November 13, 2017

Looking Back at 2017

Ay, Waferinos!

Is it too soon to look back, to survey the highs and lows of the past year? What I keep noticing is the split between ourselves and the US. This was a disastrous year for the latter, which will be known in history as Trump 1. So much damage he did! What declinist is not excited by this, is not looking forward to yet another year of gaffes and boorishness and misguided foreign and domestic policy? Stupid advisers, ridiculous appointments, China and Russia laughing up their sleeves--the whole 9 yards.

And yet, concomitant with this, we have the world of Waferdom, with its inhabitants having a grand ol' time. The contrast is really fascinating. Here the US is going to hell in a basket, and Wafers everywhere had a pretty good year of it. For me, it started out at the end of 2016, when Trumpi was elected and I was giving lectures in Germany. Watching Botox-Face on German television, heavily sedated, mouthing some scripted message about how the future was female: Jesus, does entertainment get any better than that?

And then spending 3 weeks in Italy, a land of fabulous art, fabulous food, and a landscape to die for. This was followed by the Wafer Summit Meeting in NY, where we all thrust our faces into pie and reveled in the disgusting mess we created: a party like no other, really. Then, for me, an interview with RT, which then proceeded to cut out two small pieces, fold these into other shows, and toss out the rest. Sublime!, as was a visit to the Met with 2 other Wafers. Plus, I ducked into the 2nd Ave Deli and porked out on pastrami, chopped liver, dill pickles, cole slaw with Russian dressing, and a Cel-Ray Tonic. Life doesn't get much better than that, although the publication, at long last, of Are We There Yet?, felt pretty good as well.

For me, the year winds up with a lecture on my Japan book, shortly to be released in Spanish translation, in Guadalajara on Nov. 27. In Spanish, of course, so if any of you hispanohablantes happen to be in the neighborhood, it will take place in the evening, as part of the Feria Internacional de Libros. I hope to see you there, muchachos!

And if I ask myself why, when the US is crumbling, life is so good for us Wafers, there can be only one answer: because we are Wafers! Our lives are glorious, by definition. So all of you, por favor, write in now, and tell us of your triumphs and joys over the past 11 months, and how Waferdom has blessed your life. As Patrick Henry cried at the height of the American Revolution, "Give me liberty, or give me a tuna sandwich on rye with lettuce and mayo!" These are the words of a great man.



Blogger Bill Hicks said...

The most joyous part of Waferism for me is to be able to read stories like these and being able too see the connection to the bigger, declinist picture:

Former Subway pitchman Jared Fogel loses appeal on sex crimes conviction after claiming he was a "sovereign citizen." Maybe Trump should pardon Fogel and make him his new press secretary.

Upstate mother charged with neglect after toddler found living in home covered in pig, animal waste. From the mugshot, I'm not sure if the cops managed to arrest the mother or the pig.

'Inappropriate' worksheet asks middle school students about trophy wives. Not every kid is going to grow up to be Donald Trump or Steven Mnuchin after all.

12:38 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, I don't post Anons. You need a real handle to participate in this discussion. E.g., Hogwart J. Mugglestein, or perhaps Harald B. Dachshund III. Thank you.


12:57 AM  
Anonymous Sir-Spam-Oh-Rama-Ding-Dong said...

Pardone once again - but Tom Frank also acknowledged in reference to Bill Black that today's lauded "creative credentialed class of geniuses like Theranos which the club of insiders was easily seduced by" only obfuscates accounting fraud, asset bubbling, derivative bundling of toxic debt, e.g. leveraged buyouts, arbitrage, "financialization", laundering in veils of teirs, techno-orgasmissism with hyper-complexity.

The creative class in other words "winning" as usual in sleazy fake that we're all in this together ways.

1:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wafers are indeed the most glorious bunch alive. I am hoping a Summit will take place in Paris one day so I can meet you all around Camembert and red wine.

The highlight of my year has been to quit my corporate job of 5 years to become a Bartender instead. I now earn 3 times as less as I used to, but I am not regretting any minute of it. This blog and MB's work had a lot to do with my decision. Also passed my motorbike licence and bought my first motorbike!

The best revenge is living a good life.


4:33 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Alan-

A few rules for posting on this blog: 1. I don't post Anons; 2. You can only post once every 24 hrs; 3. Limit yr messages to half a page. Thanks, and pls try again.


We all applaud you, believe me. Life is short, and most Americans live it w/o fun. Poor shmucks, they think douchebaggery is what life is all abt. A Wafer Summit wd be vachement chouette, formidable, et extraordinaire, mon cher.


Not sure what yr saying, but I wd like to reply as follows:

Who put the bop in the bop she bop she bop?
Who put the ram in the rama lama ding dong?
Who put the dip in the dip da dip da dip?
Who put the [something else]?
Who was that man? I'd like to shake his hand!
He made my baby fall in love with me.


6:57 AM  
Anonymous Leah said...

'Politicians in the United States, the world’s largest economy, like to preach the doctrine of “American exceptionalism”, which holds that their country is completely unique. When it comes to supporting new families, at least, this claim stands up: the United States is the only OECD country that offers no national-level paid leave at all.'

7:10 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Dr. Berman,

Looking back at 2017, I think the best thing that happened to me is that I turned 64 years old, closer to retirement from my corporate job. That is something I have been looking forward to for years. My side job as an elected official has become an exercise in trying to figure out how my sweet little town can survive and maybe even thrive post-collapse. We have renewable municipal power, ample municipal water which is gravity fed, lots of food producers around us, and pretty good education and cultural facilities. We might be ok. My biggest regret is missing this year's NY Wafer Summit due to illness. Maybe you will plan another summit in the near future which I can attend. In the meantime, I am growing peaches 20 miles south of Canada which is a pretty good feat. I just hope I can replicate this year's success in horticulture in the coming years. I have a feeling the food will come in handy. For Wafers considering a move out of the big cities, consider moving to upstate New York. If things get really dangerous here, we can walk to Canada and seek asylum.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I believe China is now the world's largest economy.


8:07 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Also check out a film called "Dirty Filthy Love" (Martin Sheen), abt people suffering from OCD. There are countries, as in Europe, where it is understood that people do have various disabilities and require support. The American philosophy is a zero-sum game, sink or swim; and if you are hurting, too bad 4u. The US pretty much amounts to institutionalized cruelty.


We missed you at the Summit, and hope yr feeling better. I'd love to say there will be another one in NY next yr, but most of my traveling these days depends on invitations, i.e. institutions that will pay my airfare. For some odd reason, I'm not that popular in the US, so it's anybody's guess when I'll be back. But let's keep our fingers crossed.


8:48 AM  
Blogger Grandma said...

Dr. B and Wafers all,

2017 has been a good year for me, too. My book chapter was published in a peer-reviewed science book in Feb.

I managed to get away from a very serious not-so-gentleman who continually harassed me for months, including getting his buddies and neighbors to join in the fun. Legal fees were minimal, and I'm sleeping much better. Hopefully he hasn't found me again. Definitely off his rockers.

Simultaneously moved to a bug out location. Not sure the landlords will let me put solar on the roof yet, but I'm in a great location surrounded by produce farms. And seafood. Great neighbors!

A good job, good income, and time to pursue other interests, what could be better? Just need to decide if I want to grow things, too, or produce other things. Haven't decided. 2017 definitely better than 2016. Hopefully will be able to read more, and often.

Dr. Berman, did you see Designated Survivor episode at the Wafer Summit?

10:45 AM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

Finding Waferdom this past year helped me gain a new (much better) outlook on life. I actually voted for Trumpo last year because I thought he would at least improve relations with Russia and because Hillary was relatively far more repugnant. Of course, Trumpo has been a failure on all fronts. Thanks to Waferdom, I am still glad I voted for Trumpo but for completely different reasons.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sounds great. You'll probably have a fab 2018. Yes, did see Survivor video w/ref to "The Berman Trilogy." Sad to say, sales of the BT have not been affected.


3:12 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

2017 just solidified my belief in WAFerism. I don't see how anyone can read the news coming out of the United States and not be a declinist but I guess for some people the belief in progress keeps them going.

Speaking of news, it looks like five people are dead after a shooting at an elementary school in Northern California.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Alogon said...

Life is good for Wafers because we're the intellectual cutting edge, we know it, and more and more other people are beginning to think the same way. Declinist talk and writing are now commonplace, although there is still widespread denial as to both the etiology and the prognosis.

A few cultural institutions are the main reason I haven't moved out of the U.S.-- both enjoying them and supporting them. I suppose the other is despair at the prospect of becoming conversant in another language-- not for want of trying. After years of both French and German, I'm still hopelessly incommunicado in France and German. I've always been pretty good at insulating myself from the most corrosive influences of American pop culture-- just too inner-directed and eccentric to fall for most of them. My favorite epithet adjectives have long been "plebeian" and "frivolous." (What are other Wafers' favorites?)

A purely historical question for Dr. Berman: In Blaise Pascal's day, usury-- meaning lending money at any interest rate at all-- was still a stricture of the church, although it had become controversial by that time. But the Medici and other banks had been operating for a couple centuries, and one reason for the Medicis' success was that the papacy itself did business with them. How did they get around the prohibition of usury? Thanks if you can suggest a couple sources to answer this question, from your own writing or anywhere else.

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

From a European point of view, the USA's main entertainment industry is now the USA itself, rather than Hollywood, NFL etc.

I've not been paying much attention to it, tbh. Here in the UK, the main enjoyment to be gained is from disgusted liberals still reflexively gagging over the sheer impertinence of Brexit.

On the Continent, 2016/17 has been a kind of reverse 1968, with nation after nation deciding that they prefer their traditional cultures to post-modern cultural relativism. This has led to disgusted liberals reflexively gagging over the sheer impertinence of "populism" etc.

So it's all happening over here, with the US fading into the background, somewhat.

5:16 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Being a Wafer for me means the highest levels of intellectual stimulation and enlightenment...through the postings on this blog, and my efforts as an NMI...I’m up to 3,000 volumes in my personal library, as well as several quality art pieces hanging on my walls...Like most of you, I’m reading constantly, and quietly collecting and preserving the best of this world for the time when (if) we emerge from this current Dark Age in America.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Joanna Hobo said...

You may find this program Waiferish.

Ugo Bardi: The Next Wave of Democide and Global Mass Extermination

Geopolitics and Empire

Published on Nov 1, 2017

Italian scientist Dr. Ugo Bardi discusses the statistical and historical evidence that a new wave of global democide is very possible and could wipe out up to 1 billion people worldwide. He also discusses his newest book The Seneca Effect: Why Growth Is Slow But Collapse is Rapid.

Show Notes
Are You Ready For Another Round of Mass Exterminations?
This fascinating academic debate has huge implications for the future of world peace
Fractalisty and Self-Organized Criticality of Wars
War Size Distribution: Empirical Regularities Behind Conflicts


6:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


r.u. riding the rails, u hobo u? Thanks for the refs. In future, be sure to hold to our half-page limit, thanks.


I personally favor 'degraded' and 'debased', along with 'turkified'. Re: usury: I think the Church was depositing w/the Medicis, rather than borrowing, but I'm really not sure. This might help:


7:51 PM  
Anonymous Student of Waferism said...

Contrary to many people here, this year was pretty bad for me. I finally accepted a depression that I've had but have been repressing, so I dropped out of school for a semester to try to fix it. But as a result I had time to read Dr Berman's writing on consciousness, which I found to be very illuminating and still his best work, I'm barely on Dark Ages right now though. Economically I've known the US is done for a couple of years, but I hadn't thought of it culturally, I hadn't realized just how devastating and serious the cultural collapse was, which was where Dr Berman's work came in. I think there isn't many historians who look at the collapse in the same way as Dr Berman. Everyone just looks at it economically, they worry about the debt, worry about the stock market, housing price, etc but I've never seen anyone give a cultural critique, to look at the depression rate, suicide rate, mass shooting rate, stupidity rate, car culture effects, etc.

So again Dr Berman, thank you so much for your work, specially your consciousness work and btw, Wandering God is still my favorite. Although I would like to add that I never believed the occult was real, so I'm not sure if to study it more or forget about it, can anyone give advice on this?

8:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, it looks like you emerged from yr depression well enuf, and if I had anything to do w/it, I'm happier than I can say. People mistakenly think I'm a pessimist. Well, OK, they're rt insofar as the US goes; I don't think this country has a hope in hell. But I'm optimistic abt the human spirit, which I think always prevails in the end, and will this time as well. This blog, after all, is evidence of that: out of 327 or so million people, there are 172 Wafers who love life, love truth, and who get a rush from both.

As for WG, it's probably still my favorite as well, tho the Japan bk comes in a close 2nd.

The occult is partly real--I think I made a gd case for that in the Reenchantment bk--but I don't think it can help you much rt now. SSIG is probably more relevant to yr immediate needs. Concentrate on living an authentic life, and keep in mind that famous dictum from Woody Allen: 80 percent of life is showing up. You can't imagine how accurate those 7 little words are.

And remember: as far as virtual communities go, this one is sans pareil. It may be a tiny community, but we take care of each other in our own way. The rest of America is sad and lost (I grew up in the 50s, and you can't imagine what a different country it was during that time), but you don't hafta be.


ps: you cd probably use a gd laugh rt abt now. Check out Season 1 of the TV series from a few yrs back called "Lilyhammer."

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Bruce Bennett said...

Welcome back, Dr. Berman -
As for me this last year of the Mango Mussolini has been deeply frustrating when I let his idiocy, recklessness and incompetence get to me. However, I began to form an alternative plan to staying in this dying empire. I am currently waiting for a new passport and I will be relocating to a place in central Mexico.
The author Joe Bageant said of his life when he moved to Mexico that the Mexican people put family and neighbors very high in importance. I think it was he who called it "social capital". Of course, in the Disunited States we are a bankrupt country that way. Oh sure, you can still get services like healthcare but you will pay through the nose for them and many of us end up bankrupted by the process. Similar things are happening in other aspects of American "life" as one of the prime directives of the various governments and their enablers is to privatize everything they can get their greedy hands on.
Anyway, the only thing left to decide is whether to drive down from the West Coast or to sell my car and fly in and rely on buses and a bike. At 69 this will be a fine adventure and I'm looking forward to it. As always I want to thank you and the Wafers for the insightful comments about the tragedy of a country that still hasn't figured out that it is it's own worst enemy.

12:24 AM  
Anonymous Lobotomized Imperial Subject said...

Been travelling a bit and this seems a good time to reflect for me too.

1. Biennale art festival in Venice. ( Well, the artists are clearly onto Waferism. Art from the Northern, Western Hemisphere was despondent, dispersed, dark and evoked end-times.... some even depicted necromancy. Interestingly, the art got more coherent and “lighter” as one moved east and south on the globe.

2. Gorgeous Roman Byzantine mosaics in Ravenna. ( A kind of time travel back about 1000 years.... astonishing, beautiful and spellbinding: reflecting a very different spiritual culture I think. A very stark contrast to today’s Waferish times.

3. South Africa, Johannesburg. People warm and friendly as usual. Also, lots of frank discussion about the realities of corruption and broken communities. Interesting to see the society confront en masse these issues (rather than sweep them under the carpet as many other cultures tend to do). Sadly not many have ideas about how to fix the issues or realize they can’t be spectators or passive participants.

Aside from that, I am thinking of my own Wafer project.... after years in the empty, meaningless corporate world and 4 years off to re-orient, I am thinking of returning to my younger self dream and becoming a ballet teacher and running a ballet studio.


2:29 AM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...

Finding Waferdom this past year helped me gain a new (much better) outlook on life. I actually voted for Trumpo last year because I thought he would at least improve relations with Russia and because Hillary was relatively far more repugnant. Of course, Trumpo has been a failure on all fronts.

Gig, I think it is too early to call. I could not have voted for Trump, but I understand why you did. To me, the greatest issue we face is globalism and the centralization of power at an unprecedented level. Trump, for all his personal faults, still appears to be against this. Populism has taken hold here in Europe as well and is leading some to fight the EU and key proponents of globalism such as Juncker and co.; see Poland and Hungary. Dunno where this is all going to end up, but the bizarre approach to immigration here in DE/Europe and the media blitz on destroying anything of cultural signifigance is, to me, not a coincidence.

6:18 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't run it, mon cher: 1. You need to wait 24 hrs between posts; 2. You need to keep length down to half a page. Pls compress, and re-send later on. Thanks.


Gd luck on relocating; you won't regret it. Mexicans aren't jokes dressed up as human beings. As for social capital, phrase is from Robt Putnam, I think.


Thanks for filling us in on yr Wafairing. Ballet sounds divine. Wd you believe I studied it for 2 wks, long long ago? Class of myself and 20 women, all of whom had been doing it since age 4. As I was not made of rubber, I finally had to switch to modern and jazz.


6:29 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Well, considering the state of my health, which keeps me from leaving the USA or going NMI, the best thing I can say about this year is that I’m still alive and kickin’. Really, not too bad.

Alogon, like you I avoid, as much as possible, our so-called culture and its corrosive technology, but part of that is the fact that I’m 72 and remember a much better time. I guess my favorite epithet for the American people is the “great unwashed.”

Student, occult means knowledge that is hidden. Being that the whole world is defined and described for us from the moment of birth, we actually have no clue as to what is real. In a sense all of this is an illusion, and the American people especially are delusional. To me, the most important thing in life is to break out of the illusion, and Waferism is a big part of that. If you’re at all interested in mental gymnastics you might want to read Wei Wu Wei’s “Ask the Awakened.” Not an easy read (I could only handle a few pages at a time), but it will rock your world and things will never be the same.

6:38 AM  
Anonymous Micah said...


6:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Does anyone else find this a tad demented?:

It sounds like "come meet a Martian"...

6:54 AM  
Anonymous Esca Dreg said...

"Better Living Through Chemistry"

"Making Stupid Through Chemistry"

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Francois said...

2017 was the best year ever and this is the best blog ever. Micah, How could anyone be skeptical about America? More importantly how could anyone be skeptical about her people? Now excuse me while I go get my body armor, an uzi and go to a McDonald’s drive thru to get some breakfast.

8:58 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

You can’t tell the mass murders without a program: After returning from his Asian trip, the chief twit tweets his condolences to the people of Sutherland Springs. Hey man, ya gotta keep up.

And at the intersection of merchandising and mayhem, this item from God’s Waiting Room:
Florida Christian School in Miami will be offering bulletproof panels in its school store for insertion into students’ backpacks. These panels are supposedly proof against .44 Magnum and .357 SIG-Sauer bullets. (A friend familiar with weapons and ammo says that the force of a .44 Magnum striking such a panel would likely still kill the child being protected, though any child in front of that child would probably be OK.). The panels are being manufactured by a Hialeah, FL company.

For those keeping track, Sacramento was the 390th episode of mass murder in 2017. Hardly worth mentioning that there are only 365 days in a typical year.

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Jordan said...

re: Demented, MB:

Demented seems understated, Damaged hits the mark

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

WAFER Student of Waferism--you have a real community within this site; WAFERS are astute, worldly, and "get it."

Dr. Berman was instrumental in giving me the vocabulary and visceral understanding as to what was really going on both ontologically and intellectually--his works are filled with references/sources for additional critical thinking and rumination.

More importantly, we got a place outside the open air prison (america), and we're escaping this shit hole in 3 years.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Lee Yong said...

Hey Professor MB,

I've been combing thru your old published essays on this blog to find a particular book recommendation you made on the topic of climate science/global warming skepticism, or hesitation on the business end of it all [read: Green Politics.] I don't think it was "Merchants of Doubt" , which is authored by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, of "The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future", which I know you have recommended. Any idea what it would have been?

Or WAFers have any recommendations

10:57 AM  
Blogger flanagle said...

I`m now in the seventh year of my fairly well-planned escape from the United Security States of Anxiety (USSA) living in a small unimportant country on the shores of the Med. Not a bad place at all. I never bother locking my door at night unlike some of my Stateside relatives who have security cameras on their buildings and carry some fearful heat packed in their pockets. There are zero representatives of McWorld around here (so far) for which I am thankful. Strangers sometimes on the street or from their balcony actually engage me in conversation in a friendly, curious, non-hustling manner.
My only real regret is that I did not leave nearly fifty years ago when the local police invaded my home sans warrant while about the same time I was being pressured into an all-expenses-paid `tour`of Vietnam, which I declined. Is it possible, I wonder, should I ever go back for a brief visit, that I will be detained and interrogated for being `away` too long?

12:41 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

I have to wonder how long America can keep up the illusion of economic prosperity outside of its big metropolitan areas. Most of the country seems like one giant Potemkin village.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Large swaths of big metro areas actually look like shit as well.


Congrats on yr escape. As for being detained, I have no idea; you might wanna check w/a lawyer b4 flying into DFW or wherever.


Doesn't ring a bell, unfortunately. Cd u.b. more specific?


I dunno; I was so excited abt the chance to go to a party and meet an actual black person. It seems so exotic. What next? An Hispanic? A Chinese person? Gee willikers, Maw...


There are so many mass shootings now, what's a poor pres to do?

If the US were a person, s/he wd have been declared clinically insane 20 yrs ago or more.


3:30 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Observed a group of high school students on the bus, two were obese both had matted hair one in nylon sweats the other in shorts t-shirt and flip flops, obvious they rolled out of bed and into school where they will ignore teachers for the next 8 hrs, of course out come the comic books. I'm thinking good to see there is a dress code, and damn kid don't you know what kind of buzzsaw you're going to graduate into?
Best part of declinist/Wafer is not buying into 'the resistance' thinking if we all pucker our assholes tight enough together things will improve. Another is I can laugh at myself and the goings on around me, not to b Nero with the fiddle or anything but...The customer freak out videos on YouTube are Gr8, didn't know they existed here I thought COPS was funny they should add a laugh track and put them on America's Funniest Videos - sneak 'em in as a public service. This is a higher level of consciousness just watching commercials on TV is like a sociological experiment, I say 'oh my god' allot to myself these days. Once I get over the sadness of impending suffering I'll be on Wafer solid ground.

3:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Here's a vision that might cheer you up. There *is* a way for the US to save itself, and it's not via puckered anuses (ana?). Imagine that on a pre-agreed-upon hour and day, all 325 million or so Americans stood up and screamed, "We are total buffoons, and we are getting exactly what we deserve!" Surely, we wd finally be redeemed.


4:22 PM  
Anonymous Boar's Head said...

Man beats fussy baby to death:

Hustler charges rich guys 50k fee for matchmaking:

We're living in an insane asylum. What I love about being a Wafer is that lurking here with the occasional odd post reminds me not to take the good ole' US of A too seriously. It helps preserve my mental health and keeps me from wasting my time and energy on trying to reason with the crazy people I am surrounded by.

Quick question for the Wafers/Dr. B: I've read the WAF trilogy and want to read more Dr. B books. Which one should I, as an aspiring Wafer, read next?

5:51 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Once again, the headlines tell the story:

Tigger mailbox must go, Pa. court rules. White, suburban HOA residents' quality of life matters.

Florida man booby-trapped SpongeBob lunchbox with explosives, police say. Note that this guy was able to stockpile a shitoad of explosive-making chemicals despite being hospitalized four times for psychiatric evaluation--AND was apparently still living in his parents' house.

People are losing their minds over this Iowan's Pop-Tart and cheese sandwich. Massive war crimes, wealth inequality, crumbling infrastructure, gun violence, police shootings, etc., not so much.

Drunk Michigan man found covered in blood, screaming, waving deer meat in parking lot. Note that he was white, so the police didn't shoot him even though he attacked them (headline somehow fails to mention that fact as well).

6:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yr not 'aspiring', amigo; yr already there. E.g., you and Bill, among others, are gd at documenting the daily lunacy that now constitutes the US. This can be seen on both micro and macro levels, quite clearly. I've said it b4: the US, when I was growing up, was a very different sorta place. As a teenager in the late 50s I never imagined that a few decades hence we'd be plunged into mass psychosis. Altho I suppose that if a baby is being annoying, you might as well beat it to death, what the heck. These toddlers can be such a downer. They're just asking for it, really.

As for my other bks: they are all listed on Amazon, but it depends on what subject you wish to tackle. Of course, run out and buy AWTY immediately; plus 100 more, to distribute to yr friends. :-) It's the sequel to QOV, my earlier essay collection, which I think is quite relevant to the American Empire trilogy.

TMWQ is a novel, a satire on American politics you might enjoy. It has a nice portrait of Hillary totally losing it.

That's abt it for US-related stuff. As you can see online, I did an earlier novel, a vol. of poetry, a bk on Japan, and a trilogy on the evolution of human consciousness. You might wanna buy 1 copy of each of my bks, rent a cottage in the Maine woods for 6 mos., and hunker down for some exotic (yet realistic) rdg. Yr life will never be the same.


7:23 PM  
Anonymous Matt S. said...

Dear Dr. B.

Trump merely exposed the fact that America is not and has never been a country in a serious sense. Looking back several years (9 years), omg, I have seen absolutely zero change in this country. Is this supposed to be what democracy is all about? While we have a strong freedom of speech, no serious problem is being tackled - none - all America does is talk about them, and nothing happens. I can sit down and list all the problems all day: gun violence, drug addiction/opioid overdose, police brutality, shamble public schools, huge student debts (expensive private school), dysfunctional healthcare, world's greatest income inequality, decades of overspending on military, wars in the middle east, poor public transportation, crumbling infrastructures, environmental issues (climate change), etc.

Same failures, years after years. Nothing is being done on anything - zero. What amazes me most people don't realize they are living in a frozen capsule called America. They keep watching the same show being rerun, again and again, while their lives are getting worse and worse. The federal government is not a government in any serious sense. Why kind of government is designed to be so powerless it cannot do anything. American politics is just a show, an inexhaustible material for late-night shows and SNL. American politics is about keeping the Federal government powerless on all domestic issues while having all the power to wage wars or go bomb other people at will. This is very odd. It's just odd.

7:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This blog is abt being awake and alive. The # of Wafers = 172; # of Americans = ca. 325 million. This shd tell u something abt how powerful American brainwashing is.

I recently gave a lecture to undergrads at a fairly gd schl. When I told them things like what's on yr list, and that the US was some kind of horrible joke, many responded as tho they were hit on the head by a 2 x 4. I said: "Hey, the system has had you 24/7 since you were 2 yrs old, whereas I get you for 1 hr. Who do you think is gonna win?"

Brainwashing attacks the ontological part of the brain. Doesn't matter what people might finally realize intellectually (and most don't realize anything); the American Dream has the populace ontologically in thrall. Remember that ontos, in Greek, means Being. And the Being of Americans is war and Wal-Mart.


8:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: But Thanksgiving is coming! We shall soon celebrate the destruction of an entire indigenous population, while kids in school learn about how the Pilgrims and the Indians sat down together over dinner. My man, we are drowning in horseshit.

8:39 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

GREAT!! Trump claims that “AMERICA is BACK”!! Back in track to growth and success!!

Thank Goodness...I was getting worried there for a while.

9:27 PM  
Anonymous BH said...

I was reading over some reviews at of Dr. Berman's books. The one star reviews basically went like "Amerika ain't fallin' down". The one person who gave a serious review said that Dr. Berman offered no evidence at all to prove his thesis America is falling apart. I thought to myself "If this person thinks evidence of American decline was not given I have absolutely no idea what they would accept as proof or evidence".

9:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


For a lot of Amazon reviewers, it's just open season on the authors, and not just on me. It's amazing how much energy (and free time) some of these people have. And many of the reviews are not really of the books; they are merely the product of personal animosity. In these cases, one has the feeling that the reviewer never even read the bk. In a way, the whole phenomenon is part of our cultural decline, it seems to me. Bitter, dishonest, incompetent, and ad hominem attacks have become a kind of art form, part and parcel of our end of days.


10:19 PM  
Anonymous Bruce Bennett said...

Dr. Berman -
Thank you for the correction about "social capital". It WAS Robert Putnam who described this deterioration of connections between people in the U.S. and one of his books has the illustrative title of "Bowling Alone".

10:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I discuss that bk at some length in DAA, actually (see pp. 44-46).


1:41 AM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

And on the other side of the planet:
"[...] converting belief in religion into belief into the party."

I am neither atheist nor agnostic but I don't belong to any organized religion, occidental or oriental. After that disclosure, it's clear to me that even if China is reaching its economic apogee, culturally the rot is spreading uncontrollably. Dr Berman has commented on how China is repeating the mistakes of the US. Maybe they are making some of their own too.

P.S. Do you have to be an atheist to qualify as a Wafer?

3:43 AM  
Anonymous Lobotomized Imperial Subject said...

Well Dr Berman, unbendy you may be, but you are most welcome to attend ballet classes in my future studio, even if just to hang on the barre and dream of dancing.

I have been making my way through a review of some of Alexander Dugin’s work. He is a Russian philosopher and political, cultural critic. His work is interesting. Here are some Waferish quotations:

“The West and the logic of its becoming (history) is a road to the abyss” (from The Rise of the Fourth Political Theory)

“We should especially underscore that the American delegation to the Versailles conference, under the leadership of President Woodrow Wilson, first voiced this new international strategy of the USA, in which it was asserted that the whole world was the zone of American influence..... The Wilson doctrine called for an end to isolationism and non-interference in the affairs of European states, and for the switch to an active population licy on a planetary scale...” (from Last War for the World Island).

I read this second one as “hustling goes global”.


4:24 AM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB,
It's been a year of vindication, my friends who sometime would challenge my Wafer Wisdom have now slowly embraced our outlook. Trump, of course has been immensely helpful in exposing the real soul of Americans. That realization leads to discussion of the institutions underpinning the American elite at home and the America Empire abroad. Personally, I've gotten involved with several non-profits that are supporting local agriculture and local food systems. I tell my friends to buckle up, the ride going to get more volatile.

Book Alert : Check out Alfred McCoy's newest : "In the Shadows of the American Century" - the rise and decline of US power.

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Lee Yong said...

"Hey Professor MB,

I've been combing thru your old published essays on this blog to find a particular book recommendation you made on the topic of climate science/global warming skepticism, or hesitation on the business end of it all..."

Hi Lee, one of my favorite books on climate change is Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming by McKenzie Funk. Since this is about the only blog I ever read, I'm 99% sure I saw it here first, recommended by another Wafer. Anyhow, this is a fantastic book about how, ironically, the same millionaires and billionaires who are decrying global warming as a hoax are also making huge profits on a changing climate. The book is written with a lot of humor also which doesn't hurt.

7:51 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You may also enjoy recent bks by Kurt Andersen and Suzy Hansen.


Pique, plié!


Not really, tho it does help to be a tad skeptical about it.


8:06 AM  
Anonymous Sandy said...

Monbiot argues that Noam Chomsky, John Pilger and Seymour Hersh have all helped spread baseless claims about a chemical weapons attack in Syria. It's a shameful episode.

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Student of Waferism said...

Sarasvati - thanks for the suggestion. Hopefully Wei Wu Wei is not like Alan Watts though, don't really like that guy.

Lately I've been listening to George Carlin and observing his language skills and also I've been reading Trivium and I've been thinking of smth, the English language is going to shit. It used to be a beautiful language but America took it and destroyed it. I do blame it on America because Americans dominate the media and the English say American English is 12 year old's. I also blame this on America being a country of immigrants, they come in and only learn basic English, not their fault ofc, but in the long term they pass on a very basic language to the future generations, everyone is forced to speak basic because otherwise they won't be understood. Hadn't thought of how much of a big deal this is but now I understand fellow Wafers who don't want to go to a country that speaks another language.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Screen time might boost depression, suicide behaviors in teens.

Just 3% of American adults own a collective 133 million firearms – half of America’s total gun stock.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

Good article on the myth of American military might.

1:45 PM  
Anonymous J. Herzog said...

Yale becomes the latest art school to abandon virtuousity, creativity, & aesthetics in favor of far-left activism.

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Kelley said...

Buried in the Republican Tax Plan Is the Creation of an Old World-Style Aristocracy

And boy those were the days, eh?

4:45 PM  
Blogger Polk said...

I don't take delight in watching America crumble under the weight of its own hubris. Millions of people are and will continue to suffer gravely for the monster posing as a nation, devouring its old and young alike. Eating its own citizens. I am one of those citizens, as are my children and grandchildren. No one is coming to rescue us, no, not even Jesus, you idiotic evangelists. Most of us don't have the financial resources to leave. We are stuck with no power to change the rules of the game or overturn the tables set by our handlers, the super rich. The realization of this powerlessness may be the reason for so many depressives in the nation. Like the proverbial deer in the headlights, we are caught with no where else to go - neither free to flee nor having the power to fight. It's called the state of freeze. Maybe that explains the glassy-eyed, vacant stare in the faces of so many Americans.

Ways for Americans to make money on the side is - apart from their jobs - is now known officially as "side hustles" - you can't make this stuff up.

The news media are beside themselves congratulating Trump on his trip to Asia. They seem to think it had something to do with diplomacy, North Korea, and human rights. BULLSHIT. Trump, like Presidents before him, takes foreign trips to close business deals for American-based corporations and military contractors. Advance men do the preliminary negotiating and the Pres comes in to sign the contracts. "The business of America and business" Amen. Pass the amunition and shut the f***a up.

5:33 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

What's shakin' Wafers?

Nice to read that all of you guys are doing well.

It does seem that as each day passes, Waferism is vindicated. The signs are all around us: the scrambling; the decay; the decadence; Trumpo's Petronian dog-eat-dog ostentatiousness and flamboyance; his reckless behavior and ideological unpredictability. And what about the complete bankruptcy of the entire Obama project and progressivism in general? Who could've imagined that it could all be so easily undone by a couple of bruisers like Trumpo and Bannon. Even Weinstein's dick had a staring role in all of this... My only disappointment of 2017, of course, is that Trumpo didn't select MB to head the Ministry of Complete Obliteration (MCO); but I guess that's okay because MB made it to NY and got to chow down on pastrami and chopped liver. For me, attending the Wafer Summit was clearly a highlight of 2017. It was great to see everyone again, and hang out w/MB at greatest rendezvous known to humankind.

In any event, there's lots more I could say, but let me just say I wish everyone a happy 2018. Until next time, kids:

Fresh horses for the Wafers, for tonight we ride!


5:45 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Well, I hope the Dumbocrats are happy now that it looks like taking down the utterly odious Roy Moore is going to come at the cost of losing progressive hero Al Franken. Who is the Big Fat Idiot now, Al? Not to belittle the experiences of any of the legitimate victims, but it looks like we are rapidly galloping into witch hunt territory. Just being named by an accuser is now being equated with being truly guilty, which was sadly predictable. It is nevertheless gratifying to see that so far, many more sanctimonious asshole liberals are getting smeared by such charges. Liberal virtual snot rag Vox even dared to assert that Bill Clinton should have resigned over the Monica Lewinsky fiasco.

Also, this just in, America FINALLY loses its title a the country having the best global image--dropping to 6th thanks largely to Orange Julius. That we still had that title as recently as last year shows how many repressed American hustlers there are around the globe. The new No. 1 is Germany, and that rumbling sound you hear is millions of WW2 veterans rolling over in their graves.

6:54 PM  
Anonymous Sorrowful said...

MB and Wafers:

2017 has been a good year for me. I discovered this blog and simultaneously managed to get myself out of the U.S. and back to Australia, which feels more like home to me. However, my sojourn here for the next year is very temporary unless I can find a way to inveigle myself into a better visa without spending myself into penury to do it.

The far southeast coast of AU is just one beautiful beach after another with so many interesting animals and plants to explore. Hustling is also a big part of the culture here with Australians and their governments doing their best to give away everything that is uniquely Australian to foreign countries. Resource extraction for the benefit of others (not Australians) seems to be the only economy. This includes housing. Most of the dwellings in this beach town are empty for the majority of the year. I heard someone say in a shop the other day that she didn't have neighbors, just holiday people. Not a good sign for community.

And racism -- in AU it is endemic with white people still murdering aboriginal people with impunity in the most horrible ways. Nevertheless, I persist because this land has amazing energy and a history of 60,000 years of continuous aboriginal culture. There's something magical here and I'm keeping myself open for the encounter. Read Bruce Chatwin's The Songlines (an intriguing exploration of the tension between nomads and those who stay put) and, for a lot of good laughs, Bill Bryson's Down Under. Still looking for a copy of Wandering God that I can afford.

Hope this isn't too long. I could say heaps more and will later.

8:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Don't blame immigrants. My parents spoke no English until age 10 or so, and by the time I was born, their English was flawless. Nor were they the only ones. Real problem is the commodification of everything. Debased language makes quick commercial transactions a lot easier, and that's what American life is abt. We also have a long tradition of anti-intellectualism in this country. Just eavesdrop on (nonimmigrant) teenagers on any street corner: they can do little more than grunt and drool, punctuated by "Awesome!"

From the Oct. 23 New Yorker, by Anthony Lane, commenting on the American Dream and pursuit of happiness: "a mission as farcical as it is ingrained."

From the Nov. 9 NYRB, a review of Mark Lilla's latest bk, exposing identity politics as a farce. The bk wd seem to repeat the basic theme of Thos Frank's latest (and see my discussion in essay #15 of AWTY). He says that identity politics is not really politics, and that the New Left turned the university into "a pseudo-political theater." Academic progs, he says, are neurotic and out of touch. Millions of Americans believe (correctly?) that liberalism is hostile to their values and perhaps to their liberty. Identity politics, in particular, has not managed to come up with "an image of what our shared way of life might be." And as Occupy Wall St. showed, liberals have little interest in winning elections, whereas the Tea Party did, and was very successful. Whereas the right knows how to organize, the left is a dysfunctional collection of morons. Identity politics is just another form of evangelism, he concludes.


8:49 PM  
Blogger Grandma said...

Dr. B, sorry about sales from the Survivor episode, but you did note the "please keep writing" comment from the President? Just sayin'

Alogon, one favorite epithet of mine is "cock knocker". I don't know why. Very effective, stops people in their tracks given my girl-next-door looks. Best way to deal with turkeys is to keep them off balance so one can glide gracefully (and peacefully) away. Always leave them laughing.

Book recommendation from me is QOV, after the WAF Trilogy (damn Survivor screenwriters should have noted that distinction!). Looking forward to AWTY.

troutbum, I'm noticing the same phenomenon, of people talking about the coming crises (note the plural) in everyday conversations. I believe our little community may grow. Dr. B and all Wafers, I've said it before, but my gratitude is heartfelt: thanks for sharing here, and helping us all grow in knowledge, wisdom, and community. Hear, hear! And not one cock knocker amongst you.

8:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Actually, I thought the term was "cock blocker," but what's a poor dick to do. As for sales: I wasn't really expecting anything, and for the time being am holding off on putting a down payment on that villa in Tuscany. I've been thinking abt doing a bk on Italy, tho, and calling it "That's Amore!" (with apologies to Dean Martin) Anyway, I'm glad yr enjoying the blog, and I expect we've all grown over the past 11 years. The trollfoons have been expunged, and the cock blockers have probably sought out other web sites; which is wise.


9:11 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

If there ever was a beautiful America, perhaps it was this album

10:34 PM  
Anonymous DeadThoreau said...

You know as a Humanist I'm still aghast at the sheer cruelty of the average American, I had tears in my eyes just reading this shit. Nurses laugh at a WW2 vet while he cries out that he can't breath. This society deserves to collapse, I shutter at the prospect of spending my last days in one of these institutions.

In other news it looks like parts of the Media are finally catching up to MB's sublime analysis of the American character, of course this comes from a Canadian news outlet.

10:55 PM  
Blogger George Zadorozny, Attorney-at-Law said...

I value Waferism because it makes it possible for me to understand otherwise incomprehensible actions like this one:


"WASHINGTON – People with a history of 'self-mutilation,”'bipolar disorder, depression and drug and alcohol abuse can now seek waivers to join the Army under an unannounced policy enacted in August, according to documents obtained by USA TODAY.

"The decision to open Army recruiting to those with mental health conditions comes as the service faces the challenging goal of recruiting 80,000 new soldiers through September 2018. To meet last year's goal of 69,000, the Army accepted more recruits who fared poorly on aptitude tests, increased the number of waivers granted for marijuana use and offered hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses . . . ."

11:08 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Chris Hedges still out there trying to drum up support for his REVOLUTION!

1:05 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

Just a quickie for now. WAFers by and large should appreciate it. I haven't finished watching the whole interview yet, but it's a gem. Derrick Jensen is quite profound and also actually is quite funny, in a way similar to George Carlin. Humor is mixed in with melancholy but throughout is clarity, gentleness and honesty.

My buddy Hambone Littletail (real name Sam Mitchell) interviews Derrick Jensen:

Derrick Jensen: "It's Dreadful Everywhere, And We're Really Fucked" :

A few choice quotes:

"If I was made dictator of the USA one of the first things I would do is to divert money away from the military toward rehabilitating prairies, toward cleaning up messes"

"If you want grass, move to a prairie" --- ha ha!, good one

[to solve the problem of human overpopulation] "all you have to do is to give women absolute reproductive freedom"

"Capitalism also requires increasing human population"

1:58 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Hedges has actually written 1 or 2 declinist essays, but the wake-up moment never sticks. Ontologically speaking, he's too scared, so he immediately reverts back to REVOLT! This 'moral' Manichaeanism provides a lot of psychological reassurance. I don't think we are ever going to see him have an Aha! moment that lasts. As I've said b4, intellectual knowing and ontological knowing are 2 very different things.


I do believe that Americans are carrying enormous amounts of repressed violence in their bodies--in the tissues, and maybe even at the cellular level.


3:05 AM  
Anonymous Francois said...

Dr. Berman I would love to see you interviewed On Contact, Chris Hedges’ RT show. Hedges’ is my favorite buffoon. It is an outrage that he has a show and you do not have an appointment yet in the Trump administration.

4:58 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I just have this odd feeling that the interview might not go very well. I mean, he may not like to hear that some Wafers regard him as a buffoon, or that I think he's in massive denial regarding the character and inclination of the American people, the latter being just a tad short of revolution. But I certainly don't begrudge him a show on RT, tho I do remain annoyed at Trumpi. I keep fantasizing the newspaper headlines we could have had: e.g.: "Berman closes down American Empire; rest of world applauds." Or: "Berman says 'enough with the empire shit, already!'" That sorta thing.


8:55 AM  
Anonymous Boar's Head said...

DeadThoreau: That video you posted of the older gentleman in the nursing home is the most sickening thing I've seen all week. I think I will continue on with my regimen of ingesting lots of artery clogging foods along with copious amounts of beer because dying of a massive heart attack seems like a much better way to leave this earth than suffering like this man did.


9:22 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dead, Boar-

It was only a matter of time that what we were doing to people on the other side of the planet, we wd start doing to people at home.


9:45 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

WAFER Dead & Boar re: WW2 begging for help in an american nursing home.

What a disgusting pathetic excuse for a "country."

Poor gentleman, WW2 vet-- forget veteran, he's a human being. That's what americans did to each other.

So sad, yet very predictable. Everything was reduced to a joke, hence, nothing was taken really seriously.

As americans--they simply 'ate' each other.

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Storm-troopers terrorize old couple for growing flowering hibiscus plants in their back yard:

10:32 AM  
Blogger Mohamed said...

Subprime recurits. Get it

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Student of Waferism said...

Dr Berman - You are right about immigrants not being the case for the decay of the English language. I was projecting because I personally didn't learn English until I was 12 and I've never "felt" the language, I can speak it perfectly but it's not the same as my native language. But now that I think of it, in Berkeley there is plenty of foreigners that speak better English than Americans. Which also reminds me, immigrants are the only reason America still has an edge technologically. In Berkeley, STEM programs are filled with immigrants or sons of immigrants. Americans go into banking or some type of management, they don't like learning very much.

Transatlantic - I don't think there is anything particularly sinister about the refugee crisis, as in white genocide. I think Germany genuinely needs more people, their fertility rate is on par with Japan and Syrians are caucasian, i.e. Steve Jobs, they will integrate IMO. But if you follow right wing sites like breitbart keep in mind Netanyahu funded it, maybe the muslim hate and Bannon's obsession with islam being the enemy of the west makes more sense then. Don't let their propaganda influence you.

Sorrowful - I'm sure the extraction of resources does benefit Australians, as in Australian billionaires...

10:46 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

"If you're in trouble, or hurt or need - go to the poor people. They're the only ones that'll help - the only ones." John Steinbeck
An elderly lady stopped me from her car and asked for directions to the local agency for the homeless. She had a (rundown) car full of donations. (Our fair city is without any shelter this winter and the neighborhoods are arguing with each other where to put an emergency warming shelter on 'really cold nights' whatever that means. The city saw big uptick in homeless when MJ got legal, now its time to move them along I guess.) I got out my phone and gave directions. She had a kiddo in the back seat 7 or 8 yrs old, anyway when we were done she says to me 'God bless you mister.' Damn, its in heart breaking moments like these that I have to remind myself the Iraqi kids and all the others were innocent too. I think us wierdos and crazy people are the ones the brainwashing either didn't take or drove us mad. I'd rather be with *some* of these than self contented in a shitty suburban home. The Resistance, in the end might just be small groups of people helping each other survive.

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Absolutely right, doctor. When Occupy was at its zenith, Oshitforbrains had a conference call with 18 mayors during which time it was decided to break up the demonstrations. Oshit was in Australia at the time which gave him some deniability. Occupy was a natural ally of the progressive Democratic wing and could have easily been absorbed into party ranks as the Republicans did with the Tea Party. But Oshit didn't want to offend his Wall Street backers so wither Occupy.
On another note, a video taken by one of the riders shows the Argentines moments before the truck hit them. Of course, I'm not suggesting not taking the video could have helped prevent the disaster, but at least the riders could have been more aware of their surroundings at the time rather than waving to the I-phone. Just a thought.
Yes, a woman who endures a powerful man masterbating in front of her could be described as a victim, but I think it's a more accurate appellation for the millions of people the US has killed since the end of WW II.

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

One of the better responses to Franken's problem:


"Tweeden is the daughter of a military man, married to a military man, and has gone on a reported 16 USO shows. As we all well know, the US military has spent decades going around the world constantly doing things more offensive than sticking their tongues down people’s throats. It’s hard to find anything on record showing that Leeann Tweeden objects to napalm, depleted uranium, killing civilians, or torturing anyone (not that Franken’s all that good on military predation either)."

2:07 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Here’s your news update from Cascadia:

Seattle sets a record for income inequality in the city:

And from the “Mericans never learn” department, a Seattle cybersecurity firm reveals how the “security features” of Amazon’s into-the-home delivery service Amazon Key can easily be circumvented:

The Evergreen State College update: enrollment is down 5 percent and the college faces a budget shortfall for the 2017-2018 school year:

And finally, perhaps an unwanted look at the state of Merican military prowess, scrambled military fighter jets couldn’t find a mystery jet flying over Oregon in October:

2:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thank you for the roundup of turkey behavior; always enjoyable. I'm only disappted that Evergreen isn't suffering a whole lot more. Like most Americans, and certainly progs, they just don't learn anything.


More evidence that Americans focus on the essentials.


Do you sometimes wake up in the morning and it hits you: Americans are morons. Not morons as a metaphor, either; just plain idiots. And the way the cops handled these people--white, elderly, classically law-abiding--shd tell us how they handle everybody else.


Chances of remorse among those nurses is roughly negative infinity.


2:49 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

“The Rich Are Not Like You and Me” Department:
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and wife Louise Linton visited the Bureau of Engraving and Printing recently to see the new dollars coming off the line that bear his name. They were photographed holding a sheet of one-dollar bills, Linton’s long leather gloves and maxi leather skirt difficult to miss. Those who remember her Instagram faux pas where she (hash)tagged her outfit (Hermès, Tom Ford, Valentino) as she was deplaning following a business trip with Steve—Goldman Sachs alum, net worth estimated at $500 million—took the chance to tweet their snarks, some collected in the articles below.

My favorites, authors in parens: (1) "Louise Linton holds the great love of her life. Also pictured, her husband #StevenMnuchin." (peter felix bez); and (2). Steve Mnuchin and his wife show off their new line of luxury toilet paper.” (The Smoking Gun)

All these Goldman Sachs financial geniuses, one after the other, and we’re still fucked.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Esca Dreg said...

"the US military has spent decades going around the world constantly doing things more offensive than sticking their tongues down people’s throats."

Pastrami-Coleslaw, ... there're more details on that above record from the "meat markets" of Vietnam.

The Alt-Feminist are suddenly feeling so indignant when their own from upper white class got fondled inappropriately mostly during voluntary and mutually-hustling business/career transactions. They are all fired up to seek justice against the perverted men. But when these same men -their brothers, fathers, husbands and countrymen- where doing worse of the same to yellow women in distant lands, there was not a whisper from the elite/prog/liberal feminists. And it ain't past history; the western men are still prowling the eastern markets for fresh meat.

If these faces of victims had been those of poor or colored or from non-western countries, no one would have given a rat's ass worth of attention to their sufferings.

Good luck seeking (convenient) justice!!

5:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Birn: ps: It's rather amazing that anyone still gives a shit abt marijuana. Jesus, are we dumb.

6:09 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

Slouching towards Idiocracy department:
A Porn Star And Rapper Coolio: Presidential Hopefuls For 2020

I wonder if Lorenzo Riggins might be part of their cabinet?

Best wishes,

6:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


And even a clown like Zuckershmuck is thinking of running. We can only hope Lorenzo will be his choice for VP. Meanwhile, contemplate the sheer # of morons, buffoons, horses' asses, and turkeys that populate the land:


6:34 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...


"We're With Stupid"! I think Timothy Egan has stumbled upon Trumpo's reelection campaign slogan.


8:28 PM  
Anonymous Sir-Spaz-a-Lot said...

The anger is definitely there ready to ignite so I avoid public spaces. I have found people to comisserate with but still feel this wrenching tired fear of it all regardless. I feel sleazy going along to get along - can't stand TV.

Humanities prof friend says the kids are being worked to death in service sector jobs so she is wary about giving too much reality.

Cold foreboding atmospheres everywhere. So much stress.

Carlin claimed he wouldn't live anywhere else. I want out though. Matt S. wealth redistribution schemes everywhere - so true.

9:27 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

I have been contemplating the difference between a Wafer and a plain old declinist. I think it comes down to this. A declinist understands the what (America is in decline) but does not understand the why. A Wafer understands both the what and the why.

9:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, I suppose some (ordinary) declinists understand the why; quien sabe? Here are some characteristics of Wafers (Wafers: pls feel free to add to this list) that are probably more certain:

1. It's possible to be a declinist and yet not regard the American public as a large collection of douche bags. Wafers are not confused abt this.

2. All Wafers have a wicked sense of humor, even a deep, frivolous streak. Only some declinists do.

3. Wafers become NMI's or leave the country. Most declinists stick around, for some odd reason.

4. Wafers are committed to deli meats. They know abt Canter's in LA, Katz's in NY, and so on. These are shrines for them.

5. They also track on the activities of Lorenzo Riggins, Latreasa Goodman, Shaneka Torres, et al. Declinists are generally clueless abt these fine upstanding individuals, and know nothing abt the activities of Freddie Wadsworth.

6. Wafers are hip to the fact that Hillary has Botox in her face, and would love to take her head and bang it against Obama's for 10 mins. on national television. They also make frequent references to urine, and shoes.

7. To be continued...


11:21 PM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...


In terms of politicizing sexual assault, the whole article reads like a case of psychological projection. The Dems are bought and paid for by corpratists and globalist warmongers. They sell the same product as the establishment Repubs, but in a different package, and they engage in the same tactics. Perhaps we can get Bill Clinton to weigh in?

The comments are also golden -- full of Dems shouting about Roy Moore and Russians. The party is done.

6:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can this be considered a Wafer act?


7:11 AM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

About the why America is in decline, as Nietzsche said, “Man does not strive for happiness; only the Englishman does that.” Those Englishmen went on to write the American constitution with "the pursuit of happiness" as the main goal. It all went downhill from there.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


In the 18C, 'happiness' was a code word for 'property'. Check out Louis Hartz (The Liberal Tradition in America) on the subject of 'fragment societies' (the colonial focus on only one aspect of the mother country; in our case, hustling).


9:32 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Why was this Goblin even allowed to procreate in the first place?


11:14 AM  
Anonymous Rom-Dos-Copy-Cat said...

Happiness is not something that can be pursued - most things people pursue end up in a bitter grind.

Happiness happens as an after affect to cultivating meaningful relationships which is hard when the government is so hellbent on commodifying people to death.

11:59 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Might these fit MB’s “Wafer characteristics” list?

1. A Wafer is capable of holding two competing ideas in his head at the same time and continuing to function. (Sentiment attributed to F. Scott Fitzgerald, but one that we might agree should be self-evident).

2. A Wafer has a keenly developed sense of irony.

3. A Wafer has a good command of English, and recognizes bullshit, obfuscation, and appeals to sentiment in language used by those who would mislead. Carlin and Mencken were acutely attuned to abuse of language by the unscrupulous and the deceitful.

Looking forward to further enlargement of the list.

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Student of Waferism said...

Have you guys heard of George Friedman? He is a geopolitical analysts that claims that America's dominance has just began. He claims China and Russia will split up and that Mexico will become a great power. I just want to make sure, is this guy living on the same universe as us? How the hell is America gonna remain a superpower when it can't even create it's own scientists, it has to import them.

And have you guys seen the show shark tank?Let's all pray Mark Cuban really does run in 2020, if the empire's going down, it might as well entertain us. Anyways check this kids out.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Americans do seem to be unusually prone to moral panics and witch hunts. Perhaps it is due to our Puritan heritage. Even laudable causes like opposing child abuse and sexual harassment can produce mass hysteria. If anything the Internet and social media have made the problem worse.

In the 1980s there was a panic over Satanic sexual abuse that was supposedly occurring at American daycare centers and schools. Many innocent lives were ruined after they were falsely accused of sexually abusing children. The McMartin Preschool abuse trial is probably the most famous example.

4:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


One way of understanding this behavior is to realize that Americans are spiritually empty--something Mother Teresa observed many years ago. If the entire way of life is abt hustling, then there can't be very much at the center. I believe Americans are in denial of this, but know it on an unconscious level. So the result is that they are frazzled and anxious, always looking for some 'fix' to fill the emptiness (see the movie "Anesthesia"); and when a Cause presents itself--esp. connected with race or gender or sex--they go bananas, because this is a false filler, so to speak, that enables them to feel real. It shows up on the macro or political level in terms of a Manichaean rage against communism, Islam, or whatever the current enemy-of-choice happens to be. Americans have been living in fantasy for centuries now.

This is not to excuse the behavior of someone like Harvey Weinstein, to be sure, or the culture of sexual predation that I'm sure pervades Hollywood. Not at all. But Woody's prediction abt a witch hunt is becoming true. It now includes present and former presidents, and we shall ride this thing for a year or more, before it dies down and we find something else to work ourselves up about. If yr in a frenzy, you don't notice the emptiness w/in, or issues that might be a bit more crucial to the future of the nation.


4:51 PM  
Anonymous lackofcoherence said...

Black Friday is coming up, and I know you're pumped to get all those new electronics and toys!

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Dill Pickle said...

Hi MB and all,

Well 2017 wasn't very good. Still, it's better than 2016 was which in turn was better than 2013, 2014 and 2015 when I was homeless and my mother passed away. At least now I have a tiny income and was able to file old tax returns at the advice of others. Well so far the response from the authorities is not good in my estimation---I got a tax invoice that I cannot pay.

Sigh... maybe 2018 will be better. For me, anyway. It certainly won't be better for the US.


On Americans speaking only basic English, perhaps the English ought to refer to the American language as Basic! The novels that expanded on the Star Wars movies have called their fictitious avatar of American English by the same name.

5:33 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Sir-Spaz: Just this afternoon, I left the house for a few hours to go to my favorite local coffee shop and market. Just in that short time, I was subjected to three acts of rudeness, one while driving and two others while going in to get my coffee--one of those due to an idiot whose face was plastered to his dumbphone and wouldn't step out of my way when I excused myself and tried to squeeze around him. These are the real microaggressions, not that stupidity the college kids yell about. Over time, the stress of having to just take being treated like shit adds up for a lot of people--especially if they have no awareness of why it is happening.

Latest headlines:

Roadside defecation ends in disaster--Olympia firefighters rescue man who tumbled while popping a squat. Apparently Seattle's biggest daily newspaper is now being edited by Beavis and Butthead.

Florida man throws girlfriend’s shoe out of his truck to stop her from strangling him, police say.

Study of 500,000 Teens Suggests Association Between Excessive Screen Time and Depression. Yet another important scientific finding that will be totally ignored, even by liberals who bash Trump for not believing in science.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Watched Chelsea Handler on Real Time fiercely encourage women to come out of the shadows, like a group of angry women divorcing their abusive partners after suddenly realizing they have driven them into a ditch. Did this begin organically or was there a strategist involved? In the face of Armageddon getting the first transgender into office seems a very hollow victory. U r correct MB this is the behavior of children.

You know it’s bad when a former Bush admin staffer and aide to Colin Powell admits there is a “90% probability America will slip slide into hell,” (nearing Waferdom?) and quotes George Washington observing we are in a deep constitutional crisis (one example: 2 Senators Wyoming, only 2 CA.) Began to speak out after learning the order for torture came from the highest levels of government. He really pulls no punches in where he thinks this is headed.

6:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is the kind of thing that Americans simply don't understand--micro-aggression--because they are steeped in it; and it makes daily life in America miserable. Rudeness is literally unconscious in the US, as common as Pass the salt. The contrast w/daily life in Mexico is quite stark. There are a whole host of phrases Mexicans use constantly, to be polite and grease the wheels of society. When you exit an elevator, you don't just leave (like a jackass), but say to others, "con permiso." When you accidentally bump into someone, you say "Ay! Perdon!" When you leave a restaurant, you say to the folks at the next table, "Buen provecho." When you thank a clerk in a store, s/he will say, "Para servirle." Etc. This can seem ritualized and impersonal, and maybe it is; but boy, what a difference it makes for living together in society. Not a day goes by that I'm aware of how lucky I am not to be living up north, among clowns who think that all that counts is "getting ahead."


6:59 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Louis Hartz! That name takes me back. Now I have to get an interlibrary loan and read
The Liberal Tradition In America again.

In the "extinction of civility" department, last week I was sitting at a red light on my bike, waiting for the light to change, and a motorist two lanes over pulled up. I could see him muttering something (his windows were up - it was around -15° C), then he gave me the finger and drove away.

And now, from the galleries of plus ça change... The other day I was doing an internet search on singer Una Mae Carlisle, which Wafers probably don't find interesting. What you might be interested in is an article that was adjacent to one about Ms. Carlisle that appears in the April 26, 1941 edition of The Afro-American, about the death of a black man, "Porkchops" Paige, at the hands of New York's Finest.,1978770&hl=en

7:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I think it helps, in terms of navigating the social scene, to assume that a very large % of the population is literally bonkers. I'm talking totally nuts. There's no telling what will set them off, or why. I mean, maybe he didn't like yr haircut.


8:19 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

"Americans do seem to be unusually prone to moral panics and witch hunts. Perhaps it is due to our Puritan heritage."

Puritanism is a very large and unconscious part of American culture. Outside of the sphere of economic hustling, American life is actually very repressive. With such an atmosphere, witch hunts and moral panics are not surprising. The Social Purity Movement, Temperance movement and the War on Drugs (America's biggest currently-running witch hunt) are good examples.

H.L. Mencken put it very accurately and succinctly with this quote:

“Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”

9:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It's a complex legacy, tho, because the Puritan divines were probably the first to speak out against hustling. Check out studies by Edmund Morgan and Perry Miller.


9:56 PM  
Anonymous Boar's Head said...

Dr. B/Wafers/Fellow Travelers,

I just finished a pastrami sandwich at the legendary Wafer shrine that is Katz's Deli and then proceeded to scour the celebrity photos on the walls in search of Dr. B but alas, our patron is nowhere to be found.

I'm bummed, but hopefully some tourist will brighten my evening with a loud Meg Ryan fake orgasm impression before I depart. Pa-rumph!

At any rate, keep your heads held high Wafers and don't let the Turkeys get you down. Stop worrying, enjoy the collapse, and here's to high quality deli meat!

11:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


That warms the cockles of my heart. For me, ingesting pastrami is a religious act. (Wafers, after all, are by definition interested in transubstantiation.) Some day, perhaps Katz will have me on his wall. (A man can dream.)


Many thanks for the kind review of AWTY on Amazon. A few more like that, and maybe my villa in Tuscany will start coming into view. I think Waferdom could use an Italian outpost, in any case.


11:50 PM  
Anonymous Ray said...

Have you guys read Malachi Hacohen's "Karl Popper-The Formative Years, 1902-1945'? It's brilliant on inter-war Vienna.

- Ray

7:03 AM  
Anonymous Marty said...

I always say that most of our {American} news coverage is a kind of pornographic material. but this is ridiculous: “Donald Trump” is a popular Pornhub search term. I try to be nonjudgmental about sexual proclivities, but ICK!

"What 10 years of Pornhub data reveals about sexual desire and Americans' sexual imaginations"

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Elif said...

Just finished your Japan bk Prof MB...Now I'm saturating myself in the culture, am currently fascinated by these stunning photos of yōkai, the supernatural beings of Japanese folklore.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Mike R said...

Cleveland Moffett's hustling article in the Illustrated American (1895) depicted americans as restless hucksters always in a hurry b/c their "essence" was: get money.

Their every interaction was about: making a buck. 1895.

10:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


But did he refer to Americans as turkeys? 1895 too early, I guess.


Great website, thank you. Sounds like you enjoyed the bk.


I just screened Season 10 of "Big Bang Theory." What a hoot! Both demented and frivolous. Take a break from our catastrophic decline and give yrselves a laugh.


10:52 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

As for micro-aggressions, there is this weird kind of ritual at a 7-11 or any convenience store when you hold the door for someone entering. As you enter you are required to say thank you to the person holding the door. Now God forbid you don't say thank you. The person holding the door then sarcastically says "You're welcome." Gee, oh sorry, Miss Manners- you the great arbiter of American etiquette as you go home and eat a gallon of ice cream with your gross over-weight kids.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

If a tree falls on your property, the insurance adjuster confuses your backyard hibiscus for marijuana and drops a dime on you, does the township constabulary owe you an apology for treating you like criminals? [Standard lawyerly counsel to municipal authorities in all such cases: admit nothing; deny everything; make counteraccusations.]

“A Buffalo Township, Pennsylvania couple has filed a lawsuit against township police and an insurance company in the wake of a misbegotten drug raid that netted only hibiscus plants.

Edward Cramer, 69, and his wife, Audrey Cramer, 66, were quietly enjoying their golden years this fall when they called their insurance company about a neighbor's tree that had fallen on their property. That's when things started going wacky.”
Hard to Believe: Pennsylvania Cops Abuse Senior Couple Because They Think Hibiscus Is Marijuana | Alternet

2:53 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Talk about being treated like shit, I have one for you. My days are spent in a power chair, and we are fortunate enough to own a wheelchair van so that I can get out of the house. About two months ago my niece took me shopping, we couldn’t find a handicapped spot in the parking lot, so we pulled up in front of the store and lowered the ramp so I could roll out. A man and his wife were going into the store, and he made a very nasty remark to me. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I was sorry that Debbie's husband Mike wasn't with us, because he doesn't take any bullshit from anybody and the guy might have learned a lesson about rudeness from someone who can wield it like a weapon when necessary. In general, how sad is it that I’m always shocked when somebody opens a door for me.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous stanislav-berjiev said...

Ted fodder for Wafers' to poop on - religiously cringy anti-systemic issues title alone.

The militarization at home of unified Praetorian guards condoned along with institutional psychological profiling and behavior modification for obedience (compliance) everywhere. Always sirens even in smaller municipalities even swat teams. The oppression abroad is arriving at home full spectrum - e.g. civil forfeiture, search and seizure, trumped up draconian whatever.

I think you're right MB people are cracking up - too much stress and fear. Micro-aggression is a symptom of brutal state aggression imposing cultural cruelty. Most people aren't genetically cut out for this much cognitive dissonance coming from everywhere.

So many are currently willing to do horrible things to each other as MB has pointed out mentioning movies like Compliance 2012 etc. If the case by case cruelty is due more to stupidity or trauma or atavistic survival processes or brain-washing indoctrination or filling vacuums with vacuums - usually hard to know - though MB (thanks) for shedding all the light on cultural crisis etc.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Dill Pickle said...

Interesting feature of the GOP tax plans: in addition to hiking taxes on the lower and middle classes in order to lavish tax cuts on corporations and the rich, it also subjects university endowments to taxes and the House version would count tuition waivers and discounts for grad students and people who work at the university as "income." Good way to quash upward mobility *and* cut off the nation's supply of future scientists, a class or people who actually do some good.

And in the local news, a small coffee shop was robbed at closing time at gunpoint by armed robbers who were definitely professionals at it. What is especially telling is that right before the incident, some patrons at a brewhouse saw some guys in hoodies trading guns with each other but nobody thought to call the police.

Al Qa'bong,

You've encountered The Public Road Is My Personal Private Driveway Syndrome! In your case it manifested itself as a "quiet" road rage. I've heard of worse, such as a motorist driving a cyclist into a ditch, stopping, and throwing the bicycle on top of him.

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Derek said...

Prof. Berman,

I appreciate your comments on how one is expected to use manners in public spaces in Mexico. This was one of my favorite things about living in Europe and seemed to correlate to the general cohesiveness of society. For example, in France I remember how important it was to greet AND say goodbye to everyone at a party or gathering - no matter if you knew them or not, or even if you had talked to them. Was this a ritual? Of course. And Americans would probably decry it as being "fake" or "inauthentic" i.e. pretending to care about someone you don't even know. But I'll take that over the rudeness and impersonality of American life any day. The whole obsession with "authenticity" and such in American life just seems to be a thinly veiled version of narcissism, anyways.

6:07 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Dan--on the flip side, the other act of rudeness I experienced yesterday that I didn't describe in my last comment was that as I was approaching the coffee shop, a pear-shaped, middle aged woman who clearly could see I was behind her made no attempt to hold the door--twice, as we has to go through two entrances. She was wearing one of the those perpetual scowls combining anger and disappointment you see on people's faces far too often these days.

Sara--what gets me is just how many people have handicapped plates/placards who don't have any obvious disability (which was probably why you couldn't find a parking space). I have pretty severe neuropathy in my feet that's a hangover from chemotherapy, but I refuse to get handicapped plates even though I'd easily qualify. Partly it's because I know people would give me dirty looks since I'm in my early 50s and don't LOOK disabled, but also because it's my contention that if someone is healthy enough to get out and walk around a store unaided, they are healthy enough to walk an extra 100 feet to get into the store in the first place. It's a variation of the same pathetic laziness that causes people to get in fights over close in parking spaces when the lot itself is half empty.

Latest idiocy: NYC subway system attempts to distract riders from getting angry about it's shitty service by demanding that its conductors only use "gender neutral" greetings when making PA announcements.

6:13 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

I have recently realized that I might be an ontological genius. I am a young guy (29 years old), but I am pretty far along the road to enlightenment if I do say so myself. This realization provides a nice ego boost too. Waferdom has played a big role in my journey of course.

I think that a very important characteristic of Wafers is that we are always full of urine and ready to pee on any shoes that need it.

12:16 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Some sage--I forget who--once said that if you think yr enlightened, there's a gd chance that yr not. Or (alt. version) if you think you've got yr shit together, chances are yr standing rt in the middle of it. Of course, you cd be the exception, who knows. But there is the problem that (so I'm told) enlightenment is supposed to diminish ego, rather than increase it. Anyway, keep us posted on how all that is going.


2:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gig, nice to know I am not the only 29 y/o guy on the blog ;-)


6:46 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Bill, my problems began in my feet, which became extremely painful, and the longer I was on them the worse it got. So even though I looked good (I was 53 at the time), when I went shopping my goal was to spend as little time on my feet as possible, which included parking close to the store and using my handicap sticker. You might want to consider being a little gentler with yourself.

Gig, enlightenment might best be described as destruction of the ego, and ego is ego whether it’s spiritual or mundane. Ego is what keeps us identified with our body instead of realizing that we’re simply one expression of the “divine” (fill in your word for “It” here) experiencing itself through its creation: “Nothing Exists That Is Not Shiva.” The ego is a very tricky thing, and it deludes seekers all the time. You might want to consider reading Jed McKenna’s "Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing,” and Mariana Kaplan's "Halfway Up the Mountain.” After years of seeking enlightenment my goal now is to have a conscious death, which will hopefully ensure that I never, ever have to come back to this freakin’ place again (if there is such a thing as reincarnation).

Enlightenment is the highest expression of human potentiality, and I wish you the best of luck.

7:09 AM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...

Not following the comments on Americans being generally rude. Quite honestly, I have always found US culture to be full of superficial niceties and politeness (NYC excepted).

I've lived in Germany for over 10 years and most Germans say the same thing. They notice how aloof unwelcoming many Germans seem in contrast, but also don't really understand that American politeness is often superficial.

In my experiences Southern Europe is more like Mexico in this regard (more genuninely friendly, open).

7:12 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Have a nice day! :-)


7:59 AM  
Anonymous Student of Waferism said...

Sarasvati - are you kidding me? If there is reincarnation, I'd be more than willing to come back here. Although I'd want my old live's memories back.

Gig- How many hours do you meditate a day and for how long have you been doing it? Do you fast too? In Coming to our Sense Dr Berman mentioned that fasting seems to do smth. I don't want to lose my ego even if I become "enlightened" though. I figure I will lose my ego once I'm dead regardless of whether or not I want it, so I hope to enjoy my individuality while it lasts. And I started meditating to classical music too, I read an article a while back that it does smth.

Btw Dr Berman, you are too optimistic. I watched a video in which you said religion is never gonna go away and smth earth related will probably pop up. I disagree, in the west it will just be a new version of Christianity lead by pseudo-intellectuals who find ways to rationalize it.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Polk said...

My dear Dr Berman, I've been following your blog for 2 years and on occasion contributed some comments. During that time, I have grown increasingly concerned with what seems to me a sense of elitism, dualism, and lack of emphathy. I hope I am not being unfair to suggest that the Manichaeism against which you rightly rail from time to time can also be found in your division of the world into Wafers and Americans: Wafers good, Americans bad.

I find elitism in your constant criticism of all those who do not agree with you.

Finally, I find your lack of concern for the millions of Americans unable to move to another country and who, therefore, must endure the horrors of an imploding nation disturbing.

I have no doubt that your assessment of American decline is correct. I just wish you would consider the impact on those who will have to endure it.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Normally I'm not interested in dealing w/critiques of the blog, because then it cd turn into a meta-blog, as I've explained on a few occasions. In other words, the subject of the blog is not the blog, but the collapse of the American empire. However, let me indulge your concerns, at least this one time. (They seem genuine.)

1st, the blog is partly tongue-in-cheek, in a # of ways. I urge the Pentagon to nuke Toronto, for example. I'm hoping no one, yrself included, thinks I'm serious. Or I say that 99.9% of the American public are morons. Well, certainly a gd % are, indeed, clueless (and I'm hardly the only one to observe this); but I think everyone knows that I don't literally mean 99.9%. I don't really believe that the world is divided into Wafers and Others, and that there are no shades of gray; but I think it's fun to exaggerate, to "grandstand," so to speak--altho I do believe that there aren't too many Americans who grasp what is going on. Most of them are, indeed, sheep, and I can't imagine you yrself don't know this. Which brings me to yr next pt.

Elitism: sure, I'm an elitist. What of it? So was H.L. Mencken, and George Carlin, and Gore Vidal, and I'm proud to be part of that lineage. If you want to upbraid those 3 as well, then imo yr a fool. The bare fact is that some things are better than others, some ways of life better than others, and some insights and opinions are superior to others. Truth is not a democracy, where everyone's opinion is of equal worth. They aren't, and the basis for saying that is not that "I say so," but rather lies in the evidence that can be brought to bear on the matter at hand, whatever it is. I don't have a lot of empathy for ignorance or stupidity, and I think that's a gd thing. I don't have much patience for those who (e.g.) think Bush Jr. is a great statesman, and that he was right to destroy Iraq. I don't think much of Americans--a great percentage of them, BTW--who regard Ronald Reagan as our greatest president, when the damage he did at home and abroad can be elaborately documented. Hopefully you don't either.

As for lack of concern for those who can't move: yr way off base. To begin with, very few Americans see the country for what it is, and wish to get out. This is a tiny minority. But 2nd, I have repeatedly emphasized the NMI option for those unable to move, and have repeatedly stated that for those wanting to get out but who are not able to, for reasons of health or finances or whatever, this is a decent 2nd choice. In short, it's not at all true that I have not considered the impact of American decline on those who see thru what's going on. But I agree, that I don't have a lot of sympathy for those who have cheered the Empire on, who support our rapacious imperial wars, who embrace the American philosophy of Sink or Swim, who think folks like Clint Eastwood are wonderful role models, and who think torture and drone-killings of civilians (67% of Americans approve of both) are our right to carry out--just to name a few items on their list. The argument that it is only the elites that are at fault, and that the many are victimized by a very few, is for me a dubious one. The American public at large is not innocent of what we do at home and abroad. They cd have repudiated these things, and instead they embraced them. Many people who derided welfare, for example, are now *on* welfare--this is called karma. And if you approve of the suffering we inflict on others, eventually you too will suffer, in a whole # of ways. If you approve of victimization, you may not be able to avoid a day of reckoning for yrself. If yr life consists of nothing but hustling...etc.

(Continued below)

12:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

A short snapshot of your fellow countrymen: Noam Chomsky records that he was a teenager at summer camp, in 1945, when the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The reaction of everyone around him was, "Good, the Japs got what they deserved, and now we can rule the world." And they went back to baseball and swimming. He himself was so sick he had to be by himself for the rest of the day, he says, to mourn the horror of what we were capable of, the sheer immorality of it all.

You get my pt (I hope). Now, I suggest we get back to the topic at hand.


12:53 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...


Your very respectful comments and concerns about the tone of this blog are welcomed. The divisions between what is good and bad are certainly here. I too have felt this for some time.The divisions you point out are hypocritical at ties. Along with that concern though for me has been the dose of humor that generally pervades the blog.

The 2 examples you mention: Americans bad, Wafers good plus the suggestions to get out of the US always seem to me that the latter somehow lacks empathy for those who can't leave for whatever reasons, or choose not to leave. The former just isn't true! There are bad and good, if you even want to use those Manichean terms, in all of us. While many Americans are dumb, uninteresting and narcissistic, many many are just the opposite. And I too do not deny the US is going down the tubes and its day in the sun as set.

Thanks for your comments and on a personal note my husband sometimes calls me polecat.


1:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


There is also the issue--if we can agree that the US is in a state of progressive disintegration--that in terms of people being impacted by this (whatever their politics), it is not nec. the case that slow disintegration wd be more merciful than quick, for anyone. My own feeling is that it wdn't be; that more of Obama/Hillary wd be a far crueler scenario than Trumpi. This is esp. true given the misery the US inflicts on the rest of the world. Once its status is reduced to 2nd or 3rd-rate, its ability to wreak havoc will also be reduced. I suspect much of the world is looking forward to this. These people count too, not just Americans.

As far as my alleged hypocrisy and lack of empathy: I believe you, along w/polecat, are way off base.


1:38 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the theatre?

Those who willfully choose to stick around do it at your own peril. Forgetting all the other "stuff" that Dr. Berman and other WAFERS have presented--america is the only Westernised "country" w/o real health care.

Your doctors? Other than the annual touch and go physical, minor ailments-controlled high BP or need boner meds, they're owned by insurance companies, pharmacy benefit managers, and authorization companies. If you have a chronic dx, forget it. You're in for #37 care. Your denial is their gain.

us docs cannot do very much b/c these for profit, publically traded businesses have a fiduciary duty to shareholders, not patients or doctors/nurses. They own your doctor's actions. That was america. Make a buck, even off the sick and the infirm.

Other than that Ms. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?

1:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, that's one aspect of the sheeple, init? For how many decades did they equate universal health care w/communism? What shd I think of Americans who think that this type of system is OK, and that if people die for lack of medical insurance, too bad for them? Shd I have empathy for them? Or empathy for those who embrace hustling, imperialism, war, and cruelty? Or those who support war criminals, like Reagan and the Bushes and the Clintons? Not likely. But I do have a lot of empathy for those Americans who have repudiated this way of life, who are willing to see thru it, and equal empathy for those around the world who have suffered at our hands.

During the Vietnam war, something like 90% or more of the American public supported it (until we began to lose, of course). Shd I have empathy for these folks, or for the 3 million peasants we murdered, with the approval of most Americans? I was at a demo at Cornell in 1965, when abt a dozen SDS members were protesting the war in Vietnam, and the police had to protect them from being lynched by 100s of students--a fairly rabid mob, in fact. Shd I have empathy for these enraged, ignorant students, who cd have learned the truth of the VN situation by attending the teach-ins of George Kahin, rt on campus, but cdn't be bothered?

Empathy can't be an equal opportunity employer, I don't think.


2:33 PM  
Anonymous Esca Dreg said...

For those in doubt,
if the restaurant is serving only shit in various flavors -and unlike before, it ain't no secret now- you can walk out of that restaurant. If all the restaurants in town are only serving shit -and unlike before, now you know for sure- you can leave town. If for whatever duress you have to eat there -and all your fellow eaters seem to be enjoying the food- you at least reserve the human dignity to not call it filet-mignon when the goddamn smell and the taste is repulsive to the core. Otherwise keep practicing "superficial niceties and politeness" (see Transatlantic above) and hope it makes it palatable.

It is a conundrum for sure.

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Regarding empathy for Americans, it is hard to feel empathy for people who show so little empathy for others. For example, there has been a marked decrease in empathy among American college students.

I have empathy for the few decent Americans who genuinely care about others and try to make the best of it in such an awful environment. I am stuck in the United States for the foreseeable future so I do try to cultivate relationships with the handful of decent people that I know. But I don’t have much hope for the country as a whole.

3:18 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Imagine being this little douchebag’s Father.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

I confess to holding doors for people entering the same space who are walking behind me. I hold doors for people exiting the space I’m about to enter, even when doing so causes me a slight delay. I’ll delay entering first in order to hold a door for a fellow human encumbered by bags, baggage, or babies. This small courtesy—I consider it small in the great scheme of things—is acknowledged as often as not. When it isn’t, it’s not my practice to hurl a “you’re welcome” at the back of the individual who fails to do so.

In a society with a fair amount of selfishness and a deficiency of decency, such small gestures can only work to the general benefit, I’m thinking. These acts cost me nothing and to the extent they smooth human relations to whatever small degree, they seem worth it.

3:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, I tried to work up some empathy for the guy, but I failed. For his father: much easier.


4:45 PM  
Anonymous Dill Pickle said...

On Transatlantic's comment concerning "superficial niceties and politeness": if it weren't for these superficial acts of people being nice and polite to each other, and helping people out even if only on an individual basis, there would be even more daily massacres in this country, I'd think, so much so that the media wouldn't even report on them.

Now on another subject, America's roads are decrepitating into a big, dangerous, muddy mess. For example in Muskegon County, Mich., the paved roads are so bad that the county government removed the pavement on one road and replaced it with gravel. Well apparently the dust from the asphalt removal was so bad it caused nuisances and negative health effects in its neighborhoods. Ditto the gravel. The good citizens of the county said, "No more!"

5:55 PM  
Anonymous David said...
Britain apparently has the 3rd best global reputation of any country in the world--Germany supplants US as the country with the best global reputation
Robert Mugabe is apparently a big fan of TS Eliot.

"Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long..."

I'm not one for coups, but this one seems necessary, I suppose.

7:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Here's a fun film: "The Big Sick." Lotsa laughs.


8:19 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Re: AWTY review


My pleasure. Hope you sell a bunch of books. Wafers can certainly party in Tuscany.

MB, Wafers-

A cute little TV show: "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." It's about a wealthy Jewish princess/housewife who finds a new life in stand-up comedy in NYC in 1958.


ps: Boar's Head: Next time try the sliced brisket w/Russian dressing at Katz's Delicatessen. You will have an out-of-body experience.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

I think the problem of superficial politeness is most prevalent in upscale/posh American locales. These places are where liberals/progs tend to congregate, and they are the worst kind of people IMO. Complete psychopaths under a face of politeness (e.g. Hillary).

Regarding empathy and compassion, I think that they should not be applied universally just like many things in life. Sometimes, it is better to mercilessly mock and show hatred, along with a dose of black humor.

"Gig, nice to know I am not the only 29 y/o guy on the blog ;-)"

Same here Kanye.

11:43 PM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...


Not my experience. Superficial politeness, in my experience, is pervaseive in the US. If anything, I notice it even more in rural areas in the Midwest (have some family there). My wife is German, and it was an endless source of amusement for her when we still lived in the States. "They say these things, but they don't really mean them."

5:48 AM  
Blogger Grandma said...

I grew up in a narcissist family. Imagine your mother was like Trumpo (attention seeking to the extreme, selfish to the extreme, attacks anyone who takes center stage, even by accident, lacks any empathy whatsoever) so No one had to tell me Americans are becoming a narc society, its all familiar. I take most of what I read here as support for the main argument, not a total lack of empathy. there have been a few cringe worthy moments here on the blog, but outside the blog is an endless barrage of cringeworthy moments, one after another.

All that said, my main takeaway here has been a focus on critical thinking, and Dr. B, I appreciate that you addressed polecats concerns as an example of the same. It's why I'm here, to think critically about what's going on, to hear others experiences and see if they jibe w/my own.

IMHO, if we can keep that in mind, we shall advance even further. One article posted here was an example of the opposite. Not sure who posted, doesn't matter. The article was ostensibly about how the "government" is fomenting fear amongst the populace to support eventual tyranny, yet the article itself was also fomenting fear of this to the reader. I wasn't surprised to see at the end of the article it was mainly a vehicle to sell a book (hustling). For someone who grew up in nearly total cognitive dissonance to recognize this?


7:10 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

In terms of politeness I am reminded of Joseph Heller's Something Happened where he says he is most polite to the people he hates the most. As I previously said, I flew cross country to attend a friend's son's bar mitzvah. I paid the plane, hotel, bar mitzvah gift and other incidentals. I was the model guest as well. I showed deep concern from my friend's mom who recently had an operation, spoke at length to his father about retirement, etc. I came home and called to tell my friend I had arrived safely. He texted: "Can't talk right now. I'll call back shortly." That shortly has now been over 3 weeks.
To be honest, in my experience, American Jews are wretched when it comes to guests. Not a few times have I been invited to a Jewish home and the immediate vibe is "Can't you see we're a family. Sure we invited you but we were actually hoping you wouldn't come." This is in contrast to being invited into a Catholic home where I feel genuinely welcomed.

8:53 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Normally I don't deal w/complaints abt the blog, in part because I believe that most of us are on the same page. Which is to say, we understand the irony and comic exaggeration that I frequently employ, we understand that empathy has to be selective rather than a blank check, and we recognize what America is, and as a result have given up on it. But Polecat's objections seemed sincere (i.e., not a typical trollfoon attack), and although I realized he didn't 'get' the blog in the ways I just mentioned, and was totally off-base regarding my attitude toward people stuck in the US who wanted to get out but cdn't, it seemed to me that his confusion might be characteristic of a few other folks who follow this blog (hopefully, not too many), and thus that I shd address it.

I'm reminded of a talk I gave many yrs ago at a bkstore in Charlottesville (I think it was; my memory is murky these days), and some guy, abt age 20, kept insisting that I talk about how to save America. I finally had to say to him: "You don't seem to be hearing me. I don't believe it can be saved. If that's what you want to hear, you need to go to a different lecture." He stormed out, then wrote an article in the local paper abt how "pessimism sells," as he put it (in fact, just the opposite is true, in the US), and how I was just out for money. He wasn't able, apparently, to take in the fact that an historian who had done a lot of research on the subject was saying that we were finished. This is, of course, the one thing progs cannot hear.

I don't really know Polecat's views on this particular subject, but I mention it because I suspect that when misunderstanding of this blog is as deep as his is, that something like that might be operating here; that this is the real problem. I don't believe this blog can make much sense to those Americans who have not been able to give up on America--almost all of the country, as far as I can make out. (A poll of a few yrs back found that 99% of Americans say they are proud to be American.) Finally, one hasta choose as to whether your patriotism is toward humanity, or toward America, because it really can't be both, given what America has done/is doing to humanity. Americans are less than 5% of the planet, yet universally demand a lifestyle that is killing the planet. We lost 68,000 soldiers in Vietnam, and butchered/tortured 3 million Vietnamese. Very few Americans are interested in these sorts of data, and this blog is really for the few who are. This is why we have all of 172 registered Wafers, why I am invisible on the American radar screen, why I can't get articles published, and why I make something like $500 in bk royalties per annum. These are facts, not paranoia.

Anyway, I hope we won't keep discussing the blog, and can return to the subject at hand: the collapse of the American empire. A lot more interesting!


9:05 AM  
Anonymous DiogenesTheElder said...

Hi WAFers...Reading AWTY currently. Recently, I have happened upon this name: Tony Robbins. He is a rich fellow - worth about $480 million. I'm wondering if WAFers have any thoughts about what he does. Though he has no training as a therapist, he is a featured speaker at this year's Psychotherapy Networker conference. He is currently the subject of a Netflix documentary called Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru.


10:54 AM  
Blogger Baron Von Strangeknight said...

@ Diogenes,

Tony Robbins a motivational speaker and coach. I do not believe he has any formal education for what he does. As far as I know he's a hustler extraordinaire.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Student of Waferism said...

Diogenes, this is what I think of tony Robins

Dr Berman, your story about Cornell protestors reminded me of Berkeley when Trumpi won. There was people chanting "USA, USA!" Why should I feel sorry for Americans? Did they feel sorry for slaughtering native Americans, enslaving Africans, their actions in Vietnam, Chile, Guatemala, ME, etc, etc. Today they still chant "build a wall!" They don't care about how much suffering that will bring. Americans don't care about suffering so long as it's not them suffering. So fuck them. Let them get what they deserve, the best part of it all is that they will blame the nonexistence liberals and feminists and ask another billionaire to please come save them. And I don't wish anything bad on good Americans, I'm in America myself so I will be here going through the same stuff as everyone else.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Maurici et al,

Appreciate you thorough response to Polcat. Your tongue-in-cheek explanation is how I've understood your comments. The number of Americans who don't fit into the imbecile crowd are the ones Polcat and I wondered about as to lacking your empathy.

I will welcome a world wide realization that as a country the US will shortly not be number one any longer. Big sigh of relief.

I have no disagreement with your paragraph to Mike about feeling sorry for people who have suffered at our hands and not for those assholes who have totally screwed us like Reagan, the Bushes, the Clintons and all who approved of their policies. Tom's sentence about decent Americans who genuinely care about others are the ones I had in mind as well.

Mike, Being the only developed Western country without universal health care is wha we used to call a mortal sin! The worst of the worst.

All in all I'm happy we had this diversion of a discussion and now let's move on to the daily happenings that verify Wafers are on the right track.


11:59 AM  
Anonymous SrVidaBuena said...

What a humorless bunch. So glad I'm not spending $60K/yr for something like this.(Both the video and the linked article at the Atlantic are illustrative)

12:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


So it wd appear that I'm not a hypocrite, after all? Gee...


12:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Hard to have empathy for these pathetic turkeys. And there are so very many of them, nationwide...


12:28 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

MB, in your response to gran - yes, yes, and yes. As much as I disliked him I nearly voted Trump and felt crappy voting for botox. Anything to shut up and teach these pompous peeps a lesson, and I include my own family in that equation. When the hurricane hit Florida they called it a buzzsaw, and I wanted it to split gov Scott in half. Didn't feel at all the same for Puerto Rico. Seems to me the ones that always suffer the most deserve it the least. Ever notice how tornadoes always tear up mobile homes first? I am in solidarity with the poor esp. poor (financially) children, really it breaks my heart. As far as elitism, I hear Google is very egalitarian which is easy when you first brush off the riff raff.
More importantly, do you have any recommendations for books I can get started on to aid me in NMI? Big question I know but I need a jump start, I've always been monkish, but need to b more intentional about it.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I confess to being a bit disappted w/Trumpi; I had higher hopes for him. Major institutions that shd be shut down (universities, hospitals, the media, pizza parlors, etc.) are still open. Folks who shd be rounded up and put in detention camps in Idaho (Jews and Muslims in particular) are free to wander the streets. Non-allies, like France and Germany, shd have been invaded by now. Etc. I just never thought the guy wd be so wimpy.

As for yr career as an NMI: Jesus, where to begin? I suppose you cd just fly down here and raid my library. In lieu of that, check out the ftnotes to the Twilight bk, among others; plenty of refs there that will keep you rdg forever. For now, try "Quiet," by Susan Cain, and "At the Existentialist Café," by Sarah Bakewell. Oh, and AWTY might be of some help as well. Plus recent work by Kurt Andersen and Suzy Hansen.


2:04 PM  
Anonymous Francois said...

Instead of expelling those disruptive students at Reed College, just shut it down. Shutdown all the institutions of learning. People only need their cellphones. I laugh when I hear people say college should be free in the U.S. Why bother having higher education at all? You’re producing buffoons who can’t handle any sort of adversity. Have the children howl at the night sky.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Lobotomized Imperial Subject said...

Speaking as a (lobotimised) Imperial subject, I can only say: thank goodness this blog and its posters can see beyond the hustling and the hand wringing to the macabre humor of the decline. So much decline without a light touch treatment might send us all into insanity, deep depression and/or bitter cynicism. Tough as it is to find the black comedy in it all, I can’t imagine a better response.

Dr Berman,

You say in a comment above “we recognize what America is, and as a result have given up on it”.

This captures what I feel about most of the (western) world. The more I experience declining western civilization, the greater my sense of disappointment and loss. I am midway through a process of giving up on it and find I can now laugh at some of the absurdities though others parts elicit sadness, anger, etc. Perhaps we need a Why Westerners Failed (too bad the WWF acronym is already taken) blog.

And on the topic of technology accelerated decline, some are campaigning. I think they’re too late and need some Waferism:


2:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


From what I can see in the video, the kids' shoes are too dry. We have a remedy for this...


3:21 PM  
Anonymous Esca Dreg said...

"We support your war of terror." Now place your hand on your chest and sing after me.
Don't you wanna practice niceties with these unadulterated as'oles?

Meet some more of the same,...
With a cover of mascara n pretense you find them in our Ivy League colleges and warehouse loading docks. They are also our neighbors and colleagues, our doctors and lawyers. Behind the polished facade there is no difference from the uncouth ones and the likes of Tony Robbins and Charlie Rose.

I sure want to hold the doors open for these fine Usonian. The doors to the gallows.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Well, it looks like Charlie-Sominex-Rose is the next one to go down, Wafers. Who knew he could muster up the energy to grope or fondle anyone except himself. I tell ya, I can't even count the number of preposterous rationales for war and obscene policies I heard spill from the mouths of douche bags such as Thomas Friedman and Dr. Kissinger on his program. All the while, Charlie was dreaming about his next conquest...



6:32 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Regarding "superficial" politeness, my observation from living in the same place for 25 years is it too is very much on the decline as evidenced by how many people walking around who seem to be ready to explode. It's gotten to the point where I am actually surprised when a stranger shows a little bit of common courtesy. My theory is that the anger that comes from having to deal with ever worsening traffic (people watching their dumbphones' GPS, and/or actively chatting and texting while driving is turning the roadways into an even bigger nightmare than they already were) is spilling over into all interactions.

As for the superficial politeness people show to each other at parties and family gatherings, even that may be going out the window with this new app that allows easily offended twits to instantly text a "holiday hotline that will give them arguments to use against their "racist uncle" at Thanksgiving dinner. I envision thousands holiday gatherings descending into screaming matches, with family members ending up permanently cutting off communications with each other.

Screaming matches if their lucky, in fact. It could get even worse: Judge convicts man accused of beating roommate to death over stolen beer

9:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

In America, there is no upper limit to douchebaggery:

9:35 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

"It's a complex legacy, tho, because the Puritan divines were probably the first to speak out against hustling."

I think that hustling is just a different spin on the Puritan work ethic (i.e. live to work). The end goal is simply different in each: endless accumulation of money and property vs "salvation." The "alternative" traditions in America are not really that alternative IMO. To be sure, they are far better than hustling. However, none of them addresses the core issue: the all-pervasive myth of "dignified and fulfilling work" in America. I think that a genuine alternative tradition is succinctly described in this song by Mozart la Para (MLP).

MLP says that "life is made for enjoyment and nothing more." He also blasts his naysayers telling them that they "live working for nothing." In such a "work to live" worldview, work is not seen as dignified or fulfilling but as a pain in the ass that must sometimes be endured (although it can be made less of a pain in the ass). With such a mentality, hustling is not merely unethical but also a pointless waste of time.

10:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to granny's vibe-

I take it yr new to the blog. One rule we have is, no personal (ad hominem) attacks on other Wafers. If it's a trollfoon yr dealing with, feel free to be as insulting as you wish. In fact, we encourage that. But among Wafers, courtesy is the order of the day. Not that you can't disagree with someone; of course you can. But it shd not be emotionally driven or take the form of an attack. Instead, say to the person that you disagree with this or that specific point, and state why. In addn, it's always helpful to provide evidence for yr pt of view. Then, they are free to respond in kind, and the two of you can have a meaningful dialogue. Thank you for your cooperation.


10:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Hustling and Puritanism can overlap--I make that pt in one of my bks--but the Puritans nevertheless did speak out against it. They aren't the same thing, and I'm guessing you haven't read Edmund Morgan or Perry Miller, as I suggested.

2nd: I'm also guessing you never read WAF, but the alternative traditions were *very* alternative, and they certainly did address the core issue you mention. This is one reason they were ignored or marginalized: Thoreau, for example, even Jimmy Carter. You might also check out the essay on Lewis Mumford in AWTY. It doesn't get more alternative than that.

Just a suggestion: it might not be a bad idea to research some of the ideas you want to advance, before you advance them. Opinions and arguments are very different things, and as one sage once remarked, "Opinions are like assholes: everybody's got one." On this blog, we are big on evidence, and I think this would carry a lot more weight in terms of what you wish to claim (regardless of the subject). I appreciate that shooting from the hip is fun, but--anyone can do it, really, and I think you'll be taken a lot more seriously if you can manage to avoid it. Thanks.


11:00 PM  
Anonymous COS said...

What a time to be alive! You have to think of the Ouroboros--the symbol of a snake earing itself. All of the "experts" and really "smart" people who endlessly said Hillary had a 98% chance of winning are still writhing about and in a state of decompensation. Their queen was denied and then their fantasy of the new hitler failed to do any hitler type things (and despite all his adult children sleeping with or married to jews). Half of Hollywood turns out to be the lecherous douchebags grannies in Alabama always thought they were. Charlie Rose well into his 70's likes to entertain 20 something women while wearing an unsecured robe and nothing else, the New York times whitehouse journalist shows poor form with women and famous Hollywood types and members of congress are sexual predators....On reflection, think about that fact that many of these fellows were multimillionaires and famous and still could not get laid without resorting to bullying and or sexual assault--how sick are these wretches? Maybe its not a "suez moment", but the past few weeks should even to the most dimwitted shown conclusively the sickness of the "media, show bizz and political elite' United States. To make it weirder, methinks that somehow the election of Trump has made all of this possible via some sort of strange psychic fuge state.

12:10 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Bill Hicks,
The holiday hotline is a joke, right? I love the line: "Maybe you're not going to convince your racist uncle at one dinner conversation. It may necessitate several Thanksgiving discussions." Right. I can assure the author of that line that the racist uncle would never attend another Thanksgiving dinner if he is forced to sit among so many techno-douchebags. Truly, all this political correctness is turning my into a right wing fanatic.

12:26 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Mom dies after cleaning up son's fatal drug overdose.

A 69yo woman who died earlier this month likely came into contact with a deadly substance while cleaning up her son’s drug paraphernalia.

Theresa Plummer, 69, died on Nov. 6--- one day after finding her son Ronald Plummer, dead in the bathroom.

Plummer became short of breath after cleaning up her son’s overdose and was taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, which is where her son was rushed just a day earlier. He died one day after his mother.

americans were healthy and content folks. These stories were simply outliers. All was happy in happy valley!

12:58 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Last days of Rome, amigo! This is what it looked like then, as well. A country filled w/turkeys, turking out in neon. Better symbol than the Ouroboros is Goya (Saturno devorando a su hijo). One thing I can promise you: it can only get worse.


5:23 AM  
Blogger Polk said...

Thanks to all for a wonderful discussion. To MB especially, for helping me clarify my thoughts about the nation, the limits of empathy, and the REALISTIC options available for those who will probably have to live the rest of their years in America. Like Chris Hedges, there is a part of me in denial about the certainty of decline and the absence of the possibility of reversing it. I know that logic dictates the truth of your claims and that there is no way of avoiding the reality of implosion, of preventing the inevitable. And I agree that any empathy shown should be directed outside the nation, to the millions of Vietnamese. Iraqis, Africans, and... (is there any place on earth that has not been damaged by American Imperialism?) We deserve what we are getting and the world may, indeed, be better off without us. To sum up, my struggle is internal. The psychological struggle between denial and acceptance. Can you say Elizabeth Kubler Ross?

5:56 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


And thank you for initiating the discussion. As to yr dilemma: Chris Hedges wd be a sad role model for anyone to follow, altho many (foolishly) do. It's sad to watch him twisting in the wind. Recently, in giving his usual rant about resistance and revolt, quoting Sheldon Wolin for the 140th time, he admitted that the US probably had no future. These occasional glimmers of light that he has don't last, however; but what one can see is a deeply conflicted person, who knows the truth intellectually but refuses to accept it ontologically. That is not a great place to be, and I don't think it's anything you wish to emulate. He has nothing to offer us, really, being little more than a guitar with one string, and I encourage you to do your best to start letting go of the US. The fix is in, amigo, and this is a familiar pattern in the rise and fall of civilizations--none, absolutely none, escape this fate. (Believers in American exceptionalism, like Mr. Hedges, try to deny this.) Meanwhile, millions round the world are cheering our demise, and w/gd reason. Reagan was rt: the USSR was an evil empire; he just forgot to add, so are we. (Certainly not as evil, I grant you, but not much to be proud of either.)

As far as Elizabeth and the 5 stages go: it's an organic process, to be sure. I'd just advise you to go where the energy is (Dual Process, e.g.). It's not in the US, and it's not in hanging on to the US as some supposed beacon of hope. That ship sailed long ago.



7:20 AM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

To Dr. MB and all Wafers worldwide:

An unusual story appeared in the CNBC web page, unusual because CNBC is always optimistic, I.E., the bull market runs forever, no recession is sight, the market is not overvalued, etc.

But this caught my eye :
Quoting, "The United States — already seeing an alarming wave of deaths from drugs, alcohol and suicides — could be on the verge of a sharp increase in that carnage, a new analysis warns.

The report projects that fatalities related to drugs, booze and suicide, if recent trends hold, could spike to 1.6 million over the next decade. That would represent a 60 percent increase from the number seen in the previous 10 years."

America's dark future: Deaths from booze, drugs, suicide could spike 60 percent to 1.6 million over next decade
Deaths from drug overdoses, alcohol and suicide could increase by 60 percent over the coming decade if recent trends hold, a new report warns.
More than 127,000 Americans are dying from such causes annually.
The number of fatal drug overdoses tripled from 2000 to 2015.

America is the land of the atomized individual and as such, experiences much pain with no where or no one to turn to in crisis.

7:44 AM  
Anonymous Highland said...

Daily chart
A new study shows how little tax the super-rich pay

Wealth inequality may be worse than previously thought

John Gray reviews some books in New Statesman

He also has a new book out himself, on types of atheism

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Patton said...

I know you all will appreciate,

We need to de-holiday our Festival of Junk, writes G Monbiot.

A truly BLACK Friday

8:11 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I have suggested in the past that we remove "In God We Trust" from US legal tender and replace it with "What's In It For Me?", which is our real motto, the theme by which most Americans live. And since we reap what we sow, what we have now is suicide, addiction, alienation, and pervasive loneliness--a fitting end to 400 yrs of hustling.


8:20 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Anon-

I don't post Anons; you need a real handle, like Cranston V. Butterworth III, for example. Also, be sure to send messages to the most recent post. Thank you.


8:37 AM  
Anonymous Don Midwest USA said...

Time for W Bush to be a hero???

No Way. Rebecca Gordon in a Tom Dispatch recounts his crimes.

And goes back to letters written by his group of evil supporters including plans to attack the middle east. There was a letter to Israel before the PNAC letter, then the PNAC letter to Clinton which was ignored, and finally with 9/11 they were able to unleash their destruction on the middle east.

Way back when Morris wrote Dark Ages America it was clear that his notion that empires on the way down choose leaders that hasten the collapse, back then in 2006 it was clear that W Bush fit the bill. Then there followed Obama continuing the same downward trajectory.

"W. Bush Still a War Criminal: Can’t Get Fooled Again"

The link is to Juan Cole's web site which reposted the article today.

8:40 AM  
Blogger diogenes45 said...

Wafers know how to enjoy life because they have freed themselves from the chains of cant. The truth is that Wafers have ALWAYS existed but under different names. Just offhand I think of the Bauls of Bengal and their predecessors in the first millennium AD--the sahajiya yogis, who were either Hindu or Buddhist or both. If you don't know about the 84 Buddhist mahasiddhas, by all means read up on them. They were certainly WAFERS in spirit. Every age has its version of Wafers who laugh at the absurdities of the establishment of their own time.

9:26 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


E.M. Forster said this ages ago, and I quote him at length in the Twilight bk. We're way ahead of you, amigo. Meanwhile, pls send messages to latest post; no one reads the old stuff.


10:04 AM  

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