December 28, 2020


Well, Waferinos, let me wish you all a Happy New Year. We will flush out Trumpi, but don't despair: Trumpism lives on. Can 74 million voters be wrong? Grover Cleveland made a comeback after 4 yrs of being out of the presidency, and it's an even bet that Trumpalumpi will do the same. But with or without the World's Greatest Douche Bag (WGDB), a Jackass Like No Other (JLNO), America will continue its downward spiral. Years ago, I predicted that this wd be the crucial decade, and it is now upon us. Stupidity, of course, is a significant factor in all this; and when I see the progs in ecstasy over Biden's wonderful diverse appointments, unable to recognize that in substantive terms this changes nothing, I have a warm, fuzzy feeling. Maybe you do as well.

Meanwhile, this blog soldiers on. By now all of you are aware of the problems I'm having, accessing it from Internet cafes. I will do my best to figure out a solution, as being able to run it only 12 days a month wd be a terrible defeat. After all, where else, in the English language, at least, can one go to discuss what is really going on in America, as opposed to the Disney fantasies offered by other media and outlets?

So stay safe and healthy in 2021, and together we can watch the America follies play out.



Anonymous Marty said...

Trump supporters' 'favorite Democrat' Tulsi Gabbard works with GOP and plots next move

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Francesco said...

Let’s Defund the Pentagon, Too
We must begin moving beyond militarism, as Martin Luther King urged more than 50 years ago

here for this!

10:33 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

mb - one advantage of a text-based blog like this is low bandwidth. That means you should be able to run it from dial-up, satellite, using a cell phone as a "hot spot" etc. You might also find a "cyber cafe" where for the price of a burned coffee and a stale cookie you get access for an hour or so.

If these all sound like throwbacks to the 1990s it's because they are. Peak Internet was years ago and for most of us, access and usability have been getting worse, not better. But you've been wise in choosing text and only text, which is the most bang for the buck you can get.

Also look into things like "mesh nets" which may be what little internet access there will be for most of us in the next decade. After that it's fax machines, or the ultimate go-to, woodblock printed broadsides.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Myotol said...

I have no question MB that we're referring to the same group.
What's really going on in America gets dis-info'd.

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

I'm afraid I have no warm, fuzzy feelings about Biden; in fact, it depresses me no end. A certain foreboding of absolute hopelessness is my gut reaction to the Biden presidency, like staring at the entrance of the Third Circle of Hell.

UN rapporteur on Assange: 'The US is trying to criminalize investigative journalism'

Does the BPN (Biden Propaganda Network), that is, the woke-industrial complex of The Guardian, The New York Times etc. even mention Assange now? Of course not, on the contrary, all the progs that used to say they would move to Canada if W won a second term will engage in the vicious character assassination of anybody that dares to doubt that the old crook is the restoration of decency, democracy and America.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd article on a stellar douche baguette. I still wanna write a primer on Tulsism, but I'm having a hard time figuring out exactly what it is. She may be having the same problem. I still think the Wafer Urine Team (WUT) shd fly to Hawaii and unleash a deluge on her shoes.


4:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Here's another candidate for a vigorous beating:

A fairer verdict wd have been 20 yrs w/o parole.


4:34 PM  
Anonymous Ara the Armenian said...

Dr. Berman,

As a 23-year-old college drop-out from a 4-year-uni, I now wonder if I should even continue my education or not, considering the country and world seem to be disintegrating. You could describe me as a doomer. I simply do not trust the future; the thing is, we probably always were headed towards some emergency state before Covid; we lived in a fake normality, so this should not have been a surprise for anyone following this blog or interested in decaying societies.

My problem is a search for meaning as much as it is a search for what to do with my life now. Before I wanted to become a history teacher but now I doubt if it's worth it.
I could simply move to Armenia and help rebuild that country, which just lost in a brutal 44-day war with Azerbaijan and Turkey (I am Armenian-American). But it's not like Armenia will be spared as the planet continues to warm.

My social life has also taken a tank. As philosopher Slavoj Zizek opines, while people still meet privately and go to parties, there is always this desperate undertone of "let's enjoy it as long as we can." There is a feeling of depression more than frustration, and nobody even dares to think in the long-term. As far as students are concerned, while some study even more now, there are many of them saying "what's the point of studying? Everything will in any case fall apart." They take as a fact of life that we are approaching some kind of new barbarism.

What to do? If interested, here is a short snippet of Zizek's thoughts on the Covid pandemic (with a hopeful conclusion in praise of pessimism) from a recent interview with Ben Burgis:

7:03 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

@ Ara While I can't boast of an Armenian background (although I've seen census docs on long-gone relatives whose origins were "Assyrian"), your story is familiar. I dropped out of university and worked here and there for 7-8 years before returning, and now have a decent job as a result.

The idea that there's no future is also familiar. Mind you, I'm right in the middle of the "No Future" generation. I didn't make any serious plans for the future, and hence my early adult years were a mess, because I didn't expect to live very long because of the inevitable nuclear war. A few years ago, my brother told me he thought the same thing, and he has the sketchy career path to prove it.

The lesson in all this? How the hell do I know? "Love somebody" is about all I can think of.

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Lorenzo said...

Obit for the charming, playful, provocative, and crazily ambitious anthropologist David Graeber (who wrote an incredible book trying to explain where $$$ came from):

I remember him getting into a little argument on this blog. But his "Debt: The First 5000 Years" really was fantastic.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm not sure what yr asking me, or if yr asking me anything. Perhaps: What shd I do w/my life?, and What can I believe in? As a short cut, let me say that the following text might be of some help:

I'm trying to imagine what I wd be thinking if I were 23 yrs old. Consider 2 possibilities:
1. You hafta make a living. There's no way around it. You don't need to be rich, but you need to pull in enuf income so that yr life is tolerable.
2. You need to believe in, and commit to, something that is larger than yrself. This choice must be deeply congruent w/who u.r., or there's no pt. For some it's art, for others religion, for some sports, for some healing society--etc. This is a personal decision.

The ideal, of course, wd be that 1 and 2 coincide. I.e., your deep purpose earns you a lvg. But this is typically a long shot. Most artists are broke; most athletes are not LeBron James. It's a pyramid, w/very little room at the top. The best bk on this subject (i.e. getting 1 and 2 in alignment), in any case, remains "What Color Is Yr Parachute?" I recommend you have a look at it.

I've discussed my own situation a few times on this blog, and can hardly claim that it's representative or some sort of path for all; obviously not. But let me just pt out a few things, in the off-chance that this might help. 1st, I never had ambitions to be wealthy, but much of my life was a scramble to survive. I knew what my larger purpose was: to figure out what was going on in culture, history, society (hence bks on England, the US, Japan, Italy, etc.) and to publish, i.e. to share what I had learned w/others. However, w/one accidental exception (the Reenchantment bk), none of what I was devoted to was ever going to bring in much money (even the Reenchantment bk didn't). So I did a kind of dance between university teaching, giving writing workshops, and in fact a ton of odd jobs (bank teller, chauffeur, secretary, you name it), wh/paid the rent, and then going completely free-lance and concentrating on my writing. Somehow, I made it thru alive, but it was touch and go a lot of the time. A shitload of insomnia and nail-biting.

In a word, even or esp. at age 23, you need to figure out what turns yr crank (wh/is where the Parachute bk might help). But be clear: it hasta come from a deep, organic place. This is not something in which your prefrontal lobes can be of much help. Meditate, track on your dreams, read Thomas Merton, and so on. And be patient. Eventually, the answer will emerge from yr body.

THEN, you need to figure out how to feed your passion, while not winding up on a street corner playing the guitar for quarters.

As far as yr social life goes: this will be a very long long shot, the luck of the draw. I'm sorry, but most Americans are stupid, narcissistic, competitive, lacking in empathy, and basically out for themselves. I suggest you check out other 'foreigners', or (as I was finally forced to do), leave the country. Americans don't really know how to make friends; they don't even know what real friendship involves. You must realize by now how superficial their friendliness is. It can be summarized in Smile buttons, or "Have a nice day."

Gd luck, amigo. Let us know how things turn out.


7:38 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Best of luck to you. I would also throw in the book, "Finding Meaning in an Imperfect World" by Iddo Landau.

MB, Wafers-

Allow me to go on a bit of a rant here. In the midst of a killer pandemic w/an infection rate of 40% in some places; hospitals overflowing into the streets; almost 4000 Americans kicking the bucket on a daily basis; and as we stand now, a vaccine that *might* work if nearly everyone complies to a vaccination schedule...yet millions of deluded Americans ignored all of these factors to travel around the country to celebrate a baby born 2000 yrs ago who claimed he was the son of God. WTF? WTF is it that drives these Americans to worsen the pandemic? Cheer stupidity? Lack of empathy? Or is it as simple as their love for the baby Jesus? A love so deep that they would risk their own lives, and the lives of others, to sit around adoring a plastic or dying pine tree and unwrapping a bunch of crap from Walmart? Jesus, I hate this place and its people!


9:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


They do need a severe beating. This is beyond question.

"We would rather be ruined than changed"--W.H. Auden


10:37 PM  
Anonymous Andalusian Musician said...

A big part of American Collapse is glorifying mass killers:

It really says a lot about America unfortunately. The above is Nazism in everything but the name. Some people wonder how US is in bed with outright Neo-Nazis. The answers are obvious if you clear away mythology and bullshit. USA is seen as the greatest threat to world peace for a good reason!

1:09 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

If you aren't familiar with the book, "Fantasyland", by Kurt Anderson is a really good analysis of how America became the mess that it is. It's basically a history of hucksterism, charlatanry, and American quackery, from the Puritan days to Donald Trump. It is definitely a page turner, written with an engaging sense of humor, and full of interesting historical details. Even for people well-versed in American history, people will likely find a lot that is new. He has a good section, for example, on the 18th century revivalist gathering at Cane Ridge, Kentucky, a fascinating episode in our history that I had never heard of before.

My only quibble is that Anderson is obviously a materialist atheist, and he tends to group all religion and spirituality into the " superstitious magical nonsense" category. As a mystical theist myself, I found this a bit grating. Aside from that, however, it is a wonderful and informative book. I'm looking forward to reading his "Evil Geniuses" (also about our grotesquely dysfunctional country.) next.

1:33 AM  
Anonymous Cherith Cutestory said...

- Scenes from Riyadh -

1) Been working here and observing and interacting with the locals for a while now. Covid in Saudi is mild compared the US and other European countries. From my personal observation, I think one reason is people's strong familial relations. Talking to young guys here, I strike up conversations and ask them how they feel about this whole thing. One of the most common answers for why these young healthy guys strictly wear masks and practice social distancing: "I visit my mom and dad a lot and I don't want to transmit it to them."

Being obedient to, and respectful and protective of one's parents is one of the most sacred commandments in Islam. IMO the West's secularization and abandonment of the family is killing it in ways it never anticipated.

2) I usually avoid fast food places but I needed to get something quick once so I visited a KFC here. I ordered and sat down. There was an American guy waiting to order in the line. An older Indian guy walked in and, probably due to queue culture not being as established in his culture, hovered around start of the line in hesitation, though he didn't order anything. The fat American guy then shouted in THE LOUDEST voice possible, "EXCUSE ME SIR, DO YOU MIND WAITING BEHIND THE PEOPLE WHO CAME HERE BEFORE YOU?!". The small, meek Indian man was terrorized and mumbled some gibberish with some scared, confused gestures. I don't know if he understood what was said to him or why it was said in this horrible way. You guys should've heard how loud the screaming was, I swear I've never heard anyone scream this loud in public, anywhere.


3) A Wafer once compiled an impressive database containing links to all the books and articles ever mentioned here. Does anyone have a link to that? I'd really appreciate it. That should definitely be stickied to the other links in the blog, Dr. Berman.

4:40 AM  
Anonymous Norman said...

Chicken on ChristmasThanks to the successful “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” (Kentucky for Christmas!) marketing campaign in 1974, Japan can’t get enough KFC on Christmas Day

Filing in the "Irresistible Empire" Department:

7:57 AM  
Anonymous M Omero said...

Los Angeles Entertainment Executive Tied To Suspected Nashville Bomber

"...reportedly given two houses by Anthony Quinn Warner, who has been named as one of the main persons of interest in the Christmas morning bombing in Nashville that devastated a city block."


9:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, I can't remember who compiled that database.


9:36 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

Cherith, here is the link to the archive:

Ara, I am not sure I can add anything after what MB has already said. But here is my humble addition. Complete your education if you can. More because times are uncertain, and the world is disintegrating. May sound contradictory, but I say this from 50+ years of experience in my life. I happen to be in academics. And I am happy that I chose this profession. Apart from a decent living it provides me with, and the joy of what I always wanted to do, it has trained me with the tools to analyze the situation around me, to see why things are going the way they are going.

If you become a history teacher, you will perhaps be able to impart that knowledge/insight to a few students. No mean contribution to human civilization that by any measure. If you decide to go back and participate in rebuilding of Armenia, or do something else somewhere, trust me, your education will only enhance that experience and not diminish it. Maybe, you will have some experiences, views or insights that you would like to write down for posterity, who knows.

So the bottomline, do complete your formal education if you can. If you are a serious student, they teach you more than some collection of information.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

What else do America's youth have to do w/their time?:

Meanwhile, buffoons admire buffoons:


3:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Here is what I have gleaned from the news media recently, regarding the virus:

1. Covid-19 has spun off a mutation, one that is more contagious than itself.
2. It has appeared in the UK, India, Japan, and Germany.
3. It just showed up in Colorado.
4. Fauci says 2021 will be worse than 2020.

I have, as you know, been predicting the collapse of the US for 20 yrs now, i.e. since the Twilight bk. This prediction had a lot of solid bases, but one thing I never imagined was this virus. Maybe I shd have, given the role of the Black Plague in closing out the Middle Ages. But--I didn't. Of course, this current plague is a pretty shitty way for the US to collapse, but it is clearly accelerating the factors of decline: not just death, isolation, fear, and so on, but also massive unemployment and a very serious contraction of the economy.

Contributing to this accelerated decline are the bubbas and the Karens. Now that the more contagious mutation has arrived in the US (and the guy had not apparently traveled anywhere), bubba-behavior--no masks, no social distancing, parties and gatherings--can be counted on to extract its deadly toll. Fauci's prediction re: 2021 was made prior to the emergence of the mutation. Looks like the mutation + bubbas in action confirm it.

Will the vaccine work? Will it be widely distributed? Will there be negative side effects?Isn't it a case of too little, too late, in that the virus-damage is already enormous? It's not a cure, after all, only prevention. And what if it offers no protection against this new mutation?--something no one can say, as yet (I don't think).

One thing I've also said, many times, is that this decade is the crucial one for decline, and that America will be a very different country in 2030 than it is now. I'm not sure how the virus(es) play into that scenario, but I can't imagine their role will be negligible.

Kurt Vonnegut famously said, decades ago, "There's a shit storm coming." My friends, guess what? We're in it.


7:17 PM  
Anonymous Chuck Steak said...

Certainly one way for him to stay in the news.

If he did this to himself and survived, even more press coverage.

The Dream Machine in high gear.

He'll certainly be remembered for having communist VP.

7:39 PM  
Anonymous B. Louis said...

I'm going to wax a bit Generation-X here.

David Fricke once opined: 'The suicide of Kurt Cobain isn't just a case of a rockstar unable to handle fame. He's your kids. Think about it.'

I used to think that was an overly-dramatic appraisal, but as I've gotten older, I've realized how incredibly insightful it actually was. The 1990s seemed to be the point at which America subconsciously realized how irretrievably fistfucked it actually was. This realization, naturally, found its voice through art.

Even now, the video for 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' is breathtaking in its nihilism. A pep rally turned into an arson fueled riot. It's not the kind of art that finds resonance in a culture that's healthy and attentive to the individual's basic emotional needs.

7:48 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Ara the Armenian - By all means complete your education IF you're not in the USA. If you are so unfortunate as to be in the USA, look at college with a *very* jaundiced eye. You will take on debt that's not dischargeable for life. If I hadn't had a few good-paying years and a relative leave me some money, I could now, still owe $50k-$100k for the $10k I borrowed in the 80s for college. The system really is that evil here.

Also, consider a "gap year" and take a vacation in Armenia. See what's needed. You may find a passion for teaching again, or for being a medic or even a doctor - again, as long you are outside the USA these things are possible to aspire to for a young person.

I think as a young person, if you're in the USA your first job is to get the hell out of the USA. Study a language, learn in-demand skills even at a 2-year college or trade school and get out. Just get out, don't end up like some of us old f*ckers who missed the boat.

9:11 PM  
Blogger ccg said...


Here is Paul Krugman today (12-29-20) claiming that the death Reaganism is here:

I think he's delusional to say the least. But he also seems to think that the US government made a substantial financial contribution to help us all through the pandemic. Really? He also seems to think that the massive loss of jobs is only temporary. Funny how he fails to mention that most of that money went to corporations.
In all of his recent columns he's blamed Trump and the Republicans for all our problems, just as I'd expect from an establishment liberal. And of course at no time did he blame any Democrat, like Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer, for not fighting for more government bailout. Well, that's standard operating procedure at the Times, I guess. Maybe it's just me, but I think this column was most off-the-wall one he's ever written.

10:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The function of the NYT is to reassure its readers--namely, the upper-middle and professional classes--that despite how things look, the US is on a secure footing and that things will turn out OK in the end. All of these clowns, such as Brooks and Friedman, peddle that line, and that's why they get to be on staff. Krugman is, imo, a colossal douche bag, constantly trying to get capitalism to work, and offering very little (i.e., 0) that is new. He's basically a company man; he never asks, or confronts, the embarrassing questions--such as the ones you indicate. But hey, the progs love him, so who am I to complain? Besides, our continuing disintegration is fueled by misguided 'analyses' like Krug's, so overall, I can only applaud his nonsense.


10:24 PM  
Anonymous FerQ said...

To Ara the Armenian- I understand your situation because I was in that same situaion when I was 23. My advice to you is- # 1 Forget about any social life in US. It is not worth it at all.
2. If you can finish a degree in a reasonable amount of time and without a big debt, then do it. Make sure it is something you can achieve in a relatively short amount of time. If not, then look to study in Armenia or another country.
3. Don´t listen to anybody who is trying to talk you out of leaving the US. Leaving the US was one of the best decisions I made in my life. I am alot happier now that I don't live there anymore.
You will not regret leaving. By the way, I also like History and I majored in it but here in Mexico I have worked as an English language teacher and at a call center. I am still trying to see if I can become a History teacher or work in something related. So with that I will tell you that you need to be open to different employment possibilities when you are in Armenia or anywhere else you go. When you are there, take whatever opportunity comes to you and then you can work on your ideal job but the most important thing to do is to get out of the place where you are unhappy.

10:59 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

B Louis - I was a big Nirvana fan - still am really. The reason I liked Kurt was because many of the songs point to a value beyond American nihilism - Wittgenstein in the Tractatus talks about a 'value' orbiting the factual void. Bleach, for eg, is very critical of aspects of 80s American culture. By the way, the John Dowland galliards that Dr Berman loves are really magical

11:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Ah, the Earl of Essex! But last couple of days I've been listening to that old classic of Miles Davis', "Kind of Blue." Jesus...milk and honey, I tell ya. Makes me wanna run out and take the A train. Another favorite (I never got quite gd enuf to play this on the guitar; but in any case, Batchelar wrote it for the lute, in 1610):


11:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Here's Olivia Chiang's version. I'd marry her in a minute.

11:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Let me tell you how the blog works, so you can participate in the future.

1. You have a pt to make, or an argument, abt the collapse of the American empire. You state it very clearly.
2. Then, you provide evidence for yr pt of view, in the form of links or refs to articles/bks. This part is very impt; anyone can just broadcast an opinion, after all.

Hope that clarifies things.


8:12 AM  
Anonymous Etty said...

MB - Haven't heard "Kind of Blue" in years! Will put that on at lunchtime.

What are your thoughts on the emergence of figures like Davis in a place like the USA? I'm thinking of the absence of a Shakespeare or Beethoven in our "culture." Or that we never really developed our own form of theatre. I've brought this up to peers and they strike down the notion, retorting that Davis *is* a kind of Beethoven. But while I'm a huge admirer of Davis (and personally I enjoy Davis more than Beethoven most days) I still see a large gap between the two.

I might not be expressing this very well.

Etty Preslica

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Ram Gana said...

MB wrote, "You have a pt to make, or an argument, abt the collapse of the American empire."

I think I see now the error of my ways, vis a vis the majority of the comments I've ever offered here. In all seriousness, and in very deliberately indirect ways (i.e., attempting lead-ins to a Socratic dialogue), I'd been here seeking therapy, because no one around me understands what Wafers understand. Not even my professional therapist (American to the bone, from what I can tell) gets it.

This space is such a breath of fresh air, I'll continue reading. I won't seek therapy any longer.

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Davies said...

Chinese philosopher stirs up controversy with an article entitled "Kant's Ethics Suck."

Hah! He's not wrong!

9:18 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I don't have a problem w/Wafers presenting personal dilemmas relating to how shitty their life is in the US. This is a *kind* blog, and the Wafers are generous people. So you saw in the case of Ara, how we all pitched in to give him some guidance. This is OK. However, yr rt in saying that this is not a therapy blog. In other words, the guidance cannot be ongoing. So if you have a personal crisis or dilemma you'd like to share w/us, fine. (I'm not surprised that your American therapist can't help very much; s/he's an American, after all. Being an American, s/he's probably clueless as to what life is all abt.) Anyway, the gang will try to help you; but after that, pls stick to thoughts abt the end of the American empire. In the meantime, you might wanna buy the CD of "Hair":

Hare Rama
Hare Rama
Rama Rama
Hare Hare


Very gd question! America has its own form of art, brought to us by 'alien' (non-white and/or non-Christian) cultures: jazz by blacks, Hollywood by Jews. Jazz pianist Bill Evans compared jazz improv to Japanese sumi painting (watered-down ink calligraphy, popular among Zen practitioners), in which the work, done rt, is completely spontaneous--and yet, carefully prepared, thought out. (For more on this check out "Neurotic Beauty.") In both, he writes, the artists have to allow "the idea to express itself in communication w/their hands in such a direct way that deliberation cannot interfere." "Those who see," he goes on, "will find something captured that escapes explanation." I myself elaborated on this East-West difference in the final chapter of CTOS, which might be helpful in this regard. I compare van Gogh, for example, to 17thC Chinese landscape painting, and admit that altho I find great serenity in the latter, it will never move me as much as the former. Similarly, I went to a shamisen concert in Tokyo, and enjoyed it, but--it ain't Beethoven. But this is only because I am a Westerner, so I am attuned to certain 'memes' in Western art and music, and not to the memes of the art and music of the East. (Easterners probably find van Gogh and Beethoven overblown.) I even confess to not liking the music of those who broke w/traditional Western memes, such as Bartok, or Webern, or Schoenberg. Intellectually, I understand what these guys were trying to do, but emotionally, they don't ring my bell. (I have the same problem w/Picasso, in fact.) However: Davis, Coltrane, Ellington--these guys definitely ring my bell. In this way, I cross the 'gap' that you refer to (which actually exists).


As the New Yr approaches, it might be time to refresh our post-its. I'm thinking of something positive this time, instead of the usual AMERICANS ARE MORONS variety. For example:


See if that works 4u. ;-)


9:48 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

I love how the Guardian presents the US sale of bombs to Saudi Arabia as something being 'rushed through' by Trump. As if Biden won't be as big or bigger a global militarist than Trump, and Obama didn't do it, etc. It's going to be depressing to watch all of the 'now that Trump is gone...." delusions.

A book I will track down. 'Having and Being Had' by Eula Biss – saturated in capitalism. We are locked into a game we can’t escape ... an interrogation of work, possessions and daily life by the acclaimed US writer." Looks like an interesting interrogation, sort of a sideways daily life glance at some of the same issues Dr. B grappled with.

Ara the Armenian- you might like the book ^^^^. Take the chance at school to learn and listen from the real thinkers, not the gamers and grifters. That is probably the best thing about university, better odds of meeting these types. Although closing fast, there are still cracks for 'bohemians' in academia, both students and professors. And staff!! Pay attention to the staff, many hidden gems among them.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

Hi Ara,

First of all, congratulations on making it to this blog. This blog (humorous tone aside) is composed of some of the most intelligent, earnest and true believer resistant people around. You probably won’t get this level of sophistication anywhere else; at least I found that to be true in my years long search for post 60s social critic cohorts.

Secondly, I’m glad I’m not the only youngish Wafer on here (I’m 25). I too am struggling with what you are to a large extent and I know how desolate a road it is. I focus on how books are my only real intellectual friends currently and then I think of a phrase Dr. Berman once said that haunts me ‘I didn’t want to die alone in a room full of my books’. I am seriously wrestling with leaving the US too.

Well, I live in the Boston area, so if you happen to live close enough I’d be open to meeting in a park outside sometime to talk about this (same goes for other Wafers!). Judging by your comment and your being on this blog, you’d be worth talking to.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


u.c. how kind we are? Thanks for reaching out to Ara. Meanwhile, yr offer to meet w/other Wafers is a gd idea, if you can pull it off. The NY May 15 mtg is still up in the air, given the covid situation (plus now we have a mutant virus to boot; O Lord, give us a fucking break already). I encourage any Wafer who wants to meet w/Wafers in their area to post their location, and see if anyone bites.


11:13 AM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

Ara and Brian, there is little "hope" for the us empire. It's over, been so for a long time. Please be fluent in another language other than English, and emigrate soon. Integrate with the locals, take any job, learn the culture, history, and never look back. If you fall in love and marry a local, usually it can fast track your citizenship. Once you earn citizenship, you will likely need to renounce your us-ian citizenshit affliction.

It's because the us empire and Eritrea have citizen-based DOUBLE taxation (not territorial like the rest of the world) and the us' imperialistic, FATCA law (thanks to Obshitforbrains sneaking it into a 2010 'jobs' bill). You can read about these horrors ad nauseum. It's as if Armenia or whatever former us state you moved from keeps taxing you forever and requires thousands in compliance costs for the annual form fests even though you live in a different locale. You are treated harshly by the us system for leaving-you are seen as a defector and wealthy tax cheat by the IRS and many 'home landers.'

The tax treaties only 'help' minimally and are heavily weighed towards the us empire. "Foreign"=punitive by the IRS. You are to marry american, buy american, and never, ever leave america (except for the once in a life, 10day taste o' europe tour). Being a "us person" can be a significant disability akin to 'Irish need not apply'--many global banks, investment firms, etc. do not want to do business w/ us-ains, (you'll see fine print that says no 'US persons' allowed) no mortgages, no trusts, no partnerships, no retirement planning, no insurance, etc..etc.. soley bc you're a 'us person' subject to FATCA and IRS' treatment of defectors. John Richardson and Michael Parent tax attorneys have discussed these us travesties in great detail (N.B., I do not have any financial/personal/professional ties with these folks). BTW: North Korean does not do this, and Eritrea has very limited resources, barely taxes at 2%, and has no real enforcement. Whereas the us empire has infinite resources, and has a 'boner' for anyone who dares leave and works in a "foreign" world....enjoy that "freedom."

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

Accurate analysis of the state of the U.S. economy from Kunstler:

Only question is how long (and unsuccessfully) the status quo will fight it. (Per Keynes: “The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.”)

Also great article about the new religious fundamentalism:

"Critical Social Justice theories of whiteness represent a complex and internally consistent belief system, which is the result of at least fifty years of discourse theory. The similarities between this belief system and belief systems more instantly recognisable as religious, which also believe in original sin, powerful but insidious forces of evil, a priesthood, epiphany and atonement, are clear."

12:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dr. Shit-

A link or two wd have been helpful.


12:50 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Under the heading “We know how to deal with the homeless,” the following story.

A former member of the US Department of Justice involved in the police officer’s prosecution notes that one pardon handed out by Der Trumpenführer was not noticed by the Kommentariat: that of Stephanie Mohr, a police officer in Prince George’s County, Maryland, a jurisdiction that abuts Washington, DC. At the time of the event (September 1995) Mohr was a K-9 officer on the scene when PG’s finest discovered two homeless men who’d taken refuge on the roof of a local business to eat the food they’d scrounged. Avoiding a spoiler, I leave you to read the account for yourself.

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Hello Ara: Should you finish your studies? It depends which discipline you study. If it is 'practical,' with strong job prospects, and you can avoid heavy student debt, it could be worth it.

Another option: begin with a practical diploma to get you into a skilled line of work and then upgrade your credentials from there (this is often how people move forward in nursing, for ex)

However, if you feel the pandemic means your life will be on hold for a year, commit to going on a conscious and perhaps structured personal journey inward for that period of time. Clarify your world view and values (what do you believe is true about the cosmos, civilization, human beings?); bring your head, heart and gut into alignment; use books to guide you, or identify a wise older person you trust who can act as a guide.

-Northern Johnny

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Fitz said...

To: Etty Preslica and Morris Berman,

Fascinating points by both of you!

Speaking of jazz greats and modern composers who deviated from western tradition, here is a surprising account of Charlie Parker's intimidated admiration for the French modern composer Edgar Varese:

"Charlie Parker used to follow Varèse round the streets of Greenwich Village, trying to pluck up courage to ask him for composition lessons. Eventually, he found the nerve. 'He stopped by my place a number of times,' said Varèse. 'He'd come in and exclaim, 'Take me as you would a baby and teach me music. I only write one voice. I want to have a structure. I want to write orchestral scores.' Varèse, who himself learned many things from jazz musicians, never got to teach the great man to write orchestral scores. He went to Paris to work on his piece Déserts, and Parker was dead from a heroin overdose by the time he returned to New York."

Perhaps the jazz greats had more of a finger on the pulse of the streets and nightlife of the country (the language) but didn't have the great structures of the western tradition under their belts that the modern composers continued to advance: Miles Davis was said to carry tapes of Stockhausen w/ him in the later '60s onward.

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

Please forgive me Dr. Berman for breaking the 24h rule. Due to us empire tax complexities, the below video/links can help those folks (Ara and Brian) who are new to understanding CBT (citizen-based double taxation and FATCA), kinda like a 101. Thank you kindly.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check this out:


3:28 PM  
Anonymous down we go said...

For those living in or near eastern north carolina - let me know. Maybe we can meet somewhere convenient for both of us.

5:45 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Maskless horde storm a Fairfax District (Canter's Deli neighborhood) market in LA:

Well, the time has come to return to the literature about the many superstitions found within the period of the Black Death, 1349 ce.


8:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Apparently the covid mutation has now reached California. We're in for big trouble. God, Americans are so stupid. At least these folks didn't attack Canter's, wh/is the shrine at which I worship when I'm (very rarely) in LA. As for the Plague: danse macabre. Will we have a 21stC version of it?


11:12 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman & Wafers,
The callousness of Americans has no bounds. And it even manifests itself with this virus. Just when you thought you’ve seen it all……..

11:34 PM  
Blogger ccg said...


I totally agree with your assessment of the NY Times and of Paul Krugman. It's nice to know that I'm not alone in thinking that Krugman is "a colossal douche bag." I picked on that years ago because he never ever brought up, let alone criticized, the runaway defense budgets. And the only time I recalling him writing about health care is on the occasions when he's praising the feeble proposals of the neoliberal-of-the-moment, be it Hillary, Obama, or, most recently, Elizabeth Warren. In fact, an acquaintance of mine, a fellow who practically worships Krugman, came to think Warren a great presidential candidate in part based on the aforementioned assessment, as if that had to do with anything. Well, when I suggested that Krugman might be full of shit and that his assessment might not be based on anything but political bias, the vitriolic response I got from this guy was something to behold. It was condescending in the extreme. These progs are very thin-skinned it seems.

12:54 AM  
Anonymous Zippy the Pinhead said...

One of the authors of the book Cynical Theories is Helen Pluckrose. She is also one of the people behind the Area Magazine website.
Both Helen and her close comrade James Lindsay pretend to be self-appointed experts on almost everything. They are critical of almost all philosophical and/or sociological critiques of Western so called culture. Beginning with the Frankfurt school which as someone recently pointed out on this site provide arguably the single best comprehensive critical analysis of Western culture as it was between the two world wars, and how it is in now time.

Of course Morris' excellent also work fits very comfortably into the "critical theory" genre that Pluckrose & Lindasy abhor.

It is also interesting to note that Pluckrose and Lindsay are very popular with all of the usual right-wing suspects including the back to the past religious "traditionalists" both in the USA, the UK and Australia too which is where I live. They are now essentially famous for being famous.
I once attempted to listen to an interview featuring James Lindsay - it was boringly superficial.

2:50 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

If US small towns were ever lovely, they certainly aren't now:

3:18 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Hi Brian and Ara,

I'm still on the youngish side of things at 30 but lord knows it's going by fast! Feel free to drop me a line at the email below and we can chat about 90s baby Waferism.

diogenesreads at gmail dot com


Have you read Adorno's critique of jazz? I don't know what to make of it. I can see his point in how something like Chuck Mangione's "Feels So Good" is the synthetic Muzak of the culture industry, yet I can't help but feel there is something sublime about it.

4:52 AM  
Blogger Yossi said...

Ara the Armenian.
Looks like lot of kind folks are offering advice.
I’m an old man now. In my eightieth year with children and grandchildren. They have given and continue to give me my greatest pleasure. I listen to them and sometimes they listen to me.
If a young person asked me any advice it would be as follows.
If you need to admire or be inspired by another, look to writers, philosophers, artists and musicians. Maybe: Chekov. Socrates . Seneca, Vincent, Caravaggio, Duke Ellington, Beethoven, Mozart. Choose your own.
No gurus, no saints, no big spenders, no big talkers, no celebrities, no supernaturalists, no movers and shakers, none of the powerful.
Listen more than you talk.
Find: someone to love; something to look forward to; something to do with your life that interests you and choose to enjoy the process and be absorbed rather than the best, or the richest.
Have a good walk everyday.
Keep a journal.
Spend time in nature and it will cure all that ails you.
Learn to be a critical thinker.
Question everything - even your most precious beliefs.
Stay curious; try not be a dick.

There are no adults. Everyone’s making it up as they go along.

6:10 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A weak spot in the Frankfurt assessment of modern culture, I think, and very Euro-biased. I really don't think Adorno understood what jazz was all about. It reminds me of Koestler's assessment of Buddhism, that it was 'empty'. Yeah, of course: that's the pt!


In general, America is committing suicide. This is just one specific example. Wdn't it be nice if the population had half a brain?


Thanks for the feedback. Look, I've talked abt this b4: Richard Schweder's argument, several decades ago, that practically any ideology is OK w/in limits. (See my earlier post, "Of Size and Scale.") The problem is that they always get taken to extremes, triggering a backlash; wh/then also goes to extremes. I agree, the Frankfurt critique is very powerful, and largely correct. But then it manages, in an American context (where else?) to morph into Esalen, then the New Age, and finally Oprah, in wh/everything is seen as the result of the mind. (I recall, many yrs ago, I had a friend who was into 'affirmations', and this included writing down, repeatedly, 'US out of El Salvador'. Gd luck w/that, I told her.) (Check out Essay #16 in AWTY, about the guru who thought he cd fly; similar problem.)

Let's take one example: obesity. America is a seriously overwt country, and there are a # of reasons why Americans are driven to overeat (wh/I can't get into rt now). There is a cultural norm, wh/many other countries don't have, that says that yr life is shit unless yr thin--pervasive in a consumer society in wh/the diet industry is a multibillion dollar enterprise. This is a norm that is esp. hurtful to women, millions of whom are caught up in anorexia, bulimia, and the like. Dieting is a scam: 98% of those who lose wt on diets gain it all back, and more, w/in 2 yrs. (Oprah being a gd example of this yo-yo syndrome.) So the 'New Age' (or whatever) take on all this is to accept yr body as is, because hating it will definitely not make you thinner. In Japan, for example, a familiar figure is the portly businessman, who is quietly content with his life, is in tune w/himself, and is not making war on his body. So it's true, a lot of this mess is the result of cultural perceptions, and since seriously altering yr body is a dubious undertaking, you are probably better off altering yr mind. All well and gd; I think there's a lot of wisdom in that approach. That being said, Mexico suffers from widespread obesity no less than America, and when I'm walking down the street and see some guy w/a huge belly, who is grossly overwt, I can't help thinking: "This guy is not taking care of himself; he's cruising for a coronary." This observation is also correct, imo, because it can't be healthy to be stuffing down yr emotions w/food. My pt is that the truth doesn't lie at the extremes; it lies somewhere in between. The Pluckrose critique is not completely wrong, in other words; it's just that she has gone to extremes, picked up the far end of the argument. In general, and on all these issues (not just obesity), Americans are unable to see a middle way; they can't understand the word 'some'. They live in a Manichaean world.
(continued below)

7:36 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

To shift topics, for a moment: I began to see this type of insanity when I published WAF, and ch. 4, on the Civil War, was met with enormous self-righteous rage. You are not allowed, in this country, to say anything positive abt the antebellum South, because the official dogma is that it was all abt slavery. Sure, it was based on a slave economy, and I agree that that was a horror; but so was ancient Athens, wh/produced Socrates and Plato. There was a lot positive abt the antebellum South, as historians like Eugene Genovese documented; but Americans are blinded by Manichaean thinking, so they are unable to acknowledge that. Much the same thing can be said of the German experience: millions boil it down to the Holocaust, as if all of German history were moving to that horrible event. Let's forget abt Beethoven, Bach, Freud, Schiller, Heine, Goethe, et al.; no, the South is only abt slavery, and Germany can be reduced to Hitler. What can ya do?

Another comment I wd make, wh/I've made b4: when myth confronts fact, myth always wins. This is not just an American syndrome; think of how the French establishment reacted to the proof of Dreyfus' innocence, for example. The poor guy never even got an apology from them.


Another example of myth confronting fact. The crucial issue, of course, is why we tend to have this sort of B&W reaction; why real dialogue is impossible. A gd starting place for understanding this might be ch. 1 of CTOS. In brief, the Unconscious believes that if the myth is challenged, the individual will die. (One reason I've given up arguing w/Zionists; what's the pt? The Holocaust got them so traumatized, that they simply can't lose the argument.)


7:37 AM  
Anonymous Zia Haider said...

Dio + MB + MB + Fitz

I'm remembering MB's interesting interpretation of two different types of poetry:

"Basically, there are two kinds of poetry. One is narrative, it tells a story. E.g., Constantine Cavafy. The other is metaphorical; it deals in language itself, and can be incomprehensible. E.g., T.S. Eliot. Now I happen to like both kinds; Cavafy is gorgeous, really. It's also the kind of poetry I personally write (see "Counting Blessings," or the poems in SSIG). But my greatest admiration is reserved for Eliot, Larkin, John Donne, et al., and their poems are ones which often make no sense literally, but they do on an intuitive level, if you keep turning them over in yr mind."

Maybe jazz is like telling a story (with it frequently being referred to as a 'speaking' or 'harmonic language') and the modernist composers displaying 'incomprehensibility' or a focus of the materials of the language for their own sake?

I appreciated Adorno's interpretations of jazz but they also always seemed very surface and as MB said euro-centrist.

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Pete Christen said...

Dr. B and Wafers:
Add to the long list of imperial ailments a looming shortage of cannon fodder. Advisory group says "young Americans are increasingly too overweight or undereducated to join the U.S. military."

10:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, jazz seems to be pretty lyrical/improv, exploring the possibilities of the language, whereas Beethoven et al. strike me as the storytellers. Rock n roll is also storytelling. Someone once said that at a rock concert, you have the artist playing 3 chords for 20,000 people, and at a jazz concert you have the artist playing 20,000 chords for 3 people(!). As for the moderns--atonal and such--it feels to me like they have left language altogether (whether lyrical or narrative) and are inventing one of their own. Just my take.


11:09 AM  
Anonymous B. Louis said...

Happy New Year, WAFers.

Were you looking for a 2 minute video that sums up America? Well, here it is in all its EXCEPTIONAL freedumb loving glory.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for the clip. It is indeed a portrait of America, i.e. kitsch, trash, and buffoons out of control. I suspect every year, beginning w/2021, is going to be worse for us. And who wanted this? Who embraced and encouraged it?


12:50 PM  
Anonymous Willy Gerstein said...

book review of "Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy"

America Has No Duty to Rule the World
The story of the country’s rise to dominance shows how it can step back.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It's more likely to get forced off the road, than to deliberately step back.


4:08 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

Must be from one of those "foreign," third world shit holes...oops...

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Glans Butterworth, III said...

America was inherently good, well intentioned, generous, peace-loving, and truly a community.....

Landlord not getting paid, couldn't evict given Tom Hanks Disease, in true US-ian fashion, he set fire to the apartment building with the tenants inside.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Lobster Goldmine said...

Feliz año nuevo de Amatlan, Morelos! Enviando un abrazo y salud a todos!! Gracias Dr. Berman por todo de tu presencia, conocimiento, y humor tambien para siempre! Keep on keepin on! ~ MG

5:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Muy amable, chico. De veras, eres un gran langosta!


This guy is a true American. What else is there to say?

Dr. Shit-

More true Americans! What a wonderful country!


7:23 PM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...

I've come to realize that Americans can only conceive of freedom as "I'll do whatever the fuck I want, and don't give a shit if I hurt other people." If you tell Americans that freedom could also mean "freedom from poverty, disease, violence and exploitation", the bubbas will fume and call you a "Communist terrorist fascist Nazi socialist Muslim!!!!" while the progressives will fume and blame "white privilege" and "toxic masculinity" for America's ills, and may accuse you of these things unless you're neither white nor male.

Both responses are hateful and irrational. Both responses scapegoat entire demographics. This is the mindset that leads to war, genocide, slavery and every other atrocity...and both bubbas and progressives think this way. No wonder America couldn't help but become a violent, stupid empire. No wonder American "progressives", if they can be called such, haven't been able to change America for the better.

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

Good book recommendation (“Cynical Theories”) - bought it a month ago and started reading it last week. On page 171 - next topic is the latest academic fad, ‘Fat Studies.’ (No, you cannot make this stuff up....)

In any case, the book is excellent, focus is more on post-modernism (Foucault, Derrida) gone mad and turned into a dead-end ideology than the roots of critical theory in the Frankfurt school. The authors explicitly do not reject either a) criticisms of western culture or b) the validity of (some) value in post-modern analysis. Rather, their point is how it has been turned into an ideology/religion. (I prefer labeling it a religion as fundamentally it is a control structure - Dr. Berman’s succinct descriptor (in either Reenchantment or WG, forget which).) The writing is not at all arrogant and certainly not ‘right-wing’; perhaps a bit repetitive but it does serve to make the pattern clear.

Here’s the most-read post in 2020 at the infamous Aero Magazine:

11:05 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Thanks for the info on Yardbird and Varèse, Fitz, and for that Adorno quote on Chuck Manione, Dio. I knew that Varèse influenced Frank Zappa, but the be-bop connexion makes sense, too.

It seems to me that Zappa may have had guys like Mangione in mind when he said "Jazz isn't dead, it just smells funny." To his credit, though, Mangione blazed the trail through which Kenny G later pranced.

It appears that Mary Ann has finally gone home;

11:29 PM  
Anonymous Rollo Dice said...

Beyond belief! Such is America.

Doublespeak in action! Trump will always be #1.

Trump, "Loser? I'll show you who really is a loser!" Being
on Federal death row while he's in a bad mood is not the best
place to be.

11:56 PM  
Anonymous Walker said...

"The dark side of the Nordic model is that the bulk of their ecological impact has been outsourced to the global South. The violence hits elsewhere."

9:12 AM  
Anonymous down we go said...

The evidence for government dysfunction is overwhelming and can be seen in many areas of American life - and getting worse. A recent exhibit is the failure to distribute the COVID-19 virus as promised. A nation that cannot protect it's citizens from a virus and fails to distribute a vaccine in a timely and equitable manner is not functioning as designed.

Of course, the refusal of many Americans to take the virus seriously and protect themselves or refuse to take the vaccine doesn't help. Functional distribution may not have made much a difference anyway.

10:08 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman & Wafers,
Here’s something interesting which certainly should cause some outrage by conservatives. Their “freedom” to invest is being deprived by non other than Don Trump himself. As per an executive order by the Don, folks no longer are entitled to invest in Chinese companies that are, in one way or another, tied to its military. But they instead, after some good patriotic thought, probably will rationalize it by “buying American”. So look for Boeing, Northrup Grumman, and the other publicly traded stocks of our military-industrial complex to rise in value.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Yvy said...

Great film adaptation to Eco's novel

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Glad to see that Trump was rated as "The most admired man in America" this week by Gallup. What else did you expect?

9:01 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

A good article on where pomo and wokeism went 'wrong'

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Chuck Steak said...

I see at YouTube that MB last made an appearance nine years ago.
It is surprising to see the number of links in the search

I wonder if there would be a way to get media investors to sponsor
a late night talk show with MB as host?

11:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd essay, thanks.


Micro/Macro: When you have buffoons in the streets, you have buffoons at the top. This is not rocket science.


11:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Schmiden: Man of the people:


11:49 PM  
Blogger Janet D said...

@Ara....for me, I focus on helping the things I love to survive the upcoming bottleneck: biodiversity, wildlife, traditional indigenous people & their lifeways / worldviews, and skills needed for people to live again in balance w/ the Earth. All have suffered greatly under/for the modern world. I have learned and taught skills, participated in gatherings & organizations, & donated my time & money as I can to people & orgs devoted to these purposes.

The End isn't going to be The End full-stop. Earth will continue, industrial society(ies) will not, but even those will most likely take a few decades to fully unwind, and even then people will still continue to inhabit Earth, albeit in much fewer numbers. Whom or what do you want to help make it through? That will help you, as MB stated, find a purpose beyond yourself.

I third (or is it fourth?) continuing with your education, preferably o/s US. Health care/medical/dental skills will be much needed in the future, grid up or down, as will people with skills in ecosystem reconstruction, water safety, simple construction/maintenance, growing food, herbalism, critical thinking, etc. There's a lot of opportunity to live a meaningful life, actually.

And, finally, find a path to keep you centered. I like Eckhart Tolle and the Stoics, a friend loves Joe Dispenza, there's a lot of choice out there. But (IMHO), you'll need something or someone. Best of luck.

12:11 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, I don't post Unknowns. You need a real handle to participate in this blog. Thank you.


7:27 AM  
Anonymous Tommy said...

Orwell enters freedom of copyright. Can see the headlines now:

"Orwellian ×××Nineteen-Sexy-Four×××: A Netflix series, raising some difficult questions, with a lot more nudity than you asked for."

10:31 AM  
Anonymous BH said...

To echo Dr. Berman's last comment to megan there is a Proverb that goes " As goeth the prince so goeth the people" you have stupid leaders because the people are stupid.

9:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


"Where do you think our leaders come from? Mars?" (George Carlin)


10:47 PM  
Anonymous Krakhed said...

Greetings GSWH and Wafers,
Enjoying the discussion here as usual. Just want to put the word out that if any Wafers are near central Pennsylvania, I'd be happy to talk about a meetup. My email address is sem36 at scasd dot org.

I follow the cryptocurrency news and Bitcoin has had a wild ride recently.

I see Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies potentially serving a purpose in dual process. They can't be shut down by the US government, and anyone can obtain the technology and use them as a true peer to peer medium of exchange. I am hopeful that they are more widely adopted as people start to see through the smokescreen of the US dominated financial system.

Thank you GSWH and Wafers for your contributions. Long live the greatest blog on earth!

12:43 AM  
Anonymous Rollo Dice said...

This video was made two years ago while Trump was making America
great again. Imagine what it is like with CV-19 ruining the

2:45 AM  
Anonymous Rob Lamb said...

Yvy, what a nice film recommendation. Got around to watching this latest adaptation and it was an absolute delight. There is no such thing as a perfect adaptation of the novel, but just as there was plenty to love in the 1986 adaptation, there's a lot to love in this one. Fabulous cast, with John Turturro in the lead as Brother William of Baskerville. He's terrific, and the rest of the cast is great too -- including James Cosmo as Brother Jorge, Michael Emerson as the Abbot and Rupert Everett as Bernardo Gui. There are some changes here and there to crank up the drama -- plus the novel's only female character is greatly enhanced, and joined onscreen by an all-new female character that works well in the context of this vision.

Definitely a nice viewing for Wafers

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Bruce Scofield said...

I think this blues-rock song gets to a lot of the crap blowing around these days -

10:36 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Greetings again, Dr. Berman & Wafers. It may be a new year, but our Karens haven’t changed a bit. So let’s enjoy seeing some new fine American ladies showing their high decorum. LOL.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

New Year’s greetings, Wafers everywhere, here is your news roundup from Cascadia.

Our home city of Olympia has become the site of clashes every weekend between militia groups and counter-protestors, and the action has spilled over beyond the Capitol campus to adjacent neighborhoods and the downtown area. Armed militia groups have said they plan to “occupy” the Capitol this week as the legislature comes back into session, though legislators plan to meet remotely: -the-capitol-and-the-city

Meanwhile, the mass eviction can has been kicked down the road a bit in Washington as the state evictions moratorium has been extended:

Finally, the next three weeks should provide plenty of declinist infotainment as the dance of the Coo-Day-Tah becomes more intense around presidential inauguration day on Jan. 20. For example, Trump adviser Peter Navarro asserts VP Pence can simply postpone the inauguration until the “right” solution is found; America to be ruled by decree by the end of January?

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Rob, I don't think the latest adaptation of the Name of the Rose is as good as the first one, but I admit to being prejudiced against remakes in general (except Billy Wilder's "The Front Page").

On a different topic, it's interesting how now mainstream media promotes "polyamory" relationships (what in the old days was called being a slut):
The benefits of having many lovers

Maybe I'm just an old fart unable to come to terms with the modern word or maybe capitalism is a bloody satanic cult where nothing is allowed to be sacred except money... (See also the "transphobic" witch hunts involving JK Rowling, for example, as others Wafers have posted links.) Feedback welcome.

12:14 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Rollo Dice - Except the things being talked about in that film in 2018, have been ongoing for decades. One of Michael Moore's stunts was to drive a flatbed truck around to workplaces where the women have to wear diapers, to try to shame their bosses into giving them bathroom breaks. Needless to say, this stunt back in the 80s or 90s didn't make the slightest impression on the ruling class and diapers are still de rigueur for many workers if they still have jobs.

Malleus - That's the best nutshell description of capitalism I've heard.

Everyone - Does this site have any weight at all? It seems to forecast a huge drop in population for the US but notice it also forecasts huge drops for some other Anglophone countries.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't run it. We have a half pg max limit on this blog.


5:00 PM  
Anonymous Michael King said...

First, best wishes to Dr. Berman and all who read the blog and/or contribute to it. It's going to be a rough year and this blog will continue to be a haven. Writing from Vancouver (BC) so am getting a close-up look at the USA as it goes off a cliff. It was frightening to witness before the pandemic hit. Now, OMG! Would like to recommend On Corruption in America by Sarah Chayes. An excellent if depressing read. Please disregard Thomas Friedman's praise on the dust jacket. The two best new jazz albums I heard in 2020 were Autogenesis by N to the Power and Rainbow Sign by Ron Miles. Finally, what a lovely idea to meet fellow Wafers in person! I am definitely open to meeting new people for an outside chat. Fortunately I don't live alone and if you do I appreciate that it is tough these days so don't be shy. Especially interested in meeting younger people. I'm 67, somewhat wise :) and used to be a university teacher among many things. I'm a good listener. lavenencia2018 at gmail dot com

5:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for wrtg in. You may know that I lived in Vanc for several yrs. Yes, the US is indeed collapsing; I wd predict in an orgy of stupidity and violence. Gd if you can arrange a Wafer mtg in BC or the Pacific NW (Jack Latteman is in Olympia, for starters). The very thought of Thos Friedman makes me wanna toss my cookies.


5:56 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

It might be a tad presumptuous to break out the Manischewitz, or sing "Celebrate!" by Kool & the Gang, but I really do believe America's days are numbered:


5:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd essay, but I'm amazed that the most astute critics invariably leave out the crucial factor: the American populace is simply not very bright. This, above all the other (real) factors, is what has led to our luck running out. Walt touches on this with respect to the bubba refusal to wear masks, but it goes way, way beyond this and certainly antedated covid. It is long overdue to start peppering critical analyses with phrases like 'buffoons', 'meatheads', and 'clowns'. What we've got is 330 million turkeys marching toward Thanksgiving. Typically, Walt ends his essay on a semi-optimistic note. But once you realize that Americans have shit for brains, not even a scintilla of optimism is warranted. The game is over, period.


6:45 PM  
Anonymous Chuck Steak said...

The creative writers in the world of news are outdoing themselves.

Yes, and history will never forget that they were idiots.

Fair is fair! Let the investigation last for the next four years
with Trump still in the White House.

11:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


What bozos we have for politicians. And for citizens too, of course. Meanwhile, Senate election in Georgia: if it tips tow'd the GOP, Schmiden can expect to get 0 accomplished in the next 4 yrs. Of course, even if this doesn't happen, any chgs he makes will be cosmetic, and not deal w/real issues. I suggest Wafers show up at the inauguration and unfurl a large banner:



12:34 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


A few things on that article-

1. The Anglophone world has this obsession with acronyms. Every human experience is made to sound like a recently discovered medical condition.

2. At one point in the video the guy says he "came out" as CNM. I'm not sure how one "comes out" about a clearly intentional life decision — see "consensual." One surely isn't born CNM- unless that's the claim?

3. The article is supposed to be a neutral examination of a topic in "psychology" and yet not a single challenge or drawback to the lifestyle is discussed.

More generally, I think adults of an earlier generation would react to this by seeing it largely as a case of arrested development. Yes, the novelty of a new love is powerful, but chasing it as a married person in your 40s is pathetically self-indulgent. We call this attitude "repression" today, but I think they would see at as a time and a season for all things. We can't bear the thought of such a natural limitation. Perhaps also because we put so much stress on youth to professionalize when young, they never get to go through the "gather the rosebuds" of young love, and this sort of discontent pops up with monogamy.

There's much to say here, that's just a first impression.

6:06 AM  
Anonymous Bradley said...

Book recommendation: Settlers as Conquerors by Julius Wilm

7:33 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Good news dept.:

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Cherokee said...

A Stoic Approach to Parenting: Helping Parents and Kids Thrive by Meredith Alexander Kunz

Lol, the author of this should look into how his kids turned out: his son was one of Rome's worst emperors

8:54 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

I can't find it now, but I remember a Doonesbury of Zoomer reporting from the GOP Convention in 1988, I think, when Papa Bush was running. As crazy things kept happening, he finally realized, 'Who needs drugs any more??'

In that spirit, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and Brexit has its own beautiful moments. Like the pro-Brexit sex toy tycoon whose products are now blocked from export... NSFW 'Many of the sex arses coming out of China are substandard...My sex arses are all made by British craftsmen and we can command a premium price..."

Western Civilization in free fall is going to be horrifyingly wonderous and amazing.

10:17 AM  
Blogger ccg said...

About Biden: Just my opinion, but I think Biden will be quite happy if the Senate stays Republican. That way he'll have a convenient excuse for doing nothing or for not even making an effort to do something. That's pretty much they way Obama played things. Even when he had both houses of Congress he did squat. Some historian, whose name escapes me at the moment, referred to Obama's time in the White House as The Seinfeld Presidency, a presidency about nothing. Well, I have no doubt that we're to have yet another Seinfeld presidency. And recall that Biden once said that if he gets elected "nothing will change."

Well, for some reason when I talk to people about Biden I keep referring to him as "Obiden." I'm not even doing this consciously. It just comes out that way. Maybe it's a Freudian slip.

3:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Call me crazy, but I jus' love Americans:


3:29 PM  
Anonymous B. Louis said...


I'm skipping a family event in March. A wedding. They're extremely upset at me for not going because they've been trying to get back in touch with me ever since my artistic pursuits became public. The same family that joked about me 'Dating Chinks' when I lived in Hawai'i years ago.

Back to the original point. I'm not going because no one will pay any attention to safety protocols for Covid, but mostly because this group of nouveau-riche people will spend the entire reception discussing right-wing conspiracy theories. They'll get drunk, then scream and yell in each others' faces about how Trumpi was our country's last chance for redemption. Some will likely go home and get horribly sick.

Meanwhile, my wife and I are putting together the pieces for our move to Scandinavia. ONWARDS AND FORWARDS!

I'll watch America burn from a safe distance.

"You were never on my side...
Fool me once...fool me twice...
Now you'll never see me cry...
There's just no time to die..."

4:10 PM  
Anonymous The Hon. Robert A. Ganoush, Ph.D. said...

Dr. Berman,

Long time lurker(ca FireDogLake blog), first time poster. Comedian Marc Maron of WTF Podcast fame has been recording daily live video chats with his listeners as a way to stay connected during the COVID lockdown. On this particular day he was organizing his bookshelves when he cited you as a favorite. The bad news? You share a shelf w/ Hedges.

There may yet be a Tuscan villa in your future, provided Wafers can wage a successful campaign to land you as a guest on his podcast!

4:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Kinda confusing, as Hedges begins w/H, and Berman w/B. Why wd they be next to one another? However, the fact that they are depresses me more than I can begin to tell you.


6:46 PM  
Blogger futuroexpat said...

Maybe the books were arranged by title and were side by side in the W's: Why America Failed next to Wages of Rebellion

7:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Somehow, that doesn't make it any better...


8:15 PM  
Anonymous Noura said...

The Rich Got Richer During COVID-19. Here’s How American Billionaires Performed

The problem with America goes deeper than social, political, or economic, it's an issue of values. I wish I had realized this sooner so I could leave sooner. I am working on my escape plan and I've been warning any of my friends who would listen. I can't even discuss this with some of them. The past week, I've been waking up every morning with an intense feeling of dread. But once I was able to accept that America is truly over, the feeling of dread went away. Truth is hard to accept, but once we do, it sets us free.

Very grateful for this blog and amazed that almost no one else talks about the issue of values of the American culture.

8:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Best of luck with emigrating. Probably the best decision of yr entire life. Yes, no one talks abt the values of American culture, or of the transmitters of those values, namely Americans. That there is only 1 blog that recognizes these issues, and their role in our collapse, is actually gd, because the blindness contributes to the collapse. Think of the op-ed or editorial writers for the major papers, like the Wash Post or NYT: these people are jokes. They cannot see how the American value system has got its hooks deep into their guts. How hard is it to grasp the fact that all empires, w/o exception, rise and fall, and that this is our time to fall? Trump is trumpeted as an anomaly, a rare exception, and yet his values (hustling) are the values of almost every American. Folks like Brooks and Friedman will go to their eventual deaths never managing to extract their heads from their rumps. Schmernie and AOC try to save the country...for what? What's to save, really? "Saving" is not on the historical agenda, in any case. If yr smart, you hit the road.


ps: Of course, there's always the possibility that Tulsi will come to the rescue at the 11th hour.

9:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


While we are on the (inexhaustible) subject of Tulsi, I need to take this opportunity to express my deep frustration w/this cutting-edge thinker. Tulsi has the keys to a bright American future, and yet she holds back, won't share her wisdom. 2 things are needed from her:

1. A clear and succinct exposition of Tulsism; exactly what it is.
2. The means of implementing that philosophy in our political life.

Why does she continue to hold back? WHY TULSI WHY?


10:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


In their infinite wisdom, Amazon managed to bury my short story collection, "Heart," in another bk of the same name. I'm currently working w/Echo Pt, the publisher, to see if this mess can get sorted out; but knowing Amazon, it will probably take a while. To those of you interested in buying it, or maybe yr friends, please note that my bk, as opposed to the other one, is listed as a paperback for $18.95. Just click on "paperback" and all will be well. Thanks for yr patience.


11:23 PM  
Anonymous Rollo Dice said...

Remember to be at the park by 7 AM on Jan.6.

Just look at the traitors!!

If all else fails, God will intervene.

12:22 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Here are a couple of movies you guys might like:

1. The new Woody Allen film, "A Rainy Day in New York."

2. "The Music Never Stopped," a bit of a sleeper starring J.K. Simmons and Julia Ormond.


1:05 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


There's a later Woody film, 2020, called "Rifkin's Festival," as yet not listed on Netflix.


1:53 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Here's a new OpEd by Ariel Dorfman-

I don't think that the US will be getting a new constitution anytime soon...

6:21 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Dorfman is very smart; I don't think he believes for a minute that radical change is possible for the US. Consider this sentence:

"If we think of Trump's reign not as an outlier but the extreme expression of a morbidity that has been accumulating since the birth of the country, rooted in the tangles of our collective history and DNA..."

As I have repeatedly said, Trumpi is no anomaly, no 'outlier'; he is an icon of who we are, down to our very DNA, and going back to the late 16thC. This is what WAF is all about. Did it ever get reviewed by the MSM? Did this core problem (identified by Dorfman) ever get discussed in an open forum? Of course not, and it won't now. The NYT and other media ram their heads up their asses, roll around like donuts, and contribute to the national disease, and the coming national collapse. Who realizes this? Dorfman, Native Americans, and 175 Wafers--c'est tout.


7:01 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This is kinda neat:

7:22 AM  
Anonymous Noel said...

Jennifer Szalai reviews John Gray's latest book in The New York Times:

8:12 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman & Wafers,
The comedy show continues in the United States. In this case we have some fine anti-maskers “spreading the love”. As an added plus we also get to see a fresh new Karen in action. The fun never stops. Ha.Ha.Ha.
Yes, Dr. Berman. You said it so well. From a declinist’s point of view, it’s totally entertaining sitting back watching these baboons and seeing the United States disintegrate before our very eyes.

10:24 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

This important news bulletin just in from Cascadia: fellow Canadian Wafer Jim Kline and I have decided to close the Northwest Center for Tulsism. Our attempts to contact Gabbard for clarification of the tenets of Tulsism and a commitment to set up the Northwest Center on the Evergreen College campus with a visiting professorship have been met with a silence as deafening as the void of the now empty buildings of Evergreen. We have concluded that Tulsism was a false dawn for Merica, and that four years from now Tulsism will be as forgotten as the contribution of Crystal Walraven. We call for Gabbard to be consigned, without further dithering, to the dumpster of douchbaguettery.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Hey Dr. B, over the long weekend I tried to work out a solution to your blogger problems. I thought that moving to a new blog platform would be easiest, but most (like Wix) were way too complicated and the easy ones (like Medium) have restrictions - WAFers would have to register in order to comment, and there's a limit to free views per month.

Hopefully you can figure out how to update your login information for Blogger/Google the next time you're in Mexico City. Let us know if we can help, it may be as simple as signing up for a new g-mail account?

Anyway, I hope all WAFers can see this:

11:18 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Here's what someone sent me, in terms of an alternate or additional blog:

At present, I don't know what it involves. I intend to return to Mex City on the 11th (with my own computer), go to the fone co. on the 12th, and see if that works. Whether it works or not, I will then try to install squarespace. If you know anything abt it, let me know. Thanks.


Clearly, a sad day for America.


12:43 PM  
Anonymous Terra said...


12:49 PM  
Anonymous Hans Castorp said...

Hi Dr. Berman-

I did a search for "free blog platform" and came up with this:

Maybe this is another one to throw into the mix of possible alternatives?

2:29 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

"US is no longer an option" -

This has actually been ongoing, when the last recession was in full swing, in 2009 or so, I lived in a smaller town with a lot of Hispanics. And if I get some sun I sort of "pass" so they confided in me, that large numbers were getting out of the US, that it no longer works out. That their family back home are sending *them* money so they can survive in the US. (Hoping the misery here would be temporary - ha!)

We all know the outcome of this. Unless Americant's seriously pull their heads out of their asses they're not going to be picking crops and working in meatpacking plants although it wasn't work they were too good for a few generations ago.

4:24 PM  
Anonymous B. Louis said...

Americans are eating heart de-wormer paste intended for horses.

Because they think it cures Covid.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

What a surprise dept.:

Maybe it's time to take the gloves off. Maybe white cops shd just go out into the streets and shoot every black person they see, at random. Clearly they've been pulling their punches for too long.


7:13 PM  
Anonymous Molly said...

China Root: Taoism, Ch’an, and Original Zen

A beautifully compelling and liberating guide to the original nature of Zen in ancient China by renowned author and translator David Hinton.

Something to take your mind off of the stupidity of modernity.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

On blogs, one thing I hope you look into is being able to import this blog into the new one. And a true import, not just a linkage that requires this site to remain active. I think that both Wordpress and Wix offer this; no idea about squarespace.

@alex- I knew a few families that traveled from Mexico to the Bay Area and back. Most hated the US, made certain to send their kids back to family in Mexico as much as possible so that they weren't ruined. And this was a decade ago.

One woman from Guatemala did not like what the US was doing to her child. She came with him because her town was controlled by drug dealers, she had been kidnapped and ransomed more than once. But everything about the US bothered her- food, school, people.

I wonder if people really understand where their food comes from, and the importance of migrant labor. Remember this from Stephen Colbert a decade ago- it hasn't changed.

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Seneca’s Cliff said...

The USA is such a basket case that even when they have supplies of the Vaccine on hand they can’t seem to get it out to the population. I think it stems from the corrupt for-profit sick-care system we have that is geared to hustling. A rational country like Cuba would just set up tents, round up every trained health care professional, and line up the people and get it done. Here the Vaccine is paid for by the taxpayers but it is allowed to charge you, Medicare or your insurance for the service of giving it to you. In my neck of the woods they are stumbling around trying to figure out who’s gonna pay so they have only given out 25% of the vaccine on hand.

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Glans Butterworth, III said...

Adding to Wafers' comments regarding Mexicans leaving CA etc...
I worked at thoroughbred racetracks for sevl years as a hot walker and groom-working side by side w/Central American immigrants/seasonal workers.

Anecdotally, most of the Mexicans, Guatemalans, and El Salvadorians, appreciated the ability to work in the US; however, they strongly disliked the way the US treated people, few manners/"not classy," horrible food, their God is money, and not a community. Also, they felt the US was dangerous for their children and feared they were becoming "American."

After a few years, many left the US to return home. They were replaced with a new crop of starry-eyed folks.

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Noura said...

Mexico ready to offer asylum to Julian Assange, president says
Youtube Video

10:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A great move on the part of AMLO, I hafta say. Maybe Julian will wind up being my next-door neighbor.


Check out the essay in AWTY titled "McFarland, USA."


Maybe it's time to refresh yr post-it:



12:50 AM  
Anonymous Chuck Steak said...

What is truly remarkable is their loyalty to such cipher of
a human being and president of America the Bonkers.

Rats leaving the sinking ship? Even some fascist talk show hosts
are having doubts about continuing to support him no matter his
antics and violation of the sacred constitution.

3:15 AM  
Blogger vsoguy said...

Dr. Berman,

It looks like Kanye and Kim are calling it quits:

This is tragic news for da-'merica, though Kanye may write a tell-all book on Kim's anus, which would significantly reduce the need to research the subject.

5:40 AM  
Anonymous Bobby Jo said...

Female leaders found to be no better in Covid crisis

"The study found societies that were more egalitarian, more collectivist and more indulgent — a term that factors in things such as having better work-life balance and a happier outlook — tended to have fewer deaths per capita."

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Whittington said...

Interesting article. “All we want is someplace where every time we turn around we don’t see that idiot damn machine staring at us.” is a great quote. I remember reading about this bet....

A 25-Year-Old Bet Comes Due: Has Tech Destroyed Society?
In 1995, a WIRED cofounder challenged a Luddite-loving doomsayer to a prescient wager on tech and civilization’s fate. Now their judge weighs in.

10:11 AM  
Blogger Alan2102 said...

"B Louis said...
Americans are eating heart de-wormer paste intended for horses.
Because they think it cures Covid. "

Hi, B Louis and all.
For the record, ivermectin (an old drug used to treat parasites) does indeed have
a favorable effect in COVID-19. See links here:
See also new meta-analysis published days ago, here:

The fact that it has been used as a de-wormer is irrelevant. Old drugs are now in the process of being re-purposed, i.e. they are finding new uses for them all the time. The action of a molecule is not limited by some name like "de-wormer". Consider that aspirin -- an old headache and arthritis drug -- can be used to prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease. These new uses are based on improved understanding of the action of the molecule.

The BIG story is the way in which cheap, safe, effective early treatment (such as with ivermectin, and other agents) has been completely ignored in the rush to advance tthe vaccine approach.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I always regarded Kevin as a techno-buffoon. Meanwhile, Sale did a favorable review of WAF, some yrs ago. But I do think he shd have honored the bet.


1:03 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

That article on Kirk Sale and the WIRED guy's bet includes this line: "But Patrick had free reign in making the determination." Any Amish or other person with Luddite tendencies could tell the writer that the term is "free rein."

This demonstration of the loss of knowledge of the origin of the word is just another example of technology's insidious separation of humanity from our culture and history.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

This was the us empire.

Please take note Mr. Hedges, these folks appear "rising up;" however, their theatre won't matter jack shit in altering the DNA of the usa. The vile structure remains, but it makes good sound bytes for the "news" to portray "freedom" of expression....more masturbation.

2:42 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Attention! Hear ye! Hear ye! The ongoing laughable disintegration of the United States is in full swing! Trumpsters have barricaded through police lines and have infiltrated the U.S. Capitol.

Dr. Berman, this is hilarious! As I type this on your blog on Wednesday afternoon this has absolutely no sign of abating. And the elected Republican clowns like Jim Jordan and Steve Scalise are doing their part with their verbal bloviating on the House floor. The BBC is showing it in real time non-stop.
From our declinists’ point of view, this is totally entertaining! What an outright farce and pathetic joke the United States of America is! LOL!

2:46 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Trumpites storm the Capitol. Well, MB, you are still batting 1000! You predicted this madness, and it has come to pass. Allow me to bestow upon you a *new* title: Maharishi ('great seer'). From now on you should be referred to as Maharishi Berman Guru Dev.


3:02 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

The real fun begins:


3:19 PM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Hi Dr. B and WAFERS:

In the mid-to-late 1990s I was very interested in intentional communities and tried (unsuccessfully) to found one in Ontario.

It had been a while since I examined the history of intentional communities, so yesterday while making a soup I watched an hour long documentary about The Farm: the large and famous intentional community established in Tennessee in 1971 (it still exists): This documentary is much less critical of The Farm than American Commune: Here is an interesting interview from 1985 with former members and why they left at that time:

The Farm is a fascinating case study in the would-be-utopian American counterculture of the 1960s, 1970s, and early to mid-1980s. I wonder if other WAFERS have read/thought about intentional communities in the American context?

-Northern Johnny

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Bubbas attack:

3:44 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

For the past two hours I’ve sat transfixed here in Cascadia, reading the press dispatches from DC as Trump supporters have taken over the Capitol buildings:

Meanwhile, the Guardian live reports say the Defense Department has denied a request for National Guardian assistance to overwhelmed Capitol Police:

Trump supporters storm Capitol as former DC police chief denounces 'coup attempt' – live | US news | The Guardian

He who controls the guns, makes the rules. So, will Trump really depart the White House on 20 January, or will he truly make his mark as an agent of history? This sure looks like a U.S. Suez Moment to me. Can you dance the Coo-Day-Tah?

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

Wow!!! Dr. Berman, this is quite a "revolution."

Like the video comments of, "where ya at?" And the photo of Bubbas posing in the us shit hole CONgress. This IS the (bowel) movement. Impotent boyz.

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...


Pro-Trump protesters storm US Capitol building — live updates

4:31 PM  
Blogger Shawn McDowell said...

Dr. Berman his picture is Amazing. it's hard to believe it's only been 10 years since your book Why America Failed was published. The book truly opened my eyes to what this country is about and it's trajectory down the tubes. I'm not surprised at what's unfolding in the capitol but I didn't think it would be happening this soon. I wanted to ask you when you personally realized The was inevitably heading for this?

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Unknown Knish said...

I'm telling you, if those were black, brown or red people doing that crap at the US capitol, they would have been mown down in their tracks.

4:49 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

This is fantastic. LOL.

Wafers, please look at the videos.

5:19 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

RE, Dorfman: I suppose that the only way his OpEd could get published on a "mainstream" site like CNN was because he mentioned "possible solutions" like re-inventing the US Constitution. If he had said that turning things around is about as likely as an aircraft carrier doing a 180 in a bathtub, his OpEd probably would have been DOA at CNN.

I see that he has been a professor at Duke U in NC since 1985; hard to believe that he hasn't left the USA- he could live anywhere, one would think.

5:23 PM  
Anonymous down we go said...

Somehow I doubt that this is the revolution Hedges has been calling for. As expected, it is coming from the Right rather than the Left. Progs are too comfortable on their reclining couches to give a shit.

Thank good the mob didn't include black persons. The Capital would have flowed with blood.

5:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


No doubt abt it. If the BLM folks tried this, they wd have been murdered en masse.


WAF was published in 2011, the Twilight bk in 2000. In the latter, I outlined what needed to be done to save the country, but I had no illusions that this wd happen. I have been predicting riots and martial law over the last few yrs, and I've also said this was the crucial decade for America. And now we see it: barbarism, violence, and sheer stupidity. Gosh, what a surprise!

Dr. Shit-

A # of politicians have called this an attempted coup, but--correct me if I'm wrong--the bubbas and Limp Boys showed up unarmed. A coup w/o guns? Don't kid me. At the same time, any serious declinist will tell you that the bubbas et al. are acting as effective historical agents. This brings shame on the US, worldwide, and it also shows that the country has reached the breaking point. Also note that the Democratic victory in GA is gd news, because w/Kamala casting the deciding vote in numerous policy decisions, anything this admin wants to pass, will pass--and amount to 0. Had the GOP held the Senate, the progs cd always say, Well, of course we cdn't fix the country, as we didn't have the power to do so. And when Biden's 'changes' are cosmetic, and when he doesn't fix the country despite the Dems holding both House and Senate, then what will they say?

On another note: I do want to pt out that you posted 2x within 1.25 hrs. Let me be clear: one more violation of the 24-hr time rule, and yr off the blog forever. Up 2u.


That Tulsi hasn't spoken up is beyond belief.


I am honored by the title, and recall how the Beatles drooled on the Guccis of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Personally, I felt he shd have been addressed as the Marharishi Ma-Corned-Beef-Hash Yogi. Maybe it's time for me to assume this exalted name. Anyway, I kept predicting the breakdown of America because of its people, and yes, now we have it in spades. But from a declinist pt of view, the bubbas are agents of change--real, substantive agents of the collapse of the country, wh/is inevitable in any case. Honestly, for a far-seeing guru I'm beginning to feel like a broken record.


Here's the short version: America is a shit pile. Shit piles don't recover; they disintegrate.


5:40 PM  
Anonymous Rollo Dice said...
Those truly concerned about today's festivities in DC are
all the creditors holding $27.761T in paper. They have to
wonder how the US will be able to splash money on social
discontent as its customary way of keeping the goddam American
Dream alive.

5:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Let me say that the really impt news rt now is not some half-baked attempted coup on the part of the bubbas. No; it's the fact that 2 of the greatest douche bags America has ever produced, and who are worshiped by millions of other douche bags, are getting divorced. Personally, I'm very excited.


5:53 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Medhi Hasan: "Think about how much suffering and injustice Black Americans have faced for *centuries* in this country. Yet they have never attacked the Capitol, nor have Native Americans.

And yet a bunch of white #MAGA snowflakes decided to attack the Capitol because they lost an election."

Looks as if the DC and Capitol police rolled over and let the protesters through. Even taking selfies with the protesters inside the Capitol.

I know it's a clown car crash in slow motion, nothing more. And it isn't the people outside who should worry us. It's the Senators and congresspeople inside. I know it's all fun and games to some, but those of us left behind inside the borders have our lives to live still, and I for one want the controlled crash that Biden et al will foster. Trump and friends have served their purpose.

7:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan D-

Link didn't work for me. I'm wondering where the evidence is for yr statement that the cops let protesters thru, and took selfies. Very impt to document this; otherwise, irresponsible.


7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

Here's one link supporting Dan D's post.

7:31 PM  
Blogger Thomas Strimpel said...

Well Wafers- this is certainly an interesting development:
According to the latest reports, a citywide curfew has been established in DC and the city’s National Guard has been called to quell the Trumpite “coup” gumming up the gears of glorious, righteous American democracy. You have to stop and ask yourself: did events degrade into this level of stupidity and abject buffoonery in the final days of Rome?

Life in America can often be thought of as a cruel joke. Such is the realization that I, a 20 year old soon-to-be college graduate, will probably never attain the financial security or material comfort that a dolt like Homer Simpson could provide for his family.

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Porter said...

People with more authoritarian tendencies are less concerned about the impact of COVID19 on their own and others’ health and less inclined to wear masks and heed expert advice given. But more likely to believe China was responsible for the infection rates.

Also, they've suspended Trumpo's Twitter for 12 hrs. Interesting to think of the psychological effect it will have on him, given his obvious behavioral addiction to it.

8:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...




This is gd, thanks.


8:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The bubba riots of Jan. 6 constitute another domestic Suez Moment, but given our shame and humiliation before the whole world, they might also constitute the potential foreign S.M. we have talked abt in the past. This is from an article in the Jan. 7 Guardian:

"Political scientists pointed out that the day’s events would change the way the world views the US. 'No one in the world is likely to see, respect, fear, or depend on us in the same way again,' tweeted Richard Haas, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, a US-based think tank." (And a gd thing, too. The results of American hegemony, wh/include heavy doses of genocide, are by now pretty clear.)

Perhaps now, much of the world will stop taking American 'democracy' seriously. But I have to reiterate how most of American politics is little more than theater. After all, what kind of coup d'etat is it, when the insurrectionists leave their guns at home; when they more or less obediently disperse after a 6pm curfew; and when the whole thing basically peters out, as Congress gets back to work, certifying the election of Joe B.? This 'coup' was essentially bluster. I mean, what genuine revolutionary group obeys a curfew, fer chrissakes? This 'coup' was no more effective (i.e., real) than BLM, the pussy hat demos, OWS, and all the other 'revolutionary' crap we've witnessed over the last decade or so. I suppose all we need to complete the joke is yet another article from Chris Hedges on how the Left hasta rise up, confront the corporations, and seize the centers of power.(It's probably in press as we speak. The poor guy repeatedly validates my assertion, that there will never be a wake-up moment for this sad and deluded American patriot.)

Meanwhile, the one thing we don't hear from the MSM or practically anyone outside of this blog, is that the US is irrevocably broken, and therefore finished. There will be no restoration of 'democracy' because we have never been a democracy except in name only (more theater). The Biden admin will accomplish zip. And consider how split down the middle the country is, with so many elections being on the razor's edge, like Georgia, virtually 50/50. As I said in WAF, the Civil War never ended, and all of this is that drama being played out. We were broken in 1865, and the resulting 'Union' has been little more than a Potemkin village.

It's not that politicians and the MSM and etc. refuse to acknowledge that it's time to ring down the curtain on this 'exceptional' experiment; it's rather that they are so blind that they can't see it, don't understand our *real* history, and are clueless as to what is happening today, as karma hits us full force. They certainly can't see that Trump is no anomaly, that Trumpism is embedded in our DNA, and that his garnering of 74 million votes is a major message, hardly an accident.

It's over, boys; it's over. Enuf talk abt salvaging American 'democracy'. Trump is certainly not an adult, but--neither are you.


10:33 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Cops taking selfies with the terrorists:

Northern Johnny - thanks for the links, will read/watch carefully. I tried the "permaculture survivalist compound" thing 2009-2012 and it was not pretty. You can't take hyper-inDUHvidualistic American's AKA Iks Who Drive Cars and expect anything but a dystopia.

Just .... get out! Get out if you can! Preferably to a non-English-speaking country.

12:12 AM  
Anonymous 100 Octane said...

"I'm wondering where the evidence is for yr statement that the cops let protesters thru, and took selfies...'

Allow me.

Video in link.

Thank you for your continued good work and guidance. Onward and downward.

12:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

alex, 100-

Thanks for the documentation. Raises crucial questions of how 'infiltrated' or sympathetic the cops are re: the bubbas, and Trumpi.


12:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I need a vote. There are 175 registered Wafers, and I hope you will all show up at the Schmiden inauguration on Jan. 20, and unfurl a large banner. Three possible banners:




What say you?


5:03 AM  
Anonymous Noura said...

The Fate of Empires - Sir John Glubb
Listen on Youtube:
Read here:
Great article about how empires decline. It was published around 1976 and yet it’s still relevant today. The average lifespan of an empire seems to be 250 years. The next paragraph was extracted from the article:

“When I first read these contemporary descriptions of tenth-century Baghdad, I could scarcely believe my eyes. I told myself that this must be a joke! The descriptions might have been taken out of The Times today. The resemblance of all the details was especially breathtaking—the break-up of the empire, the abandonment of sexual morality, the ‘pop’ singers with their guitars, the entry of women into the professions, the five-day week. I would not venture to attempt an explanation! There are so many mysteries about human life which are far beyond our comprehension.”

It seems that identity politics tend to occur before the collapse of empires. Which makes sense because they don’t address the real issues. If not for our vanity, we could learn from history. It’s obvious that nothing last forever, so why would the United States not fall? When I try to warn people, the responses range from think positive, pray it way, or no response. I’d rather know the truth, however unpleasant. It’s pretty obvious now that almost all systems in America are corrupt. Thus, it’s in the best interest of Humanity for America to disintegrate. Still, I am glad Biden won this term because it will buy me some time to plan my escape to emigrate. Trump has done enough damage and he might still come back for another term, at this point, I wouldn’t rule this out as an option. The price of Bitcoin has been increasing steadily since yesterday’s Suez moment. I think investors are panicking and fleeing the US dollar. If we can’t move yet, we can at least begin to emigrate financially.

8:32 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It's not so much a question of vanity as ignorance. Most Americans think that American history began around 1960. Thus they are incapable of thinking in terms of the 'long view.' I actually doubt more than half of them cd tell you who Dwight Eisenhower was. As for your hitting the road: obviously, the most intelligent thing anyone cd do. Gd luck!


10:21 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

This is a very interesting Twitter thread written by the UK academic Philip Cunliffe back in September 2020 about the likely outcome of a close election in which Trump loses:

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...

It turns out that some high-ranking law enforcement officials did indeed help the protesters attempt the coup. These treasonous people actually opened the gates and let the protesters in. There are photos of this happening.

I recognize that we live in an age of lies and propaganda, and that the above article may be distorted or even false. However, this article is very likely accurate, because most law enforcement personnel are fiercely pro-Trump. And it's not like they have a conscience: their habit of murdering unarmed civilians at home and abroad, often for no reason at all, tells us everything we need to know about their moral integrity. Of *course* they are willing to implement a military dictatorship. They have no limits; they will do whatever they can get away with.

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Mckibben said...

The Q shaman — conspirituality goes rioting on Capitol Hill | by Jules Evans | Jan, 2021 | Medium

12:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


If this is true, the question becomes, Will this be followed up? I.e., will the cops involved in facilitating the attempted coup be identified and prosecuted? Also, if true, it shows how split down the middle the US is (wh/we already knew).


More evidence that we have fallen into the Abyss.


This is why I say that we have finally arrived at the external Suez Moment. I repeatedly said that Trumpi was a man sent by History to polish off the US. Well, it looks like he has been History's perfect tool. Who will respect us now? Who will look to the US for global leadership, as it sinks deeper into the Abyss of economic and political dysfunction; of madness, conspiracy theories, and an ocean of lies? Of course, many will believe that Trumpalumpi was an historical error, a buffoon who accidentally wound up in the W.H. Then how do you explain that 74 million Americans voted for him? This was no accident.

Of course, I effectively predicted this in WAF when I said the Civil War never ended, and that true Union can only be achieved if the North apologizes to the South. This will never happen, and so the C.W. will continue until the nation finally breaks apart. Of the .00001% of the country that read WAF, even less will agree w/my assessment, because Americans simply don't have the mental capacity to think in non-B&W terms, and to recognize the paradox that the antebellum South represents. No, let's just be enraged and self-righteous, declare Berman a racist, and be done w/having to think.


12:43 PM  
Anonymous Christian Wolfe said...

'It Wasn’t Strictly a Coup Attempt. But It’s Not Over, Either.'

"Experts say recent actions by President Trump and his loyalists are harder to stop than a coup — citing anti-democratic slides in Turkey and Venezuela as closer examples."

Of course the US would have the dumbest of 'coupe' ....

1:22 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

In case you missed it, here's a very brief video segment in which a distressed young woman from Knoxville, Tennessee, obviously a Trump supporter, is asked by a newsperson "Ma'am? What happened to you?" She answered that she tried to get inside the capitol building but was pushed out and maced. "We stormed the capitol. This is a revolution" she says.

I guess that you could say that she's a trifle lacking in historical perspective about what real revolutions are like, although she does have a crude basic outline.

1:23 PM  
Blogger Mike Kelly said...

Hi MB and Wafers:

American kids are suffering from high rates of mental illness and the trend has been increasing. One in three kids reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in 2019, a 40% increase since 2009. There aren't enough pharmaceuticals in the world to fix these problems. If only Tulsi would awaken and save us all.

2:08 PM  
Blogger ccg said...


The police union of New York City (the PBA), probably the largest police union in the country, endorsed the re-election of Donald Trump back in August:

I gather that this is the first time they've endorsed anyone for president. This is like having the US Army endorse a candidate. Can there be any doubt over where the allegiances of cops lie politically? The ones at the Capitol may not have been active participants in yesterday's freak show (though I wouldn't dismiss that possibility either), I have little doubt that some of them acted as enablers.

3:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This wd indicate a complete breakdown of law n order. Which is what a vigorous national collapse needs.


The fact that Tulsi has failed to speak up, let alone step in and save us, is the true dark moment in our history. But then I'm also waiting to hear from Sarah Palin, Ging Newtrich, and Dan Quayle. Acting together, these cutting-edge intellects cd turn the US around.


"Well, I'm not braggin', babe, so don't put me down
But I've got the fastest set of wheels in town
When something comes up to me, he don't even try
'Cause if I had a set of wings, man, I know she could fly
She's my little deuce coupe
You don't know what I got."


We need more of her kind, imo. Hopefully the next few yrs will provide them.


4:17 PM  
Anonymous Krakhed said...

Wow what a day! Those Bubbas really whipped their dicks out this time. What did they think they'd accomplish when their idea of a political movement is just a bunch of conspiracy theorists walking into Capitol Hill just to vandalize it? Trump's base is fervid and ready to use their 2nd amendment rights to protect their ideology at all costs. I think Donny's political career is just getting started.

7:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


*What* ideology? Note: you need to send messages to most recent post, as no one reads the old stuff. Thanks.


11:48 PM  

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