January 31, 2021


"The sun never sets on the British Empire." Well, in the fullness of time, it did. For eventually, it sets on all empires, and our turn is now. At least from the point of view of an historian, this is nothing to get excited about. It's essentially a neutral process; no civilization has escaped this fate. But evaluating an empire, a civilization, or even a nation, is not a neutral thing. The great historian, Marc Bloch, claimed that the way to make such an evaluation was to ask whether that empire etc. "delivered the goods," i.e., made its citizens happy. Which citizens? I suppose we might ask. The majority? And how are we to decide what "happy" means? Did America succeed? Did it make its citizens happy (whatever that means)? In the waning years of American civilization, it might be useful to sit back, and take stock.



Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman,
Are Americans happy? How can they not be with all the smiley buttons going around? Or with the “have a nice day” exhortations? And besides, we can listen to Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” to reinforce it. It’s sort of like us old Catholic grammar school students happily smiling de rigueur for our graduation photos after we had been tormented by mean, ruthless, sadistic nuns for 8 years. But I digress.
The real happiness here in the United States is exemplified by our Karens! Let’s enjoy looking at some more of them! LOL!


A pre-pandemic Karen:

A Racist Karen: ( Caution. The N word used).

What fine ladies they ate indeed! LOL!

1:09 AM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...

I'd argue America never made its citizens happy. If it did, why have Americans always felt the need to flee from their communities and "expand" into new territory while killing all people they encountered along the way? This is deeply pathological behavior, and although all empires behave this way during their decline, all except the American and Mongol Empires had a period where they aspired to something higher than mere wealth and power.

1:16 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Al-Q'bong - I was looking very seriously at Louisiana as a place to retire. They're very pro-veteran and I just barely squeak in. Pretty much everything you need - VA. Social Security, etc., are all on one streetcar line like a string of pearls. I was playing trumpet, so a plan to busk for grocery money wasn't amiss.

Do your research. It's one of those pockets of the US that are different. If you're white, points to you. It's the South, after all. More points for any, any at all, Frenchness. Try to learn the local customs and patois. Learn the history.

Land just outside of NOLA is cheap. There are floods. Also if the US Balkanizes you may end up in a tuff spot. The SE may end up a Black ethno-state and more power to 'em but it might end up an inconvenient place for you to be.

Myself, I grew up in another one of those "less American" places in the US and speak the patois natively, know some of the history and am learning more, and will take my chances there. If it were not for that, I think NOLA would be my first choice.

3:28 AM  
Blogger Laila said...

I do have a few questions for MB and Wafers. Feel free to answer any/all of them.

1. In psychology class, I learned of a concept called group polarization. Here's the definition of Google cause I'm too lazy to paraphrase: "the tendency for group decisions to be more extreme than those made by individuals. Whichever way individuals are leaning, group discussions tend to make them lean further in that direction.” My question is, do you think this community is a victim of group polarization? Everyone comes here with a similar point of view about the downfall of the US, but as you all engage with each other more, do you tend to get more extreme? Does your hatred for America ever transform into something more dangerous? I would like to hear your opinion on this. I'm not trying to hate on this community, I just wanted to know what you all thought.

2. Seeing as the US empire will fall within the next few decades, will the value of the US dollar go down with it? Will people with student loans not have to pay them back anymore or pay a much smaller amount? I’m not sure how economics work, sorry if this is naive.

3. What will happen when the American empire falls? Will it reflect history's fallen empires or will there be help from surrounding nations/UN? I assume some states will secede, but will everyone be in poverty?

4. Where did you emigrate/plan on emigrating to and why?


6:31 AM  
Anonymous Eric Jensen said...

Positive thinking is part of the approved American religion. See how it is destroying our ability to act in our own best interests...
"How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America" By Barbara Ehrenreich

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Megam said...

Speaking of high I.Q. dumb people, what is it with the mainstreaming of conspiracy theory, Ancient Alien crap? I think it has something to do with the History Channel selling out, as well as Big Media traffickers in lies like Alex Jones and David Icke. But it seems like everyone I run into now believes this stuff.

I have 3 acquaintances, two of whom are honors graduates of Penn State, and you should hear the stuff that they believe in. They are totally unrelated, but they are always going on about Reptilian bases under the continental United States, government directed, vaccine extermination programs, fluoride that hardens the pineal gland and opens one to demonic possession, etc. etc. And. of course, The Secret, which is like the fucking Force in Star Wars: you just have to wish for something hard enough and it will come true! It's like it's the new American religion or something.

Is it just incidental that everyone I know seems to be certifiably insane, and actually believes this stuff? (Of course human beings didn't build the pyramids--it was god-men from the Pleiades!) Or is this chaotic, nutty thinking part of a more widespread pattern throughout the country?

8:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is common in cases of cultural breakdown. People seek 'explanations' in order to feel safe, and conspiracies are the simplest, and easiest, thing to reach for. As for The Secret etc., check out Janice Peck and Nicole Aschoff on Oprah (one of the great clowns of our age).


See also her bk, "Bright-Sided".


1. I wdn't say hatred; disgust, closer to the mark. But as I've explained on numerous occasions, we are not some echo chamber refusing to consider alternative arguments. On the contrary, we are interested in open debate. The problem--and it may have something to do with the Internet medium--is that these alternative args are almost always stated in sarcastic and/or insulting terms, and typically w/o any counter-evidence. The hatred, in short, is on the other side, not ours. Our 'opponents' just don't know how to argue. Here's the recipe: State your critique or objection clearly, and in neutral terms, free of any 'Attitude'; then, give your evidence for your pt of view--links, refs, whatever. Be polite, in short. With such an approach, the blog has no problems, and will respond in kind, wh/is to say, respectfully. (Which it has, on those occasions that our 'opponents' can manage to be civil. Sad to say, most of them just want to 'blast'. I guess it makes them feel gd.)

Also be aware that a lot of our discussion is intended to be humorous. I will periodically suggest that the Pentagon bomb Canada, or distribute arms to every American resident--just a form of irony as to how over the top the US is, a nation that always seems to think of violence as a first resort. It's not meant to be serious.

Finally, on group psychology, check out Freud, "Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego," and W.R. Bion, "Experiences in Groups."

2. I don't have a crystal ball, and certainly can't predict anything regarding student loans; but I'm guessing that internationally, the renminbi will replace the dollar as currency of choice.

3. When the British Empire collapsed, America was there to act as backup. America itself will not have that luxury, and much of the globe will be happy/relieved to see us go; we are a predator nation, and billions hate us, which is hardly surprising. I do imagine various parts of the country will secede, but again, I don't have a crystal ball. As for poverty: just look around! Something like 40% of Americans go to bed hungry, and a large % of those who still have jobs are but one paycheck away from financial disaster.

Keep in mind that Rome didn't fall in a day, like 4pm on Aug. 4, A.D. 476. It was a long drawn-out process, largely a "death of a thousand cuts." We are actually in the midst of a similar process. The country is split between two warring sides; millions are unemployed; the economy has severely contracted over the last 12 mos.; the national debt is approaching the size of the GDP; etc., etc. Check out the Twilight bk for the 4 factors that took Rome down the drain. I wrote it in 2000; since then, we have managed to exacerbate all 4 of them.

4. I moved to Mexico in 2006, and it was the single most intelligent/lucky decision of my life. I love it down here. Why I chose Mexico: long story, perhaps for another time. May you be similarly blessed, in Spain or wherever you wind up. Just don't stay in a country that is committing suicide on a daily basis!

Other Wafers will probably have their own answers to yr questions.


8:53 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Megan: you might try asking them what their evidence is for their beliefs. Be prepared for rage.

8:55 AM  
Blogger vsoguy said...


1) There may be some group polarization going on here, but I for one greatly value the analysis and comradery on this blog. I'm no fan of Ayn Rand, but one of her quotes is a favorite of mine- "We can ignore reality, but we can't ignore the consequences of ignoring reality". So, I'd rather be disgusted than ignorant, all things considered.

2) This is a great question, and I don't think anyone knows the answer. I've researched this topic, but too much to type here.

3) The fall of the US empire will likely be worse than most, as described in this video with Dimitry Orlov, who's familiar with the collapse of the USSR and how it compares with the US: https://youtu.be/kySDKESt3_M

4) I didn't emigrate, I moved from metrowest Boston to midcoast Maine. Much smaller and tighter community with many farms, which could be important moving forward. But your best bet is to get out, if possible.

If you want more details I'm vsoguy at gmail, if not, have a nice day!!!

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Since the question has been brought up, I have to come out to the other Wafers and let things fall where they might: I do believe in astrology, aliens (which obviously includes "ancient" aliens), and other "unscientific" theories. I do not, however, react with rage when people (including family and friends) make fun of these things, or I would have had many heart attacks already.

I don't feel I have the energy to provide "evidence" or links here, and it's certainly not the subject of this blog, but let me just say two things: 1) please don't judge me by the astrology column in Cosmo or by some History Channel commercial crap, 2) as Isaac Newton is reputed to have said, "I have studied the matter. You sir, have not."

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Bren Isbell said...

In depth coverage by two experts on the threat of nuclear war and the USA:


Probably the world's most serious issue. Wafers should read Ellsberg's "The Doomsday Machine" and Schlossers's "Command & Control" -- really damning stuff!

11:47 AM  
Anonymous B. Louis said...

Does America deliver the goods?

Well, at some point in the mid 21st Century it TRIED to course correct, but as all WAFers know, this was a futile exercise. America is what it always has been: A business. The 60s movement amounted to little more than a fashion statement.

This 2 minute scene really gets me every time I see it. A burned out ex-hippie coming to terms with the putrid reality of America's true soul:


12:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


What you wrote is probably correct, but I don't post Unknowns. You need a real handle to participate in this discussion. Thank you.


Well, as you said, it's not the subject of this blog.


1:10 PM  
Anonymous Cassie Phillips said...

A victim shares the scary story of when a hacker took control of his internet-connected chastity cage.



1:55 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Whack jobs of Cascadia - a weekend tour:

An armed militia group opposed to coronavirus restrictions showed up outside the entrance of the emergency room of a Vancouver hospital to demand the release of an elderly woman who had come for treatment but declined to take a Covid test; the woman left 45 minutes after sheriff’s deputies arrived to prevent the crowd from forcing its way inside:


Meanwhile, life in the Olympic peninsula town of Sequim has become more exciting as a rural-urban political split came into the open over the QAnon-espousing mayor firing the city manager after approval of an opioid-treatment clinic being built in the city by the Jamestown S’Klallam Indians.


And finally, the Mayor of Seattle called on the state legislature to ban hospitals from allowing wealthy donors to jump to the head of the line to receive Covid vaccines because, apparently, everybody’s doing it:


3:25 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Dr. B

The fall of the western roman empire began around 395 ad or so. I think the eastern roman empire lasted about a 1000 or so more years. The current year is 2021 and if we take 395 from 2021 it leaves us with 1626 years. If we add 1626 to 2021 we would have 3647 AD. I wonder what will people in that year say about us? What will those people be like?

One thing is they will have better records of civilization from electronic records. How will seeing recordings of jackasses influence their culture and civilization? What if your writings help to shape their culture? I just wonder..

3:27 PM  
Blogger k-dog said...

"Did America succeed? Did it make its citizens happy (whatever that means)? In the waning years of American civilization, it might be useful to sit back, and take stock.

It is rare when a three letter troll giggle constitutes an intelligent response. This one of those times.


3:50 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...


et al: sorry to dipsute Dr. B's claim, but I am a happy American today because I learned that wombats poop cubes. Seriously, an animal devoted evolutionary energy to reshape its large intestine to form cubes!!! What an amazing place we live in.


I would think of this blog as more of a lunch table in high school, or the courthouse steps in a small town. It is not a graduate seminar. Just by structure- short posts, 24 hour plus spacing, no threading- it is not set up for complex discussions. To go for the acceptable, accentuate what you know will be agreed with, and to avoid arguments that require complex dialogue- all seem reasonably expected. Horses for courses.

As to the collapse of empires, look at places like: England, late 1800s ff. Sweden was an empire, with colonies for brief periods- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_Empire Denmark. Portugal. Many empires have come and gone throughout history around the globe. Although Hollywood wants us to think that all events have dramatic structure, empires collapsing are often more like watching an iceberg dissolve and crack up. 'Punctured equilibrium' in evolutionary theory is somewhat similar, although human cultures are much more dynamic and shifting.

4:17 PM  
Blogger dermot said...

Re collapse of Empire, a lovely bit from Toynbee about the British teetering on the brink.

The writer’s mind runs back 50 years, to an afternoon in London in the year 1897. He is sitting with his father at a window in Fleet Street and watching a procession of...mounted troops who have come to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee...To an English child, this sight gave a sense of new life astir in the world; a philosopher, perhaps, might have reflected that, where there is growth, there is likely also to be decay...the middle-class English in 1897...took their imaginary miracle for granted. As they saw it, history, for them, was over...this fin de siecle middle-class English hallucination seems sheer lunacy, yet it was shared by contemporary Western middle-class people of other nationalities...For these...middle-class people fifty years ago, God’s work of creation was completed, ‘and behold it was very good.’

...Why cannot civilization go on shambling along, from failure to failure, in the painful, degrading, but not utterly suicidal way in which it has kept going for the first few thousand years of its existence? The answer lies in the recent technological inventions of the modem Western middle class. These gadgets for harnessing the physical forces of non-human nature have left human nature unchanged.

4:24 PM  
Blogger Leo said...

No. The United States did not succeed, that was never the goal.
The citizens of the United States were and continue to be slaves; the actual goal of the state was and still is to serve the masters.

The state exists to protect property. Full stop.

To that end, the state "governs" over the "citizenry," the masses without property so as to control them. The state pretends to govern when in fact it subjugates.

The claims of the nation - "democracy," "freedom," "shinny city," etc., are but myths, levers of mass control.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, I don't post Unknowns. You need a real handle to be part of this discussion.


I guess it depends on where yr coming from. In the mid-1890s, my maternal grandfather slipped out of the Pale of Settlement in Russia to spend 5 yrs in London (the poor East End, of course). He was one of the thousands that crowded the Mall (pronounced 'Mell') in 1897, to see Victoria ride out for her Diamond Jubilee. He loved it, and (given the comparison w/oppression in Russia), he loved England. He learned the local drinking songs, the Cockney expressions, and how to drink tea English style, i.e. w/milk and sugar instead of lemon. I inherited the latter tendency, and also loved England when I lived there for 3 yrs (it was an escape from the US, for me).

As for where yr coming from: it might be argued that the American Dream is really an immigrant's dream. Hannah Arendt, who fled the Nazis for America, said that for her, America was 'paradise'. A gd # of German intellectuals felt the same way. My own parents experienced the US (this ca. 1920) as a relief, given the fact that they departed Russia so as to avoid pogroms (and my father was actually caught up in one, at age 10). In such cases, America did indeed 'deliver the goods', and did so for many yrs. In short, the inscription on the base of the Statue of Liberty was abs. real, for millions.

Fast forward 100 yrs: the upper 10% in America is also probably quite happy, inasmuch as it thinks happiness is about wealth.


Just so you know, I completely disagree w/Dan D's description of this blog, wh/I consider a smear, a denigration of what we are abt and how we operate. He is of course welcome to his opinion, but in my view he is completely off base. Hopefully, you'll make up yr own mind. I shd add that I don't usually entertain discussions of the blog per se, because that wd make it a metablog, wh/doesn't interest me. The focus of the blog remains the collapse of the American empire.


7:47 PM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...

Well, to address Dan D's opinion of this blog, we certainly don't avoid complexity or nuance or long trains of thought, as he claims. As far as ideological conformity is concerned, there are lots of people here with all sorts of valid ways of living.
However, those that promote unregulated capitalism, conspiracy theories and American exceptionalism really aren't welcome here. Not that I really care, as these things are part of what's destroying the planet, but it would be nice to let them post so we can see Wafters dismantle their nonsense with ease.

11:04 PM  
Anonymous Ara the Armenian said...

Dr. Berman and Wafers,

I cannot opine on whether America makes its people happy or not, but I can say that recently most of my friends have become financial advisers overnight.

I'm 24 now and it seems like for the past few weeks everyone my age and their mothers have been talking/tweeting/fiddling about stocks.

While I enjoy watching the class war against Wall Street (GameStop fiasco), and I agree that everyone has to hustle a little, the money talk has reached astronomical levels.

I've noticed that during the past month, 80% of the conversations with my friends have been about money, leaving little room for anything else.

One might say that America is about money, and money equals happiness, so therefore America equals happiness.

One would be wrong

The last line "sit back and take stock" is quite the double entendre (although my friends would insist that you are only suggesting to buy stocks).

11:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I doubt very many Wafers wd agree w/Dan D's assessment of the blog. In a word, I think he's in his own little (and very distorted) world. But as I said, to each his own, and 2nd, the subject of this blog is not this blog (or any other blog, really). I hafta add that there are a few other topics, beyond the ones you mention, that I screen out, because in yrs past we have debated them to death (nor did anyone change his/her mind). E.g., Zionism, or the Civil War. We do, however, welcome endless discussions of Jewish delicatessen, altho it has fuck all to do with the collapse of the American empire (unless one sees a connection; keep in mind that Marjorie Taylor Greene recently said that Calif. forest fires were caused by Jewish space lasers; wh/cd, of course, be correct, since the Jews are everywhere, causing trouble, and using the blood of little Christian kids to bake matzoh; but WTF is a Jewish space laser, and how does it differ from a goyishe space laser? Somebody help me out here.).


11:52 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

American buffoons with badges:

Marjorie Taylor Greene has one of those American faces that reads: I am a complete jackass, but I think my worldview is perfectly accurate. And I'm willing to show off my ignorance in grotesque theater for all Americans.

I almost feel sorry for her because her stupidity is plainly written into her face with those small beady eyes and pudgy cheeks. She really embodies the typical American quite well. Can't wait to see what kind of damage she can do.

I think the WST (Wafer Slapping Team) should pay her a visit someday but we really should coordinate with the WUT (Wafer Urine Team). Because she could use a bit of both really.

9:33 AM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,

@ Malleus, Brenn, Dr B -

Two books by Peter Tompkins, "Secrets Of The Great Pyramid" and "Mysteries Of The Mexican Pyramids" are must reads. I recalled reading about the famous bas-relief carving at Dendera in Egypt. After referencing Wikipedia, footnote #3 led to pgs. 170 - 175. I checked my copy of "Great Pyramid". The illustrations are terrific. The point here being that the human race has been observing the night sky for who knows? how many? millennia. There is something far deeper than speculation when it comes to astrology. I don't profess to know what that is. It's always intrigued me that we are now at "the dawning of the Age of Aquarius", poring with his water jars, on a planet with rising sea levels.

Fiction? - "Childhood's End" by Arthur C. Clarke; forward to the link to The Hill post.

"Doomsday Machine" I enjoyed, though it was a difficult, dark read. Public libraries are a good thing. My local library obtained "TOAC", "DAA" and "WAF" on my suggestion.

De nada, Professor B. (re:"Somebody help me out here") WTF IS a Jewish space laser ?!?!

10:08 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

About that Jewish space laser, images have been circulating on the conspiratorial corners of the internet about this recent phenomenon. Here’s the best image I could find of this latest advance in Jewish technology:


Meanwhile, a veil of secrecy descending on the laser has added to the blaze of controversy:

https://forward.com/opinion/463295/the-jewish-space-laser-agency-responds-we-didnt -start-the-fire/

With evidence like this around, I think all Wafers should unite with Cascadians to petition the Evergreen State College in Olympia to offer a course in Jewish Asstralphysics before the start of the next fire season in California to help reverse the precipitous decline in Evergreen’s enrollment, as part of a new revenue-generating distance-learning, interdisciplinary program for trollfoons that could include such course offerings as “Jewish Deli Meats and Their Influence on the Alimentary Channels of Mars.”

10:08 AM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

Well 'Happiness' is a slippery concept, but I think a good standard is to see if an empire or culture gave its members meaning, a sense of purpose and belonging. I think maybe Aristotle's idea of 'eudaimonia' is close to the mark. When Americans think of happiness, they equate it with material comfort and possessions or having rather than being. To be or not to be? Goethe said 'One can stand anything except a succession of ordinary days.' Which pretty much sums up the American Dream.

@ Megan. Personally I think all this 'aliens built the pyramids' thing is based on concepts of racial superiority. Africans being able to build impressive structures? Ge outta here. Had to be Aliens.

@ Eric. Great link. The positive thinking cult has infantilised millions, not just in the US.

10:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I heard that the Jewish space laser was actually made of petrified chopped liver.


10:58 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Oldest graffiti artist dept.:

Emily Winters, 65, arrested for tagging buiding w/anti-Biden and Harris graffiti:



ps: In light of recent developments, the emergence of Marjorie Taylor Greene is making me nostalgic for the wisdom and sexual power of Sarah Palin. If only MB could have made luv to Sarah on an Alaskan ice floe among the meese, w/Ed Meese in attendance. The intensity of such a performance would been positively Tantric!

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

The pyramids were built by the jews with their space laser. That is so obvious that I refuse to entertain any arguments to the contrary.

Well now, seriously, cormorant, talking about unjustified feelings of superiority, what about the prejudice of most contemporary people that ancient people were just walking around with a loincloth and we are the only advanced ones that have invented science and technology? What if other "advanced" civilisations existed in the past but perished (like we might well do too)?

What, indeed, if Atlantis, for example, is not something that Plato imagined out of thin air one day that he had been smoking some really strong stuff? I promise not to insist on the subject but let me suggest "Forbidden Archaeology" by Michael Cremo (the guy could strike some as peculiar with his Indian religious beliefs but the book should be judged on its own merits regarding rigorous research and documentation).

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Macvean said...

“I can't understand these chaps who go round American universities explaining how they write poems: It's like going round explaining how you sleep with your wife.”
― Philip Larkin


^^Love these quotes from Larkin

1:03 PM  
Blogger Laila said...


Thanks for your answers.

I have a selfish concern, although it probably affects those around me too.

I'm kind of dumb. I suppose part of it is due to my American education (I would have greater hopes for myself had I been raised somewhere else) but I was reading some of the past blogs and comments. MB noted a lot of statistics about the stupidity of Americans... and I admit, a lot of them pertain to me as well. I saw a quiz MB posted on here one time. One of the questions was "what is an aorta?", another "Who is DDE?". I think there were 8 of these types of questions. I'm embarrassed to say I knew next to nothing. So, I am kind of a dolt. But how do I even get educated at this point? Teenagers from other cultures will have learned all this and so much more, and I feel like an ignorant lump in comparison to them.

The funniest thing is that I go to one of the best schools in the country. I have great standardized test scores/GPAs, and yet I'm probably dumber than the dumbest of the next country over. All we did in school was busywork and everything was about grades. How do I educate myself holistically? Any advice would be appreciated.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Not dumb; uneducated. And given the American 'educational' system, this is no surprise.

When you make your move to Europe, you may have some catching up to do. American students who take their junior year abroad are typically dropped back to freshman year, because they basically don't know anything. But don't worry abt it: yr young, so you have time to catch up. Remember the impt thing is to enjoy the learning process.

Aorta: largest artery in the body.
DDE: Dwight David Eisenhower (34th president).

As far as giving yourself an education (besides going to Europe, where they take these things seriously), pick the area of history or philosophy or whatever, and start studying it. Obviously, you cannot study 'all knowledge'. Google Sartre, for example; buy his bks off of Amazon (start with 'Nausea'); read about Paris in the 60s; and so on. You'll see, it'll be fun. Here's a bk I especially like:


There's a used copy available for $7.95.

When yr done w/the Existentialists, check back w/me, and we can start on American history since 1945.


ps: Note the above reference to Philip Larkin. He's marvellous. Try this:


$12.97, used

5:17 PM  
Blogger malaga mike said...

Mr. Berman, I've been a fan for years, never commented before.

The Empire succeeded for a while for those who fit the description of white patriarchs, and those who benefited by going along with it. It has benefited those of the warrior class, the heir classes, the ignorant, and the middle class briefly.
Happiness can come from a feeling of safety and comfort. Just knowing we weren't oppressed Commies or Third world citizens gave many a reason to be thankful, but just due to the comparison to other countries' citizens we were constantly shown.

I propose asking whether we citizens can create something out of the wreckage rather than looking at happiness or success. The number of year in existence is telltale that it had a degree of success. True happiness can be attained regardless of a nation-state's actions. Unless of course you are a political prisoner, enemy of the state, a person of color, poor, infirm, trans, gay, Muslim, oppose war,or undocumented, question authority, or don't get a hard on when viewing a flag flapping in the breeze.
To Laila, in order to emmigrate one generally needs money or a profession to peddle. I would find a nation state with no geo-political importance to the US, or one that has already been screwed over by the US, thus minimizing future US meddling.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous down we go said...

Make who happy? If, as has been suggested here, happiness is measured by the amount of "stuff" one is able to acquire in a lifetime, Americans should be as happy as a puppy with 2 peckers. We have more stuff, even the poor among us, than billions of people in less developed countries. And stuff can make one happy, if understood as content and fulfilled. But it is, as someone wrote here, a slippery concept. The problem with American happiness as accumulation and consumption is that millions of Americans self-describe as depressed and unhappy and their jobs as meaningless and numbingly boring. Not modifiers normally used with "happiness". So I would say, no, Americans are not, by and large, happy.
Personally, I'm an idealist at heart. I believed all those lies I was told in American history class about American exceptionalism and the dreams of the Founders and that, yes, America is a great country, free and fair like no other. But I grew up. I read, I thought, I was cursedly open to historical revision based on the truth. And I came to realize that America, for millions, has meant only death, disease, and destruction - I could no longer be blindingly happy to be an American. "American happiness" is a fraud - both for Americans and for those subjected to our power.

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Burton said...

Thich Nhat Hanh in Paris

The author reflects on the time he spent with the revered Vietnamese Zen monk in the early 1970s.

By Fred Eppsteiner SPRING 2021


6:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I love Thich. Have read several of his bks.


And just think of what we have done to those outside our borders.


Welcome to the Greatest Blog on Earth. I try to be modest, but I just can't. (Actually, I don't try to be modest at all.) Don't lurk; live! Meanwhile, being a fan of me makes sense, because who is there like unto me, from whom all Light and Love emanate? As the GSWH, I shower the world w/my beneficence.

Advice for Laila: she can get out w/a student visa, and for that she needs to be accepted at the Sorbonne or whatever, + get a scholarship. Plus save $ this yr. She'll do it, you'll see.

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Zim said...

The CIA is conducting a "digital facelift" including a new website, dog training tips, an advice column & advertisement blitz to recruit younger spies of "racial, cultural, disability, sexual orientation and gender diversity."


Say huh?

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...


Biden is in the process of "renegotiating" stimulus checks downward from 2000 a month to 1400 a month to 1000 a month to, in all likelihood, little more than what already exists (600 a month). Biden also warned people on public TV that millions of Americans will go homeless, but failed to mention that his own neoliberal agenda will be to blame. If he lets five or ten million Americans go homeless, he will have managed to do even more damage to America than Trump did, as crazy as that sounds. Rather than slowing down America's decline, the Biden Administration might accelerate it. Rather than a third Obama term, Biden's presidency might be more like a second Trump term, at least when it comes to domestic policies.

7:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Were you thinking that in the US Gov't there was an upper limit to douche bags?


See my reply to Zim, above. However: 'a month'? I thought these figures were total, like the 1st stimulus payment of last year, not per month. They ain't payin' out no $600/mo.

Meanwhile, I continue to be excited abt the possibility of Jewish space lasers. Jack L. is as well, and he just sent me this moving tribute:



8:34 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Shalom Wafers:

As a once-serious scholar, I put my researching chops to use and googled "Jewish Space Lasers."

I may have found the source:

Jews in Space

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Laila: Don't worry about it, the best thing about learning (and life for that matter) is that it's a continual process. Also don't be fooled by trivia, or whatever standardized testing is these days, I have 4 1/2 degrees including a Masters and much of it was a waste of $$ ... except, well it was one of the best times of my life. It's a social thing and an experience, but my college years were just before widespread computers/cellphones.

Also don't worry about knowing who DDE was right this second. When you become interested and absorbed in a subject, you'll learn way more and remember way more. An example, I tried and tried reading War and Peace, but it wasn't until I found a good translation (Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky's if you want to know) that I really read the book. Sometimes it isn't necessarily your fault.

WAFer Sartre quiz on Nausea. When Antoine first visited the Cafe Mably in the book, was the sandwich he ate there a pastrami on rye with russian dressing, or an everything bagel with smoked sturgeon and a schmear?

10:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I found this clip very inspiring, thank you. You know, ever since I extended the bait to the antisemitic trollfoons (not exactly the sharpest nails in the box), I've been bombarded by them. It's a lotta fun, really; they are so stupid. But I think both they and I will agree that the Jews are planning to take over, not just the Earth, but also space. In which case, I will appoint them to be commissioners of the Jewish Space Laser Probe(JSLP)--a fine use of their talents. Anyway, I recall the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville chanting, "The Jews will not replace us". But of course we will! And let's hear it for Marjorie Taylor Greene... wdn't it be great if she turned out to be Jewish? She's one big matzoh ball, I tell ya.


ps: BTW, a recent set of brain biopsies performed on the antisemitic trollfoons revealed that their heads are filled w/kashe varnishke. (Watch now: this'll get 'em going!)

10:22 PM  
Anonymous FerQ said...

To Laila: If you really want to be educated and have real knowledge, you will have to study and search for knowledge independently. Read books, visit websites, watch educational programs and videos and try to learn on your own as much as you can. The American educational system is trash. It is not even an education, it's an indoctrination.
I majored in History at the university and most of what I learned was not from any of the grammar or high schools I attended in the US. I learned it by myself doing the things I just mentioned and talking with other ppl who had similar interests. About what you said about being raised in another country, I think the same thing about myself. Although I was never really interested in Math or Science, I also think that it was because the schools that I attended were miserable and most of the teachers there were idiots and buffoons. I would have better Math skills and more knowledge in Science if I would have been raised and attended school in another country.

Also, I will repeat the same advice that I and others on this blog have told you, move out of the US. You will see that when you start acquiring knowledge and developing your intellectual abilities, it will be harder for you to socialize and maintain relationships with ppl in the US. Most ppl there are not into interesting topics. You will be bored in the social circles there and will find yourself increasingly isolated. So leave the US as soon as possible.

10:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I think Sartre was big on schmears; but it was recently discovered that he was also into Jewish Space Lasers, and wrote a small bk on the subject. It was buried in the Notre Dame library, w/the title "Lasers spatiaux juifs." In it he predicts that the Jews will not only rule the world, but also the universe. My kinda guy.


Leave the US. Americans' heads are filled w/kashe varnishke. Talking w/them, you want to beat your own head against a brick wall for 10 mins--a reasonable reaction. If you stay, your brain will also turn into kashe varnishke. On that note, check out Doris Lessing, "Briefing for a Descent Into Hell." It's based on a famous Sufi story, quite relevant for any American who starts to see thru the poop.


11:17 PM  
Anonymous Rollo Dice said...

Spare change? The Donald is a little short.

1:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


He may get more donations from fans, tho; not clear at this pt. But in any case, there's almost no chance he'll get convicted, as the Dems need 17 GOP breakaway votes, and I doubt that's gonna happen. Which means--I think--that he will be eligible to run again in 2024. Meanwhile, midterm elections are less than 2 yrs away, and if history is any guide, the Dems cd lose the Senate, possibly even the House. The nation is a house divided, and it was backlash against the progs that got Trumpi elected in 2016. So then Biden was the backlash against the Trumpites...it might never end.


5:09 AM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

@ Macvean: The Larkin quote is good, but it's disingenuous. A decent writer needs to have a good grounding in literary forms, to have been schooled in composition and ideally needs to be literate in at least two languages. I reckon the public-schooled, Oxford educated Larkin was well aware of this. Of course none of this makes one a decent poet, but it's they are prerequisites in the formation of any reasonably literate person. Doing courses in how to write from grifters in American Universities certainly doesn't do the job, Agreed.

Incidentally I'm doing a little research on the America Civil War and I'm impressed at the general quality in the writing in documents at the time. Diaries, letters, newspaper articles etc., not to mention the literature produced in or around the time. Nowadays 'poets' recite a load of half formed thought-tweets at Presidential inaugurations.

Any advice on good works about the civil war?

6:07 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah...WAF ch. 4 (including the ftnotes). Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.


6:38 AM  
Anonymous Mitch said...

MB & Friends:

When you all speak about the theater of the insurrection, what exactly do you guys think would have happened if that mob found their way to AOC? Thomas Massie was ready to shoot anyone who came through his office door. And that dude doesn't get nearly as many death threats. The confusing thing to me about all the people downplaying the seriousness of the insurrection. I had someone tell me no one was in real danger — like umm did ya'll forget they killed a cop? And trampled a woman??

I understand it being theater on a greater stage, just not understanding the notion that it wasn't violent.

All respects


9:51 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It's true, they probably wd have mauled her, maybe worse. But this was a 'coup' in wh/very little weaponry was involved, and none used (by the mob). If yr serious abt a coup, you come armed, and you use those weapons. This was not the case on Jan. 6. What the videos mostly show are people dressed in exotic outfits, waving the Confed flag, wearing Camp Auschwitz sweat shirts, sitting at the Speaker's desk, carrying out a lectern, and in general doing 'performance'. Looks like theater to me.


10:35 AM  
Anonymous Noura said...

Quotes from the videos below are some of the reasons America is such an unhappy place.

Why I Moved from the US to Lisbon, Portugal: https://bit.ly/36CQ8pb
Video 7:56 time mark “It’s not just about the job here, people care about interpersonal relationships, even with strangers.”

Dmitry Orlov: Peak Oil Lessons From The Soviet Union: https://bit.ly/3j9LUu9
Video 18:20 “Collapse is brought on by overreach and overstretch and people being zealots and trying too hard. It’s not brought on by people being laid back and doing the absolute minimum. Americans could very easily feed themselves and clothes themselves and have a place to live working maybe a hundred days a year. It’s a rich country in terms of resources. There’s really no reason to work maybe a third of your time. And that’s sort of the standard pattern in the world. But if you want to build a huge empire and have endless economic growth and have the largest number of billionaires on the planet, then you have to work over 40 hours a week all the time and if you don’t you’re in danger of going bankrupt. So that’s the predicament people have ended up in. Now the cure of course is not to the same thing even harder. People have to get used to the idea that most things aren’t worth doing anyway. Things really slow down when the economy goes away. The idea is to do the absolute bare minimum that is essential and just find interesting ways to while away the time because not much is going to be happening…People just have to learn to slow way down and have a lot more patience and a lot more patience with each other. And those that don’t will probably end up killing each other in due course. That’s probably a period of time that most people will want to sit out and wait until the dust settles. A lot of people just don’t have the right character to deal with collapse. They will be running around trying to fix things and that’s the opposite of what they should be doing.”

11:52 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

I would suggest the following for reading/viewing on the Civil War:

The Civil War: A Narrative by Shelby Foote. This three-volume account may be the best single overview of the war. As Wikipedia says, Foote regarded himself primarily as a novelist, and was little known to the general public until he appeared in Ken Burns’s PBS documentary The Civil War (1990). Foote believed the Civil War was “central to all our lives.”

And get a DVD of Burns’s The Civil War. Great music accompaniments, outstanding voiceovers from leading actors reading from Civil War letters and diaries (Jason Robards, Sam Waterston, Morgan Freeman, more).

Finally, if you’ve the stomach for it, try Lee’s Lieutenants: A Study in Command, by Douglas Southall Freeman. Three weighty volumes, but regarded as magisterial.

Caveat Lector: Both Foote and Freeman are Southerners, should that bear on your decision as to whether to read them. That fact doesn’t seem to have bothered generations of readers, among whom are undoubtedly some from above the Mason-Dixon line and West of the Mississippi.

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Sybok said...

Laila, if you really want to learn something well may I suggest writing an essay or book about it. It may seem presumptuous to write about a subject you know nothing about, but in my experience it is, in fact, the best way to learn.

So if, for example, you wanted to learn about the American Civil War, you would get all the material you can on it - not only books, but letters, diaries, speeches - and start reading while also working on a basic outline for your essay or book. It may take you weeks, months, or even a year to finish, but once you have completed the project you'll have internalized more knowledge, & in far greater depth, than someone who just read a book on the subject.

I've forgotten much of what I've read, but I remember everything I've written.

2:01 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Say, here's a guy w/a working brain: Historian Jack Goldstone.


He argues that "selfish elites" (30 yrs going now) are pushing the US to collapse:

So here we are with this election. There was no mass rejection of Trump. It wasn't about Trump. People didn't understand that four years ago, and apparently they still don't understand it now. The breakdown, the polarization, the divisions of American society are not about Trump,. They are about people rejecting the actions of an elite — both conservatives and liberals, it really didn't matter; it was both New York elites and Texas elites — rejecting a notion of a society in which winners take all and government should be starved, with no provide benefits or support for communities that are in trouble, and basically leaving people on their own.

So, we have hundreds of millions of people whose lives, they feel, are slipping away from them. They feel their opportunities for their families and their children are getting fewer, rather than greater, they see the government getting further and further into debt. They don't see why. What's all that money being wasted on, if their lives aren't getting better? And so they are voting to reject everything in the traditional elites and establishment politics. They reject everything they've seen for the last 30 or 40 years, because it has neglected and demeaned their lives.

Mechayeh! Someone pass the Manischewitz.


2:52 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Judging by your writing, Laila, you aren't anywhere close to being as "dumb" as you suggest.

I'll join the chorus and say just start reading. Oddly enough, there's an autodidact in Sartre's Nausea who started with the titles beginning with "A" and was attempting to read through every book in his local library.

I'm basically a social idiot, and hence hardly a role model, but I read such authors as Hesse and Dostoyevsky while working underground in a potash mine (come to think of it, I read Sarte there, too), and War and Peace in a grain truck in a wheat field, waiting to unload a combine. Twenty years later I read W&P again, this time in Nantes, beside a German blockhaus near the site of the infamous noyades of the French Revolution (obviously not in one sitting, and not only there). The point? You don't need a school to learn, I suppose.

3:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Give me Tulsi or give me death.


3:10 PM  
Anonymous Bethany said...

Match - BLM protests mostly are role playing games too. Protest movements in this country are for Instagram.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Mike Kelly said...

Hi MB and Wafers,

I just finished reading William Faulkner's Absolom, Absolom! It tells a great story of one family's experience with the antebellum South and the Civil War. This book was published in 1936, but even that far back Faulkner understood the Bubbas and the Bubbettes. Here is a passage from page 166 in my edition:

"It was no madman who kept clear of the sheets and the hoods and night-galloping horses with which men who were once his acquaintances even if not his friends discharged the canker suppuration of defeat..."

The Proud Boys and the like have lost yet another Civil War that they didn't even know they were fighting. They're still discharging the "canker suppuration of defeat". It's like Faulkner said: "The past is never dead. It's not even past." If only they could read Chapter 4 of WAF. I'm heading back to the bookcase right now to read it again.



5:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


1. Who is Match?
2. Any evidence to back that up?


5:33 PM  
Anonymous down we go said...

I live in a small NC town near the coast (10,000). Shopping opportunities are dominated by Walmart (of course) and Lowe's. For medications we have the choice of Walgreen's or CVS and a small local pharmacy (who manages to drive customers to the mega-chains with bad service). Groceries can be purchased at one of 2 Food Lions. There used to be a locally owned hardware store but it was driven out of business by on line sales. If you can't find what you're looking for at Lowe's or Walmart, you have to drive 30 miles to the Big City. Once upon a time, long, long ago, one could find almost every necessity and a few luxuries locally. The choices now are extremely limited. Who benefits? Who looses?

Al-Q - on moving to LA. I lived there for the first 38 years of my life. Before moving there permanently spend 2 weeks in the summer. If you can survive mosquitoes as big as helicopters, bites as numerous as dirty politicians and humidity as thick as good gumbo, then go for it. I wouldn't live there again for all the chicory in New Orleans.

And in the psychological projection Dept. - I knew it was the Jews to blame for those pesky CA wild fires. Just like them to invent space lasers and burn innocent people up - or - wait ... maybe that's what happened to them? I know a GA congresswoman who can clear this up. I'll ask her. I hear she's a member of Al-Anon - they promise to tell the truth.

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Geoffrey of Monmouth said...

Orlov can certainly afford to do what he claims in this video that everyone else can do: work for only a third of the year. But he's highly educated, has multiple degrees, and has attained a highly sought after, high-dollar value skill set. For a long time he was also single, and only recently had kids. Sure. Under those conditions, he could hire himself out for 4 months, at $150, $200, $250 or more an hour, and lallygag around for the other 8 months of the year, sailing the seven seas to his heart's content. But you can't do that when you're a bagger at Ralphs, a greeter at Walmarts, or a burger-flipper at McDonalds. Even if you lived in an inexpensive city in a modest apartment and were single and had no kids, it would be tough to do that working full-time at minimum wage, to say nothing of doing it while working only 1/3 of the year.

Orlov's an engineer. He loves to run numbers, do in depth analysis using math. Let's see if his claim that "Americans could easily feed themselves and clothe themselves and have a place to live, working maybe a hundred days a year" bears out.

The median household income in America for 2019 was $68703. (https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-average-income-in-usa-family-household-history-3306189). If people worked only 1/3 of the year that would be $22901 for 2019. The average household yearly budget was: $63784 for 2013 (A bit of a discrepancy there with non-matching years, but let's run with it) (https://www.valuepenguin.com/average-household-budget). Hmmm, that doesn't seem to work out. If you eliminate everything from the list except for housing and transportation, and half the taxes-say the government granted them this relief-then the yearly household budget would be: $22800. Eureka! Starving and naked, and with a special dispensation from the government, this mythical Orlov median American can, indeed, live in America, AND have $101 left over to contribute to their retirement. Yay! But what about all the people working at minimum wage?

(to be cont'd)

5:49 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

MB - they damn near pulled it off exactly because they weren't bristling with long guns. That would have raised some red flags and pronto. Make it look like a high school prank, just harmless hijinx. But the insurrectionists were bristling with knives and some like the ginger kid with the Nazi knife worn on his chest rig, out in the open but most concealed. There are folding knives you can buy for $20 these days that are formidable. One guy had pipe bombs. Who knows what other chemicals and things the insurrectionists had on hand. The majority were buffoons but I'm certain they had a Beslan 2.0 planned.

6:02 PM  
Anonymous B. Louis said...

One thing you can say about America: The absurdity of our society give comedians plenty of material to key off of.


Bill Hicks could only be produced in a culture as utterly backwards as ours.

6:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The pipe bombs and a bit more heavy stuff were found in the neighborhood, not w/in the Capitol--I believe. There have been no reports abt 'bristling w/knives'. Furthermore, long guns not nec; small revolvers wd have been easy to conceal, but none were found. Sorry, this was basically theater, or blowing off steam; catharsis, not politics. The Proud Boys were limp.


I think the dative of Orlov is Orlovskomu, wh/shd tell us something. What, I dunno, but something. Anyway, the Russkies on this blog can correct me if I'm wrong.


Is there a lot of chicory in Nyawlins? Meanwhile, a bit of trollfoon baiting: of course it was the Jews who caused those wild fires. They control everything; wh/is as it shd be. Apparently Tulsi is Jewish as well, since she wants to be on the winning side.


7:02 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,

@ Miles Deli - The Salon interview was okay. A bit out of date. Two and a half months later we see Moscow Mitch is not in charge. Time for the Dems to get really Reppy mean and start whuppin' Mitch's ugly ass. Go Bernie!

For historians I've learned a lot from Timothy Snyder's superb work. Especially "Bloodlands", "On Tyranny", and "The Road To Unfreedom". I've mentioned him before on DAA blog but no Wafer comments has been forthcoming.

My favorite Civil War read? "An American Iliad" by Charles P. Roland. Well illustrated with maps and sparse photos. Only 271 pages. Better yet, do as Wafer Birney Zouave and I have suggested. Drive to Gettysburg, alone, on a cool, overcast day. Spend the entire day, with your small dog, touring the battlefield by car. Stop to walk and think often among the silent statuary and still cannons. You may encounter a ghost or two. Drive on down to D.C.

Hail to the memory of Hal Holbrook and "Mark Twain Tonight!" It's getting dark out here...

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B and James A:

As a retired guide at one of our CW battlefields, I highly recommend the following books for anyone thinking about researching the American Civil War-

"Battle Cry of Freedom," a one-volume history of the Civil War era, by James M. McPherson; "The Civil War as a Theological Crisis," by Mark A. Noll; "Lincoln at Gettysburg," by Garry Wills; "Lincoln's Greatest Speech," (The 2nd Inaugural Address,) by Ronald C. White, Jr.; and "Race and Reunion," the Civil War in American Memory, by David W. Blight.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


But pls check out my discussion of McPherson (and Eric Foner) in WAF ch. 4. There is some confusion here, because altho these 2 guys are in the mainstream "Let Freedom Ring" school of the C.W., when you look closely, they actually say what I say: that it began as a clash of cultures, not over slavery per se (which it did become as of 1863).


I did comment on an essay by Snyder, but that was many yrs ago. For which I got pilloried, altho the Wafers may have been rt, I dunno. Anyway, I think we've given Laila a fair amt of bks on the C.W., altho she may wanna start her education w/Existentialism. After that: Russian Rev?

As for Schmernism: not clear what the poor shmuck is gonna do, except be an icon for mittens, wh/are selling like hotcakes. But I agree w/u that Mitch needs to be beaten severely, and then thrown on a dungheap.


12:01 AM  
Blogger Ajay Singh said...

Greetings, Dr. Berman! On NPR yesterday (Feb. 1) I heard a talk (link below) with science journalist Chip Walter, author of a January 2000 book, "Immortality, Inc.: Renegade Science, Silicon Valley Billions, and the Quest to Live Forever." At one point in the interview, Walter quoted Art Levinson, CEO of Calico, the Google/Alphabet-owned biotech company, as saying that after years of trying (Levinson was also the CEO of Genentech, evidently the first biotech company), he didn't think it's going to be possible to reverse aging after all. But then, during the course of writing his book, Walter interacted again with Levinson, and this time Levinson said he believed his quest (and that of a few others in Silicon Valley) was within reach. And, said Walter, he believes Levinson.

Presuming these guys turn out to be correct and longevity technology is brought to scale, what's your take on how the substantial prolongation of human life in the 21st century (life expectancy in the U.S. literally doubled in the 20th century) will impact Amerikkka's future? Do you think it will still be a society on the verge of collapse? Or will it have bought itself a lot more time?

Chip Walter Q&A link: https://the1a.org/segments/biohacking-fasting-silicon-valley/

2:57 AM  
Anonymous Spade Cooley said...

Somehow you have to avoid being young in America and
expecting a decent life.


3:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I think it's very much a long shot, but otherwise, I have no idea. I'll let other Wafers tackle this one.


6:04 AM  
Anonymous Bittman said...


"The End of the Megamachine provides a uniquely comprehensive picture of the roots of the destructive forces that are threatening the future of humankind today. Spanning 5000 years of history, the book shows how the three tyrannies of militarized states, capital accumulation and ideological power have been steering both ecosystems and societies to the brink of collapse. With the growing instability of the Megamachine in the 21st century, new dangers open up as well as new possibilities for systemic change, to which everyone can contribute."

8:50 AM  
Blogger Laila said...


I'm not sure if you've come across the reddit communities r/collapse and r/simpleliving, but they talk a lot about what is said here. r/Simpleliving shits a lot on the rat race lifestyle and r/collapse is about the collapse of civilization in general, not just the American empire. The collapse subreddit focuses mainly on environmental collapse. WARNING: Within a week of reading the posts on the collapse subreddit, I was having suicidal thoughts, so proceed with caution. It's very depressing (this may just have to do with my being young, I'm not sure). Reddit in general sucks as a platform (as do most "communities" online), so I wouldn't spend too much time on there.

I found this Medium article about collapse as well (again, a lot of the points are made in regard to the deterioration of the environment, so might not be your cup of tea): https://cache-baba.medium.com/the-future-is-grim-27ca6f7ab07b

If you had any thoughts on this or want to tie it to the collapse of the American empire, I'm all ears.

Thanks to those that gave me advice. I think I was just in the midst of a crisis when I was detailing how "dumb" I was. It felt like my world was falling apart when I realized the extent to which I was uneducated. I'm back in my groove now.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You might wanna check out the essay on Lewis Mumford in AWTY, wh/wd be relevant.


11:18 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I participated in leftist/prog discussion groups beginning about 20 years ago, up until around five years ago. A common occurrence that I witnessed in that time was the banning of dissenters, followed by glee expressed by those who remained. I was a constant voice against this, arguing that everyone ought to be allowed to express himself or herself, and that the way to deal with those with "wrong" opinions is to have a better argument. Things are worse today, with the same impulse to ban or cancel having spilled out of discussion boards and into personnel departments and, apparently, the editors' desks at companies such as Facebook.

While I like Jimmy Dore's politics, I find his delivery rather off-putting, but here he steps to one side and lets Glenn Greenwald take the stage in an impassioned, yet rational rant over how the left is suffering the consequences of the very shunning that many of them have advocated.

Socialist Group That Cheered Censorship is Banned From Facebook w/Glenn Greenwald


11:25 AM  
Anonymous SrVidaBuena said...

Folks may have seen this item already:


Isn't Ketcham the fellow from the Hedges plagiarism dustup? In any case interesting to see this in a mainstream publication. I've checked out The Limits to Growth from the library. I think it's been mentioned here a few times. According to Ketcham one scenario worked out in LTG predicted serious decline beginning in the 2020s and accelerating from there.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A bit too long. Pls compress by 20% and re-send. In general, I think you'd be better off shooting for 1/3 of a pg, instead of 1/2. Thanks.


Yeah, Ketcham nailed him to rts; Hedges' reply/denial was transparent, obviously false. Not sure how that guy manages to live w/himself. Meanwhile, for more on LTG see the essay on Gramsci in my bk "Genio".


When I think of the # of progs that need slapping, I hafta lie down for an hr just to recover. Of course the bubbas aren't much better. Shit, everyone in America needs slapping. As for urine on shoes: ca va sans dire.


1:07 PM  
Anonymous Pete Christen said...

Dr. B and Wafers: I second meangenekaz's recommendation of Timothy Snyder, especially his 2018 book The Road to Unfreedom. His ideas about "schizo-fascism" (pp. 145-157) and "sado-populism" (pp.272-75) were really eye-opening for me.
Here's a quote from the book, relevant to our present moment:

"Functional states produce a sense of continuity for their citizens. If states sustain themselves, citizens can imagine change without fearing catastrophe. The mechanism that ensures that a state outlasts a leader is called the principle of succession. A common one is democracy. The meaning of each election is the promise of the next one. Since each citizen is fallible, democracy transforms cumulative mistakes into a collective belief in the future. History goes on." (p.38)

A good review of the book (from a British perspective) is at this link.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous ReHustle said...

Not being deterred by a recent breakup, this woman decides to marry herself because she always thought she would get married on Halloween 2020.

You have to admire her can do attitude, her dogged perseverance in face of adversity. An ode to radical individualism and limitless entitlement.
An all american bride/groom of course.


3:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The sheer # of douche baguettes in this country is abs. amazing. I was disappted by her failure to refer to Jewish space lasers, however.


3:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't run it; half-pg rule. Suggest you compress by 50% and re-send, or divide into 2 parts. Send part 1 today, and part 2 24 hrs later.


5:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm still hung up on the topic of Jewish space lasers. How are they different from Christian space lasers? Then it hit me: the Jewish ones have 2" cut off the laser tube; the Christian ones are left just as they are.


5:17 PM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...

Regarding Hedges' plagiarism,

I think Hedges believes plagiarism is justified if it helps spread an ideology that helps others. However, citing your sources won't weaken your message; on the contrary, it will strengthen it, as you're informing your readers that other (sometimes prominent) people agree with your ideas. And it's not like citing your sources is difficult; Hedges has no excuse.

That said, I don't think his plagiarism is his worst offense - not by a long shot. His support of truly despicable people is much worse than his plagiarism. For example, he has praised and platformed Julie Bindel, a radical feminist who has repeatedly called for the execution of all men, simply because she calls herself a radical leftist and a socialist and agrees with his anti-pornography stance. Hedges doesn't seems to care what your agenda really is as long as you say you agree with his ideology. Or maybe he's just unwilling to open his eyes and look. I don't know. Either way, it's intellectually dishonest and loathsome.

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

RE: my last post - sorry Dr. B, but I didn't keep a copy of the review I wrote for The End of the Megamachine and unfortunately I don't have time to rewrite a new version from scratch.

-Northern Johnny

6:29 PM  
Blogger Mohamed said...

People on this blog talked allot about how messed up Americans are. What do you think caused Americans to be the way they are?

6:58 PM  
Anonymous turnover said...

the Jewish ones have 2" cut off the laser tube; the Christian ones are left just as they are.

Fantastic! Best I've seen in a wile. Thanks.

7:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check out my trilogy on the American empire; QOV will also be helpful. Then, if you still have questions, let's talk.


In future, pls stick to the half-page rule. Very impt.


There is no excuse for plagiarism, imo. As you note, Hedges' is that the end justifies the means; that any behavior is OK if it promotes the cause. What cd be more disgusting, or dangerous? As for Julie Bindel etc.: references? You have to understand that to make charges of these sort, you have to provide concrete evidence. Otherwise, there is no reason for anyone to believe you. So we need a Bindel ref/link, plus a few names of other 'despicables', + showing Hedges promoted them. Thank you.


7:43 PM  
Anonymous Noura said...


I think that in the video below, Orlov is not saying Americans can have an affordable life, but that if America wasn’t an empire, it would be possible. Basically, the cost of empire is the issue because it’s unsustainable.
Dmitry Orlov: Peak Oil Lessons From The Soviet Union: https://bit.ly/3j9LUu9
Video time mark around 18:46 “There’s really no reason to work maybe a third of your time. And that’s sort of the standard pattern in the world. But if you want to build a huge empire and have endless economic growth and have the largest number of billionaires on the planet, then you have to work over 40 hours a week all the time and if you don’t you’re in danger of going bankrupt. So that’s the predicament people have ended up in.”

In this interview: https://bit.ly/2LfMASh Orlov talks about the importance of changing our mindset / values as the foundation for creating parallel structures outside the system like barter. This reminds me the article “Dual Process” by Dr. Berman https://bit.ly/2YE9vcO. Quoting from the article “The vast majority of jobs are not created to meet human needs, but only to accumulate more and more money for the owners or investors.” While I was at a meeting at work today, the CFO talked about how they’re going to open new facilities. And yet, the current work environment is not sustainable for many employees. Infinite growth seems like an unconscious program that almost no one questions. America just doesn’t seem to be the place to be for anyone with a value system centered around community and sustainability.

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

Ahhh American hustling... nothing like defrauding desperate people trying to help others.


Laila - if you want a break from reading search out two documentaries by Adam Curtis, The Century of the Self (all 4 parts) and Hypernormalzation. They should give some insights about this crazy world you are inherting.

You can find them on You Tube.

8:17 PM  
Blogger futuroexpat said...

British empire gone. England remains.
Portuguese empire gone. Portugal remains.
Spanish empire gone. Spain remains.
American empire gone. America remains.
Where is the tragedy in this process?

The best thing that could happen to the United States of America is to have about as much influence on world affairs as Costa Rica does today. It would also be a good idea if, after the USA empire falls, it follows Costa Rica's example re: armed forces. Costa Rica eliminated its permanent standing army on December 1, 1948. Instead of weapons, more money for infrastructure, health care, etc.

"Why getting rid of Costa Rica's army 70 years ago has been such a success"

"...one Central American neighbor remains an island of political stability, economic prosperity and contentment: Costa Rica. The country's secret is something that virtually no other country in the world can claim — no standing army. It has used the savings from defense spending to improve education, health care and a durable social safety net."

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

A good critique of the "meme populism" exemplified by the GameStop stock story and the problems associated with the online left.


It seems that even anti-elite discourse in the United States is a hustle and a spectacle.

8:35 PM  
Anonymous B. Louis said...

While the Nordic countries have accepted Global Warming as a verifiable scientific fact, America continues to treat it like a public relations crisis.

Norway is importing an enormous amount of electric vehicles. They're doing the actual work.

America is producing ads featuring Will Ferrell acting like a complete ass because we're "Losing to Norway". How's this for your Manichean worldview? We'll only tackle internal combustion engines so long as we're motivated to 'defeat' a completely benign 'enemy'.


America is an embarrassment.

8:50 PM  
Anonymous Beth Cunningham said...

Hundreds deported under Biden, including witness to massacre


Back to normal!

8:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Obama did much the same thing. Progs didn't object, won't now. Ah, what a savior Schmiden is!


None of those countries remained in the same condition, after the fall, and neither will the US. I see secession on the horizon, for example. But yes, Costa Rica is fabulous--an eco-paradise, among other things. I took an 'eco-tour' when I was there, some yrs ago; very impressive.


A typical American story, really; it just doesn't matter whom you hurt. The combo of violence and douchebaggery is what makes America what it is.


On infinite growth as an unconscious reflex, see QOV, material on Turner's 'frontier thesis'. Also the Gramsci essay in "Genio". Walter Lippmann: "Our imperialism is largely unconscious." (This decades ago)


10:00 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

Related to the notion that the US Empire seems to be devolving into a joke, here's a video that struck me as funny, at least at some points, even if it's not my kind of music :

MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE - A Randy Rainbow Song Parody :


10:12 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

There were your us-ian neighbors.....


10:24 PM  
Anonymous FerQ said...

It is so amusing to see how the dating scene is completely dysfunctional and male/female relationships in the US are disasters. What can you expect in the United States? That place is a mad house and a hell hole. Here are a couple videos:



A question for MB and all on this blog. Do any of you know of any Christian demoninations/churches that are not influenced by the US and American culture? Does anyone know of any that does not have any links to the US?

10:56 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

At least in theory, those of us living/born in California should be able to move to Spain and become citizens in 2 years:


The map on that page doesn't show California but when you click on the link for the Spanish Empire...

Sadly, the Hispanosphere is out for me because of reasons. But the languages are easy and the people warm.

MB - on r/socialism the GameStop debacle has been described as "gambling on the slot machines to stick it to the casino". I like that they did rattle *some* chains.

11:11 PM  
Anonymous MO said...

FuturoExpat whose empire and institutions?

12:03 AM  
Anonymous Rollo Dice said...

Love American style?

12:53 AM  
Blogger Xair said...

In what other country does shit like this happen with such regularity?


1:23 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Xair and Dr. Shit-

US = violence + douchebaggery. Pretty obvious by now.


This rabbi is a buffoon of the 1st order.


I guess we cd start our own church. We're already dealing with Wafers, after all.


2:12 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, cdn't run it (half-page-max rule).


4:49 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Alex, where did you get that "At least in theory, those of us living/born in California should be able to move to Spain and become citizens in 2 years"? I think this is not the case. AFAIK California is not considered part of the territories (which does include Puerto Rico) granted special immigration privileges in Spain. The US should have thought it through before stealing California from Mexico (I know, bad joke...)

Another thing to consider is that the economy in Spain is really bad (especially at the moment). Somehow, in spite of this, many people manage to get by (although many Spaniards emigrate themselves for economic reasons) but, if you're a foreigner and don't have enough money to sustain yourself or connections to a local immigrant community (which are mostly from Hispanic America, Africa or Eastern Europe, especially Romania) then you may be in real trouble (up to and including sleeping in the streets, although Spanish police don't harass rough sleepers like the US police).

What I believe nobody has mentioned is the jewish connection. If you can claim to be a descendant of the Sephardic jews expelled from Spain in 1492 (sorry Ashkenazies, you're not wanted) then you can get Spanish nationality immediately (well, after the bureaucratic process), but you really have to hurry or may have already missed the chance to apply (not sure):

5:34 AM  
Anonymous Omar said...


He Wants to Save Classics From Whiteness. Can the Field Survive?

"Dan-el Padilla Peralta thinks classicists should knock ancient Greece and Rome off their pedestal — even if that means destroying their discipline."

boy oh boy....

7:01 AM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

"We do, however, welcome endless discussions of Jewish delicatessen, altho it has fuck all to do with the collapse of the American empire (unless one sees a connection)"

Dr. B

I'm telling you the next enlightened civilization will be based on the delicatessen. I dreamed it.

7:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Always capitalize Jews, thank you. (This will get the antisemitic trollfoons going. They've been too quiet as of late.)


9:58 AM  
Anonymous Credulous Cyan said...

I Talked to the Cassandra of the Internet Age

The internet rewired our brains. He predicted it would.
Charlie Warzel

By Charlie Warzel


"...a world in which everyone is desperately seeking their own audience and fracturing reality in the process. I only see that accelerating."

11:12 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check out ch. 3 of WAF for a discussion of American techno-worship. A nation of narcissistic douche bags, is what we wound up with.


11:48 AM  
Blogger Quercus said...

B. Louis-

It is easy to praise Norway for buying electric vehicles, but then it is an elongate mountainous country with abundant rainfall, cheap hydroelectricity, and small population. Please read this:
The "Battery Fairy" & Other Delusions In The Race To Replace Gas-Powered Cars | ZeroHedge
“Where will all the electricity needed to power to entire fleet of US cars come from? Despite the fantasies of greenies, it won’t be from windmills or solar farms. … Right now, coal and natural gas produce the most electricity … and they emit CO2. Plus, there is considerable loss of power due to resistance in the transmission lines, requiring an even greater amount of gross power before the net power reaches the battery in the vehicle…... “

And where will we get all the lithium for the electric batteries? Well, from the dry playa lakes in Bolivia’s altiplano, for instance. Time for another coup attempt - Evo Morales certainly is not friendly to the American free enterprise system. And as the great Dick Cheney said, “The America way of life is not negotiable”
Bolivia’s Almost Impossible Lithium Dream - Bloomberg

Look, we need a change to public transport (and total redesign of cities, but maybe too late for that, as Lewis Mumford said, American cities are built for machines, not humans). Sorry, electric cars will just create another set of problems. For older folks, be glad you lived when you did.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Passaro said...

Some positive dual process?

Atlas Hugged and Catalyzing Positive Change in the Real World, with David Korten By David Sloan Wilson


3:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


In the future, pls provide exact links for yr sources, as a courtesy to our readers. Thank you.


3:24 PM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...


A screenshot of Julie Bindel calling for the execution of all men. She subsequently deleted her post, but people took screenshots of it before she did.


Here, Julie Bindel gives an interview for The Guardian and calls for all men to be put in concentration camps with female wardens, where women could "rent them like library books". Her justification for this stance is that men are mere objects, not human beings.


Here's Chris Hedges platforming Julie Bindel because she agrees with his anti-prostitution stance. This interview occurred after Bindel called for the execution of all men and the placing of all men in concentration camps. I find it hard to imagine Hedges wasn't aware that she said these things, especially the interview with The Guardian where she said all men should be placed in concentration camps.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Glans Butterworth, III said...

Americans were truly 'exceptional'......


3:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Link didn't work.


If Hedges is indeed platforming Julie Bindel, one might argue he is as sick as she is. I wonder what her relationship w/her father was like, when she was growing up.


4:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: You mentioned earlier that he was promoting despicable people. Who else besides the charming Julie?

4:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

The extreme kindness of American corporations:


4:29 PM  
Anonymous Ted said...


I've got to read more James Baldwin.

James Baldwin and race in USA
Arts & Ideas

Also I think the # is like .5% of the vaccines distributed globally have gone into arms of people in lower income countries.


5:09 PM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...

Dr. Berman,

Sorry for posting twice in a 24 hour period, but you seem to be very interested in how deranged Hedges has become, so I thought I'd share more with you today. He also platforms the equally charming Andrea Dworkin posthumously in some of his columns, like this one:


For reference, check out these charming quotes by Dworkin:


As you can see, much of what Dworkin says about men is similar to what Neo-Nazis say about Muslims and Jews...and Hedges regards Dworkin as some sort of beacon of morality.

I do wonder what made Hedges hate men so intensely. I suspect his self-righteousness and his need to have a Cause, to have something to fight for (and against), has led him down this very dark path. Because of his Manichaean mindset and his hatred of men, he'll never understand the obvious truth that men and women belong to the same species, and are far more alike than they are different.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Glans Butterworth, III said...

Apologies Dr. Berman and Wafers for the link not working, please find another link (sorry for violating the 24hr rule).


Even after repeating requests by police to stop revving his engine to dislodge from the snow, the American imbecile kept doing it.... until he got burnt to a crisp.

US= Buffoonville.

5:52 PM  
Anonymous Reese Stephens said...


Reading this and it's great. I'll recommend it to Wafers. Never knew Gandhi got super into English new age stuff at Oxford.

5:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It sounds great. For an oblique angle on Gandhi, check out "The Gandhi Experiment" in my bk "The Heart of the Matter."


Shit for brains; a common American affliction.


Yuck. I also think it's v. impt to Hedges to be 'ahead of the curve', in the vanguard, so to speak. He needs to be seen as politically cutting-edge, and thus wd inevitably be drawn to the more aggressive aspects of feminism. Honestly, all told, I have never been able to figure out how he manages to live w/himself. When u.c. pics of him online, and look into his eyes, you see an immense sadness there. He's also pretty grim, personality-wise. Fun is not part of the equation.


In general, the rich grind the poor into the dirt. No reason that the covid story shd follow a different narrative.


6:19 PM  
Blogger Brian said...


Thank you for the link to the Dworkin quotes. I liked seeing in those quotes contemporary "feminism" at peak depravity.

Most of the power of that sort of stuff (gender/race-baiting) comes down to what psychoanalysts call Projective-Identification. For those who don't know, Projective-Identification is when a person projects onto another and then takes it a step further and manipulates the person to behave/experience themselves in ways that "prove" the projection to the target. So...

Step 1) Dworkins acts mean to men.
Step 2) Men get angry at being disrespected.
Step 3) Dworkins responds, "See, you do hate me because I am a women!".

8:29 PM  
Anonymous Parasomnia said...

Hitchens Biography Proceeds, Against His Widow’s Wishes

Carol Blue-Hitchens and her late husband’s literary agent are discouraging friends from participating in a book tentatively titled “Pamphleteer: The Life and Times of Christopher Hitchens.”


Might be something to do w/ how ill reputed he had made himself to be among his old circles. Not a friendly or fair chap.

8:47 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

From John Michael Greer: https://www.ecosophia.net/the-last-years-of-progress/

9:02 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Great post on what motivates the buffoons, "Seeing of teeming millions to live a Shire existence..." I've long known of the deep link between Nazism and "health food" and "natural living" etc. https://mostlysignssomeportents.tumblr.com/post/642211551727714304/organic-fascism

Malleus - if you click on the Spanish Empire link halfway down the article, that shows a map including California. I think it'd be fun to take to court. That being said you are correct about Spain - people in the US are not fighting to get in there.

Quercus - Americans have a deep fear of physical labor, including riding a regular old bike. The biggest thing we can do is make things here more bike-friendly including overhead shelters over the bike-roads to protect against all the pigs flying overhead.

Nadine - Hedges doesn't like porn or hookers. Bet he doesn't like blackjack either.

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Tybee Beckford said...

Kim Phuc (the nude child running while terribly burned from a napalm explosion in the iconic Vietnam War photography) went on to found an organization for child survivors of such wars — and forgave the people who murdered her family.


9:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I discuss Kim briefly in "Spinning Straw Into Gold." Quite a story, obviously. I think she lives in Canada now.

alex, Nadine-

I sense a deep Puritanism in Hedges, wh/is certainly a key element in the American psyche, in general. This kind of psychology shows up in self-righteous condemnation, wh/often has a harsh or severe edge to it--potentially dangerous, if such folks ever get into power. (Bitter feminism is certainly w/in this purview.) Can one imagine Hedges dancing, or telling a joke? Atypical quote from the 60s: "If I can't dance, I don't wanna be part of yr revolution." Puritan grimness was clearly one aspect of our 60s 'revolution'.


10:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: I have been in touch w/Biden re: the installation of Jewish space lasers in, of course, space. He wrote back that he had no objection to these JSL's, so long as I wd give him the green light on Catholic space lasers. "Go for it, Joe," I replied. But where will it end? Will Marjorie Greene install QAnon space lasers? And what abt black space lasers, and female space lasers, and other diverse space lasers? Fair is fair, after all.

12:01 AM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,

Techno-douchebagism soldiers on.

@ Kevin - thanks for that post. A surprise to see the segue into "Limits To Growth" which I stumbled upon at the creek-side library in Ketchikan, Alaska while working there in August 1991. Thirty years later it's turning out that way in 2021. A whimper. Still, unclear about the nuclear.

@ Laila and all Wafers - "Turtle Island" by Gary Snyder (New Directions Paperback NDP381). Pulitzer Prize for Poetry 1975.

@ Dr B - SSIG is a good read. On this thread, a good discussion. Bloggo Numero Uno - Ole!

1:37 AM  
Anonymous Snufkin said...

Thanks for always refreshing blog and discussion. Two comments:
- FerQ, per the church-question. This is fraught with difficulties, I think - Christianity will, for better or sometimes for worse, blend with cultures wherever it lands, and more so with protestant varieties. But also Roman-Catholicism is susceptible to political trends, cf. i. e. the recent debates about Supreme court judges (all more or less Catholics) and the traditionalist faith of W. Barr. For an interesting discussion of Orthodoxy in America, see interesting open-ended discussion by DB Hart, either in his article in Theological territories, or by googling youtube code: WU3y_h47ByE I believe some kind of religion/spirituality will be indispensable in the post-collapse world, but which sort...?

- As for Trent Reznor of NIN, his life is indeed a microcosm of the American macrocosm. When hitting rock bottom in life (drugs, self-destruction, anomie), he recorded this, with Bowie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7APmRkatEU Bowie understood. And he later became a wise mentor to Reznor, helping him turn his life around. Also instrumental were healthy food/nutrition, mountainbiking and working out, getting a family, of course quitting drugs. Something of a counter-cultural lifestyle, maybe like a NMI. Among other sources: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/trent-reznor-recalls-how-david-bowie-helped-him-get-sober-229659/

2:54 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman,
To paraphrase you a little, you say that Americans are happy if you give them 200 cable television channels and a smartphone. You also have said that what passes for news is downright laughable.
I have to yell you that you are so right on the second one! Here is a latest headline from the Associated Press. It’s the annual news about the newest Super Bowl commercials. As you also have said, “It doesn’t get any dumber!”
Yes. Keep the American masses entertained a la Huxley! In addition to discussing Kim Kardashian’s rear end, this upcoming Monday folks in the United States will be discussing which commercial was the best. As if that is what is important! And in the meantime the advertisers on Madison Avenue will be laughing their heads off at these fools that make up the population of the United States.


8:56 AM  
Anonymous Purce said...


Off-road, off-grid: the modern nomads wandering America's back country

"Bob Wells: by his own telling, he was the living embodiment of Thoreau’s ‘quiet desperation’. "

I think this is the life for me. This is also focused on in the new documentary film, "Nomadland" which I believe is up for an academy award.

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Alex, I should be offended that you left out New Mexico (obviously), Texas and Nevada (another Spanish word which, funnily enough, could be translated as "snowy") but I won't.

Now, this year is the 500th anniversary of the protestant reformation and, while it can be debated whether Lutheranism was even worse than Catholicism, with its emphasis on "faith" (that is, in a way, intellect) instead of good deeds, what in my view is clear is that Calvinism is one of the most evil abominations to ever blight the face of earth, which, as it happens, quite a few historians consider the foundational doctrine of the US, as the puritans were the English version of Calvinism.

Here is really funny blog where the author (an American, obviously) argues for the Calvinist explanation without enough self-knowledge to realize he is still a puritan himself:

Whatever we do, it is clear to me that we should start with an apology from those Trump supporters who wish to reconcile. This idea begs the question of what constitutes an apology.

9:38 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The job for Wafers is clear: Operation Slapping/Urine (OSU). Unfortunately, there are only 175 registered Wafers, and 331 million Americans. A Herculean task, to be sure.


For more on nomads, check out "Wandering God."


See my reply to Malleus. Sometimes I think it all comes down to that, given that Tulsi is largely out of the picture.


12:13 PM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...


Hedges also goes off the deep end in this 2017 article. What he says about white people here is very similar to what bubbas say about Jews. It's true that white people have committed more than their fair share of atrocities during the last 500 years, but almost all of these atrocities were committed by a handful of white countries: America, Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Russia. However, Hedges is allergic to nuance and complexity, so he can't understand this. For him, demographics are more or less monolithic.

It goes without saying that this kind of Manichaean thinking caused most of the worst genocides in human history. I'm not saying I think Hedges would commit genocide if given power, but I am saying he's guilty of what he says he's fighting against.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


He's also guilty of one of the worst offenses possible: he's boring! The same tired shit, over and over. As Marcuse once put it, One-Dimensional Man.


3:17 PM  
Blogger Baron Von Strangeknight said...

A wise man: "I gave up on the American Dream, culture, and nation, and decided I didn't care about the outcome." This clip of George Carlin is ace (ignore the video title), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVZMifGcW64

4:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is a really gd clip. Only 4 American critics have realized that the population consists of turkeys: H.L. Mencken, Gore Vidal, Geo Carlin, and of course--me! Carlin also gets it rt when he says that we need to distance ourselves from the outcome. Who, in America, cd predict, let alone control, for someone like Marjorie Greene, or the clowns of Jan. 6, or the replacement of bks by screens, or the inevitable downhill slide we are on? Arnold Toynbee, didn't sit around weeping for lost civilizations; he just chronicled their collapse, and analyzed the causes. This is wisdom. Of course some changes are possible, esp. on the local level; but no one can control the "vast, impersonal forces" (T.S. Eliot) that shape our lives.


4:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers check it out:


Hopefully next Vermont, Alta California, Pacific NW...


4:55 PM  
Anonymous MaxRevilo said...

The tribe conquers countries through subversion in a feminine way. America is gone - just an empty economic zone of mixed race people trying to find opportunity - low trust low justice. The tribe (that you can't criticize) imposed the hustling culture in order to create the low trust economic zone.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Here's how this blog works. We aren't big on people just broadcasting their personal opinions. Opinions are basically like assholes: everybody's got one. No cause for excitement. What we *do* like to see is opinions that are backed up by evidence: links, refs to articles or bks, and so on. Do you have any? If this approach doesn't interest you, there are probably 14 million blogs out there that don't give a hoot whether an opinion has any basis in fact. up 2u.


5:34 PM  
Blogger Politically Incorrect Russian Spy said...

I'm starting to believe Hedges and fellow liberal weirdo Derrick Jensen are merely puritan fanatics. Both of these guys seem increasingly and pruriently hung up on (their hatred of) sex. Both were raised in hyper-religious (and in Jensen's case, hyper-abusive) households, and in a sense are increasingly outing themselves as religious conservative wolves in liberal sheep's clothing. It's no surprise seeing Hedges giving a platform to someone who wants all men in concentration camps (largely for the crime of attraction to women) in much the same way Jensen is unsurprisingly always referencing Germaine Greer (https://www.clintonnc.com/opinion/33671/the-crime-of-being-a-man) as an authority rather than as a demented person.

Of course, the entire culture is losing touch with all notion of eros as the world becomes ever more a shrieking, martial, hell of opposing ideological zealotries. Some of my best friends are prostitutes, and their lives are tough enough without blue-noses like Hedges and Jensen talking past them. Even Amsterdam is retreating in shuttering its red light district (https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/amsterdam-to-move-sex-workers-out-of-city-centre-in-tourism-e2-80-98reset-e2-80-99/ar-BB1di1kc).

Reality is the true whores of this world work at places like Lockheed Martin. So be careful what you wish for, you puritanical jackasses, because the alternative to sex is war and death. And they are a lot less fun and wholesome.

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Himanshu Tiwari said...

Dear GSWH,

Please see videos below (both under 5 mins) of a GSEH:

First video: He calls much of the US population a bunch of children (at MIT no less)
Second video: He diplomatically says that structural changes are needed in the US (same MIT audience)
He is not as direct as you tend to be I am guessing because he is an outsider.


7:49 PM  
Anonymous Rockwell N. Role said...

How can MB stand NOT living in Ameridiculous? The station wisely
warns the listener, "He's a nut case and he's on his own." Check
the short vid from Rud the G.


8:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah, maybe I shd return to the Home of the Brave, what the heck.


I'm opposed to slapping children, because I think they shd never be hit. But I'm very much in favor of slapping Americans (vigorously). Since Tulsi won't come forward, what else is there? The Wafer Slapping Team (WST) is on full alert.


I think yr rt. That Hedges wd give a platform to off-the-charts feminist depravity suggests that he is badly twisted, in a spiritual sense. This is mental illness; what else to call it? It's hard to believe his career trajectory took him to this low pt. An amazing story, really; a kind of liberal tragedy. Yeah, he's definitely a man we shd all look up to. More generally, it strikes me as a very American (Puritan?) tendency, to go whole hog, to the far end of one's ideology. More Manichaeism, perhaps. What a scary country we live in.


9:59 PM  
Anonymous Nelli said...

Newly released memo shows Rumsfeld didn’t know who we were even fighting in Iraq/Afg in 2003: “The lack of clarity as to who the enemies are, and what the problems are from an intelligence standpoint in Afghanistan and Iraq is serious.”


We can't get *any* dumber

10:08 PM  
Anonymous FerQ said...

To Snufkin- Thank you for your response. What I find very distrubing is that many of the Evangelical/Protestant/Pentocostal/Mega Churches in Latin America seem to echo alot of the garbage that is preached in the US like right wing politics and capitalism/consumerism. One example is Brazil when the Evangelicals voted in Bolsonaro.

To MB, Nadine- About feminism, I have posted earlier about how dating/relationships/marriage in the US are dysfunctional. When I lived in the US, I noticed that there were many women that had a sick hatred of men. I sensed a hostility against males that was prevalent in that society. It was a type a feminism that is just male hate. I have these questions,
1. What were the reasons for that hatred of men to be so common there?
2. Do you believe that this type of feminism is a reason for relationships in the US being dysfunctional?

10:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This can only be a partial explanation, but young men in particular are focused on their careers and potential success. Their interest in women tends to be on getting laid, not on really getting involved; whereas the women are interested in a relationship. Not all men, all women, of course; but there is a widespread tendency in this direction. On dates, men will try to impress women w/their $, their power/careers, etc., wh/most women find boring. On the other hand--I know this from personal experience--women will babble on for 2 hrs abt all the men who have hurt them, showing no interest at all in the guy she is out with. The result is that neither sex cares very much for the other, and if sex were off the table, I doubt men wd spend 2 mins talking to women, and vice versa. Again, from a declinist viewpt, it's all gd. It serves to tear apart the fabric of American society.


Sad to say, we can, and we will. The country basically consists of violent buffoons; Rumsfeld is but the tip of the iceberg.


11:00 PM  
Blogger dermot said...

Regarding Hedges going to the extreme of his ideology, i think his problem (and those 'liberals' like him who are competing to outdo one another in 1950s style puritanism and witch-hunting) is that they don't actually have an ideology at all. Blown about like leaves on the wind, by the first gust that catches them.

You don't have to be a Trot to see the validity in this statement:

"How many times have we met a smug centrist who reckons himself a “realist” merely because he sets out to swim without any ideological baggage whatever and is tossed by every vagrant current? He is unable to understand that principles are not dead ballast but a lifeline for a revolutionary swimmer."
- Leon Trostky

11:00 PM  
Anonymous Rollo Dice said...

I remember when the phrase "under God" was added to the pledge of
allegiance to the flag--in grammar school I mouthed it. This video
is about those who demand that everyone yell it.


11:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


1st-rate, thanks.


12:05 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Malleus - I wasn't slighting those places in not mentioning them, not at all. I was born in California so that's the area I was concerned with. I've actually been to Spain. It reminded me of Waipahu.

MB - you got a live on there. His name is of course based on that of one "Revilo P. Oliver" noted white supremacist writer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revilo_P._Oliver

Politically Incorrect Russian Spy - I certainly put in my time whoring. I was brought from Hawaii to California to work for a tech co. because I'd established a reputation as a hotshot repair tech. I was a total whore for the company; what unionists call a "speed king" brought in to speed up the line. I literally doubled the standard for units repaired in a day and did a ton of other shit the other techs could not/would not do. Plus an explainer/apologist for English because the other workers were all Viet or Cambodian. The reward? Not only did I make less than the guys in the warehouse, but my stupid manager confided in me one day that the idea was to gradually lay off all of us techs as we'd soon no longer be needed. That hurt - not for me but for these guys who had families depending on them.

3:03 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Alex, I was just joking, and I forgot Arizona myself! Anyway, it's clear that most of the US is stolen land, so no wonder Americans need to find a way to wash their dirty consciences (perhaps the fact they quite never succeed, like Lady Macbeth, is one of the reasons of their constant rage...) and, therefore, are so fond of The Old Testament:

But in the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes, but you shall devote them to complete destruction, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the Lord your God has commanded, that they may not teach you to do according to all their abominable practices that they have done for their gods, and so you sin against the Lord your God.
Deuteronomy 20:16–18

And here is a lovely and charming Evangelical website basically saying that genocide is indeed fine and godly:
Why did God command the genocide of the Canaanites?

9:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Clearly the Canaanites have gotten a bad rap. Here's one of my favorite bks:



10:17 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Here's an OpEd from today, concerning the new GOP US House Rep from Georgia, M. T. Greene-


A quote from the article-

"Marjorie Taylor Greene did not go to Washington to represent the will of the people, because, to God's chosen people, representing the will of "the people" is an abomination."

11:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The greater the sickness, the faster the collapse. Go, Marj, go!


1:13 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

What I get from that Smirking Chimp article about Margie Greene is that she's Antigone.

I foresee a bloodbath.

Caitlin Johnstone is in good form here:

Q: What is a liberal?

A: A liberal is a violent white supremacist extremist who supports and participates in the mass slaughter of brown-skinned human beings overseas while tweeting that white supremacist extremists are bad.


al the Canaanite

1:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Let's hear it for the Canaanites! There's a bk or article somewhere by an Israeli scholar named Ginsberg (I think), showing that a # of the Psalms are translations of Canaanite hymns. How about them apples?! I read it yrs ago, lost the ref (sorry).

Meanwhile, where did BLM wind up, finally?:



1:44 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Another obit for a country that doesn’t know it’s dead, still fighting on like the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail:

“So post-World War Two Americans grew up in carefully crafted ignorance of the very fact of American empire, and the myths woven to disguise it provide fertile soil for today’s political divisions and disintegration. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” and Biden’s promise to “restore American leadership” are both appeals to nostalgia for the fruits of American empire.”


2:53 PM  
Blogger Del Gord said...

MB and Wafers,

And the beat goes on:

Does it surprise anyone? Not on the greatest blog in the world.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd essay, thanks. The one thing Americans of whatever IQ cannot recognize, is this simple fact: It's Over.


3:17 PM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...

Politically Incorrect,

That's a brilliant analysis of Hedges and American Puritanism. Many prominent American "progressives" like Hedges are demonizing men and healthy, consensual heterosexuality all throughout the Western world. Their ideas have spread from the lunatic fringe of the feminist movement to mainstream "liberal" circles. As a result, a large number of "liberal" judges are openly discriminating against men, and nobody is doing anything about it.

As you correctly note, this is right-wing fanaticism disguised as liberalism and the liberation of women. By design, this political movement destroys love between men and women, and puts pressure on the state to criminalize consensual heterosexual sex. This is medieval and totalitarian, and has no place in a modern, civilized nation. So much for American "progressivism".

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Namaste said...

Mr. Berman,

You have to hand it to Amerikkans for the marketing of how great the US is and how bad China is. Most of my friends are paying big fees to schools in hope of sending their kids to the US for higher studies. I tell them to look at all the campus shootings and violence/shitty culture but they insist that US is the best country in the world for graduate education (its ok that your kid can get killed or become depressed, but hey they have been told that China censors the fuck out of your life). Just amazing the hold US has over the middle class the world over, is it just the dollars or being associated with white people some kind of status symbol ?

At times I feel depressed to see all my friends chasing the American dream, but I have stopped telling them the truth as I usually get told that I am too negative about the US and the World. I should lighten up and chase the dream they tell me. Sighhhh !

5:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


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


It may take them 20 yrs to wake up. Or, they may never do. Not yr problem. I call the American snow job "The Greatest Story Ever Sold."


5:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Which progressives? Which judges? Some links?


5:33 PM  
Blogger delete said...

Tom Servo said...

A good critique of the "meme populism" exemplified by the GameStop stock story and the problems associated with the online left.

Perhaps the links provided below shed an additional perspective.



6:10 PM  
Anonymous Noura said...

Stories of black Americans, who fled to the USSR to escape race discrimination | RT Documentary
Hundreds of African Americans moved to the Soviet Union escaping racial discrimination in the 1930s. At home, African Americans faced a lack of prospects and restrictions which separated them from society. Fed up with constant prejudice, several hundred African Americans left the ‘land of dreams’ to live freely in the Soviet Union.

I found this video so inspiring because I need to flee from America as well. America is a very sick country with no future. I suspect that Hedges and all the progressives are denying this as a coping mechanism against grief. There's only one person outside this blog I can discuss the collapse with. Most people don't want to deal with the difficulty of figuring out how to move on from this mess.

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Spade Cooley said...

Before viewing this video, be thankful that you have faith in
Jesus and your credit cards.


7:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


My faith in Jesus is 2nd to none. But where the heck did I put my Visa card??


A # went to France as well.

To the trollfoons sending in hate mail-

Amigos: I'm deleting your messages unread. After 3 words, I know who you are, and just hit Delete. You can (and will) continue to post, but you shd know that yr wasting yr time. Not that that matters to you; I'm guessing you guys don' have much going on in yr lives. Which apparently doesn't even bother you! It's like you've made a career out of being a shmuck. What cd be sadder?


8:02 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

Dr. Berman: The 'best' revenge for the trollfoons is having to "live" in the us empire.

Good luck and good night.

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Fritz said...


ICE threatened to expose asylum-seekers to Covid-19 if they did not accept deportation

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Glans Butterworth, III said...

As us-ian dolts debate which stupid bowl commercial is da best and predictable US propaganda "news" re: "evil, bad, horrible" China....we have a snippet of culture and something that may require an attention span >10s.



8:59 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,

This short, Carlinesque u-tubular video is good comic relief for a Saturday night or a Sunday morning. It references back to this thread's Carlin/Rose post a few days ago. Delivered with a small tenor banjo and declinist gusto. (Thanks to my un-registered Wafer trucker buddy for the link.)


9:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, I don't post Unknowns. Pls use a real handle. Thanks.


Ain't Americans great?

Dr. Shit-

Actually, I find them reassuring. The more trollfoons (= dregs of humanity), the faster our collapse. Go, trollfoons!


9:53 PM  
Anonymous Cortes said...

More evidence this is all theater:


10:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gee, what a shock.


11:03 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

One can only hope for a depression as vast as the one in the 1930s
for the masses to see what plutocracy does to harm the majority of
the country and organize to alter this. The wonder is if the masses
have been so conditioned to be slothfully inactive.

11:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, that wd be nice, but the American people just don't have the gray matter to see anything whatsoever, let alone see thru socioeconomic arrangements. Biden's plans are FDR-lite: window dressing, in effect. He's no Bernie Sanders, and even Bernie isn't FDR. And FDR, of course, was no socialist; his historical role was to save capitalism, not destroy it. So the plutocracy is here to stay, and to make the life of the avg American increasingly worse. To crush the poor and the middle-class out of existence, and they will succeed.


11:47 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Here are two recommendations rather two books I read this month and enjoyed: "Empire's Workshop" by Greg Grandin, and "Open Veins of Latin America, by Eduardo Galleano. Both deal with U.S. imperial policy in Latin America, and it's catastrophically human consequences (i.e. multiple genocides and Third World levels of poverty and starvation, devastated local communities, etc.) It's rather laughable when you learn the facts: in the same moment that Reagan made the statement that the Nicaraguan Contras were "The moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers", they actually went into a village, where they picked up all the teenagers by the ankles and smashed their brains open on rocks. Sounds a lot like something James Madison might have done on a bad day at the office! Many of these U.S. supported, right wing death squads were also fond of flaying people alive, gouging out eyes, and cutting out fetuses of pregnant women, as well as throwing babies from second-storey windows and trying to bayonet them on swords. I still can't fathom how these death squads became so psychopathically dehumanized. Apparently our special CIA training had something significant to do with that.

1:19 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I suppose we also need to ask how Reagan became so psychopathically dehumanized.


4:08 AM  

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