February 02, 2017


Hola Waferinos-

Don't have much to say this time around; I'm so excited about all the damage Trumpi is doing, I'm actually speechless. I keep waiting for Ivanka to invite me over for a good ol' fashioned Jewish meal, but thus far she has (cruelly) failed to make contact. Nevermind; as long as Dad continues to dismantle the country, there's not too much to complain about, really.

Trumpi! You da man!



Blogger NeilW said...

THE TEMPEST - FROM DREAM TO HALLUCINATION ''Noise is prevalent, omnipresent, and deliberate. Entertainment stores and places that sell music and movies probably have stock in hearing aid companies, since they play the awful music they peddle at such high volumes. And even restaurants, the last bastion of civility, run at earsplitting volume. And if you are lucky enough to find a quiet, intimate place to eat, someone is sure to bring in a child who is not old enough to appreciate the food or the atmosphere and make its displeasure loudly known'': http://www.sunfell.com/american.htm

8:16 PM  
Blogger Patrick D. Fitzgerald said...


I made a bit of an "internet brain" mistake (see Nicholas Carr) because the Zunger predictions I was referring to were from his post about what "Things Going Wrong" looks like, sorry about that. As for a coup, I think they are definitely seeing how much they can get away with as a step in consolidating as much power as possible in themselves, though not necessarily the Federal Govt as a whole, (even though that's what they are running, confusing I know) which Bannon has said he is intent on destroying. Not sure that constitutes a coup but it is definitely something, maybe unnamed to this point in American history, checkoverbalancingism let's call it.

MB and others who recommended Thomas Wolfe,

Thank you to the nth degree. Absorbing Look Homeward Angel's prose is like sipping wine in a porch swing on the most serene of breezy nights that you wish would never end. What a delicate and seemingly effortless voice he had, undoubtedly part of that southern genteel expressiveness that the infamously misunderstood Ch.4 of WAF touched on in part. It would be fine by me if that part of the south rose again, but nope, just the white supremacist part so far, oh well.

8:38 PM  
Blogger Edward said...

C'mon Dr. Berman, if you got an invitation from Ivanka to go to the White House would you really accept? Of course, I doubt Ivanka or any Trump for that matter is familiar with any of your writings.

I really enjoyed your essay, "The Final Act".

As merely an occasional participant in the comment section, I rarely (if ever) miss any of your commentary and that of your followers.

It is truly amazing how much chaos Trump is creating in just his first 2 weeks. It even has you speechless!!! People are saying, "if we can just hold on for four years and get this in the past" ... dream on, I say. The inevitable downward spiral for the American Empire is accelerating and Trump's foot is on the pedal.

Plus, botox face is planning on publishing her memiors ... "After a bruising campaign loss to the celebrity businessman, Donald Trump, the former Democratic presidential candidate is working on a book of personal essays organised around favourite quotations that have inspired her over her lifetime and which will include her thoughts on the Trump campaign and her unexpected election defeat."

So, Dr. Berman and all the WAFers, keep those great comments and articles coming because I'm really enjoying this as much everyone else.

8:43 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Fun times down in Texas, where 70 high school students lined up for their class photo by collectively giving the Nazi salute and shouting "Heil Hitler," and "Heil Trump." So who is America worth "saving" for, these assholes?


Meanwhile, every liberal's favorite "heroes" about whom they cannot fetishize enough it seems (that would be "the troops"), roared through Louisville on Sunday--Trump flags flying high:


Yep, those troops, especially the special forces, are such great guys keeping us "safe" and all. It's only their "leaders" who send them to war who are evil--well, except when said leaders are the great black hope and his wonderful XX chromosome SecState.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Probably the most truthful couple of sentences from any American president ever, in a 55-second clip from Jimmy Carter's 7-15-79 "malaise" speech-


Of course, he was scorned.

10:38 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I've had a couple of hypotheses floating around the back of my mind for a while concerning certain attributes of civilizational collapse. First, I've begun to imagine that it may be standard for sociopaths to start filling up all the higher bureaucratic positions in a society, increasingly so as it sinks deeper into decay. If our situation is anything to go by, that appears to me to be the case. The people in charge just don't care about others.

Second, I've a notion about the ongoing stupidification of the populace. The GSWH has observed that spiritual death is one of four key attributes of decline, meaning loss of belief in the core myth of the culture, which in our case would be the American Dream. As evidence mounts that it is unfeasible for thinking people to believe in the myth, ever more people stop thinking so as to keep believing. It is as though the culture, being a living organism with a life cycle, is trying to maintain homeostasis by attacking and degrading certain attributes of itself, rather as your immune system can kill you with too much fever. I fancy this may be through some sort of epigenetic process. In any case, it is clear that few Americans have any interest in truth, and most are only interested in maintaining a certain counterfactual belief structure at all costs.

11:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Problem was, he was talking to turkeys. Next day, several congressmen took to the floor to suggest that he was actually insane.


Suppose Ivanka called me up and said, "Bermie, I've got the most delicious chopped liver waiting for you in the Roosevelt Room"--of course I'd go. And then I'd pitch how she shd have Dad appoint me to a top position, like Minister of Total Carnage. Anyway, you might wanna think abt becoming one of us. As for Hillary's forthcoming bk, I sure hope it's printed on very soft paper. :-)


11:49 PM  
Anonymous Derek said...

Speaking of Carter's "Crisis of Confidence" speech, I've just seen the film "20th Century Women," which is set in 1979 and features a scene where the main characters are at a dinner party watching Carter deliver his speech. Annette Bening says she thinks it's a wonderful speech, whereas two others mention that he's now screwed. The film is in theaters now if y'all are interested in checking it out. Overall an enjoyable film.


12:11 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Economist Dean Baker has an interesting piece on how the Democratic Party has supported policies that have hurt the working class. His argument is close to that made by Thomas Frank regarding Democratic support for things like NAFTA and the TPP. And Democrats are still wondering why Trump is popular with many people, particularly in the Rust Belt.


I strongly recommend Baker's Beat the Press blog for anyone who is interested in opinion and analysis that critiques the neoliberal message emanating from sources like the New York Times and Washington Post.

On a related note, I recently had dinner with some Democrat friends of mine and eventually we got into it over why Clinton lost. My basic point was that the Democrats have alienated large sections of the working class and many people were willing to vote for Trump because he was saying all the right things about trade and globalization. They wouldn’t have it and said everything came down to racism. They couldn’t see the important class aspect of the election. For them it was all about identity politics.

2:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for the link. The inability of progs to live in reality, and to look at themselves as opposed to blaming others, is a contributing and ongoing factor of American disintegration. Not that nativism didn't have a role to play, but I think Frank makes a good case that economics was the crucial point. Of course, if it was *all* nativism, then the progs are off the hook, which is what they wd like. But if you don't understand what is happening to you, there is very little chance you can fix it.


7:39 AM  
Blogger CB said...

Hi there-

So sales of Orwell's 1984 have risen in these troubled times. Perhaps "The Art of War" should be next on the list. I hear that is a favorite of the disheveled , obese , Bannon. Is is me or does his pasty , stubbled face and red nose scream alcoholic? Perhaps if he put the bottle down his spirits would lift and there would be more clarity of mind and appreciation for the beauty of life.

I called my senator today . not that any comment I would make would change anything. The voice mailbox was full . I guess that is encouraging , but not really. These idiots seem unstoppable .

I read an interesting article , Trial Ballon for a Coup by Yonatan Zunger.


8:04 AM  
Anonymous Denis said...

With the utter madness in the US now, I fear for world safety. It is no comfort that all this has in general been predicted on this site for a very long time. I've got to the stage, as a European where I don't care that the US becomes a banana republic, except that it is a huge threat to the world.I'm beginning to say let them all machinegun each other to death in schools and meetings as long as they only shoot inside their own borders. The latest arrogance is here http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/former-norwegian-prime-minister-kjell-magne-bondevik-donald-trump-muslim-ban-held-questioning-a7560996.html?cmpid=facebook-post...............Mr trumpenfuhrer, build that wall, but all round your shores. Help contain the mass psychosis.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Gigalax said...


I don't think nativism is a bad thing in and of itself. Ethnic homogeneity is necessary, but not sufficient, for long-term stability. Diversity brings weakness and conflict in the long-run.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Don't agree w/u at all. Also, in future, do not address me as Berman. You have two choices; either one is OK:

1. Mr. Berman
2. Great Seer of the Western Hemisphere

Thank you.


Excellent example of the orgy of self-destruction into which we are descending. Thanks for link.


The idiots are unstoppable, but then there is no reason to want to stop them. Go, idiots!


10:22 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

I'm about halfway through the Thomas Wolfe novel "You Can't Go Home Again" and agree with Patrick's comment. Wolfe really nailed the description of the American hustling spirit that overwhelmed his Southern hometown and his stark portrayal of the New York cultural elite who shared that spirit in this posthumously published work set on the eve of the Great Depression. I just acquired the compilation of letters between Wolfe and his New York lover/admirer, the theater designer Aline Bernstein, who is portrayed as the character Esther Jack in the novel, and look forward to learning more about this nearly forgotten novelist and how he perceived the world of his time (his work is now all out of print so you'll have to look in a good used bookstore or search online). Thank you MB for alerting us about Thomas Wolfe.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Bruce Bennett said...

Great Seer -
I also STRONGLY disagree with "Gigafax". By the way, gig, anthropologists tell us that the reason that some early humans were able to survive was more likely due to cooperation and inclusion, not exclusion. I also wonder how you'd feel about your ridiculous opinion if you were a member of an excluded group. In ecological thinking diversity leads to strength, not weakness.
To Dr. Berman, I have now seriously looked into emigrating South to a truly civilized country with national healthcare, no standing army and lots and lots of land set aside for protection. As the great George Carlin said back in 2006 or so about the U.S. - "This country is finished". I am still trying to accept the horrific fact that the Mango Mussolini is the president. His first two weeks in power are just a prelude to what he will do with a compliant Congress and a media of presstitutes behind him. I also fear that my Social Security will be reduced. There is some proposed legislation called the "Social Security Reform Act" which is in the works and would call for large reductions in benefits by the end of 2018. Notice how the word "Reform" is used to deflect criticism. Typical Rethug tactic.
Again, as Carlin said in one of his shows -
"And now they're coming after your Social Security money so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street and they'll get it to, sooner or later".

My best to all the Wafers.

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral said...

Thank You Kevin;

I think like you do all the time, sociopathy in hierarchical cultures that lie and indoctrinate by omission, specialization, rigorous gate-keeping, are dependent on selective consciousness. Manipulative people can destroy a career, rinse and repeat rumor mill and lazy minded people begin to believe and tolerate - too over-whelmed and powerless as subordinates to do anything. There is only Dilbert like scenarios and human relations is now human resources.

Stefan Verstappen has some nice youtube thoughts on sociopathy. There are only inter-dependent subsidized corrupt culturally siloed institutions. I love going to public lectures at the local major university and pointing out the hypocrisy. Professors never return emails from their glass credentialed towers. M. Berman types are far more gracious and acknowledging truths makes a schizophrenic culture seem less lonely - thank you - a great therapy.

Non-science colleges like business schools and even philosophy depts want to incorporate big data, modeling, multi-variant equations to prove some stupid thesis like why women are discriminated in academia or something. Research funding is almost never about oligarchy enabled by money printing and the corp state etc. The best researchers are excluded as auto-didacts like Michael Parenti, Norman Finkelstein, Nomi Prins, etc. M. Berman, Hedges, Chomsky, etc. books would have been published had they been less fantastic. Of course there is funding for incessant techno-narcissism, efficiency about globalism and management hiring practices, anything for wealth extraction, etc.

So much arrogance from societies' managers, credentialed professionals, lawyers, etc. Citizens vs Corps when citizens aren't citizens. Follow the funding of Sonoma State's Project Censored and you'll get the picture. This society is by rich douchebags for rich intellectually cleansed douchebags all the way. Pardon ran long.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't run it. We have a half-page-max rule on this blog.


Thanks for input, but in future be sure not to attack Wafers personally ('ridiculous'). As for my SSA, I can probably kiss it gdbye.


'Angel' is still in print; check Amazon.


1:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Too Ra-

Pls watch length in future, yes? Half-page-max on this blog.


2:00 PM  
Blogger Ed-M said...

And he's actually gone back on his promise to be nicer to Russia and cut deals with Putin! Looks like he has no hotels in Mother Russia OR Ukraine.


Here's my comment on it: it's a Broken Bromance.

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

European humor has already caught up with the Orange One. A whole series of satirical "introductory" videos are appearing on Youtube. It started with "America First, Netherlands Second" by a Dutch comedian and now a whole cloud of copycats have appeared. They all seem to be using the same actor for the voice over, and he's a reasonably good Trump impersonator, which makes them hysterically funny.

"America First, Netherlands Second"

"America First, Switzerland Second"

"America First, Germany Second"

(Of course you know this one had to reference Hitler...)

More and more keep appearing, and they will be easy to find once you've seen a couple of these, as Youtube will automatically give you references to related videos. Try not to bust something laughing...

2:49 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

RE: Steve Bannon’s unkempt appearance

He looks like businessman that went to a conference out of town and got drunk at a strip bar, went on to being knee deep in hookers and blow, and by morning was found in a hedge row not knowing how he got there or even who he was.

RE: Homogenity in societies is an interesting topic, but almost impossible to discuss in a blog setting without accusations of bigotry being thrown around.

Peter Turchin in his book Historical Dynamics: Why States Rise and Fall writes that a key component of social cohesion is opposition to the “other.” Thus as a society pushes outward, it becomes more multi-cultural and loses cohesion. As the borders expand, other cultures become too remote to serve as a useful “other” to be opposed to. It kind of reminds me of the negative identity idea Dr B mentioned in his books.

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

May have been posted here before but:


"[Trump]'s what a lot of Americans would be if they had a billion dollars: They'd build grotesque castles, bang models, and grow fat."

4:27 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

When the time comes to start paring down the bloated ranks of our diplomatic corps, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will find his job much easier: he can just start with the foreign service officers and embassy and consular staffs in the countries whom we've pissed off through our moronic border control policies. The fact that former prime minister Bondevik appears to be a Christian didn't do him much good.

"A former prime minister of Norway has spoken of his shock after he was held and questioned at Washington Dulles airport because of a visit to Iran three years ago. Kjell Magne Bondevik, who served as prime minister of Norway from 1997-2000 and 2001-05, flew into the US from Europe on Tuesday afternoon to attend this week’s National Prayer Breakfast."


4:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, cdn't run it. We have a once-only-in-24hrs-post rule here.


An impt part of our decline shd be offending as many foreign dignitaries as possible. This incident is a gd start.


Gd that Matt is recognizing what the American people consist of!


5:12 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Dear Morris,

Will you come and save me? I'm completely surrounded by cretins: Bannon looks as if he's starring in a TV commercial for cold medicine; General Flynn keeps slapping my ass, and babbling on about nuking penguins in Antarctica, Putz Puzder walks around here w/his dick in his hand; and my dad, well, it's because of him that I hafta hock my clothing line at some tragic Casual Corner now. I tell ya, I'm at my wits' end...I'm so confused...I need to be rescued. I'll literally do anything to escape DC. I'll learn how to cure meat (pastrami, corned beef, brisket, etc.). I'll make u bublitchki, challah bread, kasha varnishkes, even Jewish macaroons w/coconut. Jesus, I'll even give up my vegetarian schmaltz! Anything!



ps: My borscht is to die for...

8:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dear Ivanka,

Don't despair. As it turns out, I'm going to be in NY in late Oct., and have been thinking about organizing the 4th (or is it 5th?), NY Wafer Summit Meeting. Of course, we could meet at a restaurant, like we usually do, but it struck me that you could prepare a variety of your favorite Jewish delicacies in my hotel room for the group. We'll begin w/yr borscht, followed by a platter of kishkas, then gribenes and gehakte leber, and wash it all down with Manischewitz Red. The macaroons will make a fine dessert. You have several mos. to practice all this, so--start cookin', babe!


8:36 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


I saw those videos. Hilarious stuff!

You know, the more hyped up we get, the more history quietly repeats. All these themes of international pariahdom began under Bush, and it seems Obama was just a temporary soporific.

People forget how the madness and incompetence of the Bush days drove a sense of common Euro identity. With the internet's increased range, these dynamics are even more magnified.

Threatening allies, bullying the press, total lies and unaccountability, we've seen it all before. The only difference is the gloss of "nationalism", which just means further pariahdom.

At this point, I think Europeans of all stripes probably view the US as we view Iran. Rogue state, handle with care.

4:09 AM  
Anonymous Denis said...

On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. H. L. Mencken
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/h/h_l_mencken.html

5:45 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Best descriptions of Steve Bannon's appearance I have seen so far:

"Steve Bannon looks like a 70's road manager for The Eagles, interviewed for a 1988 "Behind the music", just before he disappeared. Owing a string of debts all across Southern California, his fly-blown corpse is found in the Mojave desert 6 months later."

"Steve Bannon looks like the drunken English professor who helps the Delta boys save their bar in an 80's frat comedy."

6:27 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

a few worthwhile articles:

"Stop complaining about Trump — we earned him" by Stephen Kinzer :


"Texas high school students make Nazi salute and shout ‘Hail Trump’ in senior class photos" :


"Trump's Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch founded and led club called 'Fascism Forever' against liberal faculty at his elite all-boys DC prep school" :


"Trump didn’t bother to show up in the Situation Room for bungled Yemen raid" :


6:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, we need to think again abt Bad Is Good. Trumpo seems to have his head up his ass and be rolling around like a doughnut. His approach to governing is scatterbrained. Whereas Obarfa did nothing for 8 yrs, this guy is a bull in a china shop. The rest of the world is very wary, and very worried. He is inflicting some serious damage on the US, and hopefully this will get worse over time. Privately, I'm guessing that not too many nations are taking us seriously any more--nor should they. Trumpi, I love you! Work your magic!

Kinzer is rt abt how all of us are Trump. I've been making the pt about microcosm/macrocosm for yrs now. All of our presidents since Reagan reflect a key aspect of the American 'character':

Reagan: a knucklehead
Bush Sr.: featherweight
Clinton: hustler
Bush Jr.: an outright moron
Obama: a nonentity
Trump: a boor

As in the late Roman Empire, we are witnessing a pantheon of human failure, the symbols or products of a dying civilization.


7:15 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

As far as global warming, I wonder why we even discuss it; I mean, who's going to give up their cars? (RE: Chapter 7 of "Dark Ages America.")

7:30 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Every conference on climate chg, including last Dec. in Paris, has been a failure. If we haven't dealt w/it by now, its doubtful we shall in the future. Perhaps massive flooding might halt our addiction to automobiles.


10:37 AM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

Great Seer of the Western Hemisphere-

History is pretty clear on the fact that unfettered diversity brings chaos and conflict to a civilization. Diversity should be thought of as an experiment that can be run in order to find out what works and what does not work. It should not be a permanent feature of any civilization. One of the main reasons why the East has a much greater potential for long-term stability than the West is because the East places more importance on ethnic homogeneity.

Personally, I think the best way to make diversity work for your civilization is to maintain ethnic homogeneity while gradually absorbing new ideas and cultural concepts that offer long-term benefits. America is taking the opposite approach. America is gung-ho about ethnic diversity but forces everyone to conform to America's toxic culture of hustling and consumerism. This shallow and uncontrolled diversity will cause huge problems in the future when America implodes. The whole situation is made worse by the fact that white Anglo-Americans are extremely racist.

10:44 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

Dear MB,

I would like to bring in a completely different perspective here which do not get very often on this page, I suppose. A perspective from the developing world. (I hate to use the phrase third world because I never really understood that). India, with all its roots in the traditional society, was attempting to break into a modern secular state since its independence in 1947. Of course, secular democracies in the western world was the example it was trying to follow. In spite of all the pulls from the traditional society (not all are negative, though), and institutional weaknesses, India was chugging along, and was not doing too badly on certain fronts. But we took a sharp right turn a couple years ago, and things have generally been going downhill since then. Now with the US taking such a right turn, and to the extent that the rule of law is under cloud, it bodes ill for the developing world in general, and India in particular. If the examples disappear, if the ideal fails, which path do you take? On the shorter time scale, it emboldens the right-wing, fascist forces. An interesting, but not too optimistic time. Any thoughts on this?

10:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I don't know much abt India, but my general impression is that it made a mistake in following Nehru as opposed to Gandhi; but I cd be wrong. It abandoned its traditions, tried to be like the West; the result was a disaster for Japan, for example, and still is. Then along came the rise of post-Soviet globalization, which allowed a sliver of the population to get rich (or at least become middle class); the rest got poorer, which is what globalization does. As for the US as an ideal: I doubt current leaders in India are that stupid. The world has been waking up to the fact, for some time now, that image and reality are very different where the US is concerned, and with Trump now in the W.H., the 'ideal' is probably tarnished (badly) for all time. Again, I'm not an expert in this area.


I very much doubt that history is as clear on this pt as you say; open-door immigration policies down to 1924 in the US made it a much richer, livelier country, for example. And as you suggest in yr 2nd para, diversity per se in America these days is not the problem; rather, it's how America handles it, which is badly. Of course yr rt, that no country can simply open its doors completely, forever, and expect to remain a coherent entity. This is the mistake Merkel made w/the refugees, and then found it necessary to backtrack. And France continues to wrestle with its Muslim 'problem'...not doing very well w/it, as far as I can make out. At this pt, for most countries, the solution hasta be somewhere between total osmosis and total shutdown. (Japan, for example, cd benefit greatly by increased osmosis, as many Japanese have argued.)


11:32 AM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...


Hadn't considered the possible benefits our meltdown might have for Europe! An interesting thought. They probably will be encouraged to maintain their (currently very endangered) unity by the disarray of their erstwhile protector. But with the world economy so intertwined by "globalism" everyone is probably going down together anyway.

Meanwhile, I ran across another bit of collapse news. Our whole system of financing "development" is flawed. We are seriously over-extended. It would cost something like 20 percent of our total income just to properly maintain the infrastructure we currently have. Has Kunstler ever talked about this?

The Growth Ponzi Scheme
We often forget that the American pattern of suburban development is an experiment, one that has never been tried anywhere before. We assume it is the natural order because it is what we see all around us. But our own history — let alone a tour of other parts of the world — reveals a different reality. Across cultures, over thousands of years, people have traditionally built places scaled to the individual. It is only in the last two generations that we have scaled places to the automobile.

There is a whole series of articles about the problem on this site with detailed analysis. Worth reading for students of finance in general, let alone declinism in particular.

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Belinda Jesup said...

Dr. Berman, Wafers,

I am a regular reader of this blog and I have found this group to be the remaining voices of rational thought on living in the reality of our time so I trust your judgment and request from you a favor.

My lease is up in April and Mr. Jesup and I need to pack up and move (remaining in the US, unfortunately). We currently live in a major, expensive West Coast city. My question to you all is this: in the coming of collapsing america where we will need to be more concerned with things like personal safety, increasing civil strife and the likelihood of disruption with utilities and other resources, what location would you recommend? City size, location, demographics?

Here’s our needs/wants list: we need to come home to a quiet and private space; we have a car, but prefer to walk; we like to be outdoors in the natural world as much as possible; we don’t have any major health concerns at this time. We’re in our forties and are of the WASP clan but we play nice with just about anyone who wants to play nice back and the type of work we do could be done in a smaller town or a big city. Interests include drinking clean water, steering clear of protests and progressives, keeping a low profile, and generally being good humans.

Thank you for your consideration, any feedback you have is most appreciated.

Kind Regards,

3:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Other Wafers can probably be more helpful, but if I ever were to return to the US (god forbid), it wd be to NY State, where I grew up. I esp. recommend Ithaca, or nearby towns like Elmira and Cortland. Very beautiful and quiet; Ithaca has Cornell, w/numerous artistic and intellectual events; and NYC is a mere 4.5 hrs away. Downside: winters are hell.


Thanks for input. A bit shorter length in future, por favor.


4:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, cdn't run it. We have a half-page-max rule on this blog. Thanks.


6:03 PM  
Blogger Edward said...

Hi Dr. Berman:

You said (a couple of days ago), "Anyway, you might wanna think abt becoming one of us." Actually, I thought was already a WAFer; I read your blog almost every day and comment occasionally. I said a little more yesterday but you couldn't run it because I violated the 24 hour rule, sorry. It just slipped my mind as it was the next day but not 24 hours.

I don't know how much longer the US can hold up. I don't really think you can call it the "United" States any longer. It seems like almost everyone has lost all their civility. When I was much younger, people respected each other more. Maybe civility had already started to deteriorate but it wasn't as rampant as today.

My wife and I will probably just stay here in NY even though moving to another country does sound very inviting. We live in the area you just mentioned - I'm retired and my wife works at Corning and will retire next year. We live just outside of Elmira.

7:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I said that because your tone had the flavor of someone observing, coming from the outside. In any case, no offense meant. Nice to hear yr in my old stomping ground. I think I 1st went to Corning on a schl field trip when I was 7; it was very exciting for a little kid. Never forgot Steuben glassware. Elmira, Cortland, are dazzling in the fall. Anyway, if you can't leave the country, become an NMI. Rome did have its pleasures in A.D. 300, after all. There were probably a # of progs running around, hoping to return the empire to a republic; the smart ones went on to preserve Greco-Roman culture in monasteries (see Twilight bk). You cd always go the the head librarian at Cornell, explain the New Monastic Option, and say you'd like to put the bks of a Cornell alum (class of '66) in a time capsule, and cd she help. (This is assuming they even have my stuff in their library. I wonder...)


8:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Certain turkeys have disappeared, and I really wish they wd make a reappearance. Where the hell are these cutting-edge intellects when we need them?

1. Sarah Palin ("I can see Russia from my house!")
2. Dan Quayle (Addressing an audience somewhere in Latin America: "I'd love to talk to you, but I don't speak Latin.")
3. Patrick Buchanan ("Barack *Hussein* Obama!")
4. Donald Rumsfeld ("Stuff happens!")
5. Ging Newtrich (?)
6. Rom Mittney ("47% of Americans are lazy bums"--something like that)
7. Herman Cain ("Let me tell you abt my 9-9-9 plan.")
8. Lorenzo Riggins ("They shorted me a hamburger.")

Wafers are invited to add to this list.

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Smack_Smack said...

I think Trump's candidacy was primarily founded on widespread hatred of the Democratic Party, not love of what Trump stands for. Trump's cabinet picks consisted, mostly, of billionaire CEOs; he didn't drain the swamp, but rather expanded it beyond the boundaries of our universe. The working class knows, on some level, that Trump will destroy them; they just want to make sure the faux-liberals they rightly hate are destroyed with them. This sort of thinking is typical of suicide bombers, and now infects the American collective consciousness. The world must prepare itself for all the horrible fallouts that may occur, especially with a president like Trump, who takes ignorance and bellicosity to a whole new level. It's like having Genghis Khan as president, but with nuclear weapons, ecological catastrophe, and a national surveillance agency far greater than anything Orwell ever imagined.

As for the progressives, I keep saying they should not be called such, and I will say it again. There is nothing authentically progressive in their policies; they are actually corporate totalitarians who confuse political correctness and identity politics with social and economic equality. I propose several possible new labels, all of which should be capitalized:

1.) Faux-Progressives
2.) Con-artists
3.) Feminazis
4.) Bloviating Morons

8:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Myself, I don't believe the working class thinks that Trump will destroy them; I think they believe he will save them. And who knows? He's been talking about something like a New Deal in terms of $137 billion for infrastructure repair = tons of jobs. BTW, I don't care for 'feminazis'; it's a little too Rush Limbaugh for me. Obviously, lots of women are rightly concerned abt the possibility of rolling back Roe v. Wade, for example; they are hardly Nazis.

Note to Dan-

Also check out Tom Segev, "One Palestine, Complete".


8:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

A serious brain drain to reasonable countries might also help accelerate the collapse of the US:


What I think Trumpi needs to do next is round up everyone in the US who is not a white Christian and shove them all into the state of Idaho; around which he will build an electrified fence. They will receive one meal a day (a pastrami sandwich) and a glass of water. They will also be encouraged to debate the merits or demerits of the Trump regime to their hearts' content.


9:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Touche dept.:


9:50 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Great news about NY and the possibility of another Wafer Summit Meeting! Ivanka is overjoyed about yr trip. Do you have some gigs lined up in NYC? Perhaps we should alert the New Yorker, so they can cover any convulsions the city may experience upon yr arrival.


9. Bumni Laditan ("Toddlers are assholes!")

Here's a new one, BTW:



9:51 PM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers,

Belinda Jesup, I think you and Mr. Jesup would love my little NY town of Plattsburgh. We have a gravity-fed water supply from natural springs, cheap and clean municipal power, a healthy downtown, low rents, and you can walk just about anywhere you need to go. There are a few thinking people here who are trying to figure out what to do when America collapses, but you still have to watch out for the annoying progs. They're like mosquitoes. Just swat them and they usually go away. If all else fails we're twenty miles from Canada so we can walk there and ask for asylum. It is really cold in the winter, but it looks like global warming is going to take care of that for us. Cold winters make glorious summers.The mountains, lakes and valleys are breathtaking around here. I wish we had more Wafers living here.

10:21 PM  
Blogger pinkpearl said...

Wafers, another stark sign that America is circling the drain:

These Texas Women Had Plastic Surgery to Look Like Ivanka Trump


As for me, today I belatedly came across this tweet from Garry Kasparov:

The point of modern propaganda isn't only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.


I feel like I'm already there - I'm not even attempting to make sense of it now.

11:01 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

We are Sooooo Screwed!!


11:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Actually, anywhere up the Hudson Valley tends to be pretty nice as well.


1. I had forgotten all about Bunmi! Talk abt assholes!
2. Cartwheel lady flashing bush: This cd be a late-empire phenomenon as well. People are at their wits end, they don't know what to do w/themselves, so they just go off and do anything. On the other hand, it's possible that this gal isn't a prog, so she doesn't know how to express her rage/confusion. Result? Puss 'n' Boots.
3. I'm giving a lecture at a college outside of Cincinnati, then spending 5 days in NY. If we can scare up 5 people (besides myself) for yet another NY Wafer Summit Mtg, it will be held lunchtime on Oct. 29; location TBA. Possible idea: everyone shows up wearing a Trump wig, altho that wd probably kill New Yorker mag. attendance. I'll discuss this again in early Oct, of course; too much advertising in advance cd lead to riots on 5th Ave., or even at LaGuardia when I touch down.


11:15 PM  
Anonymous deracination said...

Talented hard-working people take time to transcribe and post or even just post music on Youtube. The good and brilliant are rare but give a glimpse of what could have been for humanity - always under the shadow of thugs.

I doubt the new chief has access to any buttons - everything is hopefully a "fail-safe" front for systems the military industrial vortex has had in place. Everything seems to be a front.

H.L. Mencken is proving to be of the most cynical and probably accurate I've read - poor guy.

Window into the thoughts and lives of two honest academic peers:

Amazing people are still starting families amidst peak everything - full spectrum historical failure culminating. Ehrlich really has some nice rants against faux-academia and intellectualism.

11:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, this cd shift our focus off of Kim's buttocks, wh/wd be a gd thing.


11:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is exactly what Jimmy Carter said regarding the rabid animosity we had towards the Soviet Union: Look at yourself b4 u blame others:


Meanwhile, here's a wake-up call for progs; which they will of course ignore, because they are a collection of turkeys:



4:59 AM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB and all Wafers:
An amazing book, "Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic" by Sam Quinones http://a.co/6O7Edpt, tells the story of how oxycontin and heroin has devastated suburban and rural America. Today, opioid overdoses kill more Americans than car accidents.

From a Wafer analysis, it's a perfect storm of Hustling, Big Pharma, Mexican heroin dealers, pain pill doctors, Dreamland walks you through it all. A must read!

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Harry Haller said...

I finally decided to contribute my first post, and I couldn't think of anything but of a quote and a question. The quote is from Spinoza's ethics:

Things could not have been brought into being by God in any manner or in any order different from that which has in fact obtained.

And the question: is it possible that in this forum there has been no discussion so far of Spinoza? (I have been following it for a long time and I can't remember, but I may have missed it...)

9:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


1st, welcome to the blog. Our motto is, "Don't lurk; live!"

2nd, the specific focus of the blog is not Spinoza or philosophy, but the collapse of the American empire. We try to stick to that subject as much as possible.

I did mention Spinoza 2 yrs ago after a trip I took to Amsterdam. There is a large statue of him there, and a friend of mine took a pic of me standing in front of it. I captioned it, "After 400 yrs, the 2 great pillars of Jewish thought meet." Other than that, no discussion. But as you know, there are several recent biogs of the man, and Irvin Yalom did a novel abt him that I read a few yrs ago. We wish you well, and encourage you to return to the blog with exciting contributions regarding America going down the drain.


Looks like we are killing ourselves in every way possible.


10:01 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Sadly, my wife and I had planned to relocate to Ithaca, NY after my retirement in 2014--then the cancer hit and blew all of those plans out of the water. In addition to needing to stay close to my doctors and support group, the chemotherapy-induced severe neuropathy left me so susceptible to cold that the winters there are a deal breaker.

MB -- Trump as president saying what he said about America "not being so innocent" (on the high holy day of Superbowl Sunday no less) is sort of like a long time alcoholic having a brief moment of clarity. Now watch all of the liberals and progs freak out as if they have no idea what he is talking about. If they weren't such navel gazing douchebags, they would seize on this moment to provide a focus for their otherwise pointless protests by saying you're right, Mr. President, so let's immediately stop the killing and prosecute everyone in the Bush AND Obama administrations who are responsible for it. But no, it's more fun to call Trump a Nazi, make fun of his hair, wear pussy hats, etc.

Meanwhile down in Arizona, which has the lowest public teacher pay of any state in the country, the head of the Chamber of Commerce called then a bunch of "crybabies" for asking for a raise:


12:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry to hear your plans went so awry, but I take it you have recovered from the cancer. Gd to have us w/u.

This is something I said once b4: maybe Trump will actually try to fix things? In wh/case, Botox Face wd have been better, i.e. more destructive. Saying, like Jimmy Carter did, that we need to look at ourselves, at our own terrible record around the world, is absolutely remarkable. There is no hope for America so long as it stays in denial, and owning up to shadow material is the path to true healing. Of course, everyone gets enraged, because (a) Americans are stupid, and (b) it violates the national mythology of the 'city on the hill', our inherent goodness, etc. Trump has also violated that mythology by being a declinist, i.e. saying we are no longer great, and that the country is in a shambles. All of this is true, and Botox wd never have said it. In addition, he's talking abt huge job creation via infrastructure repair of $137 billion. Plus, détente w/Russia is an extremely sensible thing to pursue; Hillary wd have done the opposite.

I am frankly worried by all of this, because health and sanity is NOT what I was expecting from Trumpo. The script I had in mind was that he wd continue the damage done by the last few admins, but in accelerated form. Of course, I don't know how "we're not so innocent" will play with his constituency, who are knee-jerk jingoist flag-wavers. What's next? An apology to Guatemala, Iran, Chile, Vietnam, etc etc etc, plus billions sent to them in reparations? If Trumpi continues down this path, I might as well close down the blog and write a bk documenting my own stupidity. Trumpalino: Don't fail me! Your job is destruction, nada mas!


ps: Yr rt, progs are shitheads.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Quercus said...

Henry Haller:

Regarding your quote from Spinoza:
"Things could not have been brought into being by God in any manner or in any order different from that which has in fact obtained."

This reminds me of a short story by Pär Lagerkvist, the Swedish author who won the 1951 Nobel Prize for literature (he is well-worth reading, BTW). In the story, people gather around and discuss how tragic, unjust and miserable life is and they wonder how the world could have been created that way.

So they gather into a large group and go searching for God to confront him with their concerns. After a long journey, they eventually find God, who is an old man in a hut working as a carpenter. When they ask him why the world was made that way, he replies, "I did the best I could".


3:37 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

My, my, my, I must say folks, I barely recognize the left anymore. I woke up and I find all the fake outrage over Trump's candid suggestion that the US isn't lilly white when it comes to killing. A comment I think is self evident and undeniable.
As for dealing with killers, like Putin, we deal with killers all the time. China?, Saudi Arabia? You can fill an ocean with blood from the people they've killed, and not a word of outrage about any of it from the left when Obama engaged with their leadership. Obama, who over the last 8 years had terror tuesday meetings and sometimes ghoulishly picked the drone strike targets himself

4:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Apparently, he picked abt 1/3 of the targets, every Tuesday. Then he weeps over school killings in the US.


4:36 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Mike Pence is also ambivalent about the USA's moral position:


5:06 PM  
Anonymous Mike R said...

Trump is smarter than we all think. Le Pen, etc....(Macron is well, Macron--a young Obama filled with hope and dreams and....null sets.

Enjoying the side show and all the verbal diarrhea (tirades) from the progs on their fecesbook and social narcopathic sites. It certainly is interesting!

Over and very out.

5:11 PM  
Anonymous slakr said...

I had your same question around 2002. At about that time I happened to see a satellite photo taken of the US at night. This is a great perspective on the country because the lighted areas clearly show population density. It became immediately apparent that all areas east of the Mississippi were densely lighted compared to the West because so much of the US population is concentrated in the East. Take a look;


I choose to stay toward the American West. I have lived on Guam and in Utah, and either of those might be good places to wait out the collapse. Guam is basically a US territory, and there are many others options in that area of the Pacific. It's easy for US citizens to get jobs on Guam. Currently my wife’s community college job has us in Texas (it can be hell, yeah, but there are many parts to disappear in and it’s close to Mexico) but we have a great Minnie Winnie RV, so we’re going for travel/living flexibility. I’m not a “prepper” exactly, at least not in the stereotypical sense but, it’s like, how can you not think about this stuff?

One problem with the West; limited water. Best place, probably Silver City, New Mexico. (keep it secret!)I mean, who knows? Other places near steady rivers like the San Juan, the Gila river, the Rio Grand, the Pecos, etc. would be beautiful, in the very least. I’m aware that there are good arguments for living in New York and other areas in the East. For me it’s all about low population, available water, fertile land (also hard out West) and enlightened community. It’s something for me to shoot for anyway.

Love to hear any other Wafer perspectives.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


What next? The W.H. declaring that 99% of all Americans are idiots? Recommending that everyone start rdg this blog? I can't get over this. All I wanna do is run out, grab progs in pairs, and start banging their heads together. 1st pair: Obarfa and Botox Face.


5:46 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

War Machine On Auto Pilot Dept.:


Is it any wonder we are a) the most hated society on the marble b) totally fucked-up c) collapsing. In addition, the left simply doesn't *get it* in terms of Russia/Putin and Trump. Just listened to Ian Masters on KPFK discuss the possibility that we could put Trump on trial for "treason" for "making excuses for Putin" and that Trump "is the main beneficiary of the most successful covert operation in history" orchestrated by the Russians. Stuff like this takes yr breath away.


6:50 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

I'm not worried that Trump will turn out to be a better president than the evidence suggests will be the case. For every sensible if self-evident observation he makes--Americans need jobs; our infrastructure sucks and its renewal is essential; we've spent too much treasure helping others--he makes two others totally out of left field that are real head-scratchers. Those that are intelligible can seem impossible on their face: jettison two old regulations for every new one created, for example. Who decides which ones deserve shitcanning, and which are essential and must be kept? Twitter poll? Likes on Facebook or Instagram?

What is he likely to do with Congress's assistance? Re-do taxes (read more tax cuts, in that full-on delusion that some job creator will use the money restored to him to hire your cousin Morty rather than buying a Miyota robot for his production line.). Increase defense spending to strengthen our depleted military (2017 fiscal year budget $773.5 billion, already over half the government's total discretionary spending and likely headed further north). Loose the chains that bind our wealth creators on Wall Street by undoing the already feeble Dodd-Frank laws. Make Scott Pruitt the head of an agency whose principal mission will be to ensure that bureaucrats with their stupid restrictions and policies don't get in the way of decent, hard-working Americans.

Good times, dead ahead.

7:23 PM  
Anonymous Belinda Jesup said...

Dr. Berman, Mike, slakr,

Thank you all for your suggestions. Initial research on Ithaca looks like a lovely community as well as other parts of upper New York State.

Slakr – I agree about water in the west, but that certainly doesn’t stop the good city of Scottsdale from laying in a few more golf courses. Poor Arizona, such a beautiful place and it’s being paved over at an alarming rate – heartbreaking.

My mantra throughout our move talks has been: What does quality of life look like? For us it is having a quiet space, getting outside, arts and music and hopefully a few neighbors who aren’t narcissistic techno lunatics (fat chance, there).

Thanks all, best to you in your endeavors.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

In as much as Trump is the reflection of the US psyche and character, are we experiencing/witnessing through Trump ephemeral slips out of our national schizophrenia? Deathbed epiphanies?

Or, is there something more practical and conscious at play? Is there the realization that the moral high ground trope doesn't have enough legs anymore to galvanize and unify the masses behind a major war agression that could trigger WW3? Is the groundwork being laid for a leveling with the people, that it's about preserving our way of life/standard of living. It's us or them.

I think we all here know that the US is not going to collapse quietly in to the good night.

11:18 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

A few nights ago in Berkeley a well-known alt-right figure, Milo Iannopoulis, was prevented from speaking at the University. A demo against his appearance turned violent, & University officials decided to cancel the event two hours before it was to take place.

Demonstrators were delighted at the cancellation. One organizer expressed regret for the violence, but insisted that University officials could have prevented it by *forbidding Iannopoulis to speak in the first place.* Similar cancellations took place at UCLA and UC Davis, where he had also been scheduled to speak.

I'm familiar with Iannopoulis' ideas. I disagree with a lot of them; but no way is he the proto-nazi racist fascist misogynist bigot the American left make him out to be. It is now clear that they habitually use these terms as a form of lie, to smear the characters of their critics. They're hysterical about it, too.

I've always considered myself a liberal and a moderate leftist. In the American context at any rate - no more. There may yet be a few noble exceptions, like Noam and Cornell West; but by and large the American left haven't got a shred of integrity remaining. I am done with them.

1:55 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Chris Hedges channeling Martin Luther King...


4:48 AM  
Anonymous Denis said...

A frequent topic here is 'getting out.' My situation is not the US nightmare as I am in Europe. We have our problems too, but which don't threaten human existence nor make endless war on the world. Dark Ages America affects the planet, unfortunately. I was in the UK, got near early retirement age and took refuge in France. The UK licks Uncle Sams arse too much, to the horror of the people. It now has a right wing govt which is dismantling all post war social gains, at least in the English pert of the UK. Scotland still strives to civilised continental values. I love France, but my modest income made it difficult. I have now moved to one of the poorest countries in Europe and it's just fine. I got a small farm (house, barns, (land 2000 M2)for 4000 euros , and my money goes twice as far, easily. This country is my Mexico and maligned like Mexico but with hidden compensations. I have 800 books, company and I discover classical music venues as well as rock or blues.In Eastern Europe in summer there are many meetings and festivals, from lifestyle to politics to you name it. They grow lovely wine here. It'll do for me.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Does anyone have an audiobook recommendation? I'm working hard for a solo exhibition of paintings, drawings and ceramics in March and spending a lot of time in the studio. Audiobooks have been great. Thanks in advance.

Also - I just started the new Dmytry Orlov book, "Shrinking the Technosphere: Getting a Grip on Technologies that Limit our Autonomy, Self-Sufficiency" -while it may be somewhat "anti-tech" in theme, it is much more readable and practical than the recent Ted Kacyzinski "anti-tech" book. Orlov's premise reads, "if the new ways of doing things are so much better, then we must all be leading relaxed, stress-free, enjoyable lives with plenty of free time to devote to art and leisure activities."

When I ask students (I teach art at a community college) to try coming up with an idea without their phones you should see their reactions. Technology has really limited the creative capacity of young people who are more inclined to imitate (bland) paintings they've seen on instagram than invent something of their own.

10:18 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Kevin - I've listened to Milo, and I can't think of one valuable idea he's expressed. While he's not alt-right, he does act like a gatekeeper, and has whitewashed their white supremacy, calling it "western supremacy." These same people he "gives a fair hearing to" call him a "faggot" on their alt-right websites. Personally I agree with keeping morons to the fringes and believe we need more violence. Bad is good, and Milo plays this neoliberal, centrist, let's-be-civil role that is he'll-bent on preserving a failed system. We can only hope the alt-right he loves to protect so much kills him before he fades into obscurity.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous al Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

As a Red-leftist, I used to participate on progressive discussion forums for years, and often found myself at odds with the identity-politics crowd. One incident really sticks out: while making a pro-herbivore comment about the danger of inciting the wrath of meat-eaters, I said something about risking having them chuck spears at me (as cavemen would, right?).

I was immediately set upon for using the racist term, "spear chucker," despite there not having been any previous discussion about race, ethnicity, or anything remotely demographic or geographic. Joseph K would have been able to relate to my sense of absurd persecution.

You in the USA must have a different definition of "leftist" than its use elsewhere, as I've seen quite a few references to rich leftists in this discussion, and even suggestions that Clinton and Obama are somehow on the Left. These criticisms remind me of Dickens' Josiah Bounderby, who would accuse the working classes of having a taste for venison and turtle soup, which they ate with gold spoons.

1:37 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

I’m reading Stupidity by Avital Ronell. In it she says:

“Nobody understood alienated labor better than Marx. He put it on the table as being, among other well-known effects, responsible for the production of stupidity. In fact, in the Historisch-Kritisches Wörterbuch des Marxismus, stupidity (Dummheit) constitutes a substantial entry. Without apology or dilution, it is considered a powerful historical force, third only to violence and economy.”

Interestingly, the German Wikipedia entry for Dummheit makes no mention of Marx. However, it does cite Morris Berman!


Also, Wafers might enjoy parts of this Jimmy Dore video about the Democrats.


“Hillary saw her shadow today. That means six more weeks of blaming everyone except for themselves.”

1:43 PM  
Anonymous sugarhoneyicedtea said...

i think milo makes a lot of good points on how the left has become a delusional refuge for politically correct snowflakes, but even if you didagree with him, it looks horrible when the left tries to ban him from speaking by rioting. as far as I'm concerned the left can go to hell. where were all their protests when obongo was destroying libya, and deporting millions of undocumented migrants? where was the outrage when he let the bankers get off on the biggest case of finan ial fraud in human history. crickets. the american left can die off for all i care. they are useless.

2:04 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Dean -- I took Trump's comments to be more along the lines of mocking the liberal interventionist hypocrisy that we can smash and murder our way to a perfect democratic global order, which is why they are screaming instead of demanding that he end the violence as they should be. As for the conservatives, many of them have been quite open about their desire for America to "take the gloves off" overseas, so I gather they will hear it as a "straight talking" justification for more wars, which is probably what Trump intended.

Both sides deserve each other, and the best news since the election is that liberal are also beginning to arm themselves. No disrespect to MLK, but I have a dream. I have a dream that one day all of those who have shut their brains completely off and taken sides in the false liberal-conservative American dichotomy take up arms against one another in the mega-churches and "safe space" universities. It will be an epic battle of the pussy hats versus the MAGA hats, and hopefully when it is over not a single body will be left standing.

With the brain dead thus having Darwined/Raptured themselves out of the picture, the few who remain will need new leaders, WAFer leaders, who will salt the grounds of the great battlefields so that nary a liberal or conservative will ever rise again. Thus from the ashes of the most dangerous civilization known to man can a better world be built.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

Well here's something you don't see everyday:

a film on how N. Korea views the west (US). Overwhelming focus of 'hustling' consumerist culture with one thing in mind (profit at any cost)... hard to defend... Not that the Kim dynasty is anything to glorify of course - a complete lack of any comparison of their accomplishments or atrocities.

Includes disturbing images of the worst of what the 'west' has done to the 3rd world...and offer as it's values and system.... not pretty! but as I said it's what they are being fed... I just thought it was interesting this was on youtube... one positive thing the 'west' offers is the freedom to view despite it's faults...

Anyway, N.Korean Film About USA:

4:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

What's a pussy hat?


I checked out the German Wiki entry. This is hilarious!


4:45 PM  
Anonymous Eco's echo said...


Umberto Eco's anatomy of "Ur-Fascism": racism/fear of difference, nationalism, nostalgia, lies/debasement of lang.

"Fascism was a fuzzy totalitarianism, a collage of different philosophical and political ideas, a beehive of contradictions” - Umberto Eco

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...


If you are interested in a book that critically analyzes technology I would strongly recommend “The Technological Society” by Jacques Ellul. Even though the book was published in 1964 most of what Ellul discusses is still very relevant today.

“Shades of Loneliness: Pathologies of a Technological Society” by Richard Stivers is a good book on loneliness and mental illness as byproducts of living in a technological society.

Neil Postman wrote some excellent books about technology, specifically “Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology” and “Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business.” The latter book is about the media but Postman touches on media technology quite a bit so I think that would be a good book to include here.

If you don’t mind reading religious authors I would also suggest “Laudato si” by Pope Francis and the works of the Canadian philosopher George Grant, especially “Technology and Empire” and “Technology and Justice.”

Of course, Dr. Berman wrote a lot about technology in “Why America Failed” but you may have already read Dr. Berman’s work since you are posting here.

I am not sure if all of the books I recommended can be found in audiobook format. Some of them are older and somewhat obscure but they are worth a listen or a read if you are interested in critiques of technology.

5:49 PM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

@al-Qa'bong: Yes. While equal rights are important, I really think the ultimate argument against identity-politics is the bizarre and unfathomable way it has distorted the definition of what it means to be "left", "liberal", or "progressive" in the USA. I don't get out very much myself and mostly learn about what is going on out there through the darkened glass filter of teh Internetz, and it wasn't really until the second half of 2016 that I started to realize that something was just...very seriously off-the-mark. Then in the aftermath of the election for the past three months? I was forced to realize with a sledgehammer-swat that what passes for the left in this country is a fucking embarrassment of epic proportions. It's at the point where I not only no longer look at certain websites I regularly visited in the past, I have also decided just to stop entirely even looking at Facebook!

6:38 PM  
Anonymous Harry Haller said...

For all those concerned about Trumpo doing some good: you needn't worry, he'll just be another tool of the banksters. As much as Paul Krugman degraded himself supporting Hillary, he's spot on about this: the "infrastructure program" that Trump eventually comes up with will be simply a massive con job to enrich his cronies.

Regarding Spinoza, I do think there is a relationship with the collapse of the US. As it's well known, one of the essential assertions of his philosophy is that man is not free, but merely believes he is because he's conscious of his appetites but ignorant of their causes. I cannot think of an idea more antithetical to the culture of the US, where the official religion is that everybody can "choose" to be a winner. At the same time, I cannot think of a more perfect illustration of the veracity of Spinoza's assertion that the inexorable descent of the US into lower animal behaviour.

P.S. I never use the word "America" (or even "North America") to refer to the US... I believe Mexicans, Canadians and many other will understand why.

6:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Wasn't able to run it. We have a half-page-max rule on this blog.


Also Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technology, and Albert Borgmann, Technology and the Culture of Everyday Life.


7:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Yes, WAFER Haller--americans are lower animals perhaps, not even mammals. Would classify them into a reptilian subtype.

The Vmax of their "brains" are: yes/no, eat/don't eat, sun/no sun, sports/no sports, porno/no porno, wastebook/no wastebook---binary. Manichean as Dr. Berman has stated in the past.

7:32 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Shit's getting real dept.:

1. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/a-1133177-amp.html

2. http://www.latimes.com/world/mexico-americas/la-fg-mexico-patriotism-trump-2017-story.html

T-shirt idea:



7:38 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Science as wonder not certainty. How economics is a complex system https://betternature.wordpress.com/my-books/otherbooks/economia/neoclassical-scientific/

8:29 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Bill (and WAFers all),

Could be that he's mocking or trolling libs. Trump, however, is going to kinda need them to embrace, or at least face, their "to the victor goes the spoils" hypocrisy when it comes time to make war with Iran. Perhaps he can go vegan for a while to get them onboard, or at least keep them off the streets.

I agree that the right is no problem. The clash of civilizations narrative will do nicely. Speaking of which, I wonder if there isn't something much more to the Trump-Putin gambit. Could this be about getting them to switch sides? There apparently is a prominent and influential political movement (so-called Atlanticists) over there that sees Russia better off not only aligned with the West, but a part of it. Could Putin hang Iran and China out to dry?

11:01 PM  
Blogger centralscrewtinizer said...

Trump is lifelong teetotaller so doubt he could stomach a drunken Bannon.

Love 'Mango Mussolini'.

Bill, glad you lived. Not much faith in your scenario though. I like Ike's 'the living will envy the dead'.

Only hope for sanity ahead is Ivanka married a Jew who had a grudge against Christie, of all people. Oh, wait.

As to Milo....nobody got pepper sprayed. Free speech is not what it was in the sixties.

12:31 AM  
Anonymous Tortilla-Cat said...

Just wasted an hour trying to talk to someone who had to chime in every 2 sentences - kept reminding them yet no dice. Scott Adams makes some good points about cognitive dissonance. People will do anything to avoid mind stress - they'll even make conversation into a competition. A sociopathic culture of schizos sucks the energy.

Techno-fixes can be hard to quantify. Elon Musk is painful to listen to as if he expects to be worshiped in a faux heavily subsidized humility. Space-X? What about resources for helping life here? Oh that's right we're not all in this together more satellites for surveillance.

Doesn't seem like technology can bail the environment out though govs may geo-engineer whatever regardless of the likelihood of causing even more damage. Mencken said govs prob aren't worth trying to fix. Orlov, John M. Greer, Kunstler, Ehrlich, Richard Heinberg, have dismissed hyper-complixity, solar panels, electric cars in various ways - religion of techno-progress. Greer likes passive solar water heaters. I like simplicity. Orlov and Kaczynski rail against a technosphere. Orlov: http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2017/01/interview-on-biodynamics-now.html

5:23 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

We don't have to worry about a robust jobs program from Trump. The Republican leadership said any such program would have to be budget neutral; that is, monies would then be cut probably from SS, Medicare, food stamps, etc.
Am I dead and wasn't informed? How can anyone question that the US govt. kills? One million Iraqis at least and possibly 4 million Vietnamese just name, unfortunately, just a few. Also, Oshitforbrains had his weekly Terror Tuesdays leading him to say, " I'm getting really good at killing people." In addition, Trump could possibly deport up to 8 million undocumented including those in the DACA program. 100 congressmen singed a petition asking Oshit to offer a blanket amnesty to protect these people. Needless to say, Oshit was too gutless to do it even though DACA was his program! My guess is that he pardoned Manning so the dems could get the LGBT vote in 2018. Finally, all these protest marches, etc mean nothing. THey are all taking place in blue states so WOW the dems can win them again in 2020.
Needless to say, kvelling nonpareil about your coming to NYC in October, doctor. I have something from Thailand actually that I'm dying to give you.

8:33 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, more on NY later. I look forward to this gift from Thailand, for sure.


10:36 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Not to be missed!:


I guess there really is no way to get progs to introspect. Note that 53% of white women voted for Trumpo.


10:39 AM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

Mister Roboto-

American liberalism is really just another flavor of fascism. Political correctness is simply a crypto-fascist tool used to control people. This situation can be seen most clearly in corporate America. Casual conversation in corporate America is completely pointless because people are afraid of offending someone and thus getting fired by HR. There are a few people such as myself who try to minimize conversation in order to protect our intelligence, but we are a small minority.

12:33 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Morris,
I read your book WAF about a month ago. I read LOT and in the last year or two I became interested in the Guanjuato area and read several books by Americans who had moved or visited, primarily to SMA. SMA seems too much 'hustle' has happened by expats but what about the city of Guanajuato? Or other medium to lower population colonial cities? It's time for me to get my a** in gear and make a trip down, maybe fly to Leon? It goes without saying that I'm disgusted, not really disillusioned but redisillusioned since I mostly had it figured out from the age of 10 thanks to pretty enlightened parents. Trump/Hilary et al the wake up call impossible to ignore. Trouble is my family, I'm married, 69, grandmother, 2 adult children, husband, all hate Trump but don't really accept the whole backstory. My hope would be that if I forced a move maybe it might make them wake up a little more. I'm so tired of living for other people and not my true self. Anyway I appreciate your blog, your writing and many of the contributors here. My husband and I will have about $3000/month and modest retirement savings if the SS and retirement funds don't get ripped off. Best, Annie

1:32 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Which would you prefer: a dizzying descent or a casual, leisurely collapse?

Two Washington Post writers, Fred Barbash and Derek Hawkins, report on the court case being argued today over Trump's Muslim ban. Washington State and Minnesota got a temporary stay of the presidential order, and the Justice Department is seeking to overturn the stay.

Barbash and Hawkins say Trump may be hoist on his own petard: his Tweets and public statements, made without his coterie of sycophants and courtiers having Mirandized him, so to speak, could be his undoing, at least in this case and perhaps in future. The Justice Department lawyers are expected to argue that his utterances are irrelevant in assessing the case. ("I was just kidding. I love Mooslims.")


Good times. Much mirth.

1:34 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

Devos Confirmation Makes Immigrants America's Only Source of Educated People


Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: "We are thankful to [Trump] for making our life easy as he showed the real face of America"


1:57 PM  
Blogger Ed-M said...

MB et al, Note what's happening on John Michael Greer's blog this week: a certain Kevin @ 2/1/17 11:39 PM mentions you and the NMI process, which JMG undoubtedly in my mind kyped -- and still refuses to acknowledge!

"The historical role you sketch out for yourself, modeled along the lines of Iamblichus, reminds me of a concept developed by Morris Berman which he calls the "New Monastic Individual" (NMI), meaning someone who quietly sets about to help conserve some aspect of their dying civilization that they value, typically at a modest scale, alone or in participation with like-minded others.

".... But as you and Berman seem to suggest - and I think that the observable evidence by and large supports your contentions - now it appears that the role of anyone desiring to do something creative or constructive is liable to be more like that of Iamblichus."

Good points! Maybe JMG will give credit where credit is due, someday. Hasn't yet and certainly not in response to Kevin! And following is one DoubtingThomas @ 2/2/17 12:24 AM with his critique of JMG's argumentation style:

He starts off very well calling out JMG's logical fallacies such as argumentum ad absurdum, argumentum ad hominem, and emotive appeal to prejudicial language. He then quickly loses his way from there, revealing himself to be a believer in Progress. If he had the brains God gave a clam, he would have mentioned that big elephant in the room on his side of blogspot, re: plagiarism of your work. This DoubtingThomas is just another typical American, a veritable Oshitforbrains. At least JMG gave him what-for for this... but he didn't address this delusioniac's critique except saying something on the order of, "It's my blog and I'll write the way I want to," but not in so few words.

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Mike. R said...

WAFER Anne--true--some american expats bring that hustle/huckster nonsense with them--as the saying goes, wherever you go, there you are. Living for others doesn't appear to be a quality life nor not be true to yourself.

americans are people pleasers and do not say what they mean--passive aggressive smiles, and mitigated speech. It's a consensus society rather than a criticism with action society. Everybody is great if we only do some boot strapping (horatio alger illusions) and work really hard--anything is possible.

Sticking around the us will be a jolly fun time watching 400yrs+ of fraud coming to afore. All the clitoris/vulva marches, fecesbook posts, and bumpers stickers will certainly do alot... Perhaps, it's better to be a fake somebody, than a real nobody.

3:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


SMA is pretty barfy; you might as well be living on Wilshire Blvd. Leon is also a very American town, very commercial. As for Guanajuato: it has the advantage for me that it is very boring, so I can get a lot of work done. But there's a steady trickle of gringos into it, wh/means it will probably eventually go the way of SMA. And the gringos here--! Oy vey. You can't imagine it; a dead loss. I was in the town center today, sitting at an outdoor café, rdg, and two gringas in their late 30s came along and sat at the next table, 3' away. Since they talked loudly enuf, I cdn't continue rdg; but not eavesdropping was also not an option. Jesus, what a conversation: transportation in town, their sleep schedules, getting a massage--an avalanche of fluff that wdn't end. One gal kept on saying, "Worst case scenario..." It was like listening to a string of clichés. I can understand 5 mins of this stuff, but this was IT, for them. True Americans. After 15 mins, I cdn't stand it any more and left. Thank god I have a Mexican family here. Anyway, I wdn't particularly recommend Gto at this pt. But there is one place I can recommend w/only one reservation: Mexico City, wh/is like Paris in Spanish; and given its size, gringos can't really make much of a dent; you barely notice them. The reservation is that it's kind of pricey, depending on what part of town you choose to live in. But the place is spectacular, the people are very friendly, and there's lots to do.

As for living for your true self, check out "Spinning Straw Into Gold," scheduled to be back online w/Amazon on April 15.

Good luck.


3:27 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks so much for the quick response Morris. I will check out the book. And for the info above most generous of you to get back to me so quickly with what it's like. I had my suspicions and I will move on. Annie

3:42 PM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

Heeeere' Johnny:

a little drum roll.....oops



Puerto Rico

and then yada yada....

"World are colliding"

4:22 PM  
Anonymous tommy said...


My dad predicted Trump in 1985 – it's not Orwell, he warned, it's Brave New World

“Average weekly screen time for an American adult – brace yourself; this is not a typo – is 74 hours”

Do you guys see a BNW landscape or 1984 ? I see '84 @ the moment , but can see Huxley on the horizon

4:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


In the Bad Is Gd dept, we have fabulous news:


Institution by institution, Trump will (hopefully) dismantle the entire country. Red letter day!


5:59 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...


I'm still mad, tho, because Trumpo didn't appoint u to head the Ministry of Total Collapse, MB! I tell ya, Morris "Surge" Berman coulda went down in American history as the Picasso of Demolition, the Duke Ellington of Eradication, and the Mahatma of Obliteration. It woulda been glorious...


6:50 PM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

Has anyone ever heard of the Wetiko Disease Exploitation, Imperialism and Terrorism. I The ultimate fruition of this psychosis is of course the trumpenfuhrer.
This reference describes the psychosis: www.skeptic.ca/Wetiko.htm
It is very much a truth-telling Wafer

7:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm trying to remember...in 1979 I was living in San Francisco, and Peter Berg and I co-sponsored a conference called "Listening to the Earth." It ran for 4 days, and included folks like Murray Bookchin (now deceased) and Gary Snyder (happily alive). And I *think* one of the speakers was Jack Forbes, a Native American, who used the phrase 'wetiko psychosis'. In his language (Navajo?), wetiko = a white person, and what Forbes said, tho he didn't actually use the word 'hustling', was that white folks just cdn't sit still; they were endlessly restless. If you invited them to your house, they immediately started grilling you on how much you paid for it, or something obnoxious like that. My own feeling is that altho this was not an explanation for Anglo behavior, it was certainly a gd description of that behavior. I've been rdg "Silence," by Thich Nhat Hanh, which regards that behavior as a form of illness, and talks about silence, contemplation, and (true) creativity as the very opposite of it.


Not appointing me to a top admin post is Trumpi's worst mistake so far. Besides, I'd love it for people to start calling me Mahatma, as well as Great Seer of the Western Hemisphere. Or perhaps, Your Destructorship.


8:05 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Trump the Soon to Be Dictator...


8:36 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Your Destructorship, I strongly agree with your statement under a prior post, now reiterated above, that silence is the wellspring of creativity. My current residence is in a place of much superfluous noise, most of it connected with neighbors' obsession over property values: weed-whackers, leaf-blowers, that sort of thing. Whenever I'm trying to do some creative work, it's incredibly draining. Schopenhauer once wrote a furious screed against the needless cracking of whips, mostly by thoughtless drivers of horse-drawn cabs. What would he have said about our modern world?

Tommy, I think it's currently more on the Brave New World side, but as industrial civ continues to tank and the economy asphyxiates, I expect to see the Orwellian scenario push to the fore. Many of the pieces are already in place.

To clarify my beef about the flap at Berkeley: it isn't chiefly about Milo. My scorn for the fake left in this case flows from their insistence that the prerogative to decide what speech is free, & therefore permissible, belongs only to them.

Patrick Fitzgerald, no he olvidado que te debo un correo electrónico. Espero comunicar contigo en poco tiempo.

12:11 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

a video which for some, including myself, should refresh the spirit ---

Janaia Donaldson interviews Derrick Jensen :


a tiny sliver of a current form of "listening to the earth" , 38 years later.

2:42 AM  
Anonymous Denis said...

MB said above, ''Forbes said, tho he didn't actually use the word 'hustling', was that white folks just cdn't sit still; they were endlessly restless. If you invited them to your house, they immediately started grilling you on how much you paid for it, or something obnoxious like that. My own feeling is that altho this was not an explanation for Anglo behavior, it was certainly a gd description of that behavior.''

MB and Forbes are in good company. Adam Smith and Napoleon who adapted Smith are both credited with saying ''The English are a nation of shopkeepers.'' That is, those who know the price of everything and the value of nothing. 'Anglo grasping culture could destroy the planet and has been at the root of the British Empire and the US Empire.

3:22 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

I recently had what is probably a typical American encounter. I was at a bar with some friends of mine and put some money into the digital jukebox to play one of my favorite Linda Ronstadt songs (“Blue Bayou”) when out of nowhere this women runs up to me and starts screaming that I had skipped over the song she picked. She was a 20-something with an obviously fake tan. I didn’t think that I skipped over her song but I said that I would be happy to play her song. No dice. She just kept yelling. I walked away in disgust.

This incident reminded of why I hate dealing with Americans and why I often dislike socializing. Perhaps I have thin skin but I don’t understand why it is so hard for people to be polite. This young woman could have just asked me if I had skipped her song and if I did I would have been happy to play it. But instead this woman came at me in war mode as if I had just shot her dog and kicked her grandmother.

The amount of unhinged, angry, arrogant, selfish and narcissistic people in this country is ridiculous. Dr. Berman has mentioned this in other posts but Americans are always in “war mode.” I wonder why that is the case. Is it the stress from having to claw down a living under neoliberalism? Is it people losing empathy because of too much screen time? Bad parenting?

4:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


All of the above, I suppose, altho the loss of the American Dream is certainly a major factor. Why do people call 911 if McDonald's forgets the bacon, or whatever? Because for them, it really *is* an emergency!


5:53 AM  
Anonymous Smack_Smack said...

Behind all the bellicose American politics and bombastic American rhetoric lies a very fragile collective psyche. Not only does it hinge on a negative identity, it needs constant militaristic expansion to avoid total collapse. America hasn't really been able to expand its territory for over a century, and this has caused the American collective consciousness to go completely insane. Now unable to conquer foreign peoples, Americans direct their aggression at one another: they massacre each other on a daily basis and yearn for the slaughter of huge segments of their own populace.

I once posted on this blog that Americans define themselves as competitors, value each other as producers, and subliminally regard life as a curse. I also posited that this view causes them to seek the destruction of foreign peoples and, eventually, their own demise. However, I now believe that the American collective consciousness has fallen even lower than this: Americans define themselves as killers, value one another as accomplices, and subliminally wish to destroy all life. I posit that this view is responsible for the election of Trump, who proudly flaunts his antisocial impulses and works tirelessly for the destruction of the world.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, in fact America *has* been expanding its territory, but not in the classical neocolonial pattern, which is geographical. America isn't interested in doing that, really, since direct occupation is an enormous drain on the economy. Much smarter is economic or indirect political domination, and this the US is very interested in doing. Victoria de Grazia studied this for Europe ("Irresistible Empire"), but of course the economic imperialism is now worldwide, and called globalization. (Consumerism is the domestic equivalent of that.) Everyone is forced to get on the consumerist bandwagon, to participate in the international mkt economy--Asia, Latin America, and so on.

In 1890, the Census Bureau declared the geographical frontier closed (Frederick Jackson Turner gave his famous lecture on the Frontier Thesis in 1893), and after that, the US switched to mostly techno-econ expansion. There has been no collective insanity on this basis, in other words. In addition, Trump is not seeking the destruction of the world. His goal really is to shore up American dominance. I have a feeling he won't succeed.


10:32 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Just look at the "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" smile on this lotus eater.

There is something both venal and profoundly stupid about famous writers as they venture outside their cosseted world and embrace an "issue". Across the Review section of the Guardian on 10 December was a dreamy picture of Barack Obama looking up to the heavens and the words, "Amazing Grace" and "Farewell the Chief".

10:35 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Mike Burgess said....

Hello fellow Wafers and Dr. B:

Here is today's contribution by Paul Craig Roberts. The title is misleading; Roberts mostly attacks firmly held beliefs in American "goodness" and "innocence" in its foreign policies, contrasting America with Putin's Russia. Roberts cites republican views of American goodness and Putin's evil and really lampoons it - as this is very much deserved. Living in Ithaca, NY, I know that among democrats, Putin is held in great suspicion while American foreign policy (or should it actually be called war policy)is hardly addressed much less criticized. Most people seem to have swallowed "The War on Terror" policy hook, line and sinker! Just listen to ads for the "Wounded Warrior Project" sometime; I feel for these wounded former soldiers but just whose or what 'freedom' did they really fight for? I doubt that most soldiers who believe they fought for 'freedom' have ever wondered about this or ever will.



11:11 AM  
Blogger Grille said...

MB, Smack,

A constant influx of cheap workers, aka immigrants, is part of the economic domination, domestically. It maintains downward pressure on wages, makes it harder to unionize etc. Keeps domestic consumer demand higher than it otherwise would be. Ultimately, this immigration ban is just a giant distraction (just a touch more elaborate than the Schwarzenegger ratings 'fight').

Meanwhile Congress is working on a bill to administer the final blow to unions at the federal level. Hardly anyone is taking notice. However, if what I read about Bannon is at least half-way correct, then he is the closest to a new Ernst Röhm in Trump's 'movement' and his views will at some point collide with the big capital interests in the cabinet. And he may have the most formative base behind him, as Röhm did with the SA. So, maybe we can expect another "Nacht der langen Messer" sometime, soon. So, while it might be desirable for you to be in Trumps inner circle, MB, it would seem safer staying where you are.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'll definitely keep that in mind.


12:20 PM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

Meanwhile Congress is working on a bill to administer the final blow to unions at the federal level. Hardly anyone is taking notice.

Yes, and they are asking Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker for advice on how to go about it. When we couldn't get rid of Walker during the last regular gubernatorial election (thanks in part to a corrupt, complacent, and stupid state Democratic Party machine who imposed the lamest possible candidate upon the electorate with no discussion and no real alternative), I knew it was curtains for, well, pretty much the entire political process and the whole country. Actually, I knew it a bit before then, but the results of Election 2014 made it "for realz yo" for me.

And this last election and its immediate aftermath? Well, let's just say there's a certain refreshing quality about letting go of every last shred of hope, at least when it's false hope. :-)

12:55 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Denis -- thanks to the cancer treatments leaving me unable in my retirement to do a lot of the physical activities I used to enjoy, "sitting still" has become the norm for me. Luckily, I've always enjoyed reading, listening to music and other mentally stimulating activities, so I really don't mind. Yet I'm constantly badgered by questions as to just what it is I do all day as if reading a book isn't really doing anything. One casual acquaintance, a doctor who one told me he doesn't ever read, actually said that if I don't get out more my mind will deteriorate. Out of politeness, I didn't tell respond that is actually he who is in much more danger of that happening however much "country collecting" he does on his many cruise vacations.

Meanwhile, a new poll in Europe shows that a majority want an immigration ban from majority Muslim countries. That's actually worse that what Trump is doing since his ban only covers a portion of the Muslim world. So much for Europe being a glorious bastion of diversity. Personally, my view is that the toxic doctrines of neoliberalism are ultimately to blame. Most people tend to be reasonably tolerant if they feel economically secure. If immigration (and trade) were being properly managed in a way that provided maximum benefit for all concerned (including those immigrants with needed skills who were permitted to migrate) rather than to just maximize profits of the wealthy, Trump wouldn't have made it past the Iowa caucuses. Of course, not smashing and destroying so many Muslim countries would have prevented the tidal wave of refugees washing up at Europe's doorstep and fundamentalist terrorism wouldn't be endemic.

MB -- this obviously ties in to what you said to Smack about the American elites trying to manage a global empire on the cheap. Now the bill's coming due, and the blowback is going to be epic.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous WatchingTheMarchingMorons said...

Here's a nice interview with Stephen Jenkinson that Wafers will find worthwhile:

The most amazing thing I have found with Trump's ascendancy to the throne is the vast shrinkage of the average US denizen's thought process from it's already microscopic level. 'Murcans were already down to the 7 second level before their brain turned to shit. With the new twitter prez, it's down to about 2-3 second of "insight" before their brains turn to shit. Or are the brains just shit all the time anymore?

The emigration route is looking more and more unavoidable every day. Time to really get serious about it.

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Ozzy-Grandias said...

Elon is in it for himself. That's why he personally needs to lobby for
techno-narcissistic subsidies. Maybe only the engineer employees that
have to put up with his ego should be allowed to drive Teslas.

(Green delusions - Ozzie Zehner)

A cultural shift like a governmental shift wouldn't necessarily use and abuse
the taxpayers if there wasn't so much historical false consciousness and path
dependent corruption (let alone sociopathic douchebags) - the scale is breathtaking.
People make careers out of destructive endeavors based on false (mostly asinine) premises, promises - like engineers who never question the problems they're asked to solve or the fetid matrix of rackets that get them access to fiat currency.
The Wrecking Crew (Thomas Frank) - is a great insight.

Ozzie please break down electric cars more - you do such great work - I appreciate your vibe.
We are forced down a bridge to nowhere.

2:50 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

In keeping with the theme of the blog, it seems the US is doomed to devolve into some form of medievalism. Vast majorities of the populace unable to distinguish reality from fiction, and living out mythic (in the pejorative sense) lives of digital imagery, far alienated from a distant, incoherent power center.

But, there are always the unpredictable changes younger generations bring...


First WAFER generation. Don't believe all the hype on Millenials. It is really a kind of overwhelmed, recluse generation disgusted by Boomer narcissism. Young people work 70 hours a week and accept all kinds of absurd abuse and blame. I think you will see a transformative 'snapping' soon enough, as older Millenials reach more mamagement roles.

Of note- I saw a young band recently that was actually pretty good, a kind of electronic rock. The interesting thing is that none of them were personally prominent, they were almost all anonymous in their stage manner and bearing. Minimalism is the style.

3:40 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

The Fake News media's efforts to manufacture fake hysteria & cast Trump's actions as 'unpopular' continue to erode with each new poll. Here are the latest findings from Morning Consult/Politico:

- 58% of Americans say Democrats should work with Trump, only 30% say 'resist'

- Americans oppose overturning Citizens United by 41% to 26%

- 55% of Americans approve of Trump's travel ban

- Americans support Trump's executive order slashing federal regulations by 47% to 33%

- 77% of Americans support Trump's decision to keep workplace protections for "L.B.G.T.Q." individuals

- Contradicting Hillary Clinton, 61% of Americans say America was "not great" before Trump was elected


The mainstream media still does not seem to have gotten the message: if Americans didn't like Trump, they wouldn't have voted for him.

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Dr. Berman states the us is a very lonely place for those who think critically, have a grasp of the failed empire's history and have a deeper sense of meaning. The vast majority remain obsessed getting money, happy talk mantras, sharing their bed for a buck, and trying to seek reasons why america is currently in a "not so great" place (mitigated us speech). The pettifoggers and rapscallions are coming out to sell their books of: this is why they're poor and stupid, voted for Trumpo, now I'm rich, you can too, buy my book, CD, hat.... Hard work stories, ted shlock talks, and all ya gotta do is do is boot strapping and you too can live the life of Riley.
The clueless are clutching and clinging to things outside their elite 5G aquarium to appear well-versed, and get in touch with their inner hillbilly as they pretend to understand. Of course, they don't read, McDougall, Mencken, Hofstader, deToqueville, Hartz, Berman, etc....might as well be talking about integral calculus. They certainly love reading and listening to the usual sun will come out tmrw us BS though.....
Hence, the plethora of new books/stories from american opportunists--redneck farce bks (Horatio Alger work hard pie recycled dreck) or "ACE" studies that attempt to show that a poor upbringing causes bad american adults (no shit)--with of course NO discussion of the why or the root cause. And of course create addl studies showing more of nothing simply creating work for symptoms tx.
The root cause of the alcoholic parent, drug use, depression/Cluster ABC, or the abusive spouse is lacking, conveniently not discussed. In my opinion, most this can be stemmed from hustling, zeal for more, and hyper individualism. Try telling that to a friend or family member--Good luck. Angry drunk uncle response. Other than this blog-WAFERS---who can you talk to?

4:09 PM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

Not much of a 'dream' for the working poor in Japan...


"the nail that stands out must be hammered down"


4:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A bit too long. Compress, re-send. Thanks.


Thanks for the link. What a great essay! This young woman realized that she didn't want to live a turkey life among turkey people in a turkey country, and split. May millions of intelligent young people follow her!


7:35 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

While lawyers for the states of Washington and Minnesota were engaged in legal wrangling yesterday with lawyers from the Department of Justice over the Trump encyclical regarding visitors to the US from 7 Muslim countries, his newly minted Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly was testifying before the House Homeland Security Committee. He told the solons that several measures were being considered for inclusion in DHS's border protocols. Among them, this, from CNET's brief article:

"Visitors to the US might be asked to relinquish their social media passwords to border agents as part of an attempt to tighten security checks."

And, should you be interested, the written text of Kelly's testimony:

Sicherheit über alles.

8:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


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


11:26 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Dr B. and other Wafters and Wafettes

Here is another example of our declining civilization.

WARNING: This girl, Katelyn Nicole Davis, commits suicide in it. If you're able to watch it then do so. I personally can't so here ya go. You will need a drink, tons of pastrami sandwiches and what not afterwards.


This is what I predict for the near future. You are going to see the suicide rate go up and you will see more and more of it streamed.

12:38 AM  
Anonymous Denis said...

Bill Hicks. I understand your first sentence totally. It's my situation of two months but I intend to get through it and return to activity.

I agree about Europe, which after all supplied the early hustlers whose endless bombing now sends thousands running into Europe. This is a happy hunting ground for the EuroFascists.

3:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Depressing! BTW, correct terminology is Wafers and Waferettes. Thank you.


3:47 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The following article is pretty misguided, but contains an important pt:


Author writes (w/horror): "Never before has a modern president said he doesn’t believe the United States is special." I say, Good for Trumpi!

He goes on: Here’s what the president said about foreign policy in his inaugural address: “We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world, but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first. We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone...”

Trumpi, you da man! Time to put an end to 'exceptionalism' and American Imperial Nonsense.


4:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

There's so much love in the American heart:


4:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Check it out:


8:17 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Trump playing the traditional role of The Fool is the subject of the following opinion piece, but James Gordon tumbles into an Alice-in-Wonderland prog hole in the last five paragraphs where he lays out the hope that Mericans will grow in self-awareness "to act in ways that respect and fulfill what is best in ourselves and our democracy." Is that hustling?


11:18 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Renewable power is encouraging, but 2016 broke the previous years record for amount of carbon fuels consumed. The amount of birds roasted or chopped by solar and wind isn't inconsequential either.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


More like delusion, but then progs do have their heads in a hole. Also, Trumpo may be more than just a Trickster figure. Some have speculated that his overall strategy is to dismantle the empire, the imperial structure that was put in place after WW2, and wh/has brought the US to this unhappy state of affairs today. We did have the oppty, in 1945, to go in a different direction than Cold War insanity and world domination, and we flubbed it; altho if you think abt the unconscious programs I delineate in QOV, one wonders if we cd have done anything else (violence and opposition being sewn into our genes, as it were). All of this stupid, and unconscious, history finally culminated in an inevitable reaction against it, and this may be what Trumpi is about; what "History," as it were, selected him to do.

But the fact that Botox Face won the popular vote by 3 million votes shows how many Americans were willing to keep soldiering on with the imperial status quo; wh/I find terribly depressing.


11:39 AM  
Blogger Grille said...

Loved the millennials article! Thanks for the link.

MB, Wafers,
The fault lines between hard-right ideologues such as Coulter/Bannon and big-money Republicans in Trump's cabinet are becoming more visible:


Which of those two factions where you hoping to join in Trump's cabinet, MB?

1:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It doesn't matter; I just want an extremely important position, one that gives me total dictatorial powers, w/no judges to get in the way. First order of business: close down all US institutions: airports, schools, newspapers, the NYSE, corporations, the military, hospitals, etc. Only delis will be allowed to remain open.

My 2nd decree: all non-whites and non-Christians must immediately relocate to Idaho, around wh/will be built the wall originally intended for Mexico.

#3: Let into the other 49 states anyone from Mexico, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and penguins from Antarctica. Just come, no passport required (but visas for penguins).

Good start, eh?


1:32 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

I heard from a contact of mine at the State Department who works at a foreign embassy overseas (not the Middle East) who told me that two foreign national employees of the embassy where they work abruptly resigned saying they don't want to be seen as representing Trump. This is remarkable, as foreign national employees of our embassies (who perform most of the routine administrative functions) are not politically affiliated in any way and typically make a career out of their jobs. This is the first direct example I've heard of "the mask coming off" and people in other countries finally recognizing the U.S. for what it is rather than what it pretends to be.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of quotes fro two interesting recent blog posts:


"I think the U.S. citizenry is being afflicted by a sort of mass insanity at the moment. There are no good outcomes if this continues."


"...the political systems in the US and the UK, along with the media that serve them, have turned into a massive void, a vortex, a black hole from which any reflection, criticism or self-awareness can no longer escape."

1:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Here's a neat film: "Sing Street." Fabulous sound track also.


4:31 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


I agree, Trump could tip the system upside down. He's reckless, of course, but there's an element to which Trump has exposed the complete bankruptcy of Republican and Democratic neoconservative foreign policy. I think he's also exposed the bankruptcy of a Rep/Dem led globalist economic policy that has little concern for many people in this country; a system which has produced a staggering amount of income inequality. Brass Tacks: if the elites (who have benefited from this type of situation) don't hear this, don't adjust, and don't make some serious fucking sacrifices, then Trump is only the beginning of a more populist radical movement that will threaten the entire country. I think this is undeniable...


ps: We (Americans) don't really know how to address any of this stuff, BTW.

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

FATCA was yet another Oshtforbrains (Berman) imperialistic onerous reporting requirement that was "quietly" moved forward during his Seinfeld presidency--empty vessel. america basically holds 80 countries "hostage" with a 30% penalty for not reporting americans' accounts to the IRS. How's all that "freedom" and "democracy" doing? Also, please extend a warm welcome to all those in the military for their "service." 900+ us military bases worldwide.

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Harry Haller said...

Steve Bannon does look like a victim of this opioid epidemic that everybody's talking about:

And Trumpo, which sleeps very little, as publicly known, might be hooked on amphetamines or something else to keep him going. Funny how the Nazi regime was also fueled by drugs:

I think we really should stop paying attention at the supposed ideology of, or what the nutters in the Trumpo administration say, and look carefully at their personal characters, seriously. The parallels with Nazi Germany are then uncanny.

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Here's a detailed account of the recent Yemen raid:


Success! United States of American style. Even someone like McCain who called out the mission as not successful, limited his reasons for the failure to the loss of the one Navy seal and the 75 million dollar helicopter (which he mentioned first, by the way).

I guess this is an example of Trump's evolved foreign policy. I'm sure the rest of the world is very grateful — or they will be made to be soon enough. Onward and downward we go, where it stops is beyond humanity's control.

7:46 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Pat Buchanan calling for "T R I T L E R" to demolish the Judiciary, like the loyal Fascist he is...


8:14 PM  
Anonymous Fruit Woman said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafer Friends,
I'm including a link. I don't know what to say about the news of this woman's deportation except that I have a few friends who don't have "their papers in order". - Fruit Lady

9:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


1st, welcome back. Many people wept bitter tears over yr absence, I among them.

2nd, this deportation story is cruel and violent--like the US. If I had the power to annul it, I wd in a heartbeat. But I hafta say, that the larger picture is that the more injustice Trump brings down on innocent people, the more the US will be hated, and that's a gd thing in the long run. It erodes what little moral fiber we have left (practically nil), and discredits us on the world stage. It exposes who and what we really are. The same applies to the use of torture: I deplore it; I think it shd be universally outlawed. But the result of the Bush admin using it as a 'tool' of US foreign policy is that it galvanized the Islamic world against us, and sowed the seeds of bitter hatred for decades to come. This is an infallible way for us to undermine ourselves, and if the empire is to collapse, we need to be as self-destructive as possible. Trumpo is clearly the best agent to carry this out.

Which means that for Wafers, these are times of dual consciousness. What is hateful from a human pt of view, may strangely be how history is playing out. I've said it many times: collapse is never pretty. When England was losing the last of its colonies, it lashed out against the collapse of its hegemony by setting up a torture regime in Kenya (a horror recorded by Caroline Elkins in "Imperial Reckoning"). This had the opposite effect: not saving the British empire, but discrediting it and contributing to its demise. We have been doing similar things, and they are having similar effects. No, I wish Britain had exited the world stage w/grace, but it didn't, and neither will we. In the short term, many innocents suffer. I hate it, but that's the way it is.


9:47 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Steve Bannon as a kind of inverse of Oedipus. In the attempt to fulfill his fate of a "Fourth Turning" (rather than avoid it as Oedipus), he actively creates the conditions that would necessitate a breakdown in the rule of law and a crisis, which is totally different than that which he thought was imminent. He seems to think that America will be renewed by some kind of struggle against Islam, when a total domestic meltdown seems far more likely.

The past year has revealed that neither the left nor the right in America have any positive program or identity. This is a kind of vacuum that can only work so long as the gravy keeps flowing.

BTW, I want to call some BS on "poor worker" theory of Trump. The people that put him over the top are suburbanites that are doing quite well for themselves, but live in a world of conceptual chaos and suppressed rage.

10:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I haven't checked the stats, but from everything I've read (wh/cd be unreliable, of course), suburbanites weren't as crucial as folks from small-town rural areas; people who were *not* doing well, wh/is why they voted for him.

As far as what Bannon or anyone in the Trump admin has in mind, and the fact that the US seems to have turned into one big floating crap game, the one thing we can probably count on is the Law of Unintended Consequences. All of us here cd probably spin out a dozen scenarios for the next 10 yrs, and any of them might occur; or something completely different.


10:40 PM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

But didn't Bannon proclaim that he wanted to `destroy the state'?


11:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Dan-



12:32 AM  
Blogger remo26 said...


It doesn't seem that Trump is taking drugs to run the country into the ground, it might just be his physiology. Many have reported since 2015 that he could be what's called a "short sleeper," who are *most* productive over extended periods on about 4 hrs. sleep per night. More sleep makes them groggy. Generally regarded as an advantage by having more usable hours than the average population, short sleepers sometimes struggle with filling up their time. Hence, perhaps, the incessant Trumpo tweets at odd hours. It's ironic that America has its true Terminator - "divinely engineered" - to get the job done as the dupe of decline. Judges, Nordstroms, inverted murder rates, SNL - No task too small to obsess over.

- remo

3:35 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Good one here:


"Already for decades the system has been successfully producing entire generations of emotionally dead and confused individuals."

"... I think that the most important causes for the present state of things are much simpler: the West and its colonies almost entirely destroyed the most essential human instincts: people’s ability to dream, to feel passionate about things, to rebel and to ‘get involved’."

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Thanks for the link about Israeli forests. Yes, we both remember as children the campaign to plant a tree in Israel. Little did we know that Israel was using those trees to cover up war crimes. Hell, Der Yasin is located next to Yad Vashem! I'm sure by now Der Yasin is a virtual forest or a playground as Pappe's pictures show. By the way, does that make us complicit in a war crime?
I thought this was interesting. I attended a car show in Philadelphia last week just to see the antique cars and also, to be honest, look at the fashion models. However, each model this year was holding some kind of technology, laptop, notebook or whatever the crap it's called. I mean, God forbid, you can simply gaze at a beautiful woman whose sole purpose is to enhance the feature of the car. No, she had to be part of the hustle too. This is in stark contrast to a car show I attended in Bangkok which also had lovely models qua models, not part of the hustle.
Yes, politics here is the equivalent of an Italian firing squad. Dems and Repubs slug it out while the neo-liberal agenda moves inexorably on. Hell, if neither the media nor politicians cannot intelligently respond to Trump's "There are many killers' line there is simply no hope here. 53% of discretionary spending is for the military, Oshitforbrains dropped 26,000 bombs in 2016 and our only fallback position is we're Exceptional. How do you begin to have an intelligent discussion if that's your only answer?

10:20 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yes, this pinpoints the problem exactly. You know, by age 8 I realized (dimly) that I was a stranger in a strange land, and it's because of what Vltchek is talking about. My family was part of an east European tradition w/very different sensibilities, and as a little kid in an American school w/competitive, utilitarian values, I just cdn't relate. What was most impt to me was meaningless to those around me, and vice versa. Of course, as time went on, I got indoctrinated enuf into Americanism so that I cd adapt; but I was never able to be successful in the way America defined that word--and didn't want to be. By the time I left for gd, in 2006, I had very few American friends, despite the decades I had spent in the US; and when I meet gringos down here, it amazes me how boring these folks are, and how they are totally unaware of this. A few days ago I mentioned overhearing the conversation of 2 gringas in a café, how painful it was to listen to. I just left, but what I wanted to do was say to them, "Who did this to you?" In my own work, I came to the same conclusion as Vltchek. But explanation or no, it's still a tragedy.
To paraphrase Mother Teresa, America is materially wealthy, but a crime against the human spirit. (Robt Bellah said pretty much the same thing--that it was a loveless place.)


10:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Also check out a short story by A.B. Yehoshua called "Facing the Forests."


10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the automatic earth article Bill, it really hits the nail on the head.

I know Milo was mentioned in the comments previously, and while it's great that folks like him speak up against the diktat of political correctedness and identity politics, let's not kid ourselves that this guy stands for Free Speech. Anyone who speaks up against his anti-feminist, anti-SJW, RedPill & "manosphere" views is immediately destroyed by his army of alt-right supporting trolls. It's just one type of negative identity instead of another.

Re:Wetiko. It's a sad thing that opportunities for Silence are disappearing as gadgets are invading all public space. I can't even imagine what it's like to raise a kid in this environment. Really great movie on the topic - Kubrick's The Shining. Arguably, it's precisely the Silence of the Overlook Hotel that drove Jack Torrance crazy...


11:50 AM  
Blogger Grille said...

MB, Wafers,
Re similarities of Trump gov. with some characters of the Nazi regime:The most striking parallel I see (besides the characters of the two leading protagonists) is the presence of two main factions. Röhm represented the anti-capitalist movement of National Socialism. Hitler, on the other hand, formed alliances with Germany's big industrialists, even before 1933. Once in power those alliances intensified. Röhm's continued favoring of real economic change increasingly became a threat to the way big money wanted to do business - especially with Röhm controlling the the SA (1932, 200'000 armed men). So in 1934 Hitler decided to eliminate Röhm and his 100-200 most senior SA leaders. That was that.

Today, I see a similar disdain with capitalism/neo-liberalism among Bannon, Coulter and the so-called Alt-Right. The talk is of "Plutokrats" and "Donor-Class." They are already complaining about some Trump appointees and certainly see traditional Republicans as no better than Democrats. All Neo-Lib Establishment.

I found this interesting read about Alt-Right ideology, especially because of the rejection of what has become of the U.S. culture, the hustle, money focus, it has to be broken etc. And of course they are not to be confused with Nazi Brutes ('1488RS' was a new one to me). Apparently, they like the thinking of Julius Evola. Their answer, of course, is to bring back some racially cleansed version of white America's past.
I'd be interested in your take on that, M.B.


12:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I always found Evola rather creepy, myself.


Here's a great bk: "Silence," by Thich Nhat Hanh.


12:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Fran: also see "Reactionary Modernism," by Jeffrey Herf.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

I don't think Trump can afford to dump Bannon, as it is the latter's political sensibilities whispered into Trump's ear that got Trump elected and forms the core of the support he vitally needs as he takes on the establishment. John Michael Greer (whatever his faults are in the area of attribution) predicted Trump's victory last January when the idea seemed laughable, and did so based on his first hand discussions with the members of the deeply red community where he lives. Among the surprising things Greer noted was how strongly Trump's comments about the Iraq War being a mistake resonated with conservative working class voters who were tired of seeing friends and family members coming home horribly maimed or in body bags. That message was all Bannon, who turned on the Republican establishment primarily because of Bush's Iraq War disaster. Bannon was also responsible for making the 0.0000001%-er Trump appear to be the perfect weapon to bring down the establishment, which is what a great many of his supporters want.

Without Bannon, Trump essentially has no real political constituency. He'll become simply a viler, cruder version of Mitt Romney in the eyes of his core supporters and won't even have Romney's establishment support to help prop him up. This is highly dangerous because much of the country is a powder keg of rage and resentment just waiting to explode. The election of Trump as a front for Bannon's "tear it all down" ideology has tampered things down ever so slightly. If Trump is seen as turning his back on all of that, he'll go down in flames with the difference being that it won't be the liberals who poured the gasoline and lit the match.

2:28 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Annals of American Douchebaggery Dept.:

1. Subway restaurant customer flips out:


2. Don Royce, 76, shoots his wife in the butt after she refuses sex:



4:29 PM  
Anonymous grey-skies said...

Thomas Frank's The Wrecking Crew really does a nice expose of lobbyists like Jack Abramoff, Grover Norquist, Ken Kies, Tom Delay, K. Street, C 101 Street, plutocracy, etc., could have been called The Wretched Crew. Good god. Kies interestingly for all the corp tax breaks he's engineered has no Wikipedia page.

A lawyer friend thinks 99% of the lawyers and judges should be fired in our city, firms playing both sides of municipal cases to drag them out - institutionalized professional class crime. What a disgusting culture of class warfare and grift reflected in every penal colony-esque institution.

Vaclav Smil is a world authority on energy and consumption issues. B. Gates comments about him. His books are dense. He seems to advocate mostly lower consumption and footprints with some low-tech retro-fitting. The techno-narcissistic benefits of panels and windmills are hard to quantify but seem mostly bad and harnessing photons directly is difficult and expensive outside of a dam comparatively speaking. Smil debunks a lot of geo-engineering as well. New Zealand has consistently denied windmill projects for various reasons. Panels and solar thermal arrays usually contribute to less than 1% of a regions' downstream grid energy. It's sort of a prog-like myth I think that the oil tycoons derail "better" technologies. As Greer mentions industrial civ dipped into nature's cookie jar of oil. So in conclusion we're completely fucked.

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Bill and Wafers,

Check out Andrew Levine's article today on Counterpunch:

Extirpating Trumpism From the Body Politic

He makes good sense and developed his argument well about Trump's possible impeachment.


4:49 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...



6:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Buffoon levels very high, up there.


Bad scenario, let's hope it never happens. Don needs to extirpate the body politic b4 it extirpates him!


Re: 1st link: Well, Americans are charming people, as we know; but not clear why Subway personnel didn't call Security. I do like the fact that they are wearing T-shirts that say HEY, TURKEY. Now that is appropriate.


7:19 PM  
Anonymous Harry Haller said...

Well, I simply don't believe a human being can only sleep continuously just four hours per night naturally. Besides, Trump shows the symptoms of people addicted to crystal meth: aggressive outbursts, inability to accept opposing viewpoints or to follow complex arguments, manic hyperactivity... Of course I might be wrong but I do think that Trump's "ideology", or what there might be of it, doesn't make sense per se. We must look at the man (and the men that surround him) at the most basic level.

8:32 PM  
Blogger pinkpearl said...

Wafers, this may be of interest:

Surviving Post-Capitalism: Coping, hoping, doping & shopping


The signs are troubling: the ever-widening chasm between the ultra-rich and everyone else. Mass protests. Political upheaval and social division. It looks as though the rocky marriage between capitalism and democracy is doomed, at least according to Wolfgang Streeck, who directs the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, Germany, where he is also a professor of sociology. In conversation with Paul Kennedy about his book How Will Capitalism End?, he makes the unnerving case that capitalism is now at a point where it cannot survive itself.

9:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Streeck is a very gd analyst, and did an article in New Left Review, 2014, wh/I quote from in my essay on Dual Process. But all this has already been stated by the World Systems Analysis folks: that capitalism had a 600-yr run, 1500-2100, and we are now living thru the crackup. As the US is the cutting edge of capitalism, its crackup is integral to the larger one. We are in the midst of an enormous sea change, that's for sure. Meanwhile, doping and shopping is what most Americans are doing in response.


9:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I already recommended "Sing Street" 2u guys...wonderful portrayal of teen life in 1980s Dublin. Just saw "La La Land," which is spectacular. I didn't think I was gonna like this one, but it's first-rate. A very authentic film abt trying to make it in LA, and how love typically doesn't work out. Bitter sweet.


10:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Food for thought dept.:


5:12 AM  
Blogger Grille said...

Bill Hicks,
You are right, Trump still needs Bannon. For now. It's not even been a month yet. And maybe I am reading too much into the Coulter Plutocrat-Donor Class comments. However, she was one of the most fierce and influential pro-Trump propagandist out there during the campaign and those are not subtle statements. Let's give it some time. The murderous Hitler-Röhm clash did not occur until 1934 when Hitler finally made it evident that there would be no redistribution of wealth to the little guy. On that timeline it's now late Feb. 1933. We will see what happens among the Trump influencers once it becomes evident to Trump voters that their lives will get worse not better.

Great Guarding article! Read about Bannon's fixation on the 4 stages of history someplace else too. Looks like the Hippies are to take over the scapegoat role the Nazis had assigned to the Jews. If the enemy is liberal culture it remains to be seen how they plan to 'cleanse' corporate America and Wall Street from it. My guess: they won't. Ivanka and Jared to liberty's defense! (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/03/us/politics/lgbt-rights-ivanka-trump-jared-kushner.html)

MB, Wafers, Waferettes,
I am digging through the philosophical analyses of the Ernst Bloch essays in 'Heritage of Our Times'(Erbschaft dieser Zeit). Published in 1935 against the backdrop of that time, they still apply to the situation today. Fascinating read!

12:07 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Trump is now calling our legal system "Broken" all because it ruled against him and he didn't get his spoiled way...isn't that what Banana Republic Dictators do? When is this madman going to be thrown out of office?


1:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The maddening thing abt the Frank article is his conclusion:

"A funny thing about Bannon’s stinky pudding of exaggerations and hallucinations: in the broadest terms, it’s also true. The counterculture really did have something to do with both our accelerated modern capitalism and the Democratic party’s shift to the right..."

Of course, Bannon's error is painting the 60s as a monolith, wh/is a gross delusion; the 60s was many things. Jerry Rubin was no Tom Hayden, for example, and many 60s rebels were inspired to go on to poverty and environmental law, as well as community organizing etc. (Films: Susan Sarandon's marvelous speech in "The Company You Keep," and the Swiss film "Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000") But for most of that generation, the sellout was pretty quick (cf. Jenny Diski);the 'revolution' turned into chic boutiques and trendy slogans (see Cosmo Magazine, 1970: Revlon's ads for "Revolution in Deodorants!"--capitalism can market anything, including its opposite). This was just a hip version of the American Dream, Starbucks and Ben & Jerry's. And one aspect of that Dream is that you can do whatever you want--Lasch's "Culture of Narcissim," wh/was pretty much a culture of assholes. By ignoring the Sarandon-Hayden version of the 60s, which was real, Bannon can focus on the asshole/indulgent version of it, also real. (This also has its comic side in McDonald's customers calling 911 when they were shorted a burger, or whatever.) Meanwhile, as Frank says elsewhere, the Democrats wanted to court the hip and chic moneyed class, not the working class, and this produced people like Bill Clinton (may his name be blotted out, and may he and Hillary dwell forever in Gehenna). In so many ways, Trump is the logical product of American history, both long- and short-term. The notion that the guy is some sort of aberration is the delusion of the liberals--who delivered him to us in spades. Now, these clowns march self-righteously in the streets, never looking at themselves, or their historical role.


1:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Hopefully never. This 'madman' has a job to do, historically speaking--dismantle the American empire--and if he does it ungracefully, tant pis! History is never neat and clean, you can be sure of that. Nor will impeachment--wh/certainly cd happen--make any difference, any more than it did in Clinton's case. Impeachment really means nothing; one has to be convicted by the Senate, and it failed in Clinton's case and it will in Trumpi's. Of course, Trumpi may need more than 8 yrs to do full damage to the US, and if so perhaps he'll declare martial law in 2024 and appoint himself president for life, army by his side. Maybe then, finally, I'll get the top admin post I have been seeking.


1:59 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB -- what you just said about the culture of assholes reminds me of the old "We'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" hippy culture-appropriating television commercial for Coke that was burned into my brain when I was a kid. Interestingly, that ad was used at the very conclusion of the outstanding show "Mad Men" in which it was implied that the show's protagonist, the forever hustling but morally empty Don Draper, thought up the ad while visiting a hippie commune while trying to figure out why his "perfect" American dream life was such a mess. Taking the idea one step further, several bloggers I read have compared the fictional Draper to Trump.

Makes me think that Frank has hit the nail right on the head.

3:19 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

Bill Hicks - Sadly, as a millennial, my generation really seems to have bought into this nonsense. I was honestly a hardcore Republican growing up, seeing these moronic liberals attempt to protest the Iraq War, with no ideological content whatsoever other than "well our parents protested Vietnam, so I guess we protest this war too." Somehow, a war whose premise was even more flimsy and transparently fraudulent than that one, inspired a reaction that was comparatively pathetic. The whole thing was a black comedy, a bunch of dumb-as-rocks conservatives politically steamrolling an even dumber opposition. Perhaps, Trump is too dumb even to outfox these imbeciles, now that he doesn't have the gift from god known as Hillary Clinton.

Jim Gilchrist, founder of the anti-immigrant vigiliante group The Minutemen came to speak at my college, and within minutes he was predictably run off the stage physically. But before that he managed to say "You guys will all be investment bankers in 5 years, who do you think you're fooling?". The energy these people put into fooling themselves is quite astounding. The Protestant Work Ethic at its finest.

4:21 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

MB: "The same applies to the use of torture: I deplore it; I think it shd be universally outlawed. But the result of the Bush admin using it as a 'tool' of US foreign policy is that it galvanized the Islamic world against us, and sowed the seeds of bitter hatred for decades to come."

Sadly, I've observed precisely the opposite: the world (Islamic & beyond) is still very much in love with USA (the American Dream in particular). Evidence for this can be found everywhere, but most clearly in the warm embrace of American tech in nearly every corner of the globe. Ex.: The Unofficial Apple Store in Afghanistan - "'It’s very trendy to own an iPhone or an iPad. These young Afghans work around foreigners who have iPods and Macs and iPads, and they want them too,' Rahimi told students from USC Annenberg in an interview last year. 'If you see a woman using an iPhone, even if she’s wearing the hijab you know she’s got money and that she wants people to notice her. You don’t really look twice if she’s on a Nokia, you know?'" https://qz.com/76841/apple-is-still-cool-in-afghanistan/

^ A prevalent mindset also in Saudi Arabia (where most of the 9/11 hijackers originated), and Iran (thought to be the most "anti-American" of nations, but where Iranian millennials treat bootlegged copies of Hollywood movies like lost treasure). I saw a photo yesterday taken during demonstrations celebrating Iran's revolution which echoed a sentiment I've seen expressed consistently by countries currently or formerly oppressed by the US: "Down with US regime, long live US people." https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C4VUjrrWQAAoIEN.jpg

The distinction is of course a strange and baseless one, but nevertheless, many (most?) throughout the world still believe there's a difference. I think MB hits the nail on the head when he speaks of the "transcultural" essence of the American Dream, and its appeal to the universal "child within us." Until the Dream itself is totally discredited, the world (incl the Islamic one) will continue to love and fantasize about America, regardless of what its govt does.

4:49 PM  
Anonymous Detours said...

Yo, check out these 2 quotes I found, so cool. They're both used as epigraphs in Charles Bowden's book "Blood Orchid". I immediately thought of y'all, 'cause probably only Wafers will truly "get it":

"At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasury of the earth...could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years...If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." (—Abraham Lincoln, 1838)

"Gold was discovered there, a railroad is built, and beautiful forests are being swept away, and the virgin lakes & streams robbed of their trout and I am forced to choose this great city, for the final act of my drama and life. I feel like apologizing but on the whole it is the best I can do. (—General William Tecumseh Sherman, 1888, explaining why he retired to New York City instead of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho)

What ya'll think? Uncanny in their prescience, if I can put it that way, eh?!!

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Harry Haller said...

Book recommendation ("you really must read it" kind of thing):


Written in 1940 it predicts exactly how the führer would end.

5:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Pls watch time (24-hr rule). Thank you.


Pls watch length (half-page rule). Thank you. As for Islam, culturally yr rt, but certainly not politically. Hatred for the US runs quite deep, and for gd reason; tons of evidence for that (Arab joy over 9/11, just for starters). This odd split can be best seen in Palestine, where the Arabs despise the US (missiles that murder thousands of civilians are labeled "Made in USA") and simultaneously have a favorite TV show: Friends! What can ya say, really?


6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every Saturday night in France is a very popular talk show called "On n'est pas couché". It's sort of a french version of Saturday Night Live, with politicians, writers, actors and comedians attending to speak on current issues, their latest books, theatre plays etc... Tonight's main guest was one of the most popular french philosophers - Michel Onfray. He was interviewed on his latest book called "Decadence: from Jesus to Ben Laden, Life and Death of the West" and for an HOUR, he basically quietly said that Western Civilization is finished, and that all is left to do is "play violin on the sinking ship". His book is the #1 bestseller on french amazon.

There wasn't any animosity towards him by the talk show hosts, but a very cordial and intellectual debate. Bear in mind that this show is watched by millions every Saturday and that it's not some obscure channel on cable television. It's one of the main national TV channels subsidised by taxpayers.

To Wafers considering emigration, don't forget about France!!


7:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The last line of Onfray's description is exactly rt: "à cette heure,
il ne s'agit plus de rire ou de pleurer, mais de comprendre"--at this pt, it's no longer a matter of laughing or crying, but (only) of understanding.

Can one imagine an American critic (besides myself) saying anything like this in the face of an argument that America is finished? God, Americans are stupid.

Let me also pt out that I was in Paris a few yrs ago, and it was impressive to see customers at the cashier's desk in FNAC, the chain bkstore, buying piles of bks--yes, real bks, not e-bks or smart phones. Meanwhile, in the US, Borders folded and B&N is well on its way, as American turkeys don't read any more. France is a real rush; you are aware you are in a vibrant culture, not one in fatal eclipse.


7:29 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Voila! "Trump en est la forme contemporaine : cet homme, qui est un pur produit de la télé-réalité et de l'argent, ignore la morale et manifeste un franc cynisme en tout" - Onfray

8:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I guess it's time to start another post. From now on, we will converse only in French. Nous sommes les Waferes! Laissez les bons temps roulez!


9:30 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Dr. B

I read the article pastrami posted entitled "The West is Finished." Truth is, I don't understand it yet in a weird and twisted way I comprehend it. It's not meant to be understood in a logical or formulaic way but "felt."

What it is saying is that by reducing everything to logic, reason and formulas we limit ourselves as human beings from being our full selves. Emotions like love are a part of who we are. Passion is a part of us in addition to the intellect.

Yeats said as a part of his poem The Second Coming "The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity."

1:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Pls send messages to most recent post; no one reads the older stuff. Thank you.


2:04 PM  
Blogger bp said...

been looking for your essay on dual process - can't find it - is there a link?

7:48 AM  

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