January 20, 2017


The Age of Trump Begins!


Blogger comrade simba said...

I was hoping for a tire to get set on fire during all the protesting by the progs but so far just one small trash fire.

2:50 PM  
Anonymous JRS said...

Yes, Age of Trump is here.
Good-bye to the President empty hope and change and hello to the Reality show shit storm Twitter in chief.
Learning social, cultural and psychological Aikido for the times ahead.

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Those marches, pussy hats, womyn's parades, protests, social narcopathic postings, and bricks through charred "coffee" shops will certainly do the trick and help turn american around.

Forget the 400yrs+ of endless wars, hustling, opportunism, a kleptocraptic shit hole, employee at will, FATCA, military-industrial complex, and on. Marching, snarky chants, and fecesbook postings are very very important and can elicit real change.

Hope and change--heard that before.

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Alot of truth in that Salon article linked to at the end of the last thread. A few truths that seem to have not made it in to the article:

1). The Trumpistas had nothing to do with Sanders being denied the Democratic Party nomination. If anything, the residual wind from their movement helped give lift to the Sanders campaign.

2). Sanders would have clobbered Trump in the general election.

Yes, despite all that truth in that article, we could have just as readily seen a socially liberal, Democratic Socialist sworn in as president today. The reality that we didn't is all on the Democratic Party insider establishment and the liberal administrative and professional class that sold their souls to it.

The cognitive dissonance of the modern liberal mind never ceases to amaze me.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Steve in SoCal said...

I will be in downtown LA on Saturday dutifully marching in protest of Trump. But the truth is that I would have been marching regardless of who won. Saturday's march is supposed to be a women's march. I find it hard to believe that the women are not motivated by this Trump quote from 2005: "And when you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything ... Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything."

Women were outraged at the sexual assault. On the other hand I find the double standard unintentionally highlighted by Trump relevant at this moment. Isn't the point that Americans will let you grab them by the genitals if you are a star? Obama was a star. Obama grabbed Americans by the genitals with his swamp-creature cabinet. But when a Republican does it, it's outrageous.

My outrage is muted. I favor what Cornel West wrote in the Guardian two weeks ago criticizing black spokespeople: "Their moral authority is weak and their newfound militancy is shallow."

3:56 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Just wanted to give a shout out to the (apparently) 500 or so brave souls who are as I write this down in DC showing the rest of the American sheep was protest REALLY means (in other words, go out and fuck shit up). A burning car and some broken store front windows might not seem like much, but we have to take what we can get these days. Heck, one of 'em even managed to bash a Trump supporting douchebag in the back of the head with a flagpole. I can't think of a more patriotic act!

They are certainly showing a lot more guts than the 250,000 or so spoiled, well-to-do feminists likely will tomorrow during the government-approved Million Dingbat March as they clutch their Not My President signs in one hand and a large Starbucks coffee cups in the other. They could never be expected to pick up and chuck a rock at a police car lest they break an expensively manicured nail or something. Plus, they might get, ya know, ARRESTED, and gee, I don't think the boss would approve of anything like that. Maybe they'll prove me wrong and by tomorrow night I'll be able to see the glow from all the out-of-control fires from my front porch here in Virginia, but I doubt it.

Meanwhile, below we have the real face of America in the form of a woman who tried to pay for a meal at Applebee's with photocopied $20 bills. The mugshot says it all:


5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. B and Wafers,

I just read that the White House is turning 180 degree away from its climate change commitment, replacing it with something like "American-first power plan." We didn't have an ex- ExonMobile executive as a Secretary of Commerce for nothing. The end is gonna be really really spectacular.

Matt S.

5:36 PM  
Blogger dale said...

I am on a progressive listserv due to my days with the local Occupy movement (which in my town was not a wholly progressive thing) for a Women's march this weekend. Here's the reply I shot back:
The naive left is now doing the bidding of the neocon-neoliberal deep state. What a bunch idiots you are, taking your marching orders from the corporate fake mainstream media. How does it feel to be lockstep with the C.I.A? Trump has only roiled the establishment at this point which deserves celebration not protest. When Trump actually does something worth protesting -which is a good possibility- then you protest. But protests with the progressives never really materialized when Obama was there, proving that your sort are only dupes in a divide and conquer ghetto. Have a good time your with self realization and validation exercises, but understand progressives will never affect change because you are endlessly equivocating, spineless and have no real identities.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


In future, pls check in as Matt, and not as Anon. Thanks.


Jesus, what a turkey. Exactly HOW did we get 2b so dumb?


Just a note: I just posted a review of Joel Magnuson's bk "From Greed to Wellbeing" on Amazon. Shd be up in a day or so. Meanwhile, for those of us who are declinists, today is truly a red-letter day. Go Trumpi!


5:47 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I'm so excited to awaken in Trumpenland I think I'm going to pee myself. Fortunately I live in the Bay Area wealth bubble so there should be plenty of eligible Guccis within range.

Conversely I'm terrified at prospect of the revolutionary fervor that will surely be unleashed by the imminent march of the Special Flower Feminists. I'm sure their politically transformative radical fury will match Chris Hedges' wildest dreams and threaten to usher in an age of extreme socialism, replete with the horrors of single payer health care (shudder). Thank heavens the Trumpenführer is here to switch on his super jumbo blow dryer (to medium setting) and melt away their otherwise earth-shaking Snowflake Revolution.

The Abyssal future beckons and opens before us!

6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All of America loves a President who "knows more than the generals" and doesn't respect POWs because "they got caught."

Sometimes I get a headache from the sheer ... dumbness of it all.

7:18 PM  
Anonymous John said...

For those WAFERS interested in contemporary Mexican politics and a satirical Mexican perspective on Trump, the wall, etc, I recommend the Mexican magazine "El Chamuco." Physical copies of this illustrated humor magazine are excellent but the website is good too.


10:33 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

I think someone may have already pointed this out earlier, but for those who didn't see it, Philosopher Richard Rorty seems to have been quite prescient in his 1998 book...


11:02 PM  
Blogger centralscrewtinizer said...

Bill Hicks. Photocopy lady has nothing on dead cricket lady.


My birthday is tomorrow, but new POTUS puts the putz on caring.

On a happy side note, Obungle was headed to California to do some golfing in the sun, but a nasty storm, officially named Hillary, put the kibosh on that. Nature bats last.

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Matt S. said...

Dear Dr. B,

I just check out your review of Joel Magnuson's bk "From Greed to Wellbeing" on Amazon. Thank you. I will check this book out. As a cultural buddhist myself (I grew up in Thailand) the idea of using the Buddhist concept of "three poisons": greed, aggression, illusion (or "lopa, dosa, moha" in Pali) to assess our hustling and consumerist tradition is quite natural to grasp. But I can feel that it's quite counter intuitive to many Americans. This is a country that teaches and celebrates prosperity gospel in all of its varieties with the most ferocious zeal. The American spiritual model is one in which material success is a manifestation of the divine blessing, of a chosen seed, and of life led in a right direction. Treating success and wealth as a spiraling aberration or as a seed that leads to spiritual corruptions is so un-American as to be unimaginable. Even Jesus's own parable of the camel and the needle's eye never really discussed here at all.

1:55 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Good Shabbas and Happy Saturday Wafer community!

@ Bill Hicks - Washington burning, what a sight that would be! It reminds me of a line from a Billy Bragg song called Help Save the Youth of America: "The cities of Europe have burned before and they may yet burn again, and if they do I hope you understand, is that Washington will burn with them, Omaha will burn with them, Los Alamos will burn with them!"


Here's to a warm and burning Saturday.

9:15 AM  
Anonymous John S said...

Watching highlights of the inauguration, the lyrics from the old Barry McGuire song kept playing in my head, "but you tell me over and over and over again my friend, ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction." Yup, that's what is happening, and Americans did to themselves once again, from their own inner lack of core values and even common sense, and there will be no Sisyphus to roll the wrecking ball back up the hill after this. The band aid protests are laughable, they "don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world" in the larger scheme of things, like Bogart said.

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Michael in BK said...

Steve -

Hard to compare metaphorical genital grabbing with suspected actual assaults on actual women, no? A "double standard" is only such if we're applying two standards to the same action, not completely different actions.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check out Shatanya's face. In it, u.c. the future of America. Meanwhile, Obama is an utter turkey. Read my new book, "From Turkey to Fascist: The Final Collapse of the US."


Well said. As a # of observers have pointed out, Obarfa and the progs made Trumpi possible. Do they learn anything from this? Hell no! More progressivism, more misguided politics. "What fools these mortals be" (Shakespeare). Go Trumpi!


11:32 AM  
Anonymous SrVidaBuena said...

Dr. Berman - Your review of Magnuson's book put me in mind of this article from GQ:


It details the practice of 'mind-hacking' to increase work performance, productivity, in short, improved hustling via, of all things, micro doses of LSD - the final co-opting of the counterculture, along with buddhism and 'mindfulness' in the workplace. It's not all gloom and doom, though. This remark had me laughing (still does):

"One guy wrote Fadiman to say that 10 micrograms did nothing, so he tried 25. Then, he reported, “I realized at the sales meeting that I never cared about the stupid product we were selling, so I went home.”


11:35 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Now that's what I call a breakthru. Exceptional, however. I'm hoping for all sorts of breakthrus in the Age of Trump. What wd have been abs. fabulous is if, during the inauguration, he had peed on Hillary's shoes, and referred to the Botox in her face. Well, you can't have everything.

Wafer singalong-

O when the progs
Come marching in
O when the progs come marching in
I don't want to be in their number
When the progs come marching in!


12:10 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Ruh-roh, senior editor of Wired shows signs of removing head from rump. Wafers may want to nip this in the bud by sending him VR headsets and all the very finest techno-toys.


The good news is that in the closing paragraph he reveals his faith in the reflective understanding of the American people. Oops.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Daddy Issues said...

My dear, wonderful wife, after nearly a year of looking for a job, recently took the first offer that came her way. Not in her chosen profession, but of all places, at a car dealership.
It's been a harsh reality check. While most of her co-workers know we have a new president, none of them knew about the inauguration yesterday. None of them know any of the cabinet picks. None of them know the name of the Vice President. None of them know about the protests going on today downtown, though one of them called protesters "spoiled monkeys that break things that don't belong to them. " The only other comment on politics - "Trump is in, so the economy will get better. More sales commissions!"

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

For all the humorous remarks here since the inauguration yesterday it's a pretty sad day this start of a long journey into hell.

I'm taking solace in Michael Moore's prediction he made to a large crowd in New York on Thursday Night. He said Trump won't last for his whole term. And before you laugh remember Moore predicted Trump would be the Republican nominee and then predicted his victory over botox face. Not a bad record.


1:59 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

A Turkey meets a Turd and has an 'extremely interesting conversation'...

...and the Turd's response?

What I know is the color. Turd or Turkey, I dunno.

I wonder if the author of this article is plagiarizing Belman?

"May you live in interesting times," a Chinese curse.

I am sooooo happy to live in these interesting times!! Lord, blimey !!!!

2:01 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

I figured this thread would be named T-1 and forthcoming untitled threads would be T + # days in office.Perhaps today can be known as at.1.2?

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Futility_grabs_back said...

My father is a Trump apologist who thinks Trump'll "get things done" (nevermind what this things are) -and many of my friends are at "protests" right now. I'm just dumbfounded. It all seems so ineffectual and ridiculous. I just caught Trump on the news spending a big part of his press conference about the "intelligence community" (in this country?) insisting he had a huuuuge crowd at the inauguration. Tremendous! Meanwhile one of my community college students asked me if Instagram counted as reading. God damn.

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Alf said...


Mencken on Nietzche

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

This is gonna be even more fun than we all imagined.

Did anyone else see that temper tantrum the new press secretary just had? We all know Trump is an emotional child. Looks like he found himself an appropriate mouthpiece.

This really could go wildly off the rails right quick. I can't say either that I'd be all that shocked if Trump up and resigns in a month or so. What a wild, side-splitting ride we are in for.

Does anyone remember that 70's tv soap opera spoof called "Soap"?

6:41 PM  
Blogger Grille said...

Whoa, whoa, Wafers! Okay, I am a social-democratic, reformist douche-bag. But so be it! I am not beyond the temptations of cynicism myself. But your comments here increasingly remind me of my experiences with the militant Schwarzer Block guys in Germany, who would indiscriminately (and physically) trash everything left, progressive, liberal or conservative (rarely militant Nazis) that did not meet their everything-is-going-to-hell-and-I-feel-unwanted-so-fuck-you-all-standards! And hat absolutely nothing in its place! Are we not getting a bit too close to a nihilistic circle jerk here? "Bill Hicks", if you are so hot on watching the glow of a burning Washington, how about getting up from your "front porch" and go do it yourself? So you can experience the result firsthand. Beats the suburban view, I promise! Jesus! Nothing worse than in-their-porch-chair-farting radicals!
PS: I sincerely hope my frank language did not hurt any of you Armageddon-worshipers!

8:48 PM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

Why such animosity to the women's march and protest in response to the inauguration of the fuhrer.
It is only a bit of harmless theater which is the only way any kind of protest can be made. A collective expression of the 60's slogan; War (now Trump) Is Harmful to Children and all Beings. It could be said that they are attempting to hold up a collective candle of Illuminating Light in the face of the coming darkness - Dark Ages America.

It seems to me that this march is completely synonymous with what is represented in the feminine image on the cover of the original Bantam edition of Morris's book Coming To Our Senses.
And of course Trump and all that he represents is presented by the technological armed-to-the-teeth masculine image.

Remember too that it is always the "snowflakes" that are first to be eliminated when the essentially psychotic hyper-masculines assume power. Or sensing the tempo-of-the-times they flee to the relative safety of elsewhere as did all of the philosophically and artistic sensitive types who lived in Germany during the rise of Hitler, and his calling to make Germany "great again".

Remember too that if Killary had been elected the scale and intensity of the protests would be something else again, especially as, during the erection campaign there were calls for large scale armed rebellion if that were the case.

Meanwhile can you even imagine any sensitive poet, artist or novelist having anything positive to say about the Donald phenomenon - Rilke, Frost, Jeffers, D H Lawrence, James Joyce, Yeats, William Blake, and Morris Berman too.

It could be said that Blake was an early prophetic voice predicting the appearance of the Donald. Via his raging against Moloch and the Dark Satanic Mills.

9:53 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

Watching videos of trump during the campaign. I know America is in decay. But it's still amazing he is president.

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Smack_Smack said...


If the feminists get their way, we won't have socialism. We'll have a different form of fascism: 80% of men locked away in for-profit prisons, being forced to work 16 hours a day for no pay, producing cheap consumer goods for feminists. It's really just Trumpism with different scapegoats and victims. This is why America can't be saved - every significant political faction demands fascism in one form or another.


I agree with you, but the people you refer to as "progressives" are more accurately labeled faux-progressives. As everyone on this blog already knows, their policies are nearly as warlike and totalitarian as Trump's; they might believe themselves to be progressive, but any intellectually honest person knows otherwise.


"Endlessly equivocating" is perhaps the most accurate phrase I've ever seen used to described the faux-progressives that constitute what passes for the American Left. Literally everything they say is hogwash; they stand for nothing. And they cravenly delude themselves and perpetuate their psychotic break with reality at every twist and turn. We should have seen Trump's victory as a foregone conclusion, because scoring a political victory against people that are "endlessly equivocating" has to be one of the easiest things one can do. Of course, conservatives endlessly equivocate as well, but not about everything: their racism, homophobia and lust for violence is completely honest. That's why they won this go around; the Left couldn't manage to be honest about ANYTHING.

12:00 AM  
Blogger remo26 said...

I read an interview with Bill Genovese and James Solomon on a new documentary, “The Witness,” about the murder of Kitty Genovese in Queens, NY in 1964, which has become known as the “bystander effect” or “Kitty Genovese syndrome.” I read the details while I was listening to Angelo Badalamenti’s “Dark Spanish Symphony” on repeat. When I got to the last comments from Bill (Kitty’s brother) – quoted below – it brought tears to my eyes. I also listened to this piece (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlTi0KtDA68 – the shot in the YT is from David Lynch’s “Wild At Heart,” a visceral portrait of Americana) while I watched highlights of Trump’s inauguration on mute – the combination was heart-wrenching.

Quote: Genovese responds with an embarrassed smile to the question of whether he’s bought a new suit and prepared an acceptance speech should the need arise [nomination for best documentary]. He doesn’t think that will happen, but he does know what he would want to say: “The witness to me is me and you and everybody else. It’s Israelis who don’t care about Palestinians who get killed in retaliatory strikes; it’s Palestinians who don’t care about Israelis who get killed by suicide bombers or rockets. We live in a very small world, and nation-state boundaries are very precarious. Somehow we had better transcend this so we can keep what’s good about each country. Because if [we] aren’t able to do that, the other option is reactionary in the extreme, like Trumpism in the U.S. All the great religions ask what we owe our fellow men. I don’t want to sound like a New Age guru, but I do believe that until we can break through these boundaries of animosity, we’re doomed – because dictators will keep trying to mobilize people against each other. We need to focus on education for sensitivity and empathy, and learn how to be better witnesses to each other’s lives. We can no longer afford to be passive bystanders.”

- remo

5:39 AM  
Anonymous Detours said...

"Two decades ago now a long-time activist said to me that Walmart and its cheap plastic crap was the only thing standing between the United States and a fascist revolution."


Excellent essay and right up your DAA alley. But yo, I wonder if y'all will find the author's ideas re: organizing and resistance problematic and unconvincing. Reading thru the archives, DAA bloggers don't buy Into this kinda thing, or find it kinda dumb or naive. Take for example Chris Hedges statement that he doesn't fight fascism because he thinks he's going to win. No. He fight fascism because it's fascism. Seems like many Wafers find that kind of stance to be laughable, or naive, or dangerous. Meanwhile it seems as if this other author, linked to above, is positing this same kind of Hedgian "wages of rebellion" argument with a different twist. But yo, what do I know!!

7:51 AM  
Anonymous WHEN IN ROME said...


8:56 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

[Day Three in the Reign (Rain?) of Trumpus Gloriosus.]

"Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur."

And some wise words from a clear-eyed observer, one who is too little considered nowadays:

"It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office."

"Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under."

"I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time."

"The demagogue is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots."

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."

"Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule--and both commonly succeed, and are right."

H. L. Mencken

More here:

11:15 AM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

And now for something completely different:

News from Antarctica: Women to confront Penguins on Trump's jobs plan....


Women March on the Antarctic

I can see it now,
hordes of these little guys hanging out on street corners with their signs.. "WILL WORK FOR FISH"..."PENGUINS FOR BERNIE"..."PENGUINS DESERVE A CHANCE, TOO"...."PENGUINS UNITE"

The penguins are coming folks...

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Mike R said...

Forget this fake pussy march nonsense by deluded white elite clowns who need their narcopathic fix.

We should/must/need to listen to Gary Keilor talk really slowly about vegetables.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous slakr said...


I just read your recent review on Amazon of Joel Magnuson’s new book. It was great. I plan to read the book.

I have been training in the Buddhist tradition since 1983 and I have been an environmental activist (which comes down to a battle against Wall Street greed in the end) since 2002. The traditions desperately need each other. They have almost exactly contrasting strength and weaknesses.

Buddhism is brilliant at challenging personal narcissism yet often leads to disengagement and tends to become what Slavoj Zizek has called “the new ideological hegemony of global capitalism”. Buddhists tend to make peace with whatever is happening, no matter how bad it is; that is its weakness. So-called “engaged Buddhism” doesn’t do much better, imo (and I have been a member of engaged Buddhist groups). So, you are right, just meditating does not turn that mess around, although I'm sure the vast majority of Buddhists will tell you otherwise.

Activists, on the other hand, tend to always, at some point, begin to promote their own “hero project”, as Ernest Becker called it. You hit on a very key point which is very difficult to get activists to understand when you wrote that “Radicals and ‘progressives’ are very often as much hustlers as the fat cats on Wall Street whom they seek to take down. It's just that they are hustling for influence and reputation rather than for money--but the emotional apparatus of self-aggrandizement is pretty much the same.” It's true. I wonder where you got your insight? Mine was from bitter experience.

I used to offer this critique to radical groups all the time, but it didn’t help, few see their own ego needs. I have seen many groups fail mostly because of this fault. I could go on and on. Currently I just keep the RV running so I can have an escape pod, not that it will do any good. I just feel better knowing it’s there.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Ed-M said...


Two post-mortems on the Democratic Party:

Dems kicked to the curb b/c they stole the nomination from Bernie Sanders: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02uhSjrkcDM

The Democratic Party 'leadership' is more interested in maintaining their positions as servants of the power elite than acting as representatives for their own constituents: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epD4G_DfPGI

Democrate really ARE that dumb!

4:53 PM  
Anonymous DiogenesTheElder said...

WAFers: Attended a local meetup today intended to catalyze resistance to Trump and the Republican agenda. Lots of energy that all seems to be headed in the wrong direction in terms of strategy. Only a few seemed to have a sense of the enormity of the challenge, and there is limited time and energy to mount any kind of organized, ongoing effort. Just feels a bit like p*ssing in the ocean. It will be interesting to see how things unfold when the real authoritarian stuff starts to happen.

Evidently, the Trumpies are busy scrubbing government websites of data in order to create their own reality, devoid of pesky facts. "Alternative facts" they're calling them. Who knew? You really can have your own facts! Stick a fork in it, folks, we're done!

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Bingo said...

I just got through looking at a bunch of pictures from this women protest in DC. Once again, Freud was right: all that anger they exhibited is obviously rooted in sexual frustration. Because seriously, who would want to grab any of those slobs. Case in point: Madonna -- imagine the STDs! As such, I suggest they all run to their nearest hospital and get a sex change operation immediately, before this new President puts Obamacare out of its misery.

And speaking of Feud, I am amused watching the Death Drive under which the mass media in this country continues to operate. It would be nice of them to find a dinosaur cemetery to park themselves in once and for all.


Loved your points in the previous thread about why Jews are in so many socially desirable positions. Not sure about the genetic component, but, as you wrote, the Jews have always valued literacy, education, study, art, overachievement. Other peoples do this also, so this is not so singularly Jewish. Even Western nations did that at one point, which may well explain their past successes. Right now we see some of the East Asian nations focus on those qualities. But perhaps what sets the Jews apart is that, until recently, for lack of protection offered by a geographical Jewish country, we had to rely more on one another and on ourselves. I think this gave the Jews enduring focus that spanned across many centuries, while Western and other nations that reached their zenith faded much quicker. Just my 2 cents.


12:41 AM  
Anonymous stanislav-berjiev said...

Taxation w/o representation enables wealth disparity.

Faux everything gets sucked in.

Go after the boards.

1:10 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Happy New Year Wafers
Up here in Canada we Canadians are all thinking it... Maybe we should build a wall or something because the shit-show called Trumpland is going to get so crazy we need to find a way to protect ourselves! Some of us up here are even hoping some crazy person will put a bullet into that new President of the land of the FREE! Of course no Canadians would ever say that!! Speaking of shit.. gotta laugh about where to let the shit fly! During the inauguration, Workers preparing for the Trump's inauguration Jan. 20 have taped over the name of the company — “Don’s Johns” — that has long supplied portable restrooms for major outdoor events in the nation’s capital. see story in full. Make a America Great Again no shit!
Donald Trump can at least take cold comfort that he does not have British PM Theresa May's problem of sharing a name with Bigger that life British Pornstar!
Truly these times fall under truth stranger than fiction!
Bye from the Nervous laughing Canadian!

4:15 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Forget video games! That's so yesterday. The new FUN pastimes are knocking innocent people out and setting them on fire.



9:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


When things go on for centuries in the same pattern, it might as well be genetic, imo. E.g., hustling is probably now embedded in the American DNA. Epigenesis, I think it's called; sometimes Neo-Lamarckian mimicry. As for Diaspora, several mos. ago I read some bk on why the Diaspora was gd for the Jews. Pretty gd bk, but I can't remember title or author. It's wedged in my bkshelves, somewhere.


The liberal establishment got a gd spanking, and what is so amazing is that they have no idea why, even tho folks like Thos Frank have made it clear. What dummies. So they just keep doing the same goddamn thing that got them into trouble. So they march and shout, while Trump acts.


For more on this subject see the Appendices to my Japan bk, esp. Appendix III, and Brian Victoria's bk, "Zen at War."


Only 4 great thinkers identified the problem as The American People: Mencken, Carlin, Gore, and--moi!


Hedges et al. are into noble gestures. It makes them feel alive, good, and (above all) self-righteous. Meanwhile, it was the smart Jews who hit the rd in 1933, not the ones who stayed and made gestures.


I think you may be referring to the Reenchantment bk. As for my feelings abt Trump: they largely fall into the category of Go Don! The so-called liberals in the US are and were totally full of hot prunes, and got what they deserved. In addition, given the framework of Bad Is Good, Trumpi is exactly what we need. He has promised to "end the carnage," but I'm guessing that he will actually extend it. Historically speaking, the US' time is up; it needs to implode, and get off the world stage. Trumpi is history's "world historical individual" (Hegel), the man for the job.


Only superficially nihilistic; you need to look deeper. Was Arnold Toynbee superficial? I doubt it.


10:24 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Jas: by 'Gore' I meant Vidal, of course.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous futility_grabs_back said...

I've felt really cynical about the protests. I almost feel like I need to say that in a hushed voice. What I'm hung up on is the effectiveness or branding of the marches. There is some worth to just showing dissent in large numbers, but the message was so broad and aimless that the whole thing seemed pretty futile. If they just had the guts to call it, directly, a "anti-trump" march I think it would have had more impact. At least they might get a tweet from tiny hands. Or if this "women's march" were marching for actual legislation or actual changes in the law that they could influence then that also might have had more weight behind it. Instead, I saw a bunch of like-minded people in a huge group-therapy session seeing who can be the most clever with their signage and social media. When people marched for voting rights earlier in the 20th century that was clear, concise goal that was achievable. What was the goal of the marches? My wife went to their webpage on wastebook and couldn't find one. If I learned one thing from the newest Ted Kaczynski book about revolutions - it is that there needs to be a focused goal for a movement to achieve anything. One thing he warned about is having a movement take too many directions at once. This is about the only place I feel comfortable criticizing the snowflake parade. My artist friends would shun me for any critique of their pink hat party. "harmless theater" indeed.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

It just occurred to me that there's gonna be lotsa people looking for some kind of relief in the Age of Trump. Liberals and progressives feel as tho they have been squashed and placed inside a trash compactor by Trumpo. Predictably, millions of progressives have obviously snapped; in need of treatment, or some form of rehabilitation. I believe methods such as talk therapy and more potent antidepressants will fail to ease what's certain to be crippling depression and anxiety. This begs the question of what Wafers can do to help? I suggest these progressives undergo electroshock therapy on a massive scale. Forget Ben Carson and his ridiculous hemispherectomies -- we need to banish progressive demons once and for all by frying what's left of their brains. Who's w/me on this, Wafers? Whose willing to administer innumerable electric brain seizures to our progressive friends?


12:13 PM  
Blogger Grille said...

ok, bear with me. I got to 53 years of age, but am still learning. I was referring to the, in my humble view, nihilistic drift of most of the posts here. I applaud @DiogenesTheElder for at least moving a couple of inches beyond describing the - truly undeniable and epochal - calamities by attending a local resistance meeting. It's okay to prepper-keep the engine of your old RV running, but that must not be all. At least let's be a bit of sand in this apocalyptic machine. No?
And what happened to actually making the monastic option work? What would it look like now that it may have to move from a cultural survival concept to a somewhat concrete plan? Are we all just heading for our RVs or basements when the day, month or year comes?

By the way, looks like the super-rich are headed that direction:
Some of the wealthiest people in America—in Silicon Valley, New York, and beyond—are getting ready for the crackup of civilization.

12:56 PM  
Blogger dale said...

I live in a "statistical" area of about 100,000. It is very middle of the road.
Previous Protests:
War on Iraq 400 people
Occupy Bankster 1% 400 people
March on Monsanto 300 people

The Woman's Protest on Trumpi bcuz he doesn't care :( :( and is indelicate had 3000 to 5000! Did it occur to anyone else we should have never given women the vote? To all the women here I offended...wait there aren't any, I rest my case. Where is Camile Paglia when we need her? btw, any comments on Camile Paglia, Dr Berman?

Great article by Paul Craig Roberts that is tangential to WAF: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/01/23/are-americans-racists/

2:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I don't find these posts nihilistic. Wafers are declinists, and they realize that the US is finished. Trump was assigned the job by History to bring down the curtain, and most of us are enjoying the spectacle of progs ranting and raving and generally living in Unreality Land. As for Monastic Option, or Dual Process: no reason not to pursue these, but keep in mind that the US really is cracking up, and other countries are more realistic venues for optimism and meaningful efforts for positive social change (see my Amazon review of Joel Magnuson).


Perhaps phrenology might also help, I dunno. It's really breathtaking. You look at a web site like Truthdig, and all you can do is shake yr head. As Futility pts out, what is all this except group therapy? Not a drop of interest on the part of these clowns in figuring out what they did wrong. Oh no, let's never do that. Let's just hit the streets, and "oppose fascism." It may be pathetic, but it's also quite funny. There might be a slight ray of hope if they carried signs saying WE ARE A BUNCH OF IMPOTENT TURKEYS, but I don' think that's gonna happen any time soon. They do need therapy, however; nothing cd be more obvious.


3:04 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Another mile marker on the road to hell...

Figures from June 2016 show that there were about 2.2 million Android apps available for that platform's users. More recent figures, from January 2017, show that there are roughly the same number of apps for iOS users. An app to suit every conceivable need, one would think.

Today I learned about an app that is filling a need I never could have envisioned: an app that allows a user to send a compliment to another individual anonymously. It also apparently serves an anti-bullying function I understand. One app to address two burning social issues. We owe the developer a debt of gratitude.

From the NYT:


Words fail me.

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Michael in BK said...

Feminists just want to lock men up and have them make consumer goods? The women at the marches are all sexually frustrated "slobs"?

Honestly - in addition to being unkind, these broad generalizations don't pass any analytical scrutiny whatsoever. I have many of the same questions and reservations about the protests as others have voiced here, but would rather not wade through the most base woman-bashing to find them. Perhaps this puts me in the "too PC" camp, but there it is.

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Susan Woldt said...

slakr-- I've been interested in and reading about Buddhism for a number of years tho I'm a practicing Catholic (which may disqualify me in many of your minds posting here). Here's my take on buddhism which has always helped me -- Buddha went to a village where the people said to him -- Why should we believe you? Lots of so-called prophets have been here and why would we listen to you? His reply? Don't listen to me -- think for yourselves. What do you personally know to be right? What do you know to bring you happiness, joy and peace? What actions in your life have brought you misery and ruin? Don't take my word for anything. Look at reality -- see the world as it really is and not as you wish it to be. Example? The Jews who left Germany in early 1930's saw it not as they wished it to be (I'm sure Hitler isn't THAT bad!) but as the signs clearly pointed. I don't think Trump is Hitler -- only a sign of the times. America's water system, health care, transportation, educational system (and on and on) will not improve. I plan to make the best of things, as best as I can, and stay.

Dr. Berman -- a question for you and your readers. What -- if anything -- could have stopped the Nazis once they got their toe in the door? It seems like history books endlessly debate the Olympics in Berlin, Chamberlain, etc.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Fran--I was KIDDING, in the spirit of those here including MB who (in the abstract) wish for higher body counts from the mass shootings. My beef is that the most affluent women who marched--not just in DC but all over the world--sat on their fucking asses for eight years while Obarfa (love that one, MB) accelerated Bush's program of setting the entire MESA region of the world on fire--killing and maiming hundreds of thousands (including women and children), and turning millions of hapless souls into refugees.

During the Bush years, I marched in antiwar rallies, only to watch the peace movement drop their signs and evaporate, effectively shutting their brains off once the great black savior (and his wonderful XX chromosome SecState) continued or worsened everything that was so loathsome and abhorrent about the Bush years. Furthermore, most of the well-to-do feminists never even got off their asses and did as much as I did pre-Obama.

Well, you know what? Trump is what they deserve in particular, because clearly they had the means and time to pay attention and they just didn't fucking care as long as they could elect the first female president, regardless of how big a human monster she is.

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Quotes from Naomi Klein on Democracy Now this past Friday:
1. ...on a day like today...these guys [Trump et al] are panicked because of the power of social movements.
2. Why is Puzder so panicked? Because of the fight for 15.
3. So this...what I called a corporate coup, is really about panic as much as anything else.
4. Steve Mnuchin and his friends are also panicked about their business model and [ready?] about Occupy.
5. I think we should see this ...as a sort of panicked last gasp.
Could someone please inform Ms. Klein that Trump won 30 states and 53% of women voted for him? By the way, where was Oshitforbrains in the fight for $15/hour and didn't he coordinate the breaking up of Occupy? Funny seeing so many demonstrators holding Starbucks coffee cups. Did any of them make even a slight connection between corporate power, in this case Starbucks, and the rise of fascism via Trump as they were also busy with their I-phones.

8:51 PM  
Anonymous John said...

(I'm sorry, if I already posted it please disregard)

Dale- I like Paul Craig Roberts at times but the article minimizing the role of racism in American society is pretty pathetic. We know the racist feelings and intentions of many Americans because they kept diaries, journals and books about it. Let us not forget the Black Codes in Virginia, the Sand Creek Massacre of the Cheyenne, forced sterilization of indigenous and blacks during the 20th century, American eugenics programs (here in NC they even had to pay some reparations)...lynchings, the postcards and selling of castrated body parts as souvenirs from the lynching, the Trail of Tears even Gore Vidal, one of my favorite writers and George Carlin were clear on the racism in American life. Read the brilliant writers of the Harlem Renaissance or Ralph Ellison or James Baldwin or well..the list goes on and on and on...look at the wars we fought and fight (Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq), racism is and has been rampant among American servicemen and women....

I personally know racism is still rampant because of my personal experience and no one can Sean Spicer me out of believing my own perceptions.

Yes, I've lived in the Arab world and been subject to Arab racism but that doesn't excuse Americans, remember we're "exceptional", a city on a hill....hahahaha

11:55 PM  
Blogger remo26 said...

I just read about Uber drivers sleeping in their cars in parking lots to reduce expenses, due to Uber's cut in the driver's share of profits, and their victory in court over classifying drivers as contractors not employees.

A hostel in Sausalito where they sometimes “camp” limits drivers to stays of up to 14 nights, preventing drivers or anyone else from living there full-time. A front-desk clerk said, “It’s sad because Uber should pay them more, but the drivers don’t seem that sad, to be honest. They do seem tired, though.”

Credited with creating a new sector of the workforce: the “gig economy,” Uber touts that the share of drivers who work less than 10 hours a week has climbed to more than 60 percent.

The article says, “In one recent TV commercial, a smiling actor playing a sometimes-driver quips, ‘These days, everyone needs a side hustle, and driving with Uber lets you go from earning to working to chilling at the push of a button.’ The sound of a cash register chimes in the background.” Almost right out of Leslie Savan’s book, “The Sponsored Life.”

- remo

6:12 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

I doubt these anti-Trump protests will accomplish anything. Huge numbers of people protested the Iraq War and that did nothing to stop that disaster so I don’t think Trump will be any different. Trump’s supporters will only turn on him if they believe that he betrayed them and did them wrong, so maybe if the economy tanks or if the GOP cuts popular entitlements that members of the Republican base use. But even then, Trump can always spin it as Obama’s fault or the fault of some other boogeyman.

The Democrats had their chance in 2009 and blew it. There was enough anger at Wall Street and the elite class generally to try to push through a New Deal 2.0 but Obama and the Democrats continued with their technocratic agenda while falling asleep at the wheel and allowing the Republicans to make a major comeback, especially at the state level. Now progs want people to stick their necks out and go to protests. Why? So Cory Booker can become president in 2020?

7:29 AM  
Anonymous Bruegel said...

Getting ready for the crackup of civilization.


10:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, I don't post Anons. You need a real handle, por favor.


Cdn't run yr 2nd post (24-hr rule). Pls re-send tomorrow, thanks. As for Klein: Never forget that Americans have shit for brains, and Naomi is an American.


Let me add that I also marched, and was impressed at the # of misspellings on the protesters' signs. When I pointed this out to a woman who was marching next to me, she flew into a rage.


Historically speaking, fascisms are infinitely stable; it takes a war to derail them. I can't imagine China invading the US, but I certainly can imagine the US imploding, and becoming effectively dysfunctional in all of its institutions. Thousands of bkstores have closed; then it will be libraries; then universities; then newspapers; then hospitals; etc. We are approaching a Potemkin State, where all that we have are facades. Trump may prove to be a Potemkin president.


Of course yr rt. We don't bash women on this blog. We bash turkeys, of whatever gender.


10:51 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Remo--good pt-- getting your hustle on is being advertised throughout the failed empire to those barely keeping their heads above agua. Rent your car, rent your bed, rent your toilet, your spouse, whatever. Deliver pizza in addition to the 2, or 3 other jobs you need. Guess Obarfa (Berman) did an excellent job--did any of the womyns marchers protest that--the failed american economy requiring the populace to rent out their entire "life" for a buck b/c they cannot get 1 decent job?! Maybe they did march for that as they sipped charred "coffee" and diddled with their phones for self pictures.

As an apt Wafer stated, every square of your home/life can be monetized. Of course, none of the 99.2% american douche bags think there is massive problem this as it's normalised. It's what american do--hamsters on a wheel all tryin' to get rich and chill-lax--keep the hustling cool, chillin', hip, etc...almost a zen-like state to enhance the engagement of huckstering.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB and all Wafers worldwide,

Today I wish to bring to your attention a smart book by Carol Anderson : "White Rage The Unspoken Truth of our Racial Divide". http://a.co/i4xOGIO. This book makes an eloquent argument showing that across American history, every time African Americans have made advances, white reaction moved to another round of repression, usually sophisticated attacks by the courts and legislatures. It's only 164 pages with about 700 footnotes. Now with White Supremacy moving into the White house, it's necessary reading.

11:34 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Certainly the election of Trump and the stupidity of the progressives are fascinating subjects in a macabre sort of way. However, what I’d like to address here are the posts by some Wafers about just how dreadful American women are. American men need to look in the mirror.

I’m in my 70s, but when I was young I was actually quite beautiful with Mensa level intelligence. I’ve always been open and friendly, catch peoples’ eyes and smile (drove my husband nuts). Most men interpreted this friendliness as personal interest and would “hit” on me. I learned to respond as sensitively and gently as possible, although much of the time it didn’t penetrate in which case I had to become more blunt.

Also, as an example, I remember going on a blind date where the young man spent a solid hour talking about how he used to be fat, lost weight, and didn’t know how he got to be so handsome. This guy was just mediocre looking, which wouldn’t have mattered to me had he shown the least sign of intelligence or less narcissism. I got revenge by boring on and on about dogs, all the while saying to myself “I can’t believe I’m doing this… But, then again, he deserves it.” And let’s not talk about the physical and verbal sexual harassment and abuse I had to endure.

In general one must “kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince,” a statement that applies to both men and women. Finding your “prince/cess” is more difficult if you’re intelligent, capable of critical thinking, have an open heart, and are even semi-awake. Even so, don’t give up because one day you will meet that special person.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous slakr said...

Susan – I appreciate your comments on things the original Buddha (Siddartha Gotama) said. He generally had a much more critical take on reality than modern Buddhist centers do. He started an alternative society, modern centers mostly accommodate whatever predatory capitalism wants to throw at us. That’s part of my point. My experience at Vajrayana and Buddhist centers from Nepal to Utah, California and Texas is that most of them fall asleep in the name of "waking up" (one way to describe it). “Therapeutic narcissism” as Christopher Lasch might have called it.

Modern centers are also very hierarchical and authoritarian.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Zen and practice it every day. But it has to remain critical and in most centers it seldom does, in my limited experience anyway. See Speculative Non-Buddhism website and the work of Glenn Wallis, including his great translation of the Dhammapada.

12:51 PM  
Blogger dale said...

@John, PCR's article was not about minimizing racism, it was about the characterization of Americans as fundamentally evil racist people. But we can't have nuance when it comes to race discussion can we? And you've experienced it and have overwrought concern, so you are holier than thou. If I was black, I would think there was prejudice too, in fact I often think there is, against me, but I can't find the pretext for it. American's are for the most part just mean, nasty and ungracious(unless they about to get...um steal $$ from you). The main prejudice that blacks get from whites, that no one has ever mentioned, is the sheer panic that they will say something wrong. So they then become scripted and insincere--in other words they become Corporate retail salespeople. But that is pretty much the extent of the American personality anyways. When I encounter that, I just blow their heads off like they are zombies in "The Walking Dead". I mean figuratively--I just say something beyond their bounds. Peeing on their shoes as MB suggests, might be a thing to do. It always elicits a passive aggressive response. Anti-Racist posturing has become a cloak. It has to got to the point that I do not trust anyone who expresses it.

@jeff ha! they are already all on Prozac. The common stat thrown about is 25% of American Women. For the group in these protests it is much higher! It is not something to fixed by a pill or a therapy. @Bingo was not right but he was on the right track. They are not sexually frustrated, but they want babies. Women are fundamentally about nurturing. In the name of progress and their liberation that role got taken away from them. Now they are all glamorous fashion designers and prosecuting attorneys! Now the care of children is just another outsourced aspect of the economy. Men have been removed from their "abusive" roles as providers and have been replaced by the state. Trump is the bad daddy of the state and Mommy should be in charge anyways. He doesn't care :( about the anointed groups that are symbols of the state's care(gay-lesbian-trans-muslims etc).

2:01 PM  
Anonymous al Qa'bong said...

Dear Wafers:

Sorry, but like Leonard Cohen, Naomi Klein is Canadian.

While I find just hearing the words "President Donald Trump" to be hilarious, those of us outside the US have been finding your choices for leaders to be generally in need of rim-shots.

"Richard Nixon" t-boom
"Gerry Ford" ta-rup
"Ronald Reagan" (sorry, had to put down the drumsticks...are you kidding?)
"Slick Willy" OK, that one takes a a slow, soft brushing of the snare
"GeeDubya" ta-budda-ta-budda-boom!
"Donzo Trump" meh, he ain't so bad

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Ram Gana said...


You're approaching a subject near and dear to my heart, namely the need to distinguish between linear and nonlinear imperatives. A healthy, creative society understands, at some level, that the former are necessary from time to time and that the latter represent things that can only ever be managed. Most importantly, it knows how to distinguish the types. Once they become confused, particularly the nonlinear variety for its counterpart (the situation with which our age is faced, in fucking spades), decline is inevitable.

2:23 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Mike Burgess said...
Here is MuseLetter #296 - The Peak Oil President?


Richard Heinberg goes into detail as to why various guesses about world peak oil were wrong and why both conventional and unconventional oil (i.e., tight oil [fracking],tarsands, etc.) may both hit a peak during the Trump administration, assuming of course that he serves out his 4-year term. Heinberg further discusses how this administration reflects what has been discussed on this blog as the unraveling of the United States and industrial-fossil fuel driven civilization - doubling down on strategies that are showing diminishing returns.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I love Leonard Cohen. Naomi, somewhat less. She may even be crack-brained. But then as Leonard liked to say, it's the cracks that let the light in. Thus far, however, very little light coming into, or out of, the progs.


In future, pls don't attack Wafers personally. Feel free to smear trollfoons, but treat all Wafers with great respect. Thank you.


One problem is that Buddhist institutions tend to take on the coloration of the culture in which they exist. In the US, that's hustling, and I too can give you many depressing examples of this. In Japan in the 20C it was war (see Brian Victoria).


Thank you for speaking up for women. Let's not kid ourselves: American men are for the most part a dead loss. Women are rt to complain that they keep running into one jerk after another. A hustling society produces male hustlers (especially), who make for awful dates and worse mates.


4:56 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

I took an online quiz on Harry Truman on a whim and scored 20/20, kinda surprising myself. I have to admit that at least three answers were educated guesses- his VP acceptance speech length, the number of strikers, and whom he supported in 1960-


Harry once said, "the only thing new in the world is the history you don't know." He also said that "advice is wasted on grandchildren." And- he gave us the national security state (which I think he later regretted.) I sometimes wonder if we would have been better off if Henry Wallace wouldn't have been forced out by the party bosses in 1944.

5:10 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Sara/Susan -- you will get no argument from me that probably the only creature on this earth more pathetic than the average American woman is the average American man. I've known plenty of highly toxic examples of the latter in my life.

I'm always wary of anecdotal evidence, but just today I was having lunch at one of those new upscale fast food joints that have proliferated like weeds here in NOVA suburbs since the end of the great recession. The place was nearly deserted, which I was happy about as it allowed me to sit and read my book in peace. About halfway through lunch, the manager who had made my food came up and asked how I liked it. After I nodded in the affirmative, he explained that the reason my lunch had been $2.00 off was that the chain was celebrating opening its 200th location (I'd never heard of them before 6 months ago). He then asked if I would do a positive Yelp review to help them out as "things have been really quiet the past couple of months." I wanted to reply that maybe the company should ponder this decline in business and rethink its strategy of mindless expansion, but didn't.

It also got me wondering if the DC area economy is already experiencing a "Trump effect," where people here are afraid to spend money for fear of losing their jobs. If so, that will no doubt mark the end of boomtown effect that was the result all the out-of-control federal spending of the Bush/Obama years.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Be sure to check out the Hiroshima section of my Japan bk, esp. the ftnotes, for more on HST.


5:38 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

Some very troubling developments in these last days. First, it appears Trump has fulfilled his campaign pledge & exited Obama's TPP. Then, a report from McClatchy in these last hours states that Trump may approve huge infrastructure projects including wind power, electricity storage, mass transit and high-speed rail, totalling over $137.5 billion. This is alarming news & all Wafers should be concerned. Some time ago MB speculated that Clinton would have, in fact, been the best candidate to hasten The Great Collapse, and that Trump may put forth some sort of 'New Deal.' These reports appear to confirm that fear. As Wafers, we must encourage all Americans to take to the streets and block - forcibly if necessary - any efforts Trump may make to improve the country in any regard.


6:17 PM  
Anonymous John said...

Thank you Dr. B for maintaining civility on this blog. I was really angry about it but I will stay maintain dignity just like many people of all backgrounds have to, including mine, (Paul Laurence Dunbar's poem "We Wear the Mask".)

One thing I will never do is attack someone for expressing their personal experience especially an experience that I can't live out directly. I don't like experiencing racism and it doesn't make me more holier than when Dr. King or Mandela experienced it. I'm not perfect but I'm trying to be a better person and the foundation of that is a respect for all peoples traveling life's journey. Until you've been attacked on an athletic field and called a racial slur at a young age and matured to process that trauma, you don't know what I feel. Until you have almost been arrested for going in your own house like I was a few years ago just because someone thought someone of my color couldn't possibly live in the neighborhood, you don't know what I feel. How do I know that, that's the description the police were given.

But the beauty of this life is trying to catch a glimpse, no matter how fleeting, of how other people live and what they think, I think I will continue to do that. Not by glossing over uncomfortable realities, (thank God Guatemala, South Africa and Chile didn't do that and instead chose to have Truth and Reconciliation Commissions) but by dialogue and sharing experiences with others.

All people face injustice and bad times, so in that vein let's try to mutually encourage each other and move forward. It sounds rosy but in the end, it's the only way.

I will say that I continue to enjoy all of the great articles and book recommendations that are posted on this site. So please, keep them coming !!!

6:53 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Well, no one lays pipe like Trump:



ps: My previous post is in error. Please substitute Who's for Whose.

ps II: Another Truman quote: "But I am strongly of the opinion that negroes ought be in Africa, yellow men in Asia, and white men in Europe and America."

7:58 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

The real problem is.............US.


8:00 PM  
Blogger Rosegarden said...


“To all the women here I offended...wait there aren't any, I rest my case.”

I am a woman. I daily read and sometimes comment on this blog. I am glad I have the right to vote, which I do.

Since 1967 I have been fully engaged in teaching children to read, grow a garden, and use their hands to manipulate real items (boxes, screw drivers, twigs, shells, pine cones, etc.). In the 1980's, I repeatedly urged the local Parent Teacher Association to sponsor a “No TV Week.” Some parents tried it.

I am not sure if my five decades of efforts are the monastic option, but I hope they are. When I started, I had not heard of that concept. For me, it was just the right thing to do. My gender was not part of the equation.

8:21 PM  
Anonymous Aaron said...

MB -

You say Buddhism gets co-opted -

This seems to be a problem for all religions, would't you say? Or do you think this is unique to Buddhism?

Christians have twisted the "religion of love" into something beyond all recognition in Western countries.

There are alt-right bloggers who call themselves Christian who promote - not "implicitly", but fully avowing what they are doing - hate, war, cruelty, mockery and insult as legitimate "Christian" tactics, and worse.

Judaism, Islam - certainly no difference there. Israel Shahak, an Israeli, did a survey of all the "heters" (Rabbinic exceptions to God's law) in the Talmud, and found that the vast majority, if not all of them, pertained to making it easier to make money, often in exploitative ways. Not exactly the Law Of The Prophets. And what the Talmud says about how its permitted to treat gentiles bears almost no relation to Isaiah's pleas for mercy, justice, and compassion.

It seems that mankind cannot be "saved" through formulas, verbalizations, and dogmas - however crystal clear they are, they are sure to be pressed into the service of whatever the heart truly desires.

That does not mean they are useless, because those truly receptive will find their hearts kindled by Buddhism, Christ, the Hebrew Prophets, and the Sufis. But you are right that dogmas and formulas will not lead to any large scale change.

10:37 PM  
Anonymous Smack_Smack said...


Being suspicious of anyone who displays an anti-racist stance is indeed going too far. People have all kinds of reasons why they exhibit such a stance, and it's not always a horrible thing. However, you are justified in being disgusted with the faux-liberals (pretty much every American that claims to be liberal) that use egalitarianism as a cloak for their own selfish agendas. The problem, as I see it, is one of exposure: 100% of the media and 100% of the faux-liberal luminaries are trumpeting their faux-concern for racial inequality at an ear-splitting volume. Consequently, it becomes very difficult not to simply dismiss the whole matter out of hand. I have been tempted to do so myself, but then I have to confront the fact that, for example, the average black American owns 10% of what the average white American owns. What we have here is a real problem that is being used by unscrupulous people for their own selfish purposes, but that doesn't change the fact that the problem is real.

As for what you just wrote about American women and feminism, I couldn't agree more. There have been so many government-funded studies aimed at proving how inherently criminal the male sex really is; if such studies had been aimed at black people, or at homosexuals, there would have been an outcry decades ago. Many of these "landmark" studies relied on extremely small sample sizes, and nearly all were conducted by radical feminists bent on vilifying men. American women enjoy so many advantages over American men, who are increasingly being used by the prison-industrial complex as slaves, that these women's marches actually enrage me.

12:13 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Here are some songs by Father John Misty that capture the time we live in:



12:37 AM  
Blogger centralscrewtinizer said...

Can't wait until Trumpf finds out Melania is trans.
He probably wouldn't care, as long as the urinary tract functioned.

Meanwhile, I await Spring.

1:46 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Ah, the great JOBS orgy has made its eight year return. A few questions-

-What are we all supposed to do after the latest demagouge has no use for our labor statistics?
-What if the economy naturally operates in cycles different from our election schedules?
-What about all the quiet, but necessary, maintenance work that's neglected for lack of "headlines"?

Growing up in Chicago, we used to joke that there was winter and construction season. Somehow, the roads never seem to improve...

Everybody in the country now has a "makework is necessary" philosophy. Imagine how many things could be automated that the unions prevent. Low-level graft and complete lack of imagination in reimagining the future unite us like a lousy broken record.

8:32 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah, sure, but Buddhism alone is--I think--infinitely flexible, in ways that other religions aren't; at least not theoretically. But it's debatable, for sure. I have this discussion out in full in the Appendices to my Japan book; see esp. Appendix III, on the axial principle.


Jesus, that's an ominous development. I agree: all these anti-Trump marches are a complete waste of time, but marching against any positive moves on the part of Trump is extremely important. His 'job', historically speaking, is to dismantle the US and drive it into the ditch. If he deviates from that, we would have been better off with Hillary.

Meanwhile, a lot of stuff has come up here recently regarding race and gender. Although this blog is not really concerned with identity politics (which we regard as a distraction from real political issues), I'm glad we've had a bit of airing on the subject. We don't attack women (i.e., as a group; if you want to shit on Hillary, be my guest) on this blog, nor people of color, people of minority religions, whatever. I explained this a long time ago. We are not a politically correct blog, and to the politically correct crowd I'm moved to say: Lighten up!--but there are distinctions to be made. Some examples:

1. Why do Jews have big noses? A: Because the air is free.--This is acceptable. Actually, quite funny, imo.
How many Jews fit into a Volkswagen? A: 100. 2 in the front, 2 in the back, and 96 in the ash tray.--This is not acceptable.

2. Calling me Belman, or kidding abt the Asian switching of r and l, is fine. Using words like Jap or Chink is not fine.

3. What do you call 2 black guys hitchhiking outside of LA at dusk? A: Stranded.--This is acceptable. Using words like nigger or coon is not acceptable.

As for the trollfoons, that's a whole other category. It is perfectly acceptable, even encouraged, to slander them in the most reprehensible fashion: untermenschen, human garbage, dregs of humanity, etc. These descriptors are, after all, quite accurate. All Wafers have a great desire to knock back a 6-pack of Bud Lite and pee on trollfoon shoes (as well as Obama shoes, Hillary shoes, etc.--their Guccis are far too dry).

Myself, I don't think the line is all that blurry, between what is kosher and what is not. Anyway, we might wanna return to the topic at hand, viz. the inevitable demise of the American empire. I thank you all for yr understanding.


10:52 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Hello, fellow teacher. Actually I retired from the Phila. School "System" in 2015. I suppose I could have gone a few more years but I had had enough of doing that weekly work of fiction called the lesson plan and having a surprise visit from an administrator to do a formal observation. Still, when I left I felt that everything we did in first grade was correct. We satisfied all student needs:physical, emotional, academic. Now I'm finding out that in some districts first grade students are having to do standardized tests which literally freaks them out. Hell. some still can't hold a pencil correctly! In other words, the entire educational system has been thoroughly corporatized (needless to say, standardized testing is sure to come to kindergarten). Anyway, continue to do your best. Be as subversive as you in a very perverse environment.
Smack, as for American women I feel your pain. Fortunately, I have a Vietnamese girlfriend who arrived in the US when she was 35 so she's not too infected by this American toxic culture. Hell, she thinks Olive Garden is the finest Italian restaurant in the US and any Chinese buffet is the best Chinese restaurant as well. I think you have 2 options. One, follow the Russian proverb: if you want the eggs, you have to put up with the sound of the chickens. In other words, well, I think you know what I mean. Or 2, read about MGTOW-Men going their own way. It's a movement for men who have given up on American women but it at least provides you with the philosophical underpinnings to support your decision not to pursue women here. I suppose there's always a third option-move to a more humane society or again hang out at the airport and look for a woman who's just arrived here. Good luck.

11:40 AM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Ah yes, "the inevitable demise of the American empire."
Between NMI, Dual Process, buddhist mindfulness training, and prepping for the spring garden I don't seem to have the time to study the great american collapse in detail. That's why this is TGBOE... it's a quick summary of what is really pertinent. Log on, read for a half hour, maybe post a woot! and get back to life. Today I wash the dog and start broccoli seeds.

Oh yeah... Most 'mericans are idiots. It's not a race, gender, or creed thing at all. However, some are more stupid than others. They tend to want to be in charge.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur
"The world wants to be deceived, so let it be deceived."

You say "alternative facts." I say lies. You say "misspeak." I say lie. You say "counterfactuals." I say lies. You say "misrepresentations." I say lies.

How about some clarity from two clear-eyed observers?

First, an essay by George Orwell. It first appeared in the journal Horizon (April 1946, vol. 13, issue 76, pp. 252-265)

Politics and the English Language

And a video of George Carlin, who appeared on 13 May 1999 at Washington's National Press Club to eviscerate politicians and ridicule their speech. This is the full version--56 minutes--but there are multiple YouTube videos that are short excerpts from this talk you might have more time for.

"Bullshit is the glue that binds us as a nation." (George Carlin)

12:45 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

TPP is dead. Russian air force cooperating with the American air force in Syria. Not a bad first week.

3:20 PM  
Blogger Manol said...

For those who understand Spanish, you can't miss this.
Prog father:

Those who don't may watch it anyway. It's not hard to get it.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers and Waferettes,

Primal scream dept.:


Poor thing could be too far gone, but one more example toward why Waferdom is the answer.


4:56 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Naked Capitalism posted an extremely troubling article today about America's impending potable water crisis and how 40 million Americans may soon not be able to afford uncontaminated drinking water. As for the "bad" news about Trump's trillion dollar infrastructure plan, it would take about that same amount just to replace 1.2 million miles of aging lead pipes in this country, let alone all of the other shit that is falling apart:


Meanwhile, another entrant in the Faces of America contest:


What is particularly scary about this story is that the teen perpetrator's diary entry about her crime is actually well written, articulate and free of spelling a punctuation mistakes. It's almost like the most intelligent among us are the ones being turned into monsters.

6:37 PM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr MB and all Wafers,

I recommend we all take a look at the blog posts of Charles Smith, who is , I believe, a fellow traveler. In a recent post, he describes exactly what is happening today around us.
Quoting directly, " The Left is not just in disarray--it is in complete collapse because the working class has awakened to the Left's betrayal and abandonment of the working class in favor of building personal wealth and power. Anyone who denies this is still in the fatal grip of the Left's Great Con. "....."To mask the collapse of the Left's economic defense of labor, the Left's apologists and PR machine have substituted social justice movements for economic opportunities to acquire economic security and capital. This has succeeded brilliantly, as tens of millions of self-described "progressives" completely bought the left's Great Con that "social justice" campaigns on behalf of marginalized social groups were the defining feature of Progressive Social Democratic movements."

An absolutely concise one pager that slices to the heart of the issue. Then read his next piece, brilliant!!

It's all here : http://www.oftwominds.com/blogjan17/collapse-Left1-17.html
Then read : http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2017/01/the-protected-privileged-establishment.html

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Perhaps, the vagina hats, clitoris T shirts, vulva vests, etc...are emblematic of americans' pathological altruism--the elite white disease.

Which of course, sets the hustling stage for "intellectuals" to write go america books, the dream still exists, don't worry Aunt B--it's still great, hold afternoon conversations ($$$/honoraria) in affluent communities, and speak in lavish detail and slowly about varieties of apples, damn kids these days, unions are good, etc...to a bunch of boomers who are guilt ridden and/or self loathing.

8:35 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

The envelope keeps being pushed...now the "Grossest movie ever made."


8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Children elected a child. No surprise there.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd stuff. This is what I talked abt in my 2nd lecture in Germany, on Nov. 11. Scroll back, you can get the link and listen to it.


There is nothing meaningful in the lives of young Americans any more, so they are now into homicide to give themselves a high. This is exactly what the collapse of a civilization looks like--the fine details.


A prog, discharging, I wd guess. Pobrecita.


Que pelo, que corte! Espeluznante!


10:50 AM  
Blogger Grille said...

MB, assembled Wafers, honorable preppers,

Gas up your RV, carry that extra gallon of water into your basement or put another international border between you, the U.S. and/or Russia. Whatever it takes to give you a sense of doing something. It won't matter. With the Wafer consensus here being that the American empire is collapsing, we have to work towards it fizzing out like a leaky balloon rather than letting it go up in a giant firework of nukes. What the latter scenario looks like has been aptly described by Nevil Shute in his 1957 novel "On The Beach." Good luck !


Meanwhile, the DowJones crossed 20'000 points earlier this week. Was there a stock exchange in 'The Matrix'?

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Rorschach said...

Hey Morris, I have a question. When you look back on your career, is there anything you regret? Are there projects you regret never finishing? Do you feel you overworked yourself? Is there anything major that you would have done differently?

1:05 PM  
Anonymous John said...

Dr. B and fellow Wafers, how do you feel about the Mexico-bashing that is in hyper-drive right now ? It really angers me because having lived in Mexico and knowing the country beyond a superficial cruise stop in Cozumel or Cancun, I can say that Mexicans are very gracious to foreigners, in particular, Americans or estadounidenses. The US really is in a dark place when its own President spends too much precious time bashing a friendly country on its border.

I guess the American people will never place blame where it really belongs...and that's with themselves.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


That wd be a very long discussion, but generally, I feel that life chose me rather than the reverse. But this blog is not abt me, in any case; it's abt the decline of the American empire, which is frankly a lot more interesting. Let's stick to that.


2:00 PM  
Anonymous Tam said...



2:09 PM  
Anonymous Smack_Smack said...


Thanks for the recommendation, but I actually do have a gf. Like myself, she considers America to be a lost cause, although we cannot leave for a different country for economic and medical reasons.


I didn't mean to imply American men are any less awful than American women. Your average American man is a sadistic, narcissistic, belligerent asshole who equates violence with virtue and love with weakness. All of this is overcompensation for a deep inner spinelessness, an infantile need for external validation, and a total inability to love. My issue is that the mainstream media upholds American women as moral exemplars while vilifying *all* men everywhere (not just American men), and that the American political system is increasingly using men as slaves in for-profit prisons. Men are often thrown in prison for decades for minor crimes, or even for no reason at all, and feminists applaud all of this as righteous and just. And then they insult us for being upset about this, labeling our protests as "mansplaining" and attempting to dictate every facet of our lives.

All of this, I think, was a major reason for Trump's victory. American men, being the sociopathic creatures they are, were easily lured into fascism's deadly embrace once they realized that American women and the entire political system were bent on their enslavement and degradation.

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Moe's Art said...

Dual Process Model Music


" A remarkable collaboration between writer George Monbiot and musician Ewan McLennan, seeking to use music and word to open up the issue of loneliness and bring people together. "

4:24 PM  
Blogger pg said...

is there room for a bit of revisionism (2:20 min) of the recent festivities?



5:02 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Relating back to the issue of infrastructure and that even if Trump were completely sincere, his $1 trillion improvement "plan" is laughably inadequate to even begin fixing all of our rapidly aging shit, all it will take is another economic crash to completely dry up any funding at all. When it happens--and I think it's fairly obvious that Trump's erratic behavior is hastening it forward whatever the DOW is doing at the moment--I think that will likely be our true "domestic Suez" moment from which the country never recovers. Even if Trump were a combination of FDR and Abraham Lincoln he'd have a nearly impossible task. With him in the big chair, all our institutions will be completely paralyzed.

Back a decade ago when I first began hanging out on peak oil forums, we used to debate endlessly about whether America was facing a fast vs. a slow collapse. I was firmly in the slow camp because I believed that the elites would pull out all the stops to keep the party going for as long as possible in much the same way the Nazi leadership cannibalized the German economy in 1943 and 1944, maximizing armaments production even when it should have been readily apparent that the war was already lost. I'm now reconsidering my position because in this respect Trump is no Nazi, for say whatever else you would like about Albert Speer, Heinrich Himmler and Joseph Goebbles, those guys were very good at what they did and were not complete imbeciles.

7:05 PM  
Anonymous Cloud Shaman said...

Let's not forget that Trump is heavily in debt for billions to the banking class; Ultimately we know whom he owes his allegiance too.

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

This quote from an article on Matt Taibbi's book on the 2016 presidential campaign was just too good to pass up.

"Trump is the perfect modern American. He's a human consumption machine with no attention span, no self-control, no beliefs and no hobbies outside of sex, spending, eating and talking about himself. Nixon at least played the piano and read classics. He was an intellectual with a pig's heart. Trump is just the pig part.

The distance between the two men represents how far we've fallen as a nation in the last 40 or 50 years. Once we were merely rotten and evil on the inside. Now we even lack the depth needed to be two-faced, and our dark underbelly is also our shameless, dumb exterior."

See: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/matt-taibbis-new-book-insane-clown-president-w461390

What a perfect description of modern Americans and our current political scene. It reminds me of that George Carlin quote we have discussed before on this blog. Americans hate their politicians, but where do they think they come from, Mars? They are a reflection of us. Garbage in, garbage out.

12:27 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

I really want to see Mexico/China/EU start to reach to each other and others as the rest of the world moves on while the US elite throw crayons at each other, compete to see who can antagonize more of the public, and live amidst constant spree shootings.

While the Twitter hivemind was furious about TPP, and it died, basically ceding the Pacific to China, Canada made a trade deal with the EU. Populist parties in the EU will likely also relieve Russia of sanctions, and encourage the end of the UK via another Scottish referendum. The Arab world will gravitate toward these centers of power which will adcocate for them against America/UK/Israel.

Meanwhile, Americans can be babysat by Kellyanne and CNN...


Infantalism at the bitter end.

1:59 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, I do think that Hillary had no real interest in the working class; this has been the pattern for the Dems since 1971 (see Thos Frank on the subject). So they went GOP. The crucial story of the last election was class war.


9:46 AM  
Anonymous sugarhoneyicedtea said...

America land of compassion https://www.rt.com/usa/375233-san-diego-student-urinate-bucket/

9:47 AM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

here's a nice family....

man killed over chilli dog....

daughter said he's a very "good hearted man"

I'd hate to think he was an out of 'control angry prick'...

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Interesting review, especially since I'm a board gamer and don't own a smart fone:


"The virtues of digital turn out to be the vices as well. Having all the music on earth at your instant disposal turns out to be almost the same as having none; Spotify’s playlists show people picking the same tunes over and over. Digital life’s too self-absorbed—either we evolve quickly away from the social primates we have always been or else we will quietly suffer from the solipsism inherent in staring at ourselves reflected in a screen. It’s too jumpy; concentration, from which all that is worthwhile emerges, is the great loss."

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Susan Woldt said...

Bill Hicks -- I've always had an interest in water (why I do not know) and want to recommend two movies to you --Flow and Blue Gold. Also a book -Cadillac Desert- about water in the southwest. There're a lot of surprising facts in all of these that point to bad news ahead for water consumption, purity and cost.

I'm not sure who posted about Uber drivers but I've know their predicament is pretty bad. Here in Austin there was a special election to allow them in and the telephone "surveyors" about drove me nuts. Local TV was flooded with ads about blind people who relied on Uber and other such nonsense. I made sure to vote it down and it was the only thing on the ballot. I recently heard they're going to try again.

Dr. B. -- The documentary on Leonard Cohen I'm Your Man is good and Hallelujah is hands down my favorite song. When he lived in the monastery his teacher told him "You are not Jewish" meaning , I'm guessing, that no one is a label. This quote from Elements of Buddhism for me by John Snelling:

"Have confidence in your own spiritual potentiality, your ability to find your own unique way. Learn from others certainly, and use what you find useful, but also learn to trust your own inner wisdom. Have courage. Be awake and aware. Remember too that Buddhism is not about being a Buddhist; that is, obtaining a new identity tag. Nor is it about collecting head-knowledge, practices and techniques. It is ultimately about letting go of all forms and concepts and becoming free."

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Creed said...


https://youtu.be/MCsGSMze_6Q here's the Tricky Dicky Nixy playing a cracked fragment of a piano concerto he wrote [!]... Can you imagine Trumpo or Obamo or Busho even whistlin Dixie ?

4:33 PM  
Blogger Rook said...

Dear esteemed Wafers,

Just for kicks I had a look at a few prog blogs - they have all totally lost their minds. Literally. And I mean that, literally. They really are silly fools. Anyway, I'm enjoying the collapse. Even better, the UK appears to be flushing itself down the shitter as well. Oh well, what can one do but laugh with uproarious glee, eh? Schadenfreude? You betcha. That's all from me.

Take care, and remember to laugh at the silliness of it all.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Tom - the only thing I would add to the Taibbi excerpt is that his description of Nixon as an intellectual with a pig's heart could just as easily apply to Obama, whose daily abuses of power were worse than those that resulted in Nixon's resignation.

Meanwhile: Blue Lives Matter--especially the one robbing DUI suspects:


Actual social media post: "Anyone going on a mass killing spree with me?"


And lastly, the double chined face of America sues one of the sexual assault victims whose testimony landed him in prison:


6:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah, they really are unbelievable, n'est-ce pas? Look at this:


The only movement this guy is going to build is a bowel movement.


Obama cd easily play the clown in Rigoletto; or even Pagliacci.


"Suzanne" is also pretty gd.


Stillness is the source of all creativity, and of human identity. Without silence, there is nothing. This is why I'm happy abt the smartfone craze in the US: Americans are destroying themselves and the country. My problem is the popularity of this technocrap in Mexico. I've been having discussions with Mexican friends abt how destructive this stuff is, but not making a lot of headway, I fear.


6:38 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


I suggest we create an award -- the Lobel Prize -- in honor of Jules Lobel, the author of that ridiculous commondreams essay, MB. Each year, the Lobel could be given to the most deluded and fantastically preposterous progressive nonsense produced. For the record, my 2017 submission is a piece written by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. Get a load of this buffoonery:



Miles D. Deli

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Crow said...

Watching Selma 2nite since I never caught it, did you all ever see it? Wondered how it portrayed King

8:58 PM  
Anonymous Trudy said...


Cooooool post on Wittgenstein language games

Always admired Wittgenstein's almost Zen-like, koan-like wordplay

9:11 PM  
Anonymous David G. said...

I am still struggling to articulate for myself the futility of the "progs", as expressed by Dr. B and many posters on the blog. As I read the article on Common Dreams "Where We Go From Here" mentioned by Dr. B., I find little to argue with from a philosophical perspective. So why the criticism? Perhaps the problem is that organizing the "we" around some shared ethic is impossible due either to too much diversity, or too little real deep interest, or too much connection with the hustling, consumer, technological society even on the part of left-leaners. I find that among pretty much everyone I know -- work colleagues, friends, etc. -- all are as horrified and frightened of a Trump presidency as I am. But the depth of this may vary -- that is, even though most of those I know are intelligent, thoughtful, decent people, their feelings about Trump may only be at the level of common decency. Deeper pathological issues of American culture -- such as addition to technocrap, materialism, mind-rot entertainment, hyper-individualism, etc. -- are never really questioned. Perhaps this is the problem with the "progs"? But, on the other hand, somehow, aren't the stirrings discussed in this article the part of Dual Process that can prepare the soil for something new to emerge out of the ashes when the US crashes and burns? This is the part that I am struggling to articulate. Can anybody help me out?

10:52 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm currently suffering from Trumpencholy. This is an emotional state where the sufferer oscillates between states of anxiety caused by massive uncertainty, flaming red anger when confronted with certainty and dark depression caused by nothing more than the harsh realization about what is unfolding. I'm currently having negative emotions that I never knew possible. In this light, I stumbled upon a guy who is collecting words of all languages that represent positive, complex emotional states. I might stop reading the news and try to memorize them all.


12:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ralph, David-

Actual medical term is Trumpencholia, known to attack the nervous system of progs. Declinists, on the other hand, show symptoms of Trumpforia--ecstasy over the potential damage he is going to do to the US. A shorthand guide to the next 4, hopefully 8, years: Bad Is Good. See also post by Miles.


You might enjoy the Wittgenstein chapter in Wandering God. Also a poem abt him in Counting Blessings.


2:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Here's a perfect example of Bad Is Good:


There's simply no reason for members of Congress not to start gunning each other down. I can't think of a single sane objection to such a development.


2:40 PM  
Anonymous New Art said...

Chance that a Russian believes the sun revolves around the earth: 1 in 3 from Harpers Index (July, ’11)

Reminds me of our stats

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Oshitforbrains (Berman) might have a prostate problem.

Of course, being a man of the people--one of his 3 mansions has 8 1/2 bathrooms. Hopefully his prostate is ok and he has ample bathrooms to run to.

No joke--why would a normal person, joe six pack, need 9 toilets--unless a prostate issue causing urinary /bladder issues. What about being green, environment, and all that progressive blather?

Given the enormity of his mansions and plethora of bathrooms, maybe he can take in some of those refugees.

9:01 PM  
Blogger pg said...

Prof B--
was going to suggest Dmitry Orlov's new bk _Shrinking the Technosphere_(New Society Pub, 2017) as a new tweak, maybe a better than the rational, reasonable one; a far better story that grips one's guts, to get out from under the hypnosis of the smartphone, etc.
D.Orlov is a hoot, and a fine writer, if you don't already know.
Then this floated up:
"We can do the prison newspaper..."

10:30 PM  
Anonymous JRS said...

In case anyone was on the fence about what a feckless president Obama was here's proof that not only was he feckless but he was an asshole as well. Not that Wafers were on the fence or wouldn't have known this already.



12:12 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Mike Burgess said:

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

The only aspect of Trump that really hurts is his destruction of biological diversity and ecosystems through unbridled capitalism. Unbridled capitalism cares nothing for life on earth, if capitalists care nothing about the laboring classes they certainly don't care about non human life. Hopefully if Trump is instrumental in bringing down the West's dominance over the rest of the world and its dream of having it all, there will be enough of natural systems remaining for anyone who's left to pick up the piece and continue to live.


10:53 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

I've come to the conclusion that the progs/liberals/left secretly adore The Donald.

That's because deep down, what they really enjoy doing is theorizing and protesting, and generally being "oppositional" and they need a cartoonish, one-dimensional Authority-figure to really energize them. Nixon and Reagan performed a similar role in years gone by, but I think Trump is the ultimate in firing up the progs' pointless sanctimony.

1:34 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

One trend I've noticed is more and more articles in the media about "Demon Possession"...and I suspect this is all part of the decline of modern culture when you see greater numbers of people actually believing in this nonsense...I also find it amusing that they're always in some third world shit hole...but I'm sure the hysteria will soon make its way to the religious nuts in US.


5:47 PM  
Anonymous al Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

In case you still think Canada is a good emigration destination, you ought to know that domestic terrorism is rampant here.


6 dead in shooting at Quebec City mosque, 2 men arrested

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

David. I think you answered your own question when you said, "Deeper pathological issues of American culture -- such as addition to technocrap, materialism, mind-rot entertainment, hyper-individualism, etc. -- are never really questioned."

I think the big problem is that while symbols do matter a little, all of these protests and blogs and "resist' this and that is only skin deep. Women's March was fine, but then what? What actually happened after? Where's (at least) the Port Huron Statement or something?

It is this skin deep thing that has the progs protesting one day for racial justice, but then sending their kids to a rich white private skool the next. And even worse, this dissonance never crosses their minds! It's the same thing (say) as repubs voting against taxes even though they receive housing assistance ...

Anyway, becoming a WAFer isn't the easiest thing to do, but it is a personal thing. The blog can help. It took me years to come out of the prog/obama-bot echo chamber. It doesn't mean you still can't be pro-environment and anti-war and all that good stuff, it's just that as a WAFer you aren't deluded that signing an online petition is actually going to stop global warming!

My 2 cents.

10:15 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


There's no doubt abt it. Folks like Hedges are set for life, really. Life now has Meaning, including a perfect target. Endless articles, demonstrations, lectures, action groups, etc. Prog heaven!

Mike B.-

Gd pt! One can only hope that by the time Trump finishes destroying the US, we still have a viable planet!

New Art-

But they have an excuse: vodka!

Speaking of Russia and comparisons with US: Sergei Diaghilev organized an exhibition of Russian portraits 1705-1905 in St. Petersburg, ca. 1906; Tsar Nicholas II came to the opening. Diaghilev gave a speech in which he said, "We are the witness of the greatest moment of summing up in history, in the sense of creating a new and unknown culture, which will be created by us, and which also will sweep us away." Strangely prophetic: in a few yrs Old Russia was finished. I think the same words might now be said of the US.


10:18 AM  
Anonymous Celery Tonic said...

Always hated the term "progressives" I never call myself that ... more of a "Liberal Regressive" as in regress to less technobuffoonery, more farming. Medical advances great, but less viagra and more malaria meds. If you know what I mean.

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Denis said...


Things are bad, eh? A society eating itself alive.

10:49 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB, Wafers-

Everything is going well in the Trump WH so far! Trump and his admin do *not* fear blue-state protests at all, they welcome the division. To the Trumpites, Trump is fighting unpatriotic anarchy in the USA. Those who value diversity over national identity are the enemy, deserving the worst form of state repression. They are going to get it: Trump has little understanding or reverence for constitutional democracy, and will seek unforgiving revenge on those who dare oppose him. Stay tuned, Wafers, we are being thrown into a completely unknown and radical future; thrashing wildly from one end to the other. Trump has the ability to tear this country apart.


1:38 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman and Wafers,

Ref: The above discussions on Buddhism.

So far as I know I am the only Indian (as in curry) participant on this blog. I grew up in India and to me Hinduism and Buddhism are not separate religions and I feel that any meaningful discussion about Buddhism should include Hinduism and vice-versa. I realize that this topic is not the primary focus of this blog so I will just provide references for those who might be interested in pursuing this further.

Below is a lecture delivered by Swami Vivekanada at the Parliament of Religions,Chicago, September 26th 1893:


Below is an excerpt:

"Hinduism cannot live without Buddhism, nor Buddhism without Hinduism. Then realise what the separation has shown to us, that the Buddhists cannot stand without the brain and philosophy of the Brahmins, nor the Brahmin without the heart of the Buddhist. This separation between the Buddhists and the Brahmins is the cause of the downfall of India. That is why India is populated by three hundred millions of beggars, and that is why India has been the slave of conquerors for the last thousand years. Let us then join the wonderful intellect of the Brahmins with the heart, the noble soul, the wonderful humanising power of the Great Master."

Sri Aurobindo's magnum opus "Life Divine" and "Essays on the Gita" also explore Buddhism and Hinduism from a philosophical perspective.


1:57 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

There is now a new campaign by the Fake News media to try to convince the world that the same country that just elected Trump now suddenly opposes all of his policies. Unfortunately for them, the latest stats are in:

Rasmussen poll: 57% of likely US voters favor ban on refugees from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan & Yemen


Another Quinnipiac poll shows more Americans support the refugee ban than oppose it:


The purpose of mainstream & social media "trends" is create the appearance of widespread discontent with Trump policies were little actually exists. The Fake News media will spend the next 4 yrs trying to impeach or kill Trump. If he survives, he will win even bigger in 2020. The Fake News media will try to delegitimize his re-election using the same tactics, accusing him of redistricting & other nefarious ploys, in a futile attempt to save "Brand America" by positing that he could only win by subversion because surely the US public could not possibly be as bad as he!

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Michael in BK said...

Pastrami -

I'd disagree on one point - you said "It is this skin deep thing that has the progs protesting one day for racial justice, but then sending their kids to a rich white private skool the next. And even worse, this dissonance never crosses their minds."

At least where I live, the dissonance crosses progs' minds all the time. And yet nothing changes. Providing a "good education" becomes all but synonymous with private school - or at the very least, magnet school - and NOT providing a "good education" is spoken of as if it were child abuse.

I remember listening to a radio discussion about public schools a few years ago. In it, some father made the case that public school offers the (often only) chance for kids to learn to interact with and understand kids from other backgrounds (especially of class), and that kids with smart, well-read parents will pick up enough at home that they won't be irreparably stunted by not being in the best school money can buy. Even mentioning this viewpoint to some prog parents left them visibly discomforted. Everyone wants diversity, but no one wants to feel they're withholding the "good life" from little Johnny. Diversity takes a backseat; Johnny learns how to do rich-kid drugs and aspire to nothing less than a coveted Google internship by 19.

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Detours said...

Damn y'all, this is very scary ~> "Trial Balloon for a Coup?":


Is his analysis for real, or is it overplayed?

2:34 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

David -- speaking strictly for myself, the fact that progs are nearly as rampantly materialistic as conservatives is what ultimately caused me to jump off the bandwagon and accept that the question isn't how we make it possible for every person to live the American dream but that it is the dream itself that is extremely toxic to America, the global environment and to humanity.

I live in an area where I've gotten to know many "Lexus liberals" who are horrified by Trump but live in million dollar homes, and when not talking politics natter on endlessly about their luxury cars, boats and exotic vacations. They'll claim to be outraged by Trump's climate change denialism all while living a lifestyle that is 100 times more damaging to the environment than that of a third world subsistence farmer. Should you ever find yourself ideologically backsliding, keep in in mind that progressive media darling Rachel Maddow makes $7 million per year, which goes a long way toward explaining what an utter fraud and sellout she really is.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the laughably named home of the brave, a bunch of moviegoers stampeded out of a theater after being panicked by nothing any of them could explain:


3:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Watch length, in future: half page max. Thank you.


I tell ya, Trumpo has exceeded my wildest dreams. 10 days in office and he's put into effect policies that are dramatic and destructive. I told you all he wd undo the US, and he's clearly on the path. Go Trumpi!


4:03 PM  
Anonymous Leonard said...

ole lefto progs


6:29 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

The guy's right, but it'll NEVER happen-


9:37 PM  
Anonymous David G. said...

Pastrami and Bill Hicks:
Thank you for your replies. These are helpful to me and actually confirm things I have been thinking. While I feel encouraged by the current wave of speaking up against Trump (especially about his recent immigrant / refugee thing) and hope some momentum will build, I also have a sinking sense that this may all be a flash in the pan and only "skin deep". Anyway, thanks. We muddle on.

11:36 PM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

Sargon of Akkad on YouTube makes the excellent point that nobody has any inalienable right to move to or visit a country other than the one in which they currently live. That is a privilege that can be revoked at any time for any reason. That said, I don't really agree with this move of Trump's because migrants from the countries in question already get pretty heavily vetted. But of course the supporters of the official left are running around with their hair on fire about it, whereas if Hillary had won and were doing this same thing, you can be certain they would be dispensing all manner of supporting/excusing Kool-Aid about it, amiright?

12:15 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Wait until he starts accusing Germany, China, etc. of currency manipulation. Never mind that America maintains its overindulged lifestyle via all sorts of incredible financial chicanery, and that our Fed orginated the insane monetary experiments since 08.

When he goes after German and Chinese industry, there will be absolute hell to pay. He can send the US down to a relevance about as great as Brazil if he sets certain levers of dedollarization in motion.

7:22 AM  
Anonymous al Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

It appears that the terrorist in the mosque shooting is a Québecois pure laine and a Trump fan to boot.

Speaking of Trump, the White House said that the mosque massacre is further evidence that the ban on people from Muslim countries is necessary.

Press secretary Sean Spicer began his daily briefing with news that the president had offered Prime Minister Justin Trudeau his country's condolences, prayers and any law-enforcement help Canada might need.

Then came a political point — one that glossed over the fact that in the case of the Quebec mosque massacre, the victims were Muslims, and they were allegedly shot and killed by a reported fan of President Donald Trump.

"It's a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant. And why the president is taking steps to be proactive, not reactive," Spicer said Monday.


White House links Quebec mosque shooting to Trump's travel ban

All together now:

War is Peace
Ignorance is Strength
Freedom is Slavery

One of these bears repeating

Ignorance is Strength

9:45 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


One can only hope!

David, Roboto-

Keep in mind that Trumpi is doing things that are stupid and destructive. This is why History placed him in the W.H., and we need to celebrate the fact that he is carrying out his mission. Soon he'll be posting the Protocols of the Elders of Zion on the US gov't web site. The sky's the limit.


Turkeys and douche bags don't look in mirrors.


9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting article from Heather Richardson, history professor at Boston College.


10:56 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Limo (lexus) libs, 9 toilets, numerous mansions, and extravagant lifestyles whilst listening to Gary Keillor talk about fruit very slowly and sip charred 5$ "coffee."

The elitists need all this to appear relevant and feed their narcopathy. In addition to constant fecesbook postings about how "bad" Trump is etc....let's rally, march, sign a petition, click a like/love, we should/must lists, etc...it's a banal big joke. america was a failure--Freud.

Too late to turn that ship around towards all that "greatness," "freedom," and cue hysterial laughter--"democracy"--that never really existed--it was simply Horatio Alger illusions and non stop huckstering/hustling to get a piece of the rotten pie. Move or NMI.

12:22 PM  
Anonymous WHEN IN ROME said...

2/ A few more items this week that draw parallels between Rome and Trump:


1:50 PM  
Anonymous Tirone said...

The Freemasons: Prosocial Groups of the Enlightenment Era. A Conversation with Margaret C. Jacob/// https://evolution-institute.org/article/the-freemasons-prosocial-groups-of-the-enlightenment-era-a-conversation-with-margaret-c-jacob/

1st full week on this blog space, 1st post.

John Tirone

1:53 PM  
Blogger Patrick D. Fitzgerald said...


I read the same piece and was wondering the same thing. I think the author is clearly an immensely bright guy, (Theoretical physicist, high up Google developer, probably a technobuffoon but beside the point for our purposes) and I couldn't help but nod my head reading his predictions. The thing I have been trying to figure out is if this Trump inner circle is far smarter and sneakier than it appears, or really just as dumb as many media outlets are claiming. Summed up well here in a different medium.com post.


Who knows, but either way the end result has been foretold by the GSOWH and the many worthy contributors to this, the only blog in the universe. I am not sure it makes a difference, the *why* is more theater to me at this point.

Onward, downward and more weirdward than ever before,


2:01 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Watching the protests I am reminded about the concept of negative identity that Dr B mentions in his books. I think the progressive left is in real danger of falling into the same trap. They are letting themselves be defined simply by their opposition to Trump. They don’t have a positive agenda, goals, or workable plan. It’s just a giant temper tantrum centered around their disgust with Trump. Even the chants and signs are filled with vacuous slogans. “Crush phallic imperialism.” WTF does that even mean?

2:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...




Am enjoying all yr posts. Am esp. enjoying watching Trump dismantle the country, and the turkey protesters thinking they are going to stop him. What a show! When I said Suez Moment, I wasn't kidding.


5:49 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Whether you agree with Thump or not, it must be stated that he's kept more of his campaign promises in his first 10 days than Obarfa did in 8 full years. Meanwhile, the MSM is acting all horrified that he isn't just another politician who had no intention of doing so. Just laughable.

Dio -- we can only hope that Trump starts a trade war with China and Germany as soon as possible. Thoroughly crashing the mindless consumer economy is the best thing that could happen to the global environment. Guess what, liberals, no more German luxury cars for you!

Patrick -- Ian Welsh posted a similar essay today in which he asserts that not only is Trump is using the more extreme EO's to weed out officials who won't go along with his program, a radical left wing president would have needed to do the same thing. From the evidence at hand, It's pretty obvious that Bannon, who refers to himself as a "right wing Trotsky," is the one who really has Trump's ear. And again, whatever else you might say about Bannon, he's no dummy and his ability to see three moves ahead of his dumbfounded liberal opponents has been demonstrated repeatedly.

Onward, downward and weirdward, indeed.

6:11 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

"Whether you agree with Thump or not, it must be stated that he's kept more of his campaign promises in his first 10 days than Obarfa did in 8 full years. Meanwhile, the MSM is acting all horrified that he isn't just another politician who had no intention of doing so. Just laughable."

True. Trump is the first non-sell-out president America has had since Carter. The main problem with Trump is his lack of political experience. However, he is able to identify his enemies and take action against them.

Personally, I think Trump is the best out of all the 2016 candidates both for America and the world. Of course, I hop that the South (where I live) secedes from America in the near future.

One thing that this election did expose is the fact that American progs hate the blue-collar working class. They only care about their stupid political correctness. It seems to me that the American "left" has gone into a death spiral after this election.

I think American consumerism is going to die one way or another regardless of what Trump does. It's simply not a sustainable way of life.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

Has anyone seen and read this essay re the Trumpenfuhrer's character or more correctly lack of it.
And this website www.talk2action.org which describes the behind the scenes machinations of the "religious" right. The essay titled Betsy DeVoss's Mudsill View of Public Education is essential reading. Among other things it describes all of the behind the scenes political connections and intentions of Betsy and her brother the very dark Prince.

Bill Hicks I really fail to even begin to comprehend how you can be so gleeful about Stephen Bannon and the dark/deadly entirely destructive "game" that he is playing.

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Emily said...

I'm not African American, but I follow African American studies on Facebook. I made a comment on a story about a black man who was shot dead by a cop. The man had a machete and he was breaking into people's homes.

My comment was: I would like to know more about the cops, because I would shoot someone too if they were coming at me with a machete. Or run like hell.

The page administrator immediately banned me from the page and then without even answering my question, proceeded to call me all kinds of names.

I'm noticing that there seems to be less open discussion about issues and people immediately becoming defensive. This is in comment sections on news articles, blog posts, etc.

"Liberals" are just as intolerant and nasty as conservatives. What a country of hateful people.

For the record, I used to consider myself liberal but now I want to disassociate with any and all political identities as I can.

And perhaps my comment was ignorant but wouldn't it be a better response if the administrator took the time to talk to me and engage in meaningful discussion?

11:27 PM  
Anonymous Smack_Smack said...


That's a good example of American thinking. They feel morally obligated to hate and oppress people that committed the horrendous crime of being victims of American hatred and oppression. The American collective consciousness isn't merely irrational and unmoored from reality; it has descended into complete incoherence. I'm waiting for Trump to make a completely incoherent statement, such as "We Americans need to make sure that America continues to victimize America for the security of America, or else China will open its doors to refugees!".

1:31 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Another amusing thing about the progs is that they think that if they can oust Trump, then things will get back to "normal".

They don't realise that Trump is the first of many, many Trumps, and many even-worse-than-Trumps.

6:36 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I agree. The US will, as part of its imperial collapse, see many worse-than-Trumps. In the meantime, I have composed a little poem celebrating recent American history. (Move over, Keats.) As follows:

Bad drama.





Americans think tribally, not analytically, and this is esp. true of progs. With exception of this blog, the country is 100% bullshit. You learned something impt. The issue is not left vs. rt, it's flexibility and degree of character armor (Reich). See my Amazon review of Joel Magnuson's latest bk. Progs are just the mirror image of their enemies. If they ever got into power, they wd do the same thing as the folks they overthrew. Exceptions, such as Jimmy Carter or Nelson Mandela, are exceedingly rare.


Just a note to say I support Bill's glee. Massive destruction is exactly what we need rt now, and judging from events since Jan. 20, I think we're gonna get it. Go Trumpi! is my motto.


Secession of various sectors of the country is probably 30 or so yrs away, but I think it's gonna happen. And a gd thing, too: no more empire! (I predicted this in the Reenchantment bk, BTW, 1981.)

On Donner, On Blitzen!


11:30 AM  
Blogger Grille said...

Hey, y'all! Glad that some of you enjoyed the protests! I will do my part to put an even better show on for you next time! Check out upcoming, hyperventilating-mainstream-media reports from PHL! Considering bringing a protest sign: HEY, TURKEYS! YOU ARE DOOMED!*
*come to see the (black) light at morrisberman.blogspot.com

Many Wafers seem to really think that this American decline will - besides being tremendously entertaining, of course - only marginally affect life on this earth and somehow the world will be better off. Or that there is another planet in the habitable zone of some other star we can somehow travel too, when the time comes. (Even that did not work out last time it was atttempted: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora_(novel) )

No previous imperial decline in history came with a high risk of the apocalypse. This one does. Maybe it's because I have children, or I am too reluctant to accept preventable human suffering as a price of some sort of hoped-for-progress. But I just can't get the sense of glee or satisfaction or "I told you so" out of Trump and Bannon.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Rook said...

Dear Benlam,

I posted your quote about Americans having goat dung for brains and that it is futile to think the system can be turned around on NakedCapitalism.com - there was quite a bit of enthusiastic agreement. I try to spread the joy of collapse around the interwebs. it is very liberating to stop struggling and just swim with the current of history.
I spent years reading intensely and debating about politics, economics, sociology - for what? Now that I have accepted that we Wafers are the real elite, I can just get on with life and laugh at the absurdity of basing an entire economic system on the premise that our lizard brain is the only one we really need.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


One thing that *is* constant in civilizational collapse is that it's never pretty. Or as I've repeatedly said, you don't get history for free. My glee, or your lack thereof, are much beside the pt. Real pt is what is likely to occur. Nor is my light black; you need to educate yrself re: Dual Process, which has also been discussed at length on this blog. Whether we shall actually move to a better world is anyone's guess, as Wallerstein pointed out in "Utopistics." Change doesn't nec. mean better; but it inevitably means different. No one on this blog is saying that the world will necessarily be better off, and in general you have seriously misinterpreted what all of us Wafers have been saying. Your critique is misguided, and fails to understand the complexity of our position/discussion.

On a happier note, there's this:


(The Marais is the old Jewish section of Paris.)


11:58 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


1st, it's Belman. There is no Benlam.

2nd, thank you for trying to spread the word. A bumper sticker I saw in DC abt 12 yrs ago: YOU CAN'T FIX STUPID. Truer words etc.

3rd, I think it's gd that you read deeply in sociology etc.; Wafers are strongly committed to the life of the intellect. It's part of what makes us the real elite.

4th, regarding lizard brain: check out Louis Hartz, "The Liberal Tradition in America." Liberal here is used in its British economic sense, of course, and Hartz talks abt "fragment societies." These are the ones that break off from the mother country (e.g., England) and base their entire econ system on one narrow aspect (fragment) of that country's ideology and way of life. This is what the original settlers on the American contintent did (see WAF, for further elaboration): they took the ideology of the British entrepreneurial class, namely hustling. Fuck Shakespeare or Chaucer; let's organize life around making a bundle! Those chickens have now come home to roost, with Trump as the obvious representative of this way of life. Hartz wrote in 1955: C. Vann Woodward was saying much the same thing in 1953. Both were ignored, because a turkey-lizard way of life was all that Americans ever wanted. Now, they are being punished, but are too stupid to realize it. Karma is a concept way beyond the American 'brain', which largely consists of racid tuna fish.


12:13 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Escroc--french word for swindler--really one word in french for a shyster/opportunist.

Then go anglo and there are hundreds of words--charlatan, chiseler, grifter, bilker, crook, cheat, conman, cheater, cozener, defrauder, rook, sharper, trickster, victimizer, diddler, gyp, gypper, shyster, flimfammer, duper, hustler, huckster, opportunist, sharks, rapscallion pettifogger, on and on and on....america. Reap what ya sow.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Secession, the likeliness thereof

From time to time I think that secession would represent both the best course forward for these Untied States and a dream incapable of realization. A central tenet of this blog, one solidly based on decades of evidence acquired by multiple observers right across the country, is that the populace is not very bright. If we accept this as a given, then that would argue AGAINST secession ever occurring, on whatever scale.

Why? Consider the decisions that even the simplest model of secession would demand. What are the vital interests of our new arrangement? Until yesterday, they've always been defined by others, including some individuals whom we chose to represent us. We now see that this allowed us to defer confronting some essential questions. Do we have enemies? Who are they? Why are they our enemies? (Question upon question, annoying to the average citizen). How much government do we need? What services should the government provide? Where will we get the money to help pay for those things we've decided our government should provide us? (Uh oh! Big problem. Taxes. (We hate taxes).)

In favor of possible secession: a certain social and cultural affinity shared by the seceding population, the more so to the extent that the populace is not disproportionately urban, as citydwellers seem less likely to share such commonalities and to that degree would exert a disuniting function.

Just some back of the envelope thoughts. Dissenting opinions welcome, all rights reserved. Patents pending. Close cover before striking.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Ed-M said...

Morris Berman's Blog


let me tell you what I learned from The Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States. Not only did I find out that the USA has basically killed off those American Indians within the country's borders and broken every treaty it made with them, but the extermination thereof, like the Holocaust was baked in the cake from the very beginning of christendom, when the criminal Constantine invented Christianity as we know it from 312 to 337 ce.

Then those damn fool idealistic Crusades (thank you, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you must be Muslim!) from which England learned how to subjugate Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and Ireland; and Spain learned how to evict all the Jews and Moors. And of course, England and the most Catholic Spain, under the influence of Papal Bulls that denigrated Muslims and "Pagans," gave us Westerners another gift which is now known in the USA as White Supremacy.


12:37 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Secession will become a moot point or, at most, a formality if the federal government is delegitimized and rendered non-functional.

If you take Bannon literally and take an honest look at Trump's cabinet appointments (aside from the generals), it's not unrealistic to surmise that this is the plan being enacted. Shrinking the federal government down to where it could be drowned in the bathtub went nowhere (Reagan). Gutting it would be too messy and inefficient (Brownback experiment in Kansas).

We are seeing civil war break out amongst the elite factions. The neoliberal/con royalist/statist establishment is trying to fend off a takeover by the feudalist/mercantilist/industrialist/financialist insurgent wing. The masses are too divided, too stupid, too confused, too afraid, too acquiescent to be anything but bystanders, pawns and fodder.

I think we are going to need all the gallows humor we can muster. There's something to also be said for rejoicing in natural justice. The only justice there really ever is, or was. Make your peace.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous JRS said...

Hi Dr Berman,
Did you see this?


Along with Betsy DeVos in the Education dept., I expecting even more non-dreaming robots to be pumped out of the school systems in the future.


1:09 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Jesus, the article on Marais is merveilleux. I travelled to Paris in April, 1997 (my only visit to Paris). The first day in the city, I recall thinking to myself that I'd been granted a glimpse of Heaven. It would sure be nice to do a Wafer Conference in Paris someday; imagine the amount of Tarte Tatin we could all devour. BTW, at the end of yesterday's Tom Ashbrook "On Point" radio program (Boston), he put out a call to his listeners to write in about future program/show ideas. I put in a plug for you and your work. Don't hold yr breath, of course, but I thought it was worth a shot...


ps: Tecora Fields, 28, in a scuffle w/police reached down and removed her tampon and threw it at the officer:


1:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for plug to Tom. As for tampon-thrower: if she was a prog, this is the 1st truly creative prog protest activity I've heard of. Go Tecora!


According to historian Walter McDougall, there are abt 200 synonyms for hustler in English.


Am very excited abt Falwell apptment, altho I wd be happier if Trump simply closed down all the universities. Higher 'education' in the US needs to be polished off, once and for all. At the very least, I'm hoping all of this will lead to making political correctness a felony.


4:59 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...


Trump and Bannon are on record nearly saying that very thing.

Steve Bannon said, “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”

In 2014, Donald Trump said, “You know what solves it? When the economy crashes, when the country goes to total hell, and everything is a disaster, then you’ll have riots to go back to where we used to be, when we were great.”

We must destroy the town to save it. Except this time America is aiming to destroy itself rather than external enemies.

Also, Wafers might find this article and the research of Agnieszka Golec de Zavala on collective narcissism interesting.

5:10 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

.....Did I perhaps miss a sea change somewhere? Prior to the election it was Trumpo... now it's Trumpi. Been puzzling me for a while, can you clue me in?

Actually I'm puzzled about a whole lot of trumpoi stuff. Buffoonish bull in a china shop or scheming madman? If he's being handled by the elite whatevers that whole line of thought has got to be so conspiracy soaked it looks like week old stew. Maybe it's all so disorganized - everyone totally baffled, on edge, lashing out here and there, it feels like a real possibility that america could go fucko bazzoo and stomp each other to death in a giant stampede of fear, rage and stupidity.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Smack_Smack said...


Indeed, this civilizational collapse will do far more damage than any other ever to occur. Nuclear war and climate change are problems that humanity has never faced before, and much more dangerous than genocide by about a thousand degrees of magnitude. Although I agree with you that we should remain sympathetic to the problem of preventable human suffering, I don't think we are obligated to feel sorry for the psychopaths that comprise 95% of the American populace. These people want to inflict as much suffering and damage as possible, and if they suffer horribly from inadvertently causing America's collapse, I for one will not shed a tear. If you can somehow feel sympathy for them, then you have a wonderfully compassionate heart, but you needn't lose any sleep if you cannot do this. However, the few Americans that are actually human beings do deserve all the sympathy in the world, for many of them will eventually endure something quite similar to what the victims of Auschwitz suffered. The same is true for most of the rest of humanity, who will endure (on the whole) more disease, starvation, violence and chaos than any group of people ever to exist. It's very good that you have retained this quality; it is a hallmark of human kindness.

7:11 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Fran, the people in the US looking forward to a collapse of the US will be shitting their pants if it ever happens. I don't see the fall of America as some sort event that will usher in an a golden age of love and decency. Far from it. And I don't believe in karma so.....If it's going to happen, let's have it happen after I die. 😉

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

WE're getting close to the Kim kardashian course. In the Feb. 6 edition of Time magazine it's reported that Washington University will soon offer a course called (barf bags everyone), "Politics of Kanye West." To quote Jeffrey McCune, associate professor and teacher of the course:"What better time than now to take seriously Kanye West as a cultural icon?"
By the way, an interesting quote from former president, Oshitforbrains, a few days before leaving office:"I'd sign on to a Republican [healthcare]plan that would say, "We're going to give more subsidies to people to make it even cheaper, and we're going to have a public option." A what? People were screaming for a public option when Oshit had a filibuster proof Congress during his first 2 years. He could easily have gotten a public option through.
Finally, thank you, doctor, for recommending "Expulsion of the Palestinians". Between this book and Pappe's I'm about to convert...to anything. Palestinian transfer was certainly not an accidental byproduct of the 1948 war. As Ben-Gurion wrote in 1938: "With compulsory transfer we would have vast areas...I support compulsory transfer. I do not see anything immoral in it."

9:42 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

By the way Berman, what is your take on the execution of 9/11? I don't think 9/11 was a completely inside job like some people claim. However, I have little doubt that some elements of the American government were involved in making it possible.

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Dusty-Ashes said...

Ezra Pound or Umberto Eco maybe - there's a quote somewhere about "countries eventually getting the language they deserve." For example, "The business of America is business."

John R. Saul talks about a need for a Philosophy of Reality but maybe Freire's "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" preceded what Saul had in mind.

The autocratic trans-national corp class Ivy League and bloodline criminals are more out in the open than ever. They have their own siloed suckfest softball forums masking their entitled subsidized de-industrialization policies. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsbebAJ40DQ

"In the United States there's a Puritan ethic and a mythology of success. He who is successful is good. In Latin countries, in Catholic countries, a successful person is a sinner."
-Umberto Eco

Out of curiosity I now want to read Das Protocoles de Zione. Regardless, money printing and non-competitive currency hegemony enables the bankers and industrialists to make money off chaos and debt.

12:18 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Post only once every 24 hrs, thanks. Also, 9/11 is a nonstarter on this blog. Plenty of blogs out there are beating it to death, and you can easily discuss it there.


Straw man. Not one person on this blog has ever said US collapse wd nec result in a wonderful world of love and decency. Am disturbed by the B&W thinking that has recently surfaced here around this topic.


Human kindness is great, but frankly, historical karma, which is as certain as gravity, doesnt care one way or another abt human kindness. (Any more than does gravity)


I also like Trumponi. Take yr pick.


11:15 AM  
Anonymous AS said...

Stop Complaining About Trump — We Earned Him

"Lamenting this as a bizarre aberration, however, would be a mistake. Trump’s ascendancy reflects who we are as a people. His election was not an accident, but rather the logical product of our history. In the quarter-century since the end of the Cold War, a destructive national character has hardened as our democracy has eroded. Choose a cliché: If you break it, you own it. You reap what you sow. You buttered your bread, now eat it."

"President Trump’s appeal to chauvinistic tribalism also strikes a responsive chord in the American soul. We are as much a tribal nation as a tolerant and welcoming one. More than people in any other developed country, we are insistent individualists, wary of cooperation beyond the bounds of tribe. We would rather trust one man with a gun than a roomful of diplomats."

"Trump is a visitor from our future. His message is, 'Get used to me. Unless the soul of America changes, I am the new normal.'"


Stephen Kinzer is probably the only person in mainstream America who understands the relationship between the people & their govt.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Ed-M said...


On acceptable jokes:

1) What's the difference between a Jew and a Canoe? THE CANOE TIPS!

2) Q: That mother raccoon over there just gave birth to all-black offspring. What do I call them?
A: Black-furred crawfish eaters.
Q: Why not black c-UMPH! (A covers Q's mouth)
A: (in anger) Don't you DARE use that word!
Q: Why not?
A: It insults African-Americans.

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Detours said...

Yo, DAA fellow travelers. Wha's up? Hey did ya'll post this essay already by Bernhard Guenther? Saying that Trump is America's shadow that's never been deeply acknowledged? Sorry, haven't read MB's CTOS, 'cause it looks like he's been talkin' 'bout these things for a long time:


Yo, Patrick Fitzgerald! - just now saw your note. Yeah, that writer-Yonatan Zunger- of 'Trial Ballon for a Coup?' overplays his analysis in the end when he concludes that we may be witnessing a coup. Maybe Guenther would say that Zunger's conclusion is merely a reactive projection. Or Waferinos might say his analysis completely misses the mark, b/c Zunger comes at the problem from the wrong direction. B/c any analysis of this kind, if it's worth it's salt, must begin--at least tacitly-- with the recognition that "America failed" already (past tense), before proceeding with the diagnosis and prescription. Instead, Zunger concludes that maybe Trump's people are floating up a trial balloon and so watch out, b/c maybe a coup is coming next?!! Waferinos might point out or ask: isn't this how America has always conducted its business? Doesn't WAF show how we've always marginalized alternative voices & traditions, and therefore that supposed "trial balloon" took off long ago? And so yo, listen up Zunger: this ain't no coup... baby this is karma! Or what about the corporate state? Is Zunger talking about the "corporate coups d'état in slow motion" that's already happened, according to Chris Hedges? The latter says the coup is over now, and they won, and so all we have left now is rebellion. Would Guenther say that is more reactive projection, or that Hedges has some shadow work to do? Zunger is confused, it would seem, about how all this is happening, so yeah, "overplayed."

3:38 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Creating a Christian parallel universe:


Idle threat or a clear intent for war:



4:36 PM  
Anonymous The Craw said...

Dr. B

In light of the following article, I wouldn't expect the Protocols to appear on a Govt. website anytime soon:


N.B. per article, daughter Ivanka (a convert to orthodox Judaism) and her husband, Jared Kushner, belong to "Upper East Side Orthodox synagogue Kehilath Jeshurun". No word on whether she can make a decent brisket.

Detour and Patrick D. Fitzgerald

Given Mr. Zunger's association with Google, and his prediction of a Trump coup, you may wish to read the following:


4:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I tell ya, it was bad enuf when Trump didn't apt me to a top admin position. But if Ivanka doesn't invite me over for matzoh ball soup...well, I've had it. Meanwhile, am very excited abt this possible appointment, real Supreme Court material in our New Era:



Always address us as Wafers, altho Waferinos is also gd. Most evolved people on the planet, w/o a doubt. As for shadow material: as WAF suggests, we've been suppressing it for 400 yrs, so...Watch Out!

What does a Jewish American Princess make for dinner? A: Reservations.


Some Characteristics of Progs:

1. They focus on their feelings, not on historical process. This is equivalent to a loss of perspective, or failure to live in reality.

2. They have a self-righteous desire to show they are Good, virtuous; plus are bitterly opposed to their enemies, who are Evil (by definition). This reproduces the psychological structure of Americans since the pilgrims landed on the Rock.

3. They display a clear inability to go inside, to understand their own motives and behavior. Also have no interest in same.

4. From the outside, they appear to be brain-damaged.


5:51 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Ravel, Poulenc, and Debussy are very good anecdotes to american "life." Also, as mentioned by several WAFERS- gardening, nature walks, and quiet/silence can be especially helpful.

Tuning out brainwashed family/friends may be challenge---perhaps, not engaging, or disengaging are key. Sure most WAFERS can detect the us brainwashing/mental illness within 1-2 sentences of them speaking.

Key is to go "grey rock"---for borderlines and other Cluster ABC mentally deranged folks, the key is to NOT engage. No contact or little contact.

8:04 PM  

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