November 02, 2012

The Truthout Review

Dear Wafers and other friends of the blog:

Here is the latest review of my work, which just appeared on Truthout:

I need to say a few words about this, and to salute Truthout for being willing to publish it as the author submitted it, without any cutting or editing. (Counter Punch falls into the same exceptional category, imo.)

Many years ago the historian Jackson Lears pointed out that whether one was talking about The Nation or The National Review, it was pretty much the same story. I.e., the Left and Right in the U.S. think they are in opposing camps, but the similarities are far greater than the differences. Both, he remarked, believe in "progress," technological and economic expansion ("growth"), and the American Dream. Voices critical of these goals were practically nonexistent, or completely marginalized. This remains true today, of course, and I get something of a charge out of the fact that the Left is congenitally unable to entertain a scenario that is becoming more and more obvious each day: It's all over but the shouting (indeed, "progressives" are part of the shouting). Hence, their delusion is pretty thick, because if your arguments are not based in reality, how good can your analysis be?

The author of this review, David Masciotra, submitted it to several "progressive" online publications, and the reaction was basically, We'll run it if you refute Berman's argument(!). One editor, who happened to have a Master's degree from a prestigious Ivy League university, went completely bananas, telling (yelling at, actually) David that Occupy Wall Street was going to turn everything around, and that the U.S. had a great future ahead of it. Talk about impaired reality-testing (recall my constantly reiterated observation, that in America stupidity is not particularly a function of IQ). But the crucial point is that this voice, the one that says Game Over and provides the documentation for this conclusion, can almost never get a hearing. As a result of which, we drift ever closer to disaster on a daily basis, not only unwilling to consider why America failed, but also unwilling to even recognize that it failed.

Anyway, I wish to thank David for writing it, and Truthout for running it. And be sure to tell your friends: It's all over but the shouting.

Thank you all again for your support.