May 03, 2016


Well, Waferinos, nothing much on my mind these days, although I'm looking forward to my Canadian tour, and hanging out with lots of Canadian Wafers. Lectures at U of Waterloo May 13 and 14, and bkstore rdg in Vancouver on May 18. Also the 1st Canadian Wafer Summit Meeting will take place in Vancouver, where we can hunker down over dinner and plan how Wafers can take over the world. It should be an exciting time. Meanwhile, let's keep arguing abt the progs, or whatever you'd like to discuss. ps: I should also add that two of my out of print bks, Counting Blessings and Spinning Straw Into Gold, may make it back online within the next couple of months, and that I also made my first foray into erotica, with a new novel that might shock and revulse (is that a word?) the reading public. Still editing it, however, so ya'll will have to wait.

Take care,



Anonymous James Allen said...

I assume that if anyone had videotaped--or iTaped,or iRecorded--your last talk/talks that you'd have made them available.

With the upcoming lectures, here's hoping a suitably equipped WAFer will record your presentations for those of us who are geographically challenged. Though perhaps the venues have said no recordings or video.

In any case, safe travels. Remember that American crazies can pop up anywhere.

2:53 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. Baleboste said...

Love it:

3:34 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

I teach at a kind of hillbilly "startup" prep school. A lot of nouveau riche from the tech sector with largely right wing politics.

Our biggest problem of late has been the explosion of nasty racial stereotyping among the high school age students. One of them was making Asian jokes, and tells me one like I'm supposed to laugh at it. In a classroom context.

I told him he needs to stop making fun of people for being better than him (math) and rationalizing his own society's failures, as the Chinese are likely laughing at him for far better reasons.

That response was like a bolt from the blue for them. All the impotent admins keep trying the progressive, sensitivity training response, and they laugh at it post-Trump.

So my hating on the progs is contained in that example. If these idiots had had a muscular, enlightened defense of tolerance and universal human values, rather than a Byzantine system of code words and matriarchal "be nice" speech regulation, maybe real problems wouldn't have been swallowed in identity politics, until we are now at a state of existential crisis.

Trump is the repressed male adolescent acting out to spite the bitter, corrupt matriarch figure. I see it every day. These are our low level psychodramas.

4:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


There were no recordings of my rdg gigs at Bluestockings Bkstore, Sept. 2015 and April 2016. Nor of my lecs in Chile last Dec. (which were in Spanish, so...). And, I have no idea what the folks at U of Waterloo plan to do. But how about this: after those Waterloo lectures, I'll post them on the blog, for all and sundry to read.


God, I haven't heard that word in a long time. In the meantime, gd article. What can you do w/politically correct people except pee on their shoes, really?


See my response to Baleboste.


4:56 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

Following up on Jim's comment about hedges' and (by extension other progs') crude romanticized view of the most vile elements of ghetto cululture...I would say it's unfair to characterize rap as representative of all blacks, but it's certainly a destructive force that's gaining.

Though it's a flawed movie, watered down and script doctored by a major studio, I recommend American Gangster, which on some level portrays the Civil Rights as a Phyrric victory for blacks, whose social cohesiveness was almost immediately destroyed by capitalism, allowing a select group of enterprising hustlers to amass incredible wealth and power exploiting their own people in the process.

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Dr. B said:

Having no purpose (in Buddhistic fashion) can be far more difficult than having a noble one, because at least (in the case of the latter) one can fend off meaninglessness and disorientation. Battling all of the world's evils finally means everything is clear; one doesn't hafta think too much. It's also very religious and American and Manichaean, and many progs, like Hedges, do conform to that pattern. In this sense, it is indeed easy.

This is the truest thing that was ever said.

(Hedges specifics notwithstanding)

6:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


As Jim said, Americans are Americans; no reason black ones shd be any different from white ones. In my 'America' trilogy, I argued that multiculturalism was a bit of a smoke screen, since everyone ideologically was a WASP. For everyone in the US except maybe Native Americans and a few disaffected white liberals, there's only one ideology, and that's hustling. Hence, we shdn't be surprised at the existence of a black class society that exploits poor blacks, as portrayed in a # of bks (e.g. "Our Kind of People"). It don' matter if yr black or purple: in America, the goal is to get to the top of the dungheap, while stepping on everyone else.


6:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I think that the way to get out of the prog-trap is to accept the fact that death is a part of life. Hedges hangs on to 'revolution' because w/o it, he wd get very depressed. The progs keep hoping an Obama, a Bernie, a Schmernie, Anyone, will come along and save the day, turn things around. The one fact they cannot face is that electoral politics is a delusion, and that there will be no turning around. To admit that, again, is (for the progs) to sink into deep depression. And yet the Japanese know that impermanence is the great law governing everything, including the cherry blossom, and that--gasp--NOTHING IS FOREVER. In the case of the US, we had our chance, we botched it, and now we are going down the tubes. Instead of trying to avoid the abyss by looking for Schmernie, why can't the progs just do something else instead? (Dual Process is a gd place to start, imo.) Or just sit w/the pain for 5 minutes, fer chrissakes? (This is also known as becoming an adult.)

In the meantime, remember to smile.


6:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Maybe we *won't* have 8 yrs of Botox-face:

"'Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy."

Somebody lend Donald your vorpal blade...


6:44 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB - "I argued that multiculturalism was a bit of a smoke screen, since everyone ideologically was a WASP."

Tonight at the gym, as the overhead screens were breathlessly reporting douchebag Cruz dropping out of the presidential race, I observed a young guy at the weight machine next to mine. He was wearing flip flops despite the inherent danger to his feet and was yapping on his cell phone in Chinese while on the machine--forget the need to concentrate lest one pull a muscle or even worse.

Most Americans would be shocked if they spent any time in the wealthier DC suburbs and saw how many Chinese there are around here directly or indirectly getting rich off their tax dollars. Personally, that doesn't bother me as much as the fact that most of them seem to be even more materialistic and self absorbed than the average douchebag American.

I'd love to know what they think of Trump given his campaign statements about China, but I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of them will support him in the hopes that he'll make them even wealthier.

11:29 PM  
Blogger ab645471 said...

One of the things that I take characterizes the average man - which makes up the bulk of the so called masses - is that he recurringly makes consciuosly and willfully wrong options and decisions.

Once that happens, my fellow man scraps our contract of mutual help and assistance, and I take my moral obligation on his behalf as expired.

Lets take the phenomenon of douchebaggery as an example. It's my perception that it appeared more or less in tandem with celebrity gossip, being a type of behavior borrowed from the type of person the mass man models himself from: Kanye West, Prince (yes), basketball players, football players, the Kardashians and bankers (these represent oportunism and con-artistry). They embody the values that the masses support and would like for themselves. So douchebaggery is celebrity-like behavior, unnapealing as usual and quite misplaced.

A genuine intent to help this man would have to target the internal predispositions and behavior of the man himself: having intelligent objectives, paying attention to reality, having a sense of consequences, choosing better models, etc.

The truth is that the attempt at saving this unfortunate creature from its fate gives the reality-bound, and therefore more enlightened individual, a sense of greateness and self-importance that he possibly would not get otherwise, thereby obtaining a subtle exaltation of the ego disguised as a virtue.

8:12 AM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...


Your post is incredibly insightful. I learned a great deal from it. It's posts like yours that make me come back to this blog again and again.


Personally, I don't see America's unraveling as a good thing. There are plenty of psychopaths in America that would love nothing better than to start a worldwide nuclear war, and the unraveling of America gives them a perfect excuse to do so. If America wasn't a threat to other nations, its unraveling would be a great boon for the world, but it is an extremely dire threat, and that has to be taken into account. A worldwide nuclear war could actually knock the earth out of its orbit around the sun, resulting in the total extinction of all life. This is one of those situations where idealism must actually be jettisoned in favor of pragmatism.

As far as Hedges is concerned, I actually agree that we should fight monstrosities such as the fossil fuel industry that are making the extinction of the human species more and more likely with every passing minute. Given the threat that industry poses to all life on the planet, and the fact that those in charge of that industry are psychopaths who are totally immune to rational discourse, one would be hard-pressed to argue otherwise. However, both Hedges and I also agree with your idea that not everything should be fought. Check out his column "The Menace of the Military Mind", where he argues that America is being destroying by the idea that all problems require a military solution (fighting). However, given Hedges' humorlessness, and his incessant, futile calls for revolution, I can see why you would come to the conclusion that he believes all difficult situations mandate a heroic battle against the forces of darkness.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


That doesn't strike me as a likely scenario, really, tho who knows? The US is doing so much evil in the world, that unraveling wd very likely be a gd thing. Enuf genocide, for cryin' out loud. As for Hedges, I think you missed the mark on this as well. So he's opposed to all problems being dealt with by a *military* solution, but what does this hafta do with his basic position, that all problems (ie evils) have to be fought (nonmilitarily)? I'm not reading into him, or misinterpreting him at all: over and over, he has said that "all difficult situations mandate a heroic battle against the forces of darkness." This is a matter of public record.


11:31 AM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

Wafers, MB,
Hedges has made a livelihood around fighting evil- from corporate greed to theocracy, porn, war, racism, etc. what would he be/do without evil?
He has written about the mechanistic ways in which this "evil" has overtaken the USA- the dismantling of unions, privatization, the banking cartels, neoliberalism, globalization, corporatism, etc but unlike MB he isn't looking at the American soul- which has willingly participated in all of the evil he thinks comes only from the the top down. In that sense, he is truly an American- can't see the shadow within. But what would Hedges write about if he didn't posit himself as good vs. evil?
What can the average American do to change the evil? Stop participating in it. Be conscious about hustling and its damage to their inner and outer world. Every American needs a personal awakening of the cultural landscape. An alternate life philosophy- an alternative to the American Dream is what thinkers, intellectuals and artists should imagine and plant their seeds on. I don't think that Hedges wants to give up his war against evil because evil is the language/narrative Americans prefer. It is part of their hero mentality. Americans- from the radical left to the radical right- all have an inner desire to be heroes. That's why Hedges can make a living off his writings. Little wannabe heroes are buying off his message. MB's "look in the mirror message"- not so hot.
I have been busy these days drawing, reading, gardening, raising kids, caring for family and friends, etc( long gone are my hustling days). But every once in a while I still pay a visit to this blog. I am leaving this link for MB and Wafers who have had the pleasure to read MB's ROW.
The Case Against Reality. ( This cognitive scientists is making the case of how Newton classical physics- " where time is absolute and objects exist absolutely"- is wrong) I think Dr. Berman will love this piece which he envisioned long ago.

PD: I don't think Trump will win, but if he does- it doesn't matter too much where we live in- we are all equally screwed. Some will get screwed faster than others- I admit. Equality works in chaotic ways!

2:02 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

ps: Maybe we *won't* have 8 yrs of Botox-face:

I've been saying it for months that she is unelectable and everyone thought I was nuts.

RE Hedges. I'll stick up for him. He has written some extremely insightful books that I think make great companion pieces for Morris' American trilogy. War Is Force That Gives Us Meaning and Death of the Liberal Class stand out in particular. I don't think the analysis he provides necessarily suffers because he hopes (rather than believes, I suspect) that Americans will see the light and turn on the awful system they (and increasingly the rest of the world) are a part of. Also, like Morris' books, Hedges books are a great jumping off point into other works you might never have been exposed too as he cites a lot interesting authors.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Callooh! Collay! Let's all stand by our captain. Captain Ahab, our savior; The slayer of all evils. The one and the only who shall deliver us to glory and Make America Great Again till end of times. We Are All Aboard The Pequod now.

Wafers, I don't know about you guys but I wanna keep winning. (Sounds like a line rephrased from a porn script.) So please don't insult my hero.
Trump then promised to change that: “We're going to win so much. You're going to get tired of winning. you’re going to say, ‘Please Mr. President, I have a headache. Please, don't win so much. This is getting terrible.’ And I'm going to say, ‘No, we have to make America great again.’ You're gonna say, ‘Please.’ I said, ‘Nope, nope. We're gonna keep winning."

3:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Hedges was a different person when he wrote those bks. It's only during the last 3 yrs that he drifted off into fantasy land, and yes, it has affected much of his analysis.


4:47 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers!

We gave my buddy a good send-off, sad to say... Well, at least he won't be around to see a possible Trump presidency. I tell ya, tho, I'm kinda giddy at the possibility of a president Trump! Think of all the great material we'll have to discuss on the Wafer blog.

Is it true that Lorenzo Riggins has taken the call to be el Trumpo's Veep? Lorenzo said he and Trump will begin bombing Paris w/Cheeseburgers and McChicken sandwiches jus' after the Inaugural Ball; plans on calling it Operation Crepes de Lorenzo.

Anyway, it's good to be back on the greatest blog in history.


ps: I had the most wonderful borscht last night. It had the tiniest hint of ginger in it; absolutely terrific.

7:04 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

On the lighter side, a Trump victory could well cause the heads over overpaid political pooping heads like George Will to explode:

@Christian S - Trump has not yet begun to turn his rhetorical guns on Hillary. Given the devastating barrages he and his supporters launched against Walker, Carson, Jeb, Christie and Cruz, I can't wait to see what he has up his sleeve to use against her. He seems to be a master at figuring out exactly where his phony, hypocrite opponents are most vulnerable and then blasting away at their weak points.

Trump'a aggressive campaign style and the fact that plenty of Bernie voters will likely stay home in November will be much to his advantage. Meanwhile, many "independent" voters are really just American Idol and The Apprentice watching douchebags who pay little attention until right before election day and will be attracted by Trump's Vegas-style glitz. Then you have Hillary's incredible arrogance and feeling that the presidency is owed to her.

Combine all those factors and this election might indeed be a blowout, but not in the way pundits think. The fact that the Rethug Party dropped its opposition to Trump so suddenly might just mean that the power brokers are starting to realize that a Trump victory isn't so unthinkable after all.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Welcome back. This is, indeed, the greatest blog in the history of the universe. Sometimes I hear of people checking out on other blogs, and I shake my head in disbelief. What cd they possibly be thinking?

Just saw the pbs documentary on the Black Panthers. Very sympathetic portrait, surprisingly enuf. What comes thru most clearly is that the BPP never stood a chance. Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover made a deliberate decision to wipe them out, and they succeeded. Real ugly, I tell ya--stuff like the death squad that killed Fred Hampton. But the film also makes the pt that the party members were pretty naïve, in the sense that they really didn't understand what they were up against. One thing that will never, ever, ever happen in this country is a left-wing revolution.

Yes, let's hope Botox-Face can be stopped. I just can't grasp it, that people can see that grotesque visage, and then go and vote for her, when the appropriate response is to toss one's cookies.


8:36 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

The layers of alienation here are unfathomable. Youth learning about their political society- the government of their living, breathing sphere of existence- through vulgar Internet messaging boards. No teachers or parents to guide them, just random memes- pieces of something that would amount to meaning.

Communities all across the country are dying, and our young are warehoused in fake schools, harassing people on behalf of a con artist who is in turn no doubt laughing at them. It's like the makers of endless stupid apps for teens who cash in on The Next Big Thing. A society full of marks who think they are players. Nothing is sacred anymore, period. Interest and conflict only arises at the intersection of lies (Trump/Clinton).

I wish Dostoyevsky could have lived to see this. The Trump phenomenon is Rashkolnikov confessing early and then joking about it to an appreciative audience.

11:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Most people have a very abstract notion of what happens when a civilization collapses. It's like it exists in a textbook: Oh yeah, then this German guy became the Roman emperor in A.D. 476... But the truth is that these things are a mess, and it's in the details that we can see what's happening: half the population of NY walking around on cell phones, people arrested for helping the homeless, a corrupt woman with Botox in her face becoming president, a massacre occurring at the rate of more than 1 per day, customers freaking out when they can't get Chicken McNuggets, toddlers with guns killing their parents--it ain't pretty. The details multiply, and finally there is nothing left of that civilization. Not with a bang, but a whimper--tho in our case, I think we are going to get both.


12:16 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

a new book by Henry Giroux coming out in a few months :

"America at War with Itself" :

Giroux says :

"Now that Trump is the Republican Party presidential nominee, my book America at War with Itself is even more prescient than I had anticipated. Waiting for the galleys. Can't wait to get this out and the brilliant Robin D. G. Kelley is writing the foreword."

Jeremy Scahill tells it like it is :

"Clinton is Legendary Hawk, But Sanders Shouldn't Get Pass on Role in Regime Change" :

3:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: These are the kinds of details I'm talking abt:

8:10 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps2: This also qualifies as "signs of the times":

8:17 AM  
Anonymous Rusty Snag said...

Greetings Dr. B and Wafers:

Dr. B - As you are a former Rochester resident, I thought you would find this interesting:

I think we're supposed to see this as bad news, but I thought that maybe Rochester will somehow be among the vanguard of cities escaping the death throes of global capitalism. Dare I hope?

8:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


As far back as I can remember, Rochester has been in death throes, existential ones especially. Maybe economic ones are a 2nd thought, I dunno.


8:54 AM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...


You have a great point about Hedges. You're right: he does see everything as a battle, because nonmilitary battles are still battles. In my opinion, there are many ways one can go about solving problems. One can fight them, as Hedges is doing, but there are other possibilities. One can educate people, one can lead by example, one can inspire others through love, and one can work behind the scenes to heal society, to name a few. This, I think, is what Hedges doesn't understand, although I agree with his assertion that in certain circumstances, fighting is the only choice available to us. If someone assaulted me and I had no way to escape, I'd have no choice but to fight back. It would be nice, however, if we focused on how to prevent that situation rather than preparing for battle.

I also agree that America's unraveling would be great for the world in principle. Indeed, the Middle East might finally stabilize, and the world might get a well-deserved break from genocide. I just worry about the damage America will do as it unravels. The possibility of nuclear war does not seem farfetched to me; in fact, is strikes me as very likely, given how the American people think. I don't trust America to meet its end gracefully, and neither do any of us on this blog.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


No, the US is not known for being gracious, but nuclear war still does seem rather unlikely. Given the sheer amount of damage the country does (both externally and internally) on a daily basis, we need to get off the world stage asap. In any case, this is all hypothetical, so maybe we need to move on to more interesting topics.


10:20 AM  
Blogger ab645471 said...

Climate change is beating all expectations and proceeding record fast, Wafers. The more records get beaten, more ignored it gets. We are some of the last homo sapiens to get to see the Arctic live. When it's gone, it'll be gone forever. Of course responsibility and awareness on this planet are long themselves gone. The last days of the Arctic will be recorded by the demising species as a normal and expected event, triggered by natural cycles.

Left for us is, paraphrasing Bill Hicks, truth and laughter. And indeed, being able to keep one's eyes open and laughing at the same time is no small honor in these so troubled times.

Our tombstone will read

"In the midst of total disintegration and surrounded by douchebags, they endured in god-like laughter and awareness."


I must return that compliment. I find very articulate and astute writing on this blog and yours is surely among the most thought-provoking. (By the way, I roughly came up to the conclusions of my last post when simultaneously throwing my excrements at pics of Kanye and Lloyd Blankfein.)


Who could ever have imagined such a kind of socially normalized behavior. Baby boxes will soon explode all over America. A fat percentage of people in jail come from troubled families or no faamilies at all, and I guess many of these baby box babies are fatally destined to only enlarge the prison population, if the country does not implode before they start reaching their teens in the meantime. What a despicable nation. They could at least call them Cuckoo Nest for humor's sake. Maybe FEMA will come up with concentration camps for infants and toddlers.

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Rorty said...

interesting piece

11:55 AM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB and all Wafers worldwide..

The carnage continues and it's getting so bad major media is starting to pay attention. It's toddlers with guns.
Today the NYT ran this "One Week in April, Four Toddlers Shot and Killed Themselves" :

For the best single summary of recent stupid gun violence, Dave Waldman runs this occasional piece " Gun Fail"

Onward and downward!

1:29 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

My nomination for the today's all-Merican Non-Display of Empathy Award:

1:48 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

"If you see S-thing, report that S-thing".
Every man to himself in the manifest-destiny WASPland. "Socialists n Dogs not allowed".

"Action Station!! All assholes on deck. Report for duty".

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Dell said...

"As a few of you have expressed here, I'm not terribly torn up about the death of Prince. I didn't follow him at all, nor did I listen to his music. What bugs me about the recent paeans to his greatness is that the last time I had heard of the guy, about 15 years ago, he was being mocked in the media for changing his name every six months, with the strong suggestion that he was Michael Jackson-league loopy. Once he croaked, however, he became the most influential artiste of the last 20 years."

"Attractiveness is a concern of lesser beings, not Wafers in their majesty. Kim Kardashian is attractive.

"Prince, David Bowie and other pop celebrities are not musicians, they're just douchebags."

al said the first and letters numbers the next and it made me wonder if it's ok to pee on people you have no interest in or ability to understand or know? I've always lived by the credo of speak so that I might see thee and I have to say that I find letters numbers guy to be especially repulsive.

4:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You can call Prince, or Hillary, or any and all trollfoons, repulsive; but you cannot call another Wafer repulsive, under any circumstances. This is a big no-no. Thank you.


4:52 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Many thanks for the BPP documentary notice. I'll view it soon. PBS also had a gd one on the life of Janis Joplin recently. Have you seen a slight bump in sales for WAF recently? I assigned it as part of a pre-selected list of books students could chose from and write a review about. I'm happy to report that 8 students chose WAF. Here's a sample of what they said about it:

"It is hard to ignore the evidence Berman provides behind his ultimate claim that America failed. Berman writes with an honesty that seems to be in short supply these days. Also, he is an author who is not afraid of any backlash he may face over his points of view."

"Berman's book was like a slap in the face to make you open your eyes to see what kind of country you are living in."

"What Morris Berman made me realize, as much as I hate to admit it, is that I'm part of the problem."

"I began to realize that this hustling mentality the author describes has been happening in front of me for a long time now, and I had not really noticed it. It's as if growing up in America, this way of life is embedded in you and you take it as the only way to live."

"This book did an excellent job of making me feel dumb."

"The unique contribution of this book is that right now everyone's taking about the future downfall of the United States, but Berman writes as if it has already happened."

Not too bad, yes?


7:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


So far, only 1 copy of WAF sold in May, but maybe there's a delay in showing up in the sales report. But in general, if I had to survive on royalties, I'd have been dead a long time ago.

But I do love those comments. Usual feedback I get on my bks is along the lines of, "I thought I was crazy until I read ___." In this case, it seems more like "I suddenly realized I had been living underwater." Well, both reactions are gd, obviously. As for the guy who felt dumb, hopefully he'll throw away his smartfone and enroll in a class in Latin (now *that* wd be progress!).


7:45 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

I don't remember now who brought William Appleman Williams(1921-1990) to my attention--it may have been MB, or a contributor to this blog--but I recommend him to the readership. I am reading Empire As a Way of Life, amd offer a few quotations to entice you:

"The [American] culture had been unable, after almost 300 years, to develop any conception of success--or fulfillment--except the idiom of the endless chase itself."

". "[Such] restless[ness] in the midst of abundance" was nothing new in individuals, noted Alexis de Toqueville in 1835: "the novelty is to see a whole people furnish an exemplification of it."

"Others, such as Henry W. Bellows, an influential northerner who founded Antioch College, were less confident [that Americans' childish behavior would end as the United States reached maturity]. As long as Americans defined freedom and individualism in marketplace terms, they would be possessed by "an anxious spirit of gain" that manifested itself in seeking an objective "which in its very nature is unobtainable--the perpetual improvement of the outward condition."

Several of Williams's works are available on Amazon.

8:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I drew on him a lot in DAA, esp. "The Tragedy of American Diplomacy." Those are great quotes, BTW.


9:21 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Good news department. (So, naturally, far from American soil.)

Dostoyevsky did write that Russia will rise as a light to the world in this epoch of moral crisis...

Funny that Latin came up. I told my Latin class the other week about the destruction of Palmyra, and nobody gave two good d*mns. Americans really have the same mentality. Why not just blow up anything pre last week? The cancer of ahistoricism.

All that needs to be said in reply to Justin Bieber. Surpassing beauty.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

An intelligent country:

9:16 AM  
Blogger ab645471 said...

The 2016, 100 most influential people according to TIME Magazine is out. No Wafers that I can see are part of the list.

In the language of the publication, which is traditionally infantile to grab public attention, we have the "pioneer" Caytlin Jenner. We have the "titans" Dwayne Johnson and Tim Cook. We have the great leaders John Kerry and Donald Trump. And he have true "icons" like Leonardo DiCaprio and Adele.

Of course, some other figures would probably gather some consensus, but as a law of Nature goes, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

9:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thesis of WAF is that America failed because it persistently ignored or marginalized alternative, anti-hustling voices. This tradition continues unabated.


10:35 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


The choice is between the botox-face and this face...
Cara de Liendre. Hijo de la chingada.

More on symbols: These colors don't run, they do this...

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

I once posted on this blog that one of the reasons Americans are unhappy is that they are only valued for their productivity, and that because only infinite productivity would truly make an American feel valued, this reduces the chance of happiness to zero for your average American. However, I think Americans have fallen into an even worse existential trap nowadays: they are valued only for their ability to dispense violence on behalf of the state (imperial productivity). This means that Americans can only momentarily achieve a semblance of self-worth if they are engaging in state-sponsored murder or torture. Supporting atrocities in a more modest way, like voting Democratic or Republican, isn't quite good enough to provide momentary relief from society's expectations.

There is plenty of evidence for this assertion. Literally all heroes portrayed in American TV shows and movies are soldiers or policemen. All across the country, disaffected young men from financially stable families are joining the military, even though they don't need the money. Groups that dispense violence against minorities with the tacit approval of the government, like the Ku Klux Klan, are rapidly swelling their ranks. And last but not least, Americans *behave* as though their sense of self depended on their ability to dispense violence; take a look around any American community, and you'll see a great deal of cruelty and sadism.

The only thing America really has is the ability to destroy. It doesn't have friendship, community, artistry, intellectual brilliance, a functioning medical system, or even a good economy. Add to this the fact that Americans can only stand united in favor of policies that cause division and social strife, and it becomes clear why they derive their sense of self-worth from acts of violence.

1:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Be sure to wait 24 hrs b4 posting a 2nd time. Thanks.


Well, I doubt the US govt approves of the activities of the KKK, myself.
And most Americans are not engaged in state-sponsored torture. And the major recruiting ground of the military are the poor, last time I checked the stats. Etc. But I do agree w/u, that Americans are taught to feel good via putting other people down--esp. economically.


2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To get married or not department. Much recommended documentary Wafers.


2:27 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear MB,

Another day in paradise Dept:


2:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Nice to know the suspect was employed by Homeland Security. Life in America is getting increasingly secure.

Note to Dan-

Thanks for rec of Atzmon bk, wh/I just finished rdg. It's quite a mixed bag, like he was randomly shooting against a wall w/buckshot and managed to hit a few targets. Most of what's powerful abt the bk is suggestive, things Jews probably never considered b4 (and shd). But there's simply too much that remains unproven. His weaknesses include conflating unrelated things; insisting on causality when only similarity can be shown to exist; and never allowing that alternative, positive narratives might be valid, in contrast to his endless negative ones. It's a very stimulating book, of course, but it lacks the precision of Ilan Pappe or Max Blumenthal--too much shooting from the hip.


3:20 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Thanks Ab - I looked over TIME’S 100 Most Influential People and, well, what can I say except that in most instances it’s a case of psychopaths singing paeans (or criticizing) other psychopaths (our psychopaths as opposed to theirs):

Mohammed bin Nayef of Saudi Arabia by Leon Panetta
The Zuckerbergs by the Gates
Christine Lagarde by Janet Yellen
Angela Merkel by Samantha Power
Kim Jong Un (I love this from his write-up: “Dictatorships need enemies like fish need water…)

Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, Erdogan, Obama, The Trumpenfuehrer, Pope Francis (when he gives away the Vatican riches I’ll be impressed), and on and on.

The only thing missing, as far as I could tell, was praise for Poroshenko by Victoria Nuland.

And, of course, we must celebrate the "Pioneer" Caitlyn Jenner (and keep our focus on our most important issue: that of transgender bathrooms), and the fact that women can now be in charge of war just like men (Air Force General Lori Robinson).

These are the people who are influencing our world…and we wonder why things are so messed up.

Oh Joy!

3:28 PM  
Blogger Bullshevik said...

My friends are delusional, sharing BS like this. I have to come to WAF for my sanity.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Somebody recently sent me a bk called "Going Postal," by Mark Ames. The thesis seems to be something I've been saying here for many yrs now: trying to explain school or workplace massacres in terms of individual psychology ("he was a deranged loner, etc.") is way off the mark. Rather, the answer lies in the type of society we live in, that finally drives people berserk.

The postscript at the end is particularly astute. Ames notes that these type of massacres began to multiply with the election of Reagan in 1980, and his deliberate agenda of transferring wealth upwards to the ruling class, while convincing everyone else that this was in their best interests. He points out that we now serve the r.c.'s interests on our own initiative, and reject any politics that questions that. One wonders if this is the Stockholm syndrome, or whether Americans are basically dumb (v. likely), or some combo of both. Noting the mythologizing that took place upon Reagan's death, Ames writes:

"The way this country supplicated before Reagan's corpse, elevating him to a kind of Khomeini status with the seven-day funeral and the endless orations about his humanity, intelligence, and how wonderfully simple life was under his reign, only reinforced the most disturbing conclusions I was reaching as I wrote this book: that Americans have become perfect slaves, fools and suckers, while a small elite is cackling all the way to the offshore bank...It's the countless nobodies who prostrated themselves before Reagan's corpse that is most galling....Why do we need to love our own wretchedness? Why do we need to celebrate, with a kind of malicious pride, our worsening condition? What the hell is wrong with us? Have we lost all of our dignity?...Why did we let Ronald Reagan die calmly in his sleep, at age 93, almost a quarter century after he destroyed everything decent in America?"

(Note that 'favorite president polls' taken from time to time regularly have Reagan coming out as No. 1.)

Bk description on the back cover says that the author sees these massacres as similar to the slave rebellions of the 19C. "Going Postal shows us that the real killer is the degrading and humiliating system that strips us all of our humanity."

And so 35 yrs later, we read the results here on this blog, of a nation that is rapidly dying off: daily massacres, preoccupation with Prince or Kim, excitement over the latest app or techno-toy, suicides, mortgage foreclosures, polls which show Americans don't know what happened in 1776, meaningless wars, meaningless elections, etc. And inside the avg American head: little more than raw sewage.


4:53 PM  
Blogger Alogon said...

Jim_Jardashian writes:

>Americans generally think that brutality is the all-purpose solution in life. They believe that when something goes wrong, it must be the result of some malevolence conspiracy, and large numbers of people need to be killed.

This experience also illustrates the analysis of the late René Girard about scapegoating: pile all our feelings of guilt onto one individual and send him off to punishment and banishment. This makes us feel better for awhile, especially if we've caught a big fish in a sex scandal. It is a habit- forming quasi-religious ritual. It seems to me that it is also an aspect of the cannibalism that Morris warns us about.

This is is an age-old and universal cultural phenomenon. While nothing is essentially American about it, it does occur when stresses build up in a society. As the U.S. unravels, we can expect Americans to indulge in it more and more often, exactly as we are seeing. Girard was an important late 20th-century philosophe who can illuminate what is happening.

DioGenes said:

>Trump is the repressed male adolescent acting out to spite the bitter, corrupt matriarch figure. I see it every day. These are our low level psychodramas.

Indeed. See on Youtube Milo Yiannapoulos's recent speech at Rutgers University. In a noisy disruption early on, feminists etc. stood up en masse screaming, and smeared red paint on their faces before exiting. Guys in the audience almost immediately countered them by shouting "Trump! Trump! Trump!"

4:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Truth is, he was little more than a punk and a war criminal, w/no other agenda than pleasing the power elite: a nonentity, a totally empty person. But Dems and progs will create this mythology of the Great President so as to be able to avoid the truth: that they chased another will-o'-the-wisp, and he let them down.

I'm willing to believe in god if 2 things happen, and soon:

1. I get to throw my shoes at Bush Jr. and score a direct hit on his head, while yelling, "Yr a dog!"

2. I get to pee on Obama's Guccis, while he's wearing them, on nationwide TV.

As for projectile vomiting on Botox-Face: we can leave that for a later time.


6:36 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

I think that "hustling" was a perfect verb to anticipate the Trump phenomenon, MB.

The whole scenario has made it clear what the lifestyle inevitably becomes- a society in which everybody in power is doing little more than playing a game.

Trump is playing the weak old Republicans, but they will no doubt play him back and get their own advisors in place by the time he touches any real power. If all else fails, could you find a more perfect scapegoat? Each thinks they are beating the other as they both fall together. Everybody thinks they are a player, but they are actually all marks.

The same goes for the illegal immigration scenario. Migrant workers are playing the formal laws of the US to send money back home, but they of course are being played by their abusive employers. Yet nobody will change this in the foreseeable future, as both sides think they are getting ahead.

Economics says trades happen when both sides see a gain in value resulting from the trade. But the level of fraud in the US has turned this upside down. Now people interact with each intending to defraud the other, and they won't even admit it when it becomes obvious. Everybody lost, but it's just another model of fraud to use in future interactions. Trump = "We were let down by the establishment, so we'll all pull a fast one on them with an even bigger lie we'll force them to buy!"

Basically, everybody is trolling everybody. You could say the same thing about online dating and job interviews and education and every other rotten human interaction here. Rome never got this insane.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous JM said...

No need to post this if it has already been discussed but this just seems to belong here:

Such a fine and typical example of social capital.

10:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This country is grotesque.


11:12 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

Diogenes -

The idea of an entire economic or political system being fraudulent is not in any way unique to the US. The degree of unreality and deception in the system of say, China or Brazil, which are two of the world's better economies all things considered, is staggering. The old saying about the Soviet factories ("we pretended to work and they pretended to pay us"), may well be the rule rather than the exception these days. Now of course there's Western Europe, but that model is only possible as American client states, an unsustainable arrangement as the political system on both sides of the Atlantic is being pressured slowly to admit.

That being said, what separates the US is that the hustling and fraud spills over to an unprecedented degree into our personal lives. While your average Russian, for example, knows that everything is corrupt and rotten, your Americans had inherited such a long legacy of staggering economic productivity, that believing in the fraud was profitable for a great many people for a long time. Usually, fraud leaves everybody broke in five minutes, but there was enough money floating around to keep our fraud-based economy going through the early 2000's, even though the system had been imploding since the abrogation of the Bretton-Woods agreement in 1971. The result is that our entire mode of being slowly oriented itself around fraud, and we have an entire generation that has never known anything else.

12:01 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

In high school I remember this girl who loved South Park, and who could relate any situation to an episode she'd watched. At first I barely understood, but after seeing a few episodes myself I now know why this is. South Park is amazingly in touch with the public consciousness, and (as I mentioned earlier) can serve as a point of reflection. For instance, this last season has done a lot to play on the PC hysteria that has been happening across the U.S. I feel like many of you would (snobbishly) find the show too vulgar to watch yourselves (though y'all seem to relish the stories of real people and their vulgarity). Having said that, this video might be a little more palatable than the show itself, commenting on the show's use of PC culture to investigate neoliberalism:

2:22 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Your comment seems like a put-down of Wafers. Not gd, amigo; we don't do that on this blog. Please avoid in future. Thank you.


6:46 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Talk abt sad dept.:

I'd rather Hillary pick Kim Jong Un (except for that 'haircut').


6:59 AM  
Blogger ab645471 said...

Give back the $1 candy bar or I'll shoot you:

It's a good metaphor of things that begin to wobble. The implosion of the country could possibly be triggered by incidents as trivial as this one, a seemingly innocuous event leading to a disproportionate outcome.


The mainstream media is a great reflector of a society's mainstream values and careful reading of a publication like TIME Magazine shows shamelessly how everything in that society is inverted. They are also leaving behind a record of the collapse, unknowingly, every week.


"y'all seem to relish the stories of real people and their vulgarity". Your comment makes a valid critic, so I'll expand a bit on it.

Ordinary people have very important roles in a society, and as a matter of fact they are its backbone:

- they are responsible citizens in all matters in their daily lives
- they concern themselves with the social space (society) they find themselves in and make positive contributions
- they successfully raise children who become equally adult and responsible
- they plan and make provision for the future
- they abide by decent values (no opportunism or con-artistry), etc.

The demise of America also traces back to its ordinary people, as this foundation comes apart at the seams: illiteracy, stupidity, sheer alienation from reality, celebrity gossip (worship of wrong values), lack of intelligent objectives, baby boxes, the list is endless. As the author of the blog has often pointed out, this trend will not be reversed.

Your kung fu is weak.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

I never said most Americans are involved in murder and torture. However, I think they would like to be involved in such acts. By supporting politicians that perpetrate these crimes, Americans are involved indirectly, much to their sadistic delight.


Very well put. Americans have never known anything other than hustling, which is why America cannot be saved. You can't convince people to embrace an idea they don't understand (in this case, a lifestyle not based on hustling), nor can you explain to them what these ideas mean when they don't want to understand them.


Indeed, scapegoating always occurs when society unravels. However, as the degeneration progresses, people aren't satisfied with scapegoating individuals. Instead, they scapegoat entire groups, resulting in genocide; the Holocaust is only one example of this vicious dynamic.

In addition, You have an extremely important insight about saddling others with one's own feelings of guilt. That's why shows like To Catch A Predator are so popular; by reducing evil to only one dimension (sex crimes), Americans can bask in the illusion that they themselves have never done anything wrong. Wars of aggression and torture become normalized, as do everyday transgressions, like verbal abuse, malicious intent, and dishonesty.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you Wafers checked the letter published by the anonymous "John Doe" source who leaked the Panama Papers?

It's definitely not going to lead to a revolution but it's an interesting read.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


"Nothing is more exhilarating than philistine vulgarity."

~ Vladimir Nabokov

MB, Wafers-


T-shirt idea:



12:34 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Dr. B

Check this out. Remember you said, give everyone a drone and other weapons: men, women and children. Well, your dreams fulfilled.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

ab645471 said..."Ordinary people have very important roles in a society, and as a matter of fact they are its backbone"

One thing this blog does well is to look less upon our Kutuzovs, and more upon the world-historical Shaneka Torres element among us.


One morning after class last fall I was hanging around with four students, two from China and two from India, shooting the breeze, when I told them they'd need calculators for the next meeting, as we would be engaged in arithmetical activity for a change.
One of the Chinese guys said they wouldn't need calculators.

"Why?" I asked.

"Because we're Asian."

1:33 PM  
Anonymous xypeter said...

Cher Mauricio,

J.J. makes an interesting point. Something I've noticed from induction, after living in various countries, is that Americans are obviously particularly interested in bondage and domination sex. In fact, we did a survey for XY where over 80% of 5000+ readers SAID they had sexual fantasies about bondage and domination -- which probably means over 90% since at least some ppl won't want to admit it even in an anonymous poll. Of course, that is fine and good, but it's just interesting how closely a ctry's sexuality mirrors its lives. (And by the way, humiliation is sexual, esp when it is a shameless mirror of corrupt adult values, as anyone in a HS locker room can tell you.)

Seen in this way, Abu Ghraib is not the abberation -- Abu Ghraib IS America. Also MB, regarding TCAP, it's interesting to note that most Americans already violate the unnaturally high ages of consent in this country. Many states have an 18 AOC which is by far the highest in the world. California alone spends millions to arrest 17yos who have consensual sex, which further serves to support private prison co's. A DHS survey showed that the average age Americans (admit to) first having sex is 15. So really, To Catch A Predator simply chooses people to humiliate at random for doing something that everybody (including the viewers) does. Such fun! But at its most basic level, why are consensual BDSM sexuality, or teenagers having sex, a crime at all? (Secret answer: the excellent spectacle thereof distracts from W A F ! )


3:24 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

This takes the cake-

3:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


There is no upper limit to American douchebaggery. What a jerkoff that woman was.


Thank u4 this. Perfect snapshot of the America we will all probably be living in in 10-20 yrs, maybe less. Death is life.


If Hillary doesn't appoint Shaneka Secy of State, I may hafta kill myself.


4:10 PM  
Blogger Alogon said...

Jim_Jardashian writes:

>That's why shows like To Catch A Predator are so popular; by reducing evil to only one dimension (sex crimes), Americans can bask in the illusion that they themselves have never done anything wrong. Wars of aggression and torture become normalized, as do everyday transgressions, like verbal abuse, malicious intent, and dishonesty.

James Kincaid laid it all on the line 16 years ago:

American age of consent laws and criminal codes around it are so draconian because Americans have actually been fascinated by underage sex, at least since Shirley Temple movies, but don't want to admit it to themselves.

Have you noticed, as well, the tendency among American third-wave feminists to overlook the treatment of women in Islamic countries and even in Islamic immigrant enclaves in western Europe? Milo Yiannopoulos suggests that this is because in other respects, the kind of society that feminists want has a great deal in common with what Islamists want. From other sources, however, one hears that such feminists are actually unusually masochistic in bed.

Not that I know from personal experience. Anita Sarkeesian et al. are among the last people I'd want anything to do with. We must also bear in mind how often the most thuggish redneck males justify themselves by claiming that women in general actually enjoy being raped. On the other hand, virulent homophobes have been caught with laughable regularity almost literally with their pants down in the company of other men. Kincaid has explored a similar phenomenon. All considered, ISTM a burden of proof lies on anyone who would deny that the mechanism of projection operates in the case of "social justice warriors" as well.

9:19 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Birney, The patriots in that airplane should have mobbed together and lynched that professor for using arabic numerals instead of murikan. Why did they hesitate and risk the lives of the innocent? Where are the Chris Kyles when we need them?
I remember my three and half hour ordeal at a border crossing for having in my truck music CDs with handwritten song names in hebrew instead of murikan. I think Chris was off duty that afternoon and I lived to tell.

Democracy in action:

But there's a distinction though - Mark Twain
"There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages."
"The only very marked difference between the average civilized man and the average savage is that the one is gilded and the other is painted."

Gilded Obama has the audacity to make drone jokes, tells his daughters "look mammi my hands are clean".
And Bush searching under his office furniture says "those wmd have got to be here somewhere", drawing applause from the audience.

Just watch the "rule of the law" married-or-not documentary Kanye suggested.
Plato had foreseen all this coming.

9:27 PM  
Blogger Alogon said...

Ooops, I incorrectly attributed my quote to J.J. when it comes from xypeter. Morris, can you correct me before posting? If not, apologies to xypeter for not acknowledging his perspicuity.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous xypeter said...

Cher Alogon -- Notwithstanding my well-known perspicuity, for which acknowledgement thank you, that quote is in fact Jardashian. ;)

10:22 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

For something really strange and ironic, here's Donald Trump commenting on the film and character of Citizen Kane. I wouldn't compare him to Citizen Kane, that would be demeaning to Citizen Kane, a better term for Trump would be Citizen Buffoon.

11:00 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Relying on other readers to chronicle the continuing decline for today, I'd like to offer a recommendation: PBS NOVA's documentary "Operation Lighthouse Rescue." It recounts the 2015 relocation of the Gay Head lighthouse on Martha's Vineyard 130 feet inland from its former location to a more stable site; erosion of the cliff face near its previous placement threatened to topple it into the sea. The engineering involved was fascinating to see. Here's a link to the documentary:

And for those who might have an interest as I do in navigation and lighthouses, may I recommend a new book on the subject: Brilliant Beacons: A History of the American Lighthouse, by Eric Jay Dolin.

Steady as she goes.

11:57 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

Young Floridian, Benjamin A. Midddendorf, shoots and kills his brother over a cheeseburger dispute:



1:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Strongly recommended for all Wafers: Mark Ames, "Going Postal." Publ. in 2005. Consider this para:

"Petty malice is now the major premise of American life. This meanness has become so common that it even dominates our leisure time, with Americans worshipping mega-millionaire assholes like Bill O'Reilly and Donald Trump. It's an utterly masochistic addiction--and no wonder, since Middle America has taken so much shit over the past 30 years, we've grown not only used to the meanness, but we can even get a rush off it. America is now Zed Nation: addicted to the pain that our masters so lovingly deliver us, rewarding them not only with greater incomes, but with our admiration, our leisure time, and our souls."

Not exactly off the mark, eh?

2:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: And this, from the last page of the bk:

"To recognize the essential meanness of modern American to attack the culture's DNA....The whole country is infested with this meanness and coldness, and no one is allowed to admit it. Only the crazy ones sense that it is wrong--that what is 'normal' is not at all normal...."

The ratio now stands at 168 registered Wafers, and 322 million 'normal' Americans.


6:55 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

The last name of the burger brother butcher is Middendorf. So sorry for the misspelled name. Please excuse this 2nd post violation, MB.


8:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


We thank you for this vital correction, tho I do wish the guy's name were spelled Midddendorfff, wh/I think is German for 'village idiot'.

And as for the cheeseburger dispute, I've never admitted this on this blog, but I keep an arsenal of fully loaded weapons in my house, just in case someone tries to mess w/my burgers. Man, nothing gets me more riled up. Anyone gonna try to fuck around w/my burgers, they're gonna be chewin' on steel, believe you me.


9:11 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

I want to relate an experience I had online about a year ago. There was a college student named Ryan who went to the University of Texas (if I remember correctly). He had just been diagnosed with what has to be the very worst illness one can have: Fatal Insomnia. This disease is a prion disease (infectious proteins) that causes the degeneration of the thalamus, the part of the brain that regulates sleep. Eventually, total insomnia occurs; one is completely deprived of sleep for months or even a couple years before death mercifully arrives.

Anyway, Ryan - if that was his real name - posted the terrible news on Facebook. How did his fellow classmates and fellow Texas respond? They told him to keep his chin up, that having faith in God would cure his illness. They told him that experiences like Fatal Insomnia are a test of one's faith, a glorious opportunity to show God just how much you live Him and have faith in his divine plan for you. They told him that all experiences, even Fatal Insomnia, can be used to deepen one's character and achieve spiritual growth. They told him not to indulge in negativity or feel sorry for himself, to keep a stiff upper lip. Not once did anyone post something akin to "I'm so sorry; what an awful thing has befallen you!". Actual compassion, sympathy and kindness were completely absent from the replies. The only thing directed at this young man was judgment and criticism in different forms.

Of course, I posted something expressing how horrible this young man's condition is, and how heartless their replies were, and how they would never want someone to tell them to stop whining and have faith in God if they were diagnosed with such a terrible illness. I checked back on the comments section; nobody even replied to my comment. I realized later that these people didn't understand what I said to them, because they don't understand what compassion is; the only thing they understand is cruelty.

11:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Actually, they probably thought they *were* being kind and helpful; which is itself a depressing thing. It also fits in well w/New Age thinking: see Barbara Ehrenreich, "Bright-Sided."


3:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

But she's a douche bag dept.: Check out this face, fer chrissakes:

In a nutshell: the status quo continues. Along with 8 yrs of that face.


ps: This version is almost as scary:

3:19 AM  
Anonymous turnover said...

George Packer's New Yorker article has a concise description of Trump's success. He thinks it's a direct result of the failure of American institutions:

"Last week, Donald Trump became the leader of the Republican Party. He thrashed his way to this summit by understanding what many intelligent people utterly failed to see: the decline of American institutions and mores, from Wall Street and the Senate to cable news and the Twitterverse, made the candidacy of a celebrity proto-fascist with no impulse control not just possible but in some ways inevitable. It shouldn’t have been such a surprise. An early tremor came in 2008, in the person of Sarah Palin, who endorsed Trump before almost any other top Republican. In her contempt for qualifications, her blithe ignorance, she was an avatar for Trump. A lot of Republicans, many of them female, saw in the small-town common woman an image of themselves; many men see in the say-anything billionaire an image of their aspirations. Palin showboated her way from politics to reality TV, while Trump swaggered in the opposite direction. Together, they wore a path that is already almost normal.

Trump also grasped what Republican élites are still struggling to fathom: the ideology that has gripped their Party since the late nineteen-seventies—anti-government, pro-business, nominally pious—has little appeal for millions of ordinary Republicans. The base of the Party, the middle-aged white working class, has suffered at least as much as any demographic group because of globalization, low-wage immigrant labor, and free trade. Trump sensed the rage that flared from this pain and made it the fuel of his campaign. Conservative orthodoxy, already weakened by its own extremism—the latest, least appealing standard-bearer was Ted Cruz—has suffered a stunning defeat from within. And Trump has replaced it with something more dangerous: white identity politics."

6:14 AM  
Blogger ab645471 said...

Americans admit that their main reason to vote Trump is that... they don't like Hillary:

The democrats must be now wondering whether they're not shooting themselves in the foot with Hillary's nomination, after recent polls revealed that Bernie probably stood a better chance of beating Trump. Apparently nobody likes her. Even if Bernie becomes her vice president, I don't find likely that they manage to beat Trump in the general election.

Meanwhile, some of Jay Leno's best of Jay Walking:

8:07 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for the link. I esp. liked the gal who said that Louis Armstrong was the 1st man on the moon. Also the one who said that freedom of speech was one of the ten commandments. Plus the one who said she didn't know the exact address of the Gettysburg Address. Then the guy who said that Australia bordered the US. The gal who said Abraham Lincoln lives in Vatican City. Etc.

What (literal) shitheads!


8:42 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

Economist John Kenneth Galbraith remarking on his own profession once said: "The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable."

interesting article by Kurt Cobb :

Cobb begins the article as follows :

"In my previous piece, I discussed why it is useless to argue with a person clinging to what I called the "religion" of modernism. I summarized four main tenets of the modern outlook as follows:

- Humans are in one category and nature is in another.
- Scale doesn't matter.
- History can be safely ignored since modern society has seen through the delusions of the past.
- Science is a unified, coherent field that explains the rational principles by which we can manage the physical world."

8:54 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Parents' smartphones harming children's ability to hold conversation, say teachers...

Look for the schools to become really Kafkaesque as the post 2008 births come into the system. Certainly any pretense towards books and literacy will have to be entirely abandoned.

Any personal experiences with this mute demographic, WAFERS?

9:59 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Home of the natural born hustlers.
"Support Our Troops" and all those colored ribbon sentiments!
Symbols for symbol minded people.

One day we'll have Soda-Pop day started by CocaCola.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Mrs. Baleboste said...

JHK has a good one today:

Now I am starting to wonder if "Il Douche" might just be a blessing in disguise for the Repubs, just imagine if at a chaotic convention Jeb Bush walks out on stage as the savior of the party, wins the nomination...

11:13 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

I don't agree with Kuntler's analysis of Trump's nomination. Trump is going to get the delegates needed to be uncontested and Trump is going to be the nominee. Period. Yes, the GOP leadership could say "yeah we don't give a shit how people voted, we are selecting the nominee" but that absolutely would destroy the GOP lock, stock and barrel. And the leadership of the GOP knows it.

They have no rational choice but to put on a good smile and get behind their man, no matter how much they detest him.

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...


For the majority of the people who responded to Ryan, I think you're right. These people see cruelty as kindness and kindness as cruelty. However, I think that *on some level*, they know they are being cruel. Remember: most of these people are Trump supporters, and are quite openly cruel about their intentions toward Latin Americans, Muslims, Jews, etc.

Also, I think Hedges has stepped off the deep end into total delusion. He ended his last article about Daniel Berrigan with "Change is in the air. I can feel it.". Does he really believe a couple thousand people mourning the death of Berrigan qualifies as a left-wing revolution? The ascendancy of Trump certainly qualifies as a fascist revolution, for obvious reasons. What left-wing revolution has emerged as a counterweight? Nothing. Bernie Sanders votes with the rest of the Democrats 99% of the time, and therefore qualifies as a pillar of the corrupt establishment rather than a genuine socialist alternative. Ralph Nader tried to create a socialist revolution some years ago, but Americans (including so-called liberals) were so offended by his attempt that they exiled him from the political arena.

The whole Sanders "socialist revolution" is nothing more than political theater; it's a glorious opportunity for American pseudoliberals to indulge in drama and ego masturbation. If the American Left (such as it is) really wanted socialism, it would refuse to support politicians like Obama that have imperialist political platforms. Most of Sander's supporters gleefully stood behind Obama as he killed a couple million civilians with drone strike in the Middle East.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I hafta ask: Why not Lim Lardashian? Or Fim Fardashian? Etc.

Anyway, poor Hedges, really. I mean, he's rt, that change is in the air--except that it's rt-wing chg, fascist chg. I sometimes wonder if he's the No. 1 deluded person in the entire country. He had a brief moment of awakening, a few wks ago, when he wrote a declinist article pointing out that the US was going down the toilet. (No shit, Sherlock.) Then he freaked out, went back to his usual 'revolution is just around the corner' shtick. Meanwhile, the piece on Berrigan actually talks abt saving the nation. Wha? Why wd we want to do that, and how, fer chrissakes? Poor tormented shmuck.


5:25 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Morris. I wanted to let you know that I read The Reenchantment of the World last summer and just finished Coming to our Senses. I enjoyed them both immensely. Paying attention to the current political dialogue is exhausting. It's almost as if, with the rise of the internet we don't even live in our lives anymore. It's like there is this great war of ideas and pundits and opinions going on inside the web and we are totally ignoring what is right in front of us,what is really real and I wonder if all of these ideas and debates even matter at all. It reminds me of something you said once, I think during a talk, that the transition from the medieval age to the modern age was a time of great stress because people didn't know what exactly was going on and that we are now going through a similar transition. Boy I hope that's the case! Of course I pay attention to current events but it seems like it's getting more pointless everyday. Where do we go? Anyways, I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed those two books and I'm sure I'll be reading Wandering God here soon. Keep up the great work!

5:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Glad to hear you've enjoyed my work; thank you.

You can ignore 99% of the 'news'; it's basically crap. Bernie vs. Hillary: r.u. kidding me? The larger drama is what counts, namely that the US, and the capitalist system, are disintegrating. Also interesting is what will replace them. Stay tuned for my next post, in a few days, for more on the subject. (Those of you at U of Waterloo on May 13 will get a sneak preview.)

Hope you enjoy WG.


5:46 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Christian S - yep, you pretty much nailed it about Trump and the nomination. Kunstler also also cites some nut who still thinks Joe Biden will be the Dem nominee. He concludes thusly, "Both parties are close to blowing up altogether. I’m not convinced that they’ll survive their own conventions this summer."

Sure, Jim, and wasn't Peak Oil supposed have gasoline selling at about ten bucks a gallon by now?

I'm much more impressed with the predictions of John Michael Greer, who back in January asserted that not only would Trump win the nomination (which seemed unthinkable at the time), but the presidency as well (though in fairness, he did hedge just a bit on the second part of that prediction).

@Esca Dreg - sounds like the Mother's Day phenomenon was just a precursor to the corporate "pinkwashing" that goes on every October, turning many people's sincere desire to want to help fight breast cancer and turning into a huge marketing opportunity in which little of the money collected actually goes into real research.

5:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't run it; too long. Pls compress by at least 1/3, and re-send. Thank you.


7:20 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

I wonder why people on this blog continue to read Chris Hedges? He doesn't appear to be held in very high esteem. I recently checked out an interview he did with Dan Berrigan in 2008 where he quotes Dan: "The good is to be done because it is good, not because it goes somewhere." I believe if it is done in that spirit it will go somewhere, but I don't know where." And then, "I have never been seriously interested in the outcome. I was interested in trying to do it humanly and carefully and nonviolently and let it go."
Rest in Peace, Dan


8:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Actually, it ain't rocket science. The whole prog crowd--Hedges, Amy, Noam, etc.--often say very valuable and important things, IF you frame their writings as contributing to an archive, namely the archive of why America failed. I can hardly fault them for that; after all, it's what I'm doing as well. Their delusion is that their critique is going to save the US, somehow turn it around (which also means they believe it's worth saving); or that all that counts is the gesture in and of itself. As for Dan, as I said earlier, he wasn't trying to cure all the evils of the world; he was far too intelligent for that.

(Or at least, I believe he was. I didn't follow his various activities in recent yrs, I must admit.)

Anyway, properly understood, the progs are providing documentation. Wafers are interested in that, as far as I know. In a word, one doesn't hafta swallow the progs whole (thank god).


8:57 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Dear MB and Wafers,

Clearly, American civilization is in its terminal phase; yielding to the pressure of its own rotten and corrupt weight. Trump's historical political upheaval of the GOP, Hillary's demented laugh when asked a serious question, Hedges's laughable self-confidence in the American people to turn things around are evidence enuf of our crisis. I agree that our drive toward oblivion will be a slow and steady process (already happening), but I wonder if we can't also expect a *final* push, so to speak, which causes the entire structure to topple? In other words, will the place sustain a stupendous *hit* that will irrevocably knock it out completely? What do u guys think about this scenario? I could be wrong, but I tend to believe that as flimsy and lost as American civilization is, it could, quite simply and abruptly, collapse.


9:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A real possibility. Two things, I think, cd lead to a knockout punch: another 9/11-type event; another 2008-type market crash event. Either of these cd lead to massive rioting, martial law, the election of a Trump figure to the W.H.; hell, even a coup d'état. In other words, bang and whimper are not mutually exclusive, for the US. I don't have a crystal ball, but one thing I'm abs. sure of: we're toast.


9:15 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

If you, the Great Seer of the Western World., can't predict how things are gonna go--south, assuredly, but the details remain sketchy--then I say let's have a laugh on the way down.

How about this, from the Life of Brian ("He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy!"):

Eric Idle sings "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life":

And if you wish to "follow the bouncing ball" (so to speak), the lyrics displayed here:

10:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I am indeed the GSWH (Hemisphere). Who cd deny my munificence? I literally radiate insight. Not a day goes by that some man doesn't send me a Large Check, some woman doesn't offer a Marriage Proposal. And really, who cd blame them?

So here's the overall pattern (summary of what I've written b4):

1. Trump gets nomination, GOP falls in line.
2. Hillary beats him by abt 7% points.
3. The US enters its Weimar period, floating w/o purpose or direction.
4. SOMETHING happens. Another jihadist attack (maybe the Sears Tower in Chicago, e.g.), and/or a major economic implosion, worse than 2008.
5. The country comes completely unmoored. Martial law is declared; there's a soldier on every streetcorner of every large city. Rioting is brutally put down.
6. A Trump-Hitler figure emerges for 2020 or 2024, and wins by a landslide. Brownshirts patrol the streets. Intellectuals and any other dissenters are rounded up and put in detention camps.
7. The US, for all intents and purposes, is over. The economy is in the toilet, and all major institutions essentially stop functioning.

That's what I mean by 'toast'. Get out now.


11:50 PM  
Anonymous xypeter said...

Cher Mauricio,

When the US is toast, will Europe be toast? Will my former haunts Iceland England be toast? Will Montevideo be toast? Where should one go to avoid being Osterized?


1:32 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


There will be degrees of toast. I suggest you start checking out Costa Rica today. Scandanavia, also gd.


5:41 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

At a certain point, people prefer deception to the truth. It's fundamentally a matter of self esteem. They don't feel they are worthy of honest dealing.

Political, corporate, and religious scams are a form of violence they feel they deserve.

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Deborah said...

I don't know if any of you have come across PRN.FM which you can stream, but they have some excellent radio programs on a variety of topics. Derek Jensen has a program on environmental issues but one of my favorite hosts is Mike Feder who is a great storyteller and social/cultural commentator. This is a recent article on his blog on cell phone addiction:

Also, just read this on alternet:

10:05 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Scroll back 3 posts: I did an interview w/Derrick on PRN that you might enjoy. Good cell fone article, BTW.


10:35 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Trump's running mate, Warfel. With a name and face like that!! She's "jack-hammer tough" will be the slogan to scare the moslims.
"loudly fornicating and banging around her bedroom to the degree that the victims' dresser and her own bed shook".
Just like murikan culture; Shock and Awe -from bedroom to the battle field.

"A change is coming. I can feel it". Mr. Hedges, Now I know what you mean.

Thanks to our GSWH that we may go down with the ship, if we do, but with our eyes open.

10:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check out that woman's face in the loud sex article. u.c. the future of America, in that face. Brr. Anyway, why go down w/the ship? *Leave* the ship!


11:25 AM  
Blogger ab645471 said...


"At a certain point, people prefer deception to the truth."

It normally occurs at birth.

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Zak said...

hmm, i say

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

I'd like to add a few things to Morris's predictions.

8. Imperial wars expand until the military is stretched too thin and defeated; millions of people overseas will be killed.
9. The world finally uses its military might against America, demands repayment of outstanding debts, and refuses to trade with America, further destroying America's economy.
10. Muslims, Jews, blacks and Hispanics will be rounded up and put in labor camps. Millions of them will die.
11. Due to continued economic decline, starvation, disease and homelessness ravage the American populace.
12. America will find itself permanently impoverished with no hope of recovery. The world still demands repayment of debts, and refuses to trade with America until these debts are repaid.
13. Eventually, China colonizes America, buying up portions of the country in exchange for debt forgiveness and willingness to once again engage in commerce.


I chose this name because Jim Jardashian, as opposed to Lim Lardashian and Fim Fardashian, has a certain bite to it, a certain crispness that reminds me of the faux-elegance that Kim Kardashian perpetually seeks to evoke. Well, that, and the fact that it was the first thing that came to mind :D.

5:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, Zim Zardashian also has a certain bite, I think. But let me add a hopeful #14: other countries get together and invade the US, capturing members of the Cheney-Bush presidency, along w/Bill Clinton and Obama, and ship them off to The Hague. They are found guilty as war criminals and hung. This is videoed and televised, as the entire world watches and applauds.


6:03 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Like a fount of lunacy, it just keeps coming:


Amanda Warfel: A beautiful contribution. Warfel, I believe, is a German variant of würfel which means to throw, twist, and bend. Nice 2c Amanda living up to her name.


6:07 PM  
Anonymous David G. said...


The Mike Feder article on cell phone use says everything I have been feeling. And it is the same here in Portland. It creeps me out. It is obviously addictive and unhealthy behavior -- apparently tendencies that lots of people have, and the smartphone just enables them. It's just more technology to make people lazy and stupid, like so many other technological gizmos. I completely do not understand what the appeal is, and I am frightened that so many people apparently do not know or care about the broader psychological and societal and environmental issues entangled in these things. Once again, I am of a minority opinion on this. Meanwhile, I hang onto my 11-year old clamshell dumb phone and continue to read books on the bus.

10:58 PM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

Meanwhile some benighted fools continue to promote Trumpian American exceptionalism and "greatness" as the "there is no other way" only possible future for both the USA and humankind altogether. Check out the Journal of American Greatness - sigh!

11:50 PM  
Blogger Rosegarden said...

A few excerpts from the report on Flint, Michigan in the Spring, 2016 edition of NEA Today (for retired teachers):

“These days, the fifth and sixth graders in Darlene McClendon's classroom play distractedly with plastic water bottles. This year's students are less attentive than previous groups and 'when you ask them a question, it's gone like you didn't teach them anything,' says McClendon worriedly. Is that because of lead poisoning? Or is it stress? This past fall, Flint Kindergartners scored lower on readiness tests. Is that lead? Or changes in the preschool curriculum?”

“Lead poisoning causes irreversible damage, and the effects are particularly destructive among children under five...Likely outcomes include delayed speech, attention deficits, hyperactivity, learning disabilities, impulsive behavior, increased aggression, and eventually, increased risk of dropping out.”

“In 2002, a Pittsburgh study found that juveniles in a police detention center had more than 10 times as much lead in their bones as their peers.”

“The district had just one nurse for all of Flint's 5,400 students.”

Most disturbing to me is children asking their teachers, “Are we going to die?”

12:07 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Hillary's poll lead over Trump has dropped to nearly 6%, while Bernie would defeat him by 13%--if election were held today. Bernie is the best candidate for the Dem. nomination, but they will nominate Hillary nonetheless. The election is 6 mos. away; we can only hope that Botox-Face's lead continues to erode, and that next Jan, it's President Trump.


4:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Just another day in America (yawn):

4:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Forgot to thank you for those excellent links. Yes, these are the revolutionary masses, the ones who will rise up against our corporate masters, and smash neofeudalism. An exciting socialist future awaits us, clearly.


4:23 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Has anyone noticed that those who boycott North Carolina for its recent homophobic laws are being praised by media liberals, while the BDS movement is often called "antisemitic" by the same liberals?

10:52 AM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear MB,

Donald Trump's quote below contains everything one needs to know about him:

"Whenever I'm making a creative choice, I try to step back and remember my first shallow reaction. The day I realized it can be smart to be shallow was, for me, a deep experience."

Does this quote not apply to majority of USA?


11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Deborah thanks a lot for the Mike Feder link, it's brilliant.

Meanwhile Wafers, if you feel like grabbing a cold one this summer while attending a Trump rally:

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

Most non-Americans I have spoken to regard America as the laughingstock of the world. For example, I once got into a taxi and encountered a Madagascan man who knew a tremendous amount of information about the world's geography and cultures. We started talking about geography, and he remarked that although I knew a good bit about geography, he was shocked and appalled that nearly all Americans literally knew nothing, even about their own country's geography and history. Although Madagascan people supposedly don't have a high IQ, I'm not sure that that matters; they are much more well-informed about the world than white and Asian-Americans, who supposedly have very high IQs.

What does IQ measure? It largely measures one's ability to memorize numbers, organize puzzle pieces, and perform other childish, meaningless skills. It certainly doesn't measure one's storehouse of knowledge, one's capacity for abstract thinking, or one's creative abilities. It certainly doesn't measure one's ability to love or to make ethical choices in life. I'm quite sure Hillary Clinton has a very high IQ; nevertheless, she is completely devoid of love or ethical qualities, and doesn't understand her own motivations, let alone those of other people. Sometimes I think that American scientists deliberately structured IQ tests in such a way that imperialistic, superficially intelligent people (e.g., Americans) would score very highly, thus justifying their belligerence and intolerance.

Also, only 30% of Americans can locate the state in which I live, New Jersey. lol...

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Lee said...

4:13 PM  
Anonymous COS said...

As Wafers seem to enjoy posting on all manner of examples of American idiocy, I submit to you: Florida Man. Florida is the extreme epicenter of American idiocy. Ever notice how stories of absolute idiocy all start with the following: A Florida Man,,,, Enjoy

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

Morris, Enjoy your tour!! Do you evade those radiation machines? I just wanted to tell you that you are so correct, about people here. They are even more cruel if you can imagine. They are turning even more on the most vulnerable, and are watching TV and reading the news papers as if it were real news, not questioning anything. But actually getting worse if you can possibly imagine that ?

6:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

There may be hope yet:

6:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Tomorrow I take big silver bird to Toronto, will be in Canada thru May 21. Internet contact iffy during this time, but I'll do my best. Thanks for yr patience.--mb

6:24 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


If the culture had tilted further to the left, they probably had a rainbow, gay Bud also waiting in the wings.

8:14 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...


Do enjoy your Canadian tour, MB. May the borscht be w/you.


See chapter 4 of MB's "Neurotic Beauty" for a new and original interpretation of the events leading up to the decision to drop the bomb.
Here's a revealing quote found by MB in NB:

"You realize of course that the main purpose of this project is to subdue the Russkies."
~Major General Leslie Groves, March 1944


8:23 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

Who do u guys think trump we'll pick as a vp? I think it well be the house negro Carson

10:10 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

In local news in my area, a douchebag who calls himself the "NoVaCreeper" online was arrested for (surprise! surprise!) child pornography:

In other local news, the feds threaten to shut down the DC metro after a massive fireball rolls through one of its stations:

If that's how badly the infrastructure has been allowed to fall into disrepair around here, good luck to those of you in the rest of the country.

11:08 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Isn't this similar to the 60s occupation of college campuses by blacks?

9:51 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Under the heading "Are you shitting me?":

A report on the Bloomberg website, based on an investigation by Oxfam. The investigation took three years and produced a report entitled "No Relief." Oxfam interviewed current and former employees of the major chicken processors--Pilgrim's Pride, Tyson Foods, Perdue--and found that employers were restricting or otherwise denying line workers bathroom breaks, with the result that some workers had been driven to the expedient of wearing adult diapers while on the job.

Details here:

Denied Breaks, U.S. Poultry Workers Wear Diapers on the Job
By Shruti Singh

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Kanye: I saw that, the great irony is A-B is owned by Inbev from Belgium.

WAF-ers: Welcome back Zimmer-douche:

MB: Have fun, there's gotta be a good deli in Vancouver somewhere ... beep, boop, click ... while not exactly a deli, it looks good:

10:30 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

If Hillary and Trump are tied now that means she has slipped. A lot. If that trend continues then Trump will be our president. Two friends and I were chatting about this back and forth via email. One of my friends is worries that if Trump is president, and a man like him is able to pick supreme court justices, the damage he does will long out live him. Another just regards a Trump presidency as an unmitigated disaster on all fronts. Here is my response to them both.

It’s hard for me to see any presidential candidate as a potential “disaster.” Disaster is a strong word and what presidents can accomplish is rather limited these days, for both good and ill. We haven’t really had presidents so much as managers starting from Clinton to the present day. Say what you want about trivialities that make up the so called differences between Clinton, Bush II, and Obama, but there is distressing continuity on the big, long term, issues that actually matter.

We are already experiencing a “disaster” it’s just that it is unfolding slowly. A mouthy populist isn’t necessarily going to make things that much worse in the grand scheme of things. He actually carries with him the faint (very faint) hope that his ugly presence will shake things up enough to jar people into recognizing that the road we are going down isn’t working and we need to radically rethink things. I don’t have much hope of that, but all things being equal, hey, lets give it a shot. Though, your points about picking supreme court justices is something that has weighed on my mind.

On the other hand, I recognize that from a personal, selfish standpoint I would probably be better off with eight years of “crisis management” in the form of Hillary. See, I am getting to the age where the “death bet” is looking pretty good. You know, that bet that you can live your good life in an unsustainable system and you will die before the bills truly come due.

1:15 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

A Wafer in Damascus?

1:58 PM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

Urine dept:

when ya gotta go, ya gotta go....

4:03 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Save the children, destroy the i Phones...

6:09 PM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

Although they have some useful and necessary things to say Minding the Campus is of course very closely associated with all of the usual back-to-the-past right wing suspects, including right-wing Christians, that actively promote the technocratic paradigm that has created and holds in place the situation that Morris describes and criticizes in his various books.
The very paradigm that actively prevents any and every possibility of anyone Coming To Their Senses. The non-sustainable destructive patriarchal clusterfuck paradigm that both Kunstler and the Archdruid describe and criticize too.

10:42 PM  
Anonymous brainDecay said...

Saw this while in the checkout line at the grocery store.!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/gallery_320/11-2016-lice-president.jpg

You have to wonder what compels Americans to believe they deserve a better leader, when "journalism" of this nature makes the front page of major publications.

12:52 PM  
Blogger Bullshevik said...

Time for some WAFer antidotes... all the D's and even some R's I know say that "even at her worst, Hillary would be better than Trump." I don't have the financial means to emigrate, so I may just resort to hiding inside my house, assuming I can still manage to make my mortgage payments, for the next several years.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

Lately, I've come into contact with some Sanders supporters that have Trumpian views on just about everything. They expressed a desire to rid America of Mexicans and rid the world of Muslims. They also expressed a desire to become fabulously wealthy, and accused me of lying when I told them that financial security, not yachts and mansions, is my financial goal in life. It turns out that the American Left really is no different than the American Right, even on economic issues; those who support Sanders only want what would allow them to amass more wealth. They don't want economic justice or anything approaching it.

If Sanders supporters want to kill 1.4 billion people (the total Muslim population) and amass billions of dollars at everyone else's expense, what do you think Trump supporters want? In my estimation, they want to create as much suffering and death as they possibly can, regardless of whether they get rich in the process. Sadism and malice are the primary psychological impulses in such people.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This is a longish article, but very well written, and sums up the predicaments of our time:

11:00 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

A waffer economist?

4:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers: This just in:


6:39 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

In the end, we humans will get what we deserve.

A story from the Orlando Sentinel, reporting on a woman who just wanted a picture with the shark she'd hooked fishing on Mother's Day weekend from the shore at Fort Myers Beach. She pulled the hammerhead she'd caught onto shore, posed for photos kneeling beside and sitting atop the shark, then after ten minutes returned the creature to the surf. It swam off, but was found dead later on the same beach.

Naturally the woman had posted the photos on social media, the only way that current-day humans have to establish that they do exist and do have "experiences."

Story here:

I have personal experience with this sort of human disregard for the world's creatures. Despite prominent warnings requesting that people not use flashlights at night along the shore when Ridley's and other turtle species are nesting--the lights confuse hatching turtles who use moonlight to find the ocean when emerging from the nest--there are always some who can't comply. I have observed this multiple seasons near Sarasota.

Humans: threat or menace?

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...


Congrats on that review. I didn't think anyone at the Huffington Post had it in him to be open to fundamental critiques of American society. Perhaps if enough publications positively review books that provide such a critique, a substantial number of Americans will emigrate to greener pastures.

James Allen,

What are you talking about? This is the Land of the Free. Not being allowed to go to the bathroom is the epitome of personal freedom, because it's founded on Free Trade. In addition, white is black, ignorance is knowledge, war is peace, fascism is humane, and homosexuality causes climate change. Worigrogihasjkrbkfjnmedmeiheif!!!!

Politically Incorrect,

Maybe they should allow first grade students to carry Kalashnikov machine guns during recess, just to "protect against bullying". Death is the solution to every problem, after all. Uncle Joe Stalin said as much, and we all know that a death toll of 50 million is something every nation should aspire to. Always living in fear of being gunned down is the highest and greatest freedom one can know.

12:58 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

I'm glad we now have a formal political alliance of craps games operators at the head of a major party.

Just add a golden calf on the National Mall...

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Billy said...

Was leafing thru this at a book store in San Fran yesterday. Thought of you guys!

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. Baleboste said...

Congrats on the review MB

4:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Whatta douche bag dept.:

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Juliet said...

Graphs showing lifting trends for our Fairer Wafers

8:02 AM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

James Allen,

Very good point. In most of the world, experiences have been reduced to projecting inauthentic emotions over social media. Literally everything has become a scheme to promote oneself, acquire wealth, and burnish one's image. This is the end stage of capitalism: everything is reduced to hustling, to a struggle for advantage at the expense of others. Community, friendship, art, music, literature, philosophy and charity are pushed to the margins of society, and sometimes punished. (Hundreds of Americans have been jailed for feeding the homeless.)

Obviously, this state of affairs is unsustainable, notwithstanding the asinine babbling of free-market fundamentalists and the empty promises of politicians. Community and friendship form the basis of human civilization (after all, what else could possibly bind people together?), and by discarding these things, capitalism has sowed the seeds of its own destruction. Marx was absolutely correct about this, although the destruction of capitalism will give rise to totalitarianism instead of the egalitarian society he envisioned rising from capitalism's ashes.

However, this doesn't mean I shed any tears for capitalism's demise. Capitalism could be accurately described as the destruction of all human values for the sake of individual profit. In fact, the totalitarianism that inevitably follows capitalism could simply be viewed capitalism's endgame rather than a fundamental transformation. The individualistic struggle to subjugate others and exploit them until they die - the struggle of capitalism - is fundamentally totalitarian in nature.

12:48 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

I rewatched Citizen Kane last night. Wonderful.

Expressing the essential sadness of the American elite was the one message Hollywood could not bear, and it brought Orson a one way ticket to exile.

Wish I could have met this jolly old proto-Wafer.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Get a load of this:

The land exercise alone, dubbed Anaconda 2016, will be 2 ½ times larger than any previous training in Poland in recent decades and will almost certainly provoke an angry reaction from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

I love it. NATO poobahs are more or less admitting that they have no rational reason for this sabre-rattling, and that all they are doing is comparing dick sizes.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Waferettes, maybe.


2:44 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

This is the most bizarre teaching experience I have ever had. As I might have mentioned before, this school does not teach cursive handwriting. I mean how pathetic to see 8th graders write their essays in print. Anyway, I bought some cursive handwriting practice books for my 5th graders who had a great desire to learn it. The problem is that I had to sneak the books into the school like I was sneaking the Bible into North Korea since I was in violation of the school's curriculum.
This school is also a right winger's wet dream. As it is a charter school there are no teacher unions. Thus teachers are near psychotically territorial. "That's mine. OK, you can use it, but you need to return it exactly where you found it" seems to be the reigning mantra of the building. Also, any disagreement with a teacher seems to get to the principal almost immediately. "Even the walls have ears", Tacitus wrote and he couldn't have found a better example than this building.
Nevertheless, the indoctrination is breathtaking. I told a teacher of a position in her field near where she lives. This school has not only a robust teacher union but teachers receive yearly increases not based on student performance like this building. She never inquired about it.
Enjoy Vancouver, Dr. Berman. I have an ex-wife living there by the way.

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Some good stuff:

James A: Three things. One, for many "nature" is just another commodity and meaningless beyond the ability to make $ off it. And for most people, the only "nature" they experience is on the TV so when they actually do go outside, they expect it to be like they see on TV, images on a screen.

Two, people raised like the above just can't handle reality in nature. See: and

Three, also blame the rise of tech, specifically automatic digital cameras. Now, even some d-bag can get a pretty good photo. While in the past you really had to know your stuff to get a good photo. I make my living as a photographer, but I rarely save my personal images.

10:38 AM  
Blogger ab645471 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:22 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Pls send messages to most recent post. No one reads the old stuff. Thank you.


10:28 AM  
Anonymous Mark Notzon said...

Never So Well Expressed Dept.:

Don Delillo's latest novel, "Zero K," published this month. Stellar quote:

"Every touch of a button brings the neural rush of finding something I never knew and never needed to know, until it appears at mysnxious fingertips, where it remains for a second before it disappears forever."

-Mark Notzon

12:49 PM  
Anonymous mohamed said...

panther power by 2 pac. i think even if ur white u well enjoy this song.

6:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Please don't send messages to earlier posts; no one reads the old stuff. Thank you.


6:43 PM  

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