March 28, 2022


So, Wafers, what can I tell you. This is from the last thread:

College students, no less! Does it get any dumber? You know, when Toynbee did his assessment of collapsing civilizations, he was not able to name one that went under because it had turned into a joke. Honestly, I love this stuff. What next? Students burn an effigy of Tolstoy in Harvard Square? Don' laugh! A nation of clowns.



Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Does it get any dumber? Perhaps, Doctor, the triviality which supposedly is “news”. Most USAins, including many college students, haven’t even heard the name of Tolstoy. But they know who these Hollywood no talent goofballs are.

Or they’re more concerned with this nonsensical crap when it comes to college.

And these are two main stories from the Associated Press, one of the main news wires here in the U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!, U.S.A.! This is what is on everybody’s minds here. LOL.

“What passes for news in the United States is laughable.” -GSWH

6:05 PM  
Blogger ccg said...

While reading that Newsweek story about Karl Marx being canceled at the University of Florida, I saw a link to this other Newsweek article, an opinion piece by a former Ambassador to Portugal, claiming that this is Biden's finest moment:

What a moronic asshole this man must be. Is anyone even surprised by this kind of idiocy? Clear our problems go way beyond Biden and Kamala.

8:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


1st, I can't imagine too many countries impressed by America expressing 'moral outrage' (just look at what we have done around the world, and continue to do). 2nd, former ambassadors, as well as almost all of the American population, president and VP included, are dummies. I have been saying this for many years now, that this is the crux of our problem. It's a turkey country filled with turkeys, and once it fastens onto a theme, all it and they can do is gobble. You simply cannot solve your problems if you don't know how to think, and if you believe that having an emotion is the same thing as critical analysis. (This applies to college profs and students as well as to the wo/man in the street.) It's not merely that we are stupid; it's also the case that we are persistently stupid in a very silly way. 'Freedom Fries'; boycotting vodka and Dostoevsky; not knowing that Marx was German; it's a never-ending list. And of course never, ever paying attention to dissenting voices--ones that know the situation a whole lot better than you do. America seems to run on its limbic system, and sad to say, that's not necessarily the smartest part of the brain. There is simply no hope for us; History will run over us like a steamroller. That, in fact, is what is going on right now.


9:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I need yr help. As you may remember, on April 1st Evergreen College will be hosting the First Annual International Tulsi Conference. Our very own Jack L. will lead off w/a speech entitled "Tulsi: The Good, the Bad, and the (Very) Ugly." Tulsi herself will speak 3rd, w/a talk entitled "Who the Fuck Am I?" And of course, Yours Truly is scheduled to give a talk between them, wh/was originally called "Cornerstones of Tulsism."

Here's my problem: Tulsi seems to be floating in outer space. I don't know what her sources of income are (beyond selling workout tapes), but she is politically adrift. She was a Democratic congresswoman; now she appears to have some sort of semi-career as a talking head on Fox, berating the Democratic party. Well sure, they need to be berated, no argument there; but I'm not sure it constitutes an actual career. What, then, are her plans? What does she intend to do? Occasional spots on Fox just aren't gonna cut it. As a result, no one will give a shit about "Cornerstones of Tulsism," and I'm at a loss as to what to talk about. I thought of "Taking the Tulse of America," but it seemed a bit too cute. "Tulsi Makes Kamala Look Like a Piece of Crap" seems a tad too aggressive. So por favor, amigos, help me out here: I need a topic, and I need it fast.


10:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


12:17 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

MB and Wafers,

I think a more provocative introduction to introduce Tulsi at Evergreen is needed to distract the audience from its cell phone texting. May I suggest the following new title for MB's talk:

"Suppositorium insertio pullum paniculi farti: How Tulsism will reinvigorate America and Its Dollar With Her New Drive-Thru Program"

(The Latin phrase for "Chicken Sandwich Insertion" would become the new motto on the back of every Merican dollar, above the oval of Tulsi surfing.)

The mere hint of the new dollar menu with America's favorite fast food will surely be most capitivating for the masses in their void of meaning.

Perhaps Jeff can suggest some choral lyrics to kick the whole event off. I'm looking forward to our effort, doing what we can to boost Tulsism to a wider audience.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Not that I agree with all said (I'll hang in a Tiki lounge any day), but an interesting article:

12:36 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Tulsi should promote a mandatory combination of diet and exercise.

The title for her initiative: A Chicken in Every Squat

Every American adult will be required to watch her videos and perform the regimen daily. Her health and fitness program will be set to the decidedly un-schmaltzy music of JFK’s “Go, You Chicken Fat, Go!” As President Kennedy said, “We’re in a war with two great nations. Not a shooting war, but we’re at war with China and Russia. If we cannot do something to improve the physical fitness of Americans, then, as history has proven, in fifty years we will not be able to compete with these societies.” – Quoted from Poultry in Motion or How Professor Harold Hill Became the Father of Modern Calisthenics

It was in fact a piece of chicken that converted Tulsi’s family to vegetarianism and led them to create a vegetarian deli. So, Tulsi knows the power of poultry to transform lives.

Give that chicken fat back to the chicken,
And don't be chicken again.
Go, you chicken fat, go!

2:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Very moving. I wept.


2:56 PM  
Anonymous MarbleHead Gene said...


New York is giving the Buffalo Bills $850 million for a new stadium.

A few days ago New York announced $800 million in cuts to children and family services.

The Bill's owner is worth $5 billion+.

All this makes me want to drown my sorrows in a luscious chicken sandwich or two....

5:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It's all gd news, if yr a declinist.


5:14 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Here’s some welcome informative news exposing the hypocrisy of the plundering, despoiling U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!, U.S.A.! The folks in the Middle East, after hearing of the atrocities committed in Ukraine, probably are muttering, “Can anybody say ‘Iraq’?”

Back on our shitty roads it gets funnier. Two guys try to break up a road rage fight involving two Karens. But after a few moments they start fighting each other; one of them pulls out a gun. LOL!

Speaking of driving, how’s this for “free market” hustling?

p.s. Regarding your speech, Doctor:
Since it is taking place on “April 1st”, why not call it: “Tulsi, The Fools’ New Leader”. After all, 99.99 percent of USAins are dumbed-down fools anyway.

6:27 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

It was hard, but I had to write off people I've been talking with for 20 years on a forum as brain dead. Two years of the silliest covid hype ever, now followed by the most obvious propaganda from the Sun, the Daily Mail, Yahoo and reddit shitposts concerning the beating Russia is taking from the invincible and morally righteous Swastika tatted Azov battalion (now reduced to platoon remnants in babushka apparel trying to slip across the border).
"It’s like the last vestiges of observational capability have finally been beaten out of a meaningful portion of the population." Can't remember where I got that quote, but it helps, along with this place.
What the hell happened to people?

6:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Some links, substantiation, wd have been helpful. You cd be rt, but keep in mind that anyone can broadcast an opinion. Proof, different story.


7:23 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

WAFers can bemoan the absence of intelligence in the USA, but that
is just one way of looking at the species and its decline. A more
direct and objective observation is the physical condition of this
degenerate species--observe the ugly and costly topic featured on

3:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Here's a shocker-

8:19 AM  
Anonymous Mr. Sponge said...

Dr. Berman—

Okay, so I've watched people on Facebook debating whether Will Smith should have assaulted Oscar host Chris Rock over a (Don Rickles rated "mild") joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's hairlessness. Is criminal assault justifiable? The polls are in, and a Blue Rose Research poll found that 52.3% of people blamed Rock for the incident, compared to 47.7% who said Smith was out of line, according to a report published by on Tuesday.

Blaming the victim. Isn't this Americanism at its shiniest?

2:31 PM  
Blogger ccg said...

Well, here's some good news:

A poll shows that Trump will beat Biden in 2024, not so much because people love Trump but because they really hate Biden. Who could have predicted this? Oh, yeah...

2:55 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

EXTRA!EXTRA! Read all about it!

EXTRA!EXTRA! Read all about it!

EXTRA!EXTRA! Read all about it!
Oh Lord, Won’t You Buy Me a Mayback minivan.

Yep. The important relevant information above is for all of these 330 million or so “exceptional” minds in the U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!

7:50 PM  
Anonymous lead said...

I was just talking to coworkers about pottery. One of them was really proud of her hobby. I asked her if she uses lead in the glaze, and she said yes, that everyone uses it because it's cheap. I asked her if there was any concern with lead poisoning, and my concern was shrugged off. I mentioned that lead is toxic and shouldn't be used in anything and that we should have absolutely zero lead in our bodies. They still remained unconcerned.

I wouldn't be surprised if much of our stupidity is due simply to ongoing poisoning. Nearly everyone is using leaded glazes in ceramics, but this is most common in the industrial world. In the less industrial countries (e.g. India), they're often using stainless steel plates rather than ceramics with leaded glaze.

The US government has no regulation on lead, and I think since most people are blindly following authorities and mass media, they don't care since the elites don't care. I'm guessing if NPR or Netflix has a leaded glazing documentary people would suddenly be concerned.

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Tim I said...

I beg to differ with the linked analysis--somewhat.

In spite of being a native and lifelong resident of the culture of narcissism I have always visualized myself as an agent of social transformation. It just took a long time to see that locally it's not going to happen in the U.S. or other industrialized countries. Therefore, I refocused on the developing world and the global level.

9:13 PM  
Anonymous Cosmo Como said...

Such a life will make for tomorrow's army of Wafers all swindled by
the dream.

11:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Nah...not Wafers. We're too smart. :-)


Frankly, I can't remember what we we're talking abt. But I'm sure yr wrong. ;-)


Well, it's one theory as to what did the Roman empire in.


334 million, now. And yes, this is the crap Americans focus on. Will Smith, Kim, chicken sandwiches: what douche bags we are. Oh, and getting Dostoevsky banned from college curricula. The combo of lead and stupidity will surely do us in.


This is indeed gd news. Of course the 1st step in the process will be the mid-term elections, in wh/the Dems will emerge w/egg on face. As for 2024: I'm sorry, but Schmiden and Schmamala have no business running the ship of state. Trumpi will of course be very destructive, assuming he's back in the saddle; but we are currently witnessing a gov't that has its head up its ass.

Mr. Sponge-

Who cd give a shit abt this stuff? Oh, yeah: Americans.


12:16 AM  
Anonymous Indy said...

Architects Reveal Bizarre Plans for a Libertarian City in the Metaverse. "it is hard to imagine what Libertarian tech bros need to get up to that they are not already rampantly allowed to do, but one suspects it may not be fully legal.

Tech Bro Buffoonery

8:53 AM  
Anonymous D. S. Enchanted said...

Indy, it sounds like Neal Stephenson really nailed it in "Snow Crash". I love that closing paragraph, I'll have to add it to my reading list. Meanwhile, Christopher Alexander, an architect and writer who knew what humans really need from their environment has died. It's to our continuing detriment that our rapidly dying "New World" doesn't seem to believe in the timelessness of his vision.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous war on heresy said...

I was reading the book "War on Heresy" which is saying there never were any heretics or Cathars, but that everything was all about political power struggles between various rulers. Heresy was just a code word for refusing emperor worship, so a false charge to crush political enemies because they were offending the gods.

Even your average atheist today has accepted the concept of obedience to elites (lawyers, doctors, engineers, rather than bishops), so they're constantly following the leader in terms of laws, habits, and proper behavior (e.g. visiting museums). People today see virtue in work, following laws, and having concern for blood relations, when all these ideas were just creations of the elites in previous centuries. The average peasant never cared about a bloodline, marriage ties, or making money, that was all forced onto people by emperors & popes with their distorted views of reality.

3:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Quite wrong, really; foolish, even. Check out my book "Coming to Our Senses" for a much more believable take on the subject. As for yr 2nd para: where are your links, your references? This is just opinion, eh?


3:58 PM  
Anonymous Cherith Cutestory said...

-- Biden says that trans people are made in the image of God and their parents should affirm their identity. Does this gas bag have any functioning brain cells left?

-- And this comes at a time when US power is declining visibly and there's a new world order emerging before our eyes. Nice to see the White House still has its priorities in check.

-- Remember when the British occupied India? Now the Brits and the Americans are reduced to sending envoys in what seems to be a begging mission to convince India to take a tougher stance on Russia. My, how the world has changed. I wonder how the US will behave militarily as it watches more and more countries ignoring its will.

5:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, parents affirming their children's identity, whatever it is, strikes me as being a gd thing, really. As for the US going down the drain: duh!


6:04 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Dr B,

This story about the kid who deliberately killed an elderly Vietnam veteran with his car is especially disturbing, but not just because of that incident in and of itself. Rather…this kid has some serious neurodevelopmental disorders and in spite of his family’s best efforts, (at least according to both his mother and sister in the courtroom when he was sentenced) he never got anything close to the kind of help he needed. School officials, law-enforcement, the courts, the the god-awful & for-profit healthcare system we have in this country, etc…all failed him & miserably so. He was thrown into one of these zoos in America which house all our rabid animals i.e., “schools”…and he was a sheep among wolves in them. His peers psychologically and physically tortured him for years and apparently nothing was ever done about it. Then one day…he “snapped” and now one life was taken and many others, including his own, was ruined forever. This kid is just another tragic example of the sort people American society produces on a daily basis and his tale is another “good” illustration of how deep the rot of callousness, cruelty, indifference, greed, stupidity, etc….goes in this sickest of all imaginable societies.

5:21 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


What an awful story. And the kid's face is so sad. Two questions occur to me: How did we wind up with a society that treats people this way (which is to say, like garbage)?, and Why do people (Americans esp.) hurt other people? What, exactly, is the thrill involved in bullying another person? (That the boy finally wanted to go out and kill someone, anyone, is not difficult to understand.)


5:43 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


If you check out the Amazon listing for my new book, "Eminent Post-Victorians," you'll find a review of it by Kenneth Lambert, wh/is critical of my chapter on Alan Turing. I tried to respond to his critique in the comments section, but apparently it requires a cell fone, and I don't have one. Hence, the best I can do is respond here, on the blog, but I do encourage you guys to check out Lambert's review, to see what I'm talking about. Thanks. As follows:

I’d like to thank Prof. Lambert for his 5-star review, and also respond to his critique of my chapter on Alan Turing, esp. since it raises a larger historical question. Lambert is of course right to point out that the computer revolution had a supporting cast: Shannon, von Neumann, et al., and I probably should have mentioned them (at least in a footnote). Hegel notwithstanding, history is never made by just one man. But I think in this case, it comes pretty close: Turing certainly fits the category of “world historical individual.” His biographer, Andrew Hodges, calls him “the Galileo of a new science.” Now it can be said that the Scientific Revolution of the 17C would have happened without Galileo (or Newton), but it probably would not have happened in the same way; and something similar (I think) can be said of Turing and the computer revolution—that he was the father of it, as many biographers/historians have pointed out. When I refer to Shannon et al. as the “supporting cast,” the emphasis needs to be put on the word “supporting.” The BBC, in 2019, referred to Turing as “the greatest person of the 20th century”; I doubt they (or anyone) would say the same of Claude Shannon, or Norbert Wiener. Shannon et al. do not appear on legal tender or postage stamps, and no statues have been erected to them that I know of. I believe it was Von Neumann who called Turing’s 1936 paper—the concepts of which echoed through the decoding of Enigma, computer design, and Artificial Intelligence—as “easily the most influential math paper in history,” adding that the central concept of the modern computer can be traced to this article. Turing’s paper of 1950 was also a blockbuster, introducing the concepts of the “Imitation Game” and the “Turing Test,” both crucial to the field of AI. My point is that if there was only one Isaac Newton, there was also only one Alan Turing—even if both men required an historical context, and a supporting cast. He is finally the man who gave us computer programming, and the world that ensued from that, it seems to me—the world we now live in. I don’t mean to be churlish, and I do appreciate Prof. Lambert’s objection; but if he is partly correct, which I think he is, I would have to say it’s by about 30% at the most.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

As all of these law abiding, respect authority USAin conservatives like to say: “Back the Blue!”

Don’t forget we are a “Christian” ( not Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or Hindu) nation, as shown here at the 43 second mark down in that “family values” state of Texas:

And some nurses while away from their “life saving” jobs here obviously think differently.

U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Jenna said...

“It is a book written with the sleeves rolled up. The authors have come to the bar not only to tell a strong story, but also to have a good fight. Pinker gets a headbutt, Harari a knee, Diamond an uppercut, while Rutger Bregman even nastier, isn't even mentioned by name, though the authors start their book roughly by stating that the the question of whether man is good or bad is "as absurd as the question whether man is essentially fat or thin."

.. On "The Dawn Of Everything".

Can't recommend this book ehough!

3:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Paywall, sad to say.


I kinda like the idea of nurse practitioners gunning people down in the street, like dogs. In fact, doctors and nurses oughta get into the act as well. Go, medical people!


4:19 PM  
Anonymous bishop said...

Why do so many Americans remain in the Catholic Church after 20 years of non-stop news stories like this? Even if people believe all the dogmas & want to say prayers, how can you give money & go to Catholic Church buildings after reading so many stories like this? At least Europeans have mostly wised up to this & have nearly abandoned the institution totally.

7:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Setting Catholics aside for a moment, here's a scenario that has been repeated many times: Some goofy religious cult declares the end of the world on, say, June 12. June 12 comes, and the world goes on. Do members of the cult correct conclude that its beliefs are a load of hooey? Of course not! What they do is move the day of doom forward a few months. This shd tell u something. In addition, let me add that Europeans tend to be smart, and Americans tend to be stupid.


8:21 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

O Great Sage of the Western Hemisphere and other dwellers in the land of Jose Clemente Orozco, I have a question for you that is off-topic for this post but not I think for the broader theme of this blog, or at any rate for advice that you have often given in the past about getting the hell out of Dodge. To wit: in your experience, is the mail service in Mexico fast enough that I could successfully run a mail order business there? I'm gearing up to start such a biz where I am but would really like to escape to happier climes, there to pursue more or less the same occupation should that prove feasible. Thus far I am dealing in books and stationery bound by hand by myself.

I have news that for me is good. I live in a household that includes my elderly mother. We dwell, not live, tragically in Alta California and for years I have been trying to persuade her that Baja California would be ever so much better a place in which to live. Now things are so awful here that at last she has begun seen the Light! I just hope we can make our escape before they close the southern border.


10:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd to hear from u, amigo. I am indeed a Great Sage. Sometimes, just contemplating my sagacity, I get so overwhelmed I hafta lie down for an hr or 2. Anyway, nothing is fast in Mexico; one reason why I love the place. Mail service is not fast, and has gotten even slower as a result of Covid. In terms of being a viable business, you wd need to live where there are lots of ex-pats, and quite frankly, being (mostly) Americans, they are douche bags. After 5 mins conversation w/them, u wanna kill yrself. Baja California wd mean Los Cabos; bring a gun w/u so you can shoot yrself after talking w/an American ex-pat. Frankly, you'd be better off relocating to Mexico City, trying yr chances there. This is where I live a lot of the time, and (scout's honor) I don't know a single gringo. Not one. Yes, I'm a happy camper.


10:58 PM  
Anonymous Chuck Steak said...

Talk about WAF!! How about the delightful prediction that today's
children will have a life expectancy LESS than their parents because
of obesity and it related ailments? Go to 00:16:40 to hear how the
corporate food monster is addicting children to toxic foods.

11:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Toxic foods, toxic life. I'll be honest w/u: I keep saying that there's no hope for America, but the truth is that there is one way we can save ourselves. Lemme spell it out 4u. The country consists of 334 million degraded buffoons. If on an agreed upon date and time, all of those people wd stand up and shout, WE ARE A COLLECTION OF DEGRADED BUFFOONS!, America wd enter a new happy and enlightened era. Reason to hope, in short. Yea, go team.


12:07 AM  
Anonymous willy robinson said...

Re: Alan Turing and Professor Lambert's review, I'm not sure how useful it is to imagine how pop music would have been without the Beatles, or how astronomy would have evolved without Galileo. It's all speculation.

One aspect that is missing from your piece on Alan Turing is the massive difference between computing as Turing imagined it (artificial intellegence), and how computing was in fact developed by IBM etc. from the 1940s until recently (calculating machines set up to run software). Respectfully, Deep Blue is a poor example of Turing's legacy, being a programmable IBM device which beat Kasparov with silicon muscle (and some very human shenanigans). The real legacy of Turing is Alpha Zero, the AI which learnt chess in a matter of hours and then wiped the floor with other chess engines, and whose signature moves (including moving the queen into the corner squares) were later adopted by the best grandmasters. This is what Turing was about.

Returning to Lambert's review, if smartphones are the legacy of all of Turing's contemporaries (which seems broadly fair), then Turing himself is particularly responsible for some of the darkest, blackest, most evil AI software collating all of our smartphone data (including Palantir, Meta and others) in order to anticipate consumer and political trends for their nefarious ends. It is indeed less to put on one man's shoulders, but it's a higher concentration of ugly.

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Clay said...

How an Ivy League School Turned Against a Student


Short version is this rich single mom ruthlessly beat the shit out of her daughter and her boyfriend assaulted her regularly. Hospitalized her. She went into foster care. Her mother then sent anonymous letters to Penn saying she was lying, sending photos of her well off childhood. Destroy the Ivy League!

10:26 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for yr input. I can't really comment on yr 2nd paragraph--altho one problem I have w/it is your lack of references, so I dunno how accurate it is--but you wd seem to know a lot more of the technical details than I do. (Maybe experts in the field who are reading this discussion can also provide input on these issues.) I still think my distinction between Turing and the "supporting cast" stands, however, and therefore that Lambert was largely off-base in his critique. I also am not able to comment on how 'evil' Turing was. But leaving all of that aside, and returning to the Lambert review: it wd seem to me to be a gd example of damning w/faint praise. Certainly, if I were a prospective customer, I wdn’t buy the book after reading his review; after all, 50% of it (based on 10% of the bk) is negative. And probably most prospective customers wdn’t be readers of this blog, and therefore wd not have the benefit of my posted reply (above), wh/points out that Lambert’s review missed the larger picture, and is correct only in a very narrow sense. While I appreciated the five stars, the bottom line is that the guy hardly did me any favors. But obviously, no author can control how fair or accurate his reviewers are; it's all part of the game.

As for yr own technical analysis, again, a few links wd have helped, but as I said, maybe some other experts in the field can chime in, and help us out.


11:08 AM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

USians will not "ban" their 800+ overseas war monger bases, nor their endless wars for imperialistic hegemony, but what they WILL consider banning is a chicken sandwich chain drive thru.

Quelle horreur! What will these USians do?

1:31 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman & Wafers,
Check this out. Our former half-governor of Alaska is running for Congress. Imagine her alongside Greene and Boebert in the House chamber making fools of themselves for all to see!
What would they be called? “The Three Karens”? “The Three Boob ( no female anatomy pun intended) Jobs”? Maybe they also can spearhead Don Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign.

Also check out this “role model” for the many USAin soccer moms.

And for a real good laugh, check out the 7 pages of photographs of these conservative “Convoy” goofballs. Ha!Ha!Ha! It doesn’t get any better than this! LOL!

U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!

2:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Myself, I love goofballs. America has so many of them. As for Sarah: one of the great turkettes of our age.

Dr. Shit-

No mention of suppositories, however.

ps: Willy: Perhaps there's more to be said. I think the problem here is that we are at cross-purposes, i.e. talking past one another. You may be right about the tech details, but I see it as irrelevant to my own take on Turing, which is spiritual/cultural rather than technical. Turing captured the 'spirit of the age', as Andrew Hodges rightly asserts. His 1936 paper, for example, antedated IBM, and together with his 1950 paper created a whole new way of conceiving of reality. Thus (to take but one example) details of the Deep Blue contest don't really matter, because what Turing was claiming was that machines could learn. Deep Blue lost to Kasparov in 1996, and then defeated him in 1997. In short, the computer learned, regardless of how. The fact of that wd seem to be more significant than the technical details, as far as I can see.

Speculation regarding Galileo or Newton or Turing is worth raising, I think. Again, it's about the spirit of the age. Check out note 19 of EPV, Frank Manuel's take on Newton. It was Newton's spirit, his way of being and conceptualizing the world, that informed the age, the Scientific Revolution, and the Enlightenment (Voltaire was bananas over Newton); and I think the same can be said of Turing and the Computer Revolution. These men embodied the spirit of the times, and they also created that spirit; sorta like a Moebius strip, one might say. In other words, I think you have made the same mistake Lambert did, by which I mean missing the forest for the trees, not seeing the larger picture. Citing Alpha Zero or silicon or whatever doesn't negate my argument abt Turing, because we are looking at very different things: two different ballparks that barely overlap (if at all).


8:57 PM  
Anonymous Chuck Steak said...

You people simply do not look on the bright side of things in America.
Have you forgotten the self-correcting method to escape poverty? It
turns out that if you are poor, you get fat, sick, then die at a much
earlier age than those with money. This also creates more space at the
bottom of society for more poor people.

1:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

It just goes on and on:


9:35 AM  
Anonymous willy robinson said...

I think i was indeed talking at cross-purposes - let me take a step back.

Certainly Turing captured the spirit of the age. He made the world hungry for computers before there were any, and it's clear from the two papers you cite that he had a purpose for them: to go beyond the limit of human intellegence and make discoveries that ordinary mortals couldn't reach unaided. To even conceive that in the 1930s before anyone had actually built a working computer is mind-blowing.

Simply as a reader (and as a chess-loving patzer), Alpha Zero struck me as potentially a better example than Deep Blue. Let's call it an observation. A starting point for an actual review would be to engage with what Eminent Post-Victorians sets out to achieve, ie to imagine how these men and women conceived the world, and how they addressed the big question 'what are we here for?'. Unfortunately Professor Lambert doesn't really attempt that, and I can understand your frustration.

I will say to other Wafers who may be interested in reading the book that MB helps us to understand the brilliant but rather unknowable Alan Turing by means of just the most outrageous pop-culture reference you'll ever find in a serious book. The effect of a writing style that is very learned, but with these occasional risks, is that it's very disarming. It establishes a kind of trust you don't get with many writers, and that you'll all be familiar with from this blog.

One thing I can agree with from Professor Lambert's review is the excellence of the chapter on Isiah Berlin. I will admit to falling for Berlin's silky prose in the past and I appreciate the heads-up regarding the flaws in his arguments.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Some road rage incidents involving: angry young Karens; a trashy couple killing a six year old; the perpetrator and his parents denying blowing somebody away; and getting it on at a McDonald’s. Just a normal day on the roads here in the exceptional U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!

2:39 PM  
Anonymous Orca said...

Workers of Amazon, unite! But don't you dare to think that succeeding in creating a union inside the most anti labor company would change a thing in America. Even if Bezos turns into a maoist, America's going down hill fast.

6:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Many thanks. I don't have anything to add, except to say that I found the full-on dementia of Big Bang Theory hilarious.


6:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Impt admission: my favorite episode in all of TBBT's 12 seasons was when Penny got a part in a film called "Serial Apeist II: Monkey See, Monkey Kill."

7:36 PM  
Blogger ccg said...

America's crocodile tears for Ukraine:

I agree that the US really wanted this war.

11:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is exactly the pt, and what I argued in my Excelsior article, and what Mearsheimer, Ritter, and others have been saying all along: we ourselves would not tolerate missiles on our border, so why shd Russia? Putin kept trying to get the US to listen to his concerns abt border safety, and the US just wdn't do it. Reviving the Cold War, beating our chests, calling Putin Hitler, etc.--that's much what we prefer to do. Meanwhile, American morons boycott vodka, universities ban Dostoevsky, and so on. A giant farce, in short. America *always* wants war; it makes us feel gd, and covers up the emptiness w/in. But at the end of the day, we're just one more dying empire.


2:52 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Dr. Berman,

You motivated me to read HW Brand's book "The Devil We Knew". Thanks a lot--a great body read! I'm 80 percent done, but I can see his influence on your thinking on the Cold War. Even though I'm sure he's largely anathema here, it's hard to deny that Kissinger had perhaps the sanest and most reasonable outlook on the Soviets and the Cold War. Detente, the balancing of forces as opposed to an idealistic crusade,etc. Even though he is rightly chastised for the Cambodian bombings, Allende, the bloodbath with Suharto, and so forth, his "Realist" approach to foreign policy, is far more appealing to me than, say, "Wilsonian" or Neocon idealism, which naively seeks to remake the world in our own image.

Anyhow, thanks for the recommendation. I'm really enjoying it!

6:58 AM  
Anonymous Lang said...

I first read his "Denial of Death" after MB's recommendation, just picked this up & it is just as fascinating.

7:13 AM  
Anonymous Rob T. said...

It's fucking blood money, that's why..

"That brings the total owed to the tribes of the Great Sioux Nation to $863,286,767.90. A nice chunk of cash."

"And yet, the poorest of people in all of America refuse to accept one single penny of the award."

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Glans Butterworth, III said...

USians doing what USians do best: obsessing over useless shit bc their "lives" are empty and meaningless. Example: Hustling chicken sandwich rugs.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

It’s just another violent Monday, violent like Sunday, just like each day…here in the U.S.A. It’s just another violent Monday.

2:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Too many links. Who has time? Por fa, 3 at a time.


That's because they have a sense of dignity, a sense of a personal self. 334 million Americans do not have this, wh/explains a lot of what is going on. If you keep in mind that Americans are fundamentally bad people (plus dumb as shit), things aren't all that puzzling.


3:19 PM  
Anonymous MarbleHead Gene said...

I know Hedge's gets a bad rap on this blog (though I haven't been around this page long enough to know why)but his newest article is full of pointed fire and rage. I liked it. YMMV

5:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Wd be too long a discussion, but for starters, he plagiarizes other people's work. E.g., check out article by Chris Ketcham in the New Republic of a few yrs back, and Hedges' transparently dishonest reply.


6:10 PM  
Anonymous Krakhed said...

Here's a nuanced political discussion:

Interview with Michael Hudson and Margaret Flowers about the global situation.

Found this interesting- Hudson: "So, the American war in Ukraine is really a war against Germany. Russia is not the enemy. Germany and Europe are the enemy and the United States made it very clear. This is a war to lock in our allies so they cannot trade with Russia. They cannot buy Russian oil."

Reading perspectives like this make me believe a storm is brewing and some turbulent years are ahead! Hope you all have a safe place to ride it out.

6:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Ging Newtrich is certainly one of the greatest douche bags in the history of the world. But this interview is kinda fun:


6:34 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

Shortly will WAFerism become the only logical point of view about the

1:18 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


No way to get in.


4:02 AM  
Anonymous Namaste said...

Hello Mr. Berman,

“Testimony of Lie : Nayirah” .. Iraq (Desert Storm/ 1991)..

It’s just amazing that the Americans keep lying again and again but the public will just gobble it up every time like morons. Now the US is doing the same thing to Russia, no limit to their sickness.

5:34 AM  
Anonymous Mercy said...

Astrotopia: The Dangerous Religion of the Corporate Space Race, Rubenstein

This looks like a great Wafer read, out soon!

8:11 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

How are you? Yes, I've been away for some time. My mom suffered a stroke in March 2021 and I cared for her until she passed this January. She was 97. Needless to say, we were close, and not until recently am I functioning, at least ostensibly, normally. As expected, family members acted abysmally but that's for another time. Of course, I am following the repartee here and I just finished your latest book which I thoroughly enjoyed. Perhaps my favorite line is from the Auden chapter: "There is no money in poetry, but then there is no poetry in money."What a brilliant encapsulation of American society!
By the way, any chance for a NYC Wafer summit this spring or summer? I hope so.

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Kenneth Lambert said...

It’s nice to see that my Amazon review of Eminent Post-Victorians has generated some discussion. There is no doubt that Alan Turing was a genius, made a substantial contribution to the theory of computation, and helped England and the Allies defeat the Nazis much sooner than they would have without his code-breaking efforts. For that he may deserve a picture on a postage stamp and legal tender, as well as a place in Dr. Bergman’s pantheon of eminent post-Victorians. But the case has hardly been made for assigning him a “world-historical” role in leading the charge to create the digital world in which we now live. On the contrary, I was perhaps too generous in my Amazon review on this point. Some historians argue that Turing’s theoretical work played almost no role in the practices involved in the development of computer technology. A good review of his actual role and of the reasons why many have come to exaggerate it can be found at

9:05 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for yr input. It *has* been an interesting discussion, altho I think most of the credit wd hafta go to willy. (BTW, my name is Berman.) The postage stamp and legal tender were not just for Turing's role in WW2, but also for recognition of him as 'father of the computer'--as it says on at least one of his statues. Your attempt to make him somehow equivalent to Shannon et al.--sorry, it just won't wash, altho I agree that they were impt figures in the development of cybernetics. Nevertheless (once again), yr focus on 'practices' is narrow, and misses the pt: like Newton in the 17C (see the bio by Frank Manuel), Turing embodied the spirit of the age, in this case the (Platonic) Idea of a digitalized society,
in wh/we now live.(I already had this discussion w/willy, wh/I guess you didn't really understand. Note that historians of science have also faulted some of Newton's 'practices'--so what?) No discussion of practices can change that spiritual-cultural reality; it's a question of forest vs. trees. I shd add that there are a # of historical errors in the film, "The Imitation Game," but that too does not change the larger picture, wh/you are apparently unable to grasp. As for praising yourself for your excessive 'generosity', I'm impressed by the fact that 50% of your review was negative, mostly off-base, and concerned itself with no more than 10% of my text. Yes, clearly, you were far too generous.


Sorry to hear abt your mother, and hope you are recovering from this and related events. Glad you enjoyed "Eminent Post-Victorians." As for a Wafer Summit: I'm still pondering it for September; the problem is that I'm edgy about being w/groups of people in confined spaces, like airplanes, thanks to Covid. But I imagine that sooner or later, we'll hafta have a rendezvous. Stay tuned.


For the current lie, check out online interviews with John Mearsheimer and Scott Ritter (among a few others). There are at least 2 factors here: first, historically, America needs an enemy to feel OK about itself (see some of my essays in QOV, also work by Denis Duclos). This is in our national DNA, and goes back to the late 16C, seeing England as decadent, a nation to be rejected in favor of the 'new Jerusalem'. 2nd, for a # of reasons (in particular, America being essentially a business culture), Americans are simply not very bright, as a whole. The combination of these two factors is very powerful, and makes Americans gullible toward any propaganda the gov't throws out, esp. if it involves war, or opposition. Americans 'think' by emotion, not reason. You see how soft-headed they are, wanting to boycott vodka and Dostoevsky, for example--actions that are ludicrous, like the 'Freedom Fries' we had during our destruction of Iraq (since France wdn't support our madness; we even called the French "cheese-eating surrender monkeys"--!). The fact that Putin doesn't want our missiles along the Russian border: oh, let's not pay any attention to that. Etc.


11:24 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Notice to Hispanohablantes: "Are We There Yet?" is now available in Spanish translation, with 6 new essays added to it (originally posted in English on this blog). Here's the link:

Disfrutalo, chicos!


1:43 PM  
Anonymous Ester said...

A New History of World War II

A new book argues that the conflict was a battle for empire.

"Few would count the French war in Vietnam (or the U.S. one that immediately followed) as part of the Second World War. Yet why not?"

"Well, everyone knows Custer died at Little Bighorn. What this book presupposes is... maybe he didn't.""Ignoring empire also turns the Second World War into a moral triumph."

2:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I believe the World Systems Analysis schl argued this thesis yrs ago. Gd to have an update, tho.


3:04 PM  
Anonymous Cherith Cutestory said...

-- More American fearmongering against China: China's Hypersonic Nuke Test Has 'Serious Implications'. The only country that has ever used nuclear weapons and is still responsible for regular, deliberate bloodbaths and torture and rape all over the world is trying to scare us of a country that has been largely minding its own business.

-- NATO, ever the pathetic little yapping lap dog to the US, has also joined the anti-China crusade, except in the typical Western hypocrisy and doublespeak, they couched their words in diplomatic, humanitarian rhetoric, announcing that NATO intends to deepen its cooperation with partners in Asia as a response to a rising “security challenge” coming from China, which refuses to condemn Russia. Yes, those noble Western countries ALWAYS have high-minded ideals and lofty purposes, so moving!

4:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cleverly, the Chinese have been minding the business ($) of many nations across the globe (Africa esp.). This is called long-term investment. They think in terms of 50 yrs; we, in terms of 5. Who will win, do ya wonder? It will hardly be because of hypersonic nukes.


5:27 PM  
Anonymous W/ a Twist said...

The Dragon, a 1944 play by Soviet writer Evgeny Schwartz, has long been seen as an allegory for Stalinism & totalitarianism's crippling effect on the human spirit.

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Kenneth Lambert said...

My bad, Dr. Berman, on proofing the spelling of your name: the ‘puter completed that for me and I did not catch it before sending. I do think I understand the point of your discussion with Willy, but there are still problems with your argument on the significance of Turing in the history of computing. That the British government or a biographer or the creator of a statue christens Turing “the father of the computer” does not make it so; more evidence is needed, and the article I referenced provides countervailing evidence. On a related note, I never claimed that Shannon’s contributions to computing were “equivalent” to Turing’s, whatever that might mean. Their contributions were just different and complementary; moreover, information theory had application well beyond cybernetics. Most importantly, to identify the real bearers of the “spirit of an age” only on the basis of their alleged exemplification of a set of Platonic ideas or ideal types seems a regression to the worst kind of a priori philosophical history of the Hegelian kind. But I hope you do not mean to do that. One of the things that I respect most about your marvelous body of work is the way in which you tie together ideas and practices in the service of cultural history. So, I find it odd, if not disappointing, that in Turing’s case, you claim that it’s only the ideas or the “spirit” that matter, independently of practices.

7:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I guess we are just going to hafta agree to disagree, and leave it at that. We see history very differently, obviously. 'More evidence' than a statue of Turing is available; indeed, I provided it. And you did, it seems to me, attempt to diminish Turing in favor of Shannon et al., or at least argue that my emphasis on him was unjustified. Sure, in a narrow, technical way, one might say it was, but that is simply not the larger reality. I don't see any 'regression' in my work, any more than I do in Frank Manuel's bio of Newton. He was basing his assessment on Newton's impact and reputation across the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment; I'm basing my assessment of Turing on a similar kind of impact, centuries later. This is responsible history, as far as I'm concerned, and quite empirical--hardly a priori. As for my ignoring the 'practices': that such were carried out by other computer experts just doesn't matter for Turing's role in forming the spirit of the age (whose papers were, in any case, drowning in technical detail). Willy got this immediately; you, apparently, are unable to. You are coming from a very strange place, I fear, one that is unwilling or unable to deal with what I actually wrote, or what really counts in a human, or spiritual, or cultural sense.

Which I think concludes our discussion. It seems to me we have reached a dead end, and need to go our separate ways. I'm disappointed in your stubborn failure to understand, your need to personally attack me as being 'regressive', the 'worst' kind of historian (pretty nasty, amigo), and what remains, to my mind, a (mostly) wrong-headed and rather petty review--which in your mind, amazingly enuf, is 'generous'--another example of disparate realities, I suppose. (Ironic that you liked the chapter on Koestler, wh/provides the same type of analysis that I performed on Turing.) Anyway, best of luck.


9:23 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

WAFerism is certain to become a growing point of view about everything.

1:32 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


In case you were wondering what was happening on the Tulsi front, this is from the Guardian:

"Former congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat, last month attempted to soften and spin Putin’s onerous crackdown on independent media in Russia, where reporters and other citizens now can face prison terms of 15 years for not toeing the Kremlin’s Orwellian war line and spreading what Moscow deems “fake” news about its Ukraine invasion. Gabbard made the wild claim that “what we’re seeing happening here [in America] is not so different from what we’re seeing happening in Russia”.

"More recently, Russian state TV lauded Gabbard as “our friend Tulsi”, when it introduced a Carlson interview with her in which Gabbard accused Biden of “lying” about his true motives in Ukraine after Biden said in Warsaw that Putin “cannot remain in power”, which the White House quickly clarified was not a call for regime for change."

This is all well and gd, but Tulsi missed an opportunity to explain the fundamentals of Tulsism, wh/is the only philosophy that can save Russia, the US, and the Ukraine, as well as the entire world. And also, to distribute her workout tape, of course.


4:09 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Moving on from our discussion of Turing, let me mention a different chapter of "Eminent Post-Victorians," the one on T.S. Eliot. I argue that rather than being dated, Eliot was in fact a man of our times. And lo and behold, I discovered that the City of London agrees w/me:

Wish I cd attend.


4:23 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

My favorite chapter in EPV was on Graham Greene. The Quiet American is pure genius and so eerily prescient in light of what happened later in Vietnam. I’ve always found it borderline spooky. My personal top choice for Greene is The Heart of the Matter because he captures the vibe of Sierra Leon and similar parts of Africa so thoroughly. Your lovely new book you quite rightly described as “sweet” gave me so many new writers/thinkers to investigate.

On another amusing note, I have been living outside the US and generally easily able to avoid Americans. Yesterday I was in a fairly small museum in a second tier city when an American woman of about 70 walked in. She was obvious to everyone because she was decked head to toe in Ukrainian colors right down to her face mask. As there haven’t been too many Americans around during Covid, I forgot about this level of virtue signaling. I think we need to add Ukrainism to our prior list of isms.

I know there are other classical musician Wafers. I’m female (and a cellist) but can any of you play your instrument with your penis like Zelensky? He is clearly someone Americans can easily admire.

11:56 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah, Greene is indeed quite fabulous. I recently ran across this quote from Robt Penn Warren:

"You live through that little piece of time that is yours, but that piece of time is not only your own life, it is the summing-up of all the other lives that are simultaneous with yours...What you are is an expression of History."

This wd have made a gd epigraph to the bk. Of course, the making of History in my collection of cameos was esp. true of Turing and Koestler, but in their own way, a bit true of the others as well. A shame, of course, that Greene didn't have the impact he shd have. For all of his internal problems, the guy did fight the gd fight.

Anyway, if the spirit moves you, perhaps you cd post a review on Amazon. At this pt, I cd probably use some help.:-)


1:51 PM  
Anonymous Glans Butterworth, III said...

USian crashes car into a moped-then chaos ensues. Perhaps, it was bc the American fast "food" shithouse ran out of chicken sandwiches?

12:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


At this pt in yr career as a Wafer, it might be time 4u 2 calculate the amt of slapping, and of urine, it wd take to get 334 million douche bags to become semi-normal. After all, the moped events yr describing happen across the US on a daily basis, in one form or another.


1:13 PM  
Blogger Kelvin said...

"The thought of our death is the only thing that can temper our spirit"(my own translation from A Separate Reality by Carlos Castaneda during a conversation between the author and his mentor, Don Juan, at a stop in the town of Los Vidrios.

Probably not a best-seller was Susan Sontag's son's account of his mother's death from a second bout of breast cancer, entitled, "Swimming in a Sea of Death," {although, personally, I'm treading water). Susan was unable to accept her death and distressed everyone around her by her frantic attempts to prolong her life. I suppose, as Aristotle noted, the intellect thinks itself immortal, and therefore the idea of its demise is intensely repugnant. But, rest assured, the intellect is doomed by Mystery to never reach an understanding, the point, it seems to me, of Castaneda's inventive novels of "anthropology." Most people in the US believe they are entitled to eternal life by the Constitution although they're unable to cite the relevant passage. I suppose it's somewhere in the Dream.

4:52 AM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

USers fighting over Biden supporting Russia. Such passion, shirtless and all. Mr. Hedges and Dr. Chomksy-please take note, these folks will help lead that US empire "revolution." The only thing missing is a pussy hat and a Ukrainian flag.

5:02 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dr. Shit-

One hasta wonder what % of the American population is actually demented.


Not sure what this hasta do w/the collapse of the American empire, but what the heck.


7:02 AM  
Anonymous Cig said...

NYPD van fatally strikes panhandler on Brooklyn street

12:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I suppose one way to bring an end to the American empire is to give every US citizen and resident a van.


1:54 PM  
Anonymous Cherith Cutestory said...

-- Twitter banned Scott Ritter permanently a couple of days ago using bullshit pretexts because he dared to question the veracity of the Western narrative surrounding Bucha, then oddly (but luckily) reinstated him. Interview with him about this. Seems Twitter has gone flat out full US empire propaganda arm.

-- Caitlin Johnstone wrote a good piece on this issue titled Twitter IS “State-Affiliated Media”. I remember some of the disturbing parts of Manufacturing Consent about the US media's subservience to the US government and their reliable support for its propaganda.

-- Georges Clemenceau: "America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization".

2:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm only surprised at the reinstatement. In the entire history of the US, regarding every conflict and every major event, only 1 narrative is allowed. Critics and questioners not welcome.


4:32 PM  
Anonymous Denny said...

Wind energy company kills 150 eagles in US, pleads guilty

The price of an eagle in the U.S. has been established in court: $29,623. What a heartless nation.

6:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It seems to me that in all areas of life in the US, whether human or animal or vegetable, the real theme of the nation is death. Death is everywhere in America now; it hovers over us like our fate; it pervades everything we do. We kill people, we kill eagles, we kill the water supply. Don DeLillo actually predicted this in 1985, in his novel "White Noise." In the novel, it was a metaphor (DeLillo called it a 'toxic event'); today, it is a reality. All of this is part of our inevitable collapse.


6:16 PM  
Anonymous Cosmo Como said...

Yet Trump keeps going on about "rigged election" while his gang has
done the same thing in many states. The pitch is to consider the US
to be a republic and not a democracy, as did the holy fathers from
1776. The present fathers are not so holy.

9:00 PM  
Blogger Shawn McDowell said...

"The paper, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, shows that U.S. life expectancy fell from 78.86 years in 2019 to 76.99 years in 2020 and 76.60 years in 2021, a net loss of 2.26 years."

I think our decline is well underway. I don't think this virus will fully go away, at least not here in the United States.

9:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


In addition, America has suffered from a terrible virus for a very long time now: its value system. This too is a killer. (Viruses don't have to be physical to be deadly.)


1st, I'm not sure the past fathers were esp. holy (check out WAF). 2nd, note that Trumpi recently sort of admitted that he lost the 2020 election.


10:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Doofuses on parade:

11:03 PM  
Anonymous BH said...

Dr Berman,

I was at work the day before yesterday and talking to two older people probably in their eighties, a couple, and they were loathing the state of the country. I made the comment that the big part of the problems were the public themselves and the poor character found among so many in the public. The older gentleman said people were really never that great even back in the 40s and 50s, though they put on a better facade that they were. I told them this country didnt have much longer to go the way it's going and we might have ten years if we lucky. Then the old lady said that's what Morris Berman says and asked if I ever heard of you. I told them I most certainly do and even email you sometimes. They were big fans they said and read several of your books.

1:15 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Of course, I'm fainting w/joy. I'm so far off the radar screen that when I hear of anyone hearing of me, I can hardly believe it. If u.c. them again, give them a big (polite) hug and clue them into my latest bk, "Eminent Post-Victorians." Meanwhile, what if Waferism was slowly infecting the country? Wdn't that be a hoot?


ps: To show u my appreciation, let me give you some Zumbon:

El Negro Zumbon (Anna) - Silvana Mangano - NO CUT NO ERROR - YouTube

2:20 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

First of all, I'm embarrassed that I even know who Will Smith is. But since everyone was talking about it, you can file this one under "the elites are trash" category. The fact that Smith just went up and slapped Chris Rock, shows a serious degree of cultural degeneration. Can you imagine Marlin Brando or Fred Astaire doing that?

At any rate, check out how creepy this dialogue is between Will and his "charming" wife Jada. Notice how she refuses to take any blame whatsoever, and even calls her affair an "entanglement". She is so completely solipsistic and self-absorbed! What strikes me most of all, though, is how chilly, soulless and awful their whole "open" relationship (which only mixed up neurotic people could even tolerate) clearly is. Isn't it astonishing that these are precisely the sorts of people whom hundreds of millions of Americans fawn over and desperately want to be? What absolutely empty and harrowing lives!

It was also so phony how Will Smith was originally cracking up over Chris Rock's joke, then when he looked at his wife, saw she was not amused, and only then proceeded to act like a raving, thuggish jackass. I guess it is OK for your "entangled" wife to have another man's penis in her mouth, but a gentle joke about hairloss--well, now you've crossed a line buddy!

6:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Bill Maher did a recent take on the whole thing, wh/was pretty accurate. But why are Americans endlessly preoccupied w/this crap, wh/has no more significance than chicken sandwiches? Because they have very little of real significance going on in their lives, wh/are fundamentally empty.


7:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: And speaking of empty people, here's a douche baguette in action:

8:25 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Another example of the soullessness and callousness of USAins.

And get this, Doctor! Dumbed down USAins don’t even know their grandparents’ names! LOL! Yes. “Family values”, especially when it comes to family genealogy, are in full swing here!

12:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


When I think of the amt of slapping Americans need, I get so exhausted I hafta lie down for a few hrs.


2:14 PM  
Anonymous Andy said...

‘Hegemony, as Gramsci would come to define it, was the means by which a leading caste or group in society secured its power.’ ⁦

MB focuses on him in "Genio"

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Matt Reese said...

Is nothing sacred? This charming, highly American dispute, occurred
in a Christian Church in Trump country.

7:40 PM  
Anonymous Vince said...

Hello Dr. Berman,

I hope that you are well.

This story reminded me of your book AQOV.

People in the house are believed to have been dead inside the home for over 1 year.
Apparently only the extended family in Canada got concerned when contact was not possible.

No one else noticed?


8:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


There's a metaphor here: the US has been dead or dying for many yrs now, and very few have noticed.


A very American event, really.


Here's a bk rec: Dana Spiotta, "Eat the Document." Brilliant, remarkable.


8:57 PM  
Anonymous The Flabster said...

Hello Dr. Berman and my fellow Wafers/Waferettes,

I haven’t posted in some time as I’ve been attempting to come up with an exit plan. Enough is enough. The basketball game is particularly horrific, and the bystander effect is a real part of American life. About 20 years ago I was in France and there was a bike accident. I went to help and there were some many people there to help I literally couldn’t find anything to do other than move a bike out of the street. In 2012 I was driving to work and an elderly lady (forgive me if I written this before) had rear ended the car in front of here, broken her exhaust, which was then entering the cabin, I’m no hero but ran up as she waved for help. No one other than a Jamaican man joined me. There were probably 10 cars in front of me and far more in front of the other guy.

The other day I read this:

If the slow learners at The Atlantic are onto this, then we are far, far along in this process.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


No deep analysis of the US is required at this pt. All you need to realize is that u.r. surrounded by degraded buffoons. And most of them are also debased.


12:51 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Ah! The wonders of USAin capitalism. Like in Milton Bradley’s “The Game of Life”, here is where many USAins end up in their later years. They end up of course in “Millionaire Acres” of course. Take a look.

Yes. The wonders of Darwinian, dog-eat-dog, survival of the fittest USAin capitalism. “Freedom” at its best. Where dinosaurs once roamed..…..where in this example Kmart once stood… something else shall occupy it….then something else….

And here’s the latest craze for how USAins can blow each other away. Let them buy ghost guns! And a hustling opportunity too for anyone in the over two trillion dollar underground economy who can make them!

U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!

12:58 PM  
Blogger ccg said...

So here's the wisdom of Thomas Friedman on how to deal with a superpower led by a war criminal:

At one point in the article he says "There's never been a pariah country as consequential as Russia." Hmmm. What about the country led by George W. Bush, Barack Obama, etc.? Those guys and their minions like Dick Cheney, Condi Rise, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and so many more have no claim to being war criminals? W setting the Middle East on fire wasn't consequential in a huge way? I guess not.

This is what passes for thought in the US these days.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

The infantilization of USA marches on. Or at least continues to circle the drain.

Up next: a playpen themed restaurant with Playskool decor, food by Gerber, and milk-based cocktails served out of a rubber nipple. No need for bathrooms. Just use your diaper!

3:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Friedman is lower than pond scum. Check this out:


3:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


We are, after all, talking abt a population of brain-damaged buffoons.


5:15 PM  
Blogger Sanguillen39 said...

I found the following video quite disturbing . The whole thing immediately reminded me of Stanley Milgram's experiments . Doubly disturbing, was how this video was made under the pretense that the students were preparing themselves for military and police careers.

The commentary afterwards is also interesting.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


There's something v. stupid abt this 'experiment', but then this is America. BTW, there has been a lot of criticism of Milgram's methodology.


7:39 PM  
Blogger sch dao said...

hi sir,
i think the US is going to start inventing that BS about taiwan not being a part of china again soon so im spreading the word about a historian named Carl Zha who explains the history of why taiwan is a part of china quite well in this vid."

10:38 PM  
Anonymous Melissa N. said...

"There is information theory and disease theory. I prefer demon theory."

Something Happened By Us: A Demonology

A theory of why we’re all going nuts

^^thoughtful essay that draws on Foucault, Pynchon, Dostoevsky and more...

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

Another mass shooting in the most amazing, exceptional place....

10:30 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Even during a mass shooting, these stupid USAins still hold on to their precious smartphones. Take a look at some of these fools in Brooklyn taking videos or whatever, even if their lives are in danger. You can’t make this stuff up! WTF is going on here?

12:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Joe, Dr. Shit-

The info that's mostly missing these days is not only the identity of the shooter, but his motives. Actual terrorism is getting rare; I think what's going on is that people are just going batshit crazy from living in the US. Wh/doesn't justify the shootings, of course, but it wd seem to explain them. Check out the essay posted by Melissa, on how we are all going nuts. It's basically a sick, dying country, fucked in the head.


1:22 PM  
Blogger Dawgzy said...


hi, Wafers. Here is a good example of a significant part of the American “mind.“

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Glans Butterworth, III said...

Wafer Joe-you're spot on. These USians cannot stop fiddling with their phones. There are people on the subway platform shot, running off, and then you have dumber than stale dog shit USians playing with phones.

Due to the graphic nature of photo (will not include here), there's a USian on the subway platform in a pool of his own blood, clenching his phone!

It's surreal Dr. Berman and Wafers.

3:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Pls post only once every 24 hrs, max. Thank you.


5:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Henry James published "The American Scene" in 1907, giving his observations of the degradation and debasement of the American people. Here is what he says the nation is abt: "To make so much money that you won't, that you don't 'mind,' don't mind anything--that is absolutely, I think, the main American formula."

Not much has changed in 115 yrs.


6:57 PM  
Blogger Alogon said...

>Ging Newtrich is certainly one of the greatest douche bags in the history of the world. But this interview is kinda fun:

I couldn't stand Gingrich in office. But you're right, he has somewhat improved with age.

Trump called Putin a genius. What a genius in Putin's position would do is to switch sides in the American political arena and secretly begin helping the Democrats. I'm not as sure today as I would have been a month ago that he hasn't done exactly that.

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Tamasello said...

Why non-Western countries tend to see Russia's war very, very differently

The West appears blind to its own hypocrisy and narrow interests in calling for a rules-based order.

This is a good essay.

11:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Terrific essay. The only thing I wd add is the fact that Putin has been trying for yrs--last time, apparently, in Dec. 2021--to get the US to listen to its security concerns, and the US has persistently refused to do so. Russia is supposed to tolerate NATO and US missiles on its borders, while the US (rightly) refused to tolerate Russian missiles 200 miles from Miami in 1962. Talk abt hypocrisy.


1:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

From a declinist pt of view, this is a gd development:

7:19 AM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

Dystopia: The Horrible Times We Liv In. A recent half-hour presentation at a European Conference of psychiatrists and psychologists.

To my mind a brief credible rendering of the world of today as understood by me, and I think many Wafers

The antithesis of Steven Pinker

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Springstein said...

David Brooks can't understand why the world hasn't embraced "Western values," but he has no clue what those "values" really are.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Great video Anjin-sama!

Manichean thinking, magical thinking, people are valued only as commodities, people competing for/over everything ... very Waferian.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Americans in action dept.:


For the record, I just wanna say that I'm 110% behind Marjorie Taylor Greene. Incidentally, "Eat the Document" is a very thought-provoking book. I learned a great deal about how to essentially disappear, and much, much more about the counterculture and the music of the 1960s and 1970s. It was a joy to read such rich prose, I could not put it down. Many thanks for the recommendation.


So sorry to read about the loss of your mother. Hope you are doing better.


2:05 PM  
Anonymous Cherith Cutestory said...

-- It appears that a bird pooped on Biden's shoulder as he was speaking. Made me remember one of Dr. Berman's guidelines to a better American society: urination on those who deserve it. Perhaps years from now it will be remembered as an omen no one paid attention to, heralding the empire's descent into the toilet of history. This bird is a true Wafer.

-- Twitter banned Scott Ritter again, probably permanently this time. If there should ever be a Nuremberg for the criminals of the American empire, I hope the trials include the American media who have been cheerleading and whitewashing the empire's crimes, including Twitter.

4:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...




Look at the faces of these people. As for Greene, it's you, me, Greene, and Tulsi in the W.H. in 2024, leading the country to a brighter future.


Brooks' 'value' consists of ass-kissing the professional elite and the influential. Content-wise, he's one of the great, empty assholes of our age.


5:20 PM  
Blogger Rosegarden said...

Our bad habits and narcissism are now affecting the animals. Maybe USAians should be the ones in cages.

8:06 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Just another daily mundane fatal shooting by a cop here in this pathetic violent shithole of a country. When all else fails, blow him away, one shot to the head, in our de facto police state.
No U.S.A., U.S.A. U.S.A.! today. Instead it’s :
Back the Blue! Back the Blue! Back the Blue!

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Here are two good videos from the always insightful John David Ebert, on the "soul of Russia" (different from the one I posted earlier):

I love the Spenglerian idea that Russia is in its "springtime phase". Time will tell, but it's a fascinating idea. The recently completed Cathedral of the Armed Russian Forces, certainly attests to a very real vitality and creative force.

On another subject (Under the Bermanian heading "America and the West may fall, but humanity will go on to something better", here are two short clips by the great French writer Satprem. His writing is as formidable and hypnotic as his talks, so if anyone is interested, "The Adventure of Consciousness" is a great introduction to the profound thought of the great Hindu seer, Sri. Aurobindo.

3:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is a discussion forum. It's not a bulletin board. Thank you.


4:44 AM  
Anonymous Daddy Issues said...

Here is a new substack created by Matt Taibbi to support Russian writers now being censored.

He writes "The main purpose of the site is to give censored or threatened voices a forum...I suspect many Americans will find the attitudes in some of these pieces to be puzzling or even off-putting. For one thing, even Russians who are fiercely opposed to the war in Ukraine are often not positively disposed toward the West. A theme that pops up at times is an embittered belief that American policymakers may have concluded long ago that the Russian people were more useful to them as enemies than as friends."

11:38 AM  
Blogger taylor1956 said...

This is not quite on theme but I am reading Peter Viereck's "Inner Liberty: The Stubborn Grit in the Machine." It's a pamphlet under 100 pages and available on Amazon Kindle for a buck or two. Viereck proffers a trenchant critique of American life, which is all the more notable because Viereck wrote this in the 1950s.Here's a sample:
"More impressive is the fact that for these classics, these issues – now made gregarious, painless – their original creators toiled in loneliness, faced the rack. And when anti-materialism gets publicized like toothpaste, when religion gets wrapped in cellophane, then commercial materialism wins its biggest triumph of all: a triumph in the name of anti-commercialism."

I don't jnow much about Viereck, but he seems to have been an unconventional conservative in the 1950s, thus putting him on the far left of today's political spectrum

2:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Around the same time, maybe a bit later, Herbert Marcuse was arguing that capitalism was so flexible, it cd absorb anything, including serious critiques of itself. Around 1970, when the idea of revolution was in the air in the US, companies like Revlon began taking out ads in magazines like Cosmo with lines like, 'Revolution in Deodorants!' Infinite flexibility, and infinite shit.


3:44 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Say, here's a guy w/a working noodle. I wonder why he's still living in the US:




5:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Terrific essays, thanks for posting them. This phrase is crucial: "cartoonish distortion"--the image of Russia that the US projects out to the world. We do this repeatedly. In my discussion of Graham Greene in "Eminent Post-Victorians," I point out how Greene (in "The Quiet American") gave us a living, on-the-ground portrait of Vietnam, whereas the American gov't chose to see the country from the air, as it were, i.e. in terms of slogans. Millions died as a result. The core reality, as I have argued in a # of my essays, is that America is empty; it has no moral compass or true spiritual value system. To hide that from itself, it hasta go to war, over and over again, w/the American MSM acting as cheerleaders. It has force, but it has no strength, and it doesn't really know the difference between the two. So it always needs an 'evil' enemy, and a Manichaean scenario, so as to feel virtuous and alive. As a result, it lives in unreality; wh/is to say, its days are numbered.

In a recent issue of the NYRB, Jerry Brown shows how we are now doing the same thing w/China, and he offers some non-Manichaean scenarios that an intelligent nation wd follow, vis-a-vis that country. It's a fine essay, and his suggestions are spot-on. But as I read it, I realized that the chances of America taking the non-bellicose path were roughly negative infinity. Bottom line: we are stupid, and we really do love war.


8:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


For the most part, we try to be a discussion forum rather than a bulletin board. Thank you.


10:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


According to CNN, this is news. Will someone tell me why I'm supposed to give a shit?:

6:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

What Americans do w/their spare time:

1:42 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

From the “All the News That Fits Our View” periodical:
Here’s a happy declinist’s article on the angry and deadly road rages that occur here throughout the U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!, U.S.A.! 500 road rage shootings in 2021. Leading the way is that conservative great gun loving state of Texas. Get this, Wafers. They have their very own Texas Motorist Protection Act which allows drivers to carry firearms without a permit. LOL! Ya gotta love it!

p.s. Doctor, Check out the article. And feel free to evade their paywall via the little trick I told you about via an email.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

Given the ongoing conflict with Russia, Western Europe appears to be 'lock-step' with the US empire. Many Europeans friends still think that Americans are the 'good' guys... Perhaps, if they saw this video below-maybe, just, maybe it would lead them to re-think otherwise?

Contrary to American propaganda/marketing/etc., incidents like these are simply just another day in the world's gigantic mistake (Freud).

2:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dr. Shit-

A perfect profile of Americans, really.


4:06 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

This is a very disturbing road rage incident in New Jersey, where a guy runs over a 23 year old woman several times. It makes you wonder what this 55 year old man had been doing for the past half century? Was he a good neighbor and co-worker? In any case, another thing that our schools aren't teaching very well, apparently, is impulse control.

4:30 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


As America is imploding, so Americans are imploding. Look at the guy's face, how empty it is.


6:04 AM  
Anonymous Chatain said...

Wealthiest Americans pay just 3.4% of income in taxes, investigation reveals

And don't forget that their "income" is a fraction of what makes them rich.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Food for thought (I don't really agree, but here's an interesting take on the future):

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Orca said...

A shooting is hardly serious news anymore, there is a shooting always and everywhere. Here's the newest:

This country is in a state of protracted civil war

3:43 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Patrick Lawrence has just posted a commentary on how the great majority of Americans have supported their political elite’s imperial ambitions, and not merely acquiesced (as MB has written, the wool of the sheep is the eyes):

Recently, I had an experience that was consistent with Lawrence’s perspective. I had shared two commentaries Michael Brenner, “On Humiliation and the Ukraine War” and “Another Casualty of the Ukraine Conflict: The Truth” (links below) to a group of friends. One responded with an email , a former co-worker of mine now retired, who asked whether the previous Ukrainian leader was better and then challenged me, “Zelensky is a bad guy but Putin is not?” He then went on to say he has a Ukrainian-American friend who supports Zelensky currently hiding in a basement with relatives in Mykolaiv, Ukraine. “What should I tell her?” And he continued, “But to criticize Zelensky seems a bit beyond the pale, rather like a right-wing talking point if you ask me… We should let Vlad stop (sic) all over eastern Europe? I think not.” I think I’ll avoid sending anything further to him as I choose not to be pigeon-holed and tangle with a Manichean black-and-white world view, but such a public outlook might provide the naïve bravado for Schmiden’s people to consider direct military confrontation with Russia as an acceptable escalation.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Matt Reese said...

Grand theft water? A country where officials divert water from food
production can't have much of a future. Rather than building more
pipelines to move petroleum, it would make sense to have ones that
send the water from the eastern part of the country to the west
coast; however, honesty and intelligence would be required, scarce
commodities, for sure

7:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Talking to Americans abt anything substantive is like pissing in the wind. They aren't interested in the facts of the Ukraine situation; or in any facts, really. Hence, you cannot win these arguments. And at present, we are back to Cold War-style brainwashing.


Statistically, more than one massacre occurs in the US on a daily basis.


8:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Speaking of which: it never stops:

3:52 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Sacramento, Columbia, Pittsburgh. With the usual spate of mass shootings here’s some food for thought. As our good Doctor once said, “If guns were outlawed, it wouldn’t matter. Americans would start using machetes on each other.” This car thief close to where I live already has that idea.

9:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


And the police released him w/o bond! Meanwhile, check out the guy's eyes: there u.c. the emptiness of America.


11:16 AM  
Anonymous Orca said...

Here is clip of Gen. Westmoreland claiming that "life is cheap in the orient" and that orientals do not value life as much as westerners, right after two minutes of vietnamese people crying for their dead.
It's just another proof that complete disregard for life is an official state policy, whether inside the US or in foreign relations.

Americans lie to themselves and to the world trying to moralise their actions, and it is fucking surreal how the lier believes in his lies while the whole world knows it's just a pile of horse shit.

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Cosmo Como said...

Go to 00:10:04 to see why the interviewer assesses this Lake woman
to be a true American idiot. He is amazed at how she brushes away
the fact of NO evidence for election fraud and that the real imagined
evidence was suppressed by the corrupt media and the courts. She then
goes on to accuse him of not liking her, and for that reason, thinks
nothing she says can be true. It ends by her condemning Australia
for taking away its citizens' guns, the only protection they have from
an autocratic dictatorship dedicated to robbing them of their freedom.
His expression at the end makes one think that he is saying to himself,
"There's dumb, but this! How can a country function if tens of millions believe as she does?"

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm new here. What is a wafer?

9:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Pls note that I don't post Anons. You need a real handle. Wafer is always capitalized. It comes from fans of my book, Why American Failed (WAF). Other than that, welcome.


A link wd be nice.


9:14 PM  
Anonymous Cosmo Como said...

Cosmo heartily agrees about sending the link. This Easter Sunday
caused me to pray so much for America's salvation that I forgot to
send the link.

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Ralph said...

"The results show that wealthy nations bear the overwhelming responsibility for global ecological breakdown, and therefore owe an ecological debt to the rest of the world."

Plundering & Polluting is our m.o.!

8:56 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

We’re really rolling now! Go Baltimore!

Hey, Portland. Join the fun!

And what better place to get shot up: in a mobile hospital parking lot.

U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!

12:01 PM  

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