November 14, 2016

Goodbye, Botox! Plus, My German Adventure

Hello, Wafers; I'm still in Germany, return to Mexico tomorrow. Thought I wd post this today, but pls don't send any messages until Nov. 16. Let me recap my German trip first, and then we'll move on to the joy of a Clinton-free America. I'm eager to have your input on the latter, especially.

So first, Germany. I cdn't have had a better time. My hosts were wonderful people, generous to a fault, and I look forward to a long-term friendship with them. They schlepped me everywhere, and we had a lot of fun. Mainz itself is an old medieval town, very picturesque, and we also ventured over the Rhine to Wiesbaden for Turkish food, and into the wilds of Bavaria, in search of Hitler's secret fortress. Which we found, but decided not to notify the German authorities.

I did a public lecture on Dual Process, which they recorded, and I'll post the audio links when I have them. I also taught a class on the meaning of the Trump victory. Smart students, very good questions. Since all of this was sponsored by the Dept. of American Studies, they elected to have me speak in English. In general, I was gratified by how quickly my German came back, altho my grammar was rather schwach. I lived in Germany 1991-92, and was fluent at that time, so speaking a kind of uneven German now was rather frustrating for me. But it did come in handy, in all sorts of situations. For example, my former landlady came in from Berlin, and we had a blast, bad grammar and all. I hadn't seen her for 14 years, when I was in the country to do a reading tour for the German edn of the Twilight book.

Being in Europe is always a pleasure for me. For the most part, these are not stupid countries filled with stupid people, and the consciousness is not one-dimensional, as it is in the US. Of course, America overran Europe (as it did Japan) with consumerist ideology (see Victoria de Grazia, Irresistible Empire); but (as in the case of Japan), it didn't succeed completely; Europe has deeper values that persist. And you can have conversations with people that would be impossible in the US. I also enjoyed reading Die Zeit, which makes the NYT look the like shallow comic book that it is.

And the food! Jesus, one cd get very fat in Germany. Food has real taste in Europe; it's not like American cardboard food.

But let me stop raving abt Germany, and start raving abt the US presidential election. 1st let me say that I predicted the rise of US fascism in CTOS (1989), and most of you are aware that all of the various predictions I have made on this blog, as well as in my bks on the American empire, have come to pass. Well, not all: I was dead wrong abt how the Nov. 8 vote wd go (along with just abt everyone else), and I don't recall when I have been happier abt being wrong. Altho (along with a few others) I was rt abt the sources of Trump's popularity. More on that in a moment.

So what have we gained?

1. The progs get a well-deserved pie in the face. Being Americans, they are too stupid to learn anything from the experience, and instead of becoming declinists, and leaving the country, they believe--like both Trump and Hillary--that "our best days are ahead of us." What a joke. A few of them have even predicted left-wing revolution, while I have repeatedly said that the only revolution that might come to the US wd come from the rt. That is basically what has happened. 2. We are finally rid of the Clintons, 2 of the most corrupt, dishonest, and slimy people in the history of the world. We no longer have to see that semi-insane laugh of hers on TV. The two of them are disgusting, the worst sort of American hustlers (anything to win). They gamed the system against Bernie, and they even got the debate moderators (e.g. Donna Brazile) to slip them debate questions in advance. They accused Trump of corruption while they were up to their necks in it themselves. I say good riddance to them, and may they be cast down into darkest Gehenna, and have their shoes peed on for eternity. 3. Hillary offered only more Obama, i.e. the slow death of America. With Trump, we open the possibility of a fast death. If he's not an outright fascist, he comes pretty close, and we can probably expect a cruel and authoritarian regime. More wealth for the rich, more oppression of everyone else, more militarization of the police, and a number of other things that will hasten our collapse. His advisers--Rudy Giuliani, Ging Newtrich, Chris Christie, and Sarah Palin (yes! she's back! Sarah, let me shtupp you on an ice floe! Have my babies!)--are basically stupid, vicious, and corrupt, and can only aid in the further unravelling of the American empire. We can, in short, skip the Weimar period I've talked abt and move directly to Hitler lite. The election of Trump represents, at long last, the (domestic) Suez Moment Wafers have been waiting for. 4. American "democracy" has been clearly revealed as a farce. When Trump said the election was rigged, he was rt. I'm talking not only abt the leaking of debate questions to only one side, or the superdelegate campaign against Bernie, but in particular the constant bombardment of the public by anti-Trump articles in the NYT and the WashPost. These front-page "articles" were little more than editorials, and I can't recall when the Fourth Estate violated the democratic process more blatantly. Happily, it all backfired, and they got their come-uppance: the Trumpites gave David Brooks, Thos Friedman, and their ilk a well-deserved middle finger.

Which brings me to the reasons for Trump's victory. (There is also a pt no. 5, regarding new directions in US foreign policy, but we can talk abt that later.) Most of this will be familiar to you guys, as I produced this analysis several wks ago; but let me recap and expand a bit.

1. Take a look at the final election map, setting aside Illiniois, Colorado, and NM. What you see is a solid red center and blue on the coastal fringes. These fringes have been managing the post-Soviet economic arrangements since 1992, telling us (Francis Fukuyama: what a dope) that history was at an end, having culminated in a neoliberal, globalized, consumerist world. NAFTA was passed, welfare was abolished, prison terms widely expanded, and so on. A permanent super-rich class, and a permanent underclass (to serve them) were created, such that as of now, the 20 richest Americans own as much as the bottom 160 million. Meanwhile, those in the heartland, the red center, understood that Bill Clinton/Bush Jr./Obama/Hillary amounted to an impoverished future, at least for them; and also , that these folks looked down on them, regarded them as a "basket of deplorables." (Virtually all Americans are stupid, but the blue ones are actually dumber than the red ones.) What these Trumpites, who had lost homes and jobs and been crushed into poverty and lives with no future, wanted to say to this intellectual/financial elite was: go fuck yourselves. Every anti-Trump article in the establishment newspapers was just a goad for them to repeat this message. And as I describe it in TMWQ, only Bernie and Trump spoke in an authentic voice; with Hillary, it was--as Trump pointed out--"just words." "Stronger together?" Who are you kidding, you lying, corrupt, warmongering billionaire? She almost never stopped reading from a script. In any case, be sure to check out Thos Frank, Listen, Liberal, as to how the Dems and the people who traditionally protected the lower classes from poverty and destruction, decided to abandon those classes and opt for endless hustling, for personal wealth and the chic coastal life, instead. These people are the real trash of American society, imo. 2. The 2nd factor was nativism, sparked in large part by 30 yrs of tedious political correctness. (The other part, of course, was loss of jobs.) P.c. is phony politics; it's abt correct language, not abt losing your home or yr livelihood. I have consistently opposed p.c. on this blog because I believe it's a load of hooey. God forbid one should make an ethnic joke, or say "craftsmen" instead of "craftspersons," or hold a Mexican theme night on a college campus (Bowdoin). Jesus, what utter horseshit. Along comes Trump and goes 180 degrees in the other direction, clearly overdoes it, but does not apologize for any of it ("just locker room talk"). Guess what? The heartland loves it. Meanwhile, to the very end, Hillary doesn't get it. Even tho American isn't a melting pot and never was, she babbles on in her concession speech abt diversity, "stronger together," and abt how she hopes little girls will be empowered by her example. Apparently, little boys don't count in her p.c. world. Somebody needs to slap her face until it turns purple and doubles in size. And if little girls are dumb enuf to take her as a role model, we are in deeper do-do than I ever imagined. 3. A 3rd factor is really a corollary to the authenticity issue mentioned above: alone among postwar presidential candidates, Trump was a declinist. He made it very clear: America is not great; rather, on every imaginable level, it has gone to hell in a handbasket. Whereas Hillary countered with the hollow, "When was America not great?" Christ, what a douche bag. But like Trump, like the progs, like the Occupy folks and 99.9% of the American public, she seeks to save or restore the American Dream; except that millions of Americans were convinced that only Trump cd do it, whereas all she was offering was more of the same baloney--just words. Unfortunately for all of these deluded jokers, there is only one place you can go where it is stated explicitly that there is no recovering that Dream, and that it needs to be abolished in any case. Hmm...where might that be?

To sum up, I leave you with 3 thoughts:

a) Regardless of IQ, Americans are not terribly bright. b) Trump will probably do the country a lot of damage. c) Our best days are definitely not ahead.

I look forward to your feedback on Nov. 16.

-mb

199 Comments:

Anonymous Mikbeth said...

Dr. Berman:

Hard to read but I suspect you're right. A shit storm is coming. No point in saying anything else. I can't feel good about this even though I will be morbidly fascinated over the next four years. Its going to feel a lot like a sigmoidoscopy.

Mikbeth

6:29 PM  
Blogger Yossi said...

From a European perspective, as long as he keeps his promises about reducing tensions with Putin that will be good news. With Clinton in charge we might have all been toast soon.

1:57 AM  
Anonymous James said...

It seems unlikely that America's ongoing collapse will be any faster under Trump than it would have been under Clinton. The president has a bully pulpit but not all that much power. If Trump does nothing else with his time in office except follow through on improving relations with Russia then it will have been worth it. The neo-McCarthyism and Russophobia displayed by Clinton's supporters during the election have been disgusting.

3:04 AM  
Blogger ab645471 said...

I can hardly envision Trumpo accomplishing his full term in office. My 2 cents:

1. Classical impeachment
2. Other political coup d'etat
3. Resigns / Framed
4. Military coup
5. Is assassinated
6. Widespread riots / Civil war

Finally, martial law -> concentration camps -> etc. From the masses, the first ones will be the homeless and the unemployed, possibly with a particular emphasis on black people. From the minorities they'll be the illegal aliens, LGBT, intellectual dissidents (congrats, MB), Muslims, Jews - an extensive list.

8:20 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Future of the US right here...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dMUwDCDngo

Scams piled on top of scams piled on top of scams. Change and reform as a new scam replacing a dying scam.

8:27 AM  
Anonymous Arthur said...

WARM WELCOMES HOME PROFESSOR

Cannot wait to hear more about your tours, and hear some of the lectures as well!

Kind of a riot that you mention Victoria de Grazia's Irresistible Empire in this posting, a close friend had finally pryed thru your Decline series, and her only polite criticism was that you didn't point out how this also affected Europe in similar ways, and she recommended Grazia's study as an example of something that does that. I hardly had time to correct her that you actually source from Grazia to make that exact argument, when you cited the work freshly in this posting. You're all over it!

again, welcome home.

Arthur

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Dr. Berman--cannot think of a person more qualified to be leader of the big mistake--a cut throat, loud, money is everything, narcopathic business man.

america is not a country--it's just a business. Welcome back--hopefully you returned with some German goodies.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous No Statesman said...

http://www.newstatesman.com/2016/11/new-times-podcast-4-john-gray

John Gray interview on the Trump win, hysteria, future of closing of the liberal mind

9:22 AM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

My random thoughts: Clinton lost the Electoral College and won the popular vote, thus confirming my intuition that whichever of these highly undesirable candidates won would do so in an epic squeaker. I am impressed with how right I was.

Hillary Clinton would be president-elect right now by a fairly handy if small margin if it weren't for two things: The flaming trainwreck that is Obamacare as crafted and passed by the feckless Democratic Senate back in 2010, and also the ongoing provocation of Russia and China possibly culminating in nuclear war. The sheer cinderblock wall of self-willed cognitive dissonance of middle-class blue-state big-city liberals on both of these things has caused me to lose a ton of respect for their supposed intellectual superiority. It sure didn't help that it was very widely known that Clinton cheated Sanders out of the Democratic nomination.

The level of "psy-op" attending this election was a wonder to behold, as was how eagerly the supposedly intellectually superior people mentioned in the preceding paragraph just ate it all up as if it were ambrosia from Olympus-on-high. As it turned out, though, this psy-op was so heavy-handed that it simply backfired. These protests will ultimately come to nothing because the cultish intolerance of the social justice warriors forming the core of these events is on full display and is very predictably alienating people. Unfortunately for the social justice warriors, the urban elites who have been using politically correct identity politics as a fig-leaf don't really care very much about that stuff.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Welcome back Dr. B and hello Wafers:

You were missed by many, Dr. B. I'm glad you have returned to manage the blog once again. I just finished reading An Indigenous People's History by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. I highly recommend it, as have many other posters here before. Here is what I concluded after reading the book:

We are a racist, misogynist, violent, greedy people whose only social mission is to be good consumers. Of course we cannot admit that our nation was founded on these principles, and therefore we will not change. When we were enslaving people to increase profits or slaughtering indigenous people to steal their land, we were practicing the American ethos. When we were gunning down workers trying to organize, we were practicing the American ethos. When we go to war against people who have have done nothing to us, we are practicing the American ethos. When we oppress people who are different, we are practicing the American ethos. Our empire is dying because we cannot, and will not, make course corrections. All empires die. Every one of them. What emerges is what is interesting. Totalitarianism? A new monastic order? An agrarian society? In the meantime, learn to grow potatoes. I know I'm probably preaching to the choir, but it is good to repeat these things frequently.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Thank goodness you're back (and with a bang with this post)! The sh#t has been flying and the amount of anger directed at the Dems is palpable. This debacle is the end of the road for the Clintons, unless Prez Elizabeth Warren brings Killary on as an ambassador to Peru or something in 2020.

And of course the WAFer favorite "We Must..." essays are everywhere too. What a joke. Counterpunch has been about the only place running some real commentary about the election:

End of the Dems: http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/11/16/the-revenge-of-class-and-the-death-of-the-democratic-party/

Why 200 people blocking traffic won't solve anything: http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/11/14/why-the-trump-protests-like-the-wisconsin-uprising-will-fail/

I'm just waiting out the 81 months until my student loan forgiveness kicks in then I'm outta here (unless Drumpf cancels that program). Meanwhile I hope for the best, Trump pulling the military out of everywhere, the alt-right backlash when Trump turns out to not be as crazy as he seemed, douchebag college students still playing identity politics (https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/higher-education/students-faculty-ask-uva-president-not-to-quote-jefferson/2016/11/15/) while not realizing Trump won because of identity politics, while male identity politics...

10:51 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Welcome back Dr B!

It's nice to have some sane analysis of the election, over here its been non-stop "Hillary lost because of sexism." Yeah, sure she did...Personally I am happy, the Democratic party needed an enema, and if a vulgar jack ass like Trump is what is required to give it one, so be it. For years socialists like me have been told "piss off, your concerns mean nothing to us." It feels good to see the democrats repaid in their own coin.

Listen Liberal looks interesing, but I must say, I think Chris Hedges came to the same conclusions years before in his book Death Of The Liberal Class.

Anyway, I bet your German hosts were horrified at what happened, I am glad you were on hand to give them some context and explanation.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Frantisek Panuskova said...

My three points would be:

1) It's not America Trump will be bad for. It's the world. Climate change denial and a hair trigger revengeful temperament with the nuke codes is all it takes.

2) The monastic option no longer exists. We are too much in this world and of this world. And it is one interconnected world only. All modern day plagues are global now. We can sit back and watch the poorest of the poor suffer the consequences of climate change first and hope it won't be too bad when it comes to us. Or we can use our material means, our science and intellect to try to stop the worst of it while we still can.

3) As you know from your studies of Weimar: Splintering, cloistering and debating finer points of purist theory is a trade mark of us on the left during crisis. It's like handing a gun to your murderer. We need to compromise and form coalitions push back effectively.

11:05 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Waferinos-

Thank you all for checking in, and for your observations on the election. I had a great time in Germany, but it's gd to be back home; I'm quite tired. Will say more on Trump etc. in next few days. In brief, I think we are in for some very dark times.

Later,
mb

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Welcome back Dr. Berman. I am currently reading Thomas Frank’s “Listen, Liberal” and I agree that it is a must read for anybody who wants to understand the 2016 election and the modern Democratic Party. Frank also had a good article on the outcome of the election in The Guardian.

See: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/09/donald-trump-white-house-hillary-clinton-liberals

The preliminary statistics on voter turnout also indicate that turnout for the 2016 election may have been the lowest in twenty years.

See: http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/11/politics/popular-vote-turnout-2016/

Huge numbers of Americans have become alienated from politics. It fits the data that Robert Putnam discusses in “Bowling Alone” regarding how fewer and fewer Americans are engaged in any civic or community activities.

As for Trump, let’s just ponder that the president-elect of the most powerful country on Earth once clotheslined and publicly shaved professional wrestling promoter Vince McMahon at WrestleMania.

See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMKFIHRpe7I

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Enjoyed your strong accurate descriptions of the election. We were all wrong in thinking Hilary could win and days later what we ended up with still seems bizarre. Hopefully the Clinton lying scumbags will end up in Hades and we'll never have to hear from them again.

I'm disgusted with the 'progressives' who now distract themselves futher from reality by planning a revolution and thinking they'll save the country.....again..... Also not fond of the statements that all Americans are stupid... all would include me and others I know that are well aware of what's going on.

Marianne

11:48 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Welcome back, MB!

Well, you've been sorely missed, MB. So much so, that I've been institutionalized since Wednesday morning, November 9. Local authorities found me naked, feverish, and in a fit of madness w/a "Fascism Now!" sign hanging from my neck. Apparently, I'd ran wild thru my neighborhood in the wee hours saying all kinds of crazy stuff: Trumptastic, Trumpfasctic, Trumpful, Trumpocracy, Wumpafer J. Drumf. I tell ya, it was a harrowing experience. Now, however, I've regained my faculties somewhat, so here's my take: we have elected the biggest clown imaginable in Trump, and there are really no words to describe how far from normal we've drifted here. Anyway, I hope this note finds you and all Wafers well.

Dark days dudes,

Miles

12:40 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Welcome back MB! Our long Wafer fast is over. It's evening in Merica! I hope while in Germany that you took time to book your trip with Palin to the floes to frolic amongst the meese before all the Arctic ice melts. Her calendar is filling up fast these days before the Inauguration, you know.

Meanwhile, talk of secession has reached even the conservative Seattle Times:

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/should-california-oregon-and-washington-join-canada-calexit-talk-envelops-west-coast/

As one of my favorite underground cartoon strip characters from the early '70's, Rufus the Red-Blooded American Reptile, used to say, "Good grief, what's next?!" Today's unthinkable becomes tomorrow's thinkable, a good motto for these times.

12:54 PM  
Blogger heather said...

Don't write the Clintons off just yet. Rumors around these parts are that Chels is starting to really get into politics. She's proving to be just like her parents. She used "Clinton Foundation" money for her own wedding. Apples don't fall too far from trees

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Here's something you will particularly enjoy, Dr.B:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/05/texas-san-antonio-police-fired-feces-sandwich-homeless-man

1:48 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman,

Glad you had a wonderful time in Germany. Saw a essay by Raul Meijer on why the US had Trump still in the running in September 2016. He says that what put him there is the consequence of a global zero-growth economy since 2008 or so - not deliberate of course and if one can discount economic growth based on financial capitalism, probably earlier. Andrew Nikiforuk (who also wrote a book about tarsands fracking in Alberta, Canada thru 2010)cited him in support of an 'article' really a collection of observations and opinions, the link for which is just below the one for Raul Meijer's essay.

Enjoy,

Mike



https://www.theautomaticearth.com/2016/09/why-there-is-trump/

http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/end-growth-and-rise-trump#.WCxrSpqExFo.gmail

2:14 PM  
Blogger thucydides Neo said...

Dr. Berman, I have lived in America for 5 years as a permanent resident. Everything you have said in your books is true. But the result of this election reminded me about how bad censorship in this country is. Americans, IMO, have an amazing level of tolerance to lies and to liars. The mainstream media got away with the most outrageous censorship in the history of journalism. One feels as though, in the US, no one wants to seriously criticize anybody for anything. Even Professors who supervised me in grad school told me not to criticize too much - or I'd lose future connections. I have never seen so timid a people in any other country, and I have lived in a few. Trump's pledge to nationalize the media doesn't sound half bad in retrospect.

2:39 PM  
Anonymous Pastafarian said...

Hey Wafers! Who voted? I didn't and I'm getting called all sorts of things by my liberal friends. I don't feel Trump or Clinton deserved my vote. I'm in California.

3:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

Sorry, I don't post Anons. You need a real handle to participate. E.g., Hillaryisadouchebag.

Thuc-

You can imagine what future lies ahead for a people who are spineless, and not very bright. It's a sad country...something I never imagined, when I was a kid or even 20 yrs ago, I wd be saying. The massive MSM attack on a presidential candidate was something I have never seen in my lifetime, and the backlash to it was both ironic and well-deserved. Imagine, a professional and upper-middle class, sitting around and rdg David Brooks and Thos Friedman, and thinking they are wise. The NYT reads like Pravda, but in reverse. I keep wondering how far away we are from that movie, "Idiocracy."

Golf-

There is a real hatred now in the US, by the police and citizens at large, of people who are down and out. Of course, the haters feel differently when they fall into poverty themselves, and discover that they aren't poor because they are lazy. Only thing I wonder abt the story is whether the feces were warm or cold. I really dislike cold feces, myself. I'm also guessing that in 5 yrs, a cop will be able to do this and not get fired.

Heather-

Is there a gene for scumbag, do ya think?

Jack-

Check out Ernest Callenbach's "Ecotopia," if you haven't already read it.

Jeff-

I'm very glad you have recovered. I seem to be having this kind of effect on people. At my 1st lecture in Germany, the audience got so excited they began beating their heads against the walls of the auditorium to calm down. Some began chewing on whale blubber. Others began shouting "Piep, piep!" It was quite a scene. I finally abandoned the attempt to speak and began singing Schubert Lieder. But I do think that with Trumpo, we are entering a post-American world. Who can take us seriously anymore? In the fullness of time, the "greatest nation in the world" became a joke.

Marianne-

Of course, it is understood that Wafers (such as yrself) are not stupid. The problem is the ratio: 322 million morons, and 170 registered Wafers. In terms of ratio or percentage: do the math. It's not exactly inspiring. Meanwhile, everything I've written since 2000 has led up to this apocalyptic moment, and for some odd reason, I'm not being given any prestigious awards. Can you explain this? My feelings are hurt.

mb

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Wile E Coyote said...

Welcome back MB! You are my heroin, and two weeks without a Wafer hit was too much. I still have the shakes and night sweats...

3:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pasta-

Your liberal friends need to have urine liberally applied to their shoes. In fact, every time I hear the word 'liberal', I think of liberally applied urine.

mb

3:57 PM  
Blogger Keith Elder said...

My recent opinion of the election was that Trump would win in a landslide if the vote
were counted fairly. George Soros has an interest in the voting machine used by 16
states. I think the popular vote was skewed to Clinton, so she and her supporters
would have something to complain about.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Dr. B,

I think the appropriate response to receiving a fecal sandwich should be - "thanks, but it could've done with a bit more mustard."

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Ram Gana said...

Pasta,
I finally experienced the famous "angry drunk" reaction from a sibling a few days after the election. We live and are registered in Illinois, and despite the fact that Botox-face took the Land of Lincoln handily, the fact that I don't vote (haven't for years, and this is known to all my prog sibs) provoked a sorry, sorry spectacle. Virtually hissing and spitting at the possibility that I might bring the "end of empire, either way" thesis into it (I didn't bother, for a variety of reasons), this sibling (familiar with MB's work by reputation and by my promotions) stopped just short of accusing me of condemning their only child (grown and independent, but with some considerable medical issues) to death, in consideration of the time hence when the ACA gets dismantled.
Wafers, Wafettes, I am lonlier than ever. :(

7:05 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

Trump is what I call Phase II in the trajectory of American Empire destruction. The election of Reagan in 1980 was Phase I. Every president since Reagan basically practiced a form of Milton Friedman supply side corporatist economics, low taxes,along with deficit spending, union busting, dismantling of manufacturing in favor of the financial sector, and oil wars. Now Phase II we can witness the complete dismantling of the social safety net, accelerated dilapidation of public infrastuctures, even lower taxes, even further consolidation of the corporate infrastructure in fewer and fewer too big to fail entities, greater moves toward a cyber and physical police state, balkanization of social, ethnic and economic classes,even more bastardation of the news media, and last but not least - environmental destruction. And busy bee Americans will just go on greedily buying stuff as if nothing has happened for as long as they can - as if the American dream still exist. With this buffoon, really representing the attitudes and behaviors of most Americans, let loose on the world stage, what long term damage will be done to the rest of the world, will he trigger copycat leaders, as he dismantled perhaps permanently any chance to deal with global warming, will there be any backlash from the rest of the World?

8:20 PM  
Blogger Bullshevik said...

Welcome back, Dr. B! After election night, I was counting the days until your return seeking support from fellow WAFers. And now a question: For those of us for whom leaving the US is not economically feasible, what do you recommend?

9:05 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Pasta--I didn't vote, and I just tell them that even if I'd known last Tuesday what I know now I still would not have voted for Clinton. That usually leaves them blubbering and incoherent.

I really love seeing these media douchebags all tied up in knots. I've gone on You Tube since election night and rewatched the coverage on most of the various networks--fast forwarding to the part of the night when it became obvious Trump would win. Rachel Maddow was nearly inconsolable on on MSNBC with her pathetic attempt to shame third party voters and non-voters like me. Probably the worst coverage in terms of the douchebaggery of its panel was actually PBS, which included every WAFers' favorite Bobo, David Brooks. They kept saying over and over how "nobody" saw this coming, to which I kept thinking that they all should have been fired the very next day. So much for the wonderful benefits of public broadcasting.

Since the election the funniest moment was Wolf Blitzer blubbering on CNN about how Trump disrespected the White House press corps by getting on a plane and flying to New York without telling them after meeting with Obama. Blitzer STILL has no clue that nobody outside the capital beltway gives a flying FUCK about the butthurt feelings of the White House press corps.

9:41 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

I actually found out about Dr. Berman's work because I saw a lecture on youtube by Thomas Frank, and MB's talk on WAF was a recommended video, whereupon I went back and read his trilogy. So it's fitting that they're apparently two of the only people who seemed to understand what was really going on.

If liberals actually believed half of the critical things they said about this country, they would have either abandoned hope or tried a hell of a lot harder to fix the problems. Here they are, telling guys who lost their 60k/year machinist jobs to work 10-15/hr jobs at WalMart, that they have a sincere moral obligation to vote for the political dynasty that signed NAFTA, simply because this one has the moral fortitude to look into the camera solemnly and say that Jim Crow was bad. I don't know what planet these people live on

10:37 PM  
Blogger Dawgzy said...

Great Seer- Welcome back! Have you considered revising/updating WAF? I think that there are a lot folks who are now ready for it. Hello to all of you WAFers.

1:18 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...


well, I must admit that during the Republican primaries I was rooting on Donald Trump because I figured that he was damaging the Republican party. Now I'm reminded of the old adage "Be careful of what you wish for. You might actually get it!"

I'm in general agreement with James Howard Kunstler who recently said "The good news is that Hillary lost. The bad news is that Trump won."

A very sad thing was watching Bernie Sanders supporters (some that are friends of mine) who voted for Hillary Clinton in the general election even though they disagreed with her on almost everything of importance. I know quite a few who are in that category. Such persons lost three times:

(1) Bernie lost.
(2) They gave up their core principles and supported Hillary.
(3) Hillary lost to Donald "tiny hands" Trump.

At first, right after the election I predicted that Trump would resign or be impeached within a couple years, due to his incompetence, lies and the frustration that his cabinet has in communicating with him. I'm in the process of reassessing that prediction. Now I fear that Trump will remain for a full term, caving in to Republican operatives and delegating lots of authority to Mike Pence and his cabinet. The real damage might be done by those who are around Trump rather than Trump himself. How much damage can a narcissistic ignoramus and con-man (along with his cohorts) do in 4 years in such a role?

A whole bunch!

2:06 AM  
Anonymous Bingo said...

MB,
Welcome back home. I’m sure you’re appreciating the weather in Mexico. My friend from Munich just sent me an email explaining how depressing winters are over there, and why she is moving to Florida too.

You’re so right about the Clintons. But they also need to pay for their endless crimes. So right about the mass media too. But they are dead, and Trump knows it. Social media crushed them. Anybody out there watching CNN anymore? Seriously!

Regarding PC, the whole thing devolved into mental illness. People are afraid to say a joke. Personally, I talk and joke like Trump, and still teach at a few universities. Maybe they forgive me because I grew up under communism, and they project their idealized imago on me. Or maybe their atrophied cerebral cortex crash under the dissonance I stir up. They must wonder: How could a legal immigrant like me be so adamantly against illegal immigration? Or, why somebody who grew up under communism hate progressivism? Those are tough questions for a liberal...lol

BTW, after Trump and Putin talked, the DoD dropped DEFCON level from 3 to 5. He’s already accomplished more than the Peace Prize war criminal in the White House ever did. So Trump wins, the planet survives for 4 more years!

I voted for Trump. And I have a Trump hat, a Trump is my President shirt, and a Hillary for Prison bumper sticker. That makes me a first rate deplorable, dumbass ignoramus. It must be my lack of education... never mind my PhD’s. The only education that matters today is to be PC, trendy, and worshiping the state as God with Hillary as high priestess. That’s the new PhD’s all millennials should seek... Yeah, that looks pretty Dark Ages, if you ask me.

Again, welcome back home!
Julian

5:23 AM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

MB -

Will you be reading other sources of info now to get in touch w where America really is? Seems that wherever you were getting info was simply wrong. So many are saying this was a shocker, but it wasn't a surprise to tens of millions.

I wonder how much this has to do w ISIS in Europe. People saw how left wing politicians allowed ISIS into ththe country w refugees, leading to the Paris attacks. Trump basically won on immigration (build the wall and keep Muslims out).

It's a shame how you underestimate the stupidity of the population. I'd suggest visiting anywhere in America outside of city centers, it's a different place.

6:42 AM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

Just from perusing headlines on Reddit.com, here is the rogues' gallery of news-outlets that have distinguished themselves in the category of "American Pravda journalism":

Newspapers: The New York Times and The Washington Post

"Elite" magazines: The New Yorker and The Atlantic

Online journals: The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, Salon.com, and Vox.com

Oh, and now The Atlantic is trying tell people that Obamacare had nothing to do with insurance premiums going through the roof this year as well as last. These people really have no shame, in classic American-grifter style!

7:35 AM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

Hola Wafers and MB,

Welcome to the United States of Trumplandia. I wasn't surprised by the election results. The resentment was everywhere I looked. Progressives that agitated against Clinton got their wish- the TPP is over and with that a windfall of high paying old jobs will surely come back home. That was the carrot at the end of the stick for rich republicans - according to statistics of this years voters income most republicans make over 50,000 a year while most of Clinton voters make less than $50,000- to hook the resented Bernie voters into their camp making a Faustian bargain over other social issues they were willing to forfeit- like Medicare privatization, social security cuts, repealing Obamacare, women's equal rights, repressive anti- immigrant laws, lower college costs, climate change etc- in search for that high paying job in order to look down at the colorful ethnic strange looking neighbors while driving their brand new gas guzzlers. Wealthy Americans - those who laugh their asses out at middle class, colored, poor American wannabe rich republican voters- can expect a windfall of tax cuts unlike they have ever seen while low income Americans and the poor can expect the middle finger firmly lodged into their anus. Why is it that Americans repeat the same mistakes? This orange debauched bonehead will be George W. Bush on steroids but as I said earlier, Americans are all about being able to brag about autonomy and their non government dependent self insured lives-just like their role models, the very rich- which is why they could care less if all government safety nets disappear so long as that brand new high rolling job gives them the status they think they deserve. I applaud all of them- may they get what they wished for. Cheers to Americans getting what they deserve!

Ps: may Cheeto head be as embarrassing to all Americans as he is to the rest of the world! (although Americans have proven over and over embarrassment is like second nature to them).

JC

9:32 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

lack-

Try not to write in an insulting vein, if you can. 1st, those tens of millions had no hard data to back up their hopes or expectations. All of the polls had Hillary ahead, including in the swing states; those tens of millions just chose to ignore this. 2nd, what shame r.u. talking abt? I assume you meant intelligence rather than stupidity, BTW. In any case, I had already analyzed the great popularity of Trump long before Nov. 8, if you had been listening, and made the pt abt coasts vs. heartland. Anyway, in future be sure to be extremely courteous, or you won't be on this blog much longer.

Bull-

Check out Twilight bk, ch. on Monastic Option.

Ram-

Time 4u 2 start assuming yr relatives are brain damaged, I'm thinking.

mb

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

No surprise with Trumpo winning--Michael Moore had the top 5 reason's he'd win. Many americans live in a 5G aquarium and do not viscerally understand what folks are going through. Hence, the elite, establishment, blowhards proclamating 24/7 nonsense with bullshit polls, etc....

As Dr. Berman and WAFERS have stated many times over-- MSM is a joke--it's simply a propaganda tool for the professional working classes to help them feel that everything's ok in the business ("country")--they pepper it with a little criticism here/there; however, most folks with a functioning brain stem know that the MSM is a propaganda tool for the elite americans.

Ram--your relatives continue to "live" in the failed business--they are not exempt from douche-baggery. americans are severely allergic to reality and truth. Either NMI, or emigrate. Those are THE 2 options.

10:33 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Since others have confessed their sins here, I confess to not having voted since I cast my first ballot in 1972, for George McGovern. At the time, I had a student deferment, but upon graduation from college in 1973 registered for the draft. My lottery number was 15. Haven't voted since. Here's another George on the subject of politicians and voting. Apologies for the ad; it's America after all.

https://youtu.be/xIraCchPDhk

And on climate change and similar catastrophes:

"At the risk of losing objectiveness but keeping candor, we are fucked."
[-says Professor of Thermal and Fluid Sciences John Abraham]

"According to recent reports, Trump has picked long-time climate denier and spokesperson for the fossil fuel industry Myron Ebell to head the Environmental Protection Agency transition. This basically means the EPA will either cease to function or cease to exist. It also appears that the US will pull out of any agreements to limit greenhouse emissions.

It means we have missed our last off-ramp on the road to catastrophic climate change. That may sound hyperbolic, but I study the rate that climate change is happening – the amount of heat accumulating in the Earth’s system. We didn’t have any time to waste in implementing Obama’s aggressive plans, and Trump will result in a decade of time lost."

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2016/nov/17/trump-begins-filling-environmental-posts-with-clowns?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

10:50 AM  
Blogger David said...

I always wondered why the public was so obedient and subdued in America? Is it the 70 years of indoctrination by the National Security State under the guise of defending "freedom" or is it simply a heritage of intolerance to criticism that has been with the nation since at least the 1830's when Tocqueville observed it. Regardless a nation of sheep is not going to change the political landscape much. "Don't rock the boat" has always been part of the national discourse.........

11:25 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

I think the situation under Trump will remain extremely volatile, and we just took our hands off the wheel moments before the final plunge off the cliff. The financial situation of the country is something out of a piece of absurdist literature. Not only do you have an oligarchical class, you have one very much in the image of Donald Trump - an economy of image and appearance, where teenagers that build internet toys become millionaires and men who might start families find themselves picking at scraps. No tangible wealth here. See Martin Shkreli for a view of the state of not just the former working class, but the rich themselves.

But images can dissolves so fast. A few more percentage points of blocked web ads, as more and more people adopt Ad Blockers, and the entire fake web economy can unravel. You have scammer after scammer after scammer trying to get people to do fake courses to work in the internet economy of the future; this while traditional student loans will just start to be ignored and abandoned. These things will all collapse, fast, suddenly, and hard, and the people that elected Trump will turn on him and his image just as quickly.

This is really dangerous, we are way overdue for a simple cyclical recession, never mind the epic revelation of empty post-2008 promises the next one promises to be. You can have the Silicon Valley illusion, national health insurers, and the banking industry facing a null point of insolvency while the president sits up in his gold tower reading old media reports about his hands.

This will be the greatest popping of a narcissistic balloon imaginable, and it will be disastrous. Would not be surprised if WAF becomes an obvious question within the next five years.

12:41 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Well, I called it months ago that I thought Hillary was going to lose. As for hard data, I had a little. When Trump held a rally, 100,000+ people showed up, when Hillary held one, 9000 showed up. It doesn’t take a statistical math wizard to see why that’s a problem. Also, the polls had an implied assumption that there would be a record turnout. It never made any sense to me why anyone would think that would be the case, quite the opposite, actually.

Something the Trump victory has overshadowed; the Democrats have been losing ground for years. The Republicans have made steady gains over the past eight years at the state level. Currently, there are only six states left that have both a Democratic governor and a Democratic state legislature. Of the representatives in Congress, one third of the Democrats come from three states…The Democrats are in real trouble, they could easily find themselves relegated to being a rump regional party if they don’t pull their heads out. Pretty ironic when you consider that Trump was supposed to blow up the GOP and demographic changes were supposed to make the GOP irrelevant.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Frantisek Panuskova said...

Lieber Herr Dr. Berman,

A few days ago I had an argument with two German journalists of Deutschland Radio - kind of the German equivalent of NPR. Our disagreement started with my objection to their view of Bernie Sanders being just a left version of Trump. Both "made of the same fabric." What makes them supposedly equal is, of course, that they are both populists, in that their ideas are "unrealistic." US journalists made the he same argument in the NYT and The New Yorker by the way.

I was flabbergasted reading this oversimplification between a demagogue and a popular leftist from what I thought as pretty thorough and enlightened press people. They deny that economic questions are at the heart of what decided the election. It's a fabrication of the left. Instead they pointed to cultural factors such as Nativism at the source of rising authoritarian politicians in Europe (the Balkans, Turkey, Hungary, soon maybe France) and now the U.S. In my view, people who are and feel secure economically rarely turn to radical ideas. Nativism, xenophobia, reflexes against political correctness, against minorities my amplify, accompany or be the consequence of a perceived or real economic crisis, but I still don't seem them at the root of it all.

Despite decades of enlightenment thinking, the French Revolution would not have started without the economic suffering of the many and the rising price of bread in Paris breaking the camels back.

Am I missing something here?

Thx.

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Derek said...

Hey Wafers,

Just out of curiosity, did anyone on the blog vote for Hillary? While I generally agree with much of what is posted here, I did vote for Hillary, I suppose because I still retain a glimmer of hope for American society. Yes, yes, it's probably misguided and misplaced, but I'm young (24), so cut me a little slack please. I'm sure I'll become as disillusioned as everyone else here once the protests wither away and achieve nothing...For what it's worth, I've lived in France for two years and just recently got back to the states for the election (great timing, I know) and could be categorized as the type of person that Marc outlines - a Bernie supporter that voted for Hillary to prevent Trump from winning. By the way, I don't hold anything against those of you who voted for Trump or who didn't vote at all; I understand your reasons and motivations.

-Derek

3:19 PM  
Anonymous MatthewK said...

Great post. Loved it, on the money.

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Tellis said...

apparently it is Philosophy Day! Our best to one of the most humble and terrestrial philosophers living, our own Morris Berman!

This Monty Python bit never gets old!

https://youtu.be/-2gJamguN04

Also, my fried Rebecca asked me to contribute my 5 fav philosophy books/treatises to her book club ideas list, I thought I'd give 5 here too, but philosophical novels since Mr Berman always mixes it up:

Middlemarch
George Eliot

Moby-Dick
Herman Melville

Death in Venice
Thomas Mann

The Black Prince
Iris Murdoch

Infinite Jest
David Foster Wallace

... and anything from Umberto Eco...

Is Wallace too dark? Oh well.

3:20 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Welcome back MB.

In celebration of Trump's victory, I suggest you get yourself a refreshment in the Mexican heat:
http://thenextweb.com/gadgets/2016/11/17/coca-cola-selfie-bottle/

Kanye

4:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kanye-

I keep waiting for a selfie device that one employs by ramming up one's ass. Of course, in the case of most Americans, the problem is that their heads are blocking the pathway.

Tellis-

Was very sorry to learn that Rebecca is fried. Poor thing.

Fran-

Wow! That really is retarded. I lectured to a class at the U of Mainz on the econ reasons for Trump's victory, and none of the students were surprised, so I dunno what to tell you. As for the German press, I fear I can't tell you much in that regard, altho of course given German history, nativism is surely to be seen as a crucial factor (which it was).

Chris-

I did think the turnout wd be large, given what was at stake; but I was wrong. I guess abt 48% of eligible voters voted, which is pretty low.

Anyway, thank you all for the flood of opinions and info. We need to adulate ourselves more, celebrate our own brilliance. This much is obvious.

mb

7:10 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Dio-

I'm w/u, amigo. Trump is something we have never seen before. He is a threat to the Republic. The political class has yet to come to terms w/Trump's existential threat. We are on the edge of a near-death experience of the American idea and experiment. The only hope is that those who supported Trump will turn on him; will see that they have been conned. I tell ya, we are about to witness the closure, permanently, our our collective future, and see it replaced w/something terrifying. Right now, Trump is orchestrating his own version of Pravda in the WH w/Bannon to hide the fact that he knows nothing; protect his lies; and control reality and events. I speak for the Republic as a whole, and not from a particular partisan position: Trump is the type of figure the founders constructed the Constitution to resist. Our duty as citizens was to realize this. We have failed. We have voted to plunge this nation into destruction.

Miles

7:27 PM  
Anonymous DiogenesTheElder said...

Some random thoughts:

I voted for Hillary. I have kids. I thought that limping along would be an OK thing at least until the kids are grown. Indeed, I agree with the good Dr. B on most if not all of his analysis. However, I'm doing the best I can to put food on the table and fight for what's right (yeah, I'm part of the resistance...watched too much Star Wars as a kid). I am horrified that a malignant narcissist demagogue has finally managed to take over - and "the people" invited him to do it! And make no mistake - he will rule, not govern. Indeed, this is the Suez moment; all that it will take for naked fascism in the US will be another 9/11 or something close. And I fear it will come either through sheer incompetence or obfuscated complicity. If we manage to make it another 4 years without some such moment, or a nuclear war, I will be grateful.

While it is, of course, repugnant, the appointment of Bannon to the White House is seemingly the only thing about which the progs are concerned. I've seen relatively little concern as to the plans of Ryan and company to gut Medicare and privatize everything. Amazing. The entire social safety net (as shredded as it already is) is about to get torched, and everyone is focused on Bannon. Bait and switch much?

Get ready for the Trump Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore brought to you by Exxon. Let's see what else you've won!!! The culture of entertainment, the culture of narcissism has its champion, The Orange One - the best salesman in the world, evidently. Pretty easy sell it turned out to be; I had to explain how the whole voting thing worked (you know, the popular vote, electoral college, etc.) to my college students. The notions of citizenship and the common good, on life support as they were, are dead dead dead. Never have I been more convinced of MB's thesis, and there really should be T-shirts: "I live among dolts" or, as a former curmudgoenly colleague used to say, "you can't make chicken salad out of chicken shit."

DTE

8:03 PM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

Following on from Christian Schulzke, tt seems to me that the grotesque orange haired cartoon character is not really the problem, but what he has unleashed definitely is. Because the repugnants now control almost everything they have the power to implement their radical deconstructive legislative programs, the details of which were listed on some leftish sites during the election campaign.

But even worse is the VP Mike Pence and what he stands for and probably intends to do, in line with the repugnants deconstructive legislative programs, and much more too. Check out the Intercept essay by Jeremy Scahill titled Mike Pence Will Be The Most Powerful Christian Supremacist In US History.

8:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

I need to have a serious talk w/u all abt something that's been on my mind since Nov. 9. Pls pour yrselves a Scotch or glass of wine, put yr feet up, and hear me out.

I'd like to draw yr attn. to 2 essays I published a few yrs ago, which appeared (respectively) in Counter Punch and Tikkun, and which are archived on this blog: "From Hustlers to Thugs," and "Slouching Towards Nuremberg." The 1st made the pt that if you start out w/a hustler culture, it will eventually evolve into a thug culture. This has now happened, in spades.

The 2nd essay, comparing the US to Nazi Germany, suggested a possible, if paranoid, scenario: I fly into DFW at some pt, am picked up by the FBI, and disappeared into Guantanamo. While I still regard this as unlikely, I'm no longer so sure it's as paranoid as it sounds. Nor do I think it totally paranoid to imagine that this blog is closed down by the gov't, sooner or later. This president is nothing if not a loose cannon.

With these things in mind, I'd like to ask any of you if you'd be willing to form a support team, outside of the blog. What I am suggesting is that you send your email address, blog handle, and real name to me at mauricio@morrisberman.com, for me to then circulate to everyone else on the list. For security's sake, I would accept only those names I recognize, i.e. genuine Wafers. Hopefully, we can get a group of 10 or more to participate. Then, in the event that the blog is closed down, or I am not responding to any of your emails, you can correspond w/each other and decide what to do. Of course, there may be nothing you *can* do, if I have indeed been disappeared; but I wd feel just a tiny bit safer knowing I'm not entirely alone. In addition, you cd in effect maintain the blog, after a fashion, by means of group email.

I don't mean to be alarmist, but I think that w/this new admin. in Washington, literally anything can happen, including hyper-surveillance, very heavy censorship, and outright violence. As I wrote earlier, we now have our (domestic) Suez Moment. I have been predicting the crackup of the American empire since 2000; that day cd well be upon us, and in such a situation, anything goes. I hope I'm wrong, but what is unimaginable today cd become the norm tomorrow--as I indicated in "Slouching Towards Nuremberg." This is the old frogs-in-slowly-boiling water experiment.

I also received a suggestion from one Wafer, that we might eventually want to exchange snail mail addresses, in the event that the ethernet breaks down (on this, see my essay, "Super Sad Love Story"). This is probably premature at present, but it's an idea we may wish to mull over at some future pt.

Hard times ahead, my friends. When an empire goes into an accelerated phase of decline, it doesn't look pretty. And I never believed, in my role as historian and prognosticator over the last 16 yrs, that I was spinning out some form of science fiction. When I wrote abt our collapse, it was not from an abstract or fantasized perspective. All of this has real consequences in the real world, which we are seeing today. Those consequences have been showing up in the details of our lives, and will continue to do so.

In any case, I think it safe to say that the American 'experiment', such as it was, is finally over. We are entering a post-American era--something that I think will come as a relief for much of the rest of the world. But it ain't gonna be happy times at home. Of that, I have no doubt.

Anyway, let me know what you think.

mb

8:42 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB - I'm withholding judgment for the moment as to whether we've skipped over our Weimar period, or whether what we are seeing right now is Weimar circa 1930 as the Great Depression ramped up and the Nazis went from a fringe party to the largest party in the Reichstag. At the moment, Trump does NOT have an organized, disciplined party behind him and seems to be largely flying by the seat of his pants. Another difference is that the protests against his election have been largely peaceful, and we don't (yet) have the pitched battles in the streets as between the Social Democrats/Communists/Nazis of the 1930-1933 period.

That doesn't mean, however, that we're going to get a full three years of warning as the Germans did before Hitler finally came to power. Right now, I'm holding my breath waiting for us to have our Reichstag Fire moment that justifies a massive nationwide crackdown on terrorists. Keep an eye out for everything from a "lone" gunman to a true false flag event.

I'm actually a retired federal government employee who has quite a number of friends who are still working for various agencies. Right now, the big freak out is mostly the dread of having to report to know-nothing Trump political appointees. I can state with some certainty that rank and file feds voted overwhelmingly against the Trumpster (hence Hillary winning formerly red Virginia fairly easily) and are in many cases just as afraid of what he might do as the average citizen. It should also be emphasized that he currently has only a skeletal group of advisers who seem to barely comprehend that they are somehow going to be expected to run a four million-plus member bureaucracy. It could be that Trump ends up just monumentally screwing everything up rather than imposing fascism. At the moment, I'd be more worried about groups out there like the Bundys (who SOMEHOW managed to get acquitted) being emboldened and ratcheting up attacks more violent than their takeover of that wildlife refuge in Oregon.

Should I get wind of any truly disturbing rumors that I think WAFers should know, I promise to post them here. I'd love to decamp from the U.S. myself, but since my overall health was shattered by the cancer it looks like I'll be going down with the ship.

10:20 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

On Trump’s Victory

November 10, 2016 / Gilad Atzmon

The incapacity of the entire American progressive and Left establishment to foresee Trump’s landslide victory suggests that we are dealing with people who are institutionally detached.

Just three days ahead of the presidential elections, the Huffington Post pathetically criticised star pollster Nate Silver of “Unskewing Polls in Trump’s direction,” for suggesting that Trump victory was realistic. Ryan Grim wrote: “HuffPost Pollster is giving Clinton a 98 percent chance of winning, and The New York Times’ model at The Upshot puts her chances at 85 percent.”

There is one outlier, however, that is causing waves of panic among Democrats around the country and injecting Trump backers with the hope that their guy might pull this thing off after all. Nate Silver’s 538 model gives Donald Trump a heart-stopping 35% chance of winning as of this weekend.”

(http://www.huffingtonpost.com)

The Huffington Post goes as far as accusing Silver of“making a mockery of the very forecasting industry that he popularized.”

In perspectives, Nate Silver and his 538 were obviously spot on. The Huffington Post and The New York Times were totally off the mark. Is it a coincidence?

How is it possible that the Democratic Party, the mainstream media and Wall Street have managed to totally miss the level of anger that unites the American masses. These questions go far beyond polling strategy or the science of statistics. We are dealing with a state of being aloof on the verge of total detachment.

The rest:

http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/2016/11/10/on-trumps-victory

10:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Michael, Bill-

Thanks, but pls keep to half a page maximum in future posts. These are just a tad too lengthy.

mb

10:42 PM  
Blogger MadeiraPlains said...

Hi WAFers. Longtime Canadian reader, infrequent poster, here. I've been a follower of Dr. Berman's work since DAA was published and have been reading this blog for many years. I'm just glad for this little oasis, here with all of you, as we watch the coming onslaught of fuckery. I knew it was coming but it's still kind of surreal that it came this quickly. I don't know what to do.

11:39 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

I was developing a thesis that opposition to British and American imperialism was a common thread in yesterday and today's fascism, and while researching, I came upon this quote from proto-Nazi Houston Stewart Chamberlain:

"The English press is the most insufferably arrogant, generally ignorant, the most passionately one-sided and narrow-minded in its judgments that I know; it is the universal bully, always laying down the law for everybody, always speaking as if it were umpire of the universe, always abusing everybody all round and putting party spirit in all its judgments, envenoming thus the most peaceful discussions. It is this and this only which has made England hated all the world over. During the whole year 1895, I never opened an English newspaper without finding War predicated or threatened"

Boy, does that sound familiar! I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Boar's Head said...

Dr. Berman/WAFers:

First of all, I'd like to thank you not only for writing the WAF trilogy, but also for maintaining this blog and communicating with us here. Something has never felt quite right to me in this country going back to when I was a kid, and the WAFer trilogy really connected all the dots for me; we're a bunch of greedy fools who lust after Learjets and venerate those who have them.

Secondly, while I understand your motivations regarding attempting to form a support team I think it is akin to closing the barn door after the horse ran out. We live in a mass techno-surveillance state that puts the GDR to shame. Not only can the government read all of our email, they track our snail mail too via the USPS MICT program. If they felt like rounding us up it would be a simple matter to hack your email account or put pressure on whoever runs your server, grab our addresses, compare them to MICT, and voila! We'll all end up together in America's equivalent to Hohenschönhausen in an ad hoc WAFer summit.

I'm not totally hopeless though. America runs on Bernays sauce, the constant propaganda Wurlitzer organ blasting 'Ladies of Spain' 24/7/365. It's been so effective, that despite your numerous articles and books, less than 200 people worldwide post here. Why waste the resources on Dirty War/Algerian style disappearances of WAFers when such resources are likely to be used more effectively on modern day Fred Hamptons and John Africas?

1:11 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Check this out...Politcal Economist Mark Blythe on how Capitalism is unfolding...

https://youtu.be/-K8bf6dbYt4

2:19 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Boar-

Thanks for the info. Yr probably rt, they can hunt us down and disappear all of us. But I still think it's worth trying to form a Wafer Support Group (WSP) even so. I shd add that since I made that appeal, no less than 6 Wafers came forward to be counted on board.

I do agree w/u that I'm extremely small potatoes, and not even on the radar screen. The problem is, ya never know. During the McCarthy era, the govt tended to focus on small potatoes because they were vulnerable, whereas the major potatoes often got a pass, since the govt didn't want to precipitate an international outcry. I don't think it's likely they will care abt me or this blog, but the govt that is shaping up for 2017-20 looks pretty oppressive. Mal sehen, as the Germans say.

Madeira-

Thank you. The thing to do is stay in Canada! Or, if you live in the US, return to it.

mb

4:09 AM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...

I gotta say, I feel a bit alien here at the moment. I didn't vote as the only two choices that "mattered" were terrible, but I do admit to being slightly relieved that Hillary lost. Trump is an unknown quantity politically, and much of the Hitler hyperbole in the press makes me reticent to rush to judgment, rather than overly wary. Will he accellerate decline? In some areas yes, but IMO, the bigger problems that have come into full view in this election cycle are that we have an administration marching us to war with Russia, we have a nearly fully controlled press that was pushing one candidate, and that expanding globalization remains Prio 1.

I don't have much if any faith in Trump, nor do I think the president alone could ever do much to right the sinking ship, but I really don't see how Hillary was a safer choice.

Also, MB, Die Zeit has, unfortuntely, become a staunch backer of our imperialistic foreign policy. Since the Ukraine fiasco began, then influence of the neocon set has become extremely obvious in the German press. Sueddeutsche has lost the plot here, too, as have several other mainstream publications.

4:19 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

The "victory" of DJT over HRC will probably keep the lid on the pot a little while longer. Angry whites are approaching the boiling point and the results will temporarily appease them. I can't wait to listen to my right-wing relatives around the Thanksgiving table.

6:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Birn-

They sure will get riled up if Trumpo fails to deliver on his campaign promises. But he may do that. He's starting out by appting some pretty ugly dudes as advisors.

Trans-

Don't feel alien; lots of us here, including me, are happy 2c Hillary depart the political scene forever. As for Die Zeit, yr rt, except they always do terrific articles on culture (the "Feuilleton" section).

mb

8:03 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Perhaps, President Trump will repeal FATCA and permit americans to live in peace without constant IRS intrusion. Currently, americans are finding it very difficult to open a bank account given the onerous american requirements of FATCA. the govt imposed a 30% penalty for those countries who did not sign on with FATCA. thank obama--it was done quietly and most countries fell in line with the empire's worldwide reach. If you get outta hand, there's 38 us military bases in Germany alone.

wonder when that bad ass from the mean streets of HI is gonna get an high paid BS professorship at some ivy league. that way he can smile, jive, and keep the yankee doodle someday hope alive!

8:48 AM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


Querido Tio Mauricio,

When you were gone I was a bit ronrey...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEaKX9YYHiQ

The "downside" of Waferdom (Ram, take note.).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtCR6P5rsXU

Bienvenido de vuelta.
Con cariño,
-Esca Dreg




10:32 AM  
Anonymous SrVidaBuena said...


NMI or emigrate has become more than just a thought experiment for us in the last few weeks. Previously my thinking ran more along the lines of: just find the ‘sweet spot’ here in the US, make it work for us, ignore the idiots, avoid the techno-nonsense, etc. And it wasn’t going too badly. Geographically, the Seattle area is very nice, just way too many people. I’m introverted enough that I don’t need the contact with like-minded souls, if there even are any. The wife has found her own group of latinas to socialize with. Meanwhile we can both earn way more here than we ever will in Mexico.

The plan was to work, save, and retire as quickly as possible once able to live comfortably the rest of our lives down south. The hardest part for me is the work here, doing what it takes to get along with those I work with and work for… now this election. We’ve had several real conversations about moving back to Mexico in the last week, what would be undeniable signs it was time? etc. Truth be told if I were 10 years older it would be easy. Cash out here; leave.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Frantisek Panuskova said...

You will have my email, Dr. Berman.

But let's not despair! As a left Social Democrat, a German and a historian I remember plenty of brave people who stood up to fascism and in doing so risked it all. They are and always will be an inspiration to me. Here are but 4 of them:

1) My paternal grandfather, unskilled worker, called what he saw in the Wehrmacht done to Jews in the East "murder, not war." Almost executed for it because he put it in a letter home that was censored. Refused to partake in executions of captured Russian partisans. Survived.

2) Herbert Frahm, a socialist kid who at age 19 went underground and into exile to resist. Used the alias Willy Brandt to undertake clandestine missions in Nazi-Germany. Under that name he later served as lord major of Berlin and first SPD Chancellor in post war Germany.

3) Otto Wels, SPD, delivered some of the last speeches against the Nazis (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2cjL5lxysQ) and Hitler's "Ermächtigungsgesetz." Paid with exile in Paris where he died in 1939.

"Freiheit und Leben kann man uns nehmen, die Ehre nicht!"

4) Kurt Schumacher, WWI veteran, disabled, also resisted Hitler in the Reichstag. Paid with more than 10 years in Concentration Camps. Became the first post war leader of the SPD. Despite arm and leg amputations and looking like mid-70s in his late 40s he kept going!
Famously said:

"[...] Democracy in Germany will have to be socialist or it won't be at all!"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oySkE_xntQ

If they did it, we can and will resist too.

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Google gets a seat on the Trump transition team.

https://theintercept.com/2016/11/15/google-gets-a-seat-on-the-trump-transition-team/

But the Democrats told me that all of these tech companies were so nice and liberal!

I also expect Democrats to all of a sudden become worried about surveillance and drones now that there is a Republican president. On the other hand, plenty of Americans will cheer Trump on even though they were worried about Obama spying on them and putting them in gulags.

You can’t demand to have a massive, powerful security state and then complain when it inevitably falls into the hands of nasty characters. But most Americans will either take a partisan view of the matter or not care so long as they are not personally affected.

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Pompey Magnus said...

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38030352

'Will Donald Trump Rule Like a Roman?"

asks BBC

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Ram Gana said...

Assorted brief thoughts:

I know I posted a misspelling of "lonelier," and I'm mortified. (It was a missed keystroke, compounded by my failure to heed the spell-checker, and not an actual gap in knowledge.) If you knew my family, the fact that I've bothered to post back about this typo would make you laugh.

Speaking of family, it is highly unlikely I'll be seeing any over the holiday season, from TG all the way through NY, particularly if they insist on talking about the stupid election, and on decreeing that I'm not allowed to speak about it. Why the hell would I bother walking into that?

Botox-face may well be back for another round in 8 years, if not 4 (presuming institutions survive to either demarcation point). There's something about the vapid hyper-communication culture that makes me feel the "loser" stigma is no longer a factor (hard to put my finger on this more precisely). She'd need a complete image makeover, but I could see it happening.

MB: I'm totally in, as regards the blog support team, and I will be sending you my info from another location as soon as I can (there will be a slight delay). It will include a couple of little tidbits that should make clear the fact that it is indeed I who has sent the message and that I am sincere. As regards the first tidbit, I should preface here: think base 16. That will make sense when you read the tidbit.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ram-

Just keep reminding yrself that yr family is from Jupiter, and that they have chopped liver in their heads. That might cheer you up just a tad. Also, I suggest that whenever they address you, or ask you a question, you sing "Who put the ram in the rama-lama-dingdong?"

Fran-

Then there's White Rose, who got their heads chopped off. But let yr conscience be yr guide. Another guide(line) to follow is length: in future, half page absolute maximum. Thanks.

Esca-

Who wdn't be ronrey, without Belman?

Mike R.-

We need a Sudden Wafer Attack Team (SWAT), to go up to Harvard next yr, drink tons of Bud Lite, then burst into Obama's class and hose down his Guccis. Anyone interested in holding the camcorder, let me know.

mb

4:32 PM  
Blogger librarian@play said...

I've been rereading Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death, and it's striking the right note for me at the moment. I first became politically aware during the Iran hostage crisis, on the heels of which he wrote this analysis on TV's affect on public discourse. It still holds up quite well. If you extend his argument to account for the internet (this hallowed corner aside), you can see a clear path through Clinton to Trump.

4:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Finally got links for my Germany lectures. The following is the one on Dual Process, which I gave on Nov. 4. It starts out w/a few mins of ambient noise; then my host(ess) introduced me; then I gave a short intro in German; and then the rest is in English:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7wj3i9o3qooipjf/MorrisBermanLectureUniversityofMainz4Nov2016.MP3?dl=0

The class on the election was on Nov. 11. Please excuse my stupid error, of dating end of WW2 to 1944. I must have unknowingly been on drugs:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/pj7a7z5mpx5mxa0/MorrisBermaninclass11Nov2016.MP3?dl=0

mb






5:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Am overwhelmed by response to my appeal for Wafer Support Group (WSG): w/in 24 hrs, 16 of you signed on. Will wait a while longer for further sign-ups, then will circulate info to everyone on the list. This is called 'circling the wagons'.

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Maurice,

When I first read your 'circling the wagons' piece last night I was surprised that my first feelings were concern about you and feeling frightened for you. Let's hope that scenario never comes to pass!! Exchanging emails isn't much of an answer as someone said hackers could easily get any emails sent to you. This Trump mess is awful to put it mildly.

Marianne

7:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Marianne-

I don't think I'll get tortured and killed in a black site, but take a look at Trump's advisory team: a pretty scary bunch. There's no predicting anything anymore, except that America's future is very dark, and cd wind up being grimmer than anyone imagined (except me and a few others). Perhaps I'm kidding myself regarding the WSG, but I am very glad that there was such a strong response, and that we'll soon be interconnected outside of the blog, hackers be damned.

I knew the American 'expt' was over in 2000, but I cdn't imagine the exact details. Now we have an outgoing president who is traveling the world to hype a legacy that is in fact disastrous--a buffoon, really--and an incoming president who looks more fascistic every day. The terror isn't what the govt may do to me (tho I probably wdn't enjoy it all that much), but the actual implosion of the country b4 our very eyes. 8 years of a punk, then an attempt at the presidency by a certified douche bag, and then 8 years of the destruction of anything human. Quite a show.

mb

7:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: This is what I'm talking abt:

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/11/18/politics/steve-bannon-donald-trump-hollywood-reporter-interview/index.html

8:34 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

It's apparent that if there is a chance that any semblance of representative democracy is going to survive the next four years, the elites of this country--Republican and Democrat--need to take off their partisan blinders, stop their slavish worship of neoliberalism and neoconservativism, and do everything in their power to stop the real fascists from taking over. Among other things, should Mittens get offered the SecState's position this weekend he should immediately put aside whatever feelings of repugnance he might feel and take the damn job. I can't stand Romney--whose Bain Capital shut down a factory in my hometown during the 2012 election and sent the jobs to China--but at least he is a major establishment figure whose stabilizing presence in the cabinet is desperately needed.

Unfortunately, given their total incompetence to date, their is no reason to believe the elites will be at all up to this task either. Romney is probably no more of an institutional impediment than was Franz Von Papen.

10:28 PM  
Blogger Neil 0421875644 said...

Morris is right. At this point Washington is imperilling its alliance structure. US, if it holds together, won't be capable of serious force projection, that anodyne horror.

10:43 PM  
Blogger thucydides Neo said...

Dr. B,
I've just read the last Chapter of Why Am Failed and got fixated on your observation about George W H Bush's comment on the shooting down of an Iranian Airbus in 1988, killing all. He said that America did no wrong and he didn't want to hear about facts. He went on to get elected a president, the comment did not damage his political career. That's exactly how Trump got elected too.

3:08 AM  
Anonymous Daddy Issues said...

Pure, unfiltered hustling....

http://nymag.com/thecut/2016/11/ivanka-trump-is-already-using-the-presidency-to-sell-things.html

Wonder if Trump will hock his line of steaks during the State of the Union?

3:23 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

Sorry, I don't post Anons. You need a real handle, such as Hillarycankissmytuchus.

Note to Jeff-

Got yr note. Is yr Google acct still on the fritz?

Thuc-

I think Bush Sr's comment was something like, "I would never apologize for America." 2 mos later, he's elected president.

Bill-

We must embrace the principles of Romnaic thought. As you know, I have a 5-vol. work on the subject all prepared and ready for publication: "Romney: The Man and the Haircut."

Daddy-

"The business of America is business"--Calvin Coolidge.

mb

4:12 AM  
Anonymous Bingo said...

Wafers,

It just occurred to me that with Trump, the country has a fabulous chance to get back to its single greatest core value: “hustling,” as MB described in his trilogy. Maybe that is not such a bad thing. Proletarian revolutions by comrade Bernie, war, culture, perhaps we should leave to more capable others.

Otherwise, I continue to be amused seeing the meltdown of the corporate mass media in this country over the past 10 days. Last thing, they are colluding with Google, Facebook, and Twitter to blacklist and censor so-called “fake news” sites. Talk about desperate. These media corporations have about as much of a chance of survival as a Tyrannosaurus Rex would in Antarctica today.

To those looking to skip the country for greener pastures. I did that, lived in a few European countries in the east, west, and south. Some nice countries. After a short honeymoon, you will likely feel even more isolated and will run into the same issues that annoy you here now. One reason they call this “globalism” is because it’s shitty everywhere. I could not even reintegrate back into my own country of birth. Almost nobody can after living here long enough. The monastic approach is probably more rational. Also, a lot of the problems you have trouble with are not in the culture, rather inside you. I am a psychologist, and I thought this through while abroad. Best to try to work on yourself before you move to a different country. So I came back, found a place in Florida I can live with, and I'm a lot happier than I was in Europe. That’s been my experience, and I know others like me.

Julian

4:36 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

From Mr. Busy Body (benjamn franklin) conflict of interest printing press articles, to thomas jefferson, to the British promo sales and shyster tactics--the "country" was over before it even began.

It is a business and NEVER was really a country. Hence, why you have employee at will laws (only exist in the us), alta kakas who have to report 2000$ on a 1040EZ and then get audited, IRS FATCA and IRS nationality reporting laws that follow expat americans around like stale elevator flatus, no health care, no university education unless you enjoy 6 fig in stupdent loan debt.

I will eagerly participate in the gucci shoe urination on the lame duck, smiling non identity in the white house. He'll be getting a named professorship quite soon--highly paid, and he'll keep the unicorn, rainbows, and dream talk alive--modern day snake oil salesman. The populace loves happy talk and brightside syndromes--it's all they really got other than debt and taxes for military.

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Trump's Literary Agent said...

http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/17/politics/bernie-sanders-donald-trump-allies/index.html?sr=twCNN111716bernie-sanders-donald-trump-allies0614PMVODtopLink&linkId=31279059

Sanders says Trump can be a Bernie Bro, these guys are all the same.

Bernie scored a half a million dollar book deal, has been lounging @ elite resorts in Martha's Vineyard, truly on the vanguard of the battle of inequity, this guy...

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Slakr said...

The hyper-individualism and pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps, self-made-man mentality is one of the confused and bitter fruits arising out of and perpetuating our culture of narcissism. Instead, seeing our reliance on and interdependence within community becomes a cultural resistance to all that. Is there a culture of NMI's? Will there be?

Yeah, like others on this blog I think it’s way too late to change or help that culture, however I think the wafer support group can be a good idea in at least 2 ways.

1)It might actually work. I have tried to get many activist groups to take surveillance seriously and they usually don’t. If anyone has understood the implications of Edward Snowden’s revelations then they have to understand that surveillance is a very serious threat and has been for a long time. There has to be attempts to avoid surveillance.
2) Even though it may be too late to avoid it or do much about it, to me it’s worth making the attempt because it moves my life in the direction of meaning. Like my wife and I contemplating driving our old RV into northern Mexico in order to get the hell out of here, it may not be practical, but there can be a poetry to it.

9:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Julian-

Not my experience (at all), but then there are lots of experiences. Working on the inner self is great, but in an American context I think it's a very hard slog. I urge any American who can do so to emigrate. If not, the Monastic Option is really the only other possibility, altho if you can find a few compadres along the way, that can make it easier.

Wafers-

A significant part of the collapse of any nation is the collapse of its educational system. To wit:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/higher-education-is-awash-with-hysteria-that-might-have-helped-elect-trump/2016/11/18/a589b14e-ace6-11e6-977a-1030f822fc35_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-a%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.d75d37cae667

mb

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Jorinde AND/OR Joringle said...

great lectures, MB

How did you enjoy your Grimm's Fairy Tales in German?

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jan/20/fairytales-much-older-than-previously-thought-say-researchers

Those tales are truly ancient. Does anyone know of any great studies of them?

9:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jorinde-

I'm sure there are numerous studies of Grimm in German, but that's a bit outside of my knowledge sphere. But you might start with "Teutonic Mythology," by Jacob Grimm.

Mike, Agent-

I tell ya, it's all like the HBO series: A House of Cards.

mb

9:41 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

@Julian,

Inner work is crucial I agree, but the country does make a big difference. Even if hustling has spread everywhere, life is VERY different still in say Germany or France compared to the UK or the US. In France for example there's a cap on the amount of rent landlords can charge tenants per month, people still take an hour to go to lunch every day and parliament recently voted a law forcing supermarkets to give unsold food to charities rather than throwing it out. In the US instead, it's a crime to give money to the homeless. As Wafers we'll always remain strangers in a strange land no matter where we go, but there are definitely nicer places to go than others.

Kanye

10:24 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB-

It's strange: I wrote a detailed post about the contour of Ivanka Trump's legs in a short black cocktail dress w/a pair of stiletto heels sitting in on a meeting with Trumpo and Shinzo Abe. Nothing too important outside of Ivanka's gams, of course, tho part of the post dealt w/Hamilton's warning in the "Federalist Papers" about his fear that America would eventually be destroyed by demagogues. I hit publish and an error page popped up and I lost the post. In any case, I listened to yr lectures in Germany. I particularly liked yr description of Obama as a "tuna" in the WH for eight years and how the audience laughed when you stated that w/Trump we skipped right over our Weimar period and went straight to fascism.

MB, Wafers-

Enjoying all Wafer analysis about where the US is at this point. I tell ya, the pages of the DAA blog crackle w/electricity and zest of first-rate minds at work.

T-Shirt idea:

LONG LIVE THE WAFER BLOG

Miles

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Peter said...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/15/venezuela-crisis-nicolas-maduro-salsa-dj-radio

Weird world, man. Camus, Artaud, even they couldn't imagine it any more absurd. The theater and its double indeed

10:54 AM  
Anonymous SrVidaBuena said...

I think there is something in both what Julian and Dr. Berman say. Few are the individuals who can maintain a state of equanimity in any setting; and there are some, I suspect, who won’t find happiness no matter where they are. I have a friend in his early 70’s, Vietnam vet. Last week he said he was unsurprised by the election, ‘I saw the vile heart of this country over 50 years ago’. He’s retired, can travel, has good savings and (for now) guaranteed income. He’s fairly happy here simply taking what he wants, what works for him, and not letting the rest get him down too much. NMI with options, at this point.

I have another friend who moved to Prague about twenty years ago. He’s made a life which works for him there. He tells me every time he comes back to the states (which is now about every 5 years) that it’s harder and harder to relate to people here. That was my experience living in Mexico for just 5 years. He’s far more gregarious and sociable than I am, so being here may be harder for him.

We’re still planning to leave when we can.

1:18 PM  
Blogger Frantisek Panuskova said...

Dear MB,
I apologize for exceeding the max length on my previous post. Not sure what happened. My 8 pt font text was under half a page on my 36" monitor. Good point about the Weiße Rose!

On the topic of circling the wagons and concerns about IT security I can recommend checking out Pretty Good Privacy encryption tool. People in authoritarian regimes have used it to protect their opposition email communications. Here are the links to the Wikipedia article and the OpenPGP website.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pretty_Good_Privacy#OpenPGP
http://openpgp.org/

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Double-Tall Trumptte said...

Dr. Berman,

Welcome back! And thanks for posting the speeches, and continued posting.

Re the election. I told ya so!

But yes, the polls all had it the other way. Maybe the polls were just plain wrong (or biased or one-sided or paid for)? Like in Britain for Brexit? That would be an interpretation consistent with your point about the Fourth Estate being blatantly crappy.

I'm probably going to have to re-read, re-search your site etc. with regard to immigration because this whole thing, especially the showing up of the media, has me feeling optimistic.

Does the phrase "revalorize the trades" belong to you or Camille Paglia or someone else or some combo? I ask because I wonder: assuming there is a significant deportation program and a significant tariff/trade war... what follows? Or is that just pie in the sky thinking? That the hustlers will never permit such a thing like a 'living wage' and 'revalorization of the trades'?

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Fruit Woman said...

Hello Dr. Berman, Wafers,

Nice to see everyone here helping to make sense of the latest political scene; and quite the scene it's been! Nice to see everyone period. Professor, your trip to Germany must have seemed far too short; sounds like your talks were well received and you got to enjoy the area with lovely people besides. I have three German speakers in my little family, all by choice as if some 2nd and/or 3rd language would somehow be beneficial. (pfft - not very American of them...) Anyway, I found this link to a tribute for a professor who is no longer around, but within this there may be some titles for "Jorinde" to check out re Grimm/German folklore. - Fruit Lady

http://senate.universityofcalifornia.edu/_files/inmemoriam/html/donaldjward.htm

2:59 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

Trump is perfectly in line with America. So is Clinton. We have always been primarily a nation of rapacious swindlers and hustlers with a strange addiction to puritanical cults from the beginning. Dr Berman has documented this brilliantly in his trilogy. Sure, there have always been progressives, an occaisional Melville or Emerson is spit out, but all these stramds are distinct minorities, and always have been. Trump doesn't reveal, just confirms what we already know, if we bother to pay attention.

3:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Daddy-

Sorry, wasn't able to post it (24-hr rule).

Fruit Woman!

Gd to have you back. I speak for all Wafers when I say that we cannot get enuf Fruit.

mb

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

I look forward to trumps presdincey . His election was a validation for me. Now I can tell my family members just look at trump when they tell me they want to come to America. I can also tell American liberals to shut and see who there president is when they start idolize America. Trump represents everything that's wrong with America . Now the whole world can see what I been seeing for 16 years.

9:14 PM  
Anonymous Botticelli said...

The defcon lowering story is complete bullshit.

http://www.attn.com/stories/12867/meme-about-trump-and-defcon-goes-viral

"Again, nothing about it was true. The DEFCON level can only be raised by the president or secretary of defense, and has only been raised above four a few times. The most recent was on Sept. 11, 2001, when it was raised to three, before being dropped back to four a few days later.

This is exactly how fake news spreads. A dubious website passing itself off as legitimate will publish a story that's just plausible enough to people inclined to believe such stories without checking its veracity."

I don't mean this as an attack on bingo or any other wafer, but I'm bothered about how little research so many people do about the things they believe.

10:11 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Mo -- unfortunately, since the election I've still seen quotes from feckless foreign "leaders" nattering on about how important American "democracy" is as an example to the rest of the world. It's as America's countless crimes against humanity since 9/11 are completely invisible both to these assholes as well as to most progressive douchebags.

A real bellwether moment is coming right after the inauguration when AG nominee Sessions and some of these other extremists go up for confirmation. We'll know then whether the Democrats and less radical Republicans have the stones to say no, and then whether Trump goes ahead and uses recess appointments. Say Trump keeps Sessions as AG after Congress rejected him. What could they do? Impeachment is their only recourse, but could they get 2/3rds of the Senate to convict?

Thanks to Bush and Obama, the presidency now dominates the other branches. In foreign policy there are no longer any effective checks and balances. If Trump decides to expand that to include domestic policy Congress has to fight back hard, or see itself reduced in power and influence to the level of the Reichstag after the Enabling Act.

11:06 PM  
Anonymous SeekingSanity said...

Hello Wafers. No need to worry about an email list for people being disappeared. I have heard countless right wingers tell me that ALL genocides and purges in history came from the left. All of them. After all, thesee conservatives are all about freedom...as defined by them, which usually means their freedom to do whatever they want to whomever they want.

On the topic of fixing yourself versus moving elsewhere, I would like to offer the following observation. My IQ places me into less than 1% of the population. I would venture that my IQ is likely average here in Wafer land, more likely on the low side. However, most every aspect of this techno-narcissistic, consumerist society is aimed at the large swath of IQs in the average range. I am not claiming my IQ makes me so much smarter (hell, I still do plenty of stupid things). However, my 55 years on this planet have shown me that I perceive, comprehend and assimilate informaion quite differently than most everyone else around me. I doubt Wafers' individual IQ numbers mean as much as our difference in processing information compared to most of our fellow denizens. Perhaps learning tolerance or indifference are our only options. Just a thought.

12:57 AM  
Blogger Neil 0421875644 said...

I'm not so worried about Trump. Like the late Soviet Union, we see the gerontocracy colliding with reality. Fascism only really has a chance, in mg view, when it's invisible. Since Trump lacks a Goebbels or Hitler's ideological fortitude,Trump will likely accelerate the "alterbative turn" among the more sapient of humanity's sapiens.

2:29 AM  
Anonymous Mikbeth said...

Dr. Berman:

I've seen multiple references to Weimar Germany as a potential lens for understanding the recent election and I understand the parallels. But I'm wondering if this is truly the best way to understand what is happening.

I found this article on Steve Bannon to be quite intriguing.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/steve-bannon-trump-tower-interview-trumps-strategist-plots-new-political-movement-948747?utm_source=twitter

Bannon mentions that he equates Trump's victory as being similar to Andrew Jackson's victory over John Q. Adams in 1828. There are some potential parallels here as well as the Weimar lens. It remains to be seen how this plays out but I suspect the establishment republicans will cave to whatever the Trump administration asks and most of the Democrats will fail to understand what is really happening and will most likely be irrelevant in the next 4 years. I'm not sure where if any meaningful resistance or alternative will manifest itself and mobilize to challenge this movement.

For those of us tied into the system through our jobs and our kids such as myself, we could be in for a world of hurt.

2:48 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

That saddest realization of this election is that Americans of all political persuasions hold those political persuasions with an incredible degree of neuroticism. This was not an election, it's more of a national nervous breakdown, and it seems to be likely to continue indefinitely, thanks to the way in which the digital nature of experience now makes closure impossible.

I feel like I have been trapped in a circular argument for 8 months without any hope of escape. Pro-Trump expression, anti-Trump reply, attack on Hillary, attack on Trump, etc. People are responding to the non-shocking revelation that Trump is going to use his position to enrich his family by attacking Hillary.

It's just disgusting, there's not even any parallel for it in America's true parent civilization, ancient Rome. You now have a culture that seems to be completely autistic and unable to engage in human conversation. I don't think that Trump or anybody can really do very much in this scenario, there will be no 'winner'. Trump himself is just one more expression of somebody living in his own narcissistic bubble, desperate to impose it on others lest he be forced to confront himself. But today, almost EVERYBODY is like that.

Between the changes of the internet and exploding rates of narcissism, this is the most disorganized period of human consciousness imaginable.

3:33 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dio-

We've probably been in a national nervous breakdown for decades now--Jimmy Carter sort of pegged it in his 1979 'Spiritual Malaise' speech--but have been hiding it by means of accelerated hustling since Reagan (America's response to Jimmy's concerns). As of 9/11, we've also been hiding it via a 'war on terror'. With this year's election, and the choice of deplorable candidates, it's now out in the open--but to whom? It's possible that 322 million people feel it on an unconscious level (wh/wd acct for our descent into hysteria), but I suspect the # who really recognize it is vanishingly small.

Mik-

Actually, as I told my German class on Nov. 11, America seems to have skipped the Weimar phase and gone directly to fascism. I was equating Weimar with a Hillary presidency, but thinking abt it now, perhaps it applies to the Obama presidency as well, which had no real meaning or content. As for the right 'lens' to explain the Trump victory: weeks b4 the election, I was talking about the establishment betrayal of the working class, as was Thos Frank; and Chris Hedges pegged it even earlier. Well, 'red' America (Trump included) correctly saw her as more of the same, and they weren't having it. It's why I gave a talk (as part of a panel discussion) in Mexico City, on Oct. 19, entitled "Finally, the Class War Is out in the Open." This is not really in conflict with a Weimar 'lens'--again, if one sees the period 2009-16 as a kind of Weimar period. I'm not sure I do, but it's worth considering, from an historical pt of view.

Sanity-

As regards IQ, see pt (a) at the end of my original post here.

mb

6:22 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Teen depression on the rise in the United States.

http://www.livescience.com/56899-depression-increasing-teens-united-states.html

U.S. Rep. Danny Davis' 15-year-old grandson killed during home invasion. Apparently the teen was killed in a dispute over a pair of sneakers.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/congressman-danny-davis-15-year-grandson-fatally-shot/story?id=43652161

1,200 people are killed each year over sneakers.

http://qz.com/554784/1200-people-are-killed-each-year-over-sneakers/

Newborn baby died in Milwaukee County jail after staff refused help to laboring mother, former inmate says.

https://www.rt.com/usa/367447-milwaukee-baby-jail-died/

6:32 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tom-

Thanks for the links. As I've said before, when a culture dies, this is what it looks like. Culture death is not an abstraction; it is embodied, and this is how it shows up. What we can all be sure of: it's gonna get worse.

mb

7:38 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Check it out:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/20/opinion/sunday/the-end-of-identity-liberalism.html?mabReward=A7&recp=4&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&region=CColumn&module=Recommendation&src=rechp&WT.nav=RecEngine&_r=0

8:46 AM  
Blogger Jeffrey Scott Harpell said...

Hello Wafers,

As a teacher of English as a foreign language here in Spain, I try to keep my students current on words and expressions that Americans use in everyday life. I've started a very short list and am hoping you can contribute more. As I started to create the lexis, I began to notice a repulsive trend which paints a monstrous picture of American society - talk about a reflection of the culture and society. ¡Madre mia! Anyway, here's my measly start:

"crushing it"
"dumpster fire"
"like a boss"
"killing it"
"alt-right"
"lockdown"
"owning it"
"gas lighting"

So, feel free to add more and thanks.

Jeff

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Welcome back. I hope you can make another NYC or environs trip in the not too distant future. Well, certainly not to gloat, but if you recall I did say Trump would win. I thought my reasoning was quite logical. If Hillary could not defeat a black man who is traditionally at the bottom of the US social ladder, in 2008, how could she defeat a rich white man who sits at the top of the social ladder? Also, note that black men were given the right to vote even before (say)a white rich woman which tells the actual status of women in this country. Anyway, I voted for Trump not for Wafer reasons (accelerating the decline) but I just found it abhorrent that Hillary could as Sec. of State sell access via the Clinton Foundation. And, of course, with the selection of Chuck Schumer as Senate Minority leader, the Dems have learned nothing. As Chuck said, "For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in Western Pennsylvania, we pick up two Republicans in the suburbs of Philadelphia and you can repeat that in Ohio, Illinois, and Wisconsin." Each of those states the Dems lost, by the way. Better to lose than forfeit corporate donations in other words.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan-

Actually, Hillary won the popular vote, and in some of the swing states lost by a razor-thin margin (0.3% in Michigan, e.g.). Most of the swing states had her ahead prior to Nov. 8. Hence, I don't know how logical your logic really was; this election was, if anything, an upset victory. That being said, I have no problems w/u (or anyone) gloating. I think it wd have been morally wrong to have botox dripping into the White House. Awful stuff.

Jeff-

Yr really pushing the envelope there. It's all good.

mb

9:48 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Twelve days after Trump's election victory and one day after Mitt Romney visited Trump at his golf course in New Jersey to kiss Trump's cufflinks, I find my cynicism about the system further strengthened.

The roster of Republicans falling in line to support Trump grows daily, as does the line of supplicants hoping for a prized position in the new administration. Remember when Lyin' Ted (Cruz) called Trump a "sniveling coward"? It looks like Ted "misspoke": Trump is now the man we need to "Make America Great Again." (By the way, that is the Oxford Dictionaries' selection for 2016 Word of the Year (sic).)

As for Mitt, take a look at the text of his March 2016 speech at the University of Utah, when he called Trump a "phony" and a "fraud" who would bring us "trickle down racism":
http://time.com/4246596/donald-trump-mitt-romney-utah-speech/

Here's a list of Republicans who thought Trump was a joke, unfit for office. Dozens of them:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Republicans_who_opposed_Donald_Trump_presidential_campaign,_2016

Finally, a clip of historian David McCullough giving his assessment:
https://youtu.be/eimt7yz0ID8

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Double-Tall Trumptte said...

"As for narrower issues that are highly charged symbolically and can drive potential allies away, especially those touching on sexuality and religion, such a liberalism would work quietly, sensitively and with a proper sense of scale. (To paraphrase Bernie Sanders, America is sick and tired of hearing about liberals’ damn bathrooms.)" -Lilla, NYT (link above).

So we were already in our Weimar period --at least with regard to sexual deviance, and can we please get a liberalism that talks mostly about real things like jobs and wages and maybe even unions again?

10:52 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Caffe Trumpte-

That wd be great, but keep in mind that progs have their heads wedged firmly in their rear ends. Christopher Lasch, in "The Culture of Narcissism" (1979), said that having learned, in the 60s, that we didn't have the power to change the things that really mattered, we decided to put our energies into the things that really didn't.

Jas-

On this blog, we prefer to refer to him as Rom Mittney. Shd he become secy of state, I shall be publishing my 5-vol. study of him: "Foundations of Mittnism." I hope all Wafers will dip into these weighty tomes for solace and enlightenment.

mb

11:04 AM  
Anonymous DivasButler said...

Here's a few more words used by modern americans to add to that list Jeffrey:
"Triggered"
"Salty"
"Butthurt"

Interesting how so many of these new words embraced by americans are about humiliating or dominating others.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


Many moons ago I wrote a college essay on 'Beavis and Butthead'. It was not about the obvious stupidity of the two bubbas but an analysis of their foofoo teacher David van Driessen. Which planet do these greenMunchkin liberals come from I still wonder?

Teaching haiku to bubalus-bubalis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1j3UmjEOVQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvVhKYmr8cE

Due process in amerika
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7R_emYOchc

EarthDay in Disneyland
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtGPQbKccxA

Liberals have feelings too,..while the altRt n deepState laughs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTVzSq81wCs

TP (Trump Presidency) for amerika's bunghole
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knL5zY1LRqw

This was the inspiration to write that essay...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvk5LJsFkRc
I "scored" my share of Cum Laude! College in Kardashianland!!

1:49 PM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

Wafers, MB,

I am going to give my 2 cents of what kind of autocrat are we in for and how bad I view things getting. Trump isn't an ideologue. He is an empty narcissistic corrupted hustler who has only self aggrandizement and admiration as a life's purpose. He despises criticism but he can bend over to it. One example is his most recent Tweet against the cast of Hamilton. After a few hours the Tweet disappears. That's not the only time he has vanished things on his Tweeter account that produce a big backlash from the public and media. In other words, we have out very own Kim Kardashian autocrat presidente - an empty vessel looking for constant public approval. That's a good thing- he can cede to media and public backlash.
The problem is his handlers. They will be running the show and they look pretty racist, retrograde, and hawkish on war against Iran. But they are pretty establishment when it comes to aggrandize corporate profits and reduce safety nets. They will dance at the melody of the corporate powers of the Republican Party- war, fossil fuels, finance and real estate; will corporate power want to compromise profits in service of a nativist anti trade cabal? Not likely. This will be George W.Bush on steroids but this is not Putin. If I lived in Iran I would be very worried. And if I were black or Muslim in the South I would move to blue enclaves.

MB, I understand it is hard to predict how crazy the already crazy is going to get. But I wouldn't be too worried about Waferdom closing out. We are so insignificant no one really cares.

JC

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

america will never apologise--ever regardless of what the facts are---we will not ever apologise as we spread our democracy and freedom. G Bush. 1988. Propaganda that would make Eddie Bernays blush. The Iranian commercial jet was blown out of the sky by the americans in 1988; no apology, no inward reflection, no humility nor nobility. This is how an adult acts: "We made a mistake, we're truly sorry, this is how were gonna make it right, and this is what we're gonna do to not repeat this mistake....."

In fact, William Rodgers commander on that us war ship that blew the plane out of the sky was given a medal a few years later---sure he has a dandy tax payer pension for all that freedom and democracy bullshit.

Beg, Borrow, and Steal to leave this sick, corrupt, deranged corporation--maybe change your name to Busy Body (Benjamin Franklin's shyster moniker) and start anew! In my opinion, NMI is a very distant 2nd--even if you have 100 acres in a rural area---you still "live" in the us, pay us taxes/fees, and interact during errands with the narcopathic mouton. Living in a rotting corpse is a challenging option.

Respect for those who have health and/or financial concerns and cannot leave.

2:10 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

An amazing talk worth listening to...

https://youtu.be/q_788ZSkbfE

2:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike-

I never said I didn't respect them; rather, I'm sorry that they're stuck. But yes, sticking around is not an easy task. As for Ben Franklin, he once said: "Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting what to have for lunch."

Juliet-

I hope yr rt. It's just that during the McCarthy era, the govt went after the insignificants because they were vulnerable. Note also that if something offends Trumpo, no matter how trivial, he goes ballistic.

mb

mb

2:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: 2 very enjoyable films:

"Queen to Play" (Kevin Kline)

"Indignation" (based on novel by Philip Roth)

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Daddy Issues said...

Juliet -

My young daughters were debating this afternoon if Trump was the equivalent of the evil Lord Voldemort from the Harry Potter series. They concluded he wasn't, because he lacked idealogical focus and that his actions were too impulsive, rather than resulting from a long term strategy. They did agree, however, that Clinton was like Professor Umbridge, with her creepy duplicitous nature, and sickly sweet smile, while fantasizing about torturing the students at Hogwarts

I asked them if the actors from "Hamilton" might be in trouble once Trump is president. Could he have them arrested for what they said? (My 8th grader and her class performed one of the songs from the musical at their Thanksgiving assembly last week, and she was following the news story about Pence at the show and Trump's threatening tweet that followed.)

After a moment of reflection, they decided the actors would be OK because of protections from the Constitution and the First Amendment. They said there's no possibility of Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr and George Washington being rounded up by militarized cops and marched out of the theater in shackles. Not even an impulsive bully like Trump would do something that stupid.

Our conversation felt like a scene from "Captain Fantastic." Great movie, BTW. Now out on dvd. Dr. Berman, I think you'd enjoy this one, if you haven't already seen it.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

A couple of interesting takes on Trump's victory:

Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/president-trump-how-america-got-it-so-wrong-w449783

Andrew Sullivan, NY Magazine:

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/11/andrew-sullivan-president-trump-and-the-end-of-the-republic.html

Miles

ps: Gene Hicks didn't like his meal at IHOP, so he stabbed his waiter:

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/north-miami/article114372223.html

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Really! enjoyed your lecture at the University. You give your audiences so much to chew on and then the depth of their engagement is wonderful. When you said if it's Hilary, or Trump or Bernie it's all the same, surprised some. And your answer they're all capitalists going in the same direction is a reality that I don't think many people catch, let alone are able to digest.

Marianne

7:44 PM  
Blogger Richard Adelman said...

I have been wondering if anyone would mention Gilad Atzmon on the blog and was happy to see his name come up recently. (I may have missed a mention since I don´t read everything.) Anyhow, he is quite an interesting guy and I think his provocative ideas would be meaningful to many WAFers, even if they find they are not much in agreement. I recommend starting with his book on Jewish identity, The Wandering Who?. Then you can find many intriguing videos on youtube. After that, check out his blog. He is warm, funny and challenging. You will encounter some unexpected ideas. The idea, for instance, that one reason Jews have traditionally favored liberal immigration laws and have promoted identity politics is because they are "good for the Jews" in the sense of distracting from anti-Semitism is something worth thinking about. It may not be simply because, as my Reform rabbi said, "Jews believe in social justice."








Gilad, a self-described "proud self-hating Jew," an ex-Israeli who identifies as a Palestinian, solved his problem of where to live many years ago by moving to London. As a teenage clarinetist in Israel he was knocked out by the music of Charlie Parker when he heard him on the radio, went out the next day and bought bop records and was astonished to find out that the musicians were black. He had been raised (brainwashed) to believe that anything great could only be done by Jews. He went on to become one of the greatest contemporary sax players.
If you want to go further with challenging or threatening ideas you can look at a book Gilad recommended to me, The Culture of Critique by Kevin Macdonald, which you might perceive to be anti-Semitic but maybe not-- maybe just bewildering, such as his scathing critique of The Authoritarian Personality study, which to me had been sacrosanct.

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Tommy said...

http://www.npr.org/2016/07/28/486939319/indignation-based-on-philp-roths-autobiographical-novel-marred-by-miscasting

Neither here nor there , recall this critical take on Indignation, slightly agree but still enjoyed film

9:09 PM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

A prophetic 2004 essay: www.serendipity.li/wot/goetterdaemmerung.htm
Including footnote ref#10 the Yurica Report Despoiling America.

10:18 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

The problem with the Hamilton incident is that Botoxface was able to attend the play without the cast lecturing her on how her policies destroyed the nations of Libya, Iraq and Syria, massacred hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians and caused the European refugee crisis. So naturally the alt-right is now spewing hate and vitriol against the cast members using that little kernel of truth to both inflame its supporters and possibly convince some of those who are currently sitting on the fence.

These last include the apparently millions of voters who apparently said as of election day that they disapprove of Trump but voted for him anyway, and who are key to building any strong anti-Trump coalition. The very same ones so many idiot liberals seem determined to permanently drive into the Trumpenfuhrer's arms by unleashing a never ending stream of insults at them. How can anyone believe that daffy bunch of pc douchebags is going to be able save the republic?

Meanwhile, below is an excellent summation of the "dumpster fire" (nod to Jeffrey) that was the Clinton campaign, written from outside the MSM bubble. Note the incredible incompetence of John Podesta in particular:

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/11/clinton-campaign-gotv-unions-voters-rust-belt/

11:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

This new orientation for the Dem party was effectively launched in 1971 by Fred Dutton in an influential manifesto called "Changing Sources of Power."

Sanity-

Cdn't post it (24-hr rule).

mb

1:27 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

I think the most disturbing thing about Trump as president-elect, is how they are already busy "normalizing" him. I love watching the commentators talking about Trump like he is a serious person with ideas, and hearing the hapless progressives discussing "What is the next step"? What a joke. There is no next step! The only reasonable response to this is to take off one's clothes and run up the street screaming! Indeed, after this, how can a serious person think that the American freakshow has any future at all?

Likewise amusing is how people refer to Trump's "uneducated" base. Well, besides the fact that 55 percent of college educated white women did in fact vote for him, what this fails to take into account is that, in today's America, the majority of people with college degrees are still grossly ignorant. I was in Education for 15 years, and my experience is that most graduating college seniors are without any meaningful culture, and functionally literate at best. With the death of the Humanities (Alan Bloom was prescient), it's a safe bet that 95 percent of them have no idea who Locke, Voltaire, Dr. Johnson, Gibbon, Cicero, Montaigne, etc. even are. So in addition to being infantalized by "safe speech zones" and "trigger warnings", Americans with college degrees are at a lower level than my grandfather was in ninth grade. In a word, having a degree in America today means virtually nothing. I would argue that the collapse of Liberal Education (in it's ideal form, a bulwark against tyranny and demagoguery) at the University level, is one of the significant but less obvious factors in Trump's victory.

No, there is nothing after this. This was definitely the final act.

2:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Marianne-

Bernie is now doing a book promo tour, received megabucks from his publisher, and has stated he will work w/Trump against the corporations. Oh yeah. Level of critical thought I found in that class in Germany wd be hard to duplicate in the US. The instructor had also asked them to submit questions for me prior to the class, which I read abt 1 hr b4 the class began and then (time was running out) tried to answer in class. These were sophisticated in a way I can't imagine American students cd ever achieve. They also didn't sit there using their smartphones, or updating their Facebk profiles--which wd be the typical American university scenario. Etc.

Jeff-

Well, I myself feel for Gene Hicks. But if he had had a drone instead of a knife, he cd have obtained some real justice. Our citizens need to be armed and ready. Meanwhile, gd articles by Taibbi and Sullivan. Taibbi repeats what a few of us were saying prior to the election: this is abt class war. To his credit, he concludes his essay by saying that nothing can be done abt the situation (he forgot to mention emigration). Sullivan, however, is mostly living in Fairy Land:

"We will need to march peacefully on the streets to face down the massive intimidation he will at times present to a truly free and open society. We have to hold our heads up high as we defend the values of the old republic, even as it crumbles into authoritarian dust. We must be prepared for nonviolent civil disobedience. We must transcend racial and religious division in a movement of resistance that is as diverse and as open as the new president’s will be uniform and closed."

Right; that's going to happen. And of course, Hedges continues to call for left-wing 'revolt', which is Fairy Land on steroids. (Jesus, what can ya say?) As for the (non)liberal media, the NYT and others continue to attack Trump, expose the danger he represents--wh/is a gd thing, of course--but who gives a damn abt what the NYT says anymore? Their attacks ironically fueled 'red' America b4 Nov. 8, and are undoubtedly doing the same thing today. In 'red' America, attacks by 'blue' America only serve to confirm the 'rightness' of Trump. Sullivan gets this much rt:

"Hope fades...when you realize how absolute and total his support clearly is. His support is not like that of a democratic leader but of a cult leader fused with the idea of the nation."

The progs will march in the streets, and write op-ed pieces; meanwhile, the nation will continue to move inexorably toward the final crackup; which is well underway.

mb

2:32 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

At what point does the NMI option perhaps just become an MI option? I adhere to no religious doctrine, but as a young academic I essentially already live like a monk, without the vows and the community.

I am by inclination a rather secular person... I love the companionship of women, nights on the town, and the abstract possibility of someday having a family. But I think we are meeting the point where any sort of engagement with the world inevitably results in disgust. I am not going to work like a dog to pay for some house I don't want. I am not going to stay up to date on the latest trends so that we can pretend to be a part of some kind of "society". I am not going to accept secular responsibilities in a world where morons win high office in the government. I am not going to study law in a society with public representatives that engage in Twitter feuds. I am not going to worship the almighty hashtag. You can say that's giving up, but it's such a losing game for everybody that you are best never to play.

If the three vows are poverty, chastity, and obedience, it's really only the last two that give me any trouble. As somebody in their 20s inclined toward the humanities, I long accepted that I would never see much money in life. Chastity is difficult, but becoming more and more appealing the more I see of the arrogance, pettiness, and vindictiveness of Western women today. I think that a huge percentage of men would have long dropped out of society if they weren't so concerned with impressing them.

It's past the point of righteous indignation now. You can't pick sides and find any of them motivating. It's just disgust on a global scale, which is probably what ignited the Christian monastics in Roman times.

3:07 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dio-

You may be making this too global. Instead of referring to "engagement w/the world," change that to "engagement w/American society," is disgusting. Instead of talking abt "Western women," talk abt "American women." These shifts are of course not totally true, but I do think they are largely true. Not every country in the world consists of a large collection of buffoons. Obvious conclusion: go live somewhere else.

Megan-

You said it all. When you refer to progs as "serious persons"--well, they aren't serious, or they wdn't be running around talking abt how things can be changed (check out commondreams.org, e.g.). They just think they are serious, wh/is not the same thing. As for American higher education: yr abs. rt; what a joke it is now. The data on this, the pile of bks on this, are by now enormous. Just teach a class in Germany, and then one in the US, and it hits you like a ton of bricks. Yes, the evisceration/commodification of the liberal arts made Trumpo possible, as did the fetish for electronic toys (which provide information, but no knowledge).

mb

3:28 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

The NYT reports on the underwhelming turnout in Milwaukee- "To some, it was like having to choose between broccoli and liver."

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/21/us/many-in-milwaukee-neighborhood-didnt-vote-and-dont-regret-it.html

6:12 AM  
Anonymous teri schooley said...

Dr. Berman,

Feedback on the election? Well, here's a couple of thoughts.

We've [Americans] been deliberately dumbed down for decades. We've been fed relentless propaganda about red vs blue, liberal vs conservative in an effort to disguise the real issues: wealth accumulation, class, corporatism, rule by plutocracy. We are basically hostages in a power game where we have no part to play, except for that of providing some tax monies and some labor. We, the myriads of the average not-so-wealthy-and-famous around the planet, are held hostage to the politicians in our governments who design the conditions under which we live. Unfortunately, most – or all – of those politicians have no concern about the condition of our lives, our commons, our livelihoods, or indeed about our very survival.

They are blowing up the planet and find it fun. Clinton decided to pressure Obama into decimating Libya, and he went along with it, as did the leaders of most of our allied countries. For no reason. They did the same thing to Iraq and Afghanistan, and they are doing it to Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan. Millions of people erased from existence, just for the fucking hell of it. These are their wars and their resource games. And they enjoy it. They have jiggered the system so as to guarantee that the biggest banks and largest corporations have more rights than we do, and so as to allow these entities the ability to strip us bare. Whether Trump or Clinton, *we* were going to continue to lose. These elites want it all. The politicians are making sure they get it all. The choice offered in this election (Trump v Clinton) simply lays bare that they are finally done with the sham and the pretense. (Clinton's idea to reduce student debt? Kids could get a point taken off their loan vig if they volunteered - worked for fucking free - at a chore formerly provided by a governmental agency. And both the Dems and the Repubs have long worked together to in attempts to abolish SS, Medicare, EPA, FDA, impartial justice, etc. You want war with China and Iran? Vote Trump. Want war with Russia, Iran, and China? Vote Clinton.)

We are all just the hostages used as leverage by the plutocracy in their own struggles for supremacy against each other. But having to toss us a few of our own dollars back in the form of social safety nets or retirement funds or taking care of the commons is finally just not worth it; it affects their profit margin too much. So they have decided it’s time to be done with any pretense that any of them "cared" about us - they're just going to fucking shoot the fucking hostages.

- Teri

“They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they kept only one; they promised to take our land, and they took it.” - Chief Red Cloud [Mahpiya Luta], Oglala Sioux

6:24 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Teri-

Good to have you back on the blog, and we all look forward to more input from you. Just in the future, pls limit your posts to half a page, if you wd. Many thanks.

mb

8:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Mike R.-

Sorry, cdn't post it (24-hr) rule.

Wafers-

Check this out:

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-donald-trump-american-voices-20161113-story.html

mb

9:49 AM  
Blogger Bullshevik said...

Thanks, Dr. B, for adding me to the WSG list.
Meanwhile, something for everyone's consideration:

http://nonsite.org/editorial/listening-to-trump

Everyone I've talked to since the election scratches their head can't for the life of them understand how we ended up with Trump. I've heard them blame millennials, blame those lazy Americans who couldn't be bothered to vote, blame the media and the FBI, blame Democrats who obviously must have voted for Trump. Note that not one of these individuals citing such excuses have lost their jobs, lost their homes or are in danger of losing their homes, lost their health coverage, have outstanding student loan debt they can't possibly repay, or face a future without retirement. Most also call themselves "liberals" and had no problem with Bill Maher bashing millennials as being irresponsible and wanting all kinds of "free" stuff, like health care and university education.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Kachiri said...

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/education/teach-philosophy-to-heal-our-post-truth-society-says-president-higgins-1.2875247?utm_content=sf-man

Philosopphy lacks practical value? Irish president on disastrous fallout of philosophically challenged citizens

10:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Richard-

Sorry, not able to post it. We have an informal rule here of only 1 post every 24 hrs, max. Thank you.

mb

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Fruit Woman said...

Hello Dr. Berman, Wafers,
This guy has been making little videos for awhile, but I thought this reaction was priceless. The morning after; crescendo of disbelief (not to be confused with denial). - Fruit Lady
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxV21tb8OT0

12:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Fruit Woman!

Nice video. I think the guy is overlooking the fact that it was Trump's haircut that swept him into office. Just compare Kim Jong On. I do think I'm going to get myself a little trim...

mb

12:48 PM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

Per the LA Times article 'We're called redneck, ignorant, racist. That's not true': Trump supporters explain why they voted for him

This stood out:
"To hear them tell it, Trump supporters want a government that no longer works to make the rich even richer, offers handouts to the undeserving and caters to the whims of Washington’s army of lobbyists and special interests"

I think these poor souls will wake up to the reality of what Trump really has in store for them long after he's already dug his fangs into them and the rest of us. So if not racists or utter morons at the very least willfully ignorant?

Check this out:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/janetnovack/2016/10/11/trump-tax-plan-gives-47-of-cuts-to-richest-1-new-analysis-finds/#65fb238459fc


1:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

pol-

I think yr rt, but what else cd they do? As Trump repeatedly, and correctly, said in the debates, If you want more of the same, vote for Hillary. She talked a great game, but (again) as he emphasized, It's only words. Also correct. She stood for privilege; she was utterly full of shit. The interesting question now is what Trump's minions will do, if and when he fails to deliver--esp. in the economic realm. A much more serious rt-wing revolution cd be in the offing.

mb

1:27 PM  
Anonymous Emily said...

Dio,

I think it's unfair to only single out western women. The men I've been meeting aren't great, either. I've met one man in his 40s who thought the sun and Moon were the same thing!

Other men I've met never read books, interested only in making more money to buy more toys, disrespectful of women in general, and pretty much shallow. Is it any wonder some of us women act the way we do?

Hopefully when I leave the US I'll run into less psychopaths.

Emily

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Although not perfect—the Ann Kubler -Ross Model of Grief may help explain much of the populace’s thoughts, or lack thereof. “Stages” are---Denial, anger, bartering, depression, acceptance. This model may help those come to terms with their fate in america, and coping with reality/acceptance.

Denial—e.g., this cannot be, we're a "democracy," my father/mommy/teacher said this-that, come in early/stay late, work hard, impress the boss, buy low-sell high, have kids they're great, Horatio Alger stories, "stupdent loan debt is good debt," greatness blather, lotsa $$, you can be anything you want, tap those troubles away.....

anger---because it was propaganda--you were LIED to--vile lies to get you hamstering for some corporation and get into debt. You must eat a turd sandwich and smile...what else is the alternative except leaving the corporation. You got bills? You got kiddies You got a car? Stupdent loans? All bills/debts. You're an american slave.
Bartering—can’t we all just get along, if I do this, that, the other, maybe we can form a revolution, the should list, action plans, etc….

Then sadness, loneliness, grief—helplessness and futility colonises the american “brain.”

After this long depression, acceptance/reality may set it. The choice is yours-- you do, or don't do, get busy livin' or get busy dyin'. Live your life. Climb Mt. Everest base camp. Learn to sing, learn to play the oboe, learn to cook, travel big time--not the typical 10 day us cruise bullsht, but a REAL 6wk-10wk travel, get a friend with benies, learn a language. acceptance. it's the new reality..for your health! Dig it!

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Detours said...

Re: the LATimes story and politically incorrect's insights, check out this essay: "Lessons from Italy: the Dangers of Anti-Trumpism" by Cinzia Arruzza. Excerpt:
"And here is the lesson: Italian anti-Berlusconism ended up consolidating and strengthening Berlusconi’s power, rather than undermining it, by consistently avoiding the real causes of Berlusconi’s success and by justifying and legitimizing years of harsh austerity in the name of preventing Berlusconi’s return to power at all costs. On top of this, it contributed to the self-disintegration of the Italian left and enabled the further neoliberal and technocratic degeneration of the Democratic Party. In 2014, Paolo Flores D’Arcais, director of Micromega and one of the founders of the democratic anti-Berlusconi movement, “I girotondi,” which exemplified many of the limitations of mainstream anti-Berlusconism, would claim that Renzi is worse than Berlusconi. At the end of the day it appears that lesser-evilism delivered the worst.

Anti-Trumpism runs the same risk. Immediately after the presidential elections the white working class has been targeted by Democratic public opinion-makers as the source of Trump’s victory and dismissed as intrinsically racist and grossly uneducated. Third party voters have been accused of contributing to Clinton’s defeat. Attempts at explaining both working class voters’ support for Trump or abstention in light of the effects of neoliberal globalization and disillusionment with Obama’s presidency have been mocked as economic reductionism. And a number of think pieces have commented upon the end of American democracy and the advent of American fascism.." [...]



2:07 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

I’m amazed that people are amazed. People who have zero clue, and didn’t accept there was a good chance of Trump winning, must have been living in a bubble this whole time.

Speaking of which, Saterday Night Live is really on point with this!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKOb-kmOgpI

“In the bubble, you will interact with a wide range of diverse people…who think just like you.” Lol.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Detours said...

Apologies, here is the link if I forgot to add it:

Lessons from Italy: the Dangers of Anti-Trumpism

http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/2956-lessons-from-italy-the-dangers-of-anti-trumpism

2:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Christian-

Only partly correct. Polls had Hillary ahead in most of the swing states, so it was logical to conclude that she wd win. What, then, happened? The people polled either lied, or changed their minds at the last minute. It's hardly an error to call Trump's victory an upset.

Detours-

As Gore Vidal once said, Americans never really learn anything. We won't figure this out, and we shall surely ignore the class-conflict basis of the Trump victory. This will contribute to our demise. Progs esp. are shmucks.

Mike R.-

Can you really see Americans playing the oboe?

Emily-

You will, tho certain machista cultures might drive you up a wall. As far as US men are concerned, most of them are hustlers, which is to say assholes and buffoons. Enuf to drive a woman to drink, really.

mb

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

MB: Enjoyed that NYT opinion piece you posted. Here is another interesting article by the same author:

http://harpers.org/archive/2016/09/only-an-apocalypse-can-save-us-now/

5:21 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Richard-

Well, I luv Charlie "Yardbird" Parker, of course; Kevin Macdonald, however, not so much. In any case, we are missing something key here: w/out Jews, there would be no jazz. I wanna write a book, in fact, about the Jews of jazz. Beginning chapters would investigate Alfred Lion, founder of Blue Note Records, Orrin Keepnews of Riverside Records, Jack Kapp of Decca, Norman Granz of Verve. Might as well dedicate a chapter to Jazz critics/writers Nat Hentoff and Leonard Feather. Subsequent chapters, of course, would deal w/a number of Jewish musicians like Benny Goodman, Stan Getz, Artie Shaw, Paul Desmond, Buddy Rich, and one of my favorites: Lee Konitz. Here's a bit of Lee:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJHCtWkpuH8

Miles

ps: Also, we can't forget Julie London:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWxObuuy9oA

5:34 PM  
Anonymous McAuliffe said...

Good evening, Professor Morris Berman, fellow readers,

Recommended to me by a politically astute friend, I started reading your political books a few mo,'s ago, found them so rich in thought.

This week I somehow began combing throughout this website, to find that the author Professor Morris Berman has another great talent, film criticism. I was given chills by the reviews for the film Plenty, as well as Sundays with Cybelle, and Damage by Louis Malle. I believe these film reviews were written years ago now, and probably not published elsewhere, a shame!

My 2 cents will be this wind baggy introduction of myself to the website, as well as a request for any recent (new or old) film observations made by the author. These should be a regular contribution, for posterity!

Many thanks

6:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

McAuliffe-

All modesty aside, this is the only blog in the universe worth reading. We not only make nearly 100% correct political predictions, give you cutting-edge political and social analysis, but also provide you with film and movie reviews, plus endless entertainment: e.g. how Freddie Wadsworth fucked a goat, or what Shaneka Torres is doing in her prison cell rt now. (BTW, I think there's an essay on Damage in QOV, but I can't remember for sure.) The humor here is so intense that Wafers frequently report peeing in their pants. You get the idea. As the nation continues to sink deeper into shit, the spiritual evolution represented by this blog continues to move ever upwards, in what can only be described as a divine trajectory. We encourage you to join us in this sacred ascent, and like Lorenzo Riggins, fone 911 should you get stiffed a cheeseburger by McDonald's.

mb

6:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Full Steam Ahead!:

http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-california-secession-calexit-htmlstory.html

6:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Straight from "South Pacific" (with apologies to Oscar Hammerstein):

There ain't nothing like a prog
Nothing in the world
With its barking like a frog
There ain't *anything* like a prog!

Wafers are encouraged to modify other popular lyrics to fit today's political scene.
E.g., anyone have updated lyrics for "Take Me out to the Ball Game"?

mb

8:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

What happens when progs get punished?

I'm a regular reader of the New Yorker, and mostly enjoy it (much less when it endorsed the 2003 war on Iraq). But its election campaign coverage is a gd example of prog bias, prog stupidity, and the relentless attack on one candidate by the MSM. The Oct. 31 cover has two swearing-in ceremonies: top, Hillary, w/Bill holding the bible; bottom, Trump, with Putin holding the bible, a sly smile on his (Putin's) face. Cartoon by Barry Blitt (whose stuff I generally like), w/caption: "Significant Others." Message: Hillary's unsubstantiated charge that Trump was a puppet of Putin. Inside, the mag's ringing endorsement of Hillary, running several pages. The editorial begins: "On November 8th, barring some astonishment, the people of the United States will, after two hundred and forty years, send a woman to the White House." It ends on the note that her presidency will represent "a thrilling possibility for all Americans." Jesus, if there is one thing Hillary wasn't, it was thrilling. "Boring beyond belief" is much closer to the mark.

So then the New Yorker gets its comeuppance, and the "astonishment" happens. On Nov. 14, Barry Blitt once again does the cover: a guy on the subway, reading the newspapers, with the headline ANYTHING BUT THAT. Inside, an editorial by Jeffrey Toobin, essentially saying that it was James Comey's last-minute letter about additional Hillary e-mails that sunk the election for her. (She argued this as well, of course.) My ass.

I'm happy that a major prog journal got a pie in the face; I'm not surprised that they have no understanding of why Trump won, nor of their own role (along w/the NYT, WashPost, etc.) in making that happen. When progs get punished, they--like Trump--blame something on the outside. They never seem to get it, never seem to wake up. Back to Gore Vidal: "Americans never learn anything. It's part of our charm."

Poor, clueless progs. I'd like to see them get punished even more, but finally, it won't make any difference. High IQs, dumb as a stick.

mb

8:49 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

One thing progs and dems don't seem to understand - qualifications don't mean shit in modern American politics, especially presidential politics. Think Reagan or both Bushes. What was slick Willy anything but a really good bullshitter, above all else. Even Obama was largely a great marketing campaign. Marketing is practically all that matters, the bigger name you start out with the better. Trump was just a better marketer than Hillary. Nobody gave a shit about all of her qualifications, Americans never do. If progs and dems were smart, next time they'd run a Hollywood liberal like George Clooney, Matt Damon or Meryl Streep for prez. I think they'd have a great chance of winning, and it would be irrelevant what the policies would be, as long as the message is entertaining and has the right emotional resonance, regardless of facts. Anyway that is the strategy I'd recommend next time. Run someone with a big fancy name who's liberal at the same time. Lebron James maybe too. There are tons of choices.

9:24 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB - thinking more on the idea that the time of Obummer actually represented our Weimar period--especially in light of Trump's apparent dressing down of the MSM powers that be today--I've half-wondered for years whether his top priority as president was to prevent a right wing coup. Not that he likely came into office with the intention to do a lot more than he did on the economic front, but that he didn't realize before he got to the Oval Office and saw the intelligence reports just how real was potential of a fascist uprising.

It would go a long way towards explaining why he did not attempt to prosecute the banksters who crashed the economy, the CIA torturers or the war crimes of the Bush administration. It would also go along way toward explaining his utter timidity in the face of rapidly escalating random gun violence, his dithering while innocent blacks were being wantonly gunned down by rogue cops and the way federal authorities coddled the Bundy crazies for weeks after they took over federal property by force (coddling which ended up being the key to why those assholes were acquitted).

Of course, since Obama was one of the key Senators who rammed the awful TARP law down the country's throat in the face of public opposition reportedly running around 99-1 against, a key moment in creating the political climate that ultimately gave rise to Trump, I'm hardly going to shed a tear for him.

12:06 AM  
Anonymous Daddy Issues said...

This is hearsay, and not surprising, but still worth sharing… A work colleague today told me he's related to one of the many lawyers employed by Trump. His relative told him that Trump doesn't give two fucks about anything he said on the campaign trail, and that he simply picked out scripted lines that would get the most votes to win. For Trump, all that matters is winning. It's all about 'the deal,' about getting as much wealth and power as he can, while basking in the adulation of as many people as possible. He's not Hitler. He's not Caligula. Trump is the oversized digital billboard at the cross roads of Capitalism and Narcissism.

12:20 AM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

A chilling video on how the alt-right white man was born to rule, especially in the USA
www.facebook.com/TheAtlantic/videos/101548235257484

2:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

Cd be, but I think it more likely that he didn't really have an agenda, beyond being president. His record prior to that amounted to almost nothing, really; the only thing concrete in his campaign of 2008 was that 'we mustn't continue the Bush regime' (which he did). My own take is that he was and is an empty person, and that once in office, he just went with the flow. Rather than having a vision or strategy, everything for him was ad hoc, and his presidency was very timid, consisting basically of fancy speeches and silly attempts to get the GOP to come around.

mb

6:09 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

I thoroughly agree with you regarding the New Yorker. Their endorsement of Hillary was nauseating to say the least. Still, I think they fully redeemed themselves in the November 21 issue where they had a number of writers opine about the election especially the essays by Mary Karr, Gary Shteyngart, and Larry Wilmore. My favorite though was by Toni Morrison who I feel caught the mood perfectly: "So scary are the consequences of a collapse of white privilege that many Americans flocked to a political platform that supports and translates violence against the defenseless as strength."

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Man- o -man Dr. Berman---you aren't kidding--Die Zeit and Le Monde are very good---the american "news" papers read like a Bernay's 4th grade comic book.

Does anyone with an IQ>55 take american "journalism" seriously, or can mention american "news" papers/TV "news" with a straight face?

12:05 PM  
Blogger Richard Adelman said...

To Mike R. and Morris-- I also can´t imagine many Americans playing the oboe, of all things. It just happens to be a very difficult instrument, requiring deferred gratification pattern (very un-American that)-- but maybe Mike R. was jesting.

To Miles Deli (incidentally I always loved your handle and, as we now know and I long suspected, it reveals your dual identity as jazz buff and yid)-- Well, not being a jazz afficianado I didn´t know all these folks were Jewish. I look forward to your book and wish you all the best with it. Frankly, though, I am skeptical about the idea that without Jews we would not have jazz. You might be interested in Klezmer music; I can refer you to fine sources dating back to 1906 which helps to contextualize Artie and Benny. Please write me at richardadelman@gmail.com for details because I don´t think this info. is of general interest to blog readers. Very briefly, in any case, a couple of essentials: Folklyric Klezmer CD, Naftule Brandwine CD, Abe Schwartz CD. Fascinating to find out Julie London was Jewish since I went to High School with her daughters and didn´t notice. Of course her husband (Jewish?), Bobbie Troup, had a weekly jazz show on TV.



Many Jews have been important in my field, which is Latin and Afro-Cuban music-- Larry Harlow, Barry Rogers, Lewis Kahn, Mark Weinstein, Mark Levine, John Amira (the pioneering white bata drummer). Currently Michael Spiro is maybe the most knowledgable non-Cuban Afro-Cuban percussionist around and an outstanding teacher (following ancient Jewish tradition of excellence in teaching). And the Palladium in New York had integrated crowds but each week one night primarily Jewish, Italian, black, or Latino.



12:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike R.-

When an entire nation is dumb, it becomes hard for individuals in that nation to recognize that. 88% of Americans never leave the country. It's hard for them to imagine that things are fundamentally different elsewhere. Those who do go elsewhere for an extended period of time slowly begin to recognize that the US is something of a (bad) joke. The logic is identical to that of the Parable of the Cave, in Bk 7 of The Republic. For most Americans, life is abt pursuing shadows.

mb

12:27 PM  
Blogger Jacob James said...

Trump won. usa, usa, usa...

I understand you're worried about the blog being shut down. As part of the United States department of Propaganda, I would like to inform you that it is not fear you are feeling, but the anticipation of being saved. Please keep calm, and remain watchful during this transitory period. As we say at the department of propaganda, a vigilant society is a healthy society.


On a more serious note, I keep wondering if I'm to try the monastic option, or leave. I know my home state of Texas has a secessionist movement, but it's not exactly enlightened. It's (unsurprisingly) openly racist (vs the opportunistic racism we currently have). I guess I'll prepare to leave while trying the monastic option.

1:01 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

MB asked if anyone had updated lyrics to “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Well, the following lyrics have been going through my head all morning. With no apologies to songwriters Albert von Tilzer and Jack Norworth, here’s my rendition:

TAKE ME OUT OF THE TRUMP GAME

Take me out of the Trump game,
Take me far from that crowd,
Read me some Belman, and Tainter too,
I don’t care ‘cause Merica is through.

Let us root, root, root for the Wafers,
They will not win, shed a tear,
For it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out,
In the new Trump year.

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Detours said...

For sure MB, you've got that right. So it's no wonder that the recent film about Vidal was called "The United States of Amnesia." And Wafers, to illustrate what Mike R. Is saying, check out Glenn Greenwald's latest article: "Media Stars Agree to Off-the-Record Meeting With Trump, Break Agreement, Whine About Mistreatment"

According to what Greenwald heard, Trump was very mean to them, and most of them were "offended." But 'amnesia' saves the day, as Greenwald quickly recognizes:

“ 'This was unprecedented. Outrageous.' But in the next breath the journalist said this about the brutality they suffered: 'I know I will get over it in a couple of days after Thanksgiving.' "

Getting over it. So that's what you put on your resume to get hired at the 'New York Times'? And "after" Thanksgiving, you say? Yeah, well I'm sure most of them have moved on right now, at this very second. There's nothing like a little gathering around the turkey with friends and family to celebrate the extermination of the indigenous population to ease the mind, body, and soul. Amnesia indeed. So there we have it: stupid fourth-estate progs, with their coveted 'insider' status and their 'access.' At least Trump and his right-wing buddies don't (and won't) forget how to hold a grudge, and will have the 'cojones' to not ever let amnesia get in the way of humiliating their enemies, especially these cowering media 'journalists.'

https://theintercept.com/2016/11/22/media-stars-agree-to-off-the-record-meeting-with-trump-break-agreement-whine-about-mistreatment/

3:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

Sorry, I don't post Anons. You need a real handle. E.g., IpeedonHillary.

Jack-

I sang along to yr lyrics, then I wept like a baby. All Wafers are in yr debt.

mb

6:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Bad news:

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/11/22/politics/conway-no-clinton-charges-donald-trump/index.html

I was hoping Trump wd have Congress pass a law making it illegal to *be* Hillary Clinton. Then, once convicted, she wd be sent to Zanzibar for 20 yrs, where she wd be required to practice her laugh in front of a mirror 10 hrs/day, in her jail cell. Alternatively, she cd be wheeled around the red states in a little cage for a year, laughing at everyone while they threw rotten fruit at her.

Hey, a man can dream.

mb

6:29 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB-

Well, perhaps what Trumpo is revealing to us is a secret *crush* on Hillary. Did those pantsuits drive him crazy?

Jack-

Brilliant lyrics.

Richard-

I sent u an e-mail. Let's talk some jazz. BTW, I'm actually a gentile Wafer, sad to say.

MB, Wafers-

Daniel Colon, 46, unable to find bathroom, "urinated over 6-cases of Busch Light" beer sitting inside a cooler at a Florida 7-Eleven store:

https://www.sebastiandaily.com/news/florida/drunk-florida-man-uses-7-eleven-cooler-as-bathroom-2084/

Miles

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Ram Gana said...

Had a nice wafer moment whilst having a bite out on Sat. afternoon, when an opportunity arose for me to do something that I once here suggested another wafer might have done in a similar (though not identical) situation. Upon overhearing a couple of potential wafettes at the next table discussing the sorry state of society in general, I grabbed a pen and scribbled on a piece of paper. When they got up to leave I handed one of them the paper, on which was printed: The Twilight of American Culture (2000) by Morris Berman. Wouldn't you know, she told me she had a client who'd just spoken to her about the very title! I hope our random encounter has intrigued her enough to check it out, now.

7:22 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Medical Errors Are No. 3 Cause Of U.S Deaths, Researchers Say.

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/05/03/476636183/death-certificates-undercount-toll-of-medical-errors

@Dr. Berman,

I wonder how Trump supporters will spin that one? Refusing to prosecute Clinton will be just one in a long list of betrayals by Trump.

Meanwhile all of those poor and working-class Republicans can expect attacks on whatever is left of the American social safety net.

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/22/13641654/paul-ryan-trump-poverty-safety-net

Americans seem to fall for slick con men. Ronald Reagan was probably the first of the modern con man presidents. Trump is the latest version, although to be fair Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were also con men, so this is not just a Republican phenomenon.

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Steven said...

http://nytimes.com/2016/11/21/books/richard-rortys-1998-book-suggested-election-2016-was-coming.html

2016's quad-annual circus was not unbidden to Rorty's book from '98

Rorty was always a smart cookie

9:28 PM  
Blogger CB said...

Thanksgiving dinner at the Trump's:

"Well kids, I am really thankful for the uneducated , so very um , greatly thankful. Yeah, Big league!" says DT , a large drumstick in his hand , gravy running down his chin. "What are you thankful for Ivanka ?" " Oh , you dad. So what if I was born on third base. The plebs still think I hit a triple and can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan without 5 nannies . Lol. They all want to buy my dresses too." (Big toothy grin) DT Jr (aka d-bag #1) chimes in .." I can't wait until you open up the national parks to hunters. Then I can kill a beautiful , endangered species right in the USA." " Yeah!", cries DT Jr # 2 . "Melania , what are you thankful for ? " Icy stare directed at DT then looks at Baron , who is staring at his iphone in his lap. Well then , let's raise a glass ( wine being poured by illegal immigrant) . USA! They cry. DT snaps his fingers at illegal immigrant about to leave the dining room . "By the way , I want a plate of left overs brought to my room at 3am for my Twitter rant so you can't go home to your family tonight. You won't get any extra cash for that , but I will make it up in your Christmas bonus , Big league!"

9:37 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

It's Worse Than You Think (2 pages)
By Chris Hedges
TRUTHDIG

http://m.truthdig.com/report/item/its_worse_than_you_think_20161111


10:11 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Here is an epic, angry takedown of douchebag Obama from a progressive who really gets it. The only reason I wouldn't label him a WAFer is that it is clear from his other videos that despite knowing how completely fucked the US is he still has a little bit of hope that we might be able to turn things around someday:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrqAUebq6Ic

12:26 AM  
Blogger BM C said...

Hi Morris. I don't have anything really to say about Trump, other than he's a giant douche. I am currently reading "A Question of Values" and really enjoyed essay 16 "Ways of Knowing". It made me think of experiences I used to have when I was still a child. I remember once when I was still young, perhaps in the 5th or 6th grade, I got into a playground fight and was reprimanded and was brought to the Principles office. The Principle was admonishing me severely and I was filled with shame and anger and was crying and could not bring myself to look at her but instead focused intently on the desk that was in front of me. The trauma that I was feeling was entirely bound with what I was looking at, with the physical appearance of the desk. It was as if what I was feeling could not be separated from what I was looking at. For some reason I thought of these types of moments I used to have when you mentioned Hectors helmet and how it sat there "on the ground, all shiny and motionless, reflecting the light of the sun." I am curious if this is what you mean by "sensuality that thinks" I do not know, I haven't thought of these experiences in quite awhile but was reminded of it reading this essay. What are your thoughts? Your writing has been very inspiring. Thank you.

12:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Daniel Colon is my new hero (move over, Brittany Carulli), altho I wish he had flown to DC and unloaded on Obama's shoes instead. Check out that face: what you see in that face is the future of America; altho Shaneka Torres is pretty gd in that dept. as well. :-(

Tom-

As an ex-B-movie actor, Reagan was, in a way, a dry run for Trump. [insert vomit emoji here]

Ram-

That's great, but I'm sorry she didn't give you her fone # in return. :-)

mb

12:30 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

BMC-

I think I talk abt that phenomenon in CTOS. Also check out the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and John Finley's brilliant little bk, "Four Stages of Greek Thought." Esp. relevant is the 'madeleine' scene in vol. 1 of Proust, which is a great description of kinesthetic knowing. These are not mystical experiences (which are 'vertical'), but rather satori experiences ('horizontal'), where the mindbody recognizes reality for what it is, independent of intellectual categories.

mb

12:44 AM  
Anonymous Boar's Head said...

WAFers:


It appears our latest and greatest naval vessel cannot even make it through the Panama Canal without calling for a tow (https://news.usni.org/2016/11/22/uss-zumwalt-sidelined-panama), our new aircraft carrier cannot leave the pier (http://www.defensenews.com/articles/carrier-ford-has-serious-power-problem), the entire LCS fleet's engineering staff has been ordered to retrain and re-certify (https://www.navytimes.com/articles/navy-orders-big-lcs-changes-after-engineering-problems), and $400 billion later the F-35 still doesn't work (http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/26/politics/f-35-fighter-jet-problems-gilmore-memo).

Meanwhile, the Chinese whom we depend on to purchase our treasury issues are capable of launching 3 ships that work in a single day (http://www.popsci.com/china-gets-three-warships-one-day).

How did the empire end up dumping billions of dollars into crappy weapons systems that don't work? In a word, hustling; generals and congressman keep these turkeys funded in return for cushy jobs at defense contractors when they retire/leave office (http://pogoarchives.org/labyrinth/07-cockburn-w-covers.pdf).

When historians write about the fall of the American Empire generations from now, they'll be writing a tale about how we beat ourselves, about how we rotted from within, about our sick corrupt hustling culture. At this stage in the game, I'm just hoping our fall from grace is more like the relatively peaceful collapse of the USSR as opposed to the bloody collapse of the Romanov Dynasty.

12:52 AM  
Anonymous Daddy Issues said...

Tom Servo-

Everything old is new again.

Check out this now classic Dead Kennedys song from 36 years ago. Evidence the political circus has lasted for generations.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4a1Rlyc0iM

(I was Governor Ronald Reagan, Born Again with fascist cravings. Now I am President. Human rights will soon go away…Cut taxes for the rich, and strip mine Big Sur…Drafting young people in the army, so they can go shoot some nuns in El Salvador, to secure just another small deposit of oil so you guys can fill up your hot rods.)

And another early 80s D.K. performance, posted on FB in response to Richard Spencer's speech in Washington.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTs_Q4hEqmA

(Nazi punks, Nazi punks, Nazi punks…FUCK OFF! )

On that note, here's a useful map tracking Hate Groups in the U.S. Now up to 892.

https://www.splcenter.org/hate-map

1:56 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

I think we have a conflict of two principles here. First, you have the Midwestern Trump supporter, who feels totally powerless and can't really imagine any future for himself. Second, you have the Silicon Valley type, who absolutely wants nothing to do with these type of person and their worldview, and has created a complete inescapable globalism of digital connectivity. The third, "old Democrat" is now out of the picture. The paradox of Trump is that you have somebody building hotels worldwide and using the international resoures of the internet tapping into a nativist sentiment.

I am not a techno-optimist, far from it, but I think that tech has done a lot towards making hypocrisy in high public figures more and more difficult to sustain. Trump won thanks to the very CA technologies that are destroying all the traditional employments. And he can't really turn on them; the internet cat is far too much out of the bag, but these people really can't stand him, and the internet will also eventually turn on Trump.

So public and over the top battles between coastal new economy oligarchs and one offended, slightly more 'traditional' oligarch seem to be in the cards. Of course, an economic collapse that takes everybody's legs out from under them is a real possibility, in which case we probably really start in look like Russia in the 90s.

2:52 AM  
Blogger Rook said...

I'm seriously considering turning off my Internet connection for a month. At least I'll have a month of Belman and Wafer hilarity to look forward to!

4:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dio-

I doubt Trump won because of technology--any technology. All of this was available to Hillary as well, after all.

Rook-

To Queen 4? Anyway, we'll miss ya!

mb

6:35 AM  
Blogger Mark S Deagle said...

Dr Morris Berman i have read your books in the past and you are right on. The USA is going down fast. Would you please give a speech soon on how you see what Trump will do to the USA.I love hearing what you have to say. If things get real bad i can move to Canada, ham both an citizen of the USA and Canada and have both past ports. Thanks Mark

9:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mark-

Pls post at most recent blogpost. No one reads the old stuff. Thanks.

mb

4:49 PM  
Anonymous Ezra said...

Mr. Morris Berman I have follow you for quit some time and read most of your blogs, watched all your youtube videos. Never posted bc I am paranoid about the electronic panopticon. how do you feel about seeing all this? for many years your saw it coming and its finally here like terminator telling John Connor "it is time"
anyways I live in Chicago buy I am from Cuernavaca and hope I can be in your wafer's list and in case everything goes ( and will) dark.

12:34 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ezra-

Pls send messages to most recent blogpost. No one reads the old stuff. WSG list is for active participants, sorry. I predicted fascism for the US in CTOS (1989).

Gracias,

mb

9:41 AM  
Blogger plbodden said...

you already have my email address, morris. it begins with "design". i am more than willing to be a member of the support team. i'll follow up with an email message. bon courage, cher ami ! ps: i'm not just worried; I'm worried things may be worse than we can even imagine.

6:18 PM  
Anonymous James Watrous said...

Prof. Berman first of all I enjoyed your trilogy about America. Or at least as much as one can enjoy those books. I think your more or less right on about Hilary and Bill Clinton. I voted for Jill Stein because I couldn't in good conscience vote for Clinton or Trump. I am not to thrilled about Trump being in office, but I wouldn't have been about Clinton either. I said to myself I would give either Trump or Clinton a chance after one was elected. I am still trying to do that, but I got to admit, I am not to keen on many of the people Trump is hiring to work for him. Only time will tell how good or bad of a president he turns out to be.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

James-

Pls send messages to most recent post; no one reads the old stuff. Thank you.

mb

3:10 PM  
Blogger Mark S Deagle said...

The people are going to get what they deserve with Trump and is not going to be good, when he gets done with taking the country down. The people will be begging for tricky dick to come back LOL. even from the dead.

3:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mark-

Pls send messages to most recent post; no one reads the older stuff. Thank you.

mb

3:31 PM  

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