July 19, 2020

399

Wafers-

Following up on the podcast with Bret Weinstein, from the last thread: I think most of us here would say that the BLM and anti-racist protests are an attempt (emotional though it may be) to redress a situation of systemic oppression of black people, rendering them second-class citizens for a very long time now, as well as the targets of white police. Bret, and I'm guessing many others, see all this in a different light: an attempt on the part of these protest groups to grab power for themselves, and via political correctness, to shut down all discourse. My own view is that these two takes on the situation are not mutually exclusive, and that both factors could be operating at the same time. Bret also believes that the bubbas are reacting rationally. I.e., if they correctly(?) see the protests as an attempted power grab, they understand that if the 'left' does seize power, it will be at their expense. Hence the anti-demonstrations, show of guns, and so on. What thus may be operating now in America is the conflict between two types of incipient fascism, which is ripping the country apart. (Where the Karens fit into this cosmic struggle is, I'm guessing, unclear. O dem Karens!)

I keep thinking of that line from Talleyrand, in the wake of the Terror (1793-94): "Above all, no zeal." No chance of that in the US today, unfortunately; though again, from a declinist point of view, it may be a good thing.

O&D, chicos-

mb

183 Comments:

Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman,
With the new Karen phenomenon rampantly occurring in the United States, I figured I’d post a few videos of various Karens at their best. And if it’s okay with you Doctor, may I do this as a weekly thing each Sunday? I can call it “Karen Sunday”. LOL. We all should get some good laughs at the anger that exists among women in this pathetic country as it disintegrates. LOL.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAmMsg7kQ94
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hswnHO7Vtf4&t=157s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i30g4JsLoPU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAUeIBQoQCU

7:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Joe-

I can't help myself; I love the Karens. Call me crazy, but they are so wonderfully stupid and vulgar. Who cdn't love them? Yea, Karens!

mb

7:48 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Never let a good crisis go to waste - covid being the perfect opportunity for an obedience training exercise.
Never let a good protest go to waste, BLM being a convenient smokescreen for some real smoke.
Meanwhile, who will pee on her shoes?https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2020/07/17/roseville-urination-verizon-arrest/

10:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

comrade-

Now we're getting somewhere! We cd use this lady on our Wafer Urine Team (WUT), to be deployed to Hawaii (Tulsi's shoes) and points east (Hillary). Was she a Karen? I hope so.

mb

11:21 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Greetings, Waferinos, here are the news picks-to-click from Cascadia. Federal officials today blew off complaints by local officials in Portland as well as Oregon state officials, and said the squads of federal agents would continue to operate in Portland, and possibly other U.S. cities “to bring down the level of violence.” Ken Cuccinelli, acting deputy secretary of Homeland Security, would not disclose the number of agents but said they were drawn from ICE’s criminal division, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Customs and Border Patrol’s BORTAC tactical unit. Sounds like they are not leaving anytime soon:

https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/u-s-officials-dismiss-portland-leaders-calls-to-leave-city/

Meanwhile, in tune with the spirit of Merica, a new growth sector of the economy has appeared, companies specializing in “death planning” are doing a landslide business around the country:

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boom-time-for-death-planning/

1:24 AM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Thank you so much Tom Servo from previous post for references regarding 'appropriate technology' - another Wafer sociologist? - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTIDJKd3EN4

3:03 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Regarding the Bret Weinstein/Matt Taibbi interview, I think Taibbi makes a good point about the decline of independent institutions like local newspapers. I know I keep bringing up Michael Lind, but this goes back to his point about the collapse of independent institutions in the United States.

Lind suggests creating a new Fairness Doctrine among other things in this interview: https://www.texasmonthly.com/news/michael-lind-class-war-book/

On the subject of the lack of compromise in American politics compared to the 1960s/1970s, Jonathan Rauch explained how American politics went insane in a good article from 2016.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/07/how-american-politics-went-insane/485570/

3:06 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

The Pinochet treatment continues; it's not just Portland but all over the US "assumed protestors" are being snatched by unmarked feds with unmarked vans, in this case in Columbus, Ohio

https://www.rawstory.com/2020/06/columbus-paramilitary-police-with-assault-weapons-jump-out-of-unmarked-vans-to-abduct-protester/

3:46 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Waesfjord,

To answer your question from the other day, while I can't find a single good link, The Washington Post has a database for all the police killings in a given year. Though in my post I was referring specifically to the killing of unarmed blacks vs. unarmed whites. On average there are around 40 unarmed total police killings per year, and there were more unarmed whites killed from 2014 to 2019.

Of course, overall killings don't tell us very much, any more than overall incarceration rates tell us very much. For example, African Americans have a much higher rate of violent crime, such as murder (According to the U.S Department of Justice, blacks had a homicide rate of 52.5 percent out of the whole population, from 1980 to 2008.). So the higher incarceration or arrest rates (especially for violent crimes such as rape or murder, since there is little police discretion in whom they arrest), is, at least in part, reflective of the actual state of affairs, rather than "police bias" or racism. The Roland Freyer Harvard study on police violence confirms this, and is probably the best and most extensive study for correcting exaggerated views on how police are actually behaving.

4:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Megan-

Links for Wash Post and Freyer study?

mb

5:20 AM  
Anonymous Cherith Cutestory said...

Dr. Berman mentioned in a previous entry a new book titled "Europe Against the Jews." Apparently it's about European antisemitism in centuries 19 and 20, and how other European countries contributed significantly to the Holocaust. I've always wondered how European Jews reconcile their current presence with the horrors of the past there, especially that far right extremism seems to be just around the corner. European viciousness against Jews was absurd. Was reading from "Encyclopedia of Society and Culture in the Medieval World" and discovered that in 1348, German Jews were blamed for the plague, and were tortured until they "confessed", so they were burned alive. The year after, 600 were killed in Frankfurt. Reminded me of a story I read where a rabbi said that
"Islamization of Europe a good thing". This comment stayed with me: "Jews should rejoice at the fact that Christian Europe is losing its identity as a punishment for what it did to us for the hundreds of years were in exile there".

6:46 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Cherith, I haven't read "Europe Against the Jews." If it focuses only on the 19 and 20 centuries, though, I'm not sure I'll read it, as I don't think the subject can be fully understood without carefully considering what went on before, during the Middle Ages etc. Personally, I think the fact that the German government took real action against the problem should put the US to shame. As for the comment by that rabbi, I can only say that, if Islamization of Europe is a good thing, so Islamization of Israel is a good thing, as punishment for what they did to the Palestinians. In other words, that rabbi is an arsehole.

PS What is going on here? Targeted political assassinations?
Son of US federal judge killed by gunman dressed as delivery worker

8:18 AM  
Blogger The Wanderer said...

RE: The New Jim Crow in the USA
Megan and Waesfjord et al In the 1980'sthe US started the For-Profit Prison System to compete with Chinese prison labor. This became so profitable that the US now imprisons 1 out of every 4 humans imprisoned on the planet. Prisoners work for MicroSoft, IBM, Victoria Secret for a pitance. The gov't guarantees to keep these For-Profit Prisons full of slave labor. Therefore the police have quotas to ensure the gov't meets it's legal obligation. 50%+ are in prison for non-violent crimes. Poor people, especially people of color, face a far greater risk of being fined, arrested, and incarcerated for minor offenses than other Americans.
https://newjimcrow.com/
https://blog.globaltel.com/companies-use-prison-labor/
https://truthout.org/articles/for-profit-prisons-eight-statistics-that-show-the-problems/
https://ips-dc.org/the-poor-get-prison-the-alarming-spread-of-the-criminalization-of-poverty/

Another reminder of how grateful I am to live in a 3rd world country.

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Seneca's Cliff said...

As many students of past empires predicted, the behavior and practices put in place in foreign occupied lands are being brought home to the core of the empire. Other wafers have mentioned the unmarked vans snatching up protestors off the streets. But the one I find interesting is the tactic that has shown itself to be so ineffective in places like Iraq being revisited on the city of Portland. In Baghdad we have the green zone, a walled haven ,where imperial forces can hide out most of the time to occasionally emerge to deliver death and destruction on the locals. In Portland, Trump's goons hide out in the basement of the federal courthouse and pop out at the same time each night to shoot tear gas, foam bullets and give beatings to protestors. This has become so predictable that it now gives rise to a kind of protest theatre where the protestors can bring out various sympathetic groups to be publicly punished by the federal storm troopers and gain the attention of the media. Last night the brought out the "BLM Moms."

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/wall-moms-stand-between-portland-black-lives-matter-protesters-federal-n1234323

I predict next they will bring out the wheelchair grannies, and the handicapped kids and the Feds will take the bait. In America we have created a kind of clown car fascism.

1:15 PM  
Anonymous Ruth said...

Cycles of violence every 50 years? So far this mathematician's depressing prediction for 2020 seems to tick every box. I guess we don't HAVE to behave like programmed robots. But if Americans do we have no one to blame but ourselves.
https://www.livescience.com/cycles-of-violence-2020-prediction.html

1:40 PM  
Blogger Cj said...

Hi Professor, hope all is going well. A link to a terrific article by Matt Taibbi. There are other articles available but many are behind a paywall.

The article that came out today, and that is not behind a paywall, is titled 'The Left is Now the Right': https://taibbi.substack.com/p/the-left-is-now-the-right

Wishing more than ever lately that I'd relocated outside of the country instead of the Pacific Northwest. Both the right and left have gone totally fucking nuts.


Regards,
Chuck

1:47 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

In response to DHS sending unmarked Federal troops into cities to grab citizens off the street, the Democrats have defunded DHS. Ha ha ha. No, just kidding. They approved Trumps budget just week or so ago.

BUT!!!! They sent a letter. A STERN letter.

https://sirota.substack.com/p/dems-sternly-worded-letter-wont-stop

"...We’ve seen this act over and over again: Democrats slam Trump’s authoritarianism and corporatism, while pushing to give him more police power and rubber-stamping his corporate bailouts.

"Indeed, at times it almost seems as if Democrats are engaging in deliberate performance art to try to dare us to care about this bait and switch -- as if they really cannot believe we are all this ignorant or asleep to not even notice the swindle......

"...Maloney this weekend acknowledged the gravity of the situation, declaring that what’s going on in Portland “is fascism, and it cannot stand.”

"Those are strong words -- but Maloney then boasted that she, Nadler and Thompson are standing up to the fascism by… sending a sternly worded letter to two executive branch inspectors general asking them to look into the situation..."

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Requiem said...

I agree that what's happening with protests and anti-protests is multi-faceted. Some want anarchy and the overthrow of all government; some just want to burn stuff up; others want systemic change to provide a more just world. In all that, remember that all Americans know about BLM et al is what they see on TV - which focuses on violence and conflict because that's what Americans want to see. The picture is skewed. We will probable never know what's really going on.

Cherith = yes, Muslim Spain, especially, was much more tolerant of Jews than the Spanish Church.

Just finished watching Season 3 of Handmaid's Tale. With what's happening in Portland et al, feels like I'm already living in Gilead.

5:50 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

I posted a link the Freyer study a couple of days ago, and it is referenced in the New Scientist article that Waesford posted. The main bone of contention is that the Freyer study takes into account the number of interactions blacks and whites have with the police. Since black males commit over 51% of the violent crimes, in spite of being roughly 13% of the population, they are going to have a lot more interaction with the police. The NS article thinks it is unfair to include this, however, as it could be racial bias could play a role in increased interactions. That may be true to an extent, but I don't think one can reasonably hand wave away the fact that committing a disproportionate level of crime is going to bring you a disproportionate amount of negative police interaction.

Here is a link to the Freyer study.

https://www.nber.org/papers/w22399.pdf

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Simon said...

We are sleepwalking toward economic catastrophe

“The cliff is totally visible in front of us”: The future is grim if Congress doesn’t act on the economy.

https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/21327754/coronavirus-economy-second-stimulus-unemployment-extend-congress

7:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Arthur-

Cdn't run it. We're basically into evidence. Pure opinion, not so much. This is a repeated problem w/yr posts.

Dan D-

These sternly worded letters are a real show of power, and make those in power quake in their boots. Social change follows almost immediately.

Chuck-

It's not too late to hit the rd. There are very few sane people left in the US. I left because I had no one to talk to. Check out Doris Lessing, "Briefing for a Descent into Hell."

Ruth-

It's not a question of behavior. Americans *are* programmed robots, in their essence. It's pretty much all predetermined. How many of them wake up one morning and say, "Jesus, I'm sick and tired of being a fucking douche bag"?

Seneca-

It's not clear to me why Trumpi's goons don't just gun down the protesters like dogs. What in the world cd be holding them back?

In the midst of all this national suicide being documented by you folks, I keep asking myself: Where is Tulsi? Where, Sarah Palin? Where, Bunmi Laditan, Michele Bachmann, Dan Quayle? If the US ever needed to hear from these cutting-edge intellects, now is surely the time.

mb

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Genevieve said...

MB -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHGt733yw3g&t=3735s

Bret Weinstein also hosted a roundtable discussion w/ leading black intellectuals like John McWhorter ("Losing the Race") Glen Loury and Coleman Hughes.

This is a fantastic discussion about race in America.

G.A.

7:54 PM  
Blogger Julie Scott said...

MB,

I thought this was a pretty good article of black intellectuals finding their own voice against the woke framework.

https://forward.com/opinion/451099/a-new-intelligentsia-is-pushing-back-against-wokeness/

A critique of critical race theory:

https://newdiscourses.com/2020/07/saying-no-critical-race-theory/

8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anthony said...

It was just the 75th anniversary of the worst thing our species ever invented. The world's nuclear arsenal has declined by 80%, but this is in increasing danger of being reversed by current politics and policies. – Federation Of American Scientists https://fas.org/blogs/security/2020/07/75-years-ago-the-trinity-nuclear-test/

8:41 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Morris,

I’m wondering if the two opposing sides and situation today in America is similar to Spain just prior to their civil war when the Right Wing Nationalists and Populists won and Franco (Trump?) took power? I was thinking that because I’m watching “For Whom the Bell Tolls” starring Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman.

Thanks

9:16 PM  
Anonymous Jeffrey Wondton said...

"What we now call capitalism was consummated in the Dutch republic" | https://unherd.com/2020/07/how-the-dutch-invented-everything/

10:00 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

“Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges. I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges!”

Dr. Berman & Wafers,
They’re a comin’! Don Trump’s secret police to a city near you. The implosion of the United States continues.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/07/20/trump-threat-unleash-secret-police-other-us-cities-slammed-scheme-steal-november

1:31 AM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Been watching Richard Lachmann recently. Also found this interview which discusses John Crowe Ranson, Allen Tate and Robert Penn Warren mentioned in the second of Morris's Trilogy. It seems like the 'Southern Question' is indeed a case ''of bashing one's head against the wall for an hour'', as MB suggests. https://quillette.com/2017/12/03/resisting-postmodern-ascendancy-interview-ernest-suarez/

2:04 AM  
Blogger Janet D said...

This should make you happy, MB....Paul Krugman admits he's a douchebag.

"Economists on the Run: Paul Krugman and other mainstream trade experts are now admitting that they were wrong about globalization: It hurt American workers far more than they thought it would."

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/economists-on-the-run?utm_source=pocket-newtab

4:45 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Janet-

In a 180-degree reversal, Thos Friedman also said he was wrong abt globalization. I think I have an essay in QOV about how intellectuals grab onto one hula hoop after another. While these 'experts' were singing the praises of globalization, folks like John Gray and myself were arguing that it was merely a form of secular religion. It also hurt workers around the world, not just in America. You wonder when clowns like Krugman and Friedman will finally stop trying to shore up capitalism.

Neil-

Link to Lachmann?

Julie-

Thanks for the refs.

Simon-

There is this belief that the nation can be categorized as left vs. rt, or elite vs. everyone else. But there is one axis that cuts vertically across all of these categories; I call it the Moron Axis (MA). Americans of whatever stripe are simply morons. Once you grasp that, everything falls into place. Of course Congress will do 0 abt the coming economic disaster; what serious person believes otherwise? Morons look reality in the face and just shrug. This is probably the greatest single factor in our ongoing collapse.

mb

5:19 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gee do ya think? dept.:

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/07/20/politics/what-matters-portland-protests-federal-agents/index.html

For years I've been saying that we were headed towards martial law. Et voila!

mb

5:51 AM  
Anonymous Flabster said...

Yeah we are headed to bad places fast. I’m not sure what the plan is for federal officers after the protests, though suspicion trends towards disruption of voting is running high.

I feel this summarizes the state of the Republican Party. The Democratic Party is not inspiring confidence in their abilities to prevent such an outcome.

The second to last paragraph succinctly describes what the goal is.

https://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/july-august-2020/what-motivates-the-republican-party/

8:13 AM  
Anonymous Lisa Buxton said...

https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2020/07/trump-administration-memo-explains-spot-transgender-woman/

Sheeeeeeeeesh

9:23 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Under the heading Fuck You for Your Service, this:

A 53-year-old Naval Academy graduate comes to the demonstration in Portland, Oregon on Saturday night, 18 July, wearing a Navy ballcap and Navy sweatshirt. He stands passively, making no apparent menacing movements or gestures, and gets a broken hand and a faceful of mace for his troubles (video clip embedded).

He commented later:
“They are thugs and goons,” [Christopher] David said. “I couldn’t recognize anything tactically that they were attempting to do that was even remotely related to crowd control. It looked to me like a gang of guys with sticks.”

https://www.snopes.com/ap/2020/07/20/navy-vet-beaten-by-federal-agents-they-came-out-to-fight/

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

It's really all about class (a.k.a. money), isn't it?

https://newrepublic.com/article/158555/whiners-earn-200000-complain-theyre-broke

https://gizmodo.com/jeff-bezos-makes-13-billion-in-one-day-during-pandemic-1844449596

10:21 AM  
Blogger spartan said...

G'day Wafers, perhaps we’re living in the denouement of a collapsed society. It certainly feels like we’re inside a PTSD world, at least collectively it feels like we’re making decisions, whether electorally or otherwise with a foggy head, and not in a ‘can really use a bacon & egg on an olive and rosemary sourdough’ hangover head kinda way.

Anyway enough about me, here’s a fun read for all the family...

7 Revealing Ways America is collapsing as Rome did.

https://blog.usejournal.com/7-revealing-ways-america-is-collapsing-as-rome-did-68a57e493ce3




11:09 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Hello again to Dr Berman and all the Wafers,

I would like to thank all of you for the amazing amount of information/discussion provided. I am a second time poster but long time lurker. All of you give me strength to get through this time. You also turn me on to so many writers/thinkers I should know.

Dr B- I have only read one work by the brilliant Doris Lessing. Descent seems to be one of her more challenging novels but I will persevere!

In this time of generational strife, I want to express my appreciation for those who are older and wiser than my 30 something self. I am thankful to all Wafers of all ages.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Adrienne said...

"Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy"


https://www.amazon.com/Goliath-Monopolies-Secretly-Took-World/dp/1501183087/

Great book shows how we (to this day) are terrified at upsetting a deep financial and corporate institutional supply chain dependence on slave labor of imprisoned Uighur Muslims in China so we can save some dollars to spend on drugs and video games.

This has been a bipartisan trade policy pushed by Washington for decades. It's like how industrial US monopolies were happy to cooperate with Nazi state owned enterprises for profit in WWII.

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-53463242/china-s-ambassador-challenged-on-treatment-of-uighurs

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/19/world/asia/china-mask-forced-labor.html

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Another Schmoe said...

Weinstein is a typical reactionary propagandist along the lines of late Hitchens / Andy Sullivan if you ask me.

On one side we have woke twitter types spouting pronound alphabet soup. On the other, federal "troops" in unmarked vans/uniforms grab people walking down the street committing no crime.

"both sides"
"everybody does it"

C'mon. Weinstein's thesis is that the Evergreen college liberal arts department is the greatest threat to the world. LOL.

2:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jamie-

Don't lurk; live! As for Doris' novel: this might help:

https://www.uexpress.com/tell-me-a-story/2012/3/25/the-water-of-madness-a-sufi

Also post the following note on yr bathrm mirror: AMERICANS LIVE IN DEGRADATION

spartan-

It's all over but the shouting. For a comparison of US and Roman Empire, check out the Twilight bk.

mb

2:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

The thugs, the bubbas, the Karens, the progs, the collapsing economy, the virus, the de facto martial law (fascism), the complete denial of reality--I tell ya, it's a declinist's delight!

O&D, chicos.

-mb

2:31 PM  
Blogger Cyrillia Juniper said...

@ Jamie

Lessing is always a thoughtful read. One cannot race through her books. I also recommend her Canopus in Argos Archives series -- five books that explore the realities of the human race from the viewpoints of several different alien races that have used humans as an experimental population. Fascinating. I've read the first one, Shikasta, at least five times. It always remains relevant to the present situation. Happy exploring!

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Requiem said...

Does anyone know if the protestors thrown into unmarked vans in Portland were arrested; if so, on what charges? Where are they being held now? Do they have the right to appear before a judge? Or, have they been summarily locked up without rights as allowed by the Patriot Act?

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Nice interview of Oliver Stone by Joe Rogan:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOrOYUxzX3o

IMHO, Oliver is one of the few guys left in the US still worth listening to.

5:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Req-

Gd questions. The problem is that they are all communist terrorist Islamic anarchist homosexuals, so letting them go wd not be the best option.

Schmoe-

Not what Bret is saying at all. His concern is that the Evergreen p.c. *model* is spreading like a cancer, shutting down the possibility of dialogue, and he's certainly correct. Frankly, I'm behind him 100%. His arguments are incisive and nuanced, and calling him names says more abt the folks who are attacking him, than about him. Requiring prospective faculty members to sign a 'loyalty oath' regarding their self-analysis as to racism and diversity, for example, is Mao or McCarthy. Haven't we had enuf of that shit? I myself saw this kind of thing close up when I taught at 'Alt U', as I describe the experience in the Twilight bk. These people are real, rabidly self-righteous, and frankly, sick. Jesus, man: think!

mb

5:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Film rec: "Gloomy Sunday"

6:02 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Moron dept.:

https://nbc24.com/news/local/monroe-county-woman-arrested-after-attempting-to-hire-hit-man-via-fake-website

I'm sad that Wendy Wein didn't do it herself? Why didn't she just gun him down like a dog in the street?

Maggots in urine dept.:

Shannon and Brianna Tipton charged w/abusing their mother and grandmother:

https://nbc24.com/news/local/monroe-county-woman-arrested-after-attempting-to-hire-hit-man-via-fake-website

Tear gas tension breaker:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WYCqPYFOK4

Miles

ps: Time for some music from the great Paul Simon:

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

6:31 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,
The below analysis follows Dmitry Orlov's work but does not mention him:
Harold James: Today’s America bears striking similarities to pre-collapse USSR

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/495318-late-soviet-america-gorbachev/


Himanshu

7:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

That link for Shannon can't be rt. But the pic of Wendy is terrifying. Yes, she shd have gunned him down like a dog in the street.

mb

7:11 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

General observation: What type of shit hole "nation" would charge it's populace (tax and debt subjects) to attend university and then charge interest on top of the student loans? Oh, a shit hole. I believe Dr. Berman has stated from some source that the US empire was a prolonged experiment in denying people what they need the most. Health care, education, housing, retirement, long term care, child care, transportation/infrastructure, etc.etc....

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Hunter said...

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-53409521

I'm not a malthusian, but, THIS IS GOOD NEWS – just not for anyone alive right now.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Sorry about the error, MB. Here's the link for Shannon:

https://wset.com/news/local/elderly-pittsylvania-co-woman-found-with-maggots-in-urine-daughter-granddaughter-charged

Please excuse this 2nd post violation.

Miles

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

This is an article about Roland Freyer's study, with a link to the study itself.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/13/upshot/roland-fryer-answers-reader-questions-about-his-police-force-study.html

8:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dr. Shit-

I was quoting a couple of authors (doctors? I can't remember) who said that what people needed most was love, and that that was precisely what the American system deprived them of. But yr list is a gd one too.

mb

8:56 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Miles,

You're my kinda deli, with that Paul Simon pastrami and coleslaw menu link - check out those beautiful Martin triple OOOs that Paul favors.

It makes Drumpty look and sound like the kinda shit shows that he and his ilk are.

Gene

9:19 PM  
Anonymous Edward C said...

Claude Lévi-Strauss: Science, myths and the mystical

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


CLS analyzed shamanistic rituals with clear-eyed objectivity. He was Castenanda’s opposite, anthropologically.

9:22 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

Mb - I believe the passage you are referencing is from the book 'A General Theory of Love' , by Thomas Lewis et al.

"...Before our lives wither away into dust, we might ponder how much more prosperity human beings can possibly survive. A good deal of modern American culture is an extended experiment in the effects of depriving people of what they crave most."

Sadly I doubt such reflection is going to take place in this country. Americans can debate on whether to have a 50-inch or 60-inch television, or whether to buy an SUV or minivan, but deeper criticisms of the culture at large are rarely undertaken. The late political scientist Benjamin Barber once compared America's consumerism drenched pretend-democracy to a restaurant he had been to which only served baked potatoes - but they gave you the "freedom" of putting any kind of topping you wanted on it. So much of the free choices we have celebrated has amounted to little more than picking out toppings to put on a rotting potato.

10:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wudu-

Yeah, thanks. I once wrote that choice in America amounted to Wendy's vs. Burger King.

mb

2:04 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

I went to the gun store today to pick up my Glock. I casually asked the guy how long the Glock had been on their website, and he said, "About 20 seconds". Everything's getting bought up and it's a rather bit of a miracle I was able to get the thing.

There were two "Karen" type gals there (and a third mousy quiet ones) and neither knew a thing about guns. A guy, apparently a regular, and I tried to steer her toward what would probably work best for her, a revolver. I mentioned that air guns are really great for training and there's one that looks like a revolver and shoots like one, and she said, "I don't want to 'train' I want to shoot!". To someone who grew up with guns, and gun safety, and who esteems the noble air gun, and who hopes their new acquisition sits in its box and is sold for 3X its value or a plane ticket out in a year or two, well, I had no words. Neither did anyone else.

This is why I normally don't hang around in gun shops.

3:36 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

alex-

On yr next visit, ask the guy what he thinks of the idea of everyone shooting everyone else.

mb

4:48 AM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

More good writing and historical analogy on "woke".

"In contrast, woke movements are pretty much confined to decaying liberal societies. The demonstrations of the past months have had few serious reverberations beyond the post-Reformation West, and cancel culture is largely limited to the English-speaking world.

A movement that hardly exists in Eastern Orthodox cultures, Islamic societies, most of Asia and Africa and at least half of Europe can scarcely be described a global phenomenon. With its epicentre in the United States, wokery is essentially a spasm in formerly liberal cultures, which assert a peculiar sense of their own superiority by turning on themselves and their history."

https://unherd.com/2020/07/what-the-woke-movement-shares-with-communism/?tl_inbound=1&tl_groups[0]=18743&tl_period_type=3

7:36 AM  
Anonymous Eleni said...

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/21/opinion/should-we-cancel-aristotle.html

"Should we cancel Aristotle?"

[Palms face]

‘I, like Aristotle, am a philosopher, and we philosophers must countenance the possibility of radical disagreement on the most fundamental questions.’ ⁦

8:58 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Eleni-

Not sure what [Palms face] means, but of course cancel Aristotle: he's a Dead White Male, and therefore has 0 to teach us.

mb

9:04 AM  
Anonymous Requiem said...

Thanks, MB. That explains just about everything.

On the claim that America has the world's best health care system, see the article below by
Lee Camp on the freedom of drug companies to charge whatever the hell they please.

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/07/15/lee-camp-the-life-saving-covid-19-drugs-youve-never-heard-of-and-why/

“When a society has a system built on profit, run by sociopaths, based on the manipulation of lizard-brain impulses, then it will always end up in a race to the bottom. With unfettered capitalism we inevitably find ourselves with the worst drugs, priced at the highest amounts, hoarded by those who need them the least.”

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Matt S. said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

In my opinion, the state of American politics has not changed in the past 155 years since the end of the Civil War. Donald Trump became the US president for the same reason Jefferson Davis became the presedent of the Confederacy - for exactly the same *effing* reason! The BLM movement may prove to be an important milestone for the racial justice reckoning that America has been waiting but it is not the real turning point. It's an American nature to believe that "we can do better" only to be fooled by another false dawn of redemption. Could this country stop treating black people like a perpetual second class citizen despite 155 years of deliberate failures? Not while misogyny and white supremacism are still considered "cultural issues" in a large numbner of states; that much is pretty certain.

Matt

12:26 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Glock schmlock; for real stopping power I prefer hand grenades, and in really delicate situations, there's nothing like a flamethrower to get your point across.

"John Ralston Saul has written that, although he lost the war--and his life--the corporatist philosophy of Benito Mussolini eventually triumphed. In other words, millions of Allied troops died, not to defend freedom, but rather to defend our freedom to choose between Pepsi and Coke."

Me, in 1998 or 1999.

http://web.archive.org/web/20010407014740/http://members.home.net/za-zu/history.htm

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Soggy Croutons said...

Michael Brooks has passed away.

https://mobile.twitter.com/LulaOficial/status/1285355922559250438?s=20

The memorial show they had on The Majority Report was heartbreaking.

Always reminded of how much of an evolutionary improbability we are, of the age of the universe, and how God can't exist except for in our heads, and it's hard to not see everything as irrelevant as we all inevitably become more tears in the rain. I'm almost surprised there haven't yet been campaigns for mass suicides to tackle climate change.

Any reccommendations for dealing with a panic attack? I'm going to try hanging out with one of my friends after work.

P.S. Alan Watts' The Wisdom of Insecurity has arrived and Reenchantment is on the way, as they were recommended to me here.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Alexandria said...

Faced between truth and hope, most will choose hope https://unherd.com/2020/07/what-the-woke-movement-shares-with-communism/ John Gray on Gareth Jones, Walter Duranty and why journalists lie for ideology

'What the Woke movement shares with communism'

1:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sog-

Homeopathic remedy: try to deepen the anxiety, not repress it. (This actually works.) Plus, remember to breathe.

Matt-

Trumpi can probably be called our 1st Confederate president. For more on the Civ War, see WAF ch. 4.

mb

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

Wafer Sog, respectfully,when you meet up with that work colleague, please be careful with what you say to USians. Most love their jobs, it's their identity, most are corporatists and love all the goodies in their sleigh. It's a bizarre Stockholm syndrome mixed with blind patriotism and tone-deaf jingoism.

Truth-reality is oftentimes met with the USian 'death stare,' ackward silence, or vitriolic anger akin to telling an alchy that they should put down that scotch (Berman).

1:58 PM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

@ Soggy Crutons:

Yeah, Michael Brooks' passing was a shock to me too. He was funny, smart and compassionate, the kind of person the Left desperately needs. He was also up front about the need to incorporate a spiritual dimension into left politics.

But TBH, I think a lot of American leftists have had the wind taken out of them by Bernie's failed bid. Personally speaking, I'm glad he didn't get nominated, because his ability to effect meaningful change would have been almost nil, but "The Left" would have been blamed for pretty much the whole implosion of American society, which is inevitable in the next presidential period, regardless of who's in the White house. COVID (with help from Trump) has accelerated the country over the cliff and there's no going back. The cracks shown up by COVID have revealed who irredeemably rotten The US is on multiple levels. Just check out these two reports that have appeared in the last day or two revealing rampant corruption in the US. I've said it before, but it's worth repeating: The parallels with the fall of the Soviet Union are more striking by the day. But the Fallout will be MUCH worse for the US.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqAAM3R1ZBY

https://jacobinmag.com/2020/07/kentucky-stephen-schwarzman-private-equity?fbclid=IwAR3IfNT-0GXLGgKTk8JHC7vw0a3CIQ_GHFt67lbGUGtF2jz5dHSEQDsPI8k

2:49 PM  
Blogger Arthur V. said...

Another case of progressive selective memory.

manufacturing.net/home/news/13167662/obama-salutes-goya-foods

Obama did it good; Trump does same thing very, very, bad. At this point I suppose it's pointless to expect some level of honest consistency. But the way things jump around makes it increasing difficult to get through the day with one's sanity intact.

3:17 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Aware that the WAFer community wishes always to be kept au courant with respect to which individuals, living or dead, should be cursed for the execrable humans they are/were and whose names should never be uttered in decent company, I give you John Muir:

“As Confederate statues fall across the country, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said in an early morning poston the group’s website, “it’s time to take down some of our own monuments, starting with some truth-telling about the Sierra Club’s early history.” Muir, who fought to preserve Yosemite Valley and Sequoia National Forest, once referred to African Americans as lazy “Sambos,” a racist pejorative that many black people consider to be even more offensive than the n-word.

While recounting a legendary walk from the Midwest to the Gulf of Mexico, Muir described Native Americans he encountered as “dirty.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2020/07/22/liberal-progressive-racist-sierra-club-faces-its-white-supremacist-history/

3:18 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

the corporatist philosophy of Benito Mussolini eventually triumphed. In other words, millions of Allied troops died, not to defend freedom, but rather to defend our freedom to choose between Pepsi and Coke."

Sorry, but this is false (and I say that as someone who once believed it). The Corporatism of Fascism had to be destroyed so the present arrangement of Neoliberalism could be fully realized. Corporatism, or Third Position, as it is sometimes called, is the belief that that both Capitol and Labor need to have their interests monitored by a third party, that is more powerful than both, that is committed to keeping both in service to a higher non-economic ideal. Such an arrangement was a direct challenge to the Capitol uber alles philosophy of the post WWII Liberal order.

A. James Gregor tackles this, as well as the "Fascism is Capitalism in decay" myth in his work "The Faces of Janus: Marxism and Fascism in the Twentieth Century." Mario Palmeri's "The Philosophy of Fascism" also provides a good explanation of the role of Capital in a Fascist state.

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Edward Gomez said...

Claiming that Ghislaine Maxwell is a victim of "woke politics" is a very weird hill to die on. https://www.thedailybeast.com/fox-news-star-geraldo-rivera-says-trump-was-brave-to-wish-ghislaine-maxwell-well

4:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ed-

Check out picture of Geraldo; he looks like a ghoul.

mb

5:59 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman & Wafers,
I came across an interesting article that describes how meaningless many jobs are in the United States. However, Europe isn’t excused either. A couple of its countries also are included. It elucidates on how overrated and useless capitalism really is. Check it out.

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/too-many-jobs-feel-meaningless-because-they-are?utm_source=pocket-newtab

6:58 PM  
Anonymous Lori Jo Bigelower said...

Alexandria, great John Gray essay! He's a machine!

MB, "Trumpi's the first Confederate President" , That's a very interesting observation! I'm sure you are correct, as our Great Seer, but why is he the first? And not the latest model of many forebearers?

Lori Jo

7:18 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Americans outta control dept.:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4CJ_DRxVY8

mean-

Glad you enjoyed the music, Gene. Hope all is well.

Miles

7:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Well, one guy had a gun; had everyone else been armed, and encouraged to discharge their weapons randomly, it wd have been a most interesting event. Next time, maybe.

Lori-

Trumpi is the latest model of a *Northern* president, wh/is to say, a hustler whose entire life is abt $. This is the logical culmination of our history, of the last 400+ yrs. But he is also the 1st real antebellum Southerner in the W.H., in that he does understand, and defend, what the bubbas and the CSA flag flyers are arguing, and he said it explicitly: the South is much more than abt slavery, and Southerners are proud of their regional heritage. As they should be, as I explained in WAF ch. 4. What Northerners, and the left, has done since the Civ War is smear the South by make it one-dimensional in US perception. Yes, it was pro-slavery, and slavery was an unmitigated horror for 4 million blacks; but more can be said abt Dixie than just that. A similar distortion exists with respect to Germany, with many historians, post-1945, writing as tho the Holocaust was the logical culmination of the entirety of German history, and that that history can be reduced to the murder of the Jews. (Historically speaking, in fact, the most antisemitic European country was France.) Forget abt Hegel, Heine, von Kleist, Beethoven, Schiller, Moses Mendelssohn, Bach, Telemann, Einstein, Freud; they don't count! Only Hitler does. Pretty demented, imo. Pt is, as I explained in WAF, these things are paradoxical: except for Americans, most people can hold Holocaust and Great Creative History in their minds simultaneously, or Slavery and Great Leisure Society together in a similar fashion. Americans cannot do this because they are not an intelligent people, and a big part of that stupidity is the inability to think in non-Manichaean categories. In addition, it's possible to recognize that Trumpaloni is a horse's ass AND a justified defender of the antebellum South (sans slavery, I presume; altho I concede that the guy is a white supremacist, and that his speech after George Floyd's death was disgusting).

Just one additional example of American stupidity: altho I say, in WAF, that ultimately the Civ War had to be fought to root slavery out--and I say it 4 times--typical self-righteous Americans raved and ranted against me as supposedly being pro-slavery, and a racist. Are these people unable to read? (Yes, in fact; they are dumb.)

Joe-

https://www.amazon.com/New-Prophets-Capital-Jacobin/dp/1781688109/ref=sr_1_2?crid=3P91R7NXH5E3Z&dchild=1&keywords=nicole+aschoff&qid=1595462528&s=books&sprefix=nicole+aschoff%2Cstripbooks%2C226&sr=1-2

mb

8:07 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Miles.

Thanks Miles - I'm fine, being nearly 100% socially distanced, in place, in a very quiet town. I can often be heard saying "it's like a morgue- perfect!". Since 06/19/2019 it has all been very good. Think "My Little Town":

youtube.com/watch?v=mxvEr_p8Z4

As I don't surf the net much, I rely on DAA blog posts, always enlightening. The link to "Mr. Jones" was good. I would refer all Wafers to Timothy Snyder's "Bloodlands: Europe Between Stalin and Hitler" for more on that. I would guess that most readers will find it difficult to stomach.

And a quote from "Don Quixote": "Fortune may have yet a better success in reserve for you, and they who lose today may win tomorrow".

p.s. watching Paul Simon's hands inspired me to break out my own Martin OOO-28EC.

mean

12:13 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5xAu1csU_c&t=4055s

This documentary is one of the best I've seen--this is very much worth an hour of your time. We often talk about American hopelessness and decline, but I don't think I've ever seen a more graphic representation of it. And to think that this was all caused knowingly by big pharma!

1:10 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gene-

u.o.k.? You seem a bit down. Link didn't work, BTW.

Here's a hug-

mb

1:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Schmoe-

Cdn't run it. We have a half-pg-max rule on this blog.

mb

5:10 AM  
Anonymous Jenny Sweeton said...

Rutgers English Department to deemphasize traditional grammar ‘in solidarity with Black Lives Matter’

https://www.thecollegefix.com/rutgers-english-department-to-deemphasize-traditional-grammar-in-solidarity-with-black-lives-matter/

Beyond satire!

8:19 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jenny-

The silliness of this is impressive, but it does pt to 2 impt things:

1. Academics are spineless, and will bow to any political trend. We saw this during the McCarthy era as well, when it had devastating consequences. These things exist on a continuum. Beneath the frivolity is an unwillingness to confront nonsense.
2. In America, even the smart people are dumb.

mb

10:06 AM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Trader Joe’s food labels racist?

https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/19/us/trader-joes-food-labeling-racist-petition-trnd/index.html

https://www.change.org/p/trader-joe-s-remove-racist-packaging-from-your-products

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-07-23/ethnic-labeling-at-trader-joes-is-whimsical-and-fun-not-racist

https://www.psypost.org/2020/06/study-finds-the-most-racially-prejudiced-people-tend-to-think-that-they-are-less-racist-than-the-average-person-56991

https://www.rt.com/usa/495214-trader-joes-petition-ethnic-names/

“STOP! ENOUGH!!” tweet-shouted a frustrated observer.

10:47 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

k-

Progs actually believe this sorta poop is equivalent to substantive change for minority groups. In 2020, black people have the same share of the economic pie as they did in 1950. Cosmetic change means you don't know shit from Shinola, and progs do not. Refer to my post entitled 'Bupkis'. My friends, NOTHING is going to change in terms of socioeconomic justice. Not police reform, not the # of black people killed by white cops, not a greater share of the economic pie--nada. Not being able to change what really matters, progs busy themselves w/stuff that doesn't. Consider Trader Joe's, or the Rutgers U. English Dept. (above).

And why aren't progs able to change what really matters? 1st, because these movements have no coherent ideology (as demonstrated, e.g., by OWS, or pussy hats, or BLM), and 2nd, because they have no understanding of what effective political organization involves. How many times can I say it? Americans are just plain dumb. And fundamentally, they are cowards who wd rather play games and live in denial.

mb

12:18 PM  
Blogger Mike Kelly said...

Hi MB and Wafers,

Long time no post. There's not much going on up here on the northern border, but it looks like our Canadian friends won't be returning anytime soon. I miss them.

https://www.wusa9.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/us-canada-border-closed-poll/507-6781f4ca-1ecd-4773-b403-0126006a178e

"Canadians have a very high level of anxiety about what’s happening in the pandemic in the United States." Well no shit Sherlock.

Meanwhile I'm polishing up my NMI skills and my garden looks really good this year. I know this is an awful thing to say, but this whole global warming thing is working out pretty good in these northern latitudes. It has been the driest, hottest summer ever here. If the trend continues we'll be shit out of luck too.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Racist food labeling? Jesus....As someone who grew up reading Sci Fi, I'm no stranger to dystopic novels, but the dystopia typically envisioned is generally run by highly competent people. They may be evil, but they aren't stupid. What we are heading into now, Idiocracy meets Brazil, is vastly more frightening. I would rather live under competent evil than violent, clownish stupidity.

12:52 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Thanks for the Sufi story, MB. From time to time we all sacrifice our beliefs to avoid isolation. I am certainly sharing this with friends and family in the hopes it will provide either solace or food for thought.

You may have covered this a few years ago (I am fairly new) but this article about how easy it is to get bullshit articles printed is absurd. There is no academic integrity when an article entitled “Rubbing One Out: Defining Metasexual Violence of Objectification Through Nonconsensual Masturbation,” is published.
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/10/new-sokal-hoax/572212/

Critical theory and postmodernism were the reason I dropped out of my masters program to travel for a year instead. Much better use of time and resources. Plus it helped me with fluency in an additional language.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Douglas said...

Hostage siege ends after Ukrainian president endorses Joaquin Phoenix film

American Idiocracy spreads everywhere:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/21/hostage-siege-ends-after-ukrainian-president-endorses-joaquin-phoenix-film

A touching film recommendation:

"The Live of Others"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lives_of_Others

1:15 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

Krystal discussing the ridiculous statement by O'Biden, where he claimed that Trumpo is our "first racist president"-

https://youtu.be/wDTg0SEJVaQ

She makes some very good points. I have to wonder if she's been reading some of your works.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Cyrillia Juniper said...

Lori & MB: Just finished Gore Vidal’s novel Lincoln. It’s clear that Lincoln’s subtle political mind would have produced a much different outcome for Southern reconstruction. He wanted to welcome Southerners back into the Union as brothers and to reimburse planters for the loss of their slaves. He also wanted to send freed slaves to Cntrl Am. to create a nation of their own. So not the great white father after all. In fact, according to this novel and Frederick Douglass’ bio [Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, 2018], most northern abolitionists didn’t like African Americans at all, especially in their neighborhoods and social circles. Maybe racism is a USAian problem? Cancel Lincoln!

@ Jenny & MB: Zora Neale Hurston wrote her novels and collected folktales in African American dialect, which makes them difficult to read, but preserves the flavor of that culture in that time. Use of standard English would have drained all the juice out of her writing which is often wildly beautiful. Not arguing against standard English as a model, but there are creative uses for dialect as well. Novel thought: Could we have both without capitulating to prog memes?

2:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Cyr-

2 discoveries over the last 10 or so yrs regarding Civ War. Some of these docs were found in library at Kew, nr. London: as late as 1865, Lincoln felt it wd be better if former slaves immigrated to Liberia. 2nd, northern abolitionists didn't particularly care abt issue of freedom, or abt slaves. Real issue was that as members of a hustling society, they saw slavery as backward, anti-progress. This reinforces my arg. in WAF that at least at the beginning, i.e. down to 1863, the Civ War was a culture clash, not an attempt to free the slaves. As for yr 2nd para: not bloody likely. In addition, I don't think that was the motive of the Rutgers English Dept.

Birn-

Schmiden is a joke. But then, so are most Americans.

Jamie-

Yrs ago I had a colleague at a Southern university whose English dept was interviewing candidates for a job (I think this was at the MLA convention in DC). The following is abs. true: some guy showed up and said his Ph.D. dissertation was on "Shit Studies," and that he saw that as the vanguard field in academia. I never found out if he got hired, but it wdn't surprise me. The dept. probably saw Shit Studies as cutting edge.

Christian-

Wd be gd if u had some sources, not just an opinion.

mb

3:15 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I don't really see how this move will change the living conditions of the Inuit people, although I am in favour of the Washington football team changing its name.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/edmonton-cfl-team-name-1.5657661

But the national Inuit leader — whose 2015 op-ed in The Globe and Mail brought the discussion into the national spotlight ahead of the team's Grey Cup victory — says if the reports are to be believed, Inuit can now move on to tackling other issues without this "distraction."

This guy's comments inadvertently reflect a point that is often made here, that concerns over symbolic changes are distractions that don't really affect anything.

3:31 PM  
Anonymous Soggy Croutons said...

MB, Shithouse, cormorant, thanks for the replies.
I wasn't talking to my friend about Waferism - he already gets it. I slept on his futon because I think the isolation is making this all a lot harder and I didn't want to be alone.

I focused on breathing during each panic wave. Having a hand on my back really helped.

Yeah, Brooks emphasized spirituality, and I'm glad he was public with it, because it does seem like there's been a reluctance to talk about that for the past decade as Harris, Dawkins, and Hitchens got so much attention.

I also want to quit weed too. I began consuming it five years ago and it became a coping mechanism. I want to stop though - it's a habit instead of an occasional good time now. Haven't had any today or yesterday.

I think I read somewhere that you guys have Wafer meetups - maybe you should start doing them here in Canada, lol.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sog-

Hope yr feeling better. No weed is gd. I wonder abt Canadian Wafer Mtg, and whether us Americans can get across the border these days. Rt now, I'm still planning on one in NY next May, but who knows what the situation will be by then.

mb

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Requiem said...

Sog - as one who has suffered from anxiety attacks, I agree with MB. Go deeper. Try to determine what it is that you fear, what is driving the anxiety. On the other hand, what you are experiencing may be the result of an overactive response to illusional environmental danger. Our brains sometimes lie to us. Tell us we are in danger from something in the environment. Regardless of what your lizard brain may be telling you, I doubt a tiger is stalking you through across a savana.

5:52 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

I don't think this is a surprise to any Wafer:

"Democrats Made Trump's Goon Squad Possible!"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ee6YUs4L7I

If you've followed the bipartisan evolution of the Patriot Act, these recent events should come at no surprise. You can change the title to "Republicans" and it would still be the same. The point Jimmy is making is that progre$$ives are frauds and their opposition to Trump is nothing more than political theater.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mil-

Gore Vidal: "Politics in America is easy to understand. It consists of one party with 2 rt wings."

mb

6:58 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB, Cyrillia-

Wasn't white Northern abolitionism centered on the belief that slavery was incompatible w/Christianity? It's been my understanding that slavery was basically thought of as a crime against God (a moral evil) by these folks, rather than it being considered to be anti-progress. While I would agree that there was no real consensus among northern white abolitionists about what to do with freed slaves before or after liberation, I would disagree with the statement that northern abolitionists didn't particularly care about the issue of freedom and/or slaves. Radical abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison, Charles Sumner, John Brown, and many others were very committed to a more robust freedom project than mainstream politicians such as Lincoln. And it goes w/o saying that Brown paid w/his life for his radical beliefs, no?

Miles

7:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

You cd be rt. My problem is that I can't remember the name of the (British) historian who made the case for anti-progress. Robin something, but that won't help much. Sorry.

mb

8:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: of course, it's probably not likely that abolitionists were monolithic in their motivations or ideology. So the real question, if we cd ever find Robin's bk, is whether he fine tunes his analysis into various categories.

8:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

More on free speech etc.:

https://outline.com/7UgHNV

10:41 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Is it Robin Blackburn, MB? If so, I believe the book you are referring to is "The American Crucible: Slavery, Emancipation, and Human Rights." Blackburn's work can be seen as a major refutation of David Brion Davis's work about the significance of the abolitionist movement in ending slavery in the US. It's a controversial position to say the least, but the research is there. Here's a review of the book by Eric Foner:

https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/inhuman-bondage-slavery-emancipation-and-human-rights/

Again, please excuse this 2nd post violation.

Miles

11:32 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman & Wafers,
Here’s another example of the meanness of the American public. Just like Trump they always outdo themselves in their hateful crudeness. Anthony Fauci of all people!

https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/508835-fauci-says-that-he-and-his-family-have-experienced-serious-threats-during

12:54 AM  
Blogger FarmerBrown said...

MB, This Robin?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Blackburn

3:42 AM  
Anonymous John Sc. Eriugena said...

Would that be Robin Blackburn?

3:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Thanks for identifying Robin Blackburn, as the historian I was referring to. This is from the Foner review cited by Miles:

"When it comes to the consequences of abolition, Blackburn presents a rather somber assessment. Antislavery ideas were always linked to notions of liberty and progress, but less often to racial equality."

The historian who dug up the docs at the Kew Library ca. 10 yrs ago, wh/revealed Lincoln's interest (as late as 1865) in having former slaves immigrate to Liberia, is probably a different person. Again, the name escapes me.

mb

4:24 AM  
Anonymous Arnie Toynbee said...

Hello MB and Wafers,

I recently read a great article addressing the possibility of Trump's reelection. The author rejects the notion that Trump (and Trumpism) have come to power because of some bubba cult that worships his every move. That may be a major element (his rock solid 'base'). But what allowed him to build upon that and ultimately get over the threshold in 2016 (and maybe again in 2020) is the fact that he represents the core ethos of America: making money, hustling and getting ahead at all costs.

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/trump-win-200721160416400.html

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Audrey said...

https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/why-gregory-bateson-matters/

"One of the core lessons to be gleaned from [Gregory Bateson's work] is that addressing problems in ways that seem direct and results-oriented sometimes ensures failure in the long term...

"Bateson anticipated that the single biggest breakthrough in human development would come from inculcating a culture that fosters a sense of this larger connectedness... "

9:34 AM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

Umair on the american idiot again:
Link.

Umair is a bit melodramatic at times but I like his thesis that once a society gets to 30 or 40% idiots its game over. The question is what happens when a country is 90% idiots like America?

“I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such: because I think a General Government necessary for us, and there is no Form of Government but what may be a Blessing to the People if well-administered; and I believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a Course of Years and can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become so corrupted as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other.” - Ben Franklin at the Constitutional Convention.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Audrey-

I discuss Bateson at great length in the Reenchantment bk.

mb

10:00 AM  
Anonymous McMurry said...

Now is like 1989, John Gray says, in geopolitical terms. Who knows where it will end, so modesty in politics not vision is best: big ideas make big suffering. He didn't talk climate change. But maybe now has space for prepolitical questions on being human.
Interview on UnHerd
https://youtu.be/13hdpSvHCyI

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Joshua Wyden said...



Why Can’t Trump’s America Be Like Italy?

On the coronavirus, the “sick man of Europe” puts us to shame.

By Paul Krugman

Opinion Columnist

July 23, 2020

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/23/opinion/us-italy-coronavirus.html

Krugman doesn't get it, but a broken clock is correct twice a day.

10:49 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Greetings Waferinos, here’s your news roundup from Cascadia:

Evergreen College announced a 10 percent budget cut for its coming fiscal year and cut 26 faculty positions, as projections suggest enrollment could fall to as few as 2,050 students. The administration is considering a name change to Evergreen State University and “partnerships” with some other colleges – in Pennsylvania? – perhaps some equally woke institutions:

https://www.theolympian.com/news/local/article244455047.html

Meanwhile, the Trumpentroopers are headed to Seattle for their next act:

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/federal-agents-will-be-on-standby-in-seattle-but-mayor-durkan-says-theyre-not-being-sent-to-crack-down-on-protesters/

And on the pandemic front, a possible Typhoid Mary situation four a court to decide as a Seattle area doctor is accused of working in a nursing home even though she had tested positive for the Corvid-19 virus but didn’t show any symptoms:

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/doctor-accused-of-working-at-a-nursing-home-while-infected-with-covid-19-infection-spreading-virus/

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Quiet Desperation said...

New Monastic Individual? With a nod to Jason Isbell...

https://twitter.com/i/status/1286104921981382656

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Requiem said...

Arnie - thanks for the article. I agree with his thesis: Trump is America writ large. We love the guy because he has achieved everything we want for ourselves - money, power, fame, sex.

He gives us permission to bully the disabled, sneer at losers, slug those not like us, dominate women, discriminate against minorities, cheat and lie for profit.Things we have always wanted to do but were denied by political correctness. Well, screw that. Now we can be ourselves, real Americans, exceptional, entitled and the best human beings on the planet. Free to pollute, kill and disgrace whoever we chose. Oh, such glory. Such power. Such everlasting salvation.

5:17 PM  
Blogger The Wanderer said...

Joshua Wyden RE: Italy vs the USA
Comparing the manipulated c19 numbers is like going down the Rabbit Hole. Example on Italy:
https://www.globalresearch.ca/video-covid-19-fake-data-in-italy-politician-slams-false-numbers-vittorio-sgarbi/5712274
Fake data in Italy is confirmed by Swiss Doctors:
https://www.globalresearch.ca/swiss-doctor-covid-19/5707642
German experts create a much needed International Corona Task Force:
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/05/29/german-official-leaks-report-denouncing-corona-as-global-false-alarm/

It's the global power of WHO *80% funded by Gates, Big Pharma et al that was telling gov'ts how to handle this. But the UK and US decided to let herd immunity take it's course. Dr. Falsi told Trump 2 1/2 million Americans would die. And both gov'ts changed course.
Of interest, look at countries that took precautions but no lock downs...like Japan.

I think it's another sign of the decline that in the US if you question lock downs or wearing masks, you are called a Trump supporter. Trumpi was on both sides at one time or the other. lol
I've always thought this video is significant. It's a minute long. Watch Trump say "you should have let us know" when Pompeo slips up and announces the virus is An Excercise and we need to get this right.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Qscuw_3aUk&fbclid=IwAR3UGxwv3MYzFfpsA8FdiOTb9FtKwrffTk6sbACkiwHZbFbssck9fuovId4

5:49 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferinos y Waferinas,

@ Joe McIlnen: please be advised that mean merely rhymes w/Gene and that I am not truly such, just another bozo on this magic bus, as we all are -

@ MB -seriously, I am quite the kid alright. The past 18 months going have been very good indeed. Right up through last Wednesday when a very kind woman sent me a short letter and a $200 personal check. Seriously, I had long forgotten the "debt". Karma is as karma does. Joe Spaghetti-o has got me covered here.

And, GSWH, sorry for that failed link attempt to connect Waferdom (a nod to Miles here) with that fine youtube video clip of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel performing the Wafer anthem classic "My Little Town" . You know how to find it.

O & D!

9:50 PM  
Blogger FarmerBrown said...

MB,Wafers

https://www.amazon.com.au/Empire-Cotton-History-Sven-Beckert/dp/0375713964

4:39 AM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

Krystal Ball On Biden's statement that Trump is "the first racist president in American history". Yes, he really said that. Well worth a watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDTg0SEJVaQ

6:28 AM  
Anonymous Ashcroft said...

https://www.amazon.com/Ideas-Postpone-World-Ailton-Krenak/dp/1487008511/

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53345539-ideas-to-postpone-the-end-of-the-world

This could be interesting. The book's by Indigenous Brazilian writer Ailton Krenak, to be published in English in October.

9:10 AM  
Anonymous Requiem said...

On the role of Neoliberalism in the suffering of South Americans in the time of Corona. In South America the damage caused by neoliberalism and the virus converge to devastate those already poor and hungry.

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/07/16/covid-19-rot-exposed-by-pandemic-augurs-a-future-of-fear/

“Despite the crisis revealed by the pandemic, political forces that are wedded to the religion of neoliberalism continue to read from its catechism: austerity, sound money, deregulated capital markets, balanced budgets, privatization, and liberalized trade. For this reason, our dossier argues, governments in the region remain trapped within a neoliberal policy framework, which gives priority to “protecting the economy before protecting the people.”

“To protect the economy is another way of saying to protect the idea of private property. There are hungry people, and there is food, and yet the food is not delivered to the hungry because they do not have money and because food is treated as a commodity rather than a right. Governments prefer to use social wealth to hire military and police forces to keep the people away from the food, a sure sign that the system has a desiccated soul.”

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

If you're wondering where has Jordan Peterson been, he's been getting rid of an addiction to benzodiazepine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzRbEMzr0k8

Apparently this is one of the most difficult addictions to get rid of. They couldn't find any clinic in the US or Canada able to deal with it (the attempts there made him worse) and finally he found help in Russia and Serbia, of all places.

Not a big fan of Jordan Peterson, but I hope he gets well and, maybe, he'll learn something from it.

10:58 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

@Audrey, as MB has already said, he discussed Bateson in detail in his renchmnt bk. But nevertheless, this was a good reminder.

The American collapse is quite a spectacle from a distance at the moment. Read this one, for example: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/24/portland-trump-order-federal-officers-veterans-protests
“They have no tactical cohesion to what they’re doing,” he said. “Duston and I are vets. We can tell what’s going on with these guys. There was no sort of command. They were running around and they were scared.” This is according one veteran quoted in the report.

If my memory is not betraying me, it has been discussed on this blog that the US federal govt has been raising forces for some time now to quell public unrest on the streets when things go bad. Are these those forces? Wouldn't one expect a little more order and 'professionalism' from such forces? The Empire looks pitiable.


1:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Indian-

I had read somewhere online that the Army was training soldiers somewhere in the SW as preparation for food and water riots, mass migrations, and general civil disturbance, wh/the govt regarded as eventually inevitable (as do I). How true this is, I have no idea. But the fact that the troops in Portland are incoherent and clueless doesn't surprise me. The Wash Post reported some time ago that the war in Afghanistan was a complete failure, and that the military had no idea as to what it was doing or why.

Let's summarize: the military is a joke, the economy is a joke, the society is a joke, the major institutions are jokes, as are the American people themselves. Bright future ahead!

mb

1:27 PM  
Blogger The Wanderer said...

Hola Requiem and all Wafers... the easiest way to explain neoliberalism is a question:
When is the last time the US Congress passed legislation that benefited 90% of the people in the USA? Nixon was President! that is when we got EPA, Clean Water Act, etc. This also kick started the neo-liberal back lash with the Powell Memorandum and Corporations began to cooperate to take control of the government and stop regulation.

I think we're seeing the same game plan now but at the global level. Global "cartels" are forming across the globe. While there is competition there is also cooperation to achieve common goals and create a global monopoly. They know "capitalism" is crashing so they are helping it crash faster in this demolition and restructuring of the world economy.

This is a process and it's evolving. Here's an interesting and short read that gives a good overview of how global corporations are meeting with each other, collaborating across national and even regional borders. To me this is neoliberalism on global steroids. Our Corporate Masters are trying to take over control of the world economy and us.
https://www.globalresearch.ca/davos-great-reset/5715515

Dr. B...thoughts?

2:12 PM  
Blogger Rosegarden said...

O dem Karens!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdUEUXKl-S4

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Krakhed said...

Thanks to cor for the link to the hill rising. Saagar Enjeti & Krystal Ball seem to have a nuanced take on the political reality in this country.

Shmiden, Trumpi, and 99% of Americans directly in Moron Axis(MX) with rising indicators of the Escalating Buffoon Index (EBI).

What can be said about those engulfed in the Moron Axis just by proximity on a daily basis? There's got a be a homeopathic remedy Wafers can recommend. Cocaine fades too quickly.

Here's a podcast I can recommend- Mike Brancatelli- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIOPKNmCfO4

Different from the standard narrative on how to vote in the upcoming elections.

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX) ranks exceptionally high on the Moron Index (even by American standards), but I did find this quite amusing:

"GOP's Gohmert introduces resolution that would ban the Democratic Party"
https://thehill.com/homenews/house/508759-gops-gohmert-introduces-resolution-that-would-ban-the-democratic-party

Excerpt: "He suggested that the party change its name Thursday, saying that "that is the standard to which they are holding everyone else, so the name change needs to occur.""

This is nothing more than a fart in the wind, but hilarious nonetheless.

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Tomiris said...

Wafers-

From T.S. Eliot's Choruses from The Rock:

"The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word."

6:25 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Malleus: I've had my problems with alcohol and long ago was able to instantly punch out of it using Librium. You can't get Librium now, but kava-kava helped me get off the next to the last dependency. The last one, as Selco observed, wartime makes you fall back into bad habits and I got out of is on self-discipline alone. You can expect NO help in the US but they'll "help themselves" at your expense by herding you into a many-thousand-dollar "rehab" program with a 95% failure rate.

Alcohol is pushed ad nauseam in US culture. A certain part of the population will become dependent; it's a recognized fact. In a sane society part of the profits would be used to help these people out. But this is the US and you are on your own. Benzos are, in my understanding, TONS worse than alcohol. On YouTube there are vids of people micro-tapering off of benzos because it can take months to get off, whereas alcohol takes about an uncomfortable week to get off it and another week or two to normalize.

6:47 PM  
Blogger dermot said...

MB, re food & water riots, you are correct sir.

2010 (scroll down for the photo of the wargamer holding the 'food now' sign):
https://publicintelligence.net/vigilant-guard-2010-riot-control-detention-drills/

2012 (the exercises are getting nastier):
https://publicintelligence.net/u-s-army-domestic-quick-reaction-force-riot-control-training-photos/

2016, jan (holy hell, they're not scared of molotovs):
https://www.businessinsider.com/military-police-train-to-deal-with-riots-2016-1

Remind me which awful man was president in 2010, 2012, and 2016? Hmmm. A great liberal saviour IIRC.

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Randomly turned on the WAFer movie Taxi Driver this evening and saw Travis order an apple pie with cheese. Huh? I must have seen this movie at least twice and never noticed that before:

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/cheese-apple-pie

The lack of Pastrami and Rye and mustard and Dr. Browns in that movie is profoundly disturbing.

7:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Cel-

Not to mention absence of chopped liver and matzoh balls.

dermot-

So I didn't imagine these messages. What a horrible country we are.

Tomiris-

4 Quartets also gd.

Rosegarden-

I confess, I love the Karens. I don't think the US can have too many Karens. And just as all of us need to embrace our Inner Tulsi, I think we also need to embrace our Inner Karen.

mb

7:45 PM  
Blogger Xair said...

Wafers,
Was reading about the lost generation writers the other day and came across this from Archibald Macleish:

America is neither a land nor a people,
A word's shape it is, a wind's sweep —
America is alone: many together,
Many of one mouth, of one breath,
Dressed as one — and none brothers among them:
Only the taught speech and the aped tongue.
America is alone and the gulls calling.

Fairly accurate if ask me


8:35 PM  
Anonymous Bugs Bunny said...

Dear all, I am wondering about a book that a female historian/sociologist wrote, about how modernity/industrialization has suppressed nature and the feminine. I can't remember author and title, does anyone have any idea? Thanks - also for all interesting contributions, esp. from the chief Wafer.

3:52 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bugs-

"The Death of Nature," by Carolyn Merchant. She has a pt, but greatly overdoes it w/a lot of feminist animus, wh/makes the bk somewhat unreliable. E.g., the work of Francis Bacon is described as a 'torture manual' against women. Manichaean thinking prevails throughout.

mb

4:40 AM  
Blogger FarmerBrown said...

MB,Tomiris, I caught a glimpse of silence and stillness in this movie about constant motion. There was a dearth of words too, but a lot of meaning.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Acacias_(film)

6:07 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Hi Wafers. With Dr. Berman’s approval and permission, here is the premiere showing of “Karen Sunday”! Just a few of this past week’s outrageous and laughable antics of narrow-minded Karens ( as well as a few Darrens here and there) are shown for your pleasure and entertainment. They come from north to south and east to west, these nasty denizens of the United States of America. Perhaps these can be shown as further examples of “American Exceptionalism”. Watch and listen to their crudeness, mean-spritedness, vulgarity, and selfishness. Enjoy!LOL!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5L5O4HigfQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sz13LkbzDdo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9ErD-9ZbA0

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Americans are so depressed and anxious that the FDA added Zoloft to their drug shortage list.

https://www.ktva.com/story/42130648/fda-adds-zoloft-to-drug-shortage-list-as-35-of-americans-reporting-anxiety-depression

More than half of American temporary business closures listed on the website Yelp are now classified as permanent.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexandrasternlicht/2020/07/22/more-than-half-of-temporary-business-closures-now-permanent-on-yelp/#4a6c5adc1feb

10:04 AM  
Blogger Tim2 said...

MB and Wafers

Apropos for these times.

https://www.amazon.com/Death-Expertise-Campaign-Established-Knowledge/dp/0190865970/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=the+death+of+expertise&qid=1595773111&sr=8-1#reader_0190865970

10:24 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

MB, your comments remind me of the times just before the 2003 Iraq war. There were a few Latin American immigrants in the care-home facility my wife used to work in in Chicago. Son of one of those ladies got recruited in the US Marine corps. The poor fellow was still in his teens. He got to attend two weeks of boot camp before being sent to Iraq. Don’t know what happened to him because we came back to India the following year. Later we read that on many occasions these immature fellows, in an unfamiliar territory, brainwashed to believe that every Iraqi, no every Muslim, is a ‘terrorist’, got scared and opened fire leading to civilian deaths. It’s a pathetic joke. Talking about institutions being joke, it’s true all around. Seems like if you shove it hard enough, all institutions not just fall, they crumble.

Here is a report on how British politics is being funded by the Russian oligarchs. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/jul/25/moscow-on-thames-russia-billionaires-soviet-donors-conservatives
Independence!

10:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tim2-

Looks gd (and accurate)!

Joe-

I just can't help it; I love 'em!

mb

11:08 AM  
Anonymous HBL said...

https://eand.co/america-is-having-the-mother-of-all-social-collapses-1cac9aac0d17

America is Having the Mother of All Social Collapses

11:36 AM  
Blogger Alogon said...

>Alcohol is pushed ad nauseam in US culture.

So is gambling. Not much "disturbs" or "shocks" me anymore, but this article did when it appeared in 2016:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/12/losing-it-all/505814/

The worst thing about it is that our governments, which are supposed to protect the citizenry, encourage good behavior, and if not prohibit bad behavior at least do something to discourage it, are often in cahoots. Perhaps the best thing about it is the revenge that a native American tribe is able to take on their conquerors by exploiting their avarice. Occasionally, nevertheless, a casino operator goes broke. Didn't it even happen to Trump? I shed no tears over that.



1:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

HBL-

And who is responsible for this?

a) The Power Elite
b) Martians
c) Karens
d) Bubbas
e) Progs
f) Reince Priebus
f) 330 million buffoons

mb

1:51 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Best laugh I’ve had for days, this paragraph about the face-off in Portland between protesters and Federal storm troopers:

“ As the days have ticked by, each side has become more experienced in dealing with the other. Last week, protesters began bringing leaf blowers to drive back the teargas. Federal agents started using them too, setting off a strange, noisy duel and small tornadoes of whirling gas.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/26/portland-riot-protesters-trump-agents-police?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

In pursuit of racial justice versus the pursuit of law and order by force, it comes down to dueling leaf blowers pushing tear gas up and down the street.

2:52 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

SHTF coming in November...


https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/12/us-presidential-election-fiasco-voter-suppression


https://offgridsurvival.com/shtfprepperthreats/

4:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

Check out "The Mandibles," by Lionel Shriver.

Dan D and other Wafers-

At this pt, it wd be a gd idea to create and wear buttons that say BOOC. Then, when people ask you what this means, you can say: "Buffoons Out Of Control," and elaborate on the implications of that.

mb

4:27 PM  
Blogger taylor1956 said...

The thing is - or rather the elephant in the room is (and it's a rather large elephant too) -that the BLM demos are predominately white and college students. This is not an "uprising, " as the U.S. left in its bottomless capacity to self-deceive maintains by linking it to the urban unrest of the 60s which involved many thousands, saw hundreds wounded, dozens killed and the Army patrolling city streets. With the George Floyd protests you had the irony of middle-class white kids burning down black-owned stores in black neighborhoods in the name of anti-racism. "Only in America" as the peanut gallery whispers

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Soggy Croutons said...

MB, Requiem: In terms of the cause, I can say that I think about how my mother and siblings all live separately across the province. I think of the relative separation of my friends and how I go home to an empty apartment. I think of how I'd rather be living in a small house with a family. I think of what my mom had to go through to raise us alone and ensure my own success (I'm one of the only people I know who has a prospect of retiring one day) and how it could have been different if the people in the town were more open and loving. I think of how no one should have to be alone. I almost want to retroactively fix what she went through by changing the world accordingly. I also think of how Brooks touched so many people, and how I could connect likewise and be part of something, part of a community that I can help and whose culture will remember me or my mother when I'm gone. A damn blood clot killed him.

For now, I've been resting all day, feeling exhausted and confused. Thoughts of God and the afterlife float around in my head. Watched a nice soccer game though; that helped. Still weed free - leaving my vape with someone far away from where I live. Don't want to look at it.

Pet Shop Boys: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-2TaT8dPns

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Another Schmoe said...

MB, about Weinstein: will take your word as to the reactionary nature of the campus left. I guess my suspicion about the "left critic of the left" schtick is more along the lines of effectiveness. What can calm the "womens studies assistant professors" of America currently taking a beating in the streets of Portland? Somehow I suspect another civility lecture ain't it.

The economic losers of our age are clearly now tired of their living standards destroyed by forces they barely comprehend and are taking it out on the Columbus statues of America. We live in an age of competing fundamentalisms. C'est la vie.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Schmoe-

'Competing fundamentalisms' says it all. Yr rt that in our current situation, the rt has the power--which it is abusing--and the left (whatever the hell that is) does not. But let's not kid ourselves: if the left had the power, it wd also abuse it, and just as brutally. Amigo, I taught at Evergreen for a semester in 1991, and I can tell you that there was a party line that one was expected to adhere to. The same was true, and worse, of 'Alt U', as I describe it in the Twilight bk: those folks wd have burned their enemies at the stake, if they cd have. Working among people whose eyes are glazed, as if they were possessed, is not quite a barrel of laughs. In both of these cases, as in the more recent events at Evergreen, real dialogue is simply impossible; and this has spread across the country, to both left and rt, wh/is what Bret has been legitimately concerned abt.

The fact that the two sides mirror each other in form suggests that the 2 categories are not really fundamental, in terms of social or political analysis. There is, in fact, a vertical axis that cuts across these categories, one that Machiavelli figured out centuries ago: ego vs. decency. We can, I think, agree that very little decency is to be found among the Trumpites, the bubbas, and the Karens. But my encounters with Big Shots of the political left was a real eye-opener for me: these folks will plagiarize yr work, badmouth you to journalists, do hatchet job reviews of yr writing, and successfully keep you off the radar screen of intellectual discussion--mostly because it undercuts their politics, occasionally out of professional jealousy, but often just for the heck of it, w/no rational reason at all. I can't convince myself that the US wd be better off if these folks were in power, rather than Trump. Only a fool wd believe such a thing.

If you want to learn how Machiavelli struggled w/this, check out the chapter on him in my bk "Genio". For my money, he proves to be one of the most nuanced thinkers in the history of the world, a visionary who saw a quality (or possibility) that has long disappeared from America--if indeed we ever had it. (Also relevant are Arthur Miller, "The Crucible," and Eric Hoffer, "The True Believer")

mb

10:08 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

Schmoe, I too have grown tired of the asymmetries between the left/right debate that don't seem to get enough attention. One example of this are faux-leftists like Tim Pool and Dave Rubin starting a lot of their arguments with "Hey I've always considered myself a leftist but, [insert right-wing talking point here]". Look at the videos on Pool's Youtube channel. Does this guy seem like a liberal? Maybe I'm off way off but I don't know of anyone with a big following who does the opposite, who consistently identifies as a "conservative" and uses nothing but liberal talking points.

This kind of sophistry has been used very succesfully by the right, while the left flounders around in bs identity politics and general incompetence. Now yes- a lot of these guys - the weinsteins, Rubin, even jordan peterson's crazy ass - have valid criticisms, but they bring a lot of dishonest nonsense with them. I don't think the left has really understood how much people have been choking on PC ideology, and this toxic political discourse we now have is, at least in part, a consequence of that.

11:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wudu-

I doubt Bret can be accused of 'dishonest nonsense', and he certainly understands how toxic PC non-dialogue (actually, anti-dialogue) is. This is what his various interviews and testimonies have been abt.

mb

12:08 AM  
Anonymous Maria said...

Trumpi's administration has detained migrant children as young as 1 year old in U.S. hotels before deporting them during the coronavirus pandemic. At least two 1-year-old children were detained for three days, and children between the ages of three and five were held for weeks, according to the records, while a five-year-old was held for 19 days in a hotel.

https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/508539-ice-contractor-held-1-year-old-migrants-in-hotels-before-deporting

3:26 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Ordinary Indian - in the US Army at least in the 1980s Reagan buildup, Basic training was many weeks, 8 or ten, and then there was another month or two of "Advanced Individual Training" so 2 weeks sounds awfully short. You can't brainwash someone in two weeks but you can in a matter of months ...

Alogon - it's paywalled so at least a few pithy handpicked bon mots from it would be helpful. In any case, yes, it's been observed that if Trumpi put his money into a "passbook" (remember those?) saving acct he'd have done much better.

All - I'm about 1/2 way through WAF and it's a keeper and a re-reader. $25 well spent!

3:58 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Maria-

Well, as is well known, the guy has a big heart.

mb

3:59 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Check it out:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/26/portland-federal-agents-teargas-protesters-black-lives-matter

mb

4:26 AM  
Anonymous Pierre B said...

I’ve been lurking for 10 years but this is my first post. I hoping Dr Berman and other Wafers could give me a bit of advice. I am a member of the professional managerial class. I made my commitments to the system back when I was a young man. I am now middle aged and have been trying to live by Dr. Berman’s monastic option as best I can. The last 10 years I have tried to find an inner peace through reading as many as the suggestions given here as I can. But my mind is now in chaos and my body barely functioning. The hypocrisy by which I live is becoming more and more unbearable. Currently reading Emma Goldman’s biography is giving me a happy sense of admiration I have never felt. However, my own lack of courage, which is also burdened by a lifelong shyness and lack of self confidence, constantly troubles me. Leaving is not an option as my previous commitments to the American system (both financial and non financial) will sink their tentacles into my life no matter where I go. Any advice?

P.S. - I miss Bill Hicks’ insight greatly. His previous experience with the Prof-Managerial class was very helpful to me.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Barry said...

"This idea of America as this unparalleled and supremely competent global hegemon is over,"

https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/biden-foreign-policy/

This description of Biden's chief foreign policy adviser doesn't give much hope that Biden would end Forever Wars. Big Surprise.

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Here's senator Tom “Plantation” Cotton saying slavery was a “necessary evil.”

I don't give a flying fuck if he published an editorial on the NY Times or not, or whether the editor of the NY Times was forced to resign or not. Just call me back when they torch the whole NY Times building down, so that I can open a good bottle of wine to celebrate.

As for Bret Weinstein, I don't disagree with what he says, but I can't help wondering why he seems to act so surprised. Did he really spend a life in academia without smelling the coffee before? Since at least the times when the University of Paris started as an annex to the cathedral of Notre Dame, the main purpose of universities is not free thinking, but peddling dogma. The funny thing about dogma is that, by definition, it's immutable, however, in practice it changes with some regularity. It looks to me like Bret was caught in a dogmatic shift.

11:18 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Malleus-

Your characterization of academia is a bit monolithic. "Lux et Veritas" has been a goal for a long time now, at least in theory, and I think it's fair to say that some percentage--10%?--of faculty members are still interested in it. Bret is one of those. He was surprised by what happened because despite the pc nature of Evergreen, it had never shown up in such a virulent form before. He also had gd dialogue and relations w/his and other students, so he expected that this wd still be a living thing. What occurred instead was genuinely jarring to him.

Pierre-

Awareness is itself a form of courage; the 1st step, I suppose. The question is whether there are any weak links in your current situation--commitments that can be disposed of w/o incurring too much damage. Think in terms of baby steps. The impt thing is to keep moving forward on the road to freedom. It doesn't hafta be done overnite, but yes, it hasta be done, if you have any interest in leading a meaningful life. I too miss Bill Hicks.

mb

11:49 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman & Wafers,
Be wary of, as mentioned in another vapid American saying, “kind little old ladies”.
They’re likely to spray mace on you.
https://www.sandiegoville.com/2020/07/couple-reportedly-maced-in-san-diegos.html

12:08 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Hello Pierre,

I was also a lurker/recent first time poster and share many of your feelings. I admit I am less trapped in America because I don’t own property or have kids and was fortunate enough to come across Dr B when I was still in my 20s. Thank goodness for that. I am still in the US and have stayed relatively sane by adopting the monastic life. My advise is pretty simple. Others will hopefully offer up more complex options.

Make friends with immigrants and renew/retain contacts outside of the US. You will learn so much and have endless sources of unique insights and tons of humor.

Turns off the news. Read Matt Taibbi’s Hate, Inc to get insight into what a pernicious force media is.

Go the ethnic areas of your city or town. Eat unfamiliar food and browse in stores where you can’t read a thing. Ask questions. Almost everyone in these situations is welcoming and loves helping those who are eager to learn about their culture. I spent a hour in a Japanese grocery store this weekend and felt like a new person when I left. It’s such a mental break.

Maybe you can’t leave now but you can one day. Make all the plans you can by learning local customs, history and language of your future country.

Also remember that feeling this way is just proof you are still sane.

12:40 PM  
Blogger The Wanderer said...

Pierre- what an act of courage for you to post!
As Dr. B so wisely said: Awareness is itself a form of courage; the 1st step

For the next step you might consider this well loved book by Pema Chodron:
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

"How can we live our lives when everything seems to fall apart—when we are continually overcome by fear, anxiety, and pain? The answer, Pema Chödrön suggests, might be just the opposite of what you expect. Here, in her most beloved and acclaimed work, Pema shows that moving toward painful situations and becoming intimate with them can open up our hearts in ways we never before imagined. Drawing from traditional Buddhist wisdom, she offers life-changing tools for transforming suffering and negative patterns into habitual ease and boundless joy."

Over 2,000 reviews and 34,000 ratings!
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/687278.When_Things_Fall_Apart

Pierre...Pema has a way of gently guiding us within.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Joe-

Americans of all ages, all genders, all races have huge amts of violence, pain, and rage in their bodies, just waiting to be discharged. Yr not wearing a mask? I'll mace you! Yr wearing a mask? I'll mace you! They just need something to pull the plug. It can be anything.

mb

2:19 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Of Course they DID...


https://www.fox9.com/news/couple-banned-by-walmart-after-wearing-nazi-flag-face-masks-at-marshall-minnesota-store


Morris,

I do believe you called this years ago...


Jihadist plots used to be U.S. and Europe's biggest terrorist threat.....Now it's the far-right.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/jihadist-plots-used-be-u-s-europe-s-biggest-terrorist-n1234840

2:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

A bubba, and a Karen! Compatibility is essential for a gd marriage.

mb

3:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Shd we be surprised dept.:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/27/fossil-fuels-oil-gas-industry-police-foundations

mb

3:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

For those of you interested in the archaeology and history of ancient Israel, check out the article by Ruth Margalit in the June 29 New Yorker.

-mb

4:52 PM  
Anonymous Larissa said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2L4jcVqo8s

The story of the Iraq war and the chaos that followed, told by Iraqis who lived through it.

Once Upon a Time in Iraq (full film)

Grim but important!

5:04 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

The Land of the Liberal White Gnomes has its own crop of Karens (or Qarens, but I think that pun will go over most people's heads in the US, so I'll stick with the K) coming into their own. From what she says about being Black in America, I am jealous of all the free things I did not get...

https://www.facebook.com/210277954204/posts/10157801174239205/

6:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan D-

Can't help it; I jus' love dem Karens! From my perspective, the US cannot have too many Karens. I think it's their cutting-edge intellect that draws me in. Yea Karens!

mb

6:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Michael-

I think I lost yr post by accident. Sorry! Pls resend, thank you.

mb

4:35 AM  
Blogger Mike Kelly said...

Pierre,

As that old coot Bill Clinton said: I feel your pain. I too was hung up in corporate America and still am to some extent. About a year ago I nearly died of cancer and was forced to retire early. I don't know how close you are to retirement, but hold out for it. It's worth it! In some ways getting sick was a good thing, because it forced me daily to sit and think about what's important in life. Yes, you need money to retire and live well, but you don't need a fortune. Save as much as you can and plan to simplify. Walk instead of drive every chance you get. Pay off all debts and avoid the temptation to gather more shit you don't need. I love to garden and grow at least a little of my own food. FInd a similar outlet. You can't go wrong if you stay close to nature, even if you live in a big city.

Well, enough rambling on my part. Best of everything to you, Pierre, and I'm glad you are a Wafer.

8:05 AM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

Eh, I guess its unfair of me to lump Bret in with a lot of the other intellectual dark web people. He's one of the more coherent members, for the most part. My thinking though is that the answer to the bonkers PC crusade is not a mirror-crusade on the other end of the political spectrum. Thats how a lot of these guys operate, they act like crusaders on the path of righteous justice that have subject-matter expertise on everything in the universe.

Here is one of Eric's 9/11 conspiracy tweets https://twitter.com/EricRWeinstein/status/1220402915115814914 . He doesn't seem to be aware of critiques of this kind of position from people who actually have civil engineering experience. Since he's a super-genius, I guess he doesn't have to be. Here is one of the best critical analysis of Peterson https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/03/the-intellectual-we-deserve . Peterson comes across as incoherent, because a lot of the time, he is.

Your quote from Tallyrand is appropriate here. Many of these fellows don't understand the "not too much zeal" approach, and don't like to admit when they are not experts in something, which is where my "dishonest nonsense" take comes from. But maybe a lot of this comes down to the Manichean problem that often gets mentioned here, I don't know.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Well, here is the Caitlin Johnstone essay about the American elite control over the narrative people live under the illusion of - it's a good essay.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/07/28/as-us-eviction-crisis-looms-remember-that-poverty-is-weaponized-by-the-elite/

10:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Michael-

It's a gd essay, but relies too much on the notion of the masses having the wool pulled over their eyes. The truth is, the wool *is* their eyes. Everyone in the US, rich or poor, buys into the notion that hustling is the right way of life, that everyone has an equal chance, and that if you don't make it, it's yr fault. This is the substance of the American Dream. John Steinbeck once wrote that socialism was impossible in America because the poor regard themselves as "temporarily embarrassed millionaires," just waiting for their ship to come in. They all want a Mercedes Benz and equate that w/the gd life. Add to that a complete absence of critical thinking--in fact, a deep hatred of the intellect--and there is v. little possibility of seeing what's actually going on.

Wudu-

I'm not sure expertise is the issue here. It seems more a matter of commitment. Both sides are genuinely committed to a certain way of life, and genuinely see the other side as evil. What is missing is any empathy or flexibility, and Americans are simply not into that. So it's not really a question of expertise; it's really abt 'religion'.

mb

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Humpty Dumpty said...


Tom Hanks is now formally a Greek citizen. He embraces Greek culture and has also converted to Greek orthodoxy. Quote:

"[The country] is good for the soul, it's a healing place."

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/07/27/entertainment/tom-hanks-rita-wilson-greek-citizenship-trnd/index.html

5:37 PM  

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