January 10, 2017

The Final Act

Waferinos and Other Fellow Travelers-

I was going to post the following short essay on January 20th, but as the previous post was fast approaching the 200-item comment limit, I decided I might as well unload this now. Enjoy! (well, maybe not)

For those of us who were around at the time, it seemed beyond belief that Richard Nixon, little more than a two-bit hood and a red-baiter, could actually become president of the United States. And the damage he did to the country was immense: Kent State, Chile, Southeast Asia, Watergate, and so on. With Nixon, we became a different country, and hardly a better one.

And then there was Reagan. Who could have imagined that this knucklehead, as Philip Roth has called him, this B-movie actor, could accede to the presidency? But there he was, with a simplistic economic theory that dramatically widened the gap between rich and poor, and a budget that tripled the national debt and poured wasted billions into the military. As in the case of Nixon, he was another downturn from which we have never really recovered. His destructive legacy is with us to this day.

But with Trump: well, this is really our last gasp. The final years of the Roman Empire produced, as emperors, folks who were little more than bad jokes, including imbeciles and children. And this is where we too have arrived. Sitting now in the Oval Office is a cartoon character: a man who has no political experience or qualifications to be president; who touts an absurd haircut; who is a vulgar boor; and who is, nevertheless, the logical culmination of 400 years of hustling—what America is finally and nakedly all about. As the comedian George Carlin used to say, our leaders are representative; they don’t just descend from Mars.

In retrospect, it is clear that Nixon and Reagan were dress rehearsals for The Final Act. They too were unfit for the presidency, and the havoc they wreaked on America and the rest of the world is proof of this. But Trump is somehow in a different category, because he comes across as surreal, an error of a different magnitude than Nixon or Reagan, as grotesque as they were. This is Reality TV on steroids, and I think we can expect that as huge as was the damage inflicted on the nation by Tricky Dick and “the Gipper” (read: clown), the damage that Trump is going to inflict on it will be that much greater. The US will end, not with a bang or a whimper, but on a bad joke.

And it’s just as well. No civilization lasts forever, and our time is clearly up. What are we, really? A genocidal war machine run by a plutocracy and cheered on by a citizenry that has the political sophistication of a five-year old. A nation so cruel that in some states, it is a crime to feed the homeless, and where the police routinely gun down unarmed civilians. A place where torture is now legal, and where the government has the right to arbitrarily rub out anyone it dislikes—including American citizens on American soil. A country almost completely lacking in community and friendship, where no one trusts anyone else, and where daily relationships are of the dog-eat-dog variety. And where the focus of the left is not on the relations of class and power, as it had traditionally been, but on politically correct language, and the legalities of who has the right to use transgender bathrooms. What, indeed, remains of the US today, where “democracy” is but a façade, a hollow shell?

To put it another way, then, Trump is karma writ large, the perfect agent for our Final Act. He is clearly what Hegel referred to as a “world historical individual,” a lightning rod for the major trends of our time. It could well be the case that by the time he finishes with the US, there won’t be very much left to finish.

In the meantime, us Wafers just watch the drama and shake our heads. Who could have guessed that God, or History, or the Zeitgeist, would turn out to have such a perverse sense of humor?

©Morris Berman, 2017

199 Comments:

Anonymous The Craw said...

According to the Guardian on-line tally of U.S. citizens killed by police, 1,146 U.S. residents were killed by police in 2015. Of this amount, 234 were unarmed individuals.

In 2016, police killed 1,091 citizens, of which 169 were unarmed.

Does this mean things are getting better in the U.S.?

4:06 PM  
Blogger Ed-M said...

Been lurking for awhile so I might as well post.

Considering that Obama was a cipher, the Seinfeld President, and Hillary was the Mother of All Grifters, it's no wonder that enough Americans picked Donald Trump, the Fourth Stooge, in enough places to make him the next one.

On another subject, I just finished Paul Theroux's Deep South and am just starting in on Ms. Dunbar-Ortiz's An Indigenous People's History of the United States. Theroux's book was quite a revelation -- the South still haven't recovered from the devastation of the Civil War ("You made us eat rats" said one Vicksburg woman to him) and yet now it's reeling under the exporting of jobs and even from the advent of the interstates -- a lot of small towns that used to be prosperous have been struggling ever since the far-enough-away expressway was opened to traffic. I'm sure Ms. Dunbar-Ortiz's work will be a revelation, too: I've previously read Matthew Carr's Sherman's Ghosts, which shows that the American way of war goes back at least to Sherman's March to the Sea and then through the Carolinas -- basically an indiscriminate, wanton slaughter of women, children and men, or at least doing enough damage to the physical plant, the towns and land to bring extreme suffering to the civilians.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB-

I couldn't agree more. Trump will make Nixon and Reagan look like pikers, and 2016 will most likely be remembered as the date that America crossed its own Rubicon. I guess the question is whether America will collapse Soviet Union-style, or slowly morph into an authoritarian state marked by some catastrophic Trumpian-induced incident along the way. There's an outside chance, however, that since Trump harnessed the resentment caused by rising inequality via globalization, he might well try to reverse 4 decades of globalization in order to stay popular w/the white working-class people in America's rust belt. This would be a gd thing, IMO. But given Trump's anti-democratic tendencies, I think we will see a continuation of wealth and power redistributed into the hands of the few. Anyway, that's my two cents' worth.

MB, Wafer-

Nat Hentoff, the great jazz author and social commentator, has shoved off. We could use a couple hundred thousand more of him:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/07/nyregion/nat-hentoff-dead.html?_r=0

This one's for u Nat:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sfe_8RAaJ0

Miles

6:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ed-

The Ortiz bk is terrific, I can tell you. In WAF ch. 4 I argued that what the North did to the South, the scorched earth policy and the terrorizing of civilians, became the model for what the US wd do to our subsequent enemies, such as Vietnam. The enemy, whoever he is, has to be darker than dark, the Ultimate Evil--our flimsy identity is derived from this type of Manichaean opposition. Ortiz shows that Americans were already doing these things to Native Americans long before the 1860s. In general, the US also follows the Bush Sr. policy--we don't apologize to anybody for anything. One bit of fallout from this is that the Civil War never really ended; Dylann Roof is the tip of the iceberg. So for example while the Confederate flag is obviously controversial, there is no acknowledgment that it stands for a few more things than just slavery--at least in the South. Thus the Southern heritage, which was very rich, continues to be ridiculed or ignored (even on progressive web sites). Racial strife in the US has a lot of factors behind it, of course, but until that acknowledgment/apology is made--which is never going to happen--there can be no resolution of America's racial problems, as far as I can see. And so we will be interminably bogged down in identity politics, which obscures the deeper problem of what is wrong w/the US. We are so, so fucked up.

Craw-

Clearly. We all have cause to be very happy.

mb

6:35 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Dr. B.,

Surreal is right.

Riddle me this though: Once the surreal becomes the real, can anything be seen as surreal again? And if there is nothing that can be conceived of as surreal, can anything ever be really real?

If my intonations are correct, we are about to enter a vortex of the infinitely farcical. A post-truth, post-reality existence.

I think it's time for you to have that pastramian adventure with Tina Fey. If not when, now?

-Dio,

Turns out we don't differ much on what we envision as ideal. Where we diverge, is in what we see as possible.

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

I think it means Americans are just more careful. Like slowing down when they see a cop even though they are going the speed limit. I do this all the time. U don't want to go to slow than u well look specious.

8:46 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB -- excellent summation. To get an idea of just how much the average American cares about the recent history you just described, a Pew poll published today showed that two-thirds of Americans cannot identify even ONE Trump cabinet pick despite all the media obsession over Sessions, Tillerson and DeVos in particular. These are no doubt the people who Hedges and others believes are any day now suddenly going to wake up and usher in a glorious left-wing revolution.

James Allen -- that story you posted in the last thread about the teenage girl raped and dismembered by BOTH of her foster parents was one of the worst I've read in awhile, and that's saying a lot. Even more horrifying than the crime itself is the fact that apparently when the mother told the father of her sick, deranged fantasy he went along with it instead of immediately calling the police. How does such a warped, perverted individual manage to find her true soulmate when we have young WAFers here who cannot find a date who merely won't shut up about themselves for six seconds? I just can't imagine such a thing happening anywhere but America, but here it happens all the time and nobody thinks its unusual or a depraved, doomed culture.

10:45 PM  
Blogger monkishrambler said...

What we are witnessing is instability in the elite's grasp on power. This is not to say the elites will lose--only that one side of the elite faction is pitted against another elite faction for control of the spoils of oligarchic rule in the United States of Amnesia. One side will come out victorious.

But then, as the anarchists have postulated correctly---Western liberal democracy has always been about naked oligarchy (the few rule over the lumpen masses). (See Malatesta.)

I agree with MB that there's no hope for (current, contemporary) America. But I believe that anarchism--the decentralization of society through cooperation and love--is our only hope, if enlightened souls choose to travel that difficult path. But I have little faith people will find the truths of @.

10:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dean-

She's not answering my calls. Life is tuf.

Bill-

2/3 of Americans probably don't give a shit abt the NYT or the Wash Post. This may, however, be a sign of gut-level intelligence.

mb

11:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: The gobblings of a turkey:

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/10/politics/obama-farewell-address/index.html

What a failed human being.

mb

11:51 PM  
Blogger Edward Johnson said...

Here is a news story about another traveling ugly American: The Grand Island Independent reported that a South Dakota man, Alan Wanek, 41, was arrested in Hastings, NE, after he reportedly, missed his Amtrak train, the California Zephyr, on the morning of Jan. 5th. He apparently was on the phone with Amtrak, after missing his train, and was trying to get a refund, when he reportedly became agitated and kicked another passenger's luggage. When the passenger asked him not to kick his bag, Wanek punched him in the face, according to the newspaper. Wanek then left the station and was arrested a few blocks away, according to law enforcement authorities, and charged with third degree assault. It is unknown if he ever received his refund from Amtrak, but this could why there are no Amtrak stations in South Dakota.

12:20 AM  
Anonymous Bingo said...

MB,

Indeed, God or History seem to first mock and humble those it brings down.

I just watched Chris Hedges’ show on RT about McCarthyism. I still teach (of necessity) at a few so-called universities, and I thought he was very much on the mark about what has happened to academia. Basically, it's become a complete joke, a corporate whore, like everything else in this country. Here's the link to his show:

https://www.rt.com/shows/on-contact/371662-trump-higher-education-us/

Also, about mid-point in the program there is a commercial about a funeral of the mainstream media. I found that to be fabulously well done, so I searched for it on YouTube to share with friends. It has some sweet poetry too: “You talked about war like it was a game... To proclaim that Mainstream Media has met its Maker.” Here it is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7K7SaEgB7w

Enjoy!
Julian

3:01 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

News from the rust belt; here's a quote-

In November, Luzerne County voted for Donald Trump instead of Hillary Clinton, handing the Republican a narrow but shocking victory that helped propel him to the White House.

"I hate to use the cliché, but there are a lot of angry white guys in the region who 20 years ago were making decent money," Bozinski said. "Now they are struggling to pay the mortgage and have a good life. There is a lot of frustration."

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/wilkes-barre-faces-heroin-scourge-turning-it-most-unhappy-place-n699541

4:38 AM  
Blogger NeilW said...

THE EDO ETHIC FOR CULTURAL PRESERVATION ''Civil war had turned Kyoto into a wasteland of ruins and ashes, and yet, books like this one, which served no real practical function, continued to be produced'' https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/japanese-rare-books-culture/2/steps/125692

5:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Neil-

Beautiful stuff, thank you.

Julian-

Odd that Hedges would have just figured that out (but perhaps he's written abt it b4; I don't really know). Check out section of my Twilight bk of 2000 on "Alt U," where I taught for 2 yrs in the 90s. It was a perfect child of its times, and is probably still going strong. It combined commodification of education with intense political correctness and corporate orientation, and boasted that it was the 'education of the future'. I said I agreed w/that assessment, but if it was the education of the future, then education in America didn't *have* a future. Since I wrote that, mainstream universities, not just alternative ones, have gone in that direction as well. But all of that pre-dated Trump; it was the product of neoliberalism, globalization, and the political correctness movement--core 'liberal' stuff, in other words. Hedges might be right to worry abt a potential Trumpian McCarthyism, but what has happened to academia during the last 17 yrs is hardly the product of McCarthyism, Trumpian or otherwise. (I doubt neoliberalism etc. can rightly be called McCarthyism, myself. I remember McCarthyism.)

mb

5:46 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Dr. Berman,

I hope you are right about Trump being the end game. I also hope that they don't blow up Social Security in the process. I'm counting on that monthly stipend to help get me the hell out of here in a couple of years.

I fear that the ruling class can limp along for a couple of decades wringing the last pennies of wealth out of the general populace. Greed and a sense of entitlement makes rich people do some awful things.

Ed-M: I also read Deep South, and I liked it so much that I read it twice. I also read Ortiz' book and loved the brutal honesty. Those two books should go together. Ortiz' book is an epic of 400 years of fuckwittery, and Theroux's book is a detailed sociological study of the effects of 400 years of fuckwittery. I appreciate most southerners. They have a lot of grit. America's best literature, music and art also came out of the south.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

This is very good:

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/12/gary-johnson-aleppo-meritocracy-intelligence-politics/

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

On the subject of the decline of the Left, economist Bill Mitchell has a good piece on how post-modernism helped to steer the Left away from traditional class issues and toward identity politics.

http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=35063

Mitchell is Australian but I think his critique of the Left can be applied pretty broadly to the Left in most Western countries. It can certainly be applied to the American Left.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

We could all give up on our observations and just post quotes from the later Roman Empire. This from 4th century historian Ammianus Marcellinus...

"But nowadays, if as a stranger of good position you enter for the first time to pay your respects to some man who is well-to‑do and therefore puffed up, at first you will be greeted as if you were an eagerly expected friend, and after being asked many questions and forced to lie, you will wonder, since the man never saw you before, that a great personage should pay such marked attention to your humble self as to make you regret, because of such special kindness, that you did not see Rome ten years earlier. When, encouraged by this affability, you make the same call on the following day, you will hang about unknown and unexpected, while the man who the day before urged you to call again counts up his clients, wondering who you are or whence you came. But when you are at last recognized and admitted to his friendship, if you devote yourself to calling upon for three years without interruption, then are away for the same number of days, and return to go through with a similar course, you will not be asked where you were, and unless you abandon the quest in sorrow, you will waste your whole life to no purpose in paying court to the blockhead."

One observation- in the actual Dark Ages, everybody believed that they were just on the cusp of recreating the Roman Empire. It seems the West since the 18th century has conversely seen itself as about to return to the Dark Ages. Why?

11:05 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tom-

For the most part, I regarded pm as despair masquerading as radical chic.

Dio-

I don't think that in the Middle Ages, everybody believed they were abt to recreate the Roman Empire. There's no evidence for that that I know of. Similarly, the 18C and 19C were (for the most part) broadly optimistic, fully committed to notions of progress.

mb

11:15 AM  
Blogger dale said...

A short article about the depravity of American Presidents is sooo inadequate, it needs a book--no an encyclopedia. The rule is, Carter notwithstanding, they just get worse, worse and worse. At least Reagan defused the Cold War, but I remember coming home from college in the Reagan years. Things changed, all restraint and modesty disappeared, a decadent consumptive consumerism took over. I suppose Obama was even worse than Bush II. How could that even have been possible? And we still have another week+ of his parting gifts such as lining forces up at the Russian border. Here is a classic take-down of the Obama presidency, even tho the host lapses into some irritating leftist cliches(which the guests gently defuse): https://media.blubrry.com/counterpunch_radio/p/ia601506.us.archive.org/9/items/CPRadioEp70/CPRadioEp70.mp3. Trump, possibly could be like Regan, that he will do many stupid, ill informed things but he just might boot the neocons and their WW3 to hell where they belong. It would be great to forestall 1 cataclysm, even tho others are lined up subsequently that will certainly be beyond control. But I won't get my hopes too high because Presidents can only disappoint and whatever they cannot bring about by their own personal failings can always be achieved by assassination.

1:57 PM  
Anonymous COS said...

Hello and feliz ano MB!

As a young man I was in a situation where the books available were mostly in Hebrew the reading of which was and remains poor. My reading ability was and is limited to Spanish and English. The one tome available in English was the 11 volume set of Arnold Toynbees Study of History. While I understand the actual historians view him with derision some ideas from that reading lo 3 decades ago remain salient to me today. Namely the idea that a creative minority becomes a dominant minority and that this dominant minority becomes essentially proletariatized/vulgar and debased. I think we are there now. This is not limited to political leadership but to all fields. As a Psychiatrist I wince when I see what the field has devolved--think Dr Phil. Perhaps historians see the same as embodied by Kearns Godwin, Bechloss and Schlessinger--or the histories of Robert Caro. By the same token, Clinton was viewed as the reincarnation of Metternich, Marie Curie and Joan of Arc all in one person. Perhaps Trump is a latter day Jackson and William Jennings Bryant. Is is surprising at all that Trumps childhood minister was Norman Vincent Peale? On the other hand, there is much schadenfreude to be had observing Trump have is way with the elites of the media and political establishment.

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

all the americans have is hope--and we all know the saying--"hope in one hand, shit in the other."

Go Trump.

7:54 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Is there are name for the condition where one vehemently dislikes the time in which they live, and laments that they didn't live in an earlier era?

9:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

Hmm...I tell ya, this is definitely not my century, tho I do appreciate the fact that I've been able to go to Vietnam, Sicily, Scotland, Turkey, Argentina...Anyway, not Ozymandias melancholia; some other type of melancholia, I guess. It shd have kronos in the name...

mb

9:10 PM  
Blogger Jacob James said...

jjarden - Were you born in the wrong generation? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcmylxQ0ma4

9:32 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Does it get any better than the incoming POTUS using his first official new conference to deny charges that he had Russian prostitutes pee on the pillows of the presidential suite of a Russian hotel where Obama once stayed?

While all that nonsense was going on, one of his supporters decided to try and endear himself to a woman on a train by criticizing her for voting for Hillary and then dropping trou to show her his own election pole:

http://www.boston.com/news/crime/2017/01/11/man-allegedly-exposes-himself-to-woman-on-orange-line-after-bringing-up-election?ICID=ref_fark

Meanwhile, the grilled cheese wars are really heating up as yet another douchebag pulls a gun on a woman--this time for NOT eating his sandwich:

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=man%20assaults%20woman%20for%20taking%20a%20bite%20out%20of%20his%20grilled%20cheese

Truly, these clowns deserve a president who has golden shower parties in the Lincoln Bedroom at least twice a week.

11:17 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hello,

Actually, kronoscrascafard would be good.

Miles

ps: please disregard my previous post

11:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

I hafta confess that if anyone took a bite out of my grilled cheese sandwich, I cdn't be held responsible for what I wd do in response. This is America, and our sandwiches need armed defense.

Meanwhile, here's a gd film: "Denial" (Rachel Weisz)

mb

12:16 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

In absolute delight watching CNN last night as they try to explain to their audience and to Trump that they did nothing wrong vis a vis the intel reports. Obviously they're terrified that they won't get access to Herr Trumpf. Now what? There's speculation that all his hotels will require US security much like US embassies; that is, on US taxpayers' expense. Imagine going to war because an overseas Trump casino or hotel was bombed.
Did anyone watch Oshitforbrains address in its entirety? He actually equated fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq with marching in Selma. Then he seems to think that he saved the economy when it was recently reported that 95% of all job creation was contract work.
Remo,
If you can I recommend you look at Jonathan Cook's piece in today's Counterpunch-"Fury at Azaria Verdict..." With 84% of 18-24 year old Israelis supporting Azaria and 70% if Israelis believing they have been chosen by God to take over all Palestinian lands you may come to the same conclusion voiced by Norman Finkelstein: Israel is a lunatic society.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan-

I may have recommended this b4, in addn to Pappe:

https://www.amazon.com/Expulsion-Palestinians-Transfer-Political-1882-1948/dp/0887282423/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1484239234&sr=1-3&keywords=nur+masalha

mb

11:37 AM  
Anonymous M Vernon said...

The Obama Speeches
[Drones need no Churchills and deserve no Lincolns.]
Published in Issue 27: Deep End
Publication date Winter 2017
https://nplusonemag.com/issue-27/politics/the-obama-speeches/

12:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Vern-

Gd essay, but he omitted the obvious: that Obama is a pathetic little turkey. Which is why he has so many supporters.

mb

1:30 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

While I am on board with the WAF idea that this experiment ultimately isn’t going to end well, I think it has a lot of life left In it. In other words, I don’t see Trump as the beginning of the last act. We have more “Trumps” to go yet and I can easily see this Disneyland for Dummies going on for another 100 years no problem.

To be honest, I think other parts of the Western World will experience something one could describe as a “collapse” before we do. When the bills come due for the US it will most likely be part of a wider global event.

I could be wrong, time will tell.

2:28 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

How to Have a Dinner Party: Friends Not Required

"Turns out, it’s possible to break bread with a new group of people every night of the week, thanks to gatherings booked through phones and computers in a continuing search to find one’s 'urban tribe'..."

"Andrew thought the evening was an unmitigated success. He argued that lifelong friendships weren’t the point. 'It’s parachuting in to get a dose of varied social interaction,' he told me exuberantly on the way home."

"All we do when we get together is talk about the election and our favorite TV shows."

"Before our guests arrived, Andrew, who barely ever takes Advil, asked me if I had a Xanax. The combination of a trip to Moldova the next day and the stakes of Nov. 8 were about to put him over the edge."

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/14/fashion/dinner-party-apps.html?emc=edit_th_20161215&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=65666520&_r=5

2:39 PM  
Anonymous LivingtheDream said...

I'm now exhaling my bated breath. I was appalled that he had been elected, but I decided that I would withhold judgement until I saw who his appointees would be. Now I know. While I assume there are some clever minds among them, if you look at the overarching trend it is oil + gas and whoever else the flying Koch Bros approve of (wasn't it in the news that Trump was playing golf with them?). Bye-bye EPA, Bye-bye DOE, bye-bye Paris Accord, bye-bye Earth, onward over the cliff...

3:14 PM  
Anonymous Suzanne said...

@Christian

I think you are correct. This is probably just the beginning of the end. Perhaps analogous to the "money man" period of the decline of the Roman republic. Trump seems more like a Crassus figure, including his plan to "get ISIS" (shades of Crassus' Parthian adventure?)

5:25 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

I think that the Dark Ages and ancient mentality was one of cycle. Just try and imagine a pre-electric world. Death, darkness, decay, was a constituant part of the world. Though the sources on the Dark Ages are few, from the latest Roman historians it seems like everybody was acting like a 1st century Roman - same titles, ambitions, etc - totally oblivious to the relative social chaos around them. Even the radical Christian religion just became part of the system.

We don't have cycle, we have dichotomy. So you have progressivism and apocalypticism. So for instance, Edward Gibbon writes an account of Roman decline right at the height of the Englightenment. The FF also seem haunted by the specter of Roman fall, trying to "get it right this time" in designing the American republic.

So I think we have been more traumatized by the fall of Rome than the Romans.

5:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Recent review in the NYTBR (Dec. 18) of a bk by historian Steven Hahn, "A Nation Without Borders," which chronicles the rapaciousness of the US. Here's the concluding para, from the review:

"Borders or no, America in the 19th and early 20th centuries [not to mention, after that] comes across as relentlessly imperialist, which to Hahn means a nation formed in acquisition and conquest, large and without mercy--and whose mission, fortunately for all of us, often fails." [thank god]

mb

5:29 PM  
Blogger C. J. Timmins said...

Excellent piece in The Guardian by George Monbiot, published back in December: "Celebrity isn’t just harmless fun – it’s the smiling face of the corporate machine" https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/20/celebrity-corporate-machine-fame-big-business-donald-trump-kim-kardashian

One graf in particular could be said about Reagan and Obama, and it shows how much the two truly have in common: "You don’t have to read or watch many interviews to see that the principal qualities now sought in a celebrity are vapidity, vacuity and physical beauty. They can be used as a blank screen on to which anything can be projected. With a few exceptions, those who have least to say are granted the greatest number of platforms on which to say it."

Reminds me of a story, perhaps apocryphal, of an African American women's rights group who met with Obama shortly after he took office. These women had lived through the Civil Rights movement of the 60's and had worked with true heroes in that movement. They were eager to meet the man who had become their new icon. He and his family were so handsome! He spoke so eloquently! However, after sitting with Obama for 30 minutes or so, asking him a few questions about his task as the first black president, the closed-door meeting ended, and the women were asked how their encounter went. One woman had the courage to say: "That man has no moral core." A vacuous president indeed.

5:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dio-

Which historians? There is simply no concrete, substantial evidence I know of that medieval people were trying to return to the Roman Empire, or imitate it. And sure, 18C had some interest in decline (like Gibbon), but this was hardly mainstream consciousness or preoccupation.

CJ-

If only more people had seen, in 2008, what a bit of fluff Obama was. I'd like to shake that woman's hand. Progs, not being very bright, were easily deceived.

mb

6:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Quercus-

Sorry, cdn't post it. We have a half-page-max rule on this blog. Pls compress by abt 1/3, and re-send. Thank you.

Wafers-

My friend Joel Magnuson just wrote a new book:

https://www.amazon.com/Greed-Wellbeing-Buddhist-Resolving-Financial/dp/1447318943/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1484265886&sr=1-1&keywords=from+greed+to+well+being

Some gd resonance here w/theory of Dual Process. Meanwhile, here are some gd quotes:

Speaking of global capitalism, Joel writes: "impermanence is the fate of every entity in the world." And:

"It is as if everyone has an internal voice in their head that keeps repeating, 'more, not enough, faster, newer, better, more.' The chase is never ending, and leaves us with a deepening sense of dissatisfaction which eventually becomes a barrier between us and genuine wellbeing." [gd portrait of Americans, imo]

Finally, a great quote from John Maynard Keynes:

"The love of money as a possession...will be recognized for what it is, a somewhat disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease." [also a gd portrait]

mb

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Quercus said...

Dear Morris & Wafers;

I was recently sent this:
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/noam-chomsky-donald-trump-climate-change-denier-global-warming-race-to-disaster-republicans-most-a7418296.html

Does anyone really think Hillary (or Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn et al.) could do anything to stop global warming? With a population at 7 billion + and a belief system which demands continued economic growth, the World it is being wrecked and nothing we can do will stop it.

Shallow greens like Al Gore (with his millions and investments in Occidental Petroleum, etc.) can despair but who will give up their comfortable lifestyle? (Sorry, recycling newspapers and driving a Prius doesn’t hack it).

The human population is in Overshoot and changes from global warming are well underway and can't be stopped even if everyone abided by the pathetic Paris accord.
The Antarctic ice sheets are cracking up and giant rivers are roaring out beneath the Greenland icecap. In another 40 years, the world’s major coastal cities will have severe flooding problems: e.g., the deltaic Bangladesh with its 150 million population will be increasingly underwater and if you think there is a refugee problem now, just wait till the Bangladeshis (among others) are looking for dry land. There will be endless environmental conflicts. Who gets the water in the Middle East as it dries even more? Think of the rapid retreat of the Himalayan glaciers, the sources of the major Asian rivers on which billions of people depend.

Be glad you lived when you did and try to live lightly on this planet.

Quercus

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Ram Gana said...

CJ, MB:

Found a likely source for the "no moral center" anecdote.

http://www.rawstory.com/2013/01/noam-chomsky-blasts-obama-he-has-no-moral-center/

7:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

"Possessions are a disease with them"--Chief Sitting Bull

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Got lotsa debt, work for a corporation/organization 30+yrs, barely survive, pay endless bills, then die. america.

get out the country musak and wave that flag.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Neil 0421875644 said...

Dark and empty - a foreign view of hustling culture http://www.evilyoshida.com/thread-7878.html

10:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Neil-

Just to clarify: Wd you say this guy has a negative take on American culture? I wasn't quite sure. Thanks.

mb

11:03 PM  
Blogger Edward Johnson said...

Dr Berman: This is my second attempt at posting, although I own and have most of your books and have been reading this blog for over two years. I totally agree with you and James Howard Kunstler and others, that this country is heading rapidly downward, and has been since WWII. The apparent thermodynamic collapse of the fossil fuel industry will probably help this along even faster. I am greatly in awe of your writing and hope that you and WAFer community will continue to grow. I live in downtown St Paul, MN. Do you think that emigrating to Canada at this point would make any sense in terms of safety or cultural reasons? Thank you so much for all your works. Edward Johnson

12:58 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Edward-

Thank you for writing in, and for your support. Yes, you'll probably be safer in Canada, as things continue to deteriorate in the US; no, you probably won't find it all that different, culturally speaking. Or at least, I didn't, and I lived in Canada for 7.5 yrs. In terms of culture, Anglo ones seem to be fairly similar; the US is just the extreme form of it. I suggest you look farther afield. However, we have a # of Canadian Wafers on this blog, and perhaps they'll speak up and give you better advice than I can. Good luck!

mb

2:49 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Doctor,
Thanks for the link. I just ordered it. To be honest, I could not finish Pappe's book. It was simply too hard for me to think that Jews could act that way especially after the description of the massacre at Der Yasin which, by the way, is now near Yad Vashem-the Holocaust museum. Another part of Pappe's book which bothers me greatly is that Israel planted trees to cover up the massacre sights or make Palestinian villages unrecognizable. I remember going to Hebrew school as a child and there was this constant campaign for children to send money to Israel to plant a tree. Little did I know that I was helping to cover up a war crime.
Pappe, by the way, was not able to find work in Israel amid threats to his family after publishing the book and now teaches at a university in the UK where, I'm sure, he is still hounded relentlessly.

8:23 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan-

Yeah, he's at the U of Exeter. Israel doesn't like Jews (esp.) who expose the dark side of the Zionist story. I also planted trees, BTW.

Regarding the bk: I read it a few yrs ago, and when it came (via Amazon) I discovered that the pictures section was missing. I then wrote the publisher, and they were very accommodating, sent me a file containing those pics. If this was also the case with your bk, and if you can stomach seeing what the Jews did to the Palestinians, send me an email and I'll give you the contact information at the publishing house.

mb

9:09 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Thos Wolfe visited Germany in 1936, and wrote the experience up in "You Can't Go Home Again." He writes of seeing "a picture of a great people who had been physically wounded and were now desperately ill with some dread malady of the soul." Does this sound familiar?

mb

9:13 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Several good articles on counterpunch today, including:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/13/farewell-address-nazification-of-hope/

Ed, there are a few Minnesota WAF-ers around. Me and Himashu and tearintherain. Though tear is outsize the Twin Cities and I'm not very friendly (more of a drunk uncle)...

I would recommend someplace a bit warmer, Costa Rica maybe? It was friggin -4 F here this morning! Plus, Canada isn't the wonderland some Americans think: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/21/canada-politics-progressive-liberal-trudeau

There are Canadian WAF-ers here that can comment further.

10:26 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pastrami-

Gd article, showing clearly what a punk the guy is. But not enuf emphasis on his cheering, moronic audience, who sat there in tears, except for this:

"in America the concentration camp and extermination chamber prove unnecessary when the people themselves provide for their self-pacification."

What a pageant of buffoonery!

mb

11:12 AM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

This might be fun dept.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-nemesis-rosie-odonnell-calls-for-martial-law-174454134.html

this might kick things into high gear?

12:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pol-

Kind of interesting...in our 'democracy', the outcome is decided in advance by The Power Elite, and they normally get their way. But this time they didn't, so they are throwing a hissy fit. Anything to unravel or reverse the results of the election. It's like Cheney visiting the CIA and telling them, several times: "Wrong answer; do it again."

I think it wd be groovy if Trump rounded up the Hillary crowd and put them in a detention center, and then had Wafers visit them every night and pee on their shoes. (They wd not be allowed to change their shoes.) This for at least 30 days.

As for martial law, it's coming at some pt during the next 8 yrs; give or take. You guys know how famous I am for the accuracy of my predictions (Nov. 8 excepted). So here it is: major economic collapse; food and water riots; mass migration; gunning down of unarmed civilians (i.e. at a greater rate than we've had since 2001); and finally, the imposition of martial law--curfews, the military on every street corner, etc. This will happen *in our time*, folks. When I say The Final Act, it ain't a metaphor.

mb

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Been watching bits of some of the cabinet confirmation hearings. For all the talk of outside-the-box choices, rebels and iconoclasts, they sure do sound alot like establishmentarians, already. {Crickets} from the conservative commentators, like Hannity and Ingraham, who suddenly had become champions of the working man on all this backtracking.

Guess they figure the elections over, discontent is defused (for now) and they can go back to just kicking the can down the road. Pence and co. can get to work on carrying water while Trump bloviates and laments on the state of the common man. A few well- choreographed (and hollow) stands against The Man and various boogeymen, ripe for easy pickin', will be staged like WWF events as opiate for the blue collared masses.

Alot of trouble for the elites to go through, if you ask me. Why not just hand out heroin and oxycontin like candy in rural communities? Maybe they will; and are just waiting to get Obamacare repealed, so it can be done under the guise of its market- friendly replacement. An opium lollipop just doesn't taste as good when a damn commie gives it to ya, after all.

At this rate, I wonder if they'll even need to debate an infrastructure/jobs bill, much less pass one.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

As for martial law, it's coming at some pt during the next 8 yrs; give or take. You guys know how famous I am for the accuracy of my predictions (Nov. 8 excepted).

As long as they lock up the progs, the Hillary crowd, the SJW's, the MSM, and the Special Snowflakes, I won't complain.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB, Wafers-

The Power Elite in action:

https://theintercept.com/2017/01/11/the-deep-state-goes-to-war-with-president-elect-using-unverified-claims-as-dems-cheer/

Well, the Inauguration looks like a bust as far as entertainment goes; Trump can't seem to get any good musicians or entertainers. Wafers should come to the rescue of President-Elect Trump. Hence:

1. Waferettes chase down Chris Christie, pants him, and beat his ass till it's purple.
2. Wafers down 80 sixers of Bud Light and urinate helter-skelter on guests and dignitaries.
3. Dan takes the stage and does a Dean Martin-style stand-up routine. Cracks a few gags about Putz Puzder and Pence Schmence, of course.
4. MB locates Ben Carson, sedates him, and performs a hemispherectomy.

That should about do it, I think.

Miles

ps: After Carson's brain surgery, Wafers and Waferettes then nab Sarah Palin, find Ed Meese, and, well, u know...

5:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Yeah, where is Ed Meese in all this? We have yet to hear from him. Not much from Sarah, either. Top gig at inaugural ball shd be bringing Obama in, in chains, and hosing down his Guccis. Long overdue.

Meanwhile, the progs are all exercised abt the 'revolt' they are going to mount against the new admin. O, I'm so excited! Here's a typical call to arms:

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/01/13/resisting-trumpublican-shock-doctrine-blitzkrieg

Here's what they are gonna do: fuckall.

mb

6:10 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

...and then they came for the Progs who said "who will speak for us?" The laughter of 172 Wafers echoed from afar.

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Detours said...

Oh yeah this is good, check it "awt":

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/13/farewell-address-nazification-of-hope/


8:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Detours-

No reason for us not to post it twice; what the heck.

Meanwhile, more from Tom Wolfe. He describes teaching college in NY in the 20s as "trying to strike a spark in minds that had no flint in them." This was the 20s. Imagine Wolfe in a classrm today, w/the students updating their Facebk profiles, or diddling w/their smartphones. "No flint" doesn't even come close to describing what has happened in 90 yrs.

mb

8:29 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Martial law coming soon seems about right to me. Does anyone really think we can get through four years of the kind of nonsense we've seen since the election without having a national nervous breakdown? Of course, the amazing aspect of the story politically incorrect posted is that Rosie O'Donnell is actually dumb enough to to believe that a coup by the military and intelligence communities would somehow result in America becoming a glorious liberal wet dream. And just which Pinochet-wannabee at the Pentagon does she think would use the powers of dictatorship without tossing tens or hundreds of thousands of Americans--including bigmouthed morons like her--into detention facilities indefinitely? No wonder that dipshit was so thoroughly in the bag for Hillary.

Meanwhile, Trump has decided to fire the general in charge of the DC national guard to be effective in the MIDDLE of the inauguration ceremonies, as if the weekend of January 20th wasn't already going to be a big enough security clusterfuck. He's also told all of America's politically appointed Ambassadors to GTFO immediately rather than staying on until their successors are confirmed:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/dc-national-guard-chief-removed-inauguration?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

10:56 PM  
Blogger Edward Robinson said...

I have no choice but to go with the stay-in-America monastic option. But it's really lonely ... even monks like to see other monks face to face. For now I'll have to settle for the wind, earth and trees.

When the next Dark Ages arrive, how will we monks carry what is positive into the future? Obviously not via blogs ... all the servers will be dead. Via the old media? Books?

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Rorschach said...

"As for martial law, it's coming at some pt during the next 8 yrs; give or take. You guys know how famous I am for the accuracy of my predictions (Nov. 8 excepted). So here it is: major economic collapse; food and water riots; mass migration; gunning down of unarmed civilians (i.e. at a greater rate than we've had since 2001); and finally, the imposition of martial law--curfews, the military on every street corner, etc. This will happen *in our time*, folks. When I say The Final Act, it ain't a metaphor."

I agree 100%. I'm a long time lurker who will be emigrating at the end of this month (woohoo!). A while back, I told you about an economist named Peter Schiff who predicts that this will be the future of America as well. You asked me to post a few links, but I forgot, but here are two. The first is the Amazon link to his book "The Real Crash: America's Coming Bankruptcy - How to Save Yourself and Your Country" and the second is an excellent lecture of his (it's an hour long, so if you don't want to take the time out to listen to it, I understand). But your prediction of another economic crisis within the next years (my guess is that it will be within the next four) is accurate. That prediction coincides with the writings of Nomi Prins (who I know you're friends with) as well.

https://www.amazon.com/Real-Crash-Americas-Bankruptcy-Yourself/dp/1250046564/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1484372274&sr=8-1&keywords=peter+schiff

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ot8-_9j4WT4


12:40 AM  
Anonymous Derek said...

What is everyone's take on possible Trump/Russia collusion? Seems pretty obvious to me although it's not getting the most traction right now, as far as I can tell. My friends on the "left" aren't concerned as it doesn't concern identity politics, and the Republicans, well, I imagine they're enjoying their power too much to notice. I will admit though, going deep into the story has got my hopes up for a possible Trump impeachment. One can dream, right?

2:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Thank you all for writing in. One way to conceptualize upcoming events, that began on Nov. 8, is to think of History punishing America for 400 yrs of callous, narcissistic, single-minded hustling. George Carlin once said: "We have to be the stupidest people on earth. Here we took this gorgeous, beautiful land and turned it into pure ugliness" (approximate quote)--i.e. highways and strip malls and shopping centers. Intelligence wasn't celebrated; it was scorned (see Richard Hofstadter). Socialism of any kind--i.e. a fairer distribution of wealth--wasn't added to the mix; it was abhorred. It was never, as Keynes urged, the economy serving civilization, but just the reverse, rendering our 'civilization' a kind of joke. Foreign policy? The rest of the world had to serve our purposes, i.e. become our economic colonies or else suffer our military (From the halls of Montezuma...). And as for community? Don't make me laugh. All that ever counted was me, myself, and I.

Well, if yr gonna act like a vampire, sooner or later someone is going to drive a stake thru yr heart--and that someone is *you*! It can be a slow stake (Hillary) or a fast one (Trumpo), but whatever the choice, the action is the same: eating yrself alive (see Goya). Yes George, only the dumbest people on earth could think our behavior made any sense.

mb

3:38 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Will someone tell me what is wrong with the progbrain? Is it neurological damage? Genetic inheritance? Some kind of horrible environmental influence? "Americans never learn," said Gore Vidal. This is esp. true of progs. Wafers are invited to explain the shocking malfunctioning of the progbrain.

mb

10:43 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

If Guy McPherson and the other climate-change forecasters' prediction of our species' near-term demise are correct, then it might be argued that that's no more than we deserve. And to the extent that the current crop of clowns soon to assume the reins of power are able to speed the process, we will owe them a debt of gratitude.

I am put into this mood by an item in today's press, and by reflection on the blessings of commerce we learned about within the past year. The item in question is a report on credit-rating agency Moody's, the second largest credit rating agency in the world. Moody's has agreed to pay the Justice Department, 21 states and the District of Columbia $864 million for its role in giving the shitty mortgage-backed securities being flogged by the big financial institutions in 2008 a Triple-A rating. Naturally the judgment involved no admission of wrongdoing or concession of liability. You may remember a similar result with the number 1 ratings agency Standard and Poor's, which ultimately paid out $1.375 billion in 2015 for its part in helping brokerages sell crap that was labelled foie gras. Here's the article:

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jan/14/moodys-864m-penalty-for-ratings-in-run-up-to-2008-financial-crisis?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

And, looking backward, let's not forget the hijinks at Takata (airbags), Volkswagen (emissions-testing manipulation), and Wells Fargo (fraudulent account activation and credit-card issuance).

Commerce makes crooks.

12:10 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Edward,

I would say books, classical music records/CDs/Audiotapes, paintings, and other pieces of art. I'm up to 1,300 books stuffed in my house (the 100 greatest novels plus the writings of every Western and Eastern philosopher, psychology, sociology, anthropology, political economy, history, science, science fiction, English/French/German/Russian literature, Art, Classical Music, as well as a dozen paintings on the walls).

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Generation-Vex said...

In nature there are phi fractals everywhere (e.g. leaves, planetary orbits), but also there are father, son, holy ghost relationships or as I like to think (maximizations, vacuums, and gimmicks i.e. catalysts). Sometimes the vacuum creates the maximization or the yin yang maximization creates the vacuum. After all what came first the sperm or the egg although both became lodged in the same vacuum - jk. Nothing lasts though and black holes tend to have the longest lifespan.

The Fed Res maximized money, lobby cartels catalyzed use, and Wall Street vacuumed up the results. Greenspan was one of many trojan horses for the W.S. vacuum which turned everything into a darkness where no light can escape.

Most taxes reinforce the Wall Street enabled oligarchic empires allocated towards (communications-propaganda, surveillance, military-technology) now merged with (finance, insurance, real estate). All those rentier extraction agendas create nothing that humanity or nature needs.

Schizophrenia and selective-consciousness help hustle the douche products destroying the natural world. Laughable the idea this was all going to work out. Finally, F. Zappa felt compelled to write Hungry Freaks, Daddy and still schools, national petroleum radio etc., progs everywhere doubled down on incessant ad-hoc progaganda. How could they do that to Frank - not charming enough?

12:26 PM  
Blogger dg said...

Re: progbrain

Domestication is the model that works most of the time for me.

There was a wild animal that through breeding/time is now a cow. It stands around eating, reproducing. It doesn't care much what it eats or the plight of its children. It moos a little louder than usual on the chute at the rendering plant... The fence gate may open on occasion, but it won't run away; it'll push the gate shut terrified of the predators, proud of helping other cows. Etc and so on.

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Cluster B mental derangements which also borders on psychosis (loss of contact with reality)--many of these americans are high functioning and socialized, however, profoundly mentally ill.

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@ Dr. Berman,

I think for many progressives their political ideology is a surrogate religion. They may not believe in heaven but for them political, economic and technological progress is the end goal of human existence. From what I can tell American progressives usually fall into two camps. You have the Panglossian camp epitomized by Obama-style Democrats who claim everything is getting better and that more education will fix any lingering problems. These are the types Thomas Frank skewered in Listen, Liberal.

Then you have the lefties who think things are bad but that revolution is just around the corner. They fail to realize that most Americans basically like our system of hustling and are just upset that they are not at the top of the pyramid. How can you expect a socialist revolution when a third of Americans think they will be rich someday and more than half of 18–29 year olds think they will be?

See: http://www.gallup.com/poll/7981/half-young-people-expect-strike-rich.aspx

There are a few realistic people on the Left who hold a respectable “pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will” position but they seem to be few in number.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I ought to warn any of you gringos who are considering moving to Canada that for the last two weeks my normal 20-minute bike ride to work extended to over half an hour because of snow, ice and cool temperatures (it's been between -20°C and -35°C lately).

Conditions aren't noticeably warmer once I get to school. The managerial/administrative REMFs are taking over. For example, as part of their action plan to improve our ability to provide education product to our customers, the "Administrative Assistant, Strategic Enrolment Management and Convocations" sent me an email invitation to attend a "Service Excellence session." "A what?" you ask. That was my question, too.

Here's a description:
"Learn about yourself and others using the Insights Discovery Self-assessment tool. Practice communication and conflict resolution skills. Discover customer service best practices and how the Service Value Chain and Five Drivers will benefit your customers. Practice positive language and feedback to connect with your customers and increase your job satisfaction."

The session includes such useful BS as "The Drama Triangle," "Discover Colour Energies," and a "Mystery Client Exercise."

We're doomed, friends.

1:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

al-

Sounds like a rerun of Dale Carnegie, once described as a technique to fake honesty so you can squeeze more money out of your targets.

Tom-

From everything we know, the model of the 99% vs. the 1% is flawed. True, you can score the 1% for their endless greed and self-aggrandizement; the problem is that this is the same mindset that the 99% have! Very few Buddhist progs around, who have purged themselves of fear, greed, and delusion. So the cycle continues.

Gen-

Sorry, I can't understand yr language. If you cd translate into English, I'd be very grateful.

Jas-

These payouts come outta the spare change envelope for these corporations. What doesn't chg is their behavior.

mb

2:35 PM  
Blogger Jacob James said...

This is a video of North Koreans who escaped to South Korea. At around the 11:30 mark they start noting the few positive aspects of North Korean life, and then go on to explore how stressful the competitive nature of South Korea life is, and how it has resulted in one of the highest suicide rates on earth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhmzpMP3bEE&t

10:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Check this out:

http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/164855

11:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

And this is kinda nice:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/01/14/video-shows-police-tackling-and-beating-a-black-man-suspected-of-stealing-a-car-it-was-his/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_pn-policevideo-217pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.6717d807f965

11:33 PM  
Anonymous Fruit Woman said...

Hello Dr. Berman, Wafers.
Hope all of you are well and settling nicely into 2017.
Dr. Berman asked: "Will someone tell me what is wrong with the progbrain? Is it neurological damage? Genetic inheritance? Some kind of horrible environmental influence?" I think we've watched progressivism turn itself into a religion/cult without a cause and its members are the new church ladies. Mike R keeps expressing here that the US fosters untreatable developmental disorders of character, self-centered and hostile. Progbrains too!
Bill H - Rosie lost her mind the way identity progs do, for sure. I was similarly irked when Bush II was pres and I heard progs wanting to bring back the draft to stop the war machine... Guess this what descending into madness looks like.
Miles - Your inauguration entertainment ideas were interesting, but even as a dedicated Waferette, I just can't think about Chris Christie's bare butt. Can I maybe just get a pair of go-go boots and be a cage dancer?
- Fruit Lady

1:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Meanwhile, The Guardian reports that 22% of Americans believe the Holocaust never happened. I was actually surprised that the figure was so low.

mb

4:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

Sorry, I don't post Anons. You need a real handle, like 'Che gelida manina'.

mb

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Bruegel said...

‘Side Hustle’ as a Sign of the Apocalypse
January 14th, 2017

Definitely related: L.A. Coliving: PodShare

Via: Medium:

“These days, everyone needs a side hustle,” starts the Uber commercial recruiting new drivers. And it’s got bouncy music and the dude is hip and it makes it sound like this is super fun and I’m sitting there thinking: Are they seriously trying to make a “second job” sound like a sexy thing!? “it’s not my second job, it’s my mistress occupation.” Next, we’ll just start saying bipolar people have a side personality.

And WTF has happened to our culture when we just take it as fact that everyone needs to have multiple jobs and work as a cab driver and rent out every square inch of space in their apartment and be a task rabbit gopher who waits in line for tickets when they’re not walking dogs or temping and we all just chalk it up to “progress”??? In the old days, this meant your life was falling apart. Now it just means you’re part of “the sharing economy.”

Two words — perception management.

You won’t have a generation starting a revolt or revolution if they don’t perceive how they’ve been screwed. “Peonhood” is the new “personhood” — just take away a few things, promote a few others via popular media outlets/TV shows/movies, and very few will notice.

10:33 AM  
Anonymous John said...

Hello Wafers,

The US looks quite bad from foreign shores. I just spent time on the Oaxacan coast and in Mexico City and I hated to leave. Mexico has many problems but many strengths too and one of those is that there is a human quality in the social relations. Get-togethers, dinners, parties, festivals and not just on special days.

Dr. Berman, I have always appreciated your analysis but now your ideas are becoming clearer. It's true, the US stands for nothing but hustling !!! Unlike Mexico, which is a country where family values and social gatherings still play a huge part. The notion of friendship is still strong, I lived in Mexico a few years ago and I have many more friends there than in the US and I meet new people every time I go. After dealing with Mexican women I can't relate to American women and the general shallowness they bring to a conversation.

Thank you for your contributions to my intellectual development and
please tell Coyoacan I said Hi, I love that place. The weekend market and atmosphere is amazing.

As soon as I got back, I was greeted with the news that a black man was beaten and arrested for fixing his own car....."Welcome home"...I said to myself.

10:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

John-

Yr telling it like it is. 88% of Americans never leave the country, except for short, fairyland holidays to Canada and Mexico. So they never understand what I've been saying for yrs: other countries are very different, esp. along the lines you've indicated, and frankly, America is the pits. From a human and spiritual pt of view, there are very few countries that are more degraded or more soul-annihilating. Walking around Coyoacan...it's like NY was in the early 20C.

mb

11:46 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

This is nice story. There's an Indian family who has lived next door to me for more than a decade who couldn't be better neighbors. It would serve these assholes right if an outlaw motorcycle club moved in and trashed the whole neighborhood:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4120920/Indian-family-files-civil-suit-against-neighbors-called-ragheads-threatened-burn-home-moved-in.html?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

Meanwhile, it may about to become legal to "accidentally" hit and kill pedestrian protesters with your car in North Dakota:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bill-would-legalize-accidentally-driving-into-and-killing-protesters_us_587a3dabe4b0e58057ff1ebc?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

And a "bad day" causes a woman to deliberately ram her SUV into a store front. I'm not sure if the employee she injured would count as a "pedestrian" in North Dakota:

https://www.rt.com/usa/373694-bad-day-leads-to-crash/?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Smack_Smack said...

I think what we're witnessing these days is the descent of the American collective consciousness into a void so bottomless that even the possibility of something else will forever be lost from view. Specifically, Americans can't even imagine any other goal than violent world domination, and can't envision any other ideology than fascism. They know they hate socialism and want to massacre all socialists, but they could never really tell you what socialism is, other than something they hate and want to destroy. They know they hate non-Christians and want to massacre of all of them, but they could never really explain to you what Islam, Buddhism, Judaism or Hinduism are really about, other than something they hate and want to destroy. They view everything in simplistic slogans consisting, at best, of a few words (America = freedom, socialism = laziness, Judaism = Satan, etc.); they cannot discuss anything political without becoming apoplectic.

The total and irreversible loss of the ability to interact with the world or comprehend anything whatsoever is probably the most salient hallmark of contemporary America. Because they can't understand the underlying causes of America's woes, Americans simply lash out whenever things go wrong; genocide, slavery and torture are all explosive, mindless manifestations of Americans' uncomprehending, bestial rage. Motivated by primitive, violent instincts, Americans always direct this rage at the disadvantaged (minorities, gays, the poor, etc.) like carnivorous predators killing and eating helpless animals.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Smack-

Hard to disagree. At the bottom of it all is a deep, inchoate fear; which manifests itself in 'bestial rage'. These are your neighbors. (see message from Bill)

mb

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Maybe some of those americans can join Brewster Jennings and Associates, do a little 2017 Operation Northwoods, then chug on down to Mount Weather-hide in the underground city to keep the empire alive, and its' propaganda as sharp as ever!

Again, can ANYONE say, america with a straight face?

2:25 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Morris,

Do you know of the author/blogger, Fred Reed, who writes for the Lew Rockwell website? He's an Expat living in Mexico too...Ajijic, Jalisco.

Here is...

America is Doomed, by Fred Reed

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2016/10/fred-reed/americas-doomed/



3:00 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

MB - "ps: Will someone tell me what is wrong with the progbrain?"

It's a desperate need to validate America's economic and military success as a result of good moral values. You see this kind of nonsense across all walks of life. Even the sports pages are in a hurry to tell you that whatever team or player won the championship did so because they're a shining beacon of virtue unlike their opponents.

"Lincoln made a grand crusade to free the slaves" sounds a lot better than "The North needed to make sure that all future imperialist land grabs would economically serve industry rather than agriculture. Hence the prog is a glorified neocon, because he thinks he can channel America's militarism into some greater moral end. Nearly everyone falls into this trap eventually, Christopher Hitchens being a recent example.

My own PS: Somebody mentioned Toynbee and I recently happened upon an interview he did with Meet the Press in 1961: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giBeIMd4u7Y . I'm struck not only by the relative civility and meaningfulness of the discourse, at least compared to the absurdly low standard of present day broadcast television, but by the desparate need for validation by his interlocutors. How dare this pompous Brit make a mild and obvious critique of American society! We're going to nail him to the wall with tough questions and force him to say how much better we are than those godless commies! And these, I would imagine, are "progressive liberal elites" of their day.

3:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

Wafers have posted his stuff here b4, which I usually enjoy, but I don't know Fred personally. I like his comparison of a Hillary presidency to 'death by sinus drainage'. True enuf. He also wrote a bk on US in Vietnam called "Au Phuc Dup," which reminds me of a sendup of VN reportage in the late 60s. The 'reporter' said he was calling in from Suc Muc Dic.

Fred is courageous because he correctly assessed that America had no future and so he hit the rd. Progs are cowards; they don't have the guts to recognize that the US is finished, and to leave. This wd take more honesty, and more moral fiber than they have. So instead they march and protest against Trump, and submit articles to Common Dreams, and think that this useless 'resistance' constitutes courage and fortitude. Who were the smart and courageous Jews in Germany in the 30s? The ones who managed to get themselves gassed, or the ones who high-tailed it outta there? If Fred ever decides to write a bk abt the progs, he shd also call it Au Phuc Dup.

mb

3:18 PM  
Blogger remo26 said...

While the stats may be high for IL's nationalist youth, this is not the crowd that I equate with, nor are the hilltop mudruckers. Right now, most of the intellectual demog. is reveling in the unraveling of Netanyahu over his attempted unraveling of the media. Unfortunately, his most likely replacement is a Teflon populist centrist - a former talkshow host, Yair Lapid. But, at least better than Bibi or the nightmare of Naftali Bennett. I just returned from Munich for work, and couldn't have left soon enough. It felt such like a city of automatons - efficiency with no soul, and so damn dreary too. I'll take my bubble over such rubble anyday.

- remo

5:00 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Does it get any more ironic than this?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/13/well/eat/food-stamp-snap-soda.html

5:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

remo-

I haven't been to Munich in decades, but I loved it when I was there. Ditto Berlin. And Mainz was very enjoyable, tho I was mostly w/a university crowd.

mb

7:13 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Dr. B! Thank you so much for posting that History News article. It was fine; but that Lasch essay! Does it hit the nail on the head, or what? Written in '79/80, no less.





7:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Been rdg Thos Wolfe, "You Can't Go Home Again." Essentially, the bk is an indictment of hustling. Wolfe reflects on the crash of '29, what it was, what it meant:

"It went much deeper than the mere obliteration of bank accounts, the extinction of paper profits, and the loss of property. It was the ruin of men who found out, as soon as these symbols of their outward success had been destroyed, that they had nothing left--no inner equivalent from which they might now draw new strength. It was the ruin of men who, discovering not only that their values were false but that they had never had any substance whatsoever, now saw at last the emptiness and hollowness of their lives. Therefore they killed themselves; and those who did not die by their own hands died by the knowledge that they were already dead.
"How can one account for such a complete drying up of all the spiritual sources in the life of a people?"

Two pages later he says that Americans are shells; they are "dead, though yet unburied."

I was thinking of the central argument of WAF: that America failed because it persistently ignored or marginalized its dissident voices, voices that spoke out against hustling as the purpose of life. Wolfe is just another link in that chain. His bks were best-sellers, but no one stopped hustling, or believing that that was the only way to live.

mb

9:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dio-

Sorry, cdn't run it. We have a half-page-max rule here; yr message was far in excess of that. In addition, you sent it to an older post, which is a waste of time: no one reads the old stuff.

I have, of course, talked 2u abt length a # of times b4. I can't keep asking you to play by the rules--too much work for me. If you can't get a handle on this, I won't be able to keep you on the blog. Understood?

mb

10:06 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@mb

My mistake on the page, will try and edit for brevity.

So, long story short, two pieces of news on the new populism....

Trump to ditch EU, support Britain...
https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-01-15/trump-calls-nato-obsolete-and-dismisses-eu-in-german-interview

Britain to become the Jamaica of Europe...
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/15/philip-hammond-suggests-uk-outside-single-market-could-become-tax-haven

So the battle lines between the Anglos and the Continent keep becoming clearer. By antagonizing the EU, the US and Britain will just be confronted with an even stronger union of productive, educated, sophisticated nations that are capable of sophisticated democratic debate, and can find actual solutions to problems.

Meanwhile, we just elected a casino owner and have a population that disagrees about the basic facts of reality. Our allies, the UK and Israel, mainly serve to antagonize the EU and the Arab world. The entire world just voted against us at the UN.

Seriously, do I need to tell you who's going to win this fight? The EU was not some ridiculous vanity project. It was meant to keep the US from destroying the continent. It will be the brick wall that Trump's BS cannot rattle or penetrate.

11:27 PM  
Anonymous salt beef & mustard said...

Hello Dr. Berman,

Speaking about what has gone wrong with the progbrain, there may indeed be a genetic component.

Have you heard of the r/K selection theory? Stephan Molyneux did a series explaining it, "The Genetics of Politics".

r = adaptation to excessive resources (e.g. rabbit model) large offspring, less care of offspring. Aversion to competition. . Low investment. Less loyalty to in-group.

K = adaptation to scarce resources - work needed to conserve them. quality over quantity. Less offspring. Embrace of competition. Higher investment in parenting. High in-group loyalty, delayed gratification, forward planning of consequences. e.g. lions, wolves.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLlTW2Ie-_Y&index=2&list=PLMNj_r5bccUw40CpD-JYXJyVsDYsj7ITD

Humans as a whole are K selected, but within the species, there are people who are more r-oriented or K-oriented. The liberal Left lean towards r-orientation, and the Conservatives lean towards K-orientation.

11:41 PM  
Blogger Edward Johnson said...

Dr. Berman: Thank you for your advice and oh how I miss Gore Vidal and George Carlin. I also want to thank Pastrami, jjarden, George Robinson and others for their input. Maybe I'll just try to stay put in the Twin Cities for now and maybe try the NMI approach inasmuch as I like St Paul, it still has a certain charm to it. I do have hundreds of books to save for the future, assuming there is one for my grandchildren. I don't mind the cold weather, I've been here all my life, but it is rather lonely here; no one wants to visit anymore. They don't want to here the truth about America, industrial hustling and its near doomed future.

12:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ed-

Problem is, the loneliness won't abate, because Americans are Americans. The context militates against happiness, and even against sanity. Canada is hardly the only option. I strongly suggest you explore the rest of the planet, and plan your escape. Seriously: when friends ask me if I have any regrets abt leaving the US, I say: "Only this: that I didn't do it 20 yrs earlier."

More on Wolfe. In "You Can't Go Home Again," he argues that hustling is at the center of what went wrong with America. The country, he says, went off track around the time of the Civil War, or shortly thereafter (cf. WAF, ch. 4). We became "like a nation of advertising men, all hiding behind catch phrases like 'prosperity' and 'rugged individualism' and 'the American way.' And the real things like freedom, and equal opportunity, and the integrity and worth of the individual...they have become just words, too. The substance has gone out of them---they're not real anymore..."

Salesmanship [read: hustling], he concludes, is the "sworn enemy of truth."

mb

2:24 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...


The perpetually analytical Slavoj Zizek writes on the relationship of capitalism and the global ecological crisis :

http://inthesetimes.com/article/19787/spaceship-earth-lessons-of-airpocalypse-slavoj-zizek-climate-ecology-smog

"Fiat profitus pereat mundus (let profits be made, though the world perish) is what we presume to be its [capitalism's] motto."

5:01 AM  
Anonymous James said...

Dr Berman:

You might be interested in this short article, which I've just found. It seems to echo much of your writing:

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/01/15/americas-self-destructive-obsessions/

5:05 AM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

@ Edward Johnson,

Its great to know that another Wafer is in the Twin-Cities area. I live in the western suburbs. I like St. Paul too. Perhaps we (You, Pastrami, and myself) should try to get together sometime? Feel free to email me at himanshutiwari at yahoodotcom

Himanshu

6:41 AM  
Blogger remo26 said...

MB, as you perhaps implied, I would say that university settings typically project a more optimistic impression of societal norms than the greater population possesses. In business-travel settings and mixing with the general public while abroad, my experience has been fairly disappointing. As a counter example, I must say that my experience in Greece was surprisingly positive in the sense that in both private and public interactions there, they seemed to be *real*, particularly in transactional relations. This occurred numerous times throughout their period of extreme austerity. A human resilience was palatable - no subverted griping, no bitter apathy, no hoodwinking, but rather real, practical pathos to conduct meaningful and mutually-beneficial exchanges.

- remo

7:43 AM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Hi Dr. Berman and all:

Haven't commented here in a few months but I visit literally daily and appreciate being a part (even if often only as a reader) of this lively, dissent blog.

Read this morning in The Guardian that the eight richest people in the world now control as much wealth as the poorest 50%: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/jan/16/worlds-eight-richest-people-have-same-wealth-as-poorest-50. The United States is clearly in decline - there can be no doubt about this fact - but we also need to recognize that most of the rest of the world is in decline as well. I look around me and if I am honest with myself I admit that there are currently no signs of hope for something better at any kind of mass level (parliamentary politics, labour movement, an extra-parliamentary Left). What is left of the Left must be fundamentally rethought, revisioned. Here is what seems to me to be a worthy contribution to this project: https://selforganizedseminar.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/zizek_douzinas_idea_communism.pdf

Recently an American on this blog asked if he should consider emigrating to Canada as an alternative to remaining in the USA. Given how vile the United States has become, I am sure he would find life in Canada an improvement, though perhaps less of an improvement than we might hope. I only recommend coming here though if you have either enough wealth to sustain a reasonable retirement, or if you are highly employable. Canada's job market never recovered from the crash of 2008, and most local markets here are controlled by nepotism and insider networks, plus most new jobs are contract or worse. Canadian society has always been a profound disappointment - all the Anglo cultures seem to share a liberal hegemonic soulnessness - an obsession with property, hierarchy, etc. - but I would say that since 9/11 Canadian society has degraded to the point of a kind of radical individualistic atomization. There is no 'society' left here. BC is Canada's most beautiful province, but without money it's not a sustainable option. If you have the option, choose Quebec - it's the only place left in this country with a concept of civility, society, public space, the people.

Cheers all.

Northern Johnny

8:51 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

remo-

I was not in a university setting in Berlin or Munich, and I found those cities quite vibrant, and fun to be in.

Jas-

1st-rate, thanks. Essays in QOV deal a lot w/our need for a bogeyman.

mb

9:19 AM  
Blogger Greenthink said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

I have enjoyed the discussion about emigrating to Canada. I live 20 miles from the border and 60 miles from Montreal. Whenever I cross the border from the U.S. to Canada, I will usually find a friendly French Canadian customs agent who doesn't mind if I practice my fractured French on them. Montreal is an incredibly welcoming city. I remember getting lost there once and having another driver behind me walk up to my car window, ask me if I was lost, and then show me the way to my destination by driving there with me following. Then there's the bagels and smoked meat (viande fume). Best deli food I ever ate. The public markets are brimming with locally produced foods in the summer.

When you cross the border into the U.S., you are greeted by a surly U.S. customs agent who acts like he doesn't have the time to waste on you. You may be asked to disembark while your car is inspected. Even the lights, signs and barriers are designed to intimidate. Welcome to the Land of the Free.

10:10 AM  
Blogger Dan Henry said...

Chris Ryan, of Sex At Dawn fame, who coincidentally has mentioned being a big admirer of yours MB, has an apt analogy for our global malaise. He argues that our species is in swarm mode. Grasshoppers morph into locusts when epigenetic factors are triggered by population density increase, changing their bodies and behavior, sending them into an evolutionary vortex of population crash.Im sure you all already see the parallels...

10:23 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

That's what we call a solid hustling performance: from 62 to 8 in a year!

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/16/world/eight-richest-wealth-oxfam.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur

2:16 PM  
Anonymous An Israeli said...

(Sigh) Both my maternal grandparents fought in Israel's War of Independence, and knew from experience that, had Israel lost in 1948 - or 1967 or 1973 - the Jews would have been butchered to the last baby, as the Arabs explicitly said is their goal.

Even if that was rhetoric, it is the case that while Arabs *did" remain in Israel, *every single Jew* found in territory captured by the Arabs in the war (in, e.g., Gush Etzion or the old city of Jerusalem) wad expelled - as were a million Jews from Arab countries, in revenge for failing to destroy Israel at its birth. The selective outrage shown here about "ethnic cleansing" and "war crimes" - simply put, when it's done to Jews it doesn't matter - speaks volumes.

In any case, Pappe is an extremely marginal figure, correctly described by (e.g.) Israeli left-wing, pro-two-state investigative journalist Ben-Dror Yemini as a "poisonous propagandist". Simply put, he is a liar. To rely on him to tell us what "really happened" is about the equivalent of relying on David Duke to "explain" what Black American society is "really like".

There is a difference, however. Duke claims, falsely, that Black Americans want to destroy America. Pappe claims, dishonestly, the Palestinians do *not* want to destroy Israel - despite the history and, for example, this being the official goal to this day, not just of Hamas, but of the "modetate peace partner", the PLO.

3:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Israeli-

Just check out the fotos in Pappe's bk. No lying, there. Or the history of Zionism; Nur Masalha is no liar either. The history is pretty clear as to who did what to whom, I think, and who the occupying power is. Arab hatred of Jews is hardly inherent in their DNA; there are historical reasons for it, which I guess you don't want to deal with.

mb

3:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Calling Pappe a liar or a 'poisonist propagandist' is just name calling; it carries no weight at all. If you want the charges to stick, you have to specifically refute his evidence.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

BTW, we have a one-post-per-24hr-rule on this blog. Your 2nd post will hafta wait a day.

4:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

The collapse accelerates:

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/01/16/how-american-life-continued-deteriorate-2016

5:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Israeli-

Sorry, I meant it: you can post only once every 24 hrs. Play by the rules or not at all, OK?

mb

6:02 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

More than half of Americans have less than $1,000 in their checking/savings accounts:

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/news/a41147/half-of-americans-less-than-1000/

Putin stole all their money, don't cha know...

Miles

ps: What happened to the trollfoons, MB? Seems like they have been on holiday since the election of Trumpo.

8:09 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

I'm not surprised.I don't even have a saving account. There is no point in having it if u don't have money to put in .

8:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

I think we may have a new one in the form of "Israeli," who immediately sent in a 2nd message attacking me on a different subject (I had to tell him to come back a day later, but then--I suspect--he came back as "Israeli2". Subtle!) In the past, I've observed this as a typical trollfoon technique: bait and switch. I refute their argument, so they change topics. Then if I'm dumb enuf to waste my time refuting *that* argument, they move on to yet another one. Take me now, O Lord.

mb

8:26 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

According to this Professor who is an expert on Fascist Authoritarians, Trump is following the authoritarian playbook...


http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/16/opinions/trump-following-authoritarian-playbook-ben-ghiat/index.html

8:29 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Learn the culture, learn the history, learn the language, then emigrate.

Do not look back. Do not play american mental masturbation, listening to imbecilic relatives/friends etc....they don't know what they don't know.

Next learn a musical instrument--the language of music is universal and will help you create in an authentic and visceral way a form of assimilation. Many villes have town bands, etc...

Bonnie chance! Dig it.

9:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

I was encouraged by this article. One of the blog slogans is "Bad Is Good." In other words, if you are a prog and want (like Trump) to save America, you pursue the Good. But if you are a declinist, and recognize that America simply cannot be saved, and that we might as well get this farce over with, then you approve of the Bad. This is why I wrote Trump, asking to be appointed as Director of a new cabinet post, the Department of Aggressive Disintegration. That Trump will be authoritarian, in this Bad Is Gd context, is a hopeful sign. Had he appointed me to head up this new Department, I wd have busied myself closing down hospitals, libraries, universities, museums, zoos, national parks, art galleries, corporations, the military, the NYSE, certainly the NYT, and any other institution you'd care to think of. (TV and radio stations, the Internet, etc.) What has me terrified, on the other hand, is that he might do a major switcheroo and start doing Good things. I realize it's a long shot, but even if this path has a 2% chance of getting followed, it wd make me nervous. But your author says that fascists, like leopards, don't change their spots, so I guess we can all sleep well tonight.

mb

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Smack_Smack said...

Miles,

What a depressing statistic. And yet, despite the fact that most Americans have less than $1,000 in savings, 99% of Americans still believe their country to be the greatest country that ever existed. I could recite all the thousands of depressing statistics that confirm America's status as a failed state, and 99% of Americans would nevertheless cling to their nationalistic beliefs.


MB,

I think you're right about fear being the basis of America's bestial rage. I also wonder if America had a negative identity even before it broke away from Europe and declared independence. The Puritans had broken away from the Anglican church; their whole identity, it seems to me, was founded on opposition to the Anglican church. It also seems possible that this opposition extended to Britain as a whole, perhaps even to all non-Puritans. What do you think about this theory?

9:28 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Smack-

The Puritan part was contained in the opposition to England as supposedly decadent, and this went back to the early 17C. The Colonies would be pure, the New Jerusalem, the 'city on a hill' (Winthrop). But I'm not aware that this opposition was toward Anglicanism per se. You might check out the works of Perry Miller and Edmund Morgan, wh/I read long ago.

mb

10:13 AM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


That fella must have been a recent graduate of TTS -Troll Training School.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tt5Dmpobmsg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF_7T-UwP5Q

Ethnic Cleansing explained. Evidence, not opinion.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIKuqjhyTeA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YFfQnwuVLo

Tio, Besides the occasional Jazz recommendations by Jeff and escapades of Lorenzo Riggins n Shaneka Torres this blog often gets too serious. After all in the mental asylum the warden (Wafers) shouldn't get too serious with the patients. Albeit that trollfoons are unpredictable unguided missiles and plain nuisance, you should still allow a couple of "septic" n "israeli" if nothing else just for our entertainment. That'll also give us some real-life examples to keep things in perspective.

11:39 AM  
Blogger Yan Zhitui said...

Forgive me for this rookie question: What, please sir, is a 'Wafer'?

11:47 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Esca-

Thank u4 these links. It's certainly possible that "Israeli" is a paid troll; I have no way of knowing. In general, the trollfoons who have attacked this blog are not terribly sophisticated, and give themselves away quite easily; they have also infested reviews of some of my bks on Amazon, constructing caricatures of them and then attacking the caricatures. (Sometimes it has even felt like they have organizational backing.) The idea is to discredit my scholarship; and since many readers are not equipped to handle these 'critiques', it's very likely that they believe these caricatures and critiques are accurate. There's not a lot I or any serious scholar can do abt this sort of thing; it just comes with the territory of digital life. I don't much like being misrepresented, of course, but then I don't think I can change the world, and as a very minor figure on the intellectual scene, I doubt I can make much of a difference or even get heard, really. My audience will always be extremely small, and my 'true' audience--those who can actually read what's on a page, know what evidence is, and who recognize that I document what I say--even smaller. Why trolls wd even bother w/me, I have no idea, except to say that apparently, a lot of people have a lot of time on their hands, or mistakenly believe that I am actually influential (with all of 172 registered Wafers!).

In any case, it's certainly possible that "Israeli" is not a troll, and is passionately committed to the State of Israel and its ideology--believes it, in short. There are millions of Israelis, and American Jews, who fall into this category, and they of course have every rt to broadcast their views. The sadness I have abt this, myself, is how scripted it all is; how robotic. Contrary info, such as Pappe, has no way of penetrating this cultural hypnosis, which is what I believe it is--Eric Hoffer's True Believers--and of course this is hardly limited to the Palestinian issue. When you get to be my age, and have put in nearly 60 yrs studying history, all you can do in reaction to this phenomenon is shrug (and perhaps smile).

As for humor: yr rt, we need a lot more of it here. I've been thinking of doing a 4-vol. biography of Brittany Carulli, but haven't yet found the time to begin my research.

mb

12:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Yan-

Not at all. A Wafer is a fan of this blog, specifically someone who read WAF (my bk Why America Failed) and found it worthwhile.

More generally, Wafers are literally the finest people on earth, and Waferdom is the most evolved form of consciousness in the universe. So join us, amigo; yr life will be transformed!

mb

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Capt. Spaulding said...

Hard to know if this is really Dual Process in action or just a momentary fad but it is interesting to see that even some Parisians are abandoning the hustling life:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/17/world/europe/france-small-farming-organic.html?module=WatchingPortal&region=c-column-middle-span-region&pgType=Homepage&action=click&mediaId=thumb_square&state=standard&contentPlacement=2&version=internal&contentCollection=www.nytimes.com&contentId=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2017%2F01%2F17%2Fworld%2Feurope%2Ffrance-small-farming-organic.html&eventName=Watching-article-click&_r=0

1:21 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

The capital is abuzz with excitement as the clock ticks down to I-Day on Friday. Local reporters breathlessly walk viewers through the path the president-elect will take through the Capitol to the west face and the inauguration platform. Style reporters speculate on the gown Melania will wear to the ball. Excitement, excitement, excitement.

As WAFers find their hearts beating quicker in anticipation of America returning to geatness, permit me to throw cold water on that hope with a little item from our bidness community. This item offers the prospect, mirrored by similar reporting from other analysts and commentators, that in a few decades as many as half of America's jobs will be automated/automatable. Optimists who anticipate the dislocation this trend will represent for the workforce, blue collar or white, assure us that there will be new types of jobs created to absorb both new workers and those displaced by automation. Good times ahead.

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/17/analyst-half-of-all-paid-jobs-in-the-modern-workforce-are-automatable.html

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Israeli said...

Try this link: https://newrepublic.com/article/85344/ilan-pappe-sloppy-dishonest-historian

Benny Morris, a (real) historian, demolishes Pappe's pseudo-"history" in much the same way another historian, Richard Evans, demolished David Irving in "Lying About Hitler".

To sum up, both Pappe and Irving use two lying methods. First, their specific "facts" about Jewish perfidity anf Arab or Nazi "moderation" are very often simply lies. Second, and more important, they both deliberately publish *only* those isolated facts (if and when they are facts at all) that make Jews look bad and Arabs / Nazis look good, ignoring the mountains of contrary evidence and context, with the goal of perpetuatimg an utterly false view of the past, whether of zionism or nazi germany.

P.S. examples of Pappe's perfidity can easily be multiplied.

2:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Israeli-

There's no comparison between Ilan Pappe and David Irving, none whatsoever, and you can multiply examples of the former's 'perfidity' only if you are dishonest. If Benny Morris is all you've got in your arsenal, yr in deep trouble. So let's talk abt Morris, and get things straight. Originally, yes, he was a 'real' historian; subsequently, he sold out. I'm hardly impressed by anything he hasta say about Pappe. He remains, despite all of his good original work, avidly pro-Zionist, and a shameful Palestinian-hater. Quotes like these are pretty incriminating:

“A Jewish state would not have come into being without the uprooting of 700,000 Palestinians. Therefore it was necessary to uproot them. There was no choice but to expel that population. It was necessary to cleanse the hinterland and cleanse the border areas and cleanse the main roads.”

Cleanse, cleanse, cleanse. Hardly random, as Pappe demonstrates, quite precisely. Also consider this:

“Palestinian society is a very sick society. It should be treated the way we treat individuals who are serial killers. Maybe over the years the establishment of a Palestinian state will help in the healing process. But in the meantime, until the medicine is found, they have to be contained so that they will not succeed in murdering us.... Something like a cage has to be built for them.”

As a Jew, I'm ashamed of such a statement. Yr not? Clearly, Morris comes across as the one who is sick, altho he echoes the sentiment of most Israelis. Absolutely no understanding of the sources of Palestinian rage; it just 'exists', ex nihilo. (Similar to the argument that the 9/11 attackers were inherently evil or insane; let's not review what the US did to the Arab world for decades prior to 9/11.) At one point he refers to Arabs as wild animals--very much in keeping w/the widespread racist language prevalent in Israeli society today, from falafel stands to the upper echelons of gov't.

Check out the scholarly crits of Morris on Wikipedia by Avi Shlaim, Shlomo Ben-Ami, Efraim Karsh, Nur Masalha, and Michael Palumbo—pretty devastating. His own evidence contradicts his pro-Zionist argument; he converted back to the Old History version based on no evidence at all—reverting to propaganda; his work relies mostly on Israeli sources, rarely Arab ones (he doesn’t even read Arabic), and these sources were official, carefully screened by the Israeli government; etc. Karsh writes that Morris

"misrepresents documents, resorts to partial quotes, withholds evidence, makes false assertions, and rewrites original documents... [he] tells of statements never made, decisions never taken, events that never happened ... at times [he] does not even take the trouble to provide evidence..... He expects his readers to take on trust his assertions that fundamental contradictions exist between published accounts and the underlying documents.....he systematically falsifies evidence. Indeed, there is scarcely a document that he does not twist. This casts serious doubt on the validity of his entire work." Some 'real' historian!

(continued below)

3:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

As for Pappe, he was able to show how expulsion of the Arabs was part of the Zionist plan going back to the 19C (also substantiated by Masalha), and how it surfaced in Plan Dalet in 1947. Extremely fine history, it seems to me; Morris is hardly one to be calling him sloppy. Here's something you might wanna look at, tho I can't imagine it will change your mind:

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

In a word, you've got it backwards. Have you, yourself, even read Pappe or Masalha, or seen "The Gatekeepers" (Bibi apparently refuses to see it--too scary)? Anything that might cast doubt on the Official History is, for most Israelis, terribly threatening. I expect you mean well, but I have had a lot of experience arguing w/other Jews abt this issue, and frankly, it's a bit like trying to argue with a cassette tape. Israelis especially are literally programmed from infancy by War of Independence and Beleaguered Heroes mythology; when they argue, one has the impression that they are fighting for their psychological lives.

The fact is that in contrast, Pappe is an immensely courageous man, able to break with the mainstream Zionist mythology. Even the revisionists like Benny Morris are not able to shake off the massive state brainwashing; it's just too powerful. As for me, I'm an historian (yes, a real one!); I just wanted to know the true story, and I found it. I know gd historical analysis when I see it. But let me tell you something, chaver: it was a bitter pill to swallow. I wd *very* much prefer that none of this were true. To read abt how Ben-Gurion said to his generals, regarding the Arabs, "garesh otam"--expel them--was very depressing. But he did say it, they did do it, and expulsion (ethnic cleansing) was part of the Zionist design from very early on. Bottom line: Israel is built on the destruction of another people--as Morris himself admits. And this is why the Israelis are haunted: if your identity is dependent on wiping out the identity of others (renaming Arab villages, for example), you won't have a moment's peace, and you will hafta keep repeating the mainstream mythology like a mantra (cassette tape). Anyone who exposes that is ipso facto a 'liar', a 'poisoned propagandist', and so on.

In any case, I don't expect to persuade you otherwise, and given the fact that (in my experience) this is an endless discussion (and also, not the focus of this blog), I think we shd wrap it up. Best of luck, and

l'hitraot-

mb

3:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: There is, of course, a lot of literature on Israeli destruction of Palestinian identity, such as the renaming of Arab villages, but if you haven't come across it, I wd recommend the beautiful short story by A.B. Yehoshua, "Facing the Forests."

3:41 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

I know I'm going to regret this, but I am genuinely curious what peoples solutions are for the Israeli/Palestinian issue. A two state solution seems as far away as ever and a one state solution is a non starter.

4:08 PM  
Anonymous U-Go said...

Worth noting that both Israel and the USA started the same way - by attacking the comparatively mild "patrician" British, when their well-established legal system was extended to include the indigenes. Suddenly the British became the "oppressors", despite the fact that e.g. Palestinian Arabs and First Nations Americans relied on the British to protect them.

The British, to their shame, threw the towel in, when they should have stuck up for their own values of "fairness" and kept protecting the locals.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Chris-

I suspect the answer will be demographic, not political--as it was in South Africa. The Ashkenazi minority that has been running Israel since 1948 was traumatized by the Holocaust, and rightly so. It remains *the* great milestone in the history of barbarism, imo. But as Edward Said once said, the Palestinians became the victims of the victims. Not that the Israelis are herding them into gas chambers, of course, but the treatment has been pretty brutal nonetheless. To keep the (understandably bitter) Arabs contained, and to ward off a demographic solution, Israel keeps extending the settlements so as to break up potential Arab geographical unity. Holocaust memory is what keeps this machinery going; Labor or Likud, there's no interest in stopping it. But population-wise, the clock is ticking, and I don't see time on Israel's side. It's just a guess on my part, but I can't imagine Israel making it to its 100th birthday, 2048. At some pt b4 that date, the lopsided population situation may make it impossible for the Ashkenazis to hold on to power anymore; unless they want to use the materiel furnished them by the US and murder the entire Arab population; which wd probably not play well at the UN and among the international community. As W.H. Auden famously put it, "We wd rather be ruined than change," and to my mind this pretty much captures where Israel is at these days. (Bibi is not prime minister by accident.) Anyway, this is just speculation regarding possible future events; I don't have a crystal ball.

mb

5:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

Sorry, I don't post Anons. You need a real handle. May I suggest Gefilte Fish?

mb

5:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

INCREDIBLE NEWSFLASH:

O'Turkey managed to do one decent thing during the 8 yrs of his Seinfeld presidency:

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/01/17/breaking-news-obama-commutes-chelsea-mannings-sentence





5:23 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

It's kind of hypocritical on the arabs part. They want Jews to give up Palestine but they won't give up North Africa to the nubians and moors. Arabs colonized North Africa in the 700 and displaced millions of native Africans and destroyed their culture along the way. So screw Palestine and screw arabs. Let's not forget they are in this situation because in world 1 they allied with Christian British empire agains Muslim Ottoman Empire and unsprisingly the christians screwed them over. Maybe allah is punishing them for betraying the Muslim caliphate.

5:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mo-

It's much worse than that. They also rejected pastrami, corned beef, chopped liver, cole slaw with Russian dressing, Cel-Ray tonic, and dill pickles. They have scorned kishka, kasha (varnishke), kimmel rye, and even hamentashen (can you imagine?). They have refused to dine at Canter's in LA, or at Katz's in NY. For this I will never, ever forgive them.

Allah Akbar! Also Jeff & Akbar!

mb

5:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Mo: r.u. aware of how stupid Americans are? Abt 30% of them really thought Obama was a Muslim! And still do!

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

The "last man on the Moon" has passed away-

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/16/505928876/gene-cernan-last-man-to-walk-on-the-moon-dies-at-82

Perhaps the Saturn V rockets on display at Cape Canaveral and Houston will be our pyramids. It would be ironic to wake up some morning with Chinese astronauts on TV giving us the finger from their Moon base.

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Curious if any of the WAFERs read (George) Babbitt in High School? Back in the day, was very fortunate to have pretty good teachers who tried to teach us critical thinking with lots of essay writing, etc...teachers who were NOT afraid of giving Cs, Ds, and Fs with robust red lines to help improve the independent thinking process. No girly man parents, running to the principal/HM, or lawyer threats.

Moreover, there were teachers who begged us to go on "sabbatical" from america for 2-5yrs post HS, or uni to get a real education as they stated most of america is apathetic and indifferent to life unless it involves sport, pop music, or idiot box watching--then they become animated, eyes darting, and loud.

Thank you, Teachers, where ever you are.

9:10 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Here's an upper middle class liberal twit complaining that nobody in her circle actually TALKS to one another any more. But if you read the article closely, you'll notice that the few who do actually talk to her in her daily life are working class folks, a little lesson in class politics to which she seems completely oblivious. I particularly like the anecdote about the friend of hers who only uses Snapchat to converse with guys she's interested in so if she decides she doesn't like them she can just delete the contact from her phone. She also complains that men no longer have the confidence to actually try and approach a woman they are interested in and talk to them (gee, I wonder why?):

http://www.sfexaminer.com/dont-talk-anymore-san-francisco/

If these are the young "adults" who are going to run the country in 20 years, America would be doomed even if we weren't already in severe decline.

10:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

More from Thos Wolfe:

"I think the life which we have fashioned in America, and which has fashioned us...was self-destructive in its nature, and must be destroyed...I think the enemy is single selfishness and compulsive greed...I think he stole our earth from us, destroyed our wealth, and ravaged and despoiled our land. I think he took our people and enslaved them, that he polluted the fountains of our life, took unto himself the rarest treasures of our own possession, took our bread and left us with a crust, and, not content, for the nature of the enemy is insatiate--tried finally to take from us the crust."

mb

10:30 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:


I don' think a single state in Palestine is a non-starter, rather the opposite. A secular, democratic state in Palestine is the only workable solution, despite the racist howlings of Zionists who want an ethnically-pure state. Multinational states (e.g. Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, &tc.) have their problems, but they are hardly insurmountable.


At the risk of sounding too serious, Doc B., I have a quibble with your saying that Arabs hate Jews, albeit for legitimate reasons. I don't think it's so much a question of "Arab" and "Jew" as it is of "occupied and dispossessed" and "occupier." I doubt that Arabs care one way or another that the people who stole their homes are Jewish; they'd feel the same about them if the occupiers were Anabaptists or vegetarians.


Salaam/Shalom/Pax

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Smack_Smack said...

A wonderful statement from Thomas Wolfe.

The "single selfishness and compulsive greed" has given birth to a new enemy: the desire for violence on a massive scale. This is hardly surprising; because imperialism is no longer lucrative (except for the super-rich), Americans have now decided to "conquer" one another - that is, direct their violence at one another. The fact that massacres now occur, on average, more than once per day confirms this collective decision. Trump's election to the presidency is emblematic of this shift; Trump and his supporters want to be on good terms with certain nations that America used to want to conquer (Russia in particular), but are itching to massacre huge swaths of the American populace.

Of course, Trump and his supporters also want to cleanse the world of Muslims and Mexicans; there is a distinct possibility of a world war with the Trump administration. However, the focus has clearly shifted to domestic enemies rather than foreign ones - illegal immigrants, gays, blacks, Mexicans, etc. The persecution of internal enemies is nothing new in American history, but until now, external enemies were considered a far more serious threat than internal enemies.

11:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

al-

Yr rt; but the fact is that the ones who stole their homes were Jews, not Anabaptists; hence, Arabs hate them. No great mystery there.

mb

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Derek said...

Just had beers with two American friends. One's a Trump supporter and the other is a Hillary supporter. The one thing they agreed on is that "our generation (millennials) doesn't know how to save money" and that "if you just put away a bit of your paycheck each month you can be a millionaire by 40." Sounds like the American Dream is alive and well, right? Get out while you can, folks.

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Bingo said...

Hi WAFers,

I just stumbled upon this piece of news, and thought I should share. It proves my theory that humans are pretty depraved creatures just about everywhere on this planet. I realize that this lady's "work", despite it's creative element, does not come anywhere close to the daily murder spree we see in this country, especially in Chicago, but it's a start.

http://nypost.com/2017/01/17/dangerous-ice-cream-killer-being-moved-to-mens-prison/

Julian

3:19 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Julian-

The manicure is a nice touch.

mb

5:35 AM  
Blogger remo26 said...

The topic of IL and Pappe (I was not familiar with him prior) is quite interesting. I know quite a bit of history, but I’m not a historian. After watching the video MB posted, and without polarizing the discussion one way or another, both views seem to be fighting over the accepted narrative. Certainly, IL committed atrocities, most Israelis recognize this. The question as presented in the video is how it should be assessed – in the context of ethnic cleansing or war (not that either is a justification). However, it also touches on issues of reparation, reconciliation, and displaced native indigenous populations as described by the panelist with reference to the aboriginals of AU. The same could be said of the native Indians of North, Central, and South America under colonialist expansion by the British, Spain, or other imperialist. To what extent should this be the litmus test for a just democracy. Certainly IL is unjust in many regards (as are other nations), does it make it better or worse that their actions were more recent? As a descendant of ‘Iraqi Jewish parents and grandparents (who served the ‘Iraqi business sector well), my family was dispossessed of large amounts of property in Baghdad. I have participated in recognition of this through the World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries (WOJAC). I don’t suppose I will see remuneration. We have property deeds as evidence. Does this matter if there is no political will? Furthermore, WOJAC has had to combat a second front against the IL government trying to bundle such reparations in an bulk exchange for Palestinian refugee claims. It is clear that the Ashkenazi elite would never have accepted a similar offer for Holocaust reparations – allowing a whole “industry” to be created over personal claims. I think the issue of the settlements is that they are just plain wrong, but I demur when it comes to IL being illegitimate. My interactions with Arabs in and out of IL is extensive, and one of positive and friendly exchanges – both in business and personal matters. However, I realize that many others are loathe to such statements – ironically, many time from fellow Mizrahis who grew up in IL (but this is another topic).

- remo

6:04 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

remo-

Thoughtful reflections, thank you. It's hard to recover from Pappe, as I well know; he's a deadly archer. Now you might wanna move on to Nur Masalha. Regarding the video: this is a kind of the litmus test of genuine intelligence on the topic of expulsion/ethnic cleansing. I may be being unfair to our "Israeli," but I'm guessing he sat there nodding when those two jokers attacked Pappe, and was repulsed/angered when Pappe spoke. (The women, unfortunately, didn't have that much to contribute.) But what do we actually see in that video? Pappe provided *facts*, e.g. the Zionist dossiers compiled on Arab villages and villagers, Stasi-style, in 1947, in preparation for the expulsion agenda; whereas the two guys never confronted this info, and had little more to offer than condemnatory political broadsides--this while attacking *Pappe* for being polemical! Jesus, what cd be funnier, or more clueless?

My guess is that 'Israeli', like most Israelis, wd sit there and watch the video and fail to understand who actually won the debate. The emotional brainwashing in Israel is so deep, that they cannot see what is rt in front of their eyes. It obliterates, in their minds, the distinction between argument and opinion, and that distinction is based on evidence--something Pappe provided and his opponents did not. Pappe didn't smear or label or even dismiss anyone; he just calmly presented the facts; and if you read his book, you'll see that the evidence he brings to bear is enormous. To stave off this reality, Israelis just smear him as a 'poison propagandist', because the reality is terrifying to them. And as you point out, Israel is hardly the only country caught in this trap. At least South Africa attempted a truth hearing and a reconciliation, much to its credit.

Let me say a few words abt the nature of this trap. ('Israeli' will dismiss this out of hand, but that's precisely the problem.) Thos Wolfe writes:

"The plain and searching light of truth...was the only remedy, the only one, that could cleanse and heal the suffering soul of man...The essence of reality is questioning."

Israel, along w/the US and many other countries, are living in myth, not in reality, and they can only heal themselves by facing the truth, which is typically ugly and depressing. In this sense, Pappe is Israel's best friend. He was led to the truth by questioning...as was, for example, the early Benny Morris. But most Israelis are not questioning things. Bibi is certainly not questioning things. Instead, the majority of Israelis are living in the hardened shell of a national mythology, one that makes healing impossible. Their real interest is not in truth, but in shoring up the mythology, and thereby (they think) keeping the wolves at bay. Ultimately, however, Israel can only be saved by exorcising the ghosts, by facing the shadow material they are suppressing; in short, by letting the wolves in; but that is the one thing it refuses to do. The exceptions are folks like Pappe and A.B. Yehoshua, but their attempts at healing and reconciliation are dismissed. The result is that probably, its future is rather bleak. "Israeli's" (or Bibi's) position *looks* strong, but its actually one of fear, of weakness. A wall of tension and denial hardly constitutes strength. In the long run, real strength, such as is evidenced by Pappe and Yehoshua, will, I believe, win out; altho the form of that, given severe Israeli stubbornness, will probably not look very pretty. It will be a pity if the South African model proves to be a rare exception.

mb

7:05 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mo-

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

mb

7:11 AM  
Blogger remo26 said...

Morris, I'm not trying to break the 24-hr. rule, but I wanted to ask you about this. You are listed on Amazon.com as a co-author for the book, "An Eye for an Eye: The Story of Jews Who Sought Revenge for the Holocaust" by John Sack in 2015, but only the Kindle version. Did you contribute to this book?

- remo

7:46 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

I had a chat yesterday with your typical young libertarian type. Computer programmer, vaguely 'alt', etc. Most younger people know this archetype.

He praised Brexit, and I asked him if Scotland should just leave the UK then too. After all, England was depriving it of its right to European association. "Of course!" "And then, shouldn't Edinborough leave Scotland?" "Right!" Not even a vague sense of irony at all this...

There is a mania today for atomistic dividing that can only end in madness, spree shootings, a schitzoid politics. Countries incapable of internationalism in todays world will prove even less capable of nationalism.

8:26 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

remo-

I don't know where yr looking. When I plugged my name into Amazon, this bk didn't come up. When I plugged in "An Eye for an Eye," the bk came up, but no Kindle edn, and only John Sack as the author. So I dunno what to tell you. In any case, no, I never heard of this bk.

mb

10:55 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I ought to clarify what I wrote earlier. I still wouldn't say that Palestinian Arabs "hate Jews," but limit their feelings those who stole their land. This isn't at all like antisemitism. For example, I don't think they give Jews who live in places such as New York, Minsk or Mexico much thought, never mind automatically hating them because they're Jews.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

Read 'the Outing of Benny Morris​'​ at the bottom of this link...
https://electronicintifada.net/content/top-israeli-historian-analyzes-benny-morriss-shocking-interview/4968
​To abate the pain of getting bashed from both sides of the debate, Benny the Historian became Benny the Philosopher.

​“What the new material shows [- says Morris -] is that there were far more Israeli acts of massacre than I had previously thought. To my surprise, there were also many cases of rape.” After some detailed description of the rape and murder of Palestinian girls, Morris concluded that “because neither the victims nor the rapists liked to report these events, we have to assume that the dozen cases of rape that were reported, which I found, are not the whole story. They are just the tip of the iceberg.” Additionally he found that in twenty-four cases, about 800 Palestinians were massacred under different circumstances. And he added:​ ​That can’t be accidental. It’s a pattern. ​...​So far it is the “old good” and expected Morris. ​...​However, suddenly the interview took a sharp turn from historiography to philosophy: “Under some circumstances expulsion is not a war crime. I don’t think that the expulsions of 1948 were war crimes. You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs. You have to dirty your hands.”​

New Ethnic Cleansing : Israeli solders taken a shit (literally) on Palestinian kid's center.
https://youtu.be/qnc6Kt-7vjc?t=263

My good jewish​ ​friends go on expensive trips to visit holocaust sites in Germany, but they reserve their most condescending racist 'shit' only for the arabs. Not once did I hear them hurl such derogatory slurs on Germans as they do on the Palestinians. Most of the jews from European descent still feel kinship in their hearts to that world than the middle-east. Can't blame them; they had a good life there, until....

1:33 PM  
Blogger PedroC NERV said...

Hi, Dr. B.
I was away for more than a year from posting in the blog (but read it almost daily) due to being a father and starting another major. What prompted me to write was that this morning Mexico had its first school shooting. As a father, as a Mexican, as a human being, it saddens me deeply, but I'm not surprised. Obviously, it was in my 'adorable' city, Monterrey. We always wanted to be an American city, now we can officially join their ranks.
What country is left to emigrate to? Maybe it's different in smaller cities, but I live in Monterrey and visit Ciudad de México frequently and I find them USA-lite, especially if you hang around with the younger generations.
The papers in Monterrey have already started with the stupid 'explanations' and even stupider 'solutions'. Just wanted to share this with the rest of the Wafers, as only you'd understand what lies behind school shootings, and what that means to this society.
Un abrazo,

-PedroC.

PS: My question was not rhetorical: what country would you recommend to emigrate? Uruguay?
PPS: I'm sorry if this got sent twice, it didn't show confirmation the first time, so I sent it again.

3:36 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

They're just conscientious parents teaching their children about life..

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/sex/outlet-mall-car-tryst-294053

4:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pedro-

Well, Monterrey is pretty much an American city. But in Mex City, I hang around w/a crowd in their 30s (mostly), and they aren't dazzled by the northern giant, thank god. Think abt it again. As for other countries: yes, Uruguay; also Costa Rica. If you can afford it, a small town in Italy wd be divine.

Israeli-

Sorry, cdn't run it. 2 problems: 1) You exceeded the half-page max rule; 2) you slandered me personally (as you did Pappe; you just don't understand that this doesn't constitute evidence). We don't allow that here, against me or any other Wafer. But your sad reply confirmed what I've been saying: there's just no way to get you to see reality. I've done all I can, and I failed. At this pt, it wd literally take an act of god 4u 2 wake up. You'll believe the national mythology right up to the moment you wink out; of that, I have no doubt. Anyway, as I also said, my experience re: this argument is that it never ends (you *hafta* win!); we'll just go back and forth forever, and that has little attraction for me. Meanwhile, this blog is not abt Israel, it's abt the US, so all in all, I think yr better off promulgating your vision elsewhere. There must be thousands of blogs abt Israel-Palestine; that's where you wanna direct your energies. Gd luck, chaver; maybe I'll c.u. in another life. ps: Again, it won't make any difference 4u, but you might wanna have a look at the link about Benny Morris provided by Esca, above--an article by Baruch Kimmerling (clearly, another 'poisoned propagandist'!). As for the link by John Pilger: more propaganda, of course!

Esca-

Thanks for the info. I've passed it on to 'Israeli', but clearly, nothing can penetrate the fog in which he lives. Sadly for Israel, there are millions of 'Israelis'.

mb

4:45 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB, Wafers-

Speaking of John Pilger, here's an insightful essay on Obama:

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/01/17/its-not-about-trump-but-us/

Meanwhile, I've decided to lobby the incoming Trump administration to create a new federal agency: United States Department of Dumb Fuckered Out. Kinda like plumb tuckered out, this new office would deal with the exhaustion one feels after dealing with stupid and/or rude people. Would u be interested in heading this new agency, MB?

Miles

5:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Hmm...I was holding out for heading up the Dept. for Accelerated Disintegration, but thus far Trumpo has cruelly refused to reply to my letters. Very rude, really. Meanwhile, here's a guy who is clearly bordering on the Dual Process concept:

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/01/18/moving-beyond-resistance

However, I expect the progs will continue to 'resist'. Poor progs.

Terrific Pilger essay, describing exactly who Obama was, and what he did; and how the politically correct crowd fawned over him.

mb

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

In between listening to music, had the misfortune of listening for ~15min to a gentleman by the name of Michel Medvad/Madved (sp.)--the repetitive stuff that was coming out his mouth was simply unreal--did not know if he was really serious or being just being funny.

G-d's greatest nation on green Earth, america was a miracle, the american revolution, how "foreign" countries need to respect the us, etc....I ask this genuinely, and out of visceral respect--does he really believe this, or this is a rating thing to tick a box?

Bien cordialement,

7:05 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

I think I'm not breaking the 24 hr rule now. Here is my thoughts on arabs and why I don't care for them.
Yes I'm aware about Americans . But the arabs are king of douche bags. Just google how they treat migrant muslims from south east Asia and Africa. Arabs left Islam in world war 1 when they allied with "lawerence of Arabia". For this reason I have no sympathy for them weather in gaza or in Aleppo. There are Muslim children in Afghanistan who don't have text books but the arabs waste money on shopping malls in Dubai.

9:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mo-

No, yr OK, but in future make a note of when you posted, so you'll know when 24 hrs have elapsed. Anyway, I don't think Arabs abandoned Islam, regardless of their connection w/T.E. Lawrence. Very unlikely.

My own beef, as I explained, is quite different. I simply cannot forgive the Arabs for their wholesale rejection of deli meats. The only way I will forgive them is if Mahmoud Abbas flies to NY, meets me at the 2nd Ave. Deli, and proceeds to order the following:

-4" thick pastrami sandwich
-side of chopped liver
-cole slaw w/Russian dressing
-dill pickle
-bottle of Cel-Ray Tonic

Then, I expect him to devour the entire thing; if he burps afterwards, I shall say Awafe! After which, I want him to wipe his mouth on a napkin, and pronounce the following verdict: Mumtaz! (excellent)

To which I will respond by shaking his hand, and saying Shukran! (thank you)

This will end my resentment of the Arab world.

Shall you contact him, or shall I?

mb

10:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

I want to recommend a bk 2u written by a friend of mine, Joel Magnuson. It has a lot of obvious resonance w/my own work, including the notion of Dual Process. A very absorbing read:

https://www.amazon.com/Greed-Wellbeing-Buddhist-Resolving-Financial/dp/1447318943/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1484798536&sr=1-1&keywords=joel+magnuson

enjoy!

mb

11:00 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

The historical crimes of Arabs [and of course other Muslims] are certainly there. Unfortunately, the issues have become almost impossible to discuss in this country. They are either blown out of proportion and used in a nonsensical way to justify horrible American policy, or they are simply ignored by progs. It seems everybody who acknowledges the Arab slave-trade in East Africa is shilling for American ground troops in yet another country they have no business in. And on the other side, you have progs arrogantly dressing down Czechs and Hungarians for not taking in millions of refugees as part of some historical redress of grievances, when the only thing they ever did to Muslims was repel their attempts to conquer their lands. Apparently, because they have white skin, they must pay for Abu Ghraib or Algeria as much as Americans or French.

That being said, I don't see why you'd condemn dirt poor Syrians or Yemenis for the actions of self-serving Gulf elites, or the Hashemites for trying to use WWI as an attempt to throw out the Turks. They were hardly the first Muslims to rebel against the caliphate. Please excuse any lack of historical understanding on my part, I make no claim of expertise.

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Bingo said...

Al,

Regarding the Jews stealing the homes of Palestinians, you do have a point. On the personal level, that is indeed tragic and painful to many, many Palestinians. However, that pretty much also describes how the Muslim Turks stole one third of Greek Cyprus not too long ago. And it still is very painful to the Cypriots.

Also, as far as I know, there always existed a sizable Jewish population in Palestine, even after Vespasian, and before Islam came on the scene.

El Alamein,

The Eastern Europeans will not take in millions and millions of Muslims. The suffering of the Greeks, Romanians, Bulgarians and others in the area at the hand of Muslim Turkey was too great, too barbaric, and too long to be overruled by some unelected oligarchic stooges in Brussels. The new European caliphate is DOA.

5:07 AM  
Anonymous Col. Culpepper said...

William Robinson, Prof of Sociology and critic of global capitalism, lays Trump facism at Obama's feet. From an article by John Pilger:

"William I. Robinson, professor at the University of California, and one of an uncontaminated group of American strategic thinkers who have retained their independence during the years of intellectual dog-whistling since 9/11, wrote this last week:

“President Barack Obama … may have done more than anyone to assure [Donald] Trump’s victory. While Trump’s election has triggered a rapid expansion of fascist currents in US civil society, a fascist outcome for the political system is far from inevitable …. But that fight back requires clarity as to how we got to such a dangerous precipice. The seeds of 21st century fascism were planted, fertilized and watered by the Obama administration and the politically bankrupt liberal elite.”

Robinson points out that “whether in its 20th or its emerging 21st century variants, fascism is, above all, a response to deep structural crises of capitalism, such as that of the 1930s and the one that began with the financial meltdown in 2008 …. There is a near-straight line here from Obama to Trump … The liberal elite’s refusal to challenge the rapaciousness of transnational capital and its brand of identity politics served to eclipse the language of the working and popular classes … pushing white workers into an ‘identity’ of white nationalism and helping the neo-fascists to organise them”..

The seedbed is Obama’s Weimar Republic, a landscape of endemic poverty, militarised police and barbaric prisons: the consequence of a “market” extremism which, under his presidency, prompted the transfer of $14 trillion in public money to criminal enterprises in Wall Street.

6:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Colonel-

Yeah, well put. It's basically what I and a # of other political observers have been saying for a while now. ps: watch length of yr post, in future; shd be half-page maximum. Thanks.

moon-

Sorry, you began to sound a bit like the Protocol of Elders of Zion at the end; I'm not very comfortable with that kinda talk. There's no conspiracy going on, if that's what you were implying. Jews are also heavily represented in the medical profession as well, for example, not just in politics and finance. It's not hard to figure out why: Jews are smart, possibly the smartest single ethnic group on the planet. They typically rise to the professional or upper echelons of practically every society in which they've been allowed to flourish. There's a lot of data to support this claim, BTW. It's probably genetic, tho the nature of the Jewish family (traditionally) involves a heavy emphasis on scholarship, success, and also--contribution to the society in which you live. As culturally barren as America is, it wd be even more so w/o Woody Allen, n'est-ce pas?

mb

8:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Israeli-

I deleted yr latest message w/o rdg it. As indicated above, I see no pt in pursuing this discussion, wh/is little more than a neverending ping pong game. Yr not open to any viewpt but yr own, and you've wasted my time (and yr own, really). You need to go elsewhere, where yr views and special mode of discourse will be appreciated. Gd luck, chaver, and godspeed.

mb

9:30 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

... anyway enuf with the trollfoons and Israel, here's a good one here:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/19/time-to-diss-obey-the-failure-of-identity-politics-and-protest/

And on to more important things: http://www.seriouseats.com/2017/01/how-to-make-hot-borscht-beet-soup.html

Lastly, what are WAFers going to do on Friday a.k.a. I-day? I haveta work on Friday so staying away from the news won't be an option, perhaps 4 or 5 bourbons after?

10:48 AM  
Blogger Bullshevik said...

Thank you, Prof. Berman, for recommending the film Anesthesia. (I think it was you who recommended it.) I watched it last night and was especially moved by Waterston's words in his final lecture to his university students. A breath of fresh air from the usual Hollywood tripe.

10:58 AM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


Tio, when I mentioned about this Troll from the TTS I wasn't kiddin'. Watch the 4 part Aljazeera documentary and wonder if your name is in the שר לנושאים אסטרטגיים.

https://youtu.be/Vuk1EhkEctE?t=977

These brainwashed chaverims went so far as to trash Rachel Corrie's memory after her death under the IDF bulldozer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iz0Vef4Fu8U



11:01 AM  
Anonymous Ram Gana said...

MB said: "I want to recommend a bk 2u written by a friend of mine, Joel Magnuson..."

Ordered a copy when I saw the first mention, in a previous post. Delivered this week; can't wait to dig in.

4:06 PM  
Blogger Edward Johnson said...

Hello Dr Berman, Himanshu, Pastrami, Northern Johnny, and all other Wafers! I'm sorry I took so long to reply, but I've been tied-up with my rail advocacy groups (I'm an old retired railroad manager, and a current passionate passenger train advocate, taking advice from James Howard Kunstler and others about the future need for rail in a declining country with rapidly diminishing resources). Thank you all for your inputs! Its nice to know there other Wafers here in the Twin Cities area and I hope to meet you in the near future! My son and I took 2 trips to Canada about 8 to 10 years ago and both of us were very impressed by it. The last time we went entirely by train (AMTRAK & VIA), no rental cars either, staying in hostels all the way, visiting Detroit/Windsor (what a contrast!), Niagara Falls, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, then back to the states, visiting Albany, Boston, New York City, Philly, Baltimore, and D.C. (ugh!), but it was a very educational experience for my son who was just turning 21 at the time. When you go by train, you really get to see the countries, warts and all. Highly recommend it to young and old!! Edward Johnson (aka RRJohnson)

5:27 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Boy, AM I RELIEVED!! I was getting worried there, but O'bama says everything is going to be OK in America.

https://www.google.com/amp/www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/amp/president-obama-faces-white-house-press-corps-one-last-time-n708391

7:48 PM  
Blogger Neil 0421875644 said...

Have read some Fred Reed. Herewith a rather hilarious story: "“My kid is fifteen, can’t read, and doesn’t know who Thomas Jefferson was but he’s had three different classes on safe anal sex. I didn’t raise him to be an analphabetic butt-plug. Excuse me. I need to find a professor.” She left, brandishing her ball-bat" http://www.fredoneverything.net/Rebellion.shtml

12:15 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

What a worthless 8 years. Nothing but a glorified photo-op. Now on his last press conference he calls the Israeli settlements illegal and, of course, that crap phrase "an obstacle to peace." Where was he 8 years ago when he could have done something? On nearly every issue he demonstrated monumental cowardice even after the Republicans signaled that they had no interest working with him. In addition, he could have provided a blanket amnesty to all 11 million undocumented including those in college. My guess is that he'd rather have the media cover 3rd graders being dragged out of their classroom by ICE officials in order to help Dems in the mid-terms. History is sure to judge him cruelly and and unsparingly. Now he can spend the next 30 years of his life among the rich and powerful- the class he always, even as a child, aspired to. I just hope he'll drop out of sight instead of being the "leader of the resistance",spouting more of his nauseating moderate bromides. For example, in spite of a mountain of evidence with regard to voter fraud, he called such charges "fake news."
By the way, I saw the ultimate techno-douchebag yesterday in New York. I attended a Broadway show and used the men's room during intermission. A man was at a urinal holding his unit in one hand while looking at his I-phone in the other hand. Did this guy not realize he could have missed and urinated on his shoes, the floor, or on another man's shoes? Multiply that mentality and you begin to see it's no accident Herr Trumpf is about to be president. NYC is certainly the epicenter of cell phone use. By the time I got back to Philadelphia I felt I had been radiated by a nuclear device.
Finally, Israeli, you might want to look at You-tube videos of Israeli soldiers beating up Palestinian children. Oh, I forgot. The Israeli army is the most moral army in the world or as Golda Meir said," We hate the Palestinians because they force us to kill them." My heart bleeds.

12:56 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Israeli-

No way of getting thru 2u! I've deleted your messages without rdg them. Children keep banging at the door; adults go somewhere else. Maybe you shd grow up? I'm not going to be replying to you anymore, so pls try not to be a total shmuck. Goodbye and gd luck.

mb

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

What I meant about Schadenfreude:

https://www.salon.com/2017/01/20/the-butchers-bill-has-come-due-president-donald-trump-is-about-to-victimize-his-own-voters/

and I love his quote from W.S. Burroughs: "Hustlers of the world, there is one Mark you cannot beat: The Mark Inside."

Ed. Cool that you're a train enthusiast. I often go hiking here (http://www.southstpaul.org/index.aspx?NID=426) trains on one side and great wildlife viewing on the other.

10:52 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

First, a thank-you to the WAFer who recommended Henry Miller's The Air-Conditioned Nightmare, Miller's account of his three-year journey through the America he'd left behind. "Nowhere else in the world is the divorce between man and nature so complete." Thanks.

The local NPR station is broadcasting a new program that replaced the Diane Rehm show. The new show's host posed to listeners this question: "What would you do on day one [in the White House]?" One response, on 19 January from a Jeff Larsen [on Twitter]: "Ask the nation 'What were you thinking?!?' then get to work on making public education our top priority."

Finally, a link to a salon.com article on initial reflections and buyer's remorse among some Trumpistas. "The butcher's bill has come due." Worth noting in this context, something I hadn't focussed on though I should have done: his cabinet nominees appear to be folks who have been openly hostile to and critical of the departments they want to run.

From the salon.com article:
"Author William S. Burroughs offered the wisdom, “Hustlers of the world, there is one mark you cannot beat: the mark inside.”

http://www.salon.com/2017/01/20/the-butchers-bill-has-come-due-president-donald-trump-is-about-to-victimize-his-own-voters/

11:12 AM  
Blogger Frantisek Panuskova said...

Naively, I was expecting the deprived and desolates in this country to finally turn left. Bernie made me hopeful for several months. However, I forgot that according to Marxist theory Fascism is the final state of bourgeois Capitalism! Oops! Only THEN socialism becomes historically inevitable! For some reason this did not work in Germany in the years after 1945. (We seem to have great ideas in Goetheland but routinely screw up trying to implement them.) So let's see how the glacial forces of history turn out things this time. I just hope, after Tumpism has been overcome, there will still be a civilization to build on and that not too many idiots then suddenly show up on the left!

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Smack_Smack said...

Everyone,

Is it just me, or are American women the most egotistical and self-obsessed group of individuals ever to exist? They are so self-obsessed that they can't even hold conversations; they expect to be constantly entertained, and react with fury when they are expected to reciprocate in any way, shape or form. They have huge entitlement complexes, harbor bottomless hatred for men, and believe themselves to be so gloriously special that social norms do not apply to them. They are rarely straightforward, often manipulating others for their own entertainment and twisted pleasure.

In my town, most people are assholes, but the women are about two hundred times nastier than the men. They display open contempt for just about everyone, especially men, whom they treat as slaves. I think the rise of the sociopathic American woman is a major reason why Trump won the election. American men are tired of women treating them like shit, and have elected a candidate that may very well roll back women's rights several decades. Considering the antisocial monstrosities that American women have become, their misogyny is quite understandable.

12:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ed-

Violates half-page rule. Compress by 50% and re-send.

Juliet-

Same problem. Compress by a third, thank you.

Smack-

53% of white women voted for Trump.

mb

2:35 PM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

time to take a break from Trump....

Samurai Sword: Making of a Legend....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-t-oZ6X1sho

ultimate craftsmanship!

Spirit of Bushido

'Not sold to just anybody'...

2:36 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

I think of all the institutions in America, the media is at or near the rock bottom. I include in this most of the the "alternative" medias, and social media, which is just media gone exponential.

Taking the Latin root, "media" are just the middle, the "medium", between listener and speaker. A society obsessed with media is just one where nothing really happens, but endless symbols are exchanged. Most of the media has nothing at all to say, but without it the society would disintegrate, as there is no substance.

Apparently Charles Lindbergh was endlessly harassed by the media after his child was kidnapped. It was so bad he moved to the UK. This is what he said on departure...

"We Americans are a primitive people. We do not have discipline. Our moral standards are low. It shows up in the private lives of people we know — their drinking and 'behavior with women'. It shows in the newspapers, the morbid curiosity over crimes and murder trials. Americans seem to have little respect for law, or the rights of others." For those reasons, Lindbergh told Lyman, he had decided to take his family to England to "seek a safe, secluded residence away from the tremendous public hysteria" that surrounded him in America."

2:54 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

@Smack_Smack

As a man living in America, I have come to similar conclusions about American women. Winston Wu and his team at Happier Abroad (http://www.happierabroad.com/) have reached conclusions similar to Berman's about American society, although their conclusions are more geared towards helping American men find fulfilling relationships abroad.

I would like to hear Berman's thoughts on the sheer depravity of American women. American men get a bad rap in American culture these days, but we are saints compared to American women. Even discussing this topic is extremely taboo in America due to its cult of woman-worship.

11:24 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

@Gigalax:
"Depravity" is kind of a Victorian judgment, no? What evidence are you referring to?

3:02 PM  
Blogger Paolo said...

MB -

Regarding Jewish success in America, I think it needs to be taken as a positive and a negative. I'm speaking as a Russian Jew here btw. If you look at some of the more nefarious movements of the 20th century: Communism, feminism (3rd wave), uncontrolled immigration, push for homosexual/transgender rights and acceptance, you will find that Jews are waaaay overrepresented among the leaders of these movements. Some like Kevin Macdonald, have posited that while Jews are definitely smart and educated they have an anti-Gentile streak and wish to transform traditional conservative societies. I tend to agree with this analysis as much as I find it uncomfortable to come to terms with.

1:36 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Paolo-

You need to send messages to latest post. No one reads the older stuff. Meanwhile, problem with yr assertion is that it is undocumented, and Macdonald may be nothing more than slander. As for Jewish success in America, it showed up as high representation in business, law, medicine, etc., not in Communism, feminism, or whatnot. Time to retire these hackneyed cliches, I wd think, which often sound like updates of the Protocols.

mb

9:57 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...


This might be worth reading for those who are looking into the possibility of emigrating out of the United States ---

http://dailycaller.com/2017/01/26/libs-who-want-to-move-to-canada-blocked-by-its-strict-immigration-policies/

I remember looking the following up a number of years ago. It pertains to average IQ (intelligence quotient) by nation. When I first saw the result I was surprised that the nation of Israel had an average IQ of 95. I expected it to be higher. ---

https://iq-research.info/en/page/average-iq-by-country

A quote :

"Richard and Tatu argues that differences in national income are correlated with differences in the average national intelligence quotient (IQ)"

Oh well, an astute interpretation of the numbers may be as hard to come by as those with very high IQs.

8:05 AM  
Anonymous half-page-please said...


I think success "usually at the expense of others in America due to relentless tastelessness" depends on a lot of lucky adaptation: be fortunate to have the right parents, genes, resources, look a part, join in baby production and suburbia, don't be hyper-sensitive or critical of the fake culture and education system etc. - (not to invalidate the authentic successes out there).

The credentialing processes used as class warfare indoctrinates a cruel selective consciousness. Don't be bogged down by healthy introspection or neurosis about any faulty ideology like globalism or any fluff degrees like MBA's.

Be willing to jump through hoops, conform, never challenge the collective illusions for racketeering that bind it all together in cruel unforgiving failure. Keep trying, action is the antidote to despair, no time to worry about those being excluded, left behind, confused, fooled, extorted, used and discarded their entire lives - they made their mistakes.

Culturally, love money, lack honesty and intellectualism about nefarious non-productive wealth extracting usurious industries - in essence be shallow. People hire their own culturally and Jewish success is complicitous with all the other religiously nepotistic sub-cultures including female and hyper-masculine sub-cultures participating in American self-destructive self-serving "meritocratic" mediocrity seeking mediocrity values. Hollywood is a complicitous sub-culture. Success!

2:09 PM  

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