July 11, 2020



Great dialogue! Let's continue the discussion. References to delis in NY and LA would not be amiss.



Anonymous Nicholas said...

“In 1995, just 50 years after the Holocaust, we would have thought that genocide again in Europe would not have been possible. And the Srebrenica genocide was preventable.”


9:04 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

Gettysburg, PA in the news-


"Bob W, 64, of Chambersburg, came to the protest with a group he's affiliated with called the Pennsylvania Elite...He said he brought his weapons to protect himself in case things got violent like he saw in previous protests on television...'I mostly want to talk to people,' although he said he found that many didn't want to talk to him because he had guns."

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Gödel said...

Here is a goldmine of SJWs insane rampage

9:46 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Although it is always enjoyable to think that lynch mobs are coming for you, it's not always the case:


Then again, The Economist sees a basic attack on western Liberal traditions underway. Confusing to me. I certainly support 'Liberal' ideals and practices. But I also recognize that they developed in and were part and parcel of some of the most brutal colonialist practices, the slave trade, and the basic development of industrial capitalism. And are still used to rationalize and justify destructive activities. Oh well, not going to solve the conflict of Liberal ideals and capitalist realities in half a page....


10:00 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Here is a very good example of American hustling by a politician in Oregon - anything to get ahead!


10:31 AM  
Blogger Arthur V. said...

Dr. Berman and Wafers, would someone please explain to me why Native-Americans are seemingly being left out of the current TV discussion on the sins of the past? When I watch MSNBC or CNN there is plenty of hand wringing about racism and BLM but never a word about the Trail of Tears or Sand Creek or Wounded Knee or hundreds of other events we all could easily name. It's as if the 'Karens' and 'Brads' of the world want to keep the outrage safely pointed at those damn southerners. After all, they are such easy targets. Anything else and we'd be forced to admit we ALL live on stolen land. I'm just a bit tired of certain of our sins being so conveniently brushed aside. And if anyone has heard these things discussed let me know. I would like nothing better than to be proved wrong on this point. Thanks. Stay safe all.

11:45 AM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

A librarian friend sent me this. Kinda like in America even the intelligent are stupid. Elites not far behind maybe?

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Terrence said...


Fucking abolish ICE

1:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cd be Trumpi's bookshelf as well; or Reagan's. What dummies we are.




1:12 PM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

USian Tourists are gone from Europe this summer, due to their status as global lepers.
Europeans miss their tourists dollars but they are loving having their towns and countries back again along with not having to deal with obnoxious, boorish Americans. They are very ambivalent about allowing hordes of Yanks to infest their countries in the future, and who can blame them. Nice to see a little bit of civility return to some parts of Europe during "tourist season".


1:46 PM  
Anonymous Christian said...

State of the nation
Why we are entering a new age of disorder.


John Gray hits the bullseye again

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Opioid overdoses are skyrocketing in America.


3:10 PM  
Blogger spartan said...

A quote for the ages...

‘When the heroes go off the stage, the clowns come on.’

Heinrich Heine

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Soggy Croutons said...

MB: okay, I've shortened the maximum to 15 in my browser. For reference, this post is 15.

Thinking about Stoller again, I do notice that while he does see some of the cultural issues plaguing the country, he sees the situation as a "crisis of monopoly, not a crisis of capitalism"[1]. He and I seem to disagree on the fundamental sustainability of capitalism itself. It also seems to me that exploitation of resources, including labour, is a necessary component for the success of system.

I'm almost afraid to ask, but where do you see Canada winding up? We have more of a social contract than we do in the U.S., but there's already mainstream discussions about deficits. Inequality as well. Interesting to note that one of my friends expects us to head towards dismemberment.

[1]: "Populism & Political Economy: Book Talk with Matt Stoller & Reed Hundt" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnxlWABi4tE

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Cherith Cutestory said...

Dr. Berman, have you read Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad in a Post-American World by Suzy Hansen? An American stayed in Turkey for several years, seeking to understand the Muslim world. She discovered many things about Muslim cultures but most importantly, she discovered the reality of America itself. Other than your books and a few other authors I didn't think this kind of author existed. I strongly recommend everyone here read this book or listen to it (the Audible version is superbly narrated). Remarkable book!

Also: In GCC countries, people are still holding strongly to their traditional Arabian robes (called thobe or dishdasha) and women wear the abaya and hijab/niqab with firm pride. Westerners don't understand Islam in the slightest. I see it here permeating every facet. "Way of life" is an understatement. Probably the last civilization that has the strength and willpower to stand in the face of Western crimes and horrors.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Cyrillia Juniper said...

Thanks to all for the great links and book suggestions. I think my IQ has increased by at least 20 points. Special thanks to JJ Carmichael for the link to plough.com in the previous thread. Great additional article there about John Ruskin and old school communism (i.e. NMI).


I have John Gray and Edward Gibbons in my book pile. And also dredged up a copy of Doris Lessing's Massey Lectures, Prisons We Choose To Live Inside, as I prepare to depart the heartland. It's a good critique of the human inability to be objective about the ways in which all humans are brainwashed by gov., consumerism, the media, etc. O&D

5:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I read revs of it; it sounded quite gd. 88% of Americans don't travel outside of the US (save for the occasional holiday in Canada and Mexico). They not only don't understand Islam; they don't understand anything foreign at all, and they certainly don't understand how *really* America works. This includes the so-called smart ones--war criminals like Robt McNamara or Obama, for example. Very, very few Americans have any interest in looking at the country from the outside, or in trying to understand where other nations are coming from. Also check out Belen Fernandez.


You cd probably go to 17. As for Canada, I never found the Anglo population v. diff. from America, really.


One of my favorite poets. "Die Luft ist kühl und es dunkelt/und ruhig fließt der Rhein". In German, his lines practically sing.


5:39 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

Fascinating book on evolutionary psychiatry & medicine.


7:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You might also enjoy this:



7:52 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Arthur: In Amerikkka, people think the Indians had their 15 minutes in the spotlight with the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, now it's BLM. I live near the epicenter in Minnesota and damn, a month later if everything isn't back to "normal" as far as that can go in a pandemic. Sure there's some plywood still around, but remember the Amerikkkan mind can't hold more than 2 things in his/her mind at the same time. The attention span (and that of the media) is maybe 10 minutes. DAPL, then BLM, then Bubbas in Hawaiian shirts, now Il Douche wears a face mask! Actual substance, which BLM and DAPL had (and have) gets diluted and white-washed (using that double entendre deliberately) by the media as they dumb-down any nuance into sound bites... But, you're right, blamin' 'dem Southerner's is an easy target. Hard to admit Honest Abe Lincoln OKed the largest mass execution in US history up around these parts.


I've actually held Lincoln's letter in my hand (https://www.usdakotawar.org/history/multimedia/lincolns-execution-list), I almost fainted.

8:49 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Michael Dukakis bashes Trump, says voters must 'get this guy out of the White House before he destroys us!”


9:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Charming. Also check this out:


The following is from a speech Frederick Douglass gave in 1876:

"Abraham Lincoln was not, in the fullest sense of the word, either our man or our model. In his interests, in his associations, in his habits of thought, and in his prejudices, he was a white man. He was preeminently the white man's President, entirely devoted to the welfare of white men. He was ready and willing at any time during the first years of his administration to deny, postpone, and sacrifice the rights of humanity in the colored people to promote the welfare of the white people of this country. In all his education and feeling he was an American of the Americans. He came into the Presidential chair upon one principle alone, namely, opposition to the extension of slavery. His arguments in furtherance of this policy had their motive and mainspring in his patriotic devotion to the interests of his own race. To protect, defend, and perpetuate slavery in the States where it existed Abraham Lincoln was not less ready than any other President to draw the sword of the nation. He was ready to execute all the supposed constitutional guarantees of the United States Constitution in favor of the slave system anywhere inside the slave States. He was willing to pursue, recapture, and send back the fugitive slave to his master, and to suppress a slave rising for liberty, though his guilty master were already in arms against the Government. The race to which we belong were not the special objects of his consideration."


10:00 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

If white people are inherently racist can we still blame them for their racism? I would love to see some BLM activists answer this question. Their moral psychology is something taken straight out of Hollywood and actually precludes the possibility of any moral responsibility. The bad guys are just bad because that's what they do!

All the craziness in the culture seems to be converging on some sort of therapeutic response to the condition of whiteness, which seems to be as incurable as it is problematic. "I'm white but I'm working on it" seems to be the preferred position of these (mostly white) activists.

12:28 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman,
I know these spectacles of Americans, especially Trump supporters, are predictable. Perhaps one can describe them as sort of variations on a mask (sic) theme. But they indeed never get tiring; and they always are quite entertaining. And just think for a moment. This is only July! LOL! One can only imagine what spectacles October will bring us as the election approaches.
Also, it’s quite apparent Americans have lost their manners. These two “soft-spoken” (LOL) Trump supporters, especially the gal, didn't even thank the guy for holding open the door for them while they yelled, cursed, and made fools of themselves as they were leaving. One can say perhaps that the man made sure the door didn't hit them in their conservative backsides as they exited. LOL. Enjoy, everybody!


12:52 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A true buffoonette!


1:31 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

Wanted to share this with Wafers. A short essay on how the Neo-liberal project has dismantled democracy and cooperative society the world over, with reference to some interesting books on the subject.


MB, a question for you and others. The current rise of populist right-wing demagogues are often explained as a reaction to Neo-liberal policies of the past 4-5 decades. Yet, what all these demagogues are doing is to follow exactly those economic policies, but in the garb of nationalism, tribalism, or what have you rather than the global, cosmopolitanism of the liberal class. The end result is the same devastation for the working class. Yet, they seem to enjoy considerable support as of now. How does one explain this? So, where is the political crisis of capitalism, if it can manipulate the system sufficiently to accumulate wealth as always? Climate crisis is another matter. Will this last? Will ppl see through the game, or you really need a viable alternate political theory/vision (which is terribly absent) for any structural change to be possible?

3:24 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You'll find one explanation in Essay #15 of AWTY. The cultural conflict in America goes deeper than the economic one; something Trumpi understood in 2016, wh/the progs didn't. As for crisis of capitalism: see my ref somewhere to article by Wolfgang Streeck several yrs ago in the New Left Review, plus his bk, "How Will Capitalism End?"--the crisis will be more economic than political. Capitalism is flexible, but not infinitely so. As for alternative visions: there are plenty of them around, some of them old, such as Ruskin and Morris and Gandhi, and then more recently there are Mumford and Callenbach (see 2nd story in my recent collection, "The Heart of the Matter"). Your questions are gd ones, but the answers are out there if you just do a bit of research.


5:55 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Check it out (shit vs. Shinola):


6:16 AM  
Blogger delete said...

Might be worth a read upon release.


9:47 AM  
Anonymous Seneca’s Cliff said...

I was reading some articles on the success that Mongolia has had stopping the coronavirus. They seem to be able to blend self reliance and stoicism with the ability to act as a community ( mask wearing). It is such a breath of fresh air compared to Americans and their individualistic bravado and selfishness.


11:41 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


V. impt rule on this blog: post only once (max) every 24 hrs. Thank you.


3:58 PM  
Anonymous Tim said...

Different Tim. My previous post was Friday about the abuse of words like "narcissism".

4:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


OK, from now on pls identify yrself as Tim I. I will ask the other Tim (hope he's rdg this) to check in as Tim II. Otherwise, I'll keep deleting Tim messages, wh/wd be unfair to both of u.


4:23 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Hello Dr Berman,

I am a huge fan and encourage everyone I know to read your books. I was a history major and fortunately found your work years ago. My husband I are currently in our 30s with no kids. We live in DC and have been fortunate to make (and save) a lot of money during our years here. We don’t own a house and never have or will in the US. We have traveled to just shy of 100 countries and speak four languages between us. I try to read at least 2-3 books per week. A lot this is from directly following your advice.

I credit your books with helping me see through the American way of life. Once I started spending a lot of time outside the US, I just knew something wasn’t quite right. Your books made it tangible and obvious.

What advise would you give younger people besides leaving the US? Any absolute books/authors to read or follow? Thank you again for your work and for saving me from a life is mindless drudgery.

5:22 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

mb - The Glock is being acquired in the same sentiment as one acquires a fire extinguisher. I don't want a fire, but I don't want to die in one either. Of course the correct answer to your question is, "Of course! In quantity and with enthusiasm!"

My copy of WAF is Mysteriously Delayed(tm) and it may take me weeks to get the thing. Books with titles like "Wandering God" or "Genio" are not likely to tickle the interest of the Fascists but one with a title like "Why America Failed", yeah, might have trouble obtaining it. I'll keep working on it though. After it, I might order your Japan book.

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Tim I said...

Read the aforementioned #15 + several others in AWTY. Far as I can tell "progressives" are what's evolved from center-left ideologues who abandoned the New Deal and blue collar America. Is that an accurate historical description?

I know this: Americans I've interacted with who espouse "progressive liberal" views aren't homogeneous. Seems there's a misconception about who I'm talking about. Not all middle to upper class professionals or "1℅"ers. Some sound like underemployed college dropouts with loads of student loan debt and time to seethe about marijuana not being decriminalized. A diverse group.

Call it "anecdotal" if you want, but a pattern I see among these self-identified "progressives" is an extreme attitude of entitlement. It's why I don't believe that the Berniecrats phenomenon represented any kind of radical change. It was all about the promised goodies--Medicare for All, student loan debt forgiveness, free college tuition, etc.

Wasn't there a time when being on the left was about things like service to others, the common good, etc.?

5:47 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola Birney Z, MB y los Waferes,

Thank you for the Gettysburg National Battlefield photo essay of July 4, 2020. The descent of 157 years since July 4, 1863 makes a grown man wanna cry.

April 2, 2019 was an overcast, somber, meditative, uncrowded, unarmed day to tour the scene. I did'nt make it into the cemetery. My small canine companion was patient, quiet, listeningl to the ghosts all around us. Little Round Top. I did'nt feel the least bit threatened with my Model 94 stashed at home way out West. The Virginia Monument and the North Carolina boys were suitably mute testimony. At dusk we headed down the road to Fredricksburg and on to Silver Spring and DC.

Everyone should go there. Just don't go on the 4th of July. You will only encounter a buffoon's circus.

Birn Z - the sad thing for me, after viewing the photos, was the depressing feeling that the worst is yet to come. Morris B - you have aptly described it with "Shine, Perishing Republic."

Wafers rule.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Alogon said...

The U.S. Presidency is nothing if not entertaining.

A B-movie star-- been there, done that. We now have a reality-show star. What can we do for an encore?

Aha, how about a rapper?

Declan Leary of The American Conservative says he is impressed by Kanya West, who announced his third-party candidacy on July 4. Readers are speculating as to whether the column is meant seriously or Leary has turned Wafer.


One thing sure, Kanya would give a whole new meaning to "the West Wing."

6:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tim I-

They aren't that diverse. Ultimately, they are united by a belief in the American Dream, and their idea of social change has become symbolism, political correctness. The similarities are far more significant than the differences. As for service to others and the common gd: that *is* what things like Medicare, debt forgiveness, free education, etc., are all about--the New Deal, in short, wh/is what Schmernie was after. He was an FDR echo.


Did u order WAF thru Amazon? I can't imagine why there wd be a delay. Currently, there's a used copy selling for $15.61, wh/ships w/in 24 hrs. And don't forget "The Heart of the Matter." You cd read a story, then go out and shoot a few people w/yr Glock, then read another story, shoot a few more, etc., until you finish the bk. Lotsa fun.


6:25 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

Article about local currency experiment:


8:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thank you for yr appreciation; I appreciate it! Glad my work has been helpful 2u. Regarding things to read: you seem to be doing pretty well on yr own; but in terms of bibliography along the lines of American empire etc., I suggest raiding the ftnotes of my various bks, wh/will provide numerous texts 4u 2 read; and you might also scroll back previous posts on this blog, as I and the other Wafers often provide recommendations. Let me just suggest 1 bk I've recommended b4, to start u off: Doris Lessing, "Briefing for a Descent into Hell." Gd luck.


Barter wd also be gd; I see it on the horizon.


I think that poem was by Robinson Jeffers, tho I've quoted it. Here's a Civ War bk 4u:



Kinda interesting, watching a nation dissolving into total crap, no?


11:14 PM  
Blogger Brad said...


You were right about the cruel and callous nature of Americans. You had recommended Michael Sandel, so I checked him out. Legit. Then I watched his Ted Talk.

The audience ruined it. He selected divisive topics for the basis of a philosophical discussion. Know what the topics were? A) gay marriage; B) whether a disabled PGA golfer should have been able to get assistance via golf cart during tournaments, or whether that was...cheating...and he should have been denied accommodations.

Something tells me that people don't even have to think about no-brainers like the above scenarios in other countries. But, of course, the audience was split.

I cannot wait to get out, and I am glad your analysis opened my eyes.

3:17 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@Ordinary Indian,

On the subject of populism, I would recommend Michael Lind’s writings on the subject. I have posted a number of articles and interviews by Lind on this blog. He has a new book on the rise of populism in the West that is worth reading.


Here is a good interview with Lind that discusses his theory about the upsurge in populism.


I think what Lind gets that others don’t is that the rise of populism is more about power and dignity than money. Lind’s theory is that most of the institutions that gave working people power in the mid-20th century have collapsed and nothing has taken their place.

4:02 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

I've followed Nesrine Malik for a while and I think he's sort of all right, so I was interested in his opinion on the "cancel culture" ruckus: The 'cancel culture' war is really about old elites losing power in the social media age

I tend to prefer to err on the side of free speech and I don't fully agree, but I think he makes some valid points on execrable people (think Milo Yiannopoulos) crying murder when they're been justly criticized for the junk they peddle. Anyway, I admit to being a bit confused on this matter and willing to stand corrected...

Anyway, another fine example of how stupidity is a lethal disease in the US: 30-year-old dies after attending 'Covid party' in Texas

5:47 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

This is perfectly normal and a sign of a well-functioning country:


"CNBC: How does the eviction crisis brought on by the pandemic compare with the 2008 housing crisis?

EB: We have never seen this extent of eviction in such a truncated amount of time in our history. We can expect this to increase dramatically in the coming weeks and months, especially as the limited support and intervention measures that are in place start to expire. About 10 million people, over a period of years, were displaced from their homes following the foreclosure crisis in 2008. We’re looking at 20 million to 28 million people in this moment, between now and September, facing eviction."

Dr. B always recommends post-its on the mirror lest we forget. For the more visual among you, this is would make a nice addition to your mirror-


5:59 AM  
Anonymous Pat Chouli said...

I just picked up my copy of “Neurotic Beauty” over the weekend. Thank you Prof. Berman for letting me know about Appendix III of NB (last month, a few posts ago). Yes, it’s so good, a big help! as I sort thru my confusion re: the ‘Axial Age’ and ‘axiality.’ I’ve read it twice now, just tremendous. Meanwhile, I read thru the article again


that prompted me to ask for your insights. After reading your essay Dr. Berman, this noema article is almost nonsense or is some kind of a charade. The author sure likes to ‘name-drop’! I don’t think the author even grasps how problematic it is, and presumptuous, to even discuss ‘Axial Age’ in the first place. No nuance at all here, quite unlike your essay Professor! Thank you.

6:39 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Glad my Appendix III helped. The noema author's version of axiality is out of date, and simplistic, as you discovered.

Dan D-

MORONS OUT OF CONTROL would also be a reasonable post-it.


The pandemic is demonstrating what I've been saying for years: on a worldwide scale, you can't find a dumber people than Americans.


10:50 AM  
Blogger Mark Fuller Dillon said...

by Robinson Jeffers.

While this America settles in the mould of its vulgarity, heavily thickening to empire,
And protest, only a bubble in the molten mass, pops and sighs out, and the mass hardens,

I sadly smiling remember that the flower fades to make fruit, the fruit rots to make earth.
Out of the mother; and through the spring exultances, ripeness and decadence; and home to the mother.

You making haste haste on decay: not blameworthy; life is good, be it stubbornly long or suddenly
A mortal splendor: meteors are not needed less than mountains: shine, perishing republic.

But for my children, I would have them keep their distance from the thickening center; corruption
Never has been compulsory, when the cities lie at the monster's feet there are left the mountains.

And boys, be in nothing so moderate as in love of man, a clever servant, insufferable master.
There is the trap that catches noblest spirits, that caught -- they say -- God, when he walked on earth.


Random House, New York, 1938 (Eighth Printing).

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Barka said...

@Arthur V

You are right - BLM is a bit of a distraction from the much greater historical crime of genocide, focussing on the South - the defeated villains - and thus saving the rest of the US from condemnation. Is Mount Rushmore a Monument to Democracy, or to Genocide? Only two of the four presidents were slave holders but all four were racists, promoting, tolerating, celebrating genocide of the Amerindians. The common view is that the end - the establishment of a free, multiethnic society and prosperous global superpower - justifies the means. And yet, the defeat of Nazi Germany and Holocaust remembrance also plays a very significant role in post-war American society. While Americans celebrate their role in defeating Hitler, it may also be said that Hitler defeated the US. Jim Crow (Hitler’s model for the Nuremberg Race Laws) was no longer defensible if racism is criminal. Still, it took several decades to abolish Jim Crow. How long will it take for Americans to view the faces carved into Mt Rushmore as equivalent to carving Hitler’s face into the Ural Mountains? Is it all just about winning or losing, might makes right? How do we how Nazi Germany/Europe would have developed in the event of a German victory, in WW I or II? Of course we don’t.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Robbie said...

Biggest-yet review of face masks on corona virus argues they have modest effects if not N95s, but with universal mask-wearing those effects could still significantly slow community spread of virus: https://preprints.org/manuscript/202004.0203/v3 (study not yet pub'd, but open peer rev'd)


12:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check out Philip Dick, "The Man in the High Castle," and Robt Harris, "Fatherland".


12:34 PM  
Blogger Arthur V. said...

Pastrami & Coleslaw, you are referring of course to the Sioux Uprising of 1862 in Minnesota. An excellent book on the subject is 'Over the Earth I Come' by Duane Schultz. A quick point on the overrated President Lincoln. While he did okay the execution of 38 prisoners, he personally reviewed all the death sentences, much to the annoyance of officials in Minnesota who wanted to execute over three hundred. In the end he approved execution for those convicted of rape and murder, not simply participating in a battle. A fine line, I suppose, but I think the historical record allows for tip of the hat, at least a bit, to Lincoln. And thank you Barka for your comment.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

For Jeff, Jack L., and all those still hoping for a Tulsi presidency:

I think that she might still have a chance if she were to take on Bunmi Laditan as her running mate. In addition, I wd plan for an October release of my 4-vol. work, "Beyond Heidegger: The Philosophy of Tulsi Gabbard." Let me know if you have any organization plans in place. Myself, I'm trying to get Herman Cain to write an intro to the book: "Tulsi and the 999 Plan."


2:50 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

An essay from the New Yorker entitled “Why the Chicks Dropped Their ‘Dixie” explores “Dixie” and “Dixie songs,” white Southern pride, and “vigilante Southern swagger.”

The author, Amanda Petrusich, writes: “The band’s name was a riff on “Dixie Chicken,” a 1973 album by the chooglin’ rock band Little Feat. Sifting through early press coverage of the group, I couldn’t find a single critic who thought the name was repugnant.*

“Yet, among historians, there is little ambiguity about what the word “Dixie” communicates. Its use as a doting nickname for the Confederacy was popularized by “I Wish I Was in Dixie’s Land,” a minstrel song published in 1860 and usually performed in blackface. The song is credited to Daniel Decatur Emmett, a white man from Knox County, Ohio, though the scholars Howard and Judith Sacks have suggested that Emmett stole the tune from the Snowdens, a family of freed slaves who performed and farmed around Emmett’s home town.”

A country band, and the stain Southerners can never remove.

*No one thought to ask the critics on this point, I suppose. A “when did you stop beating your wife” kind of question, surely.

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

Arthur. Yep, thanks for pointing that out.

MB and all WAFers: https://la.eater.com/2020/2/24/21146177/jewish-deli-food-trend-los-angeles

Although the article is 5 months old, I appreciate the emphasis on bagels and could fancy some corned beef tongue right now.

3:26 PM  
Blogger vsoguy said...

One problem is that the genocide of the native Americans does indeed implicate both sides, left and right, which may be a clue as to why so much focus is given to BLM- it's a psyop from the left to get trump out. Makes sense to me..

4:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A great article. Makes me wanna move to LA for 6 mos. and work my way thru all the delis. On a related note, be sure to read the 2nd story in "The Heart of the Matter."


Lack of ambiguity among 99% of American historians is precisely the problem. See WAF, ch. 4.


4:10 PM  
Anonymous B. Louis said...

Just checking in with all of you wonderful people. The fireworks have been incredible this past few months.

In a way, all of this insanity has gotten me back in touch with my spirituality. What else is left when you're in a burning building with a group of narcissists who are too busy looking at their cell phones to notice the fire?

I've spent the last 2 months involved with my local Jain community. I'm already closer to them than I am with my extended family. That same extended family who once asked me if I was 'Still Dating Chinks' when I lived in Hawaii.

If nothing else, the degree of selflessness and care for each other I see in this community just further illustrates how pitiable and empty the American life truly is.

We're 'born dead' in America.

7:58 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman,
I have a little bad news for you. Your longtime thesis about Americans not caring about each other and being every man ( and woman) for themselves may be repudiated here. Please see for yourself. Generous Americans are offering free AR15 rifles to that aggrieved Missouri couple who pointed guns at protestors but had them confiscated. They therefore can defend themselves against anybody who invades their precious, “all American”, gated community. LOL.


11:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm always inspired by acts of kindness.


12:11 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

mb - Glad you share my idea of how to spend a pleasant afternoon. However such carefree fun is not to be enjoyed w/o repercussions until we're WROL which isn't a radio station east of the Rockies, it means Without Rule Of Law. And hopefully I'll be off this sinking ship before then.

I don't get to glide where I'm going in a car, which when I get home is swallowed up by a garage, with minimal exposure to the outside world. I'm out on my bike, trailering boxes to the post office, shopping, etc. One of the local homeless has vowed to kill me merely for existing it seems. I always carry 2 different pepper sprays, and some sort of tool-of-trade that also makes a great weapon. It's getting nasty out there - a few years ago I carried one pepper spray and never had to use it; these days having an obvious "tunker" in my hand has headed off a few confrontations.

6:08 AM  
Anonymous Conner West said...

A forthright and compelling story of living without tech and machines: Not So Simple https://www.plough.com/en/topics/justice/environment/not-so-simple

A very Wafer essay

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Umair has been rather boring and repetitive recently, but this is a good quote:

"The American Idiot responded, instead, to life becoming a nightmare of dystopian stress, misery, and anger, with something else. With rage. With hate. With the cruelty and brutality that have made America a laughingstock the world over. Why does the American Idiot deny everyone — including themselves — better incomes, healthcare, retirement, pension, more time to have a decent life? Because they’ve internalized the notion that nobody has any intrinsic worth. And therefore, everybody must be a vicious competitor, fighting everyone else off, for a morsel of basics, whether jobs, healthcare, pensions, and so on."


9:20 AM  
Anonymous Tim I said...

Simple Google search for "Berniecrats" and "elitism" empirically confirmed what I intuited all along--Bernie Sanders was more of the same. Like the newest chain pizza restaurant in town--everybody is oohing and aahing, but it's essentially the same food with a different name, color scheme + logo. While I said that Berniecrats I've interacted with display an extreme attitude of entitlement, the author says that they're in a constant state of anger. Yeah, I forgot that part.


What would real radical change in the contemporary world look like? Only illustration I know: "Grassroots Post-Modernism: Remaking the Soil of Cultures", by Gustavo Esteva and Madhu Suri-Prakash. Easily the most riveting book that I've read. Couldn't put it down.

Interesting play on the words of Newton:

"every Steven Pinker produces an equal and opposite Wendell Berry."


11:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tim I-

Once again, you've got Bernie wrong. See my reply to yr previous post. Yr viewing him thru the distorted lens of an anti-New Deal Republican. Big mistake.


11:40 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

I want to second Dr B's recommendation for Man In The High Castle. Both the book and the series, which is a very different take on the subject than the book but still keeps the essence of the book without being trapped by the books unresolved ending.

Norman Spinrad's The Iron Dream is also an amusing read. Hitler never becomes the Fuehrer and instead becomes a writer in the US. He writes a heroic novel called Lord Of The Swastika. Spinrad's book is basically an analysis of the book Hitler wrote and the lessons it offers for the current world--in this alt history, the Soviets are a major menace and have engineered the Holocaust of the Jews. So the whole work is a novel within a novel kind of deal.

What makes the book brilliant is satirizes the Nazi worship and fetishization that one can find in older Sci Fi. It also takes a dig at Soviet apologists. Basically, it pisses everyone off, and Spinrad received a lot of criticism. Some of the more clueless even accused him of being a Nazi, even though Spinrad is Jewish. The point of the book went over a lot of peoples heads.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...


This is a delayed response to your previous post, but I was wondering why you took exception to Coleman Hughes? I haven't read any of his writings, but I am indeed impressed with what I have seen of him in the many videos I've watched. I think that if one wishes to argue for "pervasive and systemic" racism in America, you really do have to account for the impressive statistics which show the opposite. Most people are completely unaware this, and simply argue from how they "feel", and what they see (Psychopathic white policemen gunning down blacks and suffocating them to death, etc.).

I do think that some racism exists in America. But I also believe that the BLM movement has become untethered and lost touch with reality, and is now verging on the hysterical. There is a definite cultural nihilism at work in this statue-toppling mania, and I think that this typical American excess (Salem Witchcraft, Mccarthyism, etc.) is actually more a symptom of our decline than is the racism which it is supposedly combating. Douglas Murray has a great new book which ties into this subject, called, "The Madness of Crowds" which I think most people here will enjoy.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

On the subject of Dixie and naming bands, things certainly have changed. Back in the early 20th century, quite a few northern orchestras, trying to take advantage of the cachet of being associated with the South, would give themselves southern-sounding names, with the result that outfits manned by New Yorkers and Bostonians would name themselves "Louisiana Rhythm Kings" and "Original Memphis Five."

I suppose "interesting" is one way to describe the premise of that Spinrad novel. He has the Soviets engineering the Holocaust? To what audience he's appealing? After all, any good Nazi could tell you that Judeo-Bolsheviks ran the Soviet Union, so murdering themselves in great numbers sounds a tad far-fetched.

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Duppy Conquerer said...


IMO, Hughes, Murray and (even) Coates are all intellectual hucksters and not Wafer-worthy, as they are all true believers in the “American Dream”.

I’m unimpressed by what little I’ve seen of Hughes. I remember tuning him out after he claimed that slave labor wasn’t responsible for US wealth bc southern states are poorer than northern ones…

Also not impressed by Murray's “White Mans Burden” schtick. He bemoans multiculturalism and immigration but NEVER mentions the west's bombing/invading/resource-stripping of ME or N Africa. He’s outraged that there are more "Muhammads" than "Harrys" in the UK, but unbothered by the coltan pits in DRC and slave markets in Libya.

BLM leadership was co-opted yrs ago, and USians dont have the intellectual/cultural maturity to counter it, but that doesn’t negate the fact that widespread/systemic racism exists in US. If ppl are made emotional by endless videos of psychopathic policemen killing black ppl, I’d say that’s totally understandable! The larger point being that these murderous policemen are almost always *protected* (not prosecuted) by state institutions, which indicates a larger systemic problem.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Arthur V. said...


I think the notion of 'sin' is at least partial to blame for what you rightly call American Excess. If one looks at the Judeo-Christian faiths they are based on not angering the godhead. Checkout any right-wing fundie or conservative Catholic site and the notion of sin is front and center. God is angry because someone somewhere is not following the rules, usually sexual. That idea of the fallen that must be redeemed is what keeps this world trapped in darkness. And there are always fallen. On the secular front we now see that with statues and the like. The progressive idea was that the world would get better if only certain things were done. Well, they were and it hasn't. So the ante keeps rising. Maybe we need to tear down statues of Robert E. Lee. Done. World still bad. Let's go after, I don't know. . .how about Mark Twain and Gone With the Wind. The sin will never be purged. Thus, the 'righteous' will never be sated. Stay safe all.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Opinions are nice, but evidence is even better. Links? References?


Evidence for co-optation of BLM?


4:44 PM  
Anonymous Barka said...

“Maybe we need to tear down statues of Robert E. Lee. Done. World still bad.“

Agreed. Defeating Napoleon, the Spanish Empire, the Kaiser, Hitler etc etc didn’t help. either. Robert Lee wrote: “ the consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it.”


Was he wrong?

6:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


2 impt blog rules 4u to follow in future (this pertains to yr other message):
1. Never post anything longer than half a page;
2. Post only once every 24 hrs, max.
Failure to observe these rules will result not only in yr removal from the blog; I shall also *expunge* you. This is a fate worse than death.
Note that Lee anticipated my analysis of the Civil War, wh/can be found in ch. 4 of WAF.


7:33 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

Mr. Hedges, please take note of this exceptional USian who may help with revolting, resisting, and fighting the good fight against the american corporate overlords.


8:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You failed to wait the required 24 hrs for your next message. One more mistake, and yr history. Not kidding.

Dr. Shit-

This douche baguette is ready to storm the barricades. Hedges will be pleased.


9:27 PM  
Anonymous Soggy Croutons said...

Now that he's being mentioned again, can anyone explain what's going on with Chris Hedges (and why he tried to run for the Green Party)?

Does he believe that there is a possibility of a non-violent, organized, left-wing revolt against the current wielders of power in the U.S.? Upon what citizenry or culture would it sustain itself? Does he believe there's an actual chance of transforming the U.S., is he working some sort of grift, or is he in state of sublime madness?

I do notice that he is the source of amusement here, so I've assumed that some of you have an insight into his character that I, as of yet, have not ascertained.


10:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


After he was told that he cdn't run for office due to violation of FCC ruling (wh/literally any political candidate wd have known abt, or at least inquired abt), he did a 180 and called his Green party bid 'quixotic'. It doesn't get more foolish than that. For more on his character, scroll back to comments on previous posts. Lots that was said, cd be said again, but it's all moot now inasmuch as he's more or less outta the picture (there *is* a God!). He's a sad, self-contradictory guy. At this pt, I'm guessing he has no idea as to *what* he is doing, or why. Certainly, one of the most peculiar careers in American journalism.

I suppose the blog amusement has been largely due to Hedges' repeated insistence that the masses will hafta rise up against their corporate masters. Jesus, what a joke. What masses? The bubbas who won't wear face masks? (See link provided by Dr. Shit, above.) Wafers can't help wondering what planet he's on.


11:13 PM  
Anonymous Krakhed said...

If anyone wants a chuckle, check out this video. 2 guys walk around Huntington beach offering free masks to anyone that wants one. They talk to anyone without a mask and American buffoons show up in force. One guy dismounts from his bicycle to do some chest thumping.


I'm thinking that carrying a gun around with you for safety is a wise move if you're in the USA. And you can always pop one off if someone looks at you funny. One dead and one injured over mask dispute. https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/14/us/michigan-mask-dispute-death-trnd/index.html

USA's status is falling further and further every day. Stumbling from crisis to crisis. what a shit show. Answer to headline below: yes

Chinese state media editor-in-chief asks if US is 'mentally retarded' https://www.foxnews.com/world/chinese-state-media-editor-us-mentally-retarded

12:12 AM  
Blogger librarian@play said...


In the comments section to Dr. Berman's 7/23/2019 post and 9/07/2019 post, I had offered to spin up a bibliography of book, article, and movie references on the Dark Ages America blog if others offered to contribute. Several answered the call.

The result, which is updated as of yesterday, can be found at https://www.zotero.org/groups/2368520/wafers_dead_see_scrolls/library. Yes, "see" is misspelled deliberately as a pun according to one contributor. It is available free to all who have a computer, internet connection, and browser. Anyone wishing to learn about Zotero and how it operates can do so at https://www.zotero.org/support/.

As this was a fairly significant, year-long effort, especially on the part of the bibliographers, we will not update it further. Anyone choosing to continue can create a new biblio free of charge on Zotero. Meanwhile, enjoy the first 14 years' of references on DAA blog!

12:36 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman & Wafers,
Here’s a funny photo that was taken in England a few years ago. It really sums up what the rest of the world thinks of Americans. LOL.
On a more serious note, here’s another routine occurrence in America: a fatal police shooting of a US citizen. Although in this case it seems justified; the creep went toward the ( female) cop with a knife. It was after he stabbed a 74 year old man in a store after being admonished by the man about not wearing a mask. Only in America.

12:49 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Here is a recent interview that you may find interesting....it is with that young Alt-Right philosophy of science and technology professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology who was fired last year after an undercover Antifa member asked him for an interview that was secretly recorded and he made some comments that he said were taken out of context. This particular interview is about his new project to attempt what appears to be some sort of renaissance modeled after the “Prometheus archetype”...some of it was over my head, and if I am not mistaken, the guys intelligence level and ability to articulate is so high and off-the-charts that it’s kind of scary...he appears to be a genius.....I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts on this interview, and especially from Morris.


2:08 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Matt Taibbi has been on a roll lately, taking on “cancel culture” and the absurdity of elite-sponsored rebellion in America. Here are excerpts from two of Taibbi's substack essays. Unfortunately, the whole essays are behind paywalls but the excerpts are still quite good in my opinion.



3:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Great work, many thanks!

And thank you to others providing links to American idiocy. A shit show indeed. What utter buffoons we are. As for the change we can expect in American race relations: check out my previous post called 'Bupkis'. Meanwhile, BLM seems to have degenerated into political correctness as a vehicle of 'change'. Yeah, that'll make a difference.


4:15 AM  
Anonymous Flabster said...

Is this our “let them eat cake” moment?

It’s in the Washington Post, the tech industry also participated:


8:42 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

Thanks Tom for the links to Lind, and Librarian and other Wafers for all the effort you guys put in to make that collection possible.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Alogon said...

I'm a little hesitant to link to David Wood, since many here will disagree with most of his work. But this vid is a digression, and dead right in its Wafer-like implications for present-day America. He echoes Morris's insights that on the one hand we hanker after nothing but creature comforts, especially as promised by the newest technological bauble; on the other, we always need an enemy to fight, although the enemies are defined as obstacles to hedonistic indulgence and are more and more trivial if not imaginary. It's been a long time since any President has even tried to raise our sights higher. I'll go with Morris's identification of Carter, whose attempt didn't go over very well. But someday someone will do it more convincingly. We can only hope it's one of the good guys and not another Hitler.


2:00 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Walmart has announced that effective 20 July, shoppers will not be permitted in its stores without a mask. Meanwhile, here are two videos sure to amuse:
A Winter Springs, Florida woman has some choice words for Walmart staff who’ve refused her entry; the store in question has apparently instituted its own No Mask ban, pre-national-rollout.

And here, a determined food store employe—location not given, as if it mattered—confronts a refractory shopper, who ultimately yields the field when confronted by a larger citizen.

Finally, this editorial from George Will, a sensible man adrift in a senseless country:
“The Nation is in a downward spiral. Worse is still to come.”

2:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Feel free to keep posting. Just observe the rules, and you'll be fine.


No luck w/1st link.


2:48 PM  
Anonymous Pure Silver said...


This is a good example as to why electric cars are not the answer.

Most Americans will never get public transportation

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Kinisen said...


"It’s Official — Steven Pinker Is Full of Shit"

We've been saying this since before it was cool, huh MB?

4:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Pinker is little more than an academic jackass. What is more significant is the huge # of hi-IQ followers he has attracted, enslaved to his stupid, misguided book. When I say that in the US, even the smart ones are dumb, I'm not kidding.


5:29 PM  
Anonymous Patricia said...

Haven't posted more than a couple of times (in the distant past} but am a loyal reader. Many, many thanks, librarian and all who contributed for the bibliography. And, of course, thank you to Dr. Berman and all Wafers for helping to keep me sane.

take care, all.

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

jjarden, I'm so sorry to say, but that Youtube link was deeply disappointing. That Jason Jorjani dude seems to be a standard-issue bullshit merchant, just trying to hawk his books and make a buck... The thing is, I don't really have time for more coronavirus conspiracy theories, thank you very much. Apologies for being so blunt.

Anyway, to continue the chronicle of US imbecility:


Imagine in Spain, now, people think these ignoramuses are somehow representative of us.

Well, they truly are, aren't they?

6:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Like most of you, I am depressed over the fact that Congress has not authorized the erection of a statue to Tulsi Gabbard in front of the capitol bldg. Truly a stigma on our democracy. But an even more pressing issue is what to do with all the Karens. Consider this one:


What a Karen (douche baguette)! Possible responses to Karens:

1. Beat them senseless w/a tire iron (my personal fave)
2. Waterboard them 185 times
3. Exile them to the Seychelles

Wafers are encouraged to supply possible remedies for dealing w/Karens.


6:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bk rec: Iain Pears, "The Dream of Scipio"

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

Impressive resisting, revolting, and standing up to those USian corporatists! You show em gramps!

What "freedom" they have! This will definitely help with transforming the greatest most amazing "country" become even greater with some tweaks here and there!


8:54 PM  
Anonymous Glans Butterworth, III said...


And people wonder why the EU bans US citizens from traveling to European Union?!

Americans were mentally retarded; kind apologies to those who have family members and/or friends with Trisomy 21.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

JJ,I didn't watch the video, but I read the "manifesto" on the guys website. He makes some good points about the dangers of technology, but he careens from one point to another with no sensible train of thought, and the whole thing reeks of postmodern mumbo-jumbo. He also starts to get into covid conspiracy theories around the middle - I'm not impressed, sorry.

I've always remembered this line from Alexander Pope - “Words are like Leaves; and where they most abound, Much Fruit of Sense beneath is rarely found.” In my experience when pomo-style language is found in abundance, much thinking of sense is also rarely found. The problem with people like this guy or Jung or Carlos Castaneda, is that once they learn to start thinking about things in terms of archetypes and symbols - they don't know how to think any other way, its all they see. But sometimes a dog or a cloud is just that, and nothing more. Re: Castaneda, check out this article:

This quote from one of his former lovers says it all: "He became more and more hypnotized by his own reveries", she told me. "I firmly believe Carlos brainwashed himself."

9:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Karens out of control. O dem Karens! And yet, their narcissism lies at the heart of the American character. What are our lives abt? Me, me, me.


10:08 PM  
Anonymous Luther said...

'Hamilton’ Loses Its Snob Appeal
Political correctness is a barrier to keep the working class from becoming upwardly mobile.

'Hamilton' loses its popularity now that it's available to the proletariat w/o the $400 tickets.

Putting the theater in theater

10:34 PM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

@ WuDuFugel:

Good points about verbosity and muddled thinking. However, there often IS a core of value in some of the most obscure writing or speech, and excessive clarity in writing can be equally problematic. Take Castaneda for example. I have no doubt that the guy was a charlatan on many levels, but "The Journey to Ixtlan" reamins a fascinating and challenging work. The quote about him brainwashing himself with concepts is perceptive, but don't we all do that to some extent? Certainly most of our greatest writers and thinkers did.

A great writer who grapples with these issues is the Portugese poet Fernando Pessoa. He lived and died in anonynmity, but he's being recognised as one of the great European writers of the twentieth Century. IMO, he's certainly up there with Yeats, Eliot, Joyce, Kafka etc. His "Book of Disquietude" is a remarkable, mind bending work.

5:14 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

I recently found out my healthcare plan was downgraded from my employer who said on a voicemail about it "... so yeah, it got more expensive and now has more deductibles but you have to pay that happens all of us ... " ain't that the way? "You have to pay." Merica

11:43 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

MB, abt Karens... tie them to a post, prick them with a pin at random places but at regular intervals. My fav torture method that one of my friends proposed for one of the right-wing biggies here.

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Andy said...

Kinisen and MB

An outstanding (long read) examination, appropriately devastating in my view, of Yuval Harari's work. "Harari’s vision of human beings … does not come close to reflecting our deepest understanding of ourselves." https://www.theosthinktank.co.uk/comment/2020/07/07/sapiens-maybe-deus-no

An aside: Darwin recognized the evolutionary origins of our moral emotions and so ethics...[!].

Pinker, Harari, Diamond, all these guys *really* don't get it.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Pat Chouli said...

Yes I think that’s precisely the issue: the author’s use of the concept of axiality really is out of date and simplistic. Thank you again, Dr. Berman. Meanwhile Wafers, I was previewing NB chapter by chapter and noticed William Ophuls is mentioned (ch.7, p 305), the pen name of Patrick Ophuls


which was the only name I knew him by (until recently) because my cousin, who’s an addiction counselor, lent me a copy of his book, “Buddha Takes No Prisoners,” abt 4+yrs ago.


I’ve finally! been reading it the last few months, and am grateful for this book’s insights and help. I think it’s a book right up the Wafer alley, especially as the book’s 4-essay appendix discusses many Wafer themes. I’ve only reluctantly come to the realization that some kind of sit-down practice, meditation, and mindfulness is an absolute necessity. Surely it’s a necessity that Wafers understand, whether it’s been tacitly or explicitly stated here on the blog. Before now, I’d dismissed it as “groupthink” or just so much New Age wish-wash. If I worry that my book recommendation here is made with some bad faith, I also recall chap. 3 of BTNP (“pretending to meditate”) & that this could is a part of it too, or “the paradox of what we call practice: the simplest and most natural mental state turns out to be the hardest to achieve. In fact, it can’t be ‘achieved’ at all” (p 19).

1:10 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

I’m certain things like this and worse happen all the time – what depravity


Not sure what to do about all the Karens but you are correct once more MB, a much better way to treat homeless peeps is to use them for target practice. Hunters get ur guns, there are soon to be many targets.

1:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for sending this. I'm very skeptical of intellectuals who become stars, give TED talks, command huge speaking fees, etc. Chances are, like Pinker, they are full of shit, and need to be slapped. (In the case of Pinker, also waterboarded 185 times)


In the case of Karens, I think urine treatments need to be included.


Yet another candidate for slapping. My hand is getting tired.


1:27 PM  
Blogger Janet D said...

Random thoughts...

@Megan...I think it's important for Wafers to remember that statistics can be made to say anything one wants. It takes a researcher who is committed to neutrality (& held to that standard by reviewers) and competent in analyzing studies (to deem how relevant &/or balanced they are) to be able to use statistics in a way that enlightens/educates rather than as props for their own angle. Not sure how many of those researchers exist in the US anymore.

I'd also recommend that you (& other Wafers) watch the 1965 debate between James Baldwin and William F Buckley on YT, as the topic(s) discussed are very relevant to your post.

Separate topic...my contribution this week..."Millions Are Hounded For Debt They Don't Owe...." Rather lengthy article about the enormous, slimy fake debt market, quintessentially American in so many slimy, hustling ways. Enlightening, even if you have to take a shower after.

1:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The Nazis were into this sorta thing as well, w/people standing by and laughing at the victims. Don't tell me Americans are v. different. Given the chance, the bubbas and the Karens wd shove the people they hate--the homeless, Jews, blacks, Hispanics--into gas chambers and think nothing of it.


Ophuls wrote me after NB was published, and we corresponded for a bit. Lovely guy, and v. smart. As for meditation: can you imagine a Karen meditating?


1:57 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Imagine what Alexander Pope would say were he to read the written excretions of today's half-learned witlings.

I don't know who Nick Cannon is, or what exactly he said that is offensive, but here's the story:

Nick Cannon apologizes to Jewish community for 'hurtful and divisive' words

Desmond Dekker was unavailable for comment.

2:41 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Pinker seems like a nice guy, and he is trying to counter the anti-Enlightenment reaction that is going on the world, primarily driven by the far right, but he doesn't address the reasons why they are turning against the Enlightenment and modernity in general. From his standpoint, we have nothing to complain about because everything is getting better all the time. To make his point he will talk about vaccination rates in Chile going up or higher math scores for kids in Nigeria. So the entire conversation is two people talking past each other. I don't care about test scores in Ghana or vaccination rates in Chile.

3:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Janet, Megan-

The trouble I have w/Hughes' stats is that stats cannot (e.g.) capture the experience of being black in America. So maybe cops kill more whites than blacks, but so what? Whites don't hafta spend their lives being nervous while walking down the street. They don't hafta suffer the endless humiliation of having cops called on them (by white people) for sitting in Starbucks, or in a parked car. Every day, black people get the message: yr dangerous, and yr inferior. This is the felt experience, quite real, of being black; data on who gets killed or whatever miss that larger picture.

This in turn relates to Andy's post on Yuval Harari, and the incisive criticism of his work. As that critic pts out, Harari's philosophical basis is positivism--the notion that if things are not measurable, they aren't real. This is an enormous fallacy, and a curse of our times. Hughes is young and immature, so I suppose he can be excused for buying into it. It's partly what Coates was trying to tell him, in their debate. But positivism was seriously discredited by the late 60s, as being so narrow so as to exclude life itself. Wittgenstein started out in that camp, until he hit a brick wall, withdrew from society for several yrs, and then emerged w/a vision that was precisely the opposite. (See ch. on Wittgenstein in "Wandering God", and also Derek Jarman's film; but esp. the bio by Ray Monk.) In graduate school at Johns Hopkins, I minored in philosophy and had the opportunity to study with Peter Achinstein, who deconstructed logical positivism until there was nothing left of it. (That class became the basis of his bk, "Concepts of Science".)

Most of these 'great thinkers', like Pinker or Harari, become popular because they are simplistic, and thus have great popular appeal. Harari is just positivism recycled in trendy language; his reductionism is ultimately stupid. Meanwhile, the black experience in America cannot be reduced to, or explained by, numbers; and I think a lot of the rage that blacks feel comes down to the scream, "You just don't get it!"


3:14 PM  
Blogger The Wanderer said...

Hola Wafers!
What's wrong with a culture that makes it against the law to feed the homeless? and if that's not enough the US figured out how to make money off the poor.
Here's a report...one of many...
"states and localities entrap poor defendants in cycles of debt, probation, and incarceration. The harms are widespread and disproportionately impact minority communities.
Many jurisdictions motivated by revenue-raising shift the costs of the criminal justice system to the poorest instead of passing politically unpopular tax increases.

4:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: for a good movie on how white society kept black entrepreneurs out of the American Dream (i.e. the hustling economy), check out "The Banker".

4:55 PM  
Blogger escapefromwisconsin said...

There's a line in "Why America Failed" about a Native American who observed of Americans, "They eat each other."

It seems it has become more than metaphorical:

“[S]ome of Trump’s most ardent supporters are making strange claims of the merits of eating human flesh. Alex Jones was a pioneer in the field. ‘I’ll admit it,’ Jones said on May 1. ‘I will eat my neighbors. I won’t have to for a few years ’cause I got food and stuff.… But I’m literally looking at my neighbors now and going, ‘I’m ready to hang ’em up and gut ’em and skin ’em. My daughters aren’t starving to death.’ I will eat my neighbors.’ It’s easy to dismiss Jones as unhinged, but on Tuesday, Rush Limbaugh, recent recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor available to an American, spoke favorably about the Donner Party, an infamous group of pioneers whose ill-fated trek to California in 1846–47 ended in the consumption of human corpses. Limbaugh contrasted the hardiness of the Donner Party with the alleged softness of the ‘Millennial generation,’ who stood accused of lacking the fortitude to do what is necessary in an emergency.”

Cannibalism is no Cure for Covid-19

Good Lord, if only there were some way for me to emigrate!

7:28 PM  
Blogger Cyrillia Juniper said...

Many thanks to Librarian and crew for the bibliography. What a treasure and unique to this blog, I’ll bet.

Just finished Gore Vidal’s Burr. Few historical novels make me laugh out loud as this one did. This myth-smashing book exposes the “founding fathers” for the poseurs and hustlers they truly were. Of special interest is its take down of Jefferson, whose political vengeance and attacks on the Supreme Court put the Orange One to shame. Also, an interesting parallel of epidemics of yellow fever to today’s pandemic, and political riots that destroyed whole sections of cities. A tale of greed, revenge, and lust. As MB has pointed out so often, America's downward trajectory is baked in.

8:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


And completely assured. As I argue in WAF, the whole premise of the country was wrong from Day 1. And now, what do we have? Bubbas, Karens, and Progs. Gott in Himmel!


It's hard to believe that what we are seeing rt b4 our eyes is actually happening, no? I have indicated that we are moronized, weaponized (insufficiently, imo), digitalized, monetized, degraded and debased; but now, apparently, we are also cannibalized! In what looking-glass world is Limbaugh the recipient of the Presidential Medal??! This is out of a novel by Philip Dick.


8:46 PM  
Anonymous Tomiris said...


This stuff makes me nauseated... do these people actually exist? 


The Trump administration reversed its directive regarding international students in a sort of schizophrenic U-turn. This is a nation of dunderheads.

Some wafers were wondering what the future of the world would look like after American decline. This is a pretty good article, in my opinion, published back in the 90s. The Coming Anarchy by Robert Kaplan - it was probably hard to swallow for the post-history crowd:

"While a minority of the human population will be, as Francis Fukuyama would put it, sufficiently sheltered so as to enter a "post-historical" realm, living in cities and suburbs in which the environment has been mastered and ethnic animosities have been quelled by bourgeois prosperity, an increasingly large number of people will be stuck in history, living in shantytowns where attempts to rise above poverty, cultural dysfunction, and ethnic strife will be doomed by a lack of water to drink, soil to till, and space to survive in. In the developing world environmental stress will present people with a choice that is increasingly among totalitarianism (as in Iraq), fascist-tending mini-states (as in Serb-held Bosnia), and road-warrior cultures (as in Somalia)."


9:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for the info. What's the current status of international students, BTW?

Pls be sure to capitalize Wafers. We are in a class by ourselves. :-)


10:42 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

I picked up my copy of WAF today. As in any Fascist wonderland, time to think, read, contemplate is rare so I will try to work through it, maybe a chapter every few days. One thing I want to say is, I got it new because the used ones, with the shipping, are not much cheaper and new means not dealing with others' highlighting and dog-ears.

mb seems to be doing a print-on-demand thing with this and the thing was printed up for me on the 6th. I'm impressed with the quality of the binding and esp. the paper. It doesn't say acid-free anywhere but appears to be good stuff (and there are ways to de-acid paper if needed).

Traffic is back up to "psycho" level and the virus rages on, the propagation rate being as high as it's ever been. Back in the Peak Oil days we used to say, "Are humans smarter than yeast?" now it's "Are Americans smarter than a virus?"

11:37 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman & Wafers,
See for yourself three more police shootings where they gun down civilians. These happened in Phoenix, Arizona, which is right next door to Mesa. Recall Mesa was where Daniel Shaver got executed while begging for his life crawling on his knees inside a hotel hallway. In one of the videos, Ryan Whitaker, the victim, is seen putting his gun down ( Arizona is an open-carry state) and crouching to the floor while backing up to obey after he realized it was the police knocking on his door.
The trigger happy cops are heard lying that they were “in fear for their lives.”
As you say, Dr. Berman, it doesn’t take much to get shot and killed by the cops in the United States. The state of Arizona seems to be a template for it.



11:38 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

''How do we make the past relevant?'' Shokunin, mingei, nagashi, seishin - love your Neurotic Beauty - I think it's given me a strong sense of what writing music is about and how to design products and services that you actually love. Can you elaborate on notion of 'extimite'?

3:37 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Drug overdose deaths in America climbed to a record high in 2019.


6:49 AM  
Blogger spartan said...

We’re saved.

Meet your digital twin same as the old one but in a virtual world. Your twin could be on the other side of the world negotiating business deals while you’re at home cooking dinner. Is this what the Higgs-Boson ‘God Particle’ was all about?


6:51 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Glad you like the bk. I don't know much more abt extimite beyond what I wrote there, but you can probably learn more abt it by searching thru the work of Jacques Lacan, who was interested in the paradoxical properties of the concept.


8:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

I admire the deep kindness of Americans:


Here's the part I like best:

"he landed on his neck and was left to die while bystanders watched and laughed"

Yup, that's us!


8:50 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

An interesting paper by a Harvard economist on the racial differences in the police use of force. Apparently professor Fryer was rather shocked by the results of his research. Oh, and he is Black, if that matters.


10:50 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Let's ratchet it up a bit. More and more reports of unmarked, unidentified soldiers on American streets. Seems there is a hodgepodge of Federal agencies that are working to collect undesirables, etc. Recently in Portland-



Oh yeah baby, it CAN happen here and it is. Portland is a great testing ground. Kooky enough and small enough that most Americans won't be too concerned. Big enough that the experience will be applicable in other cities. I do think that Trump and his ilk are biding their time, and saving the real turmoil for closer to the election.

11:03 AM  
Blogger The Wanderer said...

Hola Wafers,

I'm indulging in one of my favorite bad habits: America bashing. As Walter Lippmann said: “Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.”
And in the USA the black and white, R vs D, Left vs Right view of life polarizes every issue.

Example: I participate in an expat group for all of Mexico and we were discussing and identifying how each state handled the C19. I questioned the use of mandatory lock down of all human beings as the most effective healthcare treatment.

Within an hour I received a call from a good friend in Ecuador. She was contacted by someone in Lake Chapala saying...
"Wow..I didn't know Suzanne was a Trump supporter".
Wow...like I really think we can vote our way out of this?

Unreal. So critical thinking, questioning the narrative are no longer tolerated. There's no shades of grey or multiple causes.
Well it is a much simpler way to live.

Dr. B...loved The Banker. more rec's por favor

11:28 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You see how stupid Americans are. I hafta say it, over and over. In this regard, they literally never disappoint. Emotions = thinking(!).

Dan D-

I think it will probably be after the election, assuming a Trump victory, that the gloves will come off. By which I mean rounding up dissidents, putting them into detention camps (2 CMUs already exist), declaring martial law, and so on. Will it involve the wearing of yellow stars? Time will tell.


Facts, figures, graphs, charts, and empirical analyses. Check out my reply to Janet and Megan, above.


11:59 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

This is the best thing I've read on the current "cancel culture" discussion:


The Threat to Civil Liberties Goes Way Beyond “Cancel Culture”

[T]here is an epidemic of censorship and a retreat from an ethos of civil liberties across the board, in almost every country, by those of almost every political persuasion, and at all levels of society. And if the liberal-left denies that illiberalism is occurring when we are the ones perpetrating it, as Robinson does, then we have no leg to stand on when it comes to all these other, innumerable examples. Civil liberties are for everyone, and above all for those we oppose.

I read the Robinson article on "Counterpunch," and it bothered me, as it comes from an ideological stance with which I sympathise, yet it ignored the very dangers that Leigh Phillips cites in this article.

12:33 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Is this Wrong?

Hawaii ex-police officer sentenced for forcing a man to lick urinal.


Of Course...Why wouldn’t he roll in feces?


2:50 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Greetings, Waferinos everywhere, here’s your news bulletin from Cascadia. Apparently MB’s apprehension about the hammer coming down might be happening sooner than the November election. Squads of special federal police teams outfitted with helmets and camo with automatic weapons are grabbing people off the streets of Portland, Oregon, and taking them away in unmarked vehicles. In the Naked Capitalism link below is a clip of one of their abductions. This sort of police action happened regularly in Argentina and Chile under the military dictatorships. Local pols and cops say they were not informed about these operations. Today the U.S. Attorney in Portland is calling for an investigation. Well, just wait until a secession movement gets going.



5:05 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

In the news today-

"Paul Fusco, photographer on RFK's funeral train, passes away"


I was only 8 at the time, but I remember watching the RFK funeral train on TV as if it were yesterday. We can never know what would have happened if RFK had lived...I have read articles stating that blue-collar types inclined to vote for Wallace were starting to lean toward Kennedy... Anyway, there are some good links to 1968 photos in the article.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Arthur V. said...

Yesterday I read an article I wish to bring it to the attention of Wafers, as I believe it does have some bearing on the current 'cancel culture' discussions. It was written by Tom Engelhardt and can be found at bother alternet.com and tomsdispatch.com. It discussed Trump's crackpot idea of creating a garden of heroes. I agree with Engelhardt that that is a stupid idea. My problem is when he discusses David Crockett. He states Crockett was an "Indian killer who died at the Alamo." He is correct to an extent. Crockett fought in the Creek War, which was brutal on all levels. But he fails to mention what sent Crockett to his fate at the Alamo. He spoke against Jackson's Indian Removal Act, voted against it, and lost his congressional seat because of it. At that point, he left for Texas, as he'd basically burned his bridges in Tennessee. In fact, to this day the Cherokee Nation still holds Crockett in high regard for his stance.

I do not wish to start a debate on the Creek War or the Alamo. That is a discussion for another day, perhaps. What bothers me is that progressives are always quick to point out the selective memory of right-wingers, but seem equally guilty when facts might get in the way. It really bothers me when I see the full history of any event ignored, and I'm seeing way too much of that. Am I expecting too much? Stay safe all.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Tim I said...

Positivism; celebrity intellectuals; free speech + class?

"Here, already, is the starkest possible contrast with our conventional psychology: what animates us is not rational appraisal and considered choice of action, but the push and pull of social power as it manipulates our interest. It is not argument and demonstration of truth which move us to action but the impress of influences of which we may be entirely unaware.

Reason, then, is a tool of power, not a power in itself. Just like moral right, rational right is not of itself compelling and, when it is in nobody's interest to regard it, will be disregarded. Those who - like Thomas Paine for example - seem successful advocates of Reason in its purest form, may fail even themselves to see that it is in fact not reason alone that makes their words persuasive, but the causes (interests) to which reason becomes attached. No doubt Mein Kampf was as persuasive to those already sold on its premises as The Rights of Man was to 18th century revolutionaries in America and France. This does not mean, to those who value reason, that Paine's writing is not worth infinitely more than Hitler's; it means simply, and sadly, that Reason alone is impotent. What really matters is power itself." (Smail, "Power, Responsibility and Freedom", 9)

5:56 PM  
Anonymous Requiem said...

Great historical critique of Friedman. Spokesman extraordinaire for neoliberalism and the right of unfettered capitalism to dominate (and in the process, destray) the world.


How does this douchebag get away with it?

6:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tim I-

I was not able to locate that title on Amazon. In future, pls provide a direct link to your sources, including author's first name. Thank you.


Same thing. In future, pls provide *exact* links to yr refs. Thanks.


I predicted the likelihood of fascism in America in 1989, and the implosion of the country from the time of the Twilight bk, 2000. We are now watching these things unroll. Who has paid attn to any of this, beyond 172 Wafers?


6:21 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

cormorant, I pretty much agree with your response, I didn't have room to expand on my previous comment. I think there is some wisdom in Castaneda's work, regardless of how "real" Don Juan was. I think he spent too much time in his own head, or maybe on the other side, however you want to define it. He also had a big self-serving ego. I haven't read all his books, but based on the ones I have read, his body of work is like a guided tour of his declining mental health. By the end there was no balance at all.

There are plenty of other people throughout history who were able to stay more grounded. Like I don't agree with a lot of Jung's stuff but I think he made a sincere effort to reconcile science with....I guess mysticism is one word to use...not sure. This guy Jorjani from the video is going down the Castaneda path, and that way lies madness.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


He gets away w/it because the Times has become little more than a comic bk. Matt Taibbi has written some devastating critiques of the douche bag, as has Belen Fernandez:


The guy is a joke, a colossal shmuck. Progs love him, and they love the Times. David Brooks, of course, isn't much better; and then, at 'the great' Harvard, we have Steven Pinker. Talk abt a nation going down the toilet!


8:15 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Retrieved Columbus and Other Cannibals by Jack D. Forbes from my mom. The book was originally published under the title A World Ruled by Cannibals in 1978. Rereading it seemed the thing to do with overt glorification of cannibalism being all the rage. A forty-two page excerpt is available here.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Cyrillia Juniper said...


Yikes! Thanks for that link to Robert Kaplan’s article in the Atlantic, which I will reproduce here: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1994/02/the-coming-anarchy/304670/
Wafers, this article is well worth the time it takes to read it. A particularly relevant quote for the present:
“[W]e are no longer in a world where the old rules of state warfare apply. More evidence is provided by the destruction of medieval monuments in the Croatian port of Dubrovnik: when cultures, rather than states, fight, then cultural and religious monuments are weapons of war, making them fair game.”

Kaplan visited many countries for this article and it is bleak indeed. One must remember that it was written before 9/11, the Afghan War and the rise of the internet and social media. While it is dated in some aspects, Kaplan’s predictions have been borne out in others, albeit perhaps not quite as he might have anticipated. Kaplan cites the books of several other authors as well, one of which is Van Creveld’s Transformation of War. A snippet from Van Creveld: "From the vantage point of the present, there appears every prospect that religious . . . fanaticisms will play a larger role in the motivation of armed conflict" in the West than at any time "for the last 300 years."

It is very clear that the U.S. will be only the first of the Western nations to collapse as our descent into chaos, fragmentation, and armed conflict increasingly resembles that of the nations described in Kaplan’s article.

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Keren Weitzberg said...

"I predicted the likelihood of fascism in America in 1989, and the implosion of the country from the time of the Twilight bk, 2000. We are now watching these things unroll."

MB - Have always appreciated your foresight. As far as the state of fascism now, do you think there is a epidemic of white nationalists? Or is this still a fringe group that is still continually catching on? I feel like it is the latter, that fascism is still in an 'developmental' stage

Film rec - Spike Lee's new "Da 5 Bloods"

9:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


1st, let me say how happy I am that yr not a Karen. O dem Karens!

2nd, my predictions have been relatively on target (altho who cd have anticipated Trumpi, covid, or George Floyd?), but I don't have a crystal ball. The one thing I'm abs sure of is that America has no future, and will collapse. Exactly what that's going to look like, is hard to say. It cd end in fascism; the tendencies are certainly there. But there are other scenarios for collapse, for sure. Check out story #2 in "The Heart of the Matter," wh/presents an alternative; it will also have you laughing so hard, you'll pee in yr pants. Another possibility is that the central spirit of the nation (i.e., American Dream) will dry up, as happened w/the USSR and also ancient Rome. Rome is probably the norm: slowly, the society drifts into irrelevance, and nobody cares much any more or believes the cultural propaganda. The USSR, like the Mayan collapse, was exceptional: it was over w/in 2 yrs. I doubt that will be the American path, but as I've said b4, this country is going to look very different in 2030 from today. On a whole host of levels, "the center cannot hold." It's unraveling as we speak.


10:16 PM  
Anonymous Soggy Croutons said...

MB, thanks for taking the time to reply.

Yes, I noticed that too ("quixotic") and it seemed to not fit with what had occurred. A "peculiar" career is right.

Enjoy all - Beethoven op 106 "Hammerklavier": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erD1Yy-4F5M.

11:05 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

The Ethan Brand story - I've always loved Hawthorne's writing - and your whole discussion in the second part of your Trilogy regarding Technopoly and 'Appropriate Technology' is a fascinating one. What might 'appropriate technology' look like in the future? (I've been on a spending spree with your books)

4:14 AM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

@ WuduFugel:

Absolutely valid points. It's all about balance. The point that I was trying to make was actually well expressed by MB in his post on this thread about BLM, postivism and statistics: You can lay out all the stats in the world to prove a point, and still ignore vast areas of human experience. Witness The whole reductionism of Pinker, Harari etc. Late Capitalism loves this. Sure, people's lives are falling apart, but look at the stock market/employment stats etc.

BTW, I think WAFers might be interested in a youtube blogger called Matt Christman. He puts out some really interesting vids, including this one on a newly published work about Jimmy Carter's presidency called "Reganland". It sounds fascinating.


Link to the book:


His previous vid about spirituality in the modern age is also worth a listen.

8:06 AM  
Blogger The Wanderer said...

RE: the creep of authoritarian control in the USA *and around the world

I remain fascinated that we humans continue to give up our freedoms, especially since 9/11.
So here’s some fascinating material on WHY. Wafers and Dr. B please share others…I remain so curious.

A short and free 16th century treatise on tyranny and obedience that is very relevant to what we’re experiencing today with mandatory lockdowns, mandatory masks etc. https://mises.org/library/politics-obedience-discourse-voluntary-servitude

AMERICA: Would you notice if you lived under tyranny?

And some food for our souls:
Nürmberg. Flash mob performance of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.” 2014

8:59 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


For more on Carter vs. Reagan check out the corresponding sections of DAA and WAF.


9:11 AM  
Blogger Cortney said...

I have followed this blog for years and read a number of your books, Dr. Berman. I thank you for really fundamentally shaping my worldview which, had I not discovered your work, would have doubtless been more of an Americanview than a worldview.

I find myself baffled today, simply by the delusion the vast majority of Americans labor under--that we can still somehow "fix" this hot mess. American is a foregone conclusion, as far as I'm concerned.

Is there some reason Americans can't just admit we are now in our Game Over scenario? It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to just admit it. Our most closely held and cherished values have failed; this could not be more blatantly obvious to me. Would it kill us to just admit it? It's such a head scratcher for me. Thank you.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


My pleasure. I'm also happy that you decided to leave the lurking shadows, and join us. If yr living in America, there is no life beyond this blog.

Regarding yr question: it's not that hard to figure out. In 1955, Will Herberg wrote "Protestant Catholic Jew," in wh/he argued that regardless of the religious variety present in the US, the real religion of Americans was America itself. Robt Bellah followed this up in 1967 w/an essay on the "civil religion," in wh/he said much the same thing. Consider: if you tell a Swede that you believe there are a # of serious flaws in the Swedish political system, he will probably agree w/u; and if he doesn't, he'll have a meaningful dialogue w/u abt it. If you say the same thing to an American--my own experience is that s/he will lose it completely. Their face turns red; they begin waving their arms; they spray the environment with spittle, while choking; and they begin to shout pro-American slogans. This is because you have attacked their religion, their psychological safety net, their reason for being alive (sad to say). Similarly, if you tell a Christian that some religious scholarship suggests that Christ may never have existed, they will react in much the same way. Anyway, you see why admitting that it's Game Over for the US is nigh impossible for Americans: the system is killing them, but in their view, what else is there? While most Swedes are grounded in reality, and thus capable of having an intelligent conversation abt Sweden, most Americans are grounded in Disneyland, wh/means that self-criticism is out of the question. In a spiritual sense, we are a cowardly people, incapable of tolerating any dissent, and certainly incapable of tolerating the notion that the American exp't has run its course. (Relevant to this discussion is Eric Hoffer's classic work, "The True Believer".)


10:20 AM  
Blogger Cortney said...

Dr. Berman--thank you for this feedback, as it not only illuminates a number of reasons Americans can't admit complete failure of the American experiment, but gives me some new reading material to explore!

Yes, admitting said failure would be a stupefying blow to the American ego/psyche, and would plunge us into an intolerable, probably unbearable identity crisis (as if we already weren't in the midst of that). Such a crisis would engender so many unknown variables that I believe most Americans would sooner run off the edge of the cliff than tolerate that tension. "Cowardly" is the operative word you used. Most of us don't have the kind of courage it would take to tolerate dissent, self-examination, and rigorously honest self-evaluation, regrettably.

You've long been a proponent of Alcoholics Anonymous as an essentially counterintuitive institution of American society. (Or perhaps that may be presumptuous of me to state, as you may have revised your views on that, but I remember your brilliant writing on AA going all the way back to Re-Enchantment of the World.) Curious thing, that America should have been the birthplace of Alcoholics Anonymous, by a Wall Street stockbroker, no less. Anyways, thank you again for these thoughts.


11:23 AM  
Anonymous Tomiris said...

Dr. Berman -

Regarding foreign students in the US, the Trump administration reversed their directive which would have ordered all foreign students to either register in in-person classes or leave the country. The only question is: why do they think we want to stay here for any other reason other than studying?



I'm glad that you found the article interesting (although it is, unfortuantely, far from very reassuring). What I like about it is that it is not at all America-centric, and points to various structural factors that are just beyond what you usually find in US sources, like American exceptionalism and Messianic destiny. No, the world just doesn't work that way, and America cannot escape the forces of history.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


For more on the civil religion, check out essays in QOV. Meanwhile, for future ref: pls post only once every 24 hrs, max. Thank you.


11:43 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Dr. B, I think you are right about the full police state response from Trump being after the election. But I was referring to something different than that. The general response to the recent protests was pretty tepid for America. There was a taste of it in the walk to the church from the White House with Bill Barr clearing out the riff raff. And assorted examples from around the country. But still short of a full police state response.

Partly I think this is because the protests weren't full riots in most cases. But give the US a few months of starvation wages, no jobs, no insurance. Then create another George Floyd event and I think the protests will be angrier.

And THIS is the time I am thinking about. I remember a bit of 1968, the King assassination riots, RFK, the Chicago police riots, etc. There was a real feeling of unrest and threats. Nixon played this into the White House. In 1992, the Rodney King riots in response to the court verdicts were not met with a full-bore police state stomping, and Papa Bush lost the election. A psychopath like Trump can see the lesson- let the country fall into riots, then bring in the troops and make everything even worse. He has already set this up- the Law and Order President. Under such mayhem, the US has shown itself to support brute force again and again.

Stephen Miller and Bill Barr are both sick enough to work for this. And Roger Stone, one of Nixon's old pals, is certainly a Made In America character full of evil tricks and unconcerned about others as long as he gets more power.

But I am hopeful today as Nancy Pelosi has issued a statement!!! On Twitter no less so you know this is serious and real-

11:59 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan D-

That's not why Bush Sr. lost the election.


Check it out:




3:34 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Yes, the USA is a religion. While The Godfather movie is a great expression of the ethos of the USA, its opening line, by an undertaker, encapsulates the idea of the country perfectly: "I believe in America."

One cannot imagine replacing "America" with the name of any other country. Just try. "I believe in Sweden?" Nope. "I believe in Mexico?" A second nope.

You may substitute other, less concrete, words for America that sound better, though. "I believe in miracles." "I believe in love." "I believe in unicorns." "America" fits right in there.

4:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Actually, a few yrs ago there was a kind of fetish in stores like 7/11 in Mexico, in wh/the sales people were wearing large buttons that said, "Mexico: Yo creo en ti." It didn't have a convincing ring to it, however, and faded out.


4:37 PM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Important: Max Blumenthal on how many of the signatories of the infamous letter against "cancel culture" have spent their careers trying to cancel certain people, in particular Palestinian and pro-Palestinian academics, and how The Guardian is the UK equivalent to The New York Times (supporting regime change in Bolivia, Venezuela etc.):


Parental advisory: it features prominently a self-hating jew.

PS: Noam Chmosky, you're dead to me now. You've allowed yourself to be degraded, debased, buffoonized and prostituted into a Joe Biden groupie, and I can't imagine, for my life, what excuse you can have.

5:37 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

Hello Wafers & Dr. B,

I hope all is well during this time of crisis. I've been living in Espana for over a year now and if I had to give only one piece of advice to you, it would be to MOVE! With that said, here are a few recent highlights that caught my attention:

"Trump Spokesperson Insults Canada During CNN Interview"
^^ American "Exceptionalism" on full display. Trump's speech about dishwashers and light bulbs in the midst of a pandemic was quintessentially American.

"Michigan man killed by police after stabbing man in mask argument, police say"
^^The most American headline ever.

"Karen - Mask Off Remix (Walmart Diss)"
^^Not even satire at this point.

6:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Terrific interview. This is the full version:


Of course the marginalization of alternative voices is something I'm no stranger to, and in WAF, I say that that's why America failed. So of course, the book was marginalized. There is no way to win, really, and at this pt, it's just as well that America continue failing. If you talk reality, you don't get to have a voice.

As for Noam, he has fallen into the old trap of 'lesser of two evils'. He shd know better, but I guess he doesn't.


6:34 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman & Wafers,
It seems as if the politicians and the people of Oregon are pretty teed off with Herr Drumpf sending in his Sturmabteilung. There are plenty of articles in the papers about his audacity. But then again, a large consensus regards the United States now as a de facto police state.

On a funnier note, the stupidity of American conservative elected officials got played out Saturday. Marco Rubio got John Lewis confused with Elijah Cummings. It’s obvious Rubio just wanted to look as if he cared and wanted to offer his condolences about Lewis’s passing; so he summarily posted the first picture he could cull from his private photo album of him with a black man. But it was the late Elijah Cummings. The gaffe is all over Facebook.


6:39 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Re: White Fragility

Few books about race have more openly infantilized Black people than this supposedly authoritative tome.

Progs will never accept that Blacks have agency.

White Fragility is, in the end, a book about how to make certain educated white readers feel better about themselves.

Narcissism is the root of most anti-white self-flagellation. It is refreshing to see that at least some Blacks see through the con.

7:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


O dem Karens! I tell ya, I love 'em. I can't get enuf o' dem Karens.


7:50 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

Your CTOS (1989) prediction beginning to come true:




8:29 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Anyone mention throwing Karens into a volcano yet? Miked up and youtubed all the way down. Aaauugghh!

9:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, Americans didn't listen to me, and they won't listen to Umair. The concept of "de facto martial law" is certainly an interesting one. I presume his question at the end is rhetorical.
How will Tulsi respond? Everything hangs on that.


9:21 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Dr. Berman,

Your point on statistics, facts, figures, graphs, etc. is well taken. But I do think that they are not totally irrelevant when we are talking about PERCEPTIONS. I work with about 70 percent black people, and when I was first looking into this stuff, I pointed out things like the Harvard study on police violence (which Christian cited), that showed absolutely no police bias towards blacks, even though the study used data from thousands of police departments. At first my co-workers were incredulous, but then they were actually relieved to find that it was not as bad as they thought. So the fact that many young black people are walking around terrified of the police, of being pulled over, etc., is, I think, in large part due to the fact that these facts and figures are almost completely unknown to the wider public, and entirely ignored by the mainstream media. (And only touched upon by "young renegades" like Coleman Hughes, or old, neoliberal curmudgeons like Thomas Sowell.)

At any rate, the hysteria that I have referred to in previous posts, is nowhere more evident than on college campuses today. Douglas Murray has a frightening chapter in "The Madness of Crowds" on race, which deals with this. College professors are being hounded out of their jobs for the most innocuous of statements. I daresay, professor Berman, that if you were teaching at an American university today, and someone got wind of your chapter on the American South, there would be absolute rioting on campus, and a call for your head on a platter!

9:33 PM  
Anonymous Owen said...


Ya I was just about to submit this link:


When Putin (illegally) annexed Crimea he used unmarked vehicles and soldiers.

9:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well sure, I wdn't last a day on a college campus these days. I agree. But I don't agree w/u that young blacks are scared of cops because facts and figures are not known. Being known, I doubt they'd make much of a difference, because the police attacks on these guys is frequent enuf to make the subjective reality, real. One study (sorry, I didn't copy down the ref) turned up the fact that whites typically regard young black men as criminals--a priori. On the flip side, the blacks are very nervous abt being approached by white cops, and in this case, it's hardly just a priori. Their *perception* is that there is something edgy in the air, and I don't think they're wrong.

As WAF ch. 4 demonstrates, the Civil War never ended, and that's what we're living thru today. One thing I'm abs. sure of is that the US will never resolve its racial problem, not in a hundred yrs; altho we probably won't last much beyond 2030, in any case.

The comic side of all this was expressed by Chris Rock a few yrs ago:



10:39 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Of Course she did...this is what Americans DO...


11:21 PM  
Anonymous Krystal Dimitri said...


committees raise nearly $100 million in second quarter as big-money donors get off the sidelines

Billionaires, elites, Big banks and Wallstreet move from Trump to Biden. It's all the same bird!

11:45 PM  
Anonymous Soggy Croutons said...

MB, this popped up in my recommendations, though I know nothing of the channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbxwGi8bTO8

Since 2016 I'd been trying to figure out what was going on, as well as how to even frame what I was looking for. By the end of last year I'd found the threads that I believed explained the situation, but finding your material earlier this year provided me with what felt to be something of a "missing piece", the glue to connect the pieces together, and/or a means of framing - a narrative. Among other things, it helped to explain the coinciding failure of the Sanders 2020 campaign, which I bought into despite the red flags I saw, and it helped to explain the mental health situations of myself, most people I know, and others.

One of my previous assumptions before this Spring was that of false consciousness, and that was dispelled in time for my observation of the U.S.'s pandemic response, including in the beach-goers in the above video. It disappoints me deeply that that is our culture (I think you're right that Canadians are not that far off from Americans), but it is.

11:58 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@ NeilW,

On the subject of appropriate technology, I would read E.F. Schumacher's book "Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics As If People Mattered" which is probably the landmark work on the subject. Also, you might want to check out this documentary on Schumacher and appropriate technology.


Here is another Schumacher documentary. Although this one is more about environmentalism it still touches on Schumacher's ideas about economics and technology.


The above works were produced in the 1970s so there are some references to the 1970s energy crisis, but overall I would say Schumacher's ideas are still very relevant today.

6:35 AM  
Anonymous Cole said...

MAJOR BREAKING NEWS: DHS Confirms Barr Will Be Deploying His Black Ops Interagency Army Nationwide


1 Heavily armed
2 Roving (i.e. offensive and defensive)
3 Unidentifiable (no nameplates)
4 Silent (no communication with citizens)
5 Lawless (little communication with local officials)
6 Use-of-force protocols and scope of authority unknown

9:45 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is de facto martial law. A declinist's dream, in a way. Deeper into national suicide. Check it out:



10:39 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: A positive declinist sign:


12:57 PM  
Anonymous Waesfjord said...

Hi Megan,

I would like to see a link to the study you are referring to, as the ones I have seen show that blacks are shot and killed by police at a much higher rate than whites. For example:

US police kill up to 6 times more black people than white people

Rates of police killings varied widely. For the overall population, the highest rates of killings were in south-western states like California and New Mexico, where more than 1 in 100,000 people were killed by police every year. In the north-east, rates were often lower than 0.3 people per 100,000.

However, the pattern changed when the team looked for differences linked to ethnicity. In south-western states, police killed black people 1.81-2.88 times more often than they killed white people. In the north Midwest and north-east, the disparity was often more than 2.98. In the Chicago metropolitan area, black people were killed 6.51 times more often than white people.

Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2246987-us-police-kill-up-to-6-times-more-black-people-than-white-people/#ixzz6SfJWn4X2

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Yoogoogulator said...

Posting as a catalyst for discussion among Wafers


“In English there is a saying that the truth is so valuable, it should be used sparingly. But in Finland, people speak the truth all the time.”

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

A couple of podcast that might be of interest to Wafers.

First an interesting discussion with Bret Weinstein and Matt Taibbi about cancel culture and the "Evergreening" of America.


Second an interesting and informative discussion about what's going on in Mexico. I think Max Blumenthal continues to be one of the best journalist working today.


4:02 PM  
Anonymous Tim I said...

Unfortunately at this time there is not a direct link to the text with the earlier David Smail quote. Before Smail passed away his website had the entire text of his internet publication "Power, Responsibility and Freedom" + many other resources. The only way I know to access it now is to download a file from the following location:


4:49 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Honestly, given the state of US elections, I wouldn't expect anyone to commit to observing the results unchallenged. The left will want to paint this as sign that Trump intends to install himself as president for life, but that is a paranoid fantasy. Trump will leave the same way he came in. Trump isn't Hitler 2.0. He is just a pathetic Boomer. If he wasnt willing to tell an obscure federal judge in Hawaii to go fuck himself over an absurd ruling, he isnt going to stage a coup. We may yet enter a Caesar phase, as described by Spengler, but Trump isn't it.

5:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Opinion is one thing, evidence is another. I can't seem to find any links or refs in your post. In future--?


6:05 PM  
Anonymous KC said...

Dr. Berman,

I was led to this blog about 18 months ago and have been lurking ever since. Thank you for providing this resource as it has helped me to better understand the world around me. How else would I have heard about John Keats?

I just finished reading Thoreau's "Cape Cod" and I thought that you all might appreciate his observations of Boston on returning from the Cape:

"I see a great many barrels and fig-drums,--piles of wood for umbrella-sticks,--blocks of granite and ice,--great heaps of goods, and the means of packing and conveying them,--much wrapping-paper and twine,--many crates and hogsheads and trucks,--and that is Boston. The more barrels, the more Boston. The museums and scientific societies and libraries are accidental."

7:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd to have you with us. Don't lurk; live! Meanwhile, regarding your future participation, pls send messages to the latest post. No one tends to read the older stuff. Thank you.

You cd also probably use a gd laugh in these dark times. Check out "The Heart of the Matter," my latest effort at bringing light to a troubled world. To quote T.S. Eliot (not Keats, in this case), you'll laugh like an irresponsible fetus. :-)


8:58 PM  
Blogger Thomas Strimpel said...

Here’s an article and organization Wafers might take some interest in-

“Whether by war, famine, resource depletion, socioeconomic failure, or destruction of the natural environment, all empires eventually crumble. What will happen when the collapse of the American empire culminates?”


Dr B.,
Apparently Chris Hedges puts 2030 as a watershed year wherein US is done on the world stage and is replaced by China. Has he been following you with a notepad too, or as an independent assessment?

10:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Hedges has been following me around w/a notepad for yrs. At 1st I thought it was coincidence, but when it happened something like 8 or 10 times, I realized he was mining my blog for ideas. For example, I wd mention some author; 2 wks later, Hedges was interviewing that author or discussing his work. This w/o any reference to me or my work, ever. There's also worse, but I don't need to get into it. For an extended discussion of Hedges as a plagiarist, see the article Chris Ketcham did in TNR a while back:


Hedges also published a # of articles stating how moral he was(!). Who does that?

Anyway, for future ref: pls send messages to the most recent post. No one reads the older stuff. Thank you.


11:12 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...


Any recent thoughts on the 7thANYWSM location and date?

My buddy Joe had to vacate Manhattan a year ago. He made his way up here with me and Tater from Covid Central to Cowpokeyville. After twenty years in the Big Apple he likes this locale for a change of pace.

As a bonus, it is perfectly, suitably fascist, in a spaghetti Western sense. Cheap motel lodging is available and the cops keep a close monitor on and control of the adult recreation, in terms of sex and libations. It could be a "winners circle" location in the wake of trumpi's projected declinist, landslide victory come November 2020.

IMO. Onward and downward!

5:05 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Sorry, posted the Lachmann links a post ago - here it is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTIDJKd3EN4 and https://www.facebook.com/VersoBks/videos/first-class-passengers-on-a-sinking-ship-author-richard-lachmann-in-conversation/189238368985048/

3:08 AM  

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