic female voter who as a devout Catholic was planning to vote for Trump because of Hillary's "extreme" position on abortion. So much for the prog fantasy that demographic shifts in the form of tens of millions of new Hispanic voters will create a permanent Democratic majority. How ironic is it that the same group of dimwits who disdain the strong religious beliefs of white working class Americans have managed to overlook how the devout Catholicism of most Hispanics is likely to also make them take a dim view of pussy hat politics?

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Good "Postman-esque" essay here:

https://thebaffler.com/the-poverty-of-theory/the-real-world-trump-edition

"Reality is just a marketing ploy in a world where we accept that everything, even our personal interactions, is already drenched in artifice, and the real competition is over which artifice can stir up the most stuff inside us before we get bored. "

11:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Karl-

Black people may not be all that different from Hispanics, in that way, I dunno. It's true, they mostly voted for Hillary, but in terms of traditional vs. 'progressive' ways of living one's life, the former may win out. Pussy hats may finally be abt rich white privilege. On a world scale, I read a few yrs back, feminism has made a dent only among a kind of elite, academic segment of the population. The majority don't share those views or goals.

I think a major error of progs, certainly of Marxists, is the belief that history has a meaning, specifically, progress. But progress can be defined in various ways, and in any case, if there is progress in history (and I believe there is), this doesn't mean that history is essentially abt progress.

mb

12:52 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

"Actually, I predicted the rise of fascism in America in CTOS (1989), but without the remarkable specificity of Rorty. He did see the ultimate consequences of political correctness, for one thing."

America is already a fascist society IMO. The fascism is simply implemented in a bottom-up manner with minimal use of overt violence.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gig-

That's true, but I was thinking of a more overt variety, such as that of Hitler or Mussolini. Another terrorist attack cd bring that on, but in any case, we seem to be drifting in a totalitarian direction.

mb

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

"On a world scale, I read a few yrs back, feminism has made a dent only among a kind of elite, academic segment of the population. The majority don't share those views or goals."

I remember a few years back watching a documentary on the BBC about the British presence in Afghanistan. There was a clip of a HM Government initiative to teach Afghan women about equality, and the Afghan women themselves just looked confused. I suspect more than anything, it encouraged their menfolk to keep their mortars and RPG's well maintained.

One of the strangest aspects of progressives is that they have this unreflexive belief that progressivism is somehow non-Western, that its taste for anti-Western rhetoric obviates the fact that it is seeped in a specifically Western eschatology. On the contrary, it seems to me that the most successful and permanent forms of Western imperialism are the various mutant crackpot Marxist ideologies exported to the Third World. Cambodia could certainly have done without Nixon's illegal bombing campaign, but it even more could have done without Pol Pot's Parisian education.

2:20 PM  
Blogger Edward Miessner said...

MB,

About Professor Laura Kipnis, I didn't know the Title IX enforcement has gotten that messy! And the universities have gotten themselves a right inquisition, they have. WHY are prog millenials such easy-to-melt snowflakes???

Anyway I have a few more tidbits:

One from The Automatic Earth about people having to take steps down on the socioeconomic ladder when their job or life situation changes:

https://www.theautomaticearth.com/2017/04/the-american-dream-twice-removed/

And two articles about the mass hysteria over Vladimir Putin and Russia among the progressive left, aka Putin Derangement Syndrome, with no connection to reality -- it's gotten so bad that progs think the FBI, the CIA and the NSA are the good guys!:

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/03/deep-state-works-good-guys-170330124521027.html

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/taibbi-putin-derangement-syndrome-arrives-w474771

2:24 PM  
Anonymous A Fun Guy said...

https://www.amazon.com/Mushroom-End-World-Possibility-Capitalist/dp/0691162751

Ursula Le Guin wrote a very nice review, a la dual process

"Scientists and artists know that the way to handle an immense topic is often through close attention to a small aspect of it, revealing the whole through the part. In the shape of a finch's beak we can see all of evolution. So through close, indeed loving, attention to a certain fascinating mushroom, the matsutake, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing discusses how the whole immense crisis of ecology came about and why it continues. Critical of simplistic reductionism, she offers clear analysis, and in place of panicked reaction considers possibilities of rational, humane, resourceful behavior. In a situation where urgency and enormity can overwhelm the mind, she gives us a real way to think about it. I'm very grateful to have this book as a guide through the coming years."

2:50 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

Has Trump found the one thing that can unite all of America behind him?

https://www.rt.com/usa/383624-trump-syria-red-line/

Every so often a Gulf of Tonkin or a WMD has to be pulled out to rationalize the American public's urge for racist genocide (as Doug Valentine put it). Carpet bombing Syria may be the one thing the President can do to get Michael Moore & Rachel Maddow into the Trump coalition. Perhaps as the white phosphorus rains down over Damascus, even Chomsky will don a Make America Great Again cap (he did, after all, support Obama's attack on Libya).

3:15 PM  
Blogger Arthur V. said...

I just saw the Pepsi ad online. Really, don't people have more important things to complain about? Apparently not.

On another topic: Monday's Hedges column ended with the statement that those who resist will be crushed by force. I'm at a loss to figure out what the hell he is talking about at this point. First, we must revolt, but non-violently, of course. But it will be crushed by the state using force which we (the revoltees, I guess) can not respond to using force of our own in self defense at the very least. If anyone can make sense of this, please explain it to me.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Art-

Hedges has gotten to the pt that he has very little idea of what he's talking abt. This is sometimes known as ideological incoherence. But I hafta admit, the article you cite is one of his better ones, if only for (basically) admitting that there is no hope and that we are in a no exit situation. Saying that the revoltees will be crushed by force is very different from his earlier calls for revolt or revolution. I'm hoping he won't revert to the latter position, and will stick to his guns, that we are doomed. He now has one more step to take that is almost impossible for progs: to say, "It's Over," and mean it. Because once you say that, you move into the maturity of the declinist camp; and if you *really* have guts, you pack yr bags and leave.

Meanwhile, we continue to drown in dreck. Pepsi ads, Title IX inquisitions, Putinian conspiracy theories (no attn. paid to how we've interfered in the elections of foreign countries, Russia included), and the like. This American Life, indeed, if you can call it life. We have a turkey country filled w/turkey people marching toward Thanksgiving.

mb

5:45 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

AS-

Chomsky recently stated that America will most likely experience some sort of false-flag operation. The result of which will be used by Trump to maintain power and scapegoat Muslims. Too many conspiracies to keep up with, I suppose. In any event, you raise an important point: war being the great unifier. While riding around in my car, listening to talk radio, it was disheartening how many callers were calling in demanding to go to war w/Assad over the suspect sarin gas attacks. To be expected from ordinary American jackasses, to be sure, but now Trumpi looks like he's gonna get sucked into the same deep- state neocon pressure cooker that has dominated Washington for the past quarter century or more. Jesus, I held a slim hope that Trump would actually wake the fucking country up to the fact that the CIA and the think tank neocons are the real problem. Now, however, Trump's inner circle seems to be a revolving door and finds itself in shambles. We'll see how it all plays out. I'm probably wildly off-base, but my money's on Jared Kushner to emerge as someone w/an actual brain; possibly a pragmatic subtle thinker inside the admin who *might* apply the brakes and retard the war machine.

Miles

7:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

It's the inherent goodness of America that we must always keep in mind:

http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-iraq-mosul-casualties-20170405-story.html

9:07 PM  
Blogger bp said...

MB,
thanks for posting the link for your lecture on Dual Process - I enjoyed it -- have you ever read "Process and Reality" by Alfred North Whitehead - always of interest to me how world views change - I would say that there is some congruence between our views of what is happening around us, though, we have come at it from different perspectives - mine mostly from an economic/financial perspective - I would call what is happening is the death of the US$, i.e., the world reserve petrodollar empire - same end result - collapse of capitalism and the US empire - a necessity since transformation was unacceptable to those that control the status quo - keep up the "documenting of the decline", though I think things will speed up and decline faster than you seem to think

8:43 AM  
Blogger David said...

The Pepsi "tempest in a teacup" is indicative the nation is mired in polemics without grandeur, as the Mexican writer Octavio Paz used to state. Let's not get into Kim Kardashian's derriere.........

10:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

David-

Deep inside of Kim's rump, you will find the future of America. The Pepsi flap is just one more indication of our decline. As Christopher Lasch once wrote, having discovered, in the 60s, that we had no power to change the things that really matter, we decided to pour our energies into changing the things that really don't. The progs are amazing: in the face of hard evidence that political correctness obsession was a major factor in Trump's victory, they press on w/political correctness!

bp-

The term Wafer comes from WAF, my bk Why America Failed, and refers to folks who are fans of the book. But in larger terms, Wafers are those on the planet w/the most evolved consciousness, the most spiritually advanced. We now have 171 registered Wafers--best people on earth--and 323 million 'others'; for example, progs. Note: post only once every 24 hrs, thank you.

mb

11:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This makes sense, rt?:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2017/04/06/his-application-essay-for-stanford-writing-blacklivesmatter-100-times-he-got-in/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_stanford-930pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.c4c7750b01b5

Note that he was also accepted by Yale and Princeton. I guess these places have much to be proud of.

I'm reminded of Mao praising some student during the Cultural Revolution for turning in, as a thesis, 400 blank pages. Apparently, it was supposed to be some sort of Zen statement.

Honestly, it gets worse every day.

mb

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Vincent in Auvers said...

Juliet: I’ve never really seen reading as something one should do to become a better citizen. The greatest benefit to reading is that it enables one to see past such antiquated notions and to see oneself foremost as a human being. The best books capture something universal about the human experience—they shift our consciousness away from these petty allegiances (see the passage from Nietzsche I quoted above about the encumbrances of state) and at least temporarily elevate us above our social conditioning so that we can become something better. One can read, say, the works of Dostoyevsky and see in characters like Alyosha Karamazov or Prince Myshkin models for rejecting the way we’ve been conditioned to treat one another as means rather than ends. Or one can read a Hesse novel and see that the labels we use to define ourselves are completely arbitrary.

I guess what I take issue with is the idea that the end goal of humanity should be stable civil societies—this is a bourgeois prejudice which leads to what Nietzsche called “miserable ease,” a people so devoted to the preservation of their material well-being that they end up creatively, intellectually, and spiritually neutered. You’re right that most people probably don’t have the intellectual capacity to be able to get anything out of the classics, but the ones who do—the ones who can set new patterns for those who don’t—aren’t exercising it. And these aren’t kids but full-grown adults. I was probably more well-read than any of my professors. How can these people expect to teach others when they don't know very much themselves? This little scene kind of sums up academia as I see it:

http://tinyurl.com/jsl8xgy

11:40 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

One of the strangest aspects of progressives is that they have this unreflexive belief that progressivism is somehow non-Western, that its taste for anti-Western rhetoric obviates the fact that it is seeped in a specifically Western eschatology.

A very poignant observation. It is exactly this type of thinking that leads to so-called feminists chanting Allahu Akbar at a rally in Berlin.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


Erwin's liburls...
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/oct/22/nonsense-paper-written-by-ios-autocomplete-accepted-for-conference
http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/05/us/stanford-application-black-lives-matter-trnd/index.html

12:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Chris-

Am a bit confused, as I think just abt everyone holds that progressivism is an esp. Western ideology: Marx, Hegel, French Enlightenment thinkers, etc.

Esca-

Actually, Alan Sokal perpetrated a similar hoax many yrs ago.

mb

12:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

I suddenly realized that I needed an update on the activities of Bunmi Laditan, Brittany Carulli, and Freddie Wadsworth. Anyone with recent info on the activities of these vanguard intellects, pls check in. Thank you.

mb

2:11 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Just a quick "thanks" to whomever recommended "American Honey" recently. I rented it last week and can't stop thinking about the film. It resonated with me in so many ways and was such a brilliant and subtle critique of hustling culture. When one character said that he had never been asked about his dreams for the future before - and responds by showing the woman who asked him a wad of stolen jewelry, she quickly insists that money isn't a dream. Damn. If money isn't a dream than what is? You mean to say that there is more to life than material accumulation?

I wouldn't recommend the movie to everyone as I think the subtleties might get lost on many people and they might just see it as a action-less road trip movie. That said, WAFers would get it.

2:23 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

I've only seen updates about Bunmi Laditan, who apparently has a new book coming out on 2 May. "Confessions of a Domestic Failure" is supposed to be a novel about "a mom who is struggling more than any mom should." Probably not class struggle. This sounds like perfect reading for the Oprah Book Club. Check it out...

https://www.facebook.com/BunmiKLaditan

4:26 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

In 2015, the increase in traffic deaths from distracted driving due to people using their dumbphones was roughly equivalent to another 9/11. But instead of firing off a few predator drones at Apple HQ, we'll just launch a dopey public awareness campaign even though most people already recognize that driving while texting is dangerous:

https://apnews.com/f99ee7705b664bdb839a8ac3b9aa234f/Professor-behind-designated-drivers-takes-on-distracted-ones?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

Meanwhile, the Secret Service is at it again as one of the mopes repsonsible for protecting our uptight moralist Christian VP is arrested for solicitation:

http://nypost.com/2017/04/05/secret-service-agent-on-pences-detail-caught-meeting-hooker/?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

Also, behind the scenes the Trump administration is sowing chaos everywhere, which I think we WAFers will agree is good news:

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/trump-white-house-civil-war-236917?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

I'm afraid Fred "Goatman" Wadsworth has dropped off the radar, but here is some interwebs fun for y'all:

http://www.boredpanda.com/funny-silly-boyfriends-girlfriends-significant-others-husband-wives/

I liked the Sun and Moon one myself...

5:32 PM  
Anonymous John said...

Vincent in Auvers- I agree with you on the irony of the irrational fear that people show towards the 'Other', especially, when American history clearly shows that we should take heed and be afraid of them, especially with Sessions and Stand Your Ground laws all across the US

Wafers, I just read an article about desperate Americans turning more and more to crowdfunding to pay for satanically high medical costs.....where is the outrage in the land of the screenified Walking Dead....

https://shadowproof.com/2017/04/03/americas-healthcare-system-forces-citizens-turn-crowdfunding-survive/

6:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Well, thank you all; that helps (a bit). I've taken to shouting "Bunmi" several times a day. E.g., something really negative/surprising occurs, and instead of yelling "Well I'll be hornswoggled," I cry out: "Bunmi Laditan!" I find it very cathartic, and recommend it to all Wafers. (I did try Freddy Wadsworth, but it wasn't very satisfying.)

Of course we all know where Shaneka is; and I assume Lorenzo Riggins is no longer patronizing McDonald's.

So many fabulous people to keep up with!

mb

6:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Turkeys in action dept.:

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/06/us/woman-falls-off-bridge-taking-selfie-trnd/index.html

6:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Will someone stuff a sock in her mouth dept.:

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/06/politics/hillary-clinton-russian-election-meddling/index.html

Wafers: Just look at that face!

mb

6:28 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

This just in from CNN:

Time to break out the Manischewitz! Trump declares that Jared Kushner will conquer Syria. "After all," the president remarked, "Jared conquered Ivanka, and, well, that's something that I even failed at, quite frankly." In addition, Dr. Morris Berman has been invited to the the WH to advise the current administration on the best ways to silence Trump critic Hillary Clinton. Berman, the mastermind behind Operation Hockey Puck (OHP), plans on briefing the president at noon tomorrow. "Hillary's anus will never, ever be the same again, of that I can assure you," Berman said. And now, back to our regularly scheduled program...

7:43 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

"That's true, but I was thinking of a more overt variety, such as that of Hitler or Mussolini. Another terrorist attack cd bring that on, but in any case, we seem to be drifting in a totalitarian direction."

I am actually not that worried about America becoming the next Nazi Germany. Maintaining an effective and overtly fascist society takes a combination of cunning, intelligence and wisdom with a hint of crazy mixed in. It is not an easy task at all. The general American population are just crazy, and the American elite are crazy and cunning. In other words, intelligence and wisdom are in short supply.

I think America will simply continue on with its bottom-up corporate worship and corporate fascism. The collapse will happen one city at a time, with Detroit being a role model for the future.

8:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Even the *thought* of Hillary's anus sends a cold shiver down my spine. Brr.

mb

8:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Courageous guys:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/06/former-israeli-security-chiefs-warn-of-tyranny

Let me also recommend a terrific film, "The Gatekeepers." What a sad country Israel turned into.

mb

8:33 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Between tonights attack on Syria, and the soon to be coming attack on North Korea, the world is on the verge of WWIII.

http://usat.ly/2o30XsT

9:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

Hmm...Well, Trump was rt to say that Obama's threat of 2013 was an empty one. But I was disappted that he also didn't call Obama a turkey and a douche bag. He keeps pulling his punches! Had he appted me Minister of Shitting on Obama and Hillary (MSOH), things wd be very different, I tell you.

mb

10:18 PM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

Herer's one for the National Gallery

http://www.johnseed.com/

11:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Schlomo-

Cdn't run it (half-page length rule). Pls compress by abt 1/3 and re-send. Thanks.

mb

12:41 AM  
Blogger NeilW said...

I think the Empire will fade into irrelevance. Civil society around the world probably despises Washington actions and their own governments. The Russians and Chinese/Iranians have substantial air defines and AMB shields and American public hates casualties (i.e. Vietnam). The only likely victim will be American exceptionalism. Thoughts?

3:41 AM  
Anonymous tired-neurotic said...

An artist friend who fled the Bosnian war at 21 told me once that the world is way too harsh. I told him that's how the states and West has felt (all I've known). I can't imagine life under the boots of imperium but the rot of the states permeates everything now - goes without saying. I've never understood how people even sociopaths can tolerate so much pillage - different species. Maybe even D. Icke is closest to how fucked up reality is - regardless reality - thanks internet and curiosity - exposes the tragic world. The debt machine or however you want to describe mercantilism - "The world owes Sodom and Gomorrah a major apology" - many have been saying.

I cut Hedges slack. I've learned a lot from him et-all - sanctimonious, mono-maniacal, soberly delusional, plagia-ridal, etc., at least he tries and he has helped with awareness, even self-reflection as to how fucked everything has been. Incompetent Philistine politicians and academics run these polit-bureaus for elite families behind the disgusting drama.

8:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

tired-

In future, pls send messages to most recent post. No one reads the older stuff. Thank you.

mb

8:22 PM  

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