August 26, 2020

The Larger Perspective

Wafers-

I thought this might interest you all: a documentary, now about 10 years old, called "Surviving Progress." It gives a larger perspective to our current American political dilemmas--la longue duree (the long view), as the French would say. There are some silly interviews toward the end, regarding how technology can supposedly save us--which actually fall into the category of what Ronald Wright calls the "progress trap"--but these are countered by a few folks who know better. On a planetary scale, the doc suggests that we have two options: colonize Mars, and fuck that planet up like we did the earth; or become a very different type of human being, right here at home. Switching from limbic system to prefrontal cortex is I guess what the latter option would entail. I can't imagine it, myself: this is the path of those thinkers of a window of about 1,000 years--Christ, Buddha, Socrates, and Confucius--who discovered "second-order thinking," i.e. the type of reflexivity that occurs in meditation, for example. Before you act, you step back and assess what you are doing.

So imagine that you come across a Karen in the midst of a vicious tirade, and you say to her: "This is not helpful behavior, going postal just because a store asked you to put on a mask." Or you say to Shaneka Torres, just as she's about to shell a McDonald's with her machine gun because they forgot to put bacon on her cheeseburger: "Better not, my dear; you'll just wind up in jail for a very long time." What are the odds, really?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGyU6MEstjU

-mb

118 Comments:

Blogger NeilW said...

For me, progress is 'genuine improvement'. Great film https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGn52V-xl8M

11:57 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@al-Qa'bong,

Continuing from the last post, I also watched pro wrestling in my youth. Trump has a long history with pro wrestling and even participated in a WWE event where he tackled promoter Vince McMahon and then helped shave his head.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMKFIHRpe7I

Vince McMahon’s wife Linda McMahon was formerly the head of the Small Business Administration under Trump but last I checked she is now the chair of Trump’s 2020 Super PAC. Linda McMahon also ran for the U.S. Senate twice in Connecticut but lost both times.

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/03/29/linda-mcmahon-to-resign-as-head-of-small-business-administration-1243495

3:59 AM  
Anonymous Waesfjord said...

Dear Dr Berman, Wafers,

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder last year. Since then I have been on medication which has worked amazingly well. I look back on my past behavior and I think, "wow, I was so crazy." My mental illness reminds me of America. I look at America and its people and I think, "my God, an entire country suffering mental illness!"

My doctor told me that more than half the battle in getting well is accepting one's diagnosis. I see that you have diagnosed America; but will she accept it? No, the poor crazy bitch is doomed to a life of hell.

Onwards and downwards!

4:53 AM  
Anonymous Trot said...

Republican Sens. Perdue, Tillis, Burr, and others asked Trump for more low wage migrant visas https://theintercept.com/2020/08/26/gop-push-migrant-worker-visas/

Suddenly, this *won't* take away jobs from Americans. What changed?
/
Oh, right. Entire fields of tomatoes rotting away because no one is picking them.

8:17 AM  
Anonymous Tony Appignanesi said...

Germany finds it hard to love Hegel 250 years after his birth

New books try to lighten up the intimidating reputation of Germany’s ‘most difficult’ philosopher

https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/27/germany-finds-it-hard-to-love-hegel-250-years-after-his-birth

I wonder if Schopenhauer ever said one nice thing about Hegel

10:09 AM  
Blogger Mike Kelly said...

Another sign of decline, this one in our exalted military:

https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/25/us/fort-hood-soldier-deaths-trnd/index.html

Who's going to keep us in line once the army implodes? Oh yeah, the armed militias.

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Today is Hegel's 250th birthday. Happy birthday! Even if, maybe, he's a bit overrated and took quite a few ideas from Spinoza, of whom he said himself:

The fact is that Spinoza is made a testing-point in modern philosophy, so that it may really be said: You are either a Spinozist or not a philosopher at all.

And talking about Spinoza, I came across this:

Why Baruch Spinoza is still excommunicated

The Haham also observed, in response to the executive's point about freedom of speech, that Judaism did not share such a concept. Did free speech mean, he asked, that "we in our synagogue should spread the denial of God's existence to the extent that it destroys our heritage and the pillars on which Judaism rests"?

Interesting, at least they're honest (in my view all organized religions suffer from the same problem).

12:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike-

Gun-totin' Karens, amigo. What a sight that'll be!

mb

12:36 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Here you go, Karen with a gun. Telling a National Guardsman who just got back from Iraq to get, get- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1mq1P8V_8s

Been having some distressing talks in my town. Lots of talk and some action to defund the police, which I am for. Also about to have 10,000 students show up, 7,000 off-campus, which means a lot of parties and noise and sharing of viruses. So the most vocal anti-cop people are telling everyone to not call the police, especially since this could put Blacks at the party at risk. Ok, I get it, and agree.

So, what should people do instead, anti-cop people? The answers range from 'you call the house up and ask them to stop' to 'get your neighbors together and go shut down the party' to 'just shut up and do nothing' (while be kept up all night, but hey work and driving safety are capitalist issues????). Seems to me, if you call for people to not call the police, you should have alternatives. Especially since if you don't, the right wingers will. Ah, the American Left. I don't know which is scarier, that they are so incompetent and confused, or that some day they might have real power?

Quick question for people- I see a lot of podcasts linked to here. But those things are LONG. I mean, half an hour of listening to get the same info as a three page essay I can read in five minutes? Do people actually listen to them? Do they speed them up? Listen while driving? How do you absorb them?

1:15 PM  
Anonymous Another Schmoe said...

MB, I happen to be reading Ronald Wright's book A Short History of Progress, enjoying it so far. To me both the Mars scenario and "global awakening and peace" scenario seem...unlikely?


Not sure if this is another third option or not? But when I see 17 year olds with ARs gunning down protesters it just makes me think, maybe we're just hard wired to be killers. How about "planet MMA" where we grease up these characters and let 'em have at it in the octagon. Also, how about good hunting using bows and arrows and spears. Get out there and bring in some deer for winter, Kyle Rittenhouse! Call it the Joe Rogan Option.

I am very doubtful that we'll ever get them (us) to be 100% peaceful. And Mars looks like a dreadful place to live what with the whole "no magnetosphere" issue. If Elon wants to live there why not just live underground here?

1:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

I'm guessing that 95% of the American public wd not be able to give the correct answers to 6 or more of the following 8 questions:

1.Who composed “Take the A Train”?
2.What do the initials FDR stand for?
3.How about DDE?
4.Who was John Foster Dulles?
5.What is the aorta?
6.Who wrote “Twelfth Night?”
7.What is sodium chloride?
8.Who was Arthur Miller married to?

2:04 PM  
Blogger dermot said...

Waesfjord: "my God, an entire country suffering mental illness!"

JUNG: "The greatest danger of all comes from the masses, in whom the effects of the unconscious pile up cumulatively and the reasonableness of the conscious mind is stifled. Every mass organization is a latent danger ... It lets loose effects which no man wants and no man can stop.”

JG BALLARD: "You’ve seen the people around here. Their lives are empty. Install a new kitchen, buy another car, take a trip to some beach hotel. People are bored, even though they don’t realize it … There’s one thing left that can put some energy into their lives, give them a sense of direction … Madness … A willed insanity, the sort that we higher primates thrive on...Elective insanity is waiting inside us, waiting inside us to come out when we need it ... Witch-hunts, auto-da-fes, heretic burnings, the hot poker shoved up the enemy’s rear, gibbets along the skyline. Willed madness can infect a housing estate or a whole nation.’

Regarding Mars and Musk-worship, a fantastic series of movies taking down the Mars rocket ship:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgKWj1pn3_7hRSFIypunYog/videos

2:05 PM  
Blogger dg said...

"It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines." Marcia Angell, former NEJM editor

3:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

dg-

Where quoted? Link?

mb

4:13 PM  
Blogger Lucullus said...

Did not know "Take A Train". By DDE, I assume you didn't mean "destroyer escort". I got 6 out of 8. Just passed.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Karl said...

I've yet to watch it, but I gather Michael Moore's latest - 'Planet of the Humans' - is also pretty bleak and against techno-fixes. Hence also it being excoriated in the liberal media.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk11vI-7czE

5:31 PM  
Blogger dg said...

mb

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcia_Angell

https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2009/01/15/drug-companies-doctorsa-story-of-corruption/?pagination=false




5:45 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

This was an elected us "official" born on a US war mongering base and and 'educated' as a physician's assistant to boot. These were your USian neighbors, 'friends,' and family.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4k4pMTsa1Kw

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

5:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

dg-

I actually discuss her work in the 1st 2 essays of AWTY (if I remember correctly).

Karl-

Previously discussed here, a little bit. Not so much excoriated as analyzed--problems w/the data (obsolete), etc. But I haven't followed the debate very closely.

Luc-

Congratulations; yr not a moron. DDE = Dwight David Eisenhower.

mb

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Requiem said...

Pro basketball players refuse to play in protest of latest killing of black man by police.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/story/2020-08-26/nba-players-discuss-boycott-of-playoff-games-jacob-blake-shooting

If they really want to make a difference, lead the parades in the streets. Get down and dirty with the protesters. No - they'd rather make a meaningless gesture and return to the comfort of their million dollar mansions. Not that any of that would make a difference anyway. Violence by police against black males is baked into the system. Nothing will change until the culture changes. And it doesnt look like that is going to happen anytime soon. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/opinions/systemic-racism-police-evidence-criminal-justice-system/

On Progress and Mars, Americans aren't going to choose the prefrontal cortex. Most of them don't know where it is. Or what it does. We're a nation of pure instinct. Like amoeba, we react before processing what stimulated us. And usually with violence

5:57 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

DDE - Dwight David Eisenhower? Named em all except Take a Train...

I got no dog in the fight and damn glad I don’t but this whole back to school business drives me crazy, I like the families that are forming pods and hiring a tutor. The annual head count to determine school funding seems like a lever of power if people pulled their head outta there ass, yea right.. parents outta keep their kids home pool $ hire a tutor - that wld get school districts and teachers union attention.

https://www.denverpost.com/2020/08/27/coronavirus-education-enrollment-school-funding/

(MB reflecting on my email I think what I was trying to say is GBOE is the only place I have ever felt free to express my thoughts without fear of recrimination, big ty!)

6:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

Sorry, I don't post Anons. You need a real handle to participate in this discussion. E.g., Julius V. Crapinpants.

Gunnar-

Let it all hang out, boychik! "Take the A Train": Duke Ellington. Wonderful piece:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6mFGy4g_n8

mb

7:54 PM  
Anonymous Seneca’s Cliff said...

How about a ray of sunshine in the bleak landscape. I flew to New York yesterday to help my oldest son pack up and move out of his apartment in Brooklyn and back to Oregon. Today for lunch he surprised me with pastrami sandwiches and cel-ray soda from Katz’s. I must have done something right raising him.

9:37 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

...And His Mother Called Him Bill

“Lotus Blossom”

“Remembering Billy Strayhorn”

10:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

k-

Great stuff, thank you.

Seneca-

Your son is no mere ray; he is a beacon. But I wish he had included in the lunch menu cole slaw w/Russian dressing; chopped liver; dill pickles; and a bowl of matzo ball soup. On that note, I suggest you read story #2 of "The Heart of the Matter," and also realize that the Jews do indeed, as all my anti-Semitic haters keep telling me, rule the world.

mb

12:38 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

“America’s Death March” - by Chris Hedges


https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/08/10/americas-death-march

12:41 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bk rec: for those of you interested in mathematics, and/or England in the early 20thC, check out this wonderful biographical novel based on the life of Ramanujan:

https://www.amazon.com/Indian-Clerk-Novel-David-Leavitt/dp/1596910402/ref=sr_1_1?crid=17RFO7RIPIKBO&dchild=1&keywords=the+indian+clerk&qid=1598589583&s=books&sprefix=the+indian+clerk%2Caps%2C253&sr=1-1

(Let me add that the Riemann hypothesis remains unproven.)

12:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

I'm curious as to who the 'us' and the 'we' are, whom Hedges refers to in the last paragraph, and whom he says must rise up against the corporate state, and thereby save the country. Which people is he talking about, exactly? The bubbas? The Karens? I must have missed something: I didn't realize the masses were politically organized, ideologically focused in a left-wing direction, and ready to rise up. And Hedges talks about *other* people living in illusion!

mb

5:23 AM  
Anonymous Chloe said...

"Those questioning the future of US democracy are behind the curve. Half of it has already packed up. Parties are what animate a democracy. There's no longer a Republican one distinct from the personality cult it has become." Me on Trump's Orwellian show https://amp.ft.com/content/593edb26-f117-4fab-942e-c2e704567582

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Adam said...

https://www.amazon.com/Socrates-Express-Search-Lessons-Philosophers/dp/1501129015

The Socrates Express: In Search of Life Lessons from Dead Philosophers

From the author of "The Geography of Bliss "

9:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Chloe-

And who are ahead of the curve?:

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

mb

10:28 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman & Wafers,
News comes from Japan that Shinzo Abe is stepping down. This should be interesting to see who replaces him. It especially goes for the Wafers here who have read Neurotic Beauty.

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2020/08/28/Japanese-PM-Shinzo-Abe-resigns-citing-failing-health/4181598602519/

10:57 AM  
Blogger Cyrillia Juniper said...

Dr. B & Wafers:

Thank you for the Duke Ellington posts. Wonderful. Takes me back to high school jazz band when we used to play a lot of the old jazz standards that I love to this day.

@Dan Daniel: Podcasts are not for everyone. I listen while I'm working around the house, sometimes going for a walk (although I prefer nature) and when driving long distances. I've always been a radio listener so for me podcasts are a natural alternative to talk radio. A throwback to an earlier time, like me.

Book recommendation: Masha Gessen's Surviving Autocracy, a necessary handbook for the future for Wafer NMIs in the US. Masha grew up in the Soviet Union, so he has good radar for authoritarians. It's a small book w/short chapters, basically an updated version of his Nov. 2016 piece in the NYR which you will find here: https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2016/11/10/trump-election-autocracy-rules-for-survival/

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Flabster said...

Just as many people I know have finally half woken to the he fact we are headed in a horrible direction this fall, I found this cheerful tidbit about the political edginess building right now. I feel a massive victory by Biden (320 or more electoral votes) would be needed to get trump to somewhat willingly leave the whitehouse. A narrow win, well that is what I feel is likely.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/protests-violence/2020/08/27/3f232e66-e578-11ea-970a-64c73a1c2392_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-high_protestviolence-630am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory-ans

How well will bubba react to a narrow Biden win? Not well. Our sort of democracy wasn’t built to transition peacefully into the social democracy enjoyed by many Europeans. It has been shaped to prevent exactly that.

At this point I am trying to convince my family to leave the country, they don’t want to. So, I’m going to be forced to watch this up close in gory detail. My hope is that whatever happens after American empire crumbles will be better. My fear is what that transition will look like.


2:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This is nice:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/aug/28/fbi-far-right-white-supremacists-police

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Andalusian Musician said...

Mr. Berman with all due respect I do not understand why you do not like Chris Hedges. He is not naive or delusional. After all he wrote 10 years ago a book Empire of Illusion, and America: Farewell Tour. I have listened to his podcasts, he does admit that situation is bleak. He does not seem to someone who is out of touch with reality. I know he loves America, his country. I read a story about 15 years ago about grieved parents, who see their children taking a wrong path in life. I have read about how the parents hoped that someday their children see the light, even if deep inside they know it is possible that the situation is hopeless. They hold out some sliver of hope that things will change. I think Chris is the same way. Chris Hedges is a flawed human being, like all of us. Nevertheless his insights are correct. Chris had been to many places around the world, knows range of languages. His flaws do not mean that his insights are null and void!

3:33 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

https://theintercept.com/2020/08/28/the-social-fabric-of-the-u-s-is-fraying-severely-if-not-unravelling/

1 in 4 Americans 18- 24 seriously contemplated suicide.

https://www.oregonlive.com/crime/2020/08/portland-man-beaten-during-downtown-protest-what-a-new-32-minute-video-reveals.html

Sorry for the broken link.

Mb, I was hoping you could take a look at this link of Bret Weinstein claiming that humans have an inability to live by the precepts of "each to his own ability to each of his own needs.". He argues that the Group Selection Fallacy makes that tenant only enforceable via authoritarianism. My issue is when hasn't society been made to favor one group of people over the other via Laws? Adam Smith in the Wealth of Nations stated that the formation of the Rich is only possible by the strong arm of the Magistrate. It also strikes me that he doesn't understand that Liberalism itself is unstable and that what he is defending is the cause of its own malaise.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILZl6FfLmmA&feature=youtu.be

The statement starts at 18:21 seconds.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

If you like Duke Ellington, tune into my show on Sunday nights on cfcr.ca at 7:00 CST. I play Dukey almost every week.

"At the University of New Hampshire in Durham, [Kucinich] refused to dumb down his speech and quoted the likes of Jung, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Thomas Berry, and the humanist sociologist Morris Berman."
Matt Taibbi Hate Inc. p. 109

I agree about Krystal Bell's use of "like." She has a strange vocal delivery; she's intelligent and articulate, yet sounds as if she's a borderline Valley Girl. That said, she and Saagar are the only US news broadcasters that I can stand to watch.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Nesim-

There is a long history of using evolutionary biology to 'prove' political or social arguments, and this is what Bret is doing. This stuff is heuristic; it is hardly conclusive, and (imo) a very narrow basis on which to make these arguments. Worst example is social darwinism: the theory of survival of the fittest in nature (natural selection) got mapped onto (British) society, as an argument against welfare programs or any kind of economic aid to the poor. Pretty much a self-fulfilling prophecy (and Darwin never made such an argument outside of a strict biological framework). In fact, there is a large literature of the opposite kind from that which Bret is citing, both in anthropology and in evolutionary biology, to the effect that without cooperation and mutual support, the human race wd have disappeared a long time ago. (R.L Trivers, for example, but there are a # of other scholars as well) This to me is much more convincing. Bret is moving from analogy to identity ('truth')--logically a very dubious proposition. I wd add that there is a more interesting question here, as to why communism failed. The answers are very complex. Bret seeks to simplify. He hates communism, so he seeks to validate his politics by searching thru the biological literature. The failure of communism may in fact be an aspect of modernity, time-bound, and not some eternal principle (wh/is what a biological interpretation wd say it is).

Biology, for example, has been used to 'validate' capitalism, even beyond the social darwinist argument. E.g., one of the 1st things a newborn baby does is grasp things (parents' fingers, for example). So someone in the Bretian mode might argue that the grasping nature of capitalism (hustling) is innate. But capitalism is only 500 yrs old, and more to the pt, grasping on the part of a newborn might have a variety of motivations or causes behind it--including the desire for intimacy. You see what I'm saying.

Andalus-

The problem is you come rather late to the party, and I can't really rehearse it all 4u at this pt. But over the last few years, we have reviewed Hedges' work on this blog, and there is so much that is naive and delusional. The man doesn't really have any new ideas; he is a guitar w/one string, and that string is that the masses are going to hafta rise up against their corporate masters. He has said that over and over again, even in the lead-up to Trump's election victory, while I was predicting that if there was going to be a revolution in this country, it wd come from the rt, not the left--wh/is exactly what happened, and continues to happen. In this latest article of his, he repeats the same old hackneyed, delusional nonsense. Meanwhile, once again, the rt is coherent and armed, and the left (which is what, exactly?) is disorganized and basically out to lunch. Who in the world is this mythical 'we' that Hedges constantly evokes? He is totally out of touch w/who the American people are, and what they want (indeed, a # of studies have revealed that the most screwed by the system are the most patriotic). He is also out of touch w/history: that once an empire enters its declining phase (and they all eventually decline), there is no reversing the order of things. Hedges 'insights' are very far from correct, and in addition, he fails to grasp that you cannot simultaneously be a patriot of America and a patriot of humanity: these things cannot be made to jibe. Why in the world would any decent person want to save America, dripping as it is in genocide and destructiveness? This is Trump's goal as well. (Continued below)

5:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

(Continued from above)

Anyway, there's a lot more that could be said--his endless articles touting how moral he is, for example(!)--this while he plagiarizes other people's work. (See the expose by Chris Ketcham in TNR of a few yrs back.) In any case, I doubt there will ever be a wake-up moment for the guy, when he realizes that the game is up, and that real courage means you face that fact and stop peddling false hope. That glimmer of light will never enter his brain, which operates like a closed-loop tape recorder. Your admiration of him is your business, of course, but I regard it as seriously misplaced.

mb

5:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Here is the most succinct summary I can think of, of what the US has become: A genocidal war machine run by a plutocracy/kleptocracy and cheered on by hundreds of millions of clueless idiots. Yes, you may quote me.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

al-

Somebody wrote me that the composer of "Take the A Train" was actually Billy Strayhorn.

mb

6:11 PM  
Blogger ccg said...

The composition of "Take the A Train" was a collaboration between Billy Strayhorn and the Delta Rhythm Boys. Here's a link to the latter:

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



6:55 PM  
Anonymous JUS said...

Hi Wafers:

So there is growing concern about white supremacists in law enforcement.
And now evidence of gangs within the LAPD and Sheriff's departments.

https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-fbi-investigating-sheriff-20190711-story.html

Julie

9:29 PM  
Anonymous Hugh said...

The Ronald Wright inspired documentary made me think of Wright's book 'What is America?' which I'm curious as to what the professor makes of it. I thought it a compelling explaination of why the US finds itself in suck a sorry state. Wright's book does reference Howard Zinn's 'The Peoples History of the United States' several times and Zinn's book has no shortage of detractors; what does the professor think of that book?

Appologies if this is a duplicate; I seem to be having trouble posting here.

Cheers,
Hugh

9:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Andalus-

A couple of blog rules you need to be aware of: first, post only once every 24 hrs, max; and 2nd, be sure yr posts are no more than a half pg in length. Thank you. I also need to add that I really don't wanna keep rehashing Mr. Hedges, as that was done ad nauseam in the past, and I just can't keep doing it. You might wanna scroll thru previous posts' comments for further elaboration. For the rest of us, at this pt it's both exhausting and boring.

Hugh-

I did read "What Is America?" several yrs ago; now can't remember what was in it. As far as Zinn goes: he documents the struggles of people who want a better life w/in the current system, i.e. who want a bigger slice of the pie--their fair share. Wh/is fine, but the larger question, wh/MLK was asking before he was killed, is: what if the whole pie is rotten? Who wd want a larger slice of a rotten pie? This I don't believe Howie addressed. (The issue is the desire for a better opportunity to hustle vs. the desire for a society not organized around hustling.)

JUS-

Also see Guardian article referenced above. An ominous development, but not a surprising one. The cops are hardly sympathetic to protesters, BLM or otherwise, and in future may just stand by while they are getting killed.

ccg-

Thanks for info. More complicated than I originally thought. I really miss the Hoodoo Rhythm Devils, however.

mb

10:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

And the beat(ing) goes on: So nice to know that police behavior has radically changed as a result of George Floyd:

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/28/us/san-antonio-black-man-arrested-trnd/index.html

But what the heck, we now capitalize the word Black. And I suppose more black (sorry, Black) women are being featured in ads for beauty products. Cutting edge social change, amigos!

10:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Possibly the greatest douche bag in the history of the world:

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/28/politics/kanye-west-2020-campaign/index.html

This is also nice:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/aug/28/facebook-militia-posts-kenosha-protests

Man, it's such a great country, innit?

mb

11:20 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Your Ellington link inspired me https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeeMPVFWM_c

2:33 AM  
Anonymous Tomiris said...

Wafers,

There is a two-part documentary on the differences between the ways that Westerners and Easterners see the world. It is painting with a broad brush and there are always exceptions. But I guess it can help to see why individualism, capitalism and rationalism took off strongly in the West.

There are several visual experiments which Wafers can take while watching the docu to see whether their gut level thinking falls broadly within the Eastern or the Western pattern.

Part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoDtoB9Abck

Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLh4QZDyNUA

4:14 AM  
Anonymous Requiem said...

second-order thinking,"- Nobelist in Economics Daniel Kahneman discusses two kinds of thinking as they relate to decision-making in his best selling "Thinking, Fast and Slow".

He argues that there is a dichotomy between two modes of thought:
"System 1" -fast, instinctive, emotional, automatic, stereotypical, unconscious.
"System 2" - slower, more deliberative, more logical, more effortful, more calculating, more conscious. 2 takes time and effort. It's much easier to think reflexively without considering the facts and different opinions

I can't prove this, but it seems to me that the typical American relies on System 1 almost exclusively. The epitome of of instinctive, automatic, unconscious thought. Don't ask me to think about that. I know what I believe and I'm not going to change my mind. Examples: Karens, Trump supporters, racists, sexists, all those who are certain of the rightness of their believes and don't want to be bothered with having to think through them.

7:35 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

With all due respect Dr Berman, I think the title of greatest douche bag in the history of the world has quite a few candidates more deserving than Kanye. Here is Elon, for example:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/aug/28/neuralink-elon-musk-pig-computer-implant

Why doesn't he implant a chip in his own arse instead, I wonder?

This is a classic:

https://www.yarash.org/spiritual-coaching/

You want to know God? That'll be $65 per 50 minute session. And be sure to cancel 24 hours in advance or you'll be charged the full amount.

Or what about this? Quite frankly, it's a very competitive race...

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/23/us/walmart-man-covid-hugs-trnd/

Man in Walmart gives customers hugs and tells them they now have Covid-19

7:36 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tomiris-

Check this out:

https://www.noemamag.com/the-east-has-a-philosophy-for-the-future/

Malleus-

Elon is bad, of course, but Kanye has a certain buffoonish quality that few can duplicate--quintessentially American, imo. But then Tulsi is also in this category.

Req-

You need to add progs to the list.

mb

10:29 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Not to worry Dr. Belman; I play any Ellington, whether composed by Dukey, Juan Tizol, Billy Strayhorn, or anyone else. Incidentally, I'm going to feature Strayhorn's music on November 29th's show this year.

Are there any sports fans out there? I don't follow the NBA, NFL, or MLB, but I'm a hockey guy, and so had my viewing interrupted over the last two days while the NHL postponed games to try to create awareness of systemic racism in North America. Their heart is in the right place, I suppose, but I find it difficult to believe that some cop who is about to shoot hisself a nigra is going to pause and think, "Wait a sec; them there eskimos up in Canada stopped playing hockey for a couple of days to keep me from doing this."

Furthermore, the NHL sponsors "Military Appreciation" nights during games, which would probably make Martin Luther King gag. After all, what institution does more to create violence against people of colour around the world than the military?

11:50 AM  
Blogger heather said...

We now have this little brat! Of course the media is doing their thing, they’ve found the arrest are odd of at least one victim. People want to call this kid a hero! Lather, rinse, and repeat.
By the way his mommy drove him there. Real parent of the year!
https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/08/28/kenosha-shooting-suspect-kyle-rittenhouse-called-a-friend-to-say-he-killed-somebody-police-say-and-then-shot-two-others/

12:06 PM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

Thanx MB for the nice documentary. Although many of the things were known, putting them together has its value. The idea of 'progress trap' quite powerfully explains the predicament we are in. Devolution into techo-fix at the end (starting w/ none less than Hawking) was a bit of a dampner. Otherwise great.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Another face for Wafer hall of fame..man. I agree with her in this respect, her daughter did have a bleak future. I dunno maybe give her to social services? I wonder if she’s any relation to Corey Lewandowski (a Trump henchman)? W;d kind of make sense.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/08/27/texas-woman-krystal-lewandowski-killed-daughter-police/5651781002/

1:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gunnar-

What an awful thing, a little child getting murdered when she had her whole life b4 her. This country is totally nuts...and sick.

mb

2:36 PM  
Anonymous ThomG said...

MB -
"ps: Here is the most succinct summary I can think of, of what the US has become: A genocidal war machine run by a plutocracy/kleptocracy and cheered on by hundreds of millions of clueless idiots. Yes, you may quote me."

Someone pointed me to this song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Atqmg4Es3A as containing possibly the most poetic, succinct summary of the *experience* of living in the US: "To be drowning in honey, awake in a dream." Hard to disagree.

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Orca said...

Dr. Berman, Tomiris and Wafers

I've been reading this blog on and off for a couple of years now, I juste pick article at random and read them with the comments too and it's been very informative and fun at times.
I see that you've mentioned the subject of eastern thought here and it is a subject that I've got into lately, first I tried to read the classics but they were mostly incomprehensible then I've come to know (through a body practice I follow) the works of a french philosopher by the name of François Jullien who is a sinologist and a hell contrastinist and in most of his books hes the fundamental concepts of chinese thought with western ones, this seems to me a better idea than just jumping straight to the classics and I invite you to check him if you haven't already. When it come to japanese thought though I can't find systematic works that tackles the basic concepts as Jullien's works do, I've read T.P. Kasulis and Dr. Berman's book on japan but still I can't get the same in depth detailed description, it would be helpful if someone knows a good japanologist, french or english.

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Sybok said...

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/newslondon/full-stops-intimidate-young-people-because-they-see-them-as-a-sign-of-anger-say-linguists/ar-BB18iSBF

I don't want to live on this planet anymore, full stop.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Cedro said...

https://www.tor.com/2020/08/26/pbss-documentary-about-ursula-k-le-guin-is-free-to-watch-this-week/

PBS’s Documentary About Ursula K. Le Guin is Free to Watch This Week

5:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sy-

Oy.

Orca-

Check out Notes section of "Neurotic Beauty"; lots of refs there (Barthes, Benedict, many others).

Cedro-

I got a 'video is not available' message.

mb

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Annalee Walton said...

I'm a former medievalist, who did her senior thesis on courtly love in the fourteenth century poetry "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," and I am EXTREMELY HERE FOR THIS MOVIE.

THE GREEN KNIGHT Trailer (2020) Alicia Vikander, Dev Patel

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-_wa94IJow

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Robert Bruce Bennett said...

I would like to recommend that the folks here go to Google and type in "Chris Hedges America's Death March". Many similar conclusions to what is found here. I don't have much hope that a new administration is doing to change much of anything. I think Biden gave it away last year when he stated that there would be no fundamental changes if he is the next president. The only people who really "win" are the corporate media who have turned these campaigns into insufferable horse races and rake in billions.

11:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to alex-

No apology necessary, amigo. Your humor is fine, as far as I'm concerned (mostly). But I don't think we need any more stuff on "personal preparedness," as you rightly indicated, and as far as Israel goes: beating a dead horse by now. We've had a lot here on Zionism in the past; not much more to be said on that topic, really. (For the most part, people don't change their minds.) So don' worry too much, and post if you feel like it. Enjoy "Neurotic Beauty" (you can always save $ by checking it out of the library.)

Robt-

See my reply to Andalus, above.

mb

12:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Annalee-

So I guess yr now a modernist. :-) On the Middle Ages, check out the corresponding chapter in CTOS.

"Per solatz revelhar,

Que s’es trop enformitz,

E per pretz, qu’es faiditz

Acolhir e tornar,

Me cudei trebalhar."

(Giraut de Bornelh, 12thC)

12:24 AM  
Anonymous Krakhed said...

These are the people that are going to rise up and throw off their corporate masters?

https://www.wsfa.com/2020/08/28/alabama-pedestrian-shot-death-apparently-crossing-road-too-slowly/

1:10 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bingo-

Language, por favor.

Krak-

The nerve of that guy, walking too slowly. And the perp only shot him 8 times. Sheesh. But yes, Jeremiah looks like he's ready to make the revolution. He's read a lot of Marx, and he understands who the enemy is.

mb

5:54 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@al-Qa'bong,

I think it is possible to combine pro-corporate, pro-military policies and social liberalism. In fact, this perfectly describes the modern Democratic Party and most center-left parties in the West. Indeed, Michael Lind argues that historically elites have often been more socially liberal on many issues compared to the working class.

https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/woke-inc

If anything the development of “woke capitalism” is more of a problem for the political right as they see their ostensible allies in the business class support the social and cultural views of their ideological opponents. This is probably one of the reasons why conservatives are increasingly attracted to populism.

I think the lesson here is that capitalism is more adaptable than people realize. Capitalism can change to accommodate many different ideologies as long as that change doesn't significantly alter the big issues relating to power and economics.

6:26 AM  
Anonymous Harper said...

MB:

Re Ramanujan, "The Man Who Knew Infinity" (film) is a great bio pic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_Who_Knew_Infinity_(film)

7:07 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Here we go, a legal challenge for Kenosha wild man Rittenhouse. This group left the NRA because it was too liberal.

https://www.denverpost.com/2020/08/28/kyle-rittenhouse-kenosha-gun-rights/

I have never been able to wrap my head around the slaughter of 65 million American Buffalo (enough meat for a thousand years) what these assholes did reminds me of a teenager mutilating animals in his backyard, such behavior is a warning sign of future sociopathy and we'll here we are...

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/where-the-buffalo-no-longer-roamed-3067904/

9:12 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Hola Dr. Berman & Wafers. Let’s relax and get some laughs with Karen Sunday, Season 1, Episode 6. But before I start, I just have a little observation. It seems to me a lot of these Karens are downright fat and out of shape. It probably goes with the American culture; the United States is a leader in obesity. A lot of these Karens also seem to wear glasses. The visual appendage may unconsciously contribute to their condescension and perhaps elicit a feeling of “intelligence” (LOL) in them. But who knows?
Anyway, Act I starts off reiterating what these Karens are, as said by the guy filming it. And of course she has her out of shape Darren husband or boyfriend who gets out of his ( what else in the United States?) pickup truck to continue ranting where his Karen left off. Act II shows Karen on the road driving. It’s not too hard to get any of them while on the “road” into a “rage”. LOL. Act III shows your lovable neighborly Karen. And Act IV, well….I’ll only suggest you check out one of the Karen’s outfits; and remember that some of these Karens also are fire-and-brimstone preachers. :) Enjoy!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Bt-Zwssnrk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WFSI8hq7lU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVKUHc0MXEk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8tE4-RyH_4&t=427s

9:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gunnar-

I think I discuss the buffalo slaughter and its significance in CTOS.

Harper-

Thanks. I had already ordered it off of Netflix, actually; looking for'd to it.

Tom-

Touche. Many (including Al Gore, Thos Friedman) have made millions off of green capitalism.

mb

11:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Joe-

Yet underneath it all (usually a mountain of flab), the Karens really are loving, compassionate people. I love 'em! Someday, hopefully soon, they will rule America. Go Karens!

mb

11:07 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

@ Tom Servo- I think many have observed that capitalism is the most transgressive force human culture has seen. No matter the 'edge' of the known/acceptable world, capitalism will keep pushing into new territory without cease. If it stops finding new resources to exploit, it will die like cancer cut off from nourishment.

True opposition is the one thing it cannot stand. Transgression opens up new markets to exploit. Opposition closes off exploitation. Hal Foster had some nice explorations of this difference in the art world of the 1980s, but I have a sense that this distinction has disappeared in the last couple of decades when finding a leverage point outside of capitalism is very difficult.

Along with the pickup trucks driving through protesters in Portland and spraying people with mace- https://twitter.com/TheRealCoryElia/status/1299908378810957825
there are nightly marches by BLM supporters in my town through the dining/shopping area. If diners do not stand and applaud the marchers, they are condemned as racists and taunted. Anyone who dares to question this practice is also a racist.

This is actually getting uglier sooner than I thought. Trump is building a collapse of civil authority in order to claim full control, and the Left is playing along like dumb marks. A life-long con man like Trump can smell suckers like them from a mile away.

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Requiem said...

Krakhed - They'll rise up and through off their corporate masters but only if the masters cross the road too slowly. Otherwise, they need them to make their guns.

Tom - yes, capitalism is adaptable. That's the problem. It can and has infiltrated and taken over every aspect of the societies in which it was adopted. Influencing cultures to praise profit and despise poverty and exploit land and labor to exhaustion.

Gunner - the American buffalo was hunted into near extinction with government sanction as part of the progrom to eradicate Native Americans.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Well, this is exactly what we've been waiting for: open street fighting in American cities between the Trumpite neofascists and the progs:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/30/us/portland-shooting-explained.html

MB's prediction that we will see mass killing between divided Americans is looking like it's coming to fruition.

MB-

Many thanks for the Jenny Diski bk "The Sixties" recommendation.

Miles

2:41 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Technically, the HOT Civil War has started...


https://apnews.com/6706c916dc6a156b9847baca437a91de


https://www.cbsnews.com/news/kyle-rittenhouse-homicide-charges-kenosha-shooting-first-degree-homicide-jacob-blake-protest-wisconsin/

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Andalusian Musician said...

Deeply sorry for misunderstanding. :( I promise to keep in mind blog rules.

I wanted to say that among progressive left in America, the naivness you Mr. Berman spoke about is not only confined to just one person. For example Noam Chomsky. Noam is very intelligent, and inspired journalists, writers. However what I do not understand is why is he advocating for lesser of the two evils voting:
https://blackagendareport.com/why-attacking-green-party-assist-war-party-helps-donald-trump-not-bernie-sanders
It is truly sad that Chomsky, along with other Leftists who should know better wrote a letter, saying to Green Party "please do not run in swing states, to take away votes from democratic candidates. Or Trump gets in and we are doomed" What sort of democracy is this????? Chomsky is smart. Surely he must have figured out that it really makes no difference if you vote for Democrats or Republicans. Howie Hawkins of the Green Party represents what you Mr. Berman call American Alternative Tradition. Sad that most Americans do not even know who he is!

3:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

Sorry, I don't post Anons. You need a real handle to participate in this blog. Also: always, always, capitalize Wafer. Thank you.

Andalus-

I have repeatedly stated on this blog that in America, even the smart ones are stupid. Chomsky is one example among many. The notion that we are *not* doomed if Schmiden is elected can only be called demented. High IQ makes no difference: all Americans are brainwashed into thinking that America is the greatest, and that it can and must be saved. Do you think the progs will wake up, if Trumpi is reelected? No, not at all. They'll just continue on the same repetitive, self-destructive path. The # of Americans who have seriously woken up to present and future reality is probably a few hundred, at most. The rest of them have no way of breaking out of The Matrix. (Wh/is of course gd from a declinist pt of view.)

jj-

Trust me: it's gonna get a whole lot worse b4 it gets better.

Req-

A link for yr last claim wd be helpful. Keep in mind, we are abt evidence; less so abt opinion. Other Wafers tend to observe this, if you look around.

Miles et al.-

We may have a declaration of martial law a lot sooner than I originally predicted.

mb

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Hi Dr. and WAFERS:

@ Annalee Walton - thanks for the heads up on the film The Green Knight. Just the other day I asked myself if it was time to re-read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight? At this point I am setting out to read Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, which I've only ever sampled before.

On the topic of literature, I also recently re-read King Lear and would be interested to know if any WAFERS think of it as one of the great works of literature - as Harold Bloom did - and if so, why?

Forgive me Dr. Berman, but my three cents on Chris Hedges: for all his Christian leanings, Hedges is an undeclared Trotskyist. His ideas and rhetoric are identical to those of the Trotskyist World Socialist Website: https://www.wsws.org/ Like the Trotskyists, Hedges sincerely believes only self-organized working classes can transform modern liberal capitalist societies. Hedges believes someone must continue to articulate this vision for the American people even if the American people do not appear up to the task. The ideal, the way, the path, must be kept alive because for them this is the only way forward.

-Northern Johnny

6:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Johnny-

Well, more power to him! The problem is that the context in which Trotsky was espousing revolutionary views, and the one in which Hedges is, are like night and day. A truly intelligent person (not merely one w/a high IQ) would see that, take that into acc't. Instead, what we have is a Christian preacher living in a Trotskyite Disneyland.

mb

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

If I may make a prediction, Trump has already won. The BLM and Antifa types (that they're right in principle makes no difference) have already created such a back-lash in people watchin events in Portland and Kenosha and earlier in MN that the great bloated Amerikkkan populace will be voting law and order, again. Even M Moore says so: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/aug/29/michael-moore-donald-trump-repeat-2016-warning

And now Il Douche is actually visiting Kenosha this week. All he has to do is publicly state in late October that the covid vaccine is coming out soon and will be available before x-mas and he's won. According to my doctor (Rheumatologist), that's actually true! They're all planning on a rollout in December. I tell ya WAFers it's all over.

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

Right on the money: https://valerietarico.com/2019/01/24/the-righteousness-and-the-woke-why-evangelicals-and-social-justice-warriors-trigger-me-in-the-same-way/

8:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pastrami-

Except for the shouting.

mb

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

Stupidity really is contagious. It doesn't respect national borders.

In my province in Canada there's now an actual movement afoot to join the USA. It comes complete with a billboard of picture of Trump.

Sigh, I will have to look him as I perambulate around town.

Shoot me now.

https://edmontonjournal.com/news/politics/wexit-co-founder-wants-alberta-to-become-part-of-the-u-s

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Ligaya F. said...

Tomiris/Morris Berman:

https://www.noemamag.com/the-east-has-a-philosophy-for-the-future/

Thanks for this interesting essay. It's pretty damn comprehensive, so much that I'm a little bit like a fish out of water.

Do you agree w/ the points made, MB? Or have any further insight on them?

Thanks guys,

- Ligata

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Niget, William said...

Criminals dumping of "recycled plastics" in poor South East Asian countries so that more developed countries can feel good about their consumerism is not a sustainable solution. >>>> https://beta.ctvnews.ca/national/sci-tech/2020/8/27/1_5081918.html

9:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Lig-

Check out various sections of "Neurotic Beauty," and also the concluding ch. of CTOS. These might help.

mb

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Requiem said...

On my claim that the buffaloes were hunted to extinction as part of a federal progrom, see this article in The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2016/05/the-buffalo-killers/482349/

and this: https://sciencing.com/did-bison-almost-become-extinct-4576942.html

Sorry for the omission - I've known about this for so long it seems self-evident to me.

See also Dunbar-Ortiz's classic "An Indigenous People's History of the US". p. 142-143 (A great book)

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Andalusian Musician said...

Dear Anjin-san,

As someone who also lives in Alberta, although I will say never say never, I do not think this will catch on. Unlikely. Most Albertans love Canada, and I have scrolled down to comments for the article. Most commenters are against this idea. Of course it is true as of 2020, and it can change in the coming years. I have to say this is a very dangerous territory. I do not think Canadian Government, or any government for that matter will let a country break up and lose power. We can be talking about civil war in Canada.
In every society there are dumb and extremist people, so it should not be surprising. And media besides thrives on such stories. On sensationalism. We will see what happens.

Respectfully,
Fellow Albertan

3:01 PM  
Blogger Arthur V. said...

Well, it looks like Kunstler has finally dropped the facade and come out as a Trump supporter par excellence.

kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/bill-of-particulars/#more-'

One doesn't have to be a Biden supporter or a Trumpster to find this article the ravings of a crackpot. IMO. It really is sort of sad. Kunstler was one writer who did have interesting things to say. At least now and then. He wrote a decent column just a few weeks ago. But now it appears those days are gone forever. What is it about so many old white men (I'm an old white man myself so I can say this) who feel they have to pound the table over and over when things just don't go their way? Stay safe all.

3:14 PM  
Blogger vsoguy said...

JHK and Dr Berman are pretty much the only two blogs I keep up with anymore. Jim does have a lot of good points to make, but I agree, he gets into the weeds politically and im not sure it's really occurred to him that the entire ship is going down, and neither party is going to turn things around. But people still seem to believe that they can vote their way out of cultural decadence.

5:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

vso-

And out of massive systemic failure. And out of 400+ years of living the wrong way w/the wrong values. And...etc. You might wanna update yr post-it: DUMMIES

mb

6:32 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Arthur V

I totally agree...Something happened to James Kunstler over the last decade....He used to be an intelligent left wing liberal progressive democrat, but he morphed into this curmudgeonly right wing TrumpTard Lunatic....it really is a remarkable transformation. I can no longer even read his weekly writings they are so nauseating in his defense and support of our wanna be Fascist Dictator.

6:50 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

120+ people infected, including third level people (friend of a friend of a guest). 1 death so far, from wedding in Maine-

https://gothamist.com/news/maine-wedding-coronavirus-covid-superspreader-new-york-lawsuit

40 person party in ski lodge has 14 infections so far-

https://vtdigger.org/2020/08/31/killington-private-party-sparks-covid-19-outbreak-14-cases-and-counting/

And Vermont, being a progressive and humane state, ships its prisoners to Mississippi because, well, prisons are not what we do here unless you can make them look like covered bridges. 84% infection rate-

https://vtdigger.org/2020/08/25/vermont-inmates-in-mississippi-testing-positive-for-covid-19-climbs-to-84/

And you doubt that this country is dumb enough and selfish to re-elect Trump? (I know, Biden is as bad, but be real, there is a blatant disgusting toxicity to Trump that should repulse any sentient human).

7:11 PM  
Blogger Muzette said...

Yes. My depression is nearly gone since I moved from the USA to Costa Rica.

7:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Muzette-

Por favor, tell us more! Great country--w/no military!

mb

8:23 PM  
Blogger Jason Tower said...

Krakhed - thanks for the link to the story about the pedestrian. I've been the object of drivers' wrath many times while I was in a crosswalk and they were waiting to turn. Thankfully no one has pulled a gun on me yet, although I have had to run out the way of cars and SUVs several times. The level of rage in the USA is scary.

Today I found this article on why more Americans are giving up US citizenship:
https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-08-31/why-thousands-of-u-s-expats-are-renouncing-their-citizenship

When increasing numbers of people leave a country and don't look back, you know the party's over.

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Vince said...

Dr. Berman,

Thank you for the link to the documentary.

As always, I enjoy your posts.

I look forward to your show on NBL.

Not much to say other than what has already been said on this thread.

I find myself frequently wishing that Gore Vidal, Rod Serling, and George Carlin were all still alive today. Can you imagine the screenplay / movie that they could create just based on the pure ridiculousness of our times?

Peace,
Vince

9:56 PM  
Blogger anderszornpalette said...

Arthur V,

I only know about Kunstler because of this blog, but this bit is pretty accurate from what I’ve witnessed:

"When their basic philosophy is not incoherent, it presents as explicit hypocrisy and bad faith. For instance, their Orwellian insistence on shutting down free speech in the name of “diversity and inclusion.” This malignant jive has just about destroyed higher education across the land. But it has also managed to infect business, government, and the arts, and turned the general population into cowering hostages willing to lie about their convictions to avoid “cancellation.”

The key to understanding the Democratic “progressive” ethos is this: the drive for coercion, the wish to push everybody around, to tell them how to think and what to do. There is an evil purity about the pleasure they appear to take in it, like children who enjoy tearing the wings off flies. They like to see their enemies squirm and plead in torment before “cancellation” makes them disappear from the scene. They like to extract confessions and apologies, not for the sake of redemption, but as grounds for further persecution. In short, they’re sadists."


9:56 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Glenn Greenwald has written (and presented as an attached video) a report entitled "The Social Fabric of the U.S. Is Fraying Severely, if Not Unravelling" which includes a number of links providing data to support his major points. Haven't looked at the Richard Wolff article entitled "The System is Failing" but I guess it deals with the economics of our fraying so maybe it complements the social and psychological fraying that Greenwald reports. Enjoy!
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/55518.htm

10:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Vince-

National Basketball League? No, I know you mean Nature Bats Last, w/Guy McPherson. He taped the interview on August 5; it's supposed to air tomorrow (Sept. 1). I'll probably post it here. I have no memory of what I said. I remember laughing a lot, like an irresponsible fetus.

anders-

We need to think abt how things that start out gd, end up bad.

mb

10:24 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

re: Canada, for my money the government should line the border with tanks and hellfire misslies, when we run outta water here there will be a swarm of American locusts headed north. Please don't let USA! Fuck it up

Northern Johnny - if you can tolerate Amazon Prime (u might be able to find it elsewhere) they have a BBC production of King Lear with Anthony Hopkins playing Lear - I liked it - I went to a performance once @ Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Cordelia's love wasn't cluttered up with vanity and greed, for my money though Othello is where it's at

https://www.vulture.com/2018/09/king-lear-amazon-anthony-hopkins-review.html

Only in America

https://a.msn.com/r/2/BB18zj1T?m=en-us&referrerID=InAppShare

10:53 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

On progs:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/09/academics-are-really-really-worried-about-their-freedom/615724/

mb

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Cherith Cutestory said...

Regarding Glenn Greenwald's article, I'm currently reading a book titled Cured by Jeffrey Rudiger.

Astounding information about healing. In a middle chapter he describes recent scientific breakthroughs that found love has massive healing power, even cured patients of some aggressive and normally incurable cancers. "Love" is not the one widely-defined as a lifelong spousal relationship (literally an unscientific definition); it's the many micro moments of positivity you have with everyone, even strangers. They isolated something called the vagus nerve which is the communicator between your the emotional and physical worlds. Meditation activates the vagus nerve, and so does having lots of loving moments with everyone you can. The body dumps a cocktail of hormones into the bloodstream that have significant anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Remember, love yourself too, not just other people.

I love you Dr. Berman and the wafers!

12:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Cherith-

TY for yr love; much appreciated. But please be sure in future to capitalize Wafer. You might wanna check out an essay called "Love and Survival" in AWTY, as well as:

https://www.amazon.com/General-Theory-Love-Thomas-Lewis/dp/0375709223/ref=sr_1_1?crid=GNFT9FZ42BKO&dchild=1&keywords=general+theory+of+love&qid=1598978686&s=books&sprefix=general+theory+of%2Caps%2C241&sr=1-1

What Rudiger points out regarding micro moments is coin of the realm here in Mexico, and it makes for a relaxed and contented life. Americans don't understand this, and are not aware of it; they only read headlines regarding crime and narcotraficantes, and conclude that Mexico is a horror. To me, the greater horror is daily life in America, in which almost all of the micro moments are negative. The US is a high-conflict society; people are constantly engaging in one-upsmanship, in argumentation, in attacking one another. This is why TV ads are constantly promoting Claritan and Schmaritan, Lunesta and Schmunesta--whatever. The fact is that daily life in the US sucks big-time. Not only is it lacking in love; it is wallowing in hatred. It's a society that makes people sick. As one journalist wrote many yrs ago, "the death instinct hovers over the United States." No kidding.

mb

12:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

anders-

Sorry, cdn't run it (24 hr rule).

mb

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Greene said...

Quartz: China bans Piketty's Capitalism and Ideology over inequality data.
https://qz.com/1897668/china-bans-pikettys-capitalism-and-ideology-over-inequality-data/?utm_source=google-news

5:31 PM  
Blogger Mike Kelly said...

Wafer Dan Daniel:

Are you a Vermonter? I live in northern New York and wonder if we might be neighbors? If so, it would be cool to have our own little Wafer Summit? Over coffee or beers maybe? Are you close to Burlington?

6:29 PM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

Re Jeffrey Rudiger Check out the Heartmath Institute which verifies what he has to say www.heartmath.org/science

And anything re the work of Candice Pert and her book Molecules of Emotion

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Andalusian Musician said...

https://youtu.be/qMB9ioOsLMo

Biden praising Racists and Republicans. Democrats are totally stupid, beyond belief!
����
What I do not understand is why not run Ilhan Omar or Alexandria Ocasio Cortez against Trump? That would have been interesting! It is not like they are a threat to the establishment. For a party that talks about identity politics, stupid and hypocritical to put out old white guy. Shameful. It is abuse. Biden has dementia.

10:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Andalus-

That Schmiden is a senile turkey, we can all agree upon. However, in future, pls send messages to most recent post. No one reads the older stuff. Thanks.

mb

11:27 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Dr. B

One thing. Animals have self-preservation. They know when to cut and run.

Karen's have no sense of self-preservation at all. Even the Morlocks had a sense of self-preservation. They made sure their environment and the eloi was taken care of even though they were monstrous looking.

I'm telling you the Karens are Eloi with an extreme and nasty streak. Others say we Americans are selfish. But, are we though? How can we be if a good chunk of us lack this self-preservation?

4:02 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

cube-

In future pls send messages to most recent post. No one reads the older stuff. Thanks.

mb

8:03 AM  
Blogger anderszornpalette said...

Dr. Berman-

Apologies for breaking the 24 hr rule.

That Atlantic article rings true, and this is exactly what Kunstler is pointing out. I can tell you, from where I sit, it's absolutely true.

I'm a creative, working in the tech industry (sorry, I take work were I can find it) and it is absolute career suicide to express any opinion that contradicts what is now considered doctrine. I walk on eggshells everyday. For instance, If I were to question anything about the concept of DeAngelo's "White Fragility" or critical race theory publicly, in a meeting, drinks with co-workers, etc., it's game-over. At the very least, I would be whispered about and black-listed in the company, at worst, brought before HR because someone felt “unsafe”.

America has lost its mind and if it thinks Biden/Kamala are going to be any better than Trump, well... I gotta bridge to sell ya. I'm a registered dem (only so I could vote in the primaries) but the dems deserve another ass-kicking for being so stupid as to think Biden/Kamala was the answer America needs.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

anders-

In future pls send messages to latest post. No one reads the older stuff. Thank you.

mb

11:40 AM  

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