September 19, 2019

Interview with Pacifica Radio, KPFT, Houston

Wafers-

Here's the link. When you get to it, click on Sept. 19 under the list of Past Shows:

https://kpft.org/programming/newstalk/living-art/

Enjoy!

-mb

191 Comments:

Anonymous Megan said...

Dr. Berman,

As always, a really great interview. I'm glad you still do these on a semi regular basis--it's always a pleasure.

One thing it brought to mind, is what are your thoughts on our Constitution? In other words, your America trilogy focuses primarily on the American character, and traces things like the hustling mentality back to the earliest settlers. But, in general terms, do you hold the American Constitution in high esteem, as an impressive human creation and legal framework that could have worked on, say, people of a different character? Or do you see in it some fundamental flaw that made it problematic from the beginning?

One national myth that is kind of accurate is the fact that the Founding Fathers really were abnormally gifted and brilliant men. Flawed in any number of ways, but one can't deny the genius of people like Madison, Hamilton and Jefferson. That said, is the very notion that you can unite disparate and historically discontinuous people under an idea, itself an "Enlightenment project" (In John Gray's sense) that is in some way doomed to failure, even with a less philistine and hustling population?

I've always felt that embracing so fully the Hamiltonian vision of America was a crucial mistake. But I'm not sure that it would have worked out in any other permutation either, Jeffersonian or otherwise. Any thoughts?

4:08 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

An absolutely terrific interview Morris! Thank You!

6:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Megan-

Very long discussion. Some believe the Constitution was loaded toward the upper class, and indeed, the Fathers died fairly wealthy. The document is an ideal, I suppose, and the Fathers were certainly an unusual group of men. Translated into actual practice, however, "the pursuit of happiness" meant Go out and make a killing if you can. In that sense, it was following the path already laid out in the late 16C.

mb

8:27 AM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

Monitoring the mass suicide of American culture is going to be an extremely difficult and time-consuming task. I think I have the solution. It’s not perfected yet, but the Cultural Suicide Meter (CSM) I am developing promises to make our jobs much easier.

It works like a Geiger counter, but instead of responding to radioactivity, its beep increases in intensity and volume as it detects increasing levels of staggering stupidity, vexing violence, intentional ignorance, exasperating exceptionalism and morbid “moronity”.

The only obstacle to the employment of the CSM is the development of a power source great enough to withstand continuous use. Wafers – we need a really strong battery. Notify me as soon as you find one. Thanks.

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Great article here that talks about some of our previous discussions on greenwashing, how white and rich the enviro movement is, etc.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/09/20/american-psychopathy/

"And set against the surreal comedy of the U.S. election season, the new Corporate environmentalists are paving the way for normalizing a global state of emergency ... Infantile and intoxicated with an almost masochistic love of authority. That is the average American today."

A good read since today is that "global climate strike" by students. Just look at how similar the photos are to the pussy hat marchers, very white, mostly rich kids that can take a day/week/month off school without repercussions.

9:20 AM  
Blogger HDVOGO said...

Very Nice Information Thank you keep it up Regard HDVOGO

9:39 AM  
Blogger Hallvard N. Jørgensen said...

Thank you!

10:48 AM  
Anonymous TC said...

Wafers/Morris Berman--

I've caught up, or am catching up, with the TV series 'The Good Place.' It is so much fun and also keeps a lighthearted utilization of philosophy, ethics, morality, and the perennial questions of existence. Thought you all might dig it.

Tony Cockburn

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Cheryl Garlin said...

interesting critique of Pinker's "Better Angels of Our Nature" and the like by Agustín Fuentes

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/busting-myths-about-human-nature/201707/get-the-science-right

Get the Science Right!
What popular books get wrong about human evolution.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

Great interview! The last part resonated with me pretty well -- "leave!" So I did, and here I am in Madrid, Spain.

3:27 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Stupid academia tricks: not content with taking big bucks under the table from serial sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein, MIT's Media Lab has decided to contribute to environmental destruction as well: MIT Media Lab Kept Regulators in the Dark, Dumped Chemicals in Excess of Legal Limit. "Nitrogen levels from the lab’s wastewater registered more than 20 times above the legal limit...When water contains large amounts of nitrogen, it can kill fish and deprive infants of oxygen."

Leave it to the Pentagon jackals to take advantage of kids who can't afford to go to college: Student loan crisis, not Mideast wars, helped Army leaders exceed recruiting goals this year. New Army slogan: "Kill a Muslim, get the GI Bill."

The (climate strike) kids are chanting “fuck you Wall Street” as they walk by Wall Street. No doubt all those Goldman Sachs of shit banksters will now IMMEDIATELY see the error of their ways. Yet hearing THIS gets dumbass progs all excited as they drive to their McMansions in their minivans and luxury SUVs.

U.S. drone strike kills 30 pine nut farm workers in Afghanistan. But instead, lets get all bent out of shape over what Trump may or may not have said to the Ukrainians about shitbag Joe Biden.

4:06 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Great interview MB, another reason young people should leave is there isn't a safety net. Qualifying for assistance/disability is grueling and in no way rehabilitative, it's just cut a check now leave us alone. Housing is nearly impossible, the section 8 voucher system is a lottery and most landlords won't accept it anyway - I am extremely fortunate but was on wait list for 6 years.

https://www.denverpost.com/2019/09/20/section-8-lottery-denver/

Picked up Genio today from the library. Unlike most cities Pueblo has a terrific library district - if it's within a year of publication and they don't have it they'll usually purchase one. Looking forward to reading and will promote as best I can.

https://www.chieftain.com/7d2f26b8-722c-51e5-b357-d608123ca53a.html


4:27 PM  
Anonymous Lyanda said...

Calling our National Director a "slave" and an "Uncle Tom." Telling my colleague that they are happy she was raped. Death threats. Wishing us cancer. And now folks are denying the abuse towards WFP staffers. This article contains screenshots.


Working Families Party Staffers Face Harassment After Warren Endorsement
https://time.com/5681261/working-families-party-harassment/

I'd like to think this is not on Bernie personally, but this has been festering for four years and he doesn't seem to have addressed or remedied the problem. Bernie Bros are generalizable as an awful lot of human beings that Bernie should go out of his way to denounce. This is not remotely okay. I held Bernie high up the morality regard. But oh, it’s on him personally.

5:17 PM  
Blogger David said...

MB
Bravo! We need more of this in any way shape or form! The interview brings home the harsh reality that intellectual discourse in America was halted at the sophomoric level and can't advance beyond what the parameters of the neoliberal system allow it. I notice it when sitting down with people from my baby boom generation to discuss the current socio-economic situation. If you veer off the path of "we have got the best system there is" you are labeled a trouble maker and often can face exclusion and expulsion from your group. You can exercise your right to freedom of expression in this country but always bear in mind that the "tyranny of the majority" always prevails. Any group discussion can degenerate into a gathering of wannabe Torquemadas just waiting to pounce on the heretical views of a tiny minority. An inquisition of the mind masked under freedom and democracy........

8:21 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Possibly coolest opening music ever?

8:54 PM  
Anonymous flyingspaghettimonstr said...

Guess all the glitz & consumer junk amerikkka had on offer didn't do it 4 him.

www.mercurynews.com/2019/09/19/employee-at-facebook-dies-after-jumping-from-menlo-park-building/amp/

9:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

flying-

You wd hope Americans might figure that out b4 packing it in.

david, Lyanda-

The fact is that Americans are stupid and nasty. This is the basic fact of American life. 2nd basic fact: it's gonna get worse.

Mil-

Felicidades, amigo. Un alivio, no?

Cheryl-

I have tried to find a single reason why Pinker shdnt be beaten to within an inch of his life and then thrown on a dungheap, and I have failed. If you find one, lemme know.

trying-

Is it similar to the Wafer Douche Bag Meter (DBM)? Or the Moron Monitor (MM)?

mb

9:35 PM  
Blogger dg said...

we used to make things; now we make believe

https://c10.patreonusercontent.com/3/eyJwIjoxfQ%3D%3D/patreon-media/p/post/30106322/10ae2592810448c1877f822c86e95904/1.png?token-time=1570233600&token-hash=FAFDdbf-D3US_niSo002o3wTCAaQ-Q4kUtQkY12cVj8%3D

1:04 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Dr. Berman,

You are right, it is a long and complex discussion. But I wonder what the Founders would think if we could magically bring them all back, and then show them what a shit-show their ideal country actually became? Imagine having them all in a room, and giving them a one week crash course on all the gory details of American life. We could start with Trump, just to shock them into wakefulness! But then throw in everything that we talk about on this blog: The utter dominance of Big Corporations over the electoral system and the culture at large; the surveillance state; our vast and overextended empire (Chalmers Johnson) with its greedy tentacles wrapped around the globe; the degradation, hostility and ignorance of the average American citizen; Sheneka and Lorenzo, etc.; the half century of needless and self-destructive wars; the fact that America's climate policies are literally destroying the very possibility of earth remaining a habitable planet, etc. etc. And then maybe ask them, "Do you still honestly believe that this was worth it?" Or "Suppose, we give you a do-over since this turned out so horrifically badly--any ideas? Anyone?"

Anyhow, I'd love to see their various reactions!

5:54 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@ Lyanda,

That story is a good example of why I no longer believe in blaming America’s problems on our elites. The American people are not decent people being victimized by The Man, they are just as awful as the elites, and this goes for people on the left just as much as the right. Frankly, I find it odd that people get so worked up over Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Donald Trump or any of these politicians. I remember reading about families and friendships breaking up over elections and thinking how silly that was. If your life goes south will any of these politicians be there for you? They don’t even know who you are. However, if you are lucky your friends and family might be.

The truth is that none of these politicians are going to save us. Even if Bernie Sanders managed to get elected he would have a hard time getting most of his agenda passed and he would inevitably have to make compromises and his most rabid fans would turn on him too. As Dr. Berman mentioned in the interview, Occupy Wall Street, Bernie, AOC, Michael Moore, the DSA all of these individuals and organizations are committed to maintaining the American Dream, meaning our system of hustling, endless growth and consumerism. The main difference between the left and the Republicans and neoliberal Democrats is that the left wants a more egalitarian distribution of the fruits of the system. Otherwise they support the American Dream just the same.

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Capt. Spaulding said...


Behold, a very useful summary of the state of the Roman Empire, circa 409 A.D., under the Emperor Trumpodosius I: https://www.lrb.co.uk/v41/n18/eliot-weinberger/one-summer-in-america

I would say that, at this point, we are simply waiting for the barbarians except that the barbarians are us. Here my favorite entry:

"Marion Hammer, one of the most powerful lobbyists for the NRA, testifies in Florida against a proposed ban on assault rifles: ‘How do you tell a ten-year-old little girl who got a Ruger 10/22 with a pink stock for her birthday that her rifle is an assault weapon and she has to turn it over to the government or be arrested for felony possession?’

I actually found it quite encouraging to hear that Ruger 10/22s now come with pink stocks. I have been looking all over tarnation for a lavender grenade launcher or a My Little Pony flamethrower for my niece's birthday and have just had no luck whatsoever.

Lurking (but still living!)

The Capt. ---

9:13 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Megan-

I'm quite sure that if Tom Jefferson met Lorenzo Riggins Tom wd have a total nervous breakdown and hafta be hospitalized for months. When he was released, to test his resiliency, we'd give him a session with Chrystal Walraven.

I think it was around 1800 that Benjamin Rush predicted the US wd end in "an orgy of selfishness," and there is correspondence, if I remember correctly, between John Adams and another Founding Father suggesting that the exp't was a mistake, and that it might be better to return to monarchy. They don't teach you this in high schl.

But if I did teach high schl, I'd run a course called "Buffoonism 101," and invite Lorenzo, Chrystal, Shaneka, Brittany, Freddie et al. ask guest speakers.

mb

10:10 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Doctor Berman,
A great talk as usual. However, there is one topic that you discussed in this, as well as in previous talks you've given, in which I disagree. I remember the 1980 presidential election very well. To me and the many people with whom I spoke, Carter undoubtedly lost the election to Reagan because of the Iranian hostage crisis. People were utterly appalled at our citizens being held captive, their ignorance of the 1953 coup d' etat and the subsequent brutal Shah regime notwithstanding. Much like the daily dinner table discussions of the Vietnam War back in the 1960's, that was the topic on everyone's minds. It wasn't Carter's previous and noble Malaise Speech.
Although war should be avoided at all costs, military force was the only answer in this rare instance. The Iranians knew it; that is why they released the hostages the very minute he was sworn into office. They were convinced Reagan immediately would have commenced military action. The failed hostage rescue mission and the unwillingness of Carter afterwards to give Iran an ultimatum painted him as a coward and sealed his fate.
That being said, consumerism and debt certainly did explode under Reagan. In the 1980's it seemed as if everyone suddenly had a brand new car and 10 different credit cards. Real estate prices soared through the roof in the middle-to-late 1980's. Many people forget that this decade was called “The Roaring 80's. But again, it was all on borrowed money. So in a way, “Ronny was their man,” as you like to say.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Joe-

1st off, you shd know that Reagan made a secret deal with the Iranian gov't in 1980, in which he got them to hold off on releasing the hostages until after the election. Of course, this didn't come to light until many yrs later.

The hostage situation was one factor out of many, imo. Jimmy made a lot of blunders while in office; mortgage rates, for example, were sky high. The turning pt in the presidential debates was when Reagan asked the American people to ask themselves if they were better off now than 4 yrs ago, and clearly the answer was no. But this was because Jimmy was on a very different track than virtually all his predecessors, which made him absolutely remarkable. I discuss this in both DAA and WAF. Had he had a chance to stay in office longer than 1 term, we may have seen some significant results in that direction. But these failures, and 'failures', came to a head in the Annapolis lecture of 1979. For most Americans, this encapsulated the supposedly wrong direction in which we were headed, and this was certainly as salient a factor as the hostage crisis, if not more so, because it was a bid on Jimmy's part for the country to give up American 'exceptionalism' as well as the American Dream. Fat chance, that. It all got tangled together, in any case, such that Americans by then regarded the Carter yrs as a botched administration.

mb

12:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Flying-

Post only once every 24 hrs. Thanks.

mb

1:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/harry-meghan-africa-flight-commercial/index.html

Wd someone tell me why these 2 turkeys shdnt have their heads banged together for 20 mins. on national TV, and then forced to wear Meghan's handbags on their heads, even in the shower, for the next yr?

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

Tom Servo, I disagree with you ... there is little difference in the two political parties in the US. You are talking about difference in talking points, which are meaningless. I still don't understand why people pay any attention whatsoever to what politicians say. As you pointed out, Bernie won't be allowed to execute anything he proposes anyway, The bogus crap spewed is meaningless hot air from both sides of the aisle, a pretense of normal. After multiple decades of politicians saying one thing and doing another, why does anyone bother? It's a staged show, limited entertainment value only. Watching Biden is beyond painful for many reasons. Yes, he's a warmonger, whatever else, but why put him through this? Just so he can be ridiculed? It's like they have lost any shred of humanity or sense of dignity, which to my mind makes them nonhuman. And as much evidence of decline as other behaviors. No, I'm not a Biden fan, but the sheer insanity evident everywhere these days is appalling.

This guy compares DC to The Borg. You don't have to know what The Borg is to get what he's saying.
http://thezman.com/wordpress/?p=18617

Puss Killian

2:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Puss-

Sounds like u agree w/him, actually.

mb

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2soIPJ3tuw4
(Sent before but forgot name...sorry.)
A mere 90 seconds for this prediction of Dumpster Trumpster.

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

I wonder what your founding fathers would make of what's happening to Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning? They are both absolutely screwed.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/09/21/novelty-joke-pm-from-fake-country-meets-with-trump-silent-on-assange/

https://youtu.be/e0XdsC3jaXw

At at least this one is funny.

https://youtu.be/1efOs0BsE0g

4:13 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Joe--I think you are also making the mistake of looking at the world geopolitical situation then in terms of how it stands currently. Here are some major differences:

1). The Soviet Union was still a powerful military force and shared a long border with Iran. The Soviets would have vetoed any war in the UN Security Council (which was actually important at the time), and would likely have provided the Iranians with a huge amount of material and logistical support.
2). The U.S. military was hardly the globe spanning behemoth it is today, and America was still firmly in the grip of post-Vietnam syndrome. Any ground war would have cost tens of thousands of American casualties in a very short time, and would have resulted in massive antiwar protests.
3). The media was not cowed as it is today. Even airstrikes would have been aggressively covered, and images of dying civilians would have been shown every night on the network news.
4). War would have closed the Strait of Hormuz and the 1979 oil shock would have lasted for years and might have become a death knell to America's economy.
5). Knowing all of the above the U.S. instead encouraged Saddam Hussein to invade Iran, figuring the Ayatollah's regime would quickly collapse. Instead, it brought the country together (as such invasions usually do) and Saddam lost despite the considerable support of the U.S. and the Gulf States.
6). Prior to the 1980 election Reagan was seen by many as an ignorant Hollywood buffoon who made claims like "trees cause pollution," rather than some kind of potential warrior president. He also was not yet that popular--he won big in the electoral college because 3rd party candidate John Anderson mostly drained support from Carter, and only captured 50.7% of the popular vote.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

As Woody Allen said of Jesus, if he returned he’d never stop throwing up, so too the founders. Clay Jenkinson likes to say that anyone who studies Jefferson closely eventually becomes an Adamsite. I’m pretty sure I have. Here’s a letter from Adams to Jefferson on the subject of the revolution.

https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/03-08-02-0507

10:44 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

GENIO = THE PIETA - THE VITAL PRINCIPLE I joined a community choir which sings African a capella songs. Apparently, one of the African men who leads it did a rehearsal with a well-known Symphony Orchestra in Australia. They complained he 'improvised' too much and didn't read the music ... I told the African guy these Western schmucks had their head up their ass and were trained monkeys: it reminded me of the scene in Apocalypse Now where the Colonel napalms the village claiming he ''needs room to breathe''. When I write compositions now I want to do so with a bias toward movement. The West is about more and not about 'why' anymore. I believe the ancients referred to 'Energumen' - energy, movement https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/renaissance-reformation/high-ren-florence-rome/michelangelo/v/michelangelo-piet-1498-1500; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZLXFipGAaE; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBqHWjGWN6U

12:33 AM  
Blogger Alogon said...

Megan asked:

>I wonder what the Founders would think if we could magically bring them all back, and then show them what a shit-show their ideal country actually became?

John Adams could merely repeat:

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

5:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Alogon-

Tocqueville also added that democracy, to be successful, required a fairly intelligent population. Ha!

mb

5:21 AM  
Anonymous Rupert said...

https://evonomics.com/the-pipe-dream-of-anarcho-populism/

Evolutionary Anthropologist: "There are no known large-scale (say, a million or more members) society today or in history, which was not organized hierarchically."

Sure, but hierarchical societies can still differ hugely in their degree of bottom-up control and must have other forms of social structures that are more networky than hierarchical. Just saying "hierarchy" doesn't get you very far...

9:29 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Rupert-

Of course. But one way to flatten the hierarchy is to have a Jewish president who regularly delivers large platters of chopped liver to the masses. As of today, Bernie has remained strangely silent on this subject. Also puzzling is the failure of the masses to demonstrate at his rallies with large signs:

GIVE ME LIVER OR GIVE ME DEATH

Really, what is *wrong* with Americans??!

mb

ps: my bk Wandering God might be of some help 2u, altho I don't refer to chopped liver in that particular text.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Judd said...

According to the Paracelsian philosophy, when you bleed on a blade, your body becomes linked to it.
https://daily.jstor.org/the-occult-remedy-the-puritans-embraced/

10:20 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Judd-

Cf. the weapon-salve controversy of the 17C: if you got stabbed, or cut yrself, you shd apply the salve to the knife, not to the wound. This is alchemical stuff, with which Newton was deeply engaged, and was the source of his action-at-a-distance theory and finally the law of gravity. See my Reenchantment bk for extended discussion.

mb

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Flyingspaghettimonstr said...

Does anyone know of a bk called "Discovering America As It Is"? Published a yr or two b4 the Twilight bk, it documents the disillusionment of a Lithuanian dissident who fled the USSR 4 Amerikkka in the late 80s. He'd been here 4 a decade whilst realizing that Amerikkka was a decaying shithole that wasn't all it was cracked up 2 b. Here's an excerpt:

http://petermyersnewsletters.blogspot.com/2012/03/286-lithuanian-compares-communism.html?m=1

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

MB, perhaps I failed to make clear I only disagreed with the one point: that a two party system exists. It does not:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/18/opinion/trump-fundraising-donors.html

They chase funds for re-election, nothing more. I mean, why not? It's a cushy job with lots of benefits not available to anyone else.

Puss Killian

12:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Joe-

No plans 2b in NY any time soon. You missed the 6th Annual NY Wafer Summit Mtg of last April. Maybe we'll have the 7th Mtg in a couple of yrs, quien sabe?

mb

1:03 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Thomas Piketty was interviewed on French TV today. Among his propositions to reduce inequality:
a. A Universal Income of 120,000€ distributed to every person on their 25th birthday
b. a 90% property tax on billionaires

How far up his ass has this dude got his head stuck?

Kanye

1:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kanye-

This is what I mean, that even the smart people are dumb. Why didn't it occur to him to lay out his (exciting) plans for how these things were 2b achieved?

Honestly, when I think of how many people need 2b slapped, I get dizzy.

mb

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Burton said...

"It’s the 2037th anniversary of the death of Virgil. His poetry provides us with one of the few living links to the age of Augustus. It is hard to imagine, in the lands that once formed the Roman Empire, that there has ever been a day when someone was not reading the Aeneid.The Death of Virgil, Hermann Broch’s great novel, has haunted me ever since I first read it. Begun in 1936 and finished as the Third Reich collapsed into ruin in 1945, it is the most profound fictional meditation on the relationship between politics and art ever written.Inspired by the legend that Virgil, shortly before he died, requested that the Aeneid be destroyed, Broch’s novel casts Rome’s greatest poet as a man haunted by the ambivalences and responsibilities of artists in an age of autocracy.."

Historian of the ancients, Tom Holland

Picking up a copy if Broch's novel!

2:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Burton-

Link? (to Holland)

mb

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Connie12 said...

article on Jeff Epstein and the MIT Media Lab scientists like Pinker.

Sugar Daddy Science.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/09/problem-sugar-daddy-science/598231/

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/fox-news-host-tucker-carlson-185609262.html

With this I will say good-bye to seditious Waferism and proudly join 'mur'kan fascism.
Who could possibly believe that mere children have any concern that they will inherit
a dying planet after their parents and grandparents consumed it all to have moronic
fun? Certainly the young can rest assured that by 2050 half the human population
will prematurely die and leave for them TWICE the remaining wealth behind. See how
Free Enterprise is your friend!!

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Christina A said...

To: Burton & Berman

John Gray gave a very positive review to Holland's new book release. Only odd moment in Gray's review is "There is nothing in Aristotle about humility or brotherly love." Well, yikes! 2/5's of the Nicomachean Ethics is on friendship and the Politics and is all about how the city rests on its expanding circles of goodwill. True, "brother" is not an Aristotelian word. Might require a letter...

Great review, though!

https://www.newstatesman.com/dominion-making-western-mind-tom-holland-review

5:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Christina-

1st, pls don't refer to me as Berman. Either Mr. Berman, or GSWH, will do nicely. Thank you.

2nd: clearly, you shd write the letter (seriously).

3rd: I dunno if Holland cites them, but the work of Jean Seznec and Carl Becker are certainly relevant to his theme.

4th: There is a lot of respectable scholarship questioning whether Christ even existed. I discuss some of this in CTOS, on Gnostic-magical origins etc. Personally, I'm most persuaded by an old classic, "Leben Jesu," by David Friedrich Strauss. (Of course, the poor shmuck lost his job, died in poverty, etc.; which suggests to me he was on the rt track. Christian society doesn't care to be debunked.)

Finally, I'm absolutely convinced that when the chips are down, we never, ever get away from religion, whether in secular permutations or any other form; for reasons also discussed in CTOS (see esp. ch. 1). Abt a century ago, a Jungian analyst reviewed Freud's "Future of an Illusion," and suggested that the greatest illusion of all was the belief that people wd eventually be able to live w/o this illusion. Indeed.

mb

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

Jeffrey st. Clair was in fine form on his Friday Roundup this week.

Hillary Clinton: "You can run the best campaign. You can have the best plans. You can get the nomination. You can win the popular vote. And you can lose the Electoral College and therefore the election for these 4 reasons. Number One: Voter suppression.

St. Clair: Let’s reset this, Hillary. You ran a terrible campaign. You had no plans. Your party rigged your nomination. You ran against the most unpopular candidate in history and still lost. Now get lost.

And for recent data on the good old USA - According to the Federal Reserve’s latest Distributional Financial Accounts reveal the massive concentration of wealth in the US with 10% of the population holding 70% of all of the nation’s wealth. The bottom 50% of wealth owners have seen no growth in net wealth since 1989, while the top 1% saw their wealth grow by almost 300% since 1989. And they wonder why “socialism” is becoming more popular with America’s youth…

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/09/20/roaming-charges-pompeo-and-circumstance/

8:27 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Flying--did you happen to read what was written just below that article you posted? "'Mission statement'. I am convinced that Jewish individuals and groups have an enormous influence on the world. The MSM are, for almost all people, the only source of information, and these are largely controlled by Jewish people. So there is a huge under-reporting on Jewish influence in the world. I see it as my mission to try to close this gap. To quote Henry Ford: 'Corral the 50 wealthiest Jews and there will be no wars'."

To put it mildly, that is an anti-Semitic crock of shit (as was Henry Ford--BTW). Jewish people hardly "control" the media, nor do they speak with one voice, and politically they run the gamut from hard core Zionists to those who deplore and condemn Israel's apartheid state. Numerous Jews, for example, support the BDS movement. Furthermore, in America it would be ludicrous to argue that a neocon war criminal like Paul Wolfowitz has much of anything in common with former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, the only Senator to vote against the Patriot Act.

For anyone who might be interested in the book, but doesn't want to send traffic to an anti-Semitic website (the author did not write the blog post), link to it on Biblio.com. It's also available through Amazon. Caveat: I have not read it myself.

10:12 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Gotta give Apple credit, they aren’t even trying to hide the ways their stupid (voluntary ankle bracelet made to look pretty on your arm) Watch is going to take over your life. It even tells you when it’s too loud in your environment (a Stasi wet dream)? I’m thinking allot of prog exercise addicts with more money than brains will love this thing while complaining of loss of privacy (“well I trust Apple”, they’ll rationalize).

https://www.apple.com/apple-watch-series-5/films/

(This Watch Tells Time is the most telling ad)

11:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

Thank you. But let's say 'Jews', not 'Jewish people'. I wish all these tedious anti-Semites wd read this:

https://www.amazon.com/Convenient-Hatred-History-Antisemitism/dp/0981954383/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2ZVZ6GWX9WDEQ&keywords=a+convenient+hatred+the+history+of+antisemitism&qid=1569212169&s=books&sprefix=a+convenient%2Cstripbooks-intl-ship%2C223&sr=1-1

Finally, I'd like to pt out that I have abs. no influence at all (ha ha).

mb

12:19 AM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

Gunnar - on the absence of safety nets for the needy: My younger son was struck by a car a year ago and is now physically and mentally disabled. He receives $1233 per month and is on Medicaid. $185 is deducted from his check for an overdue student loan, leaving him 1048 per month. He recently received notice that he will no longer qualify for Medicaid because his gross income is over the limit. American could care less.

On the Founders - don't be too sure that they would have a kinder, gentler response. To a man, they were white economic elites, large land holders (and in Washington's case, a speculator in land west of the colonies), and out to "do well" in their pursuit of happiness, i.e., property. They sat atop a patriarchal hierarchy that excluded women, blacks and the poor. They left us with the problem that eventually split the nation apart.

Puss and Tom - Gore Vidal:"Our only political party has two right wings, one called Republican, the other Democratic. But Henry Adams figured all that out back in the 1890s. 'We have a single system,' he wrote, and 'in that system the only question is the price at which the proletariat is to be bought and sold, the bread and circuses."

10:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

My own feeling is that she may have overreacted just a tad:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/22/nyregion/arson-death-arrest-jennifer-gross.html?action=click&module=Latest&pgtype=Homepage

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

Shouldn't the headline read,"A Testament To Everything The United States Stands For"?

https://www.rawstory.com/2019/09/a-threat-to-virtually-everything-that-the-united-states-should-stand-for-scathing-nyt-op-ed-on-trump-goes-viral/

10:20 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anjin-

Yes, but remember that he's just doing his job: to hurt the US, and ultimately to dismantle it.

mb

10:44 AM  
Blogger Rosegarden said...

Wafers may find some interest in an old book about American myths. Regeneration Through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier, 1600 to 1860 by Richard Slotkin, c 1973.

Through literature, Slotkin examines the central myth from the Puritans to 1860. He divides the myth into 4 variations (from page 179):

“1. Conversion – a confessional narrative in which the soul interacts with the wilderness and/or captivity by Native Americans to find salvation by God.

2. Sacred Marriage – in this story the hero is united with a female who is the embodiment of the god-spirit in nature and his own nature or anima.

3. Exorcism – in the Sacred Marriage the hero’s id is sought out to be repressed or destroyed.

4. Regeneration through Violence – the hunter who has his anima-id paradox embodied, but not resolved, is in conflict for the possession of the white female captive. She is a figure who embodies the Christian moral and social law that the male hunter both defends and tries to avoid. Like his relationship with his Indian opponent, it is at once the hero’s anima and his soul’s most feared enemy.” (I immediately thought of John Wayne in The Searchers.)

Slotkin spends the next 400 pages following the flood and ebb of these four variations. The gun and the axe are the constants in all cases. The gun (murder) and the axe (destruction of nature) are tied to Boone, Crockett, Buffalo Bill, Andrew Jackson, etc.

12:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Rose-

Many thanks, but in future watch length.

mb

1:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

"The system filters out the thoughtful and replaces them with the faithful."--John Dower

2:01 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Oh God please make this little douchebaguette shut up once and for all:
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/23/greta-thunberg-speech-un-2019-address

Shouldn't a 16-year-old girl be busy doing other stuff? I dunno, talking with her other girl friends about that hot guy from class, listening to Nirvana or watching Dawson Creek?

Kanye

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Flyingspaghettimonstr said...

Back w/ an interview. Another Lithuanian who found out the hard truth about Amerikkka's media depiction & reality. The interviewee had her own business which was ruined, among other things

https://www.starktruthradio.com/?p=699

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Glans Butterworth, III said...

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/09/22/us-just-killed-30-innocent-people-afghanistan-lets-pretend-it-was-london

Or-- pretend it was Long Island, San Fran, or Detroit?

usa, usa

3:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kanye-

Hey, man, she *would* be a typical douche baguette if she were doing all that other stuff you mention. If she's sincere, we hafta applaud her, because this environmental biz is crucially important, and she, at least, is willing to stand up and speak out: J'accuse! The problems, as I see it, are as follows:

1. The media will turn her into a gimmick, as the public face of virtue and protest. Greta T-shirts and coffee mugs to follow, plus the interview circuit, and perhaps a line of pasta sauces. (After I published the Reenchantment bk, Peter Berg, now deceased, an environmental activist in San Fran, said to me: "Watch out that Rolling Stone doesn't bring out a 'Reenchantment' issue." Thank god, they never did, but his pt was well taken.) Popularizing Greta will then become a clever way of maintaining the status quo. As Herbert Marcuse said, capitalism can absorb anything.

2. As usual, nothing at all will happen. From the Guardian article:

“There’s a big dissonance between every leader saying to Greta ‘we hear you’ and the commitments they are putting on to the table,” said Isabel Cavelier, a former climate negotiator for Colombia who is now senior adviser at the Mission 2020 climate group. “China said absolutely nothing new, India mentioned commitments made in the past, the US, Canada and Australia aren’t here. We are seeing governments showing up empty-handed.”

Capitalism is abt profits. Serious environmentalism threatens this. Therefore, these capitalist states (in which I include China) will talk green and continue raping the environment so as to put $ into plutocratic pockets. Greta probably knows this, but what else is a sincere Swedish teenager to do? We are also scheduled to see major demonstrations, after which it'll be business as usual. The most we can expect are cosmetic changes, not substantive ones. You know it and I know it, so let's not tolerate any happy green bullshit here.

What, then, *will* work? I've said it b4: at some pt capitalism will go on the rocks so badly that it won't be able to do all the shit it does to the environment (and everything else). In other words, it hasta break down, irreparably, for real changes to occur. Change occurs when you have no choice; this is generally how history works. The problem is, as they say in AA, that we might hit bottom the other side of death. In other words, it's conceivable that capitalism might destroy the world before it itself is destroyed. The race is on.

mb

3:45 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

@Kanye- Turn the channel or flip the page if you are bothered so much. Dr. B is right- capitalism will co-opt and monetize her into oblivion, but for at least a few days in this delusional world someone is speaking truthfully about the failures of adults. The saddest parts are one, it takes a 16 year old, and two, it is too late. Yes, I read the critiques of her and they have validity. Still she is saying the truth whoever her masters may be.

@trying to stay sane- Wait, your son is still required to pay his student loans??? Holy sh** what a sick country. Here's a despicable story about people doing public service jobs like teaching, being told their loans would be forgiven after ten years, yet almost all rejected-
https://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/congress-promised-teachers-student-loan-forgiveness-hired-loan-companies-made-n1056576

And having Ms. DeVos' photo at the top is not fair to her because this program was started over a decade ago under Baby Bush and implemented under Barry. It pains me, though, to even mention that giant clump of cat piss litter DeVos without attacking the scum that she is, so let's look at her tasteless house!
https://www.vox.com/first-person/2018/8/6/17654434/betsy-devos-yacht-mcmansion-hell

4:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kanye-

c.u. in 24 hrs, amigo.

Wafers-

Capitalism seeks to monetize, weaponize, and esp. moronize every living person. Of course, this has largely been accomplished in the US. Wafers are invited to add to this list. E.g.: digitalize, vaporize, virtualize...

mb

5:18 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

“The end of the human race is it will eventually die of civilization.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The changes required to slow the effects of climate change are so massive in scale and scope that there seems little hope of achieving them. In one of the truly great ironies, totally ceasing all industrial activity immediately would still see us suffer the warming effects caused by greenhouse gases put into the atmosphere years and decades earlier. And, more to the point, ceasing industrial activity would soon allow certain aerosols previously put into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels to fall out of the sky, leading to even more rapid heating of the planet: the aerosols serve to reflect to heat back into space, serving as an umbrella. (See aerosol masking/global dimming. This has been called the (Guy) McPherson Paradox.)

And, as McPherson says in the following short clip, the leaders won’t save us.
Edge of Extinction: Why “They” Will Not Fix Anything (Guy McPherson)
https://youtu.be/0FmUQB6QYeI

Don’t follow leaders, watch the parking meters
You don’t need a Weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

5:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Let me re-recommend the quintessential ecotage film, regarding environmental disaster: "The East". Ellen Page, 2013.

5:58 PM  
Blogger Alogon said...

Some cultural genius in New England has posted fliers reading "Islam is right about women". Many panties are in a bunch about them. Alistair Williams comments on the resulting cognitive dissonance on the part of secularists whose knee-jerks are more-or-less feminist and on the left of the spectrum generally, who have been in the habit of giving Islam a pass if not actually celebrating it. (I say more-or-less because what passes for their thinking is so inconsistent):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9jDoNNEuu0

Dr. Berman, you along with all of us wonder what will fill the vacuum when capitalism collapses. Islam is eagerly waiting in the wings. It gives me no pleasure to say it, but it looks to me like the likeliest successor. What do you think? It may come to America a bit later than it is doing in other nations in the West, but as Ross Douthat has said, decadence knuckles under quickly to force and coercion; and Americans are certainly not too intelligent to disdain it given a little of the kind of persuasion that they've become famous for.

8:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Alogon-

Islam is a belief system, not a socioeconomic formation. It's possible that some Americans may convert to Islam, but that won't matter for things such as secession, decentralization, sustainability, or whatever. I'd worry more abt China owning the NY Public Library.

mb

8:20 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Monetize, homogenize, incentiveize, deligitimize, criminalize, sensationalize...

Greta makes me proud to b Svenska, where were ye 50 yrs ago? How does a 16 yr old suddenly appear on the world stage in a way none other can? Rosa Parks comes to mind, who saw her coming? I agree capitalism will absorb her and make her as hollow as MLK.

8:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gunnar-

Good izes, of course. Maybe add vomitize. As for weaponize, I envision a population in which every single person has a revolver hanging out of their ass (along w/a cell fone--fonitize?).

As for Rosa: lots of folks saw her coming. She didn't arise ex nihilo; a lot of political organizing went into making her possible. This was not some spontaneous emotional reaction. She knew what she was doing, and had a lot of backing for it.

As for MLK: are you shitting me? This was no hollow individual, by a long shot. Toward the end, he saw thru the civil rts movement, recognizing that black people getting an equal share of the pie didn't amt to much if the whole pie was rotten. He also began to make connections between foreign and domestic policy--e.g. the war in Vietnam and striking garbage workers in NY--something the US gov't was not all too happy abt. Indeed, some have argued that it was the gov't who rubbed him out, and for this very reason: that he had evolved from liberal to radical.

However, if by hollow you mean innocuous, then yr rt. MLK has been reduced in the popular mind to a kind of soft icon, a father figure, almost. Very few Americans are aware of how radical he was becoming. In that sense, if the gov't did kill him, and then turn him into a venerated civ rts hero, they did a 'good' job--defanging him, so to speak; making him non-threatening; a cartoon character, almost. Which is likely to happen to Greta, I agree. (Ecology as a motherhood issue, or children's crusade)

mb

9:38 PM  
Anonymous Yoogoogulator said...

American photographer captures series of vignettes with phones missing from frame.

https://qz.com/523746/a-photographer-edits-out-our-smartphones-to-show-our-strange-and-lonely-new-world/

A Wafer once mentioned "Drive by existence". What a very fitting description.


10:23 PM  
Blogger Jason Tower said...

Regarding Greta Thunberg - In two weeks or less she'll be forgotten and the media will have moved on to the next story (iPhone 12 or a hurricane, maybe). If she's smart she'll start doing paid speaking gigs or sign an advertising deal with Ikea.

her speech: https://slate.com/technology/2019/09/greta-thunberg-speech-un-climate-action-summit-full-text.html

10:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gunnar-

c.u. in 24 hrs, mate.

Jason-

America seems to live by "the story of the week," determined by TV and the MSM. This wk Greta, next wk some Trumpian grotesquerie, then a school shooting, a new Meghan hat, an Apple rectal thermometer, etc.--and all of it oddly equivalent. I doubt 1% of the population wd be able to say who Dylann Roof is, for example, or even Robt Mueller. It's all entertainment, and all ephemeral--like a slide show. Which is how life presents itself to Trumpo as well. Open up his head, or the head of any randomly selected American, and what you find is a kind of garbage salad.

mb

11:17 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Good day Dr Berman and Wafers

Yes we are swamped with the new rage of Greta and
some wish she would just go back to school. A puppet for the
Global Warming warriors and another big hustle opportunity has
become a significant part of her entourage
Follow the money was mentioned awhile back pertaining
to her high end mode of travel undertaken and that is
surely fair enough. But perhaps their is a another 'follow'
that may be worth a look that perhaps provides some off setting
balance. Not suggesting hope just possible balance.

https://www.desmog.co.uk/2019/09/15/attacks-greta-thunberg-right-wing-free-market-network

It maybe is fake news,bs or what ever but it makes for interesting reading.
I have no horse in this race.

12:19 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tim-

I'm not surprised that she has evoked hate mail, death threats, and rt-wing rage. After all, she's attacking the core of the American dream (growth), and that is hugely threatening to capitalists, rt-wingers, and devotees of 'progress'. The same reaction ensued in 1972 in reaction to the "Limits to Growth" report. (I discuss this in my bk on Italy, "Genio", ch. 6, on Gramsci.) Sure, she'll be co-opted, the poor thing; but she's a courageous girl, and what she's saying is spot-on. Better her than the troglodytes, who basically stand for death.

mb

12:56 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Speaking of which, here's death (aka Reality):

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/23/climate/climate-summit-global-warming.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

6:23 AM  
Anonymous Holton said...

Kanya, Gunnar, Tim, Jason, James --

READ: Thought provoking on climate change. Genuinely one of the best columns on the subject that I’ve come across this year. Change is best achieved by stripping away the manipulation, hot air and hysteria, and raising inconvenient truths, science and facts. Seems to me the same mob who are now turning this crucial climate debate into a zero-sum argument (accept our over-simplifications, or you’re evil) are the same ones who said criticizing Islamism makes you anti-Muslim & challenging the far-left makes you a Nazi. Same psychosis. Different bandwagon, no?


https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/a-climate-of-burning-money/news-story/3b1b07a6de6fd03957db72d497b03359

9:38 AM  
Blogger Pilgrim said...

Folks here might like a new novel by Robert Jackson Bennett entitled "Vigilance". The setting is the USA in 2030. Most of the young people have emigrated, leaving behind an aging, ever fearful and heavily armed population. You learn early on that the major news/entertainment entity, "Our Nation's Truth" (ONT), not only stokes the fearful atmosphere, but actually plans and orchestrates mass shootings across the country, under the guise of keeping the people vigilant. Further, the people are fully aware that these shootings are not random; they approve, and are addicted to the spectacle. The book is now in paperback. Links: podcast, review.

"The point of being American was that you got to own shit. But when you owned shit you were afraid someone would take it. But you could be brave, and fight back - if you had a gun.
...
Eventually, Americans had gotten so conditioned that they couldn't conceive of an America without constant danger. They saw people shooting on the news, screaming on the news, dying on the news, and they'd started to believe - this is just ordinary life.
...
And such a place is highly monetizable for Our Nation's Truth"

9:39 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pilgrim-

Thanks for the ref. I like the fact that it depicts the nation monetized and weaponized (and undoubtedly moronized).

Holton-

You hafta be a subscriber to read it, apparently. Not gd.

mb

10:02 AM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

Rosegarden - on the frontier and the purpose it serves, see also "The End of the Myth", which references Slotkin.

On regeneration through violence see Renee Girard's thoughts on ritual sacrifice of a scapegoat as "solution" to violence of mimetic conflict.

Greta,Greta - what are we to do with Greta - probably sincere in her condemnations of polluters. But whether she is or not I admire her courage to speak truth to powerful, capitalist institutions and individuals about her generation and what it faces in another 10-20 years. And to call them out for the insanity of choosing growth and profit over their own children and grandchildren. But, as MB wisely notes, Greta will make no difference whatsoever. The powers don't give a shit about dear Greta or her cause. They are willing to kill the earth in order to have their way. Political and economic capitalist leaders are not moved by teenagers. The only thing that matters to them is raw power used to destroy their competitors and those who threaten their ability to make ever more money.

10:21 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@Alogon

If anything, Islam is going to be Americanised and thereby turned into a new hybrid tool of nihilism. It's already happened in the Saudi royal family, easily contenders for worst people in the world, who have managed to combine their religious zealotry with a disgusting, exploitative American materialism. And it should be no surprise that *modern SA is a creation* of the US. See this documentary from PBS on that count.

https://youtu.be/zB9n7DMNjZE

Of course, Islam is not unitary, and the Iranians do have a deep sense of authentic history and culture dating back to the ancient Persians, which is why they are in the crosshairs of the US and Israel.

But you can think of Saudi Arabia as Texas on steroids. Horrible hypocrisy on constant display, fake religion used as a tool of social domination, and a few people on top getting obscenely wealthy.

I've actually known some Americans who work in oil to go over to UAE and *love* the hustle they have going on there. It's like Las Vegas East, where some sheikh can spend a few hundred thousand on a weekend out with the boys. They are almost our distant cousins.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB-

Terrific interview! Many thanks for sharing it.

MB, Wafers-

Regarding sharing: an old musician friend of mine showed up at my door, w/his guitar and bag, looking for a place to stay. In the past, he was a very accomplished schnorer, usually never staying more than two consecutive nights b4 moving on. He's been here a week and a half now, w/no sign of splitting. It's been gd to see him, of course, but a smart schnorer never wears out his welcome, no? Oy vey!

In any case, I have this for you guys:

https://meaww.com/florida-teen-arrested-threw-ashtray-cigarette-bottle-grandfather-denied-tomatoes-threatened-stab

Miles the Lodger

11:54 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

@Dan, MB,

My beef with Greta - and Progs in general - is the all-or-nothing seriousness of her tone. Of course more people should stand up for the environment. Of course more teenagers should talk about it. But how about sliding a politically incorrect joke in there to lighten up the discourse a bit huh? I dunno, stg like "if we continue along this path, the only polar bears we'll ever see will be the ones on Coca Cola bottles". Thunberg, or Progs, will NEVER say anything like that. Not only do they not have the balls to offend the corporate sponsors of the cocktail events they attend, but they also don't have the ability to maintain the necessary *distance* between themselves and whatever cause they defend. THAT's what I meant with my previous comment on Dawson Creek etc... Behaving a bit more like teenagers her age, would actually do Saint Greta a lot more good than harm.

Kanye

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Chix said...

Apparently today on Kkavlan, one of Europe's largest talk shows, guests: Greta Thunberg; Michael Moore; Stormy Daniels; Steven Pinker

Get the barf bags ready!

1:14 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

G'Day Wafers,

Enjoying the collapse theater as usual! I especially would like to applaud Katie Jade Gates for the elderly assault. If anyone ever denies me of tomatoes at the dinner table, I won't hesitate to use my butter knife and paint the room red(with tomatoes).

I heard a song that resonated with me recently, lyrics below.

https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/She-Drew-The-Gun/Poem

Poem, She Drew The Gun -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q15_m1XEdAI

Any chance it will rally Americans to rally and overthrow their corporate masters? No, better luck with the Swedish teen maybe. Greta is my new hero. If she ever starts a cult to take over the world I'm definitely in.

-krakhed

2:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Chix-

A link wd be helpful. What a collection--pure frivolous entertainment, it sounds like. Will Stormy shtupp anyone? Will Pinker talk abt his Epstein connection? Wish I cd be there, to barf along w/u. I'm telling ya, everything gets turned into theater. I wish Greta had declined the invitation. Turkeys on parade. Only thing missing is Meghan and her verkakte handbags.

mb

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sC4MjPKf3jY

Check 02:55 and 03:20 to 04:00 and think 'mur'ka and rule by the
corporations.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Willoughby said...

Costa Rica named ‘UN Champion of the Earth’ for pioneering role in fighting climate change, 20 septiembre, 2019

https://presidencia.go.cr/comunicados/2019/09/costa-rica-named-un-champion-of-the-earth-for-pioneering-role-in-fighting-climate-change/

3:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

I'm guessing that the pussy hat crowd, and the Me Too crowd, have something like a 100% overlap. Let's call this the X-Force. But here's what I can't figure out: If Meghan Markle walked around with her head inside one of her handbags, what % of the X-Force wd do the same; and if they were yelling "Me Too!", wd we be able to hear them, or wd the sound get muffled? Help me out here.

mb

3:44 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Let the backlash begin: French President Emmanuel Macron says Greta Thunberg will 'antagonize societies' after she filed a lawsuit accusing France of inaction on global warming. Wasn't it just last week that douchebag Macron was singing her praises? The lawsuit leaves out the U.S., China and India--which would be like filing a lawsuit against Wall Street but leaving out Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Citigroup. Whether she's aware of it or not, Thunberg appears to have already been co-opted, as there seems to be some kind behind-the-scenes agenda going on here.

@Kanye--You make a very good point. My biggest issue with the environmental movement is the bullshit, virtue signalling aspect of it. It feels great to say mean things about oil and coal companies; it doesn't feel so great to give up your car(s), sell your house and move into an efficiency apartment, not buy the latest iCrap or forgo flying to that exotic destination for the holidays. Anyone who is wealthy enough to have time to attend climate rallies, or on the other hand to worry that climate activists might someday be able to take away their toys, is part of the problem. Yet you never hear environmentalists make that point, or file lawsuits against consumers. Additionally, how do you tell the half of the world's population who are living at or just above subsistence level that they can never have the "easy" consumer lifestyle what we in the rich nations have enjoyed for decades? Real action means an end to capitalism and economic growth, and even most leftists don't advocate for that.

4:38 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degrowth
https://www.degrowth.info/en/what-is-degrowth/
https://degrowth.org/
https://theconversation.com/life-in-a-degrowth-economy-and-why-you-might-actually-enjoy-it-32224

Now, a simple one-question test: Why has CNN and Fox News and The New York Times and The Washington Post not told you about degrowth?


@ Bill Hicks- you are in the DC area, yes? Probably the biggest pile of hypocrites in the world these days. And I mean every one (nothing personal), no matter their politcal stripe du jour. People go to DC to make money while 'doing good,' whether that means for the right, left, upside down, inside out parties, you name it. Hypocrisy is the lifeblood of DC. You might step back a bit and question how this affects your perception of things.

6:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Well, here's what I hafta say abt all that. 1st, Macron needs to be vigorously beaten, and then to have his Guccis peed upon. Just give me a cane, a 6-pack, and a ticket to Paris, and I'm on it.

A # of yrs ago Thos Naylor (wrote bks on secession) invited me and some woman to give keynote addresses at the annual Vermont secessionist conference. I stayed at Tom's house for several days, talking with him and various attendees. The whole thing was very instructive to me. The reaction to my talk was that it was a 'downer'; which neither I nor Naylor thought it was. It was basically an evaluation of where the US was at that pt in time. Then the woman--I forget her name--flew in just to give her lecture, picked up her check, and immediately flew out. It was clear that she was a star on the environmental lecture circuit, and had little time to spend w/Naylor or members of the audience. What she delivered was a canned, old-time revival speech: in a trance, she kept saying, "You can do it, Vermont," while swaying back and forth. This, the audience loved. I found it rather scary. Later I said to Naylor, "this woman is the Lenin of the environmental movement." Her Cause outweighed everything; if there was one thing she had no interest in, it was dialogue. ("The system filters out the thoughtful and replaces them with the faithful."--John Dower)

There were a # of people in the audience who were very intelligent, but by and large, it was a community of True Believers. One guy even told me he expected Vermont to secede w/in 6 mos.

I doubt Greta falls into this rather depressing category; I certainly hope she doesn't. I hope she gets past all the current gimmickry and fetishism to become a powerful spokeswoman for the environmental movement, writing intelligent bks and giving non-revivalist type lectures. I also hope the forces of the MSM and popular commercial culture don't manage to chew her up and spit her out. But I am quite sure that no matter how mature, sincere, or influential she becomes--whether she's adored or vilified--it's going to be business as usual as far as folks like Trumpi and Macron are concerned, or CEO's of planet-destroying industries. Everything is hustling in the US, and we've spread our pernicious ideology around the world. Ethics and decency count for nothing to folks like Trumpaloni.

On the subject of ecotage, another film (which I referred to a while back): "First Reformed" (Ethan Hawke). Don' miss it, chicos.

mb

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Dan. Degrowth is old stuff on the blog, though it was not always called that internet friendly name. See old posts on Kunstler's "World Made by Hand" and whatshisface the pagan with the beard and didn't someone just mention Guy McPherson this string? Also see David Shi and David Kline and Joe Bageant and, well that's enough for now.

Bill is more than capable of a retort, I'll just say I value an opinion right from the lion's den so to speak.

7:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sometimes brains undergo de-growth:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/09/24/an-open-letter-norwegian-nobel-committee-support-donald-trump/

8:19 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Cel-Ray Tonic - Whatshisface with the beard is "The Archdruid" John Michael Greer, and my favorite parts of his writing were the few pieces on city dwellers arriving as refugees to an area that's chosen to "gear down" to a late 1800s lifestyle, and his piece arguing quite capably that our present form of government is in fact National Socialism. That last one may have been "disappeared". These days, he writes about woo-woo stuff and since he's always written like he's paid by the word, it's pretty impenetrable.

Bageant - dead. Kunstler should have quit after "The Geography Of Nowhere" but he has his moments. Guy McPherson - scary as hell but apparently he's been so for decades now. Matt Savinar, the Peak Oil guy, does horoscopes now as it pays much better.

9:03 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

In regard to what might be heard from a head in a Meghan handbag: Depending on the thickness of the handbag and whether the inside was lined with felt, the utterance coming forth from the bag could be interpreted as "Meat, too!" in which case a Wafer could press a bagel smeared with cream cheese into the outstretched hand. Just a hypothesis from Cascadia.

9:06 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

I love John Dower: the subcultural discussion in 'Embracing Defeat' is wonderful.

9:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jack-

But such bagel wd have no meat on it. We need to add lox. On the other hand, perhaps the poor gal is really expecting a pastrami sandwich.

Jeff-

Give yr visitor a Meghan handbag and send him on his way.

mb

11:03 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Never underestimate an Aspy, it is more syndrome than illness so there's that, they're dreamers, idealists, utopianists (Jefferson?) and when they (laser) focus the word quit literally isn't in their vocabulary. They operate on a different frequency and will "Socratize" to annihilation. But fer fuck's sake what is remarkable is she basically says " that's right bitch I got my issues, it's my strength what you got?" My kinda gal. Sociopathy has for too long had a monopoly on power. She will have assets in Silicon Valley.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/09/24/fox-news-greta-thunberg-mentally-ill-michael-knowles/

11:10 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Speaking of the environment, a new study indicates that there are almost 3 billion fewer birds in North America than there were 50 years ago. That is a 29% decline in the bird population of North America.

https://www.businessinsider.com/3-billion-birds-disappeared-across-us-canada-since-1970-2019-9

On the subject of American decline, there has been an increase in heart infections tied to the American drug abuse epidemic. “During the 14 years studied [2002-2016], researchers found that the prevalence ratio for drug-abuse-related heart infections nearly doubled in the United States, from 8% to 16%. All geographic regions saw increases, and the highest jump occurred in the Midwest at nearly 5% per year.”

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190918075732.htm

2:13 AM  
Anonymous Fritillary said...

Greta Thunberg’s attackers are morally bankrupt, but her deification isn’t helpful

https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/19/greta-thunberg-attackers-climate-crisis-activist

8:02 AM  
Blogger Seligne said...

Dr. Berman,

Perhaps you underestimate how many of us listen to all your podcasts, read all your posts...I have heard your story of the dropped grocery bag senorita five or so times now. I am sure you have other examples of Mexican graciousness and politesse. Could you relate some of them?

One more thing: the all too frequent jibes at Greta, Chris Hedges, Michael Moore, even Noam Chomsky, et al., by Wafers on this site I find a bit unsettling. They are all good people striving to effect change however daunting the odds. Thanks for your works and this site.

8:27 AM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Dr Berman and fellow WAFERS:

A little over a year ago, maybe a bit longer, I started to notice clear evidence that the idea of 'intentional community' was being aggressively institutionalized and even corporatized. I've researched the point further and found evidence of the trend going back maybe 7-8 years, originating in the USA. Where I live, I saw it first in a local university some of whose students were attempting to build an intentional community style residence for students in and through the university. Then it appeared in the form of a branch of a new kind of youth-driven 'inner city' (read partly poor, partly gentrified) church. What I am sharing is a piece by the Foundational for Intentional Community, which I am a member of, discussing TIME magazine's recent short film about the rise of 'intentional community' in the USA. Note that the film is funded/sponsored by the Ford Motor Company: https://www.ic.org/why-americans-of-all-ages-are-coming-together-in-intentional-communities/

Northern Johnny

9:10 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Trump's got the Republicans wrapped around his finger. They're not going to abandon him unless he comes out as gay; helped a woman have an abortion; or becomes Muslim. Impeachment will provoke and rile up his base, and they will turn out in record numbers next year. In addition, it will probably take the wind out of the sails of the Democratic nominee, who will be sidelined by impeachment and a Senate trial. Just my two pennies.

Miles

9:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Seligne-

I use the grocery bag story because it is the most dramatic one that comes to mind. Of course there are others, but perhaps not so striking. You need to realize that more people are not familiar with my work than familiar--I'm hardly a household word--and for them a story like that, which they are hearing for the 1st time, strongly brings home my pt, of a cultural psychology very different from the (narcissistic) American one. My own feeling is that it bears repetition.

As for Greta et al.: Sorry, dear, but Wafers are free to criticize what these folks are doing or saying; that's the nature of this blog. Nor are the critiques necessarily 'total'--e.g., I admire Noam Chomsky greatly, altho I think his notion of manufactured consent has definite limits, such that it is probably unhelpful, mapped onto American society at large. The discussion abt Greta, imo, has been a very fair one, and Moore we tend not to bother with, for the most part; he seems to have dropped outta sight. As for Hedges, he frequently tells his audience how good/moral he is(!); myself, I'm not esp. convinced. Plus, lot of us here feel that what he says is often inaccurate, wrong-headed, and potentially destructive (his endless call for revolution, for example). The Wafer blog is not a place where we all fall in line behind these folks, or other progressives, and I'm hardly one to start censoring what other Wafers have to say about them. (Be advised that this is a declinist blog, not a progressive one; we generally regard progressives, who are trying to save the US, "striving to effect change," as deeply misguided.) If you personally feel an unquestioned allegiance to these folks, that's fine; but you shd know that Wafers tend to see the world in shades of gray. That may be unsettling to you, but on that score I can't really help you. To the tiny # of people who read this blog, and who come to it from the left or the rt, this blog is going to be unsettling; which we regard as a gd thing.

In any case, the focus of this blog, as I've said on numerous occasions, is the collapse of the American empire, not me or the blog itself. I suggest we stick to that.

mb

10:12 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Yeah, Trumpi will use it to his advantage, no doubt. In addn, impeachment doesn't mean thrown out of office; basically, it means censured. Clinton was impeached, and hardly had to move out of the W.H. So I say to the Dems: "Impeach away, you sad collection of turkeys!" All of this is just more distraction, more theater, to keep the American head firmly embedded in the American rump.

mb

10:22 AM  
Anonymous MH said...

I know there is a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor in this blog but this is just absolutely outrageous and disgusting. The degree of degeneracy a society like this can reach is appalling:

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/469443-college-sugar-babies-debt-prostitution/

"It’s very likely they see supplying sexual favors to the aging rich as the lesser of two evils, an easy route to the high-end lifestyle they’re taught from an early age is the pinnacle of human achievement. Television, Hollywood, popular music - all flash the message that one’s value as a person is directly proportional to the numbers in one’s bank account, and surrounding oneself with expensive objects is the key to happiness. A college degree, too, is presented as a must-have for professional success, even as the amount of money required to obtain it balloons."

11:21 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Are you Woke? (Who Woke you? Did you appreciate it?)

Author Lionel Shriver, author of The Mandibles—recommended declinist reading, often cited here—writes her reaction to the challenges of fiction writing in the Time of Wokeness, Cultural Appropriation, Microaggressions, and Identity Politics (my phrasing). Can a non-gay write about gay-ness/gays? A heterosexual write about homosexuals? A Seventh Day Adventist write about Rastafarians? Who wrote the rules? Who grants dispensations?

https://unherd.com/2019/09/im-sick-of-fighting-moronic-culture-wars/

12:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

MH-

I'm not following you. Our sense of humor doesn't extend to regarding debt prostitution as funny. Why wd u think that? I really dunno what yr talking abt.

mb

12:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Major beatoff dept.:

And so the impeachment drama will play out over the next 14 mos., just like the Russian-influence drama played out over the last 24. I'm wondering if the progs will ever wake up, and realize that Trumpi is not the issue, but only a distraction from what is really happening in this country. Not bloody likely. We have watched England beating off for several yrs over Brexit; now the US will beat off over impeachment. But in a way, it's gd; declinists certainly don't want Americans to get to the root of things, and potentially interfere with our collapse. Intelligence cd possibly do that; beating off can only contribute to it.

For yr new post-it:

Brexit, Schmexit
Biden, Schmiden
Impeachment, Schmimpeachment

mb

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Mr Chun said...

What did Shakespeare understand about the human mind?

https://evolution-institute.org/what-did-shakespeare-understand-about-the-human-mind/

2:53 PM  
Blogger KeltCindy said...

Still miss ol' Joe Bageant like crazy...

Loved Bageant as much as Dr. Berman & my fellow WAFers.

Apologies for my seemingly random burst out of "lurk" into "live" mode at the mention of Bageant.

His books, and Dr. Berman's, adorn my bookshelves & always will.

In Art & Labor,

Cindo the Clown

3:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Cindo-

Glad you have come into the light, amigo. Joe and I had this in common: we were/are interested in Reality, not dog poop. For the latter, consult MSM, prog web sites, and other blogs. Literally or metaphorically, all of these have their heads inside a Meghan handbag.

Mr. Chun-

Fill in the blank (w/o Google): "But soft! What light at yonder window breaks? 'Tis the East, and ______ is the sun."

mb

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

My friendly frenzied, feverish, frothing fascists went apeshit
on AM radio over the announcement that The Evil Ones wanted
to kill Our Savior the Dumpster. I even heard raging about
Hillary and Benghazi (FAB!!). Their stance is that The
Evil Ones, against whom we must be armed with our
2nd amendment, include liberals, radical socialists,
atheists, gays, the colored, Muslims, foreigners, Jews,
and feminists.
One thinks of early psychoanalyst Otto Rank who speculated that the true source
of mental illness could be just simple stupidity. It certainly sounds like he
spent some time in 'mur'ka before MB concluded the same.

3:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Art-

Gotta watch out fer dem Jews, I tell ya. They're the worst. Fifth column, always plotting to take over the gubmint.

mb

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Mr Chun said...

--breaking 24 hr rule --

______ = Juliet!

4:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mr. Chun-

Well dun! More (chow) fun:

"Then come kiss me, sweet-and-twenty!
________ a stuff will not endure."

(From Twelfth Night; no Googling!)

mb

4:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Chun Fun-

That was really too easy. Try Sonnet 18:

But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st;
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this ___________ to thee.

4:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Trumpi, you da man!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/new-polls-shows-limited-support-for-removing-trump-from-office/2019/09/25/e5965084-df7a-11e9-b199-f638bf2c340f_story.html

Apparently this guy can do no wrong.

mb

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Alex: That's him! Sorry, I had a brain fart on his name. I greatly enjoyed his fiction series where the city guy takes the train out to the planned community. I lost interest in his blog soon after that.

Cindo: I don't know if you've been around long enough, but see Dr. B's essay on Joe.

https://morrisberman.blogspot.com/2011/05/rainbow-pie.html

there are some good ol' names in the comments, Tim Lukeman, David Rosen (who still posts essays on counterpunch but I haven't seen him here recently) ... and hey, there's Sarasvati!

I was just a lurker back then.

6:55 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Dan D--you've only got me half-pegged there, dude. As I've mentioned here numerous times, I grew up in a small rust belt city that is now in the heart of Trump country. My cynicism comes from decades of observing both of America's political tribes up close and personal. And I'm sorry it offends you that I will not let any prominent individual off the hook for their hypocrisy no matter where they stand politically, but there is simply too much going on behind the scenes with Greta Thunberg for me to NOT be suspicious, especially of her parents, who strike me as the ultimate "stage" mother and father.

@Fritillary--indeed, and it seems like her parents are driving this deification. This is a direct quote from the publisher's blurb describing the upcoming English version of the family's "memoir": "Steered by her determination to understand the truth, the family begins to see the deep connections between their own and the planet's suffering. Against forces that try to silence them, disparaging them for being different, they discover ways to strengthen, heal, and act in the world." A "deep connections between their own and the planet's suffering?"--talk about a God complex. And that second sentence reads like silly new age BS. Unfortunately, it looks like Thunberg is going to be just another distraction--like Gore's utterly ineffectual "An Inconvenient Truth"--destined to be nothing but a trivia question 5 years from now even as the climate continues to be destroyed because neither liberals nor conservatives are willing to give up their toys.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

Yr mostly rt, I suppose, except that I really think we need to applaud Greta, not focus on her potential limitations. Unlike the misguided attempt to save the US, this climate fight is no pointless endeavor. The US going down the tubes will be celebrated by most nations, and w/gd reason, whereas no one save Trumpo will celebrate the death of the planet. I doubt Greta will go the route of Al Gore and green capitalism (wh/put lotsa $ in his pocket and that of Thos Friedman, may his name be blotted out); this is a very courageous girl, imo. Compare what she says to what Trumpaloni says, and it's hard not to gag over the latter. He's a pig; she's a great human being, and I think we need to cut her some slack (and more). I suspect most girls her age are buying Meghan handbags; she's cut from different cloth (or leather).

mb

7:23 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Greta has a point. I, for one, can't resign myself to extinction. Meanwhile, I do have to survive on something. It's a terrible paradox, and dual process won't be easy. But what's the alternative?

7:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Cel-Ray-

It's a different Rosen. The one writing for Counterpunch is a Jungian psychiatrist, and the author of a bk called "Sin, Sex and Subversion". The Rosen who was on this blog some yrs ago is not the same dude. I guess one can't say, "A Rosen by any other name..."

mb

7:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Neil, Bill-

Check it out:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/26/greta-thunbergs-495-word-un-speech-points-us-to-a-future-of-hope-or-despair

I'm not very happy abt the 'halo' around her here, but there is no avoiding the truth of what Flanagan is saying.

mb

8:03 PM  
Blogger Alogon said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6DTOAhJZJk&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3lPFuWqW0NbT1DrBKiTyWNhBU5FFB5rYuMhhR0U-IQ1UIjgDf3aYQGkzE

During a Christian rock band's church performance, a large cross falls into the drums. Isn't this the kind of event out of which televangelists hear God speaking? I'd at least call it karma, since very likely the drumming was what shook the cross loose. And look who rushes in to help!

The show must go on.



8:22 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

@Bill Hicks- I wasn't speaking to Thunberg in my comment; I was speaking to the culture of hypocrisy of the area of the country you live in. Not watching TV, and especially TV news, I stay relatively immune to the ongoing apotheosis of the girl. The little I have seen of the TV around her is sickening and a good reminder why I stay away.

@Cel Ray- Bill Hicks mentioned that no one talks about not traveling, not buying new stuff, etc. hence my links. I know the people you mention and in many ways the 'new' degrowth is just like the old. There is a bit more sophistication and more attempt to grapple with the intricacies of a complex society than I remember from older waves. Still the same messianic zeal that hasn't got a chance in hell of going anywhere. Fun to visit every now and then, and there are good tidbits on localized economics that might come in handy some day. I have a couple of books on knots that I revisit every now and then in similar fashion.

9:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan D-

I think degrowth will take hold in a serious way when capitalism just can't cut it anymore, at which pt there won't be too many other options. Meanwhile, there are a # of people thinking abt it in a serious way, esp. in Europe. Don't be so quick to ridicule.

mb

9:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This guy is spot-on:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/25/beware-democrats-impeaching-trump-will-be-a-disaster

But this is gd. Progs will ignore this advice, and shoot themselves in the foot. Our banner is held high: Trumpi in 2020!

mb

10:09 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

That is good news. I was arguing with my mother that impeachment of Trump won't amount to a hill of beans. She is a never trumper and thus gets really worked up when watching MSNBC or CNN. It is pretty obvious that this Impeachment Inquiry is more about the elections, and possibly try to soften the eventual ousting of Warren and Sanders, two people I have no doubt will lose the Primaries.

Something I think everyone forgets. Democrats always talk about Progressive programs in the Primaries until turning into moderate Republicans in the general elections.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Wafers,

Re: Greta. Beyond the discussion on Capitalism & Greenwashing, there's something deeper that bugs me. If Greta was a grey-haired 70-year old scientist - many of who have been saying the same stuff she has for many years and with even more outrage - she would have *never* made it in the media or been invited to speak in front of Parliament in France. I just find it deeply disturbing that politicians and leaders worldwide entrust the entirety of the climate change discussion to a 16-year-old kid, no matter how smart she is. Children just symbolise a new form of purity and innocence in these dark times, and to use MB's words from WG, are IMO the ultimate SAC and escape from reality. I always wondered, why do Progs keep having so many children (Hedges has 4), when studies after studies show that the biggest carbon footprint you can have is by bringing another person into this world? THIS is why Hedges will never change BTW. He can't ontologically assume that the future is fucked for his 4 kids and that it's too late now.

Kanye

10:32 PM  
Anonymous Flyingspaghettimonstr said...

We've got a double whammy! Despondent NY man is now worm food after jumping on tracks with a lil "guest". Isn't Amerikkka grand?

https://abc7ny.com/amp/traffic/man-jumps-in-front-of-train-while-holding-daughter-police-say/5560911/

10:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kanye-

But Hedges was talking the same line b4 kid #4, maybe earlier. Bill Moyers asked him how he cd in all gd conscience bring another child into the world, and he had no answer--just sat there, embarrassed--another example of his self-contradictory confusion that we have noted b4. As for Greta, I think a little emotion was necessary here: out of the mouths of babes, etc. It's stirring for a child to tell greedy, fat capitalists: Look what you have done to my dreams, my world. It's not (to me) shameful that she got 'used' to say these things; what is shameful is the reply: We couldn't care less abt yr dreams, and yr world, little girl; eat shit and die.

mb

10:58 PM  
Blogger PeanutbutterAndChocolate said...

Greetings Wafers! Long time lurker. I’ve been a Prof Berman reader since Twilight and wanted to pay you back for all the great links over the years. Here’s a little humor:

https://youtu.be/-BSCRnNjuM0

This guy nails it. Poor Greta will just get commercialized like everything else.

11:20 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Greta was exploited b4 birth, a little more wont harm anything. All the good ones are a ‘voice crying out in the wilderness,’ not much will change but in a post collapse world she may have a significant voice, to that I say cheers. Al Gore’s fart in the wind was the first time climate science made any sense to me (a statistical anomaly) and maybe some others, really more an academic success if anything.

How many days (3?) b4 this gets spun into WhistleblowerGate?

11:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Peanut-

Welcome. Don't lurk; live! Meanwhile, that video is grotesque. Hard to hang onto my cookies. And maybe Greta can resist becoming a commodity, and manage to do some gd in the world. This wd be an interesting T-shirt:

SAY NO TO GRETA T-SHIRTS

mb

11:52 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Good old read on Joe Bageant. I'm proud to be too broke to buy his books along with being too broke to buy MB's books. I'm too broke to buy only the best of books!

As for impeachment, yes, it doesn't mean a cartoon dog-catcher comes and get 'em with a big net, and they go to a prison cell right out of an old Warner Bros. cartoon. It doesn't do much, really. In fact when I thing about IMPEACHMENT I think of this:

http://www.wunderland.com/WTS/Rash/misc/addams.htm

2:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

alex-

Yr local library?

mb

2:53 AM  
Anonymous Michael in Oceania said...

Here is a take on Greta Thunberg, which pretty much matches my own view of the situation:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7501829/Psychologist-says-hes-worried-mental-wellbeing-climate-change-activist-Greta-Thunberg.html

Relevant quote:

"Dr Michael Carr-Gregg compared Greta's position in the spotlight to the fame of a child TV star who could 'burn out' after being thrust into the spotlight. 'I worry about her going the same as child TV stars, that they just burn out and potentially have a disastrous psychological outcome,' he told 3AW on Wednesday.

'Can I make it clear, I am not a climate change denier. I actually think that we do need to do more about saving the planet.'

Dr Carr-Gregg said he was wary of Greta's Asperger's and history of mental health in his analysis of the teenager, who he believes has a 'sense of entitlement'.

'I am worried that we use a kid like this, who arguably should be getting treatment because she's said she's had anorexia, said she's got Asperger's and said she's battled depression,' he said.

'As a parent, if this was my child, I'm not sure I'd be putting them on the world stage.'"

2:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Even the Green Party is corrupt!:

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/09/26/world/elizabeth-may-cup-intl-hnk-scli/index.html

3:10 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Trumpaloni:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/25/opinion/trump-impeachment-.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

9:41 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Seligne-

It seems to me you wd be better off posting to a different blog. You really don't understand what we're doing here, and/or yr in profound disagreement with it. As far as I can make out, yr a progressive; you want to save the US. We don't think it can be saved, and for a whole variety of reasons, we don't think it *shd* be saved. The folks you admire are, from a declinist pt of view, just prolonging the agony, getting in the way of an historically necessary collapse. For you, then, this blog can only be a source of frustration; you seem to want it to be something that it is not. The obvious move for you, it seems to me, is to participate in a progressive blog, and there are thousands out there for you to choose from, ones that espouse views similar to yr own, and that celebrate the people you admire. Good luck!

mb

10:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

SHORT BLOG SHUTDOWN

Wafers-

I'm off to a meditation retreat, Oct. 1-6, during which time this blog will be closed. I know: crack out the Prozac etc.; what's a normally happy Wafer to do? I shall repeat this message in a few days, but in the meantime, pls mark yr calendars, a reminder to not post during that time. I'll return on Oct. 7, filled with Inner Bliss, and we can take it from there.

Namaste,
mb

10:15 AM  
Blogger Politically Incorrect Russian Spy said...

Most of the people who have a problem with Greta Thunberg are that way because she embarrasses them; embarrasses them for their amorality, greed, lack of empathy, lack of vision, lack of humanity, lack of simple decency, and for their casual, lifelong personal contribution to leaving behind an Earth denuded of life and health for future generations to struggle to somehow survive on.

Thunberg is a kind of ghost-child haunting the last days of industrial capitalist modernity. She wails and scowls and scolds as the whole moronic shit-show collapses into social breakdown, mass starvation, and mass extinction. I can only hope her face is the last thing all who despise her see in their mind's eye as they expire.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pol-

Bravo, chico! Ghost-child or dark mirror. We have millions of douche bags, and a tiny handful who care abt more than just themselves.

mb

1:17 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Re: say no to Greta t-shirts... I can foresee a Greta line of handbags. Eco friendly hemp fibers made with Malaysian sweatshop labor? Ownership tracing back to a shell corp of one of the "We ain't got no time" ground floor organizers? Al Gore perhaps?

What action could Wafers take to help Greta from becoming assimilated by The Borg? I hate seeing a child being used.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Norah said...

https://theoutline.com/post/7956/jeffrey-epstein-evolutionary-psychology

Jeffrey Epstein and evolutionary psychology -- And how evolutionary psychologists loved him

On the Outline:

1:51 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Trump says fate of the nation at stake as Democrats try to 'destroy' the GOP...

Ahhh...Donald, guess you haven’t heard....the nation is already lost.


https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/sep/26/donald-trump-says-fate-nation-stake-democrats-try-/

2:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Norah-

Great article. Thanks for the ref.

comrade-

More T-shirts, perhaps. E.g.:

MEGHAN: NOT HANDBAG BUT DOUCHE BAG

GRETA: FIGHTER FOR LIFE (front side)
MEGHAN: ARISTOCRATIC WIFE (back side)

Wafers are encouraged to add to this list.

mb

2:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

Possible scenario for next few yrs:

1. Impeachment frenzy ends in total debacle, as did Mueller-Schmueller
2. Biden-Schmiden, the Dem candidate, is crushed by Trumpi in 2020
3. Progs, having learned abs. 0, continue harassing Trumpi and planning for 2024 election
4a. In 2024, Trumpi cancels the election and declares himself pres for life; or
4b. Someone actually worse than Trumpaloni is elected president
5. Progs continue their demented behavior
6. By 2030, the US collapses in a shower of shit.
7. 2045: the GSWH bites the dust.
8. 2075: works of GSWH discovered in the rubble of the (former) NY Public Library; archaeologists say, "Why didn't anyone pay attn. to this guy?"

mb

2:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

A quote from Andrew Carnegie:

"The amassing of wealth is one of the worst species of idolatry--no idol more debasing than the worship of money....To continue much longer overwhelmed by business care and with most of my thoughts wholly on the way to make money in the shortest time, must degrade me beyond the hope of permanent recovery."

This led me to wonder if Americans are debased, or degraded, and which of the two is worse.

mb

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Embry said...

Happy 131 years to TS Eliot.

My curmudgeon of a friend sent me this on the major study of his racism. There's also a rumor that Eliot's shit stank! Oh the mortal scandal!

https://amp.theguardian.com/books/2003/jun/07/poetry.thomasstearnseliot

3:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Embry-

...along w/Shakespeare. Well, that's it: I'm never rdg either of these authors again.

mb

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8v2SWE15zms

Catch the first 90 seconds and try to remember if you were taught this in
high school in the 1950s.

With the bonkers freakout by the fascists about Dumpster being tossed from
the White House, when will we be getting rightwing death squads exercising
the 2nd amendment to rid our nation of its internal enemies?

3:43 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

This is totally normal. Nothing crazy about a society where this happens: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/09/25/california-police-man-tried-set-homeless-man-fire-took-photos/2443354001/

T-Shirt:

MY HEAD IS FILLED WITH DOG SHIT
YOU MIGHT BE SUFFERING FROM CRE
TRUMP-PRES FOR LIFE

4:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Art-

I have a feeling that's in the cards. Once again: when an empire collapses, it ain't pretty.

mb

4:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Krak-

Neat! Part of project to remove the homeless, I guess.

mb

4:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Check it out:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/26/impeachment-america-political-crisis-donald-trump-centrists

5:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Also charming:

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-09-26/

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Glans Butterworth, III said...

Perhaps, this is what the propagandists meant re: us empire "greatness" and "exceptionalism?"

https://www.wsj.com/articles/californias-biggest-cities-confront-a-defecation-crisis-11565994160

7:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Glans-

Requires a subscription to the WSJ, unfortunately.

mb

8:05 PM  
Anonymous Glans Butterworth, III said...

Dear Dr. Berman, please forgive me breaking the 24h rule. Please find another link that may work re: to the CA defecation crisis complete with graphs documenting upticks in # phone calls regarding feces.

https://www.citylab.com/equity/2018/08/san-franciscos-sidewalk-poop-problem/566621/


8:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Glans-

That works, thanks. I shd add that while I find hot feces basically OK, I regard cold feces as utterly disgusting.

mb

8:37 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

@Dr B- Good to hear degrowth is taken seriously (although dare I say, references would be good?). The people espousing it that I know in the US have all the typical leftist delusions.

I have a hard time seeing that most Americans, confronted with a collapse of capitalism's ability to deliver the toilet paper and electronics to make their life seem meaningful, will be able to respond in any constructive manner. I see a hard collapse as the culmination of the ongoing slide downwards. 'Degrowth' will be the reality imposed, not the dream chosen.

Venezuela is responding to the US embargos- inability to buy foreign goods, etc.- by adopting socialist communal models in some areas. In the spirit of your book on Japan, I wonder if there is enough culture not digested by capitalism to give them a chance. Wouldn't it be a kick if one effect of Bolton's war on Venezuela is the rise of a socialist state that survives the collapse of capitalism?

https://popularresistance.org/venezuelas-crisis-a-view-from-the-communes/

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/24/venezuelas-communes-a-great-social-achievement/

8:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan D-

There are some refs in ch. 7 of my Japan bk. The countries most into degrowth as u say are more by force (austerity) than choice, but there are lots of expts in Spain, in particular; plus Portugal, Greece, and Japan. (ck out my ftnotes) Wish I had more refs 4u. I do know degrowth groups in Canada, but I'm not sure how much actual practice they are into. It is, 2b sure, a 2-edged sword; but the pos side does have a certain beauty to it; sorta like trying to land a tuna with a 3-lb nylon cord. Anyway, check out ch. 7 and also the discussion of the Tokugawa era. Those folks certainly understood the theory and practice of less is more; which I think is way beyond the American 'mind'.

For the East-West comparison imported into the arts, check out ch. 10 of CTOS. I also have a brief discussion of the contrasting psychologies at the end of "Genio".

mb

9:22 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@comrade--the "Greta" t-shirts are already for sale. Along with Greta rain slickers, hoodies, bumper stickers, iPhone cases, wall tapestries, posters, stationary, coffee mugs, shower curtains & bath mats (that's kind of creepy, actually), floor pillows, travel mugs, throw blankets, greeting cards, spiral notebooks, postcards hard cover journals and other assorted useless crap. Because we all know that the way to "save" the planet from the excesses of capitalism is more capitalism and by buying shit. Even Occupy Wall Street didn't sink to this level. I understand why people don't want to completely give up hope, but "hope" has been a sucker's game going back at least until Bill Clinton and the 1992 election and probably well before that.

Speaking of which, here's America's next Great Never-Trump Hope in action: "Elizabeth Warren not only claimed to be "Cherokee" in contributing recipes to the 'Pow Wow Chow' cookbook, but seems to have directly plagiarized the 'Native American' recipes from Pierre Franey of the New York Times. Never thought I'd see the day when a leading presidential candidate had a "Pocahontas Problem."

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Good article on the dangers of the computerization of the world. “In a recent paper that made waves in the ML [machine learning] community, a team at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, found that training a model for natural-language processing – the field that helps ‘virtual assistants’ like Alexa understand what you’re saying – can emit as much as 626,155lb of carbon dioxide. That’s about the same amount produced by flying roundtrip between New York and Beijing 125 times.”

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/sep/17/tech-climate-change-luddites-data

1:11 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jesus willya look at this guy's face?:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/26/us/chicago-hate-crime-guilty.html?action=click&module=Latest&pgtype=Homepage

3:57 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Tom and Dan, see: https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/09/27/climate-change-and-technology/

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

https://www.unz.com/ldinh/jack-london/

Apt quote from Mr. Dinh in the comments section:

"When I started publishing political articles nearly a decade ago, I goofily believed all these “dissident” sites had the same aim of exposing the criminality of the US government. Then I realized nearly all of them are controlled opposition. Their real job is to jerk off while castrating dissidence!"

12:06 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

"Beans, beans the magical fruit the more you eat"...oh nevermind, a new face of America pic:

https://a.msn.com/r/2/AAHW33h?m=en-us&referrerID=InAppShare

A bullet in the back of the head causes intense migranes:

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

Yesterday I felt real sadness for my country, the kind of pity one might feel when a trash heap spontaneously combustes, but sadness all the same.



12:22 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Of course he was....Why is this even a news story anymore? It’s a given in America that a helpless elderly person will be pummeled by some younger American. 

91-year-old widower attacked while visiting late wife's grave

https://abcn.ws/2lEEpCd

1:30 PM  
Blogger Amazed! said...

"About 1.4 million people have died from firearms in the U.S. between 1968 and 2011. The murder rate in America is now 25 times higher than in any of the 22 developed high-income nations (OECD). Although America has half the population of the other 22 nations combined, the U.S. had 82 per cent of all gun deaths, 90 per cent of all women killed with guns, 91 per cent of children under 14 and 92 per cent of young people between ages 15 and 24 killed with guns."

https://truepublica.org.uk/united-kingdom/amnesty-international-issue-warning-to-travellers-to-america/

3:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

Remember Laquisha Jones! How great Americans are!

mb

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RM0uvgHKZe8&feature=youtu.be&t=1
"As long as they are not our children." BAD GUESS!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJOcrJP8yM4
Check 01:00 "In the wrong place." BAG GUESS!

Recall the wonderment over why there was a Sept. 11th?

4:07 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Bill-

Your comments about Greta merchandise is very sad. I agree.
Do you know if the merchandise associated with her has
been Greta Thunberg approved and would that not matter
to some degree? Just curious and perhaps it does not
matter..

4:16 PM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

American Presidential candidates are chosen for us. The Party with 2 right wings isn't going to trust the people with making the "right" choices. We might select someone who looks out for the average Joe instead of CitiGroup. That would be a disaster. So the massive media (90% of American media outlets are controlled by 5 megacorps) decide early on who is worthy of representing them and their corporate overlords and run polls showing their favorites leading until the selection of party candidates. Candidates who refuse to accept their party's chosen (like Sanders in 2016) are shafted by their own kind. Our job, we, the people, is to accept the candidates chosen for us and chose between twiddle-dumb and twiddle-dee. And be happy about it. Democracy, what democracy?

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/06/24/how-media-will-pick-next-democratic-presidential-candidate

6:13 PM  
Anonymous sulzdeluder said...

No mention of W Leaks etc. surprise surprise Overton window.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/23/opinion/press-freedom-arthur-sulzberger.html

6:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

trying-

Check out Chas Dickens, "Pickwick Papers," where he travels around the US during an election year. The choices are Camerfield and Mandeboy. When he tells an American that he doesn't see any difference between the 2, the guy goes nuts. Even in 1850, we were a collection of douche bags.

Ophelia-

Cdn't run it. 2 impt rules here: limit yr posts to half pg max, and post only once every 24 hrs. Suggest you compress by 50% and re-send. Thank you.

mb

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Sarah Sal said...

Nothing unusual here: Trump Campaign Chief Outlines $1 Billion Strategy For 2020 On Trip To ROMANIA. Next: Latvia!

https://www.forbes.com/sites/tudormihailescu/2019/03/24/trump-campaign-chief-outlines-1-billion-strategy-for-2020-on-trip-to-romania/amp/

6:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

What if Trumpi set the whole thing up, to catch the dems in a pincer operation and then fuck them but good?

I.e., he deliberately did something unconstitutional and egregious, so that the dems cd not not impeach him; then, he claims martyr status, conspiracy and persecution; then, Senate doesn't vote to throw him outta office; meanwhile, his base is virulently energized, and he gets reelected.

What if?

mb

6:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sarah-

On the bright side: the deeper the degradation, the faster the collapse. Go, Trumpi!

mb

7:22 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

@Pastrami- This is where something like 'degrowth' becomes necessary- as long as people think that we can use technology to move forward to a green future, we are screwed. On a similar note, looking at more than just the material and economic limits to getting to zero carbon, this article also looks at the mistakes in looking to past events for this present problem. The actual New Deal was child's play compared to what the Green New Deal proposes.
https://communemag.com/between-the-devil-and-the-green-new-deal/

As a few us would joke at work when we were developing the campaign for a local art school's 'sustainable industrial design program' ain't no way in hell to consume our way out of this mess. I had a friend who worked for a huge design firm, everyone here almost certainly has one or more of their designs in your home right now. She was the 'sustainable' person. Brought in on a project to evaluate how to make the product have less environmental impact, etc. Project after project, solution after solution, she was told that her work was great but it added 0.003 cents to the per item cost and the client couldn't do that. But the firm can say that they have sustainability experts.

Well, on a more amusing subject:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/27/the-greta-thunberg-problem-so-many-men-freaking-out-about-the-tiny-swedish-climate-demon

8:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Interesting film abt some very bad people: "The Big Short" (2015).

mb

9:50 PM  
Blogger Xair said...

Trump is obviously corrupt as hell with his Ukraine busniess. Wonder where he learned it from?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCF9My1vBP4&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR2sLk65nFyTrdP21zUKKdRwdjb_rA_Cgvrdut8OgJBcX7IJCDr10E3QW6Y

10:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Xair-

So Biden did the same thing Trumpi did later on? He's also a thug?

Biden, Schmiden
Thug, Schmug

But at the highest levels of govt, there is such a kindness in the American soul:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-execution-idUSKCN1RD2J5

What a great people we are!

mb

11:09 PM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

MB - thanks for the great Dickens reference. With apologies to Dr. Franklin, no, we were not able to keep it. It probably didn't last more than 20-30 years.

As for Trump orchestrating a trap for the Dementias, I don't think he's that smart. BUT - I wouldn't put it past his Goebbels, Stephen Miller. They even look alike.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Daniel Scot said...

The web page at KPFT is not giving access to the interview. Clicking on September 19 at the top does not bring up anything for that day. Is it available elsewhere?

11:41 AM  

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