June 16, 2020


This is what we can all expect in terms of changes in race relations, police procedures, socioeconomic conditions, and relations of power. Many Americans believe we have turned a corner, and that all of these things are henceforth going to be very different. The problem with Americans is that they have poop in their heads, and think that outrage is the same as ideology, or astute political organizing. One thing we can be sure of is that there will be no wakeup moment for any of them. They will live in bupkis, and die in bupkis. R.I.P., bupkis.



Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

This one has been making the rounds of the internets, and as someone who was in the ICU 2 years ago, the more things change, the more they stay the same ... or some other old tymey saying:


7:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pastrami, jj (from last post):

Do you realize how many Americans need to be slapped silly? If Wafers were assigned the job, we'd all have carpel tunnel syndrome in less than 3 days. I'm as impressed by the stupidity as I am by the viciousness. Where in hell do these people come from? (see WAF)


8:27 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Michael Lind has a good essay on the new version of woke progressive capitalism that you see so often today.


8:36 PM  
Anonymous Another Schmoe said...

I worked at a health insurer for awhile. They spent tens of millions on useless consultants from high dollar firms like Accenture and BCG who did absolutely nothing of value, while squeezing ever more from amount paid to delivering care. Nice folks.

8:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


See? This is why we need to institute a nationwide program of slapping. The hustling sickness is everywhere. Very few Americans, or institutions, have escaped it. Corona virus, move over! It's a different sort of virus that's killing us.


9:25 PM  
Anonymous Petteri said...

From the prev. post:

Yossi- Thanks for the argument from the other side of the table! I think that perspective is missing in a lot of the discussion. After all, 89% of the country is concerned about property being damaged in these protests. 58% of the country was in favor the the deployment of the military in the protests, and that included 40% of self-described liberals and 37% of African Americans.

This is all occurring thru a process of raging catharsis, not measured reason. Understandable, but it is also why it will produce nothing of lasting benefit.

"These are facts—but you are afraid to acknowledge them because these are exactly the things that white racists also say. So you’d rather be silent. And that gets us nowhere—or rather, it gets us to where we are today."


Petteri Bennett

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...


Blast from the US empire past. I love Chinese food. If I got sub-par Chinese, there would be hell to pay. This is fkg last time that they leave out the duck sauce!

10:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Some time ago Miles alerted us to the stupidity of Tracy MacLeod. However, this is the 1st time we get to see her face. Brr.


Check out "Losing the Race," by John McWhorter.


11:40 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Good article on The Age Of The Mask:


I personally rather like this new masked age. Sun and wind make my lips crack, and as a trumpet player, wearing a mask when out is great. Also, there are trees that put all kinds of nasty seeds and seed parts in the air and wearing a mask keeps me from breathing them in and subsequently coughing my head off.

Protips: Get some cloth masks. Wash each evening when you're in for the night, if they fit right you're breathing through it not around it and it'll collect crud. Cloth masks are far more comfy than those paper ones, and you won't get that dragon-breath smell.

3:10 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

John Gray weighing in on the current American moment:


5:51 AM  
Anonymous Ara the Armenian said...

Mr. Berman:
I am a 24-year-old American, who now also identifies as a Wafer. I am glad to have found your blog after reading "Why America Failed". I just wanted to share how I even found out about your book.

A month before the quarantine, I went to the local library here in Glendale, CA (I admit I go to the library maybe once a year) looking for a copy of Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" when by chance I came across your book in the same section. The title seemed somewhat offensive to me and I was quite skeptical at first, but upon reading the first few pages I was hooked. Thank you for putting into words the things I felt happening around me, from the hyper-competitiveness amongst peers to the hustling mentality and the subsequent disintegration of family and social values. It is also comforting to read the post-mortem of the country during its prolonged, slow contraction, and I too am hopeful that historians of the future, Chinese or other, will refer to your work in that regard (I also hope to be a historian).

I must say life is not so bad in this part of the country (I still live with my parents, as do most of my friends and perhaps generation), and I have been collecting unemployment, but now I also dream of leaving the country. My parents are immigrants, who came here hustling from the crumbling Soviet Union. I fear I would be betraying the sacrifices they made to provide me a middle-class lifestyle if I were to leave, but suffice it to say I can no longer imagine a future here.

I have been diligently following this blog since March, and I sure do hope for its continued existence and wish you health and joy.


6:30 AM  
Anonymous AtrinAssa said...

Yossi and Petteri and MB:

I second the Mchorter text. Some journalists are pointing this out, like Lee Fang, who is teetering on the edge of the Cancellation Cliff after interviewing a black protester who emphasized why is it only "black lives matter" when it's a white person taking a black life and not the issue of black lives taking black lives. This is considered heretical to even question. He had to write a formal apology to his triggered colleagues at The Intercept!

6:56 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Welcome to the blog; I'm glad my work has been helpful to you. Glad to hear you plan on leaving; the US has very little to offer anyone any more (except the very wealthy), beyond that of a spiritually empty life (wh/actually applies to the wealthy as well). Stay here, and you join the ranks of the zombies. One avenue of escape is to get a student visa for France or Italy or wherever. When the time of that is up, marry a national, and you'll have a green card for life.

The USSR was indeed an 'evil empire', on the model of Orwell. The US, while not as evil (imo), nevertheless evolved into a kind of soft totalitarianism, a la Huxley. Neither model can make its citizens happy, and while there is no utopia, there are certainly better options around. Good luck!


ps: If you want some laughs, have yr library order a copy of my latest, "The Heart of the Matter".


Thanks for the ref. The progs are certainly not offering us a better world, that's for sure. And Gray's last line is pure Waferism:

"Perhaps it is time to consider how to strengthen the enclaves of free thought and expression that still remain, so they have a chance of surviving in the blank and pitiless world that is being born."

But this is the idea of the Monastic Option from the Twilight book--the central idea, the only way out. It's what this blog is about, i.e. an oasis of reality in a world of total b.s. We are getting nearly 90,000 hits a month, suggesting that there are a few folks out there who are not interested in either progs or bubbas, and what they have to offer. They get it, that Trumpi is a lunatic and Schmiden a senile buffoon. What Gray, and I, are hoping for is a meaningful 3rd way.

One thing he omits, however, as does every serious critic of America, myself excepted, is that Americans are stupid, and that this is no small factor in what is coming down (i.e., collapse). It doesn't matter if we are talking abt progs or bubbas: they are all dumb. 86% of the population can't find Iraq or Iran on a world map; 38% won't drink Corona beer because they think they might catch the Corona virus. The stats along these lines are huge, and it doesn't get dumber than this. A jackass population can only generate a jackass nation, wh/is what we are living with today. The Monastic Option, the 'enclaves of free thought', are the only things left to us, assuming we are interested in reality rather than AmericanDisneyFantasy, and lives that are little more than charades.


7:11 AM  
Anonymous Pat Chouli said...

1980: “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?”

2020: "Are you happier today than you were at any point in the last 50 years?"

Spoiler alert: “ Duh.”


7:13 AM  
Anonymous Mauricio said...


Review of Christopher Booker's (1937-2019) posthumous Groupthink. It looks very interesting, a Jungian critique of the current political correctness bmadness.

8:26 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Under the heading “Deckchairs on the Titanic,” two items:

The Quaker Oats company announces that they are abandoning the 146-year-old icon Aunt Jemima in favor of a new symbol, yet to be determined.

And, recognizing the wind direction, the Mars company—Snickers, Milky Way, M&Ms, Wrigley gum, and the rest—is throwing Uncle Ben overboard too.

We would appear to be losing relations at a steady clip.

1:02 PM  
Anonymous Ramesh said...

Bolton book excerpt in WSJ: In June 2019, Xi "explained to Trump why he was basically building concentration camps in Xinjiang. ... Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do." https://www.wsj.com/articles/john-bolton-the-scandal-of-trumps-china-policy-11592419564

Holy shit

4:28 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

So first the US public learns to love Baby Bush the war criminal.

Now the Left will fall all over each other in adoration of John Bolton, one of the most repulsive creatures of American foreign policy for decades, because he says unpleasant things about the Trumpster fire of a president we have.


Does no one recognize the truth in an article posted here recently, that China recognizes the ways that Trump is dragging the US down and down, and wants Trump to continue? And that Bolton wants to stop Trump so that he can reassert the US 'rightful place' in the world by nuking Iran? Geez... even shit for brains is smarter than this.

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Tim said...

I don't know if it is due to not having been "slapped silly", but Americans seem to continue to talk about race and racism as if they are some microbe that infects people, and the resulting syndrome. More training, discipline, incentives, etc. to cure individuals of racism continues to be the American response, it seems (haven't we done all of that before?).

Well, the late David Smail wrote about racism and sexism that "it is a conceptual mistake of the first magnitude to
attribute the causes of such oppression to internal characteristics or
traits of those involved." (39)

Download the entire text and go to page 39 (the number on the page, not the scrolling) to see why:


5:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur V. said...

I checked in to the blog and saw the note about the trials of Lee Fang. Before I commented I thought it only right that I check out the story. Indeed, the cliff note version offered above it 100% correct. This is insanity. Mr. Fang is (for lack of a better handle) liberal. That's fine. I consider myself liberal on almost all issues. But what the hell is going on? The man uses in a story an observation by an interviewee and he's attacked. One story I read stated that Fang is right now worried about keeping his job.

On the other side, the crackpots at Lifesite (rightwing Catholic) ran a story about how witches are cursing police with spells and hexes. Only two choices left: leave if one can or look inward.

Last point: I do believe we are seeing the beginning of the backup of the United States. How long it will take and what it will look like is anyone's guess. Stay safe all.

5:37 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Of Course he did...


Of Course he did too...


6:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, I don't post Unknowns. You need a real handle to participate. Thanks.




6:41 PM  
Anonymous Magenta said...

MB on Ramesh's entry -

Wow I forgot about our "communication mgmt units! How do you think those compare to Xi's concentration camps for millions of ethnic minorities? Just a matter in difference of degree, that could some day be escalated here?


6:50 PM  
Anonymous David G. said...

Dr. B and all,
I recently read a biography of Guy Debord and am currently reading his book "Comments on The Society of The Spectacle". What do you think about Guy Debord? His "situationist" movement in 1960s France was an interesting critique of modern society, and his later Comments (published in 1988) sound very Wafer-like. His writing is cryptic, but it is interesting how many of his themes about the "spectacle" -- seen from France -- are very prescient and insightful and apply to the US today. Dr. B: Have you read Debord, and did his work play into your own? Is he worth paying attention to, or was he too obtuse and out there to provide much useful critique?

7:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I know abt the situationists, but I never read Debord's work. Sorry.


I don't have a crystal ball, but I'm guessing that this decade will see the imposition of martial law, and the construction of detention camps for anyone the admin doesn't like. Including me? Just a thought. The next 10 yrs will be violent, chaotic, and grim.


7:13 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman,
All attention about the unnecessary use of deadly force by this country’s trigger happy, paramilitarized police force has been centered around Minneapolis ( a choke hold) and Atlanta ( a pistol). I’m surprised this video below didn’t go too viral and didn’t result in protests. Maybe it does take a black person’s death at the hands of vicious, bully authoritarian, trigger happy, paramilitarized cops with automatic military weapons to expose how they gun down people here as the United States further disintegrates.


9:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Whew! Apparently he got off scot free. None of us are safe, really. And I suspect that is what the future is gonna look like, in the US.


9:32 PM  
Blogger Mr York said...

Mr Ara the Armenian,

Hmm on topic of Russian and Yankee Empires and immigration, may consider this Lithuanian nationalist's review of both of them of particular interest. He found the Russians less despicable of the two as they had some sense of community and he eventually went back to his homeland after his mistake of leaving USSR for US. Was a case of Centrally planned Tyranny vs Grassroots Tyranny.

US basically answered the tyranny question with "why have one tyrant when you can have many! Every man a tyrant! Step right up to get your chance to be a tyrant today, spared no expense, but your soul of course!"

Mr. York

12:06 AM  
Blogger Leandro said...

Hello Professor Berman! Thanks for your texts and books. I have really enjoyed reading your books. Leandro.

2:54 AM  
Anonymous Lori said...


" It was a time when governance was fractured; the division of the empire into eastern and western jurisdictions is just one example. Constitutional norms were a distant memory. Christian influence was ascendant even as eminent pagans fought to uphold the old ways. Threats to security came from all directions. Germanic tribes hired themselves out to defend the empire in the manner of private security firms like Blackwater, switching sides if the price was right. And who was a “Roman” anyway? "

New book on the sacking of Rome

7:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Just call me Cassandra.


7:58 AM  
Anonymous A work in progress said...

Dr. B and Wafers
allow me to introduce my journey, Studying in the university was one of the most miserable periods of my life and I have discovered early on the reason: the microscopic focus and the segregation between disciplines in Academia nausiate me, it is not a thing that is compatible with the way I view and interact with the world. at first I thaught it was just a matter of education and that it is not a problem when it come to research, but during my masters years I realised that the very structure of Academia does not allow for transdisciplinarity work, a kind of academic fascism if you will (Transdisciplinary work in academia is not impossible but it is very uncommon and hard to do).
When researching for the possibilty of creating a transdisciplinary environment few names kept popping up: Gaston Bachelard, Gregory Bateson, Anthony Wilden, Edgar Morin... and through them I came across TRoTW, and it made me realise that the evolution of Academia went hand in hand with the socioeconomic and political evolution in the west and that the psychological structure of Academia does not differ from the psychological structure outside of Academia. I realised also that any incentive in the direction of disciplinary integration (rather than segregation) can only be marginal and because no human can have an encyclopedic knowledge it can only be through a different kind of institution and by people with a different kind of psychological makeup.
Now I'm reading WG, but still I have a ton of PhD work so it's a side quest for the moment. And I see that there are a lot of people around the world seeking what I seek (A Multiversity in Sonora in mexico claims to be doing something of the sort).
The evolution of human consciousness trilogy have given me great insights and I have decided to finish my PhD and run away from university, someday I may figure out how to do what I want to do with similar minded people.
I truly believe that these marginal quests are the seeds of a renaissance after the dark age to come.

12:42 PM  
Anonymous requiem said...

The major all-news national networks (CNN, MSNBC, and FOX) are divided according to their support or hatred of Trump. That Trump merely used what he found in American culture is never broached as a subject worth discussing. Racism, xenophobia, white supremacy, misogyny, etc were part of American life long before Trump decided to run for President. Waiting patiently to reassert themselves. Trump's talent is as a master weaver of illusions in which Americans now live - that black is white, Covid-19 is nothing to worry about, he and he alone can save us from monsters foreign and domestic. So long as the typical American is allowed to openly express his prejudices, he is willing to accept as true whatever the Master Weaver says. Therein lays our destruction.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

"Mirror, mirror on the wall who's the doucheist of them all?"
"Look around, he ain't hidin', it has to be Joeseph Biden."


The civil war wasn't very long ago. I doubt if any other race has been as squeezed or brought over on slave ships and over 400 yrs been conditioned to believe they are inferior if not outright animals. Even the natives settled by treaty and were given reservations (shitty as they are.)


2:16 PM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

From the "more bubbas in action" department:

From the "real issues" department:

From the "US is literally falling apart" department:

2:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The bubbas; I love 'em. O dem bubbas!


Which is why it's so impt that he be reelected!


Check out the Twilight bk for some possible ideas.


2:47 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

How long before the pernicious racist brands, Chef Boy-ar-Dee, Orville Redenbacher, and Betty Crocker (read carefully; it's not quite "Cracker"), are removed from store shelves?

Matt Taibbi has a good article on the negative influence that woke/cancel culture is having on news media:


More on the same subject:

"Why the Past Matters"

The latter hits close to home, as my program head has recently been trying to censor my radio show, a programme that has nothing but content from the past.

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Cedric said...

Lived in Britain for years, and while there were good individual writers the guardian was always the most self-righteous & partisan of the UK papers. It delighted in smearing and ruining anyone who didn't support their 'progressive' agenda.

Chickens come home to roost.

Thousands Sign Petition to Shut Down Left-Wing Newspaper The @Guardian over Links to Slavery and Confederate Anti-Lincoln Propaganda


4:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


There's no question that the anti-racism movement will go totally overboard in condemning almost everything as racist. That article by Taibbi is truly impt in that regard. Literally anything can be labeled politically incorrect, and the groupthink and groupfear involved will be very hard to stop. It's a terrible shame, because the police murder of black males is a real thing, just as Harvey Weinstein-type behavior is a real thing. But then, as Woody predicted regarding the latter, the danger is that it turn into a witch hunt (as he ironically found out). Self-righteous anger is the death of real dialogue, and as statues are torn down, names get removed, and everyone is afraid to say boo, I predict it's gonna get worse. Americans (plus yr boss) are Manichaean, one-dimensional, and of course--dumb as shit.


4:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: let me remind y'all of this once again:


As Joe pointed out, it is absolutely horrific, and incredible, yet it didn't attract much attn. Wd it have, if the victim had been black? It's hardly racist to ask this question, and yet, such a question is, for progs, illegitimate.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps2: I'm getting a bit worried that Trumpola has shot himself in the ft too many times, and that Schmiden may actually win the election. In terms of decline and collapse, we can't do better than to have a certified nut case in the W.H. The last emperors of Rome also included morons among their ranks, as well as a 7-yr-old child. Which pushed the empire in the direction it was already going. Schmiden will not be able to halt our decline, but he cd conceivably slow it down. W/a certified nut case, it's full steam ahead.

5:07 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

@ Joe, MB and all Wafers
The video of Daniel Shaver getting mowed down by the pigs didn't get released until the pig was acquitted at his trial for 2nd degree murder. It was bodycam footage, not cellfone video. One of the CHAZ demands is that all cops have a bodycam live feed to the public and if the cops turn it off they're fired.

If this had been cellfone footage plastered on the internet I doubt the cop would be walking free.

5:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps3: Check out portrait of Lionel Shriver in June 1st New Yorker.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Brad Earthling said...

The Myth of America’s Green GrowthA celebrated new book shows U.S. capitalism doesn’t need to damage the planet. One problem: Its data is flawed.


5:50 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

mb - thanks for that article; here's the link for anyone interested:


All I can say is wow. My impression is that in the same way Chet Baker was a sublime trumpet player and an awful human being, here is the literary equivalent. I've avoided buying The Mandibles because according to reviews it degrades in the end to a libertarian screed.

6:43 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Not the best written article, but someone compares her years as a prostitute and escort to her years in advertising for the pharmacy industry. Guess which one left her feeling degraded and humiliated?


The Shaver murder video should be seen widely. View it with the worst boss and work situation you have had in mind: constantly changing demands, sadistic power trips, blaming the victim for not fulfilling the dreams of incompetent bosses. And in the end, one slip and you are dead. I imagine most of us have been in such metaphorical situations in American work places of all types and classes.

I recently read The Mandibles. Seems so sweet and nice compared to what is going to be happening.

7:12 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

The Onion with what will probably turn out to be an accurate prediction


8:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps4: comrade: probably a Chazian pipe dream.

Wudu, Dan D-

I don't doubt it for a minute.


8:31 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman & Wafers,

“From the oceans to the prairies
To the mountains white with foam”
If this video wasn’t so laughable, it would be scary.
The dumbing down of America continues!

“These are your neighbors. They borrow sugar from you,” as you like to say, Dr. Berman. LOL!


9:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


There's no upper limit to the # of douche bags in America. Meanwhile: do mountains get white w/foam?


11:10 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Anne Case and Angus Deaton on American inequality, deaths of despair and the coronavirus pandemic.


4:40 AM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

In an ongoing series of parallels with the collapse of the Soviet Union (senile leaders placed by committee, ideologically monolithic discourse from the state media outlets, crumbling infrastructure) we now have the lines of queues for the basic necessities- in this case to file for, not collect, unemployment claims:


At least the Russians knew that their whole system was a farce.

On a related note, I have just finished reading Why America Failed. I really enjoyed it. The early chapters kept on putting me in mind of the Great Gatsby, which I must reread now. I thought the chapter on the South was fascinating. The the clash of civilisations theory (I must look up Raimondo Luraghi) supports the notion that atrocities carried out by Stalin and Mao were actually atrocities of modernisation. It seems that the shift from a pre industrial to an industrial capitalist society has caused suffering on an massive scale pretty much everywhere it has been tried/imposed.

I am currently reading Neurotic Beauty and hopefully I will have some comments on this later.

4:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Don' ferget "Heart of the Matter." You will laugh like an irresponsible fetus (to quote T.S. Eliot). Anyway, the Russian people are intelligent. The Americans, not so much.


5:40 AM  
Anonymous Ginny Cooper said...

Sir -

I've been trying to think of a few topical books you've recommended relating to our current events.

1) "Code of the Streets"

2) "Losing the Race"

3) And then there was another study, I believe about a black man and his transformational experience w/in prison. I can't recall the name. Any idea?

Or any others if they come to mind!

Thanks much!

7:21 AM  
Blogger Tom Herzog said...

"Divide and Conquer" has been implemented in CA.

Masks must be worn in public Newsome mandates.

No mask, your "neighbor" will snitch on you.

I'll be joining my friend Fydor (Dostoevesky) in Siberian exhile.

"Show us your papers, comrade."

8:15 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Wd that be "The Autobiography of Malcolm X"?


9:06 AM  
Blogger Lobster Goldmine said...

Ginny - Soul On Ice by Eldridge Cleaver?

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Morrison said...

Carlos Ruiz Zafón, author of The Shadow of the Wind, dies aged 55

The bestselling novelist, who was frequently described as the most-read Spanish author since Cervantes, had been diagnosed with colon cancer


11:10 AM  
Blogger David said...

MB a nation is in decline
when it keeps electing buffoons and morons to office.
When good people refuse to enter the political fray.
When the public would rather stick to the status quo instead of reforming a corrupt system.
When nothing controversial can be discussed anymore.
When a new inquisition takes over--shutting off an already shackled mind.
When people are so drunk with freedom and democracy that they don't realize they live in an fascist oligarchy.
When military worship bankrupts the nation (think Roman Empire)
When the national motto is "short term profits"
When the quickest way to bankruptcy and destitution is checking into the hospital.
I could go on but in the interests of keeping it short......

12:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The US is a genocidal war machine run by a plutocracy and cheered on by imbeciles. New post-it for yr bathrm mirror: DEGRADED & DEBASED


Gd bk.


12:13 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

MB ask and you will receive, the latest from Ging Newtrich


1:51 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Apparently it's considered racist to ask a black person, "How are you?" since you know already they're not doing well given the 401 years blacks have been in this country. And by no means should you ask, "How was your weekend?" since you're now indicating 2 days this person's has been full of unspeakable anguish. Of course, if you say nothing that could also be considered racist. Ain't life here great?

2:39 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Dr.Berman, Recalling Quint as a metaphor for the United States sliding downward on a slippery deck, an ignominious end of empire:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmLP0QQPqFw

2:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I suppose one cd just say, "I'm sorry," but it sounds kinda dumb outta context. Clinton tried "I feel your pain," and it won him the election in 1992. But you might check out some of Lionel Shriver's lectures for politically incorrect pointers.

Of course, something completely unrelated to anything might be the best way to go. E.g., "My prostate is acting up again," or even, "Would you believe Katz's ran outta chopped liver?"


3:01 PM  
Blogger Arthur V. said...

Did a bit of research on the petition concerning The Guardian newspaper. It seems it started with a story on Sky Network from Australia. If one Googles Guardian petition it should pop up. (I would post a link but I'm a technical idiot.) The petition exists but there seems confusion (at least when I found the story yesterday) if it is a gag or legit. Either way it has garnered signatures. If it's a gag it shows how quick folks are to fall for nonsense; if it's legit it shows how quick people are to ban anything that upsets them. What is historically correct is that the founder of the paper did make at least a portion of his money from slavery and did support the confederacy in the Civil War. So, there we are.

One more quick point. I'm seeing more and more blogs and outlets seriously discussing the notion that the United States is in the process of breaking up. Of course, as I stated before it will be a long time and what the end will look like is anyone's guess. But it really does seem inevitable now. Stay safe all.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


"Guardian petition" didn't work (for me).


3:58 PM  
Anonymous Requiem said...

Progs continue to push "police reform" as solution to killings. As if that had not been suggested and tried before. They don't realize that doing so supports the status quo. While the police laugh all the way to courthouse to receive their acquittals.


5:51 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

All this secession talk triggers a tune in my head (minus a few lyrics due to length):

Down dooby doo de-cline (3 times)
Breaking up is hard to do
Don’t take my Dream away from me
Don’t you cut my cable TV
If you go, I won’t have a clue
‘Cause breaking up is hard to do
Remember that Star-Spangled might
You maced Antifa through the night
Still think, all we’ve been through
I still owe lots, this is true
Trumpi say, breaking up is hard to do.
Now I know
I know that I’m blue
Don’t say this is the end
Instead of breaking up I wish we hung with Tulsi again
I beg of you don’t use that nuke
No more Dream, I wanna puke
Come on, Hustler, let’s start anew
Profit-less life is hard to do …
(Don’t say that this is the end)
Instead of breaking up I wish that we were hustlin’ again
I beg of you don’t say goodbye
Old Glory can’t be a lie
Com’on Hustler, deal me again
‘Cause breaking up is hard to do

6:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A masterpiece. Glad you managed to get Tulsi in there. At this crucial moment, we need her more than ever.


As I said b4, any changes that follow in the wake of the killings of these black men will be cosmetic. Fools think these discussions abt policing the police are meaningful; but then America has so very many fools.


6:23 PM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Req. Thanks for the link

9:12 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


That was goddamned genius! I've never laughed so hard. Thank you.

MB, Wafers-

Can we pull back from the brink? Short answer: no.



9:47 PM  
Blogger dermot said...

MB, the wikipedia page on the Shaver murder is illuminating.

Someone in comments mentioned that the jury (who exonerated the cops) weren't shown the bodycam footage! Also, sometime later the murdering cop was taken back for 45 days of desk jockey work so that he could qualify for bennies (apparently the poor snowflake has PTSD, bless his heart). He gets a $2500 monthly pension. His partner in crime moved to the Philippines, presumably because life there is even cheaper than in Arizona.


Christ, who wouldn't freak out if that happened to them?

10:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thank u all for yr contributions. It's interesting...if on any day you scan the headlines of, say, the NYT, the LA Times, CNN, and the Guardian, all together, what you see is a clear indication of a ship that is sinking, w/no hope of rescue. Like every bit of news abt America, whether it involves Trumpi, or Bolti, or the virus, or BLM, or Confederate statues, or the cops outta control, tells the story of irrevocable national disaster. What, really, is there left to discuss? The sports sections, the food sections, Meghan, Kim--that's just abt it.

I've mentioned this b4: when I was in my 2nd yr at Cornell, I was doing Russian as my 2nd language, and wd go to the libe every day and read Pravda. It was so boring. Every day, the headline was some variant of "Millions Enslaved by Capitalism." In a similar vein, what the NYT and these other papers need to headline, these days, is "A Turkey Country Filled With Turkeys," or "Lemmings Running Over the Edge." Just some indication that the nation is committing collective suicide. That's really all we need to know.


11:04 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

When I moved to the town I am in about 4 years ago, they had a new police chief. Dartmouth educated, a couple of books on progressive policing, cutting edge 'reform,' de-escalation training, racism training, cultural sensitivity, etc. I knew someone who managed a residence for disabled and mentally ill people. When someone had a psychotic break, the police spent 10 hours talking with him, bringing in psych people, etc. 10 hours of blocks closed off, a building with residents held hostage, etc. 10 hours.... About three years later, someone was acting out near the local hospital. When a police officer arrived, the man swung at the officer. The officer proceeded to beat the crap out of the man while calling him a motherf****ng a**hole, etc. Broke them man's jaw, cracked his skull.

The man died in his bed a day later from a brain hemorrhage. The medical examiner declared the death a homicide. The progressive police chief took to the airwaves to lay into the decision while the mayor fought with the attorney general. The officer is still on the force, no repercussions at all.

So much for 'police reform.' It's all window dressing.

The worst you have heard of in Iraq, done by US troops? Them chickens have come home to roost, and they are armed and dangerous. It's baked into policing in this country. They are an occupying force, not a community service organization. Check out the... "mine-resistant ambush protected light tactical vehicle, which seemed unusual to social media due to the fact that Moundsville has a population of a little over 8,000 people..."


11:17 PM  
Anonymous Tim said...

If progressives are so outraged about racism why do they continue to label themselves "progressives" and why do they continue to espouse the Idea of Progress?

Not too long ago Stan Goff articulated something that did not surprise me: not only is progress a myth, it is a myth STEEPED IN RACISM, SEXISM AND IMPERIALISM.

Here's the link:


11:55 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

AOC on what a post police city will look like... A suburb!


So let's turn the inner city into the la-la land of suburbia. What evasive nonsense. 1.) The suburbs are themselves nihilistic and produce school shooters- not exactly a model for Renaissance. 2.) Suburban American kids do get better school funding, but they still underpeform Europeans who spend far less for better schooling. 3.) Growing up with better municipal services is nice, but even better is having parents with money.(can't go that far in our analysis of inequality though)

The idiotic "left" makes all prescriptions as if culture did not exist. As if one isolated public policy — police funding — explains the social whole. This "left" isn't even aware it exists in a hustle and only suggests that more people be brought in the fold.

Btw, the number one predicting factor for school performance across race and class — how many books are in the parents' home. Considering we have a rising gen growing up with electric toys and not books, we should see academic performance and social skills among all students continue to nosedive.

11:59 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

MB - best story I found on the Guardian petition was on the Bun, er, the Sun.


Change.org said on the 1st it's their biggest petition at the time, but no one gets to the heart of a story like the Bun, er, the Sun.

Meanwhile, another article on the Boogaloo movement.


12:43 AM  
Blogger Edward Miessner said...

In America, even the smart are dumb department:

Dr Berman, here is an article on the gentrification-a-go-go of US cities ignited by zoning changes that permitted the revitalisation of rundown, often black, neighborhoods in order to attract what Richard Florida called "the creative class". What is telling is that Mr. Florida found that low social value neighborhoods were good for the economy while tight-knit neighborhoods impeded economic growth. So of course the planners rezoned the neighborhoods in favor of turning the latter type into the former type consisting of wealthier individuals who have no roots in the community. Well the gentrification engine has gotten so revved out that even the gentrifiers are being priced out.


3:30 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Once again, thanks. How many Americans cd read thru the last few comments and connect the dots? A few thousand? 330 million don't even know what dots are.


3:47 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Tim, that article by Stan Goff on the myth of progress is really good. I can't help myself from quoting from it:

“In most societies in the world for the vast majority of human history, people believed that the world underwent cycles of growth and decay or that it held to a tenuous equilibrium capable of catastrophic disruption.”

“We are the only people who think themselves risen from savages. Everyone else believes they descended from gods.”

I really despair when I try to mention to my highly educated, highly intelligent "leftist" acquaintances that the whole caboodle of science, Big Bang, progress, Darwin etcetera, that they assume is The Truth, is only just that, an assumption, no more rational than the Catholic Scholastic explanation of the world in the Middle Ages. They look at me as if I was insulting their mothers. Out of concern for my own physical security I stopped even mentioning Richard Weikart's "From Darwin to Hitler" as proof that they, like the Church in the Middle Ages, also have lists of forbidden books.

7:36 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

I study chess with an old Russian who has written numerous books on chess. I had to take a test. Upon handing it to me he said, "There are no true or false questions or multiple choice. Your education here is a joke."
See the professor in CA who got suspended because he asked a Vietnamese if he could anglicize his name since it sounded like a curse word? I know this very well. I had a number of Vietnamese students whose name was Phuc Yu which was probably what the professor was grappling about.
Finally, I've taken your advice and will say unrelated things as conversation starters when speaking to a member of the African-American community so as not to appear racist. Here's a few:
1. It hurts when I do this (press some part of your body).
2. The Man of La Mancha (say with all seriousness).
3.I used to take long lunch breaks.
4. I want to emphasize is the way the process happened.
5. I miss Milton Berle (might require some explanation).
Again, thanks for the advice.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Pat Chouli said...

West Virginians Are Campaigning To Replace Confederate Statues With Mothman


Reasons why mothman is better than the confederate statues:
1. Not racist
2. Not explicitly a symbol of white supremacy
3. Not a symbol of slavery

Just more data—as if we needed any more—confirming that Americans aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Unknown-

1st, I don't post Unknowns. You need a real handle to participate here.
2nd, never, ever attack a Wafer. You can certainly disagree, and debate an issue with him or her to yr heart's content, but watch your language. Just remove the Attitude, and stick to the facts.


Time to refresh the post-it on yr bathrm mirror: HEADS EMBEDDED IN SHIT

1. To your chess teacher, the proper reply is "dyesvitel'no!" (indeed!)
2. You wd know more abt this than me, but I seem to recall an entree in a Thai restaurant that read something like Hard Prik Dong.
3. These are gd. Another possibility is "I have an inordinate fondness for chopped liver." I suppose you cd also say, "I really miss the Supremes," but that is probably skating along the edge.


12:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Dan: as you might imagine, I stuck to Pad Thai.

12:08 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

A Wafer koan:

All the mountains are covered with foam.
Why is this one bare?

2:48 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Another name to add to the missing in action has been Cornel West. Not anymore, in the throes of these evil days he is about the only person who inspires me. To paraphrase 'allot of black faces in high places nothing getting done. All we can do is hold onto our culture, values, beliefs and pass it on to our children. It's all we can do.' He calls everyone to account and imho speaks eloquently and profoundly to where were at and how we got here.


3:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


What is the sound of one mountain foaming?


3:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


2 gd articles in the June 11 edition of the NYRB. One is a profile of Max Weber; the other, an extremely Waferish essay by Marilynne Robinson, author of a collection of essays entitled "What Are We Doing Here?" Her title echoes my own collection, "Are We There Yet?", and her bk echoes many of the themes I advance in the Twilight bk. Not that I think she is plagiarizing; I doubt she ever heard my name. In the 20 yrs since Twilight, most of my arguments have become coin of the realm among serious critics of the American Way of Death. I appreciated the way she rejected Hedgean Manichaeanism, saying that blame for our situation cannot be placed on particular interest groups (e.g., the upper 1%). "America as a whole," she writes, has embraced our self-destructive way of life.

But to me, this does not go far enuf. The one thing that all post-Twilight critics have failed to refer to, let alone document, is the fact that Americans are stupid--no small factor in our decline. To do this wd be politically incorrect, something I am hardly afraid of being accused of. But as a factor, it's there, and it's there big. I remember marching against our war in Iraq in 2003, and noticing that the signs carried by various protesters sported common words that were misspelled. 17 yrs later, I saw a foto online of a BLM protester carrying a sign that said, I CAN'T BREATH [sic]. My guess is, that if you were to sit this young woman down, and explain that 'breath' is a noun, not a verb, she wd be likely to reply, "What's a noun? What's a verb?"

The average American walking down the st. is a moron, as Jay Leno demonstrated anecdotally. If you were to stop someone and ask them, "Who was John Foster Dulles?", or "From whom did America separate in 1776?", or "Where in the body is the aorta located?", you wd be met w/a blank stare. You can't tell me that stupidity of this sort is not contributing to our ongoing collapse.


4:03 PM  
Anonymous Requiem said...

MB et al: If anyone continues to doubt that the average American is as ignorant as a chipped brick, watch a little American TV - especially the local news casts and the always annoying "Family Feud". The goal of the anchors and weather persons is to beat the English language into unrecognizable formulations and then giggle at their own ineptitude. The contestants on The Feud are tested for their ignorance; anyone scoring a higher score than -4 is eliminated.

But, all kidding aside - spend just one night watching news shows and Feud and you'll never doubt the truth of American stupidity again.

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Euan said...


"Statues aren't our history. They're our archaeology."

Fantastic and sensible interpretation by a holder of a master's in conflict archaeology.

Then there's America's response to troublesome statues:


5:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Euan, Req-

Call me crazy, but I love stupid people. We need to establish an EBI--Escalating Buffoon Index.


5:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Film rec: "Only Lovers Left Alive".

5:35 PM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

Oh the irony!
Richard Weikart is a "scholar" at the "Discovery" Institute which is one of the principal outfits promoting creation - "science and back-to-the-past fundamentalist christian-ism. And of course "free"-enterprise capitalism.
One of the principal founders was George Gilder who is a let-it-rip techno-optimist and winner-takes-all predatory capitalism.

Not exactly a Wafer!

7:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A link? You tend to omit them.


8:03 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Has anyone written anything comparing progs and Puritans? This brand of moralism can only be described as Puritan in its zeal. It's exhausting. Literally every single corporation has sent out an email statement praising BLM, promising greater recognition, etc. I think one must be suspicious of such moralism because it is almost always a cover for deep immorality.

Now we have a new iconoclast movement in destroying statues. And this language about racism as the original sin of America. How right Nietzsche was — our most vocal 'radicals' are still Christians through and through.

Puritan moralism — 1. Point out moral imperfection 2. Posit that humankind is inherently wicked and stuck in this imperfection (where they differ from Wafers) 3. Guilt wicked humanity into further moral dependence on maniac churches, cults, political mass movements, etc. 4. When 3 fails, stay on message with 2 (what more did you expect from wicked sinners?)

The last thing miserable Puritan societies do is cultivate genuine moral improvement, real humanitas. Life becomes a gigantic dead end, an exercise in self-alienation. Contrast to Terence: "I am human and I think nothing human is alien to me."

11:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...




2:40 AM  
Blogger dermot said...

I had a feeling that the protest mo(ve)ment would collapse back into the usual postmodern obsession with signs & symbols. They can't help themselves, can they?
Dio, a beautiful quote from early medieval theologian Alcuin:

'And do not listen to those who keep saying, 'The voice of the people is the voice of God.' because the tumult of the crowd is always close to madness.'

I'm not bothered if they rip down statues XYZ, or if Uncle Ben goes down the memory hole, but I am bothered if this expands to become 99% of the 'movement'. This is exactly what has happened. Not one statue toppling takes a molecule of lead out of drinking water or provides 1 second of affordable health care.

American proggies need to make a serious study of the Provo movement in Ireland (political wing - Sinn Fein - moreso than the IRA). Now standing very close to achieving power in the 26 as well as the 6, and the achievement of a goal once thought fantastical (unification) within the next 20 years. No messing around.

They never confuse words and symbols with the things that the words and symbols represent. Focus and discipline that the US 'left' cannot begin to comprehend.

3:15 AM  
Blogger FarmerBrown said...

Hello Dr Berman,Wafers
Here is Prof Wolff’s response to a particular question while being interviewed by Julianna Forlano of act.tv
“Capitalism is an extremely unstable system, wherever it as landed over the last 300 years the we’ve had it. It produces an economic downturn every 4 to 7 yrs…..in order for capitalism to survive, it can’t subject the mass of people to the risk of a collapse every 4-7 yrs.it has to find some some sub-group and make them the fall guy, the one who absorbs the crash every 4-7 yrs. In Europe, they bring immigrants in from the Middle East, North Africa, into France, Germany and when the crash comes, they send them home.We used to do that in the country with Mexicans, Latin Americans,Puerto Ricans and so on. But the group that was early on in American Capitalism condemned to play that role are African Americans.Last hired, First fired.That’s the system and what you’ve done is over such a long time put the instability of the system onto a particular sub-group whom you could identify because you can see the colour of a person’s skin.Ok,good,those will be the ones that we hire less and fire first.So they had to absorb as a community regular bouts of unemployment, low wages, using up of savings so they couldn’t accumulate enough say for a down payment on a home. So yes,Capitalism by having to solve its instability problem, by designating a particular group, found that the racism inherited from slavery was a very useful institution for capitalism and that is why we can’t get rid of it because it is built into capitalism.And that’s why the old argument is still true.You wanna get rid of racism, if its still the same issue as do you want to get rid of poverty?You’ve got to deal with this system because if you don’t you will not succeed.”
Rest of the interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlw77USXIqA

3:56 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Well, I have followed the little ants, right back to their Queen! "The" Queen actually...


I'm coming around to believing that English-speaking culture is just crazy and wrong. Look at the US. Look at Australia. Look at the crazy history of England; Adam Curtis documentaries are useful for more recent UK history.

Escape the Anglosphere, however you can! Spanish is a fairly easy language ...

4:48 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Been going back in time a bit this weekend. 1963. John Coltrane Quartet records 'Alabama'



"...The quartet recorded the track in November 1963, two months after the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, made an absence of four little black girls.... (A) refusal of articulateness or articulation, a refusal of a tidy Freudian mourning. Coltrane is willing to consider that there might not be any getting out of this hole, no turning this absence into presence, no coherent expression that could make you understand the horror of dying in broad daylight while officers show you all the attention the farmers show Icarus in Bruegel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus. No narrative that could make you comprehend a world that uncaring..."

And then Frank Zappa on the 1965 Watts Riots-


.....there might not be any getting out of this hole.......


5:40 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...


I don’t agree with everything he writes in this article, but Michael Lind argues that much of modern identity politics has an undercurrent of Protestantism in it.


Lind also discusses the religious element in woke progressivism in this interview at around 57:40. The entire interview is also worth a listen in my opinion.


6:18 AM  
Anonymous Haddock said...

This model forecast the US's current unrest a decade ago. It now says 'civil war'


7:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for the link. V. gd. article, except for the conclusion.


An interesting take on racism/capitalism. I'm not convinced the racism is a result of a capitalist 'decision', however, or that the two are that closely integrated--sounds too much like a conspiracy theory. Wolff wd need some hard evidence to prove that.


Thanks for yr post. A link to an article on the Provos wd be helpful.


9:23 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: dermot: keep in mind that unlike the Irish, Americans are a shallow, superficial people; one might even say silly. They are a collection of jackasses, never managing to get to the root of things. As a result, real change escapes them.

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Aidan K. said...

Archaeologists, activists alarmed by online calls to demolish Pyramids

After bringing down statues, symbolic of racism and oppression in the US and the UK during the Black Lives Matter protests, some social media activists started calling for the demolition of the Pyramids, basing their argument on the contested notion that they were built by slaves.


Thing is, they weren't build by slave labor:


Typically America - to call for destroying things in another country in the name of itself, based on religious disinformation....

9:44 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

For those who’ve asked themselves how it could get any nuttier here, we have an answer.

The city fathers of Duluth, Minnesota have decided to jump on the seppuku bandwagon.

DULUTH – City leaders are making a push to remove the word "chief" from job titles, calling the term offensive to Indigenous people.

[Attempts to reach a tribal leader—any tribal leader—for comment on this pending change were unsuccessful as of press time.]

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Fred, Richard Weikart is indeed a christian. Malcolm X was a muslim affiliated with the Nation of Islam, not the most enlightened organization, shall we say, in a number of aspects. Should we dismiss everything Malcolm said as well? I think it's better to read and discuss each of the arguments on their merits instead of judging solely by the author.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, make sure you have enough popcorn stocked because there's going to be fireworks in November: A 2000 repeat in 2020? Concerns mount over ‘integrity’ of US election.

It's going to be worse this time. The article only touches the tip of the iceberg. You could even say it's biased. No mention of electronic voting machines without paper trail, or of the relationship between the companies behind the tabulating machines and the political parties etc. For my sins I had to learn more about the technical aspects of elections than I ever wanted to know. To cut a long story short, it used to be that close elections were easily rigged, but now technology has made all elections easy to rig.

And Biden is just as bad as Trump. In his own words:

“This president is going to try to steal this election. This is a guy who said that all mail-in ballots are fraudulent, voting by mail, while he sits behind the desk in the Oval Office and writes his mail-in ballot to vote in a primary.”

“You have so many rank-and-file military personnel saying, ‘Well, we’re not a military state, this is not who we are.’ I promise you, I’m absolutely convinced, they will escort him from the White House in a dispatch.”

Oh the irony! Schmiden is calling for the military to remove Trumpolini by force. Time to watch the Marx Brothers' "Duck Soup" again...

10:45 AM  
Blogger Xair said...


Fairly interesting analysis of the current moment with police brutality and BLM. I think he misses the real issue of American decline and the role American stupidity plays in all of this, but he does make some really good points.


11:58 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Watch length. Better to be under than over. Thanks.


1:02 PM  
Anonymous Torian said...

Suggests We’re Living in Historically Unhappy Times


2:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Not if yr a declinist. For us, watching a cruel and evil structure come apart after centuries of violence and oppression is like a shot of oxygen.


2:39 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Women today are increasingly unhappier than they were in the past. I wonder if all this feminism nonsense backfired & the chickens came home to roost


3:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, any large-scale social movement has both a light and a dark side. The social and economic gains made by feminism are very real, and very important (equal pay for equal work, for example, or access to professional careers). Women were previously caught in a box: they might want to be artists or supreme court justices or anything that allowed them self-expression, but society drastically delimited their choices. Today, we have tons of female doctors and corporate executives, so much or most of that Victorian world has been washed away. But the down side has been mostly psychological: denial of the body, of love, of being able to live on an emotional level. Plus trying to force their lives into a preconceived intellectual framework. It hardly surprises me that the studies you cite indicate that women are unhappier today than they were in the past. The price of the gains has clearly been very high. In my own experience, wh/I mean since ca. 1970, I have met many feminists; I can honestly say that more than 90% of them were angry people. I can't imagine who wd want to hang out w/these folks, except other feminists.

I recall, at some of the universities where I taught, the "academic couple," the husband-wife team who ran their marriages on intellectualized, feminist principles. There was no spark in those marriages; the sadness in their eyes was palpable. Sex had long since fled the coop. And yet, absurdly, these folks regarded their relationships as 'enlightened'. Yikes!


3:54 PM  
Anonymous Tim said...

Malleus, in "Why I Am Not a Scientist" (a play on Bertrand Russell's "Why I Am Not a Christian") Jonathan Marks shows that in the early 20th Century eugenics was MAINSTREAM SCIENCE. Marks is not an Intelligent Design disciple, so he can't be dismissed due to any such bias.

I think that the leftists you describe take themselves way too seriously. It's about a different topic, Santa Claus, but I think that you would enjoy--everybody here would enjoy--as an effective rejoinder to those leftists a work in Issue 135 of "Philosophy Now": "Lies, Damn Lies and Santa Claus", by Joe Biehl.


Sarah, the feminist narrative is this: women's happiness has declined and men's happiness has remained unchanged because men have not taken on their share of the unpaid work that women traditionally did--women's workload has doubled. Correct or incorrect, that is the feminist narrative.

Finally, anybody who wants to understand the ignorance and stupidity of the American populace should read the chapter on education in "The Culture of Narcissism". Christopher Lasch showed, basically, that reformers in the early 20th Century felt that common people are "incapable of intellectual exertion" and that mass education became a form of capitalist social control not intended to impart knowledge and cognitive skills to everybody.

4:42 PM  
Blogger The Wanderer said...

Hola todos,
mb you are gifted with great wit. Pax Vobupkis

BIG NEWS: In case you haven't heard, Japan just cancelled a multi-billion dollar missile defense system with Lockheed. They announced without even pre-informing the US government.

"From Europe to the Middle East to South America, there is an extraordinary change that is taking place, one that is seeing US power and influence waning around the world. So is the post-WWII era of “Pax Americana” truly over? And, if so, what does that mean for the future of global geopolitics?"


5:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Geocentricity was mainstream science long after Copernicus (1543), and certainly b4. As for the feminist narrative, I suspect that men also are much unhappier now than they were 50 yrs ago. America, same.


5:10 PM  
Anonymous Requiem said...

Dio - Don't forget that a fundamental tenet of Puritanism, based on Calvinism, was the "total depravity" of humanity. Another, that of predestination: the belief that one's salvation was predetermined before birth. One was either bound for heaven or hell and there was not anything that could be done to change one's fate. Finally, the Puritans believed themselves to be the Elect of God, ordained to purify the Church of England and be a "city of a hill", that is, an example to the rest of humanity.

Former - I am more of the opinion that the captains of industry use scapegoats to deflect responsibility for downturns from themselves and onto others and that they don't care who those others are, so long as they serve that function. At times, blacks; at other times, Latinoes, or immigrants or the financial policies of other nations. But never those truly responsible.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Arthur V. said...

Reading over these interesting comments got me to thinking. One of the problems with the left (which for better or worse I consider myself part of) is that it will not accept the very basic fact that life really is a zero sum game. Women have gained a number of important things. And rightfully so. But nothing is free. They have had to give up certain things. Right now we see the same thing happening across the land. Topple this statue; ban his book. Don't use this word or that. And the left really believes that everyone will just go along with this nonsense and anyone who doesn't agree is. . .well, fill in the blank.

Even if some of this things did make sense to do, and that's a big if, one can't just take away a whole culture and expect those left behind to be happy about it. That's complete delusion. And one can't write off all these folks as 'bad' people, even if what they defend is not worth defending. I heard a commentator on the news last night saying Trump could use this type of thing to his benefit. Anyway, that's my opinion. As always, stay safe all.

6:10 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

I would like to introduce you and other Wafers to a "proto-Wafer" from around 320 BC India. His popular name was Chanakya. He was a a teacher/professor and a sharp political strategist. The following quote by him (in Sanskrit ) I think fits the US to the tee:
"Vinaasha kale vipareet buddhi" It's literal translation is “Destruction dark contrast wit”.
It can be contextually translated into English as: “As (one’s) doom approaches, (the person’s) intellect works against (his/her) best interest”. Meaning of word ‘Vipareet’ means ‘in reverse direction’.

Two more quotes by him which you would identify with: "Get rid of morons". "Never debate with an idiot".


6:56 PM  
Anonymous Tomiris said...

Dear MB and Wafers,

I've been lurking for some time now and decided to contribute today. This blog has been a source of sanity in an ocean of madness.

I'm a young woman from a post-Soviet country, getting a PhD at one of the top US institutions in my field. I found it very difficult to find American friends, not to mention have a "romantic" life. When I just arrived I couldn't understand what was going on, because I've never had such problems before, and I lived in several countries prior to coming here. At some point, I was starting to feel that something must be wrong with me. Thankfully, I already had some understanding of the American society and the "iron cage" of modernity to not fall into complete despair. It was a great relief to stumble upon this blog and find out that there are sane people in this country who are aware of what is going on.

I would like to reply to Sarah's post about feminism. Many feminist ideas have been very important to my development as a person. In my country, women are still blamed for being raped or battered by their husbands. Girls are often not given the same attention and care as boys, and there is such a thing as sex-selective abortion. I think dismissing feminism completely is not right. The problem with modern feminism is the fact that it has become so detached from the concerns of normal people, espeically the working class (Judith Butler's postmodernism comes to mind). And second, that it became entangled with capitalism, where feminism is now equivalent to "making it" and "leaning in."

And since Tim mentioned Christopher Lasch's The Culture of Narcissism, in the book Lasch talks about the deterioration of intimate relationships between men and women:
"The reasons for the recent intensification of sexual combat lie in the transformation of capitalism from its paternalistic and familial form to a managerial, corporate, bureaucratic system of almost total control: more specifically, in the collapse of "chivalry"; the liberation of sex from many of its former constraints; the pursuit of sexual pleasure as an end in itself; the emotional overloading of personal relations; and most important of all, the irrational male response to the emergence of the liberated woman." (page 189). Note the last point, and Lasch's insistence that it is the "flight from feeling," which is the culprit, not the desire of women to be treated as equal and worthy of men.

I apologize for exceeding the limit, but I felt that this quote deserved to be put here in full. I want to extend my gratitute to Doctor Berman and all the Wafers for keeping the candle of knowledge and wisdom glowing in this dark age.

My very best wishes to you all!

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Patrick Murray said...

BREAKING: Trump confirms in an interview with Axios that he held off on imposing sanctions against Chinese officials involved with the Xinjiang mass detention camps because doing so would have interfered with his trade deal with Beijing. https://www.axios.com/trump-uighur-muslims-sanctions-d4dc86fc-17f4-42bd-bdbd-c30f4d2ffa21.html

What a terrible human being.

7:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


If I remember correctly, Bush Sr. did something similar w/respect to the Tiananmen massacre. He too was a piece of trash; an untermensch and a degraded buffoon.


Welcome to the blog, and thanks for joining us. As for sane people in the US, be aware that there are very few of us around. You are now living among 330 million individuals who have little more than fruit compote inside their heads. If you don't believe me, go out into the street and ask the 1st person you meet, "Who was John Keats?", or "Where is Bulgaria?", and you'll see what I mean. As for feminism, clearly, capitalism is able to literally absorb anything and remake it in its own image, and for its own purposes. So women are now focused on breaking the 'glass ceiling' and becoming CEOs of corporations that exploit and kill. What a triumph. Anyway, in future pls be sure to observe the half-pg-max limit, thanks. ps: If you need a few laughs, try "The Heart of the Matter." As T.S. Eliot once said of Bertrand Russell ("Mr. Apollinax"), you'll laugh like an irresponsible fetus.


Re: taking away a whole culture and thinking there will be no backlash, see WAF ch. 4. We are seeing now that the Civil War never ended, wh/is what I argued in 2011; the notion of CW #2 is being frankly bandied about. As for pulling down statues and associated symbolic prog activities: progs esp., and Americans in general, don't know shit from Shinola. (Shinola usta be a popular brand of shoe polish.)


Actually, for practical purposes, there was a loophole built into the doctrine of predestination, which made the whole capitalist program more flexible and dynamic. Check out the ref I provided above, to the portrait of Max Weber in the NYRB.


Time for me to come clean and admit that humor is the metaphysical core of this blog. Our major purpose here is to have fun. Don DeLillo relates that when he was a teenager, he and his pals wd go to the mass, and then outside the church say, "Pax vobiscum; Dominick, go frisk 'em!" What that hasta do w/anything, I'm not entirely sure. As for the Japanese, this may constitute a mini-Suez Moment. Like Rome, we are dying the death of 1000 cuts.

Schmiden, please save us! Only you, Schmiden, can reverse the course of the last 400+ years, and suddenly render 330 million morons, enlightened beings! Work yr magic, Schmiden! Take away the virus, and bring an end to police violence and anti-racist protests! We love you, Schmiden!


8:48 PM  
Anonymous Ivan Amaral said...

'Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?' _ T. S. Eliot

10:01 PM  
Blogger Janet D said...

The activists keep pulling down statues that 99% of all Americans never even noticed, let alone identified or cared about (until they got pulled down, that is). Meanwhile, the Arctic hit a record high of 100 deg F on Saturday, 32 degrees above normal and May, 2020 has tied for the hottest May ever recorded (& 2020 is on track to be the hottest year yet recorded since records have been kept). But really, folks, it's the statues....

(https://www.noaa.gov/news/may-2020-tied-for-hottest-on-record-for-globe; https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/yes-2020-expected-be-warmest-year-record-162842)

@Dio...I have thought for a long time that all the Left did was to dump Christianity but keep all the worst aspects of it - dualism, Puritanism, evangelical zeal, etc. Just cuz you change all the furniture around doesn't mean you've actually left the same room....

I loved the following article - found it to be an excellent summation about the United States, even while focusing almost exclusively on just one: "The Dark Soul of the Sunshine State: Why Florida Is the Way It Is". My favorite quote (from one of the individuals profiled in the article): "“How long before a society of atomized individuals rightfully following only their desires, heedless of what they owe others, destroys itself?”)


10:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Originally there was a 3rd line: "Where is the pastrami we have lost in processed meats?" Ezra Pound persuaded Eliot to leave it out, at the last minute. Pity.


11:01 PM  
Blogger dermot said...

On the Provos, Bowyer Bell's 'The Secret Army' (get 3rd ed. as it includes the Good Friday Agreement IIRC): https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Army-J-Bowyer-Bell/dp/1560009012
Tim Pat Coogan's 'The IRA' also of interest but haven't read it myself.

This Feb. Sinn Fein became #1 party in the republic with our 2 large right parties reduced to 40% COMBINED, and begging the Greens to form a 3 way coalition to keep SF out. SF should be in power soon. An astonishing and REAL achievement - with the goal of unification now within sight in the next couple of decades (2021 census expected to show catholic maj. for first time in North; unionist voters dying out). A party hated by TPTB in Ireland as the Black Panthers were in USA!

On the subject of BLM protests sliding into performative symbolism, many black americans are not fooled. Malcolm Tee, a poster on FB, on a thread between his friends:

"We didn't ask for a paw patrol dog to be canceled, we didn't ask for cop shows to be canceled, we didn't ask for photo ops in ethnic garb, we didn't ask for streets be painted, we asked for fucking accountability. What's the deal with this god damn circus?! Pass some meaningful fucking legislation, HOLD DEPARTMENTS ACCOUNTABLE, HOLD MURDERERS ACCOUNTABLE, address SYSTEMIC, SYS-FUCKING-TEMIC racism. Oh, and taking a knee don't impress me since that's how folks are being killed. Get yo ass up. Geezus I hate it here."

11:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for refs, but in future pls wait a full 24 hrs between posts. Thank you.


4:22 AM  
Anonymous Vince said...

Hello Dr. Berman,

PBS Frontline just did a piece about opioids. Hustling plus prescription drugs.


@Janet D,

Dr. Guy McPherson has been putting out the evidence based message that we are headed for near term human extinction due to habitat loss from abrupt irreversible climate change / global warming.



The quote just posted summarizes why people like me just can not take any of it seriously. This latest "movement" has all the depth as Occupy Wall Street.


8:51 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I think the time is long overdue for our major newspapers to start referring to protest marches, tearing down of statues, cosmetic police reform, and court trials of murdering cops as the Beat Off Cycle (BOC). I mean, what else is it, really? How many Americans can now identify George Zimmerman, or Dylan Roof? Who among them will know who George Floyd was, 6 mos. from now? Then some white cop will kill a black man for sitting on a park bench, reading a book, and the Cycle will begin all over again. Structural changes to capitalism and racism are simply not in the cards. That wd be intercourse. America prefers to beat off. Can you imagine a NYT headline like this?:



9:12 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

The BOC Goes On

The BOC goes on, the BOC goes on
Chants keep pounding a rhythm to the brain
La de da de de, la de da de da
Tulsi was once the rage, uh huh
History has turned the page, uh huh
The burned stores, the current thing, uh huh
The Twitler is our newborn king, uh huh
And the BOC goes on, the BOC goes on
Rants keep pounding a rhythm to the brain
La de da de de, la de da de da
The grocery stores the looters wreck, uh huh
Baddie cops still knee the necks, uh huh
And all still keep hustlin’ like before
Electrically they keep a Covid score
And the BOC goes on, the BOC goes on
Ads keep pounding a rhythm to the brain
Le de da de de, la de da de da
Pundits sit in chairs and reminisce
Wafers just wanting to take a piss
Events keep going faster all the time
Bums still cry, “Hey buddy, have you got a dime?”
And the BOC goes on, the BOC goes on

12:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


But this shd make everything rt:



12:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: This too is nice:


1:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

"We drown the quiet voices of Being in the noise of worthless illusion"--Karlfried von Duerckheim, "The Japanese Cult of Tranquillity"

Pretty gd description of the US, eh wot?


3:13 PM  
Anonymous Mary said...

If all 'problematic' statues have to go, then that includes monuments to Gandhi, Marx, Engels and Che Guevara


RT_com piece about the left-wing icons that might get cancelled

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

You can't make this stuff up-


9:04 PM  
Anonymous Xavier said...


“All lives matter. Everyone’s life matters. God loves everyone—he never singled anyone out.”

Muhammad Ali Jr., the son of the late boxer, said his father would have been against the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.

Welp, now we'll cancel Muhammad Ali!

9:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I continue to be annoyed at cops pulling their punches. Why didn't they just shoot him?


9:21 PM  
Anonymous Pat Celka said...


Full Film - Infinite Potential: The Life and Ideas of David Bohm

A new film about David Bohm, one of my heroes.

- Patrick C

10:28 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Scenario: Tumpi asks "How'm I dooo'in?" Answer: https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/worlds-largest-economy-in-free-fall,14019

Yesterday I wandered down around the south end of my fine city; the kind of place WASP creeps love to bitch about. A local burger place, possibly the oldest drive-in in California, being established in the 1930s, I was delighted to find Those Damned Mexicans(tm) had turned into a taqueria. I sat a nice little table outside, well away from the other diners, a family. I had two "super tacos" and a modelo especial and it was just lovely. There was music from the place, other music from across the street, the occasional low-rider or classic car going by, people walking around, all conversations were in Spanish of which I could pick up some, it was really nice.

12:29 AM  
Anonymous Observer said...

Tomiris- Your post resonated with me. I had the same experience at a top university here in the US, and I’m American! I apparently don’t look American enough for my compatriots, so I was basically ignored and treated as one of the foreign students, who, I should say, were by far more humble and friendly than the American students. This blog helped me immensely during this period, though unfortunately I am still stuck in the country. At least you have ties to another country and could potentially return there.

I agree very much about feminism. The detractors of feminism are almost always men who see women as a resource to be competed for. They can’t be taken seriously, because they aren’t speaking from a place of direct experience. Most women in the world aren’t privileged upper-class women from the West. The form that feminism takes for these women is completely alien to the needs of normal women.

Luckily, I was able to gain admission to a graduate school in Europe and will be leaving this fall. I’m a bit concerned about how I will be received there with the rise of xenophobia and right-wing parties, but I suppose it can’t be any worse than
America, where I’ve basically been invisible my whole life.

1:50 AM  
Anonymous Requiem said...

Thanks for whoever suggested we read the review of Kent Russell's new book. Convincing argument that the libertarian values that drive politics and life in FL are those of the nation in general. He refers to "frontier values" - "fierce individualism, gun violence, week government, rapacious attitudes toward the environment - values which continue to animate the country today. His definition of the American version of "liberty" is right on - "elevating the rights of individuals to do whatever the hell they want".

What he says of FL's core is true for nation as well - shifty, lying, scam-artist libertarianism. Not a flaw in the system - it IS the system. Same goes for police depts - cop killings not a flaw in the system, they ARE the system. Killings will only stop when the system is changed. Education and love and protests will be tolerated until they burn themselves out and the next black man is murdered. Rinse, repeat. The stomach for real change doesn't exist. We are in a downward spiral from which there will be no recovery.

Despairing? Yes. But less despairing, for me, than refusal to accept the truth. Acceptance of reality at least frees one to cast off illusions and live in a real world.

7:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Good article. This is one of the 4 factors of decline I predicted in the Twilight bk.


7:26 AM  
Anonymous Pat Chouli said...

This article was kinda interesting, Prof. Berman,’now that I’m 5 chap. into TROTW. Maybe there are interesting points of intersection between the two, but this article lacks the punch of your book. Ie., I think that using “re-embedding” instead of “reechantment,” the article loses poignancy, b/c “embedded” (as a concept) seems to begin (and end) inside of an ethos derived too much from “technical culture.” To become “embedded” suggests, for me, that we can put the “toothpaste back in the tube again.” And we aren’t going to be able to set Enlightenment consciousness to the side so easily. And so the author never establishes an I/Thou relationship with the reader, unlike your work Prof. B, it’s too didactic (“we *should* do this, rather than that”). Also, the article fails to mention Lewis Mumford, which is a drawback, though it does use the quote from Leszek Kolakowski that you used MB. But I’ll sit on this awhile, and figure out where my confusion lies.


9:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A lot of yr confusion might be cleared up by rdg Appendix III of my Japan bk, "Neurotic Beauty." I discuss the Axial Age in much greater depth (and with a lot more nuance, I believe) than does the author of this Noema article.


9:52 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

I think Andrew Bacevich has been reading your American Empire trilogy; this essay is his most impressive yet in my opinion. As for Americans acting to rein in militarism and materialism, America will not be shaken enough to address either. There is also a link to Martin Luther King's 1967 Riverside Church sermon, which might have gotten King killed the following year.


10:11 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

If you want to know what decline looks like, it's when you are eager to tear down old statues but can't even think of any more recent figures more worthy of replacing them. Progress by the sheer elimination of forced forgetting...

Ofc, as others have pointed out, these statues mostly sit forgotten in any case, as we have a public whose sense of the historical horizon is not much greater than a few years at most. So maybe they iconclasts are actually doing honour to these statues by taking them seriously enough to be torn down.

"I would much rather someone ask why there is not a statue of me than why there is one."- Cato the Elder

10:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I don't doubt it. Yrs ago, I sent Bacevich the galleys of DAA, asking him if he wd write a blurb. He never replied. Next thing, he was giving interviews in wh/he came out w/stuff that was in my bk--w/o attribution. And yet, oddly enuf, I didn't have the feeling he was plagiarizing. I think he just absorbed what I said unconsciously, and honestly thought it was his own. So I give him the benefit of the doubt, altho in general, those in elite intellectual positions are very unlikely to 'stoop' to give me credit. And more to the pt, most of them have never heard of my work. I'm not on the radar screen, as I've said b4. The Chinese will discover me 50 yrs from now.


10:47 AM  
Anonymous Amelia said...

China and the US have traded places as providers of UN peacekeeping personnel.

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Larry Pelly said...

Philosophy & Religion
The Unfinished Project of Enlightenment

In a sweeping new history of Western philosophy, Jürgen Habermas narrates the progress of humanity through the unfolding of public reason. Missing from that story are the systems of violence and dispossession whose legacies are all too visible today.

Brandon Bloch


11:57 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

All current statues in the US should be replaced w/Wafer Hall of Fame (WHF) heroes. Below is a list of potential honorees:

Lorenzo Riggins
Freddie Wadsworth
Shaneka Torres
Brittany Carulli
Antonio Smallwood
Ryan Malek
Tracey McCloud
Lauren Boebert
Rachel Butterbaugh
Bumni Laditan
Tanya Cordero


ps: In no way is this a comprehensive list. Wafers feel free to add anyone they feel is deserving of statuary.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


And of course, Tulsi. I'd like to editorialize a bit: Lorenzo would be seated in front of 7 cheeseburgers, w/a sad look on his face. Freddie--well, w/a goat, of course. Shaneka: holding an AK-47. Brittany: w/a stolen wallet. We shd also add Chrystal Walraven (whatever happened to her?), and Laquisha Jones, holding a brick. Meanwhile, I had forgotten about Bunmi. Check out her pic: there's something terrifying abt it (her smile esp.). As for Tulsi: on a workout bench.


3:22 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

As director of the NW Center for Tulsism, I am pleased to share with Wafers everywhere an example of what could be a video with music track promoting the write-in campaign that has begun for Tulsi on the November presidential ballot. A tip of the Wafer cap goes to my Canadian pal Jim Kline for his steadfast efforts to keep the flame of Tulsism before us:


And we have come up with a simple campaign hat with slogan to compete with the MAGA caps of the Trump campaign. Caps for Tulsism will promote MANA – Make America Normal Again - instead of MAGA, mana being Hawaiian for spirit. This could be the campaign breakthrough that Tulsism needs to expand its base, since we all know how much the 99 percent of Merica crave mana from heaven. Say it with me as you watch the video again: MANA! MANA! MANA!

6:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Here's a possible scenario: racial protests and the virus cancel each other out, leaving a political vacuum. Into this vacuum comes Tulsism, to win the November election. Meanwhile, Wafers might wanna chew on this:



6:54 PM  
Anonymous Petronius said...

Greetings Wafers all, & esp MB

Long time lurker and a Wafer at heart, I couldn't resist commenting.

As good as Tulsi's workout is, I think this clip provides an encapsulation of the verkakte system we are immersed in.


The thug entertains the idea of Tulsism and all the enlightenment it entails.

As a metaphor, I think it might work.


8:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Not following you.


9:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Food For Thought Dept.:

"There is a crack, a crack in everything/That's how the light gets in."--Leonard Cohen

"The person who has never made a mistake will never make anything else."--George Bernard Shaw

"We are a strand in the web of life. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves."
--Chief Seattle

"Those who do not grow, grow smaller."--Rabbi Hillel (1st C BC)

"The Torah can be summed up in a single sentence: 'That which is hateful to you, don't do
to others.' All the rest is editorializing."--Hillel

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Tim said...

I do not believe that Bernie Sanders' revolution was ever rejected once, let alone a second time.

My interactions with Sanders supporters did not include much, if anything, about class solidarity against an oligarchy. Sanders enthusiasts overwhelmingly spoke of Medicare for All, student loan debt forgiveness, free college tuition, rent controls, and most of all HEAVILY TAXING THE "1℅". It was all about redistribution. Very little about radical change. Bernie Sanders to them was a vending machine promising to dispense goodies at the expense of the wealthy.

Vending machine liberalism would be better than the identity-politics-on-steroids liberalism that Douthat sees taking over the left now. But it is still not even close to the oligarchy-crushing radicalism that liberalism supposedly could return to. And it is still the wish list of elites, not blue collar workers.

Why do the latter "vote against their interests", the former always ask. Uh, maybe because they don't want a vending machine. Maybe because they want their jobs back and the health of their communities restored.

The true left-wing liberal version of Trump has not appeared yet, let alone been defeated twice.

11:02 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

British journalist Neil Clark writes on how much worse off we are today compared to 1970. A pretty rare declinist article that questions the myth of progress. Clark is perhaps a bit heavy on nostalgia but I agree with his argument that things have gotten worse. Clark’s point about the decline of universalism and the rise of identity politics is also interesting.


2:39 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, I don't post Unknowns. You need a real handle to participate. Thank you.


Problem is, all those things you mention, esp. heavily taxing the elite, *are* elements of class solidarity against an oligarchy. Not revolution, surely, but rather in the footsteps of FDR. True, FDR's goal was to save capitalism, which he did; but there is no question that the Power Elite was not happy with the New Deal, and tried to undo it from day 1. Which continues today.


5:27 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Replace ugly American history with idealized superhero statues... Escape the dirty ambiguity of history in pure fantasy. Essentially what the Romans chose in the age of the deified, legendary Caesars.

The Romans would also try to eliminate bad emperors (or past emperors fallen into disfavour) from historical memory— the damnatio memoriae.


8:03 AM  
Blogger Mike Kelly said...

Every day I look for little signs of decline. Here's one:


Many smart phone junkies were left without a supplier on June 16. As a T-Moblie exec described it: "common garden fiber outage". I'd describe it as death by 1000 cuts. Get ready for more of this.

8:27 AM  
Anonymous Ferguson said...

The dream of a revived working class left built on mass economic redistribution is dead for now. In its place we have a chummy handshake between media, academia & corporations content with revolution in the form of diverse board rooms and toppled statues." - journalist Lee Fang's response the Time's article


“But the longer arc of the current revolutionary moment may actually end up vindicating the socialist critique of post-70s liberalism-that it’s obsessed w/cultural power at the expense of economic transformation & that it puts the language of radicalism in the service of elitism”

10:15 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


As for signs, they are now showing up in neon. But your message reminded me of this:


(Life imitating art)


10:23 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Meanwhile, Wafers might wanna chew on this:

Bernie, in part, tried to win back the White working class, however, he sabotaged his own efforts by going in on "wokeness." The Democratic elite are no longer interested in the White working class except for punishing them. Against this backdrop you have protestors/rioters flexing against the people institutional power hates anyway. They think they are challenging "the man" but are really just useful idiots.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Under the heading “Who was this guy? Who gives a fuck?” the following report on the latest unpleasantness in Madison, Wisconsin Tuesday night.

Protesters—whatever it is, I’m against it—pulled down a couple of statues, one of which depicts Colonel Hans Christian Heg, a Norwegian immigrant, anti-slavery activist, and Union officer in the Civil War.


10:27 AM  
Anonymous Rita Chambers said...

*Attacking a senator who supports the protests and damaging a statue of an abolitionist is an interesting strategy: Wisconsin state senator attacked by protesters as demonstrations in Madison turn violent* https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/06/24/madison-police-protest-senator/

Belligerent American "activism".

10:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Rita et al.-

If you have a post-it on yr bathrm mirror that says HEADS WEDGED IN RUMPS, you can't go wrong. From a declinist perspective, the more heads that are wedged in rumps, the faster our decline.


12:35 PM  
Anonymous Tomiris said...

Hi Wafers,

Regarding Ross Douthat's article, I think he channels (the ever-prescient) Lasch, who back in the 80-90s was warning about the rise of a new managerial elite. His book The Revolt of the Elites is a great collection of essays on the theme, where he excoriates the bureacurats and "academic radicals" for becoming a self-absorbed industry of careerists. Especially great is the essay entitled "Academic Pseudo-radicalism: The Charade of "Subversion."


Good luck in Europe! I went to graduate school there for one year, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Even though it's true that there is a rise of xenophobia there right now, I found that a significant portion of the discussion was overblown by the media.

Heart of the Matter is on my to-read list! I was wondering: what advise would you give a young wannabe scholar in times like these? I am going to start writing my dissertation soon, but I feel constrained by expectations and financially dependent on being able to "fit in." Also, is there any way that Wafers meet in person?

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Thanks, Pat. I didn't know David Bohm but his work seems fascinating. Aren't his ideas also compatible with Spinoza's metaphysics? The things you learn in this blog! Why would anybody go to any other blog indeed?

Anyway, here is some research into what I said about US election rigging; it's much worse than what you thought: The “Shocking” Truth About Election Rigging in the United States

Apparently, in the United States, we can conduct multiple trillion-dollar wars around the globe, but counting our own ballots on election night is simply an overwhelming proposition.

1:25 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

I MISS these long talks Morris!!!


1:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You might as well do whatever you want w/yr dissertation, because as far as I know, there are no academic jobs out there for new Ph.D.'s, save as adjuncts, wh/you'll hate. As for Wafer mtgs: we hold one abt every 1-2 yrs in NY, altho people fly in from LA, train in from Philly and Upstate NY, etc. Next one will be ca. mid-May 2021, if the city is virus-free, and allowing folks from other states to come in w/o quarantine. It will be our 7th, hence 7ANYWSM: Annual New York Wafer Summit Mtg. I'm planning to check out flights later this yr, will also ask those who are active participants on this blog, and who are planning to attend, to email me for details (venue, date and time, etc.). Possible discussion topics (tho we can discuss anything): the importance of pastrami in the modern world; how the US wound up w/330 million morons; why anyone in their rt mind wd go to another blog; celebration of reelection of Trumpi; evidence of American collapse; Meghan's hats; and the fact that when all is said and done, black lives don't really matter very much, any more than white ones (unless yr rich).

Regarding David Bohm: I knew him toward the end of his life, and we had a long correspondence. The file is buried somewhere in my file cabinets; one of these days I shd probably dig it up, and see if the letters are worth publishing.


1:46 PM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Hi Dr. B and WAFERS:

Regarding the documentary on David Bohm that was recently recommended here: I didn't know anything about Bohm's biography until I watched the first part it. Was disappointed and even a little shocked to learn that he had deep connections with Oppenheimer and that part of his PhD work contributed to the atom bomb.

@ Tim - wanted to respond to your earlier post "I do not believe that Bernie Sanders' ..." I was surprised that all of the political options you listed were based in liberalism (vending machine, identity-politics-on-steroids, true left-wing). This may just be the American way of looking at the issue. Some academic historians in Canada use the term 'social liberalism' to mean 'true left-wing' or 'social democracy. I think there needs to be a clear distinction between political philosophies based in liberalism (liberty/individualism) and those in socialism (communalism, sociality).

@ Tomiris - I have been working on my dissertation for several months now and can certainly relate to the PhD student issues you mention in your most recent post.

@ All - Recently I mentioned reading. Well, I finished The Divine Comedy and what as astounding read it was! 80% of the time he had me transfixed. I am now going back to finish Goethe's Faust II.

-Northern Johnny

1:58 PM  
Blogger Arthur V. said...

So we have protesters knocking down statues of folks who fought against slavery, and the Leader is indeed cutting federal funding for Covid tests. One of the states that will be hit hardest is good, ole, red Texas. Really none of this makes the slightest bit of sense anymore. Then again it does if Loki the Trickster really is in charge. Or at least his modern counterpart Bugs Bunny.

2:40 PM  
Anonymous alanmac385@icloud.com said...

Morris, I characterize corona-virus as Covid-45, in honor of our 45th faux-president and Emperor.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You've got to remember the context of the early 40s. We were the gd guys; Hitler was the enemy; the folks at Los Alamos were worried that Germany had an atomic bomb project going, and that it was mandatory that we beat them to it. Things shifted to Japan as target around 1943, when we learned that Germany was *not* working on the bomb. Exactly when Bohm was involved, I can't say; but quite honestly, you cd also indict Einstein in the same way (letter to FDR, previous work on atomic energy, etc.). Pt is, yr projecting a 2020 context onto the early 40s, when no one can jump ahead to a consciousness 80 yrs in the future. The whole series of events is discussed in detail in "Neurotic Beauty" (be sure to read the ftnotes as well).


Oddly enuf, I don't get too many invitations to speak in the US these days! As time went on, American institutions became increasingly frightened of reality. I'm far too raw, and too direct, abt these issues, as all of you Wafers know; but why not just call a spade a spade? is my view of it. We have nothing to lose but everything, and we *will* lose it. I do, however, wish that American universities weren't so spineless, but this too is part of our collapse.


4:12 PM  
Anonymous Capt. Spaulding said...

Dear Dr. B.

The Atlantic magazine has a featured article out this week on American decline, especially valuable for the view from Europe: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2020/06/america-image-power-trump/613228/

I don't know if this book has been mentioned on the blog - I've been away for awhile - but I just started it and it is very much in the NMI mold. https://www.amazon.com/At-Center-All-Beauty-Solitude-ebook/dp/B07TK5QYGD/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Solitude+Creative&qid=1593033452&s=books&sr=1-1. Looks like Zena Hitz's book and this one complement each other.

@ Tomiris - Having finished a Ph.D. some years ago and entered into a dead job market, I truly empathize with your concerns. If you've already gone as far as the writing stage and can get another couple years of funding, I'd finish. But, as Dr. B. said, there won't likely be any tenure-track jobs waiting for you, especially in the humanities. So use the space that the dissertation writing provides you to do some exploration about what really matters to you (rather than what I did which was to fritter away the years in a state of constant anxiety). There's more to life than jumping through endless hoops for such meagre rewards.

Wishing you well, Dr. B.

- The Capt.

The Capt.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

Let's break out the Manischewitz! Every single day the US produces more *good* news:

1. Coronavirus has brought the US 'to its knees' says director of the CDC:


2. The US military is a channel for white supremacy and the boogaloo:


3. Constance Lynn Bono in action:


Miles the Tickled

6:27 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Christian Schultzke - Bernie alienated me by saying something like, "If you're white you don't know what it's like to be poor" - Really? I know they exist, but I've never met a Black person poorer than me. We're talking Angela's Ashes poor here. Also, Teh Bern said something like, he was gonna let the Northeast rednecks keep their guns, and that probably didn't make points with the majority in the US who'd like to see some reasonable gun control.

mb - glad the article was useful. Agree on The Bomb and WWII. My grandpaw worked on it. Was not shoulder to shoulder with Oppie but ... wasn't the janitor either.

I think I need to budget a Berman book a month ....

7:44 PM  
Blogger ccg said...

MB and Johnny--

I don't know specifically about David Bohm's work on the bomb, but he was a graduate student of Oppenheimer and almost all of his students at the time ended up at Los Alamos. Many working on the bomb were Jewish-Germans such as Hans Bethe, all of whom were motivated out of justified fear that Hitler would get the bomb first. But it's not quite the case that the Germans weren't working on the bomb. They were, but were getting anywhere. In fact, Werner Heisenberg was in charge of it but it seems that he really didn't know what he was doing. That all came out with the release of the Farm Hall Transcripts. After the war, Heisenberg claimed that he'd worked against the making of a bomb. But the Farm Hall transcripts show otherwise. These were recorded conversations of German physics in the house they kept in in the UK for a few months after the war. Heisenberg didn't even believe it when the bombing of Hiroshima with an atomic bomb was announced. One of the others, Otto Hahn, I believe, called Heisenberg a 'second rater' in the transcripts. The Farm Hall Transcripts have been published, but a good place to read about this the book by David Cassidy, Beyond Uncertainty, Heisenberg, Quantum Physics, and the Bomb.

7:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check out the face of Constance Lynn Bono: this is pure America. We need to add her to our Wafer Hall of Fame. Let's meet w/her in Texas along w/Chrystal Walraven, Shaneka Torres, Laquisha Jones, and Freddie Wadsworth for a beer. All the rest is gd declinist news. It's esp. noteworthy that the military, the bubbas, and the boogaloo are coming together. America's chance of a viable future: abs. 0. Chance of massive self-destruction: 100%.


Gd hearing from you! I send you these words from Thomas Merton:

"Without contemplation, without the intimate, silent, secret pursuit of truth through love, our action loses itself in the world and becomes dangerous."

Of course, given the spiritual depth of the average American, this will be old news to 330 million citizens, who are clearly pursuing truth thru love.


8:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I doubt the majority want gun control, but we need some polls or hard data here to be able to say yes or no.


This doesn't jibe w/the sources I used for my bomb chapter in "Neurotic Beauty," but then I haven't read Cassidy.


9:18 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

She wasn't wearing a 'Kiss Me I'm Irish' t shirt like Jack Nicholson in the Departed.

12:20 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


What's the name for a female bubba? A bubbette? Anyway, I thought the hammer was a nice touch.


4:39 AM  
Anonymous Flabster said...

I used to be half bubba half wafer. I’m now fully wafer. As to bubbas, I feel this is enlightening to those who don’t know Bubba well, this sort of talk is common:


This is destined to be a classic, it captures how Americans avoid reality in a pseudo religious, anticommunist fantasy world. As a boy I remember hearing arguments that adding a sidewalk to my neighborhood was a liberal plot to ruin it by letting the riffraff in.


8:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thank you for these links. They really say a lot abt what America is, and why the nation doesn't have a hope in hell of turning things around. It's amazing, how violent and stupid so many of its citizens are. The 1st one clearly shows how justified black people are, in being afraid of just walking down the street. Just one other thing re: your future correspondence: always, always, capitalize Wafer. Wafers have attained the highest level of spiritual evolution in the known universe. I often get dizzy just thinking abt it.


9:26 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: This is kinda nice:


9:57 AM  

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