May 17, 2019

The Brothers

"Americans who seek to understand the roots of their country's trouble in the world should look not at [the Dulles brothers'] portraits but in a mirror."
--Stephen Kinzer

The Brothers, a study of John Foster and Allen Dulles written by the distinguished author Stephen Kinzer in 2013, bids fair to being one of the most significant works published during the past twenty years. Foster, as he was known, was chosen by President Eisenhower to be his secretary of state; Allen, to be the director of the CIA. During Ike's administration, the two of them managed to wreak havoc and spread misery across the globe, and do a lot of domestic damage as well. But Kinzer's study is notable for insisting, repeatedly, that this was hardly a one-sided snow job, or mind-fuck--Noam Chomsky's "manufactured consent"--foisted on the American people by the Power Elite. Rather, the consent was more on the order of popular enthusiasm, to the point of mass hysteria, congruent with the deepest elements of the American psyche. The appropriate metaphor for this supposed takeover of the American mind, then, is not rape, but something more akin to consensual sex.

I was stunned to read this because the one thing critics are not supposed to say--it being so politically incorrect--is that the core of our dilemmas is the American people themselves. Somehow, The American People are sacred, untouchable, a kind of mystical entity; whereas if they are seen for what they really are--gullible, not very bright, blinkered, egotistical, and actually quite violent in nature--then there is very little hope for any major social or political change. And in fact, Kinzer offers no real solution to our national dementia, our formulaic and frenzied way of living, because there is none. Hence the last two sentences of the book, referring to the Dulles brothers: "They are us. We are them."

John Foster Dulles died on 24 May 1959, and the whole nation went into mourning. Thousands lined up outside the National Cathedral to pass by the bier, weeping over his body in an orgy of emotion. This was, Kinzer argues, because the man embodied everything that Americans believed, going back a long ways. What were these beliefs? Exceptionalism--the notion that we are more moral than others and therefore can do whatever we want to in the world, including acting cruelly; missionary Christianity--that we have an obligation to bring "truth" to the unenlightened (i.e., the non-Christian and non-American); the right to accumulate vast wealth, even (or especially) at the expense of weaker nations; and a simplistic, Manichaean view of things that had little room for empathy in it. Americans, not just Foster, saw themselves represented in films such as Shane and High Noon, movies of the early fifties that depicted a once-peaceful and innocent place threatened by evil, and saved by a hero. "The story of the Dulles brothers," writes Kinzer, "is the story of America."

All of this is bred in our bones, imperialism included. Should we be surprised that Thomas Jefferson coveted Cuba, and wanted to annex it? He stated that along with Florida, it would give the US control over the Gulf of Mexico and nearby countries. Control, control, control; what else is life about? A little over a century later, in 1917, Foster was involved in the US military intervention in Cuba--his first foreign intervention.

Foster, it turns out, was a great admirer of the Nazi regime, presumably because of its opposition to communism. In 1934 he brought I.G. Farben (later the manufacturer of Zyklon B gas, used in the Nazi death camps) into a nickel cartel, thus giving the Nazis access to the cartel's resources; and his law firm, Sullivan & Cromwell, contributed heavily to the Nazi Party, setting it up as a going concern. Foster urged the German branch of his firm to avoid Jewish clients, and made trips to Germany in 1936, 1937, and 1939, declaring his admiration for Hitler, saying how "dynamic" the country now was. Kristallnacht (1938) apparently bothered him not at all, and he was perfectly OK with the German branch signing its letters Heil Hitler!When his sister, Eleanor, married a Jew, both he and Allen refused to attend the wedding.

In 1943 Foster published Six Pillars of Peace, in which he rejected what he called the "devil theory" of foreign policy that imagined a heroic nation surrounded by villains. But within two years of that, he did a complete volte face, adopting the very theory he had previously scorned. This view of Russia as the center of a global conspiracy, writes Kinzer, hardly placed him at the outer fringes of public opinion. Rather, this simplistic, monolithic, and significantly misguided view of communism--the failure, for example, to see various nationalistic movements and internal conflicts as having nothing to do with Moscow or Marxism--"reflected impulses and attitudes deeply woven into the national psyche." Foster saw in communism something he never saw in Nazism: the ultimate evil. Meanwhile, Americans projected Nazism onto the USSR, and they shared Foster's terrifying world view, that we were engaged in a titanic struggle over the fate of civilization itself. Harry Rositzke, an OSS veteran (Office of Strategic Services, precursor of the CIA), later wrote that the whole nation was in a state of hysteria, caught up in a kind of holy war. When Sukarno of Indonesia visited the US in 1956, he commented on how full of fear Americans were--of everything. Not just of communists, he said, but also of dandruff, B.O., and bad breath. There was no end to it really. Sukarno was amazed.

The voices that opposed this national insanity (allegorized by Arthur Miller in The Crucible) were few and far between. Reinhold Niebuhr asserted that the greatest threat to the United States was "the egotism of Americans and their leaders," adding that we were blinded by "hatred and vainglory." Diplomat George Kennan referred to Foster as "a dangerous man," seized by "emotional [read: rabid] anticommunism." Senator Taft of Ohio rejected the notion of an American missionary destiny. But this small handful of insightful critics were moving against the grain, and easily ignored.

Where was Ike in all this? This was, for me, another revelation of Kinzer's book, based on research most of which appeared after I published Dark Ages America in 2006. In that book, using the scholarship then available, I depicted Eisenhower as a kind of stooge of Foster's, a man who looked the other way while his secretary of state carried out his secret, nefarious plans, such as the overthrow of legitimately elected governments in Iran (1953) and Guatemala (1954). Apparently, just the reverse was true: Ike was really the guiding spirit, even architect, of US foreign policy, with Foster acting as his (willing) attack dog. I should have known: in his inaugural address of 20 January 1953, Eisenhower presented a Manichaean world view, talking about how "Freedom is pitted against slavery, lightness against the dark." This was not mere rhetoric, as it turns out; it was Ike who led the country into a secret global conflict, says Kinzer. In 1955 he created a Special Group to authorize covert operations such as coups and assassinations, and all its actions were taken on his behalf, while he posed for the public as an affable "Daddy" figure. He was the first American president to authorize the assassination of a foreign leader (Patrice Lumumba, 1960), and did the same thing (unsuccessfully) with Fidel Castro. President Johnson, a few years later, remarked (privately) that the CIA had apparently been running "a goddamn Murder Inc. in the Caribbean"; but the CIA could not have waged these wars without Ike's approval. Turns out, he was the most hysterical and simplistic of them all.

Why, asks Kinzer at the conclusion of The Brothers, did the Dulleses do what they did? The truth is that they did not emerge ex nihilo, and neither did Eisenhower. As the comedian George Carlin was wont to say, our leaders don't drop in on us from Mars. There is a deep cultural context here that goes back centuries. "They did it because they are us," writes Kinzer. He goes on (italics mine):

"If they were shortsighted, open to violence, and blind to the subtle realities of the world, it was because those qualities help define American foreign policy and the United States itself....The Dulles brothers personified ideals and traits that many Americans shared during the 1950s, and still share [today]. They did not colonize America's mind or hijack United States foreign policy.On the contrary, they embodied that national ethos. What they wanted, Americans wanted....[In all of this] the Dulles brothers were one with their fellow Americans. Their attitudes were rooted in the American character. They were pure products of the United States."

Many Americans believed, like the Dulleses, that our cause was so transcendent that it justified any extreme. Senator J. William Fulbright said that Foster fed the Americans "pap." But Americans devoured this pap, they loved it. "It fit with how they saw their own lives and history," says Kinzer. Foster plucked the chords of our wars: wars against the Indians, cowboy narratives, marine landings, and notions of Manifest Destiny. The idea that we must win everything, that we cannot just let some things be, is central to the idea of America in general. It was hardly born with the Dulleses. "Lashing out against real or imagined enemies, as they did, is typically American. Quietly watching history unfold is not." And Americans find it difficult to imagine how others see us, or even to care. The Dulleses "exemplified this national egoism. Empathy was beyond their emotional range." They could only simplify the world, never see its rich diversity. "In this, too," Kinzer adds, "they were quintessentially American." He concludes that what they wanted to do was project power--which was the same impulse that crushed the Indians, stole land from Mexico, and drew the US into a whole string of global wars. Americans believe we have vital interests everywhere, and so they elect leaders who believe the same thing. The fundamental assumptions that guide foreign policy today have not changed substantially since the fifties. In a word, Americans wish to ignore reality; they have a childlike belief that bad things are done by bad people (others), so the solution is to eliminate the bad people. Basically, they are fools, and remain so to this day. Changing this mindset would thus require something on the order of a mass lobotomy. "Americans never learn," quipped Gore Vidal; "it's part of our charm."

At the end of the popular TV series The Americans, Soviet agents Elizabeth and Philip Jennings (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys), their cover blown, flee the US and return to Russia. In the final scene, they gaze out at the Moscow skyline, apparently wondering what their time in America finally amounted to. All that mayhem, all that murder and wanton destruction of so many lives, and for what? For some abstract system that made it impossible for people to live lives of their own? It's a moving scene, but I couldn't help thinking how such a revelation was unlikely to occur to Americans, with their own abstract system of beliefs. If it ever does occur, it is quite brief: Jimmy Carter's declaration, for example, that we needed to stop blaming the Soviet Union for all of our problems, quickly replaced by "Evil Empire" Ronnie--in what amounted to the greatest landslide in electoral history. We are not into Jennings'-style soul-searching; in truth, we don't appear to have much of a soul at all.

There is very little that could get us to see through our addictive "need" for war, the imperial framework of our modus vivendi, or the illusion of our entire way of life. The continuity between the mindset of the fifties with Vietnam, Chile, Reagan in Central America, Iraq, and now the demented misadventures of Trump, ought to be obvious, but such connecting of the dots is way beyond the intellectual capacity of most Americans, who live on pap, as Sen. Fulbright correctly observed. A nation of goofballs, when you get right down to it, regardless of their IQs. Meanwhile, the tiny number of dissenters from such mindsets, such blind, abstract systems--folks like George Kennan, E.M. Forster, J. William Fulbright, Reinhold Niebuhr, Arthur Miller, Ai Weiwei, Talleyrand ("Above all, no zeal") et al.--those who reject formula and frenzy as a way of life--is minuscule. But I believe there is a name we can call them by: Wafers, wry observers of societies gone berserk. It may be a long shot, but ultimately they are our only hope.

(c)Morris Berman, 2019


Blogger Gunnar said...

Excellent as always MB. The beat definitely goes on, so many progressive social plans with unicorns and rainbows, but I haven't heard a single one (of 23!) mention cutting defense spending. It's a third rail now the way social security/Medicare used to b.

And Elizabeth Warren sounds like a freaking infomercial.

3:45 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,

@Morris Berman. Thank you for the neat summation of what we have learned and what we know, and how to proceed. In the past three days I have re-read portions of an excellent title "Addicted To War". Given to me many years back about 2006 by my brother whom recently died. I'll try to get the author's name etc or a link. It's a good basic primer in drawing/and commentary form about the subject of your spot on essay.

Wafers rule.

4:33 PM  
Blogger s.lepore said...

Jesus Claws.
I believe in Jesus Claws
Make way for the American.
The glitter God shroud is
Over this plastic crowd
Be them Republicrat or Democan.
Did it begin in the 80’s with those
700 Club crazies, Zappa warned us all about
Now blossoming into a billion gentrified daisies?
Make way for the American.
Giving thanks to the Sumerian.
Who gave us fulltime priests,
Domesticated animal feasts
And a scapegoat lizard to drop
All our sins upon.
When the mystics all died because of religion,
And religion is really politics in disguise.
We continue celebrating this century of selfish sin
Never able to pacify the tormented little bastard
Bleeding within.
I believe in Jesus Claws,
in that brand stretching far and wide.
Make no mistake your land is ours to take
Conscripted by the Invisible Hand.
The wealth must reign on high from above
To trickle down below, cuz, don’t you know?
God’s dandruff is Christmas time snow…

9:57 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Americans are savages with a savage religion, which by the way bears little resemblance to Christianity, it's more a sociopathic Social Darwinism.

Because being savages leads to things like decreasing life expectancy, no family to speak of or social network, miserable, dark lives for most, leading to everything from workplace shootings to the ol' "Oopsie, guess I just drove smack into that large tree - bye".

I honestly think that in the long term, assuming there is one, that Buddhist/Confucian societies will win.

11:12 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Good essay, reaching your Negative Identity essay (sorry I don't remember the exact blog title for the new WAFers, but seek it out) in scope. Actually, I don't care for that word, scope, it seems rather trite but alas Dr. B., it's all I can come up with right now.

I'm interested in this: "When Sukarno of Indonesia visited the US in 1956, he commented on how full of fear Americans were--of everything. Not just of communists, he said, but also of dandruff, B.O., and bad breath. There was no end to it really. Sukarno was amazed."

Did you find Sukarno in the Kinzer book? Seems rather De Tocqueville, but in the 1950s? Could be worth some further reading.

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Joseph Perez said...

The Freudian Loafer, the Intellectual and the Politician’s Son

- Louis Sarkozy, the son of the former French president, wants to make academics into influencers. -

Steven Pinker is a shoe model for an "intellectual" fashion brand created by the son of Nicolas Sarkozy. You can't make this stuff up.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Brutus said...

Perhaps you should consult one of Annie Jacobsen's books to discover how deep and abiding is the crazed approach of U.S. security agencies and their covert operations.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Democritus said...


First time posting. I read "Twilight" back in 2001 and became a dedicated reader of Dr. Berman's works. I thought things were bad then...Trump??? Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

I teach at a junior college in northern California. Many of the students are clueless trolls who don't give a shit about education--just money, money, money--and of course endless wars and "smart" phones. Each semester, though, I do have the pleasure of working with a handful of thoughtful, intelligent, empathetic--and most importantly--humble students who truly enjoy the hard work of learning what is real and what is not. I tremble when I imagine what sort of world they will inherit in ten or twenty years. Even though it's never voiced out loud, it's clear to me that they also see we live in a bullshit country inhabited mostly by--and controlled by--violent witless morons.

No posts to share this time. Just wanted to introduce myself and remind everyone that there are WAFers everywhere. Not enough to change the trajectory of our "culture" (if America can be said to have any culture), but maybe enough to preserve some sense of the Enlightenment. Take care.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Always liked yr atoms. In any case, welcome to the blog. Don't lurk; live!




No surprise. Pinker is one of the greatest assholes America has ever produced. Tells you something abt Harvard.


Sukarno in Kinzer.


1:03 PM  
Anonymous Tony said...

English peasants in Medieval times lived on a combination of meat stews, leafy vegetables and dairy products which scientists say was healthier than modern diets.

No Mcdonalds!

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

Hi Wafers,

Thank you to the person who posted the article on wilding ... beautiful. And thank you, Dr. B for this latest essay. I grew up near an airport named after the Dulles brothers, can never remember which one.

Here's my meager contribution. I don't agree with everything in this, but my fav quote from it is "The export of military hardware to Middle East countries that hate us is a prime example of how a flailing empire will do anything for a buck, while its corrupt politicians are fellated by the corporate war industry." Indeed.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Artemus Gordon said...

I was listening to a Terence McKenna talk about psychedelics and spirituality from August 10, 1998 and who should he mention, but Morris Berman. He brings up your book Coming To Our Senses at the 7:00 minute mark. He’s very positive about the book and what you have to say in it. I thought you’d enjoy this blast from the past.

6:59 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

After Saturday, perhaps add Australia to the indictment. Marilyn Manson addressed the BO fear etc

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Michael in Oceania said...

Hi, Alex,

We've discussed the Puritan origins of American culture in the past. I agree that Calvinism has nothing to do with Christianity at all. Here something I wrote to my brother about this several years ago:

"The Emersonian, “rugged individualist” philosophy of the United States, teaches that, if you have problems in your life, it is all your fault. In other words, it is because you are a “loser," This is related to the Puritan Calvinist idea of the “elect” versus the “reprobate," As you may recall, John Calvin taught that God had predestined, before the beginning of Creation, who was going to be saved, and who was going to be damned. He further taught, that material prosperity was a sign of God's election, and that if you were poor, you are probably also damned as well. This was the official theology of Puritan New England, and, after the Civil War, became the overall philosophy of the United States as a whole. Social Darwinism is nothing more than Calvinism stripped of its theological trappings.

Thus, the idea that the overall state of the society could have anything to do with your troubles is a forbidden thought - “crimethink”... Well, I am about to engage in some serious, major “crimethink," I believe that the pathologies of American society have a direct impact on people's mental health. Living in a pathological society is enough to drive even the most normal person to some kind of neurotic reaction."

9:49 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

I’m sure you’re not happy about this Morris!

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Joseph, excuse my french (easy pun), but jesus fucking christ. What a douchebag. An Instagram page called "Sarko Junior"? Seriously? This line from the article really knocked me out:

"Though Dr. Pinker normally wears cowboy boots, he said he quite liked the loafers. He modeled the Freuds, which are blue, with a Freud signature as well as dream catcher on the front."

Those people need to be drowned in a pool of urine.


3:37 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

MB & Wafers,

Just a short note to note the passing of a leading actress of Japanese golden age films, Machiko Kyo. She was phenomenal in "Rashomon." Interesting comments from her in the obit on the differences between US and Japanese film making. (Also note the picture - she's playing Ikuta style koto.)

Re "The Brothers" and Stephen Kinzer - thanks for the review, I hadn't read that book but will order it. I know quite a bit about the dismal legacy of the Dulles brothers, but I'm sure I'll learn more. But the revelations about Ike - depressing. So true - they are us. I always look forward to Kinzer's op-ed's.

6:24 AM  
Anonymous Jason said...

Chris Hedges comments on US "Cultural Schizophrenia" - how the media presents emotional appeals insgted of facts, which creates social fragmentation.

link to original RAND study:

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

Excellent essay and I'll plan to read the book. I'm not surprised Ike is the president who brought them to power. Taibbi's recent article coincides with yours but, like many journalists, sees this as a recent problem and not an ongoing mindset.

"A few weeks ago, the New York Times ran an exposé about Guantanamo Bay that should have been a devastating piece of journalism. It showed site officials building a hospice, because prisoners are expected to grow old and die rather than ever sniff release. One prisoner was depicted sitting gingerly in court because of “chronic rectal pain” from being routinely sodomized in CIA prisons.
Ten years ago, Americans would have been deeply ashamed of such stories. Now, even liberals don’t care. The cause of empire has been cleverly re-packaged as part of #Resistance to Trump, when in fact it’s just the same old arrogance, destined to lead to the same catastrophes. Bad policy doesn’t get better just because you don’t let people talk about it."

Ten years ago Americans would NOT have been ashamed of such stories -- I'm surprised he doesn't remember the horrible prisoner abuse in Iraq. No one was punished except for the low-level soldier who exposed it. He had to go into protective custody. Here's the entire article:

10:55 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


A thoughtful and sophisticated examination, MB. Our eyes are opened once again. In many ways, you and Kinzer seem to be on the same wavelength.

MB, Wafers-

Do you guys remember the book, "Idiot America"? Here's a piece by its author, Charles Pierce:

I've now, reluctantly, moved the Trumpola re-election betting line, giving Trumpi a 60-40 edge to win. 70-30 if Biden is the nominee.

Meanwhile, this is also gd:

Have a wonderful day,


11:09 AM  
Anonymous Brutus said...

Here ya go:

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Murphy said...

Great intro to Jean Gebser--focuses on aperspectival/integral consciousness

12:55 PM  
Blogger Dean Rao said...

The essay is an excellent articulation of the kind of talk and "thinking" I observe-always-around here. It's an almost uncannily accurate description of the locals. But I guess the condition is all too common.
There's no relief from it in this MAGA infested armpit of the universe. I wish I could could pulverize the essay in a mortar and introduce it into the local water. For detoxification.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I don't want to sound rude, alex carter, but your saying that "Buddhist/Confucian societies will win" reveals a fairly yankhead view of things.

It appears that Canada's most regrettable export, Dave "Axis of Evil" Frum, is trying to atone for all the blood that's staining his keyboard.

Iraq invasion supporter David Frum on why a U.S. war with Iran would be such a mistake

2:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thank you all for yr contributions. I continue to be impressed by our greatness: who cd deny it?

Onward, toward the abyss!


2:05 PM  
Anonymous singing sam said...

That the Dulles brothers' critics were few in number reminded me what Kinzer wrote in “The True Flag” about the small group of those who opposed the intervention of the US in foreign lands, specifically Cuba, the Philippines and Hawaii. The group included Mark Twain and a prominent Boston lawyer, Moorfield Storey. In a speech at an anti-imperialist rally in 1898 Storey said: “Let us once govern any considerable body of men without their consent, and it is but a question of time how soon this Republic shares the fate of Rome!” Sound familiar?

If I may, I’d also like to add one other foundational American belief (or rather tendency), one I think is implied in MB's list. Since its inception, Americans have believed that God has given them the right to dominate the rest of humanity. The right of domination arises, I believe, from the illusions of Exceptionalism and its evil stepsister, Missionary Christianity.

Exceptionalism justifying Domination was at the core of the originating statement of the Project for the New American Century (signed by Bush and 10 others in his administration). In 2005, Harold Pinter referred to America’s desire for world domination in his Nobel Prize speech: “I have said earlier that the United States is now totally frank about putting its cards on the table. That is the case. Its official declared policy is now defined as "full spectrum dominance".

I have said earlier that the United States is now totally frank about putting its cards on the table. That is the case. Its official declared policy is now defined as "full spectrum dominance". That is not my term, it is theirs. "Full spectrum dominance" means control of land, sea, air and space and all attendant resources.[4]wherein it is referred to as America’s right to world-wide “full spectrum dominance”.

4:58 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Admirable, but doesn’t address the ROOT problem of a SYSTEM that would even require such a thing in the first place.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous anjin-san said...

A great article detailing from A to Z the now almost completely evolved American police state.

Given the quality of American Education I'm sure in a few years they'll be using it to teach elementary children the alphabet.

9:24 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Tony - Medieval English also were active, about like the Amish now.

Michael in Oceania - Thanks for your post. Americans are almost uniquely vicious, selfish, angry etc. I'm glad I got my lazy ass up in time for some of that good old time (12th century Japan) religion and being around some really, truly, nice people.

jjarden - That's great news. I feel bad for Mexico, with the influx of barbarians, but maybe said barbarians will learn to live a bit more human-ly down there. The language isn't that hard to learn, the people are nice, and things are affordable. Me, I'd love to retire to Japan if I could handle the language.

Italiana - Ms. Kyo RIP. For something interesting, check out the mind-bending 1920s Japanese animation on YouTube.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Case Studies in usa-er assholery #801,294

Went to a sick care doctoral 'professional'.

He is up to "80" countries traveled; wants to get to 100. Typical USian country counter. Asked him how many days does he spend in the countries that he visits, and if he goes 'off the beaten path' to experience authenticity.

Blank stare, pregnant pause, then robotically stated he spends a ~1d in each country, and by group tour bus. He stated that he wants 100, he will stop when he get 100.
Sure his 'traveling' experiences abroad are very meaningful and memorable.

Even traveling was a metric, a competition, an 'accomplishment' amongst the dipshit american populace.

11:16 PM  
Anonymous Humac said...

John Gray on Józef Czapski to Proust in the New Statesman:

I'm also just finishing Gray's latest "Seven Types of Atheism" a play on Empson's "Seven Types of Ambiguity"

It is typical of John Gray - very well written and provocative.

10:26 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


We're not into 'declarations' here; anybody can make one. Try arguing a specific pt and providing evidence. Thank you.


The gringos down here continue to be gringos, i.e. shmucks. You shd watch their behavior, listen to their conversations--they are totally unconscious. It's actually scary.


Sure, but not implied; already stated in post, in Kinzer, and in QOV.


10:34 AM  
Anonymous Hirschhorn said...

Roland Barthes, having written that “love is obscene precisely in that it puts the sentimental in place of the sexual,” went on to call Nous Deux “more obscene than de Sade.”

Some thoughts on love among other things, both sources linking w/ Barthes.

10:52 AM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,

@Democritus - welcome...MB has it; "don't lurk, live." The only blog to follow.

Your comments, re: the students you do encounter whom make your work worth the while - Thanks for that reminder. I have often posted the same. I also feel "there are Wafers everywhere". The numbers are small, but they are "ever present, everywhere." There's one for you, Miles Deli. It was good to greet ya and meet ya at 6thANYWSM in April.

Here is the link to "Addicted To War" an illustrated expose by Joel Andreas: OR

Wafers rule!

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Matt S. said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

I lived and worked in the US for 7 years as a PhD student. One of the things I hated most about Americans was their love of saying "We can do better" every single time someone caught them of blundering or failing at something very badly. Your quote from Gore Vidal: "Americans never learn" is also my favourite. I used to meditate over these two expressions over and over – how could a people who has never learned ever does anything better?

I got a green card during my long stay in the US. But eventually I decided to return home (Thailand) to be a law professor. I felt like America never really wanted a contribution from a foreigner unless that foreigner was willing to participate in the true American way of life – that is being selfish and narrow-mindedly greedy.


Matt S.

2:01 PM  
Blogger David said...

A Golden opportunity for true reform in Guatemala was killed before it had a chance to succeed by Eisenhower and his partners in crime the Dulles brothers in 1954. The Guatemalan President had his heart set on land reform to provide a means of livelihood for the poor Guatemalan peasants who had been exploited since the Spanish conquest in the 16th century.
Because his land reform touched on land owned by the United Fruit Co. they contacted A.Dulles and using the pretext of Guatemala buying small arms from Czechoslovakia they stamped Arbenz a communist and backed a coup by the military. The resulting military governments wiped out
200,000 or more peasants until their demise in 1982. But the offspring of the military coup 65 years ago are still showing up at the Mexican border today as refugees.

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

The state of feminism in 2019. New York Times editorial board member Carol Giacomo complains that there are not enough women involved in the building, deployment, targeting and use of nuclear weapons. From the article: “For women, people of color and transgender people, sexism, discrimination and harassment are often barriers to being hired, promoted or taken seriously in the national security bureaucracy—overseas and at home.”

Good takedown of the piece with a number of references to Dr. Strangelove, a film I watched just yesterday and would recommend to Wafers especially given the subject of Dr. Berman’s latest post.

Maybe intersectionality is what we need to avoid Rome’s fate. Maybe Rome might have survived if they had female and POC generals burning enemy villages and enslaving prisoners of war. Imagine Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris and Sheryl Sandberg leading a triumph in Rome with thousands of privileged, toxic male barbarians in chains. It would have been very woke.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


How exciting it will be, when women can push the nuclear button and destroy the world. Now that's liberation!


Check out DAA for extended discussion of the destruction of Guatemala.


5:26 PM  
Anonymous singing sam said...

jjarden - on the billionaire who paid Howard U student loans. Also see the new book Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas for a critique of that class (not the Univ one - the elite one.), reviewed in NYT:

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Samuel Andreyev said...

"Much of America, especially its elite class, its absolutely obsessed w/ lurid nihilism. It fuels our politics and culture war hysteria, and the obsession over minor trolls. The Left needs to dream bigger."

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

New national anthem?

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Tucker said...

Nonviolent protests are twice as likely to succeed as armed conflicts – and those engaging a threshold of 3.5% of the population have never failed to bring about change.

Erica Chenoweth's work on nonviolent protest movements (2X as successful in changing regimes as violent ones) is a ray of hope for humanity. Definitely not this country. But a long-term hope.

9:13 PM  
Blogger Balázs said...

Is this real or parody? "Trump Claims China Won't Become Top Superpower ‘With Him’ in Office." "<>, Trump argued."
Trump looks even more unhinged than usual in this but the fact that I'm unable to tell whether it is parody or not is telling itself. I couldn't locate the original source on foxnews, or on the net, and I think this is parody.

2:55 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Their parents must be so proud...

Students accused of putting bodily fluids in crepes served to teachers

7:34 AM  
Anonymous Hugo said...

Good read: ‘Orientalism,’ Then and Now

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Howard Taber said...

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic Series of the Western World)

Currently reading. Info within makes it hard to perceive there ever being an idyllic time for US farmers or even rural life. Not trying to downplay agency; it just seems like there was always a land grift going on.

This supplementary article shows where this myth came from, both in this article and the author's book, The 4-Harvest.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Regarding domination in my essay: I wrote that we believe we "can do whatever we want to in the world, including acting cruelly," and also wrote that the goal of our foreign policy is to project power. That's not domination? I have to ask that you read texts more carefully, and also that you not post more than once every 24 hrs. Thank you.


What level of change? Most of these don't really stick, in the long run (e.g. Georgia, the Philippines). This 3.5 figure strikes me as being pulled out of thin air. I mean, did she count the no's in each case? How, exactly? There is one nonviolent protest that did last, and that was Gandhi--which is historically exceptional. Major revolutions, like France or Russia, were hardly nonviolent. I cd be wrong, but this study smacks of wishful thinking. In any case, it certainly isn't going to happen in the US, whether violent or nonviolent, and most definitely wdn't involve 3.5% of the population.


10:19 AM  
Anonymous Pete Christen said...

MB: As the federal government disintegrates, will state and local governments begin to assert more power? As federal institutions weaken, will regional institutions (state EPAs, for example) try to grab their power? Is that a possible future for the US -- a devolution into regional power centers controlled by local crime syndicates masquerading as legitimate governments?

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Ralph said...

Re: the Japan book

The Secrets Within Prince Shōtoku: The 70 objects inside him - Presentation on the statue from the 13thC next Tuesday

11:45 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Yes, protest would also seem to be more a function of the public's capacity for moral awareness than any simple magical percentage. If it gets trendy, I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to get large amounts of Americans in the streets. It would be impossible, however, to get even modest numbers of committed, self-aware people with a sense of moral education beyond slogans and spectacles.

Also, mass protest to me seems to be a mostly amatuer letting off of steam. You need far less than 3 percent if it's the right people. Maybe our generals will get the chance to show such courage when they are asked to bomb Tehran... /sarc

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

Just think of all that warm ground that the US could use to resettle its total illegal
immigrant population, ten million+!! Remember the cost of "freeing" Iraq=trillions to
be added to the national debt?

1:48 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

I'm reluctant to bring Game of Thrones to the blog so I'll b brief. Generally I dislike fantasy stories, can't stand either The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings and avoided GOT until its final season then decided to check it out and binged til it was over. Like USA! itself in the end it was 'meh not much to see here. Peter Dinklage as the dwarf Tyrion is exceptional and all the characters have complex interesting story archs. What amuses me is how upset people are at the final episode. So, the dragon queen who wins the throne is murdered by her lover (the real king) b/c she is hell bent on 'liberating' the earth via genocide and the ones who have other ideas 'don't get a choice.' The Iron Throne is destroyed and the new King is elected (by electoral college) because he holds in memory the history of civilization and presumably can lead fairly and equitably. Maybe so many people hate the ending b/c what was slain is them and what will rule can never b in the good ole USA!

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Kelly Niget said...

"Then, before long, the first mistake caught my eye; soon, the 10th. Then graver ones. Errors, along with generalizations, blind spots and oversights, that called into question the choice to publish."

Anand Giridharadas reviews "Upheaval" by Jared Diamond

"His publisher has tweeted no statement. The book hasn't been pulled. And Gates seems undaunted by reported untruths. This book will be taught to students defenseless against its falsehoods.And one of America's biggest education funders doesn't care? The power of fauxthority."

Ouch! Pulling no punches here, this is the kind of take down that Steven Pinker's books require. Was never impressed by Diamond's scholarship. Both authors' books suffer from extreme cases of prestige fallacy.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I agree. For a very different take on prehistory, check out "Wandering God."


Secession is definitely in our future, 20 or 30 yrs down the line. But exactly what form it will take in each case is hard to predict. Texas ain't Vermont, for example.


Never forget the pussy hats, how powerful they were, and how they rocked the US to its very foundations!


3:52 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

I could see secession in Australia's future - people are talking about 'Quexit' because they are appalled that our worst government in history was voted in by Queensland.

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr B-

A masterpiece of an essay. I'm guessing that, if you read it at any fire hall gathering in the USA, you'd probably be shouted down.

6:20 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I doubt I'd get out alive. But I love to see Americans out of control, foaming at the mouth in a patriotic frenzy.


9:46 AM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

I really enjoyed that essay. I didn't know that Ike was was such a fool, but it makes sense with the direction the country took during his presidency.

No surprise here, Ben Carson is a moron. We need more people like him leading our institutions.

"HUD Secretary Ben Carson mixes up a real estate term and Oreo sandwich cookies"

And I don't know why he didn't just pull out a gun and shoot her.

"Mississippi Lawmaker Accused of Punching His Wife for Undressing Too Slowly for Sex"

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Pete Christen said...

MB and Wafers:
Drumpf is presiding over the largest dissolution of property since Henry VIII, although this time its not church property being seized; it’s public lands, public schools, natural resources, other civic assets. David Cay Johnston reports that the Drumpf administration is planning to sell (at a profit) some nonprofit electricity grids owned by taxpayers. The plan (which starts on page 38 of the budget) is to sell the Bonneville Power Administration, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Southwestern Power Administration, and the Western Area Power Administration. Also in the budget are measures to cut Social Security and other federal safety-net programs.
In many ways Drumpf's behavior mirrors that of Henry VIII. He craves wealth. He needs to dominate, to win, to brag, to be worshiped, et cetera. The two men share a similar psychological profile.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous singing sam said...

Recent New York Magazine article on American Exceptionalism (Jan 2) is a good read.

“American exceptionalism is a dangerous myth” – Eric Levitz does good job of reviewing the history of American foreign interventions but seems to think that the American people might choose a different path if they could see in Trump the face of past American foreign aggression." For some reason, he is unable to go one level deeper and substitute "their own faces" for "Trump's".

Trump's crudeness often betrays him by unwittingly pulling the curtain away from the Wizard and revealing the truth of why American has intervened in tens of nations throughout the world. But the policy did not originate with him. Our "right" to intervene in the affairs of other nations - grounded in the myth of superiority/exceptionalism - is as old as the Flag and as traditional as apple pie.

“Trump … has put the ugliest possible face on American empire. For liberals, there is a strong temptation to call this hideous visage a mask; to insist that “this isn’t who we are.”

“But it would be more accurate to say that this is who we’ve too often been. (I would say always been.) This hateful sociopath, immune to all human sentiments save fear and greed, devoid of all principles save a will to power, incapable of seeing the world from anyone’s perspective but his own — this is who we were to the peasants of Vietnam, and to the people of Jacobo Árbenz’s Guatemala, Salvador Allende’s Chile, Mohammad Mosaddegh’s Iran, João Goulart’s Brazil, and so many other fragile republics yearning to breathe free.”

2:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


See DAA for elaboration.


It's all destructive, and therefore good. Cross fingers he's reelected.


Ike wasn't a fool. That's sort of how I portrayed him in DAA, but I was wrong. He was cunning, destructive, and power hungry. An affable goof was his public persona, to hide the ugly reality. As for Carson: we need more of his kind in positions of power.


2:58 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

Prepare yourself for the discourse for the next election.
Come to think of it, this right-to-life nonsense.. to be consistent one must
declare that menstruation is MURDER. All female teens who are fertile MUST
have as many children as possible by age 35; one per year seems reasonable.
This way there will be no case for immigration to maintain population growth.
All that need be done is to make a white vote worth 10, a black vote worth 3,
a Hispanic/Asian vote worth 1...sort of proportional representation.

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Pete Christen said...

MB: No worries. The way I see it, only death will take Trumpi from the White House. He'll find a way to stay there till the neurons in his tormented brain quit firing. Meanwhile he will keep crashing the ship of state into icebergs, sandbars, derelict naval mines, and celebrity yachts. It’s all good.

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then there's this:

Jeff Bezos is arguably the biggest sociopath alive. Guess that's what it takes to be the richest man in the world.


5:20 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

SOCIALISM Straight Ahead....

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Nill Bye said...

Bill Nye on global warming: Good

Bill Nye on regulating the Internet and applying Schenck to fake news: Distinctly less good

"So you feel hopeful that there is a way to regulate this?

Oh, yeah! I’m very optimistic. When the people coming of age today are running the show, all this stuff’s going to get addressed in five minutes. Climate change is just going to get addressed, and we’re going to have renewable electricity.


Bill Nye is an idiot.

6:08 PM  
Blogger Janet D said...

I read Kinzer's book last year....a real eye-opener.

My contribution this week: Great article from 2017 re: how stupid people eventually overwhelm the non-stupid in late-stage societies (note: stupid is not defined how you might think).

"In 1976, a professor of economic history at {UC Berkeley} published an essay outlining the fundamental laws of a force he perceived as humanity’s greatest existential threat: Stupidity.

Stupid people, Carlo M. Cipolla explained, share several identifying traits: they are abundant, they are irrational, and they cause problems for others without apparent benefit to themselves, thereby lowering society’s total well-being.....The difference between societies that collapse under the weight of their stupid citizens and those who transcend them are the makeup of the non-stupid."

No wonder the U.S. is in trouble....

12:50 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Needless to say, it was great seeing you again in NYC and are now safely ensconced in your lovely Mexican abode. and, of course, I look forward to the next summit. I've since become good friends with one of the participants by the way.
With all respect, I'm not sure why you laud Kennon since through his PPS23 in 1948 he provided the philosophical justification to "maintain the disparity" of having at the time 50% of the world's wealth with only 6.3% of world population. By the way, in both The Brothers and in The Devil's Chessboard, I could not find out the fate of Arbenz. Finally, I found it. After fleeing Guatemala he and his family went from country to country in search of safe haven. He eventually returned to Guatemala where he was thrown into a bathtub of boiling water-captialism at its finest.

7:28 AM  
Anonymous Patterson, Drew said...

Ominous Indian election news -- looking forward to Kapil Komireddi's new book

8:52 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


I don't post Anons. You need a real handle. May I suggest Hans Schmaltzkopf von Hockenblosen?


Kennan had more than one side to him, obviously. One of these was consistently opposing Paul Nitze and the crazy Cold War gang, who were distorting his concept of containment.


Be sure to see the film "Idiocracy."


9:29 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

I’d like to thank Wafer Janet D for her link to the Cipolla piece in Quartz.

For those who may wish to see the full thesis, here is a link. I suspect, however, that the essentials in the Quartz article make the case and require no additional supporting evidence.

As the prayer goes, “ora pro nobis.”

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Moniri said...

Altered minds: mescaline’s complicated history (book review) - ⁦Nature⁩ / American plains Indians instituted mescaline religious ceremonies after they were moved to reservations. The powerful rites might have to a response to the stresses of exile.

12:13 PM  
Blogger Systems Crash Go said...

What you say is equally applicable to India and Indian people.

Americans believe in manifest destiny. Indians believe that because of a few people and Mughal rulers, they were denied theirs. Now, they believe they can reclaim their destiny and be what? Just like Americans!! After all Modi promised the great unwashed, that Gujarat will be remade into Seoul.

The current government followed policies that cast most of the population into dire poverty while enriching the oligarchs - and those same people voted for the same government again!! So is the population gullible fools? Why do they vote for a government that could potentially screw them over in myriad ways...again for 5 years?

It is because the Indian people, just like the American people..are scum. They want a theocratic state not a secular democracy. They want a Fuehrer not a participative democracy!! They want a strongman, not a leader who talks about climate change and basic living standards!! The opposition party proposed a Universal Basic Income, affordable housing etc and look where it got them....nowhere.

But that's all good because just like the writer of Dark Ages America and the Wafers, I too, am a declinist. I hope the new government trashes the whole place. I also hope that Donald Trump comes back to power, and right now I have to say he looks set for a second term, lol.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aussie journalist Caitlin Johnstone has written an excellent new essay— ‘The US Government is Like a Bad Dad’:

2:41 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

DUMB as a ROCK...

'Achomlishments': Photographer snaps look at Trump's notes in Rose Garden news conference

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Senim said...

2018? But just getting published? If not the Villa of the Papyrii, where were these found? More to come? The public library of Herculaneum?

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Rufus T. Schmeck said...

Dear Michael in Oceania,

And I do mean Dear, by the way. Thank you for your succinct description of Puritan New England & it's reduced product.... "Rugged Individualism". How we embody our theological/cultural nonsense! This story/ theology amounts to rejecting life on life's terms. Buddhism teaches that all life is transitory. Nothing last forever. This is not a punishment, it's just the nature of our lives. Embrace it! I took the handle here at some point as the "Repentant Puritan". I've moved beyond that now. They were an important example of what does NOT work & that is valuable. They were sheep, as we all are, to some degree, of our sociology & or our theology.

I will quibble with you about the exclusive nature of "crimethink" in America. Try to question Israel or Islam.. you'd be antisemitic or a Kafir, if that is a strong enough term. The Abrahamic traditions solidified this, as Alan Watts called, spiritual one-upmanship. We're the chosen people; no we're saved, & you're not; no, we have the new & improved prophet... & on & on this nonsense can go. Regardless, "Living in a pathological society is enough to drive even the most normal person to some kind of neurotic reaction." Yup...

Rufus T. Schmeck

6:30 PM  
Blogger Del Gord said...

Janet D

re: stupidity

Frank Zappa said, "hydrogen is supposed to be the most prevalent element in the universe. It is not. It is stupidity." Maybe I'm not quoting it word for word, I'm too lazy right now to look it up. But he definitely did express himself well.

10:05 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Highly recommend to any Wafer able to tolerate TV @ all - ABC's recreation of an episode of All in the Family & The Jeffersons is must see TV. Norman Lear @ 96 years young introduces each episode and it's an all star cast broadcast live. Nostalgic for me, relevant today. Many ways to pontificate it's @ minimum a return to when TV tried to be smart.

2:01 AM  
Blogger Balázs said...

The Huawei ban will likely have much more serious and unintended consequences in the fields where the US economy is still strong (non-military), like chips and aviation. Very likely the Chinese quickly (1-2 years) substitute chips with domestic production (and similar quality). For aviation, in the short term, they can easily fukk Boeing, and use this (and the 737MAX fukkup) as a golden opportunity to develop domestic alternative in the middle term (5-10 years).

Apparently, whatever the US does gets the opposite result.

2:59 AM  
Anonymous Onward to Dystopia said...

I found that Gallup poll jjarden posted pretty interesting, of course, we have seen the support for socialism creeping up in America over the years. The problem is, I predict that all of those people are safely ensconced in dense urban centers and because of the way the senate and president are elected, they will have zero effect on national politics. Zero.

Along similar lines, I find it baffling that people think Bernie Sanders would get elected. I see everyone saying that he will get the working class voters Trump got, but I distinctly recall a barrage of news stories after the election reporting that most Trump voters were BETTER OFF than average. Is Bernie going to get the vote of a small business owner making $70k? Gimme a break! And besides, the Democratic party is horrified by the prospect of actually holding power and being expected to do anything whatsoever. Nothing would get done.

"When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat." --George Carlin

3:36 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

She thought she had Brexit in her quiver,
But in the end she couldn't deliver.
It's okay Theresa, you did fine,
moving your country closer to decline.

Wafers Rule!

9:45 AM  
Anonymous singing sam said...

Trump and the GOP are not the only politicos calling for intervention in yet another foreign country, this time Venezuela. Although interference in another nation's internal affairs via economic sanctions or outright war is an international crime except in the case of self-defense, many leading Dems support Trump's sanctions (which 2 economists calculate as causing 40,000 deaths). Why? Oil - maybe.

But the reason really doesn't matter. The only reason we get away with continuous international crimes is because we can - the numbers are legion and stretch all the way back to Hawaii and Cuba (if not the land once known as "Indian Territory".) As MB writes persuasively in his essay, John Foster Dulles embodied everything that Americans believe, including Exceptionalism, the belief that " we can do whatever we want to in the world, including acting cruelly" and "the right to accumulate vast wealth, even (or especially) at the expense of weaker nations". America is the bully on the block and of all the characteristics used to describe the Great Fake Tanned One none is more appropriate than Bully.

1:27 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

Even more good news for Wafers! Make you plans for the celebration party as Trump takes the
White House with a popular vote SEVEN TO EIGHT MILLION L-E-S-S than his opponent. Also
celebrate that 30% of the electorate elects 70% of the Senators. Remember that the basis
of the Constitution is government by the elite to be found in the Senate, the Executive,
and the Supreme Court. Also this bunk about democracy and freedom exists only in Congress,
the feckless branch that has ceded decision making to the other three.

Physics can explain this: the Universe contains dark matter, dark energy, visible matter,
and the rest is stupidity. Consider that Trump's trade war costs the average redneck in
his base $eight hundred/yr = their pittance of an income tax savings. Yes, who can deny
that he is the friend of the working man??

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

FYI WAFers, Idiocracy is available to stream on the Internet Archive:

4:00 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Speaking of having a front row seat, in the industrial complex a unit of which I live in, we have a small population of homeless people who live in the parking lot. The somewhat attractive women seem to work in prostitution, while the ugly ones along with the men scrounge for scrap metal, steal stuff, etc. They're constantly fighting. Occasionally they use their questionably legal vehicles to ram into their adversaries' questionably legal vehicles, generally ending with a through-the-drivers-window fist fight. The females are more fighty than the males, actually. They all hate each other; American society in a fish bowl.

Onward to Dystopia - I tried the semi-rural survivalist compound thing. They're a bunch of crazy Nazis out there, white, right-wing, keeping lists of which neighbors to shoot right away and which ones to save for later, as one anti-gun put it, a phantasmagoria of roscoes. These are the Trump voters, indeed, along with the small business people, etc. This is why Fabian Socialism will never work. Needless to say I'm much happier in the city where come to think of it, about the only white people I talk to is my employer and the occasional barista.

6:36 PM  
Blogger Patrick D. Fitzgerald said...

Public announcement as promised to Chicago area Wafers: 2nd Chicago Regional Wafer summit will be held June 22nd on the far southside of Chicago, email me at pfitzger aat gmail for more location details. Rahm Emmanuel and his old pal Barack have already asked to attend but have been turned away. If you're inclined, please try to come, some heavy hitting Wafers are already confirmed, it will be a good time.

As for the Dulles brothers, I am confident that in 100 years time there will be Great Seer Belman SPACEport in China, possibly Russia, though I don't know Russian phonetics well enough to make a culturally relevant spelling joke.

Onward, downward!

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Workplace overdose deaths are on the rise in America. “The number of drug overdose deaths occurring in the workplace rose by 24 percent annually between 2011 and 2016, researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found, costing 760 lives in that time period alone.”

6:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finished reading "The New Chimpanzee" by Craig Stanford this week. It's an updated study of chimps, with all the latest field research done over the past 20 years.

Unlike what you claim in Wandering God MB (i.e.Goodall, Kasekelas, Kahamas & feeding patterns) the book advances that violence is a normal, adaptive behaviour among chimps and that it's NOT a result of disturbance by human influence. Here's an extract:

"The skeptics' case ignores the voluminous data on chimpanzee violence. The most frequently violent chimpanzees that we know of, at Ngogo in Uganda, live in one of the most pristine habitats in which chimpanzees have been studied".

It's not a black-and-white debate of course, but our ancestors are definitely not as rosy as we'd like them to be.


8:07 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Problem is that in Goodall's study, the violence occurred after the feeding pattern became restrictive. Goodall covered that up, if I remember correctly; an anthropologist I know wrote her 8 times abt it, and she never replied.


Possibly the worst PM in UK history. What a douche baguette.


11:38 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Once in a great while the truth sneaks into the mainstream media. Love this clip!

2:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Lack-

You may be rt abt religious/secular overlap, but opening the door to discussions of religion per se will not be helpful to the blog, whose focus is the American collapse. It will only make things blurry. I suppose we cd discuss the role of religion in that collapse, but I doubt there is much to be said on the subject. I have repeatedly told those whose primary focus is religion to find another blog, but somehow they keep banging on my door. Hopefully, eventually they'll get tired. (It may take a while; like most Americans, they are not very bright. I keep marvelling as to how amazingly stupid this country is.)


2:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd clip, but post only once every 24 hrs, thanks. Meanwhile, millions of Brits live in poverty and hunger, but Theresa masturbates over Brexit for 2 yrs. But maybe, if you are poor and starving, there is a solution: you can go to this pub and look at tits:


2:39 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@alex carter

I had to serve on a jury recently, and the dynamic was rather similar. Among the sights:

- a testifying police officer leaning on the witness stand like a five year old, and seeming to drift in and out of sleep
- a state's prosecutor who wore one of those 'livestrong' Lance Armstrong bracelets, and was fist pumping the other assistant attorney on the bench. Also kept referring to defendant's hobby as his 'Mexican banda band'
- witnesses who seem to spend all of their time beating each other, threatening each other, and shooting porn with each other.
- guards as tatted up and vulgar as the defendants standing around talking smack before their case

Really, I've been planning to read Dante's Inferno, but this experience moved it up my list. Needless to say I was foreperson, and the jury found the whole country clinically insane!

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

More USians in action.

Intoxicated american 'forgets' he's on a plane and starts smoking.

Cue: where do these people come from, etc...?

These folks are your neighbors (Berman).

5:40 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I must disagree about May's being the worst UK PM in history. Can we not all agree that Margaret Thatcher has earned that title? Then again, anyone who has read Fromkin's A Peace to End All Peace might argue that David Lloyd George was da woist.

As for the essay; two brothers? I'm doubling down. How about Four Brothers?

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

Paul Craig Roberts has another good rant. The ending is pure Wafer:

"Under neoconserative and Israeli leadership, America has become a deranged country, distrusted by other governments and considered the primary threat to peace and life on earth.

Every American should be ashamed. But they are not. At some point, the Russians, Chinese, Europeans, Iranians, and everyone else will finally realize, hopefully before it is too late, that Washington is overwhelmed by evil, capable only of destruction, and a dangerous threat to life on earth."

9:59 PM  
Anonymous Onward to Dystopia said...

Alex Carter - That sounds like a very depressing sight. I had a very wise friend, Byron who was an artist who had what he believed was a prophetic dream way back in the 80's. He dreamed that everyone in America was living in RV's in the parking lots of Walmart's, and working there, and fighting over the scraps while their children bide away their time playing in mudholes.

This probably sounded crazy back in the 80's, but he told me this in the 2000's when we met and it's surely coming true. I came across the story below a couple years ago about seniors living in RV's and working at Amazon warehouses, they call it CamperForce! And of course, add this in with all the people who are just sleeping in Walmart parking lots. I've noticed number of videos about how to make a "stealth van" and where to park have been going up like crazy. When the crash comes it's going to be so bad I don't even like to think about it.

Byron died about ten years ago, he would have been a Wafer to the core. I miss him a lot, but he had health problems and sometimes I think he got out of this shithole while the gettin' was good.

10:23 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Are there any WAFERS out there living in the Philippines? I’m thinking about making my escape’s long past time.

Harvard Psychiatrist: Trump Is A Very Sick ‘Sociopath’

1:09 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greetings MB & Wafers,

On the same note as our beloved Dulles Brothers, here's an article showing how that proud tradition of interfering in others' affairs and lying about it is playing out today. Here we have John Bolton expounding on how we must intervene in Africa to keep the Chinese and Russians out because those two countries are using various nefarious methods to "hold the countries captive". Hmm, unlike our propensity to just whack any country that dares to hold differing views from us.

4:28 AM  
Anonymous Pete Christen said...

MB: Those who wish to insert religion into this blog should read your books. You examined the triumph of religion over reason in Dark Ages America. You explained the ascent of the religion of consumerism in Twilight of American Culture. You discussed the connection between technology and religion in Why America Failed. All that you have written has come to pass. That makes you a prophet. If the inserters are truly religious, they will bow down before the prophet and heed his words.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Gordon said...

‘Hyperloop’ Tunnel Is Now Just a Normal Car Tunnel Because ‘This Is Simple and Just Works’

I cannot overstate what a scam this whole deal has been.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


What yr referring to is not what these folks mean by religion. Sure, tech is the hidden 'religion' of the US (WAF ch. 3), but tech is not strictly speaking religion. Anyway, no need for anyone to genuflect to me, altho I have no strong objections to anyone rdg my work.


Sorry, cdn't run it. We have a half page max rule on this blog.


Check out "The Mandibles," by Lionel Shriver.


Maybe she was the dumbest.

I've been thinking again abt Wafer T-shirts.




2:19 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

I don't do it allot but sometimes I smoke a bowl turn on teevee without sound and study it. Do this for an hour and you will see a completely unhinged society. Here's my favorite:
Cyndi Lauper capitalizing on her Apprentice appearance turned vicious snake oil saleswoman:

What she looks like without makeup:

That's some creepy ass shit. Plastic ads for a plastic people.

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Matt H. said...

Morris- I read "The Mandibles" a few week ago. Funny stuff. I would be interested in knowing what you think about the book "Renovating Democracy" by Gardels and Berggruen. I think that it represents what the elites are going to push in the next few years. I'll finish it in couple of days and am more than happy to forward my copy to you in MX. Please note that Ms. twofer (Condi Rice) is on at least one of Berggruen's boards.


6:52 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

@Drew Patterson,

The reality of the recently concluded elections in India is more nuanced than what Western media outlets such as The Guardian, NYT,Time, etc portray it to be. If interested please review the following articles as well(I encourage all Wafers who might be interested in developing a more nuanced view of the largest exercise in democracy the world has ever seen):

Best Wishes,

8:34 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Pls write me at, and I'll give you my snail mail address. Thanks.


9:47 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Article on the increasing number of deaths occurring in American prisons. From the article:

"Surges in the number of Americans dying while incarcerated have occurred against a backdrop of an increase in the US prison population by 500% over the last 40 years. Based on the latest national figures available from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 4,980 prisoners in US correctional facilities died in 2014, a nearly 3% increase from 2013. In state prisons, the mortality rate was 275 for every 100,000 people, the highest since data collection began in 2001."

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Caspar said...

Human colonization of space as the new religion:

“Rather than being a blue oasis in a bleak and barren cosmos, the Earth becomes a depleted land, its soils leached of nutrients and its rivers dry, while over the cosmic horizon lie abundant riches – if only we can get there”

Life on Mars? Sorry, Brian Cox, that’s still science fiction
Philip Ball

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Goldberg said...

Flying cars? Why the f^ck not?! Anything’s better that pedestrianizing the streets, adding more bike lanes and moving tons of people in public transit with dedicated lanes in a dense city core! Woof, another nonsolution!

Could drones be the solution to Atlanta’s traffic gridlock?

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

Put it to your readers that it is impossible to not love the Dumpster, our Prez.
I'm told by Bill Cunningham, a Great American, fascist talk show host that CNN
reported that the Dumpster was in Japan and did NOT remove his shoes to award
a sumo wrestler a prize. He wore slippers, perhaps to hid the truth that there's
nothing wrong with his feet? Should there be some nonsensical debates in the
coming election, have your readers send him e-mails insisting that he should do them barefooted.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Penny Lane said...

Wafers! Did someone say jury duty?

In re: Reminds me of being in the pool for an attempted murder trial. The defendant was not going to testify. So prospective jurors were asked by the defense attorney in voir dire if they could refrain from judging his client based on his exercising that right. Multiple morons blathered, under oath, that they believed that if an accused were truly innocent, then said accused would testify to that fact. That a defendant declining to take the stand could only mean he had something to hide. That they would have to struggle to set this prejudice aside in deliberations.

The judge became increasingly frustrated as finally the prosecutor resorted to acknowledging that in fact, it was his job to prove his case whether the defendant testified or not; That this was all enshrined in the Fifth Amendment. Who knew??

The thought of being judged in any respect by a random dozen of these dumbed-down simps was a memorable step in my realization that the American Experiment had failed and that we are doomed.

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Rupert Carhart said...

Caspar - GREAT Phillip Ball essay you posted this AM on Elon Musk's Mars pipedream.

“He does not have superpowers. But his technology has superempowered him to the extent that his decisions might affect history. He is also a prick.”

“If expansion into space is too strongly identified with, led by and reliant upon superempowered men who behave like pricks, it could lessen, sour or endanger the whole undertaking” -

(Though neither Musk nor Bezos are pricks on the scale of Alexander the Great...)

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man” - George Bernard Shaw

These are excerpts from Olivier Morton in his new book on the Moon!

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Runes said...

Trump-Cheney rapprochement!

Liz Cheney: Statements by agents investigating Trump 'could well be treason' Malthusian decries “the fantasy of unlimited economic growth.” Ungrateful child.

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greetings MB & Wafers,

Well, I've read and watched a couple of contrasting articles over this Memorial Day weekend.

First, here's Walter Cronkite and Ike strolling one of the cemeteries in Normandy on the 20th anniversary of D-Day, 1964. Note how Ike talks about coming there to fight for freedom, but not for any advantage to America (!)

Next, here's Paul Craig Roberts, quoting MGEN Smedley Butler on the nature of US Wars - basically "War is a Racket":

Contrast couldn't be greater. But the US does such a great job brainwashing everyone from an early age into the flag/pomp, etc, especially of Memorial Day. The only way to break out of it is for the whole thing to collapse.

2:45 AM  
Anonymous Brendan Nguyen said...

Gordan and Caspar -

A community college astronomy professor here. Great articles! "There Malthusian decries 'the fantasy of unlimited economic growth.' Ungrateful child. '...Bezos’s vision, for all the window-dressing about 'unleashing creativity', is not an escape from the fantasy of unlimited economical growth but the continuation of it.”

How Elon Musk has risen to the celebrity that he has baffles my mind. His new satellite launch risks a huge impact on stargazing, astrophotography, observational astronomy. And Musk is straight-up misleading people by saying “they’ll be in darkness when stars are out.” That is not true!

9:26 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Umair Haque has published an essay on the parallels between the fall of Rome and of United States. I think he misses a major point, democracy only worked for the property class, not for the workers, slaves or any of their dependents. As Gore Vidal says (a paraphrase), There has only been one political party in America, the property party, and it has two right wings. I've felt odd calling the US a democracy, we have representative government, for most of our history the House was the only federal body open to election by the people and then, before the twentieth century, only by property-owning white males. Representatives elected are pretty much free to do whatever the owning class wants them to do and if the media doesn't educate the masses to this, the masses can't make informed choices. But of course almost everyone dreamed of riches and being part of the owning class.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Brendan, Rupert, et al.-

On US techno-worship, see WAF ch. 3.


9:35 AM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

Color me shocked...

I'd wager it strengthens his support. Americans love cold blooded killers. He'll probably get a medal for this.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Hi Dr. Berman

I've always thought of your consciousness trilogy as foundational, as far as your work as a whole is concerned. Social Change and Scientific Organization, which I read carefully about a decade ago, seemed to me to do some excellent historical work and to begin to draw the kinds of conclusions you expanded on in Reenchantment of the World. Your America trilogy seemed to go in a new direction, one that was more historical and political. Looking back on your work, would you say that the consciousness trilogy is indeed the foundational portion of your work, or would you include one of your post-Wandering God books with the trilogy, for instance, Neurotic Beauty?

-Northern Johnny

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

Those in civilized nations simply cannot understand 'mur'ka's passionate
and lunatic attachment to the gun. Any true 'mur'kan will tell you that
without guns, our sacred nation would not have been able to steal so much land
from others. The puzzle in this short vid is to figure out the significance
of using bacon on the silencer. Why not a hot dog or hamburger patty?

1:34 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,

@Patrick D. Fitzgerald - I came thru Flossmoor, IL, stayed with an old friend there, on both the approach and return trips to 6ANYWSM. Where is the June 22 Wafer meeting site planned, mas o meno? You mentioned the southern suburbs of Chicago. For me the Manhattan summit was too difficult to get to and too pricey to do again. Though it was a great event, and MB was brilliant as ever. Just curious. Might attend. Thanks.

Wafers DO rule, in obscurity! New Monastic Option. O&D!

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Here's an oxymoron-stadium concert. I just attended a WHO "concert" at our baseball stadium and got to see 2 stick figures I guess were the last surviving WHO members. Fortunately (?) they had colossal video screens so I could see the show-real intimacy. Of course, instead of just being allowed to sit anywhere in the general admission areas, there was staff taking us to our specific seats. I happened to be seated next to a heavy man wearing a WHO tee-shirt who had an empty place on his side. I asked, "Would you mind moving over so we could have more room?" He got angry and said, "I paid for THIS seat!" So much for the age of Aquarius.
Also, I had just returned for a few days in NYC to see All My Sons and Socrates. When I got back, I spoke to my college educated friend. I told him I had just been to NYC. He said, "You really seem to enjoy your retirement." I said, "Yes, I'm a bon vivant." He asked, "What's that?" I said, "A lover of life." He said, "A lover of lice?" Kill me.

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Amy Teller said...

The apocalypse of 1969: 50 years ago, modern America was born

5:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yes, foundational. The America trilogy is a case study, or application, of that foundation.


9:51 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check out this lady:

Tell me she ain't America. (It's her charm that's so impressive.)


10:00 AM  
Blogger Seligne said...

Provocative article from a Mexican student nearing his degree at a US university on why he wants to return to Mexico.

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Kotsko said...

Bob Mueller's showing his Pilate side: "What is truth?" "Take him and try him according to your own law." "What I have written, I have written."

12:03 PM  
Anonymous singing sam said...

Two recent instances from American TV Land:

TV Weather meteorologist in Dayton, Ohio (they like to refer to themselves by this title instead of admitting that they do little but read prognostications written by others off the internet) recently told the truth to his audience about their insane obsession with the show "The Bachelorette" - I paraphrase: I'm getting sick and tired of those of you who complain when we leave a network show for coverage of an imminent weather danger(in this case a tornado). This is a dangerous situation. A tornado is on the ground and may be headed to your neighborhood. Others have the right to know about it even if you would rather die watching The Bacheloretter. The newscasters showing the video described him as having lost it - Weatherman breaks down during broadcast.

Lady being interviewed at Memorial Day Celebration; asked what the moment meant to her: "I am thankful that God made people that are brave and honor Him (meaning the male sky God of Christianity) and believe in Him and die for us." I doubt she realized it at the time (or after) but in that single sentence she correctly describes the confluence of religion according to American spirituality and patriotism. God made American men brave so they could die for their country. What greater calling hast man than to sacrifice his life for lying, thieving politicians and war merchants. Oh, the ecstasy!

2:08 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

It doesn't get much dumber/brainwashed/zombified than this:

"I'm sick and tired of people complaining about this," Simpson said. "Our job here is to keep people safe and that's what we're going to do. Some of you complain that this is all about my ego. Stop, OK? Just stop right now. I'm done with you people. I really am. This is pathetic."

Birth of a Wafer perhaps?

2:46 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Please excuse my absence from the Wafer blog, as I complete my *final* semester of teaching. Indeed, I decided to retire, and I tell ya, I couldn't be happier. I spent 19 yrs of my life at this thankless job, and donated about 10 gallons of blood and tears during that tenure. I basically surrendered because it felt like I was working in a swamp where the actual welfare of the student was the lowest of priorities. Higher priorities were fund raising, erecting trophy buildings, gross administration incompetence and indifference, and too many encrusted tenured faculty who should have been put out to pasture long ago. The general attitude inside this institution was absolutely no boat rocking whatsoever. I just couldn't take it anymore; I was living a lie.

I also hafta say, it's astounding how stupid and tone-deaf the majority of my students and colleagues were over the course of my career -- particularly in the last 7-8 yrs. Here's one recent example: I asked a class (about 39 students) if anyone had ever heard of Alexander Hamilton. I got silence. Nothing! I casually brought this incident up at a dept. meeting and a professor said I should try asking those types of questions using Poll Everywhere, a web-based audience response system that collects and presents feedback via student mobile devices. I said to her, "Is this a joke?" She said, "Not really! It's a way to ask questions where students can answer w/o fear of being wrong. And they all have cell phones, right, and are probably using them in class anyway." I said, "Yes, but I was looking for a person who actually *knew* something about Hamilton. I got zilch. Hardly think that this kind of tech is gonna help in this situation, or provide a solution for the general ignorance and phone zombification I face on a daily basis, no?" She then said, "Some students just don't like speaking up in class. That's where the tech can be useful." Jesus, I felt as if I was interacting w/an MBA-crazed "efficiency expert." The kind that has infected every strata of our society, of course. I thought to myself, I hafta get outta here...there is no life for me here anymore. So I did!


3:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Congratulations; smart move. America 'works' if you have no expectations. If you say to yrself, "I'm surrounded by utter morons" (true enuf), you might start enjoying it all. But probably not. Best to just get out. B4 u leave, ask yr colleagues if they know where this is from: "How long, O Cataline, wilt thou abuse our patience?"


We cd use a link or two...


3:45 PM  
Blogger farbror Frej said...

I stumbled across the following 7-minute youtube-clip by chance: "Why it is more expensive to be poor" /

Nothing new and not anything that comes as a surprise. But as I commented "This video clearly shows how subconsciously cruel and careless the society really is against the poorest. The irony is that most of this policies are the result of the "tyranny of little decisions". Very few (if any) actively WISHES that poor citizens should be/remain poor. It's just turnes out that way. Nothing to do with me - or the rest of us.

3:56 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,

Congrats Jeff @Miles Deli. You deserve far better treatment than that which you are leaving behind you on the Trail of Blood, Sweat and Tears.

O&D O Cataline!

5:01 PM  
Anonymous singing sam said...

You're right. Sorry. Will provide links in future unless knowledge is well known. Although from what Jeff reports of his experience, that type of knowledge is in short supply.

5:45 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Not much going on lately, just the usual despair and desperation. Da Kopz came by and got all interested in the gaggle of homeless ppl who live in the parking lot, then in one (but not the other...) of the abandoned vehicles ...

But not all is crack and violence, there are also other coping mechanisms.... do not view this page if you are all depressive or suicidal, but this is what a lot of people's lives have become, Epic Fail by Rabb1t

10:38 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

File this one under "The Morons Will Never Learn"

You see, the actual problem with Enron was just that they were using 1999 technology...this time the software is new! It has to be different!

I don't think there is any such thing as true public shame or disgrace in the US if you stay on the straight and narrow hustle. It's kind of like a moral nudist colony or something. Wouldn't you be kinda heistant to show of your 'body' in public life if you were Jeff Skilling? I think only very late Rome can compete for utter shamelessness.

1:26 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Fuck you for your service...

“An attack on a plane by a fellow passenger’s emotional-support dog left Marlin Jackson needing 28 stitches, according to a negligence lawsuit filed Friday against Delta Air Lines and the dog’s owner. In the suit, Jackson claims he bled so badly that a row of seats later had to be removed from the plane.

Jackson had just taken his window seat in the 31st row for a June 2017 flight from Atlanta to San Diego when the dog, sitting on the lap of the passenger next to him, lunged for his face, pinning him against the window of the plane so he couldn’t escape, the lawsuit alleges.”

[The owner was a US Marine. I could not establish from my background reading whether there are certification requirements for pets who will serve as ESAs, or for that matter for schools that might offer their services as training institutions for same.]

10:07 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Maybe deep down Americans know they are turkeys, why not exploit the unconscious? What a total mind fuck...wld rather die of lung cancer than b subjected to this shit.

Weatherlady got death threats for interrupting zombie feeding time.

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

Using a condom is MURDER!! Yes, what is behind this continuing oppression of
women's bodies with NO abortions ever again? I suspect that the old rich white men
notice that the nonwhite birthrate exceeds the normal truly 'mur'kan WHITE
birthrate. They know what this will mean in the future. The only solution is to
FORCE WHITE women to have the children they do not need, resulting in raising
children in poverty, with the added treats of disease, school drop-outs, crime,
drug addiction poor diet, and all the other liabilities of being a member of
surplus humanity--just look at what this has done for the black underclass.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Thank you for the essay Dr. Berman, enlightening, yet predictable regarding us "exceptionalism" and other mythologies.

Would "love" to document via video, "educated" USians reading Dr. Berman's essay above and capturing their reactions for a case study in reality denials.

Predictable: "anti-fill in the blank," he needs to 'tone it down', what is HIS problem, if he doesn't like it, he can leave, anti-semetic remarks, ad hominem attacks, enough already, can't you say something 'nice,' we should/we need to yammer, and, of course, the pathgnomonic sign of the USian: rage/anger/drunk uncle/aunt routine with various extremities flailing exuberantly proclamating yankee doodly dipshit propaganda.

2:30 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

Another day in America

"Chicago officers handcuffed 8-year-old outside in cold and rain for 40 minutes, lawsuit says"

That kid is lucky he wasn't beat to an inch of his life. Cops are getting soft these days.

4:38 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Trump is now a cornered RAT who has gone full-blown Captain Queeg!!!...and at some point he is going to start rallying “His Troops” and command them....”Are you going to keep letting them do this to ME? To US? RISE UP and Start doing something about it!”

5:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm puzzled they didn't gun him down like a dog.


You really haven't gotten the hang of this blog.
1. If the knowledge is well known, we probably don' need to hear it.
2. Jeff was reporting on a personal situation, which is fine.
I honestly dunno what else to tell you...


6:36 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB, mean-

Many thanks for yr support. I really appreciate it.


So long, Leon, we hardly knew ye...


ps: Memorial Day Celebration: I can think of no better tribute than the hoisting of wieners on this day, which reminds us that wars are waged by leaders eager to prove that their wiener is larger than that of the enemy.

8:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


That's really what the Bushes were saying to Saddam Hussein. They became heroes in spite of small dicks; he got hung in spite of being hung.

Meanwhile, all Wafers pls print this article out on a color printer, cut out pix of America's leading douche baguette, and paste on fridge. There she stands: a more frightening endorsement of Botox, I can't imagine. Jesus, whatta face.


8:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


9:44 PM  
Anonymous Julie said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers,

I haven't posted here for quite some time but always love reading your blog.
I'm sure you all will be biting your nails waiting to see their first production.

Seriously, why won't they go away?


12:58 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Look at Hillary's face in this foto. Just look at it.


7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope you're working just as hard MB:

"If she gets four hours, she considers it a restful night”.


1:02 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

Ahh, who can forget what was heard in The New Germany: "We must have order by
working toward der Fuhrer!"?

4:56 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

American carnage dept.:


Rebekah Mecca (?), 31, and Daniel Walshire, 32, arrested for having sex on an Iowa bike bath:

I think Eddie Cantor sang an old song called "Rebecca Came Back From Mecca":

Since Rebecca came back from Mecca
All day long she keeps on smokin' Turkish tobecca...


8:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Whom were they endangering, exactly? Meanwhile, the gal doesn't look like she had a gd time. Waste of a gd screw, I guess.


9:34 PM  
Blogger Tim2 said...

Good day MB and Wafers

Trump likes dissing all his political opponents with disparaging nicknames.
I came across one for him the other day that is very apropos and for me it is a keeper.

‘3 dollar Don’ as in counterfeit, as in phoney, as in 3 card Monte.
Potential for a good T shirt slogan. If one shows up I am
buying one.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

What more evidence do we need that the country is finished, than the fact that these massacres just keep happening w/increasing frequency?:

Long overdue, to give every American a gun, and tell them to go out and kill anyone they don't like. At this pt, why not?

Note to Trumpi: she's not nasty; she's a douche baguette. Get yr facts straight, Don:

"Turkette" wd also be gd, of course...


10:33 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Depressing but informative article on the suicide epidemic sweeping the United States.

Good interview with Noam Chomsky on Trump, deaths of despair, unemployment rates and the tariff war with China.

2:24 AM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

Mike Pence tells the graduates of West Point to buckle up for multiple wars against China, North Korea, Russia and "In this hemisphere".

Along with trump's new economic war, a US invasion of Mexico is not beyond the realms of possibility.

7:44 AM  
Anonymous Trish said...

On Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday yesterday, a superb tribute

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Lora said...

Steven Pinker is selling Reason™, not reason…
by Nathan J. Robinson

This article screams of envy and bitterness, but still as MB said as 8f late, a broken clock is correct twice a day.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


And here I live only a few blocks from Trotsky's house!


10:39 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

I get it but why not go a step further and not give press coverage of shootings @ all? Why not follow the old maxim - dog bites man isn't news, man bites dog is. This way 'suspect shot by victim b4 opening fire,' is the only newsworthy story.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Honestly, I've tried to think of a single 'reason' why Pinker shdn't be beaten to within an inch of his life and then thrown on a dung heap, and I cdn't.

Pinker is part of the desperation of a dying empire and, more comprehensively, an entire way of life. I'm certainly not saying that modernity doesn't have its benefits, but like any huge socioeconomic/political system, it also has its down side. The same can be said, for example, of the Middle Ages. But modernity carries its own propaganda, designed to mask its down side and to also mask the up side of premodernity (some of the stuff I discuss in the Reenchantment bk, for example). Now that the dark side of modernity is becoming obvious, now that modernity is starting to fray at the edges and not look so hot, defenders like Pinker come to the fore to rescue it--with poor scholarship.

It all reminds me of that fleet of thick bks of the 90s and after, about the Founding Fathers--trying to show how great America really is. If it *were* really great, there wd be no need to try to prove it.


11:21 AM  
Anonymous Stefano Burt said...

Lori/MB - Pinker also had some terrible fashion model spot for some pompous shoes recently. My gawd.

Trish - I saw another essay on this that goes with our Blog:

This week marks the 200th birthday of Walt Whitman…often referred to as 'America's Poet,'" writes Karen Karbiener, a Walt Whitman scholar who teaches at NYU.

"Walt Whitman and his words are with us — even a little ahead of us," she says

"Walt Whitman's America was a mess. So is ours"

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Tilbury said...

Interesting words from a WAFer friend who is unaware that he is a WAFer. Comedy and humor are an important factor for our community.

"We were watching Dick van Dyke the other day and tearing up laughing at his amazing physical comedy. Trying to think of anyone today who does something similar, I wonder: did Jim Carrey single-handedly discredit physical comedy for an entire generation?Dick van Dyke made it seem effortless. Jim Carrey did everything he could to make it look as difficult and even painful as possible.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Shoe ads; says it all, n'est-ce pas? These intellectual 'stars' are actually just hustlers in another medium.


Also Steve Allen, from the 60s.


1:38 PM  
Anonymous Blue Mint said...

I predicted years ago America would eventually have a Guillotine Channel on cable. I feel like we’re getting closer.

Matt Taibbi in his upcoming book on American media/news journalism Hate Inc.: How, and Why, the Media Makes Us Hate One Another

1:54 PM  
Blogger Cj said...

This is probably old news here but John Gray's eviscerating critique of Pinker's most recent book is really good.

Hope all is going well Professor,


4:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd hearin' from ya! Yeah, I think someone posted Gray a while back. The problem I have w/all these critiques is that they never include words like douche bag, turkey, and utter buffoon. Or say that he needs to be beaten severely. Maybe I shd write a rev. :-)


4:40 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hello Morris, how have you been?
I used to hang around here a lot back between 2010 and 2014 and we would correspond by e-mail from time to time.
I'm the guy who lived in the Dominican Republic. I have since moved to Colombia.
I took a break from the internet for a while but now I'm back. I see that your blog has NOT lost it's greatness. It's still the best on the world wide web.

Sincerely, Sean Hunter

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

In about 6 weeks, I'm off to live in Madrid, Spain for at least a year (hopefully longer). There was quite a bit of paperwork beforehand, but definitely worth it. It's a starting point so who knows where the road will take me. I'm just glad to have an exit strategy in place. A lot of Americans, including my parents, preach about having a "backup" in place. But that oddly never includes having another country or dual citizenship in place as backup.

7:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Congratulations! One of my favorite cities, really. Let us know how it goes, tapas and all. Plus speaking with a lisp.


Gd hearing from ya. If you can, pls check in as Sean, as I usually don't post Unknowns. Thanks. And yes, there is abs. no other blog like this one.


7:10 PM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greetings MB & Wafers,

Life is good here on our mountaintop in Italy, weather a bit cool, but really nice regardless. Good times with good friends. Back to Switzerland tomorrow (where it is warmer than Italy!), need to finish getting settled.

Meanwhile, the latest from Linh Dinh - talking about all the folks/friends/acquaintances he left behind in the US. What a depressing picture he paints of the general state of the populace.

4:05 AM  
Anonymous Jimmy Beitz said...

Guys, watch Chernobyl! Best series I've seen in years.

MB: a roomie has given me the password for his Criterion Collection streaming service. I just watched your rec of "Les dimanches de Ville d'Avray". Wow! What a film! Was curious if you had any more titles to throw out there for a Wafer brother? :-)

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Dr Mike Bonner said...

Heu! Di immortales!

New Italian TV show to tell story of Rome's birth... in Latin

10:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Now, we're getting somewhere!


I'm not familiar w/that film. The one I did recommend was "Dimanches et Cybele." Also try "Our Brand Is Crisis."


11:55 AM  
Anonymous Henri said...

Tucker Carlson: “When the United States is attacked by a hostile foreign power, it must strike back. And make no mistake, Mexico is a hostile foreign power”

HAHAHA wheeeeeee!

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Rowan said...


Centrists are sleepwalking into the fire

New essay by J Gray

2:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A wry, very funny (in a British sorta way) TV series (now complete) is "The Detectorists." Check it out.

I also wanna comment on Bernie Sanders' campaign, in terms of a suggestion as to how to think abt it:

Bernie, Schmernie.

That abt covers it.


3:41 PM  
Blogger Patrick D. Fitzgerald said...

@ meangene
Get in touch at pfitzger at gmail dot com for wafer Chicago details.

Upon arriving in Atlanta for my ongoing USA visit, two airport employees had to be separated by their supervisor after verbally sparring in front of 400 arriving passengers at 530am in the immigration line, what a welcome! Why'd I ever leave?!?

9:23 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

It’s past the time to escape from America...Nothing good is going to come out of this standoff.

Again, ANY WAFERS out there living in the Philippines? I’m thinking about escaping there.

10:34 PM  
Blogger Fitzrite said...

America has not failed. It has done exactly whjat it was designed to do: Make a bunch of self-righteous religious lunatics extremely wealthy and then use that wealth to pillage the world. In this view it as succeeded spectacularly.

10:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check out artice by Jia Tolentino in April 29 New Yorker. Serious critique of techno-buffoonery has finally hit the mainstream. Article asserts how cell fones, and the ideology they embrace, are destructive of our humanity; discusses possibilities of individual resistance; and compares the whole thing to cigarette smoking. She doesn't tie it in to exploitation of kids in the Congo, but I think that will eventually make it into the MSM as well. Also recommends 2 new bks on the subject: "Digital Minimalism," by Cal Newport, and "How to Do Nothing," by Jenny Odell. Just maybe, these life-denying toys will be banned in my lifetime!


3:49 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Art Baker - if it weren't for rape and incest, white Amurikans would die out.

All - In my latest news from one of the shittiest cities in The Shittiest Country, San Jose, California, Gabriel is losing his place to live. Gabriel is a busker, with his violin. Unlike 99.9% of buskers, he's really good. I mean, really, really, good. The guy's got serious chops. He's been living in an illegal mother-in-law unit in suburbia and some new suburbians moved in and to their horror - someone's playing the violin! So they complained to the City and Gabriel's landlord faces huge fines or evicting him. I took Gabriel out to dinner last night and we talked about game plans, because when I'd lost everything in the last crash, no one ever did that for me. Right now the plan's for him to rent an office in a building I know of, where supposedly sleeping in one's office is tolerated. Anyone feel like helping, get in contact with me somehow thx.

4:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Give us your e-mail address; and good luck!


4:36 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

I could house him up where I live but he'd not like it - no shower, warehouse, dust, and a 30-minute walk in/out more like 45 minutes for him. "You're really physically fit" he told me. "I have to be physically fit or I starve", I replied.

6:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Just for future ref:
1. Send messages to most recent post; no one reads the older stuff.
2. Post no more than once every 24 hrs.

6:59 PM  

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