November 02, 2012

The Truthout Review

Dear Wafers and other friends of the blog:

Here is the latest review of my work, which just appeared on Truthout:

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/12455-america-what-happened

I need to say a few words about this, and to salute Truthout for being willing to publish it as the author submitted it, without any cutting or editing. (Counter Punch falls into the same exceptional category, imo.)

Many years ago the historian Jackson Lears pointed out that whether one was talking about The Nation or The National Review, it was pretty much the same story. I.e., the Left and Right in the U.S. think they are in opposing camps, but the similarities are far greater than the differences. Both, he remarked, believe in "progress," technological and economic expansion ("growth"), and the American Dream. Voices critical of these goals were practically nonexistent, or completely marginalized. This remains true today, of course, and I get something of a charge out of the fact that the Left is congenitally unable to entertain a scenario that is becoming more and more obvious each day: It's all over but the shouting (indeed, "progressives" are part of the shouting). Hence, their delusion is pretty thick, because if your arguments are not based in reality, how good can your analysis be?

The author of this review, David Masciotra, submitted it to several "progressive" online publications, and the reaction was basically, We'll run it if you refute Berman's argument(!). One editor, who happened to have a Master's degree from a prestigious Ivy League university, went completely bananas, telling (yelling at, actually) David that Occupy Wall Street was going to turn everything around, and that the U.S. had a great future ahead of it. Talk about impaired reality-testing (recall my constantly reiterated observation, that in America stupidity is not particularly a function of IQ). But the crucial point is that this voice, the one that says Game Over and provides the documentation for this conclusion, can almost never get a hearing. As a result of which, we drift ever closer to disaster on a daily basis, not only unwilling to consider why America failed, but also unwilling to even recognize that it failed.

Anyway, I wish to thank David for writing it, and Truthout for running it. And be sure to tell your friends: It's all over but the shouting.

Thank you all again for your support.

-mb

39 Comments:

Blogger EditNetwork said...

An outstanding review essay that will help many of us "wafers" explain ourselves to mystified friends & acquaintances——and perhaps persuade them to do a leetle reading.

Hope Japan is all you envisioned and more.

1:48 PM  
Blogger LJansen said...

Hey, MB. I left a comment on the Truthout site. I mistakenly called the blog Dark Ages [of] America. Hopefully they can still get here from there.

This review is well-time to give anxiety-ridden "progressive" voters pause.

But it might take them awhile to cotton on to our Mittney love.

1:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

LJ-

Actually, I think the blog *is* called Dark Ages America. I'll hafta check. Meanwhile, Mittney is toast, and I'm weeping.

Edit-

Japan is quite fab, tho obviously not w/o its problems. But I've been helped a lot in terms of opening doors and getting to interview various people by great Japanese friends. Can't complain too much at this pt.

mb

8:42 PM  
Anonymous Zero said...

MB,

Congratulations! What a marvelous review! And a well-deserved one at that, too. I am sure that five hundred years from now, when historians will try to understand this anomaly called America, they will look at your books with immense respect. I can picture those historians watching countless hours of FoxNews and CNN tapes trying to understand "what happened," but becoming even more confused in the process. Until they will discover your last trilogy, and after reading it, will say, "That's it! That's what happened! We can now finally finish our chapter on America."

The only thing I am not sure about in the review is the last paragraph. It looks like the reviewer pulled a Thomas Friedman on us. Somehow he seems to believe that the "alcoholic" will somehow sober up, develop a true identity, and make a miraculous turn-around. It's very Hollywoodish. Perhaps he needs to read the longitudinal studies indicating that most people who become alcoholics in their 20s continue to be alcoholics into their 50s, 60s, and 70s (not counting those who died of liver cirrhosis meanwhile), and eventually they die alcoholics.

Personally, I think this Ameri-drunk is never going to sober up. It will never learn to take care of its people, it will never learn to respect other nations, it will never do any true national introspection. It will just do what it has always done, it will cannibalize its own people, it will plunder and violate other nations, and it will remain in denial about its actions. Inevitably, it will become progressively weak, yet increasingly menacing, confused, and psychopathic, so somebody like China or Russia might just put it out of its misery like a good cop shoots a rabid dog in the street. After that, the planet will sigh with relief, and like a body that has just been freed for a cancerous tumor, it will begin to renew itself. Yes, planet Earth will more on, but the American nation, this country of 50 states with its psychotic social and political system is as likely to continue into the 22nd century about as much as the Mayans had into the 20th.

Unless, of course, Mittney becomes our next president, in which case all of America's problems will be miraculously taken care of.

2:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Julian-

I think he was just saying that our only hope--wh/cd fall into the long-range category I've talked abt--is going to pieces. The way out is thru, that sorta thing.

But I'm sad, amigo, because what was to be my 3rd and final trilogy, published by the Rupert Murdoch Press, will never see the light of day. They're all ready to go:

1. Principles of Mittnism
2. Cornerstones of the Mittnaic Philosophy
3. I, Mittney (ghostwritten autobiography)

The guy's toast, he's finished, and I'm crying in my (Japanese) beer.

mb

5:03 AM  
Anonymous sanctuary! said...

Romney: Elect Me or House GOP Will Wreck the Economy

Mittney shows himself.

Thugs vs. thugs. Ya gotta love it! Or else.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sanc-

He may be a thug, but Mittney is *our* thug, a truly American thug, and we need him to continue our thuggery. Of course, Mr. Obama is also a thug--even, a genocidal one--and in terms of sheer destructiveness, is absolutely outstanding. But I can't help myself: I luv Mittney. The empty face, the haircut, the marathon gaffes: he's my guy. And horror of horrors--he's going down in flames. Another Tilden, perhaps; another Al Gore. Nationwide %s mean 0 in US elections, as we all know. Victory resides in the Electoral College, wh/means in the swing states; and Mittney is behind Obama in every one of them, apparently.

Which means that in a month, no one will even know his name. Who the hell is John Kerry? You get my pt.

Mittney, we hardly knew ye!

mb

11:10 AM  
Anonymous shep said...

Ahh, the glory days of the Amurican Dream.

Well, it is about to return, even if for a short period.

On, Sunday, November the 18th, 2012 {roll pleeze), it's the return of.... OPRAHS' FAVORITE THINGS.

Unfortunately, instead of an entire studio audience, it will only be 30 hand picked individuals, presumably with a hero story to tell about how ANYBODY can make it, IF, they try hard enough.

I am drooling...

For fanatics, I'll not reveal the station because you already know it.

12:15 PM  
Blogger LJansen said...

Just thought of something! Double your fun.

If you live in a swing state, vote Stein! Because a vote for Stein is a vote for Romney. Democrats beg you to do the math!

Vengence is mine sayeth the Mittneyists.

12:45 PM  
Blogger cmaukonen said...

Probable the most honest, forth right, intelligent and clear description of this country I have read or am likely to ready.

2:12 PM  
Blogger Zosima said...

I, for one, will welcome a Mittney presidency and our new Mormon overlords. But I do wonder why Jesus would choose Missouri for a second home when he returns, when there are so many other nice places, like the Cayman Islands or Switzerland.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxMD02zU9SE

7:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

Sorry, I don't post messages from Anons. Pls pick a handle--I suggest Rufus T. Firefly--and send in again.

Z-

A little known fact about Christ: he actually had large blocks of capital in numbered Swiss accts.

Shep-

On the Oprah phenomenon, be sure to read the bio by Janice Peck. What I love abt the whole thing is not merely that Oprah is a dunce, but that hundreds of millions of dunces adore her. She has helped deepen the bozo factor, wh/can only be good in terms of US decline.

Yours in Mittney,
mb

7:59 PM  
Anonymous JSRANK said...

Japanese beer ! YUM!

Mittney should have one, or two,or 24 .

Your Mittness is such a clueless robot, but his Stepford bride has actual emotions.
Her facial coding is SO transparent. the "Kill me now , and let me die with less shame" look.
Antoinette knows they're fried.

And, mb, Oprah is not just a dunce. She is a self-entitled 'expert' that is stupid on every subject. A prideful jerk.
Funny thing is, the clowns of mid-day TV circus phantasms as Jenny Jones and Jerry Springer are actually smart !

10:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Book #4: "Rom: The Man and the Mitt"

I tell u, if Oprah wd endorse him, at my personal request, I wd write an article praising her as a True Spiritual Leader and Cutting Edge Intellectual. In fact, she cd write the damn thing herself and I'd sign it and send it in to Fox News or whatever. At this pt I'm totally desperate. I don't want to be writing #5:

"Mittney: So Close and Yet So Far"

I wuv u, Mittney; I wuv u.

mb

1:50 AM  
Anonymous sanctuary! said...

I must burst in with a passionate profession of faith! Mittney will win!

He will!

Oh, you want evidence, eh? Ok, here it is. THIS IS AMERICA, AFTER ALL.

Really, what more do you want?

There is power
Power
Wonder-working power
In the name
(In the name)
Of Mittney!

Better plan to pop some tempura corned beef into yr Wednesday bento, Dr. B. It will be time to party like it's 1599!

And I still fail to see what a river in Egypt has to do with it.

4:20 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sanc-

Hope yr rt. But the stats for swing states say otherwise. I luv Mittney, but I think he's a piece of toast.

(sob)

mb

5:32 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Anecdotally speaking, I don't see how Obama can win. Almost everyone I speak to is for Romney accompanied with the most venomous remarks about Obama (and his wife). I also think flying off to Las Vegas yesterday for a fundraiser with the Hollywood elite while people on the east coast are suffering terribly could doom him. Parenthetically, people on the east are angry at the lack of preparedness but this is exactly what you get when your main focus is on tax cuts-a degrading of public services. Sandy demonstrates all too clearly Oliver W. Holmes remark that taxes are the price we pay for civilization.

6:56 AM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

Good review of the trilogy and I forwarded it on to several people I've encouraged to read your books. Sad I only know three; the rest of the people I know would completely disown me as being a crazy, doom-obsessed anti-American maniac. I know you're really busy with your research on Japan (which I hope is going well)and probably haven't looked at the comment section at the end. It validates everything you've been saying is wrong with America. There are only a few mentions of the content of the article and intelligent, thoughtful responses when it veers off into rants about Ron Paul, Cuba and ends up with name calling and profanity. This is the only blog I've ever posted on or probably ever will. There appear to be a lot of really crazy people out there with computer access. I hope this excellent book review will boost your readership.

This election can't be over too soon for me. I've already lost one friend when I forwarded Chris Hedges post several months back about his law suit against indefinite detention b/c you see, Obama "wouldn't do that." Except he is. Another friend (whom you would adore as she's a rabid Romney fan) may never get over the fact I voted for Jill Stein since climate change is just a hoax dreamed up by people who "hate America" and "want to steal our freedom." You know, people like you. As opposed to people like Romney and Ryan who just want to steal everything we own but we can keep our freedom to starve quietly in a tent city.





8:35 AM  
Blogger Jeff T said...

Greetings Dr. Berman and all Wafers,

Today's L.A. Times, Sunday, November 4, 2012 featured a full page advertisement from Billy Graham. It shows Billy looking into the distance holding a Bible. Billy states that Americans should "Vote Biblical Values Tuesday, November 6." Billy then explains that "The legacy we leave behind for our children, grandchildren, and this great nation is crucial... I believe it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel... I urge you to vote for those who protect the sanctity of life and support the biblical definition of marriage... and pray with me that America will remain one nation under God." I guess Billy didn't get the message that even God can't save America now!

10:59 AM  
Anonymous MartinEden said...

It's a pity Bishop Mittney will lose. America could have had its first full-blown, certified sociopath for president...

11:28 PM  
Blogger Zosima said...

Don’t throw in the towel yet on a country ruled by Mormon theocracy. Mittney’s got a couple of world class Republican thugs working for him. Governor Rick Scott in Florida and Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted. The ballot in FL is four pages long and has numerous referendums that take a lot of time to read, so Republicans helped out by shortened early voting by six days from 2008. You gotta love those guys, cheaters make the best hustlers, its like they will play baseball, but only if the other team has eight players. If Mittney wins, they will deserve special honor in the WAFer pantheon of exemplary thuggery. If they can steal those two, then it comes down to Virginia and Colorado. It will be a long night, maybe even weeks of chaos. Stock up on chopped liver or sushi, wherever you are. Get ready, the Mitt’s about to hit the fan.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/04/florida-early-voting_n_2073119.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/04/cleveland-early-voting_n_2073553.html

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/11/03/ohio-republican-secretary-of-state-sued-over-order-to-discard-provisional-ballots/

3:33 AM  
Blogger Barry Bliss said...

Interesting that the author ends hopefully/optimistically regarding America.
I too left a comment stating that chances are good America will not hit bottom and bounce back, but rather that it will kill itself.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous shep said...

Shit!! What can we do? There must be something. Pray?

"Nate Silver’s latest forecast gives President Obama an 83.7 percent shot at winning."

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MB, been there seen that done that since HS. When I asked the same questions and made some of the same points U made in your books about USA life I had a sit down with Negro/Colored (that's what we were then) leaders and other authority figures of the time. Got paddled a few time and yes even sit home back in the early to mid 1960s. Look I did not have any respect for the Founders or their political descendents not when I looked around and saw the historical absurdity, paradox, irony and dark infernal infamy. I became a pragmatic realist to the anger of those that took to hope and faith with out working proof of major change. Americans are by nature overly optomistic to the point of delusion. They want solution but solutions lite so as not cause of pain or long term discomfort.

After the USA was pulled out of the Great Depression it wanted back to it's wicked old days and that's where we are since Nixon (were he alive today the GOP would nail him to a tree).

So we are one nation under the crony corporate state of the 1% of the 1% for the days of White Privilege is going bye bye

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

Despite the polls, it isn't completely impossible for Mittney to win. Who said the election had to be fair?

Daily Kos: Retired NSA Analyst Proves GOP Is Stealing Elections

Why is Mitt Romney so confident?

In states where the winner will be decided by less than 10%, of the vote he already knows he will win. This is no tinfoil hat conspiracy. It’s a maths problem. And mathematics showed changes in actual raw voting data that had no statistical correlation other than programmable computer fraud. This computer fraud resulted in votes being flipped from Democrat to Republican in every federal, senatorial, congressional and gubernatorial election since 2008 (thus far) and in the 2012 primary contests from other Republicans to Mitt Romney.

(This was originally published by the authors yesterday on UKProgressive.co.uk which is under a DDOS attack at this time to prevent this message from getting out. It is used here with permission. It was simultaneously released in this segment of The David Pakman Show. It also cross-posted on ThePoliticalCarnival.net and LA Progressive.)

This goes well beyond Romney’s investment control in voting machine maker Hart Intercivic and Diebold’s close ties to George W. Bush. Indeed all five voting machine companies have very strong GOP fundraising ties, yet executives (including the candidate’s son Tagg Romney) insist there is no conflict between massively supporting one party financially whilst controlling the machines that record and count the votes.

A retired NSA analyst has spent several sleepless nights applying a simple formula to past election results across Arizona. His results showed across-the-board systemic election fraud on a coordinated and massive scale. But the analysis indicated that this only happens in larger precincts because anomalies in small precincts can be more easily detected.

...

6:53 PM  
Blogger Mercury4 said...

Requiem for Romney to the classic U2 tune;
"Mitt or Mitt out you!"

8:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

Appreciate yr contribution but in future pls pick a handle, as I tend not to post Anon messages. I suggest Rufus T. Firefly.

Barry-

Most alcoholics hit bottom the other side of death.

Susan-

Yr friends are not really friends, I'm guessing. Never forget it: Yr surrounded by dolts. I haven't read comments section on Truthout but I love it when Americans show how dumb they are. As Gore Vidal once said, "Stupidity excites me." Both he and I were excited most of the time (he died, I left).

Just wanted u all to know that there was another troll attack regarding WAF ch. 4, complete w/the usual comparisons to Nazism etc. I justed deleted these, as How many times can I clarify my position on slavery and the Civil War to dolts? Jesus, Americans are dumb.

In the meantime, pray for Mittney. He really is our only hope.

mb

3:28 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Then there's this:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/05/camp-kivu-s-quest-to-get-depressed-teens-to-disconnect-from-social-media.html

3:59 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps2: And this:

http://www.truthdig.com/cartoon/item/awesome_shit_20121105/

5:25 AM  
Anonymous JWO said...

Well, I just got done voting and it felt a lot like polishing the brass on the titanic. At least I got to vote for Jill Stein instead of Willard Fillmore or the Murderer in Chief, it is nice to vote for something instead of always voting against something.

I can't wait for the Japan book!

J

8:54 AM  
Anonymous shep said...

Here is a divine article on the demise of earth. Footnote #78 takes you to an article forecasting the end of the earth and the dolt explains how to best invest in this environment.

http://www.opednews.com/articles/All-the-Bunnies-in-the-Mea-by-B-Sidney-Smith-121105-535.html

This is an 8 page article with 4 pages of linked footnotes.

Turns out (footnote #76), In 1992 (Voltaire's Bastards was published), Earth Overshoot Day—the approximate date our resource consumption for a given year exceeds the planet’s ability to replenish—fell on October 21 (My birthday).

9:59 AM  
Anonymous David said...

Well, it looks like it's going to be a close election. Not that it matters, of course, but the American people really do seem to be bitterly divided by the non-existent differences in the platforms of the two candidates.

I spoke to someone at my college yesterday about Obama having killed at least a million people in the Middle East. He told me that they were all terrorists and should have been killed, and that Obama is doing a great job with foreign policy. I also explained to him that Obama has claimed the power to assassinate American citizens, including the guy I was talking to. He said he fully trusts Obama and knows he will do wonderful things if reelected.

Obama will likely win, I feel, because he's much more suave and pretentious. He puts a thin, saintly veneer of virtue over genocide, and as such, Americans can't get enough of him. After all, Americans have always equated virtue with murder committed by their own hands. What they did to the Native Americans and other peoples with such self-righteousness is proof. If Romney wins, it will be because of voter fraud. America loves Obama.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Paul Emmons said...

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/11/obama-romney-civil-liberties-no-choice

What would Romney do to civil liberties? Pretty much what Obama is doing. There's little choice here. And nobody cares. I was napping if there was one question about the erosion of freedom in the name of protecting us from terrorists (or whatever other excuse) during any debate.

In this article Mr. Serwer says exactly what Morris has been saying: "It's easy to set the blame for this state of affairs on Bush's disdain for the law or Obama's cowardice. We like stories with simple explanations and obvious villains. The dirty little secret though, is that this is how Americans want it... Americans don't just have the government they deserve, they have the one they want."

5:44 PM  
Blogger LJansen said...

MB -- did you know you were cribbing from George Carlin?

George, from Never Never Land on politicians & their constituents: http://youtu.be/xIraCchPDhk

8:55 PM  
Blogger Phlogiston Água de Beber said...

I think it true that Americans have the government they want. The consensus here seems to be that only Mittney can deliver the government they deserve. Should he fall short, I think the Second Coming of Millard Fillmore will give it at least some effort.

In Mittney we trust!

10:26 PM  
Anonymous Mike Alan said...

Looks like the almighty Mitt has fallen by the wayside tonight, at least according to MSNBC online.

So, no driving off the cliff at full speed with Mittens at the wheel. No administration post for Dr. Berman. No going back to the true, knuckle-dragging, openly wage-slave character of our nation.

Instead we will continue to muddle through with Barack "Millard Filmore" Obama. We'll just kinda creep up to the cliff's edge and slowly roll over it instead of have the fun a Wiley Coyote fly over the cliff...then look down... then...

My condolences to the Mitt lovers on here. I know it has to be a heartbreaker.

11:23 PM  
Anonymous satyaSarika said...

Altho I haven't joined in with the Odes to Mittney (I live in Utah), now that the Big Zero is declared the winner I am even more depressed. First thing after the results I got a gloat mail from a liberal friend of the "We Won; money can't buy our democracy; USA, USA."

I can only repeat to myself, "I live among dolts."

The reign of Obomber has been far more depressing than W's, since, while amping up all W's policies, there is absolutely no one to talk to in real life other than my gf. I saw my folks through their deaths, all the while fantasizing about a possible escape to Boliva. In the meantime I got a nice gf who wants to stay 'cause of the grandkids, and my health deteriorated to the point that travel isn't near as easy. So I'm pretty much stuck here. Yet, I'm one of the lucky ones, because at least I'm not busy looking on the bright side.

Meandering through "Wandering God" provides some relief.

3:03 AM  
Blogger Barry Bliss said...

Mr. Fish is awesome.

8:54 AM  
Anonymous One Canadian said...

Morris, I love your books and your blog....thank you for your insight. I fear that Canada is trying to imitate the US and will suffer the same fate.

8:37 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home