February 07, 2021

418

Wafers-

Not much to say this time around...I'm still excited about the possibility of Jewish space lasers, their relation to deli meats. Other than that, I suggest we continue our observations of a nation in process of disintegration. I'm intrigued by how a congresswoman can urge the assassination of the Speaker of the House, and how members of her party can feel OK about standing by her. What could possibly be more proof of a nation without a future? Also, Trump may have lost the vote, and technically lost the election, but wow, his influence remains a powerful one. His upcoming trial in the Senate is a farce, and he may well be in a position to run again in 2024. America is indeed a house divided against itself; how long, then, can it stand?

-mb

197 Comments:

Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Talking about modern Latin America, the CIA recruited many former Nazi officials. Some of them, like Klaus Barbie, we know; many others, we'll never know.

Interesting documentary here: Nazis In The CIA

And talking about the Canaanites, they weren't popular with Bartolomé de las Casas either:

Las Casas countered that the scriptures did not in fact support war against all heathens, only against certain Canaanite tribes; that the Indians were not at all uncivilized nor lacking social order; that peaceful mission was the only true way of converting the natives; and finally that some weak Indians suffering at the hands of stronger ones was preferable to all Indians suffering at the hands of Spaniards.

As a direct result of the debates between the Dominicans and Franciscans and spurred on by Las Casas's treatise, Pope Paul III promulgated the Bull "Sublimis Deus," which stated that the Indians were rational beings and should be brought peacefully to the faith as such.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Greetings all. It’s that one special Sunday of the year here in the United States known as Super Bowl Sunday. Folks ( mainly men) will lose tons of money gambling on the game; folks ( mainly men will get drunk and beat their spouses in anger just because their team lost; the usual pathetic militarism will be on display; and the main headlines tomorrow will be about those silly commercials produced by Madison Avenue to keep the dumb American public entertained while it continues its implosion.
But today is also Karen Sunday where we appreciate our pleasant American ladies ( and a few Darrens too).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLAsgJGhVLU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFkb6dlCkMI&t=149s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EoUJIPhNVU&t=4s

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

Here is some criticism of the "Prosperity Gospel."

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/2/6/2014483/-How-the-Prosperity-Gospel-Gave-Us-trump

A quote from the article-

"There is a commandment against this lie, by the way, the lie that you can make anything okay by asserting God’s imprimatur on it: 'Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain'. That isn’t about using vulgar language. Taking someone’s name means assuming their authority, lending their approval."

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_ZjcfzXkfk

Some of Trump's supporters believe he is the second coming of Christ, or perhaps God Himself. We all know God wants to grab women by the pussy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzlxrPC_E_U

In this rant, Trump himself claims he's "the chosen one". It's not clear whether he's claiming to be God, Jesus, the Buddha or L. Ron Hubbard, but Trump's narcissism is off the scale. And to think Americans made this guy president! Yeah, America's future is bright.

You know what? Let's create The Church of Kim Kardashian and worship her ass seven days a week. It would be a vast improvement over the prosperity gospel currently in vogue. If we get enough Americans join this church, we could really help the nation. But since this is too high-minded for nearly all Americans, it's a moot point.

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Spade Cooley said...

Consent from consumerism, but what will happen if the US can no
longer borrow money to compensate for the economic inequalities
required by the plutocracy? Can a con man like Trump persuade
the downtrodden to admire wealth as the justification of his
being the autocrat with the answers? Had it not been for Japan's
uninvited visit to Pearl Harbor, the Depression would have continued
and the nation would have continued to be seriously divided. Is
not China to be tomorrow's Japan?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caCkMX6YdYU

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Noura said...

Wafers,

Interesting article about how the U.S. dollar is being sidelined by other countries:
https://nomadcapitalist.com/2014/07/10/france-wants-an-end-of-the-us-dollar/
Quoting from Article “How long can the dollar hang on based on military might and “faith”?
We don’t know. But reserve currency status cannot last forever. A good survival plan during these times of turmoil is:
1. Diversify your holdings. This doesn’t mean having accounts at Wells Fargo and Bank of America. This means setting up foreign bank accounts… Fines, sanctions, and wars may continue in the future, but these will only serve to sink the dollar even faster.”

How is the banking system in Mexico? Is bureaucracy in South America in general a challenge?
Any recommendations about countries where it’s safe to open a bank account as a non-resident?
Since I am still in the U.S. I am thinking Canada could be a good option to start because it’s not too far. Below are a few recommendations I found so far:
https://nomadcapitalist.com/2021/01/13/best-banks-for-digital-nomads/
https://nomadcapitalist.com/2019/04/27/best-offshore-banks/
https://nomadcapitalist.com/2019/09/12/remote-opening-offshore-bank-account-getting-harder/

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Rockwell N. Role said...

Imagine the cop bullets freely used if the crowd were black.
https://trendingviews.co/video/police-officer-crushed-in-door-during-wild-incident-at-capitol-14534.html

11:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Rock-

It wd have been a bloodbath. Meanwhile, consider this:

https://trendingviews.co/video/unhappy-customers-accused-of-throwing-rocks-at-chick-fil-a-staff-14720.html

Americans got class!

mb

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Dr. Berman,

Earlier in the day I was thinking about Michiko Kakutani's egregious and ignorant hit job on your Dark Ages book--that hasn't aged very well, has it? Hahaha. I can't post links on my computer for some reason, but I think everyone here should check it out. Just Google "Dark Ages America" and her name. It's so deliciously obtuse! Such a perfectly American reaction. Literally everything she taxes you with, is something you were spot-on about. Amd who but an ignorant American would evem think to use "Spenglerian" as a pejorative? Then calling a deeply researched, relentlessly scholarly work with thousands of footnotes a "screed", is just too rich. I wish that the literate and agreeable Michael Dirda had reviewed it instead. I bet he would have praised it, and you'd likely be swimming in royalties right now.

In the long run (To paraphrase Keynes) the legacy of everyone is that we're all dead. But like Walter Mitty, I think that you can definitely savor your victory while you are still here. You have been vindicated. If anything, the Trump years have shown that you were probably far too optimistic in "Dark Ages". Though Ms. Kakutani almost certainly still believes that 1000s of Americans in Braveheart attire, storming the Capitol and murdering people, or the US government putting children in concentration camps, or championing Congress members who call for the assassination of other members, etc. etc. are no signs of national decline. Who but a hysterical Cassandra (who "gives the Left a bad name") could think otherwise?

4:28 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Megan-

Yeah, that NYT review really showed how the MSM operates. Their motto ought to be, "All the News that Fits Our Views." Publish a hatchet job, and then refuse to let the author of the book respond. Neat! And irony of it all, Kakutani subsequently published a book called "The Assault on the Truth," when in fact she is the paradigm example of such behavior. Salman Rushdie once wrote that she shd not be allowed to review bks, and Norman Mailer claimed that the Times wd have fired her long ago, but that their hands were tied because she was Asian, and a woman. PC to the rescue, apparently.

What Kakutani never understood was something I had to struggle with with my undergraduate students (and sometimes, even grads) to see: that you don't like a text doesn't mean it's poorly done, and that you like it doesn't nec. mean it's well done. In other words, there are good bad reviews (you disagree, but you acknowledge the author's empirical evidence for his argument), and bad bad reviews (you disagree, but refuse to acknowledge the same). Kaku's review was clearly in the latter category; her intellect is at the level of a very misguided undergraduate. In any case, the NYT was too cowardly to let me reply, so the best I cd do was post the following on the blog (and yes, I think that in the fullness of time, i.e. since 2006, I indeed had the last laugh):

http://morrisberman.blogspot.com/2006_06_25_archive.html

7:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: What the following commentary makes clear is that unless you say what the MSM wants to hear, and in the way it wants to hear it, your own chances of getting heard are virtually nil. Being an honest critic in a world of Kakutanis is a frustrating kind of fate:

https://www.bookforum.com/print/2104/how-morris-berman-became-a-prophet-without-honor-13917

7:32 AM  
Anonymous JUS said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers,

More evidence of U.S decline thru the poisoning of our own nation's children. There are years of corporate poisoning of communities to create more profits without responsibility but it does seem to be happening more. Gerber's which is in the home town where I grew up in Michigan is no longer owned by the Gerber family but by Nestle corporation. The same corporation involved with the Flint water crisis.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1ICCGFg25Y

And thru corporate big pharma and billionaires pushing an agenda for profit that emphasizes gender as an ideology over sex differences being pushed in elementary, middle and high schools:
https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-lgbt-nonprofits-and-their-billionaire-patrons-are-reshaping-the-world/

Everything can be sold as an ideology as long as it is profitable.

JUS

12:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

I continue to have fun w/the trollfoons. You can't imagine how stupid these folks are. I tell them I'm baiting them; they take the bait. I tell them I'm not rdg their posts; the posts pour in even more. Honestly, when God passed out the brains, these yokels were hiding in the basement. You wanna gd look at America? Start a blog!

mb

1:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Nadine-

Cdn't run it (24-hr rule).

mb

2:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

It's scary, how intelligent Americans are:

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/02/08/us/gorilla-glue-girl-scli-intl/index.html

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/12/14/us/largest-afro-record-trnd/index.html

Cutting-edge intellects in action!

mb

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Marigold said...

Trollfoons sound rough though maybe they have a point?

What are their grievances? Where is your evidence beyond slander?
Where are links regarding refutations?

7:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mari-

Not much of a pt, and nothing to refute. No specific grievances at all. They just say 'yr a shmuck', that sorta thing. Not exactly cutting-edge critique, n'est-ce pas? What they are, is sad, jealous, and bitter. Would you, for example, waste yr life attacking some minor intellectual figure who isn't even on the radar screen? Both you and I have better things to do, I'm guessing (hope). However, beyond all that is the fact that this is not a blog abt me, or abt the blog itself--wh/I have said on numerous occasions. It's abt the decline of the American empire, wh/doesn't really interest them. Hence, I don't honor their 'contributions'. And now I need to remind you of the same thing, eh?

mb

8:29 PM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...

Dr. Berman,

I've noticed a rather frightening trend. As America goes down the tubes, many of its leading liberal voices have lost their ethical moorings. Who would have thought that Noam Chomsky would end up supporting Biden, or that Chris Hedges would end up regarding someone who wants all men in concentration camps a beacon of morality? Who would have thought James Howard Kunstler would end up a neoconservative Trump fanatic, or that Bret Weinstein would end up supporting the Proud Boys? It seems most of America's best and brightest are, ethically speaking, going down with the sinking ship.

Is this the norm in dying civilizations? Cause it scares the hell out of me. Almost no Americans are immune to the madness destroying the nation.

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Hugo said...

Odd thing none of these stories point out that *somebody* owns thirty-six billion dogecoin and w/ this one tweet Elon Musk made that "anonymous" person a billionaire, and that person could be....himself https://prospect.org/api/amp/power/elon-musk-pumped-dogecoin-into-a-50-percent-gain-who-cashed-in/

Billionaire con artist extraordinaire!!

9:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Nadine-

Check out essay in AWTY on Pitirim Sorokin. He says when a civilization dies, everything is upside down. Kitsch is art; villains are heroes; crap is creativity; etc. Anyway: again: pls understand that you need to provide links, refs, for yr assertions. If you can't, I won't be able to post you in the future. I do know most of this stuff, but some Wafers may not, and they reasonably expect proof. To take just one example: Did Hedges actually advertise/promote that woman as a 'beacon of morality', or did he just let her air her viewpt? (There's a big difference.) Do you have a video showing Weinstein supporting the Proud Boys? Etc. But I do agree that the country has gone mad, and that the madness is destroying it. Cancer wd be another gd metaphor.

mb

10:01 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Professor Berman I read "The Death Of Ivan Illych" and it's quite good. I bet it's glorious in the original Russian. I can see how it may have made a real splash back at the time of its publication, but to me it was kind of underwhelming because I've read tons of books that I think were influenced by it. Ivan realized that everyone around him, friends, family, have "layers" - they're nice to him because they want his position or his inheritance. Only his Russian peasant servant is truly nice to him because in the peasant's world, if someone is sick you take care of them with no deeper thought than that. No layers just humanity. Also Ivan's "schoolboy" son comes to Ivan and takes his hand and kisses it.

I'm sure Salinger would have read this book because it's in the canon. It made me think immediately of his "phonies" and his love for his younger sister who hadn't acquired "layers" yet and exhorts her to never grow up. S. himself apparently hung out with younger people like HS kids and was hurt and dismayed to find them full of those vicious "layers". To be human is to have "layers" we're evil calculating machines unless tempered by higher order logic. To be a human *being* is to work on seeing past the layers.

12:01 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

alex-

Yes, all true. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I think Tolstoy's major pt is that Ilyich lived a life of show, i.e., according to the rules of society and social convention. He was a judge, very respected, and always did the 'rt' thing. The problem was that it wasn't *his* life, not his real life; and in a semi-conscious way he began to realize that during the last 3 days of his life. In a word, he pissed his life away. Only the last 3 days of his life were real. (A similar pt is made by the German film "Cherry Blossoms," in wh/the central character discovers his true self just before he dies.)

Tolstoy was saying, This is how most people live; try not to do it yrself. You know Erik Erikson had a scheme of the 8 stages of life, each one involving a dilemma wh/the person had to solve. The 8th stage--where I am now, in fact--was characterized by Integrity vs. Despair. Integrity meant that you lived *your* life, not society's formula for what yr life shd be. Despair meant that you lived the formula, got all the 'appearances' rt, but were never happy because you denied yr instincts, yr intuition; yr bedrock personal reality. Of course, no one is 100% Integrity, or 100% Despair; we are all a mixture of the two. The question is the ratio, so to speak. I am hardly free of Despair, but I realize that for the most part, I chose to go my own way, and looking back, I feel pretty gd abt it. (BTW, Frank Sinatra's claim "I did it my way" is actually a cover for Despair, given the leg up he got from the Mafia.)

I'm also aware that I've generated enormous rage among Americans for writing and saying the things that I have. Not just from trollfoons (who are clearly covering up their Despair with hatred--ultimately a failed strategy), but from folks like Michiko Kakutani (see discussion above). This relates to my essay on "The Existential Strain," which you can find in AWTY. If you are really sincere abt yr pursuit of the truth, and not just posing, seeking public approval, you will trigger rage from the posers. What, for example, could be more obvious than the fact that the American expt is over, and that we are a dying empire? And that the degraded character and outright stupidity of the American people has a lot to do w/this? But folks in the MSM, folks like Kakutani and the crowd at the NYT and other media, are simply unable to say this, because it's too scary to contemplate (for them), and politically incorrect. As a result, the Times, WashPost, etc. are little more than comic bks today. I shd add that careerism and hustling lie at the heart of a lot of this phoniness.

One finds examples of this across the political spectrum, and in practically every workaday situation in America. The whole thing is a huge tapestry of lies. Tell the boss what you really think, and yr out on the street. Consider the current impeachment trial: everyone understands that you need 2/3 vote to convict, and since the odds of 17 Republicans deserting their party is abs. 0, why fucking bother? It's just theater, finally. Or Biden rejoining the Paris Accords. These Accords have no penalties included in them, no real teeth. So what difference does it make if the US joins them or not? China and other nations, including ourselves, will continue to pollute and fuck up the environment, Accords or no Accords. This is what the Germans call schein--spurious. Life in America has turned into a charade, at almost every level--a colossal fraud, really--and very few Americans will have Ilyich's experience of 3 days' sudden enlightenment, as they are winking out.

mb

12:49 AM  
Anonymous Keith Hayes said...

I want the trial. Everyone in congress needs to show who they are. Win or lose. Impeach or no peach.

https://sub.media/video/system-fail-6-eagle-stew/

This link has some footage you probably have not seen. But anything with a flash of a dancing Jesus gets my motor going.

1:32 AM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

Admit it! We all know how much we would miss him if he retreated
to his bunker in Florida and kept silent until he dies. Looks
like the comedy writers will find more material should a third
party (think Ross Perot and George Wallace) led by our boy Trump
become a reality.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZZIs7nT1DY

1:46 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Art-

A true declinist can only hope that Trumpi will make a comeback in 2024 and win. The stats that this video presents suggests that Schmiden might be the aberration, not Trumpalumpi. Of course, any declinist wd say that the country will implode regardless of who is in the W.H., and they wd be rt. It's just that with Trumpi, the collapse will happen much more quickly.

mb

2:08 AM  
Anonymous Karl said...


Dr B,

Am curious to know if there is any period of American history you believe may have been worthwhile, where life was more real and of value etc.

Thanks!

Karl

8:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Karl-

I partly talked abt this earlier, when I discussed Hannah Arendt, my parents, and the immigrant experience in general. In that context, millions found life here worthwhile, in fact a huge relief. But there is a difference in the "street appreciation" of life, and what is going on in the culture in general. So, for example, the Roaring 20s were fabulous for some, on the street level, but meanwhile it was a Gilded Age that saw a huge division between rich and poor. The same might be said of the Postwar era, an exciting one on the street level (for many), but in the shadow of a very unreal political game called the Cold War. You see the difficulty in answering your question.



There are also different levels of reality to be considered. With Reagan, we entered a new level of unreality and degraded life, and his influence extended into the Obama years (same bullshit philosophy, w/the president as a "performer"). But at some pt during these latter yrs, things began to go surreal, from a # of factors (in wh/technology played a major role), and then finally on to Trumpi, wh/is pure Orwell. It is now OK to ignore reality and evidence altogether, and spout an entirely "alternative" universe.

Anyway, thanks for the question. Best I can do on short notice.

mb

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Hans Castorp said...

Good interview with Noreena Hertz, author of "The Lonely Century"

http://blog.lareviewofbooks.org/interviews/will-rich-lonely-talking-noreena-hertz/

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Krista said...

https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/the-beijing-heidegger-reading-group/

Shanghaidegger!

12:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Joe-

Pls compress abt 30%, thank you.

mb

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

I just finished rewatching on YouTube "The WWI Conspiracy" by James Corbett of The Corbett Report.Near the end of Part III he quotes an American soldier.

I find the quote apropos to the situation we in Canada and much of the world are in as we watch the USA, and the world order it has led since WWII, dissolve.

"All over the world on November 11, 1918, people were celebrating, dancing in the streets, drinking champagne, hailing the Armistice that meant the end of the war. But at the front there was no celebration... After the long months of intense strain, of keying themselves up to the daily mortal danger, of thinking always in terms of war and the enemy, the abrupt release from it all was physical and psychological agony... All were bewildered by the sudden meaninglessness of their existence as soldiers... What was to come next? They did not know – and hardly cared. Their minds were numbed by the shock of peace. The past consumed their whole consciousness. The present did not exist-and the future was inconceivable.

–Colonel Thomas R. Gowenlock, 1st Division, US Army

The last paragraph captures a lot of what I am feeling these days.

Trumps defeat won't stop the dissolution.

The future seems inconceivable.

1:57 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman, In 2016 America elected the ultimate hustler in Don the Con Trump. And it obviously is all in the family to the tune of $640 million. So will Ivanka run in 2024? LOL.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/ivanka-trump-jared-kushner-made-115131198.html
p.s. To JUS: Just to let you and everyone else here know: Although I use a male name here, I happen to be MtF transgendered. I knew from the very early age of 5 what I actually was—a girl; but I kept it totally hidden for obvious reasons (being raised in a very conservative Roman Catholic family, having its authoritarian, eternal fire-and-brimstone dogma/ Catholic guilt inexorably drilled into me, and grew up when being dressed as women in public could get one arrested and thrown into jail here in the USA. This is in stark contrast to Thailand, Oceania, and other areas of the world where it actually has been celebrated for ages. And so I kept it totally hidden, tried unsuccessfully to make it go away, and lived a lie most of my life. That article was one of the most hateful transphobic screeds I have ever read. I resent it! Unless you, that writer who purposely misgendered pronouns, or any of these so called professional “psychiatrists” are one of us, you have absolutely NO idea what we’re actually all about. So please refrain from publishing hateful transphobic articles like that one by that particular narrow-minded conservative publication. We’re rare and happen to be the very last remaining minority that can be incessantly discriminated against, insulted, and vilified with total impunity just for being what we are here in the United States. Many of us also are routinely murdered just for being what we are. We’re not a “radical ideology,” “a “movement,” nor are we “disordered” or have “altered brains,” as Jennifer Bilek avers. And the only agenda we really have is to let the population know that we exist and just want to be left alone! And as far my respective personal journey and physical transition down the road goes: I’ll pay for it myself with my own money, thank you very much.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Try to hang on to yr lunch:

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/02/09/politics/obama-nike-sothebys-sneakers-trnd/index.html

mb

5:18 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

And we made fun of Russia over Boris Yeltsin. https://www.axios.com/trump-oval-office-meeting-sidney-powell-a8e1e466-2e42-42d0-9cf1-26eb267f8723.html . History is littered with the gravestones of empires. But I'm not sure that any empire before us has manged to be this embarrassing during its decline.

Anjin-san, indeed. One wonders what lies on the other side. Nothing good, probably. A world order led by China doesn't seem like it will be much better, and will most likely be worse in a lot of ways.

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

"This documentary explores the core beliefs of America's fundamentalist Christians"

https://youtu.be/fom53HFip9I

It's by Deutsche Welle, the German public broadcaster. It's 42 minutes, but I couldn't stop watching. One minor error in narration- I believe that the "One-Hundred-and-Eleven Percenters" militia referred to near the end are really the "Three Percenters."

Some highlights- the CEO and owner of the Creation Museum and Noah's Ark full-scale replica in Kentucky describing how his business grew exponentially after the ark opened; an armed pastor riding around with a policeman in a patrol car, and a paleontologist (with a PhD) who doesn't believe in evolution.

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Kal said...

Biden administration plans to continue to seek extradition of WikiLeaks' Assange: official

https://reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN2A92T4


NO COMMENTS FROM AOC SCHUMER OR PELOSI ON THIS?

They're all complicit. Biden continuing Obama's and Trump's crack down on press freedom.

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODxMSE6AMAY

Bret Weinstein has recently lurched *much* further to the right. In this clip, he claims we should pardon Trump and the insurrectionists. He has never said the Antifa rioters should be pardoned in any of his podcasts; on the contrary, in this next clip, he says the authorities should forcefully suppress the Antifa riots...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7LMSZ2xsRs&t=3882s

Furthermore, in this clip, he defends corporate capitalism and claims that America's future is the world's future, which implies America must be defended at all costs. This is American exceptionalism, the belief that America is the indispensable nation and deserves special treatment. He also calls his right-wing guest, Douglas Murray, who has made a career of vilifying Muslims, a "bleeding-heart liberal". What's next, Bret? Are you going to call for war against Iran in the name of humanitarianism?

7:33 PM  
Anonymous L Bertolli said...

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9242453/amp/Out-control-woke-leftism-cancel-culture-threat-FRANCE-French-politicians-say.html

Coming from the land of Foucault and Derrida

9:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bertolli-

What nerve! "Imported from the US" my ass. While it's true that the French finally dropped all that postmodern crap, with its claim that there is no such thing as truth, and moved on to other things; and that American academics picked it up like a life raft, and teach it in our universities; nevertheless, the theory originated in Paris, and then spread like the coronavirus to other countries. Now, they turn around and complain? Zut alors! Sure, when you say there is no truth and all texts are equivalent, eventually yr gonna wind up w/Trumpi and the belief in "alternative" realities. But deconstruction hardly originated w/Trumpaloni.

Nadine-

How sad. None of this was inevitable. I thought Bret was great when he stood up against black 'fascism' at Evergreen. Now he seems to have sown his own brand of rt-wing politics. Not clear why this happened.

Kal-

How awful. Well, Schmiden did say that if elected pres, everything wd remain the same, and I guess this is as gd an example as any. I guess the Dems regard Assange like a 3rd rail.

Birn-

I got 'video unavailable' when I tried to view it.

Wudu-

For healthier alternatives to China, see 2nd story in "The Heart of the Matter."

mb

9:38 PM  
Blogger ccg said...

Paul Krugman in today's Times is claiming that Biden and Democrats are go big on the stimulus bill, that they're gonna "seize the day!":

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/08/opinion/democrats-covid-stimulus.html#commentsContainer

His thesis is laughable. And he says this just after Biden caved on including a major campaign promise in the bill, that being the $15 minimum wage. I used to like Krugman years ago, but it's been clear for a long time now that he's nothing more than a tool for the establishment, a total propagandist. As MB recently said, Krugman is a "colossal douche bag." I wonder how he'll spin it when in the end Biden massively fails on the stimulus bill.

9:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ccg-

That entire collection of clowns at the NYT needs to be vigorously slapped.

mb

11:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: When a civilization dies, most of what it engages in is beating off (cf. my AWTY essay on Pitirim Sorokin). There simply are not enuf Republican votes for a conviction of Trump, so the entire impeachment process now going on is a paradigm exercise in beating off. Or theater, if you will. And yet, given what the citizenry consists of, everyone is excited abt this farce. I think it's time to change the motto on legal tender from IN GOD WE TRUST to WE BEAT OFF.

mb

11:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Hate mail-

Not rdg it, like I said. Cd u.b. more stupid? Will you ever get a life of your own? Look at your eyes in the mirror. Below the anger is profound sadness, right? This is the fate of an empty person.

mb

11:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Hatred is hiding. Think abt it (if you can).

1:22 AM  
Anonymous Rockwell N. Role said...

Reverse US tourism video. You should create a small video
library on this topic.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyNroXuXVDA

1:59 AM  
Anonymous Karl said...


Dr B,

Thanks for your response to my question yesterday about the better periods in American history.

One reason I asked was because I’ve seen quite a few “traditionalists” online wax lyrical about 1950s America. The more hardcore ones seem to have a thing about pre-civil war America. I gather you yourself have written - with all due caveats - about the better elements of the ante-bellum South.

I also saw a thread yesterday on Twitter with seemingly intelligent people having a discussion on how much more wholesome and friendly small town America is compared to the big cities.

I ask because I’m Irish and there are similar debates going on about how plastic and fake contemporary Ireland is becoming that have certain parallels with those discussions.

Thanks again!

Karl

2:42 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Joe McIInen - Brava!! Brava e multo brava!! I don't know how I knew at age 5 I was a boy but I knew. Went around telling everyone in the neighborhood too and went around shirtless as much as I could up to age 10. I've not been brave enough to call out nonsense on here and you have, thank you. This is why Hispanosphere countries are out for me. This is a large part of why I'm going back to Hawaii to retire. This is why I am Shin Buddhist.

Birney Zouave - Deutsche Welle has been turning out some great docu's lately. German waves, shooby-dooby...

A new hobby of mine: Put Morris Berman and something, anything, like for example "Immigrant Experience" into google. You might not find what you thought you'd find, but what you find will give you thought.

3:58 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

alex-

I did what you suggested, and 0 unusual came up. Not sure what yr referring to.

mb

6:20 AM  
Anonymous Torian said...

Neera Tanden, Biden’s pick for budget chief, runs a think tank backed by corporate and foreign interests

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/12/05/neera-tanden-biden-omb-cap/

And they're about to give her the go ahead anyway!

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Noura said...

America Faded Vol. II: The Precipitous Decline of the US Empire with Dmitry Orlov
https://soundcloud.com/lastborninthewilderness/dmitry-orlov
19:05 to 20:50 – The size of the US economy
53:00 to 1:02:22 - Mental illness, Drug issues in America & Addiction to politics
1:02:23 to 1:05:48 – How the US will poof away – Spontaneous Existence Failure
“How things will evolve in the U.S. will be different from any other scheme because the U.S. is based on a living arrangement based on …and the private automobile and highways and this sort of commoditized, privatized, corporatized realm, which utilizes economies of scale very aggressively to the point where it’s actually like a parasite that destroys the host. Like Walmart would destroy all retail within a large area and then deplete the savings of the people in the area because everything is imported and none of that is recycled as wages or very little of it is. And then the Walmart closes that location because it can no longer make money there. Then there is nothing. That’s the model of development the that U.S. is pursuing. Basically, hollowing itself out. Virtualizing the wealth, concentrating that wealth in terms of paper wealth in very few hands and then poof, it disappears, the stock market crashes. It all goes away leaving nothing… What will happen to the U.S. can be described as spontaneous existence failure. It will just go poof. Right now, we have large parts of the countries that go poof …That will just be the trend, there will be less and less of it left. And the people will disappear too because how many years can you just live on the street shooting up drugs before you too go away. There will be a depopulation happening along the way. You can’t really sustain a country where half the children are born into poverty for very long.”

10:43 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Noura-

Poof! That's certainly one possibility.

Torian-

Gee, what a surprise!

mb

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a little late in replying, but thank you for the generous response, Dr. Berman. You had mentioned trying to emigrate, and indeed that is something I dream of doing. I actually have been studying Spanish for the past two years, and during the pandemic have had more free time to really invest in it. I am currently around a B2 level, and I will be taking the C1 exam from the Cervantes Institute in the summer or fall. With this certification I would be able to enroll in a Spanish-language university.

Also, Neurotic Beauty and Genio just arrived. I look forward to diving in.

As far as an approach to life outside of the American ideal, Cavafy seems to know the score. I find a lot of inspiration in his poetry.

"And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not defrauded you.
With the great wisdom you have gained, with so much experience,
you must surely have understood by then what Ithacas mean."

1:59 PM  
Anonymous down we go said...

In Judeo-Christian terminology, Trump is an idol - someone who desires to replace God in the affections and eyes of the people. For Jews and Christians idolatry is numero uno - the BIG ONE - thou shalt have no other Gods before me. How, then, you ask could most of his followers be white evangelical Christians if worshipping him is a Primo Sin? Glad you asked. Because, down deep, they care much more for secular power and glory and racial purity than holiness. The Christian Right emerged after Brown v. Board of Education so their precious white babies wouldn't have to rub elbows with those dirty negroes. See the definitive book "The Power Worshippers". https://katherinestewart.me/books/the-power-worshippers/

The MSM is neither conservative nor liberal but corporatist. In the infamous words of the former CBS CEO about Trump - "IT (Trumpism) may not be good for the nation but it's damn good (financially) for CBS" - https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/leslie-moonves-donald-trump-may-871464

The Prosperity Gospel has been around for a long time. Franklin Graham, Joel Osteen and my personal favorite, Peter Popoff, are just some the latest manifestations. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Popoff. God doesn't want YOU (always the emphasis on the individual) to be poor. I can help you with that. Send me $100 as "seed money" and God with make you rich.

2:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

I don't normally post Anons, but apparently at an earlier pt you checked in w/a real handle. I have no idea who you are, but wd appreciate yr identifying yrself, and also not using Anon or Unknown in the future. Thanks. ps: Enjoy the bks. I adore Cavafy. I quote him a lot in "The Heart of the Matter."

mb

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...

Dr. Berman,

Since I've had the displeasure of watching many of Weinstein's podcasts, I can tell you why he's sown his own brand of right-wing politics. He and his wife were badly traumatized by the Evergreen fiasco, lost their jobs, and have been unable to find employment as professors ever since. After losing their jobs, many right-wingers reached out to them. They started a Patreon which generated steady income via donations from right-wingers.

https://www.patreon.com/bretweinstein

They then started their podcast, which generated even more income via donations from right-wingers.

https://www.youtube.com/c/BretWeinsteinDarkHorse/videos

7:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Nadine-

He sued Evergreen and they settled out of court for half a million $, so he can't be doing that bad. And given the unpopularity of p.c. during the Trump years, I'm surprised he cdn't find another job. But I guess these circumstances pushed him to the right. It seems like a very unhappy place to wind up in, and the waste of a gd brain.

mb

9:16 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

Excellent article from Harper’s: https://harpers.org/archive/2020/09/nonconforming/

“It should be obvious that identity determinism is by no means a prerogative of the left, for two main reasons. First, a truly leftist position cannot subordinate the goal of collective and individual emancipation to the unconditional affirmation of a set commonality. The identities on offer often resemble varieties of what Marxists used to call “alienation,” in which individuals internalize premade representations of themselves that limit their freedom. Second, many pleas for the protection and promotion of harmed identities now emanate from the right. The two camps may be opposed on policy, but, more and more, they agree that identities should anchor politics. In her book Uncivil Agreement, the political scientist Lilliana Mason argues that Democrat and Republican are no longer ideological positions but rather identities. This is hardly democratic progress. Coupled with ubiquitous surveillance, heightened censorship, digital conformism, and educational failure, the monomania of political identity leaves the people powerless by making cooperation impossible. In such a regime, the shredding of the social fabric is inevitable.”

10:35 PM  
Anonymous Spade Cooley said...

Well, America still makes great potato chips.
https://listverse.com/2019/11/23/uncomfortable-usa-facts/

10:40 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Nadine,

I totally agree with you about Brett Weinstein. Someone I know listens to his podcasts, but I find him quite obtuse and tiresome. On the other hand, I thought both of Douglass Murray's books, "The Madness of Crowds" (a nice distillation of the madness of PC and Identity Politics.), and "The Strange Death of Europe" (Which asks the question of whether Europe can even survive with its current levels of immigration) were rather good and interesting. I can't speak to his personal politics the does seem at least sympathetic to the New Right. Whatever he believes himself, though, I think his stuff is well worth reading. I personally enjoy reading authors whom I may disagree with on this or that, but who make an interesting case. And Murray does indeed show the madness of Identity Politics. Weinstein, though, I just find smug and wearying.

10:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kev-

Honestly, I'm not sure we *have* a social fabric any more. Nearly 20 yrs ago, I knew a guy who got a lg advance from a major publisher to explore the existence of community in America. (This in the wake of Robt Putnam's "Bowling Alone".) He traveled around the country for 2 yrs, trying to do research, and in the end concluded that there *was* no community to speak of. He returned the advance to the publisher and never (to my knowledge) wrote the bk.

mb

11:17 PM  
Blogger futuroexpat said...

I am pissed. I did not get a space laser. I've spoken with others. None of us got space lasers and we are very upset about it; feeling left out. It must be an elitist thing..... (?) Unfair! We demand justice! We would strike, but we aren't sure who to strike against. It’s February. Jewish space lasers has already happened. I’m scared. What will the rest of 2021 bring us?

"I have so many questions. Is this the end, or is it the beginning? Is this the launching pad for a whole new world of intergalactic Jewish conspiracy theories? What’s next? What could top Jewish space lasers? Anything? On the other hand, maybe post-Trump there’s not that much to be funny about, so maybe the Jewish comics needed this. Who told them about the Jewish space laser? Who told them?"

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/jewish-space-laser/id158004641?i=1000507756349

11:22 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

Here we have a list of videos wherein the incurably stupid
Americans are depicted by the stupid Americans who may have
a chance of arriving at the true reasons for the divided
country. It seems that telling the truth is simply not
patriotic.
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=america+divided+front+line

12:55 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

futuro-

If I cd afford it, I wd outfit every American with a Jewish Space Laser. It's the only way we can defend ourselves.

mb

1:14 AM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Alex, it does sound like you're saying the "Hispanosphere" is a bigoted, trans-phobic backwater:
Global Attitudes Toward Transgender People
A strong majority of people around the world would like their country to do more to support and protect transgender people (60%), with those in Spain (70%) and Argentina (67%) most likely to agree.
LGBT rights in Spain
Spain has been recognised as one of the most culturally liberal and LGBT-friendly countries in the world and LGBT culture has had a significant role in Spanish literature, music, cinema and other forms of entertainment as well as social issues and politics.

Joe, I like to think I'm not prejudiced (I admire Chelsea Manning and loved "Transamerica", if that's any evidence) but I can't agree with giving 12 year olds heavy hormonal drugs. I may be wrong but, seriously, I don't even discuss the subject out of fear of ending up being ostracised as a trans-phobic monster, and I don't think that's good.

5:00 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@Dr. Berman,

I think the collapse of the American social fabric explains many of our problems today. It is also why I think that this country is probably doomed. I just can't see contemporary Americans coming together to fix anything. I post so many Michael Lind articles here because he is one of the very few writers who also seems to get this. Lind sees the United States and possibly other Western nations becoming banana republics defined by clashes between technocratic elites and demagogic populists, or as Lind put it, insider nation against outsider nation.

https://www.thesmartset.com/insider-nation-v-outsider-nation

5:00 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

I wonder what the chances are of this OpEd being reprinted in the NYT?

https://indica.medium.com/american-evil-is-a-bipartisan-affair-4d6be41a6c95

(The author was born in Canada, moved to Sri Lanka (his parents' native land) age 3-5, lived in Columbus, OH age 5-18, and graduated from McGill with a degree in Cognitive Science. He then moved back to Sri Lanka, where he lives today.)

7:46 AM  
Anonymous Flavill said...

https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2021/02/viewing-racism-as-americas-caste-system/

NATIONAL & WORLD AFFAIRS
An unflinching look at racism as America’s caste system

Interesting, never thought about that before. Although America's castes seem to transcend race in many ways. Wafer thoughts?

9:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Birn-

Abs. terrific article, thanks.

mb

10:29 AM  
Blogger taylor1956 said...

Robert Kaplan, back in the late 90s, wrote a brilliant and prescient book titled "An Empire Wilderness." Kaplan had traveled extensively in FR Yugoslavia during their civil war - he wrote "Balkan Ghosts," a best seller about his observations there - and he said that during his travels throughout the U.S that made up "Empire Wilderness," he saw a Balkanization that rivaled anything he witnessed in Yuogoslavia. Of course in the 90s with the euphoria of the dot.com bubble and illusions of having permanently tamed the market to produce endless and always upward prosperity, no one paid attention. Now it reads like an eerie prognostication of our current situation.

11:31 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

I'm in my mid 20s, so I was born after Ronald Regan.

For the first time, I was looking through video clips of him speaking and telling jokes (to see what the fuss was about), and how the audience would cackle with near ecstasy at his ideological decadence.

Then I thought about Nader losing in 2000. It put things more in perspective for me about how the point about a combo of manufacturing consent and consensual sex, for explaining where we are is truer.

That loose laughter from the public in those old Regan videos… what was it as someone on this blog put it a while ago ‘Americans are like the Eloi, but also naively vicious’.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RtXmnUe9s0

12:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Brian-

Welcome to the blog. We esp. welcome the 'youth'. Reagan was a douche bag, but a sick and dangerous one.

mb

12:30 PM  
Blogger Cullen said...

Dr. Berman-my name is Cullen- I posted as an anon yesterday by accident. Mentioned Cavafy. My apologies. I introduced myself a few weeks ago. I'm an actor in Los Angeles, discovered your work at the beginning of the pandemic. Cheers.

2:04 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Hola Dr. Berman & Wafers. Just another normal daily mass shooting to report in the United States. The newest venue this time was a health clinic.
https://apnews.com/article/shootings-minnesota-minneapolis-2db66110b0a2c73afe592a635db6f472

To Malleus: You said: “I can't agree with giving 12 year olds heavy hormonal drugs. I may be wrong but, seriously, I don't even discuss the subject out of fear of ending up being ostracised as a trans-phobic monster.“ No. You certainly wouldn’t be. In fact, the opposite would be true. Any rare parents who would allow it would be totally vilified. I respect but disagree with your opinion about 12 year-olds being given hormones, etc. I strongly feel transgendered children should be allowed to change sex pre-puberty. Most of us ( I was 5) know at a very early age. Many if not all are denied being and living their true selves because of concerned but totally uneducated parents. It isn’t a case of “try it, you’ll like it,” or “monkey see, monkey do.” You either are trans or you aren’t. If you aren’t trans, you don’t become trans. Likewise, if you are trans that is what you always shall be.
Again, unless you ( not you personally but the general public) are one of us, you have absolutely no idea what we’re about. The public still is highly uneducated about whom and what we really are. They probably here always will be. That’s because we’re unique. Many of us thus transition later on in life. Sex change regret also is a myth that is mainly perpetrated by the narrow-minded Christian Right. The only regret post-op trans folk have is that they “didn’t do it sooner.” ( Do those quoted words sound like an ex-pat American we all know who now lives in Mexico? ;) )

3:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Joe-

Check out Ulrich's face, and tell me this isn't the face of America.

Cullen-

Feel free to re-send yr 'Anon' post, but under yr real name. I didn't read it, and wd very much like to, esp. given my affinity w/Cavafy. Thank you.

mb

4:55 PM  
Anonymous down we go said...

From the latest blog post of the indominable Ms. Caitlin: "Just as a body will fight to eject any pathogen which threatens its survival, an empire will fight to eject anyone who threatens its survival. Whenever you see a person or government targeted by the full might of the empire [including the NYT], that's what you're looking at."

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/FMfcgxwLsKGXLzZZChkWCctMbQLsCGrT

Includes some incisive definitions as well.

5:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Look at this zhlob's face!

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/02/11/us/man-charged-with-threatening-to-kill-president/index.html

mb

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Collins said...

Once upon a time, America used to entertain with its cartoon democracy. Today, Trump's ridiculous impeachment would not rate one star. The real news is that, spin aside, Biden's regime differs from Trump's only in that it may be more dangerous.

John Pilger

7:11 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Dr B, PJ Media ran an article on the decline of IQ and they referenced your work.

https://pjmedia.com/columns/david-solway-2/2021/02/10/the-decline-of-intelligence-in-the-west-n1424731

7:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Christian-

Thanks for the heads up. I also wonder if his riff on Sorokin came from AWTY.

Collins-

Is this a quote from John Pilger? If so, we cd use " " and a link/reference.

mb

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Andalusian Musician said...

Noam Chomsky once said that the republican party is the greatest threat to life on Earth. I disagree with him. Judging by the way Democratic Party, along with Libtards and Progs has been behaving over the past four years, they are as much of a threat if not more than republicans. It is time to realize that nothing will be fixed, no matter who is in control. Emotionally, people cannot accept the fact that there is no difference between repukicans and dumbocrats. Also elections of 2016, and 2020 are illegitimate, because they were stolen. It should have been Bernie riding the ticket if US was legitimate democracy. This is the core of the problem. Inability to admit your flaws.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Namaste said...

Mr. Berman,

Here you go , a typical immigrant. As I said even if their kids get depressed or shot they wont leave US and consider it to be greatest. Anything for hustling and dollars !

https://abcnews.go.com/US/parent-responds-racist-retort-school-meeting-stay-mexico/story?id=68755093

"I remember when I went to his bedroom, to say good night, and he was crying because of the abuse that he was enduring in this school system," Iraola, who is Latino, began at Liberty School.”

"He asked me a question. ... 'Why didn't I stay in Mexico?'" Iraola said. "Because this is the greatest country in the world."


9:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Andalus-

For confirmation, check out the link provided by Birney (above).

mb

10:08 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Joe,

Thanks for the thoughtful response to Malleus. I too have nothing but goodwill towards transgender people (When my colleague at work just started wearing a wig to work, my only thought was that he actually makes a fairly hot female!) But I have the same reservations about puberty-stopping drugs. Camille Paglia, in a video I've posted here, says that she was such a tomboy in her teens (she's a lesbian), that she thinks it highly likely she would have made tragically irrevocable choices, had they been available to her. We do live in such a highly "liquid" society (Zygmunt Bauman), that it must be more confusing than ever to be a teenager.

In "The Madness of Crowds", Murray also gives several worrying examples. One is an elementary school where 5 boys all claim seriously to be female. If this was merely a biological, as opposed to a social phenomenon, you wouldn't expect to see this. So I'm not sure what to think. As Paglia often mentions, when societies start to collapse, these biological identities do seem to become more fluid--so you start see more figures like Elagabulus, the transgender Roman emperor, right about the time the empire started cracking up. (I'm not sure if this has been studied by scholars, but it would be interesting to see if there really is a correlation.)

4:59 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Megan-

Link?

mb

5:12 AM  
Anonymous Noura said...

Denial is so rampant in the U.S. these days that I decided to look into articles discussing this subject. Here are a few articles I found so far: “Denial: When it helps, when it hurts: Denial is a coping mechanism that gives you time to adjust to distressing situations — but staying in denial can interfere with treatment or your ability to tackle challenges.” https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/denial/art-20047926
Defense Mechanisms https://www.simplypsychology.org/defense-mechanisms.html
The most common type of denial I usually face:
- Pretending there is no issue
- Refusing to discuss the issue because the situation will get better
- Saying that they understand the issue and then carrying on with plans as if they had not heard what I said. This one is the most unsettling to me because they usually expect me to go along with those plans.
This blog is like an island of sanity because here, we’re willing to look at the facts and discuss them. It’s impossible to survive if we don’t face reality unless there is a structure or someone who enables us to escape reality. The structures that are enabling America to escape reality are crumbling. If we live in a finite world as if there were infinite resources, we’re going to run into problems. The video below tries to explain why the U.S. doesn’t have a sophisticated public transportation system compared to its peers. The one thing it doesn’t say is that the American culture of extreme individualism does not favor the kind of cooperative mindset that’s required to survive in a finite universe. The most pessimistic comments in these types of articles or videos is that it will take decades for the issue to be resolved. No one ever says, it might be over.
Why The US Has No High-Speed Rail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qaf6baEu0_w

11:38 AM  
Anonymous John S said...

Here is my quick analysis of Trump and the so-called “republican leadership” and Trumpism in general. Trump is the dominant abusive father and the republican party, and the leaders is his submissive appeasing abused wife. The children, the republican base, all spoiled rotten nasty children side with the father because they want to be like their father resents that they can’t be like their father for example his wealth and fame and despise their mother naturally because she is submissive and spineless and incapable of standing up for herself about anything and incapable of having a life apart from the father, so is stuck with it until the end no matter how it turns out. Or if you don’t like the analogy, think it is sexist, switch it around, Trump is the abusive mother and the republican leaders collectively are the whiny submissive father, it makes no difference, since both situations happen to exist in the real world. In the current Trump trial, the republican leaders could permanently “divorce” themselves from Trump, i.e., convict him and bar him from running again, but of course they won’t, if they did, they would have to look themselves in the mirror and realize there is nothing there anyway apart from Trump, and they’d be out in the streets.

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...

Dr. Berman and Wafers,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mass_shootings_in_the_United_States_in_2021#List

In 2021, America's averaging more than 1 mass shooting per day. And yet, despite pointing out that America is the most violent nation ever to exist, people like Hedges and Chomsky think they can save America. This is cognitive dissonance at its finest. If people couldn't save Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, how can they save America? It's a question they refuse to ask, because they can't handle the answer.

I often wonder whether Hedges and Chomsky are sincere in their criticism of America as a predator nation. They blame white men for everything, which means they think 70% of the populace is innocent. That doesn't sound like a country worthy of castigation to me. That sounds like a benevolent country whose problems are easily solved. This is why, appearances notwithstanding, progressive ideology is rooted in optimism about America's people and its values. We only need teach white men to behave themselves, and everything will be perfect.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Farida said...

Majority for first time says US system of government is not sound: poll


https://thehill.com/policy/defense/537818-majority-for-first-time-says-us-system-of-government-is-not-sound-poll

1:39 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Malleus - I count the Hispanosphere out because it's heavily Christian, a religion based on hate. I'm sure everyone says nice things when a pollster shows up. Also, your statement is exactly why I'm glad you're not in charge. I *knew* by the age of 5 I was a boy, w/o any teachers, books, crowds, or anything to influence me. My mom had all the girly stuff for me, so it wasn't even bad mothering.

Andalusian - It's pretty evident that *human beings* are the greatest threat to life on Earth. The only societies that have/have had some redeeming qualities are those under severe resource restraints. Societies that could never invent cars, for instance. We need to drastically decrease our numbers, and drastically down-grade our standard of living. And those things will never happen willingly. We are not smarter than yeast.

2:42 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Winton Marsalis has some insights into the current predicament in North American culture and society:

"People love segregation, because there's power in it. … We're in a really heavy period of tribalism now. And that track can be set up anyway. It can be set up by race, it can be set up by agenda, set up by age. So no segregation [means] we want to invite everybody in and make people be comfortable with what we're doing because that was also what I perceived to be the ethos of jazz.
https://www.cbc.ca/radio/q/monday-jan-25-2021-wynton-marsalis-and-yulissa-campos-1.5886218/wynton-marsalis-on-segregation-jazzocracy-and-activism-through-instrumental-music-1.5886220


I recently read Trigger Warnings by Jack Sparrow, and so have been thinking about how identity politics is undermining the appeal and effectiveness of the left, and this seems relevant to the discussion, in that we're being fragmented into hostile tribes. Maybe jazz, because it's an expression of the universal language of music, and a synthesis of so may voices, is the answer.

How about a vote for the Jazz Party?

4:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

al-

Be sure to confer w/Miles on this. He's our resident music/jazz expert.

alex-

At least theoretically, Christianity is based on love. I agree, it didn't work out that way, historically speaking, but the appeal of an ideal is still there, for those who wish to be 'real' Christians--like Jimmy Carter, for example. And part of that ideal (wh/is central to Judaism as well), is to love thy neighbor as thyself. Kierkegaard, of course, was appalled at how few Christians were really Christian. "The challenge," he wrote, "is to find a Christian--in Christendom!" Touche. We cd also ask, can we find a (real) Jew--in synagogues? Or a real Muslim--in Islam? Etc. Anyway, trying to do what Christ asked of us typically results in The Existential Strain (see AWTY for that essay, and also George Steiner, "In Bluebeard's Castle").

Nadine-

Actually, it's cognitive dissonance at its most demented.

John-

Just so you know how the blog works, for future ref: broadcasting one's opinion is not seen here as being very helpful. Everyone has an opinion, after all. Here, we're big on evidence. Try this:

1. You have a specific argument you wanna make abt the decline of the American empire.
2. You state this argument clearly.
3. You provide evidence for yr pt of view in the form of links, refs to articles or bks, etc.

Thank you!

Noura-

Someone once said that when myth confronts fact, myth always wins. There are various studies (sorry, I didn't save the refs, but one woman psychologist did a whole bk on this topic a few yrs ago) that show that if 'a person' (regardless of race, gender, etc.) is shown that the facts contradict his/her particular belief abt something, shown in black and white, what they do is not concede the pt, but instead double down.

mb

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Alex, your counting the Hispanosphere out is only limiting you but, anyway, just do your thing. I won't comment on this subject further and I would only ask, if possible, that you try to avoid snarky comments like "I'm glad you're not in charge." Thank you.

So back to my personal crusade of showing that The Guardian stinks as bad as the NY Times:
Acquitting Trump would spell grave danger for US democracy

The cheap "Trump, Republicans evil; Biden, Democrats good" rhetoric is beyond beating off, it's like overdosing on self-righteousness and I think it's going to end up much worse than the opioid epidemic.

6:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

alex-

Pls avoid all snark. Courtesy good; snark bad. (Except when directed at trollfoons, who need large doses of slapping, urine, and treatments with Jewish Space Lasers (more baiting on my part, as you'll see; Einsteins these guys aren't)).

Malleus-

Trumpi will be acquitted. But US 'democracy' is in the shitter whether he is convicted or not. What democracy?

mb

7:24 PM  
Anonymous Vikki said...

These days w/ excessive specialization it's nice to see one of the great systematic thinkers of our time gets rewarded. I really liked "A View From Nowhere" and his most recent and controversial "Mind & Cosmos"

https://dailynous.com/2021/02/11/rescher-prize-awarded-thomas-nagel/

8:09 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Neurotic Japan - the Anglo disease? https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Coronavirus/Japan-appoints-minister-of-loneliness-to-help-people-home-alone?utm_campaign=RN%20Free%20newsletter&utm_medium=JP%20update%20newsletter%20free&utm_source=NAR%20Newsletter&utm_content=article%20link&del_type=4&pub_date=20210213090000&seq_num=2&si=13103243

8:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pol-

A bit too long. We have a half-pg-max limit on this blog. Pls compress abt 20% and re-send. Thank you.

mb

3:10 AM  
Anonymous down we go said...

Americans don't realize that electing Biden and impeaching Trump make no difference in how the country is governed or who benefits. Twiddlee-dee, Twiddlee-dum. 2 wings of the same corporate party - Gore. Nothing changes; the descent into chaos continues regardless of who seems to be in charge.

"The Democratic Party is not a vehicle for class struggle, after all. Like the Republican Party, it is designed to preserve the privileges of an elite. Its biggest donors, like the Republicans’, are drawn from Wall Street, Silicon Valley, Big Pharma, the arms industries. The political battle in the United States is between two parties of capital united by far more than divides them."

https://consortiumnews.com/2021/02/04/trump-may-be-on-trial-but-system-that-produced-him-will-be-acquitted/

7:21 AM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

More scamming and fraud from the Lincoln Project... America exceptionalism indeed.

https://greenwald.substack.com/p/the-lincoln-project-facing-multiple

8:28 AM  
Anonymous LL Rigley said...

DC court rules the CIA does not have to honor a FOIA request on its payments to Al Qaeda-aligned militias advancing the US policy of regime change in Syria, thereby continuing the cover-up of one of the greatest national security scandals of the century https://www.courthousenews.com/cia-can-shield-records-on-syrian-rebel-funding/

9:05 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

Good news,
Paul Jay is back (one of the only journalists still worth listening to).

He makes an interesting case here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNsyAgLz-fI

Mitch McConell is definitely an empty sociopathic monster, but it's hard not to have some level of admiration for his genius in terms of him exercising power-- similar to Henrich Himmler.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

To all of you guys: thanks for the info. Just keep in mind that in the US, everything is hustling, and everything is theater. There really is no actual US.--mb

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Yvee said...

"They pepper sprayed a 9 year old girl" will be the new "they did surgery on a grape"

https://reason.com/2021/02/12/rochester-releases-more-footage-of-police-pepper-spraying-nine-year-old/

What's wrong with us?

10:53 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Yvee-

That's easy: we're a collection of violent morons! At home and abroad, we kill, plunder, and maim.

mb

11:11 AM  
Blogger Rook said...

@ Brian:

The first US president I can remember as a child growing up in Ireland was Ronald Reagan. I could not understand how people could choose a man who pretended to be a cowboy for a living as their president. I asked my relatives how could this be? "Americans love to play make-believe" was their answer.



11:29 AM  
Anonymous FerQ said...

To Noura: I was listening to the video you posted and from 55:52 to 56:12, Orlov describes the US as a jail and he is SPOT ON with that description. That is exactly how I call that place, a jail. I remember when I was in high school, I called the school a jail and we all know that the US public school system has all the characteristics of a prison system. The whole experience was negative. Of course the ignorant couldn´t understand why I thought that. After those years, however, I noticed that the whole country was exactly that, a prison. No wonder why there are so many ppl there that mentally ill, and there is so much escapism that comes in the form of drugs, alcohol, over emphasis of positivity, religious fanaticism, consumerism, etc.

To Namaste: The article that you posted about racist retort in that school reminds me of what I just mentioned to Noura. School in the US was HELL!!!! I am Latino and I had the misfortune of having to go to a majority-white school for the last 2 years of high school. I complained bitterly to my parents about their decision to move from a majority Latino neighborhood to a place where obviously we do not fit in. The few Latino students who were there also had that complaint. The idea that alot of ppl have is that life is all about moving to Amerikkka, then if you are there and if you are in an immigrant or ethnic neighborhood, the next step is to move to a white area. What a sad and pathetic life plan.

Man, I am so glad I am out of that shithole of a country. If I have kids, I would NEVER make the mistake of taking them to that degenerate garbage dump.

1:11 PM  
Anonymous Democritus said...

The pandemic has not affected our national pastime:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/connecticut-hartford-nightclub-shooting-dead-injured-a9338156.html

It's even provided more opportunities for corruption:

https://apnews.com/article/government-investigation-n95-scam-1694ed85d6ef99cdb6662f67d823c271

1:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Demo-

Shooting each other down like dogs is indeed the national pastime, along w/graft and scams. What else is a country for?

mb

1:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Check out my reply to alex, above, and my bait for the antisemitic trollfoons. They are already responding. These people are so stupid. Their automatic responses give me a frisson of joy. How much human garbage can one country contain?! Go, trollfoons, go!

mb

2:33 PM  
Blogger Politically Incorrect Russian Spy said...

One thing I respect about Chomsky is that he will unfailingly write back to anyone who wants to correspond with him. A few years back one correspondence started to crater as I revealed my lack of faith in the myth of progress. So he pulled out the standard prog vision of a "windmills and solar panels" future, and I just couldn't take it any more. So I started an argument.

I quickly realized that as a college dropout I was getting into an ill-advised fight with the "world's top public intellectual". Hey, as they say: if you're going to crash and burn, why not hit something big? So I sent him an article about a 60-mile long toxic tailing pond next to a Chinese solar panel manufacturing plant. I asked him how a windmills and solar panels future would not also require shipping, and governments, and advertising, and militaries, and ecological destruction, and people forced into mines and shanty houses by those toxic tailing ponds to produce them.

And the mighty Chomsky dropped into a rhetorical defensive crouch. He didn't concede anything, but he had no real response either. There are very few public intellectuals willing to be honest about how dire our situation really is (Paul Kingsnorth, Professor Berman, John Zerzan, Chellis Glendinning, Guy McPherson, who am I missing?)

2:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pol-

I met Noam ca. 1982, and we immediately got into an argument regarding the influence of culture on imperialism. I doubt he even understands what culture is. (For example, he held that Gregory Bateson was incoherent.) To him, it was abt economics, 0 more. After a couple of days exposure, I realized his mind was like the space between 2 parallel lines, 4" apart: infinite in one direction, very narrow in the other. And anything he didn't like he labeled 'fascist!' There wasn't really any possibility of a dialogue. Which is too bad, because in terms of calling the US out on its murderous foreign policy, he was and remains a heroic figure.

mb

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Tino said...

Camus and Sartre: Existentialists split over how to be free: https://bigthink.com/amp/camus-and-sartre-2646423136

4:40 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes, PART I

Today's political theatre event was a 57-43 win/loss as predicted. No link necessary. No surprise. Decline continues. I expected that exact score. Orwell was correct. Dual process? Unlikely, but possible, I guess, maybe baby, who knows...

TOAC no doubt - NMI, the only choice for me. The worldwide pandemic, as if on cue. I don"t see how the 7thANYWSM will ever occur. Your thoughts, Dr. Berman?

Also, a question for the professor. Have you read "Bloodlands: Europe Between Stalin and Hitler" by Dr. Timothy Snyder? (See the chapter on The Battle of Warsaw.)
https://en.wkipedia.org/wiki/Warsaw_Uprising

Allow me an anecdote. I met and came to know - and helped her write a short war memoir - one Alina Kawalok. A diminutive, devout Catholic woman. In Boulder, Colorado. As a combatant in the Polish Home Army, she survived the battle of Warsaw in August 1944. How she did that, I can only guess, by knowing here kindness to me." Talk about reality. PART II next post











































































6:00 PM  
Blogger anderszornpalette said...

Hey WAFers. Adam Curtis just released a new documentary, and as always, he touches on many of the topics discussed here. Sorry if anyone posted this earlier.

https://youtu.be/MHFrhIAj0ME

And if any of you don’t know of Adam Curtis, he creates these long form BBC documentaries that explore why we are what we are for lack of a better description. They’re quite illuminating.

Hang in there WAFers,
Anders

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

Living in a suburb just north of Hartford, CT, I looked at the shooting story. It appears to be from 2020. Not that that makes it irrelevant, just not current....

6:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

gene-

As you know, the last 6 Wafer Summit Mtgs were held in NY. It's iffy now, of course, due to covid, but I'm thinking that I might still do it in May, or June, but in DC rather than NY. The reason is that I may hafta go to DC on unrelated business. Yeah, OK, you guessed it: I'm now employed by the CIA, and they want me to come out to Langley at some pt to discuss the work I'll be doing for them. They said May or June wd be fine, no rush. So when I'm not huddling w/them over the various nefarious deeds/skullduggery I'll be engaged in, I'll make time for a Wafer lunch in downtown Washington.

Anyway, the exact dates are as yet up in the air, but the question I'd like to put to those of you who are active participants on the blog is this: Wd DC work 4u? Pls write me at mauricio@morrisberman.com, and let me know. If we can get a nice handful of active Wafers for the 7th Summit Mtg, it will very likely be a go.

mb

7:06 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

MB - Agree. Jimmy Carter is an actual Christian. I'm not sure how Christian this is though: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carter_Doctrine

Interesting observations on Chomsky here. I read his bio long ago and he's never done anything but academia.

The trial went as I expected. The 'Rump gets off scot-free, and they will concentrated on his followers like the Proud Boys etc. Except they really won't.

I did the prescribed thing and voted Dem and Biden is already proving to be very disappointing. He should have been handing out checks first thing.

For those who want to say how I should live, why I should live, or why I should be allowed to live, I have snark aplenty. I'll just hide it here. Like the booger in your buffet egg salad, you won't see it, but it will be there.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

Trumpi acquitted! Round 3 of Trump in 2024! I could see a Biden Trump rematch being closer next time after we've had time to see Biden beating off isn't gonna save us.

"Pelosi scoffs at ‘cowardly’ GOP senators" - https://apnews.com/a1d3f0a4d0daf8eb218cf6dbf0fb5a8f

"Trump triumphantly declares MAGA movement 'has only just begun' after Senate acquittal" - https://news.yahoo.com/trump-triumphantly-declares-maga-movement-221600765.html

9:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

alex-

Check out DAA: Jimmy got waylaid by Zbigniew Brzezinski, a bitter anti-Russian Cold Warrior. This was a very unfortunate development. Zbig even wrote part of the text of the Carter Doctrine. I also seem to remember he got Jimmy to fund the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, which ultimately resulted in 9/11. (Zbig did an interview yrs later w/the Nouvel Observateur in Paris, admitting his role all this.) Anyway, Jimmy's last 2 yrs in office were, as a result, very different from his 1st 2. Lastima!

Sorry to hear you intend to hang on to yr snark. As in the case of Jimmy's last two yrs: wrong path. But at the very least, don't bring it to our banquet. Thank you.

Wafers-

On the CIA gig: I wrote them, telling them how much I admired America's role in hurting people around the world. "Yr our kinda guy," they wrote back.

mb

9:13 PM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRUAKHq4fbg

The technocrats are simply deleting the accounts of those who strongly oppose Biden, Harris and the Democratic Party. The progs love this; they think silencing right-wingers will cleanse the nation of their toxic ideas. Apparently, they know nothing about countries like China and North Korea; if they did, they'd know silencing people just makes things worse.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Krak-

No doubt, Biden will beat off for 2 yrs, then suffer great setback in midterm elections. Then, by the mighty hand of God, perhaps Trumpi will return in 2024. He did so much damage in his 4 yrs in office; by a cruel twist of fate, he was prevented from doing more. 2024 might give him that 2nd chance. Whatever happens, this decade is the fateful one for the US.

mb

10:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: when Americans make a revolution, this is how they make it:

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/02/10/business/mcdonalds-hi-c-orange-drink-returns/index.html

11:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps2: This is what's known as a Beat Off Revolution (BORE).

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Whatever happens, this decade is the fateful one for the US.

Indeed. Dr Berman reaching that conclusion from a social, cultural, political and economical analysis doesn't, in my view, preclude considering the subject from a more esoteric point of view, just for fun: if you are interested in astrology, you might speculate that the Biden presidency (which I'm tempted to call the Weimar presidency) is a fateful one too, perhaps more so than the past Trump presidency (wasn't it, apart from the pandemic at the end, more about Trump's mouth than substantive changes?).

The first (maybe the last, too) Pluto return of the US happens during 2022, in the middle of the Biden presidency. You can interpret this by saying that the Trump presidency has been preparing the food but the dishes are going to be served by the Biden presidency. Of course, you can also say that astrology is total nonsense and I won't be offended, but in case you're curious here is a link:
Behind the Scenes of Crisis in USA: Its First Pluto Return
PS The author is a bit new-agey but better than many others writing on the subject.

7:08 AM  
Anonymous Carlos said...

https://thebulletin.org/2021/02/why-is-america-getting-a-new-100-billion-nuclear-weapon

Why is America getting a new $100 billion nuclear weapon?

.... With heightened tensions with Iran and China, great....

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

Chris Floyd of "Empire Burlesque" has a few thoughts about the acquittal-

http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/chris-floyd/95297/on-the-acquittal-of-the-murderous-thug-donald-trump

A quote from the article-

"America has been lost for my entire life, and I no longer have the slightest hope that it will ever be found again. It only exists in our dreams, in old movies and books and the music it created out of slavery and oppression."

Here's his web site, in case you would like to explore some of his other writings and music-

http://www.chris-floyd.com/

9:59 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

……And our lovely Karens ( and their Darrens) just keep chugging along with their selfish arrogance and anger in ( where else?) the “Chosen Land” a.k.a. the United States of America. LOL!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Shib27VDZZ0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lq30_HiJsPc

11:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Birn-

Gd article, w/a gd summary of our 'career' of genocide and horror. But in terms of speeding our decline, what we need is precisely a murderous thug.

Carlos-

Gd use of the $ of a dying culture, I wd say.

Malleus-

Wasn't Pluto demoted?

mb

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Edgard said...

“A common problem seems to be a focus on process rather than on getting shots into arms. Some progressive leaders are effectively sacrificing efficiency for what they consider to be equity”
The Left’s Vaccine Problem
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/05/briefing/marjorie-taylor-greene-uk-vaccine-biden-stimulus.html#click=https://t.co/AnHJdLO5Nu

2:07 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

From Chris Floyd's site.

But the idea so many of us had of America was lost long ago; or rather, it was never real. It was sham, and a hope, and a cheat, and a desire, and a dream of what could be but what never was.

I, and others, on the far right, feel exactly the same way.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

Here is a terrific quote I came across in reading a book by philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, Essays and Aphorisms….

“The art of not reading is a very important one. It consists in not taking an interest in whatever may be engaging the attention of the general public at any particular time. When some political or ecclesiastical pamphlet, or novel, or poem is making a great commotion, you should remember that he who writes for fools always finds a large public. A precondition for reading good books is not reading bad ones: for life is short.”

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Noura said...

FerQ – I also agree with Orlov’s description of the U.S. as a jail. It’s also a lonely place because American culture of extreme individualism creates junk values that are hostile to building communities and meaningful relationships. Here is a great video about this: The Loneliness Epidemic - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3aIQuMWJCA

Dr. Berman - Following up on your comment about the book on denial “if 'a person' (regardless of race, gender, etc.) is shown that the facts contradict his/her particular belief abt something, shown in black and white, what they do is not concede the pt, but instead double down.” This explains a lot! If you remember the book, please share the reference. In this interview in which Orlov discussed his book “Shrinking the Technospehere” he basically said the same thing: Time stamp 22:38 – 24.37 https://bit.ly/2LU23b0 “One of the glaring mental deficits of the Technosphere as an emergent intelligence is that it is incapable of perceiving physical limits. Whenever some resource runs low, its reaction is to throw more energy and more effort at exploiting it. For instance, if whales become harder to fish, you build more whaling boats. If fish stocks run low, you build a bigger fishing boat and use more technology to find the remaining fish to make sure you don’t miss any. If the ocean freight industry is not generating the profits that it has to, to sustain itself, the solution is to build even bigger ships, super Panamax ships, increase the size of the Panama Canal, consider building other canals and that is the typical approach. So, for instance oil became a problem because the conventional oil production peaked in 2005-2006, instead of saying we don’t have enough oil anymore we have to stop using so much energy, the solution was to run up huge debt and to use that money to get at the dregs, which is stuff like fracking, shales oil, tar sands, deep offshore, even arctic oil which is super expensive to exploit.”

4:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

A couple of quotes.

"History is not merely what happened; it is what happened in the context of what might have happened."--Hugh Trevor-Roper

"The cause of tragedy is that we would rather murder the world than permit it to expose us to change."--Stanley Cavell

mb

4:51 PM  
Blogger Mohamed said...

Great article by Andrew bacevich
https://tomdispatch.com/beyond-donald-trump/

6:00 PM  
Anonymous J Hunter said...

“Love is the only way to rescue humanity from all ills,” Leo Tolstoy wrote to Mahatma Gandhi.

https://www.brainpickings.org/2020/07/10/all-human-beings-max-richter-eleanor-roosevelt-udhr/

6:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mohamed-

Great essay, tho a # of critics have said it all b4. What bothers me was the lack of an appropriate vocabulary: he never once referred to 'douche bags', or said that Americans 'have their heads rammed up their rumps.' W/o realism, there can be no redemption.

mb

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Daphne Durett said...

Today I learned that East German women self-reported being happier after sex than Western German women. - Kristen Ghodsee, author of "Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism: And Other Arguments for Economic Independence"

https://www.amazon.com/Women-Have-Better-Under-Socialism/dp/1568588909

9:01 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes, PART II,

Alina was a medic in the Polish Home Army to the bitter end of the Battle of Warsaw Uprising at the end of September 1944. My dad's father was born in Poland; Alina married the son of grandpa's sister. I had not studied the history until she informed me twenty years ago. The Wikileaks link (PART I previously posted) built greatly on Dr. Snyder's account in "Bloodlands" (you have read that book Dr. Berman?)

An unique take on narrative history. In the final sections "Aftermath", "Capitulation", "After the War", is the fact of the 15,000 POWs taken back to Germany by the Nazis in retreat. Alina's testimony fit the facts: "It was good the Germans accepted my surrender. The Communists would have killed me." Also, the linked color photo of the girl-child nurse memorial in Warsaw is moving with respect to Alina. Realism in spades. Dr. B, you commented after my last post about what 'real insurrection is" - yeah, struck home with me, and is my point in posting about the Warsaw Uprising.(Lengthy, but worth the read) Check out Orwell's comments on September 1, 1944. He detested Communists and Fascists as Alina did. Their bitter experiences informed them in a similar fashion. ("Homage To Catalonia" book.)

Thanks for your response to my question about a Summit. I will post my thoughts on that next time. This is the only blog to follow. We appreciate you!

9:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Daphne-

Neat! Clearly, socialist orgasms are more intense than capitalist ones.

mb

9:23 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

@Berman,
Haha,
I actually grew up in the town Chomsky spent the greater part of his life in (good old Lexington MA) amongst all of the wealthy limousine-liberals. He said in a local talk he once gave at my high school something like ‘I appreciate this great town that raised my kids’. But Lexington is a town full of creme de la creme narcissistic professionals with fake smiles and BS talk about “Community!” (15% of students according to a poll at the High school said they seriously contemplated suicide). You are absolutely right about how for him it’s all economic. That is something I was always incredibly frustrated by. He may have written a blurb for Fromm’s The Sane Society, but he clearly forgot the main lesson of it; the lesson being that the society and culture is so sick, and the people so alienated, that they actually lost the psychodynamic capacity to be in authentic modes of deep concern for others and the wider society.

https://lexington.wickedlocal.com/article/20110921/NEWS/309219457

9:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Brian-

Thanks for the inside scoop; very interesting. In future, pls address me as Mr. Berman, or GSWH. Thank you.

gene-

Never read Snyder. Did read Orwell. Wd love 2 c.u. in DC, May or June, shd it come to pass. So far 2 Wafers have written me Yes. Thanks for kudos on blog. I tell u, when people tell me that they went to another blog, I shake my head in disbelief. Why in the world wd anyone do such a thing, when they can find the whole enchilada rt here? It's enuf to make me weep. Going to another blog is just beating off. Here, we are interested in intercourse. We are 175 strong; it's only a matter of time b4 Wafers take over the world, w/the aid of our Jewish Space Lasers.

mb

10:54 PM  
Anonymous Andalusian Musician said...

@Carlos
Really? Unable to feed Children, Fix Infrastructure, cities full of literal feces on the sidewalk, and they can afford 100 billion weapon? Talk about skewed priorities! No money for schools, for medicine, for pandemic response, but enough money for stupid wet dreams of world domination and space domination? No wonder USA is going down the drain! I often say collapse will happen sooner than anticipated. This what doomed past empires! Wasting money and resources on stupidity!

11:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Andalus-

Historians usually call this pattern, esp. when applied to Rome, "imperial overstretch." It obviously applies to the US as well. Note that most Americans "support our troops."

mb

11:28 PM  
Anonymous Malleus Maleficarum said...

Dr Berman, yes, some busybodies in the astronomical community decided that Pluto was not a planet but a "dwarf" planet. Quite a few people don't attach any importance to this anyway.

On a completely unrelated topic, here is an interview with Kim Novak:
‘I had to leave Hollywood to save myself’

I wonder if she qualifies as NMI... It's interesting how Hollywood managed to produce such beautiful films as "Vertigo," like flowers growing on cow dung. And what is it producing now? Any Wafers can suggest any recent Hollywood movie really worth watching?

9:13 AM  
Blogger Tim2 said...

Good Day Brin and Dr Berman

The Chris Floyd link at http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/chris-floyd/95297/on-the-acquittal-of-the-murderous-thug-donald-trump is a very good summary
however the closing summary sentence is troublesome for me.

“Perhaps this acquittal will be one more disillusionment that will help us to see where we really are – and how far we have to go, and how hard we have to fight, to be where we want to be."

It suggests that Chris Floyd does not really get it. The reference to the “where” in two places in the sentence should really be “who”. After all until “who” is addressed does “where” really matter?

9:33 AM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

@ anderszornpalette:

Nice headsup on the new Adam Curtis Doc. It's well worth watching. It's up there with Century of the Self and Hypernormalisation IMO. he really gets what's going on right now.

Thanks for all the suggestions on research RE: American civil war. I am working through them. I just finished a very good novel set in the Civil War era called "Days Without End" by Sebastian Barry. Worth a read. I am currently reading MB's "Dark Ages America". Great narrative history, especially about Bretton Woods and the Cold war.

I will start on "Moby Dick" next.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

cor-

Moby Dick gets discussed a fair amt in WAF. On the Civil War, check out "Bring the Jubilee," by Ward Moore.

Tim2-

I don't think the jury is out any longer as to who we are.

mb

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Nadine Bupkis said...

Dr. Berman,

That's true. In America, the military is certainly a sacred cow. From my own experience, I know progs and bubbas agree that our men in uniform are selfless heroes making the world a better place. They fly into a rage if you dare disagree. They have no empathy for the people being tortured, killed and maimed by the American military, although the progs feign empathy while claiming the imperial wars are unfortunate but necessary evils. The progs also rejoice whenever a woman commits a war crime or gets promoted to a high-ranking position within the military. They seem to really believe genocide is humane and virtuous when women engage in it. Meanwhile, the bubbas rejoice whenever America tortures or kills someone they hate (Muslims, immigrants, people of color, liberals, gays, and whoever America is currently bombing). Thus, nearly all Americans revel in war and murder. They're beating off to others' suffering and death. Nothing could be more depraved.

This is the nation Chomsky, Hedges and Michael Moore think they can save. This is the nation nearly all Americans think is the greatest in the history of mankind. These are asinine delusions of grandeur. You can't be dumber or more arrogant than this.

4:09 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

Another good old fashion contributor to American decline is of course popular Christianity. What is common is that in almost all cases popular forms of these function as an elaborate ruse for the actual purpose, hustling the gullible and desperate with unverifiable hopes of obtaining the blessing of the All-Mighty (here & hereafter) but in actuality work as tax exempt money machines to do whatever you like with proceeds often even long after the ruse has been exposed. Here are two recent examples in the news, just as Ecclesiastes says, “nothing is new under the sun.”

Ravi Zacharias who was so well known in Christian circles that he was said by Vice President Mike Pence at his memorial service that in him “God gave us the greatest Christian apologist of this century” in 2020. However, in a recent posthumous report, Zacharias was apparently involved in depravity the likes of which even Jimmy Swaggart would blush. The behavior is predatory, grotesque and pathetic, hard to differentiate in degree or kind from the likes of Jeffrey Epstein, but at the same time, none of it seems really surprising at all.

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2021/february/ravi-zacharias-rzim-investigation-sexual-abuse-sexting-rape.html

Then there is the fundamentalist mega-pastor John MacArthur who has recently been dealing with public reopening of southern California church in defense of religious “freedom” with his common brand of COVID denialism predicably resulting in coverups of rampant COVID cases and even deaths in his church. From a new report, the man who claims that Christianity is never about the pursuit of “filthy lucre”, operates a multimillion dollar a year evangelical empire swimming in nepotism directly beneficial to his family and close friends and deceitfully schemes to cover up his true salary from multiple sources and his ownership of three luxury houses including one built via directly donated property from a wealthy board member. Living on Earth as it is in Heaven, Amen!

https://julieroys.com/prosperous-lifestyle-americas-anti-prosperity-gospel-preacher/

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

Tim2--this WAS the US empire. A truly vile and wretched "country"-with outstanding propaganda/marketing.

https://www.opednews.com/articles/The-New-CIA-Director-Nomin-by-Ann-Wright-CIA_My-Lai-Massacre_Soldiers_Torture-180318-534.html

4:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

John-

Thanks for info, but in future pls watch length. Yr a bit over the half-pg limit. Meanwhile, all of u guys are making a gd case for the United States of Violent Morons.

mb

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Malleus,

Not Hollywood, but let me make a suggestion. My computer is not allowing me to post links, so apologies for that. But go to YouTube and look up "Magnificent Century". It is an amazing Turkish TV series about Suleyman the Magnificent and his world. There are 138 completely addictive episodes. Not exactly high art, but quality. A wonderful NMI escape into a truly fascinating, enchanted world, without a hint of American values. I will post a link as soon as I resolve my computer issue. But watch 5_or so episodes before you decide on its merits. It's highly engrossing but it takes some time to be completely absorbed by it. Also, for more background on the time, check out Julius Norwich's "Four Princes".

I also recommend David Luke's translation of Goethe's "Faust", parts 1 and 2. (Since your handle is " Malleus" I figured you might be inteested.) I read part 1 years ago, but I was blown away by how exquisite Luke's translation of Goethe's poetry is. Someone here recommended Safranski's Goethe biography, and I second that. Like Hesse, Goethe is a fine spiritual companion during these troubled times.

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Jimmy said...

State-owned fossil fuel firms’ plan to invest $1.9tn could destroy climate hopes

Oil projects over the next decade would destroy hopes of meeting Paris climate goals, thinktank warns

https://amp.theguardian.com/environment/2021/feb/09/state-owned-fossil-fuel-firms-planning-19tn-investments


Welp, so much for the climate accords kabuki show

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Jillian said...

https://news.trust.org/item/20210124230111-arum1/

'Wages must be paid': In southern India, age-old caste-based custom banned as slavery


Some good news for India!

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Geraldo said...

The US and its imperial henchmen in the OAS and Colombia are conspiring with the 2nd and 3rd place candidates to prevent the landslide winner of Ecuador's election from taking office. https://thegrayzone.com/2021/02/15/us-oas-colombia-steal-ecuador-election/

The USA never changes.

8:05 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

Why is our the USA military shooting rockets in Iraq that are killing civilians? Oh it's because it's a country full of degraded buffoons and run by degraded buffoons.

https://www.npr.org/2021/02/15/968182912/rockets-kill-civilian-contractor-injure-u-s-service-member-others-in-erbil-iraq

in other news, Pelosi calls for more beating off: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/02/15/nancy-pelosi-wants-9-11-style-commission-probe-capitol-riots/6755661002/

How fun

8:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tim2-

Sorry, cdn't run it. We have a post only once every 24 hrs rule on this blog.

Geraldo-

Meanwhile, we get up in arms when we think the Russians may have interfered in our elections.

Jimmy-

The Paris Accords were always theater, because they contain no enforcement mechanism, i.e. no teeth.

mb

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Quercus said...


Nice article about Jimmy Carter by Charles Hugh Smith, from his always worthwhile Oftwominds blog.

https://www.oftwominds.com/blogfeb21/Carter-farewell2-21.html

Quercus

8:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Quercus-

He was also the only pres to realize the spiritual emptiness of consumerism, and the only one to say that playing an opposition game w/Russia wd not solve our own problems. See my discussions of Jimmy in DAA and WAF.

mb

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Andalusian Musician said...

I agree with you, Morris about imperial overstretch. In one of your interviews you once remarked that the empire does precisely the very things that accelerate decline. I want to recommend an article, which you will find very interesting. It is called: "Even Russian Dissidents Say Americans Have Gone Crazy Over Putin". I know it was few years back, but the observations about US are very interesting.
https://blackagendareport.com/even-russian-dissidents-say-americans-have-gone-crazy-over-putin
One remark stood out for me, and it is completely correct: “American liberals are so upset about Trump that they cannot believe he is a real product of American life,” said Kurilla. “They try to portray him as something created by Russia. This whole thing is about America, not Russia.” It comes back to my issue with Chomsky saying that Republican Party is the greatest threat. And liberals think that they are "Enlightened and sophisticated" and that they value facts, reason, and science.

10:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Andalus-

Thanks for the ref. Clearly, progs need to be slapped (repeatedly). BTW, in future, pls address me as Mr. Berman or GSWH. Thank you.

mb

10:13 PM  
Blogger ccg said...

MB,

I'm an academic and I've been one most of my adult life, as a physics professor, and at age 72 I'm still at it. However,I've long been embarrassed by academics as a class, and today I came across yet another example of academics doing what they can to embarrass themselves: English departments plan to "decolonize" themselves by changing their name to Department of Literatures in English. I'm 'sure' this is a very bold move on their part. Of course its just more identity politics and virtue signaling, which is all thing they seem to care about these days. Here's the story I found:

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2021/02/15/english-departments-rethink-what-call-themselves?utm_source=Inside+Higher+Ed&utm_campaign=447e236cbd-DNU_2021_COPY_02&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1fcbc04421-447e236cbd-199537057&mc_cid=447e236cbd&mc_eid=343e601bfe


10:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ccg-

This may be just speculation, but I have this feeling that rt now, in the US, if you take any institution whatsoever--including Academia--you'll find abt 10% of its members are worthwhile, serious people, and the rest are just in it for non-content-related reasons. I remember that I became a member of the Rutgers faculty in 1970, and was really naive beyond words. I had it in my head that over lunch in the faculty club, we wd be discussing history, philosophy, or the great issues of the day. Ha! What I found was a lot of petty jealousy, e.g. who had the bigger salary; or maybe who was sleeping w/the dean's wife. In addition, for most of my colleagues the job was just abt paying off their mortgages, not much else. And you may recall that in the 50s, academics sold their colleagues out to the McCarthy purge so (as one victim put it) they could hang on to their swimming pools. As in the case of most institutions, 90% of them go where the wind blows. If the game is now political correctness, and if that happens to violate free speech, they just bend over. Look at how faculty and admin behaved at Evergreen a couple of yrs back, when p.c. practically turned neofascist. The word yr looking for is 'spineless'. But as I said, this type of cowardice is hardly limited to Academe. In America, standing up for the truth is the *last* thing people are prepared to do.

mb

ps: In 1952, Rutgers fired classical scholar Moses Finley, who was persecuted by McCarthyism. He had to relocate to England. Have things changed all that much?:

https://www.thecollegefix.com/rutgers-english-department-to-deemphasize-traditional-grammar-in-solidarity-with-black-lives-matter/

12:12 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps2: The pt: most Americans *have* no values. This is why they can be taken over by any verkakte trend or douche bag ideology that comes along.

12:14 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

ANDERZORNPALETTE - thanks for the Adam Curtis link. Too many times have I come across someone on Reddit raving about a new Adam Curtis documentary and it's just Hypernormalisation which has been out for some time. This is actually new! Plus, if you dig deeply enough it's a series of six chapters, each about an hour and a half long. YouTube has decided that although I am in my late 50s I am not old enough to see chapter 5, but I watched all the others. Very good!

2:12 AM  
Blogger Tim2 said...

Dr. Shithouse

Thanks for the link. Unfortunately Chris did not include
that atrocious event in his summary which would only
further strengthen the where/who word replacement.

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Democritus said...

GOP House Representative from Illinois Adam Kinzinger had the temerity to vote to convict Donald Trump. Whether he did it because he truly believes in Trump's guilt or is just testing the political waters, no one knows. Besides, we all know it was theater. Apparently, eleven members of his family were so upset with his vote that they sent him a hand-written letter castigating him and effectively removing him from their lives. Kinzinger forwarded it to the NYT, which published it with redacted names. Here it is:

https://int.nyt.com/data/documenttools/kinzinger-family-letter/db2b92ae5f4fabc0/full.pdf

The poor grammar and misspellings are typical examples of our failed educational system. The overuse of exclamation points is also telling. Apparently these family members learn about the world through the likes of Hannity, Limbaugh, and Graham.

Knowing the country is doomed in the abstract is one thing. Experiencing daily American stupidity, callousness, and greed are another. But...actually reading what goes on in the heads of true-blooded Americans is quite another. Imagine living inside their world for a few minutes.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

I remember when SHAME was a thing...

Shame is a product of a society that prioritizes the soul over the body and is a defense mechanism against all that is low, vulgar, and sinful. The loss of shame in today’s world comes from a profound change in values.

The sense of shame comes from a metaphysical perspective of the world. It holds that the only way to interpret reality meaningfully is to look beyond the material existence of things. In the classical and Christian traditions, people did this by searching for the ultimate principles and causes of things.

This meant that they tried to understand the nature of things, and from this perception, they derived principles and ways of dealing with the world around them. Thus, they developed those values of the soul found in art, philosophy, and religion. They valued the spiritual things over the material; the beautiful over the vulgar; the virtuous over the sinful.

https://theimaginativeconservative.org/2021/02/what-has-happened-our-sense-shame-john-horvat.html

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Hans Castorp said...

"User Engagement" Is Code For "Addiction" -
Social media is a civilization-level problem

"When looking back at this era of humanity future humans will say, “How could they have just scrolled and scrolled all day? Didn’t they know what it was doing to them?” Social media is the new cigarettes. Everyone does it, it’s addictive, it’s harmful, and you should quit."

https://craigwritescode.medium.com/user-engagement-is-code-for-addiction-a2f50d36d7ac

10:38 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Hans-

Add cell phones to that indictment.

Demo-

Brrr.

mb

11:02 AM  
Anonymous M Tobey said...

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/amp/economy/column-this-is-what-happens-when-you-take-ayn-rand-seriously
Column: This is what happens when you take Ayn Rand seriously

"When people behave in ways that violate the axioms of rational choice, they are not behaving foolishly. They are giving researchers a glimpse of the prosocial tendencies that made it possible for our species to survive and thrive… then and today."

MB - Related to this, haven't I seen you recommend the Franzen novel "Freedom"? If not, check it out Wafers!

2:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tobey-

Yes, a v. gd novel. As for Ayn Rand: a cruel, violent douche baguette.

mb

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Keith said...

Many hunter-gatherers may have lived in large, settled, hierarchical societies for tens of thousands of years before agriculture. Much longer ago than we thought. A fascinating article good for supplement to reading Professor Berman's fascinating "Wandering God"

https://aeon.co/essays/not-all-early-human-societies-were-small-scale-egalitarian-bands

4:00 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

Here is an interesting talk in 2015 I found titled “Jimmy Carter, the Religious Right, and the Eclipse of Progressive Evangelicalism” presented by religious historian Randall Balmer who wrote a book on Carter’s faith titled Redeemer. One really interesting thing that people have forgotten is that evangelicalism became right wing essentially with the election of Reagan. After all, William Jennings Bryan of Scope Trial fame was a fundamentalist democratic evangelical who also was a candidate for president three time as a democrat in 1896, 1900 and 1908.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Un708HTf6g

While America may have always been destined to fail, I think the inflection point was the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. Having lived through the Reagan era, I can say from experience he was every bit as much an empty-headed deluded buffoon as Trump is, although much more popular so probably worse. After all he was the inventor of the MAGA slogan. While the overhyped media coverage of the hostage crises probably contributed to the decline in popularity for Carter, part of me has always wondered if he had just declined to debate Reagan that maybe history would have been different (at least for a while) and he would have been reelected by a slim margin. Reagonomics (supply side or neo-liberalism are the technical terms) has been the ruling economic philosophy along with accompanied Thacherite nastiness towards the poor ever since. Whatever slim chances we might have had to change things were sealed for good after Reagan.

4:10 PM  
Anonymous down we go said...

I've been associated professionally with the American Church for most of my adult life. Christian ideals have never and will never be fully realized anymore than any other set of ideals. By definition they are idealistic - unattainable. I don't say that to defend the American version of Christianity. Only to suggest that it is no worse than any other world faith - they all fall incredibly short of their ideals. The Koran and Jewish Bible are full of noble, good ideas. But neither has ever come close following the mandates of their leaders for charity, mercy, forgiveness, priority of the poor.

Gandhi was once asked what he thought of Christianity. He replied: "I like your Christ, but not your Christianity." https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/7973/did-mahatma-gandhi-say-i-like-your-christ-i-do-not-like-your-christians.Ganhdi also liked the Sermon on the Mount but could not find many Christians who followed it.

Ever now and then through the last 2,000 years a small group of devotees may have come close to truly doing as Jesus did but the exception is so rare as to be almost non-existent. The same is true of those who follow Mohammed and Abraham. Religions inevitably bend to the will of the cultures in which they exist; they become enculturated, driven by the values of the cultures rather than the alternative calues preached by their founders.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

down-

Kierkegaard: "The challenge is to find a Christian--in Christendom." Also check out my discussion of E.M. Forster in the Twilight bk.

John-

Check out the Carter sections of DAA and WAF, for more on Jimmy. As for Ronnie the Teflon President: Philip Roth referred to him as a knucklehead, said he couldn't believe how such an individual cd be elected president. But this is no great mystery: he was a simpleton, and so are Americans. They merely elected themselves to office. (I have a discussion of this in CTOS, in fact.)

mb

6:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

There has been a bit of a lull in antisemitic trollfoon attacks lately, wh/puts me into a funk, since I find these clowns hilarious. It seems that every so often, to keep these buffoons active, I have to stoke the fires, so to speak. They are so stupid, that when I actually say I'm baiting them, instead of walking away, they take the bait! Plus, by the 3rd word of their posts I know it's hate mail, and I delete it unread. Do you think that stops them? Not a chance. The Australians say it's a bad idea to poke a hedgehog you see lying at the side of the road, but I can't help myself. If nothing else, the trollfoons confirm for me how sick Americans are; how deep the poison runs in their rotten souls. So in that spirit, let me say to them:

1. Jews rule the world, and that is as it shd be. While you guys are dumber than a bag of hammers, we are the creme de la creme: Einstein, Freud, Wittgenstein, Durkheim...the list goes on and on. Meanwhile, what have you accomplished, besides wasting yr lives sending stupid email posts to nearly invisible blogs? What garbage you are!
2. At Charlottesville you chanted, "The Jews will not replace us." But we *will*, you cretinous secretions of mucus; that's exactly what we will do. We are everything; you are nothing.
3. Even one of yr own recognized that we were in possession of Jewish Space Lasers, and were attacking the earth with them. She was rt; and we shall continue to do so. And what can you do abt it? Bupkis!
4. When next you attack me or the blog, perhaps you could tell us all what it's like to live lives of hatred and stupidity. I'm personally very curious.
5. Go to the mirror and look into your eyes. Notice how empty they are? You are little more than leprous pustules on the ass of humanity. Ha ha!

Douche bags.

mb

ps: Wafers: that shd do it, no? Apres moi, le deluge!

7:18 PM  
Blogger anderszornpalette said...

@alexcarter and @cormorant

You’re more than welcome. I have to admit I am a bit of a fanboy with his docs, but really only because I almost always come away with a changed perspective of the world and how it really operates. Century of the Self was my introduction to him and still remains one of the most perspective changing pieces of media (books or otherwise) for me. The Twilight trilogy would be another one.

I was able to find all six episodes across YouTube and I basically binge watched them over the 3 day weekend here in the US. It’s amazing how he can take what seem like completely unrelated events and tie them all together in the end. And I learned so much world history this time around I feel like a university professor. Everything from Tupac Shakur’s mother (The Panther 21) to Mao’s wife and her individualist streak was all new to me.

10:23 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman,
You forgot one notable Jew who made it to the ESPN 20th century’s 100 greatest athletes. Since these hateful trollfools think that Jews can’t play sports and only can use their brains, this pours even further salt into their wounds. LOL. In fact, this Jew is ranked as the 42th greatest athlete of all time. And he’s none other than the GREATEST PITCHER OF ALL TIME! As Casey said, “you can look it up!”

http://www.espn.com/sportscentury/athletes.html

p.s. He probably stuck it to some anti-Semites when he chose to follow his conscience and his religion to observe Yom Kippur instead of pitching Game 1 of the World Series. And of course he made it back by winning Game 7, striking out 10 and only allowing 3 hits, and all on only two days rest.

10:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Joe-

Sandy, of course. I'm still waiting for a violent trollfoon attack. Those guys are so dumb (bait).

mb

12:39 AM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

@ Alex C and Anderszorn,

Re. the new Curtis series:

If you can manage to watch episode 5, it's well worth it. It kind of holds the whole series together IMO. It also addresses some themes that Prof. Berman covers in DAA. Curtis posits that the lunacy of Q Anon etc. has its roots in a peculiarly American Paranoia: one that was based in a long tradition of nominating someone else as a threat to American life, and that was exacerbated by millions of Americans being thrown into post-war suburbia.

DAA shows how the cold war was a continuation and expansion of the US need for an evil other in order to highlight its innate goodness. If you stick people brainwashed in this view into suburbs and give them access to the internet, they start to turn in on themselves and eventual result is lunatic cult like theories like Q ANON etc.

6:12 AM  
Anonymous Foller said...

Marcuse-Anon: Cult of the Pseudo-Intellectual
Reviewing "Repressive Tolerance" and other works by Herbert Marcuse, the quack who became America’s most influential thinker

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/marcuse-anon-cult-of-the-pseudo-intellectual

Matt Taibbi goes after Marcuse. Interesting take considering I respect them both.

7:41 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

cor-

Actually, it's even deeper than an attempt to highlight 'innate goodness', altho that is surely there. Spiritually, America has always been empty. As Robt Bellah, Will Herberg, and a few other scholars have argued, Christianity (or any other official religion) notwithstanding, the true religion of America--the 'civil religion'--was always America itself. But since the real purpose of the country was hustling ("pursuit of happiness"), it meant that there was, in fact, no moral center at all. Opposition, and Manichaean psychology, were thus inevitable, designed as they were to mask that emptiness. This is why people dedicated to an ism have to win the argument: whether communists or feminists or Zionists or Marxists or etc., when they argue they are fighting for their psychological lives. If they were to lose the argument, they wd be threatened with incoherence, even psychosis. And this is why progs are no different from bubbas: for all Americans, it's always USA! USA! and We're No. 1! Why, after all, was WAF vilified or ignored? Essentially, it says that the emperor has no clothes, and that is intolerable--actually terrifying--both in Texas and at the NYT.

Recently I was asked to provide a blurb for a collection of essays by Native American writers. Here is what I wrote:

"The history of America is one of a major, or dominant, voice, with its emphasis on hustling, consumerism, and exploitation, and a minor one, the values of which are craft and community, friendship and reciprocity, and the life of the spirit. The political events of 2016 and beyond have made it abundantly clear where the dominant mode leads: to self-destruction. America failed because it persistently ignored or repressed the minor voice, from the late sixteenth century right down to Lewis Mumford, Jimmy Carter, and Native American writers in our own time. If we have any future at all, it lies in “the road not taken,” and the essays in this book are an attempt, once more, to get that alternative voice heard. The crucial question thus remains: Is anyone listening?"

(Short answer: No)

mb

7:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Foller-

You and me both. But push comes to shove, Marcuse is the giant, and Taibbi the pygmy.

mb

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Hayden said...

Conservative Royalty: William F. Buckley’s Great Nephew Charged With Storming Capitol https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/conservative-royalty-william-f-buckleys-great-nephew-charged-with-storming-capitol

Too funny. Vidal's laughing in his grave...

10:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Hayden-

Nice irony. Buckley was a douche bag, Gore was a great man. Gore got it: the problem of America was the American people. 2 yrs ago, I visited Ravello, where he lived for 30 yrs. His house was actually up for sale: a mere 20 million euros. I told them I'd hafta check my bank acc't. (Turns out I was just a tad short.)

mb

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Radiant Radish said...

Foller,

Wowww! I'm reading up on Taibbi's take right now.

"Marcuse's 1965 essay Repressive Tolerance might be the most impassioned argument against individual rights ever written. It makes the Directorium Inquisitorum read like Dr. Spock on Parenting."

In the comments and replies he adds:

"Did you read Popper? The famed 'paradox' is just an explanatory endnote. In the book, he argues against 'benevolent dictatorship,' saying 'Any Utopian attempt to realize an ideal state… is likely to lead to a dictatorship.' He and Marcuse were opposites on this. Naturally anyone who disagrees with you about anything is right wing. In this essay I’m defending freedoms of speech, assembly, religion, the right to vote, labor unions and a host of other things Marcuse deemed examples of 'false' tolerance. That, I take it, is right wing?"

I guess he does make some good points on Marcuse's weaknesses:

"Marcuse ended up being predictive, only about his own work: capitalism appropriated the arguments of his it needed for its perpetuation, and discarded everything else. So we got his (many) shitty autocratic ideas, and sidelined his other critiques."


I'm going to have to revisit Marcuse, haven't opened up "One Dimensional Man" since the old college days.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Radish-

Yes, I'd give "One-Dimensional Man" another shot. Pretty gd description of America, and Americans, imo. As for Popper: a man w/1 gd idea, but also w/1 great flaw: he never really *affirmed* anything. Marcuse, at least, gave it a shot. BTW, we have a half-pg max rule on this blog, so in future, try to stay w/in that limit. Thanks.

mb

1:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: down, down, down goes the US:

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/02/17/economy/europe-china-united-states-trade/index.html

1:30 PM  
Blogger Shawn McDowell said...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/02/17/texas-mayor-power-outages-colorado/

Why America Failed: exhibit T

1:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Shawn-

Why doesn't anyone believe me when I say that the country is filled w/trashy, stupid people? Exactly how much evidence do these clowns need?

mb

2:16 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Rush Limbaugh, who like Donald Trump, I regard as embracing the values that are tearing this society apart, has died. The linked article has a number of quotes from a 1995 article in Mother Jones by the late Molly Ivins critical of Limbaugh.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/rush-limbaugh-influential-rightwing-talk-radio-host-dies-aged-70/ar-BB1dLHFA?ocid=entnewsntp

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Norton said...

Radiant Radish + Moller:

M Taibbi has a point: Marcuse, "father of the New-Left," was influential in turning the US left away from class struggle/anti-imperialism & toward culture, no?

H Marcuse's staunchness towards anti-communism was useful to the US gvt. Hell, he worked for OSS/CIA for years after WWII, doing anti-Soviet research!

2:46 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

I got to see Chapter 5 of the Adam Curtis thing last night just by finding a different channel. It's good.

www.reddit.com/r/austin is a good way to read up on what's happening there. And www.reddit.com/r/collapse is always good - there's even the occasional mention of Professor Berman in there.

I may need to check out "Wandering God" as having grown up American, I grew up with the idea that this or that area was Christian or not, and books about knights and such that kids like to read, are about conquest and "purification" (of non-Christians it's understood) of areas. The idea of diff. religions co-existing is fairly new in the West, I think.

5:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Norton-

Problem: you provided no evidence for your claim. Why shd we believe you? Meanwhile, Murray Bookchin told me, yrs ago, that tow'd the end of his life Marcuse endorsed the USSR as the best alternative to the US--something that both Murray and I regarded w/a kind of depressed horror. (It was a kind of throwback to 1930s Marxism.)

Michael-

Good riddance. It was kind of fitting, that Trumpi awarded Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Honor. A jackass celebrating a douche bag.

mb

5:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: The baiting of the antisemitic trollfoons worked. Just had my 1st response. Man, these clowns are dumb! And so, so gullible. Let me stoke the fires some more:

JEWS RULE THE WORLD!

That shd do it.

5:47 PM  
Anonymous McNeil said...

https://patpalbooks.wordpress.com/2020/01/24/laurent-binet-civilizations/

https://www.amazon.com/Civilizations-Novel-Laurent-Binet/dp/0374600813

There's a translation of Laurent Binet's prize-winning alt-history novel coming down the pipe. It's about the Inka stealing Columbus's ships and using them to mount an invasion of Europe :

Wafer material, fore sure.

10:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

McNeil-

In future pls send messages to most recent blog post. No one reads the older stuff. Thank you.

mb

10:33 PM  

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