August 10, 2023

Our Common Humanity

The following text is from a Canaanite (Ugaritic) tablet, early third millennium B.C. It was from the Canaanite people that the Jewish people eventually emerged. The Canaanites were polytheistic; the Israelites, centuries later, were monotheistic (worshipping Yahweh). The speaker here is Baal, the Canaanite god of fertility, and storms. He is addressing another deity.

"I have a word to tell you, a message to recount to you: the word of the tree and the whisper of the stone, the murmur of the heavens to the earth, of the seas to the stars. I understand the lightning that the heavens do not know, the word that people do not know, and earth's masses cannot understand. Come, and I will reveal it."

Ugaritic is very close to Hebrew. Many of the Psalms are direct translations of Ugaritic poetry into the Hebrew language.


Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

McDonald’s continually seems to be a hot spot for USAin anger and violence. Go Durham!

Check out today’s mugshot of one of Sin City’s finest. And dumbest too. This doofus obviously doesn’t know that these casinos are covered by camera surveillance every square inch. Score another one for Idiot USA. LOL!

And forget about learning critical thinking when one is a youth here in this shithole. Leave it instead to that uber Roman Catholic conservative theocrat fascist Ron DeShithead to instill where high school students’ top priorities should be: future hustling literacy in the “real world”. The USAin real world, that is. What a piece of work. LOL!

11:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This on top of $75 billion already sent. What a douchebag.

Meanwhile, we're losing.


7:29 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


But Biden said Russia "has already lost the war." Can you believe this warmonger?:

And his Sec. of Defense said the US will "move heaven and earth" to arm and defeat Russia:

Trumpi said Biden is a "dangerous idiot." Hard to disagree w/that one:

Jesus, I need a Brooklyn Avenue from Canter's in LA. A cup of Cabbage Borscht wouldn't hurt right about now either.

8:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The Bronx Special is also not to be sneezed at.


10:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A few recent stats:

-55% of Americans are opposed to Schmiden sending more support to the Ukraine

-54% of Republicans favor Trumpi for the 2024 election, way ahead of DeSantis and the other challengers

-If the election were held today, Trumpi and Schmiden are tied at 43% each. 14% are undecided. These cd wind up deciding the outcome.

-A recent biopsy performed on Kamala's brain revealed that 98% of it consists of rat feces


12:44 AM  
Anonymous FelonMusk said...

Hello Mr. Berman,

Gore Vidal had said this regarding Monotheism in his essay “Monotheism and It’s Discontents”. What is your opinion ?

“The great unmentionable evil at the center of our culture is monotheism. From a barbaric Bronze Age text known as the Old Testament, three anti-human religions have evolved--Judaism, Christianity, Islam. These are sky-god religions. They are, literally, patriarchal--God is the omnipotent father--hence the loathing of women for 2,000 years in those countries afflicted by the sky-god and his earthly male delegates. The sky-god is a jealous god, of course. He requires total obedience from everyone on earth, as he is in place not for just one tribe but for all creation. Those who would reject him must be converted or k**ed for their own good. Ultimately, totalitarianism is the only sort of politics that can truly serve the sky-god's purpose.”

1:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It's a bit too black and white, in that these religions also have positive aspects to them. There is a lot of wisdom in the Old Testament, for example. In addition, the emergence of monotheism was part of a worldwide sweep during 800-200 BC that Karl Jaspers called the "Axial Age," and w/o axiality--the mental function of distance, perspective, and observation--we wdn't be able to function very well. However, the Axial religions do have an oppressive quality to them, and it might be argued that traditional cultures (like the Canaanites), wh/were polytheistic, were easier to live with. I actually have an essay on the Axial Age that I am trying to get published; perhaps I'll post it on this blog. In the meantime, check out my essay called "Tribal Consciousness and Enlightenment Tradition," wh/can be found in "A Question of Values."


1:53 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Viva Las Vegas! Viva Las Vegas! Viva, VIVA Las VEGAS!!!
A heated road rage argument/stabbing outside of a school on the first day of class. A school custodian (today’s mugshot) charged with sex trafficking. An angry underground economy hustler takes umbrage at a cop who reminded him that what he’s doing is a no no; and then gets tasered. And parts of it becoming an illegal landfill.

Ya gotta love Sin City, this 3rd world shithole country’s main tourist destination. Ha!Ha!Ha!
U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!

3:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Felon: I just started rdg Gore's novel "Creation," and am enjoying it v. much.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gosh, what a surprise:

4:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Morons on Parade:

7:17 PM  
Anonymous Satchmo said...

A teen in Lansing was harassed by the cops while taking out the trash. They mistook him 4 some dude they'd been looking for. Just another day in Amerikkka huh?

8:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


As a full-blooded American, this bothers me. How can these cops call themselves Americans? Handcuffs?! True American cops wd have gunned the kid down in the street, like a dog, and then received medals from the president for valor and bravery. A true American cop shoots first, asks questions later. Sheesh.


9:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This American Life:

10:13 PM  
Blogger Jason Tower said...

The US has sent over 75 billion dollars to Ukraine so far. It turns much of the money is going into the pockets of corrupt Ukrainian officials: "Last week Zelensky denounced corruption after a military official charged with recruitment in the Odessa administrative region, Yevhen Borisov, was found to have a $5 million in assets in Spain."

This comes after Z declared a "war on corruption" last winter.
And Biden just requested another 24 billion for Ukraine. Onward and Downward! It's only a matter of time before the US dollar crashes.

11:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah, ain't it grand. Zelensky himself owns a lot of valuable real estate, including a villa in Tuscany. He's been renting it out to Russians(!) for 50,000 euros/mo. All that cash from the US supposedly going into materiel, and the war effort, when it actually winds up in the pockets of Ukrainian crooks. Can Schmiden not really know this? The whole operation has been a fool's venture, while we talk abt defending 'democracy'. How much beating off can we do? It's all theater, w/no end in sight.

Give me a break.

Wafers need to stand outside the White House with a large banner that says


Relevant fact: in the case of our destruction of Iraq in 2003, $6 billion went unaccounted for. I'm assuming it disappeared into private pockets.

A sobering thought: When you get down to it, America is a pile of crap.


12:02 AM  
Blogger Rosegarden said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

I enjoyed your tribute to Russian souls. You’ve inspired me to experience more. After finishing your book, I requested the works of Pushkin from the local library edited by Avrahm Yarmolinsky. In this extremely rational world, we need a bit of Dionysus. Thanks for all your literary works.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous FelonMusk said...

Hello Mr. Berman,

Please let us know your thoughts after reading “Creation”. Here’s a video of Vidal on atheism.

I am an atheist myself and don’t believe in all the religious superstition that people from different faiths blindly follow. Also I don’t like to be involved in the rat race and become just a consumer running after the next best thing. So cannot relate with majority of the people, who are mostly running after new age spiritual materialism or status symbols. When I try to convey my ideas most people think I am either lazy, pessimist or jealous. It gets very lonely for people like us Mr. Berman. You cant even ignore/hate them cause they are all your relatives or friends. Sends me in an existential dread sometimes, how do you deal with this situation?

2:42 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

More bad news for Sin City, USAin capitalism’s mecca for money extraction and main tourist attraction. We certainly can ascribe this as yet another, albeit small example, of this wasteland imploding. Gamblers, and even high rollers at Caesar’s Palace, all are getting “the bug”. The bed big, that is. LOL! So Doctor, please don’t have any idea of hosting any future Wafer Summit there. Please don’t consider, “Go west, young man.” LOL!

Speaking of Caesar’s, one risks getting shot by your typical angry USAin at this high roller venue where the limos wait.

And of course, USAin callousness and cruelty occur daily down in Texas.

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

3:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Easy, amigo; I left the country! And I don't have any relationships w/expats down here. When people ask me if I have any regrets abt leaving the US, I say: "Only one: that I didn't do it 20 yrs sooner."


Glad you enjoyed the bk. If you are suddenly struck by a Dionysian mood, and feel like posting a review on Amazon, I won't get in yr way. E.g., you might say that the bk transported u2 levels of ecstasy you had never previously experienced. ;-)


Regarding yr last link: punching? This man is not a true American. A true American wd have gunned down the kid in the street, like a dog, after which he wd have received the Presidential Medal of Bravery. I tell ya, we're going soft.


8:17 PM  
Anonymous BrokenAmerican said...

If you want to experience Dr. Berman's thesis firsthand, try asking the average American whether or not the United States won the Vietnam War.

In the BEST possible circumstances, you'll hear someone say "Nobody won the Vietnam War."

Americans CANNOT understand that we were not only defeated in Vietnam, but utterly humiliated. My own history teacher in high school spent time convincing students that the Tet Offensive was actually a punishing loss for the country of Vietnam because of the sheer numbers of Vietnamese who were killed.

While I don't think Kissinger is capable of reflection, I do think that deep in the recesses of his mind, his ego is bruised by the fact that a farmer/peasant outsmarted him at every possible turn.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

The Brits Are Shits Dept.:

8:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


From (war criminal) Kissinger to the man in the street, we are a nation of buffoons. All that hi-tech, and we lost to barefoot peasants. At that time, 92% of the Vietnamese people wrote poetry, while most American GIs never read a poem in their entire lives. A few yrs ago I visited friends in Hanoi, and was struck by the friendliness and community-orientation of the people. Go to an American city, and what you will find is alienation, anger, depression, and hostility. America is finally abt violence, not abt poetry or community. And abt vast stupidity, esp. among the youth.


10:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


10:28 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Felonmusk, Dr. Berman,

While I love Gore Vidal the novelist, I find many of his essays off-putting and simplistic. Especially the ones in which he rabidly attacks religion and monotheism. In that regard, think John Gray and Dr. Berman have a much more sensible and balanced perspective. Here is a good essay by Gray on the subject:

And if you haven't read it, definitely check out Tom Holland's excellent book "Dominion." His basic thesis is that Judeo-Christian morality is the "water in the aquarium" and that we in the West are the fish. So many vehement atheists like Sam Harris and Dawkins argue for a secular morality that is nevertheless almost entirely Christian in its essentials. They think that "reason" by itself could have figured this out. Holland makes a pretty convincing case that this is sheer delusion. Here is a nice lecture, which summarizes the book pretty well. (Though the book is great and adds a lot more.)

2:19 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I think I read "Rubicon," many yrs ago. V. gd. As for Harris and Dawkins: I guess they don't see that their atheism has a religious fervor to it.


7:32 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This is kinda nice:

(File under This American Life)

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Sign of the Thyme said...


LOVE Holland's wrk, in particular "Dominion" for its freshness on the subject

Thx for the hosting such mature discourse on this subject here, MB.

Meanwhile somebody please get this general a Religion 101 course ASAP!

*Judeo-Christian’ roots will ensure U.S. military AI is used ethically, general says*

^^This is a galling misread of religion—there's no 1 version of "Judeo-Christian values," some are warm & enlighten, others not (in the Bible God commands Israelites to commit genocide against Amalek!)

1:37 PM  
Blogger Jason Tower said...

@Dr. Berman - the video of Americans not being able to answer simple questions is sad but not surprising. We could blame the education system, but I think it's naricissism and a lack of curiousity about the world that makes people in the US so ignorant.

There's not lack of cruelty in the US however. Water stations for immigrants are disappearing. Immigration is a complex topic but denying water to people in a desert is just inhumane.

3:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Whether in the Supreme Court, Congress, the W.H., or the military, the US gov't consists of buffoons. Americans don't know shit from Shinola, and that ain't gonna chg any time soon.


What if stupidity and cruelty were actually wired into our DNA?


3:23 PM  
Anonymous Ari said...

Jaw-dropping: "In 2020, the European Union reported 5,800 overdose deaths in a population of 440 million. The same year, the US, with a population of 330 million, reported 68,000. In 2021, the US figure rose to 80,000; in 2022, to 107,000."

"Why Is America Such a Deadly Place?

Aug. 9, 2023

^^Heard an excerpt from the Joe Rogan podcast recently where he was myopically bitching abt how Canada had some draconian responses during covid (admittedly accurate) and how he'd take living in the US over any other country any day of the wk. Meanwhile we have the highest incarceration rate per capita anywhere in the world, we live in one of the only countries in the world w/o medical bankruptcy while Canada has universal medicare, and we see the unique stats like the ones exerpted above. And this guy gets the big bucks and is the most listened to podcast in the country. Go touch grass!

3:23 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

The callousness, cruelty, and lack of compassion in abominable acts done by thieves also have no bounds here in this deplorable shithole of a country.

Nor are there any bounds in callousness when it comes to real estate developers and house flippers in this USAin hustling culture. They’re salivating in Hawaii for their next great capitalistic profit at the expense of the native Hawaiin proletariat’s misery during a natural disaster.

And speaking of earning money the normal way ( as in an occupation) here: With all these ubiquitous “Help Wanted” signs, it probably is a safe bet none of them are posted outside hospitals. Perhaps there instead should be a sign saying, “Employees: Attempt to Save Lives and Cure Sickness at Your Own Risk”.

Yep. The implosion of this pathetic despicable country certainly is occurring in many forms.
U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!

4:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I left the US in 2006. Honestly, if I had stayed, I probably wd have killed myself by now. What's to live for, there? Whom can u talk to, w/o wanting to blow yr brains out?


5:11 PM  
Anonymous FelonMusk said...

Hello Mr. Berman,

The great questions about “meaning of life/death etc” , would they have occurred to human beings before we invented language? As in the case of a child, these questions never occur. So, are these questions just meaningless and a product of language ?


Being an atheist myself, I am not a fan of Hitchens or Dawkins. My view is that all the religions are manmade and there is nothing divine about them. If people claim their religion taught them some form of morality/was beneficial to development its fine as long as they don’t attach divinity to it and go around telling everyone that this is the way God wants us to live. Religion might have been just like a constitution or philosophical text in the olden days. Faith/spirituality/devotion should be left to an individual to decide what it means to him/her. And this is where I think religion and specially monotheism went wrong in that it tried to generalise it for everybody.

Sorry Mr. Berman if we are diverting the focus of your blog, but you are such a well read intellectual and being balanced and fair, I am curious to know your opinion on various topics.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This bit abt language: your take strikes me as sophistry, but I can't put my finger on exactly why that is. As for meaning, language, religion etc.: Don't doubt for a minute that there is such a thing as sacred experience. Millions have had it, not just Wm Blake. And that experience has sometimes been the origin of religious movements (wh/granted, typically go awry, sooner or later).

Anyway, maybe we shd get back to the collapse of the American empire, wh/is an absolute certainty. (My opinions on the topics you raise, BTW, can be found in my various bks, esp. CTOS and WG.)


6:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Shd we be surprised dept.:

6:55 AM  
Anonymous Dub alchemist said...

Here's a vid that talks the long game Amerikkka is playing re: China...surrounding it w/ ground-based missiles. Included is a report from the Rand Corporation, about how Amerikkka couldn't find an Asian country willing enough 2 host said missiles.

TPTB must know on some level that Amerikkka can't compete anymore; it's being surpassed by other nations who aren't warring themselves in2 oblivion. Amerikkka wants 2 squander billions over 6 yrs on this project. Meanwhile in L.A:

2:38 PM  
Anonymous FelonMusk said...

Hello Mr. Berman,

Sorry for the confusion, but my question was genuine and I had no intention of sophistry. I read Tolstoy’s Confession which deals with the question, “meaning of life” and while reading it this question occurred to me. But anyways thanks for the suggestions of your books. Will pick them up and start reading.

Here’s the greatest Country on Earth showing the World what “Human Rights” means.

“The Texas governor has insisted that the buoys and razor wire he’s installed across the border between the state and Mexico will save lives by deterring migration.”

2:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


"Do not ask for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee (America)."

It's over. It's simply over. America is rolling around w/its head up its ass. Most of the rest of the world knows this.

Wafers: The VP lives in the Naval Observatory. I suggest we all meet in front of her house, carrying a simple, large banner:


A one-wk stay oughta do it, b4 she goes completely bonkers, and they take her away to the Happy Valley Lunatic Asylum.


2:57 PM  
Blogger Jason Tower said...

A pattern I've noticed with Americans is that they will introduce a plan with a lot of hype and fanfare, the plan will fail (usually after wasting a lot of money), then they will forget about it like it never happened. Some examples:

The 1994 "Contract with America"

The 2008 "T. Boone Pickens Plan" for engergy independence

The police reform plans in 2020

Obama's high speed rail network plan

The "War on Drugs"

The process keeps repeating without any hindsight or reflection. It's a nation of children.

6:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Let's not forget Herman Cain, and the 999 Plan. What a doofus. Look, there isn't very much self-transparency among Americans, nor among our policymakers. Long time ago, I was living in Canada and some guy I met said to me: "You Americans are so strange. Every week there's some theme or story, you get all worked up, then a week later that's forgotten in favor of a new story, etc." It was v. helpful for me to get the viewpt of an outsider, because up to that pt, I never realized the cyclical nature of our obsessions. Not that Canada is necessarily smarter; but as far as the US goes, we are lightweights, superficial beyond belief. In the end, it's all 999 Plan, really. Children, to be sure, but also buffoons.


7:22 PM  
Blogger ccg said...


Regarding the story you posted about neo-Nazis in the US military: well, there's nothing at all surprising about that, at least to me.

But I want to highlight one line from the Guardian piece:

'In a February 2021 address to the military, Lloyd Austin, the defense secretary, condemned rightwing extremism as “views and conduct that run counter to everything we believe in and can actually tear at the fabric of who we are as an institution”.'

I think it's interesting that Lloyd Austin seems to find it just peachy to be supporting neo-Nazis in Ukraine. This is the guy who, right after the war started, gave the game away by saying publicly (while visiting Ukraine) that the war was being fought in order damage Russia.

And there can be no mistake about there being neo-Nazis in Ukraine. At one point, the New York Times even admitted that this was the case as is discussed by Robert Parry in an article from 2014:

The Times had several articles about neo-Nazis, the Azoz battalion, etc, right up until the war started.

9:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It looks like Trumpalumpi has been indicted by the court in Georgia. This will energize his base, and elevate his polling #s even more. A # of commentators have observed that the worse his criminal situation gets, the better his chances of getting reelected.


9:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Azov, actually. The antisemitic viciousness of the Ukraine goes back a very long ways. Collaboration w/Nazis during WW2 came naturally:

I like to give them Hebrew endings:

Male: Nazim
Female: Nazot


11:20 PM  
Blogger Politically Incorrect Russian Spy said...

Gotta love the sheer comedy potential of a Trump conviction in the Georgia case and a win in November 2024, and of Cheeto Benito serving out his second term from a prison cell (he would be unable to pardon himself or be pardoned by anyone else for at least 5 years after his conviction, see below).

I mean, would this not be seen as the perfect American presidency for declinists everywhere? Trump from a prison cell, yelling through bars at his cabinet underlings to lock up the entire deep state?

8:32 AM  
Blogger Harvey Funkenstein said...

This blog is the best!

This doesn't show 'Murica as necessarily violent, which it obviously is, but just the total collapse in just trying to get anything done like having the city turn the water turned on. Maybe we all need to start recording our daily interactions and posting those too since it seems this is the norm both in business world and the government.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


GBOE: Greatest Blog on Earth. Sometimes I hear of people going to other blogs, and I shake my head and weep. Why do such a thing? Everything you need is rt here.


11:43 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Every day we go deeper into the pit. Every day, more stupidity, more corruption, more disintegration. I find it so exciting! Karmic punishment: it's the best!

12:25 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Speaking of water, as one Wafer above mentioned, the callousness of USAin thieves now involves stealing water valves. In this case it was life threatening both to humans and animals. The thievery occurred in Phoenix, Arizona where they are experiencing record breaking heat. This society is heartless.

And as our good Doctor has said, it is a very angry society. This anger especially is manifested on the roads USAins travel where not even kids are safe.

p.s. If I may, Doctor, here is my prediction about this pathetic wasteland’s downfall:
Rome fell away gradually. The U.S.A.!, U.S.A.!, U.S.A.! , come 2030, metaphorically will have angry steam puffing out of it as its bubble bursts and it shrinks to nothing/irrelevance on the world stage.

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Namaste said...

Mr. Berman,

An excellent speech by Vijay Prashad regarding the imperialist USA. If we show this to Amerikkkans they will start screaming how dare he say such things about the greatest country ever.

I left US around 10 yrs ago and like you I regret having actually lived there for a while. Wish I had never known USA existed. Back home I find some specimens heavily influenced by the shithole ideology of US. I tried to correct them in the beginning but now I just ignore them. American Ideology is the worst type of addiction there is and there is no getting out of it. Best to save yourself and stay out of the path of these destructive morons.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Great speech. He certainly nailed it when he said that American presidents were mediocre people. Worse, really. But in vain, I waited to hear the word 'buffoons'. Because political analysis of America is fairly easy. Understanding why the country is going under is equally easy: 99% of the population is steeped in buffoonage. They are violent and stupid, and so is the gov't, wh/sends $115 billion to the Ukraine, and $2 million to Maui. We are literally committing suicide b4 our very eyes.


A delightful scenario is that Schmiden wins in 2024, and has a heart attack in Feb. 2025. Kamala takes the helm. I will literally be ecstatic.



4:51 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

I don't mean to trigger you, Professor, but take a look at this:

What possible future could this country have?

8:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Trigger? I love it! Buffoonage at its finest. BTW, in 2003, when we were destroying Iraq87% of Americans were not able to locate Iraq on a world map, and 10% were not able to locate the US! This is a country w/shit for brains. As a declinist, I cry: Go for it, Americans! Ram yr heads even deeper up yr asses!


8:31 PM  
Anonymous Diaz said...

English Philosopher John Gray’s challenging new book, The New Leviathans: Thoughts After Liberalism uses the thinking of philosopher Thomas Hobbes to examine what Gray believes are the death-throes of the dominant political idea since the end of the Cold War: Western liberalism

A fine review of Gray's newest! As always he makes some great pts while eviscerating the status quo. I know he's looked upon warmly by Wafers, and in my eyes he's the euro continent's equal of MB!

9:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Not sure I'm in his league, but thanks for the compliment. I have admired his work for a long time. Very sober analyst.


9:15 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check out today's edn of Naked Capitalism: data on sharp rise in US suicide rate since 1970. Oddly enuf, the curve is parallel to the rise in the buffoon rate.


4:48 PM  

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