September 09, 2018

Geopolitics & Empire

Hi There Wafers-

Some of you may remember that I did several interviews over the past few years with an outfit called the Geopolitics Institute, which was based at the Tecnologico de Monterrey, Guadalajara branch. The fellow who ran that, Hrvoje Moric, finally left the Tec and relocated in Kazakhstan, of all places, keeping the program as a podcast. New name: Geopolitics & Empire. So he called me from Kazakhstan, and we did yet another interview. Possibly old stuff for Wafers, but who knows, there may be a few other people listening. Check it out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXdEmdN67dU

170 Comments:

Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gee, what a surprise:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/09/08/world/asia/us-misleads-on-afghanistan.html?action=click&module=In%20Other%20News&pgtype=Homepage&action=click&module=News&pgtype=Homepage

Afghanistan has been called "the graveyard of empires," because every empire that got involved in a war there--and there have been quite a few--died. But we're going to be the exception. Sure we are.

mb

7:45 AM  
Anonymous J Needleman said...

In the Neurotic Beauty Department:

https://aeon.co/amp/essays/how-psychoanalysis-came-to-japan-and-was-turned-on-its-head

- How psychoanalysis came to Japan and was turned on its head –

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Morris,

EXCELLENT INTERVIEW!!

12:34 PM  
Blogger BM C said...

The event you mentioned Hillary looking like a crazy person at was a festival in Central Park called "Ozyfest". It was a celebration of Neo-liberalism that was part music festival, part Ted Talk. Hillary was the headline speaker that also included Steven Pinker, Malcolm Gladwell, Karl Rove and Tom Perez.

No, this wasn't a joke. It was real.

If you want to hear it hilariously made fun of, the boys at the podcast Chapo Trap House attended and have all the details:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpAM-mUAavQ

2:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

BM-

Jesus, what a collection of human garbage. American 'sages': the US certainly deserves them. The worst, shallowest thinking the country has ever seen.

mb

2:53 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Morris, Yikes – here’s my comment again. GREAT INTERVIEW! BM C, Hillary and Karl together tells you everything you need to know.

I’m always torn as to how much people are responsible for their stupidity, especially considering how dumbed down and brainwashed we are. I think I once talked about the difference between nescience (the information is simply not available) and ignorance (the information is available, but you choose to ignore it).

While evangelicals may appear to be kind and have a genuine love of god, they choose to be ignorant. – How else to explain their inversion of the teachings of Christ into things like the prosperity gospel? Come on, you don’t have to be a genius to know what Jesus thought about moneychangers and the rich. And since the evangelical mind-set tends to harshly judge those who fall outside their belief system (many expect to be raptured and are delighted to know that the “sinners” will suffer), they’re often inclined to accept and excuse truly evil, egregious behavior (I include Catholics here vis-à-vis the Church) without question. So it would appear that some responsibility for what’s gone wrong has to be assigned to them: Nescience is one thing, ignorance is something else entirely. Naiveté, immaturity, even brainwashing might be an explanation, but are they an excuse?

3:06 PM  
Blogger Eduard Florinescu said...

A lot of people beat the drum with the idea of a Civil War in America
https://tomluongo.me/2018/09/06/clarity-road-civil-war/

Now to someone in Europe something like a Civil War in 21st century looks rather far-fetched, what do you think is this a real possibility?

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Great interview; unfortunately I cannot share with any usa-er b/c indeed, they'll start flailing their arms, red faced, and spraying saliva as they scream abt they adulation for usa, usa!

Complete denial of reality.

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Zen Citizen said...

@Bill Hicks: The lies and ignorance on display in that hit piece — hate piece, actually — about Rebecca Solnit you linked to (among the final comments to “Getting Ready”) are so egregious that it may be a story "with a unique detail we haven't seen before," as you put it, only because does not merit wider exposure than the anonymous Tumblr site where you found it.

For example: The author falsely claims that “Solnit does not mention [in the Guardian article he rails against] even one tangible thing that McCain did that should warrant any type of nuanced consideration.” In fact, Solnit mentions McCain's having “ended the Trump plan to end the Affordable Care Act" and the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill. That's two things; there may be others. As for the author's ignorance, he attributes Solnit's "national prominence" to having coined or popularized the concept of "mansplaining" in her essay, Men Who Explain Things. In fact, Solnit has been nationally prominent at least since, 2004, when she won the National, I repeat, National Book Critics Circle award for her book, "River of Shadows." Solnit was not exactly obscure.

I'm no fan of John McCain; in fact, I was the first to call attention here to Rolling Stone's "Make-Believe Maverick" piece. I am a fan of Rebecca Solnit, though, and as such I hate to think that Wafers unfamiliar with her work will dismiss it merely because you evangelized one of her detractors by displaying a hyperlink consisting of his sensationalistic clickbait headline.

In a key passage in the Solnit piece that your blogger so disparages she laments the diminution of "the possibility of complex conversation, and perhaps even that habit of appraising and evaluating and reaching ambiguous, ambivalent conclusions we call thinking." Touché. Dr. B has repeatedly said here that "Americans don't do nuance." That's certainly the case with your blogger, whose identical charge against Solnit reveals itself to be sheer projection. Disappointing.

4:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike-

Here's an idea for an interesting expt: find some colleague or neighbor or whatever, and just play him that short part of the interview in wh/I describe Americans acting like assholes. Then, confront him with some fact abt American history: e.g., that we murdered 3 million Vietnamese peasants and tortured tens of thousands, or that McNamara knew in 1965 that we cdn't win the war and sent thousands of American kids to their deaths, etc. Then, after the guy sprays and raves, *replay* that same section of the interview. Then tell him: "You're a horse's ass." (Bring yr videocamera w/u.)

Speaking of horses' asses, one of the great ones, as I've stated b4 (e.g. see "Declinism Rising"), is Francis Fukuyama, who pronounced the End of History in 1992. His soft-headed thinking is apparently at it again w/a bk called "Identity." Astutely deconstructed by Louis Menand in the Sept. 3 issue of the New Yorker. Honestly, if the American university system contains a larger turkey, I'm not aware of it. (Well, Pinker, perhaps.)

mb

5:16 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Wafers,

I've reread this article from 2014 today, which is one of my all-time favourites. It's literally one of the only 2 or 3 articles that I've ever read online, that I'd want to print an offline copy of, should the internet go down forever:

http://zenarchery.com/2014/08/everyone-i-know-is-brokenhearted/

Enjoy if you've never read it.

Kanye

5:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

2 new bks on the destructiveness/stupidity of political correctness reviewed on p. 1 of the NYTBR, Sept. 2. Reviewer says that both bks indicate that the only way to save the country is to develop an educated citizenry that can think in terms of nuance. (Exactly how this is to be accomplished is not specified, oddly enuf.) He agrees. What seems to be missing here is a frank admission by the authors, or the reviewer, that the country consists of pathetic buffoons who have shit for brains; which I think might tend to get in the way of this potentially wonderful development.

mb

6:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

And look at this:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/09/09/under-trump-jobs-boom-has-finally-reached-blue-collar-workers-will-it-last/?utm_term=.1ace081bf6c2

6:56 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Zen Citizen--sorry, but we're just going to have to agree to disagree on that point. Solnit's "mansplaining" is part and parcel of how out of control identity politics has gotten. It isn't enough for modern feminists to be treated on par with their male counterparts--they aim to take over the top dog spot but NOT fundamentally change the system.

There is no "complexity" in McCain's legacy, any more than there is in that of Bush, Obama, Hillary or any of America's other major war criminals. Obamacare is a disaster that was pushed by Obama to short circuit Medicare-for-All (and is supported, not-coincidentally, by the sick care industry that is HUGE in Arizona). The only reason McCain cared about campaign finance is because the one "positive" thing he ever did in all his years in the Senate was co-sponsoring the utterly toothless McCain-Feingold law, and even then he only went that far because the Keating Five bribery scandal almost destroyed his precious political career and he needed some kind of political cover to save his own ass.

As far as I'm concerned, Solnit can take her "complexity" argument about that evil bastard McCain and go "feministsplain" it to someone else. Even making such an argument is designed to keep people from seeing McCain for the inhuman monster he truly was.

8:19 PM  
Anonymous Aaron Thomas said...

Kayne -

Not sure that's the best article out there. Seems like somebody who has been going with the flow and is just now realizing that there's a problem with the way we live.

I do wish there were some massive collection just of works on the theme of criticism of modernity. There are other multi-volume bibliographies for things like science fiction, why not criticism of modernity?

I don't think enough people are able to connect the dots between people across the world over the previous 10-20 generations. Recently I've been interested in the history of the catholic church and its response to modernity over the last 200 years. It's pretty interesting to see how different things were in the 19th and early 20th century.

At this point modernity has sucked up everything. I even point the church, I suspect that at least 95% of the people who claim Christianity are just going to keep up appearances, and they don't really believe/follow the message. This pattern of modernity infecting everything has largely been completed at this point, not many people left out of it.

8:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Aaron-

There are hundreds of bks on the subject, possibly thousands, but no bibliography I know of. You might start with Rene Guenon, or Alasdair MacIntyre, or Owen Barfield, or Neil Postman. My Reenchantment bk probably fits the mold as well. Works of John Ruskin. Biographies of Gandhi.

mb

9:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

No Djoking around!:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/sports/wp/2018/09/09/djokovic-defeats-del-potro-in-the-u-s-open-to-claim-his-14th-grand-slam-title-and-tie-sampras-for-third-all-time/?utm_term=.e25abb273ce1

9:49 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

The sociologist Laurie Taylor examines college hook-up culture and contrasts the US with the UK.

Many shows on BBC Radio 4 would likely be labeled 'hate speech' if presented to a mass American audience. Here the presenters suggest there may be some link between the US' culture of cold sexual objectification and the high number of sexual assaults on college campus.

Yet, in spite of noting just how callous these attitudes are, the presenters don't fall into the twin American error of prudery/repression. They emphasize that casual sex itself is not a new, horrible thing- it's the compulsion to engage in it in a completely joyless, callous way that's uniquely American.

What a sad, miserable society. Even the most normal human pleasures are commodified and rendered worthless. Really pitiable.

9:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: And speaking of tennis: Serenagate shd burn up the airwaves for a few wks now:

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2018/sep/09/serena-williams-womens-treatment-tennis-us-open-final

10:19 PM  
Anonymous Wudufugel said...

Sar - I know the struggle fwiw. Most of my family are southern baptist Christians, "soft" evangelicals I would call them. I want to think the best of them because I love them but as you say, at what point do you start to hold a person accountable for their beliefs? I'm sure my opinions will evolve some more, that's what opinions do I guess, but the point I'm at is that so many of these people have not been given the tools to do any real critical thinking about all this stuff. They're trapped in right-wing propaganda world, with no other frame of reference to compare against it.

The majority of old-school country people around where I live have never traveled, never really read books for pleasure (or learning), have no higher education, etc. As cornball as it sounds to say it aloud, critical thinking based on evidence is a skill that has to be learned, and America has done a crappy ass job of teaching it to its citizens for decades now. 2 Corinthians says "Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously".

For the blog's enjoyment, Ohio DOT misspells "Cincinnati" on highway sign. Link

10:23 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...


Why the fall of the American Empire will come by 2030...


https://www.google.com/amp/s/bigthink.com/paul-ratner/the-fall-of-the-american-empire-will-come-by-2030-predicts-famed-historian.amp

4:46 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

Sounds like McCoy has been following me around w/a notepad. Yes, as I said in my interview, we'll be toast by 2030, if not b4. Only thing McCoy failed to pt out is that a major factor in our decline is a population of 327 million turkeys who don't know shit abt anything.

mb

5:27 AM  
Anonymous FerQ said...

Prof. Berman and Wafers: About the Suez Moment, a few yrs ago a co-worker at my then job talked about this and gave the scenario of the US planning to attack another nation and then China uses its economic leverage (the debts) to prevent it. That is when everybody realizes that the US no longer dominates the world. Now about the collapse of the US itself, I am not a prophet but from what I can imagine, if a secessionist movement like the Calexit movement succeeds then other secessionists movements will quickly gain support and that would be the end of the Union. BTW, does anyone know how popular is the Calexit movement?
About Evangelicals/Christianity, if I remember correctly, I think it was Chris Hedges who said that in the US most churches don´t preach real Christianity, they preach and promote Americanism.
Happy Hour- in a previous post you mention how Americans scapegoat others. It seems to me that being a minority esp. Latino in the US now is like being Jewish in Europe in the 1930s. I fear for my family and the few friends I have in the US.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

An interesting defense of Liberalism from a Libertarian. I would still rather slaughter my enemies and rally to my friends, but I give the guy an A for effort. The best part is around the 14 minute mark when he discuses Carl Schmitt who I think is an absolutely fascinating historical figure.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NDRqsQWung

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Pete Christen said...

MB: Great interview. Thanks the dose of reality. It is far too late to save this country. We have passed the point of no return. Prosperity has destroyed us, as it did Rome in the first century, a fact captured by Seneca in his essay "On Providence" (II, 6-10):
"Bodies grown fat through sloth are weak, and not only labor, but even movement and their very weight cause them to break down. Unimpaired prosperity cannot withstand a single blow; but he who has struggled constantly with his ills becomes hardened through suffering; and yields to no misfortune; nay, even if he falls, he still fights upon his knees."

Go into any American airport or mall. You will see puffy contortions that once were bipeds but have become---thanks to unimpaired prosperity--pallid, anxious, blobs of nervous flesh. When the final blow comes, they will not be able to withstand it.

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

A new study provides what might be a small surprise for the Declinists. US violence is not so exceptional in the world as a whole, but rather in the developed world. There are plenty of countries in the world with mass violence problems as bad or worse than the US, but they are considered "third world nations" or even "failed states". And of course, our "mainstream media" has little interest in such places, so we don't really see much news about violence when brown people are the victims.

RealClearPolitics: Mass Shootings in America
Quote:
In raw numbers, the U.S. still made the Top 10 on Lott’s list, but barely. Leading the pack is India, followed by Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Algeria, Columbia, Nigeria, and the Philippines leading us. (Sudan has the dubious distinction of coming in 10th.)

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

Dr. B, congratulations on your interview, it was excellent, as always!

Kanye, I liked your posting, very much. Sums up how I've felt for awhile. Commenter Erika(Something) said "my most recent existential horror was realizing that even you white people aren’t safe from white people." Yup.

Dr. B, I hope SerenaGate doesn't go all Kardashian, but she does say what us non-militant, non-feminist females want: we just want to be treated like everyone else. The double standard has been talked about for years yet still exists.

Also, the results as they happened were probably more about creating attention for tennis, advertising, "there's no such thing as bad press".

Anyway, my two cents, about all this may be worth. (And I really did like your post, Kanye).


7:24 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@MB--thought you'd be interested to know that the old neon sign for NYC's old 2nd Ave Deli was recently discovered lying in a junk pile and was returned to the grandson of the original owner, who now wants to place it in the Jewish Museum.

This recent post from Umair Haque is quite good: Why America’s a More Violent Society Than You Think. I found this point to be particularly pertinent: "Americans aren’t just at the risk of being shot, or their kids shooting each other — they’re forever at the brink of of losing their livelihoods, homes, belongings, incomes, families, health, and even their lives. Bang! Gone. The spectre of ruin, just one step away, is relentless, and it never ends, tires, or changes. Hence, the average American lives his whole life under an ever-present billy-club of threat and intimidation — of genuine and very real violence befalling them, if they’re not 'productive' or 'useful' or 'employable' (or even 'healthy' or 'strong' or 'young') enough."

Just this week, my wife and I were informed that because we had made the grievous error of misplacing our property tax bill and paying it two weeks late we were being assessed over $300 in late fees and penalties. There are a lot of Americans for whom receiving such an unexpected financial hit would be the first step toward becoming homeless. But I'm sure the Democratic county executive where I live as well as Virginia's Democratic governor really give a damn.

9:13 PM  
Blogger Alogon said...

Browsing with pleasure, on his site, some essays by Bruce Bawer, here's this at the conclusion of his review of an ambitious project to publish the letters of Henry James. The prodigious output of some past writers with pen in hand-- no typewriter or other such inventions-- is mind-boggling to me. If and when the project is complete, it will fill almost an entire section in a library's stacks. Bawer wonders whether the press, the country, or the human race will last long enough to see its completion.

Bawer himself is a prophet as well as a graceful literary critic in the old style, with some of Dr. Berman's concerns. After the publication of his book _Stealing Jesus_ he had the taste to become an ex-pat even before Morris did, and now lives in Norway.

"The kind of delicacy, distinction, and discrimination (in the best sense) that James stood for is an attribute neither of the culturally democratic Net nor of the impatient, historyless, rubbish-loving, short-attention-span postmodern civilization at the center of which it stands. Elitism has become an expletive; the credentialed opinion-mongers of our time tell us that artistic standards are offensive. All too many of today’s young minds receive, at the hands of the teachers and new-media hucksters who shape their minds, a brand of “education” that renders them grievously capable of being violated by just about any idea, or ideology—the more vulgar, the better."

11:32 PM  
Blogger Art McTeagle said...

Very good interview. Hedges interviewed McCoy, on RT "On Contact" in a similar vein, on the coming end of the US Empire..
Maintaining 'Empire' is becoming even more difficult, as around 70% of U.S. Youth are ineligible for military service, on account of being too dumb, too obese, too criminal (or combination thereof).
The epic scale of the tragic irony, in this unfolding (melo)drama would delight, if only the ramifications were not so dire.
I'm doubtful that China will rise very far, it will be a pyrrhic domination at best, they have their own colossal problems.The ongoing disruptive impact of Climate Change, will be devastating around the world, throwing all established paradigms into chaos.

4:07 AM  
Blogger Art McTeagle said...

‘Idiocracy’ Come True: Even Pentagon Says Morons Are Inheriting the Earth
https://observer.com/2018/08/pentagon-most-americans-are-too-fat-stupid-to-enlist-in-the-military/amp/

4:21 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Re: SerenaGate

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/serena-was-no-victim-of-racism-or-sexism/21782

As a lifelong tennis player and fan, what Tennis has become is really depressing. Where are the McEnroes, the Marat Safins, the Agassis? I mean notwithstanding his accomplishments, how DULL is a guy like Novak Djokovic? Just like his shots, every word of his is scripted, rehearsed, polished for maximum efficiency. There's no spark, no spontaneity, no provocation. Political Correctedness and douchebaggery will take down any spark of joy left in this world. There's no respite from it, even in Sports.

Kanye

4:43 AM  
Anonymous BB said...

"Embedded in theology, shrouded in medieval irrationality, updated to suit leftist economics, & exhumed whenever a single explanation for all the evils of the world is sought.

Anti-semitism: long prone to afflict those who consider themselves virtuous"
https://www.thejc.com/comment/comment/howard-jacobson-speech-intelligence-squared-1.469525

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Great interview, thank you for posting the link.

In douchebag news, here is an article on the elite humanitarians of Silicon Valley. These are the people who are supposedly going to save us.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/09/the-win-win-fallacy/569434/

This reminds me of the Powder Mountain article Wafers posted in the comments to an older blog entry.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/mar/16/powder-mountain-ski-resort-summit-elite-club-rich-millennials

Reading about these people makes me nostalgic for the yuppies of the 1980s. At least they didn’t try to dress up their greed in the garb of social justice. I think these Silicon Valley types are much more dangerous than your typical Wolf of Wall Street type because they really believe that they have some kind of mission to change the world and of course everyone has to get in line with their plans or get labeled a hopeless dinosaur.

8:08 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

A country with the luxury of talking about Serenagate is either too perfect to have any problems or too far gone to solve them. Its citizens would say the former; anybody with a brain would say the latter.

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Ouch! said...

Washington feels like the capital of a state where the legal order has collapsed - because it is

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/washington-feels-like-the-capital-of-an-occupied-country/2018/09/07/d116d40c-b2b3-11e8-9a6a-565d92a3585d_story.html

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Samantha said...

This makes for grim reading. But if we expand our horizon beyond what Mann clearly regards as the exhausted model of Western Keynesianism, it might not be grim enough. If, faced with fundamental environmental challenges, Keynesianism is reaching its ultimate limit, will it end with a whimper or a bang? Beijing faces the classical Keynesian dilemmas raised to a new level of extremity. Xi’s ‘Chinese dream’ is the most spectacular Keynesian promise ever made. The underlying fear of domestic unrest is palpable, the scale of repression is astonishing, but so is the gamble on growth. There is no counterpart in Western experience to the astonishing transformation in the fortunes of a population of more than a billion people in a matter of thirty years. But like any instance of rapid capitalist growth, China’s boom is fraught with danger. The country’s finances are highly unstable. The boom generates deep inequality at home, while abroad it incurs the envy of the United States, a declining hegemon with erratic politics and a track record of aggression. Added to which few places on earth experience the environmental costs of growth more acutely than China. Large parts of the country are at risk of becoming uninhabitable. The promise of growth is more real and more life-altering than ever. But so too is the possibility of catastrophe. Keynesians insist that we resist the blandishment of future calm to focus on the turmoil of the present. But on a rapidly warming planet, the waters are calmer now than they will be later. Just decades from now, a large part of humanity may count itself lucky if it is only in the long run that we are all dead.

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v40/n17/adam-tooze/tempestuous-seasons

Tempestuous Seasons
Adam Tooze
In the Long Run We Are All Dead: Keynesianism, Political Economy and Revolution by Geoff Mann

9:15 AM  
Anonymous Lauren Miller said...

PICKED UP THIS NEW TXT ~ It's by the co-founded for The Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at Demos. Contemporary Mcluhan-type research on how technology is changing society. Reading about this piece of software, trialed (apparently) in some Chinese schools, that constantly tracks whether pupils are paying attention.

Sometimes it feels like the Chinese state watched Black Mirror and literally turned it into a series of policy documents.

The Death of the Gods: The New Global Power Grab

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Death-Gods-Global-Power-Grab/dp/1785151339/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=sl1&tag=deathofthegodspre-awareness-21&linkId=ce198edd758dd13018c3d9af2246a2fe

9:43 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

I don't post Anons. Pls check in with yr actual name (Hector). Also note we have a half-page-max limit on this blog. Thanks.

Art-

Pls post only once every 24 hrs. Thanks.

Puss-

Double standard: kinda murky. Many people have written in in the wake of Serena's meltdown, citing instances of men getting penalized, so claim that they get preferred treatment is a bit shaky.

Sav-

Comparison may not be valid. Countries at top of list are often suffering extreme conditions--civil war, revolution, political upheaval. This is not the situation in the US.

Pete-

We need an update on that film. Call it "The Blobs."

mb

10:00 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Reports out of Philadelphia reveal that a frustrated worker at a Checkers fast-food establishment has been arrested, facing charges of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment after a Saturday 3 AM (9 Sep) dispute over a food order. When the employee refused to change the order and the three women in the car refused to leave the drive-through, the worker threw a cup of hot grease at the refractory patrons. When the first missile proved ineffective, the worker—who happened to be the franchise manager on duty—then threw two pans of grease at the trio. The driver of the car was transported to a local hospital suffering from first-degree burns; her companions were treated on the scene.

Another argument unrelated to health and dietary concerns for avoiding fast food places, especially in the wee hours.

http://www.foxnews.com/food-drink/2018/09/09/philadelphia-checkers-employee-allegedly-threw-hot-grease-on-customer-in-drive-thru-over-order-dispute.html

10:49 AM  
Blogger alyosha said...

BTW, does anyone know how popular is the Calexit movement?

I live in CA, CalExit is a fringe movement at best. I expect it to pick up traction once the Supreme Court gets even more extreme, and gets serious about rolling back the 20th and 19th centuries. I'm astonished at how the rate of demolition (bad/corrupt rulings) has increased over the last 10-20 years, beginning with Bush v Gore, Citizens United, and so on.

A big problem will be partitioning stuff like the big naval base at San Diego, the nuclear research facilities at Livermore and so on. They're our analog to Fort Sumter (a union garrison) in the South - the South attempted to drive the Union off their newly seceded territory. It didn't work.

10:58 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Just found this U-tube presentation of Chris Hedges and Sheldon Wolin from 2014 discussing whether capitalism and democracy can co-exist and inverted totalitarianism - the exclusion of the people from any decisionmaking while the government is enshrined as being 'of the people, by the people and for the people'. Wolin gives some autobiographical information too. This discussion lasts just under 3 hours but it is well worth listening to. Wolin believes that 'continuous revolution' (agreeing with Trotsky) is needed for democracy to exist and he feels that Americans in particular are simply exhausted by the struggle to make a living and he is not all that hopeful for American democracy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGc8DMHMyi8

12:00 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

That Observer article on "Idiocracy" was fairly interesting, Art McTeagle, but I wonder if the editors considered the celebrity articles that followed it to be symptomatic of the very problems cited by John R. Schindler.

I have to agree with Hector Díaz Iriarte Urquiola about the influence of US junk culture outside the 48 states. It's obviously bad in Canada, but I've seen it in Europe (in France, celebrities are called "les People") as well. There's a marvellous town in Anjou called Doué-la-Fontaine that I've visited that is so steeped in culture that we can be nothing but envious. For example, it's the site of the first known stone castle in Europe, dating from Carolingian times. I recall sitting in an outdoor Gallo-Roman ampitheatre during the rose festival, most of which took place in the adjacent troglodyte (not an insult - there's an old underground town there!) excavations, listening horrid modern pop music being played over the arena's sound system. Why? Why?

By the way, what's up with the hasbarniks continued spamming of this site with their anti-Corbyn propaganda? I get that Israel is a strategic outpost of the US Empire, but...OK, I just answered my own question.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

Well done Trumpi... Lets kill with impunity... John Bolton threatens ICC with sanctions

@Savantesimal -- John Lott is a pro gun advocate and lot of his statistics have been proved to be cherry picked .. some have gone as far to call his studies bogus and label him a fraud.. so i would take any list from him with a giant grain of salt... Being an Indian and having lived in many countries including USA, I can tell you from my personal experience that I feel much safer in other countries compared to USA.. India has a couple of states with law and order issues (plus Kashmir conflict) but I don't feel scared for my life (of course India has shitload of other problems of it's own) ... but in USA you are almost in a state of perpetual fear.. it feels like you are in a war zone..

bogus claims of social scientist debunked
GOP's favourite gun academic is a fraud
Does the US lead in mass shootings

1:47 PM  
Anonymous blase said...

BM C thank you for that Chapo podcast, really captures the mind-F, sharp moderators. Additional thanks for the Everyone I Know essay as well although the ending sputtered. The "progressives" (NPR types) cling to ideas of techno-narcissism like a religion because the abyss is too painfully dissonant. Softies. Interestingly even people like D. Orlov had kids who can hopefully fight it out somewhere in Siberia someday.

I've lived as Carlin or G. McPherson or a deer in headlights. It's always been too much. The worst people benefit when everything is corrupted. Corp state antithetical to honesty. Trump has been unexpectedly amazing in important ways but too little too late. Maybe he can achieve some payback in the blow-back. The next few months will be politically fascinating perversely. Lefties are showing their incomprehensible lame colors still picking fights with cultures they don't understand. A grande finally to globalism, communism in disguise, or mercantilism, or whatever. Amazing with all this access to info how people got even dumber. In a fair world Pinker, etc., wouldn't even have jobs.

2:56 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Wudufugal, My brother and I grew up in the same household, received pretty much the same education, and yet he is addicted to FOX News and Rush Limbaugh. This, in spite of the fact that his son, of whom is very, very proud, is gay. He is so in your face about his beliefs that, in response only (I never initiate), I no longer hold back. Last time we got together I finally asked him why he spent so much time brainwashing himself. BTW, he’s intelligent, respected, successful and wealthy.

My favorite definition of the word belief is conviction without evidence. For most people reinforcing their beliefs is more important than the truth. Everyone eventually gets a wake up call. The question is, will they take it to heart and examine their life, or will they ignore it? Most people opt to ignore.

Morris, fellow Wafers, I hope you’ll enjoy the visual to be found just past the four minute mark on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5tAGlFMyII

3:04 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Sar-

Most Americans, say 99%, never get a wake up call.

blase-

Wd appreciate it if you wd stick to one single topic in each post, having to do with decline of empire, and provide evidence for yr views. This is how the blog works (mostly). Thank you.

al-

Hasbarniks? This site? Dunno what yr referring to. Also, I never posted Hector's message. Confused!

mb

3:22 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wafers-

I'm at an internet cafe, and the computer decided to call me Unknown. Sorry!

mb

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

Agreed, Dr. B. I knew I was on shaky ground.

It's a personal thing. Her comment about being treated "like everybody else" resonated due to an incident at work.

Short version: called a guy out for *not* doing something for two months (and not saying anything about it) and then trying to make it my problem when it mattered that he hadn't done it. He then claimed I was attacking his "work ethic" when I complained. Next thing I know, his boss's boss is blocking me as I exit an elevator and giving me stinkface (threatening facial gesture). Did I feel threatened? Yup.

Freaking work is a war zone, and I don't see it ever getting better.

I haven't followed the drama itself. I really don't care, if that makes any sense. Making mountains out of molehills is the status quo to capture or divert attention. I do like watching her play, and this won't change that.

Best to all,
Puss

5:06 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Sure "Unknown" (if that's really your name), you posted Hector's message, under the handle "Anonymous." It was signed. I copied and pasted his signature from his post...which is no longer on the site.

I say hasbarnik because the posts such as that by "BB" (cue the two-minute hate) that have appeared here recently seem to be part of a campaign to discredit Jeremy Corbyn.

5:11 PM  
Blogger Art McTeagle said...

Eduard Florinescu, it seems to me, that those beating the Civil War drums are mostly the ones who wish it. There aren't the clear, delineated geopolitical lines of the 1860's anymore. But with hundreds of militia type groups, such as the 'Proud Boys', armed and ready in the wings, bloodshed could happen. If one happens to be of color or the 'wrong' ethnicity, watch out!
Armed civilian Nutters-just another facet of the accelerating decline.

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Sarastic Steve said...

Unknown MB -

Sorry, but Known MB doesn't post Unknowns or Anonymous!

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Ollie said...

Re: NYTBR ... on a very unlikely educated citizenry ...

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/08/opinion/sunday/civil-society-library.html

In Defense of the Library


Still very unlikely to me. But a fine Dual Process Effort, for sure!

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Hector Díaz Iriarte Urquiola said...

First time commenting, but have been a lurker since circa 2007.

I don’t share (optimistic?) outlook of imminent US collapse. Long-term decline, however, certain and happening now. I’ll keep this brief.

Those hoping for PRC to instigate a “Suez moment”, say, will likely be disappointed. US/China dynamic geopolitically adversarial, but economically it’s complex. Despite saber-ratting of PLA/N, CPC politburo will prefer to intercede and manage US in a slow, controlled decline, allowing it to be defanged militarily/diplomatically, but remain significant economic power. Important if China is unable to transition economy away from current export-led model. PRC relies on US as its #1 customer.

Also, having lived/traveled abroad with dual citizenship, other nations can be as shallow and self-destructive as US. At least in Latin America, East Asia, and parts of Europe which I know personally, the influence of junk American culture—fourth-wave feminism, pointless consumption, awful music, and obsession with trivial minutiæ of American “celebrities”—is ubiquitous.

We may live to see—unexpectedly and to our chagrin, as well as Otto von Bismarck’s—that providence does indeed (if inexplicably) look after children, fools, and the United States.

Thank you, Dr. Berman, for your work. You’re among the rare shafts of light beaming in the darkness.

7:36 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Greetings Wafers everywhere, here is your news update from Cascadia:

In Lakewood, a Washington city south of Seattle, a man attending his son’s youth football game was shot by the coach after a “disagreement. But wait – it’s more complicated: the coach was the boy’s mother’s boyfriend, and she was arrested for rendering criminal assistance:

https://www.theolympian.com/news/local/crime/article218165280.html

This week’s Cascadian Empathy Award goes to two teenagers and an adult male in Auburn, Washington who stood by at a convenience store at 5:41 p.m. as the clerk succumbed to a “medical emergency,” and after the clerk was lying on the floor, helped themselves to cash in the till:

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/crime/police-teens-store-ignore-auburn-clerk-after-he-collapses-return-to-steal-cash/

And finally, a Seattle Times in a back-to-school story mentioned that there are 40,000 homeless students in the state of Washington. Whoa… 40,000? Another indicator of how Merican society is falling apart:

https://www.seattletimes.com/education-lab/for-homeless-students-in-rural-washington-districts-just-getting-to-school-is-hard/

9:09 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

“Neoliberalism gave us Trump”...


https://youtu.be/tDwoINEGNw0



Yeah, because getting an education is worthless...


https://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/more-companies-dropping-college-degree-requirement-for-new-hires

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

MB & Wafers, sorry to be absent for so long - we had company from the US for the last couple weeks. (When you live in Italy, everyone wants to come visit).

I brought said guest to all the usual, and a few unusual, tourist places, so spent the last weekend in Rome. Now, I love Rome, but not in the summer when it's hot and the hordes descend upon the city, following their leaders waving little flags. I've not been for a few years, and it was even more assaulting than I remembered. @Pete Christen - your Seneca quote was timely indeed, described the mass of overweight folks wandering about in a daze to a T. Sigh.

Interestingly, said guest also spends 3 - 4 months every winter in Puerto Vallarta, said she went into a depression when she got back to the US last March. It was the warmth of the people there, and the lack of any compassion in most Americans, that finally hit her. She’s inching towards a decision to leave the US, although it will take her a while yet. Although she is not close to becoming a Wafer (a pussy hat fan!), she is very compassionate to others, helped me considerably when my mother was ill and I was 8 hours away - I'll be forever grateful for that. A characteristic lacking in many.

Lastly, good article from Sep 5th from Henry Giroux in Truthout.com, "Neoliberal Fascism & The Twilight of the Social". https://truthout.org/articles/neoliberal-fascism-and-the-twilight-of-the-social/ Goes through how our system is attacking all social bonds, making everything subservient to corporate interests, etc. Apologies if someone else posted it previously and I missed it.

Today I am finally home, guest is gone, and I am listening to our neighbor's rooster. All is now right with the world.

1:21 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Regarding Idiocracy, it occurred to me that with the MGTOW's furiously masturbating to Internet porn and the Hillary dead-enders wanting to emasculate every American male, the premise of the movie whereby only the "dumb" reproduce until all the smart people die off is coming to pass even faster than Mike Judge predicted. Of course, as MB says, in America even the smart people are stupid.

@alosha--another problem with Calexit it would seem to me is that places like San Diego and Bakersfield might not be hip to going along. I have a high school friend who retired from the Navy and now lives in San Diego, and can just imagine his reaction to the idea.

@Ouch!--that article about Washington was written by Anne Applebaum, one of the most notorious neocons on the ComPost editorial page. The "legal order" has indeed collapsed here--and the collection of major war criminals who attended McCain's funeral are far more responsible than Trump for that state of affairs.

@Tom S--indeed, give me a run-of-the-mill greedy financial hustler over a fanatical ideologue any day of the week. Zuckerburg, Bezos, Musk, etc., are like the Bond villains with their messianic desire to "rule" the world.

3:19 AM  
Anonymous Teri Schooley said...

Dr. Berman, et al,
I found this to be an interesting little essay about militarism, anti-immigration impulses, war-mongering and the decline of life in general. The author does not limit himself to the US, although it is primarily about US history.

Couple of quotes: "The U.S. and Europe both are seeing a return of the most virulent xenophobic bigotry imaginable. A revanchist fascist sensibility has found a startling legitimacy in the public and in the media. And no amount of argument seems to sway white liberals today that the FBI and CIA and Pentagon are anything but virtuous and honourable institutions."

"Everywhere I go ..even to places I love such as Copenhagen or Gothenburg… I sense an uptick in martial vibes. Especially among younger men. No jobs, no pride, no place for courage or honour. There is only the numbing monotony of iPads or smart phones or social media. And a debilitating projection of this fear onto immigrants and foreigners in general. In the U.S. it is worse. For in the U.S. the cultural realm has never been so denuded and dead. It is the province of the bureaucratic technicians of banality and the trivial. And it is now a country of all encompassing anger. That McCain was given (or gave himself, who knows) the moniker 'maverick' says it all. Its a nostalgia for a counterfeit past. For an invented history wiped clean of atrocity. And it provides ever less even momentary relief from the dire future everyone knows is coming." - John Steppling

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/12/unravelling/

- Teri

5:59 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

The future is bright Wafers!

More teens would rather text their friends than hang out IRL
https://qz.com/1379989/do-teens-spend-too-much-time-on-social-media/

6:11 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Noting that Corbyn drinks an awful lot of tea with an awful lot of anti-Semites isn't "hasbara".

And as far as that goes, since I was once quite serious about moving there, I've done my research and not only is Israel far, far less dangerous a place to live than the US is, but that if the US decided to "cut them off" with no more "store credit" to buy US-made arms, Israel would just shrug and say something like, "Eh, whatever" and carry on. Israel is far more self-sufficient than the average US'ian thinks, and not only that, but they don't ride camels to work and their bosses don't take the flying carpet.

7:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

italiana-

Always gd to hear from the Peninsula. Pls watch length. Thanks.

Steve-

Scroll back, see my message abt it. Have you ever considered the possibility that yr a douche bag? I'd look into it, if I were you.

al-

OK...as explained, I was at an Internet cafe, and the computer started doing some very strange things. Anyway, I still don't know what a hasbarnik is. Are Israelis flooding this blog with anti-Corbynism? Better they shd send falafel.

Hector-

Welcome to the blog. Pls watch length.

mb

9:57 AM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

WTF? When did this become a 'thing,' is it epidemic?

Couple create bestiality lounge

My psychiatrist might b wafer (how cool is that?) studied history of biology @ your alma mater MB John's Hopkins, he acknowledges the end of our empire and unraveling of social fabric. For 20 yrs he's helped me navigate a razor's edge. Fer instance got a letter from Social Security that they may conduct a full medical review - these letters scare the shit out of me saying things like 'if we find we made a mistake your benefits will terminate and you may have to pay us back.' I swear changing one sentence in the program could send millions into suicide. And come to think of it how many people have any real money? It's all electronic and methinks a 'virtual' run on the bank would make it very easy for people to lose everything.

Will hurricane Florence b enough to wipe clean all those gerrymandered districts in the Carolinas?

11:32 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hello MB & Wafers,

A must see:

https://www.pbs.org/video/left-behind-america-tkmile/

Miles

12:36 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Some outfit calling itself "The Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics" has opened up the school year with a letter threatening parents with student suspensions unless they concede them the right to strike their children.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45490196

My favorite bit here is the use of the term "disciplinary tool box". Instrumental reason ad infinitum.

It's also quite disgusting to see the nice new suburban building housing such medievalist thinking. I guarantee you at some point there was some press bragging about how much money was spent building the school. This is an ominipresent feature of American media ("the 25 million dollar facility") that's completely bizarre when you think about it. It's supposed to make people feel good about whatever the project is- isn't it just evidence of contractor corruption and waste?

I think we need a candidate who sets America straight by encouraging more corporal punishment for adults as well. The corporate boss needs a better management toolbox.

O and D!

2:41 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Under the rubric “God wants me to be rich”...

Nostrum Labs of Missouri recently raised the price of nitrofurantoin by 400 percent (from $475 a bottle to $2400 a bottle). The drug is used to treat bladder infections and is identified by the World Health Organization as an essential drug. Nostrum executive Nirmal Mulye stated when questioned about the price rise that there was a “moral requirement to sell the product at the highest price.” He pointed to a similar rise in the price charged by Nostrum’s competitor Casper Pharma, which charges $2800 for their version of the drug. And, in the course of Mulye’s defense, he had a good word for “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli, convicted felon and drugs douchebag who in 2015 had increased the price of his Turing Pharmaceuticals drug Daraprim by 5000 percent. That drug is used to fight parasitic infections aflicting AIDS patients and thouse with immune system diseases. (Shkreli was sentenced to 7 years in prison for his larcenous behavior in the hedge fund he managed.)

https://www.ft.com/content/48b0ce2c-b544-11e8-bbc3-ccd7de085ffe?emailId=5b97a22c43babc0004b410b1&segmentId=13b7e341-ed02-2b53-e8c0-d9cb59be8b3b

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Happy Hour Hero said...

Dr. B.: Great interview! I especially enjoyed your line about America-as-religion. It explains so much about how upset the turkeys get whenever I dare criticize the US of A; in their eyes I'm blaspheming the faith and am a heretic.

Hector: Excellent point regarding US-PRC relations and our Suez moment. I think militarily we've crossed squarely into Suez territory with our misadventure in Syria. We've demanded that Assad must go and he still hasn't gone.

Economically however, the US is still capable of wreaking havoc and collapsing whatever third world economy it chooses to should they step out of line.


Our economic Suez is still a ways off apparently.

12:52 AM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

Re Evangelicals, each individual might be different, but as a group, I think they are bags of manure: The business of voluntourism: do western do-gooders actually do harm?

According to a report by Lumos, a London-based group founded by JK Rowling that seeks to end institutionalisation of children, one orphanage in Haiti, established by a US religious organisation after the earthquake in 2010, kept children malnourished and living in filth, with no stimulation. Yet it collected donations averaging $10,000 (£7,700) a year per child – much of which ended up in the director’s bank account, a former staff member alleged. That institution, which Lumos believes was engaged in trafficking and selling children for adoption to families in wealthy countries, recruited children using a baby-finder, who convinced poor parents their children would be better off in the institution. “We’ve seen it in Kenya, Uganda, Cambodia – eerily similar patterns,” says Alex Christopolous, deputy chief executive of Lumos.

3:50 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

MB & Wafers – mi dispiace! I will watch the length!

First – check out the latest Andrew Bacevich article - https://www.thenation.com/article/after-donald-trump-america-will-still-be-in-crisis/ He correctly assesses that Trump just the latest manifestation of the strange path the US has been on for some time, and is not sanguine about the prospects of changing that trajectory.

@Teri – thanks for the link to that counterpunch article! (I missed a lot over the last two weeks!) Excellent discussion of current events, fits in well with the Henry Giroux article I posted yesterday (about the deliberate destruction of social bonds). His discussion at the beginning of the difference between the warm, comraderly feelings, and skepticism of the military and the CIA/FBI to today’s virtual worship/deification of those same organizations is right on. I worked for the US Navy for many years, and found that, with the draft gone, it was easy for the powers that be to manipulate public opinion towards that worship – most of the population doesn’t have any link to or interest in the military anymore, other than superficial ceremonies at baseball games and saying the words “Thank you for your service”. I saw how drastically the atmosphere changed in my career (from 1976 – 2007). The military and the civilians working for the military grew steadily more conservative, militant, and dismissive of the general population.

4:15 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

An interview with Thomas Frank about his new book “Rendezvous with Oblivion: Reports from a Sinking Society” and his critique of the modern Democratic Party.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/09/read-book-itll-make-radical-conversation-thomas-frank.html

Andrew Bacevich argues that Trump represents continuity more than a major break in American politics and culture.

https://lobelog.com/the-donald-in-the-rearview-mirror/

6:45 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tom-

Re: Bacevich: I made that argument 2 yrs ago. See Essay No. 15 of AWTY.

Dio-

Eventually I suspect the toolbox will contain a .357 Magnum. Better discipline, fa sure.

Gunnar-

Always capitalize Wafer. Did yr shrink study with Bill Coleman? I studied with him also.

mb

9:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

New Normal:

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/09/13/us/california-shootings-multiple-dead/index.html

This too:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-cult-of-fragility-on-college-campuses/2018/09/12/1368b146-b5e7-11e8-a2c5-3187f427e253_story.html?utm_term=.f264c2ce071d

9:29 AM  
Anonymous FerQ said...

Prof. Berman- I listened to your interview. Excellent!!! It describes precisely what I saw in the churches in the US and how ppl reacted when I told them that the US sucks and that I was leaving. I am so happy that I don´t live there anymore.

To any Wafers in the Carolinas or other areas in the path of Hurricane Florence- I wish you well. Take care of yourselves. I am not a fanatic but my prayers are with you.

Talking about hurricanes, last year I was living in Puerto Rico when Hurricane Maria devastated the country. I will share more of what I experienced in a later post.


10:23 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

If one needed proof that Americans have shit for brains or that they will commodify even coastal land that may well be underwater in a very few decades or less -here it is!

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/12/north-carolina-didnt-like-science-on-sea-levels-so-passed-a-law-against-it

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Aaron Thomas said...

MB -

This week "the statement on social justice" has been in the news.

https://statementonsocialjustice.com/

I'd be curious on your thoughts about the phrase "social justice" since it's an especially popular topic this week. On one hand, I think social justice as it relates to solidarity and helping disadvantaged people seems good and necessary. On the other hand there is this extreme reaction that I see in places like Union Seminary and on college campuses where people are going way beyond that.

I feel like these extreme groups have latched onto the phrase "social justice", so that the connotation is now that it's about "white guilt", being politically correct, and erasing history. There is of course truth here, with things like all the police shootings of unarmed black men and the prison industrial complex, but I feel like a lot of the social justice talk goes well beyond this.

I think there must be some area in the middle where social justice is good. It can go too far in either direction, where people are completely against social justice on one side, and the opposite end has people that have taken the concept way too far.

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

California shooting: 'Mass shooting' leaves six dead in Bakersfield.

https://www.independent.co.uk › News › World › Americas

usa, usa!

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

Re: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-cult-of-fragility-on-college-campuses/2018/09/12/1368b146-b5e7-11e8-a2c5-3187f427e253_story.html?utm_term=.f264c2ce071d
^^ I agree to a certain extent that there's an issue of “narcissistic victimhood” on college campuses, but don't agree it's quite as widespread as Will is claiming. I'm only 5 years removed from it all and the majority of people I've encountered in my classes cared more about partying and getting laid than being "triggered." I do agree that "administrative bloat" is incredibly widespread and many of those jobs are complete bullshit.

I visited Pittsburgh recently and had a surreal conversation with my Lyft driver. We literally talked about all of the issues discussed in this blog. I must've unknowingly met a fellow Wafer. As he dropped me off, he said I was the first passenger he's ever had that was able to talk about more than just the weather or sports. On very rare occasions, the stars do align in this collapsing hell-hole.

4:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Aaron-

Finally, it's all just froth. The baseline reality is that we are going down the drain, and all of this pol correctness shit is just that: shit. Or theater, if you prefer.

Wafers-

18 yrs after the Twilight bk, numerous writers have finally figured out the US is finished (duh), and are writing bks abt it. I suspect that this sudden wave of declinist bks is commercially successful, dependent on the authors adhering to the following 3 rules (which most do):

1. Never suggest that the American people are stupid or violent, or a major factor in our decline. Present them as victims of corporations, banks, Wall St., etc.
2. Be a patriot. Never suggest the world might be better off with the US outta the way, or that most of the world wd be happy with that development.
3. Suggest a way out, e.g. revolution, the uprising of the masses against their corporate masters, etc. Never say, "It's over, period." Instead, suggest that we'll get thru this.

mb

6:05 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Professor Berman, Wafers worldwide,

I feel a WHOLE lot better today after stopping yesterday at my fave B&N store, 175 miles away down there in civilization, and ordering AWTY? and THWQ. "Print on demand, shipped to your door!" has a nice ring to it. I am about to pee my pants in anticipation! Probably should just aim that water at the nearest redneck...

I gave $2.15, what he requested, to a clean-shaven man with a bicycle, trying to get to work, early Wednesday morning. It felt good.

Samantha, Ouch - thanks for those posts. In a rural setting Monday morning, I informed a book-loving Colorado attorney about the defeat of the Bolshevik army by the Polish army in Poland circa 1920. Synchronicity: My father's father emigrated to amerika in 1904. In noting this, I echo Dr. Mauricio's writings about his peep's emigration to amerika. Otherwise, no GSWH, no Mean Gene. Know what I'm sayin'?

As an aside, Timothy Snyder's two recent books, "On Tyranny" and "The Road to Unfreedom" are highly recommended and Wafer approved. There is a lot in those books about the Polski, L'americon and Rush-ahn experience. Food for thought.

O&D!

6:11 PM  
Blogger Origami Cactus said...

Hector -

China is currently looking to undo their reliance on the United States by looking towards Africa and Eurasia with their one belt one road trade route. China's trade expansion has come along with trade deals with multiple countries. These agreements will probably be able to diffuse their reliance on the United States across the world. Pretty soon they won't need the US to buy their goods, as they're opening up new markets by building infrastructure.

6:27 PM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

WRT to the interview, one big reason another collapse hasn't happened is because of the various central banks that have been doing one form of "quantitative easing" or another. Since the start of 2016, this has mainly been the European, Japanese, and Swiss central banks. This is essentially propping up financial markets by printing money and buying bonds (and in the case of the Japanese bank, outright buying stocks as well), and we're talking about trillions of dollars cumulatively. And of course, the vast majority of Americans have no idea that this has been what allows "normalcy" to continue.

8:05 PM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

MB -- To add to your Pt 1 , rarely does anyone mention the "hustling" culture. It's as if some invisible entity is forcing Amrikans to hustle. I googled to check how many write about this, and of course it's just a handful. Came across a very good interview of yours.

How Americas culture of hustling is dark and empty

"It took me a long time to understand that I, or, my ego, had no idea what was best for me. Some part of happiness undoubtedly derives from a Zen enjoyment of whatever is in front of you, but a big part of it is knowing who you are and being that person. This is ontological knowing, and it’s very different from intellectual knowing."

This is spot on. I have struggled with "knowing who your are and being that person". I guess it takes years of practice to get to this.

9:17 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

All Aboard for Garden City? - or Geography to Nowhere https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7AGop2dZyE . Enjoying Dark Ages America. I'm developing a musical theory, or set of questions, based on it.

2:49 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Buongiorno MB & Wafers,

Yanis Varoufakis has written a new column in The Guardian today about the state of affairs w/ right wing gov'ts taking over, along with a comment at the end by Bernie Sanders: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/ng-interactive/2018/sep/13/our-new-international-movement-will-fight-rising-fascism-and-globalists

I think Yanis describes the situation correctly, but he also suggests a way to fix it - a "Progressive International" to counter the "Nationalist International" that is driving the right wing. Nothing about the stupidity of the people. Sigh. Following your 3 rules to a T!

3:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Neil-

Why not a symphony?

mean-

Better to pee on progs.

mb

9:10 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

New Hedges interview on America’s Collapse...


https://youtu.be/tPk9HSLagVg



“How living in Scandinavia changed the way I think about success and money.”


https://www.nbcnews.com/better/pop-culture/how-living-scandinavia-changed-way-i-think-about-success-money-ncna908846

9:47 AM  
Blogger alyosha said...

I have struggled with "knowing who your are and being that person". I guess it takes years of practice to get to this.

It takes de-conditioning, a waking up from the hypnosis, a letting go of what is not you. You're already you, you just have to get rid of everything else.

Unplugging from consumer culture is part of it. Seeing the hustling culture, the rat-race for what it is, is part of it.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

What a surprise!
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45518685

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Alex in La Paz said...

http://amp.miamiherald.com/latest-news/article218277975.html

In Bolivia, Evo Morales has announced that he'll submit a law to the country's Congress to "punish liars" in the media, and to "moralize" independent news organizations.

Sound familiar? So disappointing

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Great one from Umair:

https://eand.co/the-age-of-primal-rage-12e4c4df4d42

"Delusion has become destruction thanks to decivilization. The twin forces of implosive capitalism and cheap information have broken people’s minds apart — capitalism making reality too painful to face, technology giving them the power to create delusions, which go right back to satisfy the desires capitalism has told people must be satisfied, but will never satisfy itself. What does that leave people doing? Destroying each other, for the status, power, and superiority they were promised."

11:56 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Yanis makes the common mistake of reducing the trend toward nationalism and tradition as one born out of class conflict. There is an element of that, but it isn't the whole story and he is missing the bigger picture.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

I don't know how much play the story of the natural gas explosions in Massachusetts is getting with all the hurricane coverage, but it's pretty scary: "A series of gas explosions an official described as "Armageddon"-like killed a teenager, injured at least 10 other people and ignited fires in at least 39 homes in three communities north of Boston, forcing entire neighborhoods to evacuate as crews scrambled to fight the flames and shut off the gas." The story mentions several other major gas explosions that have happened in recent years, but of course avoids saying what should be painfully obvious--that the infrastructure that delivers natural gas is crumbling. I remember a decade ago a peak oil analyst who worked in the oil and gas industry (I can't recall his name) identifying this very problem and saying it would take far more money to fix than the industry would ever be willing to spend.

And I love this blurb from the story: "Lawrence is a very resilient community. We're going to get through this together," Mayor Dan Rivera told reporters as emergency lights illuminated smoke in the night sky nearby.

What a fucking idiot. Is that kid who was killed "resilient" enough to "get through" being torn to pieces?

12:32 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@Millenial Realist

That may be because you were talking to a close friend of mine... I asked him and he said it may have been him.

Could you send me a few more details at diogenesminor at gmail dot com? I've been meaning to reach out as a fellow member of the under 30 crowd anyway.

2:56 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Thanks for that "cult of fragility on university campuses" article, Dr. B. Although the author didn't fully explain the connexion between the obscene growth in the administrative sector in post-secondary schools and the growth of political correctness, it was reassuring to read that someone blames the pernicious influence of these troglodytes, and not academics, for the rise in intolerance and psychic fragility among university and college students. Hey, I have this quote from Howard Zinn stuck on my office door: "Education can, and should be, dangerous." Nertz to safe spaces, I say.

I wouldn't describe it as a flood, Sr. Belman, but but rather that these anti-Corbyn posts are a constant drip.

4:17 PM  
Anonymous FerQ said...

The sickness of Americans and their disgusting society never ceases to surprise me. It seems that animal cruelty is rising and getting more and more horrific. Here is an article about a mother in NJ braggaing about her son killing cats.

https://www.njherald.com/20180913/woman-charged-over-post-about-killing-cats#

This one is about a rabbit in Colorado killed by an arrow.

https://denver.cbslocal.com/2018/09/13/rabbit-euthanized-shot-arrow/

What is it with these fucking Americans? Are they so miserable that they take their anger out on animals? The US is just one big piece of shit.

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Mr. Mike Monteiro (graphic designer) appears to be somewhat "Wafer-ish" in this video. He has good observations.

However, he appears to delusionally believe that the usa-ers will perhaps band together and rise up against the those evil Silicon Valley hu$tlers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGsYHws-hbc

4:50 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

George Carlin - Thanks for that link; which also took me to the essay in which the americun Jewess author mentioned the Yale historian and author Timothy Snyder. Whom I mentioned in my previous post. And the plane crash which he wrote about in "The Road to Unfreedom".

Italiana - your comment is also synchronous with that.

Dr. Berman - That was a terrific interview which George Carlin directed los Waferes to. SSIG will be my next GSWH book buy.

Also, professor. Thanks you for the relevant suggestion about peeing on progs. Duly noted. However, in my experience, rednecks are not to be trusted EVER. Okay. ONLY on RARE occasions. Granted, for you, perhaps the Mexican redneck differs from the amerikan variety.

Read you all next week! On the only blog needed!

mean

4:56 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Everyone gets multiple wake up calls, some small, some big, and as happened to a friend recently, earth shattering. The problem is that most of the time the call is ignored, misunderstood (taken at face value without awareness of the deeper implications) or, as in my case, clueless as what to do with it. As a result I went down the wrong path - until the same call re-occurred 20 years later, when I had the good sense to be suitably terrified. Mercifully, the universe stepped in and pointed me in the right direction. Sometimes I’m very slow on the uptake.

Speaking of terrifying, take a look at this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMF2i3A9Lzw

Ah, yes, another nail in the coffin.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

Hi Wafers,

Found this blog from a link posted on James Howard Kuntsler's site. Still working my way through it, but thought it might interest others with its focus on "dark ages theory".

Here, the host writes about the futility in getting people with opposing views to agree. In other words, there's no fix.

https://darkageprep.com/2018/09/03/two-camps-forever/

I have a job interview on Monday. It's in Taxachusetts, where houses blow up on their own.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/14/us/massachusetts-explosions-fires/index.html

TGIF,
Puss

5:53 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

So when are the collected memoirs of Mitt Romney due to be published. They should go right down in history in insight and wisdom right next to the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius!

7:05 PM  
Blogger Cloud Shaman said...

Why would they

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Zarablustra said...

There is a cult of narcissism on higher-level university campuses, but it’s most certainly not one of victimhood. A lot of these students do tend to adopt an air of fragility, but this has very little to do with race or social justice. It has more to do with the particular subculture they inhabit, which is by its nature very conservative and hierarchical and does not permit individual expression, and the fact that these students secretly believe themselves to be among the select few who get to go to a ‘good’ school and so affect an air of humility because to do otherwise would not comport with the image they have of themselves as intellectuals.

The ‘microaggressions’ and the racist horseshit people have to put up with are most certainly a real phenomenon. You’re only going to find critiques of this sort by guys who have their heads up their asses, haven’t experienced it, and don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about (e.g., George Will). Hell, I see it every day when I’m out, and that’s why I make sure I don’t do the same thing. But these kids don’t really care about any of that. They aren’t radicals, though they may adopt the language of ‘social justice.’ They aren’t the Zengakuren. They aren’t Mario Savio. They aren’t Occupiers. They are milquetoast children who think immersing themselves in academic busywork absolves them of the responsibility of being human.

BTW, ‘political correctness’ is nothing other than not being an asshole. What all of these guys really mean when they rail against it is that they do not want any constraints placed upon them so that they can be as rotten as they’d like without any consequences. Well, we see where that’s gotten us.

2:00 AM  
Anonymous Megan C. said...

I thought this was a rather unique story. Apparently this professor went into a campus bathroom and shot himself to protest Trump. It made me think of those extreme characters in Dostoyevski's "Demons". Additionally, what stood out to me was the fact that he taped a 100 dollar bill to the mirror with the note: "For the Janitor." I was impressed that he would show that kind of tact and delicacy in regards to other people--indeed, these are very un-American traits! Perhaps he could he could still find a home as the 179th Wafer? (He survived apparently). Even though there is a hint of it in the 100 dollar bill thing, it sounds like he needs to find a sense of humor, or I fear it will be very tough going for him.

Hopefully he is OK and not suffering too much. I suppose he can at least take some comfort in knowing that the Trump's House of Cards is finally be collapsing--apparently for real this time.

4:36 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

An article on Silicon Valley’s plans for taking over education.

https://codeactsineducation.wordpress.com/2018/09/14/new-tech-power-elite-education/amp/

While I understand that the existing American education system is subpar I think turning the system over to Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and other Silicon Valley moguls will just make things worse. At the very least it will massively increase the already gigantic power of these Silicon Valley companies.

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Quiet Desperation said...

Dr. Berman,
This conversation between a physicist and a Tibetan scholar on the nature of reality is a bit long but enjoyable if only to observe human beings being polite and respectful of each others views/opinions while defending and supporting their arguments. So refreshing compared to the constant barrage of CNN/MSNBC/Fox eight participant video panels of mendacious, overpaid assholes interrupting, stepping on and shouting over each other. I just finished chapter nine in AWTY last night and looking forward to an evening with friends listening to a vinyl album together in it's entirety with drinks and dinner. We have a group called Just for the Record and we try to do this on a regular basis. Would this qualify as an NMI group activity? It's not the symphony or opera but we all benefit just from being still and together for an hour. Peace to all Wafers...

https://aeon.co/videos/can-a-tibetan-buddhist-and-a-theoretical-physicist-find-common-ground-on-reality

1:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tom-

If it's worse, I'm for it.

John-

Rom Mittney.

mean-

No need to mention the author's religion.

Kanye-

Cynthia said she was "inspired" by the result. Why not just say, "I'm a moron"?

mb

1:41 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Megan C--you make a very good point about that professor needing to develop a sense of humor. I would add that he like so many other progs should also develop a sense of proportion. If you are of the professional class, particularly if you're white, Trump's election has had little to no practical effect on your everyday life. There have been no stormtroopers in the streets or mass round up of dissidents. If anything, more of Trump's allies are facing being imprisoned than his enemies. And other than increasing the level of horrifying behavior on the southern border from "detain children in cages" as under Obama to "separating them from their parents," Trump's presidency has hardly been more vicious or lethal than those of his two predecessors. I'd hate to think the poor guy was driven to it because he spent a substantial portion of every day immersed in the "outrage machine" online and on CNN and MSNBC, but that's where we are these days.

What are liberals going to do once Trump has passed into history and what follows ends up being a lot worse even for them personally? President Bezos or President Dimon anyone? If something like that happens, we may look back fondly on this time when we could at least still speak out about social injustice without immediately losing our livelihoods as the good old days.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Re: Uni Administrators

I remember I once went with a friend to inquire about renting out gallery space in the art buildings at a public university. We didn't get directed to an art professor, but were instead sent to an Office of Diversity (every campus has one).

This office had just been built in a million dollar expansion, though the man in a thousand dollar suit had about five cents worth of information for us.

Now if I advocated destroying this office, firing this man, and giving the money back to the indebted students, the progs would paint me as a member of the KKK. They can't distinguish between useless, exploitative bureaucracy and the liberal causes they hide behind.

And because they can't support such internal reforms on the left, the progs will instead get Trumptards who would like to simply eliminate all academics indiscriminately. Just like the scientists that have said nothing about the dangers of our techno-worldview, I won't shed any tears for these bureaucrats, as much as they may cry censorship in the streets.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Al B. Tross said...

Dr. Berman,

You really can’t make this stuff up:

https://abc13.com/police-man-stabs-family-cat-12-times-while-4-year-old-fires-ak-47/4245018/

Cheers,

Al

5:57 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

A private college cuts tuition by 32%-

https://lancasteronline.com/news/local/elizabethtown-college-announces--percent-tuition-decrease-in/article_1061cfa8-b69d-11e8-b139-3f51950bd674.html

The lady that cuts my hair has a daughter who has $190,000 in college loans, a guy I worked with part-time has a daughter that owes $180,000, and my niece who is in graduate school also owes a similar amount.

7:44 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

So dipshit runs into my former neighbor's home (?) while fire burns in fireplace the car ruptures the gas line. Fire Dep't right across the street is unable to turn of the gas leak, fire houses at the ready they evac the neighborhood and open the upstairs windows. It took the gas company 45 minutes to respond. Broken pipe was 7psi, a simple cork would plug the line. Fortunately no fire or explosion, but 45 minutes?

Here's how to massage dogshit for brains (shld you care to choose),
Orwell was a fucking genius

"We discover consumer TOUCHPOINTS across multiple media channels, not just digital."
"We LEVERAGE our proprietary ACR data to understand what consumers watch on Smart TVs."

"It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood..." Fuckin' Fred Rodgers, something inherently creepy about children making friends with a television screen - he was the biggest junkie drug kingpin of them all. Americans - not just stupid but profoundly and easily manipulated.

9:25 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Why America is about to end....

https://medium.com/vandal-press/3-reasons-why-america-is-about-to-end-138b1e18bcf4


The Coming Collapse...

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-coming-collapse/

9:30 PM  
Anonymous door said...

Todays preacher is tomorrows bikini beacher is a quote I read years ago.It sure sums up the leadership class in this country.

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Good morning MB & Wafers

@Christian - yes, Yanis, a classically trained economist, does see events in the lens of the current system, and sees how it has progressed to rampant fraud, manipulation, really the looting of pretty much everything for the benefit of the top dogs. Unfortunately he has not yet gotten to the point to question the entire foundation of the hustling culture, but still wants to reform it. I hope he does find that "awareness" at some point, the ability to let go of the predominant narrative. As Dr B has pointed out (in that excellent article from 2013 - thanks @George Carlin for that link!), it can be very difficult to break out of the programming, especially when you're immersed in it 24/7.

Out to dinner last night here in Italy with friends from Atlanta who have a house across the valley from us, but are only here ~1 month each year. They are totally frazzled with the non-stop crazy news cycle in the US. We encouraged them to detach themselves from it, but it is soooo difficult to do that in the US.

4:10 AM  
Anonymous Teri Schooley said...

Dr. Berman,

I have a question. I notice that here in Waferland, quite a number of scathing and derisive comments are aimed at progressives ["progs"] and liberals. Now assuming the traditional definitions apply, one would think that a Wafer would be more inclined to progressivism/liberalism than to conservatism, so I am wondering if 1) "liberalism" and "progressivism" never meant what I thought they meant in the first place, 2) the words have been redefined at some point and I missed it, or 3) the media and politicians have been allowed to present a few selected politicians as erroneous samplers of these "isms" and everyone has accepted some new narrative. Hillary Clinton, for example, is held up as a liberal or progressive leader, when she is nothing of the kind. She's just an odious war-pig; John McCain in drag.

So what exactly *is* a progressive as it would be defined for the purposes of this blog?

I'm just confused as to why they merit such scorn, when the country is currently being wrecked by the conservative, right-wing bunch of anti-science, pro-war, xenophobic idiots in charge of the White House and both houses of Congress. I get that the Democrats are just enabling them, but I am not asking about the Democratic party as a whole here, but the progressives specifically.

Thanks, Teri

5:15 AM  
Anonymous Aaron Thomas said...

There’s a Washington Post review of Hedges’s new book out today. It’s the same as his previous books, blaming capitalism for the problems and calling for socialist revolution. The reviewer basically calls him out on the whole idea of socialist revolution, saying it’s impossible and would simply repeat the failed socialist attempts of the 20th century. I don’t understand how he can continue to calls for revolution year after year; is he ever going to get it?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/a-relentlessly-dark-indictment-of-global-capitalism/2018/09/13/ab8cbe98-ac84-11e8-8a0c-70b618c98d3c_story.html?utm_term=.dc88e21622a9

7:46 AM  
Anonymous Bell said...

Fascinating insight: Living in One of R. D. Laing’s Post-Kingsley Hall Households https://www.madinamerica.com/2013/11/living-one-r-d-laings-post-kingsley-hall-households/ … Although strikes me that the 'radical non-intervention' clearly had limits in terms of sensible nursing care. anyways MB cited Laing in the earlier work.

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Morris,

Recently I sent the link to your latest interview to my cousin and I could have predicted her comments and reaction. He's too negative and why didn't he stay and try to change things in the US rather than escape. I had fun writing an essay of my own back in reply. She's one person who will never get it regardless of the facts. Her comments are totally typical.

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

Dio - I sent you an e-mail. Mine is milrealist90 at gmail dot com. It does sound like your friend was my Lyft driver. Small world, isn't it?

Jeff Bozo is back at it again, wanting to create schools where the child is the "customer." Don't fall for his nonprofit BS. Viewing children as "customers" says it all.
https://www.theverge.com/2018/9/13/17855358/jeff-bezos-day-one-fund-nonprofit-preschool-amazon

I'm not sure if anyone has followed the Botham Jean killing in Dallas. Quick overview: A Dallas Police Officer was on her way home after her shift and accidentally walked into the wrong apartment. She then shot and killed an innocent tenant (Botham Jean, a black man). It's absolutely pathetic (but not surprising) watching the Dallas police & local city officials playing mental gymnastics over this heinous crime. It's even more pathetic that the local news station (Fox 4) is now trying to smear the VICTIM for having marijuana in his apartment, which has absolutely NOTHING to do with his murder (and who cares about weed?). The officer was NOT going in to investigate a "crime."
http://www.fox4news.com/news/search-warrant-marijuana-found-in-botham-jeans-apartment-after-deadly-shooting

2:06 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Millennial Realist (Re: Pittsburgh),

Glad you were able to find some decent conversation.

DioGenes,

Do you live in Western Pennsylvania as well?

9:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Aaron-

Hedges does get it on some level, which is why he is a deeply conflicted man. You can see how sad he is in his interviews: the yes, the body language, make it obvious. Altho he is ontologically blocked, the block isn't 100%, and he's smart enuf to know the truth. He just wants to hope against hope. There is a word for this type of person: a fool.

Teri-

Other Wafers will have their own replies, probably better than mine, but personally, let me say that I am on the side of the rt-wing, and a big fan of Trumpi's--altho not for the same reason most Trumpites are. What History is calling for now is the dismantling and decline of the US (which the rest of the world both needs and wants), and this is exactly what Trump & Co. are doing. The progs are just wasting their (and our) time, because our downward trajectory cannot be reversed, and hence most of their efforts are just masturbation. It's hard not to have scorn for them; like Hedges, they too are fools.

mb

9:18 AM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

@MeganC- regarding the Professor who killed himself and left $100 for the janitor over Trumpi, just move. Every place has its own problems but there is no other country like the USA in regards to its cruelty, militarism, open-sewer culture, hyper-individualism, and hyper-capitalism.

The USA has a nihilistic culture: the distilled essence of the worship of money. Nothing else matters. This will never, ever change. Progs delude themselves thinking after Trumpi impeachment all will be well. It won't. In many ways, it will be worse: a slow and painful death versus the quick kill aggressive cancer of Trumpi. I would chose the later and hope Don Jr. is elected President after Trumpi's 2nd term.

Seriously, no need to kill yourself...leave the never-ending (remember Oj?) circus maximus and enjoy a simple meaningful life.

BrotherMaynard

11:05 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

@Teri,

The main reason I abhor Progs is because of the depth that their head is stuck up their asses. I could write a whole book about this, but I will just take one example.

In Paris where I live, the latest Prog craze is electric scooters and mopeds. Progs think that if everyone started driving around those "green" vehicles, the environment would be saved and everyone would live happily ever after. However, they completely ignore that:
a. It actually takes MORE greenhouse gases to produce an electric moped vs. a petrol one
b. The lithium-ion batteries used in all electric vehicles are being produced by exploited workers in thirld-world-country mines in dreadful working conditions
c. As long as the SYSTEM under which companies like Tesla and douchebag founder Elon Musk are allowed to exist doesn't change, filling the world with electric cars won't change shit.

Raising any of these topics with Progs will provoke scorn and passive-aggressiveness in them.

Kanye

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

In my opinion, it is a total waste of time to try to "convert" "show the light" Dr. Berman et al references, etc..to usa-ers.

When confronted with facts/reality, they will brand it as....."negative." Usa-ers could not nor would not accept reality as their 'country' was a religion, and its' populace-cult members.


Use one's energy to learn a language, prepare... and get out!

3:48 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hi Dr. Berman y todos los Waferes y NMIs,

Re: The link which then led to the long essay by the American authoress. In the essay she stated, as a matter of fact, her self-description as a Jewish American married to a Polish national. No insult intended to anyone.

My apologies to all concerned IF my regurgitating of the above fact was perceived as derogatory. Go look at the source as cited.

Since my earliest school memories and acquaintances, I have had the great fortune to meet, speak with and know Jewish, Muslim, Roman Catholic, fundamentalist Christian, Christian Scientist, Baptist, Mennonite, Buddhist, Hindu, Indian, Mexican, Indigenous, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Mormon, African, atheist, agnostic, gay, straight, autistic, black, white, deaf, blind, trans-gender - need I go on? Informed by one and all in, mostly, GOOD ways. I bore myself.

"I don't have no trouble livin'. It's just dyin' that bothers me" - Mose Allison

Made a GREAT new friend this past weekend. A kindred spirit, fellow musician. OF COURSE. Which chance meeting could consume my entire next post. Oh, yeah - and the Dutch civil engineer and the Russian physicist...

Got AWTY? and TMWQ delivered today! Great essay: "Home of the Brave". Good reads ahead.

O&D!

4:13 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Teri-

Well, politics in America is basically a circle jerk between a corrupt two-party corporate state and a nation of morons. Quite hilarious if u think about it. The Democratic Party has sold out the American people, and it is progressive elitism, corruption and collusion w/the permanent war state that has sadly paved the way for Trumpo. I actually walked precincts in Henderson, Nevada (ground zero of the housing crash) for the Dems and Obama in 2008, if u can imagine it! Regrettably, I was suckered by Obama and his never-ending bullshit. That said, however, I also believe that Trump and Trumpism are uniquely dangerous developments in US political history. As I've argued here before, the Trump presidency marks the first time in US history that the WH has been overtly taken over by a criminal syndicate; a syndicate that's interlocked w/other criminal and authoritarian regimes in Russia, former Soviet bloc countries, and the Middle East, it seems to me. I don't think we fully appreciate the dire threat posed by Trump's presidency and the damage it is daily wreaking on millions of people's lives.

Miles

ps: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f0FAbP_yJA

4:59 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Zara, George Carlin (the comedian) once said that political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners. I’m against censorship of any kind, and that’s what PC is. Furthermore, PC is just a band aide: The problem isn’t the symptoms, but what underlies those symptoms.

Mil, Botham Jean: Did he really have MJ in his apartment or was it planted?

Teri, We have the “progs” to thank for PC and censorship (see above). Tools and fools. The rampant stupidity of the American public would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.

6:33 PM  
Anonymous JUS said...

Hi MB and Wafers,

Oh look the Hillary Botox wrote an article on our Democracy in crisis. It's a fun read because while we may be in crisis it once again shows that absolute idiocy and cluelessness of this woman. It's good for the irony and good for a laugh even though not intentionally funny.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/09/american-democracy-is-in-crisis/570394/

7:37 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Saw my uncle over the weekend. He was showing me his new additions to his gun collection, when out of the blue, he started talking about how dumb the United States was for not using larger rounds of ammunition during the Philippine-American War (~118 years ago). According to him, we never should have skimped on weapon size because we needed to kill those drug-fueled Moors [sic] without giving them a chance to get near us. I just looked at him and said nothing.

O&D.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Teri--I think you answered your own question. Hillary Clinton is indeed a war pig, as is Obama, yet progs and liberals have gone utterly out of their minds because the former did not succeed the latter. Try to talk a prog sometime about the various war crimes committed under Obama--from the Afghanistan surge to Libya to the Iraqi cities obliterated during the hunt for Isis to drone assassinations--and see what their reaction is it. Or try to bring up how Obama bailed out Wall Street after the financial crash while throwing the middle and working classes to the wolves. I guarantee you the response will vary from a shrug of indifference to active hostility.

Yes, there are still a few hard core leftists in America who never bought into Obama's bullshit, but they are a tiny minority. Most progs do not like having the reality of what America really is rubbed in their faces, and that's what Trump does on a daily basis. May he serve a full 8 years or until America finally collapses, whichever comes first.

9:46 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

@Kayne Cyrus You could have mentioned:

d. A lot of the electricity in France is generated by nuclear reactors. Maybe ze progs think nukes are a step up from gazole in their mobilettes. In my view, the electric car is just another case of "same crap, different pile," as electricity is no more clean than the source (coal, where I live) burned to create it.

@Teri

I agree with pretty well everything you say, especially about the ghastly Mrs. Clinton's being called a leftist. Political definitions in the USA are rather warped at the best of times. Somehow, economic laissez-faire neo-liberals such as Reagan, the Bushies and Trump are called "conservatives, while those who think the government ought to be stewards of the country, who would be called "conservative" in Canada and the UK, along with what passes for the left, are called "liberals" in the US.

I think there's a perception that US progs are what we call "champagne socialists," or rich people who take up "progressive" causes because it makes them feel good, or because it's fashionable in the correct circles. That leaves out pretty well all working-class leftists, not that there are many of them anymore. I don't equate progs with leftists anyway. No war but class war kiddo.

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@ Teri,

I can’t speak for other Wafers but the difference that I have with progressives, socialists and even most conservatives is that they all believe in the inevitability and desirability of progress, usually defined in technological and economic terms. All of these ideologies assume that economic growth can continue forever and that technology is neutral and we just need the right reforms or a revolution and things will be alright. I don’t agree with the ideology of progress. For example, some of the recent developments in technology like smartphones and social media seem to have more downsides than benefits.

All things being equal I would rather live in a New Deal-type economic system than a right-wing/neoliberal system but I think we are reaching a point where we really need to think about limits to economic growth and technology and not just how to redistribute wealth. Sadly I don’t think either reformism (the New Deal option) or more substantive change is likely in the United States but it could happen in other countries.

12:15 AM  
Anonymous Teri Schooley said...

Dr. Berman and Kanye,

Thank you for the replies, but neither answered the question: what is your definition of "progressive"? The reason I ask is that it would appear that no-one in the US uses the word in the traditional way any longer (the Progressives have existed since the 1920's or thereabouts), just as no-one seems to understand what "liberal" means any more. Go to any right-wing website or listen to any Republican and you'll find "liberal" is defined as Communist, "socialist" is also the same as Communist, and any country that has a socialistic-leaning government is referred to as a "dictatorship". Even people who used to call themselves liberals now differentiate between "liberals" and "real liberals", which is just confusing since they never define what the hell they mean. I saw a video of a Trump rally where a [really loud, obnoxious, angry] guy had on a t-shirt that equated liberals with ISIS, of all things.

Meh, maybe it doesn't matter. Political labels shift so frequently now that I oughta just stop annoying myself trying to figure out what people think they mean when they use any of them.

And yeah, this empire built on war, death, and Crystal Blue Persuation "free market" capitalism needs to come down - I just hate the thought of what we will have to go through as the Republicans and Trump deliberately take us over that cliff. Plus, I want a chance to get my goddamn Social Security before I kick the bucket (insert bitter laughter here).

Thanks,

Teri

6:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Gd discussion here, thank you all. I'm still trying to figure out how I can get to bang Hillary's and Obama's heads together for 10 mins on national TV.

mb

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Dr B & Wafers,

This discussion is fascinating and has really focused my thinking on the subject. I am reminded of a lot of the writings of Paul Craig Roberts, who had concluded that the general discussion in the media and our two main parties is meaningless blather designed to distract and entertain, keeping everyone in a lather about trivia. @Teri - the definitions of pretty much everything have been so altered as to make having any sort of intelligent conversation with anyone impossible. I sometimes believe this has been deliberate. Up is down, black is white. If this isn't the definition of a dystopian society, I don't know what is.

Meanwhile, we're in Menton, France, trying to avoid any news programs. No point in it.

10:10 AM  
Blogger alyosha said...

Teri - my definition of progressive comes from an old Star Trek episode ("the Cloud Minders").

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cloud_Minders

in it, Spock criticizes the society of the planet over which the Enterprise is orbiting, and offers that a good society is one that enables "the greatest good for the greatest number". That's my definition of what progressivism is about.

it's telling that the right has spent many hundreds of millions demonizing this idea over many decades (centuries, really) in words such as liberal, socialist, progressive, what have you. They wouldn't be doing this if this idea wasn't so common sense and so threatening to them.

I'm not totally with Dr B that progs are misguided idiots. I do agree with him about the pathologies of the current system, and what Trump is about. Trump will dismantle the US and diminish its destructive power worldwide, and perhaps cause an awakening here (after we collectively hit bottom), but the hustling culture isn't limited to America. China is more than ready to take on the mantle, and pick up the pieces after America bites the dust.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

What is a progressive?

In 1964, the Supreme Court heard the case Jacobellis v. Ohio. Nico Jacobellis, owner of a motion picture theater, had been convicted under a state obscenity law of possessing and exhibiting an allegedly obscene film—Louis Malle’s Les Amants—and the Ohio State Supreme Court upheld the conviction. The Supreme Court reversed the lower court decision. In his concurrence, Justice Potter Stewart wrote: “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.”

I suspect for the average (above-average?) Wafer the same applies with respect to the term progressive.

As for the notion of progress:
“You can’t fight progress. The best you can do is ignore it, until it finally takes your livelihood and self-respect away.” (Kurt Vonnegut)

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Morris,

You work on that as I'm certain banging Hillary's and Obama's heads together on national TV would bring more enthusiasm than the ongoing Brett show is doing now. I predict he's toast. Check out Russ Feingold's article on Common Dreams site today.

2:15 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Michael Johnson, 27, arrested for rubbing fresh produce on his tuchas then re-shelving the items:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/09/18/man-rubbed-fruits-butt-northern-virginia-grocery-store-police/1343698002/

Stormy says Trumpo has a toad-shaped dick:

https://www.thecut.com/2018/09/donald-trump-stormy-daniels-penis-toad-mario-kart.html

Miles

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Pete Christen said...

Miles Deli: Thanks for the great line: "politics in America is basically a circle jerk between a corrupt two-party corporate state and a nation of morons."

Wafers: I think Hedges deserves our praise, not our scorn. Cassandras come in many shapes, from Jeremiah and Augustine to Orwell and Huxley. All deserve to be heard, especially by Wafers and the very few other people on the planet who live in verifiable reality. To me, Hedges sounds more like Bonhoeffer than Spengler, but I'm okay with that. I just hope he doesn't share Bonhoeffer's fate.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pete-

Problem is, I don't think he's living in reality, and he's demonstrated this repeatedly. Plus, calling for revolution is pied piper behavior, not very admirable. He also steals other people's work; check out Chris Ketcham's article in New Republic. I personally don't find much to praise.

George-

Too long.

alyosha-

Trust me, there won't be any awakening, just more doubling down. After crash of 2008 Wall St. blamed Big Government, not themselves.

mb

5:13 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

I am a progressive only in the limited sense that science and technology clearly 'progress' over time. Like a ratchet, acumulated knowledge inevitably makes better machines. But is it 'progress' for people to be addicted to their cell phones and buying on Amazon to help Jeff B's control of the world? And except for superficial stuff the 'progress' progressives want clearly ain't happening, not even close. It seems to be going in the opposite direction at a pretty steady pace.

5:25 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola los Waferes,

@ Miles Deli; My Vegas experience parallels your own; with the difference being that I split in 2004, having seen that a BIG CRASH was approaching. No mortgage,sold the house. You're right, I left, he's gone. (Thanks, Johnny Cash.)

Check out Timothy Snyder's "The Road To Unfreedom"; published 2018.

And THANK YOU you for the great link to George Harrison. I have loved "All Things Must Pass" since 1970. Those WERE the Days. . .

@ alyosha. Indeed. I also see it as "The Whole Earth Hustle." MB has pegged it. We are a virus that has infected el todo mundo. . . Another great book: "Limits To Growth" by the Club of Rome, etc. Check it out.

GSWH - AWTY?, ch. 2 "Jonathan Swift Revisited" right on - superb! Thank you.

6:40 PM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

Teri -- Your observation that scorn in Waferland is tilted more towards "progressives" than "conservatives" is something that even I have noticed of late, maybe it's just temporary. While I understand the hatred towards Obozo/Botoxface, I also feel that "scorn" should be directed more towards Trumpi. And by scorn, as a declinist I mean more focus should be on how Trumpi is dismantling the Empire to our relief.

Sarasvati -- My understanding of what the great comedians like George Carlin meant by PC/free speech is the freedom to attack the "powerful" (Church/Govt) on behalf of the common man. But the PC talk that is being dished out by the right today is often nothing but racism masquerading as PC and used by the powerful to attack the minorities. The right wing nuts just want to be racist without consequences and blame the progressives for not applying the same standards.

Tom -- I think technology (esp. smart phones) being nascent, people don't yet have a grasp of how to effectively manage it. They will learn with time, though not Amrikans as most are Turkeys. The Tech world has been hijacked by the hustling culture and hence you don't see real innovation. Elon Musk was once an innovator but now a douchebag. You are right about the ideology of progress having it's limits.

Bill H -- My two cents, I think progressives are not as annoyed that Hillary lost, but more so that Trump won and the insanity he has unleashed.

P.S. : Gore Vidal shared this interesting tidbit regarding Botoxface in one of his interviews. Apparently she asked someone famous as to why middle aged/old white men hated her so much. And the person said that it was because she reminded them of their first wife :)

9:21 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

The President’s Penis is Headline news in 2018.


https://www.thecut.com/2018/09/donald-trump-stormy-daniels-penis-toad-mario-kart.html

10:01 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Miles, Pete,

That is a good line Miles - I'm writing that one down!

As for Hedges, I did rather enjoy his latest book, "America, The Farewell Tour". It had the obligatory bit about revolution, etc. But for the most part it was a raw and ugly look at our rotten ugly culture. I found it stark and powerful. And worth the price of admission is Hedge's description of a BDSM class that he took: Security guard: "Are you here for the course on mindfuckery?" Hedges "Yes". Haha, then once Hedges graduates bondage school he goes on to watch an actual BDSM porn shoot in person. I just can't picture him sitting there all serious taking notes, haha. But he really should consider a career in erotica writing - he's pretty good at it!

10:19 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Marianne--if BK isn't confirmed, I predict that in 25 years there will no longer BE a Supreme Court since the standard for disqualification will now be decades old "he-said, she-said" or "he said, he said" or "gender fluid, arch druid" sexual abuse allegations that are utterly without supporting evidence. Of course, from a declinist's point of view, that's the best possible outcome. O&D!

@Pete--I read several of Hedges's books back when Chimpy Bush was prez-nit and owe him a debt of gratitude for helping to open my eyes as to the real state of the country. But once Obama got elected and easily defused the momentum for real change that had been building up late in the Bush years, Hedges's certainty that there was going to be some sort of revolution in America really started to grate. Then Trump came along and the revolution happened--in exactly the opposite manner Hedges figured it would. Yet he still keeps selling that same old weak tea. I haven't read him in ages and have no plans to buy his latest repetitive screed. He really needs to hang it up.

Hey everybody, get excited! The San Francisco Federal Reserve is going to have an openly gay woman as its president! So we can all get bent over and fucked by a lesbian central banker instead of an old white guy--this is what passes for "progress" in liberal circles these days.

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Teri Schooley said...

Wow, I didn't realize that so many of you had jumped in with responses - I thought only Dr. Berman and Kanye had - and now I see that quite a few others had comments to make about progressivism.

I tend to agree with alyosha's definition as progressivism being the "greatest good for the greatest number"; that the word and movement have been altered by all sorts of different groups with their own agendas is par for the course nowadays, and sad.

Obama was no progressive, nor even a liberal unless one puts a "neo" in front of it. I wrote in Dennis Kucinich's name on my ballot in '08. We haven't had a good man (meaning a decent human being who truly cared about the duty to the people he had undertaken) since Carter. But despite the fact that Obama was a total sham, I really can't get behind the idea of cheering on Trump for any reason. He is causing so much damage to more than just the politics of this country that millions of people are going to suffer, and not all of them deserve it. Plus, come on, the guy is just a fucking imbecile with a vicious streak who is making as much personal wealth as he can off his position. Guarantee you the Trump Corp is investing heavily in gold now that he is going through with his tariff war. And dumb Democrats are still blathering about Russia while both parties totally ignore the emoluments clause.

Anyway, interesting comments from all.

- Teri

6:52 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Hi Teri,

Sometimes the truth hurts. I was a big Obama supporter back in 2008 and campaigned for him, also. My friends on the far left kept telling me that he was not the real deal, but I got suckered in like a whole bunch of other people. I cried right along with Jesse Jackson on election night when Obama won. Then we watched the war machine march along unhindered. We watched Medicare for all die on the vine. It didn't take too many episodes like those for me to wise up. I was in a sociopolitical funk until I found Dark Ages America. I read Dr. Berman's trilogy, and I read dozens of the other books recommended by our fellow Wafers. The Mandibles by Lionel Shriver and Going Postal by Mark Ames stand out as good examples, but there are countless others archived on this blog.

I too laugh at progs now, mainly because they're delusional. When was the last time you saw a prog movement change anything fundamental? We are on a trajectory of inevitable decline. The only thing worth arguing about is when and how severe, or maybe, how do smart people deal with the coming collapse? I feel like right now I understand American politics better than I ever have, thanks mainly to my fellow Wafers and Dr. B.

9:27 AM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

@Teri - the issues with progs in the US is that it's identity mostly social (pro-gay marriage, pro-choice, environmentally friendly) when the root of our problems are economic (laissez faire capitalism, inequality, hyper-individualism). So, while things like the Supreme Court legalizing gay marraige are great (and remember, this was a huge, huge struggle which is still being actively resisted by a large part of the citizenry), we face a more existential threat. It's easy to be a tree hugging, pussy hat wearing Prius driving prog, but don't touch their 401(k).

In fact, I'd argue that there really isn't (much) of a progressive tradition in the US. All politics in the US is extremely conservative and extremely right-wing. While 'Medicare for All' is considered some super-lefty, utopian dream (remember even Obama was against it), a version of it is the norm in all other western countries A UK Tory is more to the left on most issues than Bernie Sanders. When's the last time the 'liberal' NY Times editorial page ran an op-ed by Noam Chomsky? And remember true Socialist leaders in the US get killed (Huey Long) or put in prison (Eugene Debs). There was a (proven) industrialist plot to overthrow FDR over society security.

Personally, and speaking only for myself, I voted for Obama 2x and in the primaries. I was a Bernie Bro. See how well that worked out? You can come to Wafer-ism from the right (Rod Dreher) of the left (me). In both cases, you come to see that this society and culture we have made for ourselves is cancer to the human soul and cannot be changed. The end result in that to save yourself you must withdraw from it (NMI) or leave (immigrate).

BrotherMaynard

9:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

alyosha-

Only 1 post per 24 hrs, thanks.

George-

Watch length, thank you.

mean-

Check out Chris Ketcham's article on Limits to Growth history.

Bill-

As for Hedges' "Farewell Tour," I keep wondering when he'll say farewell and actually mean it, i.e. hit the road. Not soon, I'm guessing. It's all just posturing, really. I also keep wondering when he's going to lead the disaffected masses in an uprising against their corporate masters. Seems long overdue, no?

mb

11:29 AM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

Hedges was a critical medium for me on the way to Waferdom and his theology is attractive to me as most 'christians' would consider him a heretic of the first order (I was raised in the church and too old now to change much & I fit in with the prophetic tradition) his wife is Canadian imo he'd be better off carrying on his crusade from there and working on some kind of underground railroad to get people out.

12:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gunnar-

Now *that* wd be a real contribution! (He won't do it)

mb

1:13 PM  
Blogger Origami Cactus said...

Teri -
One of the main problems with political labels in the US is that they lack a party, so they're shoehorned into one of the established parties and co-opted. They then become tainted by association and the label is hollowed out of ideology and becomes a brand. At least this is how it appears to me.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Excerpt from a letter I recently received from a prof. in Georgia (US), commenting on Hedges:

"no sufficient understanding of what the average person wants, needs; not sufficient stressing of what you call "dumbing down" and "spiritual death"; no understanding of today's populism, no understanding of local culture, no sense of importance of sacredness (of space/place and time); no understanding of the illusion of "progress", of the exhaustion of the "Enlightenment" (and its "instrumental reason") … CH (and many similar, e.g. Amy Goodman) are well meaning but they don't understand those "variables/concepts/categories"; in particular, CH is placing his hopes (for a left-oriented, progressive) revolution on the … next crisis (!!!!) — it's always about "the future". Too economistic, too one-dimensional, too universalist — a very crude ("mechanistic") model of human beings."

What to call this? Turkey Think? Wafers are encouraged to come up with an appropriate label.

mb

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Zarathustra said...

I suggest that we can call the kind of confused, delusional thinking by Hedges, Pinker etc. simply "American" (no need to invent a new word when a perfectly suitable one already exists). Not being very original here; Nietzsche in the 19th century proposed "German" to name the cultural illness that eventually produced Hitler.

3:44 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

This is what Progs focus their energy on:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/19/why-female-superheroes-shouldnt-hit-old-ladies

5:11 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Re: CH's thinking

How about "Fomacogitation" in the spirit of Kurt Vonnegut, MB? Kind of like an untruth that's intended to comfort simple souls. I'm also kinda partial toward "Fabriplacate" or "Jesusporky," for obvious reasons.

Miles

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Re: The comments made by the professor in GA-what to call this Hedges 'thinking'--perhaps, flatulence in an elevator.

For example, "She called for the us populace to revolt and resist their corporate masters."

Ugh--more flatulence in an elevator.

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

Wafers,

I'm with Italiana, Teri, Alyosha, and Origami Cactus: words and their meanings are deliberately diluted and/or weaponized to obfuscate, confuse, mesmerize, etc. This (weaponization) has been mentioned here before, but I cannot remember who. This way, everyone is arguing semantics instead of actually fixing things. News is nonsensical.

These diversionary tactics (lets call it what it is, a war) mean none of this is going to end well.

Filed under "my job still sucks, but I love what I do": My federal agency has been perverted into the new paradigm. We now have "products" and "customers", and every employee will be subjected to a "skills assessment", because by golly the only skills that matter are tech skills.

None of this is going to end well.

7:19 PM  
Anonymous Cas said...

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/sep/18/paradise-life-spanish-city-banned-cars-pontevedra

'For me, this is paradise': life in the Spanish city that banned cars. Fleximobility!

8:29 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

Teri & George Carlin -- I echo the comments made by Bill Hicks & BrotherMaynard regarding progressives. While marriage equality, women's rights regarding their own bodies, combating police brutality (esp. towards black males), etc. are great causes (and ones I strongly believe in), they don't change the dynamics of economic power or remotely save the planet from ecological ruin. It doesn't change the fact that we have nearly 1,000 military bases around the globe or disproportionately consume the Earth's resources (U.S. pop is 5% of world pop, but consumes 25% of world resources). It also doesn't change the fact that the U.S. is first & foremost a business and the vast majority of its citizens are brainwashed to believe hustling, opportunism, hyper-individualism, and climbing the ladder are exemplary "qualities."

If you care about the environment, sustainability, strong community life, economics with a PURPOSE & MEANING (aka not hustling), critical thinking skills, a humane approach to foreign affairs, taking care of your fellow citizens, etc., then the U.S. is NOT for you. So the only reason why fellow Wafers on this blog would cheer on someone as deplorable and rotten as Trump is that he'll finish the job of decline a lot faster. U.S. Progressives have 0 to offer other than a slightly moderate version of Republicans/Conservatives. You'll NEVER see universal health care, 90% of transpo funding to rail as opposed to highways, 30+ days of PAID vacation, or a sane military budget even under full Democratic control. Guaranteed. 50 shades of Republican is what you'll get.

9:41 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

The notion that after the country undergoes some sort of collapse financial social whatever promoted by Hedges and Chomsky and many others and the masses will finally rise up and start a revolution as has been pointed out by Wafers repeatedly is simply a delusion. We should call this Neo-Millerism after the followers of William Miller failed to see the second coming in 1844 lived what was called The Great Dissapointment. Progressivism inevitably will lead one to deep depression if you actually believe this will happen. The truth may not set you free, but it is still true.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@MB--I'd go with Wishful Think. Turkey Think is more of an average American malady.

@Megan--what is it with Hedges and his obsession with "deviant" sex anyway? He devoted an entire chapter in Empire of Illusion to pornography that gets so graphic it creeped me out the first time I read it years ago. At one point during an interview with a female porn star he graphically explains what a "cream pie" means in porn terms--did we REALLY need that? He goes on to quote the porn star as saying that she's had sex with 50 guys at a time and they all (ahem) ejaculate internally with her. Thanks for that little detail, Chris. Anyway, it's good to know he's still obsessed with the subject. Makes you wonder what the people he's interviewed for these "insights" thought of him.

@George--but much of that insanity, the Russia witch hunt for example, has been unleashed by the progs themselves. BTW--it occurs to me that the difference between your late screen handle and mine is in what the real George Carlin and Bill Hicks would have thought of Trump were they still living. George would no doubt be laughing his ass off, but I think Bill would have been profoundly sad. He always was an idealist--or at least didn't live long enough to turn into a hardcore cynic.

12:32 AM  
Anonymous Gordon said...

Hello

Perhaps the observations of the "Professor in Georgia" are critical of thought
derived from a world view that he is unable to imagine.

A construct that may have some validity given historical precedence as evidenced by the previous occurrence of events such as the French Revolution.

Cheers
gk

3:20 AM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

Time to kill the zombie argument: Another study shows Trump won because of racial anxieties - Not Economic distress

"Both race and class matter, and both have to be at the center of a left-wing, pro-poor, anti-Trump politics. But that doesn’t change the fact that, in 2016, race trumped class. The reality, as Mutz reminds us, is that the election of Trump “was an effort by members of already dominant groups to assure their continued dominance and by those in an already powerful and wealthy country to assure its continued dominance.”

Why pessimism is under-rated

"Rather than optimism under any circumstance, we instead need to be realistic about the situation we find ourselves in. We need a definition of “progress” that moves away from growth at all costs and the pursuit of development metrics without accounting for sustainability. Looking at positive data while ignoring the significant scientific evidence about humanity’s impact on the planet is not optimism, but dangerous misinterpretation. Denial cannot be the basis for optimism."

7:58 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Turkey Think works... Ivy League Idiocy is also nice.

I think that in some ways Hedges et al are true anti-Hegelians, because they see self-awareness as dispensable in a political movement. What Hedges and most semi-rational people fail to realize is that, for the vast majority, there is *no fundamental problem* with how this country works. For all the bluster, Americans are an extremely servile people who are terrified of stepping outside the narrow mainstream. They never even consider the fundamental problems Hedges discusses.

I guess Hedges would say he is trying to 'raise awareness', but I don't think awareness really works in that way. The best a writer can do is clarify and expand some awareness already present in people, which is decidedly absent here. So we get the fantasy of history somehow progressing in a nation full of people incapable of thinking historically and, therefore, incapable of having definite political intentions.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gordon-

I don't understand yr message, sorry.

Puss-

Personally, I think the country needs to be weaponized, monetized, and moronized. Also turkefied.

mb

8:40 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Shell and Exxon's secret 1980s climate change warnings...


https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/sep/19/shell-and-exxons-secret-1980s-climate-change-warnings



A Moron, who also happens to be a surgeon.


https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/19/us/california-surgeon-girlfriend-rape-allegations/index.html

11:28 AM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

CH, Turkey.edu

Watching new Netflix series Trump an American Dream, what is striking to me is the way New York City, esp Manhattan, were a petri dish for Trumpism until it, like a dormant virus, finally mutated and went airborne. They pose as though he was a conman who couldn't be stopped with most of the blame laid at the feet of Roy Cohen. But he was lionized in the late 70's and 80's. We visited Times Square in '77, my dad was propositioned by several whores even though accompanied by his wife and 4 kids. Even a dumb kid like me from suburban Colorado could see what a shithole it had become. "When things get bad I'll get whatever I want," he brags to Rona Barrett in her fawning interview. Did anybody take note at the time? Where was the Clorox?

12:49 PM  

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