August 05, 2019

The Fix Is In

Waferinos-

Dark days, with all these shootings. No surprise to declinists, really. I mean, we're in the end game now, and the historical record is that the end game is ugly. I've said this many times before. Things that seem impossible now will in fact occur; Trump as president falls into this category. And don't kid yourself: he will get reelected, and things will get more violent and self-destructive by the day. Americans are on the edge of The War of All Against All; we shall slip over that edge within the next few years--as a number of novelists have already predicted. To outside observers, whether allies or enemies, we have the appearance of a nation not merely out of control, but irrevocably fucked up. We are certainly not a nation which other countries can admire, look up to. The lights are going out for the "City Upon a Hill," and I think there is a worldwide understanding that our end is in the cards. For most nations of the world, I suspect, this will come as a relief.

-mb

197 Comments:

Blogger jjarden said...

Is Trump’s History Contributing to the Destruction of America?


https://youtu.be/dTT8qdDsdrw

12:37 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

I thought this was an interesting opinion piece on the differences between how Italians deal with people who are at high risk for homelessness and how Americans deal with the issue. Here is an excerpt:

“In US West Coast cities, tens of thousands of addicts and mentally ill people live outdoors in squalid conditions and survive on a combination of panhandling, prostitution and property crime — which, in turn, creates disorder on urban streets.

In San Donato, addicts and the mentally ill are deeply integrated into the community and maintain a dignified standard of living. Their families and relatives look after them and stay involved in their lives.”

https://nypost.com/2019/07/31/an-italian-lesson-in-helping-people-at-high-risk-for-homelessness/

Just in time for the release of Genio.

2:43 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@MB--related to your post: Millennials are the loneliest generation. According to this recent YouGov poll, 22% of Millennials say they have no friends, while 30% report always or often being lonely, a much higher percentage than older adults. Yet younger adults are the most dialed in to social disease media, so I guess this means they are starting to figure out that Wastebook = Fake Friends. No wonder so many are willing to go out and shoot up the neighborhood.

@Artemus--I read the entire comic series of "The Boys," and agree that it's a brilliant bit of satirical writing. That's not so surprising since the author is one Garth Ennis, who wrote the even more brilliant "Preacher" that was a great send up of the America of the Clinton years. Ennis is originally from Northern Ireland, and even though he admires some aspects of American "culture" (such as it is), he takes a pretty pretty clear eyed view of what is wrong with this country.

@Ajay--"Too much freedom?" Really? I would argue that the problem is exactly the opposite. If your friend really believes such nonsense, tell him he should start posting on his tax accounting business's Wastebook page that he thinks Americans have too much freedom and then see how quickly his business collapses. Yeah, as Americans we can certainly say and do pretty much as we please, but if we step outside of a very narrow range of what is considered socially acceptable we will soon find ourselves broke and homeless. That's not my idea of "freedom."

@Pastrami--yep, that's pretty much been my experience in dealing with lefties as well, though I usually say 90%, which would bring our war spending down to about what Russia and China spend. The Pentagon/CIA project to brainwash our society is pretty much complete at this point. What a change from just 40 years ago.

3:07 AM  
Blogger Ajay Singh said...

Morris! I stumbled upon this blog, which makes some terrific points, I thought, about the end of days:

http://www.expertise-asia.com/2019/06/another-thirty-years-war.html?fbclid=IwAR1NcIx5QJo9rxhnSM-kOI3xEIK-Oa-ancAgCsHztIWZtDeo2KVnJs_ug0k

With every best wish,

Ajay

4:49 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ajay-

V. gd article, rt on target.

jj-

This is why I keep saying that Trumpanumpi is History's chosen agent at this pt in American history; Hegel's "world historical individual." Justin Frank says that Trumpaninni is essentially a destroyer, but that he masks it in the language of a rebuilder. What is now called for, historically speaking, is that America be dismantled. These powerful trends have been in motion for some time, as I showed in the Twilight bk. (I listed the factors that wd bring us down, and said unless we reverse these trends, we're finished. Of course, I didn't believe for one minute that anyone would listen to me.) Trumpaloni is the lightning rod, collecting these forces and directing them toward the inevitable collapse. Folks like Obama, Hillary, and Biden can only tread water, prolong the agony. Trumpi, on the other hand, will get the job done.

mb

8:10 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Bill, Tom: One of the factors I listed in Twilight was "spiritual death." What the US now offers its citizens, probably above everything else, is depression, whether economic or psychological: loneliness, poverty, and a total absence of dignity or self-worth. This is rotting the country from within.

8:17 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

While it will not be reported as such, this is the stupidest thing Trump has ever suggested...

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/watch-trump-calls-for-death-penalty-for-hate-crimes

1. Considering most of these people are also going in for suicide along with their crime... Not much of a threat.

2. A future Democratic president, hoping to avoid fundamental issues, may try to convict Trump himself for hate crimes...

If you read the Hebrew Bible or the Iliad, you will be quite aware that both whole peoples and individuals have been wantonly exterminating each other since the start of recorded history. It's the rare moments in human history that are exceptions that are worth noting.

So no, not ”Never Again", but rather "What rare social conditions conducive to peace are being severely eroded?"

8:20 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Dr. B and others, on the matter of 'sales' and such, I think it can be helpful to pull out some basic Marxism. 'Use value' and 'Exchange value,' specifically.

Just because something operates in the commodity system and is distributed based on its exchange value, it does not mean that it has no use value. Amazon's pricing and distribution system are pure late capitalism exchange value. But it does pass along things like a book by Dr. B that can have immense use value when read and thought about and discussed.

Now only if Italian villas were available based purely on use value....

10:54 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

A review and analysis of college admissions scandals from the website nakedcapitalism.com, occasioned by the latest examples to reach public attention: one can apparently appoint some third party to be guardian of one’s child/children, thereby improving their chances of obtaining financial aid. Only in America.
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/08/credentialism-and-corruption-a-second-look-at-the-college-admissions-scandals.html

And here, a short essay on why it seems we Americans are always locked and loaded.
http://theconversation.com/the-warspeak-permeating-everyday-language-puts-us-all-in-the-trenches-121356

In case you never heard/saw it before, here’s George:
We Like War
https://youtu.be/BtSv3x6lh3o

11:04 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

The fix is definitely in. The story of that poor 6 year old kid being "thrown" off the roof of the Tate museum in London by that teenager really did it for me. It's the first time a headline sends shivers down my spine like that. I always thought Europe would be insulated from the horrors of the USA, but boy was I wrong. Full NMI mode is now turned on. Kurtz was right: "the horror, the horror."

Kanye

11:16 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB-

Happy B-day! Sounds like you had a good one. I'm currently reading "Genio" and enjoying it quite a lot. I had no problems w/the order or delivery.

MB, Wafers-

A few items of interest:

1. Wicked leak dept.:

Michael Williams, 28, arrested for urinating into an automatic ice machine:

https://nypost.com/2019/08/06/drunk-florida-man-allegedly-peed-into-nightclub-ice-machine/

2. The gun lobby wins again dept.:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/05/el-paso-gun-sales-hispanic-americans-rush-to-buy-weapons

At this point in our development, Lexus Stagg is the only person who can save us.

Miles

11:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

What I conclude from this is

1. Americans need to pee on everything
2. They need to shoot everyone.

You may quote me.

mb

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Matt S. said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

Even the NYT article is saying that we are descending the same path that created ISIS. I wouldn't have belief this until recently. But a civil war fought by armed jihadists is now a very possible scenario of America's endgame.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/05/world/americas/terrorism-white-nationalist-supremacy-isis.html

Matt s.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Alfred Orel said...

Dear Dr. Berman,


Belated happy birthday to you. Sincerest wishes for many more. The world needs you.

Any opinion on yesterday’s yuan devaluation by the PRC? Are we seeing the beginning of the US’ “Suez moment”?

12:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Al-

We can only hope.

Matt-

Sometimes I wonder if the world is finally catching up to me. I usta say, with all the blogs and media and news coverage, there was only 1 place you cd go (here) to hear the truth: that the US was finished. Now, I have the impression that this awareness is multiplying. Wdn't it be fabulous, if instead of running around in pussy hats, Americans began doing "end of empire" dances in the streets? Wafers are encouraged to compose songs to accompany these dances.

E.g.: to the tune of "Somewhere, Over the Rainbow":

Somewhere, over the rainbow,
The US is done
Somewhere, over the rainbow,
I'll have another hot cross bun.

Etc.

And awareness of cell fone toxicity has finally made it into the popular press, at least in Mexico. Riding the bus back home from Mexico City yesterday, I was looking thru the bus co's monthly magazine, and there was an article called "Detox digital: una necesidad." Discussion as to how cell fone use was making us sick, and how to detox from it. I'll be hornswoggled.

mb

1:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: At this crucial juncture in American history, we need to hear from the following cutting-edge intellectuals:

-Sarah Palin
-Michele Bachmann
-Ging Newtrich
-Rom Mittney
-Dan Quayle
-Lorenzo Riggins
-Chrystal Walraven
-Phillip Lightfoot

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

Much safer to view the 'mur'kan lunacy from outside its borders. To listen
to the usual reaction when 'mur'kans view their essence and the history
with the gun that produced it, one understands why the carnage will continue.
Trump blames video games! He did not mention the estimated 100,000 potential
shooters floating around just waiting for that little thing that will set
them of on The Plan to fix it all or the 300,000,000 firearms owned by its
citizens. Somewhere in this 100,000 is a guy who will aim for the BIG
score of more than 100 bodies in one day. Imagine his success at the truly
'mur'kan event of Black Friday Xmas shopping extravaganza!

1:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Art-

Some data on gun ownership wd be helpful. The 300,000,000 figure doesn't seem rt. Evidence: always a gd thing.

mb

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_ownership
NPR mentioned more than 300,000,000.
I thought you knew the BIG figure, but I thought you would like
a link. Sorry about twice a day text.

3:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Art-

See? It ain't so hard!

mb

3:18 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

I surrendered any notion of a reduction in gun violence after Sandy Hook, if we can’t reform after that then when can we? Here’s a FaceTime from hell (Godt-damn what’s next FaceTime from mass grave?)

https://a.msn.com/r/2/AAFnOvt?m=en-us&referrerID=InAppShar

To paraphrase David Cross “we can put all manner of biometric security on our (unsecured anyway) phones but NOTHING on our weapons” death spiral indeed.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Quiet, Fellow Wafers: I think I’ve mentioned this before, but PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic field) technology can be a miracle for eliminating pain. Unfortunately, it can also be expensive to buy a system powerful enough to handle your problem. My diagnosis is progressive MS, and before I bought my system almost 5 years ago you couldn’t even touch my earlobes. But I‘ve been basically pain-free since then, and it’s also improved many other problems I had. To my disappointment, though, I continue to deteriorate although life is certainly a lot more bearable thanks to my system. I told my doctor, who’s the head of a large MS Center, about PEMF and instead of being interested in something non-pharmaceutical that might help his patients, he was insulting – a real horse’s ass! A good site for info is https://www.drpawluk.com/

Re Marianne Williamson, Wafers might enjoy Mark Passio’s 10 minute summary New Age Bullshit (15 New Age Deceptions): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_76dZ1Ja5pA

4:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sar-

Yes, yr doctor is a turkey; one among many. Thanks again for lovely birthday card. As for Marianne Williamson: just as I wd like to take Obama's and Hillary's heads and bang them together for 20 mins on national TV, I'd like to do the same with Marianne and Oprah. God, that wd feel so gd!

mb

4:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

It's not satire: this is actually what Americans are concerned abt:

https://edition.cnn.com/style/article/dakota-johnson-gap-tooth-scli-intl/index.html

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Rufus Schmeck said...

It's all abt the video games. Gotta restrict, ban, and censor video games. It is absolutely positively NOT the us "culture"/"society" nor its endless militarism/imperialism.

Instead of that MSM sad piano musak, maybe play Ringling Bros Barnum and Bailey Circus Music?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXxztZs82yE

Rinse, lather, and REPEAT.

6:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ya gotta be kidding me dept.:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/06/texas-police-galveston-white-officers-black-man-horse-rope

This country is fucking nuts.

mb

6:48 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

mb - Assuming you trust Wiki ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estimated_number_of_civilian_guns_per_capita_by_country essentially more guns than people.

I like that one site because it lines us up against other OECD countries.

Sarasvati - A lot of people still have these things called home stereos that are capable of putting out electrical pulses - or any other kind of music - you play on them, into a load known as speakers. So you probably have the basic machine in your house already. It's just a matter of learning electronics. Fortunately US Navy, MIT, ARRL Ham Radio, etc courses on it are online for free.

8:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This too is charming:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/08/06/man-assaulted-year-old-because-he-was-disrespecting-national-anthem-witness-says/

Not clear to me why he didn't just shoot the kid.

8:47 PM  
Anonymous WanderLust said...

You hit the nail on the head Dr Berman regarding depression in the USA...in fact it's #1 in the world: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidemiology_of_depression

8:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wander-

The US ranks #1 in depression, Mexico #137. If you read my description of my birthday party in Mexico City 3 days ago, you can get some idea of why this is so. Americans regard other people as rivals, or 'obstacles', and see the less fortunate as trash, beneath contempt. What do you think is going to be the psychological fallout from this mindset? And yet even the smart ones are puzzled at the mess we are in, at the mass shootings, at the riots at Wal-Mart, at the endless preoccupation with sex and hollow celebrities, and so on. Gee, do ya think it might have anything to do with our hustling, self-aggrandizing value system? Duh!

I just don't get it. There must be a million other blogs out there, the answer to these questions is plain as the nose on yr face, and yet there is only 1 place you can go to to find the obvious truth. Well, maybe that's starting to chg; maybe there are 3 places by now, who knows. But Gore Vidal's characterization of the US--"a nation of morons"--is clearly not hyperbole. Vey iz mir.

mb

ps: In keeping with our commitment to citing our sources, the Vidal quote appeared in an interview he did in Toronto in 2006, and can be found in the June 9-10 issue of the Globe & Mail. "Depressed morons," he shd have said.

9:47 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Well Dr. B, to add to what you're saying...

https://www.yahoo.com/news/foreign-countries-warn-citizens-traveling-103758490.html

10:06 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman,
Hopefully soon you no longer will be just a voice in the wilderness. I have read “Dark Ages America”, 'Why America Failed”, “Are We There Yet?”, and have seen all of your You Tube videos. I quote you to my friends, relatives, and acquaintances every chance I get. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising. The main street media won't be able to keep you and the intelligent social scientists like you quiet for much longer. More and more people are beginning to realize the United States is falling apart. Keep up the good work.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Joe-

Thanks, I appreciate it. And I hope yr rt. The problem is that the MSM cannot tolerate a purely pessimistic prediction. I do think there might be some hope in the long run--say, 50 yrs or so--but certainly nothing in the short. They don't wanna hear that there is no solution, that the future for America is bleak, and that we are not gonna get outta this alive. Here's what to say to get completely marginalized:

1. For the most part, the core idea of the US was hustling; a terrible mistake going back 400 years.
2. There is no altering this fundamental framework; it's far too late for that. The only thing that can happen now is implosion. What we are witnessing now is social, economic, political, and cultural suicide.
3. It's karma: we created a spiritual desert, and we are now getting exactly what we deserve.
4. Except that 'punishment' is wasted on Americans, because they are simply too dumb to understand what is happening, and how they were/are complicit in these events. If there is one thing they cannot do, it's connect the dots.'Dumb', incidentally, includes those with high IQ's.

These kind of observations tend to not be esp. popular, for some odd reason.

mb

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Rufus T(he original). Schmeck said...

Nice little article from the American Psychological Association: "America: A toxic lifestyle?". Well.... duh.. What concerns me about the APA, is how little they have focused on social context in the creation of people. They are much more interested these days with diagnosing individual "disorders" without acknowledging social context & then just getting out the prescription pad for the "fix". The article is quite lite on what to do.... spend more time with your children. Well, yes that would be good, but you just wrote an article about how toxic we are... uhhhh. "In America, even smart people are stupid."

Rufus T(he original). Schmeck

3:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Original Ruf-

Apparently, the APA played a significant role as advisers in the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. I can't give you my source for this, but I recall rdg abt it some yrs ago. Talk abt toxic.

Michael-

Sorry, cdn't run it. We have a half page max rule on this blog. Pls compress and re-send. Thank u.

mb

4:39 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Check it out:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/06/reader-center/el-paso-dayton-international-reaction.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Reader Center

5:18 AM  
Anonymous troutbum said...


To Dr. MB & all Wafers worldwide:

It worse than you think:

"Looking at the 5 year period from 2012 to 2016, America has averaged about 116,255 shot by guns every year of which about 81,000 survive. Inside those numbers, children, under the age of 19, 17,102 were shot and 14,365 survived."

Let that sink in for a minute.

That's a 5 year total of 581,275 Americans shot by guns.

Source: http://www.bradycampaign.org/sites/default/files/Brady-Campaign-5Year-Gun-Deaths-Injuries-Stats_02-22-2018.pdf

5:20 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

trout-

One way for a society to collapse is that it literally blows itself to bits.

mb

5:59 AM  
Anonymous Michael in Oceania said...

I think Jim Kunstler nailed it with his latest post:

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/hold-the-teddy-bears-and-candles/

A relevant quote:

"[W]hy does this country produce so many of them? Answer: this is exactly what you get in a culture where anything goes and nothing matters. Extract all the meaning and purpose from being here on earth, and erase as many boundaries as you can from custom and behavior, and watch what happens, especially among young men trained on video slaughter games.

"For many, there is no armature left to hang a life on, no communities, no fathers, no mentors, no initiations into personal responsibility, no daily organizing principles, no instruction in useful trades, no productive activities, no opportunities for love and affection, and no way out. This abyss of missing social relations is made worse by the everyday physical settings for everyday lives based on nothing: the wilderness of parking lots that America has turned itself into."

In other words, America is a psychopathic society. It's not just Dubya Bush and the Neo-Cons. It's the SJW Progs as well. As Kunstler pointed out in a recent podcast, the SJW's don't care about injustices past or present. The are simply about doxxing people, getting people fired from their jobs and enjoying the sheer schadenfreude of breaking and destroying people. Period.

6:20 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Michael-

Capitalism has drowned everything "in the icy water of egotistical calculation"--from The Communist Manifesto. It has expunged all meaning from our lives, and given us the country Kunstler describes: an empty country filled with empty people. We have hustled our way into a dead end, and are now killing ourselves off.

mb

6:52 AM  
Blogger Seligne said...

Firearms in civilian hands: US 393,347,000

http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/fileadmin/docs/Weapons_and_Markets/Tools/Firearms_holdings/SAS-BP-Civilian-held-firearms-annexe.pdf

9:49 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

I am pretty sure Bill and Hillary already haven't "done it" in a while, but this certainly won't help Bill:

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2019/aug/07/monica-lewinsky-ryan-murphy-american-crime-story-impeachment-bill-clinton

Kanye

10:10 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Count Pete Buttgag as the latest Dumb presidential candidate to repeat douchebag Betomax O'Rourke's sentiment about keeping the murderous thugs with assault weapons on the streets of other countries: "Weapons like the one I carried in Afghanistan have no place on our streets or in our schools—least of all in the hands of white nationalists." What this shitbag isn't saying, surprise, is that the U.S. military is actually fertile breeding ground for white nationalism: Nearly one in four troops polled say they have seen examples of white nationalism among their fellow service members.

Moreover, here's a little difficulty craven politicians like Buttgag never mention: New gun study shows that 3% of American adults own nearly half of all guns. The "3%-ers" own an average of 17 guns each, and though the study didn't cover assault rifles specifically, it's likely a good bet that most of them are owned by people in this group (incidentally, the study, which is from 2016, cited 265,000,000 as the number of guns in the U.S., which is lower than other estimates). So even if President Buttgag did steel himself to outlaw assault rifles, he'd have the wee little problem of trying to figure out how to confiscate them from the 10 million or so 3%-ers, many of whom would likely erupt in open insurrection against the government. And as a declinist, how much fun would that be to watch unfold?

11:16 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB & Wafers,

Final death spasm dept.:

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/08/is-there-hope-for-the-american-republic-after-trump.html

It's a long read, but it's a fascinating comparison of our current govt. and body politic to a downward-spiraling Rome. In many ways, it does seem that those w/some brains are indeed catching up to our beloved MB.

Miles

12:27 PM  
Anonymous CWell said...

I am new to the blog - this is my first post. I dread the disintegration I see for my grandson and for all of the good people who will suffer along with those who caused the suffering. I don't think most Americans will be able to work together when things collapse - understatement, I know! I worked in mental health programs until retirement and have lots to say about that at another time! Here is a link on psychologists and torture.

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/01/us/report-says-american-psychological-association-collaborated-on-torture-justification.html

Also the rise of cognitive behavioral therapy pushed by APA and every American university. CBT is a great fit for capitalism since everything is individual with no social context or history. Here's a link to a summary of the Swedish experience with CBT and questions about outcomes.

https://www.scottdmiller.com/swedish-national-audit-office-concludes-when-all-you-have-is-cbt-mental-health-suffers/

https://www.psychotherapynetworker.org/blog/details/705/is-cognitive-behavioral-therapy-as-effective-as-clinicians

12:38 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Two white cops on horseback parade a homeless African American who struggles with mental illness through town as though slavery and lynching never ended. What’s worse? yep Wafers can guess it - the police chief is also African American, more proof race alone doesn’t even phase the system. Fucker outta resign.

https://www.click2houston.com/news/local/qa-police-chief-answers-questions-about-mounted-officers-leading-arrested-man

In other ho-hum news a robbery suspect gets a swift death penalty sentence in Colorado Springs, shot in the back as he flees the scene. Sure does take a long time for an ambulance to arrive.

https://gazette.com/news/gazette-obtains-video-showing-colorado-springs-police-shooting-black-teenager/article_2efcc21c-b8ac-11e9-901d-57636163f6f1.html

12:40 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

The country is certainly circling the drain. I need to work on an escape plan.

Institutions are eroding at an alarming pace:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/boy-scouts-america-have-pedophile-epidemic-are-hiding-hundreds-its-n1039661

Saw this about the FBI informants "catching" terrorists:

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/08/07/parents-catch-fbi-in-plot-to-force-mentally-ill-son-to-be-a-right-wing-terrorist/

Let the bodies hit the floor

"At least 42 people shot in Chicago over the weekend"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yc7oRkWAd-I

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/walmart-political-donations-gun-control-203938048.html

Bad for business because gun crazies consider Walmart stores to be "soft" targets for
mass shootings, even if done in a state with liberal carry laws for firearms. It
could be a way for Walmart to get more advertising by the amount of videos on YouTube
under the title "strange persons at Walmarts."

4:12 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

An essay by New Yorker columnist Robin Wright on what’s going on around us:

“The unsettling sense that America is going wrong, even unwinding, is reflected in a poll released two weeks ago by the Pew Research Center: seventy-five per cent of Americans now say that trust in the federal government is shrinking. The numbers reflect both frustration with the nation’s polarization and anger over Washington’s dysfunction. But something bigger is happening. Even more striking in the Pew poll: two-thirds of Americans have significantly less trust in one another, too.
https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/why-do-americans-feel-that-theres-no-one-to-help-us

Wright quotes Harvard professor Robert Putnam, whose book Bowling Alone has been cited often in this blog by GSWH:
“We are now, and have been in the last fifty years, plunging deeper and deeper into individualism of a very malignant sort,” Robert Putnam, a political scientist at Harvard University, told me this week. Putnam first wrote about the increasing disconnect between Americans and family, friends, communities, and democratic institutions two decades ago in his classic book “Bowling Alone.” He’s writing a sequel that is due next year.”

Whether the country survives as a political entity may be irrelevant considering the general trend in the climate. See Guy McPherson, Rupert Read (UK), Peter Wadhams (Arctic sea ice disappearance) (and many more). It may not matter whether we ever, as the Brits say, get things sorted. Nature would appear to have other plans for the whole ferschlugginer planet.

4:27 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Rufus: Video games are a symptom of what’s wrong with our “culture” as well as a method to desensitize players to violence. Companies will spend millions of dollars to advertise for 30 seconds on the Super Bowl, but then we’re told that violent video games and violent movies don’t affect us.

Alex, PEMF is not random pulses but set frequencies, intensities, etc. There are also mats, pillows, coils, wands, etc. with concentrated copper coils to deliver the frequencies to the body. I may be wrong, but I don’t think the effect is the same as pulses from speakers, otherwise NASA wouldn’t have developed a system to help their astronauts readjust to Earth.

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Timothy Levin said...

"These are not radical demands – yet for some reason Pinker and other New Optimists actively reject such a future. For them, the inequitable distribution of global income is acceptable, and indeed is to be celebrated, so long as the poor get another penny or two each year.""This is where the depravity of the New Optimist worldview becomes clear. Ironically, there is nothing bold or optimistic about their vision. On the contrary, it is a pessimistic resignation to the status quo."


Progress & Its Discontents:

https://newint.org/features/2019/07/01/long-read-progress-and-its-discontents


....very interesting essay

5:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Timothy-

I have, for some time now, tried to figure out why Pinker's head shdn't be held underwater for 10 minutes, and I have failed to come up with a reason. If you or any other Wafer can give me a reason why this shdn't be done, I'm all ears.

CWell-

Welcome to the greatest blog in the universe. Please, keep posting.

Kanye-

There is some evidence to indicate that it's not possible to have sex with Hillary without blowing your lunch. Meanwhile, what happened to the come-stained dress? Is it in the Smithsonian?

mb

7:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Talk abt gd news:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/07/upshot/trump-approval-rating-rise.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

8:43 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Pull yourself UP by the Bootstraps!!!


https://www.alternet.org/2019/08/robert-reich-heres-why-we-need-to-bust-the-myth-of-rugged-individualism/

11:06 PM  
Anonymous Gordon said...

Thanks to all wafers for their contributions about the societal crisis affecting he United States.
MB your insight has necessarily been absent from the media; we know that truth cannot be spoken nor accepted in our current society.
The end of enlightenment philosophy as a socially cohesive force after the demise of Christian theology has cast the US and western societies adrift into a morally absent present.
Societies across the world reject a global response to the crises effecting humanity; so our fate is yet to be seen.
As we have not responded to the ecological limits of growth, we will have to bear the consequences.
Not only America is failing.

3:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

The NRA is rt: it's not abt guns. If not guns, knives; if not knives, clubs; if not clubs, stones; etc. Bottom line: Americans need to kill. We do it at home; we do it abroad; and when we finally colonize the moon and Mars, we'll do it there.

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/08/08/us/california-stabbing-attacks/index.html

mb

5:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

20+ yrs ago I was giving lectures on globalization, saying that (a) it was just a fancy word for imperialism; (b) economically speaking, it was functioning as the new religion; (c) Francis Fukuyama was full of shit; and (d) it wd fail. These lectures were completely ignored; in terms of debate, I had no takers. (When I gave this lecture in Spanish, in Guadalajara, Mario Vargas Llosa just sat in the front row and glowered at me.) Now, the MSM is finally waking up:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/08/globalisation-not-survive-trump-markets-new-world-order

This failure of the whole neoliberal project is another way in which Trumpi is History's agent: he is trying to dismantle that system (as well as unconsciously acting to dismantle the US). Progs just don't get it: the guy may actually be gd for what ails us, what the world needs at this pt in time. Why will Biden lose in 2020? Because (besides being a colossal douche bag) all he is offering is the tired old Clinton-Bush-Obama-Hillary formula, i.e. neoliberalism and globalization. As dumb as Americans are, they can smell a re-tread when they see one. Except for progs. Progs don't understand this complex reality, and also don't recognize that the guy is a horse's ass.

mb

5:33 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

This is nice- "Operation Clean Sweep"

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/08/07/heartbreaking-scene-boston-streets-police-destroy-wheelchairs-belonging-homeless

"One of the destroyed wheelchairs was reportedly confiscated from a man named Jarrod who was hit by a car last month."

6:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Birn-

It's not clear to me why the police didn't just gun these people down. Look: we live by the American Dream, in the Land of Opportunity. Oprah tells us that we create our reality with our minds, and that with right thinking, we will be rich and successful. The corollary is that if we fail to pursue proper thinking, we get what we deserve, and these homeless people are the proof of that. They brought all this on themselves, and are an affront to the American dream. "Clean Sweep" is not nearly enuf. Why not just shoot all these homeless folk (in every city, across the land) and be done with the poverty problem once and for all? The way the Boston Police are pulling their punches disturbs me.

mb

6:41 AM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

To Dr. MB and all Wafers worldwide:

More Americans killed by guns since 1968 than in all U.S. wars combined.
Since 1968, more than 1,500,000 Americans have been killed by gunfire.

http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2015/aug/27/nicholas-kristof/more-americans-killed-guns-1968-all-wars-says-colu/

File under : Data for Wafers

7:04 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

MB,

Speaking of World Historic Individuals, I really hope Boris Johnson becomes the Trumpi across the pond and sinks the UK, along with the already-crumbling neoliberal european order along with it. It's an uphill battle for BJ, but I think he can make it.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/aug/7/dominic-raab-mike-pompeo-eager-post-brexit-trade-d/

Go Boris!!

Kanye

7:05 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Truthout has a nice essay on why China may be able to beat the neo-liberal policies being pushed by Trump. This is one battle I hope China wins. As for the US accepting the Chinese way of state ownership of banks and much of its industry (and redistribution of income) - no way! - the US with its pathological individualism would, I suspect, rather be destroyed. Of course ecological collapse may intervene, after all economic growth can't continue forever on a planet with finite resources.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/neoliberalism-has-met-its-match-in-china/

7:20 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

I wonder if the Democrats will ever recognize the little nugget buried in your Trump approval rating poll, Dr. B.-
"...Republicans with an unfavorable opinion of Mr. Trump were more than twice as likely to stay home on Election Day as those with a favorable view..."

Meaning even though they didn't want Trump, they didn't want Clinton even more.

Along similar lines, a great article about why Black voters didn't show up to vote for Clinton-
https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/10/the-color-of-economic-anxiety

"While the Democratic Party argues about whether and how to win back the vanishingly small number of white Obama-Trump voters, the uncomfortable fact remains that black voter turnout in 2016 was down in over half the country. In Wisconsin, the decline in black voter turnout between 2012 and 2016 was 86,830 votes. Hillary Clinton lost the state by a mere 22,748 votes. If Clinton won over more of the black Democrats who voted in 2012 in just three states—Wisconsin, Florida, and Michigan—she would have won the election.

So why didn’t black voters turn out for Clinton? Even accounting for the thousands of potential voters who were likely harmed by Wisconsin’s incessant suppression tactics, studies show that voter suppression was among the least important factors affecting black turnout in Wisconsin."

Not one use of the word Russia or Russian in the article....

9:55 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Michael-

Re: neoliberalism, then, it's more complicated than I thought, because Trump has consistently been trying to dismantle that Old Order. Cd our rels w/China be an exception? Unclear.

mb

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Glena said...

Hola Wafers,

I haven't commented in ages, but still follow the blog. Lost heart even for laughter a while back. Need to move from here...so that I can get own head out of own ass enough to breathe (sorry to be so graphic)

Anyway, John Steppling, (who has mentioned your writings, Dr. Berman, on various occasions, and who is definitely a Wafer, although of the more somber variety), just came out with an article re: the shootings (etc) that made me think of this blog.

Here it is:
https://dissidentvoice.org/2019/08/blood-in-our-eyes/

Best line: "The U.S. is a stunningly sick society. I have grown weary of writing this fact because one finds oneself repeatedly in situations where this obvious truth must be stated..again."

Yep. I heard that.

best,
Glena (used to be Swordfish)

1:36 PM  
Blogger Ajay Singh said...

@Bill Hicks—thanks for your feedback on *freedom* in America: "... as Americans we can certainly say and do pretty much as we please, but if we step outside of a very narrow range of what is considered socially acceptable we will soon find ourselves broke and homeless. That's not my idea of 'freedom.'"

I wonder what your response would be if I proposed the idea of freedom not as it actually might be but instead as an irrational longing riddled with an broken promise that deprives American victims of the happiness they were promised as an inalienable by their puritan ancestors?

I would wager that it is such an idea of freedom—not the real thing—that causes many mass shooters, most of them lower middle class, to hurt those they view as unfairly advantaged.

1:53 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Serasvati - My point is, a stereo system can be used to drive coils, mats, etc. You've basically got 90% of a system already in your home.

As for vidya games being used to desensitize to violence, there's a book that came out a while back called "On Killing" and is "must" reading on this. The long and short of it is, people don't tend to like killing other people. Even in WWII, a lot of soldiers did things like "aim to miss". Around the time of the Viet Nam war, the Army came up with a program called "quick kill" and in there were "quick kill" training sets come up with by the Daisy BB gun company. It was even tried out as a product for the public called "quick skill".

The idea is to take the thinking out of it. See enemy-shoot. Take the conscious mind out of the loop. I could go on, but the book is very much worth buying or getting from your local library. And video games are textbook examples of this kind of training.

6:46 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Ajay--while I agree that the "broken American Dream" is indeed a factor in the explosion of mass shootings, I don't agree that the shootings are a class issue. The Las Vegas shooter was a fairly well off wheeler-dealer, yet his desire was to slaughter as many people as possible. The Newton elementary school shooter apparently lived in a suburban McMansion with an overly tolerant mother who let him pretty much do what he wanted, yet he aimed to become the deadliest school shooter of them all, enhancing the horror by shooting little kids (the joke was on him, however, as the actual deadliest attack on an elementary school in U.S. history was perpetrated in 1927, killing 38 kids and 6 adults--being an American, he probably had no interest in history, and thus no idea). Timothy McVeigh, the greatest mass murderer in U.S. history, was politically motivated middle class white kid who was dumb enough to believe that Clinton was a gun-grabbing commie. And not to leave out the ladies, I posted here awhile back a story about a lesbian couple who adopted a half-dozen minority children, slowly became more abusive to them and then killed themselves and the kids by running their van off a cliff.

I'm afraid there is a sickness in the American soul that runs deeper than just economic frustration, and as the 1927 incident shows it's been there for a long time. Psychiatrist Douglas Kelley (who examined Goering before he was executed), in the late 1940s asserted that the "emotional age level" of Americans was "between 5 and 7," and he feared for the country if we didn't raise that figure significantly (can't find an online source, but see the recent book "The Nazi and the Psychiatrist," page 171). Of course, right after Kelley made that statement the first screens came into Americans' lives, thus ensuring our emotional age level would go in the exactly the opposite direction. In the 70 years since, screens have become ubiquitous and Americans--who had trouble thinking rationally in the best of times--are now like toddlers, even our so-called "leaders." Not to hard to see what happens when such a people begin to vaguely perceive in the backs of their tiny little minds that it isn't just their "pursuit of happiness" that is threatened, but the whole damn project. That's also why I despair that America will collapse without touching off its nukes as the Soviet Union did. There's no chance we're going to go quietly into the goodnight.

8:00 PM  
Blogger escapefromwisconsin said...

This just in: California stabbing rampage leaves four dead and two wounded.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/08/california-stabbing-rampage-garden-grove

No matter what weapons are available, Americans will go around killing each other. Sickness in the American soul, indeed.

9:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

escape-

If guns were outlawed, and knives were outlawed, and clubs were outlawed, and frying pans were outlawed, Americans wd try to smother each other to death w/Boston cream pies. If you don't believe me, check out a 7-min. Laurel and Hardy film called "Let Me Have It!"

Bill-

To my knowledge, when the USSR collapsed, it did not unleash any nuclear weapons. As for all the shootings u cite, the one factor to me that runs thru all of them is not class but meaninglessness. We have created a society in wh/the purpose of one's life is oneself--self-aggrandizement. Childish indeed, and extremely narcissistic. If you surveyed the 169 Wafers on this blog, my guess is that all of them wd be able to point to the larger purposes of their lives. Most Americans have no larger purposes, and sorry, but "my spouse, my kids, my job" is not gonna cut it. To have meaning in yr life you hafta care abt more than just yr life; you hafta care abt other people, for example; you hafta wanna do gd for the world, even if it's only being willing to live in reality and explain that to other people. At the far end of narcissism, all that is left is homicide (including random killing) and suicide.

When Jefferson wrote about "the pursuit of happiness," everybody in 18C America understood that these were code words for "the pursuit of property"--i.e., private property, for yrself. He died owning 150 slaves, and passed them on to his children in his will. All of the Founding Fathers, in fact, were wealthy. But their larger purpose was to provide a similar opportunity for everyone--the American Dream. So Americans dreamt, but had no larger purpose beyond expanding their own economic situation. In the fullness of time, that narrow a way of life makes people sick. I've said it b4: "more" is not a spiritual path.

mb

11:36 PM  
Anonymous Rufus T.(he Original) Schmeck said...

"That's also why I despair that America will collapse without touching off its nukes as the Soviet Union did. There's no chance we're going to go quietly into the goodnight." - Bill Hicks

Amen, Bill Hicks. This has been my concern for quite a while, although S.U. didn't nuke anyone. MB suggested this was nihilism, a few posts ago. That's not how I feel. It seems "salvational". You know, "America, the last best hope of mankind." nonsense. I'm informed, partially, by Andrew Bard Schmookler's work, Out of Weakness., which is not exclusively about Germany & Hitler, but is about narcissism & the rejection of vulnerability. This was played out in Germany, but not just there.

MB, I'm aware of the COS, "Twisted Cross" chapter. Yes, it was repressed somatic energy, but channeled into "salvational" fantasy or dualistic mythology,... which demands salvational fantasy. "Hitler was selected by the Aryan Gods(the ONE true Gods), to be the Savior for the ONE, true chosen people, the blonde haired & blue eyed Germans & to lead them the PROMISED LAND, the thousand year Reich. It seems to me that all attempts to "transcend" only end up in ideology, delusion & horror.

Regardless, I hope you're right, in that America & capitalism can slide into the trash heap of history without ending life on planet Earth, but I'm with Bill Hicks in being deeply concerned.

Rufus T.(he Original)Schmeck

1:25 AM  
Anonymous Sybok said...

MB, While I'm forced to live in reality, I don't see how it's a source of meaning. Also, I don't see how confronting others with the awful truth of our situation improves the world, since there is really nothing they could do about it if they knew.

I do derive sense of validation & solidarity from reading the blog, but I think inflicting our worldview on others is nothing short of sadistic. Most 'muricans are better off remaining ignorant. Enlightenment does not bring peace; it brings disillusionment and despair. No one who truly cares about the mental health of another should rob them of their consoling illusions, no matter how childish. Every statue of Buddha should have a teardrop running down its cheek.

Respectfully,
Sybok

1:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Dr Berman

Re your comment on even those with high IQs being unable to connect the dots. I don't think this is surprising. The US education system is set up to channel those with high IQs into becoming experts, that is they know everything there is to know about one little dot, and are barely aware that other dots exist. Add in the anti-intellectual political climate, dumb media, constant busyness, and pogroms by the holders of expert dots against outsiders, you end up with dumb USA behaviour.

Regards Philip G

3:49 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

@alex carter- The writer of 'On Killing, David Grossman, also wrote a book called 'Assassination Generation" on video games and mass killings specifically. As I remember his basic argument: military training to kill has two major components- get people over the hesitancy to kill, and, as important, do that with very strict and rigorous rules and context. Video games provide the first but not the second component. A decent amount of research discussed well.

Although it will make you a pariah in some ways, I'd recommend reading it. He doesn't claim to be providing THE reason. And given the few number who go off the edge and do such shootings, there are many other factors. 'Prevention' efforts are probably best focused elsehwere. But the idea that video games are innocent and have no role in some of these shootings is missing an important element.

On another note, a thread on twitter on the shutting down of the USDA offices in D.C. and moving them to Kansas City. Designed to get older employees to leave. A trial run of dismantling 'the swamp' and decimating long-term research. No rational transition, no option, you have 90 days, move cross country or quit.
https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1159444656079495169.html

While we stew over shootings and crazy individuals, Trump is restructuring science research on a deep level.

5:30 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Phil-

In future, pls check in as Philip, and not as Anon, as I don't post Anons. Thanks.

Sybok-

Thanks for bringing all this up, altho I hafta say that I couldn't disagree w/u more; wh/ wd be a very long discussion, to do your arguments justice. But briefly, in historical terms, you are certainly incorrect. To take just one example, the Protestant Reformation, where millions finally did connect the dots. These things take time, in other words (one might also cite the 18C ferment leading up to the French Revolution). As for me, reality itself is certainly a source of meaning--a concept central to Buddhism (which has been described as "religion without God"). Nor do I think this blog, which has all of 169 followers, is "inflicting" its worldview on anyone; the Wafer attitude is This is what we think/Take it or leave it. In any case, very few know of this blog's existence, and most Americans who might cruise it undoubtedly dismiss it out of hand, as the venue of a bunch of screwballs, w/o giving it a 2nd thought (not likely they wd suffer very much, in short). Your accusation of 'sadism' is quite off-base, it seems to me--quite peculiar.

Ruf-

I don't remember saying this was nihilism, and in the case of Nazi Germany, I remember explicitly rejecting J.P. Stern's nihilism argument. As you pt out, the USSR didn't launch any nuclear missiles, and as far as the US is concerned--at this pt, it's anyone's guess. Who can predict what a Trumpi might do? Myself, I tend to doubt this will happen; the US has other ways of lashing out besides nuking Iran or whatever. I just think we are more likely to end with a whimper rather than a bang. As I said earlier, the external Suez moment seems to be on the order of a slow drip, rather than some dramatic turning pt (as was the case of the actual Suez moment): China slowly becoming the new hegemon (economically and militarily), as our own hegemonic power erodes (which is quite visible, by now--the whole world sees it). That being said, it's just guesswork on my part; I don't have a crystal ball.

Anyway, we've got some gd discussions going here...Both the issues you raise, and the ones raised by Sybok, involve seeing major sea changes as a quantity-to-quality argument: the slow drip goes on, one day seems like any other, and then you wake up one day, and I'll be damned! We're living in a different world!

mb

6:59 AM  
Anonymous CWell said...

I remember reading some posts about small local alternatives like bartering and mutual support that might help us get through an economic and social collapse but don't remember the specifics - I'd appreciate some references.

We live in Denver in a low income neighborhood that's about 1/3 Hispanic, 1/3 African American, and about 1/3 white and other ethnic groups - mostly Asian and African refugees. We have a strong neighborhood organization that has a food bank and a community garden that is doing its best to fend off gentrification.
Our last reading group was on Murderous Consent: On the Accommodation of Violent Death by Marc Crepon, so not your typical reading group fare.

The finance people are circling our neighborhood like vultures now that Denver is booming trying to grab up property for "investment." We've been officially designated as "blighted" so they get special terms and tax breaks for "development."

I'm stuck in the U.S.A. for many reasons so will have to get through it somehow. I'm a little more hopeful that the people in our area are more resourceful and also more willing to work with each other when things fall apart.

https://www.eastcolfaxneighborhood.org/

9:45 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

CWell-

Check out Twilight bk on New Monastic Option. As for low-scale living, Jim Kunstler has some novels on the subject. Gd luck keeping investors away; awful human beings.

mb

10:23 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

I’ve listened to a podcast/radio show called The Thomas Jefferson Hour - a Chautauqua method of teaching history - for over 15 yrs. I’ve learned allot about tj but more importantly the history of our founding, plus I like the presenter Clay Jenkinson. Jefferson died bankrupt, his lavish lifestyle was based on credit. All of his slaves, except Sallie Hemings children who were set free, were sold along with Monticello and personal belongings. Martha, his daughter, ended up in a poor folks home. Psychoanalysis of someone who’s been dead over 200 yrs is dicey at best but it hasn’t stopped many from suggesting he was on the autistic spectrum. I have experience with this disorder and Jefferson has many traits to suggest this is true. One prominent symptom is ‘relating to people with objects.’ This is significant because while a person with this d/o is unable to form any kind of emotional attachment or reciprocity they will give you *things/objects* as a substitute- sounds suspiciously American. John Locke was the first one to assert “life, liberty, and property” tj just inserted happiness instead. Until MB countered I was in agreement with Sybok, living a life of meaning (Victor Frankl) in the face of extinction (if some researchers are correct) is damn hard, I do agree it’s a major fools errand to try to wake Americans, let the baby have its bottle. The pursuit of reality, as MB suggests, is prob the best option. Apologies for length compressed all I cld.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Rutledge said...

Rutledge10:14 AM

Apologies MB, bloggers, & blogettes - I think I had posted this in the last entry rather than this newest one. It seemed very much up MB's thesis:

“Just as Americans today look back wistfully to the Founding Fathers as patrons of an age of rugged independence and virtue, so did the Founding Fathers look back with an equal wistfulness to the early years of Rome.” 

https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2019/08/06/america-is-not-rome-it-just-thinks-it-is/

- America Is Not Rome. It Just Thinks It Is -

Where Trumpi is compared to Commodus. Poor Commodus! Hehe....

- Drew Patterson Rutledge

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Pete Christen said...

MB and Wafers: I found this essay revealing.
https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2019/08/15/boris-johnson-ham-of-fate/

It fits the declinist narrative, suggesting, among other things, that the US and UK are quickly approaching a time of anarchy.

2:47 PM  
Blogger Ajay Singh said...

@ Bill Hicks—many thanks for your informative and insightful response about the sickness of the American soul, which appears to transcend class and other barriers. Violence for the sake of violence (as opposed to violence in the name of—or to realize—ideology) is perhaps a uniquely American thing, and it's learned early.

Regarding your point that mass shootings aren't a specifically underclass phenomenon: I have seen and met many embittered lower-middle class Americans who can't wait to stick it to their upper-class compatriots. Unfortunately, that attitude does not change if they become richer—as I suspect happened with the Las Vegas shooter. In his mind, he was still a loathing urban kulak. Much is said of mental illness as a cause or trigger, and there appears to be some truth to that. But how cultures handle their "mentally ill" makes all the difference (diagnosed schizophrenics in Africa and Asia, for example, lead far better lives than those in USA! USA!).

@ CWell—as you surely know, there are quite a few coops around the country, including in the Flint/Detroit, Michigan area that specialize in overcoming gentrification and "development." I came across a handbook aimed at housing issues (link below), which might be a good start (for both information and potential contacts who could point you in other, non-housing directions).

https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/50796/411295-Keeping-the-Neighborhood-Affordable.PDF

With every best wish,

Ajay

3:12 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

latest blog post from Forecasting Intelligence:

https://forecastingintelligence.org/2019/08/07/the-coming-economic-dark-ages/

So far he's been right in his forecasts.

Kanye

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

More Americans are dying from accidental deaths compared to twenty years ago. “In the U.S. overall, the rate of deaths from unintentional injuries stemming from incidents such as falls, car accidents and drug overdoses rose 40% between 1999 and 2017 – from 35.3 to 49.4 deaths per 100,000 standard population – according to a new analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

https://www.usnews.com/news/healthiest-communities/articles/2019-07-16/more-people-are-dying-by-accident-in-america-with-drug-overdoses-largely-to-blame

4:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

dermot, trying-

Cdn't run it. We have a half page max rule on the blog. Pls compress and re-send. Thank you.

Gunnar-

Thanks for clarifying the historical details abt Tom. Poor guy. Altho I do wonder how much he got for Monticello and the slaves. I once did a show w/Clay, BTW.

mb

5:06 PM  
Blogger dermot said...

Man jailed for urinating on an ice machine? I can top that!
Man jailed for urinating on a dying Irishman.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/vile-and-heartless-man-who-urinated-on-his-friend-as-he-lay-dying-on-grandmothers-lawn-jailed-38389220.html

QUOTE: An American man who urinated on his young Irish friend as he lay dying on his grandmother's front lawn has been jailed for six months. Samuel Heroux left lad Liam McGlinchey (19), from Buncrana in Donegal, in a dangerously intoxicated state in New York in August 2017. Liam had been out celebrating passing his exams with friends. Two men, Heroux (21) of Cohoes and Isaiah DePiazza (19) of Foxwoods Drive, Clifton Park were charged with criminally negligent homicide.

Furious Judge John Murphy slammed Heroux's actions in a sentencing hearing. He said "Dumping Liam and urinating on him and filming the urination, seeing foam from dying Liam's mouth — instead of doing something, you leave...

In a recorded video shown in court, Charlotte McGlinchey said that her brother was a gentle giant whose death traumatized his family because Heroux and DePiazza left her brother "as if he were garbage."
"I lost my brother and best friend," she said. "Every time you inhale, I hope you feel the breaths Liam struggled to take."

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

Things are certainly grimmer. I really appreciate the quality of the posts of the last few weeks.

As a change-of-pace I thought I'd post a link to something that made me laugh.

I recently came across some music from one of my favorite groups of the late sixties and early seventies called Wilderness Road. They did some parodies and satires of American culture that have weathered the test of time.

One of my favorites is The Last Gospel which captured the hustle of American Evangelical Christianity long before the tawdry times of Jim and Tammy Baker and the rest.

I thought people might enjoy a bit of a laugh for a change.

https://youtu.be/Uvxp8LM-21Y

5:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

dermot-

Deep in the soul of every American is a giant wellspring of love.

mb

5:58 PM  
Anonymous Riley said...

Riley here -

"America’s nuclear-weapons policy isn’t what you think—it’s much worse"

https://qz.com/1680411/us-and-russia-are-starting-another-nuclear-war/

I must sound like a broken record --- but READ ELLSBERG'S DOOMSDAY MACHINE

This shit is insane

6:35 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Paul Craig Roberts on why the devaluation of the dollar or a major American economic contraction may be happening fairly soon. Perhaps a Suez moment but will definitely mean hard times either way for the vast multitude of people and not just Americans I suspect.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/52067.htm

7:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Update on "Genio": Amazon is now saying it will be available in 5 wks. Great. Jesus, they sure know how to hurt a bk. My publisher is trying to alter this situation. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, if any of you have a success story to share abt obtaining it, pls let us know.

mb

7:52 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@MB--my bad, I realized after I had already made my last post that the final bit regarding the Soviets and nukes was awkwardly structured. Obviously I meant they did *not* fire off their nukes. Likely because, sick as the Soviet (i.e. "Russian") system was, when it realized it was in real trouble circa 1986 it named as leader Gorbachev, who may not have been able to save the Soviet Union but at least was a fundamentally decent person in the mode of Jimmy Carter. Such might be expected of a civilization that--while it has never taken to democracy--does have a strong sense of identity. This can be seen in the large number of outstanding writers, musicians and artists Russia has produced in its history. Often besieged, one of Russia's fundamental policies has always been to do whatever it takes to ensure that the nation survives, whether it meant abandoning Moscow to Napoleon or giving up a creaky and expensive "empire" it could no longer afford to maintain without touching off a nuclear holocaust.

You seem to see America's future as likely playing out in some fashion similar to the plot of Lionel Shriver's "The Mandibles." As you know, I've read that novel and agree that her vision of America's future is certainly plausible. Yet as I stated here back when we were discussing it, my one criticism is that Shriver seemed to greatly underestimate the amount of gun violence that will likely consume the country as the collapse accelerates (indeed, the rate of mass shootings is up even since the book was published). One thing we know about mass shooters is that they often slaughter their family as a prelude to their grander attacks. The shooters seem to want to both obliterate those closest to them while also taking out as many others as possible. Ultimately, I worry that such a mentality might infect the *last* American president, and that they will just lash out against both the American people and the rest of the world in a final fit of narcissistic rage. The future is of course unknowable, and I certainly hope I'm wrong. But the fact is I've heard far too many of my fellow citizens speak of turning some other part of the world "into glass" for the "crime" of opposing American hegemony not to consider whether the worst will come to pass.

8:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

A horse's ass speaks:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/09/joe-biden-poor-kids-white-gaffe-iowa

Even Millard Fillmore wasn't this out of it.

mb

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Here's a gem of an article from 1964- "The Paranoid Style in American Politics," by Richard Hofstadter-

https://archive.harpers.org/1964/11/pdf/HarpersMagazine-1964-11-0014706.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJUM7PFZHQ4PMJ4LA&Expires=1565218158&Signature=P%2BPxVogR%2BwtTAj5pumF25Qa4Ulo%3D

8:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Birn-

He also did a bk by that name, plus "Anti-Intellectualism in American Life," a few yrs b4 that. A nation of morons, in short.

Bill-

You cd be rt abt that, but I suspect a more likely scenario is the one we're in rt now. While I do expect an economic crash on the horizon more devastating than 2008, I hardly dismiss gun violence as an impt factor. I think it will remain local but nationwide, becoming more frequent and more violent with each passing month. When people ask me when we will collapse, I just say: "Look around!" I don't know how many Americans are getting shot up per month rt now, but you can probably triple the figure for 5 yrs from now, and take it from there. With gd reason, Americans hate themselves and each other, and so the country is literally shooting itself to death. To this add alcoholism, opioid addiction, cell fone addiction, slogan addiction, and ignorance addiction. It's already a horror show, but you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Meanwhile, the progs are so stupid, they think that Joe Biden or Tulsi Gabbard is going to sort this massive self-destruction out. The average American is a clueless jackass, which is also a key factor in our going own the drain.

mb

9:10 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Little thought experiment— let's say a Wafer somehow managed to go viral and win office in 2020. What would managed decline really look like?

One policy I would suggest that may not be that far away is the closure of all K - 12 public schools. This would accomplish a couple of things:

1. End the farce of 'education' in America so that actual education may take place in new forms.

2. Disempower institutions that have left millions of young people alienated and violently desperate.

3. Force parents to provide some kind of actual family structure instead of the glorified daycare the capitalist system subsidizes to keep parents on the job.

4. Save millions of dollars that could be given directly to students about to get plastered by the economy.

5. Save lives targeted by school shooters who are, in effect, pursuing the same policy by other means.

This isn't that far fetched. A few walkouts after more mass shootings and this could become a matter of policy. Though it will probably take a horrible tech/virtual schooling angle.

10:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dio-

None of that can or will happen, regardless of who's in office. But if I got elected, I'd simply shut down every institution or enterprise in the entire country: hospitals, schools, libraries, universities, banks, the NYSE, the military, the Supreme Court, newspapers, social media, think tanks, 7/11's, shopping malls, Wal-Marts, mom and pop stores, the CIA, bowling alleys, restaurants, TV and radio stations, pet stores, bkstores--the works. Yrs ago, the distinguished philosopher and prof. of jurisprudence, Ronald Dworkin, did an essay in the NYRB in which he said that there was not a single institution in America that was not corrupt. He was abs. rt, and there is no pt in keeping any of them running. This is my idea of 'managed decline', in any case.

mb

11:43 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I doubt that Belman supports Tom Holland's thesis, Rutledge. The end of the essay is hardly Waferish:

"There is nothing written into the DNA of a superpower that says that it must inevitably decline and fall. This is not an argument for complacency; it is an argument against despair. Americans have been worrying about the future of their republic for centuries now. There is every prospect that they will be worrying about it for centuries more."

Hoo rah.

Holland is right about one thing: the US thinks it's Rome, but it isn't. Holland is also partly correct in that the US will not succumb to barbarian invasions, as did the Roman Empire, not for any reason he gave, however, but because the USA is itself the land of the barbarians. You aren't the Romans, you're the Mongols.

12:53 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Jeff Bezos is such a nice guy:

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/aug/08/schoolchildren-in-china-work-overnight-to-produce-amazon-alexa-devices

Kanye

3:34 AM  
Blogger Seligne said...

I was taken aback by this reader's comment in response to Jim Kunstler's latest blog post"

"To me, it sounds more like Morris Berman, who has been wrong in nearly every prediction he's made and is obsessed with the downfall of the United States."

I believe the opposite to be the case. See Kunstler's article at:

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/rude-awakening/#more-10768'

7:05 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Seligne-

Actually, I can think of only 1 wrong prediction I made over the last 20 yrs, and that was that Hillary wd win the 2016 election. Of course, I was quite happy to be wrong, in that case. But in general, when someone launches a broadside attack like this one, it's because he doesn't have any specifics (i.e., concrete evidence). As a ps, I hafta add that a lot of what I write is slated to make most Americans unhappy and/or enraged; which I enjoy doing. It tells me I'm on the rt track. As for the downfall of the US, that's gonna happen whether I obsess abt it or not. Is happening, I shd say.

mb

7:44 AM  
Anonymous Abel Mendez said...

Movie recommendation: Bahubali is a fun 2-parts Indian Bollywood movie with amazing sceneries, music, dancing, love, and creative epic battles. Available in netflix now. :-)

10:05 AM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

The book “Christ and Empire” by Joerg Rieger argues that Christianity may yet offer helpful resistance to empire. But if you can ignore the religious implications and hopeful outcome, the book offers some keen insights into the history of empires. For example, given the explicit manifestations of empire, the main challenge of the American empire is the “unconscious support of empire by those who do not explicitly identify with the theological and political moves of empire”. That is especially problematic “under the conditions of the softer forms of empire [ the uses of economic and cultural influence rather than military invasion and occupation] which often go unnoticed”. Like fish who don’t realize they are swimming in water. What empire? I don’t see an empire.

On Rome and other empires – “Since the Roman Empire, empires have become not less but more powerful and more extensive.” Structures of the contemporary postcolonial empire are “all pervasive … control is no longer a matter of direct political rule; economics, technology and culture have proven far more effective in creating an empire” which “reaches further into our collective unconscious.” Which therefore makes it that much more difficult to acknowledge much less resist.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Brutus said...

On living in reality and with meaning, the divergent approaches taken by Sybok and MB interest me. I can see both sides and thus have a hard time knowing what to wish for. In choosing for myself, I prefer to be as truthful, honest, and aware as I can manage but only up to a point (not staring too fixedly into the abyss), which considering the state of the country and world can be soul-destroying. In choosing for others, using the truth as a cudgel or blasting them with evidence (clear to see and then deny even without pointing it out) is rather cruel and often makes the truth-teller appear crazed. We certainly don’t do this with children, telling them early on about Santa Claus or mortality. Those things dawn on everyone slowly, eventually. Does withholding the awful truths of our historical moment (lies of omission, one might say) in most polite conversation infantilize adults? I doubt it.

This relates to the idea of world historical figures, too, as in embracing him/her/them as catalysts hastening our trajectory into the dustbin of history. Sometimes I think “let’s get on with it then,” but I recognize that means a lot of suffering sooner rather than later. I find no jokiness, glee, or Schadenfreude in that prospect so am still finding it hard to know what to hope for.

10:24 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Brutus-

Once again, we aren't 'cudgeling' anyone; I mean, truth be told, who is really worried by what we think? 99.99999% of America doesn't know this blog exists, and the few folks who cruise it casually are sure to dismiss us as a bunch of wackos. Plus, sales of my bks are very small. I think you can rest easy, amigo. The real issue is not what 'cruelty' you think we are visiting on the poor masses; it's only how *you* experience the collapse of the US, and what you intend to do abt it in yr own life, that matters. Good luck.

mb

11:01 AM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

MB - was post on violence submitted a couple of days ago too long or what?

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Cheshire Salad said...

The gender war in the Anglosphere is now a violent and physical one.

http://kshatriya-anglobitch.blogspot.com/2019/08/letter-to-america-stop-hating-men-and.html

Of course, male anger in the Anglosphere will be unleashed in ever greater intensity in the coming years and decades. Many females will be slaughtered.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Finally, the war on cancer may be over!

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/aug/10/war-cancer-metaphors-harm-research-shows

"The ubiquitous use of war metaphors when referring to cancer may do more harm than good, according to research into the psychological impact the phrases have on people’s views of the disease.
"Framing cancer in military terms made treatment seem more difficult and left people feeling more fatalistic about the illness, believing there was little they could do to reduce their risk, researchers found...."

Was always annoyed and offended by the way people talk about diseases. And amused, by the "Warrior" mindset in late capitalism America. Almost cute in its 11 year old infantilism.

@Brutus- I think you may mean something different in 'living with reality' than many? 'Reality' has a multitude of layers and expressions. Enjoying an afternoon telling stories with friends is as real as considering the impending collapse of the US economy. And most people learn when to cudgel and when to smile blandly and remember to never go beyond weather and sports with some people. Many on this blog are laughing to the grave, but I think they have come to that resigned humor at great effort and at times immense pain in realizing the immensity of what is going on.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Before finding the Geatest Blog On Earth the Jefferson Hour was, and to some extent still is, a respite from American insanity. Whatever else he was this is not Jefferson’s America - he wld probably suggest breaking up into 4 or 5 cooperative Confederations spread out over the continent. I’d love to hear the show MB did with Clay - were you at each other’s throat? Do you see him in the same light as Pinker et al? He made me a believer when, after Obama’s election in ‘08 he stated that he (Obaloney) was going to break the heart of anyone who believed in hope and change. I misbelieved but he was spot on.

Monticello sold for $7,500 ($188,000 2018 dollars) Jefferson’s debt was $107,000 ($2.7 million)

https://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/debt

https://www.officialdata.org/1827-dollars-in-2018?amount=7500


12:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

trying-

Yes, and I wrote you and dermot abt it. Scroll back.

Gunnar-

But what did Jeff get for the slaves? Not enuf to clear his debt, I suppose. Poor guy. Clay: we got along v. well. I liked him. However, some guy in the audience got very angry and ran out in a huff. I love Americans.

Cheshire-

You meant to say Cat, rather than Salad, rt? (Or maybe Cheese?)

mb

1:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

"Genio" will supposedly be available on Amazon as of Aug. 18; but those of you who are interested might try now, see what happens. This has been such a struggle.

mb

1:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Unknown-

I don't post Unknowns. You need a real handle to participate in this discussion. Also, only 1 post max every 24 hrs. Thanks.

mb

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Rehustle said...

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/10/jeffrey-epstein-dead-prison-report-latest

Jeffrey Epstein's alleged sex trafficking victim named Bill Richardson, George Mitchell in newly released documents

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/mitchell-richardson-accused


Prince Andrew groped young woman's breast at Epstein house, court files allege

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/aug/09/prince-andrew-court-documents-ghislaine-maxwell-jeffrey-epstein




Isn't Epstein maybe the ultimate hustler? Amassing vast amounts of wealth and as such his in America de facto acquired elite position to satiate his pedophile desires. With the tacit approval and sometimes active participation of his fellow hustler establishment? And ultimately avoiding footing his bill... Hustler extraordinaire indeed... And by chance as well now sparing his enthusiast hustler friends from a very embarrassing public trial, what a lucky coincidence... To the powerful, you will bow indeed...

2:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Rehustle-

Epstein represents the ultimate late-empire plutocratic decadence. The elite are actually trash. Never mind whom I hurt; all that counts is what I want.

Classic definition of virtue: putting the good of the commonweal before your own private interests. I guess Ep doesn't quite qualify; but then, none of them do. What we have today are degrees of trash.

mb

2:21 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Well, we haven’t experienced our Suez moment, but with the “suicide” of Jerry Epstein Americans have received the most blatant wake-up call ever as to how rotten things are in Denmark. Of course, I expect that most Americans will only ram their heads further up their rectums. But if they surprise me and manage to mount an effective demand for justice, they will be squashed like bugs and deservedly so.

I’ve been aware of Epstein for years, and when he was recently arrested I told some of my friends that he was a dead man. Of course, they all think I’m a nutty conspiracy theorist, but anyone who pays attention knows that the swamp always manages to protect itself.

2:34 PM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

OK - I missed it. How about this?

The amount and degree of violence in these United States should surprise no one familiar with American history. https://newrepublic.com/article/143361/america-always-angry-violent

Richard Hofstadter, "American Violence: A Documentary History": It shouldn’t surprise us that a colonial settler society that wiped out the Native American population, imported slave labor, and relied on vigilante violence to police newly incorporated territories should be prone to political violence.

America was born in violence, so it is only fitting that she die in violence. We stole territory from others, destroyed whole civilizations, and infiltrated other cultures with our values and greed. How could we not expect that what we did abroad would return to haunt us?
Reaping what we have sown, we will continue to evolve in a violent spiral until, like a nova that suddenly increases its light output and then fades away, our brilliance will have faded to almost nothing.

Watching this take place – watching America descend into violence and self-destruction - is like watching a wild fire from a distance as it slowly destroys the countryside. Once it gets going, there is nothing any fire fighter can do to stop it. The only response is to protect oneself as best one can and wait for the fire to burn itself out. Once the earth has been scorched, survivors might move back and begin anew with whatever is left. If enough Wafers adopt the “monastic option”, what is valuable and beautiful in our history might be preserved. (WAF, p XIV). We might be able to start over either here or elsewhere. OR - the cycle of creation and destruction might repeat itself. As it has done in every empire since the beginning of civilization.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Greetings Waferinos everywhere, here is your news update from the Cascadian portion of the nation of morons:

The Seattle Times ran a long report on the practice of “vehicle ranching” in the Seattle area, where enterprising entrepreneurs are buying confiscated RVs from tow company storage yards and then rent them out by the day or week to the homeless. An underground housing program that the City of Seattle is trying to squelch. Ah, “Home, home on the ranch, where the dispossessed and the authorities play …”:

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/homeless/vehicle-ranching-in-seattle-inside-the-underground-market-of-renting-rvs-to-homeless-people/?j=440472&sfmc_sub=4589292&l=1798_HTML&u=8339731&mid=7234592&jb=94&utm_source=mark

Staying with the RV theme, our local newspaper The Olympian reports that a neighbor decided to have a 6 am “conversation” with the driver of an RV whom another neighbor spotted dumping sewage along a street on the Olympia outskirts near Evergreen College. However, the “conversation” consisted of gunfire not words as the RV was riddled and the driver taken to the hospital with a graze wound. This is how Americans settle disputes and perceived slights. As MB and others have documented, a country of violent fucks:

https://www.theolympian.com/news/local/crime/article233385612.html

3:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jack-

Except that dumping sewage on Evergreen is an appropriate statement, no? And what's Bret Weinstein up2 these days? Hopefully, far from the College.

trying-

Yr still kinda long. Aim for 1/4 of a page in future; then you might get it rt. Thanks.

mb

3:22 PM  
Blogger jdhines said...

Salinge,

I was taken aback by this reader's comment in response to Jim Kunstler's latest blog post"

"To me, it sounds more like Morris Berman, who has been wrong in nearly every prediction he's made and is obsessed with the downfall of the United States."

Hello, this was not a response to Jim's blog post, it was a response to me, jdhines. Someone made the comment that I, most likely, follow the head of the Communist Revolutionary Party, one Bob Avakian (Chairperson). Another poster suggested that "no, I was probably influenced by Morris Berman." Of course, it was meant as a slight, but I take it as a compliment considering the Right Wing Nuts over at Kunstler's place.

JDH

5:50 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

I did a count and compare on posts that pass and it looks like twenty lines on my android tablet is the cut off. Bill Hicks seems to set the standard... use however many lines his posts are as a calibration for your device. Call it the Hicks Maximum, maybe?

7:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

comrade-

boson hicks?

mb

7:57 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Cheshire--from the blog post at the link you cited: "My message to America? If you want to stop these terrible mass shootings, stop hating men and introduce genuine equality. A good start would be forcing all women to register for the draft. This measure is long overdue and would instantly restore a measure of goodwill to American gender relations. How women can be judges and politicians without have to register is one of the burning scandals of modern American life. The blunt fact is, unless this scandal of institutional misandry is forcibly reversed, young American men will kill you in ever greater numbers. And they are right to do so; their grievances are entirely legitimate."

I'm sorry, but this person is a friggin' lunatic. How can anyone with two functioning brain cells really believe that making 18-year-old girls spend 15 minutes filling out a form affirming their eligibility to go massacre massive numbers of foreign civilians will do anything to deter mass shootings? Making this statement even more ridiculous is the fact that the author apparently didn't get the memo that women are now allowed to serve in combat roles, which is all that matters when you have, ya know, an ALL VOLUNTEER military. How is a male politician (like Trump) avoiding military service any different from a woman (like Hillary)? Worse yet, saying young men are RIGHT to kill women unless they are compelled to register for the draft represents the lowest order of ugly, vicious misogyny. Oh, and I particularly love how the author uses a "participant poll" without so much as a citation as to its source as proof that an overwhelming majority of 85% (Of whom? Who knows?) agree that "misandry" in society has become excessive, when I'll bet not 5% of Americans have any idea what that word even means. This self-described "Traditionalist Scholar opposed to Anglo-American Feminism" needs to have his shoes peed on.

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

JDH: thanks for pointing that out, I enjoy JHK's stuff sometimes, but I haven't read his stuff in a while ... but then I read the post linked in the comments above, and he actually promotes Tucker "Fuckin" Carlson? Huh?

In other news, I just hit $100K worth of medical bills for the year, and I guess another $80k yet to go ... all for meds. Isn't capitalism wonderful?

8:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pastrami-

Time to fly the coop?

Bill-

Yeah, but I can't wonder that the guy might be intuitively onto something. Frankly, from abt 1970 on, as the women's movement got going, I observed a terrific amt of undifferentiated female hatred toward men (occasionally directed at me, but I was hardly exceptional). As the yrs passed, bks began to appear abt American males as a kind of lost generation, heavily devalued in comparison w/women (hence the huge appeal of someone like Jordan Peterson, and earlier--with much greater integrity--Robert Bly). Hillary's notion of The Future Is Female strikes me as rather creepy: why shd the future belong to only 1 gender? But I think it, along with this heavy devaluation of men and masculinity (which might have contributed to Trumpi getting elected, for all anyone knows), may have acted as a serious turnoff for American males, and possibly as a source of bitterness. There's no doubt that misogyny is big in American life, but perhaps we also need to look at the other side of the coin. Jus' thinkin' aloud here...

mb

8:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: And speaking of backlash:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/sep/13/australia.topstories3

(lotta dumb people out there)

9:25 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Jack Lattermann - that newspaper site WILL try to brick the computer of anyone who goes to it. Newspapers' sites as a rule are awful, as they really want you to buy a physical paper, but that one's worse than most.

In essence the article just looks at the underground 'industry' of buying up RVs cheap at auction then renting them out to homeless/desperate people.

Look at how homelessness is done in Japan for a look at how I did RV-homelessness. I fixed the roof, put in a better "French drain", fixed a ton of stuff, put in a nice deck (not hard, just deck over pallets with scrap wood) put in grape vines, had a nice sun-heated "hose shower" put a fence around it etc. by the time I left. I left because I was just about "the only live sled dog on the team" at the place and was tired of doing all the work.

YouTube has quite a few videos on how Japanese homelessness works, and it won't try to brick your computer ...

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Sybok said...

Just to clarify, I didn't mean to say that the blog is inflicting our negative wordview on others. I was responding to what Dr. Berman had said about how living in reality and explaining that to others is doing good in the world. I frankly just don't see what's good about either if doing good has anything to do with promoting happiness or relieving suffering

During the the protests in Charlotsville I tried to educate my liberal aunt about the true purpose of the civil war (preserving the union & free labor) & she became so unsettled that she had to dismiss herself from the dinner table and engage in some shopping therapy. If my mom ever realized that the Bible isn't the word of God and she's wasted her life on a fairy tale, she'd likely kill herself. Happiness is built on a precarious foundation of ignorance. I mean, how good do the WAFERs here feel about the demise of America & possibly the planet's ecosystem? I can barely function myself. In the face of a global economic/cultural collapse and the possible extinction of most animal life on earth, it's hard to find a reason to get out of bed.

Let children enjoy their innocence. Let them believe in unlimited grown, American exceptionalism, the law of attraction, & any other BS that allows them to live tolerable lives. If believing that the earth is flat or the holocaust was a hoax or that mass shootings are staged by 'crises actors' keeps a person from slitting their wrists, I say more power to them! The fruit of the tree of knowledge is poison; it's death! Don't be a serpent

10:31 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

The HORROR!!!


https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/08/trumps-conspiracy-theory-about-clintons-and-epstein/595915/

1:16 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sybok-

To clarify on this end, you did say that, even calling us 'sadistic'. I also think our worldview is a lot more complex than merely negative.

In any case, some people believe that ignorance is bliss, and some people don't. I can't really argue it with you, as it's a personal choice. Wafers fall into the 2nd category, and believe it's the better--indeed happier--choice, and that living in reality *is* the relief from suffering (Buddhism 101). When you say, "Let children enjoy their innocence," we believe that it's always better to become adults, and not to live in a fog, or in Disneyland. We don't see these 'innocent' beliefs you refer to as being all that innocent. For example, nothing has done more to create the misery we're in than the belief in unlimited growth. (What you regard as harmless is anything but, in other words.) But again, it's just a choice we have made; which to us is the difference between freedom and slavery. Even then, I'm not convinced that happiness is the purpose of life. Life is much deeper than that, and I think you need to expand yr horizons a bit.

As for demise of ecosystem, it's not the same thing as the demise of America. In fact, it's the life of America, as Americans practice it--living like children, as they do--that is killing the ecosystem.

I hafta admit, I feel bad that yr locked into the space that yr in, because the world is much more than just one dark hole. You might try reading the Twilight bk, in particular the section on the New Monastic Option. As for the Civil War: WAF, ch. 4.

hugs, amigo; I wish you better days.
mb

1:46 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

Well, try this:

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/08/10/americas/america-guns-world-analysis-intl/index.html

mb

2:11 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Sybok, MB,

Interesting discussion you have going. It reminds me of the quote from Doris Lessing you used in Twilight MB (first time I am using an HTML hyperlink hope it worked).

My two cents on the issue is that by and large, most people don't change. However, there are some who *can* be saved and who can be fished out of the pond so to speak. Even if there's no guarantee of success, I believe it's a Wafer's duty to spot these specific individuals and convert them to Waferism. It's better to spend one's remaining life living a true life than a false one. That's how I live my life and even though some of my efforts will be vain, I tend to think it's not all for nothing.

Kanye

4:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kanye-

The link worked. That is one of my all-time favorite novels, and the quote is exactly what I'm talking abt. I guess one might say that reality is its own reward, but its much more than that. Sybok is rt that the world is in a mess, but nevertheless, there are wonders out there, and I hope he learns to enjoy them. There is sheer wonder in being alive.

mb

8:14 AM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

Sybok – Your desire to protect children from the horrors of national decline and global warming is commendable. Children don’t have the intelligence or emotional maturity to deal with existential threats to their survival.

Nor is denial in adults always bad. Short-term denial can be beneficial when used to adjust to a sudden painful or stressful issue, like the death of a loved one or loss of a job, or to threatening information, like American decline and climate change. But continued, long-term refusal to accept reality can lead to emotional and mental health problems.https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/aug/03/denialism-what-drives-people-to-reject-the-truth

I’m convinced from personal experience and study that accepting the reality of who I am (as much as possible, realizing that I am and will always remain a mystery to myself) is better than trying to pretend that I am something else. And that this personal maxim applies as well to the world. Granted, finding the truth is never easy. One must look long and hard and unflinchingly to gain even a glimpse of the truth of oneself or another. But I’ve found that admitting the reality of the self or any of a thousand situations facing the safety of creation makes me happier and more content than denying the reality of same. Accepting reality, at least, gives me a choice about how to respond.

Kayne – I disagree that we have a duty to “convert” deniers. As I see it, our only responsibility is to share what we believe. Others, like Sybok’s aunt and mom, will either accept it or reject it. We have no control, nor should we, over how they respond.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

You know, Epstein may have had some personal failings, but at least he leaves a serious economic legacy of productive investment in the USA. /sarc

It's always funny when these scandals come out because the day to day reality was already a scandal nobody dared call out. Sure, you have some dude extracting massive sums of money by arcane financial methods (likely blackmail) island hopping around... That's totally normal and cool for society until you find out about his sex life.

It's far more of a taboo to point out economic perversions.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

How does one make a link like Kanye's? I need to make one for this:

https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-almost-vertical-sedimentary-rock-strata-exposed-on-the-river-bank-72340472.html

One thing that occasionally annoys me about the discussion here, and in places like Commondreams, is that the decline of the USA is sometimes equated with the decline of the planet's ecosystem, or of the planet in general. The USA is not the world.

As far as worrying about the end of life on the planet goes, cut it out. The planet's fine, even though we as a species may be in trouble. The link I posted above illustrates this. About a week ago I was walking on the shore of the Ile d'Orléans and saw this formation of sedimentary rock, whose layers have shifted 90 degrees from when they were deposited. That takes about a bazillion years to happen. Some day everything you and I know and care about will be in such a layer: about 1/8 inch of sedimentary rock, buried 100 feet or more deep in some mountain range or under an ocean.

So lighten up and enjoy breathing and looking at flowers.

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Monge said...

"Jonathan Haidt, one of America's calmest and soberest intellectuals: 'I am now very pessimistic... I think there is a very good chance American democracy will fail, that in the next 30 years we will have a catastrophic failure of our democracy.'"

https://amp.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/very-good-chance-democracy-is-doomed-in-america-says-haidt/news-story/

Good grief guys. Haidt's "The Happiness Hypothesis" and "The Righteous Mind" are two really good books in the positive psychology lit., and it looks like even Mr Positive cannot find the silver lining in this country's future. A sign of the times!

12:20 PM  
Anonymous CWell said...

I've been reading lots of post-apocalyptic novels and find them strangely comforting, showing the best and worst of what humans are capable of in a crisis. I've read "The Mandibles", "Station Eleven", "The Dog Stars", "World Made by Hand", "Parable of the Sower" "Gold Fame Citrus" and a few of the zombie apocalypse genre. The zombie stuff makes me wonder about the themes of de-humanization giving license to kill, contamination and contagion that are prominent in right wing rhetoric on immigration, and anthropological studies on how concepts of purity and pollution impact the social order. So much of this is largely unconscious but a fascist leader is able to mobilize these fears.

We just had an arrest in Colorado of a potential white supremacist attacker. He was questioned by the FBI after he posted a guide to hunting Muslims, Jews, and refugees with helpful address included, information on poisoning wells, making explosives, etc. but it was not enough to arrest him. He was busted after he left his iphone filled with child pornography on a bus in Boulder.

https://www.denverpost.com/2019/08/08/boulder-porn-suspect-researched-bombs-poisons-mass-killers-synagogues-mosques/

Ajay Singh - Thanks for the link - looks like a good choice for our next reading group! I'm learning more than I ever wanted to know about tax increment financing and enterprise zones!

12:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Monge-

I cdn't get the link to work. But I'm not sure that American democracy hasn't already failed.

mb

12:26 PM  
Blogger flanagle said...

After giving it some thought for the last several weeks I'm now on board with the Trumpi Cult chant: "Send her back!" But, not the gal from Somalia, I mean the one who came from France, in a box, in 1885. Just go on out into NYC harbor and start popping those rivets! Then whack the pedestal and deep-six the Emma Lazarus poem. What in hell the French would do with her is hard to say. Maybe just melt her down and sell her off to the Chinese.

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Cheshire salad said...

"Rape" and "sexual slavery" will be overtly legalized, and age of "consent" laws will be abolished in the wake of America's collapse. Such is already the de facto norm (and has always been so) throughout most of the world. Hence why the Anglosphere is constantly trying to label some country as the "rape capital of the world" and complaining about "exploitation" of females in other countries. Especially if the male population in those countries is primarily non-white.

With the collapse of America, Anglosphere feminist NGOs will lose their power to force other countries to adopt Anglo-centric laws criminalizing male sexuality on paper.

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Monge said...

https://amp.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/very-good-chance-democracy-is-doomed-in-america-says-haidt/news-story/0106ec1c458a0b5e3844545514a55b5a

This link will work apologies guys. I think you're right on brokenness MB

3:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Monge-

You hafta subscribe to get access, unfortunately.

Chesh-

Have any links, or evidence?

mb

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Sybok said...

MB,
I agree that many of the delusions I mentioned are far from innocent & have actually served to bring us to the perilous place we are at today. I've actually upset a lot of people by trying to enlighten them about just how horrible the world is, but I only recently started to feel any guilt over it. Part of me feels sorry for these deluded people, but I suppose that my pity is miguided. If some people can't handle the truth & end up killing themselves - slowly with drugs or quickly with a bullet - because the truth offends them, then at least they are out of the way & no longer contributing to the problem. I'd rather they saw the error in their ways & devoted the rest of their life to spreading the word, but in either case the world will be better if it's a world with one less hustler, bigot, or religious fanatic.

Things only get better once we admit that there's a problem. Denial may feel good in the short term, but - ironically - stirring up as much negativity & discontent as possible might be the most pro-social activity I can pursue at this point.

4:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sybok-

Well, amigo, you seem to be getting somewhere. Gd 4u! In any case, negativity is not the same thing as discontent. Wafers are into the latter, not so much the former. The pt is to shed lite, to question conventional wisdom, to suggest that there might be a different way of looking at a particular issue. But we're not gonna knock ourselves out doing it, because we realize that there are limits to the influence any one person (or small group) may have. Garrison Keillor once wrote: "Here in Lake Wobegon we have the ability to look reality in the eye and deny it." In other words, almost all Americans are children, and want to continue living in Disneyland. Wafers just see it as worth the effort to fish a few deluded souls outta the drink, because adulthood/enlightenment is a kindness (even if it is also a bitch--tough luck!). But we are not more ambitious than that. Sure, a Waferworld wd be better, but we know that's not gonna happen; and that with or w/o our efforts, the US will go down the tubes. That's why we take time to have dinner with friends, or listen to John Dowland (try "The Earl of Essex--His Galliard"), or (if we can manage it) go to Tre Scalini on Piazza Navona in Rome and drink their cappuccino. Life is over in the blink of an eye, amigo; be sure to savor it b4 you bite the dust. Personally, I believe you only get one shot.

Onward! (and not just Downward)

mb

6:12 PM  
Anonymous B. Louis said...

I just want to take a moment to thank all of you, especially Dr. Berman. I've found more eye-opening material in these blog comments than anywhere else.

On a more personal level, every day that passes, I feel more like a stranger in a strange land here in America. There is a small degree of comfort to be found in knowing that I'm not the only one here who feels that the problem of America is not remediable by political means anymore.

I don't know any of you, but this place is a bit of an intellectual island in a sea of cultural diarrhea. I guess we're all here huddled together hoping the brown tide doesn't reach our toes. :)

6:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Speaking of Rome, let me suggest a happy book: "Genio," by me. Best to read it on Piazza Navona, but Milwaukee will do, in a pinch. The chs. on Fellini, St. Francis, Gramsci, and Machiavelli are ones you might find particularly comforting at this pt. Avanti!

6:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Louis-

Let's face it: this blog is a class act. Many yrs ago, Ted Koppel interviewed Kurt Vonnegut, who said to Ted: "America consists of a few islands of civilization in an ocean of garbage." Well, if ol' Kurt were alive today, I feel confident that he wd see this blog as an island of civ. Note that we also take care of each other: if someone's in trouble, we do what we can; and we also have the occasional Wafer Summit Meeting in NY, where we get drunk and tell politically incorrect jokes. We are the NMIs: unstoppable. Against us, the brown tide doesn't have a chance. :-)

mb

6:35 PM  
Anonymous Brutus said...

Interesting further discuss re Sybok. I don’t have solutions to offer. Weaponized truth was something I mentioned (taking full responsibility here), which IMO isn’t so much about the motivations of the truth-teller as reception in a badly miseducated public fed an array of illusions and outright lies. Some illusions seem benign and receive widespread approval; others are far more toxic yet still contribute to the dominant paradigm. Who adjudicates? I lack confidence to assert I’m correct in the face of intransigent denial of what seems to me obvious.

While I’m inclined to tell the truth as I understand it, most social circumstances don’t allow for that. That’s especially true when extrapolating from our present predicaments into the foreseeable future. So I put most of it on my roundly ignored blog (lots of company there) as a way of working out ideas. Even still, it seems to me necessary to treat each other with compassion regarding our many shared frailties rather than resort to establishing in-groups and out-groups (e.g., Wafers and others). That’s seductive, self-congratulatory binary thinking, resulting in communications marred with rancor and vitriol (especially unapproved comments). So while it’s probably true as MB suggested to me that I can be responsible only for myself with regard to apprehension of truth and a suitable response, it’s also true that I’m situated within a larger social environment that requires cooperation and accommodation, especially toward the younger and weaker (“weaker” having many attributes). Maybe fleeing to another country, as is often recommended, is the best possible option for some. Earlier in life, I wanted that very badly indeed. I no longer regard that as a desirable option for me.

6:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Brutus-

America made us into an out group; Wafers don't have any other choice, if they are interested in living in reality, and in being true to themselves. That's just the bare facts of the situation, and some of the greatest minds--Ray Bradbury, E.M. Forster--understood this and wrote abt it. Your way of thinking will keep you stuck for a very long time, my friend; it doesn't really amount to much of anything, that I can see. And the folks here are hardly seduced by their own thinking, as you apparently believe. (Did you ever stop to think that it is *your* thinking that might be the real seduction?) But if you really want to keep negotiating that 'larger social environment' (nec. to some degree, of course)--well, let us know how that works out for you. May you find the confidence you say you lack.

As for fleeing to another country: where, in America, wd u find anything like this?:

https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/guadalajara-drivers-get-out-and-dance-la-chona/?utm_source=Mexico+News+Today&utm_campaign=253797642d-MNT+aug-07-2019_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f1536a3787-253797642d-349608125

Best of luck, amigo-

mb

7:20 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@MB--I guess it's like the battles of the progs vs. MAGAfarts, or liberal vs. conservatives, or Antifa vs Proud Boys, when it comes to feminists vs. incels, I'd round 'em all up, put them in a huge pen, issue everyone an AR-15 with a half dozen full clips and let 'em have at it.

@comrade--"Hicks Maximum" heh, I like it!

Uniquely American headline: 'Mad' Flat-Earther to Launch Himself 5,000 Feet Up on a Homemade Steam Rocket.

I keep telling my wife that whole country has gone insane, and it isn't just the MAGAfarts. Here's the latest Hollywood "controversy" to prove it: 'The Hunt' canceled by Universal following significant backlash. Yeah, apparently a whole bunch of Hollywood douchebags decided to work out their Trump derangement syndrome by making a movie where wealthy liberal thrill-seekers take a private jet to a five-star resort where they get to hunt down and kill deploarbles. You know we're entering the decadent final stages of empire when there's a movie about rich people hunting (often) poorer people, and the rich people are the "heros."

8:35 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Hola Dr B and fellow Wafers

If Trump can just get another distraction going
things might just cool off enough that the Senate
will not have to do anything which might rile the R base.

https://www.npr.org/2019/08/08/749570316/senate-will-discuss-gun-proposals-in-september-mcconnell-says

9:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

I think "The Hunt" shd be released, but only as the 1st of a Spielberg trilogy. #2 wd be abt the Trumpites hunting down the elite liberals, and polishing *them* off. Then the scenario for #3 wd be that the govt gives every American an arsenal of weapons, including a nuclear device, and says it's open season: go kill whomever you want. At the end of which, the entire country is empty. Title of the trilogy: "America Solves Its Problems."

mb

12:33 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

"Safety, under any circumstances, is an illusion."

--Leonora Carrington

1:54 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

A new study has found that shootings, choke holds and other uses of force by police officers, whether warranted or not, are now the sixth-highest cause of death for American males between the ages of 25 and 29.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/08/09/police-brutality-rate-leading-cause-of-death-american-men/39927817/

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Greens said...

“Love is communism for two.”

Love this little quote from Srećko Horvat. Really enjoyed his book on love.

https://www.theoryculturesociety.org/review-srecko-horvat-radicality-love/

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://wtaq.com/shows/show/live-on-sunday-night-its-bill-cunningham/

I don't know if he rebroadcasts the show from last night. Maybe he's going
straight to stand-up on YouTube or making comedy records. Great is the amount
of UNintended humor from these goofs. Sorry for 2nd message today.

2:14 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

WORSE than Obesity!! It’s the AMERICAN WAY!!


https://nationalpost.com/health/all-the-lonely-people

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Chandler said...

Claude Lévi-Strauss: Science, myths and the mysticalPatrick Wilcken examines a thinker who applied the rigour of science and the technical models of linguistics to social phenomena

https://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/public/claude-levi-strauss-science-myths-mystical/

5:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

Nothing like using a technological fix for a problem that has its origins in an entire culture and way of life.

mb

5:25 PM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

Brutus – I can’t think of any social circumstances in America that “allow for [telling the truth].”Most Americans start lying the moment they wake up. First, to themselves, that the day will be different from yesterday with its lack of meaning and purpose; that we will find something truly exciting and spiritually fulfilling to do; that those with whom we come in contact will be concerned for our health and well-being. At the grocery store and bank we exchange empty pleasantries with the bored and underpaid cashiers who wish us a happy/nice/blessed day. We greet others with a false smile and voice fake concern for their well-being” “How you doing?” To which they respond: “Fine, what about you?” All the while knowing that neither of us could give a real shit about the other.

We lie to our friends, our spouses and partners, and our children. But mostly we lie to ourselves: We pretend that the Amr dream is real and achievable. All we have to do – advise Norman Vincent Peale and Oprah – is keep our hands of the plow, work harder, pray harder and think of ourselves in a more favorable light.

On a movie about Rich people hunting the poor, sounds like great idea to me. Think of the benefits. We could do away with welfare, Medicare and Medicaid, and clear the streets of the homeless. But alas dear Bill, the movie has already been made. It was called The Most Dangerous Game (1932) and carried the same title as the short story upon which it was based (1924). The plot concerns a big game hunter on an island who hunts humans for sport. The film stars Joel McCrea, Leslie Banks, and King Kong leads Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong. Enjoy.

7:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Guitar with one string dept.:

Hedges calls for uprising of the masses to overthrow corporate masters. A stunning breakthrough, eh wot? (Have u guys noticed that some people are incapable of waking up? Jesus, what wd it take...)

mb

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Sybok and Brutus: Per our experience, it appears to be a 'lost cause' trying to explain, over-explain, answer barrages of questions/explain why america failed, Waferology, historial references, etc.. to USians; this includes, family, and "friends."

The pig in mud analogy is apropos. You;ll waste a great deal of time to no avail. Their God is america, and you will have an enormous challenge trying to "convert" them or show them the Dr. Berman /Wafer light. They;ll either get enraged, change topic, or eye roll (contempt). Best to simply smile, clap, and nod, and plan an permanent exit strategy.

Like garlic to Dracula/Blacula, USians were repelled by truth and reality. Let them all enjoy their "life" grounded in fantasy, myths, and delusions.

7:47 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Aren’t Floridian kooky, crazy, and cute? Aww...

https://apple.news/A0dcxTz_cTECmuD1__PznnQ

8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

Just finished re-watching Killing Them Softly a 2012 movie with Brad Pitt.

I didn't think much of it in 2012. I had just begun to read Dark Ages America trilogy and I wasn't fully conscious of the darkness of America.

With my present understanding I found it a compelling presentation of the essence of America. It is violent brutal and has no redemption for anyone.

One of the most brilliant aspects of the movies the way they cut in speeches of Obama and Bush in 2008.

For those who don't want to watch the whole movie I found a clip on YouTube with the last 6 minutes.

https://youtu.be/5zK-b0INu1k

I had a hallucination of Obama repeating Brad Pitt's last lines to the bankers when he gave his first $500,000 speech after leaving office


10:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wonderful title: In Feb of 2001, a Canadian band released an album entitled "Today's Empires, Tomorrow's Ashes." Touche!

mb

10:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sybok-

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

"Youth's a stuff will not endure"--who wrote this line? In which play?

mb

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Brutus said...

FWIW, I’m in fundamental agreement about the impending collapse of the American Empire, having read both the consciousness trilogy and the American trilogy by MB. The former is much closer to my interests; the latter is a necessary, bitter pill. I need no more convincing. That said, as a confirmed misanthrope, how I then react to and relate with others is germane. I could easily give up and sink heavily into my own bitterness and nihilism, judging others harshly and discarding those who don’t measure up to my standards. That would be a character failure, and lots of people travel that path to self-destruction, sometimes taking others down with themselves in a final orgy of violence. So even though a patient, compassion approach may be the equivalent of screaming into a waterfall, that’s where my energies are directed.

The link above by jjardin in the National Post about developing a pill for loneliness is a striking example of papering over the underlying social problem with a mood-enhancing drug. Truly addressing loneliness, a rather daunting task of recreating meaning, connection, and community, is not something science-based researchers have the tools for. So instead, we get a pill. The article actually draws attention to the disconnect, so good on the National Post.

10:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Brutus-

False dichotomy. The choice is not nec. between bitter nihilism vs. patient compassion. At this pt in time, at least in the US, both of those paths are dead ends. They are also easy; they don't require real courage. Both, to use your expression, are character failures. Waferism is neither of those.

mb

11:11 PM  
Anonymous Sybok said...

MB,
William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night.

I knew it was Shakespeare, but I had to bing for the play. Alas, I'm not so young anymore (36) and I spent most of my youth reading books and only a little of it loving. I don't regret the reading part, and in the light of #metoo, I can't say I regret the dearth of 'love' either. I'll be so glad to finally leave this sanity-forsaken country; it's really the only reason I have to leave my trailor more than once a week.

12:10 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

American douchebaguette missionary opens a "clinic" in Uganda for sick and malnourished children so she can blog about what a great person she is dong "god's work." Despite having no formal medical training, douchebaguette administers minor medial medical procedures such as blood transfusions and, predictably, fucks them up. Numerous Ugandan children die as a result, and douchebaguette is sued by the Ugandan authorities. "Just think of the arrogance," says Lawrence Gostin, who heads the Center on National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University. "Who are you to assume that you can do better than they can? It's not your judgment call to make." Gostin adds that while the circumstances of Bach's case may seem exceptional, he sees her actions as stemming from an attitude many Americans bring to developing countries. "The American cultural narrative is that these countries are basket cases."

Kwagala says the suit is deeply necessary. These families deserve justice, she says. And there's a larger principle at stake: Imagine, says Kwagala, if a 20-something Ugandan woman had gone to the U.S. and set up an equivalent arrangement to treat impoverished American children. "She would have been prosecuted. She would have been behind bars," says Kwagala. In the U.S., says Kwagala, "I don't think she would have lasted two hours."

There is certainly a "basket case" country in this story--but it sure isn't Uganda.

1:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

I guess what we're really talking about is shitholes. See note to Sy, below.

Sy-

The full line is:

"Then come kiss me sweet and twenty
Youth's a stuff will not endure."

I've quoted this b4, from Sir Lawrence Olivier: "We are all 17, with red lips." What a great line. So it's all subjective...17, 20, 36, 75... You have much life ahead of u. Me too.

As for the MeToo movement: at this pt, there is only 1 movement in the US that is based on reality, and that's the Bowel Movement.

mb

1:33 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Have you seen "First Reformed"? Might be relevant...

1:35 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Well, well, well:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/aug/13/brexit-remain-radicalisation-fbpe-peoples-vote

"They used to pride themselves on their moderation; now, spurred on by rage, they divide the world into enemies and allies. "

Even the Guardian themselves (the ultimate Prog newspaper) is starting to think Brexit might not be such a "betrayal" of democracy after all and that the *real* radicals might be in their own camp. I cannot wait to see the face of Progs when Brexit takes place on October 31st. They deserve it.

Kanye

3:30 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greetings MB & Wafers,

I've been following with interest the discussions here. You're right, you can't get this kind of thought and analysis anywhere else! For me, leaving the US was truly the right answer, although we routinely encounter Americans, entitled all of them, who make us cringe.

Meanwhile, the latest from Linh Dinh: http://www.unz.com/ldinh/selling-whiteness/

US Mall Culture, exported around the world to infect everywhere else, convincing others that all is idyllic in the US. Meanwhile, the US (malls & infrastructure) falls apart.

3:44 AM  
Anonymous Rehustle said...

In the same vain as a pill against loneliness, I'm in the process of developing a pill against climate change. The pill kills of all the heat-receptors in your brain. You'll feel like on the North Pole before the industrial age. The fossil fuel industry is a prime investor. Reduced price combo packs possible with the loneliness pill.

4:40 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

He left his job quicker than
David Brooks drops an old wife
Baby I can do much better!
Cuz Wafers we are born to run!
Ooooooooooooooo!

(Set to tune of Springsteen's Born to Run)

I would like to think The Boss is a crypto-Wafer!

5:47 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kanye-

What abt the faces of the progs when Trumpola gets reelected? Ah, that will be precious! Schmiden will be relegated to oblivion, where he belongs, and History will have given the progs a huge slap in the face. What, then, will they do? Will they finally embrace reality, become declinists? Say, "Gee, I guess it's over"? Not a chance. They'll get all organized, plan to impeach Trumpaquena, busy themselves with all kinds of prog resistance, get even deeper into identity politics, etc.--all of which will further contribute to the whirlwind of self-destruction that is bringing the American exp't to a close. When will these buffoons wake up? Ans.: when pigs fly in geese formation over the White House.

mb

6:26 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

A Canadian student working on her MA at Concordia University (Canada) offers some thoughts on the murders committed by disaffected young men—she sees them as a form of suicide or a wish for death—and draws connections to meaninglessness in life

“[French sociologist Emile] Durkheim observed that social groups that were more religious exhibited lower suicide rates. (Catholics were less likely to commit suicide than Protestants, for instance.) Durkheim also noted that many people who killed themselves were young, and that the prevalence of such suicides was linked to their level of social integration: When a person felt little sense of connection or belonging, he could be led to question the value of his existence and end his life.”

https://quillette.com/2019/08/07/the-deadly-boredom-of-a-meaningless-life/

10:32 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jas-

Durkheim called it "anomie".

mb

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Tonia said...

Here's acting USCIS director Ken Cuccinelli saying on NPR this morning that the Statue of Liberty plaque should be changed to read, "give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet, and who will not become a public charge."

This place is disgusting.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tonia-

When you look at the US from a distance, it's hard to hang onto your meal.

mb

1:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Some of you may have read ch. 7 of DAA, on America as a car culture, and how that came to pass. There is an update of that (of sorts) in the New Yorker for July 29, by Nathan Heller, who cites as his source a just-released bk entitled "Are We There Yet?" My luck, another one of my titles nicked. Anyway, the essay is worth a read.

mb

2:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

trying-

Cdn't run it. You need to let a full 24 hrs elapse b4 you post another time. Thank you.

mb

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Jim of Olym said...

First post here. Hope I'm initiated as a Wafer!
Ordered your new book from my local guy, Orca Books in Olympia WA
Costs more than at Amazon but I hope not to use them for anything.
Said it should come in a week. Waiting breathlessly, more or less.

4:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jim-

Welcome to the blog. Don't lurk; live!

You shd know that there's another Wafer in Olympia, Jack Lattemann, a great guy. He and I are planning to visit Evergreen, pee on the shoes of the admin. God, how they need it!

All modesty aside, it's a great bk. You may, while rdg it, lose control of all yr bodily functions. I guess the best thing wd b2 read it in the bathtub. :-)

Keep posting!

mb

4:20 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

Don't worry, I'm sure the changes in brain structure are helpful for kids with ADHD:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2019/08/13/adhd-drugs-alter-structure-childrens-brains-scans-reveal/

Check out the mugshot:

https://nypost.com/2019/08/13/man-who-threw-death-party-for-wife-sentenced-to-3-years-in-prison/

5:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Krak-

In that face u.c. America's future.

mb

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

This guy makes some good points. I am going to propose that his essay be read from the pulpit on Sunday. Ha- just kidding!

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/08/13/massacres-at-home-and-abroad/print/

Seriously, if you read this to a local church group, they would look at you like you had three heads.

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Mariam said...

"Protestors in Hong Kong are using the American flag and anthem as a symbol of freedom to rally."

Really worrying about what will happen to these poor brave souls.

Chinese American immigrant here. I know it might not be a popular take within the blogosphere, but this is making me misty & kind of makes one think we're not nearly as awful as some say, and we don't appreciate our freedom as much as we should :-(

6:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mariam-

Gd pt, but the pres of the US now has the legal right to single out any American citizen he doesn't like, and kill him, on American soil. I believe Obama did it twice.

We haven't had a Tiananmen here, or a Tlatelolco, but I'm guessing it's just a matter of time.

mb

7:48 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Jim of Olym,

Welcome to the only blog in the universe worth reading for critical exchange on the trajectory of Merica. If you'd like to make contact for some Wafer conversation over coffee or lunch in Olympia, send your email address to MB and he will get it to me.

Oh, and for your second order to Orca Books, get Why America Failed.

8:33 PM  
Blogger ccg said...

MB,

I don't believe there will ever be a Tiananmen kind of event in the US. I can't even imagine who would take part in something like that. The same people involved with the pussy hat march? I think not. I know a few of those people and I know they'd never put themselves at risk in any real way. That would take something approaching moral courage and putting in jeopardy their comfortable lives. I'd be delighted to be wrong about this, of course, but what are the chances?

ccg

10:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ccg-

I can't find the source, or even tell u if it's legit, but I remember an article coming across my screen a few yrs ago abt Army exercises in the SW, practicing for when food riots occur--which the article said the Pentagon believes will eventually happen. The Army was (if I remember correctly) not being trained to nec. shoot the crowds, but only how to resist them. But what if the crowds are starving, and things get ugly? I'm not sure the Army will stop at tear gas and rubber bullets. These will not, in other words, be protest marches, but marches for survival.

mb

12:45 AM  
Anonymous Tim O'Neil said...

Good stuff here about anachronistic categories and patent pseudo history by the "Irritating STEM Bros".

A Categorical Mistake: ‘Science’, ‘Magic’ and ‘Religion’ in the Middle Ages. By Joanne Edge https://www.forbiddenhistories.com/jo-edge_vs_stem_bros/

12:55 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tim-

Gd essay. I covered a lot of this territory in my Reenchantment bk, in fact, and have been arguing against a 'presento-centric' view of the world for yrs. As for Pinker: no one needs to have his shoes peed on more, than this absurd buffoon.

mb

1:47 AM  
Blogger Ajay Singh said...

@ ccg and MB: The Tiananmen crackdown (funny how Spellcheck hasn't recognized the word after all these years) wasn't primarily prompted by the peaceful student demonstration but by the extremely rowdy and violent actions of disgruntled suburban workers who had descended on the capital and were actually attacking PLA soldiers, some of whom were killed and many grievously injured. This is largely absent from Western media accounts—and definitely not something first-with-the-news CNN ever bothered to report or correct. (The true reality can, however, be googled.)

I don't mean to justify the crackdown; just presenting the facts and highlighting that violent blue-collar demonstrations brutally dealt with in the U.S. are, I think, entirely foreseeable.

With every best wish,

Ajay

2:57 PM  
Blogger Mark Deagle said...

Sorry Mr Berman, you are right about the down fall of the USA, but you are wrong about conman Trump, or should i say crack pot Donald getting reelected he will not. The people or should i say most the people see him for what he is. But that does not mean the the next person can turn things around either they will not. So you are right about the USA down fall. Happy birthday late. I know you were born August 3rd, i was born August 2- 1954

4:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mark-

No pt in sending messages to older posts; no one reads them.

mb

5:53 PM  

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