January 07, 2021

Bad Joke


Very good discussion on previous thread. What I wish to add is this: in all of the predictions I've made about the coming collapse of America, starting with the Twilight book in 2000, the one scenario I never anticipated was that the country would disintegrate in a bad joke. Trump may be a horror, but he's also funny. The same may be said of the absurd 'insurrection' of Jan. 6. There is something hilarious about it all, imo. T.S. Eliot wrote that the world would end with a whimper, not with a bang. But neither he nor I ever said that it would end with a joke. Yet there it is, for all to see. And while I think our allies view the events of Jan. 6 as tragic and/or outrageous, I also think they, as well as our enemies, have come to an additional conclusion: the US is silly. It's a frivolous country, and is no longer to be taken seriously, except as a rogue state that has its head wedged in its rump. Which would, of course, be a correct assessment.



Anonymous down we go said...

On the issue of who, if anyone, will be prosecuted for the Pussy-Footing-Around-Don't-Mind Us-We're-Just-Tourists riots of yesterday: if American history offers an answer it is that no one of any importance. Some low level Capital police maybe but no one with any real authority. Certainly not Trump or any Senators or Congressmen.


A scapegoat will be found but it will not be the "herd queen".


2:29 PM  
Blogger Alan2102 said...

1. MB wrote, last thread: "A # of politicians have called this an attempted coup, but--correct me if I'm wrong--the bubbas and Limp Boys showed up unarmed. A coup w/o guns? Don't kid me." --- Yes, there's that. But also, just eyeballing the newsreels and whatnot, the resistance to the coup-sters was something between mild and non-existent. It would appear that any random mob of hooligans can waltz into the U.S. capitol and take it over, nearly unopposed. I find this incredible in the literal sense: in-CREDIBLE (not credible). Something smells. Yes, I get the point about race: "If it had been blacks they would have been shot." True. But just b/c blacks might be mown down with relish does not mean that barely a finger would be lifted to keep a white mob from taking over one of the most important (and undoubtedly heavily-securitized with police, secret service, etc.) buildings in the nation, and world. Not only that, but said white mob announced, weeks ago, that they were coming on that very day and that they wanted to make trouble. Is it really possible that the entire elaborate DC security apparatus would leave the capitol naked and effectively undefended? Something smells.

2. It may have (probably has been) posted here before, but just in case it has not: many readers of this blog would also enjoy C H Smith's declensionist writings ---
Most recent item has passages that could easily have issued from MB's keyboard:

3. Any possibility of getting full DATE stamps on these posts, rather than just time of day?

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Karl said...

Dr B, do you think there was a chance Trump was hoping that having incited his followers that things would escalate far worse than they did, he would be "forced" to call in the military and suspend the transition and try and hold on to power?

Or was it just an absurd random circus?

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Jonathan Olivier said...

This is the result of America raised on childlike action films. Simplistic storylines, battling in costumes, good vs. evil. You can't punch your way to better politics results, there's no final boss to fight. The actual change comes from boring legislative process and elections.

- Journalist Lee Fang on yesterday's events

3:31 PM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

Great comment! AFAIK you're the only public commentator to point out how ridiculous the whole farce in the US is. I watched the whole thing going down and I laughed my head off. It's truly a society of the spectacle.

Culture suggestion for these times: "The Book of Disquiet" and other writings by the Portugese writer Fernando Pessoa. A phenomenal book.

3:44 PM  
Anonymous B. Louis said...

I love going back to the Tea Party footage from 10 years ago.

It's a fantastic snapshot of the festering 'shit-for-brains' Americans who were committed to revolting against themselves.

Just like they did on Capitol Hill yesterday.



3:45 PM  
Anonymous Erika On Ice said...


*Private executioners paid in cash. Middle-of-the-night killings. False or incomplete justifications. ProPublica obtained court records showing how the outgoing administration is using its final days to execute the most federal prisoners since World War II.*

4:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur V. said...

Dr. Berman and Wafer:

I would like to pose a question for discussion. I've been reading all the sites that state (with photos in some cases) that the Capitol police pretty much just stepped aside and welcomed in the 'brave' rebels. There are sites that state also that many in the police force were in on the deal, as it were. My question then is: Why did the coup fail? If the coppers were already on the inside, with guns at the ready, why didn't they capture the senators and reps they wanted and begin the show trials? Two possible answers: 1) As with most things American those running this show were moronic boobs; 2) Those involved were/are cowards (again, like most Americans) who ran away at the first sign of danger. Stay safe all.

4:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


And do they recognize me? Do they shower me with awards? When pigs fly over the W.H. in V-geese formation, maybe. Meanwhile, if you repeat hackneyed and absurd nostrums, you get recognition and awards. (This too is part of our collapse.)


"Stupidity excites me" (Gore Vidal). Yes, amigo, I am having fun.


It's anybody's guess, but Trumpi is not known for thinking ahead. He just reacts emotionally to whatever is happening at any moment.


Regarding #1: you cd be rt, but I'm not sure we'll ever know for sure. As for #3: I dunno how to do it, or if it can be done.


Remember the declinist slogan: Bad Is Good.


4:35 PM  
Anonymous D-Pressed said...


4:35 PM  
Blogger Francis (from France) said...

The recent ramble at the Capitol may be a sad joke, but it is also an example of how far a would-be dictator can go. It is like the cherry on the cake of someone who got away with breaking the law systematically during his years in office.
It also shows the powerful effect that cognitive biases can have when they take hold of a whole population. Of course it was absurd, but there will always be people who will remember what happened like a heroic moment, such as the police officers in charge of the security who paused to take selfie’s during this weird event. Incidentally the police in Germany is currently facing the problem of being infiltrated with neo-Nazis.
I fear that all this could be the reflection of an international trend.
Francis (from France)

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Treebeard said...

I wonder how many Wafers are interested in bitcoin? What's interesting about it is that it's basically a bet against the U.S. dollar, and the whole empire built on it. It has been skyrocketing recently as the U.S. has been spiraling into dysfunction and chaos.

Here's an interesting interview with Max Keiser, one of the early bitcoin evangelists: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmEtVoF63IM

He points out that the dollar is a note that can be printed at will to fund the war machine and paper over bad decisions by politicians without consequences. Bitcoin, which is too big to be controlled by any government (so he claims), threatens to break that system and ultimately to topple central banks, nation-states and empires. Apparently Iran has heavily invested in bitcoin, which tells you something about its anti-American appeal.

Anyway, I've recently gotten the bitcoin bug, and though I'm a confirmed Wafer bordering on total doomer, it has actually given me a reason for optimism. My only issue with it that it relies on a huge technological infrastructure which itself may not last. But for now, if you own it you are basically printing money, and supporting the downfall of the U.S. dollar empire at the same time.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm thinking of starting a new currency called Bitrump. It wd feature Kim's ass as something to attract potential buyers. See previous post, "Crossing the Rectal Divide."


5:09 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Give Pence A Chance:

Let me tell you now, everybody's talking about Revolution, Evolution, Masturbation, Flagellation, Regulations, Integrations, Meditation, United Nations, Congratulations

All we are saying
is give Pence a chance

All we are saying
is give Pence a chance

Okay, let's stick to it, everybody's talking about John and Yoko, Timmy Leary, Rosemary, Tommy Smothers, Bobby Dylan, Tommy Copper, Derek Taylor, Norman Mailer, Allen Ginsberg, Hare Krishna, Hare Hare Krishna

All we are saying
is give Pence a chance

All we are saying
is give Pence a chance

5:44 PM  
Blogger Xair said...


Your idea of the U.S. collapsing and becoming bad joke so reminds me of Neil Postman. In essense the culture is collapsing in an orgy of trivialities. Postman was truly ahead of his time on the idea of the country collapsing due to stupidity and entertainment. Three Postman quotes immediately come to mind.

"When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility".

"For in the end, he was trying to tell us what afflicted the people in 'Brave New World' was not that they were laughing instead of thinking, but that they did not know what they were laughing about and why they had stopped thinking".

"Americans no longer talk to each other, they entertain each other. They do not exchange ideas, they exchange images. They do not argue with propositions; they argue with good looks, celebrities and commercials".

6:00 PM  
Blogger anderszornpalette said...

The more you understand internet culture, the more yesterday’s events make sense. Yesterday was a living meme - an internet joke come to life.

Some excellent commentary on our current state of affairs from a video game streamer, of all people. Trust me, it’s actually well thought out.


I’ve come to terms with the decline and now just try and find the humor in it all, and there ain’t no shortage of that.


6:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I've quoted Neil a # of times in my work. Yes, a very prescient thinker.


I doubt Pence is gonna get behind the movement to remove Trumpi's testes during the next 13 days. Perhaps this will help (from "Hair"):

"Hare Krishna
Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna
Hare hare."

Let me add that recent studies have calculated the # of buffoons per hectare in the US as 146.8. By comparison, Denmark has 0.6. Myself, I love a gd buffoon.


7:12 PM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Hi Dr. B and WAFERS:

Still glad to hear thoughts anyone has on the tradition of intentional communities in the USA as per my previous post about The Farm.

Like other posters, it also seems clear to me that the police in Washington were partly complicit in allowing the event to happen. Video footage strongly suggests they could easily have prevented the Trumpists from accessing the Capitol buildings. It seems someone wanted to facilitate a symbolically potent but politically impotent spectacle of revolt. I do not know who, but it should be noted that President Biden now feels justified in labeling the disturbers 'domestic terrorists.'

I also want to note how many different 'terms' the media used this morning to describe yesterday's event. At one point The Guardian website had all of these words on the same webpage in different headlines: 'stormed,' 'mob attack,' 'chaos,' 'violence,' 'anarchy,' 'riot,' 'footsoldiers,' 'insurrection.' Further, other newspapers also used the following terms/phrases: 'under siege,' 'hate mob,' 'rampage,' 'attack.'

I can't remember the last time so many terms were used to describe the same event - as if the nature of the event could not be pinned down.

-Northern Johnny

7:19 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

A discussion of the questions raised by the police response to the demonstrators at the Capital yesterday which asks a simple question- how do you announce and plan for weeks to violently react to the electoral College vote and have police still be unprepared?


In paragraph 6 is mention of a video of police stepping aside; worth taking a look. After decades of spending and preparing for a major terrorist event, a bunch of cos-wearing LARPers, basement dwellers, and rejects from the Sturgess motorcycle rally can take over what must be one of the most defended buildings in the world when almost all of the legislative branch in inside?

More important for the long-term, an FBI report from 2006 documented the influx of white supremacists in US police forces. 2006, and this was something that had been going on long enough to become a recognized problem.

7:19 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Michael Lind lists five crises of the American regime in an article following the mob action at the Capitol. Lind hits both the left and the right for their roles in the current mess while also discussing other, larger factors like the rise of social anomie. An interesting read.


7:37 PM  
Anonymous Chuck Steak said...

Broaden your view. The decline is universal. The USA is just
sliding into the dumpster of history with an unrecognized sense
of humor.

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Michael King said...

I'm a big Naked Capitalism fan. Here is Yves Smith's take on the Capitol festivities.


Treebeard, regarding Max Keiser/Bitcoin: I used to follow Keiser but came to the conclusion that he is a flake and hustler. He has likely made out like a bandit from his hyping of Bitcoin. Worse people than him (drug cartels etc.) are the major players in this market. Major central banks will not allow Bitcoin to become a reserve currency but CBs might issue their own digital currencies. One other point, Bitcoin activity consumes obscene amounts of electricity. The future will require us to power down, not up.


9:04 PM  
Blogger dermot said...

Sam Kriss, it's hilarious! (AGREE)


QUOTE: Here is the bland citadel of American power, big white halls with mediocre paintings, men in breeches either firing muskets at each other or engaged in some lofty Enlightenment-era debate. The myth of America. And here, hooting and hollering as they ransack the place, are the Americans. An army of corn-fed cretins, blasted in the face by digital media until their brains shrivelled into radioactive pebbles; churning flesh in the gears of the most advanced bureaucracy ever devised by man. A nation that rants, that stands on street corners yelling to itself, sometimes into a camera, sometimes into the faces of anyone passing by. They came here from the dead places. Abandoned car dealerships and poisoned creeks; the places where covid swept away twenty million years of cumulative memory and nobody really cared. Not the wretched of the earth, but a new kind of lumpen. The rabble at the dead end of history, lost in a world that no longer needs their productive labour, or their folkways, or their lives.

9:19 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

Alan, as the saying goes, "never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity". Many of the protestors seemed to be a few bananas short of a bunch, and I wouldn't put the bulk of the police force much higher. And we know how lousy police "training" is these days. Combine these ingredients with a nice helping of social media fueled lunacy and a man-child president egging people on, and the predicted results should be obvious. And your statement that they were unarmed is false. this is just one example. https://www.13newsnow.com/article/news/nation-world/washington-dc-pipe-bombs-and-cooler-of-molotov-cocktails/65-d3fe68e9-0b79-4882-95ed-070da6abf2ee . If you mean they were not armed en masse, then yes that is true.

Xair, Postman continues to be one of my heroes. Even towards the end of his life he thought the US had a chance of really turning things around, but I think if he could see the political landscape today he would resign himself to the truth. I have no doubt he would be horrified by "Web 2.0" - facebook, twitter, reddit, etc. The U.S. has been a dumpster fire for decades now, but I like to think of social media like an accelerant. Its gas on the fire, speeding everything up. Maybe we could've lasted longer without it, who knows. At this point the prediction of Empire's End by 2030, or even sooner, is looking pretty solid.

9:57 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

In these tumultuous times, Wafers may wish to seek shelter and comfort in the Tulsi / Tulasī Mantras.


Sri Tulasi Kirtan

And please take good care of your Tulsi as a poor American or English environment may only be capable of producing a Fawlty Basil.

(No disrespect intended. I have holy basil in the house.)

10:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thank you for this impt religious take on Tulsi. I too am a fan of Fawlty Towers. Let me just say this:

Hare Tulsi
Hare Tulsi
Tulsi Tulsi
Hare hare.

"My hair like Jesus wore it/Hallelujah I adore it..."


2 pipe bombs and a few cocktails don't constitute being armed. These folks normally parade around w/revolvers and semi-automatic weapons--conspicuously absent on Jan. 6. Plus, it does look like some of the cops may have been fellow travelers, and not just dumb. But I do agree w/u, these folks aren't the sharpest nails in the box. As I said earlier, I love a gd buffoon. We need a public that is moronized, digitalized, weaponized, and monetized; but above all--buffoonized.


Great essay. I esp. like the slogan, "No Foreskin/No Peace." Plus, his description of DC, where I lived for many yrs, is spot-on. Anyway, he agrees w/me that this whole event was hilarious, and largely meaningless--or perhaps a cry for meaning, one might argue. Still, like everything else in America now, it was theater. The country is completely out of touch w/reality, and thus our doom is a foregone conclusion.

Michael King-

'Cosplay' does describe a lot of what this 'revolution' was about. (Again, more theater)


Gd video, tho how he plans to implement his concluding optimism is not clear. I did appreciate his condemnation of cell fones as a way to avoid reality. Fone use is also a type of deep buffoonery.


Gd essay. I esp. like this quote:

"The striking photo of a young bare-chested and tattooed male rioter standing in the well of the vacated House, looking like a Germanic barbarian in the ruins of Rome with an animal fur on his head, is the logical result of the escalation of the post-patriotic iconography wars."

What cd be more symbolic, of the fall of Rome, and of the US? It's really too perfect, when u think abt it. How many times can I say, "It's over"?


12:56 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

As we watch these frothing imbeciles (Whoever said that you can judge intelligence by physiognomy?) overtake the Capitol, I find myself wondering if they are also part of the 33 percent of Americans who believe that the sun revolves around the earth, or think that the Holocaust never happened?

As a former History teacher, I recognize these people. I had them in class 20 years ago, and this is why I quit teaching. I was a voice calling out in the wilderness at the time, but I saw clearly that we were doomed, and that pretty soon these vacant-eyed, grinning buffoons would reach critical mass (73 million apparently), and undermine what was left of this civilization. The smiling cretin who put his feet up on Nancy Pelosi's desk is the new face of America. "This is not who we are" is the usual, reflexive commentary you hear from well-meaning intellectuals from another era, like John Meacham or Walter Isaacson. But they are wrong. This is exactly who we are. And it's past time that we come to terms with this.

1:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


When Nixon won in 1968, Pauline Kael wrote in the New Yorker: "I don't know a single person who voted for him." Which was exactly the problem: living in her little bubble in NY, she extrapolated and thought the country consisted of New Yorker readers. Liberals have been deluded for decades; they thought they were the country. But the alternate country, the country of Yahoos and bubbas, was always the real USA, and now, finally, perhaps the Kaels of this world are coming to realize that. 20% of Americans say the sun revolves around the earth, and another 10% say they don't know which revolves around which (data from 20 yrs ago). Half believe aliens have already landed, and half believe that Russia was our enemy in WWII. 86% can't locate Iran or Iraq on a world map. Leno walks the streets of Burbank to discover that Americans believe "the War Between the States" refers to student activism of the 1960s, or that in 1776 the country won its independence from China, or that the major religion of Israel is 'Israelite'. And so on.

However, I can't convince myself that the progs are any better. They love the consumer society, support the nation's imperialistic wars, and are fully committed to hustling, the American Dream, and the absurd concept of American 'exceptionalism'. They fully believe that diversity is equivalent to significant social change. Just a different type of buffoons, really.

I have urged Wafers to embrace their Inner Tulsi. But perhaps we also need to embrace our Inner Buffoon. (That, or hit the road) After all, why are so many critics and pols now calling for the impeachment of Trumpalumpi, or the 25th Amendment? Because they have failed to embrace their Inner Buffoon!


2:45 AM  
Blogger vsoguy said...

Dr. Berman,

Couldn't agree more on your assessment of the progs. They are just bubbas and Karens in disguise. Pretending to care about social and environmental issues while they essentially mirror the right wing in practice.

The predominant features of this culture are hypocrisy and delusion. There's just no getting around it.

Here's the horned crusader in action. Jake Angeli, exceptional American:


4:31 AM  
Anonymous Claudio said...

Der Spiegel's new cover illustration translates to Fire Devil, a president that sets his country on fire.

We're a global embarrassment!

6:58 AM  
Anonymous William Stone said...

"In some strange way it was more significant than a real coup. A coup would at least make sense, while the almost complete replacement of serious politics by subterranean fantasy and roleplaying induces a sense of vertigo."


Brilliant essay!

7:18 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wm Stone-

Great essay, thank you. A very sophisticated analysis, but he omitted one crucial pt: both the rioters and the politicos are douche bags. Rather than being simplistic, this clarifies a lot regarding the condition of American politics today.


Give us a link?


Turns out, Angeli is an actor. Meanwhile, do you realize how many Americans need to be slapped? I get exhausted just thinking abt it.

Schmiden has inherited a country that is de facto, finished. We are only waiting for de jure. Or to put it another way, It's all over but the shouting.


7:49 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: I love a gd buffoon:


8:09 AM  
Anonymous Glans Butterworth, III said...

Wafer Claudio--Would say that the us empire was always a global embarrassment-Ludlow incident, genocide of the Native Americans, constant wars, false flags, coups and election interference all over the world, employment at will doctrine, FATCA, etc...etc...etc.. The propaganda was so good that many were fooled into 'thinking' the us was some force for good or inherently decent.

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Carlos Zeichner said...

Our Machiavellian Moment
Much maligned as a mere tactician of power, Machiavelli was in fact a philosopher of the people. His critique of oligarchic domination remains essential today.

MB's points on Machiavelli in "Genio" still stand out as exceptional.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Baron Von Strangeknight said...

Wafer Anderszornpallette thank you for the link. One thing that the commentator touches on is the role social media and the fringe + corporate news media play in intensifying the craziness. It's a real thing and will only get worse. I still have yet to read Matt Taibbi's Hate Inc., I should do that this year. Many are very disillusioned, something I think really started around the time of the Vietnam War.

11:01 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I didn't join in the comments about the apprehended insurrection (a Canadian term) that took place in DC at the time, because I thought the whole thing was a farce, from the "reasons" for the demonstration to the reaction to it.

That Trump could claim that the fix was in while he's the person in the position to fix the election is just silly.

The rioters were a gas. I saw one video that showed them "storming" the Capitol building, and once inside, they stayed within the velvet ropes leading from room to room.

Then there was Schmiden's scolding speech afterwards. Every word of it was predictable, as was his tone. It was little more than cheap theatre.

Everything about this spectacle is tacky and unintentionally comical, and as good a manifestation of the destiny of the USA as we've seen recently.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Linked below is the British news channel ITV's report on the January 6 events in Washington, DC. I have not seen this kind of footage on any USA network. When the page opens, there is a condensed video just below the headline; click on the white arrow in the blue circle in the middle of the video screen to start. If you scroll down a little further, you can watch the entire 7-minute report. (You have to accept cookies.)


There is also a podcast at the bottom of the page. I do not usually take the time to listen to podcasts, but I did listen to this one in its entirety; it was interesting and informative.

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Caine said...

The Fed Is A "Clear And Present Danger" https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/fed-clear-and-present-danger


tldr: the Fed will keep buying $120 billion of debt per month in debt to prop up the stock market & real estate market throughout this year.

What happens after that?

1:10 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Years ago I was given 1/10th of a Bitcoin. At least that's what I was told. I got some kind of a long number, I think. WTF was I supposed to do with that? Nothing came in the mail. No one walked up to me at a bus stop and handed me a coin. Bitcoin is not real. The computers blink out and it's all zilch.

The hypernormalisation is getting stronger. I went to the Amazon hub to pick up some plastic bags I'd ordered and a good part of the building across the street was on fire. It stunk. Of the 3 log-in terminals in the Amazon place, 2 were dead and one only had half the screen backlit so it was barely functional. Then the bike ride home, dodging zombies and crazies. Stopped by a little Japanese market for a few things; prices are staying steady or dropping because people with less money spend less. Everything's fine here in the land of Iks who drive cars.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Cherith Cutestory said...

1) @Ordinary Indian: a thousand thanks for providing me with the link library to all the books and articles mentioned in this blog!

2) @ everyone: in another disgraceful racist move, some US courts are now using rap lyrics as evidence to incarcerate people. As usual in the US's horrifically unjust system, the system is constantly finding ways to imprison or execute, but not to exonerate. It's literally part of the law: here's a relevant timestamped video, from Professor James Duane's great speech about never talking to the police.

3:27 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

Greetings. It's probably been several years since I've commented, as I've felt the fiasco of the past 4 years basically rendered MB's commentary superfluous. What functioned as a trenchant critique of W [where most of his critics didn't go far enough] and a wry commentary on the hollow do-nothing liberalism of Obama, basically became redundant in the era of Trump. Even his own supporters basically seemed convinced that the country was finished.

However, this is just too much. What a fittingly comedic end to this era [which is not to ay I think we're headed for better days].

I remember back in 2016, one of the top editors of ZeroHedge [occasionally discussed in this territory] resigned over the blog devolving into pro-Trump shilling. I believe he said "This isn't a revolution, it's a joke". If only he knew how right he was!

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...


There's an idea spreading like wildfire among the progs. It's the notion that "toxic masculinity" and "white male rage", not fossil fuels, are responsible for climate change. In embracing this idea, they have proven themselves no better than the Christian fundamentalists who attribute climate change to homosexuality.

The progs are indeed bubbas and Karens in disguise. They have little or nothing to say about what really matters - war, climate change, poverty, deforestation and so forth. Diversity and virtue signaling are all they care about. They want women, blacks and Hispanics to have equal access to the upper echelons of our system where the wealthy and the powerful concoct and implement their psychopathic, genocidal schemes. For them, that is true progress, the pinnacle of morality. They could care less how many innocent people they destroy to achieve these allegedly virtuous aims.

Due to their addiction to outrage and conflict, I suspect the progs don't really want the bubbas to go away. No, they need people to compare themselves to in a favorable manner. And what would their lives mean without the struggle against the awful bubbas? Absolutely nothing. This is why they do their best to antagonize the bubbas by always shitting on men and white people.

4:55 PM  
Anonymous James Watrous said...

I might find it funnier if there weren't five dead now. Though it could have been worse. The United States is going down the toilet, but you, Dr. Berman, have been predicting for over 20 years.

7:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


As I said earlier, 'they' will listen to me when pigs fly over the W.H. in V-geese formation.


As for the progs being ridiculous, ca va sans dire. But pls provide a link regarding what you say in yr 1st para.


Cdn't run it (max half-pg rule). Pls compress down to half a pg and re-send.


7:58 PM  
Anonymous Potemkin Village said...

It was an unarmed, silly americans entering their tax payer building. Some taking silly pictures, selfies, etc. as if this represents an "insurgence" or "coup." ?!

Many American don't have a voice, and these actions were perhaps, their "voice." Moreover, now with the fuckerberg et al techno oligarchs banning anything they don't like, what are their options-if they cannot leave the US empire? https://www.miamiherald.com/news/article248366650.html

The people in control (pollies/"leaders") don’t give a shit about our grievances. We're wasting your time with these stupid marches, and in some cases we loose ourlives in this vile Country".

Perhaps, it was said here before, maybe the way to change things is through guerrilla tactics. This type of revolution takes some intelligent planning and meticulous execution and is more successful than dumb american mobs rushing trained, armed enforcers.

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Noura said...

The theater continues …
Pelosi calls for Trump’s immediate ouster after deadly riots
Democrats led by Pelosi are demanding Trumps’ Impeachment, they want him barred from ever holding a federal office, and called for the resignation of the Capitol Police Chief (see article below). There are trying to prevent more Suez moments and get rid of the specter of Trump coming back for another term. They can try to slow down the decline, but can’t stop it.
Capitol Police chief resigning amid criticism over pro-Trump mob

Trump’s Speech on 1/7/21
Quoting Trump “Our incredible journey is only just beginning”. Incredible indeed!
Some of the things happening in America such as the shredding of the Bill of Rights, highest incarcerated population in the world, and the moral corruption of pretty much every institution could be leading us to some of the situations described in the following article: It could be worse — you could be in a gulag
Quote from the article “This all happened so recently, so close. I think this is one value of reading history. You get a sense of how bad things can get... Westerners are terribly unprepared for how bad things can get.”

8:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Intelligent planning is not possible for Americans, most of whom have shit for brains. I doubt 25% cd define the word 'meticulous'.


8:22 PM  
Blogger anderszornpalette said...

@Baron, I just finished Hate Inc. Excellent book. I really enjoy and appreciate Matt Taibbi’s writing. He’s a stellar journalist. The interview with Chomsky at the end of the book is great. Chomsky definitely illuminated a concept that I hadn’t thought of before - the idea that we have private governments that are much more powerful than the state. Think Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, etc. They now have almost complete control of the public square and consumer culture with no accountability to the people.

Glad you enjoyed the link. Social media is a huge enabler of the polarization in our country, for certain. Combined with a society that has a low average intelligence and high proclivity towards violence and an everyman for himself mentality, it’s the perfect recipe for social decay.

12:46 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Don Trump as he looks up to the sky: ”I am the chosen one.”

Does everybody here remember Don the Con doing that stunt some time ago? Well, a bunch of dumb Bible-thumping conservative evangelical Americans took it to heart and actually believe it. The ongoing comedy show during the disintegration of the United States continues to our declinists’ enjoyment. Ha!Ha!Ha!


1:19 AM  
Anonymous Chuck Steak said...

Chuck Steak here to comment on MB's wonderment about the
optimistic plan in that 8-min video sent recently. It may
well be that there can be no plan since the glide path to
the bottom is locked into the controls. I think of Huxley's
"Brave New World Revisited," Wells "Mind at the End of Its
Tether" and recent warnings about hitting the tipping point
for guaranteed unstoppable global warming and all its
consequent environmental disasters. Imagine having lived in
Berlin during the 1920s and knowing what was to come. Then
the only plan was simply to get the hell out of town FAST.

2:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yes, I've been advocating that for many yrs now. But the concluding part of that video did suggest we cd DO something abt our situation, not that things were 'locked in'. How or what to do, however, was not clear.


4:41 AM  
Blogger vsoguy said...


Great assessment, totally agree. The small business I work at is highly prog and there are a lot of these antics going on there.

We're down to half staff due to the pandemic. It's mostly the women who are working from home, and it seems they feel the need to be protected by us white males. But what happened to gender equality? Must be nice to play the chivalry card when needed.

And my boss. I'll never forget our recent political discussion, as he leaned back in his cushy chair proclaiming "I'm a socialist", but really he's a major hustler, and one of the most rabid capitalists I've ever met.

As Kunstler says, it's all about virtue signaling, bullying and coercion. The hypocrisy is thicker than tear gas, and just as suffocating.

Meanwhile, the MSM stokes the flames:


And Dr. Berman, you said the US would be unrecognizable by 2030. I think we're ahead of schedule:



5:07 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

I think the US authorities are doing the very worst thing they could do at the moment. i.e. appearing as rattled as possible and turning Trump into a martyr.

As a limey, I have to say that our own Suez moment was a lot neater and tidier, tbh.

6:32 AM  
Anonymous rememberporthuron said...

Here is the first part of Ramin Mazaheri, pub 1/8/21 in the Saker Blog "US fake-leftism"
and from the comments section:
"What I believe underlies this is a very serious case of ungrounded hyper individualized egoism. That I would call bourgeois. So I read Ramin as writing a critique of bourgeois leftism." and another, "It’s a class war where only one side – the privileged side – realizes that they’re at war."
Makes me think of a line from the old bw movie "7 Samurai"-- "Listen to me, war is not fought alone."

8:16 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Best thing wd be to make Trumpi wear a sign around his neck for all of 2021 saying I AM A BUFFOON.


8:39 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

A type of psychological anguish in the USA can result from the realization that your nation is nothing like the shining paragon of vitality, strength and virtue, a notion that you might have been taught in elementary school. Instead it's a monstrosity built from arrogance, racism, ethnic cleansing, geographic expansionism, slavery, greed, hedonism, hustling and selfishness along with a fair amount of genuine ingenuity and ambition.

Most citizens in the USA are neither smart enough nor knowledgeable enough to experience psychological anguish to any depth. Instead their antics appear comical, with a bit of aggression and malevolence mixed in with naivete. "Act first, think later" is their motto. If stuff gets broken or vandalized, oh well, that must be what it deserved.

An interesting article :

Mass Delusion in America
What I heard from insurrectionists on their march to the Capitol :


9:50 AM  
Anonymous Dibs said...


The lack of crackdown @ the Capitol boils down to a sense of kinship

How touching...

10:38 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd article, thank you. Cops on the side of rt-wing protesters will certainly contribute to our demise.


10:51 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

The Seattle Times carried a New York Times report about how a number of the Capitol incursion participants livestreamed the proceedings and made a few bucks off their postings. I have to admit, I’ve never heard of some of the reference internet platforms. Thus, we see that the Capitol event was just another occasion to hustle. As MB says, it’s in the DNA. Another example of moronized buffoonery with some inevitably tragic consequences. Please update your post-its.


11:02 AM  
Anonymous Eric Jensen said...

For those of us who hope that Americans aren't burned alive during the crash, the recent events will preclude Trump ever having such sway over such a broad group of Americans. Forget about Trump 2024. I appreciate Michael Cohen expressing the degree of Trump's current psychosis. https://www.alternet.org/2021/01/michael-cohen/
The RNC is doubling down on support for Trump.

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

Wafer Mr. Bernstein, the protesters would have perhaps served the cause if all of them would have sat in the CONgressional/senate chairs with a sign stating something to the effect of: "forgotten, can't earn a living, $107K in student loans, close 1000+overseas war bases, $740B for war yet 600$ for us, etc..." yet, they didn't.

Just funny costume pictures from playtime.

12:32 PM  
Blogger Baron Von Strangeknight said...

MB and Wafers, This surely says something about our decline. This "revolutionary", Elizabeth from Knoxville, is seen claiming that she got maced at the recent Capitol storming all the while rubbing her tearful eyes with an onion. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-ErmrBoVq4

Theater indeed!

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Poker Player Dave said...

“For one man calleth Wisdome, what another calleth Feare; and one Cruelty, what another Justice" - Thomas Hobbes

Jill Lapore on last week's insurrection/race riot/storm/coup/sedition/treason/Attack on the U.S. Capitol


1:22 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

"Yes, I've been advocating that for many yrs now. But the concluding part of that video did suggest we cd DO something abt our situation, not that things were 'locked in'. How or what to do, however, was not clear."

I wasn't around back then, but I would imagine the early years of the Great Depression seemed just as hopeless as they do now. Millions of people out of work, coup attempt, big business seemingly unconcerned with the crisis and maintaining a stranglehold on public institutions. [Thomas Frank argued some very convincing parallels in "Wrecking Crew"].

However, in our current situation, it's likely that the time for an FDR type figure [if that were even possible] was 2008 and the ship has sailed. We're basically in an alternate timeline where FDR fell flat on his face, Huey Long was elected president and now we have a Truman analogue in Biden. A clueless Democratic Party hack facing an incipient Cold War. Only without the roaring economy and the widespread triumphalism, optimism and unity resulting from American victory in WW2. So I'd say we're in great shape, just as Dr. Berman predicted!

1:50 PM  
Blogger Systems Crash Go said...

The Dems need to get their heads out of their collective asses. Temple of democracy my lily livered ass. Its high time that they recognize the consequences of their past actions.


Meanwhile in India, in continuation of my posts in earlier threads,


The Farmers are still out in the cold, and likely they will stay there. Big Capital smells blood, and rely on the institutions of bourgeois democracy for legitimacy. Its all downhill from here unfortunately. Small farmers are going the same way as the dodo. Its sad, but WTO and IMF have wanted this for 30 years and they will get their way this time.

Nothing can stop the decline, in USA and the world.

2:07 PM  
Blogger dermot said...

Marc Bernstein: the reality that americans need to face is that their 'country' is a corporation, the prez is a CEO, and they are the employees. The national flag was 'borrowed' from the private East India Company.

Regarding next Events, Biden admin will weaponise the DC protest. Expect Patriot Act 2 for Bubbas. I tried to warn them in 2002/3 (First they came for the Muslims and americans said nothing).

QUOTE - A recent Morning Joe appearance by CIA analyst-turned House Representative Elissa Slotkin eagerly informed us that the real battle against terrorism is now inside America’s borders...
“Before Congress, Elissa worked for the CIA and the Pentagon and helped destabilize the Middle East during the Bush and Obama admins,” tweeted journalist Whitney Webb in response. “What she says here is essentially an open announcement that the US has moved from the ‘War on [foreign] terror’ to the ‘War on domestic terror’.” - UNQUOTE

My fear is the now that the nat guards / police are ordered to take a stand, the next incident will see a real body count. Martyrdom of a few dozen Q-balls will feed the next phase of the 'die-a-lectic'.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Dulouz Jr said...

FYI: protestors included 2 Seattle cops and a W. Virginia legislator. I don't have links ready at hand but surely someone will be posting them soon.
drinking game- every time a politician or pundit says "this isn't us" have a shot of your fav drink. Guaranteed you won't make it through the day.

3:35 PM  
Anonymous B. Louis said...

This is a fantastic summary of what Trump actually IS:

"In the most literal sense possible, The Donald was our first presidential candidate of imperial decline and so a genuine sign of the times. He swore he would make America great again, and in doing so, he alone, among American politicians of that moment, admitted that this country wasn’t great then, that it wasn’t, as the rest of the American political class claimed, the greatest, most exceptional, most indispensible country in history, the sole superpower left on Planet Earth."


4:09 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention, a kingdom for a stage, princes to act and monarchs to behold the swelling scene!

Cosplay Remembered: Le Streak, C’est Chic: The high-contrast drama of Tulsi Gabbard’s signature hairstyle — “‘I am totally digging Tulsi Gabbard’s clip-in grey hair extension,’ wrote one Twitter observer. ‘Is Tulsi Gabbard’s grey hair on purpose?’ asked another, inviting followers to vote on whether it was dyed or natural. To answer this pressing question, Gabbard’s sister Vrindavan Gabbard took to Twitter to proclaim the streak natural. ‘It happened,’ she wrote, ‘after [Tulsi’s] deployment to Iraq. She keeps it as a daily reminder of her experience and her purpose.’… And so, even Tulsi’s hair wound up reminding us of her military credentials. In this way, the streak was not so much a sign of advancing years as it was an attempt — ex post facto — to suggest a badge of honor, like a Silver Star medal ‘pinned’ to her hair (in the absence of a uniform lapel).” Tulsi explains why she keeps her gray hair streak: “I actually uh started going gray in that one spot uh during and after my first deployment to Iraq. And, uh, so, I keep it as uh just a remembrance of those who we lost there and the cost of war.”

Zizek: Truth in the mask. Holding their manhoods cheap: The Perverted Dance.

4:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Jesus, what a douche. Why shdn't we fly to Hawaii and hold her head (gray streak and all) under water for 10 mins.? Yet her extreme frivolity is an echo of American frivolity in general. People like Kim and Tulsi are clowns--clowns that are worshiped by millions.


What coup attempt?

I'd like to thank all of you for your sophisticated contributions. There is a high level of discussion here that makes this the Greatest Blog on Earth, bar none. And speaking of seeing the earth at a distance: if one could hover above the US in a drone, or balloon, what you see in essence is a country undergoing a psychotic breakdown. From which there is *absolutely* no recovery.


4:49 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


I believe the 'coup attempt' on FDR that Alamein is referring to was called the business plot, or Wall Street putsch. Basically a bunch of Wall Street millionaires plotted to overthrow FDR when he began to mess w/their money. It went as far as trying to recruit General Smedley Butler to lead a force into action and take down FDR. Granted it was a feeble attempt that wasn't really carried out, but there is evidence that it was discussed and in the planning stages:



5:27 PM  
Blogger Arthur V. said...

This a interesting article by a gentleman named Guy Rundle, with whom I am unfamiliar.


The end is what struck me. He states that America might survive the situation if progressives have the courage to crush their enemies. I have often wondered if progressives have the courage to do anything. And I say this coming from the liberal side of most issues. But it does seem that those few times in history when progs where a bit ahead they always managed to stop short and seemingly offered their foes an invitation to brunch instead of going for the kill.

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Dear Dr. Berman, please delete the former email. Do not mean to break the 24h rule. Thanks.

Dermot-- "the reality that americans need to face is that their 'country' is a corporation, the prez is a CEO, and they are the employees. The national flag was 'borrowed' from the private East India Company." Res ipsa loquitor.

Exactly, once one viscerally understands that the US was a corporation; a for profit capitalistic, business enterprise- it all makes some sense as to how the US empire is "governed." No public option health care system, anemic pensions/social "security," no education w/o incurring huge debts to maybe join the middle class, massive geriatric-nursing home bills, no job security, etc....it's simply a business-ala Calvin Coolidge.


Of course, the Professor in this academic puff piece appears to be an apologist, and thinks americans are generous, charitable--through business--more delusions and denials of reality. National psychosis.

7:05 PM  
Anonymous spigot said...

Dermot - you can go the incorporated narrative big pic explanation - however.

Remember Hirohito didn't attack the Bolsheviks and China wasn't communist before the Japanese tore through an unsuccessful civilization - softened by Sassoon opium and other neo-colonial subversion. Nations being played against each other by a very old culture.

Who do you think ran the East West trading companies - non-infiltrated and subverted royals? No, a very old ethno-centric royalty turns civilizations upside down - to conquer.

8:47 PM  
Anonymous Eric Jensen said...

"we've got a lot of killers. You think our country's so innocent?"

Democrats have screwed us all.

No one can honestly stand up against Trump because everyone else is also complicit in bringing about the downfall of the nation. Just as after WW II, we only classified atrocities as war crimes if we weren't guilty of those same crimes, thereby ignoring obvious crimes, like bombing farming dams in Korea where people were already starving and the army was already defeated.
Healthcare for Americans? One of the strongest opponents is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiQM9YI1ZYg Really, we have screwed the average citizens over and over and over. Biden ran exclusively on not being Trump without offering anything we would expect from a Democratic candidate. End military spending? Free college education? UBI? Medicare for All? Obama created those child cages and deported far more migrants than Trump did. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gevJ6tp5zTI
No wonder so many people think that the democrats have destroyed the country; they are (partly) right! (everyone did)

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Here you go- you can walk along with the crowd as they enter the US capitol building-


(The video ends just before the shooting, so you don't have to sign in to YouTube to watch.)

9:30 PM  
Anonymous Rollo Dice said...

Does anyone know if there is yet "Vegas book" odds on an
attempted assassination on Jan 20? One is brought back to
"The Manchurian Candidate" and the two links below. Net
brainwashing of courageous patriots willing to save our
freedoms by self-sacrifice for the greater good of America?

Expert leadership for Jan 20?

10:43 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Greetings again to all. For all that happened this week in our pathetic and laughable joke of a country known as The United States of America; for all that has happened these past 4 years in this banana “republic” ( to which the loyal passionate members of the “Republican” party adamantly refer this country as, since these two respective words sound alike) under the ultimate hustler Don the Con Trump; for this “chosen one” by God; for this narcissist who thinks he’s an Adonis and the apple of every woman’s eye; and for a good send off to him as he exits the scene of this ongoing American self implosion, this week’s episode of Karen Sunday is dedicated to the Trumpian Karens who help make it happen. We Wafers/declinists thank them and owe them a ton of gratititude.
And especially enjoy the One Nation Under God “prayer rally” ( the bottom video) in Virginia sponsored by the Virginia Women for Trump! It’s very long. However, every minute is worth watching! LOL!
U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!




2:08 AM  
Anonymous Harlow said...

Why Epicureanism, not Stoicism, is the philosophy we need now

"The greatest good for humans is friendship: pleasure in the presence of another and the security of knowing that help is there when needed" -Catherine Wilson (CUNY) on Epicurean ethics. https://www.newstatesman.com/international/2021/01/why-epicureanism-not-stoicism-philosophy-we-need-now

A fine path for Wafers!

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Noura said...

Facebook bans Trump from posting for remainder of his term in office
Twitter permanently bans Donald Trump from its platform, citing ‘risk of further incitement of violence’: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/article248366650.html
This will probably backfire because Trump’s supporters aren’t rational. In addition, many great articles have been posted here about how the police seems to be on the side of Trump’s supporters. Great example of how empires in decline do the very things that accelerate their demise. Those who remain in America will suffer the consequences of an unwise government. America’s way of dealing with opposition is to paint the other as the enemy (black and white view) and then destroy. Imagine using this approach with almost half of the country. I feel like I am sitting on a time bomb because I can’t leave yet. Unintelligent population = unintelligent government. After all, where does the government comes from? This is far more serious than I thought.
The evidence that America is over is so overwhelming that one would have to be blind not to see it at this point. And yet some people don’t see it. I have a very good friend who keeps saying that things will get better. She really believes that! This is not optimism but delusion. Trump has done the world a great favor by unwittingly exposing the depth of America’ decay. And of course, instead of dealing with the real issues, the government is wasting time and energy on trivialities. Incredible! As I was grocery shopping yesterday, I overhead someone talking about how the election was stolen. So removed from reality and real issues. I agree with Dr. Berman’s assessment that we’re witnessing a psychotic breakdown.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Patrik said...

‘Plato noted a particular risk for tyrants: that they would be surrounded in the end by yes-men and enablers. Aristotle worried that, in a democracy, a wealthy and talented demagogue could all too easily master the minds of the populace.’ ⁦⁦T. Snyder https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/09/magazine/trump-coup.html

In America the populace are just temporarily embarrassed demagogues wheeeeeeee!

10:11 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Interesting song and video to revisit as David Bowie is gone for five years almost to the day of the attack on the Capitol. From 1997, 'I'm Afraid of Americans' At the end, it's almost like the cos-playing mob going to the Capitol...


11:11 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

A Cascadian friend yesterday sent me a Twitter link of more video footage from the Capitol incursion on Tuesday. Several shots show a group of men in combat gear including radios moving in single file toward the Capitol steps through the crowd of Trump enthusiasts. A shoulder patch on a close-up reads “Oath Keepers”, other patches “Guardian of the Republic” and “I don’t believe in anything. I’m just here for the violence.” A nice historical checkpoint for Merica, a combo of jokes and nihilism. Apparently, among the many play actors, some were present with more serious intent. A hostage situation in the Capitol would have been an interesting Suez-type spectacle with Trumpi in charge. Will there be more between now and January 20?


11:19 AM  
Blogger Mike Kelly said...

Hi MB and Wafers:

News from India not covered by the US media. Breathtaking solidarity. Makes the Trumpalumps look exactly as they are: clueless buffoons.


11:49 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Also the philosophy of G.E. Moore, who had a huge influence on the British intelligentsia during much of the 20thC--Bloomsbury circle, math/philo circle (Cambridge), and even the Cambridge 5 (spies).

As for America, just when you think you've hit the bottom of the sewer, it goes another 2 feet deeper.


1:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Here's an example:


Police are trying to find the cause of this. But the cause is that the guy was living in America.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

The best summary I have read so far of how the last five years have culminated in the shit-show we saw on Wednesday: After The Sacred Landslide

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...


As I said before, there are an infinite number of articles like this that blame men and masculinity, not fossil fuels, for climate change...and I think I know why. It's easier to blame others for climate change instead of changing your lifestyle so *you* don't contribute to the problem. "It's all those toxic males that are killing the planet!", SJWs say, while driving gas-guzzling SUVs, using hairspray and buying loads of Chinese products made with slave labor. American progressives don't want to help others. They only want to appear as though they want to help others.


Also, COVID continues to get worse in the great old US of A, despite vaccines being readily available in many states. Some states have had millions of doses for some time, but haven't gotten around to distributing them and vaccinating people. The state legislatures seem not to care if COVID spreads like wildfire. I dunno, maybe they're too busy watching "Keeping Up With The Kardashians"?

3:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I think we can both agree that progs need to be beaten to w/in an inch of their lives, and then thrown on a dung heap. "Dregs of humanity" is not too strong a phrase, altho it applies to the bubbim and bubbot as well.

As for covid vaccine: I expect massive incompetence and stupidity. I expect black people, and the poor, to get it last (like the Palestinians), or not at all. But I do have a question: a mutation has occurred: a new covid virus. Do we know that the current vaccine will prevent falling prey to this new one?


4:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I esp. liked this:

"Here is the fact of it: the country’s leaders cannot quite bring themselves to say that the lives of people living in this country matter at all, let alone act as if they do. The state fails daily; it has somehow forgotten how to do anything but hurt and cannot even agree that it would be good to try to help. It does not tell the truth as a matter of course, which gives license to everyone adrift in this to believe whatever story they find most compelling. In the ways that matter most, in the places where it is needed most, the state barely exists. Where there is supposed to be strength is only power and brute force; what is supposed to be held in common has been openly looted; the triumphal national image is gnawed to bits by a frantically denied shame and raw fear."

I dunno if you ever saw the film by Luis Buñuel, "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie," but the point of it is that the elite are actually trash.


4:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


In 10 days Schmiden will be inaugurated. What I'm wondering is whether the Trumpites will show up in force once again, to prevent the inauguration, but this time carrying weapons--and using them. The American experiment is pretty much over, but this would polish it off once and for all. Even if they don't shoot Schmiden, or Pence, most nations around the world now recognize that the US doesn't have much of a future (except for a dark one). Suez, Suez.


5:52 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

Nadine - oldie but goodie from John Michael Greer:

“[The environmental movement’s] relationship to the myth of progress is…more complex…All through the shrill rhetoric on both sides of recent debates about anthropogenic climate change, for example, runs a curious note of triumphalism. The advocates of climate activism are effectively arguing that humanity, as the result of the march of progress, has become so powerful that it can destroy the earth, while their opponents insist that if anything goes wrong, humanity is powerful enough to fix it. Both sides of the argument amount to a glorification of progress.

This may go a long way to explain why worrying about anthropogenic climate change is an acceptable form of deviance in contemporary industrial society, receiving ample attention from the mainstream media, while concern about peak oil is largely excluded from the discourse of our time. The narrative of anthropogenic climate change, at bottom, is a story about human power and is thus congenial to believers in the myth of progress.

The narrative of peak oil, by contrast, is a story about human limits. Since it argues that what we call progress was made possible by fossil fuels, and will go away as the ability to extract fossil fuels declines to zero, the peak oil narrative is utterly uncongenial to believers in the myth of progress, and the cognitive dissonance between the hard facts of peak oil and the whole suite of beliefs about the world centered on progress is strong enough that the facts are all but guaranteed to be ignored.”
John Michael Greer, Not the Future We Ordered: Peak Oil, Psychology, and the Myth of Progress

6:37 PM  
Blogger vsoguy said...

Dr. Berman,

There are over 70 million Trumpites. If only 1% of them decide to make their way to DC, that would be 700,000 potential rioters, and they still have over a week to get there.

I'm sure many of his supporters have bailed, but plenty remain loyal,, and they show little remorse:



And it's not just DC where things are brewing.

San Diego:


Los Angeles:


This could get pretty interesting to say the least.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Here's the crucial thing abt coups:

No guns: theater; e.g., Washington 6 Jan 2021
Guns: genuine coup (or attempt); e.g., Turkey 2016

I'm guessing there will be some sort of activity on Jan. 20. So the question is: guns or no guns?


8:21 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Sound of Tyrants:

Good morning, Donald, my sick friend
I've come to slap you silly once again
Because yr vision's simply sleazy
Seeds of an orange-haired Mussolini
And the vision that you planted in my brain
Is quite insane
Within the sound of tyrants

In restless dreams yr on yr fone
MAGA violence you condone
Neath the halo thinking yr a champ
No Brooks Brothers suits in a prison camp
Will you ever just fade away and say good night?
Will the Senate indict?
And touch the sound of tyrants

And in the naked light, I saw
A coup d'etat, no rule of law
People jeering w/o speaking
People fearing w/o listening
People yelling slogans, and putting on airs
But no one cares
To disturb the sound of violence

"Fools", said I, "You do not know
violence like a cancer grows
hear my words that I might teach you
take my arms that I might reach you"
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of violence

And the people bowed and prayed
To government by stunt that Trumpo made
Don Lemon flashes out his warning
Chris Cuomo interrupts the words he was forming
And the words said, "The Tweets of the POTUS are written on the clubhouse walls
and tenement halls"

And whispered in the sound of tyrants


8:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Bravo! Now we need one abt Schmiden, or perhaps the progs, emphasizing delusion and impotence.


8:48 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

Is the World ready for Trump's chance to seize control of all these morons who believe without a doubt that he is the savior for our political system. Does Trump have another card up his sleeve to stay in power. Maybe trump could be a successionist figure. Would take some deep pockets and and defectors in the military. That would require a plan, something I doubt many of protesters had before showing up for the "Save America Protest" other than bring weapons bash skulls

GSWH, Sorry my post came in late on the old thread. You asked me which ideology the mob of Trumpites on the Capitol building have. It's a mixture of repeating the lies from Trumps mouth himself, and for others who were wearing Q-anon merch-- where they believe a satanic cult of child molesters is being protected by the deep state and Trump is the Chosen one (comparable to Jesus) to confront this evil power because he is the only one strong enough to stand up to them and dole justice.

Joe McIlnen shared above a good piece describing the events on the ground and someone in the crowd trying to follow and understand the goals for their political protest they want to accomplish

Here's again the link provided by Joe McIlnen https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/01/among-insurrectionists/617580/

12:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I cd be wrong, but I think a real ideology requires greater coherence than a mishmash of undigested ideas. Trumpism is not an ideology; it's just a reactive moment-by-moment set of emotional responses. "Stop the Steal" also does not qualify as an ideology.


12:59 AM  
Anonymous Chuck Steak said...

If Arnie finds the DC frolics to be evidence of fascism on
the march, then Trump will no longer consider him to be an
avid supporter. To say that he'll be remembered as the worse
president in US history, certainly bespeaks a slight difference
of opinion. This is truly a sincere warning.


3:07 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Deaths of despair rose significantly in 2020. These non-COVID excess deaths were disproportionately experienced by men aged 15-55.


3:40 AM  
Anonymous down we go said...

"It wasn’t the storming of a “temple of democracy,” interrupting Congress’ “sacred duty,” or “desecrating” the “hallowed halls” of the Capitol. Such quasi-religious rhetoric inflates the self-importance of officials elevating themselves above the people they are supposed to serve."

And presenting themselves as religious leaders, priests, shamans, who represent the people before God. Who wear the "cloak of righteousness" in the great civil religion that passes for faith in most of America. More than mere men and women - humans with a special relationship to the supernatural. Invoking the prophets and saints of the past (the Founders) With special status and privilege above those whom they represent. Was Wednesday an attempt to overthrow the Priests? A secular American Protestant Reformation?

8:05 AM  
Anonymous Torian said...

"To play at being a Roman was not, for the Founding Fathers, mere affectation."

Thoughts on the enduring influence of the Roman Republic on how Americans think about their own republic, in the age of Trump as they did in that of Washington. https://unherd.com/2021/01/is-this-americas-decline-and-fall/

8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anjin-San said...

An interesting analysis regarding the influence of social media in the ersatz putsch of last week.

"In 1964, media theorist Marshall McLuhan argued that a medium does not act as an innocent conduit to information. Rather, a medium changes how we receive information until we are overly shaped by the rhythms of the medium itself.

It is no secret that social media algorithms have reframed how we think, and how we conduct ourselves online. Through promoting certain kinds of content, platforms like Facebook and Twitter have nurtured an environment where more extreme and partisan content is elevated and travels farther. It’s a dunking world. And many of these folks have spent so much time in the dank recesses of algorithmically ranked content that their brains saw yesterday’s “revolution” as an opportunity for meme-making. I’m just owning the libs by vaping in the Capitol, what are you up to?"


For those interested in a biography of McLuhan the series Extraordinary Canadians has a 1/2 hour video of his life.


9:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Good article. As I said earlier, No Guns means it's theater. This was a horses' asses revolution. There will be another demo on Jan. 20 (I'm guessing), but three things to consider:

1. Guns? If not, theater.
2. Will the cops and the military be present and actively alert, as they mostly were not on Jan. 6, to contain the rioters?
3. Will some of the cops join the rioters, as they apparently did on Jan. 6?


10:33 AM  
Anonymous CORNYN said...


Alternative to being enslaved by your phone

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...

Dr. B.,

Indeed, the bubbas and Karens are just as loathsome as the progressives. I'd venture to say they're even worse, because they're ten times as hateful and a hundred times as dumb. They are the true face of America: a gun-toting, flag-waving, illiterate, delusional, murderous maniac bent on killing blacks, Jews, Muslims and "Commies" (whatever that means) for imposing a fictional New World Order run by Satanic pedophiles.

However, I do wonder when Europe will finally realize the truth about America. After the insurrection, most European leaders condemned the violence, but still reaffirmed their faith in American "democracy" and American "virtues".


11:45 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

It struck me while watching some of the videos of the Washington bubba-in that the protesters weren't shouting political slogans so much as they were singing jingles.

Yelling "Stop the Steal," for instance, makes no more ideological sense that would shouting "Resdan, Resdan, Rah Rah Rah!" or "You'll wonder where the yellow went, when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent!"

"Trumpism - You're soaking in it!"

12:38 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Greetings Wafers, here’s your Stormy Season dispatch from Cascadia. At a weekend theatrical performance in Yelm, a small city southeast of Olympia, people decried the pandemic-related business restrictions with the refrain “Open Yelm NOW”. As you’ll see from the photos of the event, nary a mask can be seen in the crowd, the clothing choice red-white-and-blue predominated, speakers included a Three-Percenter, and some were openly packin’.


And today (Monday), two early bird Magatards were detained briefly around 8:30 am at the Washington State Capitol for blocking a roadway. A bigger demonstration is expected later today on the Capitol campus. The Capitol and legislative buildings are now surrounded by chain link and national guardsmen.


12:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


(Sigh) If the military wd just arm everybody, and tell them to have a blast, it wd solve so many problems.


Myself, I can't get enuf of the bubbas. Backbone of the nation.


I have had similar difficulties talking to Europeans abt America. Apparently, they don't understand what it means, that 74 million people voted for Trumpi.


Well, perhaps an improvement. The problem is that all cell fones need certain rare metals to be manufactured, and these metals give off toxic fumes. Millions come from the Congo, where kids are working under very exploitative conditions, while breathing in these fumes and getting paid next to 0. Every time someone in the 1st World uses their fone, they are literally (no hyperbole here) contributing to the premature death of Congolese children.


1:23 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

This is not who we are”...and other bullshit mantras

“Let me be very clear: The scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect a true America. Do not represent who we are,” President-elect Joe Biden said during Wednesday’s siege. To say that the attack on the U.S. Capitol is not who we are is to say that this is not part of us, not part of our politics, not part of our history. And to say that this is not part of America, American politics, and American history is a bald-faced denial. But the denial is normal. In the aftermath of catastrophes, when have Americans commonly admitted who we are? The heartbeat of America is denial.“

And, from someone who spots bullshit and calls it out, Lewis Black on USA USA USA...
[npr warning: Some people blah blah blah]

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Barry said...

Federal authorities look into abuse after Florida manatee found with ‘Trump’ scraped on its back | Blogs

Jesus Fucking Christ

2:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A bit too long. Pls compress down to half a page. Maybe even a bit less, to be on the safe side. Thank you.


Thanks for the link. This is who we are.


Lewis Black is hilarious, and spot-on. As for Schmiden and 'who we are', here we have the core of the problem. It may be denial, it may be simple ignorance, but attempting to cut out a whole part of the US as 'not who we are', when Trumpi got 74 million votes, suggests how severe the problem is, and how stupid we are. This is what I argue in WAF ch. 4: beyond slavery, admittedly horrible, the South has a proud heritage. (By way of comparison, all of Germany is not = Holocaust. Beethoven, Goethe, Schiller...) Banning flags, tearing down statues--this will only inflame the South. Repression and denial are formulas for failure, and if you insist on these as paths to purity and virtue, what yr gonna eventually get is Trumpi and the events of Jan. 6. The 'shadow' will eventually strike back. Duh!


3:28 PM  
Anonymous Unknown Knish said...

Some good points here:


4:14 PM  
Anonymous Noura said...

Many great articles posted here show that America is truly terrifying …
Scheduled armed march: https://www.facebook.com/mmflint/posts/10157486921931857
Michael Moore on Capitol’s Invasion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQCsVVVknzQ
America's existential crisis – Chris Hedges interviews Dr. Cornel West about the Capitol Event
Wolff Responds: DC Rage: More Coming Unless Basic Economic Changes Made

Some discuss how to turn this around but we know this will not happen …

Video on homelessness crisis in California: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PSbF7mFBPU

Biden Getting New Secret Service Over Trump Loyalty Fears – Paranoia on the rise?
'The emergence of a third party is among us' – Trumpism? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1N2adgSkhk

A combination of increasingly sophisticated bureaucracy, weapons, and technology in the hands of increasingly less intelligent people seems like suicide. Is this progress? Technology can’t replace social bonds or think on our behalf.

5:24 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Swami Bermanananda,


Excerpts: "...the true victims of Trump are his ordinary supporters who take seriously his babble against liberal corporate elites and big banks. He is the traitor of his own populist cause. His liberal critics accuse him of just seemingly controlling his supporters ready to violently fight for him, while he is really at their side, inciting them to act, even violently. But he is NOT really ON their side. On the morning of January 6, he addressed the rally on the Ellipse: “We're going to walk down to the Capitol. And we're gonna cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women. And we're probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you'll never take back our country with weakness, you have to show strength and you have to be strong.” However, when the mob did this and approached the Capitol, Trump retreated to the White House and watched on television as the violence unfolded on Capitol Hill.
Best wishes,
Swami Biryani

5:37 PM  
Anonymous JUS said...

Hi Dr. Berman,

I listened to this interview with a journalist who went inside both BLM, Antifa and Anarchist groups this summer and also inside the mob that raided the Capitol this past week. It's very interesting to hear his discoveries and this conversation. I thought I'd share with you and Wafers.



5:39 PM  
Anonymous B. Louis said...

I just want to express my gratitude to all WAFers contrbuting to this blog. It's the best aggregator for intelligently written articles anywhere on the internet.

-Waiting For The Miracle-

This Leonard Cohen song was used in the introduction credits of "Natural Born Killers", a movie that at first glance seems rather childish, but upon deeper analysis, reveals some terrifying truths about American life.

Having watched the movie a few times, the thing that becomes apparent is that Mickey and Mallory aren't really victims of their terrible childhoods so much as they're products of an utterly vicious society. Throughout the film, there isn't a SINGLE redeemable character, save a Native American man who tries to help them. EVERY character, from top to bottom, is wretched in the deepest way.

To that end, Mickey and Mallory are the perfect Americans. And neither are "Waiting For the Miracle" that American society promises.


5:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

1st of all, Knish: are you sure you aren't kashe varnishkes? But thanks for that TNR article.


Lots of gd material here, thank you. I hafta refer all of u2 what I replied to Anjin, above. Rt now, w/only 9 days to go, I think it's safe to say that there will be a major rt-wing, pro-Trumpi demo at the inauguration of Schmiden, in an attempt to prevent it. The whole country is on edge. But here are the crucial questions:

1. Will these folks be armed? Even w/o arms, it will be a fucking mess, but w/arms, it will be a genuine coup attempt--assuming the mob is going to use their weapons.
2. Will they attempt to kill Schmiden and Pence, and perhaps others?
3. Will they--armed or not--be outflanked by a sufficient police and military presence, as they were not on Jan. 6? And if armed, and shooting, will the cops/military shoot back, or hold their fire? Or to put it another way:
4. Will there be some % of the cops and National Guard who will aid and abet the mob, as apparently happened on Jan. 6?

In the Richard Wolff link provided by Noura, above, he gives a gd accounting of why all this is happening. But this is too little too late. It only matters to know the causes if the solution is w/in reach--and it's not. What Wafer, Native American, or other serious person believes for a minute that 'we' are going to alter our socioeconomic paradigm, or that Schmiden & Co. has the slightest interest (or ability) in doing so? This is where WAF becomes relevant: in that bk, I make it clear that the paradigm is 400+ yrs old, and that the likelihood of dumping it and installing a new one--wh/is the *only* solution that can save America--is equivalent to trying to turn around an aircraft carrier in a bathtub.

Which is why I think Moore, and Wolff, and nearly every other public commentator, are missing the pt, the larger context. Which is that the US is finished, and 0 can save it. I mean, what are these patriots expecting, divine interference? As I've predicted b4, Chinese historians, sorting thru the rubble of the NYPL, will come across WAF and say: "Why didn't Americans pay attention to this? In retrospect, what this guy was saying was so obvious...and yet every single pundit in America in the 20s was beating off, wallowing in the irrelevant."

(continued below)

6:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This brings me to a pt I've raised b4, the difference between intellectual and ontological knowing. I met Dick Wolff yrs ago, liked him personally and was impressed by his intellect. We got along quite well. But the notion that America can and must be saved is a clear example of ontological blindness. (The same thing might be said of those who wanna save the earth: the earth will go on, w/or w/o us, and probably w/o, since we are doing the best to destroy all life on the planet. This may not be intellectually obvious, but by now it wd seem to be ontologically obvious.) Gentlemen, it's too fucking late! What we need to be discussing, both intellectually and ontologically, is *how* the country is going to fall apart, and what will be necessary to do in the *post*-collapse period. For there is little to be done rt now, except to just let it happen. Then, and only then, can we pick up the pieces and think abt where to go from there. (Secession, New Monastic Option, tossing our stupid cell fones in the ocean, mass emigration, reversion to pre-industrial society, Dual Process--whatever.)

Finally: Winston Churchill famously remarked that "The United States can be counted on to make the right decision, after it exhausts all the alternatives." With all respect to Sir Winston, this is patently untrue. A cursory glance at American history--our ideology, the way we live, what we do to other countries, and to our own population--tells you that Churchill got it upside down. And this raises the last question: Why? Why has America made one stupid and destructive decision after another, for centuries? Not a mystery, amigos: we are just not very bright.

So if I had to guess as to what is likely to happen on Jan. 20, I wd say something like this: it'll be a mess, guns or no guns. We will blunder thru it in the worst way possible. I don't have a crystal ball, and I might be wrong; but I'm just making this prediction based on our historical record.

O&D, amigos-


6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anthony 156 said...


Who Dies For Donald Trump?

This whole article is bananas.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Feed Jake his organic food dept.:


Horned Capitol insurrectionist, Jake Chansley, is starving in a US jail because he lacks organic food.


7:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Let me start w/this:


Then let me add the observation of Arnold Toynbee, that civilizations are not destroyed by outside invasions, but by committing suicide.


There simply IS no other blog. Sometimes I hear of people going to other blogs, and I just shake my head. Why wd anyone do such a thing? Other blogs are beating off. This one is interested in intercourse. I too wish to thank you all for very intelligent contributions. Note that this blog is not pushing any particular position, save that the country is going down the toilet. Which is not really a position; it's merely an observation (and an obvious one at that).


I am indeed a great swami. Who cd doubt it? I also like lamb biryani.


7:44 PM  
Blogger futuroexpat said...

mb asks: do we know the vaccine is good for new covid strains? Apparently so.


My burning question as a future expat is: Oaxaca de Juarez or San Cristóbal de las Casas?

7:57 PM  
Blogger Baron Von Strangeknight said...

I find Cornell West's commentary here pretty good, about Dostoevsky and other Russian writers understanding that removing communal bonds results in nihilism and the breakdown of society. Hedges is the host (maybe ignore him), commentary starts at about 14:32. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHW0Q0CPpqQ

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

156: Man, sad story there, even worse when I went back to the homepage:


I work about 6 blocks from my state capitol, the next two weeks will be interesting.

8:11 PM  
Blogger anderszornpalette said...

Who says video games rot your mind? Same guy from my previous comment illuminates the coming public discourse power grab and its completely inconsistent enforcement in the name of safety. Glenn Greenwald has been sounding the alarm on this - we will see an expansion of state powers, this time coupled with tech monopolies looking to save their asses (preventing loss of section 230 protections) by assisting in squashing opposing views or anything deemed out of line with the preferred ideology.

While you may start this video thinking, "What the hell is Twitch?", he eventually touches upon the Gulf of Tonkin, Project Mockingbird, and MK Ultra, all conspiracy theories at one point in our history that turned out to be real. Relying on our tech overlords to enforce policy with fairness and consistency is going to be a terrible mistake in the long run.


Stay sane, Wafers.

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Melvyne said...

“The moral courage of Ecuador or Paraguay declaring war on Germany in February 1945” - @ https://unherd.com/2021/01/can-twitter-exist-in-a-democracy/

9:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Not clear why he killed himself.


This from the CEO of the company manufacturing the stuff. Hmm...

There's more to do in Oaxaca, but San Cristobal is gorgeous.


9:08 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

This guy (Brian Becker, socialist, friend and collaborator with economist Richard D. Wolff) is quite knowledgeable, especially about the history of class struggle in the USA. Of course he's keenly aware of his own marginalization here in the "Untied" (misspelling deliberate) States :

Stop the Steal takeover exposes fragility of U.S. Empire :


By the way, the Gray Zone has some excellent journalists including Max Blumenthal, Dan Cohen, Ben Norton and Aaron Mate. To say that they are marginalized is perhaps an understatement.

Here's one more from the Gray Zone:


This last article demonstrates the sad state of affairs of "progressives" in the USA. Many of them cannot bring themselves to oppose US imperialism or fight for universal health care in the USA. And I still often listen to Cenk Uygur, Ana Kasparian and others at TYT (The Young Turks). Oh well .......

9:40 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

CORNYN - If you have to have a phone, why not one of the few models of flip phones still sold, and keep it as long as possible? Mine cost me considerably less.

Jack Latteman - Yelm may be the modern-day Chelm: https://yivoencyclopedia.org/article.aspx/Wise_Men_of_Chelm

All - Quite an entertaining romp through an earlier time; this guy walked his talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwdkmGCVdTc

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Leo said...

Opinion: I look back now and cringe at my naivety and self-assured confidence that the pandemonium, violence, disorder and corruption suffered by the citizens of other nations could never be visited on the United States. How wrong I was. https://www.capitalgazette.com/opinion/columns/ac-ce-column-robert-kelly-2021112-20210111-pe2pjdfzgrharm75p4nfxqmlju-story.html

MB - visited on the citizens of other nations /by/ the united states, no less!

11:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This from his article:

"Now it is time to get up, dust ourselves off and have our resilience serve as a model to the world."

Recall what I have often said abt Americans w/high IQs being stupid. What cd be a better example? This man is not merely stupid; he is clinically insane. Yet another case of ontological dementia.


I love the Chelm stories, wh/I first read as a teenager. I think I still have a book of them (in English) somewhere in my library.


12:56 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman,
Someone here previously showed a video filmed and narrated by this same idiotic Trumper. Here is a longer version which includes the aftermath of the shooting of Ashli Babbitt. Isn’t it ironic that these same white “Back the Blue” conservatives now are cursing the cops for killing an unarmed one of them instead of some unarmed black person? The far right hypocrisy in this country obviously has no bounds.


p.s. I have a suggestive rejoinder when these fake patriots start chanting their stale silly vapid “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!”
A bunch of folks should get together and loudly shout en masse:
“You Ass Holes! You Ass Holes! You Ass Holes!”

2:38 AM  
Blogger vsoguy said...

Dr. Berman and WAFers,

I must concur, this blog is pretty extraordinary. The content here is quite rich.

There are so many good articles, links and news that I'm not even sure what I can contribute at this point, the bases are covered.

With everything going on, the spectacle and frivolity continues, like the indoguration:


Or Kamala on the cover of Vogue:


What does this have to do with anything really? Nothing. The band is frantically playing on the deck of the Titanic; the iceberg, now centuries behind us.

Stay Safers, WAFers.

3:07 AM  
Anonymous willyrobinson said...

Thanks anderszornpalette, those links are excellent.

Not knowing much about platforms, I found the bit about Parler at the end of the latest video to be truly terrifying - they're arguably no more harmful than Twitter (I cant qualify that argument never having really been on either), but get obliterated from the internet seemingly because it suits their competitors.

3:37 AM  
Anonymous Rollo Dice said...

Someone making a movie has an instant plot line for Jan 20:
A domestic 9/11 when some Trumpster ex-air force lunatic steals
a small plane and makes with the Kamikaze on the inauguration.

I remember decades ago when blacks in the 60s were enraged and
whites were scared no end. I was doing factory work and vets
from WWII said they were ready for combat with their ability
to get what they would need from their buddies in the armories
of local national guard. There's no telling what may happen
if the pressure cooker is overheated and explodes.

4:13 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Unclear: r.u. talking abt an actual movie? If so, give us a link. Anyway, Jan. 20 remains a rather large question mark.


Yr rt: who cd care abt any of this crap? We are drowning in bullvomit, as the ship of state goes down amidst dogs and Vogue. How can 175 registered Wafers be expected to administer the necessary slapping and urine to 330 million doofuses? The mind boggles.


5:42 AM  
Blogger Xair said...


What sadistic assholes Americans are. This place and these people can't go to shit fast enough


9:07 AM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Hi Dr. B and WAFERS:

Checking in from Toronto, where are waiting for Ontario's Premier to announce stricter lockdown measures for what remains of January as our COVID-19 cases quickly accelerate. The current projection is that Ontario's ICUs will be overwhelmed by February is drastic measures aren't taken.

I was struck by the unalloyed honesty of this recent Guardian article on what the COVID-19 pandemic currently looks like on the ground in a part of Los Angeles: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/12/the-horror-stories-are-countless-inside-the-la-hospital-at-the-center-of-the-covid-crisis. A couple of key quotes:

From a Dr. Correa: “'I don’t even know what to say any more. Everyone says, ‘Continue social distancing and wearing your mask,’ but at this point the situation is so dire.' Now, Correa’s advice is that families should have tough conversations about their wishes if they become incapacitated or die."

"In LA, one person is contracting Covid every six seconds, one person is dying every eight minutes and one in 17 residents may now be infectious. Hospitals are so overrun that officials have directed crews not to transport patients who have little chance of survival, and some ambulances are waiting eight hours to offload patients. The crisis is expected to further deteriorate as infections from Christmas and New Year’s Eve escalate."

Many of those who are dying are Latinos who serve as essential workers.

-Northern Johnny

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Sven said...

“This move is quantifiably far, far worse than anything Trump could possibly have done to incite the Capitol riot, as it will kill far, far more people, yet the mass media fixate on one news story while virtually ignoring the other.”


FYI Trump's Latest Yemen Move Is Far Worse Than The Capitol Riot

9:55 AM  
Blogger NW Eastcoaster said...

Hello Morris

I do agree with your statement regarding deluded liberal new yorkers (As a fellow native new yorker). Fran Lebowitz, native new yorker, and host of a netflix series called "Pretend it's a City", was shocked at the election of Trump, thinking that nobody in their right mind would vote for a "Three Card Monty" dealer such as Trump, and not recogizing the yahoo appeal of Trump to Middle American Duck Dynasty types. Also in her Netflix show, she pretty much defines New York as Manhattan, which while it is arguably hip and rich in culture, is a parochial perspective that ignores the outer boroughs (native Brooklynite here). Many Manhattanites, at least the older ones that live there, tend to think in those terms.

I would disagree with your assessment that progressives are not any better: Less racism amongst them, less discrimination, greater support for a strong safety net, unlike conservatives.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd hearing from a Brooklynite. As for progs: you need to spend some time thinking abt their down side, I'm guessing. BTW, in future pls address me as Mr. Berman or GSWH. Thank you.


11:02 AM  
Anonymous B.C.P. said...

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to use newly declassified US intelligence on Tuesday to publicly accuse Iran of ties to al Qaeda, two people familiar with the matter said.

Translation: Translation: he intends to lie and distort intelligence about something that Iran hawks have been lying about for decades


Jan 12 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cancelled his Europe trip at the last minute on Tuesday after Luxembourg's foreign minister and top European Union officials declined to meet him, European diplomats and other people familiar with the matter said.

Translation: The world is officially done with the Trump administration

2:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A major candidate for slapping, and urine. Amazing, the human garbage the US manages to spew out.


2:34 PM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...


That's American foreign policy for you. Americans really are vile human beings. They *love* genocide, as long as it happens to someone else. They think it's entertaining. As far as I know, before America was founded, only the Vikings and the Mongols thought war was funny.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Gabriele Besozzi said...

Caligula’s Garden of Delights, Unearthed and Restored

Relics from the favorite hideaway of ancient Rome’s most infamous tyrant have been recovered and put on display by archaeologists.


3:54 PM  
Anonymous Comey said...


Lost tape of "Howl" reading from 1956 by Ginsberg

5:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Neat! Many thanks.


6:10 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Bermandutta Maharaj,

A revolution will NEVER AGAIN happen in the US: Today’s demonstrators have no real goals beyond snapping that protest selfie
"A revolution needs two elements to succeed: ‘people power’ conspicuously disrupting normal life, and demands that differ from the current regime’s. Without those, it’s a theatrical, easily hijacked mob: see the US since 2001.
This is hardly a left/right phenomenon, either. When pro-Trump protesters were all but invited in to the Capitol last week, many didn’t stay for long, and not only because the authorities had showed up. After taking that protest selfie with your feet up on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s death, what more is there to do? Confronting actual congressmen? That sounds like work. There are a lot of justifiably angry people in the US right now – people who’ve been told that even admitting to their rage is wrong. But suppressing it by latching on to a series of shiny prefab ‘causes’ won’t make it go away, and nor will protesting for the cameras. A real revolution takes work – and that’s why it’ll never happen in the US again."

Yours Truly,
Biryani Maharaj

9:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I think the goal on Jan. 6 was to prevent the certification of Schmiden as president-elect. Which failed (no guns). The possible mob attack of Jan. 20 would be to prevent his inauguration (if guns). This is why everyone is on edge. What if the cops and the National Guard do not try to block the attempt?


9:38 PM  
Anonymous Noura said...

Prof. Wolff on the Capitol Hill Riot: Capitalism's Last Gasp?
“Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to Socialism or regression into Barbarism.” ― Rosa Luxemburg. Here we are with the Capitol’s invasion as a turning point. The third option is to undo the hustling culture, but of course, this could never happen …
Prof. Wolff always does a great job explaining what’s going on and what’s coming next. But he tends to end his talks with some kind of optimism, even though he didn’t seem so convinced this time. I agree with Dr. Berman that it’s a waste to fight the inevitable. It’s much more productive to focus on how to navigate the decline. Staying informed about how it’s unfolding is part of that.

If people could see that the American hustling culture is the root of the decline, they wouldn’t be so optimistic. I wonder why it’s not obvious to so many people. Even if we were able to redistribute wealth, after a few years we would end up in the same place because the psyche always overcomes the outer. Denial keeps the destructive unconscious programs firmly in place and ensures that America will continue to make the same stupid destructive decisions. This is why the situation is hopeless. Prof Wolf alludes to the issue of denial but he still manages to remain optimistic. Great articles were also shared earlier about the issue of denial and its consequences. I wouldn’t be surprised if America were to start a war with some country to distract itself from its problems. Interesting articles shared earlier seem to indicate that.

10:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Rosa said that over 100 yrs ago. At that time, no one realized that growth was a far more dangerous issue than distribution of wealth. Wolff is kidding himself: he is refusing to acknowledge that industrial growth is as central to socialism as it is to capitalism. Look what the USSR did to the Russian environment, for example, all for the sake of industrial productivity. (China is another obvious example.) What we need is not socialism, but small-scale, decentralized, sustainable societies; green, not red, in other words--something we may or may not achieve in the post-capitalist world. Wolff foolishly pins his hopes on socialist revolution, so he can remain optimistic; it gives his life meaning and purpose. But it is Scheinoptimismus, as the Germans wd say--a specious optimism. As w/Hedges, there is here a stubborn refusal to deal w/reality, because once you exit Disneyland (socialist or otherwise), yr whole world falls apart. Better to be deluded than psychotic, is the reasoning here (I guess). But both of them are patriots, wh/means committed to the American Dream (wh/is based on unlimited growth). In addition, as I've said b4, you can't be a patriot of America, and of humanity, simultaneously. The two are in stark contradiction, because America--by now little more than a genocidal war machine--is the enemy of humanity.

Wafers are strong people: they are interested in the truth, whether it makes them happy or not. They don't need optimism, or some very unlikely future scenario (such as socialist revolution) to feel whole (this is known as a psychological crutch). They are on the side of humanity, and they certainly don't live in Disneyland.


12:03 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Dr. Berman,

Would you mind elaborating a bit more what you mean by "growth being the problem"? You often allude to this, and I'm really interested, but I'm not sure I fully grasp your outlook. As far as the destruction of the physical environment, I certainly understand that. But are there other aspects of " growth" or "unlimited growth" as a philosophy that you object to? A spiritual aspect perhaps?


Your "Sounds of violence" is brilliant! It really should be in print somewhere. Something like my hometown paper's (The Pittsburgh Post Gazette) Saturday poem section. They were recently bought by dumb Trump supporters. But submit it to them online, and I bet they still might run it since it's so clever. They certainly should. I'd also love to see a cover of it sung on YouTube!

12:56 AM  
Blogger NeilW said...

I really do think Dr Berman has it right. There's virtually negative infinite potential the current system will reform this, reform that etc. I think it would be healthier for the Wolffs etc to accept that the country will probably break apart. That doesn't, to my mind, mean the end of the world: in fact I feel that's a rather grandiose assessment of a regime that is rapidly losing traction around the world. Chaos may be necessary for some time to resolve this cultural crisis.

1:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


We are in the midst of what Joseph Schumpeter called 'creative destruction'. Or at least, let's hope that creativity is waiting for us on the other side of this mess.


Too complicated to elaborate on here, but I've discussed it in my published work, the problem of the 'endless frontier'. The problem is remembering which work. Try some of the essays in QOV (e.g., #s 2 and 27), and also WAF. It may be in other places as well.


2:25 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

MB - thanks for pointing out to myself and others this central fault of Communism - that it's based on better and better physical conditions. Yes, it's a good goal; get the peasants out of the mud and treat their roundworm infections, but once you get past a basic decent standard of living, it's just like capitalism - production for production's sake and people are left with the same hollowness and anger.

People rave about the nearest real city to me, San Francisco but this:


I like the author's decision at the end and would consider it myself if I were really good at the language which I'm not.

3:16 AM  
Anonymous Flabster said...

Are we having a slow motion Suez moment abroad? Maybe not not so slow, as I have no idea of the time scale of the Suez crisis?

First leaders not meeting Pompeo,

Now, a public news bureau in South Korea:


8:43 AM  
Anonymous Daddy Issues said...

Observations from a non participant in the Capital riots.

"The most alarming part to me was the matter-of-fact, causal ways that people from all walks of life were talking about violence and even the execution of “traitors” in private conversations, like this was something normal that happened every day."


"I can’t adequately describe the blood lust we heard everywhere as we walked over the Capitol grounds, even from mild-mannered looking people."


8:57 AM  
Anonymous Matt S. said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

"I also think they, as well as our enemies, have come to an additional conclusion: the US is silly. It's a frivolous country,"

I think that sums up what America has become pretty nicely. No matter what angle you look at the US, something hillarious will surface and make you chuckle. Take corruption, for example, other countries see it as shameful and a problem to be solved. In American politics, however, it explains how everything works; it's a way of life.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, I don't post Unknowns.


And no surprise, the avg individual American is a silly person. Just try to have a serious conversation w/him or her, and you'll see what I mean. Compare such a person w/your idea of what a self-respecting human being is. Whew!


The real question we hafta ask, and wh/progs and the MSM are afraid to ask, is WHY there is such hatred of our politicians, and such a deep allegiance to Trump (74 million votes). If we keep seeing him as some kind of accidental cancer, and his followers as "a basket of deplorables," we won't be able to understand anything. (NB: a major part of the answer can be found in WAF ch. 4.)


Thanks for the link. The crucial sentence: "Thus disappeared every empire into history." For how long have I been saying this? Twenty fucking years. And yet almost every American critic and op-ed writer and political analyst talks in terms of eventual recovery--a stupidity wh/is in itself part of our collapse.

Wafers: What wd it take for the US to wake up? The fact that our citizens are clueless fools, and that the nation is on a one-way train to hell, couldn't be more obvious. It is hardly rocket science. And yet here I am, practically the only writer pointing this out, and practically the only blog w/a lick o' smarts. 25 yrs ago, when I was writing the Twilight bk, I never imagined such an unbelievable scenario--not for 2 seconds. OK, I understand that ontological stupidity is hardly confined to the high-IQ crowd. But this blindness is incomprehensible. And the answer to my question is, that the US will never wake up. The one thing that needs to happen is simply not going to happen. This too is not rocket science.


10:16 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Suez Moment, both domestic and external:


10:33 AM  
Blogger Janus said...

Mr. Berman-

If they're welcome, I'll take the liberty of throwing a few thoughts into the ring with regards to a possible new blog space.

In short, WordPress.com (NOT WordPress.org) may be a better choice than SquareSpace. Easier to use, probably cheaper at $4 a month, and comes with a greater ability to pack up and move shop again should you need to/want to in the future. It's a long-running platform and well-established.

Regardless of what you decide, here are a couple guides on how to import everything over, per Dan Daniel et al, if it comes to that.



11:07 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

This morning I read an important explanatory essay discussing conspiracy-fueled movements in Germany and the U.S., summarized by the German term Querdenden. One of the authors is Quinn Slobodian, whose analysis of globalism and neoliberalism was the subject of a review in German sociologist Wolfgang Streeck’s recent volume “Critical Encounters: Democracy, Capitalism, Ideas”. Querdenken may be an expression of what Streeck has called the commodification of daily life, where society’s previous social bonds and associations that involved personal responsibility and commitment to others in joint endeavors are replaced by mechanisms like social media within which people are forming new associations enabled through their cell phones. I think this is an important insight that helps explain the current momentum of a conspiracy-laced politics of the masses, which the pandemic has only supplied the catalyst. Querdenken could be called the new hustle that enthuses many Mericans and gives them a sense of belonging while demanding little of the individual, but leads nowhere, the destination being social suicide. And of course, through all the turmoil , little attention gets focused on corporate and financial structures within which the acting out occurs. But can 74 million Mericans be wrong?


11:20 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

This silliness of which you write is hardly new. Last night I was watching a video about women's participation in the Soviet military during the Great Patriotic War, and heard this (which was apparently lifted from Wikipaedia, as it is pretty well word-for-word identical):

During the publicity tour, Pavlichenko was not taken seriously by the press and was referred to as the "Girl Sniper". When meeting with reporters in Washington, D.C., she was dumbfounded by the kind of questions put to her. "One reporter even criticized the length of the skirt of my uniform, saying that in America women wear shorter skirts and besides my uniform made me look fat." They also asked if she used makeup on the front line.


11:29 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Many thanks for info. Here's my problem w/this: I don't want to import my present blog into a new one. Rather, I want to start a new blog via WordPress or SquareSpace or whatever, and run it simultaneously w/my present blog. Then Wafers can post on either blog, and we'll simply have two blogs to choose from. I wd monitor both. Does this make sense? If you or any other Wafer have any ideas abt this, pls check in. Thanks again.


11:37 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


That's so sweet. Many thanks. You know, this blog is like the glow of a campfire flickering in the chaos and darkness. With the excellent stewardship and care of the GSWH, we learn from each other, share w/each other, and challenge conventional wisdom w/o descending into barbarity. This is what, *I believe*, gives us our strength and inspiration as we watch America sizzle, fry, and burn. I figure I can contribute now and again w/a bit of absurd humor that hopefully makes us all laugh a bit at the preposterous nature of America. So, onward Wafers and Waferettes, into the breach!


11:47 AM  
Anonymous TH Copeland said...

Why Trump isn’t a fascist

The storming of the Capitol on 6 January was not a coup. But American democracy is still in danger.
By Richard J Evans


"Trump has encouraged a warped vision of personal freedom: a society in which people aren’t subject to government regulation or supervision, where anarchy & confusion reign..."

2:42 PM  
Blogger futuroexpat said...

From Mike Pesca's blog, The Gist (Jan. 13, 2021), replying to those who say "we are better than this" re: Jan. 6, 2021:
"...I could put together a case that we are exactly as good as this, which is to say, not very good. If we were better than this, we Americans wouldn’t have done this, but we did. And as far as this isn’t America or this isn’t what America stands for, I think of a book that came out a couple of years ago by Kurt Andersen called Fantasy Land. Its premise, and I’ll quote from it, little by little for centuries, then more and more and faster and faster. During the past half century, we Americans have given ourselves over to all kinds of magical thinking. Anything goes relativism and belief and fanciful explanation, large and small fantasies that console or thrill or terrify us. Want some examples? Anderson provides a quarter of Americans believe in witches. Almost a quarter believe that vaccines cause autism. Two thirds of Americans believe that, quote, angels and demons are active in the world. A third of us believe in global warming being a hoax. 15 percent believe that, quote, media or the government ad secret mind controlling technology through television broadcast signals. Another 15 percent think that that might be possible. And of course, a third still approve of Donald Trump...."

4:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yr gonna need some coaching as to how to participate in this blog. Just for starters:
1. Posts must be no longer than half a pg, max. If you have more to say, do it in a 2nd post.
2. Posts cannot be made more frequently than once every 24 hrs.
3. Address me as Mr. Berman, or GSWH. Altho some simply use MB, wh/is fine.
4. Provide links for yr references. Wafers shd be able to follow up on them w/ease.
5. Remember that opinions need to be made into arguments; i.e., they need to be backed by evidence. Anyone can broadcast an opinion; that's no big deal.


4:04 PM  
Blogger vsoguy said...


What pray tell is GSWH? I must have missed that..

And my input on the blog would be to archive this one as read-only, and start a new one. Having more than one platform going at a time may get hectic, and it would save time for Wafers having to go between the two. The blog as it exists now is nearly a full time job to keep up with, and I may have to hire an assistant to keep up with two of them.

With that said, it's obviously your choice and I'll be checking it out wherever it goes.

Maybe start a second blog and let all the haters on there? We can take turns ridiculing them.

Aside from that, at this point I don't even know where to begin with sharing articles, links or arguments, but my opinion is, this country is a mess. Who's with me?

4:43 PM  
Blogger futuroexpat said...

MB, thank you for the guidelines. I forgot to add a link to Mike Pesca's podcast.


And here is a link to Kurt Andersen's book: Fantasyland : How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History


Please excuse the second post in 24 hours. I wanted to comply with your criteria for posts.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Fine, but you violated criterion #2. In the futuro, pls do not post more than once every 24 hrs. Thank you.


GSWH = Great Seer of the Western Hemisphere, i.e. me. I know all; I see all. There is no one like unto me. My light illuminates the universe.

I like the idea of yr hiring an asst. I personally cd use several.

When u make an argument, be sure to provide links to bks, articles, or whatever. As for the trollfoons and antisemites: they have been quiet as of late, but as they are v. stupid, it's easy to bait them, and thus draw them out. All I hafta say is that they are stupid, or that Jews rule the world, or that they cd better spend their time learning a Mayan language. I'm telling ya, collectively they have the intelligence of a bag of hammers. (Now just wait and see.)


5:18 PM  
Anonymous Rollo Dice said...

Rollo answering your question: I suggested a script for Jan 20
and it would be similar to '77 movie "Black Sunday"


The fact of TWO websites to chose from would mean that most
loyal readers would go to each one. Otherwise, they would
needlessly miss valuable links. Leaving everything in one
place would also help contributors from violating 24-hour
rule if they had to keep track of what went where.

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Triad said...

Saw an old photo of Trump and Nixon laughing together so I looked it up and discovered they were pen pals!


10:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The MSM is currently filled w/articles on how we are "saving democracy," in the wake of Trumpi and the Jan. 6 mob. What democracy? We have only been a democracy in name only. If you want to get elected president, you need huge corporate donations behind you--corporations that expect to get a return on their investment (wh/they do). For the most part, our elections represent a choice between Tweedledum and Tweedledee. The candidates are bought and paid for, and their platforms just represent slightly different forms of capitalism. So everyone is excited regarding how the Jan. 6 mob failed to stop the Electoral College count, how Trumpi got re-impeached, and so on, but no one talks abt the need to radically alter the political situation so that we get a substantive democracy, not a cosmetic one. And this situation will not change: bubbas and progs alike believe in the American Dream, and the status quo, and want the imperial/consumer society to continue. Both sides, in short, believe that life is abt trash; about the latest app, and abt making war on weak, 3rd World countries. In that bizarre sense, America *is*, in fact, a true democracy, because the people who get elected to office believe in that as well, and thus represent the will of the American people at the deepest level. Who dissents from this state of affairs? 175 Wafers, and Native Americans.

What a glorious (empty) past we have, and what a glorious (empty) future awaits us.


12:59 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

On the subject of growth, I saw this article on the bleak future of Earth’s environment.


2:31 AM  
Anonymous a stupid rectum from Texas said...

Dr. Berman,

If and when the country breaks up do you think the southern states will choose to go at it on their own or do you think they will join together reforming the Confederacy? And if the rest of the country is completely balkanized could this confederacy gradually reabsorb the other states or even conquer them?

3:13 AM  
Anonymous Noura said...

Dr. Berman talked earlier about the difference between intellectual and ontological knowing. This reminded me of the article: The Fate of Empires - Sir John Glubb - Listen on Youtube: https://bit.ly/3qkJbQQ or Read here: https://bit.ly/2XKKIDr . There is a section titled “The inadequacy of intellect” quoted below. We could probably substitute with the “Inadequacy of Technology”: “Perhaps the most dangerous by-product of the Age of Intellect is the unconscious growth of the idea that the human brain can solve the problems of the world. Even on the low level of practical affairs this is patently untrue. Any small human activity, the local bowls club or the ladies’ luncheon club, requires for its survival a measure of self- sacrifice and service on the part of the members. In a wider national sphere, the survival of the nation depends basically on the loyalty and self-sacrifice of the citizens. The impression that the situation can be saved by mental cleverness, without unselfishness or human self-dedication, can only lead to collapse… there are times when the perhaps unsophisticated self-dedication of the hero is more essential than the sarcasms of the clever.”

Alice Walker said “I think Americans generally are not used to working very hard, in terms of working for the collective. I think in our country we have taken individualism to its farthest reaches, possibly.” I think the American culture in general tends to think of collectivism in the abstract, thus no one is willing to act unless there is some kind of profit in it like money. It’s no surprise then that the political system is bought and paid for by corporations whom they serve and not people. The pandemic has exposed this to a chocking degree that needs no elaboration. Coronavirus Stimulus Bill Shows How US Government Is Broken https://bit.ly/2LMgq0w More than 6 months to agree on a hardly helpful stimulus and only a few days to impeach Trump.

5:15 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check out "By the Waters of Babylon," short story by Stephen Vincent Benet.


I have no idea. Anything is possible.


6:41 AM  
Anonymous down we go said...

Authors examine 30 premodern political states for evidence of what they call "good government" practices.

"The four premodern “good government” states that these researchers identified — China’s Ming Dynasty, the Mughal empire in South Asia, the Roman High Empire, and the Republic of Venice — all endured for long periods and delivered broad prosperity. They all eventually also collapsed. Blanton and his colleagues dive into case studies to explain why."

The authors blame America's decline on the lose of citizen confidence in government due to economic inequality and conclude that our fall will not be reversed until inequality is rectified. Although we know that that is not the only reason nations fail and that restoration is not going to happen, the book might be worth reading for its survey of premodern failed states.


8:15 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman,
As you said in one of your recorded interviews, “It doesn’t get any dumber.”

So if you’re a smoker in New Jersey, you can skip ahead to the front of the line to get the vaccine. This country certainly is toast! LOL!

9:50 AM  
Blogger Xair said...


Not sure if anyone has posted this, but it's an interesting take on the US today.



11:39 AM  
Anonymous Quiet Desperation said...

Matt S.

Dr. Berman, I'm revisiting Twilight at the moment, (new copy from Borders, I can hear the nickel tinkling in your cup any second now ) and just want to thank all of the Wafers here for the links/contributions that really help me make it through the day. A plethora of emotions and generally a shitty sensation of being hollowed out from the inside is how I can best describe daily life at the moment. Twilight was the book that allowed me to "turn the corner" away from the myth of the American Dream. Early readings of David Shi (The Simple Life) and Scott/Helen Nearing eventually led me to your work. I am curious as to the point in time in your own life when you figured out it was all bullshit. I too have reached the point where there is no one here to talk to. I'm reminded of Joe Bageant and his observations of being trapped in a hologram where nothing is real and the appearance of things are all we have. Thanks to all...

11:46 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Dr. B- There are many strands of contemporary socialism grappling with degrowth issues, recognizing the necessity. Including thorough analyses of the futility of the Green new Deal because of its resource demands. e.g.-

Small numbers with a connection to reality, of course. I can't find it right now but there is a good article by a well-respected socialist who runs the numbers on decarbonizing without degrowth and makes clear- no way.

When you talk about the socialism of Luxemborg's era, yes, growth is integral. And Bernie Sanders is an old-school industrial "socialist" who will support, as Donna Harraway said in her Cyborg manifest 35 years ago, "...the militant labor of the older masculinist politics, whose natural constituency need defense jobs..." (p 461, line 27- http://users.uoa.gr/~cdokou/HarawayCyborgManifesto.pdf ) these socialists are dying off, but Sanders keeps defense money coming to Vermont.

For fun,in the spirit of Haraway;s chimeras, consider the genome of the duck-billed platypus- 10 sex chromosomes (let the LGBTQIN come up with a flag for that), part mammal with no true mammary glands, part reptile, part bird-

12:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan D-

Glad to hear it, and thanks for the refs. Meanwhile, I adore the platypus.


Hell, I'll be lucky to get a nickel. But thanks for rereading it, makes me semi-ecstatic. I discuss Shi in DAA, so when u finish Twilight...Meanwhile, I doubt there was a single moment that I understood the US was full of hot prunes, but one crucial pt was after the USSR collapsed. The govt and MSM were abuzz w/a "peace dividend" that we were gonna get. I.e., now that our enemy was defeated, we wdn't need a huge military budget anymore. We cd now spend that $ on infrastructure, health care, education, whatever. My ass. In fact, the military budget *increased* after the fall of Russia; and thus it became clear that war and the military existed for themselves, and the industries that fed on them. They had 0 to do w/the USSR, and the military budget was going to increase exponentially, w/o end. Earlier, I was also struck by our defeat in Vietnam: all that glorious technology, defeated by the spirit of peasants in pajamas, who wrote poetry while our soldiers didn't even know what poetry was. Etc.


Fine essay, thanks.


2:14 PM  
Blogger dermot said...

Great piece by our friend Ian Welsh (found via the comments on WAF), on the building blocks now in place for a right wing insurgency. Gary Brecher (War Nerd) has written about the Darwinian selection process for terrorist/paras, and it will almost certainly happen here soon. Only question will be whether a similar process would occur on the 'left' side also, or what passes as such here.


QUOTE: It’s worth understanding how insurgencies get better. Let’s take Hezbollah as an example ...Israel, over the years, has killed a ton of Hezbollah officials...Hasn’t slowed Hezbollah down one bit, instead it has acted as a perfect Darwinian crucible. If you make mistakes, you get dead and probably so does your family and most of your unit...Nowadays Israel is scared to patrol near the Lebanese border...But boobs like those who went the capitol and live-streamed the attack, those people will quickly be taken out of the picture. Even the slightly smarter, caught because the wore the same gear as in previous protests or didn’t wear masks and goggles. People who used credit cards to travel and took their phones with them. They go to nasty prisons, and they learn or drop out of active life in the resistance. Over time, security becomes tighter and tighter. People learn.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...


In America, the death rate from the coronavirus is skyrocketing. There's a lot of hand-wringing over this, but the government refuses to impose anything resembling a real lockdown. The government's concerns about COVID are cosmetic; it could care less how many people die. The same is true of the American people, who would rather defend their "right" not to wear masks than quash the pandemic. I've spoken to plenty of people who think 4,000+ deaths a day is peanuts, but being required to wear masks is "tyrannical".

This is the response of a child who never learned that other people matter. Americans are immature narcissists who never think about long-term consequences. Immediate gratification is all they care about. This is true of American politicians as well, which is why the American political system is so broken and corrupt. Trump has the emotional maturity of a 4 year old, and I posit that this immaturity is why he is so destructive. You can't criticize him or he'll throw a tantrum; if he doesn't get what he wants, he flies into a rage; and he only cares about himself.

3:27 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Political violence, especially centered around elections, has a long history in the United States. From duels, assassinations, on down to race riots and civil disorders, this nation has always been insanely violent. The storming of the Capitol is just the latest iteration. I don't see much that could happen, now that DC looks like a militarized zone. The Bubbas and Bubbettes, quite frankly, missed their opportunity to really do some damage when the Capitol Police could not hold the perimeter around the Capitol. That's not to say, however, that the ingredients for homegrown fascism do not remain. By my lights, the only *solution* for the US is for it to cease to exist, before we totally destroy each other.


4:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Can you imagine if, in his inaugural address, Schmiden said: "My fellow Americans. We have decided to dissolve the country. The US is no more. We wish all of you good luck. Have a nice day." I put it to you that this makes a lot more sense than Schmiden declaring he will uphold the Constitution and all that usual b.s.


America will be effectively dead by 2030. The problem (if it is indeed a problem) is that Americans will not realize that they themselves killed it.


5:25 PM  
Anonymous Ahad said...

A doctrine against doctrinaires: the enduring radical modesty of Karl Popper


9:40 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home