November 17, 2011

Interview With Tom Kiely

OK gang, here's another one: I did this two days ago (Nov. 15) with Tom Kiely, the host of a show called the INN World Radio Report. He's based in Austin. As follows:

There's a bit of (inevitable) overlap with the other interviews, I believe, but it may not be too bad if you've got a glass of Scotch in hand while you listen. OK, a bottle of Scotch, maybe.


Anonymous Art said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

In his recent post, "This Is What Revolution Looks Like", Chris Hedges ends with the feeling of "this utter certainty that the impossible is possible, this realization that the mighty will fall." Contrast this with your statement: "I am 99.9% sure that there will be no Renaissance on American soil." My heart hopes that the prophet turns out to be right; my brain tells me that the historian is more likely correct.

Who knows?

8:49 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

The link didn't work. I went here and then downloaded the show(s) (as first hour is Nomi Prins).

9:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah, I hope Chris is rt and I'm wrong. I hope the mighty fall. But then how are we gonna arrange brain replacements for 310 million people? I'm quite sure Obamacare won't cover it. Besides, even the doctors performing the brain replacements need brain replacements. The whole thing is turning into an Escher painting.

Meanwhile, note the (unconscious) need for an enemy; it fucking never ends. I'm so on-target I'm starting to get annoyed w/myself. I tell u, I really wish I *were* wrong! How much blind, programmed self-destruction can a guy witness? We are now sending the marines to Australia to 'watch' China. Really smooth move...


9:46 PM  
Anonymous Kelvin said...

Yes, Maury,

I heard Obama addressing the Australians saying something like "We're here in the Pacific and we're here to stay." He's played us right into your analysis which says that as empires fall they do more of the same things that that cause their falls. It's like HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey: the program is haywire and proceeds mechanically to destroy the mission and its human governance, as well as a few humans. But in that space ship of state, our hero dismantles HAL because Hollywood needs a happy ending. And what a hero, half computer himself! Ah well, we need that endless frontier and space is it. But that's been put on hold until we make the earth safe for the U.S.

10:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Actually it does, if u plug it into yr browser; it just takes a long time to download. Yr link is better; u just hafta know to go to abt the midpt, where the interview w/moi begins. Thanks for the heads-up.


10:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm just waiting for OWS demonstrators (or anybody) to show up w/signs saying, "Negative Identity Won't Save You". That'll be the day, as Buddy Holly once said.


10:20 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

Kudos for "Why America Failed" - I finished it yesterday.

Chapter 4 on the Civil War as a "clash of civilizations" was thought provoking.

- What are your thoughts regarding the Transcendentalists and the CW?

- While clearly a "clash of civilizations," seems like two deeply flawed ones - did the outcome really matter for a positive American trajectory?

Here's a quote from "Conservatism and Counterrevolution from Burke to Palin" by Corey Robin. (Just read this in the Dec. 2010 issue of Harpers.)

"But to fully appreciate the inventiveness of right-wing populism, we have to look to the master class of the Old South. The slaveholder created the quintessentially American form of democratic feudalism, turning the white majority into a lordly class, sharing in the privileges and prerogatives of governing the slave class. Slaveholders are "not an exclusive aristocracy," wrote Daniel Hundley in "Social Relations in Our Southern States." "Every free white man in the whole Union has just as much right to become an Oligarch." This was not just propaganda: by 1860, James Oakes reminds us in "The Ruling Race," there were 400,000 slaveholders in the South, making the American master class one of the most democratic in the world. In the words of Calhoun: "With us the two great divisions of society are not the rich and poor, but white and black; and all the former, the poor as well as the rich, belong to the upper class, and are respected and treated as equals."

Seems like a parallel with Steinbeck's comment on being a potential millionaire: every man a king (per the Kingfish). Thoughts?

10:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Wd take several hrs to answer all of that, I fear. Meanwhile, my time is tied up, as I'm drafting a letter to the prez, suggesting an all-out nuclear attack on Tasmania, as a kind of 'demo'.


10:50 PM  
Blogger ijcd said...

Hello Prof. Berman and fellow DAA'ers,

Also: Hello Art and David M., (I will be in touch, to see if we can meet in person, either in Tampa, near Art, near me, or somewhere else in Florida).

I've been very busy, driving 100 miles every day two and from work, and having little time for myself. However, I've had time to watch the interviews and read a few things.

I just want to point you guys to James Howard Kunstler's latest blog post. It is quite telling, and it confirms what we already know. It's funny, in a twisted way, since during the last couple of weeks, I have been listening to his podcast, from way back in 2008. You can tell the progressive descent from his usual good humor and optimism to, well, read his latest posting:

Clusterfuck Nation:Rudderless at

Question: Still planning a trip to Mexico in April?

El Cubano

11:24 PM  
Blogger ijcd said...

By the way, Prof. Berman, I have listened to some interviews you gave a while back, when publishing AQV and DAA. Do you know whatever Jari Chevalier is doing lately? She seems to have disappeared from iTunes and her old podcast, Living Hero, no longer works. She is one of a few good ones worth listening to.

11:36 PM  
Anonymous brandon said...

Morris Berman said...

I'm still hurting because Sarah dropped out of the race, and w/that my hopes for having sex w/her on an ice floe, amidst the meese.

lol....u ever think of comic writing?

1:05 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Brandon: Well, I suppose some wd say this entire blog is comic writing. But I did leave out an impt detail of that honeymoon amidst the meese: I was planning to ask Ed Meese to come along.

ij: Jari has disappeared into the wilds of VT to recharge her batteries. I'm guessing she'll eventually be back. As for the Mexico City DAA Summit in April, it looks like it's not gonna happen. I put a minimum of 12 people attending for it to be a go, and I think 3 said they wd come, so like the US, it seems that the proposed Summit is in a state of advanced collapse.


7:07 AM  
Anonymous Kelvin said...


I seem to recall that you said you'd ask for a show of hands in January(?) to determine whether the April summit would be slated. I notice that the posts have been fewer of late but am assuming it's because WAF:ERS are involved in reading your brilliant book. I'm half way through it and despite its tremendous narrative momentum (i.e. page turner) I have to pause and ponder after several paragraphs because your prose just sets off a fireworks of ideas, memories, impressions, and emotions that sets my mind racing for half an hour before I can return to the book. But that's what I usually experience and expect from a book by Morris Berman.

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Dovidel said...

Art and Dr. Berman—

I guess I'm 'Un-American'.

The problem with this 'We are the 99 percent' crap is that it seems to ignore the fact that Americans are 5 percent of the world's population. The signs should read 'We are the 4.95 percent'. The rest of the world should be carrying signs that read, 'We are the 95 percent.'

If we could give the 4.95 percent a piece of the American Nightmare, excuse me, I mean American Dream, how many of them would still be out there struggling on behalf of the bulk of the 95 percent? (They are the real victims of 'American Exceptionalism' and the American Dream.) I don't know – but I can guess.

Am I bitter? About this, yes!

David Rosen

PS – My 'spell-check' capitalizes the 'un' in 'Un-American'. It's a real nationality after all!

11:58 AM  
Anonymous teri schooley said...

Dear ijcd and Dr. Berman,
Kunstler sounds quite put out, to say the least. The whole Penn State story is disgusting, of course, and I see that CNN and MSNBC are trying to assure us that the people in charge are on top of things. The crawl on both stations had a little blurb that read something to the effect of "authorities are reviewing molestation laws in light of events in the Penn St. scandal". Because *that's* the problem alright. The problem wasn't that the guy molested the kids, or broke existing laws, or that no-one enforced the laws in his case - it was some error in the law itself. Needs a little tweaking to cover such events. So now we know.
I enjoyed these two articles, as well, about some other Important People who care about the peasants and aren't afraid to show it: in the first, we see that Tony Blair and Bill Clinton are joining together to form a hedge fund.

Might that be a conflict of interest for Bill, what with his wife in the State Dept. and all? Why, no. The State Dept. has signed off on it; it’s cool. I’d personally like to ask Bill where all the money donated to the Help Haiti fund went.

And Hillary wants to head the World Bank come next year.

That position should be of some insider benefit to hubby’s new hedge fund. Which couldn’t possibly be considered a conflict of interest, either. Merely two well-connected, well-heeled Movers and Shakers leeching parasitic benefit from each other’s information and position. And that’s how it is done in the world of the .o1%.

Now watch this drive.

I can see why you fell for Sarah; at least she has the honesty to have never pretended to care about anyone other than herownself.


12:51 PM  
Blogger Nicholas Colloff said...

The difficulty with revolutions is that often one self perpetuating oligarchy emerges to replace the last one and they may not be kinder: witness my original homeland - Russia!

What is disillusioning about this present 'revolt' is the lack of recognition that we are all (in the West) to a greater or lesser degree complicit and that genuine change requires both a systemic shift (to a radically different steady state economy and a participative democracy) and an interior transformation - and how likely is that this side of collapse? Would that it were not so says my heart but my head sees no alternative but running up against the buffers!

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Phil from NC said...

Ha- that last interview was a good chuckle. Yr a good sport Dr. Berman.

It strikes me how little time interviewers have spent on the "what do you do after you realize, REALLY realize, we're doomed" question. I guess in all fairness your latest book isn't about that exactly but to me thats where the existential gears start to grind.

Great work, thanks, hope yr enjoying your tour.

3:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Thank u all for writing in. This is so much fun. Whee!


Yes, that's where the rubber hits the road. I wish we wd start having conferences on What we intend to do when the whole thing collapses and the nation goes into freefall. We need a round-the-clock teach-in on the subject at Zucotti Park and every university in the land. With no crap abt "How we can avert the disaster" etc. At this pt optimism can and must be stopped; it's nothing less than a crime.


Yeah, revolution as revolving door: old story. This is why I keep pushing the idea that it's not just a question of the top 1% of the population. OK, they conned us, granted. But in order to be conned, you hafta have a bit o' the con in u yrself; wh/in this case means believing in the American Dream, self-made man b.s., City on the Hill, endless frontier, chosen people, and on and on. And the 99% believe it, and their idea of happiness is to get into the 1%. Well, shit...As Gandhi once put it, The world has enuf for everyone's need, but not for everyone's greed. There's a reason Reagan defeated Carter by a landslide...


That stuff on the Clintons is rich. Ain' nobody gonna convince me that hustling is just a GOP addiction...Sarah! Have my babies!


Once we set up the international conglomerate of Berman, Inc., you'll hafta be in charge of T-shirt slogans. Keep those ideas coming.


Thanks for the kudos, and I'm so happy yr lovin' it. Don' ferget, a post on Amazon might help to spread it further afield (thanx). Meanwhile, Yes, we don't hafta decide on the Mex City extravaganza until mid-Jan or whenever, that's rt.


7:15 PM  
Anonymous eponymous said...

Dr. Berman,

Just finished listening to the interview with Kiely. I was a bit irritated with your host as he seemed to not quite get what you've conveyed in "Why America Failed". He seemed to be of the opinion - as you mentioned in your talk in Seattle regarding Michael Moore - that the American masses have had the wool pulled over their eyes by the elites(1%). And all it takes is for the truth to be made known and the American people will wake up and demand change.

But as you've illustrated in the book - and you summarized nicely at your talk in Seattle - what if the "wool are the eyes?" The majority of American's have bought into the "hustling" ideology and other elements of the mythos, it's part of our collective identity and largely works at the unconscious level, and has been from the very beginning.

I think you would agree that the ideology/mythos is so pervasive and deep seeded that even those Americans who are critical of it aren't quite willing (or possibly able) to jettison the ideology/mythos entirely (I sometimes find this to be the case with myself).

Anyway - have enjoyed WAF and your interviews.

10:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Appreciate yr comments. Yes, Tom meant well, but at least half the time w/interviews, the interview is abt the interviewer rather than the interviewee. I don't think I was able to get him to see what I was talking abt. We won't have any real change in this country until the 99% really don't want what the 1% have, and are sure abt that; wh/I'm guessing is not very likely. In a word, the American Dream has to be seen as a mistake. This insight is the alternative tradition I write abt in WAF.


10:24 PM  
Blogger Zosima said...

NPR (National Pentagon Radio) assured listners that we have to send troops to Australia because of Chinese ‘aggression’. Yes, that was the word they used and they were not quoting a spokesperson. They didn’t go into any details, but they know their listeners are well informed and can quickly rattle off a list of all the countries China has attacked recently. So, I say to all DAAers , get with it, get informed, listen to NPR, its your duty, even Elvis Costello thought so...

NPR is a sound salvation
NPR is cleaning up the nation
They say you better listen to the voice of reason
But they don't give you any choice
'cause they think that it's treason.
So you had better do as you are told.
You better listen to the radio.

11:49 PM  
Anonymous eponymous said...

Dr. Berman,

I quite agree - calling the American Dream a mistake by a majority of Americans really isn't in the cards (as I mentioned previously, I sometimes struggle with this notion myself).

Which is why I think your initial musings on OWS are probably correct - an attempt to gain a bigger piece of the pie, rather than reject the pie as rotten.

I'm also intrigued by the possibility that you and David Graeber - anthropologist and anarchist, one of the "godfathers" of the OWS movement - would likely share certain viewpoints. Mostly in the realm of your earlier works such as "Wandering God" and how it may resonate with Graeber's conceptualization of an anarchist anthropology and the possibilities of living a more humane life.

12:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


What are the chances that NPR or the US government or virtually any American walking down the street will one day say, "Oh, I get it: we really don't have a soul, a center of gravity; we never did. Instead, we created an identity in opposition to someone or something else, and as a result our history is one of endless chronic war. The truth is we are empty; we don't know who we are. So we fill the Void with the American Dream (the next iPod, or other piece of junk), or a supposed 'American exceptionalism', or saber-rattling at nations who have no interest in going to war with us. We puff ourselves up to hide what is in fact an inferiority complex, a profound insecurity. We might have a chance as a nation if we collectively woke up to this, but that would literally take an act of God; it's just not going to happen. Our remaining fate as a dying empire is thus to act out a charade, which is what daily life in the United States has finally become. And which is why Americans are so lonely and unhappy, because on some deep and unconscious level they really do know all this; they just can't face up to it. This is why they are less than 5% of the world's population and take 67% of the world's antidepressants, or have to be constantly on their cell phones (or massaging their Blackberries like rosary beads). They ache for love, for truth, for reality, but they just...can't...quite...get there, because their culture is based on a denial of those things. And now they cannot even sedate themselves with work, because there are no jobs to be had. So they live out a dulled existence of repressed rage and pain, die wondering what the fuck it was all about, and all the while shouting,'We're No. 1!'"


5:04 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: The fact is that Obama, Cain, Perry, Bachmann and the like are death masks; they are the physical form death takes as American civilization implodes.

5:21 AM  
Anonymous Bisley said...

Wow, it's almost like somebody is writing cartoons for this blog:


9:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You'd think the guy read this blog just b4 he did the cartoon. Talk abt synchronicity...just one more bumper sticker was needed: I [Heart] My Blackberry.


10:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

The Thug Society:


3:19 PM  
Anonymous brandon said...

the rockstroh piece is pretty fucking awesome...olberman did a little segment along the same lines deriding can probably find that on YouTube if inclined.

you all might find it silly, but this shit conjures up a rage in my belly that I can really only compare to getting in a fistfight.

may the institutions, leaders, and symbols of the united states come face to face with fiery death.

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

Review up at Amazon.

Looks like you're batting a thousand on reviews.

Pretty soon, you'll need an agent to handle all of the CNN, NBC etc. offers.....

I'm for "WAFer's" by the way!

El Juero

7:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

El J-

Thanks mucho for the review. Yes, the mainstream media are breaking down my door, begging me to come on their shows. What am I going to do with all this newly accrued wealth and attention??!


7:58 PM  
Anonymous VW said...

MB and Friends,

Here is another shining example of American "head in rump" syndrome". Surgeon General warns that one possible side effect is colon dandruff.

Enjoy a slice during the spiral.


5:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I didn't find anything abt colon dandruff there, tho I abs. love the concept. One more thing to worry abt, besides Ted Koppel's haircut. But the notion that ketchup is a vegetable goes back to Ronald Reagan; which he thought up in between drooling, rdg comic books 1st thing in the morning, answering press conferences w/slogans from 3x5 cards, arranging matters of state based on his wife's astrologer, and saying that the torturer-general of Guatemala, Rios Montt, had gotten "a bum rap." Also sponsoring death squads in Central America, tripling the national debt, making the rich super-rich and the poor super-poor, and claiming that trees caused pollution and that homeless people wanted to be lvg in the streets. Polls show Americans rate him as their favorite president. They also show that Cranial-Rectal Embedment (CRE) is at an all-time high in the US.

Don't get me started...


9:38 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to ck872-

Thanks very much for writing in, mon cher; the trouble is we have a length limit on this blog of abt 1/2 a page. If u wd be kind enuf to compress that post abt 50%, I'll be very happy to run it.


11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Berman,
I just completed chapters 4 and 5 of WAF. Chapter 4 is, in my opinion, brilliant and thought-provoking. I was ultimately left, however, cogitating on the question of what WOULD have happened if the Confederate States of America had been allowed to secede peacefully? I don't think the CSA would have abolished slavery. Instead, I wonder if the CSA foreign and trade policy would have turned to the West Indies and South and Central America (which also had heritage of African slavery)? They also would have invited British land speculation, which would have ultimately had the same effect that the failure of land reform in Reconstruction had. Any way you play it, the USA would inevitably have found itself engaged militarily with the CSA, since expansion of a Southern economy dependent on slave, as opposed to "free" (despite wage slavery) by 1860 did pose a severe moral problem. I also think, that, given the betrayal of the freedman due to failure of Reconstruction, and, by 1880, the advent of the "New South," in which far too many of the Confederate old guard were ready and willing to get on board with the "Yankees" to continue destruction of the Southern landscape--driven by modernization of lumber mills, railroads, tobacco and cotton mills--is indicative of nascent capitalist and expansionist values among Southern leaders that, even in the absence of the War Between the State, would probably eventually have left cities in the CSA looking more like Rio de Janiero than Burlington, VT--or should I say, Beijing? Thanks for the "Brain Fodder." I make it a tradition to re-read "TAC" each New Years' Eve and renew my monastic vows! I am more of the Order of Berry (Wendell) than Berman, I fear!

1:28 PM  
Blogger ijcd said...

Prof. Berman,

I just ordered your book on Amazon, along with one of Erich Fromm's books I have left to read & study (Escape from Freedom). I'm looking forward to the reading. I will also be watching/listening to your latest interviews and have some fun thanks to your usual wit.

Regarding OWS and the "progressive" independent media & news, I am getting a bit tired, as I'm sure other DAA'ers as well are, of so much contrived and overly enthusiastic optimism, positive thinking and the constant branding of the "movement" as a global revolution, etc., etc., etc. Sometimes I feel embarrassed for them in their perennial idiocy and toothless & bland ways to organize and direct the immense resources of indignant anger we are all immersed in, in America.

I'm just waiting for the pie to rot, and then watch the freak show from my front row seat, as scary and dangerous as that will be...

As far as I go, I'm planning for a future and tranquil existence, the NMI life within the approaching post-industrial, post-capitalist, post-peak oil and post-America chaos.

El Cubano

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I suspect Dr. Berman will be proven right, and double unfortunately, Chris will be proven wrong. (Two of the three top thinkers of our time, the third being Michael Parenti, of course.)

When I heard Dr. Berman said he moved away because he couldn't find anyone to talk to, how I empathisized with that sentiment.

I luck upon only one thinking American per decade who can hold an adult-level conversation today.

Truly sad. Quite likely, with real unemployment measured at 28% or over, the movement sweeping America is simply the numbers being realized.

On the other hand, there is that miraculous Nevada attorney general who upheld the law against those robo-signers recently --- truly a wondrous event in this fraud-based society today!


3:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


For one view, check out Ward Moore, "Bring the Jubilee". Meanwhile, as far as the 'Southern Grandmother' I refer to in chs. 4-5 goes, there's this to consider:

(Let's pray that it comes to pass.)

Also related to that subject are these links:

When, I ask u, will we be free of all this Jobsian-Gatesian-Zuckerbergian dog poop?


3:56 PM  
Blogger Zosima said...

When I saw that poll that Americans think Reagan was our greatest president it reminded me of something I noticed that might be part of the cause of such madness. I was visiting my brother in Florida a few years ago when I saw a sign on the Florida Turnpike that said that it was now the Ronald Reagan Turnpike. This road was built in the 50's and 60's and that asshole had nothing to do with it. Its nothing but shameless propaganda by Republicans who have run the state for many years. Brilliant though, because millions of tourists drive that road every year. This ranks high on my list of reasons to leave America and stay far away from Florida.

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Art said...

Dear Friends,

Please check out this beautiful video presentation of an interview with Charles Eisenstein ("Occupy Wall St- The Revolution Is Love"). It's less than five minutes. Many of you will probably be turned off because of his guarded optimism; others may find some comfort in his vision of our post-capitalist world.

7:31 PM  
Anonymous satyaSarika said...

We'll be free of the dog poop when the lights go out ... :)

Just a comment on Americans taking 67% of of antidepressents while only composing 5% of the population: The pharmaceutical fux pushed these drugs to the psychiatrists who were only too happy to dispense them. Studies have shown they're just as effective as placebos but with multiple nasty side effects. So, while it may very well be true that USAns are more mentally ill than other nationalities, citing the use of these drugs is more damning to the psychiatric profession and big pharma than it is to the poor schmuchs taking the drugs.

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence — on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed.

President John F. Kennedy, addressing the American Newspaper Publishers Association (27 April 1961)

Sounds weirdly appropriate to the so-called "capitalist" movement too, doesn't it?

11:30 PM  
Anonymous infanttyrone said...

A little ditty to pass the time until your free books show up:

I liked the guarded optimism.
Brought to mind Spider Robinson's Callahan's Law
Shared pain is lessened; shared joy, increased — thus do we refute entropy.

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Bisley said...

Just a heads up for MB: I got my freebie copy of WAF today.

Many thanks to you and Wiley for offering me a nice distraction from my in laws on Thanksgiving. I am looking forward to it!


11:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Hooray! Took long enuf, but maybe a few copies are starting to show up in DAA-er's mailboxes. Yes, gd for outflanking the in-laws; but even more for the outlaws, perhaps. Enjoy!


11:38 AM  
Anonymous brandon said...

Got mine today via UPS!
Thanks, Mauricio.

6:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

More on Steve Jobs Dept.:


Article says that "Apple engine of misery for its subcontracted Chinese workers." Mike Daisey went to Shenzhen to talk w/the workers. "There, thirty-four-hour shifts, beatings, child labor, an epidemic of suicides and a general prison-camp atmosphere prevailed....Faced with a public relations problem relating to the suicides, the company installed wire mesh on teh factory winders to stop workers from jumping out to kill themselves." Jobs, says Daisey, cd have changed all this, but he simply didn't care. In fact, "he did away with all the company's charity programs (which were restored after his departure in August)."

Yes, a great man, Steve was.

8:47 PM  
Anonymous brandon said...

Yo Mauricio,

Will there be a video/audio file available for your interview?

Thank you!

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

YOu can't be serious, Anon. Kennedy was running secret operations all through Latin America leading Lyndon Johnson to remark that the Kennedy's were running a virtual"Murder Inc." throughout the Carribian. I highly recommend you get some of William Blum's work (which the good doctor cited in the Seattle speech) to see what American foreign policy has been about certainly since 1945 and which Gore Vidal ascribed as "the perfect nightmare."
Anyway, I got my copy a few days ago and it's truly brilliant. Parenthetically, I saw your buddy, David Brooks on the Charlie Rose show where they both agreed that Obama has carried out an adroit foreign policy "especially with regard to terrorism" (Rose).
By the way, did you see that the majority of young people throughout the industrial countries would turn down a job if it restricted their use of social networking?

3:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I cd be wrong abt this, but given Anon's very last sentence, I thought he was *debunking* JFK's speech (tho I'm sure JFK believed it, himself; this is part of the madness of American foreign policy).


Wd be kinda hard, since the whole thing was conducted via typing, online.


10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Kennedy quote was discovered while researching "Conspiracy Theories" in general. It turns out to be an edited/selected quote from a much longer speech, and thus is called "disputed" in the Wikiquote page. But the quoted words are all in the speech.

And once I read it, the obvious parallel to the projects and policies of the so-called "free world" was inescapable. Actually, "project" is not quite the right word. PROJECTION would be the right word. The thugs in the Communist camp took their cues from the original thugs in the Capitalist camp.

3:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


George Kennan eventually came to believe that the ideological rigidity he ascribed to the USSR in his "Long Telegram" and "X" article, was a pretty gd description of the US as well.


3:18 PM  
Anonymous J and O said...

I received my free copy if WAF today, but seeing that I already bought one, now I have one for the bathroom! Just kidding, I'll give it away to a like minded friend who stole my AQoV...

5:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Can WAF be read on the can? A gd question.

Meanwhile, even high schl students in NH know that the pres is full of shit (unlike most of the audience):


7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guess what? There has been a revival of interest in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath... in Britain!

Melvyn Bragg, a novelist, and frequent BBC presenter, was asked to produce a documentary about Steinbeck for BBC television. And a few days ago, having finished it, he posted a commentary.

John Steinbeck's bitter fruit

Which contains links to some related stories:

Melvyn Bragg films John Steinbeck documentary (from May 2011)

And a series about some BBC journalists traveling old Route 66.

The Grapes of Wrath revisited

7:11 PM  
Anonymous VW said...

MB et al,

C.R.E. as pictured in the MB
Dictionary of American Culture. (Pictured: Sarah imPalin)


9:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is good. Art already sent it to me, in fact, as evidence of the vast (but subtle) influence I was finally having on American culture. I do like the idea of the aforesaid (illustrated) dictionary. CRE wd be cross-referenced with Head Wedgitis.


11:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

How to not get elected to political office in the US: state the obvious:

5:55 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The url for the Mr. Fish cartoon got truncated; readers shd go to and click on Cartoons, Mr. Fish, and scroll down to the illustration of Advanced Head Wedgitis (aka CRE).

Further evidence of deepening US Head Wedgitis may be found on truthdig at


6:04 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Wasn't it Balzac who wrote that behind every great fortune is a great crime? So why be surprised at Jobs with regard to his fortune. He also didn't introduce himself to his real father after he found him and didn't share any stock with someone who also toiled in Job's basement in the early days. In a word, a putz.
Saw the hecking in NH and well deserved. Why doesn't Obama come out and condemn the police brutality on OWS if not send in the national guard to protect the young people many of whom more than likely supported Obama in 2008? Well, of course he doesn't want to offend hiw Wall Street backers. A true coward and equally cowardice of the media that doesn't raise this question.
By the way, yesterday I had same day surgery. In at 6:30 AM and out by 1 PM with a 5-8 week recovery. I could barely lift myself in a car to take me home. What country has same day surgery? My last surgery was in Japan 30 years ago and I was in the hospital for 19 days and of course it cost me next to nothing.

8:39 AM  
Anonymous Dovidel said...


Well, I listened to Charles Eisenstein and 'The Revolution is Love'. How can one argue with that? It reminds me of an article in the NY Times back in the 1960's in which they quoted some hippie who found life in New York's East Village unbearable and was heading out for California. He said, "You can't find love in Sodom and Gomorrah, so it's time to split." That's how I feel about living in the US – you're more likely to find that kind of love elsewhere.

When I dream (and that's really all we can do at this point) about a post-capitalist world, I am always drawn back to a wonderful book by Erich Fromm called "To Have or To Be". The difference between what he calls 'the having mode of existence' and 'the being mode of existence' has always been a basic touchstone for me. In other parts of the world you can still find people managing to live (predominantly) in 'the being mode'. In the US it's an almost completely alien concept.

Anon— RE: JFK quote

My goodness! Isn't that a classic case of projection? When JFK said that, I'm sure that Carl Jung was looking down at him and smiling. When we hear our 'leaders' bashing our 'enemies', we should just give them a mirror so they can see what they are talking about. Of course, if it was only the leaders it wouldn't be so bad. The rest of the country does the same thing – almost to a person.

David Rosen

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Kelvin said...

Hi Dan,

I'm glad that your surgery was so brief and wish you the best of health in your recovery.

Hi Art,

Thank you for the OWS philosophy post. It reminds me of the phrase "All we need is love." It's heartening to see such gentle idealism being given voice so eloquently.

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Kelvin said...

Years ago, while reading the last pages of Orwell's 1984, I was overcome with an intense, tender sense of sorrow when Winston has vestigial memories surrounding his childhood and the shadowy figure of his suffering mother... a return of the repressed. This resonates with what Maury said about deep down all Americans probably know the truth of their empty lives...perhaps at night, in their dreams, vestiges of a real life return from repression.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Russ said...

"I wish we wd start having conferences on What we intend to do when the whole thing collapses and the nation goes into freefall."

There actually was one along these lines recently in Claremont, called Brave New Planet ( It had more of an ecological focus than social, but of course, one leads to the other. If you go to Ken Rose's interview archive and select the most recent one from John Cobb Jr. (he was the organizer), he explains that the point of the conference was not seeking political solutions to fix everything, but what to do once the inevitable collapse happens. I live not too far from there; if you like, I can try to get a copy of WAF to Cobb.

3:11 PM  
Blogger Russ said...

In fact, note some of the breakout sessions:

2. The fall of the Roman empire in the West and the role of Christian Church in rebuilding society (Jane Douglass, retired, Princeton Theological Seminary)
3. The experience of contemporary Christian communities in “failed states” and major city slums around the world (Ed Brown, Care of Creation)
4. On the Navajo: the experience of the Navajo nation in recovering from disaster (Omie Baldwin, member, Navajo nation, and counselor, UW-Madison)
5. The German experience of recovering from the disaster of WWII and its role in contemporary German green politics (Martin Frick, former member, German Diplomatic Corps)
6. Philosophical insight and its role in civilizational recovery (John Cobb)
7. Life-like, deep green methods for preparing for and rebuilding after collapse (Ellen LeConte, Author, Life Rules, and Tim Watson, Earthwalk Alliance, Hillsborough, NC)

3:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Many thanks for this 'report'. I checked out a bit of Cobb's Sept. interview/Ken Rose, and also the website for the conference. Of course, this makes a lot of sense to folks such as myself, who believe there is no repairing the system and that we are on a progressively downward path. I was sorry, however, that the focus was so ecological in nature, because there are so many other issues to consider, esp. social and political. I'd like to see a two-part conference that covered: (1) Cranial-Rectal Embedment: The Data; (2) The Post-CRE Society. This wd deal w/values and behaviors of the population now, and then much later on, when present society is more or less unable to function and the disintegration is so obvious that it can no longer be denied.

If u wd like to drop off a copy of WAF to Cobb, that wd be very kind; tho I shd add that it's possible that the Twilight bk is more down his street (a used copy of which is currently selling on Amazon for one cent). I'd certainly like to know what Cobb's reaction wd be. As for me, I sense a real comrade-in-arms, by wh/I mean, no optimism, no putting our faith in any future fix-the-situation conferences (Copenhagen, the Super Committee, and kaka of that sort), but just hardnosed preparation for the eventual implosion of the American Empire (which is actually in process as we speak). I am at the pt now that when I hear someone talking about What we must do, How to fix it, that sort of thing, I just want to hit them.


4:13 PM  
Blogger Russ said...

Probably true - I'll grab a copy of Twilight for him. They are having a conference in a couple weeks on Alfred North Whitehead and I might attend a few sessions, so I'll keep an eye out for Cobb. I had a chance to talk to one of his colleagues a couple days ago and brought up WAF, which he wasn't familiar with but thought Cobb would be very interested.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Knavery seems to be so much a striking feature of its inhabitants that it may not in the end be an evil that they will become aliens to this kingdom.”

George III of England, on hearing of The American Declaration Of Independence.

6:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


And they called George mad! As the saying goes, crazy maybe, but stupid--no.


This is very kind of u. Let me know if you have any success w/it. I'm not really familiar w/his writings, but deep and sincere pessimism always gets my attention.


7:35 PM  
Anonymous Art said...


I'm no expert in these matters, but you may find that recovering at home is a better option than a lengthy hospital stay. Be well.


I read Erich Fromm's book many moons ago; time to read it again, perhaps. I'm wondering: how does Eisenstein's idea of a "gift economy" relate to the "being" mode?

Dr. Berman,

You and Michael Moore in a boxing *that* I gotta see!

10:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


My fear is that he'd cheat, and just sit on me. Game over.


10:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


So how r.u. doing? The DAA65 are concerned abt u.


10:36 PM  
Blogger ijcd said...

Prof. Berman,

Just got WAF yesterday, along with Erich Fromm's book, pretty fast; will do some reading this long weekend.


Hope you recover well and soon. You may be better at home, since there is very little empathy, professionalism and patience in today's hospitals. Besides, nothing beats home sweet home.

I wish I could contribute more to the discussions, but for now, I am content with learning from most of you, especially from older Americans.

In regards to the coming collapse, I have to say that I already lived through one, in Cuba after the dissolution of the communist block. I will write some more about it some other time, with Prof. Berman's permission. But the bottom line is, I'd rather go through it again in Cuba, than here, considering how violent, extremely individualistic and psychopathic this society is... At least in Cuba we had an ideology about caring for each other...
El Cubano
O & D.

12:49 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

A few words now about The Presidential Election, aka filling the airwaves with dog-do:

This is a year away, but you'd think it was going to happen in 2 mos. We are going to have to tolerate this moronic contest between now and Nov. 2012, hearing all the ins and outs of something that's basically meaningless, inasmuch as it's the 1% that pays for the campaigns, the candidates, and the platforms. Of course, anything can happen between now and then. Here's my take on how things currently line up:

1. The incumbent is a joke. He's demonstrated that he is not really an adult; that he is a spineless and empty person, just a chic black guy who wears nice suits but cannot really govern: the Millard Fillmore of the 21stC, w/o any vision whatsoever, and certainly w/o any empathy for the poor and the unfortunate. He never shoulda been elected in the first place (but he talks a gd game, and lotsa people got fooled).

2. Given widespread recognition of the above w/in Democratic Party ranks, there is some talk of his stepping aside and allowing Hillary to run for president instead. This will not happen. Mr. O will be the Dem candidate in 2012.

3. The GOP lineup has been rather volatile, and of course hilarious. When Cain cdn't get Wolf Blitzer's name rt, that was the icing on his absurd cake. The GOP establishment won't let this walking pizza disaster, or Rick Perry, or Michele Bachmann, capture the spot. Even they know that these people are not only an embarrassment to the Party, but more generally to the human race. That they even exist as pretenders to the throne shows how low the US has sunk. Ditto Sarah Palin, who at least had the smarts to recuse herself.

4. However, I have an immense sense of loss over these noncandidates. 1st, the fodder they wd provide on SNL is immense. They are extremely funny people, and we wd have 4 yrs of nonstop laughs w/any of them in the W.H. 2nd, while Obama has done a lot to move the collapse of the nation forward, it has basically been unintentional, desultory; wh/is simply not gd enuf, imo. Whereas any of the above-mentioned 4 clowns wd gear things up and drive us rt into the ditch. Which is what we need: since there is no hope for the US, might as well get the agony over with. As I've often said on this blog, bad is good. To quote Sarah, Obama is just pussyfooting around; time to get serious about our national suicide, and she or Michele or etc. are the (wo)men for the job. I wd absolutely love to see an utter turkey like Herman Cain in the W.H.

(continued below)

4:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

5. However, as already indicated, they will not get the green light from the Party establishment. This leaves Ging Newtrich and Rom Mittney.

Oy vey.

Ging wd certainly drive the country into the ditch, in a careful and calibrated way; but he seems like a very sick guy, psychologically speaking: too wild a wild card, where things wd not merely collapse, but collapse in a creepy way. Sure, Rome had Nero and Calicula, but pls, spare me. However, he cd capture the nomination; and he cd defeat Obama--maybe.

Rom is not sick or creepy; he's just totally boring, a walking haircut. Like Obama, he looks gd, but he's a hollow man. Like Ging, he wd also drive the country into a ditch--cf. his interest in reviving American dominance, and his declarations of American 'exceptionalism'--but again, I worry that it wd be too casual and lackluster. We already have this brand of national collapse in the W.H.; I can't see what wd be gained by switching nonentities at this pt. And as in the case of Obama, there's no way of making fun of the guy; he's just not very interesting. He is, however, regarded as presidential material by the GOP elite, and so, like Ging, cd well wind up being their man.

6. All of which is to say: with the exception of the 'sick and creepy' factor involved in a possible Ging candidacy or presidency, who wins in 2012 makes very little difference. A yr is a long time, of course, but I'm guessing it'll be Rom vs. Millard--an enormous yawn. And that our collapse will continue, but once again in a rambling and rather incidental way. Hence, the intelligent voter (all 2000 or 3000 of them, speaking nationwide) can only do one of the following:

a) Write in Ralph Nader, your next-door neighbor, or your mother for president.

b) Stay home; just don't vote.

c) Some form of street theater, like walking around in front of the W.H. on election day wearing an Obama or Rom death mask.

Anyway, that's the news from Lake Wobegon. I remain profoundly disappointed that the 4 horses of the apocalypse--Michele, Sarah, Herman, and Rick--will be out of the running. They are, after all, the apotheosis of stupidity. So we have seen the moment of our 'greatness' flicker, and we have seen the eternal footman hold our coat and snicker, as T.S. Eliot once put it. Things are ending with a whimper, not with a bang.


4:14 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Dear Dr. Berman, Art, Kelvin,ijcd,and fellow DAAers, Thankyou so much for your concern. It was a hernia repair and I should be back to the races in 4-6 weeks. I just found it odd that a procedure thatthen requires so much rest and care should have me discharged in a few hours. Parenthetically, the hospital called to see how I was doing but the actual surgeon who I had met a few times still has not called which I suppose should not shock me but of course one never gets fully inured to the lack of human compassion in the US.
Doctor, at least Millard Filmore had the decency to turn down an honorary degree from Oxford University citing that he was unworthy of such distinction whereas Obama not only proudly accepted the Nobel Peace Prize but used the occasion to call M.L. King and Gandhi naive and then proceeded to bomb 6 different countries (and the Right calls him a socialist). I also would not discount Perry. He still has a lot of money and recently he's been peddling his ignorance as a kind of refreshing antidote to Obama's intelligence. In the US ( and only in the US) could this be seen as a virtue.

11:25 AM  
Blogger ijcd said...

Prof. Berman,

I think I sense in you a bit of annoyance and despair at the current state of our political discourse, more like a mix of a clown show and psychological horror movie genre. Well, I'm with you there; but what's been helping me lately is, besides staying away from TV and news radio, is telling myself that it is the nature of a beast to do, and do it well, precisely what it is designed to do, just like a crocodile can't help but eat its young and anything within its reach, while shedding tears for some unknown reason...

Just started reading WAF this morning, and I was glad to see you mention the cultural difference, at such basic human levels, between the Islamic nations and ours. In conversations with colleagues while in college, I always heard (heard because I haven't been able, yet, to afford traveling as I'd like to) that regular human beings there really do take seriously, and act on, the calling and mandates of charity, hospitality and compassion to those worse off than you, to those in need. This is certainly in stark contrast with our "wonderful" Christian traditions, apart from those few individuals who do take such mandates and calling seriously in the West. I bet we can count them very easily.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, it may be more of an Anglo-Saxon/Protestant problem than a comprehensively Christian one, I'm not sure. Feudal Catholic countries did have traditions of noblesse oblige; which is why the welfare state is not so alien to them.


Glad to hear yr on the mend. Keep in touch w/us, amigo. Meanwhile, I'll keep hoping for a Perry candidacy, tho he's so confused and stupid in public that I'll be surprised if he can muster the requisite support.


12:20 PM  
Anonymous Dovidel said...

Russ, Dr. Berman, DAA'ers--

It is significant that John Cobb's conference was called 'Brave New Plane'’ and not 'Brave New America'. It would warm my heart if I thought that the decline and fall of the US Empire would actually benefit the majority of ordinary people in the world – most of the 95 percent. Here are some lines from Brecht's play, "The Caucasian Chalk Circle":

"O blindness of the great!

They go their way like gods,

Great over bent backs,

Sure of hired fists,

Trusting in the power

Which has lasted so long.

But long is not forever.

O change* from age to age!

Thou hope* of the people!"

*(Hey, where have we heard those two words before?)

Unfortunately, the US Empire is a world-wide empire with world-wide consequences. The real problem is that ordinary people usually end up getting it in the neck too. Here is some more from the same play:

"When the house of a great one collapses

Many little ones are slain

Those who had no share in the good fortunes of the mighty

Often have a share in their misfortunes.

The plunging wagon

Drags the sweating oxen down with it

Into the abyss."

So, whatever happens politically and economically to the rest of the world, the almost-inevitable ecological catastrophe caused by climate change will be world-wide and will surely rain down on the innocent and guilty alike.

David Rosen

12:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Appreciated your comment on hustling North and South etc., but it was too long to run. We have a length limit here of abt 1/2 a page. If u cd compress it abt 50% and re-send it, I'll be happy to post it. Thank you.


8:14 PM  
Blogger Metro Thought said...

I strongly suspect that a historical irony lurks in the modern US: the “hustling” culture seems to be stronger in the old Confederate states than it currently is in the old Union territory (with the obvious exception of the New York City region). The South, after all, has arguably embraced a far more aggressive capitalism than the Midwest and New England. Having lived in Texas, I can definitely state that Dallas and Houston are centres of aggressive capitalism (it’s no surprise that Enron started in Houston). Houston and Dallas rank #2 and #3 in terms of the number of Fortune 500 companies and Texas has the widest income inequality in the United States. Charlotte, NC is the second-largest banking hub in the US (behind NYC) and metropolitan Atlanta has simultaneously embraced laissez-faire capitalism and grotesque sprawl that discourages community-building. Wal-Mart, arguably the most aggressive and ruthless retail corporation in the US, calls Arkansas home. And very few Southern states enact policies that would dovetail with the “alternative” tradition: strong environmental safeguards, worker protection policies, and strong financial support for the arts and non-profit groups.

But the “alternative” tradition seems stronger north of the old Mason-Dixon line (except NYC). Vermont is the obvious poster child for this, but there are other examples, including Bloomington, Indiana, where I studied from 1997 to 1999. Bloomington exhibits a strong sense of community – despite the transient nature of its student population- and some of its treasured small businesses are run as ‘hobbies’ by their owners and do not exist primarily to make a profit. Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania are also the hotbeds of religious traditions (Quakerism, the Amish) that embrace simplicity to one degree or the other, and these three states- along with New England- are home to many liberal arts colleges that are swimming against the academic grain. Chicago’s former mayor, Richard Daley, forcibly closed a downtown airport that primarily benefitted wealthy business travellers and converted the space into public parkland. And I’ve read that some northern US cities which have lost their manufacturing base – including Detroit – are attempting to revitalize their communities by promoting them to artists as a place to live and work at a low financial cost.

11:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

"We have to have fun while trying to stave off the forces of darkness because we hardly ever win, so it's the only fun we get to have." --- Molly Ivins

"Against stupidity even the gods struggle in vain."--Schiller

9:17 AM  
Blogger Jimi Jones said...

Woman pepper sprays other shoppers at Black Friday sale at Walmart:

The best part of this article is a quote from one of the other shoppers: "I don't care. I'm still getting my TV. I've never seen Wal-Mart so crazy, but I guess it could have been worse."

I don't even know what to say to this!

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Joe doesn't know said...

Happy Black Friday, DAAers (barf)...already, stories of shootings, beatings,- and a grandfather being beaten up by police for placing a game in his waistband to lift his grandson- abound. What a joke, what a great laugh this day is every year. No greater example of capitalism than a bunch of people charging into a store and beating each other up over a fucking HD TV. Black Friday should be renamed Red, White, and Blue Friday, because it represents our Great Nation at its finest. I'm so ashamed. My better half said when she lived in her home country, they were appalled at the Black Friday stories from the States every year, and couldn't understand what the "shopping season" had to do with a holiday.

I spoke with a cousin, a typical un-enlightened one w/a severe case of CRE, and she became angry when I was castigating the black friday crowd. She said it's what makes us great as a nation, competition and opportunity to save lots of money and furthermore, she said, it's great fun. I double-checked with my mother to make sure my cousin is really related to me.

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

In case you've delayed beginning your shopping, I wanted to pass along a tip to help you get the best deals.
From the Huffington Post:

"A woman shot pepper spray to keep shoppers from merchandise she wanted during a Black Friday sale, and 20 people suffered minor injuries, authorities said.

The incident occurred shortly after 10:20 p.m. Thursday in a crowded Los Angeles-area Walmart as shoppers hungry for deals were let inside the store.

Police said the suspect shot the pepper spray when the coverings over the items she wanted were removed.

"Somehow she was trying to use it to gain an upper hand," police Lt. Abel Parga told The Associated Press early Friday.

He said she was apparently after some electronics and used the pepper spray to keep other shoppers at bay.

Officials said 20 people suffered minor injuries. Fire department spokesman Shawn Lenske said the injuries to least 10 of them were due to "rapid crowd movement."

Parga said police were still looking for the woman.

The store remained open and those not affected by the pepper spray continued shopping."

I particularly loved "rapid crowd movement"--in other words, they got trampled. Ah, nothing says Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Men quite like a handy can of pepper spray.

Dan--Sorry about the operation and hope your recovery will be rapid and complete. I've been a nurse for 30+ years and have seen conditions deteriorate beyond anything I would have ever believed possible. Nurses' aides sometimes have 16 patients each and the nurses are swamped with paperwork that has to be completed or the insurance company won't pay. It's a mess and patient is the casualty. And it's not going to get any better either--you're better off at home.

Jerry--You're right about Dallas. I lived there 25 years and the South described in WAF does not exist there.

1:16 PM  
Blogger ijcd said...

Dear DAA'ers and Prof. Berman,

Regarding my latest comment about preferring to re-live the 1990’s collapse in Cuba rather than live a sudden one in the US, I always tell people, mostly Americans, that:
In Cuba, it took the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rest of the communist block – with the subsequent disappearance huge subsidies that supported a fictitious economy, while allowing Fidel Castro to brag about the great accomplishments of his “socialist revolution” – to demoralize a population in our scrambling for truly basic necessities like food, water, transportation, soap, etc. It was tough (I came to the US weighing 122 lbs. while being a 6-foot tall starving Physics student at the University of Havana, in a program modeled after Russia’s Lomonosov School of Science).

As I mentioned earlier, and I noticed Prof. Berman has made a great job of analyzing and synthesizing all the available information and data on the U.S. of A. in WAF’s chapter 2 (kudos to you, since you are providing us with plenty of resources for serious discussions with our fellow brethren), if (or should I say when?) this dungeon of a cartoon of life and humanity collapses, I will be very, very, scared for my life and that of my loved ones.

(continued next - if Prof. Berman allows it)

1:49 PM  
Blogger ijcd said...

In Cuba, at least we were not many (11 million) in the island; already used to government control (although they made the mistake of teaching us to think thanks to a rigorous educational system);imbued in an ideology of caring for each other, the common good and that of the nation; and the old time cultural tradition of our Hispanic and/or Caribbean countries, were people live in real communities, bound by mutual respect and care, were your neighbors are also your friends (we have, still here in the US, neighbor-friends of more than 30 years). Back in Cuba, everyone knew everyone else in the neighborhood: their names, life history, illnesses, and so on. We all shared times together, shared food especially in times of need, cared for the sick ones and the elderly, watched TV together, etc.. But here in the U. S. of A., even among Miami Cubans, there is very little of that (here we live uprooted and alienated stressful lives), but among the “gringos”… forget about it! I do have the sense, however, that America was very different 50 years ago, especially small-town America, a lost treasure, or so it seems to me.

Which brings me to the following piece of news, about today’s “Black Friday” shopping orgy, and I am sure more is to come:
Black Friday violence: 2 shot in armed robberies, 15 others pepper-sprayed:

Certainly, in the U. S. of A. people are already a bunch of demoralized, violent raging lunatics, hungry for stupid shit and willing to kill for unnecessary gadgets. The psychopathic, narcissist and self-evident sense of specialness and entitlement (of the wrong kind) of this population makes me feel like I live inside a vast storage room full of highly volatile explosives while some kids are running around playing with matches.

2:00 PM  
Blogger WCS Minor Circuit said...

Happy Black Friday! In case you missed it (from the LA Times): "Customers hit by pepper spray at Wal-Mart describe scene of chaos"

From the article: Nakeasha Contreras, 20, of North Hollywood, said she arrived at midnight and hadn't heard what happened. Even if she had, she said, she wouldn't have minded: "I don't care. I'm still getting my TV. I've never seen Wal-Mart so crazy, but I guess it could have been worse."

Yeah, who cares about human suffering when you can still get your TV!

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Retail mayhem!

BBC News: US Black Friday marred by shootings, pepper-sprayings

A man is in a stable but critical condition in hospital after being shot in the early hours as he left a Walmart with a group of people in San Leandro, California, when they resisted two armed robbers who demanded their purchases
Police are reviewing CCTV as they looking for a woman who left 20 people with minor injuries when she used pepper spray as shoppers rushed to buy Xboxes at a Los Angeles area Walmart on Thursday evening
A man was reportedly arrested for resisting arrest after a fight at the jewellery counter in the early hours at another Walmart in Kissimmee, Florida
Police are looking for two suspects after gunfire erupted early on Friday at a shopping centre in Fayetteville, North Carolina; there were no reports of injuries
Security workers reportedly used pepper spray on a group of boisterous shoppers who started grabbing at goods before they were unloaded from pallets at a Walmart electronics sale in Kinston, North Carolina
A woman was shot in the foot by a robber as she put her newly purchased goods into the boot of her car in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; the gunman fled as one of the victim's companions brandished a revolver and fired warning shots

Asshat 1

Asshat 2

3:17 PM  
Anonymous farbror Frej said...

Do a google-search on "Preview: Hard times generation" (CBS 60 minutes).

This short clip encapsulates whats so sad about a middleclass degraded to working poor, accepting hard times with heroic smile. Especially sad then it comes from a sweet innocent early-teen girl:

"Its not really that much of an embarrassment - I mean; Its only life. You do what you need to do, right?"

5:53 PM  
Anonymous David M said...

Dr. Berman & DAAERS or WAFERS: (which ever the super committee decides.)
Had an interesting thought when I heard that stores would be opening up at midnight on Black Friday. Could this represent the crucifixion of the empire?

Interesting conversation among my guest at thanksgiving dinner. I related a story about my Lab Partner who is vietnamese on thanksgivings eve about 35 years ago. He had escape with his family at the end of the war and had been in the country less than a year. When he arrived at school that evening he told in a heavy viet like accent "You Americans kill a lot of turkeys. My children come home dressed like pilgrims. What the hells a pilgrim". At this point he had me rolling out of my chair with laughter.
Conversation at the dinner table though went in a direction i did not like as two of my guest enunciated stereotypical derogatory statements about southeast asians. Well I promised my wife I would not on this day challenge anyone (which I normally do) for their political, cultural, societal beliefs(typical american stupidity)
Dr. Berman You can see I have no one to talk to either.
Wish everyone good safe holidys and I am thankfull for this blog.

9:04 AM  
Anonymous Dovidel said...


Also glad to hear that you are doing better. I agree that being dumped out on the street the same day you’ve had fairly major surgery is pretty much an ‘only in America’ experience. However, there is an additional advantage to being at home – hospitals are actually dangerous places. You can pick up infections there that you couldn’t find anywhere else in town. Since you are doing well, be glad you’re out of there.

David Rosen

10:23 AM  
Anonymous neunder said...

Report: Shoppers unfazed as man dies at Target

12:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Thank u all for yr comments and the info abt Americans at their finest (pepper spray, Wal-Mart). Every day it gets more degraded and debased. Am currently at Mexican Bk Fair in Guadalajara, where 28 bodies were just discovered--part of the drug wars. Have to give a talk tonite, have been doing lots of interviews. Happy holidays--mb

4:52 PM  
Anonymous Valis74 said...

This is why I joined the #OccupyMyHome movement on Black Friday:

2:11 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

As the videos clearly show, and as Dr. Berman is forever pointing out, the greed and selfishness on Main Street is equal to if not greater than that on Wall Street.But perhaps the most disturbing part of the Black Friday mayhem is that people are fighting over things made overseas. How many of those morons know or even care that since 2001 56,000 factories have closed in the US, 2.6 million people slipped into poverty last year and that there are now 10% fewer middle class jobs than there were 10 years ago? One can only imagine then what their behaviors will be when in the not too distant future they don't know where their next meal is coming from given how easy it is for them to fight each other over Tupperware and memory cards.
I'm still reading WAF but to find out that "TIme is money" was coined by Franklin in 1748 (!) is highly disturbing.

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Dovidel said...


RE: Erich Fromm’s “To Have Or to Be?”

Back in 1976 when “To Have Or to Be?” was published, Fromm had actually written a longer book but withheld a number of chapters containing advice to people on how to live their individual lives in a more ‘being’ mode. He withdrew these chapters shortly before publication because he feared the book would be misunderstood as dealing only with an individual spiritual search, and he knew that, while it was unlikely to happen, a radical social transformation was needed. It seems that Drs. Fromm and Berman are kindred spirits in many respects.

In any case, the withheld chapters were published posthumously as “The Art of Being”. If you haven’t read it, you may want to take a look at it.

David Rosen

11:58 AM  
Blogger ijcd said...

Hi David Rosen and Art,

It's nice to see fellow DAA'ers also find solace and guidance in Erich Fromm's work. I read "To Have or To Be?", and then "The Art of Being" (this one twice). I highly recommend them to anyone intelligent and sensible enough to notice how wrong (away from human needs and nature) our man-made reality and way of life are.

My mother just left for Cuba today, to see her brothers and sister, after 10 years of living in "Libertad y Democracia". I wish I had been able to go too...


El Cubano

5:06 PM  
Blogger Zosima said...

Glad to hear that Dr. Berman is doing some interviews. As I work my way through WAF I keep asking myself why he's not booked solid for the next two years with interview requests. Excellent comment by Jerry on the South now being fully absorbed into the hustling culture. I concur with his observations having lived in Atlanta for about ten years. I would add that people still retain a superficial politeness that takes a bit of the edge off and is missing other areas. No doubt, a cultural relic from what was what once a more leisurely era as described in WAF.

7:47 PM  
Blogger jml said...

This is not directly related to the radio interiew, but related to WAF. Seems another person collapsed and died while the public ignored him, walking over his body to continue shopping

7:10 AM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

Jerry - I agree with your observation regarding the "alternative tradition" in the South.

You also mention Bloomington, IN. I'm a native Hoosier (now a Nutmeger) and Joel Garreau's book "The Nine Nations of North America" is interesting: Indiana doesn't belong to any of them - portions belong to three different parts (lower section is the South, east is the Rust Belt, west is the Plains). Seems to me a factor in what leads to the strangeness of the place. (Additionally, places like Bloomington, Madison, Ann Arbor, etc. are unique in and of themselves in a 'virtuous circle' sort of way - what they attract makes them become more "other.")

In any case, next time you journey to Indiana, check out the West Baden Springs Hotel for an interesting and unique experience. You won't think you're in Hoosierland!

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Kelvin said...

Hi everyone,

If you look up the handle "DeepGreenResistance" on Youtube, or just search "Derrick Jensen," you'll get to see Lierre Keith present the principles of resistance, a lesson OWS could use:

Alternative (seeded by German Lebensreform and Wandervogel in early 1900s):

Apathetic/hostile to concept of political engagement

Change seen in psychological and cultural terms

Individual consciousness is the target

Adolescent values of youth movement

All authority is rejected out of hand

Rejection of moral judgment

Attack on conventions
>all boundaries fair game
>shock value

Alienated individual valorized


Consciously embraces resistance

Change seen in economic and political terms

Concrete institutions are targeted

Adult values of discernment, responsibility

Legitimate authority is accepted and cultivated

Strong moral code based on universal human rights

Attacks on power structures

Loyalty and solidarity valued

I think this chart suggests that OWS needs to morph from an alternative to an oppositional stance.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Hi U All-

I'm en route home, in the wake of a social whirl at the Feria Internacional de Libros in Guadalajara. Will post some links of interviews etc. for u hispanohablantes out there. Meanwhile, I love those stories about Americans trampling people to death so that they can save $50 on a DVD player; high class, that.

Stay tuned,

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any reviews of the book yet, aside from Amazon and Library Journal?

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Dovidel said...


RE: America Southern Culture Today

The conquest and occupation of the South during and after the Civil War was a kind of colonial occupation. One of the worst features of colonialism is that it severely damages, or even obliterates whatever culture the colonial people had before. As Frantz Fanon says, “Perhaps we haven't sufficiently demonstrated that colonialism is not satisfied merely with holding a people in its grip and emptying the native's brain of all form and content. By a kind of perverted logic, it turns to the past of the oppressed people, and distorts, disfigures, and destroys it.” (I hope I haven’t taken this too badly out of context.)

Who was it that once said that the ideas of a society’s leading class become the leading ideas of the whole society? The landowning class in the South was devastated, so the influence of their ideas, which would include a kind of ‘nobles oblige’, would be greatly diminished by now. This doesn’t mean that the whole thing has been forgotten – amid the cultural wreckage there is plenty of anger left!

In any case, whatever we might have admired in the antebellum South is unlikely to be found in centers of finance and commerce like Dallas or Houston. The southward movement of a lot of giant corporations may have been little more than a form of ‘union-busting’ anyway. If you want to find traces of the old feudal culture, you may do better by looking in rural backwaters. Haven’t we seen some of that old ‘nobles oblige’ in Jimmy Carter, who grew up on a peanut farm?

We Yankees usually can’t see beyond the racism we encounter in the South, so we limit our understanding to just that. This is one of the reasons I can’t claim to understand the South or its culture. For example, back in the 1960’s I read John Dollard’s “Class and Cast in a Southern Town” and all I remember about it is the racism. If he wrote about anything else I didn’t see it because I didn’t expect that there would be anything else.

David Rosen

1:17 PM  
Anonymous David M said...

Dr. Berman:
My copy of WAF arrived and I wanted to thank you again for your generous gift.
On the Black Friday front: I remenber years ago how surprised I was, when friends would tell me how they arose early and fought the crowds on the Friday after Thanksgiving. I wondered how rational intelligent people could fall into this sort of, lets call consumeristic addiction. When I was delivering papers in my youth I hated that Friday because the newspaper was the largest of the year due to all the advertisement. I had to make multiple trips back to my home becuse I could not carry all the papers in my bag. Which goes to show how long this thing has been going on (50+years). I didn't understand it back then and I still don't understand it today.

Art, IJcd, David Rosen: Thanks for providing references for Erich Fromm's works. He is on my list of writers I wanted to explore

1:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Nope, not a word. As w/DAA, I expect WAF to be vilified and ignored; but mostly, ignored. If America cd process the info in the bk, I wdn't hafta had to write it; but since they can't, it will sink like a stone.


On ideas of ruling class etc: Antonio Gramsci, his concept of 'hegemony' (egemonia).


5:42 PM  
Anonymous Mark Notzon said...

Book going unread? Hardly reviewed?
Even though it's great stuff?

You may qualify as a candidate for memebership in the Ancient Order of Philosopher Kings, dating back to Plato and his circle.

Brochure and FAQ sheet will be mailed soon, delivered in a plain brown envelope.

The Eleusian is only for those who work though illusion.

(Three coupons for chopped liver from your favorite deli included.)

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Bisley said...


I'm just starting the section on the South in WAF. Got that far during Thanksgiving in between eating, drinking, and trying to ignore my racist brother in law.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading your analysis in light of my own pretty standard history lessons, plus standard further reading (Foner, etc) and a lot of Lincolniana (Sandburg, David Herbert Donald, Garry Wills and 11 years living in Central Illinois).

But I will also be using another touchstone to see how it comes off, and that's Joe Bageant. While he certainly was a Southern Redneck to the bone, he didn't think much of Southern gentry, as least as it exists today.

So we'll see....

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NPR's Talk of the Nation had a discussion of the annual insanity (or is that asininity) of Black Friday today. The title of the segment is a bit misleading. The discussion and calls were all over the place. Many people condemned it as we would hope. But some said the misbehavior of a few was being blown out of proportion. Some were concerned at the commercialization of holidays. (And how many decades has that discussion been going on in the US?) But others defended the idea of shopping as a Great American Pastime...

NPR: A Plea To Protect Shoppers On Black Friday

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Art said...


Thanks for your outline on the principles of resistance (alternative vs. oppositional). I agree with Nicholas, however, that "genuine change requires both a systemic shift...and an interior transformation." So, aspects of the "alternative" (e.g. psychological change) will need to be retained for a successful OWS movement. As Dr. Berman recently wrote: even if the mighty fall, how are we going to arrange brain replacements for over 300 million people?

12:38 AM  
Anonymous infanttyrone said...


...Joe Bageant. While he certainly was a Southern Redneck to the bone...

Please tell me you don't consider Joe as having been a standard-issue redneck...I think his self-identifying term was "leftneck".

1:24 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...


Back after a few weeks away, having been without Internet & pretty happy with that fact, as it turns out. WAF was waiting for me when I got home home from visiting relatives for a couple of weeks, and I've just finished it after reading non-stop. So much to think about! Needless to say, I'll be posting a review at Amazon within a day or two, expressing my feelings about it in depth. A superb book!

For now, an anecdote:

We had Thanksgiving with my wife's cousin in Virginia, who turned out to be far more than the one-dimensional redneck I'd been led to believe he was. He initiated a dinner conversation about the coming collapse of American culture -- and while he was clearly coming from a conservative political background, he had no use for Bush, had considerable sympathy for the Occupy Wall Street movement, and honestly wanted to know how a left-of-center person like me felt about these matters. Turns out we agreed on quite a lot!

I think there's a real hunger for truth out there, among more people than we might suspect. Not a majority -- far from that, alas! But quite a few sense or even see quite clearly where the country is going now. The sheer ugliness, crassness, voraciousness of modern society is all too obvious to an increasing number of people.

Now to get caught up on all I've missed here ...

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Bisley said...

For Infanttyrone:
No, I don't consider Joe Bageant a standard issue redneck. I guess he was a value-added redneck, or, if you prefer a leftneck. But my main point was he was of the South, and understood it like a Yankee could not. And he well-understood the Southern class system and knew his place in it as a poor white cracker kid (at least when he was growing up).

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Kelvin said...

From DemocracyNow today:

"The Senate is set to vote this week on a Pentagon spending bill that could usher in a radical expansion of indefinite detention under the U.S. government. A provision in the National Defense Authorization Act would authorize the military to jail anyone it considers a terrorism suspect — anywhere in the world — without charge or trial. The measure would effectively extend the definition of what is considered the military’s 'battlefield' to anywhere in the world, even within the United States. Its authors, Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan and Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, have been campaigning for its passage in a bipartisan effort. But the White House has issued a veto threat, with backing from top officials including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and FBI Director Robert Mueller. 'This would be the first time since the McCarthy era that the United States Congress has tried to do this,' says our guest, Daphne Eviatar of Human Rights First, which has gathered signatures from 26 retired military leaders urging the Senate to vote against the measure, as well as against a separate provision that would repeal the executive order banning torture. 'In this case, we’ve seen the administration very eagerly hold people without trial for 10-plus years in military detention, so there’s no reason to believe they would not continue to do that here. So we’re talking about indefinite military detention of U.S. citizens, of lawful U.S. residents, as well as of people abroad.'"


12:17 PM  
Anonymous Kelvin said...

Hi Art,

Of course, psychological and spiritual motivation is going to be needed for an oppositional stance. But real change won't come about through interior transformation because historically that's not how change comes about. As Lierre Keith observed, being an example of low carbon foot print, recycling, meditation, spirituality, alternative energies (that incidentally require massive industrial exploitation of the environment--you gotta rip cadmium out of the earth for your solar cells) is not going to stop corporations in their tracks. In fact, the powers-that-be just love these NMI, quasi-gnostic stances because it makes people docile--too busy meditating--to cause trouble. The part about moral discernment and responsibility is crucial. Trying to bring down corporations will involve the loss of human life and, if one is going to do it, one must determine how much one is willing to sacrifice. Pretty serious stuff. Of course we can console ourselves with the rapidly decreasing pockets of community and real living and just hope we get our share of one before the corporate juggernaut destroys it. But what about our future humanity? "Sorry, Bub, but you're flat out of luck and you just gotta suffer in a global concentration camp run by our eternal corporations."

What's required is individual assessment of what one can sacrifice to really create a better future for human and non-human communities. Unfortunately, I do not think that violent resistance to corporations can be ruled out as one part--hopefully a small one--to advance real change. Corporations have private armies engaged in violent expropiation of indigenous peoples' land in India and South America. Why should anyone be their victims?

12:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm wondering how long it'll be b4 dissident intellectuals are 'terrorism suspects'.


1:39 PM  
Anonymous infanttyrone said...

Got it...thanks for the clarification.
I have spent some time in the South and have family in Texas.
I'm doubt there would be any way of getting to a non-class-based South these days, short of having at least a hundred people like JB in Congress and a half dozen more sprinkled into Governors' mansions...a nice fantasy but not as likely as having Peace, Love, and Understanding implanted by the space brothers from Tau Ceti.

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Kelvin said...

Hi Maury,

If the provision, which will be debated in the Senate this Wednesday, becomes law, it may pose an imminent threat to dissident intellectuals if they say things in sympathy or support for Al-Quaeda; that was one example that Daphne Eviatar of Human Rights First gave. But then how will "terrorism suspect" be defined? (Probably, as Chomsky pointed out, any way that the powerful choose to define it). Will my echoing of Deep Green Resistance's not ruling out violent resistance to corporations through activities like sabotage get me detained in a brig? There's a Deep Green Resistance Austin but frankly I'm afraid to join it.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Metro Thought said...

Professor Berman,

Thanks for posting my previous comments re: the contemporary north vs. south divide.

I think that the introduction of widely-available air conditioning did much to bring a highly capitalistic culture to the American south as activities that were formerly restricted to the northern US could now be done in the south as well (though offices and factories do not, in themselves constitute 'hustling'). But I suspect that the southern embrace of hustling is related to a spiritual emptiness at the heart of southern culture, an emptiness associated with racism. Lynch mobs, enforced segregation, and other acts of prejudice revealed a society that, at its heart, was not capable of seeing a large percentage of its members as fully human. It also meant that the south was not capable of creating *real* community, i.e. a society where all people- regardless of colour or income level- could come together and achieve goals that transcended financial gain. So when the opportunity to hustle arrived in the south, southern society was already predisposed to embracing it enthusiastically. After all, hustling often entails a complete disregard for real community as well as a tendency to see segments of society as disposable or less than human.

The north, while also guilty of racism, was less structurally racist than the south (Chicago had integrated schools and African American congressmen and judges before the civil rights movement; Indiana University began admitting black students in the 19th century) and perhaps this corresponds to the region's somewhat smaller commitment to hustling in the 21st century.



8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kelvin

Are you talking about the same Lierre Keith who freaked out and called the cops when she was pied at an anarchist book fair? Or the same Derrick Jensen who called the FBI when Glenn Beck fans threatened him online? I think I'll take my resistance advice from people with a little more backbone. I'm not saying that they don't make good points about industrial destruction and what may have to be done to stop it, but I don't see how running to the authorities over every little thing sets a good example for resistance. Especially if challenging power structures is part of the goal. It's hard to challenge something when you depend on it for protection.

Anyway, if you want to hear Derrick try to explain his response to Beck's fans, go to and do a search for Derrick Jensen. His interview with Dawn Paley should be the first thing that pops up. It is truly special.

I'm sorry, I hope that wasn't off topic too much. Love your books, Mr. Berman.

- Diandra

8:58 PM  
Anonymous Zosima said...

At this point dissident intellectuals may be harder to find then terrorism suspects. You would think there might be a few teaching on university campuses in this country but judging from the lack of reaction to this act barbaric cruelty, it was just was business as usual. Perhaps they pulled a muscle watching John Stewart's attempt to make us laugh about it. Smartest thing our elite ever did was give the left tenure, if only the Tsars had been as smart. Here the left have a comfortable self-policed cage for themselves, my guess is our rulers won’t here a peep out of them.

10:41 PM  
Anonymous Dovidel said...


John Gray is a British political philosopher and author, formerly Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics, and almost anything he writes is worth reading. Most Americans, even those who could read his books and articles, would be shocked by what he says. Morris Berman’s readers, on the other hand, should take Gray’s ideas in stride.

Take a look at Gray’s “The Occupy movements are the realists, not Europe's ruling elites” which appeared in the Guardian of 14 November 2011. Here are a few passages which echo Dr. Berman’s contention that our system is doomed, and that our elite is doing everything to make matters worse.

“Anyone with a smattering of history could see that the hubristic capitalism of the past 20 years was programmed to self-destruct. The notion that the world's disparate societies could be corralled into a worldwide free market was always a dangerous fantasy.”

“It has been taken for granted that a sudden collapse of the kind that occurred in the former Soviet Union and more recently Egypt cannot happen in advanced market economies. That assumption may be tested severely in coming years.”

“The demands of the Occupy movement may be inchoate, or else conflicting. But it is not the protesters who threaten the world economy. The danger comes from denying the fact of systemic crisis. By trying to prop up a system that is chronically dysfunctional, our rulers are making a cataclysmic collapse more likely… The people camped outside St Paul's may have no clear solutions. But it is they – not ruling elites in thrall to a defunct market utopia – who are engaging with reality.”

Unfortunately, ‘engaging with reality’ and actually coming up with a solution for a new society before the whole edifice collapses on our heads are two different things. The chances of the latter happening in Europe seem to be very low, and less than zero in the US.

David Rosen

1:04 AM  
Anonymous Art said...


By "interior transformation" I did not necessarily mean navel gazing with the aim of transcendence. But some kind of metanoia, a change of mind and heart, is needed I think. You appreciated Charles Eisenstein's idealism, his hope for a "revolution of love". And love can be fierce; think Martin Luther King.

Eisenstein has a new website ( and has posted an excellent new essay ("To Bear Witness and to Speak the Truth") on it. He writes:

"Ours is the civilization of an addict, addicted to debt, addicted to technological fixes, addicted to control, and applying more and more of the same to remedy their failures. You can't force an addict to change....Similarly, most political revolutions fail, or end up installing a new 1% even worse than the first.

"We all participate in this system, but can do so willingly only to the extent we do not feel, see, or know....When we tear away the ideologies, the labels, and the rationalizations, we show ourselves the truth of what we are doing, and conscience awakens.

"Let the purpose of the Occupy movement be to tear away the veil."

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Kelvin said...

Hi Diandra,

I heard about the Keith incident but not the Jensen. I'll look for more info. Yes, I concede that, if true, those stories are embarrassing. Still, they both have done and are doing very brave, good work and, for me, that outweighs the conclusion you draw from those blips in their autobiographies.

Hi Art,

It seems that we misunderstand each other due to the Manichaean arrangement of the chart. Keith does say that the alternative stance contains valuable things that one must retain. But if you really want to change things, interior transformation alone, obviously, is not going to do it. So, in that respect, "all we need is love," is a necessary but not sufficient condition for real change. Also, I detect a sense of fatalism that may be based on your reading of history: the revolutionaries become the new oppressors or 1%. Perhaps that's true, esp. looking at the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution.

Well, Diandra and Art, thank you for your thoughts. My mind, as usual, wallows in confusion. Sometimes I think Jensen will only be happy if we eliminate humanity to make the world safer for our brother and sister animals!

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Kelvin said...

Oh Art,

Just to real change I mean change in the external world or political arrangements. I don't mean to imply that interior transformation is not real change. It is indeed for the individual and may help one to see the external world as changed. But the world really hasn't changed until one takes up action that affects it. To state the obvious, we are embodied creatures immured in material and political circumstances.

12:55 PM  
Blogger diana said...


I have been living in the South since 1998 and can say that at least many of the white Southern racists have had to confront their racism at some point. I don't believe the same can be said for their Northern counterparts. Also, in many Southern cities, much of that aggressive capitalism and aggressive behaviour in general is driven by relocated Yankees. There is a town near to where I live call Cary. The southerners refer it it as Coral Area for Relocated Yankees.

Case in point, there was a recent movement lead by the tea party and relocated Yankees to resegregate the school district in the city where I live. These tolerant and so called enlightened Yankees do not want poor and minority kids to be bused to their suburban schools. When the NAACP and the Southern's called them racist and rightly accused them of trying to destroy the school system, they were astounded that anyone would have the nerve to call them racists. After all, they were Northerners. But the sad truth is many of them are. These people moved to the South from some of the most segregated places in America. Upstate NY and the suburbs of NJ and PA. They did not have to deal with black and poor people back there and they don't plan to deal with them in the South either.

Well, the local Raleigh elites joined with the NAACP, religious and other civic groups to remove some of these Yankees from the school board so they no longer have a majority.

When I moved to Raleigh it was a fairly decent place to live: a good school system; an extensive park and greenway system; free museums and a laid back atmosphere. Much of that has changed in recent years.

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Kelvin said...

Hi Diandra,

I just watched a Youtube video that records Lierre Keith's reaction to her being pied. Perhaps you don't know this, but three people--two of whom I'm sure were male--came from behind her, each bearing a cayenne pepper pie, and slammed the pies onto her head and into her face and eyes. She couldn't see, and her eyes were burning. A group of sympathetic women gathered around her and guided her to a bathroom where she washed her eyes out. Other women called the police and Keith, quite appropriately, submitted a statement to them. It was an assault, a criminal act. The men were much taller than Keith who suffers from a degenerative disease of the spine. Keith observed that the worst part was when people in the audience cheered the assault. Her assailants were militant vegans who oppose her book The Vegetarian Myth, a great book. So, I guess Americans can be real assholes even without their cell phones disrupting public lectures. We just live in a nation of cranial-rectal zombies. I think this is a good example of adolescent protest that is cowardly and sickeningly aggressive.

3:05 AM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

Even though this has nothing to do with the current post, my daughter sent me this from The Guardian and I thought you all might find it amusing too:

"Nobody turns to American music award ceremonies to see a true representation of the best music of the year. But do they turn to them to see the worst? Yes, would seem to be the verdict from whatever devilish minds put together Wednesday night's evil special, "The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!"

Other than sadism, there can be no other explanation for the sonic boom of hell that was a live duet featuring that master of subtlety, Ludacris - a singer perhaps best known for a song that features the Shakespearean chorus of "Get back, motherfucker, you don't know me like that" - and Jason Aldean, an extraordinary young man whose life ambition appears to be to marry the two genres of rap and country music.

If you think that sounds like a marriage that would make Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? look a model of romance, you would be underestimating what it is like to watch a man do hip hop hand gestures while wearing a cowboy hat with Ludacris gurning in the wings. All that was lacking was background imagery of strip malls and the Kardashians for the tableau of American Hell to be complete."

The complete article is on the music blog for The Guardian, Dec. 1st.

Diana--I've lived in the South most of my life and it changed after the influx from the North, primarily starting in the 70's, and the beginnings of suburban sprawl. It did used to be a different, but not perfect by any means, place before that. But of course there's no turning back now.

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Bisley said...

May I recommend a little social commentary movie that I found at once sickening (for documenting the particular topic: American shopping and attitudes toward Christmas) but also funny and inspirational (creative response-wise).

"What Would Jesus Buy" featuring The Reverend Billy. It's available via streaming on Netflix for those of you who do that sort of thing.

Short of his little film, find him here:

I think the WAFers should give up a big Amen!

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

If you're not familiar with the Reverand Billy, here's an interview from the Diet Soap podcast:

You can also see Reverand Billy's 'canonization' of Doug Rushkoff in the Church of Life After Shopping here:

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Bisley said...


Finished WAF last night. I liked it a lot, especially the hustling thesis and the lack of any core values other than that. Obviously, there are local exceptions to this, especially in rural areas and in immigrant communities (I grew up in one on it's demographic end) where people do really huddle together for support, old school style.

The section on the South was surprising. I had never thought of it as a legitimate alternative to Northern capitalism. And I still don't, to be honest. Yes, it had elements of communitarianism and a lack of hustling culture, but it sure did have (has?) its share of non-trivial warts. Slavery, obviously. And that's not a little thing. John C. Calhoun pretty much thought it was the bedrock. And it was the feature that reinforced and legitimated the southern hierarchy system that that Joe Bageant felt so strongly in his own life ("last place aversion"). If the South had "won" or at least if we never had had the Civil War, what would things look like now? This may be just mental masturbation, but I find it difficult to imagine there would be racial or class peace. And once the ruling elite of the South discovered the benefits of capitalism, I kinda doubt they would have resisted it too much. Maybe the South would look like Central America.

But we have what we have. Anyway, I agree the trajectory is down, down, and down. And there is nothing much to hang on to on our ride.


6:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, be sure u understand what I'm saying in ch. 4. I'm hardly condoning slavery, or playing it down; and I say the war probably had to be fought in order to eradicate it, because the South was simply not going to let it go. It's a rather complex and nuanced argument--make sure yr reading it closely. As far as the South and capitalism goes, it certainly *did* 'discover' it; check out n.41 in that chapter for an extended discussion of the whole issue.

Finally, there was, in fact, a novel written w/the premise that the South won the war: "Bring the Jubilee," by Ward Moore. A classic in the AH genre (Alternative History), publ. in 1955.


8:01 PM  
Anonymous Paul said...

As for the "Occupy" movement I thought I'd share the following link which says it all as to where things seem to be at.

But then again, what could they have done different, really? The US being 'beyond the point of rescue'. Having a message is one thing but herding cats (dumb ones at that) is something else. Anyway, I think the author of this article speaks for a lot of us with his frustration of what we've come to.


9:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen you question in interviews what OWS is really all about. Well, here is the official declaration document from the OWS General Assembly:

9:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Well, well...

I tell u guys, both of these url's are discouraging, at least to me. Mike Cane's is terribly misguided, and full of unnecessary bile. If getting Obama to 'get the money out of politics' was indeed the one single OWS demand at the beginning, it's just as well the protesters didn't stick to it, because it's too vague. Obama is the wrong man for the job (he's interested in just the opposite), and even if he wanted to do it there is really no effective way to do it. (What governmental commission cd make it happen, when the folks on the commission wd be in the pay of the corporations?) Mike's critique seems strangely bitter, and over the top, really.

As for the other one, listing Occupy DC's Declaration: very gd analysis of our current mess, and a very vague prescription of how to address it. 'Contribute your energy' seems to be the formula...Sorry, not gonna work. Personally, I think things need to get very specific very quickly if OWS is to avoid drifting off into irrelevance. Not that I think they are likely to turn the country around, for reasons I detail in "Why America Failed"; but might as well get tough and upfront about it. Here are the kinds of demands I'm talking about:

1. General Motors, Ford, etc. will be immediately reorganized so that they construct mass transit systems nationwide, and no more cars (FDR did actually force the car co's to convert to armaments factories during WW2, for 3 yrs).

2. Anyone earning over $500,000 in any given year will face a 100% tax on anything beyond that.

3. Individual states or parts of the country wishing to secede from the Union are hereby granted the right to do so, with impunity.

4. The US military will close all of its 800 or 900 bases worldwide, torture of suspects will end immediately, and the US Gov't hereby makes formal apologies to Iran, Guatemala, Chile, Vietnam....(etc.) for the misery they have suffered at our hands. Reparations, in the billions, are to follow.

5. Candidates for political office may not advertise their campaigns on TV, and may not accept more than a $50 donation from any single donor, corporate or otherwise.

6. Any Wall St. executive receiving a bonus after 15 September 2008 will return all such monies received since that date to a fund operated by an Occupy committee, specifically targeted for the relief of the poor, and turn themselves in to the World Court at The Hague, for the crime of financial terrorism.
Failure to comply will result in immediate arrest and a plane ticket to Holland (coach; food available for purchase).

7. HMOs will be immediately abolished, and a health care system will be instituted in a direct relationship between the government and the people, with a copay of $1 per visit and no clauses about pre-existing conditions.

8. (I have only just begun to list, to paraphrase John Paul Jones.)

Am I making myself clear?


10:25 PM  
Anonymous Kelvin said...

Hi Bisley and Kevin,

Occupy Christmas is afoot. Santa Claus will be hanged in effigy in Rockefeller Plaza.

NO. 1
Being in the grips of deep programming that cannot be changed, and exporting this toxic software globally, the United States has already transformed this planet into US; Europe, Asia, South America are US.

WAF:ERS, please watch the following cleverly edited film, END:CIV, by Franklin Lopez that presents four of Jensen’s theses from Endgame. Keep your critical mind, pour yourself a tall one, and please post your reactions from gut to brain, laden with as much skepticism as you can muster:

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Art said...


Thanks for your clarifications. As for wallowing in confusion, consider the alternative: being a true believer, the effects of which we see all around us.

I share your concerns about Derrick Jensen. One of the reasons I like Charles Eisenstein so much is for his take on the Primitivist's critique of civilization. (I haven't watched END:CIV yet). Eisenstein writes:

"Stone Age life was characterized by a wholeness, harmony, enchantment, and authenticity that is rare today. Recognizing this doesn't mean we should dismantle the entire edifice of civilization though, just as recognizing the creativity, flexibility, and authenticity of a baby doesn't mean we should imitate the physical condition of a baby....For humanity to return to the hunter-gatherer womb would be a stillbirth. I am much more excited about the prospects for reaching adulthood."

"Humanity Grows Up"

11:10 PM  
Anonymous Dovidel said...


Re: “Article Sheds Light on the Fabrication of Charges Against Strauss-Kahn”

Capitalism is not itself a conspiracy, but ruling elites use conspiracies all the time, all over the place – against both their internal and external enemies.

‘The New York Review of Books’ has published a long article by Edward Jay Epstein about the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn on very questionable rape charges. The whole Strauss-Kahn episode seemed fishy right from the beginning and now it’s looking as though it really was a setup. I haven’t been able to get ahold of Epstein’s article, but I’ve seen several articles about his careful investigative reporting. The following is from the Trotskyist World Socialist Web Site, hence the old-fashioned Marxist language:

“The prosecution rushed to indict Strauss-Kahn before any of the evidence could be examined and considered objectively, so as to accomplish his political destruction. This was a goal shared by the Obama administration, in conflict with the IMF director over global economic policy, and the Sarkozy administration in France.”

“Not for the first time, and not for the last, a lurid sex scandal was used to regulate the internal affairs of the imperialist bourgeoisie.”

And then, in what could serve as a warning to the OWS protesters (among others), they say:

“Strauss-Kahn is, of course, a representative of big business, no different from Sarkozy, Obama or any other capitalist politician in that respect. The warning to be made is that if such brutal treatment, and such a fabricated case, can be carried out against such an individual, what will the ruling elite prepare against individuals from the working class, who lack Strauss-Kahn’s access to millions of dollars and high-priced legal backing?”

Maybe the person who’s not paranoid is the one who’s really crazy!

David Rosen

11:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


When I was in France last June, the proverbial word on the street was that Sarkozy had set the whole thing up (i.e., young woman in DSK's room) to knock his potential political opponent out of the ring. Which, if true, was certainly successful. But I have no idea if it's true.


12:07 AM  
Anonymous Kelvin said...

Dear Art,

I woke up this morning with images from END:CIV haunting my brain, images of the Nuxalk nation resisting the logging industry's theft of their forests and ruination of their lands, of Mohawks resisting heavily armed police who are there to remove the Mohawk's blockade erected to prevent the extension of a golf course onto their sacred land, of the massive pollution of Canadian Tar Sands...And all of this in eco-Canada (yeah).

On the other hand, Eisenstein may be right and his stance supports my misgiving. Having been a Boy Scout, I remember a particularly squalid camping trip that, when I reflect back on it, could have easily resulted in the deaths of several scouts. Most of us have forgotten how to live off the land and if (but perhaps there are no ifs but only necessity and inevitability) we attempt to return to the Stone Age (about which we may have no choice given peak oil) it may look like a rather pathetic camping trip.


Love the list... list on! O&D

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

A local TV commercial depicts carolers singing to the tune of "Deck the Halls," with new lyrics:
"No one wants the gifts you got them!" Instead, you should buy your friends & family lottery tickets for Christmas. Lots & lots of lottery tickets. Because a ton of money is obviously what everyone really wants.

The more I reflect on WAF & the ongoing discussion here, what really comes through is the ghastly spiritual crisis of our hustling culture. It's a sucking wound that just keeps getting bigger, until it can't be concealed any longer -- though plenty are still doing their best to ignore it.

Given that, I can understand the appeal of fundamentalism, the hunger for community. Sad thing is, what's offered here in America is an increasingly unconvincing simulacrum, an animatronic god that's visibly showing its defects & fraying wires now.

Honestly, I feel that appeal myself. But I can't sign my soul & brain over to anything that purports to have The Answer, especially at the cost demanded. If we are going to live the NMI life, we've got to find or make our own reason for living -- our own meaning. No small task! How our my fellow DAAers dealing with this question?

Maury, this holiday season just comfirms your thesis of consumption as addiction. People keep taking higher & higher doses of the very thing that's killing them. It's like Lem's The Futurological Congress, where the populace takes drugs for everything, providing them with an illusion of a glittering City of Progress. Except that once you stop taking the drugs, you see how horrible the reality really is ...

1:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm counting on u and other Wafers to expand the list of potential OWS demands that have real teeth in them.


Talking to a friend in the US the other day, he said to me: "It feels like there's some sort of crud, some kind of awful contagion that has crept into everything in the US and ruined it, and that there is no way to cleanse ourselves, get rid of it." This reminded me of Don DeLillo's "toxic cloud" in his bk "White Noise" (incredibly prescient--publ. 1985), or even the recent movie, "Contagion," which is surely a metaphor for a hidden force that is killing us.


8:49 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Sorry, but I can't be too concerned about OWS right now. Yesterday the Senate voted 93-7 authorizing the military to detain an American on American soil indefinitely with no charge and no trial.In other words, an American has simply to be declared a terrorist and can thus be taken off the streets and never seen again. Our fearless president says he'll veto it but with a vote of 93-7 there are good chances of an over-ride and then again who would trust anything Obama says. I mean what better time to get the blank out of this country.
Another thing that has gotten to me is the decision of Mayor Bloomberg to not only forceably evict OWS but ordered the police to destroy the OWS library. Imagine, a Jewish man ordering books to be destroyed. Has he no memory of the Nazi book burnings? Also, who could even think of voting Democratic? The majority of mayors who evicted their OWS were Democrats.

11:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah, I did find the thing about the destruction of 5,000 bks quite a chilling development. The police probably enjoyed doing it: they hate bks; bks are 'elitist'. Fahrenheit 451.

The Senate vote: was this abt a particular person, or just a general decision?


11:53 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

No, it was not about a particular person. It's part of National Defense Authorization Act, the one that sets the defense budget for the entire year. Amazingly, Carl Levin helped co-sponsor the detainment clause with Senator McCain. Isn't Levin supposed to be a liberal. That crud your friend spoke about has obviously penetrated Congress.

12:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how much stock to put in current polling but you guys gotta visit this CNN link on attitudes about American exceptionalism.

Occasionally, I think we've overshot the mark in our discussions and then you read a story like this on about clouded thinking.

El Juero

2:10 AM  
Anonymous Art said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

I love your list of OWS demands, too. But, of course, there's not a chance in hell that any of them would be met. Again, you can't force an addict to change.

That leaves me siding with what Matt Taibbi wrote in his Rolling Stone article last month:

"Eventually the Occupy movement will need to be specific about how it wants to change the world. But for now, it just needs to grow....It doesn't need to tell the world what it wants. It is succeeding, for now, just by being something different."

2:15 AM  
Anonymous Art said...


RE: making our own meaning

My first reaction was: this is dangerous territory...but I wouldn't have it any other way! A short while later, I lighted on Nicholas Colloff's latest blog post. Commenting on a painting by Winifred Nicholson, he writes:

"It is a creativity in which we participate when we 'decreate' ourselves...and allow the empty space we make way for to be suffused with a seeing that is, paradoxically, most deeply ours and utterly 'objective'--a radiance of things in themselves."

This is what I want for myself, at least in religious terms. After shedding my Catholic beliefs, I've assembled meaning from a variety of places--a little here, a little there. I'm still waiting to fall into something more objective; I know it's "somewhere".

3:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


On "Decreation," the classic essay is by Simone Weil. There's also tons of discussion of it. As for Matt, the problem w/his article is that it seems to be pure projection. There aren't any interviews with OWS folks; it's basically what Matt wd like the movement to be. I haven't been down there, myself, but almost everything I read on the Web abt it deals w/spreading the American Dream around, not abolishing it; a new New Deal, in short. Well, better than nothing, but it doesn't get to the root of the problem. As I've suggested in previous posts, without analysis, energy usually drifts into irrelevance. No one can predict the outcome of all this, of course, but I tend to doubt the Wall St. elite are quaking in their boots just now. My own guess is that the movement might evolve into some kind of permanent teach-in, perhaps even espousing the alternative tradition I talk abt in WAF; basically a refuge for NMIs. Hence, the marginalization of the tradition, which has characterized most of American history, will continue unabated.

El J-

Incredible essay. What a fog penetrates even the intellectual class in the US. Consider this para:

"Conservatives believe the United States is exceptional because its people are inherently good. And we are. By and large, Americans are upstanding, moral individuals who instinctively support noble policies in our relations with other countries."

And this guy has an endowed chair at UC San Diego. I cdn't get a job as a janitor at UC San Diego.


The following is from a conservative publication,

"Earlier this week the Senate voted 61-37 in effect to authorize the executive branch to use the military to capture and hold American citizens indefinitely without trial – perhaps at Guantanamo — if they are merely suspected of involvement with a terrorist or related organization — and even if their suspected activity took place on U.S. soil.

"The provision, which is included in the National Defense Authorization Act, was drafted without a public hearing by Sens. Carl Levin and John McCain.....

"The act passed today (Friday, December 2) and has to be reconciled with the House version."

Clearly, things are getting scarier every day. Add this to the police throwing out books, and you can see where we are headed.


5:26 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Dear Dr. Berman and friends,

Have you seen this story about an OWS protest at a Lincoln Center performance of the Philip Glass opera Satyagraha (about the life and ideas of Gandhi)?

The video is quite haunting, and it makes me think a little bit differently about the questions raised about OWS on the blog recently. I like your list of demands, and believe that some such thing is needed if OWS is going to be more than a brief despairing interlude in our continuing decline. But I find this video of the crowd in New York chanting lines from the Bhagavad Gita strangely moving. No demands at all, just a profound bearing witness to our culture's spiritual death. From music critic Alex Ross on his blog The Rest is Noise:

"When the Satyagraha listeners emerged from the Met, police directed them to leave via side exits, but protesters began encouraging them to disregard the police, walk down the steps, and listen to Glass speak. Hesitantly at first, then in a wave, they did so. The composer proceeded to recite the closing lines of Satyagraha, which come from the Bhagavad-Gita (after 3:00 in the video above): "When righteousness withers away and evil rules the land, we come into being, age after age, and take visible shape, and move, a man among men, for the protection of good, thrusting back evil and setting virtue on her seat again." In accustomed style, he said it several times, with the "human microphone" repeating after him."

6:19 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for bringing our attention to this; I hadn't seen it in the papers. This was truly inspired, a good direction/action for OWS, clearly.


9:21 AM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

I'd like to add to the list of demands for OWS:

1. The current bankruptcy law be repealed and a simple, affordable one passed so people could restructure home mortgages and student loans and eliminate credit card debt. People who benefit from this new law would refrain from using credit cards for 10 years.

2. Agri-business farms be broken up and reconfigured into 50 acre plots with the intention of restoring family farms with no GMO's, single crops, or nitrogen based fertilizer.

3. No computers be allowed in the classroom until high school. No pizza either (even though it is now a vegetable).

4. All Wall Street CEO's, CFO's and other crooks be stripped of all assets, given a job at WalMart with no hope of promotion, health insurance or means to earn tuition for their college age children. A rent home in a seedy suburb with a five year old car would also be a nice addition to their new reality.

5. Carl Levin and John McCain be the first to be arrested under the new law they helped craft. They're terrorizing Americans and, if allowed to remain free, pose a clear and present danger.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Dovidel said...


Immanuel Wallerstein’s latest semi-monthly commentary (1 Dec 2011) is called “The Second Wind of the Worldwide Social Justice Movement” (see iwallerstein-dot-com). From what (little) I know of his ‘World-Systems Analysis’, it appears to owe a lot to ‘chaos theory’ in that he maintains that as a system reaches senescence, it tends to ‘bifurcate’, in that its development can take place in either of two directions in its characteristics. He further maintains that when a system bifurcates, small inputs can have a big effect on it. In a system at its peak, even large inputs tend to have little effect, while small inputs nave none – as my decades of experience seem to bear out.

I’ve heard Wallerstein say that the inputs affecting a decrepit system like ours will such that the resulting society may be more authoritarian and hierarchal, or more democratic and egalitarian. He considers the OWS protesters to be part of what he calls the ‘World social Justice Movement’ and hopes they will continue to influence events toward the latter of these pairs of alternatives.

He concludes his commentary as follows: “We have to think of the world struggle as a long race, in which the runners have to use their energy wisely, in order not to become exhausted while always keeping their eye on the end goal – a different kind of world-system, far more democratic, far more egalitarian than anything we have now.”

It seems clear that when he says ‘a different kind of world-system’, Wallerstein is not talking about fixing the present system; he knows that’s finished.

It is also interesting to wonder how many American OWS protesters regard themselves as fighting for ‘a different kind of world-system’(NMI’s?), and how many just want a piece of the ‘American Dream’(dead-enders). Moreover, how many realize that they are engaged in a struggle that is unlikely to be realized in their own country, or maybe even in their own lifetime?

David Rosen

10:34 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Great suggestions (demands). I found #4 particularly inspiring. But I also think that these folks need to wear a sign hanging around their necks, 24/7, saying "I was a corporate douche bag."


According to World Systems Analysis, effective rebellion never occurs in the core countries (e.g., the US), but usually in the periphery. Note how Mexican objection to the US, thanx to geographical proximity, is virtually nonexistent, whereas Bolivia and Ecuador make it clear they know the score.


10:52 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Thanks for your kind words. I'm feeling much better since my 86 year old mom comes to my apartment nearly everyday with chicken soup.
Yeah, we all know where this is headed- a near complete and total fascist military dictatorship. And the government is doing it right-codifying the law just as the Nazis codified their laws before implementation.It gives the government a veneer of legitimacy before engaging in outrageousness. Just curious, how will whoever is the Secretary of State run around the world talking about democracy and human rights when military convoys are snatching people off the streets here? Should this provision become law OWS would mor than likely be its first victims and may have been the incentive to create this bill in the first place.In other words, WAFers, keep your passports current.

11:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


11:54 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

With all respect, Dr. Berman, the Common Dreams piece deals with sections 1031 and 1032 which allows for indefinite detension of terror suspects. The piece did not address section 1876 which specifically allows for the arrest and detention of American citizens by the military. Yes, I know I'm splitting hairs here.

12:15 PM  

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