January 14, 2021

Banana Republic


As I write this, the inauguration of Senor Biden is only 6 days away. How things have changed! In order to insure the safety of the event, it will be guarded by police, the National Guard, and whatever other military forces are necessary. What must the other nations of the world think of us? This is standard procedure in a lot of so-called banana republics, but not in the holy, almighty, United States of America. And yet, here we are: a sad, dying empire, trying to preserve itself by force, which History tells us cannot be done. Despite all our bluster, we are not exceptional, and we shall not escape our fate.

One way to look at this event, as well as the riot of Jan. 6, is to see it as sad. Because this denoument of America is sad. We had so much potential as a country, and we pissed it away in fraud, greed, hustling, and corruption. In Ben Franklin's time, you could drink out of the Schuylkill River; now much of our formerly beautiful country resembles a cesspool. And it has also become a cesspool of the mind, in which extreme individualism is celebrated, and helping others is regarded as weak. Well, I could (and have) go on and on, but you all know the drill: Last Exit to Brooklyn, get out while you can.



Anonymous Ara the Armenian said...

Dr. Berman and Wafers,

Although unrelated directly to this post (although I think it is still relevant), I want to thank everyone who responded to my writings from two posts ago about being a 23-year-old lost soul. I have since considered becoming a therapist perhaps in a bid to address the growing rates of mental illness in my generation in America. Although I could leave the country down the road, a part of me wants to stay and help those that will remain and inadvertently seek help in the future.

It's a bit difficult to make such long-term plans nowadays (I would get a masters degree in 5 years), but taking inspiration from this blog and considering that I have also struggled with anxiety and depression while growing up in the US (and at one point falling victim to the medical-industrial complex, falsely diagnosed ADHD and becoming paranoid on adderall), I simply feel a need to "fight back" as it were, and one way would be by becoming a therapist.

So, thank you for the work you do here. I hope to translate what I've learned here about the illnesses of the country into making changes in the individual lives of others, perhaps becoming a public speaker down the road.

6:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd 4u, man! I'm really proud of you, and glad that input from this blog was of some help 2u. Here's a fun read that may propel you on yr journey: Richard Carlson, "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff."


7:42 PM  
Blogger futuroexpat said...

Dr. Berman, voy a escribir en castellano ya que en las reglas no aparece nada sobre el idioma en que uno debe escribir.

Los soldados estadounidenses están en el "Capitol Building" acostados en el piso de mármol. Los demócratas están exigiendo al ejercito que los traigan catres para estar más cómodos. Aquí en este enlace puedes ver a los soldados: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/01/14/democrats-urge-army-to-send-cots-for-troops-sleeping-in-capitol-459433

En los EEUU ya están hablando de una campaña de terrorismo por los "Proud Boys" "Oathkeepers" "3 percenters" etc. que tristemente puede durar hasta años o más, como si fuera un "Banana Republic" ... Pero miremos a Colombia, que tuvo seis décadas de insurgencia con varios grupos armados que ahora los llaman "bacrim" o bandas criminales.

Sin embargo, después de tanta violencia, en las encuestas mundiales de la felicidad Colombia sale en alto rango.

Colombia sigue a pie después del "conflicto civil" de seis décadas. ¡Los gringos se están jubilando allá! Les gusta Medellín.

¿Quién sabe que pasaría en los EEUU? El imperio romano también sufrió su declive... sin embargo todavia Italia existe hoy, dos mil años después.

8:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, sure, anything cd happen; but there is hardly much of a relationship between ancient Rome and present-day Italy. In any case, re: the US, what we are witnessing is the unfinished Civil War. In WAF I wrote that the C.W. never ended, and now we see that that was abs. correct. As for 100 yrs from now: none of us have a crystal ball, amigo. ps: your post got automatically rendered in English, for some reason.


11:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: and then back to Spanish. I dunno *what* Google is doing...Maybe try Urdu next time around.

11:09 PM  
Blogger moresoma said...

Ara the Armenian, I have a couple of nephews around your age who've told me they feel the same as you. It's not the worst of times, but things are not trending well & a great many young adults are justifiably anxious about the mess they were born into with more to come.

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” - J.R.R. Tolkien – The Fellowship of The Ring

"I asked my son Mark what he thought life was all about, and he said, “We are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is.” - Kurt Vonnegut

One of my favourite songs - it gives my stoicism wings -- https://youtu.be/sWQh6_Eki60

11:24 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

As usual, Hunter S. Thompson saw this coming: https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/this-political-theorist-predicted-the-rise-of-trumpism-his-name-was-hunter-s-thompson/

I can tell the liberal class is scared because NPR has become a *lot* more Left over the last few days. I had to keep checking my radio because I thought I had it on KPFA.

Warm weather and as the speed of chemical reactions approximately doubles for every 10C increase in temperature, the zombies were super active. Bank personnel and I had to chase one off of my bike I'd locked up out front and I've been told I can bring it inside in the future - I might start doing that. Got chased by another zombie on my way home. This was all around noon - I don't even go out after dark any more. And this is "Silicon Valley" not Newark, NJ.

12:28 AM  
Anonymous Chuck Steak said...

Ponder what it means to have a college degree in a time when
too many people have them. This poor soul is being used as
an absurd figure to amuse the TV audience. For this he needed
a college degree. Does he show any gratitude to his employer
who has turned him into a clown to just stand outdoors to catch
snow and wear skimpy clothing? He does not!! I wonder if he has
yet paid off his student loans.


1:43 AM  
Blogger vsoguy said...


Lurking in the background behind nearly everything that this culture is involved in; all the insanity, drama, frivolity and spectacle, is the oil story.

Link below to an interview with Steve St. Angelo on Geopolitics and Empire channel:


And here's a fairly recent and more detailed presentation from him regarding oil production and how it relates to the economy, especially the shale oil situation in the US:


The above presentation is rather cerebral and technical, with lots of charts and graphs, but is very informative, and likely a big part of the story on where things are headed. It seems plausible that the energy cliff he speaks of is very near, unless we've already gone over the edge..

7:25 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Rest of the world averting its eyes dept:


7:31 AM  
Blogger Mike Kelly said...

In the "duh" department:


MB, you have said for years that the fascists would do what they're doing now. The scariest part is that most of them don't even know they're fascists. I hope you take some pride in knowing you predicted this a couple of decades ago.

8:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Over the past few yrs I have predicted rioting and martial law. These are upon us now, and it will get worse.


Link didn't work.


9:46 AM  
Blogger Krakhed said...


Get ready for Patriot Act v2 which probably just means more survielance and data collection and no way to take action on any of this newly collected data. Just storing it up for a real authoritarian to use it to his advantage.

Anyone catch the Seth Myers segment where they wrote a joke about Trump stealing the bust of Lincoln as he was moving out, only to find out from journalists covering the White House that his staff carried out the very same statue out to be packed up with his personal belongings?

about 8 minutes in-> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQNhFeAdT5o

Trump is a spectacular representation of the American people!

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...


Try this truncated link:


10:30 AM  
Anonymous Mary said...

Golf, MB:


It worked for me! Interesting article, thanks!

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Noura said...

George Carlin on Government - Video: https://bit.ly/39ydJb6
George Carlin About Elections – Video : https://bit.ly/35JmttU
Michael Moore On Why He Believes Trump Could Be "The Last President"
Video https://bit.ly/3bEw7lr Video https://bit.ly/38JOR0O Article https://bit.ly/35EA4Tl

The Shocking Paper Predicting the End of Democracy
“Human brains aren’t built for self-rule, says Shawn Rosenberg. That’s more evident than ever.
Democracy is devouring itself and it won’t last.” Read here: https://politi.co/3qmr9Of
QUOTE In well-established democracies like the United States, democratic governance will continue its inexorable decline and will eventually fail.” Taking democracy’s place, Rosenberg says, will be right-wing populist governments that offer voters simple answers to complicated questions.
Democracy is hard work and requires a lot from those who participate in it. It requires people to respect those with different views from theirs and people who don’t look like them. It asks citizens to be able to sift through large amounts of information and process the good from the bad, the true from the false. It requires thoughtfulness, discipline and logic.
“In sum, the majority of Americans are generally unable to understand or value democratic culture, institutions, practices or citizenship in the manner required,” Rosenberg has concluded. “To the degree to which they are required to do so, they will interpret what is demanded of them in distorting and inadequate ways. As a result they will interact and communicate in ways that undermine the functioning of democratic institutions and the meaning of democratic practices and values.” UNQUOTE

11:03 AM  
Blogger Allen Dark in Texas said...

From Allen in Texas,
Dr. Berman and Wafers, Wow, what the riot in Washington did was reveal what the response is when you attack a big powerful system. The highly complex American System is dependent on highly and overly educated but generally stupid, college-educated, sheep to operate the complex machinery of the system, and the sheep are dependent on the System for necessity of their lives in a synergistic relationship. Such is the nature of Big Systems. Real fireworks when you challenge that! Everyone involved tends to go bonkers...as they try to save the system. I've seen this happen many times in failing corporations.
The American System has been going especially haywire since the 1960s when the "Elite" decided the "common" people's labor movement was too severely limiting their freedom to do any damned thing they wanted to do. Ah, class war was exacerbated. That's what we are seeing emerge in full bloom now....Class War.
Recommend everyone read Michael Lind's latest book, The New Class War. It will help you understand what's happening and why...but the System can't be saved.
That's the good news. The really bad news is that we are at the peak of the Anthropocene, worldwide of course, and there is no place left where you can hide. Have a nice day!

12:36 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

This "Banana Republic" idea is rather popular:


Then there's this:


"Boebert, a newly elected member who vowed in a viral video to carry a gun in the Capitol, was seen in an apparent dispute with police over going through the metal detector," NBC News reported. "Taylor refused to pass through the metal detector and argued with officers about it."

This is a great development. Imagine the lively debates in a future where the parliamentarians shoot at each other like Marlon Brando and Karl Malden in "One-Eyed Jacks."

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Jules said...

“The interesting question is not what causes autocracy (not to mention the conspiratorial thinking that feeds it) but what has ever suspended it.”


2:07 PM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...

Dr. Berman,

Speaking of rioting, I don't think the rioters know or even care what kind of country they want to live in. As far as the government is concerned, they don't want to reform it; they only want to shrink it down to nothing or destroy it. As far as the people are concerned, they don't want to strengthen social bonds, rebuild cultural institutions or help the downtrodden; they only want to persecute various demographics. All of this is nihilistic in the extreme. This is where the "negative identity" you mentioned in your books ultimately leads.


Also, Biden just announced a plan to administer vaccines. Good luck administering vaccines to a population that believes COVID is a hoax. I posit that a small percentage of Americans will get the vaccine while COVID continues to spread like wildfire. If Biden makes the vaccine mandatory, the bubbas will grab their guns and start a bloodbath.

4:03 PM  
Anonymous down we go said...

Alex - great article. Thanks for posting it. Should have known Hunter would nail it.

Chuck - guy should be given the Medal of Honor. It's all I can do to sit through local news programs. The silliness and idiocy is rampant - regardless of the network or location. More time is used to promoting what they call "local news celebrities" and airing advertisements than reporting the news - or, I should say, reading from teleprompters scripted by someone else. Much of the time it appears that they didn't even bother to practice - words are mangled and place names are mispronounced on a regular basis.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Well, my own doctor wound up with Covid-19 and was hospitalized for 2wks in intensive care. According to his doctors, he is facing a slow 6-10 month recovery before he can safely return (?) to his practice. I've concluded that I'll never see him again, period. Brass tacks: I believe we are actually in the early innings of this crisis. The US is accelerating toward an economic and human disaster unlike anything recorded in American history.


4:57 PM  
Anonymous Cherith Cutestory said...

1) MB and Wafers will love this: American guy in Mexico and antagonizing Mexican cops. Select quotes:

honks horn as Mexican cop is talking to him

You'd swear it was some Mike Judge movie (Idiocracy 2 is way past due). How can we thank this guy and his Karen for perfectly embodying the stereotype?

2) Anyone watch It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia? Been a while since I watched TV but their first few seasons were brilliant. Dennis Reynolds is a good representation of the average American IMO.

3) Hate Inc. is a great book, all about the dirty secrets of American media. Taibbi also references Dr. Berman.

6:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I don't post Unknowns. You need a real handle to participate. Thank you.


Wd be gd if you cd provide links for #s 2 and 3, thanks.


Wow! Given the fact that a more contagious mutation is afoot now, I'm inclined to think yr rt. Nearly 400,000 now dead in US, 2 million worldwide. This cd well be an historical watershed.


I believe what the bubbas want is a white, Christian nation, led by someone like Trumpi. In that sense, they are pretty clear as to what they want. The progs, on the other hand, seem to be confused as to what they want; unlike the bubbim and bubbot, they are not focused and single-minded. This left-rt difference is actually an old story.


7:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...



7:25 PM  
Anonymous BH said...

Dr B.

Do you think people like Biden and others high up know it's over but are still just putting a show hoping things wont be as bad as otherwise?

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Meryl said...

The Boogaloo Bois Prepare for Civil War


A boogaloo civil war!


10:31 PM  
Blogger buttbooty said...

I have a friend. We are both misanthropists. I am also a Nihilist. I also have a clinical psychanalytic training. The training convinced me not to practice it not make money. I have also been expecting the fall of amearica, australia of course will follow. I am really enjoying your blog. It is wonderful Morris that you reply. My friend says that amearica is not a place but a cautionary tale. I will watch and see in the next few days if QAnon has really infiltrated the FBI, CIA, Military as a lot of people are writing. Maybe I should say goodbye even though we have not yet met.

11:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm glad you like the blog. No need to say goodbye. Better to say Chopped Liver. But in future, pls address me as Mr. Berman or GSWH. Thank you.


There are a # of forces and groups threatening to tear the US apart. The combined effect cd well be that they succeed. Nobody seems to really know what the US is anymore, anyway. July 4th celebrations, for example, are pretty lame, and politicians mouth slogans that they may believe, but wh/don't have any real content. Kitsch has pretty much hollowed us out.

Compare the USSR. I was in Berlin after the Wall fell, and there were tables set up in front of the Reichstag on which were placed, for sale, not only pieces of the Wall, but also Soviet relics: hammer and sickle pins, for example, or former commissars hats. What was so striking abt these was that it was obvious that the energy had gone out of them. They might have once struck terror in the hearts of many, but now they were no more than kitschy objects, for sale at cheap prices. A similar process is now going on in the US.


One thing I've said many times is that stupidity is hardly confined to Americans w/low IQs. In America, even the smart people are stupid, and that includes Biden and his colleagues. Personally, I think they fall into this category, by wh/I mean that they are not capable of thinking in terms of "It's Over." They are dedicated to turning the US around, saving it; a fool's errand that can't be accomplished.


11:43 PM  
Anonymous FerQ said...

To MB and all on this blog- This is a link of a video of a guy who has an idea about when the US turns "Communist" how the "Nationalist" or probably what he considers "real Americans" can turn Alaska into their Taiwan. He talks as if this is the way they can resurrect the US.


MB- in the last thread you 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." and "America will be effectively dead by 2030." That would be one of the best things to happen in our time and no one would want that degenerate hellhole back. I could see many ppl celebrating when it happens.

1:56 AM  
Anonymous Rollo Dice said...



If the BIG money is upset by Trump, then the GOP must dump him as
their official spokesman/leader/loser. What will this mean to the 74 million crazies who voted for him? Will they return sheepishly to
the GOP as if nothing happened? What is needed is a flashy fascist
Kennedy type to bring youth and salvation to the millions. The time
is certainly opportune for such a celeb. Any idea if one will be

2:04 AM  
Anonymous Yarrow said...


Thanks for the document. These nutters are an infinitely bigger danger to cops than anyone on the Left.


7:37 AM  
Anonymous Kayt Wollan said...

The Two Faces Of The US Empire

"The empire needs both faces. Without the murder face, it could not exist as an empire. Without the grinning face, the public would never consent to the murder face."

9:05 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


On that subject, check out the ch. on Gramsci in my book "Genio."


9:41 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

MB, not sure how/what to comment on the happenings in the US which affect me only remotely. But somehow your sentence 'One way to look at this event, as well as the riot of Jan. 6, is to see it as sad.' touched me. Like every individual, every country, society, civilization emerges with some potential. To see that wither because of vanity and greed is truly sad. I was just reading this: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/16/us-capitol-rioters-donald-trump-pardons and somehow felt sorry for fellows like Jenna Ryan. Maybe my sympathies are misplaced, but I cannot help but see the tragedy in their lives. They were asked to believe in the exceptional American dream from their great grandfather's days. And suddenly find that dream crashing down. It's not easy to accept that unless you have a very high level of emotional maturity which, I doubt, most Americans have.

The true magnitude of the American crash will become clear in the months and years head. Let's all brace for that. Meanwhile, the massive peaceful protests against farm laws are still going on with the same (maybe greater) intensity in India, though the world media has moved away to other 'stories'. The character, and unity of purpose shown by the protesting farmers is simply humbling. More on than that later.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Cherith Cutestory said...

Quick addition of links to my post:

1) This is the IMDB page for It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Here's Dennis visiting his buddy Charlie to get something. So many of his traits I've seen in real Americans, even though he's depicted in the show as a cold-hearted semi-psychopath, he truly manifests in real people. It's Seinfeld 2.0, or "Seinfeld on crack" as one critic described it.

2) Hate Inc. by Matt Taibbi. Wafers will definitely love this. I like how forthright Matt is by constantly using "we", as in "we deliberately cultivate hatred between the right and left". He says if you take only one thing from the book it's this: the news is a business, its mission is to make profit, even by extremely unethical means. A lot of the book is shining a light on the cogs and mechanics of how US media cultivates hatred because it's extremely profitable, and describes the subtle methods used. Eye opening. You'll never read a news article the same way again.

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Ordinary Indian, I've tried to follow the Indian farmers' strike with interest but the silencing (let's not mince words) of perhaps the biggest strike in human history by Western media is simply disgusting. If you could spare a bit of your half-page a day to provide more info I'd personally would be really grateful.

3:04 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

I wonder if the Trump era will inspired Stephen Pinker to rewrite his books or reexamine his worldview of the inevitibility of technophilic nirvana. I'm a schmuck, I'm a buffoon, I'm a boob. Forget everything I ever said. I'm always amazed with how some supposed super intellectuals can at the same time be such utter fools at the same time. Proper dialog with the new Dr Pangloss and his ilk should be peeing on his shoes everytime he elaborates on the glories and wonders of progress.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Crystal Horn said...

"What was once gunpowder and disease is now replaced with bureaucratic negligence," said Wendsler Nosie of Apache Stronghold.

Trump officials set in motion transfer of OakFlat to Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton:

Outcry as Trump officials to transfer sacred Native American land to miners

3:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


If there's one American (besides Tulsi) who needs to be slapped and waterboarded, it's Pinker. Urine treatment also impt.


3:38 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

The chuds have no thought-out program. There's the vague idea of a white ethno-state but they're operating on the lizard-brain level. "Once we kill all those barbarians who live in the next valley over, every hunt will bring a fat deer, and our women will all bear twins".

America operates at lizard-brain level and I'm surprised this book didn't make more of a splash https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/832299.High_and_Mighty

In other news it's warm and sunny when at this time of the year I should be timing my activities between rain storms.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Cindy Falco-DiCorrado, 62, arrested as she pitched a fit over wearing a mask inside an Einstein Bros. Bagel shop:



ps: Wafer Hall of Fame (WHF) Quiz:

1. Who said, "I left out of the store without checking it, but when I got to my truck and I got ready to leave I looked in my bag and come to find out I had six McDoubles"?

a. Tommy Semenpuddle
b. Lorenzo Riggins
c. Tracey McCloud
d. Simpson Gewiggle

2. Who was the Iowa woman who scratched and bit her husband when he declined to have sex with her?

a. Brittany Carulli
b. Bunmi Laditan
c. Latreasa Goodman
d. Rachel Butterbaugh

4:02 PM  
Anonymous B. Louis said...

Quite possibly the most heartbreaking component of Native American genocide is the fact that Americans don't know the degree to which it influenced Hitler's ideas of Eastern European conquest.

I've tried telling family members about it, and they simply don't believe me until I toss them an article or two with direct quotes from the man himself.




Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree
I travel the world and the seven seas
Everybody's looking for something
Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Drug overdose deaths in the United States have reached record highs.


4:55 PM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...


I've noticed that American political discourse has degenerated into psychosis over the last few years. Examples include bubbas claiming that BLM was behind the attack on the Capitol building, despite all the footage clearly showing otherwise; progs claiming that gender is a social construct, despite the genitalia we can see on our own bodies; Qanon fanatics claiming, without a shred of evidence, that all world leaders except Trump are Satanic pedophiles; bubbas saying that climate change is a hoax, even as the weather warms right outside their houses; Qanon fanatics claiming, again without a shred of evidence, that Trump was sent by God as a savior; and progs claiming that women are, on average, just as athletic as men are.

Now that it's clear America can't be saved, I've been thinking about what a post-America world would look like. It seems to me that a post-American world would have so much potential. Nations would be free to adopt systems other than corporate capitalism, which has proven disastrous. They won't have to worry about being bombed by America for trying something else. Nations would also be free to reclaim their own cultures rather than aping American culture for all eternity. They could go back to listening to their beautiful traditional music rather than Nicki Minaj and gangsta rap. Whether they will capitalize on these opportunities remains to be seen, but it's worth a try.

4:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Some refs (links) wd be helpful. Altho I do hafta say that the # of Americans who need to be slapped exceeds anything that 175 Wafers might be able to provide, by way of service.


Just look at that face, I ask you. Brrr. Meanwhile, I believe Dr. Semenpuddle will be holding an impt post in the Biden administration (along w/Prof. Riggins, of course).


No, but they do have a vision. O dem bubbas!


5:19 PM  
Anonymous Noura said...

'Desperate' rescue efforts ongoing as Indonesia quake kills dozens: https://bit.ly/2LSseOQ
They’re already dealing with the pandemic too …
Why They're Denying You Healthcare And Financial Support During A Pandemic

Great Reset Video – Banned https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeovAN2Fcyc
THE GREAT RESET (Explained!) https://bit.ly/39DfnZd
When Youtube bans then reuploads and requires 2 ⚠️ warnings then doesn’t allow sharing or commenting by the channel who produced the content, you know it’s the TRUTH.

In this Video Thomas Sowell warns about using government power to create equality among groups https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMn5YcGU0x4
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
Glubb discusses the Welfare state as a stage of a declining empire. Quote below:
“The impression that it will always be automatically rich causes the declining empire to spend lavishly on its own benevolence, until such time as the economy collapses, the universities are closed and the hospitals fall into ruin. It may perhaps be incorrect to picture the welfare state as the high-water mark of human attainment. It may merely prove to be one more regular milestone in the life- story of an ageing and decrepit empire.”

Watching an empire in decline is like witnessing a psychotic breakdown in which all systems become divorced from reality. Everything becomes inverted from truth to illusions. Incredible!

6:36 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

An article contrasting Plato’s humanism with Marxist humanism. I regret I don’t know much about ancient philosophy/civilization beyond the very basics. Can Dr B and other Wafers recommend some essential reading for a novice?

As always thanks to all the Wafers for keeping me busy with tons of interesting articles. I needed you all more than ever since Jan 6. A coup by a bunch of idiots on the bastion of democracy itself! This is meant sarcastically. Actually kind of thrilled to see my former city humiliated. I know how Dr B feels about DC. I was in Bolivia when Evo Morales, a democratically elected leader, was deposed by a US backed coup. My husband had interviewed him when he was researching coca production in Bolivia. Of course his fall was widely celebrated in DC as a victory for democracy. What a bunch of hypocritical crybabies strutting around bemoaning the assault on democracy. Classic American idiocy.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

@alex carter- Not sure if you saw this report last year that SUVs are "second largest cause of the global rise in carbon dioxide emissions over the past decade, eclipsing all shipping, aviation, heavy industry and even trucks, usually the only vehicles to loom larger than them on the road."

GM has pretty well killed sedans, and Ford has none, going all in on SUVs and trucks, where the money is-

So while climate change makes itself more and more blatant, Americans say screw it and go in the opposite direction in order to drive to Whole Foods and pick up organic salads. The sooner this culture collapses, the better for the rest of the world.

On another front, an interesting guy in his look at America. I think he is a former soldier. Worth looking over. An interesting discussion of whether the military will help Trump-


7:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


As far as our destroying democracy around the world, check out DAA and also bks by Stephen Kinzer. Here's a review of one of them:


As for ancient philosophy: bibliographies of Greek thought cd fill a warehouse, but here are some starters:
1. My abs favorite: John H. Finley, Four Stages of Greek Thought
2. Plato, Republic, Bk VII; Symposium
3. Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy
4. E.R. Dodds, The Greeks and the Irrational (stunning)
5. M.I. Finley, The Ancient Greeks
6. Controversial, inaccurate in parts, but very absorbing: Julian Jaynes, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind; Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


8:02 PM  
Blogger buttbooty said...

WOW Mr Berman thankyou for replying to me .I apologize for my indiscretion. The references you provide are wonderful I will have to try and get some of your books

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Chuck Steak said...

Go to 00:00:50 for a few seconds

Could a true patriot like this beast be the next Tim McVeigh
of Oklahoma City bombing of a federal building? Any rioter
on Jan 20 must sense the futility of it all since Trump is
gone and no replacement has been found. There has to be some
solitary plotters planning the true BIG one. Nowadays it is
no longer possible to be surprised by what the social disease
in America could produce.

1:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Check it out:



7:24 AM  
Anonymous Randolph said...


Mexican president takes over for the ACLU >>>> guess someone had to.

7:54 AM  
Blogger Mike Kelly said...

Hi MB and Wafers,

Miles, I'm going with b for #1 and a for #2. I hope I got it right! That quiz was a walk down memory lane. Here are some other oldies but goodies which newer Wafers may enjoy:



Thanks Miles!

8:13 AM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Hi Dr. B and WAFERS:

1) An an analysis of 2020's turbulence as resulting from intra-elite conflict: https://www.noemamag.com/welcome-to-the-turbulent-twenties/

2) The first article I've seen that strips Trump of his role as President and recasts him as soon-to-be civilian: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/17/donald-trump-leave-new-york-city-florida

3) This one belongs in the 'rude awakening from an insane alternate reality' category: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/16/us-capitol-rioters-donald-trump-pardons

4) Finally, an article about the current abysmal levels of reading and writing literacy in Canada and some hand wringing over the fact that this threatens - not politics, not culture - no, THE ECONOMY! https://www.cbc.ca/radio/costofliving/let-s-get-digital-from-bitcoin-to-stocktok-plus-what-low-literacy-means-for-canada-s-economy-1.5873703/nearly-half-of-canadians-miss-high-school-literacy-grade-and-that-s-bad-for-economy-1.5873757

-Northern Johnny

9:45 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

@Malleus, I am happy to know that you are interested in the Indian farmer's agitation. I do not write much about it bcoz the focus of this blog is something different. And is the silence of the media surprising? Most of them are tied to corporate interests after all. Anyway... a brief here.

Farmers have been camping on the highways just outside Delhi since late Nov as they have not been allowed to enter Delhi. There have been nine rounds of talks btw the farmers and the govt. No resolution. Farmers the laws repealed, govt says no. In the meantime, govt friendly media tried to vilify the protesters by branding them 'anti-national', being propped up by foreign powers etc. Nothing stuck. Then somebody (not the protesting farmers) went to the Supreme Court. SC stayed the laws, but did not go into their constitutionality. SC formed a committee to 'look into the laws'. The farm leaders refused to appear b4 the comm. Turned out, all 4 members of the comm are vocal supporters of the laws. The game was exposed. One mmbr has since recused himself. Now the govt is unleashing investigative agencies on the farm leaders and supporters to harass them. Against all odds, including freezing temps, and 70 odd deaths, the farmers are holding fort with confidence and quiet dignity. Jan 26 is India's Republic Day celebrated with military parade, pomp and show in Delhi. Farmers have decided to have their own tractor parade after the official ceremony! What an honorable effort to reclaim the republic! Check these:

On a personal note, I am humbled (the last article). I have learnt new lessons of what a republic, democracy and community is all about.

MB, I hope you will make an exception if I have exceeded the page limit.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Bonaparte said...


^^(looking for my copies of Culture of Narcissism and Revolt of the Elites. Lasch was prophetic. And loads of Americans voted for him to be their president.. What does that say about America..?)

10:57 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Greetings, Dr. Berman & Wafers. Let’s celebrate Don the Con’ s final weekend in D.C. with a tribute to a few of his loyal Trumpian Karens as well as a few Darrens. As everyone here knows, absolutely nothing shall change in this cesspool of a country come January 20th. Americans shall be as cruel, arrogant, and competitive capitalistic as ever; the hustling mentality shall remain in full force; and our double X chromosome participants shall continue to do their part.


11:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I notice that you provide no evidence at all for yr assertion that 'loads' of Americans voted for Lasch to be president (he wasn't even running, BTW).


In future, pls try to stick to half a pg. Thanks.


I look for places in North America where there are no buffoons, but I can't find any.


12:55 PM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...


This is America in synecdoche. If they were honest, most Americans would tell you: "If there's money to be made, who cares if hundreds die?".

1:07 PM  
Anonymous FerQ said...

If there is any country or empire that should be called the Evil Empire it is definitely the United States. This video is an example of how that sick and degenerate type of ppl, called the Americans, make money off of human suffering. The guy in this video talks about the "Marriage Industrial Complex."


Another example of how that country is made up of psychopaths. The funny thing is that there are ppl who think that the US is a Christian and/or a civilized country when the only God they believe in is making money and white supremacy. American culture is pure degeneracy and nothing else. It is a big mistake of a country and a culture. That can't even be called a culture.

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Bonaparte said...

Oh sorry to break 24hr rule. That was a reference to Trump, not Lasch, relating him to the psychological condition in the PubMed study. Was saying Lasch was prophetic in predicting all that's happening.

Apologies for offending!

2:11 PM  
Anonymous B. Louis said...

This is probably the best footage from inside the 'insurrection' I've seen thus far.

While I agree that this was comprised of America's pondscum, I absolutely believe that this event will go down as a "5th of November" event. The media wants to focus on how buffoonish this gang of idiots was, but they're missing the forest for the trees.

I believe this moment marks the beginning of a domestic terrorist movement that's going to last MUCH longer than Americans care to admit.


Onwards and Downwards!

3:14 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes y GSWH,

Those who know me understand that Toto and The Scarecrow (AKA The Strawman) are my favorite characters from "The Wizard Of Oz".

In 1972 I bought the translation of "Tao Te Ching" by Gia Fu Feng and Jane English. At seventeen, that set the course for me. I never looked back.

A Wafer friend , unknown to the blog, sent this to me today. Wafers may enjoy "These Textbooks In Thousands Of K-12 Schools Echo Trump's Talking Points".


Rave On!

3:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


For several yrs now, I have predicted riots and martial law as the concluding phase of the American empire. These are now upon us, and (I believe) are likely to get worse (or in declinist terms, better) over time. All of this, coupled w/covid and its mutations, are 'washing out' American civ. There can be no recovery, whether under Biden or anyone else. Our world has permanently changed, and the ensuing death, disease, chaos, unemployment, and economic contraction now constitute the 'new normal'.

As you correctly pt out, the MSM doesn't have a clue. Can you imagine, in the midst of all this, publishing articles on whether Kamala will be wearing a sari to the inauguration??! Or on how Biden will rejoin the Paris Accords (wh/have no teeth to enforce anything), and so on? This is beating off. 'Intercourse' consists of speculation on the post-capitalist society: secession, techno-autocracy, Dual Process, 'regression' to slower/more humane ways of life--these and many other possibilities. And how to get there. Meanwhile, the 2020s promise oppression, depression, and outright disaster.


No offense; it was just confusing. Yes, Trumpi is the supreme narcissist, but so is 99% of the American public. We may, in 3 days, be rid of him, but not of Trumpism. This is abs. certain. Lasch's bk (1979) became a best-seller, but we remained a nation of fools.


It is a culture in the anthropological sense. For a gd comparison w/contemporary America, check out this classic from 1972:



Or millions, for that matter. When I think of how much slapping is needed, I get exhausted and hafta lie down. Same, w/amt of urine (for shoes).


"The Tao that can be spoken is not the real Tao."
"The blog that is ignored is the real blog."


3:55 PM  
Blogger Baron Von Strangeknight said...

Dr. Berman, I wonder if you might be able to recommend a few book titles to understand early American history properly? I, strangely enough, have a bachelors in History but at the time of my education I did not focus on American history. Thank you.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

John S-

Try this: divide yr post into 2 parts. Post 1st part today; then wait 24 hrs and post 2nd part. Thank you.


Wm Appleman Williams, "The Tragedy of American Diplomacy"
Joyce Appleby, "Capitalism and a New Social Order"
Richard Bushman, "From Puritan to Yankee"
Alexis de Tocqueville, "Democracy in America"

There are also some gd studies of the Puritans (Edmund Morgan, Sacvan Bercovitch, Perry Miller). Finally, you might go thru the ftnotes of my trilogy on the American empire for additional refs.


6:35 PM  
Anonymous Noura said...

Looks like Trump is in Trouble:
Trump Gets Caught Looting The White House: https://bit.ly/38LpPP4
Trump Can't Find Any Lawyers Willing To Represent Him During Impeachment Trial
Two of Trump's Cabinet secretaries — Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos — resigned in one day: https://bit.ly/3quuomY
Bizarre Final Trump Speech a Desperate Plea for Mercy https://bit.ly/3ii1Qdc
Trumpism can go on without Trump and find a new face because it’s not about him. In the meantime, this could seriously backfire for Trump. In spite of all this, Trump is funny and yet a sad embodiment of where America is headed. Many are angry at Trump, I’m just sad because we had opportunities to do so much better but we chose this … We may be free to choose but we’re not free from the consequences of our actions.

Dealing with the embarrassment of the Capitol siege by attempting to control social media. “State Department orders social media silence after mayhem at US Capitol as leaders tweet - a step normally only taken during a terrorist attack or major natural disaster.”: https://cnn.it/3qqYJCM Quotes from Article: “Nearly a dozen foreign diplomats in Washington and US diplomats abroad told CNN they had watched in horror and disbelief as Trump supporters forcibly and violently overtook the US Capitol, saying the insurrection damages the image of American democracy and the nation's standing in the world.” Another foreign diplomat called the assault on the Capitol "appalling and so very saddening. The US was the benchmark of democratic governance and peaceful transitions of power. You will never be able to say something like that again.”

7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

Good article by Matt Taibbi.


gene - I bought that very beautiful edition of the Tao in 1972. I was 20 at the time and I lugged around with me until I was 65.

It was a treasure.

When none of my children were interested in it I gave it to my acupuncturist who studied and practiced in China for 30 years and then came to Canada a decade ago.

"He who knows he has enough is wise."

7:29 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Northern Johnny linked to an article on people who attacked the Capitol asking Trump for pardons. But I didn't see a link in the article itself to an interview that is just stunning in its bland idiotic certainty. An entitled Karen of the highest order.

Personal responsibility? ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Not for these people.


7:36 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Dr B, thank you so much for the recommendations. An excellent, though daunting, list! I will probably start with Nietzsche or Dodd. Thanks to my fellow Wafers, I am currently reading Neil Postman and enjoying it very much. I wasn’t aware of him before and have enjoyed becoming acquainted with his work. I will also add Appleby and Bushman to my reading queue. After Postman I will read Genio. Can’t wait.

With all of this reading to do, I’m wondering if I should give up sleep, exercise or cello practice.

7:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Stick w/the cello.


Another variant on Lao Tzu (depends on the translation):

"He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough."

Hebrew version (Talmud, Pirke Avot):

"Eize hu ashir? Hasamei'ach b'chelko."


Tacky, but I believe Bill Clinton did the same thing. Here's a secret I'll let you in on: the elite are trash.


10:02 PM  
Anonymous Rollo Dice said...

The US has about 5% of the world's population but consumers
TWENTY percent of the world output of petroleum. A solid reason
for being in the Arab countries for all these decades.

The next item is truly strange and pro-American. Will we see
some of them in DC on Jan 14? Note the lovely mixture of sex
and violent death.

11:27 PM  
Blogger Systems Crash Go said...

A great article on the Great Reset by John Steppling. The planet might be preserved but only for the oligarchy, not for the rest of us. Here we worry about filling in tax forms and minor bureaucratic processes while in the real world, the Great Steal is on.


12:28 AM  
Blogger anderszornpalette said...

Anjin - My first thought while reading Taibbi’s latest article was how much it reflects many of the conclusions that have been arrived at on this blog and from MB. It was kind of frightening - Matt’s summation of Lasch’s message is in perfect alignment to what’s been asserted by Dr Berman.


“The pursuit of pleasure disguises a struggle for power. Americans have not really become more sociable and cooperative… they have merely become more adept at exploiting the conventions of interpersonal relations for their own benefit.”

Lasch’s reasoning traced to the beginning of American society.

-Matt Taibbi

Reminds me of Dr Berman’s description of two Americans meeting each other for the first time. It’s all transactional.

Thank you again to everyone who contributes to this blog. I have learned a great deal over the past decade and more.


12:31 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

I want to make a Seth Tobocman style poster showing some hobos and bold text saying CAPITALISM ONLY WORKS WHEN THESE PEOPLE DON'T https://www.thenation.com/article/society/how-america-chose-homelessness/

Anjin-San we had that copy of the Tao around the house when I was just entering teen-hood. Just the things that are taken for granted in Hawaii ... we think we're this cultural backwater but compared to almost everywhere on the US mainland we're friggin' Belle Epoche Paris.

Jamie - 2nd'ing MB here stick with that cello. A while back I built a Moog theremin from a kit and kind of got into theremins ... turns out as usual the Chinese invented that first, too, and you get that same sound from an erhu, 2-string Chinese hillbilly cello that sounds exactly like a theremin. If nothing else consider one of those but never stop fiddlin'.

1:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

John S-

Still too long. Impt to stick to the half-pg limit. You need to compress, or else send yr message in 3 installments, 24 hrs apart (each). In addition, I cdn't find any links or refs in yr message. Just broadcasting one's opinion, w/no accompanying evidence, is not how we do things here.


3:42 AM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Sri Sri Berman,

This is huge. And MSM will stay silent about it. Nobody wants to bend the knee before Igor Sechin's Rosneft.
Note: I don't agree with this author on most things(he is a gun-toting libertarian....my general view of American libertarians is that a broken clock is also right twice a day) but he usually makes good observations on this topic.

The petro-dollar (the key to US hegemony) is coming to an end, i.e., the era of consequences (Karma hitting the US full force) for the US is here.

Best Wishes,

6:30 AM  
Anonymous Lydian said...

Mary Catherine Bateson. Author, anthropologist, feminist, and daughter of anthropologist Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson via @NYTimes


8:28 AM  
Anonymous down we go said...

Had the good fortune of being half way through Fantasyland (Kurt Anderson) during the raid on the Capital. https://www.kurtandersen.com/fantasyland

Anderson helped me understand that the "rioters" were playing dress-up, like Civil War Reenactors; or like children playing cowboys and Indians. The one who stands out in every video is dressed like an American Indian, buffalo horns and all.

I also flashed on their resemblance to cartoon characters and characters in the game Dungeons and Dragons who are involved in role play competition. Watching rioters on TV I was reminded of Burning Man and Comic Con during which people assume roles and wear costumes appropriate to the roles. Dungeons allows players to play the parts of certain game characters, like Fighter or Cleric (or Rioter, or Super Patriot).

In Fantasyland, fantasy becomes the reality. Grown men and women dressing in costumes they consider appropriate for playing the role of Defenders of the Constitution, Ninja warriors for American Freedom and Good Guys v. Bad Guys have crossed over into a netherworld of fantasy play. The really sad part is that it is a world shared by most Americans who take them seriously.

8:32 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I don't understand yr ref in yr 1st para. Pls provide a link, thanks.


9:08 AM  
Blogger Baron Von Strangeknight said...

Thank you Dr. Berman for the Am History recommendations. I'm going to pick a couple up and read. This blog is tremendous.

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Jean said...


"After reading Rauschenbusch, I turned to a serious study of the social and ethical theories of the great philosophers.......from Plato and Aristotle down to Rousseau, Hobbes, Bentham, Mill, and Locke. All of these masters stimulated my thinking—such as it was—and, while finding things to question in each of them, I nevertheless learned a great deal from their study."

MLK was the man. Wafer for sure.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Revvi said...

Great essay:


A Nothing Revolution

12:25 PM  
Blogger vsoguy said...


Interesting article on Fox News about the danger of all Republicans being lumped into the same category as the extremist capitol rioters:


She is of course correct that not all Trump supporters/right wingers are capitol-storming extremists, but with the US entrenched in an undeniable manichean world view, it's not going to be very difficult to persuade people that all conservatives are evil terrorists. And people on the right are now being silenced on just about every platform.

I predict not much action in the days leading up to the inauguration, or on the day itself, but this is far from over and it's my guess that these people will have their voices heard one way or another. Likely by lone wolf activists and small groups causing chaos in the years and decades to come.

Many people seem to believe that if we can just get through the inauguration everything will be fine...but we all know better on this here blog.

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Michael King said...

Happy Martin Luther King Day everyone.

Himanshu: Don't be too hasty to celebrate the US dollar's demise. Adam Tooze is my favourite contemporary economic historian. Here is his view about the dollar going forward.


Steve Ludlum deserves a wider audience. His writings about the energy/economy interface are profound. His latest piece about Trump and the Jan.6/20 fiasco is recommended. Dr. Berman and fellow Wafers will find a kindred spirit in Ludlum's description of the USA as a "stupid country".


12:54 PM  
Anonymous Quercus said...


See link below:

Consider these oh-so sensitive snowflakes and wokesters who don’t want their Harvard credentials sullied by association with such deplorables as Ted Cruz.

Yet their education in those hallowed ivy-covered halls seems to have lacked any introduction to critical thought.

Consider all the war criminals with Harvard degrees or have taught at that university:
Robert McNamara, Obama, Bill Clinton, Kissinger, G. W. Bush ...... the "crème de la crème"

Ted Cruz et al. are nobodies by comparison.



1:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Maybe by 'stupid country' he meant stupid people; but I think it's impt to make that explicit. Americans have shit for brains, end of story.


My pleasure. This is the only blog worth bothering with. Sometimes I hear of people going to other blogs, and I weep. Whatever for? This blog has it all: astute analyses, genuine dialogue, comeraderie, mutual support, movie recs, and bk reviews. Not to mention that it is (to my knowledge) the only blog in the entire blogosphere that is dedicated not to this or that political position, but to finding out and expressing the truth of our political situation. Other blogs beat off about Biden or Schmernie or Meghan's hats, etc.; here, we talk about what's real, period. This is why we have only 175 registered Wafers: 330 million Americans live in Disneyland, and prefer to stay there. It may be time for a refreshing of our refridgerator post-its: try BOOC. This stands for Buffoons Out Of Control.


1:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: In 2000, I wrote that the US wd go the way of ancient Rome. I spent the next 20 yrs documenting the causes of our decline. Over the last few yrs, I repeatedly predicted riots and martial law. I also kept saying that the period of 2020-30 was the crucial decade, and that by 2030 America wd be unrecognizable. All of this has been borne out, or is in process of coming to pass. That the US is coming apart at the seams, only a fool wd deny. It is being washed away by disease, death, chaos, social inequality, mass unemployment, severe economic contraction, intense political instability, and a level of ignorance and stupidity such as the world has never seen heretofore. There can and will be no recovery from this. It's over, amigos; O&D, BOOC.

What, then, is important? Not Biden's plans, or Kamala's sari, or even the prosecution of Trumpalumpi once he is out of office. Rather, on a personal level, the pursuit of a life of decency, honesty, and integrity, plus the rejection of douchebaggery in all its forms. On the political level, speculation over the possibilities for a post-capitalist, post-American-empire world.

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Sammi Netherton said...

Biden inaugural guest is Venezuelan coup leader charged with inciting violent assault on gov’t building


4:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I guess we can't expect too many radical changes w/the Biden administration. But here's an interesting possibility to chew on: What if Schmiden went off his meds on Tuesday, flipped out, got an AK-47, and attacked the Capitol bldg on Wednesday, instead of getting inaugurated? Wafers are invited to speculate on the ensuing political fallout.


4:55 PM  
Anonymous Holman said...

U.S. pundits keep comparing Washington to a war zone. People who know war disagree.


It's all theater, America.

7:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, you can't participate in this blog if you are going to attack it or me (or other Wafers). I, and the blog, are not the subject of the blog, and we are not interested in your facile armchair psychology. The subject is the collapse of the American empire. If you have a specific argument to make about the latter (pro, con, but not personal), pls present it along w/evidence (refs, links) for yr views. (Check out other posts to see how it's done.) Also, next time you check in (if you do), pls begin w/an apology for launching a personal attack, and being disrespectful. As I am guessing that that is not something you are likely to do, you might want to look for another blog in which to participate--one more appreciative of your insights. Best of luck.


9:34 PM  
Anonymous Hilmar L. said...


John Gray on Trump, Twitter and Censorship for A Point of View

9:55 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

Holman, thanks for the link. It touches on the Manichaean attitude which is often brought up on this blog. We are so spoiled and dumb in this country that when anything pierces the illusion of the American Dream, people go totally bonkers. Don't misunderstand me - the situation is bad, this is really bad. I fear that in a few decades, or less, we may be living in a version of The Handmaid's Tale. But its not civil war bad- yet. And the reason I say this is because if Americans are this incoherent now, how are we going to react when the proverbial shit eventually hits the fan for real? Made me think about Dickens infamous opening to tale of two cities:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

10:20 PM  
Anonymous Noura said...

“The Coming War On China”  –  Watch John Pilger’s Powerfully Relevant Documentary https://bit.ly/3oVCzrQ “The aim of this film is to break a silence: the United States and China may well be on the road to war, and nuclear war is no longer unthinkable,” Pilger says in his 2016 documentary The Coming War on China, you can watch free on Youtube https://bit.ly/3qnUZSq or Vimeo https://bit.ly/38RgVzj.” Quote from movie by James Bradley, author of ‘The China Mirage’: “The winner of the Nobel peace prize President Barack Obama has committed to trillions of dollars to our nuclear arsenal. He’s committing trillions of future dollars to war in space. We need an enemy for all this money and China is the perfect enemy.” Among other things, the movie explores the secret of the Marshall Islands: the islands were turned into laboratories for the testing on nuclear weapons and the people into guinea pigs. This video is a courageous and disturbing portrait of America: a genocidal war machine, hell bent on dominating the world, no matter the cost in human life, suffering, and destruction of the environment. Will America gracefully accept its decline or will it start a war with serious consequences for the world? I believe it will be stopped, not by common sense, but lack of funds due to the economic collapse currently accelerated by COVID and Trump’s damage.

Timnit Gebru’s Exit From Google Exposes a Crisis in AI https://bit.ly/2XTJRkc – It seems that the religion of America is making money / hustling and nothing else. One has to wonder if there is any major institution left In America that’s not seriously corrupt. If people understood there is no recovery, they would stop trying to fix the system and move on to better things. Almost every day now, there’s some article or data popping up about how incredibly corrupt America has become. Why is there no safety net in America? It’s not profitable, which doesn’t fit well with the religion of hustling. It’s so empty, stupid and childishly egocentric that it’s incredible that it’s taken seriously. Some people are fighting to get into this system instead of running away!

11:04 PM  
Anonymous Chuck Steak said...

Imagine if your daughter plans to marry one.

How much will Wafers donate?

All to get jobs at his library?

11:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for the ref; pretty grim stuff. I don't think there's any doubt that the country is actually crazy. As I discuss in QOV, America has always needed an enemy to function, and literally any enemy will do. The only psychology it knows, is a Manichaean one. This is an important element in its self-destruction.


Of course, no apology was forthcoming. This was to be expected. You lack the strength of character to make one; that much is obvious. I suggest you take a serious look at yourself (a depressing exercise, to be sure), instead of castigating me and this blog. And pls, go elsewhere; there's nothing here for you. (I'm guessing you'll keep posting, but be aware that I'll delete your messages w/o rdg them.)


Except it's not the best of times, nor the age of wisdom, nor the season of Light--etc. And we are certainly "going direct the other way."


11:45 PM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

From the "no shit, Sherlock" department:
Majority of Europeans fear Biden unable to fix 'broken' US

...more than 60% of those polled believed the US was “broken”...

Across the 11 states surveyed, only 23% of respondents thought their country should take Washington’s side against Russia, with 59% preferring to remain neutral.

It looks like few people are interested in the Navalny show. How things have changed! Now political exiles (like Snowden) take refuge in Russia!

3:47 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

America experienced a major increase in violent crime during 2020.


5:39 AM  
Anonymous Buford C. said...

Democrats Condemn ICE After Agency Shares MLK Day Message About 'Justice and Equality'


7:53 AM  
Anonymous LL Hofstadter said...

*Commemorate Stephen Hawking than to spend £18999 on a 'Bremont Hawking White Gold' watch embellished with fragments of wood from his desk*

Sadly, this is also the logical conclusion of the Hawking worship industry. It is really not very different from the medieval trade in relics, such as shards from Christ's cross...


8:41 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This from "The Brothers Karamazov": "The everlasting goal of the human race is to find something to worship."


We are now moving thru an external Suez Moment. The European perception of America as broken is bound to contribute to its brokenness. Trumpi was indeed a Hegelian "World Historical Individual": he was the agent of the final act of the 'America' play. The US is indeed like Humpty Dumpty, now.


9:05 AM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...


Dr. Berman and WAFERs,

Biden has already indicated he will betray his promise to reinvigorate the labor movement. We should expect Biden to crush the last remnants of the unions and make it even easier for American corporations to outsource labor to foreign countries. He and his supporters will be flummoxed when this sparks another fascist revolt. Like Republicans, Democrats can't learn from their mistakes; they'll push neoliberalism no matter how badly it backfires. It doesn't get dumber than this.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Saul said...

Bitcoin owner whose story went viral after he lost his wallet password says he has 'made peace' with potential $220 million loss


What is the Wafer stance on bitcoin/cryptocurrency?


1:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Wafer stance: we are starting our own currency, which will be called Bitrump. In order to activate it, you hafta bite someone in the ass; preferably Kim.


It's a very special type of stupidity. In a few essays in QOV, I show how America has been stuck in a # of mechanical programs, most of them unconscious. Money is God; the endless frontier; American exceptionalism; and so on. The only president since FDR to challenge these autopilot programs was Jimmy Carter, and the American public did not like him for it. He is still ridiculed as a failure, whereas he may have been the only success we had since 1945. Anyway, Schmiden is hardly one to break the mold, and the American people certainly don't know any better.


2:12 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,

@ Anjin-San, MB, alex,

Context is important. MB's paraphrase is spot on: all discussion comments were much appreciated. The complete text is Waferishly declinist.



When the Tao is present in the universe,
The horses haul manure.
When the Tao is absent from the universe,
War horses are bred outside the city.

There is no greater sin than desire,
No greater curse than discontent,
No greater misfortune than wanting something for oneself.
Therefore he who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.

2:34 PM  
Blogger dermot said...

Caitlin Johnstone (she's a treasure) on the next phase of liberal meltdown. If they go through with this madness the next right-reaction will be one for the books (no more mister nice guy in horns and chewbacca costume).

QUOTE: So if you were hoping that maybe liberals would chill out and get a little less crazy with Trump out of the White House, I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

This is as insane and scary as I have ever seen these people get, and I was in the thick of peak Russiagate hysteria. An aggressively manufactured push to get an army of citizens spying on each other calls to mind the Stasi informants of East Germany, the patriotism-fueled digital "digging" of the QAnon psyop, and the NatSec LARPing of Louise Mensch Twitter, all rolled into one great big ball of crazy.

3:44 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Number 1 is correct: Lorenzo Riggins
Number 2 is incorrect: Correct answer is d, Rachel Butterbaugh.

MB, Wafers-

This is how I feel after 4 yrs of Trumpo:


I'm Joe Biden my time...

Will Americans ever wake up from the American Dream? Nope!



4:15 PM  
Anonymous Pete Christen said...

Dr. B: In the coming decade of decomposition, do you think the US will experience anything like the Troubles that plagued Ireland from the 60s to the 90s? I'm curious mainly about the violence part -- the random murders, targeted bombings, street fights, paramilitaries, guerilla groups. It seems like the US is at a similar level of anger and division. And the US has the advantage of being infinitely more stupid than the Irish. It's not exactly a recipe for peaceful reconciliation.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is from Don DeLillo's latest novel, "The Silence":

"Has time leaped forward...or has it collapsed? And will people in the streets become flash mobs, running wild, breaking and entering, everywhere, planet-wide, rejecting the past, completely unmoored from all the habits and patterns?"

There is a theory that artists and writers are the advance 'antennae' of culture. I.e., they intuitively sense what is soon to occur, b4 everyone else does. This is esp. true of DeLillo's work (check out "White Noise"). Also of a lot of sci-fi.


One of my favorite songs. As for the American public: !!??** goofballs. Plus the fact that Schmiden hasn't tapped Lorenzo Riggins for a high-level gov't post makes me very sad.


5:06 PM  
Blogger Ajay Singh said...

Dear Dr. Berman: One way to look at all the "banana republic" security precautions for Inauguration Day is to say, Better safe than sorry. But then again, given how much of Amerika's "potential as a country," as you put it, has been "pissed away in fraud, greed, hustling, and corruption," perhaps it is more accurate to say, Better sated than sorry!

5:22 PM  
Blogger Baron Von Strangeknight said...

MB and Wafers, I came across this 2018 article as a question was eating away at me, namely "How did the labor unions in the U.S. lose their power and leverage?" I found this to be enlightening: https://psmag.com/economics/what-caused-the-decline-of-unions-in-america

6:42 PM  
Blogger Cyrillia Juniper said...

Wafers and GSWH: A book recommendation

The Abundance of Less: Lessons in Simple Living from Rural Japan by Andy Couturier

Those of you who loved Neurotic Beauty, as I did, may enjoy this 2017 book about simple living in Japan. The key to the Japanese being able to live on so little money is that empty houses in rural Japan can be had for free, although not without difficulty. Imagine such a possibility in Rentier America. Most of these people grow all their own food and avoid machinery whenever possible. Many of them pursue artistic work. It's a remarkable book -- a conversation between a consumer and non-consumers -- that may cause you to reconsider your own consumption. The kicker is the joy exhibited by most, especially the exuberant Buddhist. Steeped in Japanese Mind. The photos also have a Japanese quality.

7:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for the ref. Sounds pretty gd.


7:55 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Tomorrow at noon, America will be returned to its place as a beacon of democracy and freedom and all that is great in the world!!!!

A song everyone here needs to listen to, instead of all this dooming and glooming going on around here...


Happy Biden Day!!! Free at last, thank god almighty, free at last!.

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Rollo Dice said...

Will they all get pardons for a nominal fee?


They'd better if they want to avoid being guests of the state.
Advise Wafers still living in the US to avoid being guests
should another Trumpoid creature enters the White House.


7:59 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

Wafer Cyrillia Juniper--thank you for the Japanese book reference; his book is good. Please find an addl link below.


8:16 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Really good article by SF author David Brin (The Postman) from back in 2014 about the phases of the American Civil War.


"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." - Abraham Lincoln in his 2nd inaugural address. And then they shot him in the head.

Cyrillia Juniper - that is indeed the solution. Becoming what MB calls a NMI or New Monastic Individual.

9:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Jeff: What's the status of Shaneka Torres these days? I was hoping Schmiden wd pick her for Sec'y of State.


12:36 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

American 'democracy':


6:16 AM  
Anonymous TJ Lawrence said...


The Worst President in History

... The World Historical Individual

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Of interest:


7:51 AM  
Blogger Xair said...



I think he gets much of it correct when analyzing the fall of the American empire. However, it is amazing how the American people, American values, and American stupidity are completely absolved of any responsibility in the American collapse. I would love to ask the author who the hell does he think lives here?

Moreover, in this particular article it is also striking that he doesn't seem to appreciate that the values inherent in the American dream are some of the very reasons that we have this existential threat to humanity known as climate change. In the end I may turn out that the exportation of these American values to the rest of the world turns out to be the most lasting and destructive aspect of the American empire.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Just my opinion, but I think the 1st order of business for the new Congress shd be to declare that Melania is a Vapid Turkey.


11:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: I'm also thinking that it might be a gd idea if she were impeached, along w/the Donald.


In American history, two traditions stand starkly at odds. This dynamic, or dichotomy (maybe it can even be called a dialectic), is explored by Joyce Appleby in "Capitalism and a New Social Order," and by Richard Bushman in "From Puritan to Yankee." I also discuss it at some length in WAF. The issue revolves around the definition of 'virtue'. The classic definition, going back to the Greeks, is putting the interests of the larger society (common weal) ahead of your own private interests. But in the 17thC, says Bushman (Appleby has it a century later, which is certainly too late), this slowly began to change--into its opposite. In other words, as the 17C wore on, 'virtue' came to mean success in an opportunistic environment, or putting your own private interests ahead of those of the community. This radical individualism is actually the core of the American Dream. The Founding Fathers illustrate the tension of this dynamic very well: most of them died wealthy--George Washington, for example, immensely so. In Trump, we have the logical culmination of this inversion: a politico whose every move, or so it wd seem, was designed to promote his own personal interests; who was willing to let huge #s of Americans die of covid so as to encourage his political base, or to further encourage them to storm the Capitol in an effort to overturn a legitimate election. Trumpi represents the apotheosis of the American Dream, if in a corrupt form. The problem is that the Dream itself, per Appleby and Bushman, is a corruption. "There is no such thing as society," declared Margaret Thatcher, as her admin ground the British poor into the dirt. Reagan loved her for it; he certainly agreed with her ideology. Going back a bit, FDR saved the latter form of virtue by 'flirting' with the classical definition (Social Security etc.); and with the exception of Jimmy Carter, who was serious abt the classical definition (wh/he came to via Christian theology), subsequent attempts at the latter--Clinton, Obama--fall into the category of cosmetic change. I suspect that the same will be true of Biden (he even once wanted to make cuts to Social Security), altho, however 'classical' he might personally be, there are severe limits to what he can do in terms of getting the population at large to adhere to such a 'socialist' shift of gears (which is why Biden easily defeated Schmernie). For most Americans don't think of any type of classical definition of virtue; they fully embrace the subsequent inversion of the definition. Or in plain terms, they are out for themselves, and they see this as admirable, a gd thing. This includes the poor, who, in John Steinbeck's famous remark, see themselves as "temporarily embarrassed millionaires," waiting for their ship to come in. In a word, I believe Biden will follow the pattern set by Clinton and Obama: talk change, but keep the nation on the well-worn track of every man for himself.


12:10 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Shaneka Torres update: Shaneka is currently active on Facebook, signaling that she no longer is incarcerated, and so presumably is now available for appointment to higher office as part of Biden Our Time. I could find no recent news reports of her status, but did unearth a previously unnoticed 2015 media release from PETA that urged her jailers to feed her vegan meals in prison:


12:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


So I guess that missing bacon on her cheeseburger, wh/led her to go postal a few yrs back, wd be less impt to her now. It's something of a scandal, that Biden didn't single her out for a high gov't post; but then he also ignored Lorenzo Riggins, not to mention Tulsi. (Tulsi in particular wd have channeled Herman Cain's 999 Plan, wh/cd have gotten America back on track.) You blew it, Joe.


12:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Whatever happened to the planned Inauguration Day insurrection on the part of the Proud Boys etc.? The Jan. 6 'insurrection' involved no weapons to speak of, meaning that it was theater, not a real coup. And after all the talk of a Jan. 20 insurrection, nothing happened. These people are bluster, 0 more. They swagger around w/their automatic weapons, but push comes to shove, they don't use them. A collection of flaccid turkeys.

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Jody Nosowitz said...


President Emmanuel Macron has ruled out issuing an official apology for abuses committed in Algeria, his office said Wednesday, as a major report called for a "truth commission" to shed light on France's colonial past

Fuck him, then.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Hello Dr. B and WAFERS:

Three things of note:

1) The Democratic Party and most of the media (including Canadian Left media) are doing their best to turn the events in Washington DC earlier this month into the new 9/11. Everyone wants to invest the event with outsized gravitas that it simply does not possess. The riot was abetted by security, the movement it was part of (challenging the election) was backed by American billionaires, and the rioters themselves were absurd and ridiculous. The parallels with the official 9/11 narrative are too obvious to remain blind to.

2) The mainstream media is doing its best to turn the inauguration of President Biden into the restoration of America as 'the beacon on the hill.' This is not surprising. Despite what America is, the world is still politically, economically, culturally, and militarily dependent on it - even addicted to it, like a TV show that never ends - and does not know how to proceed absent 'American leadership.'

3) One of Canada's leading Left intellectuals, Leo Panitch, died recently from COVID-19. He was a major analyst of the American Empire and of the capitalist state. Canadian historian Bryan Palmer has published a profoundly honest biography and assessment of Panitch that I want to share, that analyzing issues relevant to the Left in any country today: https://canadiandimension.com/articles/view/socialist-savant-leo-panitch-1945-2020

-Northern Johnny

1:33 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Dr B, I was wondering if you were familiar with Thaddeaus Russell's book "A Renegade History of The United States" and, if so, what your thoughts on it are.

His thesis is that culture originates on the fringes. Generally from people who, for one reason or another, feel estranged from the larger society, and don't have much to lose. The creativity and ideas that spring forth are picked up by "edgy people" who rub shoulders with the fringes of society, but are still part of society. The new music, aesthetics, styles etc are embraced by the "edgy" and catch the attention of a percentage of people in the mainstream. Capitalism moves in to co-opt these ideas and products, processes them into something digestible by the mainstream (often hiding the origins) and voila, what previously existed on the fringe has moved into the mainstream. Conservatives tend to be completely blind to this, but the Left understands it very well.

Typically it has been Jews, Blacks, drug users, criminals, hippies, misfits etc etc that are on the margins that create new culture. They take chances because they have nothing left to lose. They express their creativity in new ways because they don't fit in, and the existing cultural milieu doesn't speak to them. If the theory holds true, it will be low status white males that form a new outgroup and start to generate culture. Some people think Pepe the frog is the first sign of this.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

I just subjected myself to watching the inauguration and Jesus Christ what an empty spectacle it was.

Between Covid-19 hollowing out in person attendance, Pelosi’s and McConnell's tired platitudes about ‘our great democracy’, and finally Biden having to use his wife’s hand as an inconspicuous cane throughout because of his advancing dementia-- all of that symbolically came together beautifully.

I’m still in awe struck tears about this darn shining city on a hill!

2:24 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

As usual I'm getting some good book recs. off the blog, thanks wafers.

Xair, a waferish article from the nation, I think this essay is just more focused on the cycle of empires rather than trying to absolve anything. Still, I agree with you that American stupidity is not discussed enough, same with American...ugh.... "culture". But its not surprising. The nobility of the american voter is one of our last standing sacred cows. What politician or journalist in the mainstream literary world would get away with pointing out how relentlessly stupid this country has become? We allow people to point fingers across the political aisle, but to call into question the American political bloc as a whole is a no-go. People who do, like L. Mumford, Jimmy Carter, or our great Seer here, are relegated to the sidelines.

The Don is what all of history's greatest political thinkers feared from democracy. That the stupid masses would elect ignorant, self-centered, violent, idiotic buffoons to rule them. And pundits say the answer is to have more people vote, lol. When you have such a stupid electorate like the U.S. does, thats like saying the cure for cirrhosis is to drink more beer. The best we are going to get is a plain bologna sandwich like Biden. We're done for.

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Jo Jo said...

‘We All Got Played’: QAnon Followers Implode After Big Moment Never Comes


The Con Man in Chief conned his own!

2:47 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

At the dawning of a new mourning in American, this:

The following essay from grist.org put me in mind of a talk by someone mentioned often on this blog. I think you’ll find the article interesting in its own right, but feel free to skip right to the speech linked below.

“From doublespeak to alternative facts: How Trump made a mess of the language”

George Carlin speaking on 13 May 1999 at the National Press Club on bureaucratese and politicians.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, I don't post Unknowns.


I tell ya, the sheer # of utter buffoons in the US boggles the mind.


Always, always, capitalize Wafers. We are like none other. This also goes for Waferish. Meanwhile, to yr list add George Carlin, H.L. Mencken, and Gore Vidal. Also relegated to obscurity. Meanwhile, it don' get any blander than Schmiden.


Platitude city, for sure. Meanwhile, the city ain't shining, and the hill is a dunghill. How long can one babble 'democracy', or 'unity'? Poop on toast.


I never read the bk, but the thesis sounds rt to me. I have occasionally pointed out the role of Jews in Hollywood, and black people in jazz. As for downtrodden white males--not likely, imo, altho stranger things have happened.


Re: yr #2: culturally, for sure (if culture = degradation). As for the rest, American influence is either gone or waning. It won't amount to much by 2030. Meanwhile, check out this quote from Wim Wenders:

"What's so barbaric about...TV is not that it chops up everything and interrupts it w/ads, altho that's already bad enuf; far worse is that everything it shows also turns into advertising, into ads for the status quo. All those TV images come down to the same ugly message, a kind of vicious contempt. No images leave you in peace: they all want something from you."


How disgusting. Even De Gaulle refused to imprison Sartre for treason, after he encouraged soldiers to refuse to fight in Algeria ("One doesn't put Voltaire in jail").


I'm personally not going to be happy until the following ladies (combined IQ of 84) are running the country:

Shaneka Torres
Melania Trump
Tulsi Gabbard
Kim Kardashian


3:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: legacy of a douche baguette:


What else are American youth supposed to do, when the country is going down the drain?:


Add to above list: Meghan Markle, in a hat.


3:27 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

A few days ago I used the Canadian expression "apprehended insurrection" here. Nobody seemed to notice, but here's an echo:

"The British diplomat whose kidnapping in 1970 by radical Quebec separatists triggered the October Crisis has died. James Richard Cross was 99."


Wafers will love this statistic. When asked what they think is the biggest threat to the American Way of Life®, 54% of respondents said "Other Americans":


4:11 PM  
Anonymous Namaste said...

Hello Mr. Berman,

I used to believe that relationships mattered the most in life and having fun in life with your friends/relatives was one of the most important things in life. But I now see that all my friends/relatives are busy hustling (most of them in US). And they have changed so much that I don’t recognise them anymore. It’s hard to believe what the toxic US culture does to your psyche. Thank God I came back from there. Most of them are just doing routine tech jobs but believe someday they will make it big, if not maybe their kid will be the next Kamala Harris, smh. It’s very sad to lead a life bereft of fun, but most are now leading nightmarish capitalist lives.

Sadly I think capitalism is going to march on till it destroys life on Earth. Thanks to the USA for exporting consumer culture of buying crap and also via having immigrants from all over the World, who then preach back home how great the US capitalist model is.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Capitalism still has a lot of life left in it, of course, but nevertheless it is dying/corroding from w/in. Many in the US have given up on the American Dream; some observers have argued that it really is an immigrant dream, now. (Think of the Korean mom and pop salad bars in NY.) Whether it will finally collapse b4 it destroys life on Earth is, of course, the big question.

The notion that art/beauty and relationships were the most impt things in life goes back to the British philosopher G.E. Moore, who influenced a large chunk of the British intelligentsia starting in 1903 ("Principia Ethica"). Of course, these were people who, in many ways, rejected capitalism and the whole Victorian ethos (even tho John Maynard Keynes, who ultimately managed to save capitalism, was among them). They weren't hustlers, and weren't terribly similar to your friends and relatives. They included the Bloomsbury Group (Virginia Woolf et al.), the Cambridge Spies (Kim Philby et al.), and the Cambridge mathematicians and philosophers (Bertrand Russell et al.). Moore was something of a god in this world, but by the 1930s it became clear that beauty and friendship were insufficient to deal w/the outside world, and that politics and related issues cd not be ignored. Still, they influenced British society in a permanent way, and (I believe) for the better (the Spies excepted, one cd argue, altho they did help Russia defeat the Nazis).

Anyway, the pt is that these folks were very different from contemporary American residents (whether immigrants or not); their value system was not one of hustling or utilitarianism. In such a context, the emphasis on friendship made a lot of sense. And as Keynes famously stated, the purpose of an economy was to enable a great civilization. It was not the purpose of a civilization to generate a great economy. America, as you correctly pt out, has got it all upside down--and this is at the heart of its collapse.

Finally, Octavio Paz argued that there were no short cuts. I.e., you cdn't simply tell folks in the 3rd World that the American Dream was empty. Rather, they had to pursue it themselves, and eventually discover that having a big house and car and refrigerator was not going to fill up the hole in their souls. American propaganda says that it will, and this remains a powerful illusion for millions. I call it "the greatest story ever sold."


7:07 PM  
Anonymous Chuck Steak said...

I spoke to Trump while he was flying south to ask if Wafers could
have a donation automatically made each month for the Patriot Party.
He said any bank could make electronic transfers to his off-shore
bank accounts. Even when he is out of office, he's utterly fabulous
with his venture of hustling his redneck fans.


To the question of what movies did to the American mind, here's
a 90-min. documentary clearly explaining how America destroyed
the fabricators of this dream.


8:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yr kidding, rt?


8:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

And now, the Limp Boys:


What a collection of buffoons!

9:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This from Jan. 21 Wash Post:

"Joe Biden promised to undo much of his predecessor’s legacy and restore what he refers to as 'the soul of America' by proving that the past four years represented an aberration rather than an enduring rift in the national fabric."

An 'aberration': of course.


4:05 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Some interesting thoughts here on Biden-as-Brezhnev:


6:09 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

I guess I'm not the only one who read this book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/832299.High_and_Mighty

Which then resulted in this surprisingly good take-down of those American monstrosities, SUVS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orkblTFNt1Q&feature=youtu.be

The native breeding ground of which is of course Ponzi-burbia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IsMeKl-Sv0

Namaste: I wish I could find it; there used to be the most epic little essay by an Indian who came to the US to hustle, and it shows how he became alienated from friends and family back home, and in the end he ends up having a house with one more room than his parents had. No wife, no children, no family, no community, but one more room to sit, lonely, in.

6:33 AM  
Blogger vsoguy said...

Dr. Berman, Wafers,

Unbelievable about the Proud Boys. Aren't they a fickle bunch-o-bubbas.

Perhaps the funniest thing about all this is Qanon. These people are running around with their hair on fire.

From Wikipedia- "Qanon is a disproven and discredited far-right conspiracy theory alleging that a cabal of Satan-worshipping cannbalistic pedophiles is running a global child sex-trafficking ring"

But wait, what about the whole Jeffrey Epstein thing? He may not have been a satanist, or a cannibal, but isn't it apparent that there could be some truth to this? (I could find no mention of Jeffrey Epstein in the Wikipedia Qanon entry)

It seems to me that we're living in an age where conspiracy meets reality. The challenge is, where to draw the line. I for one am tired of being lumped in with the flat-earthers for having an open mind and entertaining the more reasonable possibilities (like that the elites truly are scumbags, and that they probably ARE involved in pedophilia, to some degree)

Wondering if Dr. B and/or Wafers have any thoughts on this.

6:50 AM  
Anonymous A. Bradley said...

Biden's inaugural committee accepted up to $1 million each from corporate donors including:

-Enterprise Holdings
-Area 1
-United Airlines
-Fidelity Financial
-Capital Group

...and more!


8:24 AM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes

Good discussion on relationships, books, crooks, and shining cities on ant hill dung heaps.

When Kamala H. burst on the scene three years ago, I was drawn back to Illinois, winter of 1969-70 and a good Wafer read.


The husband of my freshman English teacher gifted me the book. I've read it many times over the decades. The neutral tone cover with stone Buddha, 16th printing, A New Directions (innuendo!) Paperback NDP65 $1.25. Very cool.

Part Two Kamala "Siddhartha learned something new on every step of his path, for the world was transformed and he was enthralled."

Here in the Kali Yuga, in the great planetary decline. Rave On!

9:42 AM  
Anonymous Pierre B said...

I don’t know if he has been discussed here before, but I have been finding peace recently reading the poetry and works of Edward Carpenter. Reading the Art of Creation has really has sharpened the spirituality inside me that I did not know existed, and has allowed me to find a much more comfortable spot for myself in the world.

Also, Everybody Knows by by folk singer Leonard Cohen really encapsulates what I believe Dr. Berman has said before: that all of us in western society are suffering from existential stain. Some of us are consciously aware of it, but everyone feels it on some level.


10:46 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You can be sure they will want a return on their investment.


Very gd pt. And Americans of all IQs get excited by these platitudes.


10:50 AM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...


Capitalism is America's true religion. Right-wingers are quite open about their worship of capitalism, and although progressives say they oppose capitalism, their actions prove otherwise. Nowadays, many American corporations claim to be socialist, but these same corporations work their employees to death and engage in wage slavery.


As far as the people at the Washington Post are concerned, they are morons. More than 70 million Americans voted for Trump in 2016 and again in 2020. These people won't change their views; on the contrary, they will become more entrenched in their ideas as the Biden administration makes their lives worse by pushing neoliberalism. However, the people at the Washington Post are in love with neoliberalism and blind to its destructiveness, so they think Trump voters are angry for no reason.


10:57 AM  
Anonymous TT said...

Human History and the Hunger for Land | Simon Winchester’s new book, Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World, examines our dueling impulses for appropriation and exploitation, on the one hand, stewardship and restoration, on the other.



Started this last night, leaving a very nice New Yorker review here.

Tony Terry

11:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Golf: to the question, "How can Americans be so easily conned?", the answer is simple: They are Americans! I doubt 2% wd be able to say who Brezhnev was.


Thank you. Just to clarify: strain.


11:52 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

The Guardian on a point most media will skip over- the QAnon people, proud boys, etc., all such doomsday cults, leave people adrift when things don't match the conspiracy. And there are well-established extreme right wing groups- white nationalists, antisemitic groups- waiting to pick up some of these people and give them a new, more deadly, home-


A few weeks ago, in searching around for a used car to buy, I had a good fifteen minutes or so talking cars with someone selling his mini-van. Vehicles, kids and Christmas and presents, Covid-19, general banter. As things wrapped up, there was one of those pauses that conversations have (but freak out most Americans so they fill it with something).

Next thing I know, they guy is telling me how the US has bases on Mars, working with the space aliens to use 5G towers to track the implants in the vaccines we will all be required to take.....

Beneath the slightly frazzled banal exterior of most Americans are deep oceans of batsh** craziness like the world has never seen on this scale. And there are people watching for the craziest, drawing them in, giving them a home and an identity.

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Flabster said...

There was no plan for vaccine distribution:


I have to say not much of surprise to anyone who was paying attention to the last few months.

12:11 PM  
Anonymous down we go said...

Don't worry. As soon as Trump is removed, everything will change. Progs as deluded as the Proud Boys.


1:07 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


This is terrific news about Shaneka! Many thanks for doing the research.

MB, Wafers-

Married couple caught having sex inside a glass gondola on a Myrtle Beach ferris wheel:


If I could capture the sexual tension between these two, I could reverse global climate change.


2:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't access it. Meanwhile, Trumpi has been removed, prog heads continue to be buried in rumps, and Schmiden burps platitudes like 'unity' in a country that has been broken since 1861 (WAF ch. 4).

Dan D-

It seems clear that the well of craziness, hatred, violence, and sheer stupidity is, in America, bottomless. This cd be as much as half the country, in forms like QAnon. So I don't doubt that the hysteria will increase. But let me state, once and for all, that Jews indeed rule the world. Check out story #2 in "Heart of the Matter" for confirmation.


Thanks for the ref. This falls into the framework I discussed above, the defn of 'virtue'.


2:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Truly American faces!


3:09 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Yes, the prog media are beclowning themselves.

Krystal and Saagar: CNN, media puts North Korean TV to SHAME with fawning Schmiden coverage


3:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Great clip! Honestly, the buffoon level (BL) of America has never been higher. What delusion we are living thru!


4:18 PM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Hi Dr. B and WAFERS:

I see President Biden is mystifying the American COVID crisis as a 'tragedy,' yet there is nothing even remotely 'tragic' about it. Its nature and scale were preventable. Trump and other American leaders had only to deploy the political powers readily at their disposal. Indeed, one can argue Trump's conscious negligence leaves him directly culpable for the death, suffering and destruction that occurred under his watch (yet all anyone can talk about is whether he is culpable for the Washington riot or not). In a normal country conduct like this would lead not just to impeachment but to arrest and punishment: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/21/joe-biden-national-covid-strategy-pete-buttigieg

Also, Biden, like all Progs, is keen on 'equity.' I don't have time to work this out in writing at this point, but 'equity' is clearly a liberal concept/practice. Beyond this, it seems to me that the contemporary trinity - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - constitute the consolidation of what Nancy Fraser terms 'Progressive Neoliberalism' (though their institutionalization has been so authoritarian in the USA and Canada I am tempted to coin a new term: 'Authoritarian Progressive Neoliberalism.'

On Fraser, see: https://www.wiley.com/en-us/Capitalism%3A+A+Conversation+in+Critical+Theory-p-9780745671567

Northern Johnny

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Noura said...

Krystal Ball: Biden ABANDONS Immediate $2k Checks

Looks like they want to wait until March to get the checks out. By the way, the actual amount of the check is $1,400 because the Trump Administration already passed $600 checks. Those who were hoping that the government would finally surprise us and do the right thing might be disappointment. Now that the democrats hold both the house and senate thanks to the Georgia victory, what’s their excuse for such a stupid decision? The sheer stupidity we’re witnessing in America lately is mind boggling. We all know that this stimulus package is not nearly enough for many Americans and yet, they won’t do even this with the level of urgency needed.

Food Insecurity In The U.S. By The Numbers - September 27, 2020

Then there is the issue of food insecurity and food deserts. At this rate, it’s kind of scary to imagine what America will look like by 2030. It’s as if America is determined to commit suicide. How far can we remove ourselves from reality and still have a functional society? I think the American Dream should be renamed the American nightmare.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, it *is* a tragedy, perhaps esp. since it was preventable, and v. little was done to prevent it. That we had a president who was severely negligent, and in denial abt the virus, does constitute a tragedy, imo. (Turning the mask into a political issue was also a tragic mistake.)

What is also tragic is that the American people are not able to recognize the difference between cosmetic and substantive change. Give them the symbols--e.g. diversity, or Schmiden's inaugural platitudes--and they get all optimistic and excited; progs especially. When I was a kid, this was known as not knowing the diff between shit and Shinola (a brand of shoe polish). Will Schmiden stop the Tuesday mtgs w/the Pentagon, over which Obama presided when he was pres, and in which Obama personally picked out the targets to be drone-attacked, killing thousands of innocent civilians? The progs were/are excited abt Obama when he is nothing more than a war criminal.

It is also tragic that the Civil War never really ended, that the nation is split down the middle, and that there will be no resolution of this because almost all Americans wd not be able to understand WAF ch. 4. Instead of thinking deeply abt these things, both sides react w/an emotional, kneejerk reflex. This can only exacerbate the dilemma, which will continue to tear us apart until there is nothing left of us.

But in the spirit of declinism, and the notion that Bad Is Good (at this time in our history), there is a silver lining: the American empire will fade from the scene, will not be able to continue to crush other countries economically or militarily, will not be able to practice genocide on a daily basis, hopefully will not be able to continue to ravage the earth, and so on. I'm also hoping that the rest of the world will see thru its values, and recognize how abusive, alienating, and disgusting they are; but this may take time. (See story #2 of "Heart of the Matter," for an elaboration of this last pt.)

The penultimate tragedy is that the American people are simply not very bright, and there is no getting around this bedrock reality, a reality that has been w/us now for more than 400 yrs. And also are a people w/o compassion, w/o hearts, w/o any care for others; a people who are deeply unkind. That the US can call itself a Christian nation--what an absurdity--is more evidence of a fundamental lack of intelligence. I recall, prior to leaving the US in 2006, seeing a bumper sticker on a car in DC, where I was then living, that said YOU CAN'T FIX STUPID; and I thought: "Yes, that's it, in a nutshell."

And then the final tragedy: that there are a million blogs out there, and that only one is telling it like it is.


5:37 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

Namaste, about 15 years ago I was living in Florida and working at a hotel. My supervisor was from Haiti. He was living in NYC and then had moved down to the Miami area where I was at. What amazed me about him was how thoroughly the american-way-of-life had burrowed itself into his psyche, despite the fact that he was just a few years removed, literally, from stepping off a boat in NYC as an immigrant who barely spoke English.

I had bought a car around the same time I started the job and he asked why I would do that when they were going to come out with the revised model next year. He drove a BMW, wore expensive watches, talked about hustling and making money, the works. This was before I had starting getting into any serious social criticism literature, but I knew then that what I was seeing was wrong and bizarre in some way.

America has poisoned the well of world culture. Everybody wants to live like an American even tho its the most destructive, spiritually empty way of live ever invented. And now we have the Chinese coming up with their own version of it, which will probably takeover when America has collapsed, that in some ways looks even worse. The only thing that can stop it is some kind of global meltdown.

5:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is only the beginning of reneging on promises, and in substantive terms, getting very little done. Just wait and see. Meanwhile, there will be no wake-up moment, when the American people come to understand that no matter who is in office, they are going to get a large zucchini shoved up their asses.


6:05 PM  
Blogger dermot said...

Re Pete Christen and the IRA, first read this:

Can it happen in the US? Not a hope. There's no comparison between the two. America, a hyper-individualist society fractured down hundreds of different fault lines, Ireland, a hyper-tribal/somewhat-collectivist one fractured down two (with sub fractures within Repbulicanism, but basically two). Americans cannot conceive of the discipline and self-sacrifice required to starve yourself to death over 3 months, over the issue of not wearing prison clothing. And for ten men to do this, week after week.
For those so coddled that they think Jan 6 was 'terrorism', a joke. This is what terrorism looks like:

Will there be eruption in the US? Yes. But it won't have any purpose other than the desire to let rip in an incoherent eruption from the id. It'll be weaponised by professional operators in DC to make life even more miserable, and everything will get worse.

Sinn Fein means 'ourselves (alone)'. In ireland selfish bastards are called "me feiners" or myself alone/first. America has very few Sinn Feiners but a hell of a lot of Me Feiners. a reciple for chaos and SFA.

7:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


SFA? Wha?


This is the wrong blog 4u. We're not into conspiracy theories, and we ask that bloggers back up their opinions w/concrete, reliable evidence, such as links or refs. You didn't provide a shred of evidence for yr assertions, presumably because you don't have any. That being said, there are a lg # of blogs out there that will be more appreciative of yr cutting-edge insights. Gd luck.


8:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

A degraded buffoon:


8:24 PM  
Anonymous Glans Butterworth, III said...

2 arms on the same monster. Doesn't matter, Schmiden, Trumpo et al. it was the corporate/war/hustler party (Vidal):


This above is just an 'amuse bouche' of how the us empire treats it's employees ("citizens"). How could ANYONE consider being a us immigrant (not due to pogroms, etc.) unless they're
f--king brain dead?

8:38 PM  
Anonymous FerQ said...

One of the biggest frustrations I have is trying to get my family/friends to see how the American Dream is a tremendous fraud and how the best thing they can do is to get out of the US. I always point out on the trajectory of that country, use examples from history, and other info such as the high amount of drug abuse, suicide, mental illness, etc. and even with all of that they just don´t give any thought on getting out of there. It makes me very sad.

One aspect of human life that I have given alot of thought and attention to is identity. I
can´t understand how anyone could identify with the US when that place has no identity at all. Also, I find it weird how non-whites and ppl who are not rich could identify with the US and its mainstream culture knowing that it is a society that is oppressive and hostile towards any non-white and non-Anglo ppl and culture and anyone who is not affluent or in possession of an abundance of material items is seen as a failure.

Amazing how the desire for money/material items could be so great that there are ppl willing to waste their lives in that piece of shit country.

8:53 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman & Wafers,
Talk about the fox guarding the hen house. But read on for more enjoyment: Some of these enlisted members are Don Trump’s “very fine” people.
But of course the military will continue to be venerated by the stupid American public. They’ll get their military discounts, pre-boarding on airplanes, and other perks for “defending freedom”, as conservatives like to say. The “support the troops” decals will continue to be glued onto bumper stickers. And President Biden will close every speech with the usual “God bless our troops.”

9:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Says it all, doesn't it?


Ultimately, you can only save yrself. Most of the time, anyway. But the US does have an identity: it's called money. Which is why non-whites etc. identify w/America: they want money!


See my reply to Fer.


9:21 PM  
Anonymous Seneca’s Cliff said...

Today’s New York Times Jackass of the Week. Nicholas Kristoff returned to his hometown of Yamhill Oregon to write a book about the grim outcomes of the kids who rode on the school bus with him as a kid in his small rural town. He parachutes in to town to lament how these poor saps don’t have NYC penthouses like he does. Now he has turned this pretentious work in to a museum exhibit in Los Angeles for the glamorous to gawk at ( virtual for now). In a weird way this guy is my doppelgänger.We are the same age ,both grew up on sheep farms in the Willamette Valley, competed against each other in 4H at the state fair, went away to colleges in the Ivy League and married Asian girls from Cornell. But I came back home and became a Wafer and he joined the penultimate Jerk Factory that is the New York Times. A hustler to be sure.


9:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It turns out that the NYT has one of the highest concentrations of high-IQ idiots in the entire country. "Professional shitheads" might not be too strong an appellation.

I recall, a few yrs ago, David Brooks writing an op-ed in the NYT on how he was a major public figure, had a $4m apt. in Manhattan, and was depressed most of the time. Gee, whaddya think went wrong, douche bag? (These guys never read "The Death of Ivan Ilyich," by Tolstoy.)


10:20 PM  
Anonymous Eric Jensen said...

Back when I read Crossing the Rubicon by Michael Ruppert (2001), I was first made aware of our decline and people thought I was a conspiracy nut when I talked about it. (https://newsociety.com/books/c/crossing-the-rubicon) The author has since killed himself in despair.
People are starting to catch on. Umair Haque (eand.co) has begun a relentless series of articles about the decline. This one is in The Nation today: (https://www.thenation.com/article/society/american-empire-decline/) O.K., none of this is very mainstream but people no longer immediately dismiss the idea that America is in an unrecoverable tailspin. But they talk as if they just injested some benzodiazepines when I try to make it into a conversation.

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Another Schmoe said...

MB, I never read "The Death of Ivan Ilyich". I have read a decent cross section of stuff (Moby Dick!) over the years but wonder if you'd consider a post listing your must-reads from non fiction and more importantly, fiction. I sort of shudder at the possibly millions of pages I am behind in The Canon, and would like to narrow down the list.

One book I read recently and enjoyed was "The World of Yesterday" by Stefan Zweig. Just started Crime and Punishment, trying to get into Russian authors.

2:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd article in the Nation. It reads like she has been following me around w/a notepad. I don't believe most Americans think, on a conscious or intellectual level, that the nation is collapsing, but it may be the case that they recognize this unconsciously. On a gut level, in other words. This may account for the sense of malaise that pervades much of the population--along w/covid, massive unemployment, and economic contraction, to be sure. One wonders what's really going on when a Karen starts ranting and raving abt wearing a mask, or whatever, or why there is a massacre on a daily basis (on avg). I believe there was a study w/in the last year or so, revealing that most Americans felt that the country was 'off track'; I do wonder how many feel that it is permanently off track, and in a dead-end situation. That wd be a lot more scary, and it may be why Americans don't want to talk abt it. (Just thinking out loud here.)


ps: Ruppert's bk was publ. in 2004; he committed suicide 10 yrs later.

2:52 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


I had a good laugh at "Tightrope." Thank you for that illuminating backstory.

I like how he didn't even try to maintain to usual veil of naturalism in most realistic documentary work and instead clears posed them for the pictures. "A bit more pathetic please... Like that, perfect!"

Americans can't tell the difference between exploiting the poor and weak and helping them; this explains 99 percent of the prog movement. It's basically the Maury show--- let's gawk at all the train wrecks and see if we can spare some sympathy.

But by American standards, any media exposure is good exposure, even if you are just photographed like some pitiable dolt in a human zoo, so what's there to complain about?

6:14 AM  
Blogger vsoguy said...


With everything that the US is facing, the real story here is the fashion:


"Her outfit -- and her playful on-camera eyebrow dance -- went instantly viral, leaving many excited about what the budding artist and design student might bring to the White House over the next four years."


"..given that she was running for vice president, a role that hasn’t traditionally been scrutinized for its approach to fashion.."

And congrats to anyone who can watch more than 30 seconds of this:


8:30 AM  
Anonymous Bentley said...

The Future Encyclopedia of Luddism
A glimpse of an alternative economic and industrial history and future, in which the Luddites were successful in their battle against alienating technology.


9:10 AM  
Anonymous Zed said...

We Don’t Want Biden’: Eight Arrested In Portland After Anti-Fascist Demonstrators Vandalize Democratic Party HQ


9:39 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Looks gd!


Barf City. It certainly does say what the US is all abt. Same thing happened w/BLM: radical chic. And this is truly what Americans care abt, and who, when push comes to shove (or even b4), they really are.


Too large a project, I fear. I really don't have the time. But some Wafer compiled a biblio of refs from this blog, some yrs ago, and if they are rdg this shd be able to post a link 4u. Gd luck!


9:47 AM  
Blogger Baron Von Strangeknight said...

Wafers, interesting tidbit - according to Thomas Frank a meeting between Christopher Lasch and Jimmy Carter inspired his famous Malaise speech. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFpw-ioM3dk&t=29s

I'm trying to gear up for more prog non-sense and clashes between right/left groups on top of a whole lot cycling through delusional ideas in the next four years.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Frank is a bit late for the party; I discuss that connection in WAF (2011).


11:12 AM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...


The entire Democratic Party sans Sanders has decided to drag their heels indefinitely when it comes to COVID relief. It appears they will do almost nothing to help the American people through the COVID crisis even though they have control of Congress and the presidency. They have no excuse this time, but they (and their supporters) will surely blame the Republicans for their decision to betray the American people for the millionth time.

As bad as Trump was, he was at least willing to give Americans $2,600 monthly stimulus checks. The Democrats clearly want to limit the stimulus checks to $600 per month, thereby ensuring that millions upon millions of Americans become homeless. What wonderful people they are.


The Democrats are also planning to intensify the wars in the Middle East and expand our nuclear arsenal, allegedly to protect us from Russia, a country that has never attacked us. American progressivism is slavery and empire covered by a thin veneer of identity politics.

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Hans Castorp said...

Dr. Berman, Wafers & Baron,

I've noticed a few references to Christopher Lasch on the blog recently - here's a good overview of his life & work (also a includes a mention of his meeting with Carter and Lasch's influence on the "malaise" speech):


3:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I cd be wrong, but I have the impression that as far as stimulus relief goes, Trumpi's plan was 2K total, not $2600. Also, that the Dems are dragging their heels thru the usual bureaucratic incompetence, not intention; and that their goal is also to send out 2K (i.e., $1400 beyond the $600 already sent). Time will tell, I suppose.


4:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Here's the latest info I've been able to dig up:


4:35 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Economist Jack Rasmus analyzes the Schmiden American Rescue Plan (ARP) in detail and points out what little impact it will likely have, nowhere near enough to sustain an economic recovery. Even so, opponents are coalescing to roll back ARP. Jamie Dimon continues to rest comfortably in his captain’s chair. As Wafers would say, a situation of just Biden our time.


5:01 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

MB - Ouch. I have not read The Death Of Ivan Ilich either. I'll have the physical book in a few days (I don't believe in ebooks)this link has some e-resources if anyone tolerates that nonsense. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Death_of_Ivan_Ilyich

This article is from 2016 but is the best I've read on why ppl would vote for the Dump. https://www.cracked.com/blog/6-reasons-trumps-rise-that-no-one-talks-about/

Nadine - Your view is pretty much opposite mine. Dumpo wanted to give the proles nothing. That's what he's about. Only went with the $1200 on the condition he got to put his loathsome name on the checks. My bitch with the Dems is, you don't make friends with Nazis. You don't sit down and have a cup of coffee and cake and "agree to get along". You wage war. I think the last guy who understood this was this guy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huey_Long

5:22 PM  
Anonymous down we go said...

Is it possible for a banana republic to be cut in half, like a banana split?

The leader of GetReligion.org publishes a weekly column which is syndicated in local newspapers. This morning Terry Mattingly expounded on the notion of division in David's French's "Divided We Fall", which has been cited here once or twice. French writes that "The continued unity of the US cannot be guaranteed". For evidence, he cites foundational splits in politics, economics, morality, sociality, and religion. At one point, French notes that America needs a better class of politics but doubts that there is a public demand for it. "For the great mass of Americans, I don't see many signs of a reversal on that. I am only seeing signs of retrenchment." Duh. Americans don't want to be with other Americans who disagree with them. Nor do they want to share power with others. Each side wants nothing less than total control. And won't settle for less. Can you say "Doomed"?


5:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry to sound like a broken record, but if you want the origins of all this, check out WAF ch. 4. This is not a new civil war; rather, the old one never ended. It shd be clear by now that the 74 million Americans who voted for Trump are not going to chg their minds, or go away. If you get 74 million votes, you can't be an 'aberration'. The progs, in their gleeful celebration of Trumpi's defeat, are too stupid to understand this. The guy was hardly an 'accidental' president.


Thank you for yr post (and see my reply to down, above). Doing justice to it wd require several pages. That article from 2016 hits the nail on the head; I said much the same thing in Essay #15 of AWTY. When I say that the Civil War never ended, I'm not referring to slavery--wh/was abolished--but the core issue of that war, namely the clash of 2 irreconcilable cultures; a clash that is still w/us and which shows up in our voting patterns. It's a pity that it was Trump that carried the 'Confederate' banner, because he is a vulgar asshole. It's a pity that this 'rural' cause, that the case for it, can't seem to be made by someone who is halfway gracious, and not a demagogue or megalomaniac idiot. The problem is that that banner will be carried by Trumpism (rather than Trump himself), and that 74 million Americans who are disgusted by the values of the 'North' need to be genuinely reckoned with, not dismissed as 'deplorables'. Instead of a real dialogue along those lines, all we are going to have is an endless internal war that will not cease, and wh/will ultimately destroy the country. Schmiden's call for 'unity' is an embarrassment: *What* unity, for fuck's sake?

Which is why I am puzzled by yr reply to Nadine. Yes, the 'rural' faction has neo-Nazis among them, even stretching into police forces and the military. But the majority are the people described in that 2016 article, and these people want their values and way of life heard and respected. Altho it will never happen, dialogue is the answer, not war. I'm not talking about Potemkin/cosmetic dialogue ("coffee and cake"); I'm talking abt a dialogue that works thru the issues, rather than papers them over. The Civil War never ended; it's not going to stop now; and the dialogue I'm talking abt, sad to say, will never take place. So Lincoln was rt: A house divided against itself cannot stand, and we are seeing the outcome of ca. 160 yrs of misunderstanding and stupidity in our own time. Along w/covid, massive unemployment, and economic contraction, this age-old division has come to fruition in our time, and this decade will, I'm guessing, witness the disintegration of the American empire. You don't wanna bend? Then you'll break. It's not rocket science.

Finally, check out the link provided by Jack Lattemann, above, and compare the Biden stimulus to the New Deal. FDR said to the ruling class, in the context of a potentially revolutionary situation, "Either you lose a little or you lose it all. Choose!" And so the Fat Cats did the smart thing--chose to bend rather than break--and what ensued was still capitalism, but structurally modified to some extent. Schmiden's stimulus is lame; it's a sop; it embodies no structural modifications, and as lame as it is, the politicos are even then debating the notion that it is 'too much'. Jesus, what can ya say?

In the Twilight bk I cite 4 factors that brought the Roman Empire down, and factor #1 was the condition of an extreme gap between rich and poor. The Romans were not smart enuf to modify this situation, and neither are we. In a variety of ways that are going to be very significant, this decade is going to be our last.


7:15 PM  
Anonymous Ingram said...

President Biden is considering reversing Trump's drawdown in Iraq by adding thousands of troops to combat growing terror threats in the region as evidenced by Thursday's attack near the US embassy. https://web.archive.org/web/20210121210248/https://www.jpost.com/middle-east/baghdad-bombing-could-be-the-biden-administrations-first-challenge-656236


7:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


America is too stupid to realize that if you are going to terrorize people, eventually they are going to terrorize you back. If you are going to subjugate people, they will do whatever they can to undermine your hegemony. So the cycle continues. Walter Lippmann, many yrs ago: "Our imperialism is largely unconscious."


7:38 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,

@ MB's reply to down and out and alex - the saying, attributed to Pax Romana, but likely far more ancient, holds: "There is nothing new under the sun."

10:13 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home