May 26, 2012

New Inquiry Review


Blogger EditNetwork said...

Thank you for posting. I have shared as widely as I know how. It makes me want to start over again and read the trilogy yet another time. Those who heed you may be few, but they care like the dickens.

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was an excellent review of your book. See, there are still a few intellectuals floating around. I spend most of my time worrying about education in America, but we are losing, big time. The Wisconsin recall will not work for the same reason the country is failing. Democracy doesn't work if 90% are morons. The right wing think tanks and other elites are effectively sicking the poor class against the dying remainder of the middle class who still have pensions, unions, etc. These are the teachers, policemen and firemen, post office workers, etc. It's a nightmare! I truly believe that these corporate reformers want to dumb down education. This is in their best interest. Republicans are not nuanced, high-level thinkers. They are operating on a more primitive, black and white level. Poor= lazy, etc..It is very sickening. The situation of public schools in America is not looking good. I don't think we are going to survive this era. 200 years of public schools down the drain!...John in Chicagoland

4:23 PM  
Blogger Nebris said...

I can name all five of The Three Stooges AND the three branches of the US Govt...the 'official' ones that is.

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Matt Cardin said...

Beautiful. Congratulations on the sympathetic, perceptive, and receptive review.

I don't know if you're familiar with Longreads (, but they rather famously -- and, for my money, very usefully -- curate and collate "The best long-form stories on the web," and when I tweeted the link to "How Bad Is It?" a little while ago and hash-tagged it to their attention, they immediately added it to their Twitter "favorites" list, thus guaranteeing it a stream of traffic. So here's hoping this helps.

9:18 AM  
Anonymous David M said...

Dr. B
Someone finally got it right. Now if only it was on the front page of the New York Times. Of course those mush-heads sitting in starbucks read it just to look trendy but they would not have the excuse that nobody warned them. I copied and pasted the first few paragraphs. I think I will frame it and hang it on my front door: no i'll hang it on my front gate with a note that reads if you fall into any of these catagories don't come in, you will just agravate me and I you.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for the PR, I appreciate it.


I always recommend to American friends that they stick a post-it on the upper rt corner of their bathrm mirror, which they can look at every morning: "I Live Among Dolts" (preferably in block capitals). This is also called a reality check.


11:32 AM  
Anonymous Michael in BK said...

No comment needed I think.

12:22 PM  
Anonymous DeepRainforest said...

"Doh!" ~Homer Simpson

I think Americans know well they've been artificially selected for doh!-ltish docility to hierarchy; they keep calling each other "sheep."

The mistake the name-callers make is that they too are Domesticated sheep.

Since Domestication began, cranium size has shrunk in all animals so dominated, 36% reduction for pigs, 35% for sheep, 25% for horses, and 10% for humans. Why? Animals deliberately selected for docility don't need the larger brain required for the freedom of the wild.

The Domestication of the Human Species, Peter Wilson, Yale University Press (1991)

Civilization = Human Farm.

America = Human CAFO.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Zosima said...

Question 1: Before mass education, 95% of all people could be described by our standards as dolts or morons, with lives completely guided by superstition. This would be true all over the world, including many of the countries that surpass us today in education. So the question would be, what happened in places like Sweden, Denmark, or Germany that didn’t happen here?

Question 2: If the air in America is thick with the deadly virus of hustling and willful ignorance, what accounts for the fact that there was and is an alternative tradition, and a fair number of NMI types, and people like ourselves on this blog, however few in #, how did we avoid the American disease? Speaking for myself, I don’t believe I possess an astoundingly high level of intellectual or moral capacity.

5:59 PM  
Anonymous TonyU said...

In his book Organizational Traps, Chris Argyris talks about inconsistencies between theories in the human mind and theories in us in behavior, and that human beings hold and espouse elegant theories about honesty, caring, trust, openness, and transparency but that when they act and engage with others they use different theories which are opposite to the theories they espouse inside their mind and textbooks.

Consider this quote taken from the review/article:

“the fact that”
“the U.S. is the world’s richest nation”
“must surely make a great difference to our quality of life”

Do you see any deliberate fabrication and distortion?????
Do you see what makes American people and American politicians think and behave as they do when they engage other peoples from other cultures???

If you truly believe that you are the “richest” among other nations, will this belief affect how you deal with other peoples in other cultures???

What makes a nation wealthy? When you compare two nations, what indices or factors do you apply to determine which is richer than the other??? The funny thing about these questions is that the answers are inside the article we are reading here – read it again and see if you can discover what I am getting at!!!

6:44 PM  
Anonymous teri schooley said...

Dear Dr. Berman,
What a great review! I mean, not only a review that talks about how great your books are (where *have* the reviewers been?), but one that is good reading in and of itself.

For some reason, stopping by to read what you've written and the comments left by others always reminds me of "A Canticle for Leibowitz". We are heading for the Flame Deluge, after which the DAAers will sneak away during The Simplification to do some booklegging - hiding and copying what few books are left. (Of course, the analogy doesn't quite hold up - the US seems to be doing the Flame Deluge and The Simplification at the same time.)

You have even already written the Sacred Shopping List: meecemeat, pastrami, chopped liver....


6:49 PM  
Anonymous Jessica Mich said...

The land of brave and free:

Naked man killed by Police near MacArthur Causeway was ‘eating’ face off victim

7:30 PM  
Anonymous K.Adam said...

Diane Tran, a 17-year-old honor student in Texas, was forced to spend the night in jail last week after missing too many classes. The Willis High School junior, who helps support two siblings, has both a full time and part-time job. She said that she's often too tired to go to school.

"She goes from job to job from school," Devin Hill, one of Tran's classmates, told KHOU-11. "She stays up until 7:00 in the morning doing her homework."

In an interview with KHOU-11, Tran said she takes AP Spanish, college level algebra and dual credit English and history courses. Her parents divorced and no longer live near her, so she lives with the family that owns the wedding venue where she works on weekends.
After being warned by a judge in April about missing too much school, Tran was arrested in court on Wednesday and required to spend the night in jail, according to the above video from KHOU-11. She has also been fined $100.

A petition at that calls for the judge to revoke the teen's fine and sentencing was approaching 8,000 signatures on Sunday afternoon.

"This remarkable young woman doesn't deserve jail," wrote a commenter going by Letitia Gutierrez. "She deserves a medal."

9:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm guessing that in 5-10 yrs what she did will be a capital crime.

The purpose of the court system, and of law enforcement, is to hurt people. As America continues to evolve, we shall eventually come to see one night in jail and a $100 fine as far too lenient.


10:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: I continue to be amazed at the sheer violence of this country; how it operates on a day-to-day level; and how cruel all our institutions are. Everything is getting militarized. How long will it be b4 predator drones, manned by the police, are flying overhead 24/7?

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Center for Disease Control has a webpage on 'Zombie Preparedness.' I can't figure out if it's a joke or not.

The ammo maker Hornady has introduced 'Zombie Max.' More stopping power is required for the 'undead.' The Americans lead the way again! Don't be caught with your pants down! Stock up now!

5:07 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It's all the more puzzling because almost the entire population are *already* zombies! Have u ever actually spoken to an American? It's quite an experience. Given what they typically say, Zombification is really the only explanation.

Zombies Rule! O&D!


9:45 AM  
Anonymous David M said...

Dr. B & DAAers

Zosima: Your second question has puzzeled me my whole life. Being haunted with the contradictions of wanting to lead a more spiritual ethical and moral life and being surrounded by thugs on the make and folks caught up in the american way left me a loner who could not fit in. I even tried the psychotropics for a while but realized this was not the answer. I don't know if it was my parents influence, schooling (a small catholic school), somthing your born with or even my devouring SCI-FI novels as a youth. Something triggerd it and the answer eludes me. I don't think it's strickly related to intelligence because I'm of average or less. In any case I find solace on Dr.B's Blog because I know "I'm not the only one"

Anecdote time: My wife and I drove to the Greek community of Tarpon Springs on a fun trip to sightsee and partake of some authentic Greek culture food and drink. Its about 80 mile from where we live. Believe it or not a miracle happened. We left our cells phones at home, did not have a GPS or google directions, just a road map, and we made it there and back alive. It can be done. We have a saying in Fl, the reason the Chicken crossed the road was to show Armadillos- it can be done

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am reading Why America Failed as we speak, and I find valuable the social commentary.

What does believing in the existence of angels have to do with being an idiot? From that I take the article implies that if you believe in God and creation you are an idiot.

Also, I don't know if you were just merely describing the environmental movement like Club of Rome and Ehrlich or sympathizing with them, but they have been thoroughly debunked. Even Lovelock recently admitted to the falsity of anthropogenic global warming (he at least admitted its exaggeration). Overpopulation too is a myth.

I haven't finished the book yet, but agree with what the reviewer says as well as what I can gather of your conclusion: zones of intelligence. I don't hold out much hope for USSA/Amerika either.

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Julian said...

Please allow me:

USA! USA! USA! Uraaa! Uraaa! Uraaa!

Now I feel much better. Thank you for your understanding.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

M. Bergot brings more bad news to MB. If one reads Russell Jacoby, one understands that college youth are soooo dumb. If one reads Sherry Turkle, one finds out why.
Both bring us the miracle of the technological age, the computer. It turns out that youth, enmeshed and enslaved by e-traffic in all forms, knows that it is being watch by those in power. Hence any
political comments on Facebook and cellphones are forbidden--why risk an employer or the Secret Thought Police finding out UNpatriotic musings on-line?

One can suspect conformist youth, as we had in the 1950, growing up to be good Americans with empty heads. We read of polls revealing that all they want is money, success, and a good job. They also
are worried if they will get the Dream. The return of One-Dimensional Man? You betcha!!!

I'll retract my insistence that MB moves to Stockton.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Too long, can't run it. Try keeping it down to half a page, thank u.


6:56 PM  
Anonymous TonyU said...

@Zosima’s Question 1: From the Elements of Moral Philosophy by James Rachels: “Among western democracies, the US is an unusually religious country. Nine out of ten Americans say they believe in a personal God, in Denmark and Sweden, the figure is only one in five. It is not unusual for priests and ministers to be treated as moral experts. Most hospitals, for example, have ethics committees … that include religious representatives to address the moral questions” (pps. 48-49, 4th ed, 2003)

“Judge Roy Moore of Alabama displayed the Ten Commandments in his courtroom, successfully campaigned to become chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, running on a promise to restore the moral foundation of law. 77% of Americans thought that he should be allowed to display his monument” (p. 48, 6th ed, 2010)

“The United States is a religious country. 78% of Americans say they believe in God, and another 15% say they believe in a universal spirit or higher power. Members of the clergy are often treated as moral experts in America: Hospitals ask them to sit on ethics committees” (p. 49, 6th edi, 2010).

My questions: If Americans are truly religious, do they know the contents of the Ten Commandments? Are there not inconsistencies between what the Ten Commandments say and what American actually do in real life, including politicians who lie and cheat?

7:40 PM  
Anonymous xraymike79 said...

Mr Berman,
- A pleasurable review to read.
Today I saw a large gathering of war vets from America's last three great Imperial wars(Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam) throwing their "War on Terror" medals into the empty, barricaded streets where the NATO summit was being held. And these Vets spoke passionately about such things as the idiocy of fighting a war in the name of an "adjective", fighting not for democracy but to secure oil wells, fighting not against some distant enemy over there but for the monied interests of a much closer enemy(corporations) here at home....
That entire display of emotions - anger, sadness, and hard-earned wisdom - was really something to see and take in. As you know, such displays of heartfelt and honest thoughts and emotions are almost nonexistent in American society today. But in those Vets, the shattered remnants of Empire's humanity-mangling War machine, I saw hope for humanity.

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Politically Incorrect said...


After thinking about the attitudes I've heard and read here and elsewhere towards Americans and all that we represent I think it's only fair to acknowledge that even if people do act stupid and know they are being duped and know they are willing participants in this charade - I Think there's more to it than just willful ignorance and stupidity. There is fear. All pervasive, unrelenting, and irrational as it may be... but fear nonetheless. Fear that if they speak out, that if they rock the boat, they and/or those close to them will pay a very, very heavy price - be labeled and ostracized. Probably become unemployable and unable to have a place to live, or food to eat. This is reality, this is what this system is designed to do if you don't cooperate. If you don't conform and do not support the myth and status quo - you will be ground up and thrown away - either in some prison, or worse - OR - you can move to some supposed less affected part of the world (good luck with that) - OR - learn to keep your head down and mouth shut (NMI's) and live with that. Otherwise, now that the elites who control this monstrosity have the power to target anyone, anywhere - and have them spirited away and/or executed - without cause. So I'd say to anyone who thinks they can escape or change things - go ahead, leave, or speak speak makes no difference... see where it gets you. Anyone with half a brain would do well to not let on too much of their discontent. I think that's what's behind the silence and supposed "stupidiy". It's an escape from reality as it is. It's not stupid! It's called's not lack of awareness. All the consumerism aside there has always been an underlying threat to conform to a narrow idea of what is expected in this society. It's generational too. I think people know they're being had and settle for crumbs but the alternative is just too frightening - and the elites know and exploit this. It doesn't require much proof beyond the fact that the police and military will gladly persuade you otherwise ... and this is only bound to get worse in time. so again... go ahead and tell the emperor he has no clothes - you're more than likely to be swatted and squashed like a bug.

All musings aside, there is no intrinsic value in the human race other than what we think we can assign value to. And why is that? Self preservation? Because we can? Aren't we just going through the motions until we exhaust all the ends at our disposal... We may hold out hope for some type of spiritual rebirth but I bet this time - like extinct species before us who just fed on each other until whatever happened, happened, and then died out - we are likely to reach the same conclusions - only in a much shorter timespan.

Anyway, some cheery thoughts to ponder...

9:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for the info; that's gd to know. The Pentagon exercises a lot of effort in suppressing the info regarding rebellion/dissent among vets, obviously. But I do recall something similar in the early 1970s, VN vets at the White House throwing their medals over the fence and yelling, "Here's another piece of bullshit." (The video of this and other veteran demos exist, but are very hard to come by.) How courageous these folks are, and how few of them exist. Most Americans can't even spell 'imperialism', let alone know what it is.


Major error here! NMI's don't necessarily keep their heads down and their mouths shut. Take a look at the Twilight book, the examples I give--wh/include Michael Moore. These are not shy, retiring flowers, by a long shot. (Altho they could be, if that's how they want to play it.)

Also, the American people *are* really dumb. The stats on that are overwhelming, and I won't repeat them here. Since I began documenting this in the Twilight bk and DAA, at least 7 or 8 bks have appeared on the subject, with titles like "Just How Dumb Are We?" No, my friend, there is no way around it: to quote Gore Vidal, we are a nation of morons.

That being said, yr absolutely rt abt the fear factor. In China and the former USSR, they just mow(ed) dissenters down with tanks. In the US, you basically wind up w/o a job, a home, or much of anything else--"soft totalitarianism," we might call it. You know, everybody thinks I'm nothing but an academic, but in fact as a free-lance writer, I had lots of institutional jobs (among others): in hospitals, for example, and even in corporations. I even worked as a bank teller for a while. And what I saw was how scared people were of getting fired, of doing the 'wrong thing' and getting into trouble. Fear does pervade the workplace, in the US, there's no doubt abt it-- rendering work a type of slavery. And all of this will get a whole lot worse b4 it gets any better; of that, I have no doubt. As empires continue to crumble, they get increasingly panicky, and they see 'enemies' inside the gates as well as without them. Conformity is increasingly insisted upon; you can be suspected of terrorism if you have more than 7-days' worth of food in your house. This is the reason for the "Stellar Wind" NSA data center in Bluffdale, UT, the incidents of police arresting 5-yr-olds (or whatever), and all of the stuff I cited in my last post. Yet most of our countrymen and women live in a fog; they are oblivious to all of this, and if you try to point it out, they zone out. (Or don't give a damn.)


11:35 PM  
Blogger Boris the Spider said...

Worrying about merely losing our jobs is now old school. Now we have to worry about getting on the President's kill list.

Nice quote: Mr. Craig assured him that the new president had no intention of ending rendition — only its abuse, which could lead to American complicity in torture abroad. So a new definition of “detention facility” was inserted, excluding places used to hold people “on a short-term, transitory basis.” Problem solved — and no messy public explanation damped Mr. Obama’s celebration.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

M Bergot gives MB the happy news that US TV ad revenue is 46 billion dollars per year. This explains why there is no money for useful projects.
There is another M Berman, namely,
Marshall. Related? Perhaps a conspiracy?

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Rossana said...

The best point in the review: that you don't provide a happily-ever-after solution. Decline is decline and not ascendance. Failure is failure--not opportunity. I liked that about WAF too. You don't mince palabras. But then there's Charles Ferguson who recently says in Predator Nation that he has nothing against people getting rich. Lots of people have--the right way! he assures us. Like Steve Jobs, et al. It's "those guys who break the rules" we have to watch out for. Is it so difficult, even for the director of Inside Job, to notice that extraordinary wealth can only come with extraordinary suffering and always has? And which rules--whose rules is he referring to? The Disney World View is wearying.

4:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Jobs died w/$8 billion in the bank. Any system that allows one individual to accumulate that kinda money is perverse. And how did the great Steve do it? By paying 14-yr-old Chinese girls 14 cents an hour to work 14 hrs a day. At the Apple plant in Shenzhen, they had nets outside the windows to keep the kids from leaping to their deaths, which had been happening with significant frequency b4 they put up the nets. Meanwhile, in the US, the buffoons (read: Americans) stood outside his house with candles after St. Steve went to his final app.

What a country!


4:41 PM  
Anonymous Rossana said...

Yes, quite right, Dr. B. And Mr. Ferguson himself profitted nicely from his sale of tech app (Front Page) to Microsoft for 133 million. And that's why he can't spell "hustling." Inside Job was a good doc though...

4:50 PM  
Anonymous Julian said...


I was particularly taken by your observation about how scared are people in the workplace in America, and I thought I should share my own experience.

After I immigrated to the US from a communist country in Eastern Europe, I held a number of lowly jobs in New York City, including factory worker, gas station attendant, mechanic, etc. However, what struck me in all those jobs, and many more after, was just how dictatorial the American workplace was when compared to that in my communist country of origin (Romania). American supervisors could threaten, curse, and fire employees at will with no recourse or repercussion. They were worse than dictators. That could never happen in communist Romania, as a simple complaint to the Communist Party would have unleashed bureaucratic hell upon the “comrade” who dared to mistreat another comrade.

In case some think that was so because of the nature of those menial jobs I was doing as a new immigrant, think again. Years later, after I got a doctorate and became a “professor” at one of the better known schools in Chicago, I was fired with no warning simply because I dared to become ill with a very serious disease. A complaint to EEOC let nowhere, as that agency is entirely dedicated to serving employer interests.

Make no mistake. This is America. This is capitalism. And buckle up, because it’s likely to get much worse.

6:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Actually, there *is* health ins. in America. It's called: "Don't get sick!"


7:09 PM  
Anonymous Jessica Mich said...

MB and Julian
Steve Jobs paid 14 cents per hour and died with $8 billion in the bank. He was a “successful” man. If you hate success, you hate America. The American supervisor can fire any employee any time without fearing the EEOC. This is a “successful” order of things because the owners of firms make the laws in USA; the US is the best country in the world; the US is the wealthiest country ever; the American capitalism is the best system ever. If you do not like it, then you hate capitalism; you hate America; go back to your country.

Millions of Americans reacted like above for many decades until 2008 when the law of karma caught up with them. They defined ‘success/capitalism’ as getting rich at the expense of everyone else, even if it meant destroying the ideals and values that helped to create the enabling environments and opportunities for their fellow citizens to survive. A snake that loves to eat grass will eventually eat both white grass and black grass. When there is no grass to eat in China, the American snakes will eat Ohio grass, Texas grass, Wisconsin grass.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Let's face it: our ass is grass.

Meanwhile, we probably need to ponder this:

"Compared with the everyday way of thinking, the state of awareness is a flash of timelessness in time, a fleeting sense of a whole in the midst of the fragmentary purposes and ambitions that otherwise drive our lives. It lights up for a moment the insight that at one and the same time 'things are as they should be' and 'things should be as they are'. In this sense, it is the inexhaustible source of all exercise of moral responsibility."

--James Heisig, "Philosophers of Nothingness"

8:56 PM  
Blogger ijcd said...

Hey guys, I have been out of the loop lately, and haven't read this blog for a couple of weeks (busy). But I have to post this, since it brings to mind some comments I have made about these people being cannibals, even if they don't yet know it (wait till the shit hits the fan here). Apparently, some guy with an array of personal and financial problems (ex-college football player) became deranged under Miami's heat and stripped himself of his clothes, then attacked a homeless man (a total stranger) and began EATING his face, literally... I'm telling you!

11:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sounds like the Donner Party, and what I said about the real character of American life: "They eat each other."

Christ almighty...


4:17 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Yes, I also read about the face eater. In fact, I propose we make the face eater the patron saint of this blog, replacing Barbara Ann Nowick who has inspired us for far too long.I mean can we find anyone more emblematic of American society today?
Anyway, that was probably the best review of your trilogy and of your seminal ideas to date. Thankfully,Mr. Scialabba did not, unlike Doug Dowd, misinterpret your take on the Civil War. The one stat that continues to intrigue me is the fact that only 50% of high school students had ever heard of the Cold War. I assume therefore that includes ignorance of some of it's major events: the Cuban Missile Crisis, The Korean and Vietnam Wars, the Hungarian uprising, the formation of the national security state, and massive amounts of military spending. Though not a big fan of the US military, I can only imagine how terribly disconcerting veterans must feel when encountering someone who cannot identify a war in which someone devoted a sizable part of his or her youth risking life and limb.
But are young people really to blame? The elites have always preferred a docile work force to an educated work force certainly since the turn of the 20th century. As Stuart Ewan writes:"The amount of money that goes into the miseducation of the American people is far vaster and far more enthusiastically spent than that which goes into the education of the American people."

6:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


After the Berlin Wall fell, studies showed that abt 50% of the American public were surprised, because they didn't know that Germany had been divided. When I say dolts, I mean dolts!


10:42 AM  
Anonymous Julian said...


I tell ya, this ain’t the America I signed up for 30 years ago, when I escaped from behind the Iron Curtain. So I already went back to my country. But not that it matters anymore -- today’s UNICEF statistics indicate that the US and Romania are competing neck-in-neck for the worst place in child poverty.

At least, in Romania I can speak in my native tongue, I have socialized medicine and education (which sure beat those American “market solutions”), and I don’t have to worry about some crazed up thug attacking me to eat my face.

I know this is hard to swallow for the average American, thoroughly brainwashed into that US exceptionalist BS, but honestly, I can’t think of any advantages the US offers at this point anymore.

11:58 AM  
Anonymous TonyU said...

Dan asks an interesting question: “But are young people really to blame?”
The young people and their parents who send them to school are not responsible for making education policies in America. The kids do not make decisions concerning the contents of the curriculum or the types of books and teachers they get in their schools. Even their parents do not have any input on teachers or textbooks or what the children are taught. We have to be realistic here is apportioning blames. The system failed these kids and their parents. In fact, when you think about the disappearance of public radios and public television stations that used to contain educational programs; when you think about how corporations took over the airwaves in America, you begin to understand the root of the problem. When I first came to America in 1980, I rented apartments many times in many parts of the country. I plugged in my TV and I got all local stations and local news and local public TV stations. All for free. No cable bill. You cannot get anything on your TV today until you sign up with a cable company and pay monthly bills. Who made this change/decision? I did not. Even the type of foods they feed the kids at schools or the type of advertisement and commercials they show the kids at schools have nothing to do with the kids and their parents. We have to be real here. Some people and their greed are responsible for the failure of the nation, period. Who are these people who deliberately destroyed America?

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Jessica Mich said...

Watch a Republican lawmaker in action. This was during a debate about pension.Hear him as he yearns for the old order, an order in which other people were his slaves:
“It was not made that way in the constitution and he was not around when it was written”
“Let my people go”
"I've got to figure out how to vote for my people!"

It is as if he was around when the constitution was written to give him the right to enslave women and other people. I wish a lot of people around the world will feel the same way as he does: “Let my people go. Get out of my country and take your satanic religion, your war-mongering military, your exploitative embassy, your evil CIA, and your trashy culture with you; you take from us more than you give us; you are parasites in this relationship, sucking the blood of my people, sucking the blood of the world.”

IL Rep. Mike Bost Is Furious Over Pension Reforms

2:05 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Miss the Cold War? M. Bergot sends you some sweet memories when America was strong and free.

2:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

patradresses: no pt in sending messages to old posts; no one reads them. Stay w/the one that's the most current, thank u.

6:33 PM  
Anonymous shep said...

It's the same everywhere. By accident, I ended up on a wiki page reading about Imelda "Shoes" (my moniker many years ago) Marcos.

You cannot get rid of politicians, anywhere in the world. She is now in the Filipino Congress, with an 80/20 plurality (no fix here) with her son (Senator) and just absolved by a high ct there of 10 cts out of 901 for fraudulently placing money in Swiss Banks because she "probably" did not do it. Turns out the justice is the brother of the President of the Nationalist Party (probably read Fascist), who is one of Imelda's most fervent supporters. No reason to step aside here.

7:44 PM  
Blogger J. P. CAZADOR said...


The people as a collective whole DO have a good portion of the blame. They're the ones who consistently heap hatred and vitriol upon those who over the years have attempted to warn them, people like Howard Zinn, Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky and even Dr. Berman, the list of good people who have sincerely tried to help and warn the doltish filth that compose the collective whole of the American populace is too long to list here, but I'm sure their names are familiar to those of us who frequent this blog.
If I had a penny for all the times I've seen americans swagger about as they recite some saying from their history like "I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees"...or "The tree of liberty must be replenished with the blood of patriots & tyrants"...or "The Second Amendment ain't about huntin', it's about defending against a corrupt government". Of course all they do is talk, there's never any meaningful action of any kind, yet their recital of these sayings proves they're aware of what a responsable citizen is supposed to do, but their inaction proves that they not only don't give a damn, but thay actually love the corrupt government that robs, rapes, betrays and steamrolls over them on a daily basis. They're as sick and depraved as their government is. Why else would they keep it in power?

7:54 PM  
Blogger Zosima said...

If we start educating people about the Berlin Wall, the Cold War or other facts, don't we run the risk of them learning things corporations don't want them to know about, like global warming, or the fact that wages have been declining for 40 years?
That's not worth the risk, is it? Besides, Limbaugh, Savage, O’Reilly, and Glenn Beck are here to tell you all you need to know about history and the Cold War; Reagan won it, and liberal “vermin” like you fought him every step of the way.
Our system with its wonderful checks and balances is there to correct any mistake made by an ignorant population, like when too many of them voted for Gore in 2000, or when they picked a guy who nearly destroyed the country by having sex with an intern, or when they voted in a congress and a president foolish enough to mess with the perfection that is our healthcare system. Guys like Scalia and Newt were there to save the day, and everything worked out great. So don’t worry, have faith in the founders, they had it all figured out.

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Julian said...

Here’s a quote from Arundhati Roy to complement the mood:

“[A] world laid to waste by America's foreign policy: its gunboat diplomacy, its nuclear arsenal, its vulgarly stated policy of "full-spectrum dominance", its chilling disregard for non-American lives, its barbarous military interventions, its support for despotic and dictatorial regimes, its merciless economic agenda that has munched through the economies of poor countries like a cloud of locusts. Its marauding multinationals who are taking over the air we breathe, the ground we stand on, the water we drink, the thoughts we think.” (The Guardian, Saturday 29 September 2001)

So, my friends, the good news is that this full-spectrum dominance, this locust invasion, this gunboat diplomacy, this cultural vulgarity, are over. They are over. It is finished. The world has moved on, and there is nothing – absolutely nothing – that America, France, Britain, and the rest of the imperial vampires can do to stop the world from moving on. A new world is being born, and although it is hard for most to envision it, it is here.

Here in Romania I often ask older people who lived under both, the former Communist regime and now this crony capitalist democracy imported from America, which do they think was better. Without exception, they all say Communism was better. So, comrades, let us embrace the rise of China, the rise of Russia, the rise of India, the rise of Vietnam, the rise of Latin America. And let us applaud the collapse of the West and its capitalist pigs.

9:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

JP and Tony-

Here's a para from WAF that I kinda like. In fact, at this pt in the bk, my editor wrote on the ms. in the margin: "This is the turning pt of the bk." As follows:

All of this is true, but again, in a culture defined by hustling, cash is the end-all of life for literally everybody. This is why there is finally no use blaming Goldman Sachs or the corporate crowd exclusively, because Wall Street and Main Street pretty much converge. If you share the values of this culture, and act in concert with them; if you, like President Obama, admire Lloyd Blankfein and think his bonus was well-deserved; if you shop like there’s no tomorrow, and think the pursuit of affluence is what life is about; if you have no concern about the public sector or the commonweal, and regard Thoreau and Jimmy Carter as bad jokes; then you are, in your own little way, part of the gangster elite. There is something naïve, or disingenuous, about putting the enemy completely “out there,” on Wall Street or wherever—as culpable as those folks are. It’s a little like complaining that “the traffic is awful today.” The truth is, if you’re on the freeway, you are the traffic. As George Walden writes in his aptly titled study, God Won’t Save America: Psychosis of a Nation, “The peculiarities of nations, good and bad, tend to reflect the temperaments and qualities of their peoples. As Plato remarked, where else would they have come from?”

9:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This comment from Roy is very disturbing. In fact, it's downright anti-American! One can only hope the prez will order a hit; which it is now his legal right to do. There are so many neat predator drones to choose from! Whee!

As for US vs. USSR: one hopes there are more than 2 choices.


10:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

What a douche bag dept.:

10:48 PM  
Anonymous infanttyrone said...

Until we get some proper face-chewin' music, this might have to do...

11:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

American society embodied "the sad climax of individualism...of a people whose private lives were so brittle, so insecure that they dared not subject them to the slightest social contact with the casual stranger, of people who felt neither curiosity nor responsibility for the mass of those who shared their community life and their community problems."

--George Kennan, late 1930s

4:49 AM  
Anonymous infanttyrone said...

...then you are, in your own little way, part of the gangster elite.
Reminds me of the guy (a Prof. from Univ. Colorado?) who got raked over the coals after characterizing the WTC victims as "little Eichmanns".
If you sold more books, drones might hafta visitar su vecino.
It's always a choice between the good news and the bad news,huh ?

Some think Lenny Bruce > George Carlin > Bill Hicks.
Others think Lenny Bruce > Bill Hicks > George Carlin.
Many include Richard Pryor, and some include Tim Leary.

Philospher-comics have reached a wider audience than Zinn, Hedges, Chomsky, Bageant, et al. Not wide enough to penetrate the audiences of Limbaugh and his ilk, but wide enough for there to be a Silent Majority that knows the game has been rigged and lost for some time.
Patti Smith said something to the effect of "We can't beat it, but we still abide."

For any who aren't familiar with Bill Hicks' work...a modest example...

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

From tomorrow Japan and China will conduct trade in their respective currencies, bypassing the dollar. Funny how little media coverage there is on this but surely in Washington this must be an earthquake. Other countries are sure to follow relegating the dollar and the US to second tier status. I guess the Japanese simply got tired of being seen as Washington's lapdog.
Nice quote from Kennan but I am reminded how pleased he was to have helped destroy the Japanese trade union movement following the war.

11:06 AM  
Anonymous TonyU said...

@CAZADOR: You actually mentioned Noam Chomsky, the fellow they labeled “a self-hating Jew who hates Israel and wants the destruction of Israel” simply because he has the decency to criticize the wickedness and war-mongering ways of Zionist goons and their agents in all levels of the US governments. When was the last time you saw him on any American TV discussing issues vital to democracy in America? Who banned him from the American airwaves? I spent more than 7 years in American universities without reading a single word from the zillions of books he wrote on vital issues on democracy. If you believe it was an accident that most of his books are not recommended for reading in schools, then you must also believe that the books of Baruch Spinoza were not intentionally banned from schools since 1670. Listen carefully to the following video and pay close attention to the question-and-answer section (around 1:43); you will hear from an elderly woman who graduated from UC Berkeley in 1950 in philosophy without hearing a word about Spinoza):

Americans have been living in a bubble for a long time because it was carefully designed and planned this way. Americans did not have to think or question things because they had plenty of foods and drinks in the refrigerator and because their government went around the world pillaging and bringing the loots home. The world is wiser today and the loots are drying up.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

M. Bergot wonders what Late Capitalism will do with this development.
What does MB think?

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Morris Berman, in case you were curious:

Remember the Diane Tran case somebody mentioned earlier on this blog, the one about the 17-year-old student who was put in prison because she couldn't attend school?

The verdict has actually been overturned since then, apparently Diane won't even have a criminal record after this:

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The face-chewing guy was apparently on "bath salts" -- a euphemism for a deliberately fudged meth (which looks like a crystalline powder in dry form). By making deliberate variations on the chemical formula for meth, they try to avoid the laws specifically written against meth. You do have to wonder what sort of idiot would take something like that, though. Fans of "Zombie Apocalypse" genre stories and movies are fascinated, of course.

Reuters: What Are 'Bath Salts' And Are They Illegal?

Meanwhile, ordinary rage fuels yet another shooting rampage, this time in Seattle.

Seattle Times: A man described by his family as "angry toward everything" went on a deadly shooting rampage in Seattle on Wednesday, killing five people and critically wounding another before turning a gun on himself hours later as police closed in.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Well, I'm really enjoying the exchanges here, am learning a lot. Deadly rampages, face-chewing--who cd ask for more?

I'm off to Spain tomorrow for 3 wks, giving some lectures in Madrid and Barcelona. These shd be packed, since half the under-25 crowd in Spain is unemployed, so they don't really have a whole lot to do besides updating their Facebk profiles and coming to Berman lectures. Anyway, I mention this because my access to computers will be limited, plus I'll be rather busy, so pls forgive what might be spotty attn to this blog.

Meanwhile, I've been rdg the ms. of a friend of mine, very interestg bk abt to be published, and he's talking abt the ecological crunch that is about to hit us full blast. He drops the line that the DoD is getting nervous that things such as global warming, falling crop yields, flooding etc. could escalate into national security problems, since they might lead to food riots, mass migration, and violent conflict. As u guys all know, the DoD has a branch of folks who sit around creating computer-generated future scenarios, and I can't help wondering if all of the stuff I discuss in this Nuremberg post--the surveillance, repression of civil liberaties, etc.--is a dry run for containing the effects of a major eco-crunch 10 yrs down the line? In other words, maybe when they arrest 5-yr-old girls for overdue library bks, they are just practicing for the day when the whole country goes loco. Meanwhile, Americans can distract themselves with Obama vs. Mittney, and other relevant dogshit.


9:26 PM  
Anonymous Julian said...


Indeed, I saw that too on Capital Account (that’s on RT – surely nothing was said by American media). He goes into some detail in the video:

I bet the Japanese people have not forgot that the US dropped 2 atomic bombs on them… not to mention selling them a bunch of faulty nuclear reactors that almost took out their entire country. What is it with American policymakers expecting those they stump on to forget the wrongs they did to them? Is that kind of thinking part of the exceptionalist delusion too?

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Julian said...

Now, that's a THUG:

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

More Bill Hicks:

Also, an interesting article WAFers from Harper's addressing the "Hitler example":

5:42 PM  
Blogger Dain Waris said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

Thinking back on my sixteen years within the Catholic educational system, it dawns on me that its particular

scholastic bent provided a serviceable corridor directly to the "harmonius synthesis" of the Idealistic culture

prevailing in Europe during the period covering A.D. 1200-1350. You cited it as one of the two epochs in

Western Civilization in your column on Pitirim Sorokin a while back, the other one being Periclean Greece, in

which "[k]nowledge was not narrowed to one vista...nor reduced to one source." St. Thomas Aquinas is the Catholic thinker ne plus ultra. I know you are not an effusive cheerleader of organized religion (think

obscurantism and inquisition), however, I consider that my intellectual training has served me reasonably


In the case of Rom Mittney how would you size up the intellectual tradition that he has inherited as an

adherent of the LDS Church? What would his presidency augur? As I understand it Mormonism is all-

American, home-grown. In the United States of Pequod could he be our "Captain Ahab?"

Joe in Seattle

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Julian said...

More evidence that "they eat each other:"

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Pauli Frank said...

"They" truly eat each other in "their" country "America":

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Maskus33 said...

"They" "are" "real" "eaters" of "others":

starving crusaders were reported to have eaten their fallen Muslim opponents. Muslims spread terrifying rumors of crusaders "who fed very greedily on the bodies of saracens." "Not only did our troops not shrink from eating dead Turks and Saracens; they also ate dogs!"

the Tafurs publicly "roasted the bruised body of a Turk over a fire as if it were meat for eating, in full view of the Turkish forces."

Dead British soldiers were roasted in full view of their generals. As a result, the invaders fled and stopped terrorizing others in their land. I wish this practice is revived!!

11:47 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

M. Bergot again finds something that is very American but not pretty.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Capaneus said...

Joe in Seattle,

As a semi-educated guy stuck in Utah, I can tell you a few things about Mormonism. You're right, it is typically American. Mormonism was invented ca. 1820 by a bored farm boy in upstate New York who realized that by being a cult leader he could have money for nothing and chicks for free.

Mormon "theology" is based on the notion of infinite progress, both in this world and the next. Mormons regard material wealth as a sign of divine favor. (Conversely, if you're poor, it's because you're morally defective or being punished for something.) Mormons prey on each other constantly. Utah has the highest rate in the nation of pyramid schemes, stock swindles, real estate scams, and every other sort of flimflam. It's common practice for Mormon "bishops" to use their position of trust and authority to steal the life savings of widows in their congregation.

6:20 PM  
Blogger Dain Waris said...

Greetings Capaneus,

Thanks for the LDS update. From time to time I have enjoyed the YouTube videos of the Mormon choir singing great hymns of faith or patriotic anthems. It would be nice to think that they all harmonize in like manner when they leave the Tabernacle but I guess that's not necessarily the case.

Great alias! Watch out for Zeus's thunderbolts.

Joe in Seattle

4:40 PM  
Anonymous TonyU said...

Chris Hayes said something interesting yesterday: “Our political culture sometimes seems engineered entirely to make us hate each other”

Consider his statement in the context of the following article that lists 10 states with high income inequality; 4 or 5 states with the biggest income gap are the so-called liberal states managed by the so-called progressive governors:

Che Guevara once said that a man incapable of trembling with indignation at injustice visited on anyone anywhere is not a man. When people like Chris Hayes are in danger of losing their jobs, they begin to think and sing. The American political culture does NOT SOMETIMES SEEM. Rather, it is designed to induce self-hate, hate of others, hate of country, and love of self at the expense of love of the collective. It was built on hate, and hate sustains it. This is what Dr Berman calls the hustling culture. When you hustle, you have to exploit others to win; someone else has to lose their pension funds for you to make $billions. Someone has to work 40 hours a week and live below the poverty line for you to amass $billions under your name. This economic order “works” up to a point, especially when the winners are making the rules of the game. Eventually, Karma will kick in.

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Joe doesn't know said...

ridiculous...article mentions how Romney plans to attack Obama on his lack of 'exerting american exceptionalism'; while the rest of the world accepts (happily, most likely) that the US is in a declining state, and will not be the largest economy for long, even discussing this in American is political suicide (and will probably be grounds for arrest someday).

10:11 PM  
Anonymous David M said...

Dr. Berman & DAAers
Sounds like an opportunity for a new reality show. Each contestant must hunt down the others and eat their face(sort of a face eating contest). The last to survive wins. It could be on right after America's got talent. Brought to you by the meat lobby.

On the christian front: Most American Christian no matter what denom are antinomian. You cannot be otherwise if you are a true capitalist. All that's needed to be saved is to believe. No matter who you exploit, reduce to poverty, backs you stand-on, rape, kill or steal from. Antinomianism goes back to Martin Luther, Augstine and even Paul.
My wife wanted to try church again some years ago and the message was clear; no matter what you've done in the past, present or in the future all you have to do is believe. We walked out before the sermon was over.

7:46 AM  
Blogger Zosima said...

Paul Fussell, one of my favorite writers died last week.

12:33 AM  
Anonymous shep said...

David M:

I think antinomianism applies to Karma also.

There is no out.

7:17 AM  
Anonymous Julian said...

I think we better start a movement called “Face Eaters for Christ” right away. And we need to sign up Rom Mittney as spokes-eater in chief. A good slogan to start with might be: “Thug-eaters of America, Engorge!”

10:41 AM  
Anonymous LG Nye said...

I would just like to point out that the author of the review is an editor for *The Baffler*, a journal that might be of interest to many WAFers.

It contains essays, short stories, and poetry that consistently are skeptical of technology and capitalism as being capable of progressing toward some paradise.

Also, rarely does an author try to pull a rabbit out of a hat by imaging that TAP are willing or able to make a significant difference in the country's future.

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Walter Travis said...

The world is fast changing - "we"/"they" eat each other for breakfast, lunch, and dinner:

MONTREAL — Video footage from the death and dismembering of a Chinese student seems to show the suspect eating the body, Canadian police said Tuesday. (See the picture of the cannibal - he is a blue-eyed thug):

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Marcos90 said...

I swear that America is a funny country with funny moral values. A governor fought for a legislation to become a law only to turn around and fabricate lies about his good efforts to give his people an access to medical care. He even impounded the hard drives from publicly funded computer systems so as to hide his good efforts:

“When Mitt Romney left office as Massachusetts governor, his aides removed all emails from a server computer in the governor's office, and purchased and carted off hard drives from 17 state-owned personal computers, according to a current state official.

But a small cache of emails survived, including some that have never publicly surfaced surrounding Mr. Romney's efforts to pass his now-controversial health-care law. The emails show the Republican governor was closely engaged in negotiating details of the bill, working with top Democratic state leaders and drafting early copies of opinion articles backing it.”

4:28 PM  
Anonymous JWO said...

More stupidity stats MB:


4:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

All these articles on cannibalism, and not a word on use of ketchup. How disgusting.

Meanwhile, on 8 May 1970, 4 days after the Kent State shootings (according to a colleague of mine), blue-collar workers descended on Wall St. and beat up marchers in a peaceful anti-war demo there, all the while carrying signs that said USA ALL THE WAY. Abt 2 wks after that, there was a pro-war rally on Wall St. that pulled 100,000 people.


4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear MB,
Events at Kent State and the thuggery you're mentioning seems more and more just a part of the US fabric looking back from 2012.

We shld have serious doubts when after 11 years of war w/o a goal, Chris Haye's of MSNBC has to walk back a very modest comment that use of the word "hero" might be something of a cover for the country at this pt. No need for gubmint censorship when the public's so willing to do the job on itself I suppose.

I also noticed today that Gov. Walker appears to have won the recall vote in Wisconsin - Even if you cld excuse the first vote, plenty of opportunity to see what this guy represents....

El Juero

11:08 PM  
Anonymous EM said...

I agree with Politically Incorrect that it's abot fear, but more than just the practical fear of job loss, being ostracized, etc. That is there, and it is real, But I think that people also make tacit compromises with themselves not just to not SAY things, but also to not even THINK things, because merely thinking it is itself too scary.

As most readers here probably know, you can THINK something without talking about it at work (gotta pay the bills, right?) or in front of a certain people (face it, pissing off the in-laws won't accomplish a darn thing), because you want to avoid the inconvenient consequences of saying things out loud. So you just think them, and share them only with limited circles. It's pragmatic.

But I do think that a lot more people are actually aware on some non-conscious, unarticulated level, somewhere in the back of their minds, that this is all a load of horse manure. In fact, I suspect this unconscious awareness is what drives the appetite for various forms of dystopian fiction, where the "truth" is shown in allegory. But facing reality in actual reality is just so scary - or potentially just so emoitonally debilitating - that people who kind-of-know will turn away and refuse to admit to themselves what they in fact sort-of know.

I feel like I've literally SEEN it happen... Someone makes a point that is not happy and not nice: most of what you have been told all of your life is wrong, the whole system is rigged, the "American lifestyle" is empty and hollow, most of what you fill your days with is meaningless, we're headed for much worse times, this is a violent and brutal culture, wars of imperialism, corporate serfdom, environmental end-times, blah blah blah. And you can kind of see in their expressions that they GRASP the argument for a moment, that they realize on some level, "shit, that makes sense!" And see the flash of fear, and they start frantically backing away from that thought, performing mental gymnastics to rationalize it away. No - it can't be true! It would be too scary! There must be another possibility - ah yes, that's right! The person saying these things is some crazy anti-American conspiracy-theory nut-job whacko! Everythng is fine! Look - everyone else is acting like it's fine, so it must be! Or, if it's not fine - well surely it's still fixable, with a little Hope (tm)! Don't think about it! (Whew - much better! That was a close call!)

Yes, there are some truly stupid people, but I think a lot of people, while uninformed, are not too stupid to grasp reality; they are simply too cowardly to deal with reality. Or maybe chronic mental and emotional immaturity (which our culture cultivates) is a better phrase, since the cowardice is probably only secondary. How did we get here? Well, that's another question...

11:20 AM  
Anonymous David M said...

Dr.B & DAAers
I wonder why the 60's movement folks and the unions never came together. In certain ways the hippies/yippies/SDS folks acted more as exsclusive enlightened elitists rather than folks trying to initiate positive change. And the unions /working class played the Okie from Muskogee role. Perhaps if the two sides had come together, more and lasting change would have happened.

You are right. Having so called Karma can lead to loseing one sense of values. Competition is inevitable and some will do better than others. The crux is how does one balance one needs and wants and control ego,karma,glory and still be a brother/sister to the competition. Islam (for instance not pushing religion, just relating) requires followers to turn to mecca and recite a prayer five times a day. This is dhikr and taqwa, (remembrance/reminder and mindfullness) man is forgetfull and must keep vigilent and mindfull of his egoism and not get caught-up in aquisition, competition and daily life and forget to be just and fair. I think that many religious and spiritual texts (New Testment, Tao Te Ching, The Prophet Walden just to name a few) can help us have a more just society. The problem is too many people depend on charlatan shamans for interpretation or just can't or won't read.

Two final notes: Miss Ohio was ask what movie she believes portrays women in a positive manner. She responded Pretty Woman, a movie about a prostitute.

And I'll have mustard on mine thankyou

11:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I actually believe that on some level, Americans do know it's all a pile of shit. Which explains why they so fervently seem to believe it, when u think abt it.


1:49 PM  
Anonymous Julian said...

America is often described as a "dog eat dog" society.

However, in light of new evidence, I propose we change that to "face eat face" society.

2:24 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

M. Bergot reports that young Europeans are not exactly romping with Late Capitalism.

3:22 PM  
Anonymous TonyU said...

@ Anonymous: You said: “I also noticed today that Gov. Walker appears to have won the recall vote in Wisconsin - Even if you cld excuse the first vote, plenty of opportunity to see what this guy represents”

A woman slapped the democratic challenger, Tom Barrett:
"She was upset about him giving the concession speech while she still felt there were votes to be counted"

To be honest with you, I will vote for Romney and for all the Republicans on ballot this November. At least, Republicans will bring about faster destruction of the economy and the collapse of the entire system. I wish now that Bush Junior had stayed in office 8 more years – to complete the job of destroying America. What function will serve to support democrats who are worse than Republicans in defending the rights of voters and in protecting the rights of the workers? These thugs are in office for themselves, not for the country, not for me, and not for my children.

4:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm w/u on this. I am a dedicated follower of Mittnism, and I recite the Seven Basic Principles of the Mittnaic Creed every day.

Rom Rules!


8:32 AM  
Anonymous Julian said...

I heard through the grapevine that the woman who slapped Tom Barrett is, in fact, his mistress. She was merely hoping to pull a Gingrich on Barrett’s wife and move into the governor’s mansion before her next birthday. I understand she is now a devoted Kock brother lover, and enjoys her 99% faces well done and fully marinated.

I too have given up on the democrats. Droner was their last chance, but they’ve blown it. Next November I’m going full blown right wing. I’m talking extreme here -- Mussolini style, for sure. Not that the democrats are truly “left”, but the only way I’ll vote for the left again is if I see Fidel Castro on the ballot.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Boris the Spider said...

We lost Ray Bradbury the same night that Scott Walker handily fended off his recall election in Wisconsin, thanks to mounds of money thrown at him by billionaires.

Because Bradbury wrote science fiction, many people assume he was pro-technology when the opposite was more true. He was intensely skeptical about it and many of his stories highlight the dark side of our devices. He loathed e-books and the Internet, and (at least back in the '80s when I saw him speak at the University of Richmond) never flew by airplane.

Anyone too enamored of the Internet and the promise of virtual reality needs to read "The Veldt," written in 1950.

I write all this as someone who works in the computer game industry, where hype and unexamined assumptions are too often the rule.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David M, they did try to combine the labor and civil rights movements. Try looking up The Poor People's Campaign. In March of 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. went to Memphis specifically to support the sanitary workers union (the trash collectors, basically) in their strike for better wages and working conditions. He was using very scary terminology like "economic justice" and had only been in town about a week when he was mysteriously assassinated by a "lone nut" gunman with absolutely no links to the powers that be, even though he was directly opposing their agenda by promoting human rights over concentrated power. Most people have heard some of the details of how James Earl Ray was basically tricked into confessing and then not given the deal he was promised. Meaning there was not much real investigation and of course no public trial to reveal the evidence or lack thereof.

The Civil Rights movement as a coherent force never recovered from King's death, of course. The riots that followed discredited the movement for a large part of the middle class that had been at least somewhat sympathetic and tipped the balance of over-all public opinion.

It will be very interesting to see if any major leaders emerge from the Occupy movement and how long they survive if they start to actually make some progress, or simply become a clear opposing force to the status quo.

6:03 PM  
Anonymous shep said...

Boy oh boy!

Fidel on the ballot wd piss off the maximum number of people.

6:35 PM  
Anonymous shep said...

Oh, got so excited, I forgot to add this.

I registered as a Republican down here in Alabama so I could write in "Daffy DucK".

Tks to Julian, I will now proudly use Fidel.

6:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Shep et al...

I don't vote any more, but if I did, I think I'd write in "Kramer".


2:38 AM  
Anonymous David M said...

Dr.B & DAAers
Just a quick quote from Ray B

Put me in a room with a pad and a pencil and put me up against a hundred people with a hundred computers: I'll out-create every goddamnsonafabitch in the room.

Anon: Thanks for the reference.

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's something else I think is interesting, and has rather ugly implications:

Increasingly, the mass media is in fact portraying people as discontented with modern society, but it's always as a "well-intentioned extremist."

One example is the recent "God Bless America" film, where someone finally sees so much crap on American TV and in his country that he goes on a shooting rampage and starts killing everyone he believes deserves to die.

Another example is Japanese "anime," which in many of its recent plots has been featuring a lot of well-intentioned extremists as antagonists who hate modern culture and thus want to destroy the world, making it necessary for the heroes to stop them.

The problem is that every critic of modern society is beginning to be portrayed as someone who will eventually become violent and nihilistic and try to kill others. I see this plot all the time, and it's "poisoning the well": audiences who consume a lot of mass media are getting the message that everyone who criticizes the culture is a loser who has psychological problems and wants to destroy the world.

Which makes it even more difficult than it was already for voices like Hedges or Chomsky to reach, since the audience thinks, "They hate the world! They want to destroy everything!" That they might be well-intentioned and NOT be "extremists" doesn't occur to anyone.

10:47 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


We need a counter-narrative: like, American culture is a loser with psychological problems and is in the process of destroying the world. Can we get Hollywood to pick this up, do ya think?


10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, probably not Hollywood, ha ha. ^_^

The problem is it's not just Hollywood or even just the country of America anymore.

While America tends to portray social critics as losers or arrogant and full of themselves, Japan is arguably even worse in its cartoons and videogames:

It tends to portray social critics as omnicidal maniac villains who hate human greed and wish to solve the problem by destroying the world.

Almost every Japanese RPG plot is along these lines: someone gets discriminated against or tortured or has a hard life, so he uses that as an excuse to bring on the apocalypse. Then he gets a lecture from the heroes, which is justified since he's become what he hates and is destroying innocent people...but the problem is that because a horrible psychological trait is paired with an actually good point about mainstream culture ITSELF hurting people, the young people who play videogames are starting to associate "I hate society" with "I'm going to use that hatred as an excuse to destroy humanity."

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Julian said...

Proud card-carrying NRA DAAers:

It’s Friday, which means you better prepare yourselves for another face-eating weekend. I’m talking about Zombie Max here. Like that American Express zombie bank used to say, “Don’t leave home without it!”

Get yours now, and live to die another day:

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Marcos2012 said...

Detroit is going broke and “the city could run out of cash in seven days”

Comments under the article:
By Solar Bear: Maybe China could buy Detroit?

By luvbeingright: Maybe Canada would be interested in Detroit since so many of it's citizens come to Detroit for its quality health care.

By Helloise: So now we're privatizing Americans towns and cities? By by democracy -- expect foreign ownership soon as they start selling them off block by block.

According to JP Morgan:
“China has unquestionably become the engine of growth for the global economy, with its enviable real GDP growth rates of above 9%, while traditional powerhouses like the US and Europe struggle post-crisis to avoid slipping back into recession. This makes the country ever more vital for multinational corporations looking to grow their businesses, with many either ramping up their existing operations in China, introducing new onshore treasury operations, or if not yet present, looking to establish a presence.

China is currently experiencing a slew of new entrants to the market – mostly mid-sized corporates from the US or Europe”

3:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Japan needs more themes, I guess. Bonzai!


One way for the US to die is city by city. Camden NJ is de facto dead, probably a few others as well. Nothing to save in Detroit, so we might as well fold it up. Perhaps this is the old domino theory, now come back to haunt us.



5:46 PM  
Anonymous Joe doesn't know said...

It's not as great of a speech as the headline suggests, since at the end he basically tells everyone they are special, but it's better than most bullshit I read in the news.

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

An article in the NYT this morning worth reading:

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Mike Alan said...

To Anonymous just above ( I agree that you guys need to make up some names):

I understand your comment about anyone who criticizes our culture being ostracized and called a human-hating misanthrope. I studied the earth and natural sciences in undergrad and grad school and took a job with an environmental group back in the 90's. Many, Many 'Mericans view anyone who might want to preserve an acre of ground instead of turning it into a strip mall or parking lot as deranged, mentally ill, or my favorite a Communist. I've been called all of them at one point.

Along these lines, I sometimes listen to Alex Jones because he's funny when he gets riled up. Also, he notes many of the things about our hustling, corporate-owned culture that people do here, while never looking at, understanding or questioning the underlying premises Dr. Berman has laid out for why these things are the way they are. Instead, they see it all as a conspiracy by the Illuminati. This also goes for environmentalists or many social critics. Environmentalists are all dupes and minions of the UN's Agenda 21. After all, Alex and many of his callers (as well as thousands of conservatives I've encountered) have flown over the country and seen all of this unused, undeveloped, open land where people could live and conusme stuff. Forget that much of that land grows monocultures of food for them to stuff in their mouth, serves as pasture, or that it helps to clean the air they breath, or that it helps to maintain biodiversity, or hundreds of other used. Undeveloped and unpopulated land is a travesty in their eyes. Anyone who prefer a walk in the woods to a walk at the mall is a brainwashed UN minion. ALL land must be developed, it's the 'Merican way to have dominion over everything.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Daniel99 said...

A 14 year old speaks his mind about Obama's support for gay marriage. He is being silenced as offensive. Youtube banned him and two internet media outlets deemed his words as offensive.

Genesis 19, Vers 12-13, God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of homosexuality:
The two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.”

The Moral of the Story:
Homosexuality is offensive to God, but speaking against it in America is offensive to Americans. Americans profess to love God, but his words are offensive.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yes, a gd and much-needed speech, but he shd have told them that they were dummies.

Anon (pick a handle, already)-

Gd essay on Bradbury. He understood, early on, that we were dummies.

Mike Alan-

The bottom line is that Americans are dummies.

I tell u, I've been traveling thru Spain, and am currently in Cordoba. Two hrs ago, sitting in the town square, I began talking to some British tourists. The guy told me that he really cdn't believe how ignorant Americans are. When he once told an American that he lived in London, the dummy replied: "Oh, sure: the Eiffel Tower!" It reminded me of a German guy I met last yr in Guatemala, who said he learned English as an exchange student in the US 25 yrs ago; and that when the American students found that out, they asked him where Germany was and if Germans had TV. This in the late 80s, mind u. I recall many conversations of this kind, in fact: some folks from Holland I met on Long Island a while back, who told me they gave up telling Americans they were from Holland because the dummies had never heard of it. So they wd say, "We're from Europe"; at which pt the dummies wd ask them where that was, and how long it took to get there by train. Examples like these can be multiplied indefinitely.



6:47 AM  
Anonymous David M said...

Some years ago I returned home to visit my family back in Ohio. I met a group of my brothers friends(older adults I think) who ask where I lived. I told them Sarasota and they wanted to know where that was. I said South Central Florida on the west coast(they looked at me like I had two heads). One of them informed me that Florida was on the east coast. I Said yes Florida is part of the eastern seaboard but it also has a coast line that runs along the Gulf of Mexico. One of them said thats still the east coast. I gave up and said your right I live in south central Florida on the east coast.

I like walking in the woods to. But you have to be careful. You could be mistaken for wildlife and get shot, or run over by an ATV or hit with a paintball. Mericans can't even go into the woods without their toys.

9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Daniel99, it is not "silencing" someone if you criticize what they say. It's only "silencing" if you prevent them from speaking. In THAT, it is the left who has been prevented from gaining any traction in this culture, not the right, as Morris Berman points out in his discussions of socialism.

Of course Christians are free to say homosexuality is evil. But if you really love free speech, you also have to allow others to speak THEIR mind and tell you what they think about what you say.

Presenting (distorting) someone as attempting to silence you if they criticize what you say is ITSELF an attempt at silencing.

Not to mention the fact that you're actually part of the problem Berman describes: Americans constantly look for excuses to be cruel to each other.

And here you are, calling homosexuals abominations against God and trying to stir up hatred against them.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous TonyU said...

Dylan Ratigan is leaving MSNBC. If there were about 1000 Americans (on TV) like him without FEAR, this country would be different; the world would be different:

Mr. Ratigan has attacked political systems, corporations and special interests on his show and promoted movements for job creation, bank reform and campaign finance reform in the past.

He said, “Basically my plan is to meet with tons of people, learn from tons of people, and then figure out a way to take the narrative I’ve been talking about, and show the most effective ways to resolve it.”

To understand my claims, view these videos (view them many times as I have done):

If it comes out tomorrow that he was fired, I will not be surprised!

6:33 PM  
Anonymous Julian said...


I used to tell Americans I’m from Romania, and they’d say, “how come you’re not black, then.” So now I just tell them I’m from Europe. Only rarely am I asked what country from, exactly.

In any event, for what it’s worth, from my experience, Americans at least are not as prejudiced toward foreign white people. From my observations, Europeans (especially Western Europeans) are far more racist and nationalist than Americans. The British are by far the worst, although they mask it better behind their stupid schizoid sneers. As a Romanian, I could never live in Western Europe. I also have a Jewish friend who lived in Barcelona, and he has horror stories about their anti-Semitism. Western Europeans are EOHs, or “equal opportunity haters” (you heard the term here first). Honestly, as much as I dislike America, I prefer it over living among the arrogant degenerates that make up Western Europe.

So, I am rooting not only for the collapse of America, but equally so I am cheering the crumbling of these arrogant asses called Western Europeans. I am really looking forward to the near future when Spain, Ireland, and Greece will inevitably revert back to their Third World status, where they were just 30 years ago. Serves them right!

Finally, I know we beat this horse to death, but it seems Big Pharma’s “magic” is working wonders on the minds of the average American:

6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many of you will remember the spy series, 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.'

At this time the UN in NY was bombarded by application letters from Americans seeking jobs at U.N.C.L.E.

3:01 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, I'm still traveling thru Spain, and can tell u that Sephardic music is very popular here. BTW, check out "The Lair," recently translated from the Romanian.


3:56 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This American Life Dept.¨

And they laugh when I say that the US is a collection of hustlers, and is going down the tubes! They laugh!

4:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A voice in the wilderness!

6:58 AM  
Anonymous Smith said...

Anonymous, take a look at the comments section of the video.

The commenters zeroed in on the parts of the speech that tell everyone else how much they suck, and there are lots of jibes at poor people and Occupy protesters. "That's right, ya hear that, you stupid liberals and anti-capitalists!? YOU ALL SUCK!!!" is the general spirit.

The commenters completely missed the parts of the speech that talked about our imaginary competition with each other, our fear of mortality, and the necessity of selflessness.

So unfortunately "the wilderness" has turned the voice into part of itself.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Mike Alan said...

Here's a Bush-era video concerning the geographic ignorance of Americans:

My favorite part is where they mislabel Australia and the dolts still have no clue whatsoever.

My undergrad degree is in physical geography which covered the natural aspects of the planet, but included many of the cultural aspects too. When I encounter someone from another country they usually start off hesitant or very generally explaining where they are from. As I ask more questions indicating that I know a little about life outside the US they then open up, especially when I ask what it is like in the place they live. It seems most are caught off-guard by an American who is interested in knowing about their country.

Unfortunately, due to my innate lack of will for hustling for a buck I haven't had much in the way of finances to afford travel to other countries, except Mexico and Canada. However, it looks I need to start traveling with my family on the cheap. I'd like for my son to have broader experiences.

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Amoss said...

@Anonymous: Can you show us how you deduced that Daniel99 is “calling homosexuals abomination against God and trying to stire up hatred against them”? Obama spoke his mind. The 14 year old spoke his mind. Obama was not banned from anywhere, but the 14 year old was banned from Youtube and two Internet sites. Quoting from Huffpost article (provided by Daniel99): The 14 year old “has been deemed "offensive," and taken off the air, by a second internet media outlet”.

Daniel99 did not make up the quote from the Bible either. The Bible makes the claim that homosexuality is in fact offensive to God. It is a fact that more than 78 percent of Americans believe in God. Do the math: If homosexuality is offensive to God and if 78 percent of Americans believe in God, what do we conclude from there?

Obviously, you want to sanction cruelty against the 14 year old boy, against all Christians, and against Daniel99. Trying to force your views and lifestyle on 78 percent of Americans is not only cruel, it is a genocidal.

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Keith Williams said...

Robert Bork’s book “Slouching Towards Gomorrah” contains similar thoughts as Bradbury’s books concerning the impacts of technology on the mind of America. He writes: “A culture obsessed with technology will come to value personal convenience above almost all else. That has consequences. Among the consequences is impatience with anything that interferes with personal convenience”

Bork argues that religion, morality, and law interfere with personal convenience because they keep people from rootless hedonism and relativist, extreme individualism, hence the tendency in modern America to hate religion and morality and proscriptions and commandments, and to gravitate towards feel-good, therapeutic rationalizations: "whatever makes me feel good should be universalized by the society". "whatever interferes with my personal desires and cravings should be the new religion and new way of life for everyone”.

12:55 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

M. Bergot reads Chris Hedges to find out that Howard Zinn had a FBI dossier with 432 pages. Is this a reason for MB to return to USA to see if his dossier can get more pages than Zinn's?

I also read that post 9/11 security forces now up to about 850,000; hence many are available
to track MB's suspect activities.
once he returns.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

M. Bergot gladly reports the many
benefits of free enterprise.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous sanctuary! said...

Bath salts, chewing face, and saving face are supposed to be good things. But in America they mean drugs, cannibalism, and a hail of bullets.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous JPF said...

Not sure if you saw this: US of A still Number One in so many areas.

(This leads off Hedges' new book, but this is the original source.)

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More from the CRE department...I recently came across some blog entries at which make the equation that books = clutter. Discard those ugly books! Snobs! Losers! Elitists!

And then there is this:
Don't Hire Intelligent People


4:33 PM  
Anonymous TonyU said...

These are sad days in America (follow the last link and read till your heart breaks):

Norman Rousseau, Foreclosure Victim, Commits Suicide During Wells Fargo Lawsuit

'Chicken Man' Andrew Wordes' Home Explodes When Police Arrive To Evict

City of Roswell, GA, bullies Andrew Wordes to death over his backyard chickens

7:41 PM  
Blogger Zosima said...

If they read at all, this is the kind of book Americans turn to after a long day of trying to hustle each other. Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks are almost certainly working on a movie version of one of these “heartwarming” stories. I’m starting to regret opposing the war, I didn’t realize mass slaughter could produce so many “feel good” stories. Things aren’t going well here, and Americans really do need cheering up, so lets attack another country soon. Are you listening, Romney, Obama?

9:55 PM  
Blogger Noah Linden said...

Julian -

It's not right to cheer on the destruction of countries. As far as Western Europeans being arrogant degenerates, I went to Italy, and it was wonderful. It was when I went to Austria that I encountered anti-Semitism.

The Irish are not a bad people. Neither are the Scottish or the Welsh. Yes, the British have been imperialists for many centuries up until the present day, and Third World status is exactly what they deserve, on the whole, but even in countries like Britain, you can find many good people opposed to globalization, war, etc.

As far as America...yes, there are barely any good people there. America is already an impoverished Third World country, and rapidly getting worse, so there's no point in cheering something on that has already happened.

11:57 PM  
Anonymous Mike Alan said...

I'll let the headline and story say everything:

Hitchhiker writing 'The Kindness of America' memoir shot by motorist in Montana

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Vince said...


I do believe that you have your genocidal reference backwards. It is when the majority try to impose their will on the minority in a violent manner, not the other way around. There are millions of us who want to have nothing to do with the bible or any other religious teachings. We understand what moral and ethical behavior is and is not. Besides, the bible was written by men. The most popular revision was executed by a king.

I do believe that the 14 year old in question has the right to say what he wants provided what he is saying does not do harm to other people. We are not talking about hurting feelings harm, I mean real harm.

I can tell you though that if I was attending the funeral of a loved one who happened to be gay and a group of those people who like to chant that god hates them and that they will burn in hell for being gay would meet with the some serious repercussions.

You have a right to a freedom of religion. I and many others have a right to freedom from religion. The constitution is the law of the land, not the bible, not the qur'an, not the torah. Unfortunately what we are seeing today is that the constitution is only as good as the people enforcing and/or defending it.

The current state affairs is a good indication of how good of a job we have done with that.


11:14 AM  
Anonymous Julian said...

I’ve been teaching various online college courses, so I frequently run into plagiarism (usually copy/pastes from web sites, or term papers purchased from online paper mills). They are easy to catch—even a simple Google search usually reveals the source. I also encountered worse cases, such as copying a classmate’s entire post from the same discussion. Nonetheless, I am sure rates of plagiarism are much higher than what I find, just that I don’t have the time or energy to investigate all “suspects”.

The point I am trying to make is that the vast majority of plagiarizers also make it a habit to brag about their high Christian values and about how they were raised in a "good" Christian family, etc. Frequently, the very paragraphs where they describe their Christian qualities are plagiarized in their entirety. This usually occurs in the context of a philosophy course I had taught many times, although it happens in other classes as well (undergraduate and graduate).

As such, I think the American people are so stunted psychologically and intellectually, they simply have no clue about what ethics or morality mean anymore. Right now, a brainwashing kind of Christian religiosity (without a basic understanding or familiarity with the scriptures) seems to pass for morality in the good ole’ U.S. of A.

That’s how you create a nation of thugs that cheer as they drop bombs on “them Ayrabs”… in the name of Christ, of course!

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, more ghastly violence all over the country:

Alaskan woman sets roommate on fire in arson-murder

Florida Man set Ex-girlfriend on fire in child custody dispute

Ohio Boy Calls 911 To Tell Dispatcher His Father Just Killed His Mother

Meanwhile the Supreme Court refuses to even consider appeals on Guantanamo prisoners, ending any meaningful habeas corpus. Lawlessness all around, it seems.

LA Times: Bad judgment on Guantanamo

Four years ago, the Supreme Court did its duty as a guardian of the Constitution by ruling that Congress couldn't prevent inmates at Guantanamo Bay from filing petitions for habeas corpus, a venerable feature of Anglo-American law that allows prisoners to challenge their confinement in court. This week, the justices walked away from that responsibility by refusing to review lower court rulings that have narrowed the protections of its 2008 decision to the vanishing point.

In granting inmates a right to habeas in Boumediene vs. Bush, the court sternly corrected an overreaching executive and a compliant Congress. But on Monday it refused to engage in similar scrutiny of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which has adopted a scandalously cramped interpretation of Boumediene. Because the Obama administration has determined that more than 40 detainees are too dangerous to be tried even before military commissions, meaning that habeas is their only means of legal redress, the effect of the appeals court's hard line is to undermine even that last resort.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amoss, I never said I wanted to sanction cruelty against anyone, least of all 14-year-old boys. What I SAID was, it is not "cruel" to tell a 14-year-old that his opinion is inaccurate, especially if his opinion would increase American cruelty against everyone not exactly like them, whether you're talking about homosexuals, Muslims, poor people, etc.

Summarize arguments you oppose correctly before you attack them. Lincoln and Stephen Douglas could do this.

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Humanistos said...

How does the saying go again: be careful what you pray for, because your wish will be granted? I may desire to marry my mother or sisters and you must teach my lifestyle to children at homes and schools (you will have no moral or legal or constitutional basis to discriminate against me and my cravings):

“Regnerus himself told LiveScience that he doesn't believe his study speaks to the politics of same-sex marriage. Nevertheless, the research has been cast in that light, showing up in a New York Times op-ed piece by Ross Douthat suggesting that the article is a case for caution in legalizing gay unions. By the same token, Slate writer William Saletan argued that the research makes a case for gay marriage in order to promote stable same-sex relationships for the sake of the children”

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Chad said...

Just thought I'd share another case of CRE:

Because a society where everyone is carrying automatic assault rifles is definitely the kind of one we should be striving for.

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Larry Shultz said...

The word moral in the USA now has a new meaning

6:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Well, I'm encouraged by this new tendency to set other people on fire, or eat their faces. Also by the distribution of semi-automatic weapons. Sick Rantorum's daughter, age 3, is a member off the IRA, and I certainly hope that her father will equip her with an AK-47 and a bunch of grenades b4 she hits age 5. I mean, u never know whom yr going to hafta blow to kingdom come, rt?



6:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Humanistos, that's a "straw man argument."

No one here has any wish to teach a "homosexual lifestyle" in schools.

Summarize your opponents' arguments correctly before you attack them.

8:53 AM  
Blogger deflationista said...

I can almost hear Morris licking his lips.

Goddamn we are dumb.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous TonyU said...

When I complained about how Obama failed to fight for the public option he promised and how polls after polls showed that both democrats and republican voters supported passing a healthcare legislation with public option, Dr Berman replied that if the poll questions had different answers Americans would not support the public option. If the following news article is correct, we are seeing the same situation here. The American people vote these people into office to solve critical problems facing the nation. By the end of their period in office, the thugs make all problems worse. Blaming the American people is not always right because these thugs are never there to solve problems, and voting them out only replaces one thug with another; we did not vote for Obama to super size NAFTA in secret:
Obama Trade Document Leaked, Revealing New Corporate Powers And Broken Campaign Promises
"The outrageous stuff in this leaked text may well be why U.S. trade officials have been so extremely secretive about these past two years of [trade] negotiations," said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch in a written statement.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Noah Linden said...

Obama, by the way, has been many times more destructive than Bush Jr. I'm sickened how people defend him as some kind of saint or, at best, "someone who did the very best possible job possible".

How has Obama done the best he can? It was Obama who personally insisted on the clause in the bill he signed on Dec 31st, 2011, that allows the torture, indefinite detention, and assassination of any American citizen (or anyone else in the world) without evidence or trial. It was Obama that launched the war against Libya that has killed about 100,000 people so far, without getting Congressional approval (not that it wouldn't still be incredibly evil, but you see my point).

No, Obama has gone out of his way to do his worst, to cause as much suffering and destruction as is possible. If we are honest with ourselves, we would have to conclude he is a sociopath on the same level as Hitler, Mao or Stalin.

11:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Re: Rantorum's daughter: I meant to say NRA, of course. IRA--now *that* wd be interesting!


12:11 AM  
Blogger Zosima said...

Like most Americans, I get all of my information about the world only from the most honest (and richest) journalists on earth. This is how we Americans maintain our incredibly high knowledge about the world. When I read about India, for example, I was constantly told how the wonders of globalization and flat worlds had produced a growing list of billionaires, and that this had led to good times for all. Then I read something not written by Thomas Friedman.

12:50 AM  
Blogger Cj said...

Hello Professor, I hope your trip is going well.

Are you familiar with the writings of Jerry Mander? I've been reading his remarkable book 'In The Abscence of the Sacred" and can't recommend it highly enough.

Have you seen this bit of news on the Huffington Post:

I'm not much of a fan of Ariana thinking she's more interested in her image and self importance but occasionally something newsworthy, other than celebrity gossip, does appear. This one in particular is very disturbing yet I suppose predictable.

Kind regards,

10:42 AM  
Blogger Noah Linden said...


I don't know about you, but I have yet to encounter a truly normal, healthy family in America. Seriously, every family I know has severe mental illness, devastating moral nihilism, abusive behavior, or a combination of any or all of these.

My current girlfriend, for instance, comes from a broken home. She's very sweet, and a real rarity: an American with a conscience and a good heart. Nevertheless, her biological father (to whom she no longer talks) is a sociopath with Bipolar Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and both her mother and her stepfather have Bipolar Disorder. She herself also has Bipolar Disorder, a mild case of ADD, depression, etc. I too take mood stabilizers because earlier in my life, my thyroid got so out of wack it ruined parts of my brain.

Disease, both mental and physical, are everywhere in America. This is one reason why declaring America to be the "greatest country in the world" is so laughable. When you have a bunch of obese, insane, diseased, ignorant, violent people, what exactly is there to be proud of?

12:42 PM  
Blogger Noah Linden said...


I also am particularly interested in your predictions for America's wars over the next 20 years.

Here are MY predictions. America will wage war against the entire Middle East and use nuclear weapons. Tens of millions of people will be killed. America will also attack Central Asia and Indonesia, simply because the people there are predominantly Muslim. (And the type of Islam Central and Southeast Asians practice is actually very loving - Sufism - totally opposite in nature to the claustrophobic Islam practiced in the Middle East).

America will also attack North Korea, North Africa, and anyone who happens to oppose any of its wars.

In other worlds, World War III is on its way. China, allied with Russia, will end up defeating America militarily. America will then become a colony of China.

Sound accurate to you?

12:45 PM  
Anonymous JPF said...

Was listening to your talk about WAF from C-Span's Book TV (terrific, btw) and you said that a lot of what's wrong with the US is deeply rooted, "in our DNA, so to speak." Well, you'll be happy to know that we are literally exporting that DNA. US sperm exports are up 40%. As the author of the article says: at least America's "hottest new export is made by hand." The Colbert Report did a bit on this story, too. Here's the article:

And here:

And Colbert here:

2:58 PM  
Anonymous TonyU said...

Whenever I listen to people like Andrew Young, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, and now Barack Obama, I know that Dr Berman’s prognosis is correct:

Question: You describe your 2003 Iraq speech at the UN as a blot on your record. Which rule did you apply to overcome that experience?

Answer (Colin Powell): 'Get mad and get over it' is one of them. I had every assurance in the intelligence community that the information in that speech was solid. It was the same information that had been presented to Congress, it was the basis upon which Congress had passed a resolution authorizing war if the president thought it necessary. And so we all had that same base of knowledge but mine was the most visible, the most symbolic of all the presentations. And when I gave it, people stopped and listened.

Congresswoman, Barbara Lee, had the same information as Colin Powell, but she was a lone voice as Chomsky and Berman.

One thing is certain: After their zillion years of service, these people made America and Americans worse off; Blacks in America and around the world are worse off.

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I appreciate your comments and contributions here, especially your perspective living outside the U.S. The problems with education in the U.S. are too many and too entrenched by now to even begin to address. Like other institutions, it's grown sclerotic. So while I might like to believe our tut-tutting about how dumb are us might eventually lead to thoughful, respectful embrace of real educational achievement and understanding of the world, I fear that would never be a panacea for the things wrong with us. Better perhaps to drive a stake through the heart of it and be done, which appears to be Prof. Berman's recommendation for the whole of American culture. Meanwhile, to the NMI cave, Batman.

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Mossubergostos said...

Now blame the American people!

In a development bound to please business trade groups, senators from both sides of the aisle have voted to block new federal rules that would require employers to look harder for American workers before turning to low-wage foreign guest workers who come to the U.S. on visas.

But the reforms have drawn fierce opposition from business trade groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which joined a lawsuit against the Labor Department that had managed to put the rules on hold. Opponents of the reforms argue that businesses relying on guest workers simply can't find Americans who are willing to do the job. They also say that the proposed reforms -- which would require employers to advertise more for U.S. workers, as well as foot the bill for guest workers' travel and visa expenses -- are too costly for businesses.

8:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Only thing that bothers me abt yr scenario is that it is far too restrained. Surely the Pentagon can, and shd, do more damage than that, no?


Great hearing from u. Wanted to tell u how grateful I am 2u for introducing me to the work of Javier Marias. Nobel-level work, imo. Personally, I wd rank it on a par with "War and Peace." As it turned out, I met 2 folks in Madrid who know him well and offered to introduce me! But I decided to wait until next yr, when I return, by which time I shall have reread "Your Face Tomorrow," and can put some precise questions to him. But one of these folks solved a major issue for me abt the bk, which finally surfaces in vol. 3, about the question of moral behavior. Marias' father was a disciple of Ortega y Gasset, who in turn had studied philo in Germany. So the question that surfaces revolves around Kant's famous categorical imperative--which proves to be no answer in the face of his father's experience during the Spanish Civil War, and his boss' Realpolitik. Anyway, that bk is abs breathtaking, and I look forward to discussing it with Marias at length in 2013.


7:44 AM  
Blogger Cj said...

Hi Professor, what a wonderful opportunity. I envy you!


11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which is more tragic? A guy getting shot while wandering around to demonstrate the kindness of stranger? Or a guy who fakes getting shot while wandering around to demonstrate the kindness of strangers?

Mont. authorities say hitchhiker shot himself

A West Virginia man who claimed to be a victim of a drive-by shooting along a rural Montana highway while working on a memoir called "Kindness in America" has confessed to shooting himself, authorities said Friday.

Ray Dolin, 39, of Julian, W. Va., made the acknowledgement Thursday night, said Valley County Sheriff Glen Meier. Authorities believe Dolin, who is recovering at a Miles City hospital, shot himself as a desperate act of self-promotion but offered no further details.

The case remains under investigation and charges against Dolin are possible. None have yet been filed, said Undersheriff Vernon Buerkle.


6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. B, on a paleoconservative blog I found a comment which may hold a clue to America's fall. Here is the comment:

"Historically there are plenty of great European Catholic scientists, maybe their parents were very selective in choosing mates. When the world was much smaller and the population stayed put, people were very aware of attributes and defects which ran in blood lines. 'Insanity in the family' was a stigma from which you could not hide - unless you emigrated to the New World."

Something to this, methinks.

7:53 AM  
Anonymous David M said...

Dr.B & DAAers
My two anecdotes below might seem a bit trivial; but I think they are indicative of where we are headed. Laws and codes are enacted and the dolts in-charge of enforcing them have no common sense.

Last week in Sar. Fl a taxi driver was issued a citation for parking in a handicap spot without a handicap permit. The driver was delivering an elderly women who could barely walk to a beauty salon and explained this to the police officer/meter maid. Not only did he get ticketed but he was verbally abused. As far as the officer the was concern it did not matter if the person was handicapped, only whether or not the deliveing vehicle had a permit.

Also while hanging out at the Sar main library I was informed if I did not move my vehicle every two hours I would be ticketed(My taxes have supported this library for many years). Now the reason supposedly, is because folks who were not using the library were parking in the lot. Now in my years of using the library, I don't think I have ever seen the lot even half full. If the lot is only partially full why worry about who's parking there. If it is full all the time then you might act. So now while I'm at the library I set my watch's alarm to remind me to stop what I'm doing and go out and move my car. This just occurred to me. You know this could be a sneaky way the anti-intellectual crowd(who are in control now) of getting more revenue out of folks who think they are too smart and read too much and also an attempt to squash any research that might expose their stupidity. Damn! another conspiracy.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous TonyU said...

In functions and utility, the American judicial system is an exact replica of the American healthcare system: you are on your own if you have no money to play!

You should get your hands on everything written by (and about) Professor Sanford Levinson: Blind devotion to US Constitution is like blind devotion to Christian Bible.

“To most Americans, the U.S. Constitution is the foundation of our democracy, a clear manifestation of American values, and the reason for much of our success as a nation"

"We must recognize that substantial responsibility for the defects of our polity lies in the Constitution itself. Even the most skilled and admirable leaders may not be able to overcome the barriers to effective government constructed by the Constitution. In many ways, we are like the police officer in Edgar Allen Poe's classic The Purloined Letter, unable to comprehend the true importance of what is clearly in front of us."

"If I am correct that the Constitution is both insufficiently democratic, in a country that professes to believe in democracy, and significantly dysfunctional, in terms of the quality of government that we receive, then it follows that we should no longer express our blind devotion to it."

1:44 PM  
Anonymous TimR said...

Re: hitch-hiker story

I guess since MB writes the opposite kind of books, if he wanted to pull a similar stunt he'd have to stand on a Montana road somewhere and pretend to have been accosted by brilliant, friendly strangers? (Or something?)

Headline: Man Writing Books about Sorry State of US Culture Ambushed by Mega-geniuses Bearing Deli Meats

Follow-up headline: Man Gave Himself the Deli Meats, Punked Us on the Mega-Geniuses Too

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Julian said...

Great news for thug lovers of America: this year's Global Peace Index ranking saw the U.S. drop six spots, from 82nd to 88th. Syria, which has been rocked by 15 months of brutal violence, dropped 31 spots, to 147th out of 158 nations ranked. What matters is that we’ve made it past the half way mark, so think of it this way: our violence glass is more than half full! At this rate, I’m sure we’ll leave Syria in the dust in no time at all!

Keep up the good work, thugs!

8:15 PM  
Blogger Noah Linden said...


According to official statistics, 1% of Americans are sociopaths. I remember you quoted a study which said 24% of Americans believe it's ok to use violencce to get what you want. Clearly, those 24% of Americans are sociopaths.

And then you have another maybe 50% of the American population that simply doesn't give a damn about anyone except Numero Uno, who, while not embracing violence in their daily lives, do not really possess a conscience. Incapacity for guilt or remorse, which describes most of America, is the prime attribute of sociopaths, whether overtly violent or simply selfish, conniving and manipulative.

Basically, I feel I cannot trust most people here in America. Everyone plays mind games, many people are sadistic, and nobody really cares.

I know you moved to Mexico. However, I cannot tolerate that kind of a hot climate, so I'm thinking of Scotland. What do you think about Scotland? I've heard it's far more liberal than stuffy, conservative Southern England.

11:27 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Just back from 2 weeks in Vietnam where I was unable anyhere in the country to access your blog which is funny since what you (and we) say would be akin to how the Vietnamese feel about the US. A Vietnamese interviewed for a documentary about agent orange, for instance, calls American soldiers "merciless". Nevertheless, Vietnam is a wonderful country replete with hundreds if not thousands of art galleries-a people of exquisite sensibilities.
Colin Powell is lying. Newsweek reported that on the night before he was to address the UN about Iraq's WMD, he practiced the speech at the Pentagon. Half-way though it he tossed the speech in the air and said, "Do I have to read this shit?" knowing it was full of lies.
Yes, it's nearly impossible to find a normal family. I have yet to enter a home where the son or daughter is able to say even hello. When we eat the children just look sullenly at their food and eat quickly so they can run to their bedrooms to engage in some techno-crap.

4:00 AM  

Hello dear Mauricio:

There is a great "ensayo" from Julian Marias (Javier's father). In it, Max Sceller shows the real face of moral, not Kant's formal one.

Hope to see you soon, her in Temuco or the dark side of the moon.Un "big" abrazo.

copy paste and "voila":

10:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

My last day in Spain, folks; it's been quite fab, tho almost none of the papers I interviewed with published the interviews! I guess the editors didn't like my calling Rajoy un imbecil.

Andres: pls send that link to my email address, or I'll forget abt it, which I don't want to do. And thanx, amigo.

Otherwise, I appreciate u guys keeping me up to date on the state of CRE in the US.


1:13 PM  
Anonymous Stone said...

Dear MB,

Reading your DAA again, but more slowly this time around.

Is it okay to make comments re. it in this thread? Or would you prefer I sent them to you personally?

Also, wondering whether you read French fairly easily?


2:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It's always better to make comments on the most recent post, regardless of the topic, because most folks don't bother to read the previous ones. Et oui, je lis francais, mais je n'ai pas beaucoup de temps a faire ca durant ces jours.


3:14 PM  
Anonymous Julian said...


I used to work as a forensic psychologist, and I tell ya, a lot more than 1 percent of Americans are sociopaths. The American culture is sociopathic by its nature. Being a sociopath is just a necessary prerequisite to being a hustler. I spend my time between Romania and the US, and I tell ya, as soon as I set foot back in the US, I sense the psychopathy all around me. I too become more cynical, angry, negative, and irate when in America, because it’s all around me. Not only can’t you trust anybody there, but you can’t even have a semi-genuine friendship with anybody. All Americans are phonies out to rip somebody else off. There are no relationships, no community, no trust, no shame, no humanity in America. Just greed. Just me, me, me. It’s a hard way to live.

As far as colder countries to emigrate to, have you considered Iceland? Don’t laugh. Iceland appears to be one of the few same places left. They have already recovered from the recession, just sentenced their banksters to prison terms, and they are #1 in the Global Peace Index I mentioned above. They have a highly educated population that seem reluctant to take too much BS from the global elites (except for recently wanting to join the EU, unfortunately). And I hear it’s not nearly as cold as one would imagine – it’s probably warmer in the winter than Chicago, for example.

Personally, between Droner having successfully coerced the pussies running Romania to accept the anti-missile defense system, and Putin threatening he’ll nuke it, I better check out Iceland soon.

6:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The shootings and sieges just get crazier every day... now the cops are doing double-duty as perps.

Off-duty NJ police officer barricaded in home after firing on PA police sent to investigate neighbor dispute...

9:09 PM  
Blogger Zosima said...

Richard Ford learns that even the mildest criticism of America is verboten.

In the book, Canada becomes a sort of promised land, a refuge. There is a line characters cling to: "Canada was better than America and everyone knew that - except Americans." Is that how it feels to you?
I never had much conceptual idea of Canada being better. But whenever I go there, I feel this fierce sense of American exigence just relent. America beats on you so hard the whole time. You are constantly being pummelled by other people's rights and their sense of patriotism. So the American's experience of going to Canada, or at least my experience, is that you throw all that clamour off. Which is a relief sometimes.

How does that sentiment go down among American readers?
Last night, I was in New Orleans at this book party full of local oligarchs, a charity group. I was trying to tell them why I called the book Canada, and I said this stuff about America beating on you and I saw a lot of unfriendly faces in the room. There is this very strong "If you are not for us, you are against us" feeling in America just now. Perhaps there always has been. You are not allowed to complain. Or even have a dialogue. But if a novel is there for anything I believe that is what it has to induce.

5:41 AM  
Blogger Noah Linden said...


Those "Peace" ratings are rubbish, because they do not take into account the violence countries inflict on other countries.

Were we to take that into account, America would easily be in last place (or, in the minds of many Americans, first place!), far below even the likes of China, Britain and Russia. There is no country more violent than America, not necessarily because of rage, but because of simple indifference: Americans, by and large, absolutely do not care how much suffering they cause. They want what they want, and if other people get hurt, too fucking bad.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Julian said...

Yeah, they’re violent alright. Physically, psychologically, economically, politically, you name it. The country was built on violence and fear. Just look at America’s foreign policy. It’s all about threats, blackmail, lies, cheating, corruption. They get away with it because other people have human decency and mistakenly expect the same from Americans. That’s a fatal mistake to make. From America you only need to expect the same exact thing you would expect from dealing with the devil. In America even interpersonal relationships are based on dominance and fear. Nobody looks into other people’s eyes because of fear. When I was a young man dating, that was very frustrating, because how are you going to meet women if they won’t even make eye contact? It’s a totally different story in Europe. That’s why I married a woman from here.

But rest assured, this is now coming to an end. The rest of the world finally wised up. Left with fewer victims abroad, America is now cannibalizing itself the way it devoured other nations before. The Goldman Sachs, JP Morgans, Blackwaters, Lockheed Martins of America will devour their motherland like a black widow spider devours its mate. So, just enjoy the show! Find a sane place to call home far away from imploding America, get a large plasma TV, lots of popcorn, a comfy recliner, and just enjoy the show of the greatest imperial collapse since Rome. It should easily provide us all with at least a few good years of entertainment.

Like they say, “what goes around, comes around.” Better yet, “serves them right!”

7:38 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Charles Dickens visited America a couple of times, and was amused/horrified at what he saw as a large collection of horses' asses. Some of this makes for hilarious reading in "The Pickwick Papers." But I recently ran across a quote that suggests that he may have occasionally confused stupidity with boredom. I.e., confronted by dummies, he thought they were boring; which was probably true enuf, but could have overlooked the fact that the folks he met were just plain dumb. Here's the quote, in any case:

"I am quite serious when I say that I do not believe there are, on the whole earth besides, so many intensified bores as in these United States. No man can form an adequate idea of the real meaning of the word, without coming here."

Of course, having lived most of my life in the US, I certainly know what he's referring to; sometimes I think that 88% of the conversations I had over the yrs were basically nonconversations. But looking back, I have the feeling they cd have reflected brain-death, not actual boredom; altho it may be that the distance between a bore and a buffoon is not all that great.

Wafers are invited to weigh in on this weighty topic.


8:50 AM  
Anonymous TonyU said...

Dr Berman: You really seem to hate Americans. I do not believe in hate for hate’s sake. Yes, Americans have their faults, but they are victims of political manipulations. I understand the argument about Americans voting against their self-interests and getting the leaders they deserve. However, the way the system is rigged against them forces them to choose between people like Romney and Obama.

An average American is far better than an average British person in terms of respect and mutual relationships with peoples from other cultures. Charles Dickens and his British ilk have done more harm to other cultures and nations than average Americans. I like to separate the American government from the American people because there are policies of the American government that the majority of Americans violently disagree with, and here is one of them:

“A government program that helps struggling homeowners take advantage of low interest rates to cut monthly mortgage payments is providing an unexpected revenue boost to large banks such as Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan Chase”

Sometimes a blanket blaming of the American people is simply like blaming the victims of violent rape.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous David M said...

Here is a snippet from a letter written by Joseph Conrad.

Of course there are seamen in a good many of my books. That doesn't make them sea stories any more than the existence of de Barral in "Chance" (and he occupies there as much space as Captain Anthony) makes that novel a story about the financial world. I do wish that all those ships of mine were given a rest, but I am afraid that when the Americans get hold of them they will never, never never get a rest.

Looks as if he felt that Americans lack the intelligence to see his novels as no more than just sea stories. This letter dated July 24 1923. CRE was recognized and has been documented for many years.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, I see Americans as very willing victims. This is not rape, as Chomsky and others wd have it; it's consensual sex. There's a great line in Plato where he says how govts and nations reflect the temperament and behavior of their citizens. "Indeed," he remarks, "where else wd these things come from?"

And I'm certainly not hating for hate's sake; I'm disgusted, and with gd reason.


2:55 PM  
Anonymous tam said...

Nah, neither rape nor consensual sex. More like mindless masturbation. :P

4:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

I guess I cd have called my last bk "400 Years of Jerking Off," but that's a hard one to get by the publisher.

It's an interesting discussion, tho, about who did what to whom, because obviously the American people are victims to some extent. But if WAF demonstrates anything, it's the heavy congruence between the American people and the US government in the areas that are truly basic, esp. goals of life, ideology, nature of economic arrangements, etc. (DAA demonstrates strong congruence in terms of US foreign policy.) Polls can and do occasionally show divergence between the govt and the people, but as we all know, a lot depends on how those poll questions are framed. But the fact that this or that poll shows a divergence re: this or that individual issue is finally beside the pt, given the overall congruence that clearly does exist. I think it fair to say that we've gotten the govt we deserve, and the culture that we are, and neither make for a very pretty picture.


5:24 PM  
Anonymous tam said...

Am I the only one who is *thrilled* that this cesspool [USA] exists?? I mean, I, for one, actually *like* knowing where the world's toilet is! It's a wonderful catch-basin for the thugs and dolts, and a veritable wish-come-true for me!

I mean, now that the USA has successfully sequestered those elements, I know exactly where *not* to step! :D

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Well, as an English (British) person, there's no doubt that we as a people have our own indigenous national psychosis, which in relation to foreigners basically manifests itself as the impossible desire to be both well-liked and yet acknowledged as somehow superior.

Viewed from here, the national psychosis of the US seems simply to be a pointless craving for excess, an inability to acknowledge a metaphysical limit called "enough". Sometimes this produces impressive results (e.g. landing on the moon), at other times it appears to be simply grotesque (e.g. enormous fake tits).

America's psychosis is a more attractive and successful export than ours, though.

6:43 PM  
Blogger J. P. CAZADOR said...


How are Americans forced to choose criminals when they can always, anytime they want, choose to NOT vote, period.

And who were Americans victims of during the times in the past when THEY DID NOTHING after it was revealed that the government used African-Americans in syphilis experiments without their consent (Tuskegee Experiment), or intentionally exposed American soldiers to radiation fallout during the Trinity Nuclear tests in the 1950s, or when Robert McNamara admitted that the Golf of Tonkin incident was a lie, thus admitting that the casualties of the Vietnam war, both American and Vietnamese, all died for nothing. Or how about the more recent passages of the Patriot Act, Military Comissions Act, and then the coup de grace called the NDAA 2012 which removes the little that remained of the U.S. Constitution after the first two aforementioned atrocities were put into effect.

Tell me TonyU, what stopped Americans from doing anything aside from rolling over like they always do and accepting these criminal assaults against their constitution, citizens and freedoms and then criticising people like Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky and COUNTLESS others who have mentioned these and MANY more (I can't list them all here, it'd be impossible) crimes committed by the U.S. government?

6:51 PM  
Anonymous Vince said...

MB et al,

I have read this before, but I will repeat it with out taking credit from wherever I got the information / insight.

We have a culture dominated by spectacle (Chris Hedges). We have become a nation of spectators who have conditioned ourselves to interact with screens. But as most people know, the relationship with a screen is generally one-way. Unfortunately when Americans are talking to you they are really talking at you. Eye contact is minimal at best. This the way that people engage with television screens or computer screens. Ideas and criticisms can not penetrate such an opaque world view.

Logic, reason, and critical thinking are of no use to a people that are being spoon fed what they should learn, believe, and trust as the truth. The only reflection comes from a blank screen.

It is easy to blame our government, corporations, media, etc. Here again, they are only reflections of the culture and society at large. When an institution is trying to appeal to as many people as it can without alienating itself its ideological and ethical standards must be so banal that they become nothing more than a veneer. Homogenization is the norm. That is why anything that has shock value is easy to sell. It is quick, easy, cheap, and disposable.

Slow, methodical, reflective, thoughtful, critical, etc. ways of life have no inherent value in an era of instant gratification. But this era will come to an end. The infrastructure that keeps it going is crumbling while most that depend on it fail to notice. The enticement of the screens has become to great to divorce.

Their world really is flat.


9:51 PM  
Anonymous TonyU said...

A Chinese proverb says ‘where there is character, ugliness becomes beauty; and where there is no character, beauty becomes ugliness’.

A five-year-old American kid who begins first grade this year has the power or choice to mold his own character from grade one until his completion of first degree in college.

He creates his own values, his own laws, his own Congress, Presidents, constitution, government, and his own TV programs and news contents. He determines and writes the books he reads in schools, and the God he believes in is own personal creation. Whatever goes into forming his character and ugliness and beauty is his own making.

Let us sing in unison from here and now and blame him for whatever he will become 20 years henceforth. It is in his genes and nature, and his environment will write nothing to his character! Like Oedipus in Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, he is fated to kill and kill and kill for money and fame.

7:55 AM  
Anonymous JWO said...

Yet another one on your side MB:


though it reads as if he had a Thesaurus plugged into his brain, there are some good things in there including a quote from Joseph Stiglitz that says "A full-time worker in the US is worse off today then he or she was 44 years ago." Ouch!

8:12 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

I haven't been posting for a bit, but I have been reading all of your posts, and I completely agree with the overall assessment of American stupidity. It's remarkable, in a way: every time you think it's fallen as low as possible, something even more stupid is said or done -- hell, it's infinite!

Lately I've been seeing a lot more commercials about war veterans, as well as more mentions of them in letters to the editor, advice columns, etc. It's always to sanctify (and justify) them, by vaguely & nobly speaking of service & sacrifice, and how grateful we all should be for what they've done for us.

Except that nobody ever quite states what it is they've done, beyond mouthing blandly patriotic platitudes. Of course, if you replied by saying, "I'm not grateful for the invasion & destruction of a country that had done nothing to us; I'm not grateful for tens of thousands of men, women & children being killed; I'm not grateful for countless people being rounded up & tortured, often to death; I'm not grateful for all of this being done in my name" -- well, you know what sort of reaction you'd get.

Morris, you're quite right about the consensual nature of our national culture-fuck. At some level, people know how rotten things are & how much they benefit from that rot -- that's why they redouble their efforts to ignore it, defend it if absolutely necessary, then hurry on to the next distraction & bury their heads in it.

Just in the past few days, for instance, I've heard several TV "personalities" praise Steve Jobs in tones a Medieval peasant might have used for a saint. No mention of his horrific business practices, or the socially destructive downside of the technological soma he unleashed upon the world, or the increasing number of suicides in his Chinese factories. Nope, just a lot of bullshit about what a "visionary" he was & how we should genuflect at the hushed utterance of His Most Sacred name.

Here's the problem -- what to mention in disgust next? There's just too much to choose from!

Yesterday my wife & I walked in the local park, and were blessed with the sight of a mother deer nursing an obviously newborn fawn in the shaded canopy of bent green branches. A truly sacred moment -- and then we both expressed the fear that someone would want to "develop" the park, since all that land was just going to waste from a zombie consumerist viewpoint & should be turned into overpriced, shoddily-built condos or townhouses as quickly as possible.

TonyU, if you're looking for people who hate Americans & America, those are the ones -- the voracious greedbags who see only profit & ugliness where the few remaining civilized human beings see beauty & wonder. You know, the current models of Progress & Success we should all aspire to become, even if it means devouring the entire planet. Man, Freud wasn't wrong in equating money & shit!

A rambling post, I know. Personally, I'm going back to look for more deer this evening.

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Julian said...

We have long established that most Americans are so stupid as to better resemble apes rather than human beings. As such, I suggest that what is going on here is not rape or masturbation, but rather consensual bestiality.

These monkeys enjoy being screwed.

6:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, sure: the system produces people who then reproduce the system. But after 400 years, I wonder if American stupidity hasn't become genetic, in a way; or whether in such a case we've gone beyond the nature/nurture debate. Some scientists have referred to a "neo-Lamarckian" mimicry, in which, if acquired characteristics are not *actually* inherited, they sure behave as tho they were. In a word, u may be saying the same thing I am. In the Twilight bk, I called the US a "gigantic dolt-manufacturing machine." Like any human beings, Americans are socialized from birth--in our case, by stupid people in a stupid system. So sure, most of them (and how account for the tiny handful that escape the machine, BTW?) turn out stupid. No surprise there. We may be arguing abt chickens and eggs here. So that's why I think that after 400+ yrs it starts to *look* genetic in nature--which it can, when the environment is so overwhelming and so monotone. Newborns may theoretically be tabula rasa (and many psychologists wd disagree with that), but in practice, it probably isn't that important.

So it seems to me that if yr technically rt, it's neither here nor there; yr really attacking a straw man.


7:18 PM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

It's the Stupidity-Cupidity Meme, I'd say, definitely going viral with ferocious speed!

7:45 PM  
Blogger Noah Linden said...


After trying to debate many Americans about whether all the genocidal imperial wars are really a good thing for America (and for all the people being killed by them), I would have to agree that not only malice, but stupidity is definitely a part of the equation.

For instance: I recently posted several comments on Youtube to a person who criticized the Occupy movement for wanting increased government control over everyone's lives. I told him that the restoration of habeas corpus is a major demand of the Occupy movement - the fundamental Constitutional right that prevents the government for indefinitely jailing people without trial. I then pointed out that the restoration of habeas corpus is exactly the opposite of increased government control, that it is, in fact, freedom from government tyranny. He then posted exactly the same message that I replied to in the first place: that the Occupy people want increased government control over peoples' lives in every possible way.

Americans can't think, and I'm beginning to see that this is true. But I can't help but come to the conclusion that, as you say, the problem isn't one of naivete, but rather one of willful ignorance. Americans don't want to think; when anyone uses logic to prove something that they said is incorrect, they'll just go on repeating their erroneous statements until you either give up or drop dead.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just watched the PBS documentary on FDR at netflix. It illustrates that there has been a huge shift in the US since WWII. Americans with a moral passion for justice could be both honest and hopeful in 1933, despite the Depression. Today, moral passion, honesty, and hopefulness cannot coexist in the same mind, as Morris Berman shows so clearly. Many agents have brought about this death of any meaningful national vision. Anyone who is innocent has probably never been heard of.

10:07 PM  

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