June 25, 2020

396

Well, with each post we see more racist attacks, more police brutality, and higher rates of the corona virus. As well as a president unhinged from reality, though he still could squeak through in November. Meanwhile, the bubbas march toward the boogaloo, while the progs think they can save America by tearing down statues and enforcing political correctness. One wonders if, Wafers aside, there is a single American out there who doesn't have his/her head rammed up his/her ass. Be sure to check out Flabster's post at the end of the last thread, which seems to sum up our situation. And also the word 'ecpyrosis' on Google, which puts a lot of this in perspective.

Onward, onward toward the Abyss!

-mb

186 Comments:

Blogger Del Gord said...

As usual Robert Reich has something to say https://robertreich.org/
about the US response to Covid-19. Much blame rests with Trump and his admin, but several times he points out the systemic Americaness of what's going on. Dated June 23rd. Que up "the beat goes on" soundtrack to our demise.

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

I'm afraid I did have to look up ecpyrosis, but it is apt:

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/colorado/articles/2020-05-14/pandemic-stands-to-complicate-potentially-bad-fire-season

11:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Del-

At the end, Reich urges us to 'stand together'. Yeah, that's gonna happen. How can these progs w/high IQs be so dumb?

mb

12:04 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

A book due out July 28th by Donald Trump's only niece, Mary L. Trump (also a clinical psychologist) about her observations of the workings of the Trump family should be intresting. Ahhh! The American Dream family!

https://smile.amazon.com/Too-Much-Never-Enough-Dangerous/dp/1982141468/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

2:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Michael-

I worry that between Mary and Bolti, the virus and the race protests, Trumpi might be sunk. I hope not.

mb

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Karlfried Graf Dürckheim said...

Dr. B and WAFers,
Do you believe that the decline will be global? I know that the historical/cultural characteristics of the US are what making it go the way it is going, but in a world where the US has a cultural hegemony over everyone, wouldn't the american dark age touch everyone?
I am living in a third world country (with as rich a culture as it gets), but reading your analysis of the US case and then looking around me I see a lot of similarities, it wasn't something familiar when I was growing up, but the "americanisation" of the soul seems to increase everyday.
I fear that even with the rise of china as the new political/military/economic power, we still have to deal with a world wide decline (at least initially) because of the hegemony of american culture.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Karl-

Cd be, but too long a discussion to have at this pt. In any case, no one can predict exactly how things will fall out, and I certainly don't have a crystal ball. BTW, pls get yr name rt: it's *von* Duerckheim.

bis bald,
mb

3:35 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Dear Fellow WAFERS,

I’m getting closer to calling it a career, and finally making my retirement escape out of the US and heading to the warm and sunny Mediterranean to become a happy Expat WAFER.

I’m seeking some advice and recommendations from experienced people who have lived or visited the following areas, regarding the TOP one or two places that you would consider to be the best for an American Expat to settle in...Thank You!

1) Andalusia Spain?
2) Provence France?
3) Tuscany Italy?
4) Sicily?
5) Crete?

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Requiem said...

Older son lives in Wilmington, NC. We visit often but have not had the pleasure of meeting any of its "finest".

Site of only government coup in American history in 1898. AKA the Wilmington insurrection, the Wilmington massacre. Group of white supremacist conspired and led a mob of 2,000 white men to overthrow the legitimately elected local government. Expelled opposition black and white political leaders from the city, destroyed the property and businesses of black citizens built up since the Civil War, including the only black newspaper in the city, and killed an estimated 60 to more than 300 people.

Said to have "initiated an era of more severe racial segregation and effective disenfranchisement of African Americans throughout the South, raising barriers to voter registration." Wikipedia.

But don't worry. If that ever happens again, the police will protect you.

5:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Req-

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/06/25/wilmington-racist-police-recording/

jj-

My preference wd be for Italy, but--it ain't cheap. Provence: prices thru the roof. But go and visit those places, b4 u decide.

To hate-mail senders-

Jesus, what boring lives you must lead. Lotsa time on yr hands, I'm guessing. Don't you ever get tired of this? Sad, sad little boys (adults, yr not). But who knows? Someday, you might look in the mirror and exclaim, "Shit! I'm a complete asshole!" And you are, amigos; you are.

mb

6:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Hate-mail sender-

Ah, you poor shmuck. You were born a douche bag, have lived the life of a douche bag, and will die a douche bag. Sad, sad little boy, in so much pain. When you check out the mirror, look into your eyes. Ouch!

mb

7:34 PM  
Blogger Roger Blakely said...

This blog continues to be a unique source of sanity. I can't even listen to DemocracyNow! anymore. I cannot tolerate any progressive Web Site other than CounterPunch, and even browsing CounterPunch every morning makes me nauseous.

Bupkis. Anyone who thinks that the current fervor will result in anything more than bupkis loses credibility with me instantly. I sat in a meeting with leftists like me and listened to them seriously consider the current moment's potential for social change. Are you kidding me?

Us WAFerinos are the only people with our heads on straight. Hope only lays in sober common sense as opposed to narcissistic virtue signaling. Ever forward, Trumpi.

7:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Roger-

Progs will keep doing what they're doing, regardless of who wins the election this Nov. I mean, really, they are just as clueless as the bubbas and the Trumpites. Who at least have a serious agenda: saving, which is to say dismantling, the country. Meanwhile, if you imagine yr a drone and are hovering over the US, looking down, what immediately comes to mind is: Jesus H. Christ, what a fuckup. It's like watching a bad science fiction movie.

mb

7:52 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

5 officer involved shootings so far this yr - almost one a month with 5 days to go, so we got that going for us (none African American no signs of protests)

https://www.chieftain.com/news/20200624/man-shot-by-pueblo-police-tuesday-identifie

Talk about a grotesque moment to supidity. great to see WalMart $ being put to good use (kroneke is son in law to Super Sam)

https://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/sec-football/nfl-sofi-stadium-rams-chargers-5-billion-2020/


9:59 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Free advice to progs...

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference."
— Niebuhr's serenity prayer

Yes, if you have been marching since the 1960s and things have only gotten worse, you are indeed a moron. Stay home and love your garden and neighbors; if your neighbors reject that love, waste it not in their company.

11:21 PM  
Blogger Thomas Strimpel said...

Wafers-

The latest rounds of social upheaval and economic losses are going to be rather inconsequential compared to the bigger problems coming down the pike. Parts of the Arctic have reached over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, “the kind of weather we expect by 2100, 80 years too early.” Climate change is sure to be a key driver in the decline of the U.S. Empire, no? A bankrupt government won’t be quite able to rebuild infrastructure toppled by mega-hurricanes, rising seas and chronic wildfires. At this rate, acquiring a student visa to Tibet or Antarctica might not be out of the question.
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-53140069

11:33 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB-

You're new book arrived this morning! I'm already more than halfway thru it. It's a terrific read w/great stories. I particularly enjoyed The Heart of the Matter, Moonies, How Are You Doing?, and The Gandhi Experiment so far. The Gandhi Experiment is so good that it could be adapted for film. Many thanks for your work, and I look forward to finishing.

Miles

ps: I wanna hang out w/u at Jews Unlimited! (Ha, Ha) Good one!

12:03 AM  
Anonymous Soggy Croutons said...

Hello Mr. Berman, I have a feeling you and other Wafers (and perhaps wafers too) might get a kick out of this:

https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/hfsoq0/whats_the_most_horrifying_how_do_you_not_know_how/

One of the responses:
"A friend who was pushing 40 had never paid a bill before. She had gone from living with her parents to living in a dorm to living with her parents again until she got married, then she got divorced and was living on her own for the first time. Got a text from her asking if my power was out too, then she realized it was just her. Her excuse was she never paid attention to the bills because she thought they were "receipts" and that the cost was included in her rent.

Her water was cut off a couple weeks later and we had to talk about that, too."

12:52 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sog-

There are no wafers; only Wafers.

Jeff-

Thanks for the kudos. I'm quite proud of this book; it represents some of my best writing to date, I think. One friend wrote me that he thought "The Gandhi Experiment" was like a poem. As for Jews Unlimited, I suppose I was thinking of Canter's. Pass the Manischewitz!

mb

1:56 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

mb - Americans generally support reasonable gun control.

https://www.npr.org/2019/08/10/749792493/americans-largely-support-gun-restrictions-to-do-something-about-gun-violence

But since covid started, from my reading on Reddit, even lefties are arming up. No one wants "them" to "take their guns away" and Obama was very wise in leaving the gun issue alone.

I personally believe that the underlying problem is not whether a person can have a gun, or a hammer, or several gallons of gasoline, or a machete, it's what Henry Rollins calls "The America".

2:37 AM  
Blogger Alogon said...

https://video.whyy.org/video/eating-costs-1593117896/

PBS News Hour was winding down with a discussion about the non-viability of delivering food from restaurants to homes. Restauranteurs can't make a go of it. Those doing the deliveries take home minimum wage or less. Even Uber says the program is a money loser. And customers aren't impressed. Surprise. What can be done?

Aha: how about automate everything? When various investors and their advisors were interviewed was when I started pricking up my Waferish ears. They are amazed-- not so much by the technological wizardry of the various Rube Goldberg schemes into which venture capitalists have poured in $1 billion, but by their desperation. "Everyone's searching for yield in some capacity and trying to find any opportunity they can." "Finding opportunities to invest large checks in potentially big outcomes has outweighed the ability for us to discern good from bad returns on capital." "So there's too much money chasing too few opportunities?" "In a nutshell, that's it."

6:35 AM  
Anonymous Karlfried Von Dürckheim said...

The CP culture is going crazy, I can't wait to see what they will be going after next
https://7news.com.au/sport/sydney-radio-station-asks-if-chess-is-racist-because-white-always-moves-first-c-1121419

PS, I fixed the name

8:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Karl-

1. The v is lower case
2. "Politically correct" is abbreviated PC
3. Yr rt, it's going nuts

alex-

This alleged 'support' for gun control is b.s., really. And yr rt: if guns were banned, Americans wd kill each other w/knives, because that's America.

mb

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Ferguson said...

I second the familiarizing of the stoic 'ecpyrosis'. Progressives should also consider Freud's 'narcissism of small differences' ; & Jung's law of 'enantiodromia'

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Matthew P Olivier said...

"A lot of peaceful protesters are being harmed."

"It is over because of the violence."

Hobbes sadly knodding from beyond the grave.

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/06/24/us/seattle-autonomous-zone-protesters-leaving/index.html

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greetings MB & Wafers, from sunny Lugano, Switzerland,

@jj - my take on some issues with those particular spots. Hope this helps a bit
Tuscany - can be expensive, but not if you buy a small flat in a small town. Housing costs not so bad once you own, except for heating - sky high if using natural gas (~1000 euros/month!). (We installed a pellet stove in our house, much cheaper, but you have to clean it every day.) Cold and rainy in the winter.
Sicily - cheaper than Tuscany, and warmer. Note that Italy taxes residence - and their taxes are the highest in the EU. You'll still have to pay US taxes (there is a tax treaty.)
But the biggest issue with Italy is that there is no drivers license reciprocity between Italy and the US. After one year of residence, you must get an Italian license, and due to no reciprocity, you must take the (very difficult) written test, which is only given in Italian! (Used to be more languages, but austerity killed that.) Most of our Italian friends say they failed it multiple times - and it's in their native language! Then you take the driving test, where they quiz you again in Italian. Then you have 3 years of restrictions (like you were 18), lower speed limits, 0% alcohol, and restrictions on size/hp of car you can buy. (This was one of the things that pushed us into Switzerland.)
France - If you get away from the sea, you can find small towns that aren't too pricey. Has license reciprocity with some states, not others (can't find the list right now). Cheaper taxes than Italy.
Greece - I don't know about Crete, but some friends just moved to Greece (Peloponnese), about 1 1/2 hr from Kalamata, say the cost of living is dirt cheap. Don't know about licenses or taxes.
Spain - I know little about it, but that there are tons of Brits there!

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Capt. Spaulding said...

Dr B. -

Thank you for the lovely quote from Thomas Merton. I must admit that I am totally ignorant of his work, but I've put the "Merton Reader" on my Amazon list and will soon add it to the ever-growing pile of books on the nightstand. I also want to say how much I enjoyed "Genio," which I read before the pandemic hit (and scotched my trip to Italy, alas: I was especially looking forward to going to the Villa Borghese). I thought your formulation of "ego vs. decency" was spot-on and certainly provides a clarifying lens on so much of our unraveling today (egregious Beatles quote: "all I can hear/I me mine, I me mine, I me mine....")

Enjoy your weekend!

- The Capt.







10:44 AM  
Anonymous Soggy Croutons said...

Hi MB,

I was just being silly. I've seen previous comments referring to "wafers" as being amusing, though I hope they weren't being pejorative.

I haven't yet read WAF though it's on the shelf. I began with your talk on Pirate TV, followed by everything else of yours on YouTube.

With effort, I've begun reading books again, for I somehow got it into my head that it was conducive to personal growth.

Finished A Question of Values last night. It's the stuff of nervous breakdowns...

Your trilogy on the U.S. is up next.

Then Neurotic Beauty, since I'm curious to see if there are connections to Budo, Gichin Funakoshi, etc. that I may find by learning more of Japan through an analysis of someone whose language I've acclimated to.

11:03 AM  
Blogger spartan said...

Firstly, thank you for my new scrabble word ‘ekpyrosis / ecpyrosis’, That rabbit hole was amazing and I’m sure I increased my IQ by at least 5 points, admittedly coming off a low base.

Secondly, can I add the word ‘Palingenesis’.

As we’re also the authors of our own apocalypse, perhaps this monument desecration and looting is a reaction to the god of Hubris or the gods of Karma and Arrogance?

Loving and enjoying your work sir. Hopefully I can inspire a post for you in these ramblings.

11:49 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sog-

If you wanna laugh until u lose control of yr bowel functions, try "The Heart of the Matter." Soon to be available for $18.95, I hope.

Capt.-

For bk that followed "Genio," see my reply to Sog. You will laugh like an irresponsible fetus.

Wafers-

Country going batshit. Ecpyrosis coming down the pike.

mb

3:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Hate-mail sender-

Needle, needle! I see I'm getting under yr skin. You know yr a sad little boy, and you know yr a coward: instead of working thru yr inner pain, wh/wd take guts, you continue to lay it on me and probably others; wh/is pretty easy to do. It amazes me, however, that I wd be one of yr targets, given the fact that I'm a very minor intellectual figure and not on the radar screen in the US. Few Americans read my bks, and if I submit an article to a journal, they don't even bother to send me a rejection letter. Yr attacking someone who is basically a nonentity, in terms of the American definition of success. But of course the issue is not the target, it's the catharsis you get from attacking someone--an adrenaline rush. Your hatred won't hurt me, of course, but it will eat you alive. You may realize, at the hr of yr death, that you pissed yr life away; but probably not. The fact remains that yr a terribly sad person, a tiresome piece of dreck, and will live out yr days in bitterness and stupidity. There is no possibility of change for you: human garbage till the end, a silly little turkey. All you know is rage, amigo; i.e., death in life. As for me, I always think of the Arab proverb, when I encounter trash such as yrself: "The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on." How you wish you cd be on it, eh?

mb

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

The documentary the Education of Gore Vidal is back on YouTube.

It begins with, "In the United States we've never developed a civilization or anything like one so there are no agreed-upon set of values. This is where everyone's so crooked... a nation of shoplifters."

And about 13 minutes in he says,"So Burr was the realist and realists are always hated, particularly in a sanctimonious society of hustlers which is what the United States has been from the beginning. Where I won't blow your scam if you don't blow mine."

A Wafer classic.

I suspect YouTube will eventually take it down for copyright reasons so I would recommend anyone who hasn't seen it watch it while you can.

https://youtu.be/RL5Tb4eoTtA

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

Wafer Anjin-san,

Thank you for the Gore Vidal video reference. Outstanding. "A nation of shoplifters."

Or, a "nation" of 330 million used car salesmen (Hunter Thompson).

Yup.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Rates of coronavirus are down. Where are you getting your evidence? The virus in the US has followed a smooth curve which is standard for respiratory illnesses. This curve is similar in countries around the world. If you go to (https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america) you see how smooth the curve is and that the peak was around mid-April all around the world. For respiratory illnesses, they spread following a mathematical curve, regardless of what you do. Things like masks and distancing only slightly change the shape of the curve, but eventually most people have it and herd immunity kicks in. The real questions - why are governments now saying masks will be required until there's a vaccine? Why are schools already saying next year will be online only? Why is the media full of 'second wave' articles? Their recommendations are not coming from evidence; it's pure lies and propaganda.

7:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sog-

Post only once every 24 hrs, max. Thank you.

mb

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Puddy said...

No need for a comment.


https://www.zerohedge.com/personal-finance/study-finds-gap-widening-between-rich-pets-and-poor-americans

9:54 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Thanks Morris...Good advice...I’ll plan to spend some time in each spot before making the decision.

Check this out...


47% of US homeowners are considering selling their homes...that’s a pretty large number!!


https://www.studyfinds.org/half-of-u-s-homeowners-struggle-with-mortgage-due-to-covid-19-consider-selling-home/

10:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Puddy-

r.u. David Puddy, from Seinfeld?

As for the link you posted: Can you tell me in what way, exactly, the US is *not* a collection of degraded buffoons?

mb

10:52 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

So Anjin's video got me thinking about Vidal. If you've never read it, check out his "obituary" for William F Buckley, its hilarious. https://www.truthdig.com/articles/gore-vidal-speaks-seriously-ill-of-the-dead-2/

coherence: Maybe I'm not looking at the data right, but the site you have linked doesn't seem to support what you are saying. The US trend line has followed other nations over the course of six months, but the last few weeks show something clearly different. https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus .

You're right about the mask thing, as far as I am aware the bulk of evidence ranges from inconclusive to slightly positive in support. But it seems to me that without having hard answers, its reasonable to defer to caution, and I'm not sure why that should be considered propaganda.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Makes one wonder if Lincoln’s repatriation of former slaves wasn’t such a crackpot idea after all, “here I can be who I am, a woman and not African American or black.” I can only dream of living somewhere I cld b myself.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2020/06/26/blaxit-black-americans-leave-us-escape-racism-build-lives-abroad/3234129001/

11:15 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB-

Please excuse the ridiculous typo on my previous post.

MB, Wafers-

Today, I meditated for six hrs to the face of Becky Bartlett:

https://news.nestia.com/detail/Man-burned-after-girlfriend-assaults-him-with-hot-pizza/4434935

Miles

ps: speaking of food:

"Hey, how come people don't have dip for dinner? Why is it only a snack, why can't it be a meal, you know? I don't understand stuff like that."
~David Puddy

11:35 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

As if things weren't bad enough, the world could be on the verge of a major debt crisis.

https://asiatimes.com/2020/06/covid-19-crisis-sparks-global-debt-risks/

11:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

I guess we can add Becky to the Wafer Hall of Fame. The 2 of them look like a couple of typical American douche bags.

Elaine: "David, I don't think we should see each other anymore."

Gunnar-

Gd article, v. interesting. It makes a lot more sense, imo, for black folks to leave the country, than stay and attempt to change it. It ain't gonna chg, and awful race relations will persist indefinitely into the future. No way, I wd wanna be black in America. (Or white in America, really; or brown, or yellow, or green...)

lack, Wudu-

There's very little evidence that the virus is some sort of conspiracy. We've discussed this b4, at some length, and I personally wd like to retire the argument. As for masks, my doctor told me they are basically placebos, and offer no real protection. But that's just one medico's opinion.

mb

12:31 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

mb - You make my point. Gunz is not problem. "The America" is.

Meanwhile, these guys are wreckin' it for me, who grew up with Aloha shirts and tiki torches as a normal part of life... https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/xg8g87/the-us-military-has-a-boogaloo-problem

1:55 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

alex-

None of this wd be happening if the gov't had read WAF ch. 4 and taken it seriously. When pigs fly.

mb

6:34 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Here's Jimmy Dore on why masks probably help: Do Masks Really Protect Against Covid?

Since for most people it's just a minor inconvenience, I'd respectfully suggest for everybody who can to wear them, even if you have reasonable doubts, just in case. Please don't be an ugly American and make a political issue out of it...

7:45 AM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

This is great. Headline:
"Foreign Affairs: Unrest continues for a seventh day in former British colony"

https://www.thaienquirer.com/13861/foreign-affairs-unrest-continues-for-a-seventh-day-in-former-british-colony/?fbclid=IwAR0nZOGzX4wAoIGBhkYjPzKB1VXZf5JKxzTG26WwkJZW3fUAVEO1XcoGIlc

7:59 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Malleus-

It's already a political issue, perhaps even more than a health issue, esp. since the mask might offer no protection at all (one possibility). It's become a symbol of Trumpites vs. Democrats, even tho 0 will chg very much if Schmiden is elected. Schmiden has no interest in structural chg, and wdn't be able to implement it even if he did. Which means that all of this is smoke and mirrors--theater, as I've said b4, an endless stream of beating off. Schmiden, Schmernie, Tulsi--who are we kidding? Propping up a completely dysfunctional country makes no sense at all. And it can hardly be propped up much longer. Storm clouds are gathering; the bubbas are in the military, and they are armed. The only real question is the *rate* of collapse. Non-collapse is not an option at this pt.

mb

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Yvette said...

Malleus + MB:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342198360_Association_of_country-wide_coronavirus_mortality_with_demographics_testing_lockdowns_and_public_wearing_of_masks_Update_June_15_2020

https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=72663A658255E-9956-1D9E-E447DE1953A64F6B

https://www.cnn.com/world/live-news/coronavirus-pandemic-06-24-20-intl/h_38c9519ac9e82e589476d0b5f529a048

https://www.forbes.com/sites/coronavirusfrontlines/2020/06/25/wearing-a-mask-is-a-sign-of-mutual-respect-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/

https://www.pennlive.com/news/2020/06/100-face-mask-use-could-crush-a-second-or-third-wave-of-covid-19-study.html

Hope you guys are wearing masks!

- Yvette

8:57 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Umair Haque thinks that the United States' economy is in free fall with no bottom in sight. Maybe our Suez Moment will be ongoing and barely believable for a developed country - more like a Suez decade.

https://eand.co/trumps-america-is-in-freefall-f1cafbb93461

I especially like the following highlighted statement:

"What the rest of the world understood that America didn’t is that public health and the economy go hand in hand....America’s staggeringly foolish leaders mostly thought the opposite was true: you had to sacrifice people’s lives for “the economy.” But the point of economy is your life."

In a nation of hustlers, the point of economy is self-enrichment and now getting rich going from crisis to crisis and it looks more and more like there'll be no shortage of crises.

11:39 AM  
Blogger Roger Blakely said...

I feel alienated and disgusted with America's best and brightest. An excerpt posted yesterday at the news aggregator www.theautomaticearth.com from a post by Jonathan Turley got me thinking.
https://jonathanturley.org/2020/05/25/why-joe-biden-can-do-no-wrong/

I used to like Katha Pollitt. I used to like Henry Giroux. But Orange Man Bad has revealed that the left-of-center of our chattering class belongs in the loony bin. They have lost all credibility.

I'm not too excited about sexual assault allegations in the first place, but Katha Pollitt completely contradicts herself with her views on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh versus her views on Joe Biden. Did it ever matter that Brett Kavanaugh didn't do anything?

Henry Giroux is upset about Attorney General Bill Barr cleaning up the mess that is the Justice Department. Did it ever matter that Orange Man didn't do anything? Did it ever matter that Orange Man's former national security advisor, General Flynn, didn't do anything?

As a stomp-down Marxist, I am dismayed to see that the left-of-center portion of the chattering class is operating in full flight from reality. This is not going to help anything.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Yoogoogulator said...

Anjin-san,

Thank you for the Gore Vidal doc. link which was excellent.

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

Hello Wafers:

"Gotta support the team."

Here's yet another reason to nuke Toronto:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sivIxRVM4Ko&feature=player_embedded

Say, ya ever notice how you could lose your job for saying "niggardly" at work, while nobody notices if you use "denigrate" in a sentence?

1:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Yvette-

Thanks for the info. I wonder if there are any other studies that go in the opposite direction.

al-

I wd recommend a vigorous nuking of Toronto, except that I have friends there. As for 'niggardly'--that exact thing happened to a gov't worker in DC around 2006. The Wash Post suggested that dictionaries be distributed to all gov't agencies. The guy didn't say, Fuck you; instead, he resigned, and apologized to the black community. We were nuts even then.

Roger-

I am not able to think of a single reason as to why progs shd not be beaten to w/in an inch of their lives, and then thrown on a dung heap.

mb

1:33 PM  
Blogger anderszornpalette said...

The late Carl Sagan could see it coming. Why couldn’t anyone else except for the few on this blog and Peter Turchin?

‘I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time -- when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness...‘

http://www.openculture.com/2017/01/carl-sagan-predicts-the-decline-of-america.html

4:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tim-

Cdn't run it. We have a half-pg-max rule on this blog. Pls edit down and re-send. Thank you.

anders-

It's gd, but Sagan omitted to add: "When nearly all of our citizens have turned into mindless buffoons, and celebrate hustling and violence as the preferred way to live."

mb

4:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Tampuccino Dept.: I'd like to go on record saying that I'm in favor of Starbucks putting tampons in every cappuccino they serve. Why shd the cops get all the attention?:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jun/27/police-lie-fast-food-poisoning-how-can-we-trust-them

5:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Michael-

I think I mused abt the possibility recently, that the Suez Moment might consist of one mini-defeat after another, until it all added up to the rest of the world no longer regarding the US as a major player. One example is the recent EU decision (or is it still being considered?) to deny American citizens or residents entry into EU nations. That's actually staggering, in a way. This because of our total botch of the virus situation, of course, but wdn't it be great if one day, they barred us from entry because our way of life was toxic--a different type of virus, as it were. "You can't come here because you are narcissistic and destructive, are little more than a bunch of hustlers, and in short, are awful human beings." Now *that* wd be a Suez Moment!

mb

5:42 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman & Wafers,
Enjoy another entertaining tirade by your average U.S. citizen screaming about his “freedom” being taken away because he has to wear a mask.

https://www.towleroad.com/2020/06/mad-dog/?fbclid=IwAR3iHdoskC9o-mJhCF7xQ12B3h5k_cPhiX1D_6-nAyg3Ur5PBj1rQYU8VJE

p.s. Is it just I? Or does it seem to others here that the only two words that ever come out of most Americans’ mouths ( like two sides of a broken record) are “the Constitution” and “my freedom”?

7:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Joe-

Just look at that face. This *is* America! I get a kick out of all the fancy analyses published in the NYT and elsewhere, by enlightened bozos. It's not that complicated: if you realize that 99+% of the country are morons, how we got into this mess (various messes) becomes quite clear. What are we but progs, bubbas, and douche bags? What else was gonna happen, as a result?

mb

8:33 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Chris Hedges in what appears to be his most WAFER-Like interview...

https://youtu.be/tCDd3VoAFUs



Here’s an interesting WAFER-Like interview with Harold Bloom...I believe he died shortly after this interview...

https://youtu.be/FCeIvt9CDlI

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Roger Clarke said...

John Gray on Surveillance Capitalism Vs. The Surveillance State for Noema magazine. Many thanks to Martin O'Reilly for bringing it to my attention.
https://www.noemamag.com/surveillance-capitalism-vs-the-surveillance-state/

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Tim said...

I'm non-elite to the core. Working all day, all week at two near-minimum-wage jobs? Check. A renter--and at a non-upscale property? Check. At home in "flyover country"? Check. Etc.

But here's a secret: I go above and beyond to be an educated participant in democracy. You should see the length of the list of books I've read. That's not counting the periodicals, papers, blogs, etc. From radical democracy to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, there's not much I've not explored.

Shh! Don't tell the "progressives". They think that non-elites like me are bigoted, morally depraved ignoramuses.

I was going to ask where these "progressives" came from. But even non-elites have an occasional Sat. off:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/oct/01/how-a-disastrous-change-in-perspective-disempowered-the-left-and-let-the-right-rise

https://unherd.com/2018/07/liberal-smugness-will-destroy-left/

10:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tim-

Since you read a lot, check out essay #15 in AWTY.

mb

11:02 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

MB - In a response to Malleus you made reference to Schmiden, Schmernie, and Tulsi--
Why does Tulsi get a pass when Scmulsi has the best sound of all?

12:12 AM  
Anonymous Another Schmoe said...

Tim, I'm not even a prog but I have been around them a lot over the years. Here's a secret: they don't spend much time worrying about you flyover state types. They worry more about their stock portfolio and the latest consumer fads. Truly you'd be disappointed in how little they consider or care about your level of erudition.

2:04 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

comrade-

Yr abs. rt. Schmulsi wd be better, altho Tulsi has a faint ring of stupidity to it already. But Schmulsi smacks of emulsify, wh/is what happened to her pathetic campaign. However, I like Tulsi because her philosophy of life, profound as it is, shd be characterized as Tulsism, whereas Schmulsism sounds a bit overwrought. We need to have Jack L. weigh in on this, I suppose. In these tormented times, it's certainly a crucial issue.

mb

4:37 AM  
Anonymous Adam Vanderbrouk said...

Roger Clarke-

https://unherd.com/2020/06/the-case-for-taking-more-risks/

John Gray reviews Why We Drive: On Freedom, Risk and Taking Back Control by Matthew Crawford in UnHerd:
https://unherd.com/2020/06/the-case-for-taking-more-risks/

"The case for taking more risks: Matthew Crawford's new book is one of the most original works of practical philosophy to be published in years"

7:46 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Greetings from Cascadia, Wafers everywhere,

Comrade raises a legitimate issue, Scmulsi versus Schmiden versus Tulsi, potential choices for the Merican future. I think three points are relevant. First, to attract adherents, ease of pronunciation is important; Schmiden and Tulsi leap the bar, Scmulsi (Skumulski? Sicmullsee?) do not. Second, Schmiden is an empty vessel and Tulsi is a half-empty one, whereas one wonders if a Scmulsi can hold anything at all (I won’t speculate on the ramifications for bowel condition). (Point of comparison: Trumpi is an anti-vessel, explosive when in contact with Reality.) And thirdly, America has no future, so what’s the point. Anyway, that’s the view from the Northwest Center for Tulsism this morning.

Before signing off, I do have one link to offer in the hope that all continue to remain well, an opinion piece by a medical doctor presenting a rationale for wearing a mask during the coronavirus pandemic, an item found by my spouse in the Wenatchee WA newspaper:

https://www.wenatcheeworld.com/news/coronavirus/opinion-dr-malcolm-butler-why-you-should-wear-a-mask-it-s-the-air-you/article_998e2394-b5a1-11ea-b609-27e947f1e3fe.html

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Flabster said...

Wagers and Waferettes (I capitalized this time), I am finding more and more evidence of end of empire.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2020-06-09/how-hegemony-ends

10:47 AM  
Blogger Amazed! said...

@ jjarden.

Sorry, but you’re not welcome here!
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/06/26/europe/eu-coronavirus-travel-ban-us-intl/index.html

However, if you do eventually get in think drought. There are serious water issues in S Europe.

Good luck.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Cherith Cutestory said...

Dr. Rich Davis shows the significant effect of wearing a mask:

https://twitter.com/richdavisphd/status/1276629360212979712?s=21

"First, I sneezed, sang, talked & coughed toward an agar culture plate with or without a mask. Bacteria colonies show where droplets landed. A mask blocks virtually all of them."

12:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Flabster-

Thanks for the capitals. However, we aren't Wagers. We don't bet on anything except the collapse of the US.

mb

12:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Here's a shock:

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/06/28/politics/floyd-police-reform-unlikely/index.html

When I said bupkis, I meant bupkis.

12:42 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

I enjoyed this column by George Will. I think it hits some points that have been made throughout the GSWH blog over the years. At least I imagine so. You’ll be the judge.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/most-of-todays-intelligentsia-cannot-think/2020/06/25/987cf0c4-b714-11ea-a8da-693df3d7674a_story.html

12:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Schmoe-

Cdn't run it. We have a rule on this blog: post only once every 24 hrs, max. Thank you.

Jas-

Gd essay. When I say the nation is a collection of morons, I am *including* the elite. The fact that they read, and the rest of the country doesn't, is neither here nor there, because their rdg doesn't make any difference for their understdg or their behavior. Who cd be dumber than David Brooks, or Thos Friedman? So the elite sits around rdg Camus, or maybe even Thos Merton, and perhaps even quotes them in articles. But what these writers are saying doesn't enter the guts of the elite, their heart and soul, even 1%. The professional middle and upper classes are as much stuck in their formulaic thinking as are the bubbas, just in a different direction. It's all Manichaean mantras; no serious critical analysis is at work. High IQs make no difference at all; shit for brains remains the American condition across the board. As I've said b4, this is a major factor in our collapse.

mb

ps: How long b4 the NYT endorses tearing down statues of George Washington? He was a big-time slaveholder, after all.

2:03 PM  
Blogger dermot said...

Bupkis indeed. Just an eruption of rage. A heat sink that will result in little material benefit to those in need, but one that provides catharsis for the mostly middle class / white protesters.

1. Lip service to the problem of "structural" racism.
2. Focus on an endless series of persecutors (and not on actual structures/economics).
3. Complete avoidance of class analysis.
4. Demonise actual socialists for "class reductionism" (i.e., racism).
5. Attack symbols, signs and words (statues, etc)
6. Lots of self-serving humbuggery about "Allyship".
7. 90% of the protesters are (I fear) not anti-cop but anti-Trump.
8. 'Woke' capitalism 'saves' the day.

#7: If Biden wins, expect most protesters to vanish like the anti-war ones did in November 2008.

#8: 'woke' capitalism will commodify dissent (only on the level of symbols: Aunt Jemima, etc). Right wing morons will enter the symbolic fray to defend their idiot's portion of the Post-modern smogscape. POMO sewage all the way down.

A meme went around FB a couple of years back about how other countries are better than the US by doing the opposite of the US. Well, same goes for the US 'left'. EU/international lefties should look at what the American left does, and do the opposite.

2:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

dermot-

Yeah...yeah...Americans, regardless of color or race, don't know shit from Shinola. Only symbols will change, not the cops or the econ. system that grinds black people into the dirt. (A recent article noted that economically speaking, black people are in the same situation now that they were in 1950.) The Woodrow Wilson Schl will become the Institute for Political Correctness, or whatever. What utter buffoonery. (Christopher Lasch, 1979: Having discovered, in the sixties, that we couldn't change the things that mattered, we decided, in the seventies, to put our energy into changing the things that didn't.)

mb

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

You see, American life is in a subtle way so one-sided and so uprooted that you must have something with which to compensate the real nature of man.

You have to pacify your unconscious all along the line because it is in absolute uproar; so at the slightest provocation you have a big moral rebellion in America.

Look at the rebellion of modern youth in America, the sexual rebellion, and all that.

These rebellions occur because the real, natural man is just in open rebellion against the utterly inhuman form of American life.

Americans are absolutely divorced from nature in a way, and that accounts for that drug abuse.


~Carl Jung, Conversations with C.G. Jung, Page 35.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

Cherith - I'd like to think if we had competent national leadership showing this kind of thing from the beginning of the crisis, it would have made a difference, but this is America, so probably not. Getting Americans to think of the welfare of people that don't go to their church is a difficult enterprise.

Speaking of brainless elites, The Don is an elite who probably loathes his own supporters, but you could argue he is carrying on an American tradition. Jefferson, Madison, Adams - these were not normal men, and property qualifications for voting were not rescinded in the majority of states until the 1820's. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_voting_rights_in_the_United_States . At least the elites of yesteryear had brains in their heads, Jefferson was a genius, whatever else you want to say about him.

Now instead of public intellectuals we have public entertainers like Kanye West. Why should we listen to what this clown has to say about policy? People like Chomsky and Nader have been totally brushed aside, and I don't see a wave of younger thinkers ready to replace them.


3:48 PM  
Blogger anderszornpalette said...

Here’s another bratty American throwing a tantrum about wearing a mask. Poor Trader Joe’s employees have to put up with this shit for very little in return.

https://twitter.com/LovesTheBern/status/1277293684656967681?s=20

And just to add some understanding to the “mask vs no mask" issue, I think this fella explains it in a way anyone should be able to grasp.

https://youtu.be/NkN8yCWSGus

3:48 PM  
Anonymous AJ Cornyn said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0V9ifOzQzlc

A True Amish Story - A Inside Look At The Amish Lifestyle And The Clash Between God & Rules shuned

Interesting documentary film on an Amish family's life. Alternative living in America

4:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

anders-

A douche baguette in action! I love it. Of course, it might be argued that all Americans are bratty, to some degree. Me! Me!

Wudu-

I'd like to see Kanye and Kim in the W.H. We are fast approaching "Idiocracy" (great film).

mb

4:35 PM  
Blogger Janet D said...

This article (posted on Buzzfeed News...I'm not very familiar with BF or how reliable it is) claims that "Police in the US have not gone more than two days without fatally shooting someone since 2015". While the article is chilling in itself, the comments are.....Jesus. MuriKKKa.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/melissasegura/george-floyd-other-men-killed-by-police?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Whomever posted the link to Gore Vidal...thank you, that was FABULOUS.

Springing off of jjarden's question...my 17-yo son will graduate hs next year. He has an amazing brain (& fabulous academic stats) - he reads at least 5 books a week on every topic imaginable. He wants to attend college in another country (& hopefully then stay), but is unsure where, as he wonders if the West isn't all eventually headed down the same path as the US. He is interested in engineering or health care/medical. He's had 5 years of Spanish but is open to learning another language. We're researching it now, but I'm just wondering if anyone here has any wisdom to offer for a young person?

Stay safe....and the infectious disease specialist in my extended family says the masks are for protecting other people (by containing your own respiratory droplets...this is an airborne-spread disease), not the mask-wearer.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Vince said...

Peter Joseph posted this link from his Twitter page:

https://time.com/5852397/turchin-2020-prediction/?amp=true&__twitter_impression=true

Peace,
Vince

5:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Janet-

If college catalogues for foreign countries are posted online, he might check their majors in engineering and pre-med. Germany, for example, must have some excellent university engr. depts., but then he shd start learning the language rt now.

mb

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Chet Huntley said...

Long time lurker and native WAFER.

Thanks for the best blog ever.

Thought you might enjoy this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRwMmStJPL0

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Nat said...

" BREAKING— GOP operatives are for the first time raising the possibility that Donald Trump could drop out of the race if his poll numbers don’t rebound. Over the weekend I spoke to a sample of major players; one described Trumps current psyche as “fragile.” I’mnot convinced yet; he’s got time and he’s running against an opponent who is literally hiding in his basement. Plus the public isn’t focusing yet on just how left wing Joe Biden has become, so much so, he can bring himself to denounce rioting.That said the speculation indicates how tense GOP operatives are about Trump losing and the party losing the senate and having their entire agenda abolished in a leftist wave election. Again lots of time and Trump has endured a horrible couple of months but that’s the snap shop"

Charles Gaspirino, FOX Business correspondent

Trump dropping out would be the perfectly insane ending to his insane term. Then Trumpi supporters would insist he would have won, and increase their power within the GOP. My thoughts.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Chet-

And here I thought you were dead. Well, give my regards to David.

Glad u came out of the closet. Don't lurk; live!

GBOE: Greatest Blog On Earth. No question. You know, sometimes I hear of people going to other blogs, and I just shake my head. WTF? It's all here; we've got everything. Why in the world defile yrself by going to another blog? I just can't figure it.

Vince-

Something I've said a # of times: the US is going to be a v. different place in 2030. Just wait.

mb

6:38 PM  
Blogger Arthur V. said...

Dr. Berman, if I may I would like to make a point and see if anyone has a comment. As I watch the continued insanity in the United States response to Covid I have to wonder if deep down most people realize the game is up. I just saw a video of hundreds of folks at a Dallas night club. And of course today our wonderful vice-president spoke to thousands at a mega church in the same city. It just doesn't seem enough to write these folks off as morons. Morons on good number probably are, but something deeper is going on.

Thirty years ago I hung out with a guy in the same business as me. You know, after work beers once in awhile. He believed that the reason no one ever spoke of posterity anymore was because they knew, on some level, that there wasn't going to be a posterity. After all, the Indians always talked about posterity, and so did the Founding Fathers. But not now. One hardly ever hears the term. So, I wonder, if deep down, maybe not articulated as well as we'd like, people of all stripes know there isn't a future for what we have now. They have decided. . .the hell with it. Just my thoughts on what I'm seeing. Stay safe all.

7:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Arthur-

Many thanks for yr speculation. You cd be rt, but there's no way to know for sure. I suspect that the ignoring of lockdown and social distancing is heavily motivated by being fed up. After 2 or 3 mos. of that, a lot of people just can't take it any more, and say 'fuck it' to the risk of getting the virus.

On a larger scale, however, most Americans are living in a state of suppressed hysteria. All of the spiritual literature I have read over the yrs, and what I personally experienced during long meditation retreats, suggest 2 things: one, there is an innate drive in every human being toward healing, toward wholeness; and two, the way to tap into that energy is to stay in the present (like watching yr breath). This is what provides an anchor, or grounding, in one's life. When Falun Gong tried to practice this in China, some yrs ago, the Chinese gov't was so threatened that it brutally tortured members of the organization. It wanted the Chinese people to find their 'anchor' in communism, in the state, not in some inner authority. The American approach is also brutal, but in a different way: the attachment is to consumer goods, and spread out across one's lifetime. China is Orwell, America is Huxley, in other words. But to continue w/the American case, the consumer gds approach, aka the American Dream, simply cannot satisfy that deep spiritual longing that all of us have. No amount of cars, houses, cell fones, TVs, vacations, money, celebrity status, drugs, organized religion, New Age 'religion', sex, alcohol, career achievement, etc. can touch that place at the center; it's all chasing phantoms. Only now, w/the collapse of the American Dream, it's gotten more extreme, more hysterical. The formula never really worked, but now it is exposed as a mirage. Americans are not anchored in any higher consciousness (actually experienced); I doubt that 0.1% meditate on a regular basis. People w/genuine spiritual lives don't trample other people to death at Wal-Mart so that they can buy a DVD player for $29. So it's not quite that Americans are saying 'to hell with it'; it's more that they now carry an anxiety bordering on terror, because they don't know what to do. Going to church, the beach, night clubs and so on is denial, and distraction activity; as tho what was coming down wasn't really coming down. But I agree w/u, that posterity is the last thing on their minds.

Race riots, plague, and widespread depression signal the end of a way of life. Johan Huizinga wrote abt this for the collapse of feudalism in "The Waning of the Middle Ages." I have lectured a # of times on "The Waning of the Modern Ages," because as capitalism implodes--accelerated by race riots and plague--people living thru these global types of changes have a sense that there is no meaning in their lives. "Things fall apart; the center cannot hold/Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world," wrote Yeats. That is what is happening today.

mb

8:57 PM  
Blogger Del Gord said...

Vince,
Thanks for the citation to the article. It ends
“Unfortunately,” he says, “things are not as bad as they can be.” He is Peter Turchin. I would amend the quote to “Unfortunately things are not as bad as they will be.”

Onward to the abyss.

9:09 PM  
Blogger The Wanderer said...

Hola Wafers!

MB mentioned this and here's the latest! The draft list of countries allowed to enter the EU does NOT include the one that is covered in poop.

https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/draft-list-of-countries-permitted-to-enter-eu-when-borders-reopen-on-july-1/?fbclid=IwAR2rCFhtqJ0w-u0g1tVQtaJBpYlqRXV7PwB6AtLEqKBrF81V3TUanWkHoVw

9:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wanderer-

But is it hot poop, or cold poop? Personally, I find the latter disgusting.

mb

9:19 PM  
Blogger Market Message said...

Dr. Berman,

Since this is quite possibly the beginning of the end, I have two questions. First, is there any existing "monasticism" to preserve culture as you described in the Twilight of American Culture. Second, what, if anything, do you, see is worth saving?

It seemed to me that the one thing the U.S. Constitution got right was dividing power to give desperate groups a chance. The concentration of power in the wrong hands, usually a government, almost any -ism, or religion seems to lead to the worst atrocities.

Unfortunately, we seem to be close to reverting to "might makes right." It seems that Ayn Rand's "mystics of the mind" and her "mystics of muscle" have brought us to this point.

10:06 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

"The bloody horrors of Pinochet showed how capitalism will act when it's threatened" - https://medium.com/@rainershea612/the-bloody-horrors-of-pinochet-showed-how-capitalism-will-respond-when-its-threatened-e723fd1fb442

I think the 2nd paragraph is the most important.

Janet - For anyone planning to escape for say, free college in another country, learn the language and tout de suite. Spanish would get him able to function in Spain, and he might be able to go to college there. Any EU country. But he'll have to sneak in because the EU's closed to US'ians now.

10:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Market-

I regularly get email in my Inbox from something called "Intentional Communities." And I'm guessing there are religious groups, Christian/Buddhist/Other, that exist and are pursuing community goals. So I'm assuming that there are folks out there trying to form such things, but I have no idea as to whether their goal is to preserve Western culture. As for what is worth saving in Western culture: man, ya gotta be kidding. You might cruise the shelves of the NYPL, just for starters. Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Jerry Seinfeld...and that's just in the category of humor. Move on to Hawthorne and Melville...(etc.)

Of course, this blog is a virtual attempt to do something of the sort. Virtual bonds are not the same as ones that are embodied, face to face, but Waferdom functions as an oasis for those who are serious abt their lives, and abt wanting to live in reality. The thing was thrust upon me in 2006 by my then agent and editor at Norton; I didn't really wanna do it. But as time went by, I saw they were rt. There is a tiny # of folks who see virtual monasticism as being better than no monasticism, and want to participate in it with other like-minded people. In an odd way, there is a lot of love on this blog, and I take some pride in weeding out the trollfoons and life-haters over the yrs. But I pose only as a facilitator, not as any type of guru. If I can provide some insight and a locus for discussion, that's gd enuf for me.

In terms of culture, one might start by chasing down the footnote refs in my books; and in addition, the # of movies, bks, articles, video clips, and other sources of intellectual/humanistic richness posted here by Wafers has been enormous over the last 14 yrs. This is a very smart crowd, but more important, a crowd committed to the unity of head and heart. We cannot change America, wh/is obviously a lost cause, but we can fish a few people out of the drink. Among an extremely tiny minority, there is a thirst for truth, for no-bullshit discussion, and my own feeling is that that is worth fighting for. Monastic role models: Gandhi, Thomas Merton, the silence of a Quaker mtg. As the Quakers like to say, "Let your *life* speak." We aren't perfect, but we do know the difference between shit and Shinola. And if we do eventually disappear, along w/the rest of the US, like a Tibetan sand painting in the wind, so what? What else shd we be doing w/our time?

mb

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Tim said...

Schmoe:

Apparently for a long time I was asleep and having what felt like a good dream. In the U.S. you were either a liberal or a conservative. I was, for lack of a better word, an "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" kind of liberal. I highly valued education, especially the liberal arts kind. I believed in lifelong learning beyond formal education in order to be an effective, positive participant in liberal democracy. My wish was to serve others, not to live the American Dream. Then, apparently, I woke up and saw people called "progressives". I couldn't relate to them. They seemed hostile to everything I had sacrificed for. I had no clue who they were, where they came from, or when they arrived. Yesterday I finally found some clues; I shared them here. Nothing more, nothing less.

12:01 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

The history of Coney Island...

https://youtu.be/7C5kxkBPhpE

Hustles included an elephant-themed brothel, paid admission to see a burnt amusement park, and the public execution of a 'bad' elephant by hanging, electrocution, and poison. Thomas Edison participated in this last attraction.

The best metaphor for America may be a giant theme park with Trump as carney in chief.

It's fascinating how amusement rides never seem to last more than 5-10 years. Amusement is the endless craving for the new that is never satisfied. It naturally goes hand in hand with technology, as technology likewise provides endlessly stimulating new techniques without reflection.

You know you live in a techno-barbarist society when premature babies kept alive in incubators are put on display in an amusement park. We've been pursuing the shock of the new and the technically proficient for a century now; it's the DNA of the society down to our recreation.

1:46 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Check this out:

https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/federal-chief-judge-steps-down-after-racially-insensitive-remarks/2387676/#:~:text=The%20chief%20judge%20of%20the,woman%2C%20according%20to%20a%20report.

7:35 AM  
Anonymous Tomaz said...

Benjamin Netanyahu maintaining vow to annex West Bank land by July 1https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jun/28/benjamin-netanyahu-vow-annex-west-bank-land-moves-/

Netanyahu continues accelerating the collapse of Israel's western ties

9:23 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Any honest white person will know that the judge's comments on street smarts are very benign, were probably meant as complimentary. And are nothing compared the kind of racist remarks made day after day when Blacks are not in the room. I know from experience that calling people out, even mildly and with humor, for unambiguously racist remarks can have severe consequences for job security and status. And again, any honest white person will know that this has been the norm for decades. Easy to clutch pearls over the present newspeak and its victims. But in term of actual effect and damage done, this is all dialectical sprinkles on a cake that was baked up long ago.

I think people need to pay attention to where the power lies and who benefits from particular stories and reports. While this judge at least recognized that others were upset, however misguided that upset may be, this is nothing compared to what those who see any leftist critique as jokes and dismiss them out of hand will do and have done to damage lives.

Check out the effectiveness of the US Covid-19 response. USA #1!!!! People can overcome bad analysis and overwrought PC BS. If they are still alive.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/06/25/why-socialized-system-medicare-all-beats-profit-healthcare-one-chart-covid-19

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

Professor Richard Wolff "explains the dire direction our economy is headed towards as unemployment continues to skyrocket."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vCc20i2aco#t=0m43s



10:26 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

He believed that the reason no one ever spoke of posterity anymore was because they knew, on some level, that there wasn't going to be a posterity.

Arthur, here is a good article explaining this.

https://jacobitemag.com/2019/03/18/at-the-end-of-white-male-history/

Also, I would highly recommend Patrick Deneen's "Why Liberalism Failed." He explains that Liberalism is a solvent that dissolves the traditional. What you are left with is a destruction of everything that roots you to the past, while also promising an empty future. One is stuck in a meaningless eternal present. To have to live like that is a drag, to say the least. The only Whitepill is that Liberalism is drawing down on a well that isn't being refilled. It needs the Western tradition to survive. In short; this wont last.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

I luv this guy:

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-06-28/donald-trump-approval-ratings-election

Trump continues to enjoy an 85% approval rating among Republicans. In many ways, his first term was foreplay. His second term will be an unremitting ass fuck. What's not to luv? Go Trumpi!

Miles

11:34 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman & Wafers,
Enjoy this video. And don’t forget to peruse through the pictures and check out these disheveled, white trash, counter-protesting Trump supporters with their weapons in this hick Pennsylvania town. No wonder why Trump won this state in 2016. LOL!

https://www.rawstory.com/2020/06/you-live-off-of-white-people-woman-screams-profanities-at-black-lives-matter-activists-in-pennsylvania/?fbclid=IwAR0TwxGnF8Lv1j1FaaPQ0YY1V6T5lhPGW0TBH6uao5s-jk09wrgjbJ44RX4

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Seneca's Cliff said...

Hello Morris,
I am a long time lurker, first time poster but my Wafer credentials are solid. I read "re enchantment" in 1982 as a sophomore on "the hill"where I checked out the copy that had just hit the shelves of the little library behind the coffee house in Anabel Taylor Hall. I couldn't help but post when I saw this in the news.

https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/st-louis-couple-threatens-protesters-wit-idUSRTS3GM5X

Could there be a better symbol of America than this couple brandishing firearms , facing the BLM marchers in front of their mansion?

1:31 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Apparently white women aren't allowed to braid their hair or wear "corn rows" b/c it's "cultural appropriation." What will the master class apologize for next?

https://www.eonline.com/news/1165620/florence-pugh-apologizes-for-her-past-quot-cultural-appropriation-quot-actions

We now have a name for people who freak out in grocery stores over mask wearing, "Karen" I suppose this replaces "going postal." (Showing my age I know)

https://www.tmz.com/videos/062820-grocery-store-4809779-0-3j9ljpsa/

Fuck John Wayne! (just don't tell anyone how adored he was or how many Americans agree w/ him to this day, man talk about starting a war)

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/28/us/john-wayne-airport-name-change-orange-county-democrats/index.html

As for what to preserve I'd suggest the Library of Congress

1:54 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

HAHAHA!!! These Bubba’s should have pulled out the BAZOOKAS!!!



Couple draw guns at crowd heading to St. Louis mayor's home

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A white couple stood outside their mansion and pointed guns at protesters in St. Louis as the group march...


https://apnews.com/def4fbb664edeac24746cc7af0c5c555

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Cindy Lupkin said...

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-53218704

Just wait till the next pandemic "spillover"

4:16 PM  
Anonymous C Rush said...

BREAKING: California man, 74, pleads guilty, admits he is Golden State Killer 

https://www.ajc.com/news/california-man-pleads-guilty-admits-golden-state-killer/4ks8ojSMfm9ZBnv7QEewVN/

That guy's face IS America

4:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jack L.-

Just got yr Tulsi dollars. I intend to spend them wisely. Also enjoyed Wafer stamps: American values of hustling, consuming, and demented narcissism. Onward, to self-destruction!

Cindy-

Why do I have the impression that we are totally, and irrevocably, fucked?

jj-

O dem bubbas! Why didn't Trumpola equip them w/a nuclear device?

Gunnar-

Next apology: scroll back, to link abt judge stepping down for saying his black female ass't was 'street smart'. Me, I thought it was a compliment.

Seneca-

One thing that bothers me is weak Wafer credentials. Glad to hear yrs are solid. When I was at Cornell, A.T. Hall didn't have a coffee house, let alone a library. Anyway, that bk was the 1st in a trilogy, in case you didn't know. Give my regards to Davy.

Joe-

O dem bubbas!

Jeff-

Gd news, obviously. I'm already thinking abt his 3rd term.

mb

5:23 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

Morris, you've touched on the spiritual issue over the years and I think it can't be overstated. Americans are a people who are fundamentally off-balance, and I think it explains a lot of these public "freak-outs" that are happening.

For a lot of Americans who have no spiritual center (or however you want to put it), there is only a thin layer between their inner anxiety and the outside world, so when anything happens - they explode. Whether its because they had to wait 5 minutes for their fries to be done at mcdonalds or because they were asked to wear a mask indoors. The people I've known over the years who most bought into the American Dream - money, material things, success and all that, often have had the most addictions. Like alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, tv, gambling, and sometimes all at once. I mean, I like a beer now and then but the key is moderation.

Market - agreed. Tho I would add Americans have always underestimated corporate power. We are always on the watch for kings and queens but asleep at the wheel when it comes to tyranny coming from another source. Lookup "inverted totalitarianism" by sheldon wolin. We have a system where whoever raises the most corporate money wins office, and we call it democracy, what a joke.

To keep the Gore Vidal train going - "The united states was founded by the brightest people in the country and we haven't seen them since."

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Will Reese said...

https://twitter.com/tariqkrim/status/1277274078475358215

A remarkable depiction of the future from post-war France

6:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

lack-

Can't argue this w/u anymore, sorry. Time to pick a different topic.

mb

6:49 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

Since we are discussing the ongoing implosion of Capitalism, among other things related to US collapse, below is a Waferesque article titled "The Horrible Costs of a Fake Word" (i.e. Capitalism):https://www.transcend.org/tms/2020/06/the-horrible-costs-of-a-fake-word/
Excerpts: "First of all, any ‘-ism’ cannot be trusted blindly because – over time – it becomes a hindrance to individual growth. Anyone promoting or even naively adopting an ‘-ism’ is likely living or hiding ‘in a box’, which state blocks his or her individual progress.It is only when we discard ALL ‘-isms’ – including the ever-so-venerable Buddhism! – that we are forced to go back to basics, to reality, and in particular to the reality of suffering. Nothing else is then left to build a world view that makes sense. A new day dawns!...By giving overwhelming importance only to the hoard of stored value, we miss out on the vitality – the spirit and the joy of life! – generated by all other human values and talents. We pay a huge opportunity cost for that error, which leads eventually to breakup of society.Indeed, this is already happening in one rather prominent society.The Italian word capo, as made famous in the phrase capo di tutti capi, also derives from the same Latin word caput. As our good friend Antonio C.S. Rosa likes to put it: ‘Capitalism is no different from gangsterism’. We now see that etymology supports his point strongly! The right term to describe such human behaviour is not ‘capitalism’ but limitless greed. No ideology can cure limitless greed; but any ideology can be used as its fig leaf."

Himanshu

7:42 PM  
Blogger anderszornpalette said...

Last paragraph of this article hits on some of this blog’s sentiments.

"But a civilisation that uproots itself will soon wither and die. Able to destroy but not to build, the fading civilisation of liberalism is now a grand, crumbling old edifice whose imminent collapse is wilfully ignored by its occupants, because they have too much invested in it, and can’t imagine what can possibly replace it. But as its unstable masonry keeps falling onto the streets below, the risk of a more spectacular, uncontrolled collapse gathers every day."


https://unherd.com/2020/06/the-wests-monumental-crisis/?=thepostindexfrmemail

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Vince said...

@Del Gord,

You are welcome. Peter Joseph is definitely a Wafer.
I highly recommend the Zeitgeist Trilogy.


Dr. Berman,
Would you consider being a guest on the Nature Bats Last radio program if invited by Dr. Guy McPherson? Most of his current focus is on social commentary as opposed to climate change.

Peace,
Vince

8:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Vince-

Sure, why not? Cd be interesting, esp. if we avoid climate chg, abt wh/I dunno v. much.

mb

8:34 PM  
Anonymous Royce said...

“Apologists for cancel culture can find reasons to stigmatize or banish anyone. For some, the destruction of social goods like academic freedom and political pluralism is merely collateral damage if the goal is seen as just.”

America's Jacobin Moment

https://www.wsj.com/articles/americas-jacobin-moment-11592867349



"Hong Kong, with 7.5 mil­lion res­i­dents, is one of the most densely pop­u­lated places on earth, but recorded only six deaths from Covid-19 de­spite hav­ing no lock­down....The mask com­pliance rate dur­ing morn­ing rush hour is 97%"

Masks Could Help Stop Coronavirus. So Why Are They Still Controversial?
Confusing government advice at the start of the pandemic and cultural misgivings may have limited acceptance

https://www.wsj.com/articles/masks-could-help-stop-coronavirus-so-why-are-they-still-controversial-11593336601



8:48 PM  
Anonymous Hans Castorp said...

Here's a germane quote from J. Michener's memoir "The World Is My Home" -

"During the brief period when McCarthyism threatened freedom in the United States I reflected on Mussolini's prediction: 'Each nation will acquire the fascism to which it is entitled.' The shameful behavior of our government in those years confirmed a belief I'd had for some time: that it would be easy, if the United States turned sour, to establish Nazi-like concentration camps in almost any part of our nation and find eager recruits to staff them. It was clear that the eternal vigilance that Thomas Jefferson and other patriots had urged would always be required."

10:42 PM  
Blogger Arthur V. said...

Christian, thanks for the info.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Hans-

I predicted fascism was likely for the US in CTOS (1989). 31 yrs later, we're on the cusp.

mb

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Tim said...

MB: AWTY is on the way (online retailer).

Tragically, I don't think I've read enough. Wish I cld replace all the, oh, CNN with, oh, Plato.

Major void: fiction. Other than for school, none. No idea where to start.

Been wanting to learn more about the Rosenbergs. Asked co-workers for input. They have no idea who/what I'm talking about. Sigh.

I'll find a good book on the topic. The unpredictability of reading; didn't expect it here (16th paragraph):

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/08/12/postmodern-sexual-identity/#gsc.tab=0

Predictable: a prescription for "progress".

12:32 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tim-

Try "Restoration," by Rose Tremain.

Rosenbergs: Sam Roberts, "The Brother"

Yr coworkers wdn't be able to identify Dwight Eisenhower (give it a try).

mb

12:39 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Yeah yeah this is about climate change but it's really well done and damned interesting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7wehvxZLAs

5:55 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

American drug overdose deaths are rising amid the coronavirus pandemic.

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/06/29/pandemic-unleashes-a-spike-in-overdose-deaths-345183

6:38 AM  
Anonymous Flabster said...

What, another major news site goes Wafer?

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-06-29/coronavirus-brings-american-decline-out-in-the-open

9:04 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Flab-

You'd think I'd at least get an honorable mention!

mb

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

Let the hustling begin (if it hasn't already):

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/06/30/new-corporate-swag-branded-masks-sanitizer-spray-bottles-zoom-vanity-light-rings/

9:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pastrami-

I'm working w/a rebel group that wants to market a bottle of gel that Americans can ram up their asses. Problem: their heads are in the way.

mb

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Seneca's Cliff said...

For the last couple of months I have been conducting a study I call, "the decline of America through the lens of Macgyver." As some of you might know, "Macgyver" is a tv show that originally ran in 1985 for multiple seasons and was recreated by the same executive producer with different actors in 2016. I assume that TV people are hustlers, but are good at figuring out the zeitgeist of the audience so they can sell them laundry soap. So my study is about the changes in the American audience as reflected in the changes in the show over a 30 year period. In a nutshell the title character solves problems and often cobbles up rube goldberg solutions to get himself out of tight spots. The first difference you notice is that Old Macgyver (OM) is a solitary character who enjoys being alone with nature, reads books and contemplates the world. New Macgyver (NM) has a crew of buddies that are always with him and with whom he can engage in meaningless banter. Both Macgyver's hate guns ,but OM usually figures out how to deal with his adversaries with negotiation, or compromise while NM has a gun toting sidekick who solves most situations with copious gunfire and violence. In my mind this perfectly reflects some of the downhill changes in America over 30 years. There are many more good parallels between Macgyver and America that I hope to reflect on in future posts.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Seneca-

We await yr future posts w/great eagerness. In the meantime, let's hope Americans load up on lots of guns.

mb

2:03 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Waffen Shit Storm (Shitschturm?) dept.:

An Oklahoma man, Alexander Feaster, known for displaying Nazi flags in his yard was arrested on Sunday for opening fire on a woman who dared to steal them:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/oklahoma-neo-nazi-allegedly-shoots-woman-over-nazi-lawn-flag?source=articles&via=rss

Miles

2:35 PM  
Blogger Janet D said...

Thanks for the suggestions, MB & Alex (& yes, I'm aware the US is shut out of Europe - I'm hoping that will change shortly after my son graduates, if not before). My son is old enough to recognize the sinking ship around him & too young to know exactly what to do about it. I help how I can.

@Seneca. I second hearing more about OM & NM. I loved the OM, never seen the NW. Not sure I want to, based on your description, but curiosity may drive me to watch an episode.

And another GV quote (this one from a 2006 interview on an Australian news show):
Interviewer: “And with your knowledge of history, and you’ve seen what’s happened with empires in the past, do you see the same rules at work in the US, and if so, how far advanced are they?” 

GV: “Well, the US will end up somewhere between Argentina & Brazil, with at least a good soccer team. And that’ll be about it.”

I think he's being optimistic about the soccer team, but I'm not much of a sports fan to start with.

3:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

I have previously stated that it was impt for Americans to become monetized, weaponized, digitalized, moronized, and buffoonized. But Alexander Feaster has taught me that they also need to be Nazified. Yo Alex!

mb

3:02 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Here we go again, reminds me of Jan Brady exclaming "Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!" every time she feels slighted except in our case it's Russia! Russia! Russia! Always feels good to beat a dead horse I suppose.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/30/politics/former-intelligence-scoff-white-house-denials-trump-briefed-russia-bounty/index.html

Lest we forget

https://images.app.goo.gl/1oGRpSTHDtRznQUW9 (is a bounty really that surprising?)

3:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sog-

A 2nd rule, wh/I thought u were aware of: maximum length for any post is half a page. Hence, pls edit down, and re-send. Thank you.

mb

6:54 PM  
Blogger The Wanderer said...

MB wrote: I predicted fascism was likely for the US in CTOS (1989). 31 yrs later, we're on the cusp.

Tengo pregunta por favor. What differentiates fascism from totalitarianism?

KUDOS again to MB the wit that never stops...
I want to join the rebel group.
"I'm working w/a rebel group that wants to market a bottle of gel that Americans can ram up their asses. Problem: their heads are in the way."




7:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wanderer-

*una* pregunta, chica.

Don' quote me, but I think totalitarianism is the more generic term. Fascism refers to a specific socioeconomic arrangement, whereby the state does not own large corporations (as in the case of communism, where there actually are no corporations, ideally), but does most or all of its business w/them. Business is theoretically independent, as in capitalism, but the state calls the shots. The focus of totalitarianism, on the other hand, is complete political uniformity/subservience.

mb

Name of rebel group: Gel-Asso.

8:10 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

This is what our “Headline News” has been reduced to...


https://www.foxnews.com/sports/ian-poulter-farting-travelers-championship

9:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

Truth is, it's all we got left: hot, noxious air.

mb

10:09 PM  
Anonymous Yoogoogulator said...

Some great quotes being posted. Here's one:

“The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.” – Winston Churchill

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Tim said...

anderszornpalette, interesting essay. I was going to say that the iconic Easter Island statues are another example of destroying monuments as part of collapse, but the following refuted, not confirmed, my idea:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/news.artnet.com/v/s/news.artnet.com/art-world/rapa-nui-easter-island-study-demise-1772814/amp-page%3famp_js_v=0.1&usqp=mq331AQFKAGwASA%253D#ampf=

Whatever is happening to the U.S., it is not happening in a vacuum. Interesting quote about the present global tectonic shifts:

"Without the European Union, Germany would become too big and strong for Europe, but still too small for the world".

https://visegradinsight.eu/west-perhaps-we-dont-understand/

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Soggy Croutons said...

MB, I didn't save the message, and I hope that since that didn't post that that doesn't count towards the 24 hr limit. If only you saw the original message, that's good enough

Anyways, yes, in A Question of Values, you mentioned dissolving into oblivion upon death. This coincided with something else that happened in my life that has made me face the question of Faith, especially since I was becoming more and more religious without realizing it before that event happened to me. I must admit that oblivion for myself and those dearest to me (and by extension, everyone and all animals) is, frankly, terrifying (I'm 29 for reference).

The only thing left that I can see is to try to leave things better than they were when I came, though it can seem a little hubristic.

Do you have any thoughts on religion, Faith, and atheists, particularly the anti-theists of the former part of the last decade, such as Hitchens? Thanks

11:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sog-

I never read the original message. Once I saw it was too long, I deleted it. Anyway, from now on: one post every 24 hrs, and half pg max. Write these 2 rules on a wall in yr apt. w/a magic marker (preferably red).

Regarding the terror of winking out: check out a story in "The Heart of the Matter" called "The Gandhi Experiment." It might help.

Not hubristic to wanna make things better, except in the US. As a declinist, you wanna make things worse.

The big-time atheists are, imo, assholes. They've just made a religion out of atheism. The word ends in 'ism', after all. No-God is their God. They're just fooling themselves. For insight into those geniuses who found something to believe in, check out "Genio". For the broader picture of belief, CTOS.

Note also that at age 29, yr rt in the middle of yr Saturn return--the dark nite of the soul, a crisis of identity. Make the most of it; how you handle this will determine yr next 30 yrs. Be sure to read Alan Watts, "The Wisdom of Insecurity," and also this:

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

Just trust in the universe, and put one ft in front of the other. It'll work out, I promise you.

mb

12:07 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

I'm glad Dr Berman mentioned the Saturn return, as I was a bit afraid of making astrological references, but they apply to collective entities as well, like the US, which is having its very first 248-year Pluto return (perhaps the most "terrifying" one) approximately in the next couple of years. Fasten your seat belts...

As for atheism, I totally agree with what Dr Berman said. Also, as experimental sciences advanced in the last couple of centuries, so have philosophy and spirituality declined. Actually, I believe that in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance they were much more sophisticated intellectually than us in certain respects. If you have ever read Edgar Allan Poe's "Eleonora," were you not intrigued by the foreword? Sub conservatione formae specificae salva anima. It's a quote about the immortality of the soul from a medieval Spanish philosopher, Ramon Llull.

5:22 AM  
Anonymous Hans Castorp said...

Tim- RE: the Rosenberg case -

Robert, the younger son wrote a couple of books

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Meeropol
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Meeropol

You could follow up on some of the refs used in those wiki articles...

Also, E. L. Doctorow wrote a fictionalized treatment of the case, which I enjoyed - called "The Book of Daniel"

8:34 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Sog: my Reenchantment bk might also be relevant.

Hans-

Thank you. I had forgotten abt the Meeropols.

mb

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Harvy said...

https://www.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/blog/meet-the-economist-behind-the-one-percents-stealth-takeover-of-america#disqus_thread

https://www.google.com/amp/s/prospect.org/api/amp/economy/rise-of-neo-feudalism/

Ah neo-feudalism!

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Tomiris said...

Hi Wafers,

Looks like my comment might have been lost in the internet void. Just wanted to thank whoever it was for giving the link to the Vidal documentary - really nice! Would be nice to meet you all at the Wafer summit.

Some Wafer refs from me. The Wire is a nice TV series looking at the decline of the US empire on the ground - the urban decay of Baltimore. Everyone, from a drug dealer on the corner to a senator are trying to make a buck, and that about sums up their lives.

Noctural Animals - the movie depicts the vacuity of the life chosen by a woman who could have led a different life. Also deals with the theme of liberation through art.

The Great Transformation by Karl Polanyi - an amazing book on the origins of laissez faire ideology in England during the early years of the Industrial Revolution. Impossible to summarize the sheer genius of the book here though.

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Dr. Hackenbush said...

Professor Berman- I'm curious how Mexico is holding up during these strange times? How do you assess the government response, and the response from ordinary citizens at street level? (Please forgive me if I missed where you've already commented on this, I haven't been as tuned into the blog as I once was. Look forward to reading through recent posts/ comments.)

12:00 PM  
Blogger The Wanderer said...

MB...thank you for the clarification of fascism vs totalitarianism.

Tengo UNA pregunta por favor lol

What do you call the system where the giant global corporations are in control and they tell the state what to do?
gracias

1:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wanderer-

Americanism; aka neoliberalism.

Hack-

Things are not gd down here. AMLO is abt as effective as Trumpolino. For economic reasons, he wants to open things up; wh/causes more contagion.

Tomiris-

Cross fingers that NY is open or safe by next May. Situation unclear.

mb

1:45 PM  
Blogger Arthur V. said...

Over on AlterNet there is an article today (the lead article when I looked) wherein the author states near the end that we may need a law in this country banning certain symbols. And where would that end? Would certain books be included? I imagine it would come to that at some point. The more this present situation drags on the more absurd it all seems. I have stated before that, for lack of a better word, I am a liberal on most issues. But I really have no idea where I belong anymore in the wider world. The Christian fundies are just plain nuts; they always have been. But the PC progressives are getting just as bad. They speak from on high and lo to anyone who has the temerity to raise a question or two. Decline and fall is assured. Stay safe all.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Seneca's Cliff said...

I have another installment in my, "the decline of America through the lens of Macgyver." series. Old Macgyver (OM) works for a private foundation which in addition to saving hostages from an occasional third world dictator seems to spend most of their time on more mundane tasks such as helping poor kids stay in school, repatriating stolen artifacts to the country of origin or brokering peace talks between loggers and environmentalists. OM seems to show a fair amount of disdain for the government, and especially questions the motives and rational of the military. On the other hand ,New Macgyver (NM) works for a foundation with the same name as the one that OM did but now it is a clandestine spy agency that is part of the U.S. government and is touted as being more secretive, powerful and less accountable than the CIA. Nearly all of NM's missions involve thwarting terrorists with WMD's that always involve bombs for NM to diffuse or throw somewhere so there will be explosions in addition to gunfire to keep the attention of the 2015 audience. NM never questions the missions he is sent on and fully believes he is saving lives and keeping the world safe for democracy. NM has become a turkey and a shill for sure.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Seneca-

It's customary on this blog to avoid opinion pieces or 'scenarios', and instead pose a thesis that is then backed up by evidence. This can then lead to a discussion, pro and con. Thanks.

mb

6:34 PM  
Blogger anderszornpalette said...

More people seem to be catching up to MB. Better late than never?

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-06-29/coronavirus-brings-american-decline-out-in-the-open

Tim - Thanks for the links. I love this blog! I’ve discovered some great reading material here.

-Anders Zorn

7:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

anders-

I think someone already posted the bloomberg article, but thanks anyway. Do I get any of the credit? No!

Who cd blame u4 loving this blog? It's completely lovable. Of course, many also hate it, but as I tried to explain to the trollfoons, hatred is just love reversed. The opposite of love is not hatred; it's apathy. The trollfoons can be accused of incredible stupidity, but never of apathy. The truth is, they love this blog; they just haven't figured that out yet. Because they're dumb as shit on a stick (watch how this message will bait them to come out). And they wd love to be part of our dialogue, but they dunno how to do that. So, they hate (love)!

mb

7:25 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Of Course they are....America is overrun with Morons.


https://abcnews.go.com/US/alabama-students-throwing-covid-parties-infected-officials/story?id=71552514

9:26 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Ya just knew it was gonna happen in the US of Hustle
https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/americas-first-all-ppe-retail-store-opens-maryland

9:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

comrade-

No virus T-shirts?

jj-

At the present time, in America, the death wish is very strong. If only Freud were with us today. Meanwhile, all any Wafer needs on his or her bathrm mirror post-it is one word: DOLTS. No elaboration is necessary. We are a nation of people w/shit in their heads.

mb

10:22 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Malleus, I actually wrote an essay at University regarding the Malleus Maleficarum drawing on Freud and Jung. That Poe story is sublime. When I reread Poe, I remember - in a deeper sense of memory - what a beautiful poet he is. I always found the Goth subculture fascinating - they are a sort of reproach to mainstream hustling. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVlzusCXiwI . Put one foot in front of the other, as Morris advises - life's a dance, Havelock Ellis said !~~ “rhythmical creation of Beauty.”

11:13 PM  
Anonymous Tim said...

Hopefully better:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/news.artnet.com/art-world/rapa-nui-easter-island-study-demise-1772814/amp-page

Hans, thank you for the refs.

Sog, try "Grassroots Post-Modernism: Remaking the Soil of Cultures", by Gustavo Esteva + Madhu Suri-Prakash. Also, the philosopher Ken Wilber.

Present conditions in the U.S. and globally = much said about the fate of "democracy". What do people mean by "democracy". A constitution + "elections"? Very ethnocentric, I think. Democracy: the people are the government, period. Non-democracy: the people are the government's subjects. The case that Cuba--yes, Cuba under the Castros--is deeply democratic:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/zeroanthropology.net/2014/12/30/democracy-in-cuba-and-at-home/amp/

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Slavoj Zizek with an interesting essay critiquing political correctness and white guilt.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/493408-white-racism-fight-guilty/

5:47 AM  
Anonymous Lisa Fleming said...

Trump and Johnson aren't replaying the 1930s – but it's just as frightening

- George Monbiot

https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/02/donald-trump-boris-johnson-fascism-us-uk-rightwing

7:36 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

On the ground, evictions moratoriums are ending around the country and it will only get worse and worse. Hundreds of articles available, such as this look at race and evictions in Boston-

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-01/black-renters-in-boston-face-highest-eviction-risk

NeilW, thank you for he mention of Poe, one of my favorites. For some reason (well, rather obvious in ways), he is connected to Goya's Saturn Devouring His Son, maybe the best visual summation of what the US has become:

https://classconnection.s3.amazonaws.com/771/flashcards/46771/jpg/saturn_devouring_his_children.jpg

9:16 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tom-

Gd essay by Zizek. This is similar to what I argued in WAF ch. 4, abt the antebellum South: good and evil are wrapped together, and the South was a paradox--as were the various individuals Zizek mentions. The problem is that Americans are not very bright; they are Manichaean thinkers, and cannot even grasp the *idea* of paradox, let alone complex, paradoxical situations. In addition, dividing the world into B&W enables them to be self-righteous, something Americans enjoy very much. There is a word for such people: dummies.

mb

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Flabster said...

Read the fifth paragraph-a succinctly written summary of the mechanisms used against anything that can oppose the power of greed and business in America. Health agencies viewed as enemies... wow.. might reduce profits by 0.01%

https://theweek.com/articles/923075/massachusetts-exception-americas-coronavirus-failure

11:26 AM  
Blogger FarmerBrown said...

This right here,

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jul/02/all-hail-macbath-australias-ramsay-centre-introduces-world-to-new-shakespeare-play

An interesting and topical sounding paper called "Some Psychological Factors in Negro Race Hatred and in Anti-Negro Riots by Richard Sterba from this volume edited by Geza Roheim.

https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.191031

the pdf: https://ia801607.us.archive.org/4/items/in.ernet.dli.2015.191031/2015.191031.Psychoanalysis-And-The-Social-Sciencesvol1.pdf

11:59 AM  
Blogger Market Message said...

Dr. Berman,

RE: Your reply to Tom

I did read the Twighlight of American Culture and I will have to read WAF to follow your thoughts on your explanation on the nation's failure. Your mention of the antebellum South is interesting so this intrigues me. The duality of each human and their institutions' whether religious, political, or economic appears to be a fundamental reality of our existence. Madison's desire to use ambition to counter ambition was built into the division of power in the U.S. Constitution because of Madison's thoughts. I believe this was an achievement in America's early days to knowledge fundamental flaws in human nature which is why in various ways, at various times, Ameria was able to achieve various levels of civil society even if it has not always been universal amongst all populations in the United States.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Michael Brown arrested for shelling an Arkansas pizzeria after arguing w/employee about a purported shortage of toppings on his pizza:

https://katv.com/news/local/man-shoots-into-little-rock-pizza-restaurant-after-demanding-more-toppings

O&D,

Miles

1:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Can we fix him up on a date w/Shaneka?

Market-

For more on duality check out story "The Cliffsnotes" in "The Heart of the Matter."

mb

1:41 PM  
Blogger KeltCindy said...

Dear JJarden,

Option 3, Tuscany! (Lived there with family for years...my Mother is from Florence. Dad was U.S. Air Force...you get it...)

You will NOT regret Italy.

Also, please smuggle me in with you now that the EU is no longer allowing visitors from the U.S.:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/theglobepost.com/2020/07/01/eu-lifts-travel-bans/amp/

Wonder if there is a "Coyote" equivalent that can get a Wafer Gringa & her family back across the pond—LOL!

Godspeed, JJarden, and enjoy!

Love, Cindy

5:00 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

I do not know if the following movie has been mentioned on this blog (I watched it over five years ago)?:
The Road: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Road_(2009_film)

Its a very dark survival movie about what the future might look like in America. With all that is happening (Bubbas wanting a boogaloo, BLM and Antifa destroying property, statues, etc)I wonder if the endgame might be what this movie depict?

Himanshu

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Soggy Croutons said...

Re - MB, Malleus, and Tim: thanks for the replies and the recommendations - I have recorded them.

Re - Malleus, directly: I haven't read any of Edgar Allan Poe. I think that the only 19th century novel I've read is The Picture of Dorian Gray, a novel (likely one of very many) that seems to be fitting for the current cultural situation.

Maybe the literature of the 19th century may provide more of an understanding of its music.

6:22 PM  
Blogger The Wanderer said...

jj I left the USA around 2010 and spend 3 months a year in Italy. Unfortunately,
neoliberalism has transformed the No.Italians into Pod People. They are totally PC and always on their cell phones. No. Italy has some of the worst air pollution plus a huge US military base in Vicenza.

So go south.. the Italian culture starts in Naples and continues through Sicily. People are authentic, talk with their hands, cook spicy delicious food and argue, dance and embrace life. PLUS things get cheaper as you go south.

Maybe you could go for a year or two and see what tickles your heart.

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Vince said...

Dr. Berman,

I have reached out to Guy McPherson.
He has responded back indicating that he has contacted his co-host Kevin Hester for a possible future show.

You may be contacted by Kevin or Guy.

On the ongoing pandemic and the idiots that do not want to wear a mask in public places where there is close contact, I have this suggestion.

Just take their names down like you are performing some sort of census or survey, hell even give them a gift. Then create a registry. Then when one of those fools shows up at the hospital they can be put in the queue for treatment, say after all of the others who were wearing masks, etc.

The look on the face of someone who finds out they are number 800 on the list would be priceless. That might put the pizza guy to shame.

Peace,
Vince

8:51 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

The Road is a terrific movie the novel on which it's based is by Cormac McCarthy - highly recommend Blood Meridian, not a scintilla of romanticism in his version of how the West was won.

So many stories to choose from. Another Karen doing her thing - you go girl as an American you have a right to be fat, ugly, and stupid:
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/07/02/7-eleven-mask-incident-viral-video-spits-counter/5368869002/

Talk about a completely irredeemable shithole
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/07/02/chicago-murder-spike-among-minors-leaves-communities-seeking-solutions/5363700002/

And a sad day for all...
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/07/02/herman-cain-hospitalized-coronavirus-after-trump-rally-tulsa/5365466002/

9:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gunnar-

Herman will probably pull thru using his 999 Plan. Is it a total of 172 Wafers who realize how creepy and pathetic the US is?

mb

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Baumeister said...

Dumber than bricks!

House Democrats, working with Liz Cheney, restrict Trump's planned withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and Germany
https://theintercept.com/2020/07/02/house-democrats-working-with-liz-cheney-restrict-trumps-planned-withdrawal-of-troops-from-afghanistan-and-germany/

10:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

No surprise:

https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2020/jul/02/us-most-billionaires-in-world-inequality

mb

11:44 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman,
What are your thoughts? Do you think a 2020 version of “Animal House”, a sequel, can be made? If so, what could it be called? Perhaps “Covid House”?

https://abcnews.go.com/US/alabama-students-throwing-covid-parties-infected-officials/story?id=71552514

1:09 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Awww... look at those bubbas, aren't they just too sweet? 'We don't live in a communist country!': battle over masks rages in Texas

Gringos are one of the most obedient peoples on earth, always licking the boots of their employers, the police, their pastors etc. but they imagine themselves free by not wearing a mask. Freedom in the US is just the freedom to be slaves to their basest appetites and to be as stupid as you possibly can.

Self-limitation is the basis of freedom. -- I Ching

6:19 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Malleus-

O dem bubbas!

Joe-

Douche Bag House, maybe.

mb

7:40 AM  
Anonymous Flabster said...

When your business professor has to read the riot act on worship of money and greed, society has big problems. It seems there may be closet Wafers and Waferettes out there...

https://www.profgalloway.com/higher-ed-enough-already

7:59 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home