May 23, 2017

Living in Reality

Well, Wafers, here we are: launched into the next 300 posts. Meanwhile, we look around, and we see a country sinking into degradation and despair. At the helm, a kind of cartoon character, who doesn't really know what he's doing. There is perhaps some coherence to his domestic policy, which can probably be summarized as "Up with the rich, down with the poor, and let's snuff out the middle class, while we're at it." As for foreign policy, it's little more than chaos: ad hoc, shoot from the hip. Most of it would seem to be posturing. It's not clear that any foreign power takes us seriously anymore; the president comes off like a three-year-old child waving around a bazooka. Russia and China astutely bide their time; they understand that the US is unraveling, and that someone else will fill the power vacuum left in America's wake. Geopolitics has its own techtonic plates, after all.

Probably, the only people who still believe in America are Americans. 96% of Trump voters, recently polled, said they would vote for him again, because he is going to Make Us Great Again. But the progs believe in America as well, if only we could get different leadership. So they flail around, stage ineffectual marches, talk of Comey and Russia and impeachment, believe their own rhetoric. They don't seem to understand that impeachment doesn't mean, thrown out of office (Clinton was impeached; BFD). The notion that America can be saved at this stage of the game ignores the structural forces, 400 years old, that have brought it to this precipitous point in time, and in history. In 1953, the great Southern historian, C. Vann Woodward, wrote that no nation that bases its way of life on a single economic formation can last. He was talking about the antebellum South, of course, but also about the go-go capitalism of the North. America paid no attention to the few, but important, voices that were saying this, and so finally we have hit a wall, and have nowhere to go.

The idea that any of this can be reversed also ignores the overwhelming testimony of the past, that no civilization lasts forever. But the progs slog on, unwilling to let two little words enter their consciousness: "It's over." This denial only helps to accelerate our decline. We thus have a situation in which 323 million people are living in fantasy, and 171 in reality. I guess Disneyland is the final phase of American civilization, as we drift off into la la land. This is a scenario that no one, not even Vann Woodward, could have anticipated. There is something terribly sad about it, when all is said and done, and incredibly stupid as well.

Wafers have chosen a different path, namely, living in reality. This, I argued in Spinning Straw Into Gold, is the true success in life. Everything else is bullshit. It may not be a great reality, of course, but it does have one advantage over all the other options: it's real. And you know, mis amigos, in today's world, that's no small thing.

-mb

183 Comments:

Blogger Polk Culpepper said...

It's official. Hedges admits that "Our republic is dead". In this latest article, he makes no reference to resistance or any other remedy. For now (he has been known to change his mind), he is a certified Wafer.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/page2/the_death_of_the_republic_20170521

5:50 AM  
Blogger Greenthink said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers,

It seemed like sharing songs was a theme at the end of the last post, so I thought I'd continue it in this post. For some reason, Dr. Berman's latest post reminded me of this song:

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

8:23 AM  
Blogger Gyrus said...

Accepting that it might not be viable for everyone in the US to escape to Mexico, do you have any notion of 'living in reality' for those still living there?

8:23 AM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

Right before I entered my forties, I realized that I had a tendency to retreat into ego-fantasy to an extent that was bad for my social adjustment and mental health and so constituted something about me that needed to change. It has taken a lot of vigilance to change this lifelong mental habit, but the results have been well worth it. This caused me to wonder why I couldn't bring myself to this realization much sooner.

But as my prog delusions began to whither, crack, and peel away, it became apparent that turning my back on ego-fantasy and ego-fixation meant turning my back on the cultural mindset of the society in which I live. It takes a lot of grit and determination to do this, and it will probably be much more of a process than an event. But I'm glad I stuck it out, because I think that I do have and understanding now that allows me to stand outside the churning mass madness of this age of crapulence we seem to have entered as of 2016.

8:29 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Roboto, Gyrus-

Check out the chapter in the Twilight bk entitled "New Monastic Option." This might help.

Polk-

Well, perhaps not certified; I wdn't go that far. But at least he does repeat a lot of the stuff I've been saying for many yrs now, in particular the comparison between the US and the late Roman Empire.

mb

9:12 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Trumponomics....Cut social services and help for the millions of poor and needy Americans and boost spending for the military industrial complex.

http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/may/22/trump-taxpayer-first-budget-proposes-36-trillion-c/

9:21 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

He's just copying the late Roman Empire model--also discussed in Twilight bk. What future cd we possibly have, at this pt?

mb

9:31 AM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

The implosion of American feminism will be one of the most entertaining chapters in America's collapse. American men are starting to realize that there is nothing to gain and much to lose when it comes to American women.

The irony is that the end of American feminism will come about not through the "patriarchy," a "war on women," or the GOP "trying to take women's rights away." It will come about through men en masse refusing to get married, refusing to help women at all and eventually refusing to associate much with women.

American feminists like to say that a woman needs a man "like a fish needs a bicycle." Well, they are about to get their wish in a big way.

12:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gig-

You cd be rt, but keep in mind that American men are hardly a bargain, either. Women tend to go from one disappointing date to another, making their way thru a forest of turkeys and hustlers. They typically say that all the gd ones are already taken, and I suspect they're rt.

mb

12:42 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

You might want to leave your Guy Fawkes headgear at home lest you be subject to arrest and criminal charges on the streets of Cascadia in the near future:

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/ditch-the-guy-fawkes-mask-new-bill-would-outlaw-masks-and-hoods-at-protests/

All I can say to this is, "U-S-A! U-S-A! Number One! Number One!"

1:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jack-

I love 2c stuff like this. The more the country is concerned w/symbolism, the less it is involved w/reality. Which, from a declinist pt of view, is just what we need!

O&D,
mb

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Lee said...

http://www.newstatesman.com/2017/04/end-solitude-hyperconnected-world-are-we-losing-art-being-alone

Heyyy here's Paul Kingsnorth thoughtfully reviewing Michael Harris's Solitude. I have always appreciated both writers.

1:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Lee-

But there *is* an answer: toss your fone and don't participate in its usage! We can't get free of all technology, but we can get free of the worst expressions of it. And then, spend part of every day cultivating silence. Meditate, walk, do art or music. Keep a journal. There's a whole nondigital world out there.

mb

1:44 PM  
Anonymous COS said...

Indeed, as Phillip K Dick said, "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” Relatedly, Yuval Harari in both "Sapiens" and "Homo Deus", delves a good deal on the mass of myths and fantasies with populate societies. They (myths, fantasies) are in his view necessary for societies to function, but nevertheless these remain myths and fantasies. It does though become a matter of diminishing returns... To quote Harari: “Ever since the Cognitive Revolution, Sapiens have thus been living in a dual reality. On the one hand, the objective reality of rivers, trees and lions; and on the other hand, the imagined reality of gods, nations and corporations. As time went by, the imagined reality became ever more powerful, so that today the very survival of rivers, trees and lions depends on the grace of imagined entities such as the United States and Google.”

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Schlomo said...

Americans are so unbearably annoying. Like the rich housewives this morning and their loud, stressed voices over coffee in NYC or the woman who interrupts me in conversation to ask if I can "watch her laptop" while she uses the restroom. Why's that my responsibility? Stop bringing your laptop to restaurants!


Here's a classic American family: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/joss-whedon-replaces-zack-snyder-on-justice-league-after-family-tragedy_us_592427c1e4b03b485cb4f91f

The father devotes all his time to filming actors wearing skin tight costumes, ignoring his daughter, she takes her own life. What is his reaction? Go immediately back to work filming cartoon characters! It takes him two months to realize this might not be healthy.

Thanks for the rant. Now I ask you all, what does the end look like for the average American? The kleptocrats will keep serenading the plebs with their stories of riches so I don't see most people giving up the sad hustle that is American Life.

1:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Schlo-

Next time, pee on her laptop. This will send an impt message. As for Americans, you can be sure that they will hustle themselves, and the country, into the grave. Keep in mind at all times that they are very stupid people.

mb

2:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

This bombing in Manchester is such a terrible thing. Check out the name Saffie Rose Roussos--pretty little 8-yr-old girl, among the 1st to die. A lot of politics surrounds these type of events, of course, and this is not likely to be the last of them; but for now, I can only look at the pic of this little girl, and think of the slaughter of innocents.

mb

2:39 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Gig, that a feminist society is ultimately a doomed society is most likely true, however, I find a lot to criticize with the way most young men are handling this. Opting out, “going their own way” etc etc looks very much like a retreat to me. For the most part, it seems to be a retreat into porn and video games, with the occasional tinder hook up with some whore. All the while nursing an unhealthy resentment and bitterness toward women. Not a good way to go through life, IMO. At the end of the day modernity and feminism are intertwined and that particular ship will sail or sink together. The positive challenge lies in accepting the world as it is and creating the world you want in your own life. This is very difficult, one has to find a group of like-minded people and create their own tribe. Create a group devoted to one another with a shared fate. Not easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. Going against the grain will definitely cost you friends, but such as life. For a real example of what I am talking about check out the works of Jack Donovan “The Way of Men” and “Becoming a Barbarian.”

2:41 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Schlomo--interesting, Snyder's big breakthrough was remaking Dawn of the Dead, one of the sharpest movie critiques of (literally) mindless American consumerism ever made, and turning it into just another mind numbing action film. I also like this bit from the article:

"According to his wife, Deborah, Autumn loved “to write, to write, to write” and had recently completed a sci-fi novel, which they hope will one day be published."

Their daughter is dead, and the thing they most care about is publishing her stupid novel--because you just know that the 20-year-old progeny of a rich, vacuous Hollywood celebrity is just going to be full of precious wisdom and insight. What a douchebag.

Meanwhile--America has become a total joke. Indeed:

https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2017/05/22/america-has-become-a-total-joke/

I especially love the accounts of billionaire douchebag Wilbur Ross marveling about how there were no anti-Trump protests in a country were protesting is likely to get you beheaded. I'm not a big Joyce Carol Oates fan, but she nailed when she quipped that another place where there were no mass protests was Auschwitz.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@ Schlomo,

Regarding what the end looks like for the average American, I think this is the future for many ordinary Americans:

Ohio coroner runs out of room for bodies due to spike in opioid deaths.

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2017/05/23/ohio-coroner-space-opioid-deaths/

Suicide rate skyrockets among middle-aged men.

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/columnists/lindsay_kalter/2017/05/kalter_suicide_rate_skyrockets_among_middle_aged_men


3:26 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

This is a good article on globalization, in case nobody has seen it:

http://www.claremont.org/crb/article/sending-jobs-overseas/#.WRf0XNzmbGE.twitter

5:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Schlo-

Sorry, cdn't post it (24-hr rule).

mb

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr B:

I wonder what you think of this opinion piece, where the author criticizes Walter McDougall's new book-

http://www.claremont.org/crb/article/neither-american-nor-civil-nor-a-religion/

(Thanks Golf for linking this site.)

8:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Birn-

I gave it a glance, but wd obviously hafta give it a close rdg, to come up w/a considered response. It's also the case that I have not yet read Walter's new bk. But I was very persuaded by Bellah's 1967 article; the idea of civil religion actually preceded him in a bk of the 1950s, Will Herberg's "Protestant, Catholic, Jew." It seems obvious that above all, Americans worship America itself, have made a religion out of it. This is why criticism of the US is met w/a fierce reaction, and the accusation that one is anti-American. It's a religious reaction; reason flies out the window. If a Swedish sociologist (e.g.) were to criticize Sweden (many have), the rest of the population wd not go ballistic, and cry 'anti-Swedish'. That wd be childish, and Americans are childish. Anyway, that's all I have for now.

mb

8:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Many horrible yrs ago, when I was living in DC, I ran into a British woman who had a 3-month fellowship to study at the Smithsonian. She was a librarian in Oxford, and was abt to go back to the UK. I asked her what her experience of DC was like, what it had been. She was dramatically frank: "The most soulless place I've ever been." Of course, that was my experience of the place as well: callous, loveless; a hostile place, a place w/o a heart. My problem was that I was not going to Oxford in a couple of days. I was stuck (for a while, at least).

For some reason, we've been having a lot of discussion as of late as to who are worse, American men or American women. And in general, how male-female relations in this country tend to eat shit. I'm not that concerned with the issue per se, at least not on this blog, except insofar as it reflects a dying society. For the truth is that America is a cruel and violent place, and it is getting colder by the day. Only a place as loveless as ours cd have put Trumpi in the White House. Thinking abt all this, I ran across an interesting definition of love:

"Love is the willingness and ability to be affected by another human being and to allow that effect to make a difference in what you do, say, become."

This is quite striking. My honest guess is that male or female, there aren't 10,000 people in the entire country who have the willingness and ability to be affected etc. Lack of willingness seems obvious enuf; but even worse, Americans don't have the ability to do these things; in the deepest part of their being, they are broken.

What does that mean for the country at large? Take a guess.

mb

10:10 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

There is a lot to be said for ramping down on corporate media of all sorts and ramping up on sitting around with friends playing real music... or, beyond writing in a journal: sending paper and ink letters. Send letters to friends, sure, or government officials, why not, but also to interesting people of all sorts. Sometimes you might even get a response!

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Vincent in Auvers said...

Aaron- You’re right about not reacting. The funny thing is, I’d thoroughly cultivated this sort of mindset some years ago, but I lost it in the university surrounded by so many egos. I’ve been trying to get back to that state of mind, re-reading the Tao Te Ching, meditating, etc.

Michael- Your mountain home sounds like a little slice of paradise. I think I probably have a similar personality, which is what led me to Dr. Berman’s works.

MB- That definition of love brings to mind Georg Simmel’s notion of the blasé attitude, which he defined as the incapacity to react to new sensations. The blasé person, he says, “experiences all things as being of an equally dull and grey hue, as not worth getting excited about.” This attitude he said stemmed from an overstimulation of the nervous system by the rapidly changing sensory impressions inherent to life in the modern metropolis. In a way, mass media extend this environment outside of the cities, which might explain why there are now so many zombies here.

On an unrelated note, has anyone heard anything about the unpublished works by J.D. Salinger? I recall they were supposed to start coming out in 2015, but I’ve seen nothing yet.

12:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: What % of the country, do you think, wd understand the meaning of this poem? 0.001%? Less?

http://www.gettinhigherchoir.ca/choir_life/00-Posts/2012/0127/mary-oliver.pdf

12:26 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Colin-

We have a half-page-max rule on this blog, so perhaps you could compress your message and re-send. Thank you.

mb

7:41 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Morris,

The death of Saffie Rose Roussos is, indeed, horrible. But why aren’t we equally horrified by what we’ve done to millions of “beautiful” babies and children in the Middle East. The lives of Anglo-Saxon children are more valuable than those of Muslim children? Israeli lives are more valuable than Palestinian lives? Obviously our empathy is very selective.

Across the board, in every culture, there are good and bad people. Humanity, not only in the USA, has lost its way while wandering the halls of Maya’s Palace of Delusion.

Sarasvati

P.S. In reference to the article, posted here by our Bill Hicks, where the writer says “Funny things tend to happen to people once they capture the throne,” here’s the comedian Bill Hicks on the U.S. Presidency:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ytv15ono5J0

10:28 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sar-

I never said I wasn't equally horrified, or that the lives of English kids were more valuable than Arab ones. Por favor.

mb

10:44 AM  
OpenID rsuusa said...

I guess if this system is over and I think it is, although it may struggle on through many more stages of denial and misery, my question is what's next. I have a feeling I'm not going to like the answer. My neighborhood is mix of modest upper middle class rural homesteads with well built houses, lots of massive trucks and mechanized tools/toys and gardens with chickens and small livestock but also collapsing shacks, RVs and mobile homes. All of the infrastructure required to keep this rural setting going is quite precarious, wells + pumps, snow removal equipment long roads that go only to single houses etc. The official unemployment rate for my area is basically 0% once you take out the frictional unemployment caused by people just switching jobs and so forth. Even so my guess is that even a continuation of the current economy will eventual drive my neighbors into destitution with people in true tar paper shacks and starving children.

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Colin said...

Pardon Dr., sure, thanks. Re the hustle mindset:

Ever hear the question: What would you do with the rest of your life if money were no object, like say if you won the lottery? I've been thinking: use the winnings to MAKE MORE MONEY! Because that would be the best way to be able to live in the US; that would be the way towards status and respect. There's a bit of virtue in that, like a Parable of Talents, disdain unearned wealth type of virtue. But seriously, especially if one has never made lotsa money, what else could one do and fully function in the US? Just live off it? No ambition. Give it away? Fool. No, the thing would be to try to use it to train oneself, or buy into a business or otherwise use it to make more.... money. Which strikes me as a bit crazy. Like money can't not be an objective.

11:08 AM  
Blogger alyosha said...

Loved the Mary Oliver poem.

The way you speak of love is really about vulnerability. People in Western culture, particularly in the US are trained to maintain a shell of invulnerability. It takes large amounts of energy to maintain this armor. It's completely unnatural, the geese in Oliver's poem don't have it.

I don't think Americans are broken inside - some are - because being open and vulnerable to life is how all beings are at their core, it's the design of life. It's just that everyone in Western culture is so armored up, it's just how people are trained.

Breakthroughs do occur, because everyone needs connection, it's a great hunger. If you're real and open with someone - you disarm yourself before another - often that's all that's needed, because the hunger is so great, and experiencing someone else as real is so rare. It takes conscious effort to do this, because it runs against our training.

The great thing about life is that it is always beckoning, always trying to play with you, always trying to get you to open up. As someone once told me, "if you don't play with life, life will play with you".

11:09 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

@Christian,

Not sure that "going against the grain" means joining a male gang in the forest and reviving some kind of celtic Fight Club way of life where men rule women and live by the "Golden" rule of violence. For Wafers unfamiliar with Donovan, here's a sneak peak:
http://www.jack-donovan.com/axis/2011/03/violence-is-golden/
http://www.jack-donovan.com/axis/2014/06/a-time-for-wolves/

Feminism isn't the answer but neither is a "return" to patriarchy and women in the kitchen - assuming like the manosphere does that this is the default state of society.

Kanye

11:43 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Hi Morris,
Sorry for breaking the 24 hr. rule. I should have been more specific...wasn't referring 2 u, I've read the blog long enuf to know where u stand, but to much of what I've heard and read from various sources. Once again I wasn't clear. Lo siento mucho.
Sarasvati

11:44 AM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

I think the fact that Killary and Trumpi were the two front-running candidates in 2016 best shows how soulless America is now.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

rsuusa-

The short term will be hell. As for long term: anybody's guess, but check out my essay on "Dual Process," archived on this blog.

mb

12:12 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

This is well worth a read on the whole salafi-jihadist thang:

http://littleatoms.com/we-love-coca-cola-and-they-love-death

2:25 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Sar--when Bill first did that routine about Clinton back in 1993 it sounded like the ultimate conspiracy theory, but like so many other things he said in his all too short life it was dead on. Starting with Clinton's election in 1992, Americans have been veering back and forth every 8 years between the political "extremes" (as narrowly defined by the elites) trying to shake off the creeping malaise and change the direction of the country. Of course, that doesn't mean they have any real understanding of what is happening nor that they want the system to be truly fair, they just want it t be less unfair to them. At some point you would think that it would sink in that they keep getting the same old shit no matter who wins, but it never does.

Trump's 180 degree turns from what he said on the campaign trail and his determination to fuck over his core supporters are the most breathtakingly obvious
yet, and make Obarfa's rubbing idiot liberals' noses in his own fake hope campaign look quite tame by comparison. The rust belters who put him over the top ought to be sharpening their pitchforks right about now, but they are instead forming his own little "red wall," and are serving as his bulwark against impeachment. Meanwhile, douchebag liberals and Democrats keep shouting insults at them and shrieking about Russia--all but guaranteeing they'll stick by their man as he fucks them harder and harder all the way down.

All the while, the cigar chompers who really run the country sit back and chortle to themselves how easy it is to trick a dumb ass American, over and over and over again.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

I do love this song by ICP. I think this should be the anthem and theme song for us Wafers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUUk1imHVno

"It's all overrrr."

2:50 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Teachers are now pummeling each other in the classroom as students watch...and learn. This is the new American Curriculum.


http://www.ajc.com/news/local-education/just-teacher-fight-caught-tape-charged/IsSP43X2bPB6J3L9AZ7t3M/

3:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

Honestly, I can't get enuf of this stuff. I'm hoping that w/in the next few yrs, teachers across the nation will beat the shit out of each other. Might as well; students aren't learning anything anyway. The more the pummeling, the faster our decline. I just wish these teachers had been heavily armed, as it wd have made for a more interesting video. I guess the 2 bozos will be fired, but I look forward to the day when our schools will award such behavior with promotions and medals.

cube-

Absolutely. These guys are geniuses. Certainly smarter than a busload o' progs.

Bill-

Really, us Wafers need to be concocting some collapse-recovery scenarios for the next 40 yrs. Dual Process, of course, but also secessionist movements (i.e., successful ones), famine and rioting, martial law, maybe even some Russian and Chinese invasions. Shaneka Torres breaks outta prison, guns down a few McDonald's--the sky's the limit. r.u. pumped? I'm pumped!

mb

3:31 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Feminism isn't the answer but neither is a "return" to patriarchy and women in the kitchen - assuming like the manosphere does that this is the default state of society

Well, for better or worse, it was the default state of affairs for a long time. I don’t know what the answer is, Kanye, and I am really conflicted about all of this. I would like to believe there is a third way between keeping women barefoot and pregnant and letting them run the show with men relegated to a emasculated existence that literally offers them nothing. I think it was Margaret Mead that said the opposite of patriarchy isn’t matriarchy, it’s community. Or words to that effect. I hope she is right, because if folks like Dr B and Jack Donovan are correct, and modernity is coming apart, then patriarchy will likely return full force simply out of practical necessity.

That said, building a Viking longhouse, drinking mead, and sparing with buddies in MMA and conducting Germanic pagan rituals to Wotan sounds a lot more fun than sitting around the office listening to women complain they can’t find the man they want  (NOTE: that list bit actually happens. I work at a hospital where the employee base is 80% female and they literally complain about this day in and day out.)

3:34 PM  
Anonymous John said...

From the wise sage Gary Snyder- (Book of Poems, Turtle Island)

Turtle Island-the old/new name for the continent, based on many creation myths of the people who have been living here for millennia, and reapplied by some of them to “North America” in recent years. Also, an idea found world-wide, of the earth, or cosmos even, sustained by a great turtle serpent-of-eternity.
A name: that we may see ourselves more accurately on this continent of watersheds and life-communities-plant zones, physiographic provinces, culture areas; following natural boundaries. The “U.S.A.” and its states and counties are arbitrary and inaccurate impositions on what is really here.”

Concerning Trumpistan, I agree with Dr. B, "It's Over."

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Cathleen said...

Could any msg board WAF friends recommend a choice piece of Derrida's? A friend and I are reading his The Animal That Therefore I Am, and we're having trouble parsing thru it.

4:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Will someone tell me what is wrong with the progbrain? Just take a look at this:

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/05/24/election-excitement-builds-democrats-flip-two-red-districts

"Excitement builds"...among douche bags. Are progs neurologically damaged? What the hey?

mb

5:32 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


I was told this pretty gentlelady is single and ISO of a handsome "all amerikn" man to date. If Wafers would be so kind to trace down her contact and pass it to me on the WSG channel I'd really appreciate that. Thanks in advance; however this is non-compete request. In eager anticipation I'm off to buy myself a pair of matching shorts to hers for our fist date.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5hURyhPQCs

Amerikns carry this baboon genes called Pummeling. Next stop, the TB pile (..actually in Sapolsky's own words).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4UMyTnlaMY

6:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Esca-

Clearly, ya got yrself a winner. We'll all be eager to know how yr date went; altho I'm not sure what a 'fist date' wd consist of. Seems like an appropriate thing to call it, in her case.

mb

6:57 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

This just in from CNN:

Head of the Ministry of Total Collapse (MTC), Morris Berman, declares:

1. Shaneka Torres be immediately released, given a Kalashnikov, and permission to attack multiple McDonald's restaurants w/impunity on a daily basis.
2. American teachers can now randomly masturbate and beat each other senseless w/baseball bats.
3. American students are encouraged to openly fuck each other in class for extended periods of time.
4. Ben Carson will conduct round-the-clock lobotomies (Prog-lobs) on all American progressives.
5. Male pro-Trump supporters will be forcibly given the Kim Jong-un haircut (the Rollerball Hoover).

And now, back to our regularly scheduled program...

8:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

This is truly inspiring. Trump blew it, when he didn't appoint me to a top (destructive) post. Just a couple of modifications:

#3: change this to "fuck each other in the left ear..."
#5: we also need enforced Botox shots in the face for female Hillary supporters.

Otherwise, we're off and running.

mb

9:22 PM  
Blogger Fako Frencho said...

The mighty Paul Street has a good one over at Counterpunch, laying into neoliberalism, Hillary, and the Dismal Dollar Dems:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/24/beyond-neoliberal-identity-politics/

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Bingo said...

In reference to the question, what comes after patriarchy? Looking at Europe, the answer is obvious: patriarchy on steroids. I’m saying this because at the current rate, Europe will be Muslim majority, and last I checked, Muslims fall pretty solidly in the “patriarchy on steroids” corner. Good luck with that, feminists!

I greatly enjoyed watching this Trump trip to the Middle East. I haven’t laughed so hard since that other Republican idiot, Bush, was doing the sword dance with the same bunch of creeps in Saudi Arabia. Or when Obola bowed to the ground to kiss the feet of that pervo king they have in that cesspool of a country. And then Ivanka telling us Saudi is making great strides with women rights – now that was priceless.Like what kind of progress? Like women not being stoned to death now anymore, instead being decapitated in the streets? You tell it, Ivanka. You go, girl!

As far as matching songs goes, here is my favorite:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StTqXEQ2l-Y

Julian

2:56 AM  
Blogger Jacob James said...

Alamein -

I don't know if we're watching the same Israel or the same Saudi Arabia.

Recently I’ve seen some articles that Saudi women are getting jobs at increasing rates. This economic freedom is a real move towards a more egalitarian society. As women become self-sufficient, I think we’ll start to see the divorce rate in Saudi Arabia increase as well. This may not be much of a consolation compared to their bombings in Yemen, but domestic attitudes seem to be improving for women with each generation.

Meanwhile in Israel:
Within the last year thousands gathered to protest the treatment of an Israeli soldier given an 18 month sentence for murdering a Palestinian. This protest happened in Tel Aviv, included music, dancing, and chanting about his heroism. Where in all of this are the redeemable points of Israeli culture? Honestly I think Israel is just like the US, with its better elements pushed towards the fringes and ignored. I doubt that Israel will ever back down off of its genocide and apartheid until America is too weak to come to its aid and the rest the world wields the power to stop it. Even then, a war might be necessary to build a Palestinian state. Still, to continue the comparison with the Saudis, the Israeli death cult already has full freedom for European (white) Jews, it just hasn’t allotted them to the rest of society.

As for Korea: The US consistently looks for places with geo-strategic significance and raw resources when they decide to enact regime change. South Korea is a geo-strategic point; N. Korea has resources. The only point I can concede is that N. Korea is a potential threat to S. Korean democracy far, far into the future. But an invasion would necessitate the abandoning of S. Korea by the US and Japan. You are right about China, though. North Korea emerging as a regional power could be bad news to them, which is why the reformist, Kim Jong-Nam was murdered. Following a Chinese-led regime change, he could have been installed as the new supreme leader.

3:44 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Jacob,
Poor Israel, thinking it's a major player on the world scene. It was created specifically to advance western interests in the Middle East especially as Britain knew it would someday have to withdraw from the area. With the west's new friends in the region, I can only imagine not a few in western capitals are coming to realize that Israel is expendable. Remember, until Nixon went to China, the US recognized Taiwan as the legitimate representative of the Chinese people. In one week mainland China was not only formally recognized but given a seat on the UN Security Council. So much for unshakable bonds. Israel reminds me of the Aesop fable of the monkey who rides the back of the tiger (USA) thinking it's so strong until the tiger gets hungry and eats the monkey. Think Americans can't see reality? Israelis represent the gold standard in delusional thinking.

9:54 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

@Christian,

I don't have an answer either and am also between a rock and a hard place on the topic. I am happy to continue the discussion via email if you fancy, as I am afraid I'll definitely be breaking the half-page rule if I keep posting about this! Feel free to email me at xeyoval@gmail.com

Kanye

10:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan-

A couple of things. Check out the Israel section of DAA. The US had a '2 column' policy in the Middle East for a long time--i.e., at any time there wd be 2 nations that cd be counted on to promote US interests in the region. Israel was not one of them. In fact, the State Dept. (as opposed to the White House) felt the US shd back the Arabs, and vote against Israeli statehood in 1948, given the oil factor and the size of the various Arab nations. (Truman said no: humanitarian reasons dictated that the Jews have a homeland, in the wake of the Holocaust.) But the country was seen as a minor player, or nonplayer, in international geopolitics until the 6-Day War. After that, Kissinger told Nixon that Israel shd be one of the 2 columns, and it was at that pt that US aid to the country, wh/had actually been very small up to that pt, began to grow dramatically.

2nd, given the Jewish factor in American elections, Israel is really not expendable at this pt. Concentration of Jews in NY, Fla., and Cal., for example, mean that the cash hasta continue to flow to Israel, as well as continued political support. The comparison with Taiwan won't hold, because we lost nothing by switching our support to mainland China--the # of Taiwanese in the US, then and now, was tiny, and they certainly had no equivalent to AIPAC.

It's interesting that despite the debacle in Iraq, and the role of American Jewish personnel in that war, official US support for Israel remains high. You'd think just the opposite wd have occurred. An argument can be made that at least part of that war was a case of the tail wagging the dog. Jewish personnel included Douglas Feith, Elliot Abrams, Paul Wolfowitz, and a # of other 'Likudniks' that saw the war as an oppty to marginalize Iraq in the Middle East, if not actually break it up. Yes, I do know that Rumsfeld, Cheney, and most folks in the Pentagon and State Dept. were not Jewish, but I do think that there was a circle of influential Jews who saw 9/11 as an oppty to promote Israeli interests. And lots of Jews who normally voted Democratic, voted for Bush in 2004, because of the war on Iraq, and what they saw as Republican protection of Israel.

mb

10:36 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Frank-

Cdn't post it (half-page-max rule). Suggest you compress and re-send.

Anon-

Sorry, I don't post Anons. You need a real handle. E.g., Farragut J. Barnaby IV.

mb

10:58 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Well, at least the college didn't back the students up:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/24/us/middlebury-college-charles-murray-bell-curve.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Kauffman said...

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-40042581

Go falls to A.I.

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Black-Eyed Susan said...

Christian,

I like your quote from Margaret Mead that the opposite of patriarchy isn't matriarchy but community. I have a solution to the "problem" of men and women, it is quite simple: men and women should love each other and respect each other's unique attributes. As a woman, I find many of the comments on this site so disheartening and so false. I have been happily married to a wonderful man for 13 years, and I have reason to believe he thinks I'm wonderful too.

A non-feminist society does not have to equal some kind of middle-eastern patriarchy. I have been reading Little House on the Prairie to my daughter lately. While Caroline and Charles Ingalls had very specific gender roles as far as who did what around the homestead, it seems that there was a lot of appreciation between the two of them for what each brought to the running of the household and raising of a family. Pa provided the bare resources while Ma turned those bare resources into things that make us more than brutes (meat into a home-cooked meal, cloth into clothes, flour into bread, etc.)

Charles Ingalls was an amazing bad-ass man (he literally melted down steel and molded it into bullets the night before the family thought they might be attacked by Indians) but he also treated his wife and daughters with the utmost love and respect and was not even prejudiced against the Indians he thought might attack them (he understood that whites had moved into their land and that the Indians had been there first.)

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Leo Puff said...

I do enjoy the French description of "Progs"....Bobo's....Bohemian/Bourgeoisie

Bobo's...love it!

11:55 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Leo-

1st coined by David Brooks in a bk that fawned over that class and as a result got him a column in the NYT. Of course, for the French it might have a negative connotation (let's hope so).

Sus-

That wd be great, and certainly very enlightened. But it does sound kinda utopian. We aren't rational beings, and certainly not where sexuality is involved. Dark currents always complicate these relations, somehow. That's why, looking around, things aren't so gd between the sexes. Your situation might be the exception that proves the rule.

Kauffman-

A sad day. Check out Kawabata's novel, "The Master of Go." One of my favorites.

mb

12:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Susan-

A couple of ps's might help:

1. http://www.berkeleyside.com/2017/05/02/berkeley-author-george-lakoff-says-dont-underestimate-trump

2. "The world is not logical; it is *psycho*-logical." (Goethe)

mb

12:58 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

MB,
Yes,I agree that tech is not neutral. I believe that I have a certain amount of control over what degree I choose to use it, much like just because my car can probably do a hundred plus mph doesn't mean I'm consistently plowing through school zones at a high rate of speed. I did enough years of "cook on a woodstove" style homesteading to understand small is beautiful.
It's always nice to take one's tech temperature now and then, though!

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

True story time:

At the bar a few days ago, a guy sits next to me (he knows the bartender) and proceeds to talk for at least 15 minutes on how he discovered you don't have to type www. before a web address anymore and how this is going to change his life and save so much time! Time for what exactly??

I was just about to pee on his loafers when he started to talk about his divorce and how worried he was for his kids ... so I withheld my recycled beer.

Susan: I apologize that the tone here can get a bit overcharged. I for one depend on The Greatest Blog of the last 200 years to vent considerable frustration at living in a nation of nitwits. Also, becoming a WAFer can be very trying mentally and emotionally (at least I found it so) thus the venting sometimes reflects this.

Here is some strange reading for y'all: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/22/california-conspiracy-theorist-farmers-chemtrails

Has critical thinking completely gone out the door?

1:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

comrade-

Just be sure to do it rectally. :-)

mb

2:32 PM  
Anonymous COS said...

MB,

I think the piece by Lakoff nicely popularizes a lot of your points--and the points made by others. Namely, we humans are not rational. In a sense facts do not matter. Sadly, people generally think they are rational and objective. I see for example in Susan's post a few instances of confirmation bias. Once you start framing things in feminism or non feminism you are already engaged in confirmation bias. For some reason a person thinks the West is "bad" there will be ample evidence to confirm this bias. The opposite is true. This is the challenge if you will of "living in reality", particulary in a mass media age. People often think they are objective, but even buying into the precepts of the enlightenment requires certain suspension of disbelief and adherence to essentially religious ideas--Progressives, libertatarians, atheists are more religious than they realize. All of us and even many posters here have biases. If anything there is bit of attenuated left liberal confirmation bias in many postings--not a bad thing, it just is. Often as people get older they "change" their view and think they have come to some epiphany. Typically, the narrative that shaped their biases has been exhausted so they quickly have to jump into a new narrative system and new biases. Its a tough one finding reality! On the other hand, I do admire you being free from cant and conventional wisdom. I suspect it took many experiences and effort on your part to get closer to reality than most people. Frankly, I find your ability in this regard admirable. My view is that there is really no rhyme or reason to life and that seeking means to find order in the universe is a fools errand. We are but animals with delusions of grandeur.

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Krog said...

Hah...A product for those with a *mobile*-slave relationship...how ironic, no?

https://www.redbubble.com/people/rosaluxemburg/works/23939212-hegels-phenomenology-of-spirit?p=iphone-case&phone_model=iphone_7&cover_type=snap&type=iphone_7_snap

4:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Krog-

I love it. We need new Hegel to rewrite that section on master-slave relationships, for the smartfone era.

COS-

Thanks for yr vote of confidence. I do my best, what can I say. Regarding Susan's worldview: if her marriage is working as she describes it, all I can say is more power to her. In my experience, the problem with 'rational' or 'enlightened' or 'progressive' relationships is that they lack an irrational spark, and without that, all you really have is friendship + sex--kinda flat. I've been around a lot of universities, and I hafta say that the truly unhappily married are these 'enlightened', often feminist academics. They did everything by the book, but something got left out, and that something is fucking huge. Their affect is depressed; there is no light in their eyes. In order for a relationship to really work, there hasta be an erotic component--real passion--that is actually larger than sex. It's hard to describe, but I've had this type of 'magical' relationship a few times (thank you, god), and it exists in a different cosmic dimension. Dorothy Dinnerstein calls it the "animal-poetic relationship," and if you've never had it, you simply cannot understand those who have. Cf. the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins, tho god was apparently his lover. Poems of Rumi, as well. My point is that love--eros, not agape--is not a rational thing; there's a kind of maelstrom at the heart of it, which is why it has inspired so much fabulous literature. A lot of the violence and destruction in the world is due to this impulse getting denied, twisted, or thwarted. Hitler is the classic example.

The emptiness of much feminism in this regard was brilliantly captured in a short story by Curtis Sittenfeld (female) called "Gender Studies," that appeared in the New Yorker last year. Existential dynamite, is how I would characterize it:

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/08/29/gender-studies-by-curtis-sittenfeld

For the religious basis of Enlightenment thought, two classics: Jean Seznec, "The Survival of the Pagan Gods," and Carl Becker, "The Heavenly City of the 18C Philosophers."

Thank you for bringing the subject up.

mb

5:45 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Looks like those overseas are finally starting to figure out how fucked up America is these days, as reflected by the fact that foreign tourism is down 11% since October:

https://medium.com/foursquare-direct/coming-to-america-528312934221

I can't imagine why they wouldn't want to end up like this Arab guy, who got the shit kicked out of him by the cops because of a twitchy hotel clerk:

http://fox8.com/2017/05/24/man-mistakenly-thought-to-have-pledged-allegiance-to-isis-sues-hotel-avon-police/?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

And here is my entry in our recent best songs competition:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqBrw3rQvKo

BOOM goes London, BOOM Par-ee
More room for you, and more room for me
Every city the whole world 'round
Would just be another American town

7:47 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


COS : "Often as people get older they "change" their view and think they have come to some epiphany."

That epiphany we come to is we're fucked bigly in this civilization. Wafers realize that we have been bamboozled by our parents, professors, politicians and priests alike. It is indeed a "change" from what we believed as a child and as a young adult. It is a true awakening to know that the game is rigged big-time and it can't be repaired from within. You dread that you'll get fucked even by uncle Bernie or aunty Elizabeth. Unbeknown you begin to respect spontaneous rage over contrived love. You accept bumbling Bush over slick Obama. At the end, like the last stage of the five-stages-of-grief, Waferhood is a relief when you arrive at unadulterated pessimism -a total declinist.

COS: "For some reason a person thinks the West is "bad" there will be ample evidence to confirm this bias."
There's a name for such bias, WEIRD bias, and with a weird connotation.
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170118-how-east-and-west-think-in-profoundly-different-ways
http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2013/05/weird_psychology_social_science_researchers_rely_too_much_on_western_college.html

COS: "...seeking means to find order in the universe is a fools errand."
Here's a consequence of that foolishness > CrazyLikeUS
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122490928

8:40 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

I think the "Jewish conspiracy" should actually be called the "Israel conspiracy." There is no conspiracy among Jews worldwide to "take over the world." However, there is a conspiracy by Israel to make Greater Israel a reality.

Regarding eros vs agape, I think this this distinction can also be formulated as conditional (eros) vs unconditional (agape) love. Healthy human relationships are, IMO, based on eros (conditional love).

8:47 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr B:

The short story by Ms. Sittenfeld was very realistic- thanks for the link.

Your example of Hitler aligns with something I read about Stalin earlier this week, as he commented on the death of his first wife at age 22 in 1907- "with her died my last warm feelings for humanity." Although he later remarried in 1919, his 2nd wife apparently suffered from a form of mental illness and died by her own hand in 1932. (He probably wasn't the easiest person to live with.) You have to wonder if things would have been different if his first wife had lived to old age...

8:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gig-

You hafta read the "Protocols of Elders of Zion" metaphorically. What they are really saying is that they intend to encompass the globe with a chain of delicatessens. The HQ--center of the spider web--will be Katz's, in NY (founded at just abt the same time as the Protocols were published):

https://www.katzsdelicatessen.com/

There is actually a goyishe version of all this: same goal, but the product is Coca-Cola rather than pastrami. Who won the contest, do ya think?

As for agape: very impt, even in an erotic relationship. Health requires compassion, not just passion.

Esca-

Actually, Wafers are optimists--in the long run. They believe that ultimately, the human spirit will persevere, even triumph. They believe, for example, that there is life beyond the US (Gott sei dank). Here is the Wafer credo, laid out many yrs ago by E.M. Forster:

"I believe in aristocracy, though - if that is the right word, and
if a democrat may use it. Not an aristocracy of power, based upon
rank and influence, but an aristocracy of the sensitive, the con-
siderate and the plucky. Its members are to be found in all
nations and classes, and all through the ages, and there is a secret
understanding between them when they meet. They represent
the true human tradition, the one permanent victory of our queer
race over cruelty and chaos. Thousands of them perish in
obscurity, a few are great names. They are sensitive for others
as well as for themselves, they are considerate without being
fussy, their pluck is not swankiness but the power to endure, and
they can take a joke. I give no examples - it is risky to do that -
but the reader may as well consider whether this is the type of
person he would like to meet and to be, and whether (going
further with me) he would prefer that this type should not be an
ascetic one. I am against asceticism myself. I am with the old
Scotsman who wanted less chastity and more delicacy. I do not
feel that my aristocrats are a real aristocracy if they thwart their
bodies, since bodies are the instruments through which we
register and enjoy the world. Still, I do not insist. This is not a
major point. It is clearly possible to be sensitive, considerate and
plucky and yet be an ascetic too, and if anyone possesses the first
three qualities I will let him in! On they go - an invincible army,
yet not a victorious one. The aristocrats, the elect, the chosen,
the Best People - all the words that describe them are false, and
all attempts to organize them fail. Again and again Authority,
seeing their value, has tried to net them and to utilize them as the
Egyptian Priesthood or theChristian Church or the Chinese
Civil Service or the Group Movement, or some other worthy
stunt. But they slip through the net and are gone; when the door
is shut, they are no longer in the room; their temple, as one of
them remarked, is the holiness of the Heart's affections, and their
kingdom, though they never possess it, is the wide-open world."

Not too shabby, eh?

Bill-

1. Re: incident in Avon: Americans are turkeys. How many times do I hafta say it?
2. Re: Randy Newman: I have repeatedly written the Pentagon to nuke Toronto and Paris, and move on from there. Do they listen to me? No!

mb

9:10 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Now political candidates are body slamming reporters!!

Americans just Pummeling's each other!!


https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/24/greg-gianforte-bodyslams-reporter-ben-jacobs-montana


https://abcn.ws/2rY4HwB

9:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Birn-

Yes, word has it that Stalin wasn't exactly the easiest person to live with. As for the Sittenfeld story: I haven't read any of her novels, but I wonder if she isn't an honorary Wafer. The story was abt truth and realism, the truth of the heart and the gut. This is what Waferdom is all abt; it's not abt saying or doing the 'correct' thing. At the end, Eleanor's memory of all of those feminist papers read at the conference is a blur. What she really remembers is Luke saying that she's pretty, and, of course, eating her out. If only she had remained true to that--to eros.

mb

9:25 PM  
Blogger Edward Gris said...

Just found this blog after listening to some of your interviews and checking out Why America Failed from a university library. Hope you are doing well because us Americans certainly aren't right now. I'm just curious, though: What do you think will happen if the Democrats win 2018 or even 2020? Do you think it will go back to business as usual? Or does that even matter? I noticed you were cynical about Trump being impeached. Honestly it would make me happy to see, but maybe that is me clinging to a false hope that we can turn this all around. Best wishes.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Tonight for some reason I had the Burt Bacharach tune "Walk On By" going through my head, but with Wafer lyrics instead. Here it is, retitled:

Let Me Pee

If you see me walking down the street
And I start to pee each time we meet
Let me pee
Let me pee
Make believe that you don't see the decline
Just let me groove in private
Cause each time I see you I break out with glee
Let me pee

You just can't get over losing big and so if you seem broken and blue
Let me pee
Let me pee
Foolish pride that's all you have left
So let me drown the tears and the fierceness when you chanted "Land of the free!"
Let me pee ...

10:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ed-

Welcome to the greatest blog on earth. You can't imagine how lucky you are. As for Dems: I don't think it will matter. We are finished, and that's all there is to it. Everything you read in the media is just noise: Comey, impeachment, the Russians, what Trumpo said, Obamacare--it's all froth. The reality is a nation going down the drain. In that sense, Lorenzo Riggins is more significant than Trump:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2383757/Man-calls-police-McDonalds-hamburgers-instead-seven--gets-arrested.html

Latreasa Goodman, Shaneka Torres, Brittany Carulli--these are the true movers and shakers of our times. Along w/Freddie Wadsworth, of course:

http://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/184982063-story

Also Eiram Chanel Amir Dixson. Check these folks out; look into their eyes. In their eyes, you will see the future of America. (Also inside of Kim Kardashian’s buttocks) This is not satire, and I'm not kidding. These folks are the canaries in the coal mine. We have as much chance of turning our situation around as we do turning around an aircraft carrier in a bathtub.

mb

10:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jack-

Very moving; a true Wafer song. I wept. I cdn't help asking myself: What wd Tracey McCloud say?:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/ohio-woman-arrested-calling-911-chinese-food-order-article-1.2285006

mb

10:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Duh Dept.:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/may/26/jeremy-corbyn-manchester-british-foreign-policy

5:34 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@JimK,

I agree with you. I actually become depressed if I spend too much time on the computer or in front of the TV. I am trying to get back into reading. I just finished reading “Dersu the Trapper” by the Russian explorer Vladimir Arsenyev. The book details Arsenyev’s explorations in the Russian Far East and his friendship with the native hunter Dersu Uzala. Arsenyev’s book was later used as the basis for the 1975 film “Dersu Uzala” directed by Akira Kurosawa.

I would definitely recommend both the book and the movie to WAFers. It is a great story about friendship, which is something that we are sorely lacking in the contemporary United States.

7:32 AM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

@jjarden: And what's more, the guy won his election after doing so. We USAnians sure do love our pummeling!

9:46 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Roboto-

That says it all, doesn't it?

Tom-

A great movie, but also depressing: at the end, if I remember correctly, Dersu is sitting in his yurt, or tent, watching some American sitcom on TV. Talk abt the destruction of traditional culture!

mb

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Derek said...

MB,

I really enjoyed the Sittenfeld story. Just curious, have you read any of her novels? If so, could you recommend one? Thanks in advance.

-Derek

9:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Derek-

I haven't, but reading the descriptions on Amazon, they all praise her for her human and psychological realism.

mb

10:17 AM  
Anonymous COS said...

In latest edition of New Yorker. A very interesting quote by General James Mattis:

When I asked what worried him most in his new position, I expected him to say ISIS or Russia or the defense budget. Instead, he said, “The lack of political unity in America. The lack of a fundamental friendliness. It seems like an awful lot of people in America and around the world feel spiritually and personally alienated, whether it be from organized religion or from local community school districts or from their governments.

10:47 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

al, Jeff-

Just a bit too long. Pls compress and re-send. Thanks.

mb

1:28 PM  
Anonymous al Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Some of you might find this recent article interesting:

Hamas leaders have long recognized that the group’s founding charter, written by one man in 1988, served as an impediment to political outreach within and beyond Palestine.

Few would dispute that the worst aspect of the original charter was its unabashedly anti-Jewish language. Borrowing from classic European anti-Semitism, it even cites as a reference the Tsarist anti-Semitic hoax The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Even if this long ago ceased to reflect Hamas leaders’ thinking, these odious statements served as reliable weapons in Israel’s anti-Palestinian propaganda arsenal.


https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/whats-behind-hamas-new-charter

I was happy to see that the article cites the 2007 book, Hamas: A History from Within, by Azzam Tamimi, which I read 7-8 years ago. Tamimi notes how Hamas leaders never took the "Hamas Charter" seriously, yet were stuck with it.

Here's what's in the new document:

Hamas affirms that its conflict is with the Zionist project not with the Jews because of their religion. Hamas does not wage a struggle against the Jews because they are Jewish but wages a struggle against the Zionists who occupy Palestine. Yet, it is the Zionists who constantly identify Judaism and the Jews with their own colonial project and illegal entity.

Hamas rejects the persecution of any human being or the undermining of his or her rights on nationalist, religious or sectarian grounds.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Rook said...

Neoliberalism is a death cult. It is worse than Nihilism. At least nihilists have made an effort to understand reality. Neoliberalism just induces a catatonic materialistic state of living death.

Harari is wrong; just because something only exists in the abstract does not mean it is not real.

Dr. B, thank you for the beautiful thoughts on love and the EM Forester quote. Where I live (Germany) and where I come from (Ireland), loving, durable relationships are the norm.

Stay cool everyone.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Michael in Oceania said...

@MB: "Everything you read in the media is just noise: Comey, impeachment, the Russians, what Trumpo said, Obamacare--it's all froth. The reality is a nation going down the drain."

That's exactly how I feel. I try to pay no attention to the news cycle any more.

Meanwhile, get a load of these two stories from Portland and Olympia, Washington:

http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/two-white-women-forced-to-close-burrito-shop-because-of-cultural-appropriation_05242017
http://www.king5.com/news/local/olympia/professor-told-hes-not-safe-on-campus-after-college-protests/443098670

I don't know if radiation from Fukushima is frying peoples' brains there, or what? I never thought of Cascadia as being this crazy. Thoughts, MB?

5:30 PM  
Blogger Frantisek Panuskova said...

Duh Dept.: The day after the Manchester attack I suggested to some close German friends that there is a link between our Western violence in the Arab worlds and kids there and here getting radicalized. That we had it coming and the official mourning felt like a ritual we go through, before we up our internal security and someone orders the next bombing run or drone strike down there. What would we say, if in "preserving their interests" another country would bomb a school, a wedding, whatever and leave 100+ civilian dead in the rubble? My friends got terribly upset with me, called me inhumane, disrespectful of human life. You could feel the fear behind the outrage, when it is hitting close to home (i.e. Europe).

I am with Sarasvati in as much that, judging by the publicized reaction, the value of a occidental life seems higher than that of an oriental person.

6:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Michael-

I taught at Evergreen for one semester, winter 1991. It was political correctness up the ying yang. Everybody was walking on eggshells. I can only imagine that in the intervening yrs, it's gotten a lot worse, and it was pretty bad then.

mb

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Quercus said...

I would not be too hasty in granting Wafer status to Curtis Sittenfeld. I have read a few things of hers and an interview (I like to give every author a try). I get the impression she is just like the people she writes about (as was F. Scott Fitzgerald).

She is a privileged preppy, can write well and has insight into her class (like Fitzgerald), but ultimately not really memorable. Her subject, as always, is "relationships", like so many of the New Yorker-type short stories. Nothing resonates deeply, only one relationship after another - she is no Chekhov or Austen.

Quercus

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Luey said...

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/05/20/world-leaders-gather-beijing-while-us-sinks-into-irrelevancy.html

Yep!

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Natalie said...

I wish to suggest the professor's next book be a philosophical waxing on love. These are some beautiful reflections.

9:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Luey-

This is exactly rt. The US is embedded in trivia, nonsense; is little more than an international joke. Meanwhile, folks like Putin and Xi astutely bide their time, and concentrate on reality instead of poop.

Querc-

If Curtis writes in wanting to participate in our discussions, she wd certainly be welcome. Her privileged status wd hardly exclude her from the blog, nor do we require that she write like Chekhov. But she did write an extremely honest, non-politically correct short story, one that was very true to human emotions. What I found in that story, and what is echoed in the Amazon online descriptions of her work, is a very keen and accurate understanding of human psychology. It may not make her an official Wafer, but she does seem to be a fellow traveler.

Natalie-

God, what a thought. Never regarded myself as any kind of love expert. Tho I do hafta say that Wafers are lovers; our twin goals in life are love and truth. This is why we feel the American empire needs to close up shop: it's a death machine, bringing genocide and destruction to many parts of the world. But the reason that this blog has attracted such a huge, worldwide following is that people can feel the love, and want to be part of the greatest love experiment in the history of the world. So I thank u4 the suggestion.

mb

9:45 PM  
Anonymous Ram Gana said...

Rook,

In fact, neoliberalism is more accurately understood as functional nihilism. This is the same sense in which Nietzsche once drew an equivalency between "Christians and other nihilists."

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

al Qa'bong,
2017 marks 50 years of Israel's daily, brutal, military occupation of the west bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. So unlike Hamas I personally am getting tired of making this distinction between Jews and Zionists. Jews who sit on their hands are still culpable. They still allow the occupation to continue, still support Israel in various ways, and says nothing when Israel engages in periodic outrages which Pappe terms "incremental genocide". Anyway, scratch a non-zionist Jew enough and you'll still get support for the Greater Israel Project which you can actually find in Genesis 15-18-21, by the way.
Doctor, I am certainly not as sanguine as you appeaar to be concerning Jews in the US. Just go to Youtube and see sometimes hundreds of thousands of views of the most anti-semitic videos. My feeling is that as the printing press led to the weakening of the Catholic Church in Europe, the internet will eventually lead to a marked diminution of Jewish influence in the US. We are simply too over-represented here in media, finance, and politics much as Jews were in Germany.

10:26 PM  
Anonymous Vincent in Auvers said...

Frantisek: You’d think that with all of the world’s resources at their disposal, Westerners would be content to live and let live. Instead, they demonize, attack, and scapegoat those who have nothing. I’ve always been one who had no trouble relating to anyone, regardless of nationality, class, or skin color, and used to enjoy (pre-Trump) many great conversations with people from all walks of life. Your German friends’ refusal to see the humanity of the people in the Middle East and to make the connection between the West’s actions over there and the overhyped attacks here bespeaks either a massive character flaw or deep delusion. In one of his interviews, David Foster Wallace talked about Americans’ arrogance stemming from the stories we tell ourselves. Maybe those stories are necessary to mask the barbarity that undergirds much of the Western way of life. At heart, I believe we all have an innate sense of right and wrong, but to acknowledge that one’s own successes have been paid for with the blood of others is too much for the individual to bear—hence the retreat into nationalism and myths of superiority. Pertinent film which has been mentioned here before: Wallace Shawn’s “The Fever.”

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

WAFers--

Turns out that Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was President Carter's national security adviser during the Iran hostage crisis, has died at 89. Of course, I'll always recall him as the chap who coined "tittytainment" back in the day. Fast forward several decades later to iCrap and "undigested technobullshit" (Ursula LeGuin . . . I think I got her phrase correct). At any rate, good ol' Ziggy knew what was needed to curb social and civil unrest . . .

O&D--

Brian

10:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Vinc-

Has it been made into a film? I saw it many yrs ago as a play.

Dan-

Well, you cd be rt, altho keep in mind that the president's daughter is (converted) Jewish. I don't, however, deny that anti-Semitism is a powerful undercurrent in American life; my experience with this blog has shown me that, if nothing else. But traditionally, Jews became scapegoats in economic hard times, and that doesn't seem to be the case at present. Latinos seem to be bearing the brunt of it, at least for the time being--the focus of poor whites, out of work, who see Mexicans as stealing their jobs.

mb

10:44 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Ambassador Craig Murray has made a strong case that, rather than being blowback, the Manchester attack MIGHT have been perpetrated by the Saudis, who were likely becoming very nervous that the highly critical Jeremy Corbyn was moving up quickly in the polls. It should be noted that Murray is no conspiracy theorist and also explicitly dismissed the notion that it was a false flag attack ordered my Theresa May:

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2017/05/that-critical-threat/

If Murray is right, America should probably hunker down should it come to pass that Rand Paul's effort to scuttle Trump's bigly Saudi arms deal starts gaining enough support in Congress to eventually overcome a presidential veto:

http://news.antiwar.com/2017/05/23/sen-rand-paul-to-force-vote-on-massive-saudi-arms-deal/#.WSYAFgRAtBM.twitter

As Jeffrey St, Clair over at Counterpunch remarked about Paul's effort, it will be interesting to see how many Democrats end up supporting it. My guess is very few. They'd rather shriek about Putin some more rather than deny even more arms to the biggest exporters of terrorism in the world.

11:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Brian-

The guy who led Carter astray, and how we wound up training the Mujahideen:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/9-11-analysis-from-ronald-reagan-and-the-soviet-afghan-war-to-george-w-bush-and-september-11-2001/20958

See also DAA, pp. 132ff.

As for Ursula: "undigested techshit".

mb

11:18 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

This is pretty good:

http://www.salon.com/2017/05/20/trotsky-explains-donald-trump-to-you-our-idiot-president-is-a-substitute-who-represents-americas-mass-ignorance-and-bottomless-narcissism/

Two killed and one injured on a Portland train:

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/2-fatally-stabbed-portland-train-after-trying-calm-ranting-man-n765361

MB-

Many thanks for the info regarding the creation, training, and support of the Mujahideen. It looks as if it irrefutable at this point to call the War on Terror anything more than a completely manufactured neocon creation. Also, Shawn's "Fever" was made into a made for TV film for HBO in 2004. It starred Vanessa Redgrave and Michael Moore.

Miles

2:11 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

I have an ominous feeling about the future that is best represented in this final scene of Terminator 1...Just like this female lead character, WAFERS know what's coming.

https://youtu.be/5C6GZQ7UNaU

2:13 AM  
Anonymous Bingo said...

Zbigniew Brzezinski died. That would make it:

Humanity 1, War Criminals 0.

Nice start.

Julian

3:35 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

I don't agree w/the Salon article; as I argue in my essay on "Finally, the class war is out in the open," the 'deplorables' were actually quite smart: they understood what Hillary stood for, and that she wd mean a continuation of the neoliberal regime that had ground them into poverty. Not that nativism didn't play a role in the election, but I don't see it as the crucial factor. Overall, Trump voters knew what they were doing. Thanks for tip on 'Fever' movie...in the play, there is only 1 character (of undetermined gender).

mb

6:52 AM  
Anonymous shenjingbing said...

Wafers -

For those interested in "The Fever," here's an interview with Wallace Shawn in which he describes the personal awakening that led him to write the play:

https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/6154/wallace-shawn-the-art-of-theater-no-17-wallace-shawn

8:24 AM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

Today in the "Only In America Department": Two-year-old girl dies after man carries out WWE move on her :-((((

8:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Roboto-

How nice.

mb

8:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

How hard is it to understand the word 'blowback'? The CIA understands it.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/26/may-puts-manchester-bombing-at-heart-of-election-with-attack-on-corbyn

8:54 AM  
Anonymous TJ said...

https://sah.columbia.edu/content/sah-honors-william-cronon-advocate-academic-freedom-and-two-others-literary-merit-historical

A fine american environmental historian gets his due.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Yajeb said...

Maajid Nawaz of the Quillium Institute had some pithy remarks in response to Corbyn's thoughts that our wars abroad is what led to the Manchester attack :

"The one where we responded to the Libyan & Arab people's request to overthrow a dictator? Or the one where we stopped a Yazidi genocide?

"I dislike like my country's foreign policy,removing a tyrant in my father's country at his request,so I'll murder children at a pop concert"

"I'm angry u went to Libya,so I'll kill children.I'm angry u didn't go to Syria,so I'll kill children. I guess..I just like killing children"

"...No,it is those who isolate &tie foreign policy to terrorism who have the simplistic,naive view. They haven't a clue how radicalization works

Recruiters will use our action *and* inaction in foreign policy as a pretext to radicalize. The ideologue seeks opportunity. I know.I did it"


11:07 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Yajeb-

You might read DAA for a fuller, and more accurate, picture. (Plus Steven Kinzer, Bill Blum, Chalmers Johnson, etc. etc.) Blowback is hardly occurring in a political vacuum--even the CIA knows this. Islam has suffered a century of exploitation at the hands of the British and Americans. When that happens, after a while people tend to get grumpy. To ignore this is the real 'naivete'. As the Rev. Jeremiah Wright put it, "When you terrorize people, eventually they are going to terrorize you back." It ain't rocket science, habibi.

mb

11:35 AM  
Anonymous COS said...

Rook,


"Harari is wrong; just because something only exists in the abstract does not mean it is not real." Actually no. You really misunderstand the gist of his (Hararis)_ work (and Gray's, Cohn, J Cambell and others). If you read any of their work you will find that the point that people act as if myths were real as very central. Harari points out that Peugot only exists in the abstract as a corporation, yet people work there and make cars etc. In fact his book Sapiens is entirely about how myths influence real life. Money really is nothing but a story a fiction, yet it is a fiction we all agree to and it has a huge influence on our lives obviously. Ideas of nations, virgin birth, life after death are all fictions that have a real impact on peoples lives. A central point in Harari's work is that human cooperation and thus civilization arises as a result of common myths and fantasies. Do consider reading his work--though popular it is quite good. A deeper less accessible though still popular version is of course in Gray's Silence of Animals, or if you are a TV type consider the Joseph Campbell series. There is also a lot of work on how Utopian thought based on fantasies shaped a lot of the U.S. (Oneida, Rappites, Reunion, Shakers and Progressives).

12:13 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

@Kanye I'm happy to chat anytime, my email is cschulzke26@yahoo.com

Re terrorism, I have to agree with Yajeb. The idea that British or French born Muslims are terrorizing the country they were born in because of past imperial transgressions is pretty tough to swallow. As for terrorizing those who terrorize you, well, I havent noticed to many Chileans or El Salvadorans blowing apart school girls in the US latelty, so there is something unique about what is going on with Muslims, and hiding from it out of self loathing or PC isnt the answer..

Listening to the mayor of Manchester and Theresa May I think I have noticed a pattern in these attacks.

1. Express outrage, engage in false compassion (I.E. the victims’ families are in our prayers, our hearts go out etc etc)
2. Celebrate unity, praise the police and emergency services
3. Emphasize this is the result of a minority of extremists and has nothing to do with the real Islam
4. Callously tell people this is the new normal and they just have to deal
5. Publically state we won’t compromise on our core values—which is code for “we aren’t going to talk about the 23,000 lb white elephant in the room.”
6. Emphasize that this is simply a security / intelligence issue and no wider conclusions can be drawn
7. Wait one or two months for the next attack.
Wash, rinse, repeat.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Chris-

Not hard to swallow at all; these folks have a long memory, and considering what we did to them, it's quite understandable. As I said, pretending this is unreal, is the real naivete. Check out Michael Scheuer's bk, "Imperial Hubris," for the list of grievances; he concludes by saying that clearly, Osama had a valid argument. (Note that he was the CIA's pt man on Osama for 17 yrs.) I myself suggested to Scheuer that the way out of this mess was for us to apologize to the Islamic states; his 'solution' was to kill more of them. We see how well that has worked out. Manchester is hardly the last of it, as long as we hide from Corbyn's obvious analysis of these events. Of course, no Anglo admission of guilt will be forthcoming, so the tedious cycle you outline above will continue unabated.

As for Latin America: very different history, amigo. Chile, for example, was heavily colonized economically, and so is caught in a process of Americanization they can't get free of. You might check out Naomi Klein's bk, "The Shock Doctrine." I have been to Chile many times; the whole history of our intervention has been heavily repressed--they get very uncomfortable if you bring the subject up. I did an interview with one newspaper there; when it appeared in print, most of it had been edited out. Other countries, on the other hand, have fought back against Yankee domination, altho their style is armed resistance (Che Guevara, e.g.) rather than suicide bombing. This hardly means they are not bitter.

mb

1:25 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

One thing I have noticed in America is a split in logic and emotion. Americans are either "purely logical" or "purely emotional." the "purely logical" types tend to exist in Academia. They worship science and technology and consider themselves "rational." The "purely emotional" types (i.e. most Americans) are essentially a collection of unregulated emotions. In short, Americans do not know how to combine logic and emotion into what I like to call "logical emotion."

Regrading Islamic terrorism, I think it is caused by both blowback and by natural violent tendencies within Islam. Essentially, the West is surprised that wasps are attacking after it hit the wasps' nest with a stick. Of course, simplistic Manichean narratives portraying Muslims as "pure evil" are not going to solve anything.

One thing I have noticed among those to try to justify American "interventions" in the Middle East is that they ignore all the massive collateral damage caused by America in trying to "overthrow" dictators.

Additionally, many Sunni terrorist groups are under the control of the American government itself.

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Holden S said...

Hmm, sort of a antagonist to your first book, Prof Berman;

http://blogs.ssrc.org/tif/2017/05/23/the-myth-of-disenchantment-an-introduction/

1:36 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Dr. B

I spoken to a few ICP fans or Juggalos and the ones who I spoke to who weren't posers were very intelligent people. I can have a very intelligent conversation with those I spoke to. Some of them can get very deep into philosophy. Most people judge the book by its cover before getting to know and understand them and actually listening to ICP's lyrics. Some of it is goofy and having fun but others talk about love and family like the song "Homies."

1:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Holden-

Seems very much off-base, I wd hafta say. I guess it's fashionable to write bks in which you say up is down, left is rt, etc.

cube-

I don't know what icp is.

mb

2:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Fako-

Over the half-page max limit. Pls compress a bit, re-send. Thank you.

mb

3:31 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I know that a juggalo is a fan of the Insane Clown Posse, but all I know about the Insane Clown Posse is that their fans are called juggalos. How's that for a circular explanation?

As for the boring old Islam=Terrorism argument, those who bring it up in the context of the Manchester bombing conveniently forget about those Papist jihadis from Ulster who blew up English bandshells a few years ago for much the same reason that motivates the current resistance movements in the Middle East.

They also ignore how this resistance used to be led by nationalist movements like the PLO and PFLP, as well as Arab Christian "terrorists" such as Soha Besharah.

Stop blaming Islam.

It's the imperialism, stupid.

5:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

al-

Amen. But the West just can't get it thru its head: people resent being fucked over. What a concept! But no: it must be that the people who got fucked over for a century, are the ones to blame. They must be *inherently* violent. What cd be more obvious (besides our inherent innocence)?

I think we need to retire this argument.

As for ICP, I thought it might mean I Covet Pastrami. Now *that* I can definitely get behind!

There was a bird that walked in circles; scientists called it a rotopedist. When asked why the bird walked in circles, they said, "Because it's a rotopedist."

mb

5:19 PM  
Anonymous door said...

I hear people use the word muslim when describing an attack in the west.The word I never hear is Wahabism the philosophy behind Isis,al-Qaeda and various knock off groups.The Wahabists believe all shia muslims should be killed or enslaved,or anyone that doesn't agree with them.Patrick Cockburn has a good article about this in Counterpunch.I think it is important be more specific when talking about this subject.Its like saying the Christianity of Jimmy Carter is the same as Jim Jones of Jonestown.Thanks

5:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jesus, what a turkey:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/05/27/now-we-know-how-hillary-clinton-felt-watching-trumps-inauguration-speech/?hpid=hp_hp-cards_hp-card-politics%3Ahomepage%2Fcard&utm_term=.c78aea501dd9

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Vincent in Auvers said...

The blowback thesis holds in many cases, but I wonder whether it may not be a secondary factor in this one. The spate of mass killings in recent years all have one thing in common: They are usually carried out by alienated young men. When perpetrated by white males (Elliot Roger, Adam Lanza, Jared Loughner, James Holmes, etc.), the narrative in the media is always mental illness. When perpetrated by brown or black males, it’s always religious fanaticism/terrorism. The young man in the Manchester incident, being born in the UK, was almost certainly subjected to racism and ostracism because of his appearance. When young men are denied an identity by the society they find themselves in, they will fill that hole with whatever seems to fit best, be it the image of the masked jihadist or (in the case of Holmes) the crazed villain from Batman. I think we should be looking at why Western countries are producing a surfeit of discontented young men rather than being distracted by the confused (media-driven) identities those men adopt as justification for their actions.

12:02 AM  
Blogger Grandma said...

Confirmation bias:
https://www.farnamstreetblog.com/2017/05/confirmation-bias/

We are here because we believe Dr. B is correct. Doesn't mean someone can't have a strong marriage in the midst of greater chaotic change. And in the "let's define our terms" mode, a relationship and a marriage are completely different things. Marriage has a legal basis, and a built-in or implied time span: for life.

Also "duh": The United States is a patriarchical society, West European version. It's certainly not a communal or matriarchical society. Mexico is also patriarchical, of a different flavor (Catholic? Southern Europe?)

I found the discussion on scapegoating especially interesting, (and I see it aligned with the discussions on women and feminism) and wonder what part (if any) the process of choosing scape goats plays in the decline of civilizations. I've only thought of the presence of scapegoating as evidence of (severe) dysfunction in a group (or nation).

Which leads to my last point: reality is complex, too complex for us to even understand in its entitety (hence the confirmation bias tool). Are feminists truly to blame for the failure of male-female relations in the US. Doubtful, the power to truly effect change lies elsewhere. Remember the Hillary furor that more women weren't supporting her in fem solidarity? It doesn't exist, as she found out.

Keeping it real ... imperfectly.

8:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Grandma-

True, Hill the Pill was disappted; feminism is hardly a unified social or political force, but rather all over the place these days, and it seems to mean different things to different women. But this says nothing about its impact on the nitty-gritty of male-female relationships on the ground, on a daily basis. These are pretty awful; and while feminism has some impt and worthwhile goals (equal pay for equal work, just for starters), it has also made many people miserable--women especially, I suspect (including deep inner conflicts, being at cross-purposes w/themselves). That story by Curtis Sittenfeld is a gd example of this misery (and existential dishonesty, rejection of the wisdom of the body in favor of abstract gender theory). Nor do I think marriage vs. relationship is a crucial factor in any of this, myself. In any case, the major contributor to this unhappiness, imo, is the accelerated neoliberal economy, in which everything--including marriages and relationships and even daily interactions--is turned into a commodity. Love (both eros and agape) depends on I-Thou; 99% of what we have in the US today is I-It, i.e. instrumental usage of others, in literally every area of life. A perfect formula for rage, pain, and mental illness. Looking at the US from the outside, it's not hard to conclude that the place is insane.

Anyway, as far as my being correct: OK, I admit that I am the Great Seer of the Western Hemisphere (GSWH), and that billions of people on the planet now recognize this. Time Magazine keeps begging me to allow them to put my face on the front cover, but given my nearly infinite modesty, I keep turning them down. Nevertheless, even I, sage that I am, can't be correct with respect to everything, and a lot of the time I'm just venturing what I hope is an intelligent guess--like the other Wafers on this blog. But there is one thing I am absolutely certain of. The theme of the blog is the collapse of the American empire, and this is a fact so obvious that even a dolt can see it. And yet, again, 99% of Americans *can't* see it, whether they are progs or political retards. People w/extremely high IQ's can't see it. There are 2 words almost all Americans simply cannot take in: "It's over." And yet, it *is* over, and once you accept that, the current econ-polit-social-cultural scene becomes quite comprehensible. What's the difference whether Russia influenced the election, for example? We did theirs, in 1996, and have interfered in more foreign govts than you can shake a stick at. What's the diff if Trumpi is impeached? Like Clinton, he won't be convicted, and so will just carry on with his chaotic destruction of the country. Almost everything you read in the NYT is either crap or irrelevant. There is only one headline that *is* relevant, and the Times won't print it: IT'S OVER. This shd be their daily headline until the paper folds, which is definitely going to occur, sooner or later (hopefully, sooner).

Finally, we are also here to have fun. Sadly, most Americans are very grim people. Not us. If it's over, after all, you might as well enjoy yrself. Wafers are lovers and truth-seekers, and in addition, they have a great sense of humor. Ha ha, ha ha, I say. Ha ha.

mb

9:12 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Morris, Gigalax, Dan, etc., I think what we see in this country is support for Zionism (and therefore Israel), but you don’t have to be Jewish to be a Zionist (think Joe Biden). From my perspective Zionism is the problem.

Here’s a question: Why do we allow important governmental positions to be staffed by people who have dual-citizenship? Doesn’t dual-citizenship mean split loyalties, and therefore shouldn’t dual-citizenship disqualify them from positions of influence?

Brian, I read comments about Zbigniew Brzezinski’s death, and was stunned by the paeans, which leads me to:

Being curious as to why Wafers are so rare, and unable to understand the rampant cognitive dissonance of even intelligent people, I retook the Meyers-Briggs Personality Index after many, many years; the result was an exact description of my modus operandi…I’m an INTP-T (3% of the population). Has anyone else here done this, and if so what were the results? If you haven’t, here’s a link:

https://www.16personalities.com/

9:30 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

My tuppence worth on Islamic terror is that the Islam-is-inherently-evil argument and the terrorism-is-imperial-blowback argument both carry the unstated assumption that the experience of terrorism is necessarily a bad thing.

I don't think that's true. If the West pursued a genuinely benign foreign policy in order to e.g. protect Yazidis or Coptic Christians, that would prompt ISIS to retaliate via acts of terror in the West. Nevertheless, the policy would still be worthwhile, while not to pursue the policy for fear of terrorism would be cowardice.

I'm actually fine with the UK experiencing terrorism, and would be perfectly happy for us to experience more of it, if the terrorism was the result of good foreign policy. And good foreign policy is not simply "staying out of other peoples' business", as that is just cowardice disguised with moral relativism.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Golf-

Well, staying out of other people's business wd be a start, at least. The US is abt 40 light-yrs from that, at present. Thus, to me the fundamental fact of terrorism is karma: we are reaping what we sowed. Thanks to Zbig, we trained the Mujahideen to undermine the Soviet Union; they then turned on us, and finally we got 9/11. This is karma. When I think of innocent children getting killed in Manchester, I'm not able, myself, to be 'perfectly happy' abt terrorism; but what did Britain expect? That there wd never be payback for what it did in the Middle East? Gd luck w/that.

Sar-

I seem to remember rdg somewhere, a few yrs ago, that Myers-Briggs had no credible scientific basis to it. Maybe someone can chase down the article; New Yorker?

mb

9:46 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

It's a big country with 326 million people. Any given day is likely to yield its quota of outrageous if not-altogether-surprising actions. From the moronic to the mindless, like these:

Two South Carolina worthies, encountering a juvenile alligator crossing a road, catch it and force (cigarette) smoke down its throat, following that with a beer chaser.
http://www.newser.com/article/d7f006d3e70e45df9c8ffe67050bcd82/2-arrested-for-trying-to-force-alligator-to-drink-beer.html

A Mississippi matron, visiting the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Lakeland, drops her purse, causing the discharge of her concealed handgun and wounding a fellow waiting-room patient.
http://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/local/2017/05/26/woman-charged-after-accidental-shooting-ummc-medical-clinic/348423001/

And this Utah mom, obliged to take her 2- and 5-year-old tykes with her when her babysitter can't sit the children, locks the kids in the trunk of her car while she pops into the local Walmart.
http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/28/us/utah-woman-locks-children-in-trunk/index.html

10:51 AM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


al-Qa'bong: "It's the imperialism, stupid." On that topic, a book by Shashi Tharoor: 'Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India'.
"Why hasn't Gandhi died yet," queefed Churchill during the British orchestrated Bengal famine that killed 4 million Indians.
http://www.news18.com/videos/india/virtuosity-shashi-tharoor-speaks-on-his-new-book-era-of-darkness-2-1338986.html

MB: "I myself suggested to Scheuer that the way out of this mess was for us to apologize ..." Tharoor suggested the same to the Brits.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7CW7S0zxv4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCmhk_9hqbU

On Memorial Day we should remember that the time and place to drop the A-bomb was specially selected to kill maximum number of civilians. The incendiary bombing of Japanese cities was perpetrated to inflict max suffering on people by burning down their wooden houses. Same with the use of Cluster bombs, Napalm and white phosphorus -designed to kill and maim regular folks. We call it a justified act when we savage "them," but we're pious and philosophize when violence returns home.
http://www.counterpunch.org/2008/08/09/targeting-civilians/

Mark Twain: "There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages."
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/ann_coulter_may_be_joking_but_what_she_says_is_far_from_funny_20170527
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxv-kP_7mNM

11:11 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Unknown-

Sorry, I don't post Unknowns. You need a real handle. E.g., Farragut J. Barfington IV. That has a lot more character to it than 'Unknown'.

mb

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Sigmund Fraud said...

Shashi Tharoor's book on the British in India is taken to pieces here:

http://quillette.com/2017/04/14/review-inglorious-empire-british-india-shashi-tharoor/

The death toll from the Mughal invasion of India was incredible - 550 million! The Brits were lightweights in comparison.

11:34 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB, Wafers-

On a lighter note:

http://www.grubstreet.com/2017/05/see-how-new-yorks-best-pastrami-is-made.html

MB-

Re: US foreign policy (mind yr own business)

Hank Williams had it about right:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZH2bmbUTl4

door-

Speaking of Jim Jones, I'm currently reading " The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple" by Jeff Guinn. It's a riveting narrative. Highly recommended.

Miles

ps: RIP Gregg Allman:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ5yeaf3RaU

11:49 AM  
Anonymous John said...

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/05/united-states-insanity-170522104610470.html

12:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

John-

Very gd article. But she omitted the man in the street. If you just go out into the street of any American city, and try to engage someone--anyone--in conversation, you quickly come to the conclusion that there must be some sort of neurological damage going on. Don' believe me? Try it!

Sig-

O dem Mughals; ya gotta watch out for them! However, that death toll is over 700 years; which means they killed 1.27 people a year. The British may have killed more, per person, for all I know; but I don't have the stats.

mb

12:42 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

I don't really buy the "we have to save the Christians/whoever" justification for invading the Middle East. This argument ignores the largely in-discriminant nature of actual attacks on the Middle East. I am pretty sure that many of the people we were trying to "save" ended up as victims in some of those attacks. Overall, this argument seems like the conservative version of the liberal "humanitarian" argument for invading the Middle East (i.e. we have to bomb them to "save" them).

12:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

al-

Cdn't run it (too long).

mb

12:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sig-

Sorry, my math got screwed up. 550 million divided by 700 = 785,714 per year. I still don't know how many the Brits killed per year. Does anybody?

mb

12:55 PM  
Anonymous free-istan said...

Europe was invaded from points east and south east many times in the last 30000 years. Then dominant group there now are culturally speaking, Indo-European speakers. They began moving into the area perhaps 7000 years ago possibly with the then recent domestication of the horse. Then only extant European language which predates this invasion is Basque. All the other ones are gone. They were already gone by Roman times except for Basque, Lusitanian (maybe), Etruscan, and another on an island in the Aegian. There is a very long language disconformity, perhaps 20000 years or more, between Basque and the earliest proto-celtic indo European languages identified on rock carvings. Modern Europeans are maybe 60% to 90% pre-invasion DNA (This particular invasion) with the rest west Asian and south Asian. South Asians moved along the Mediterranean rim during the Bronze age for the good tin sources in France, Italy, Spain, and Britain. Indigenous European culture pre-this particular invasion may have been more matriarchical--Earth mother cults etc. Dominant European religions and social structures were imported--patriarchy, masculine sky gods and both pantheistic religions and Judeo-Christian are included here. The invasion of the Americas can be viewed as a continuation of the same thing. Turks have in turn displaced many indo Europeans in lands to the east and arrived in Europe in the 10th century--crusades etc.

1:23 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

These geniuses are actually parents...Will there ever be a day when people will neee to go through a licensing process in order to be allowed to parent children?


http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/05/28/mississippi-shooting-8-dead-including-deputy-sheriff-suspect-in-custody.html


http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/28/us/utah-woman-locks-children-in-trunk/index.html

1:37 PM  
Blogger Frantisek Panuskova said...

Vincent, very true, but making sure that "all of the world’s resources" are at our disposal is a key element of the problem they don't want to see. They rather believe that the world economic order is essentially fair. We are just better off because of hard work, industrialization, our democracies, good education, less corruption, functioning infrastructure etc. Without that denial we would have to seriously question our way of life and, worse yet, make changes to our consumerism addiction, which would scuttle our economies. So, it is much easier to blame those who are dying in larger numbers for 80-90% of the problems. They had it coming, b/o their tribalism, economic weaknesses, failed states, corruption, brutal dictatorships, medieval belief systems, cultural backwardness etc.

Bill Hick, interesting Craig Murray post. Thanks for sharing the link to it here. The West´s schizophrenic relationship with the Saudis has long baffled me. It's like observing the Universe. You cannot rationally understand it unless you include a lot of dark matter and force, that combined with the measurable parts explain what we see through the telescopes. Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 had a pretty good and chilly take on those dark sides.

MB, Still driving my German prog friends crazy with their blow back denial. After "menschenverachtend" it has now earned me accusations of disseminating "Fundischeiße" and "anklagende Vorwürfe." It's a gift that keeps giving! Pls let's keep the argument open. I am picking up good pointers and sources here. Plus, the cycle of violence will surely continue, producing new absurdities in the occidental 'no causality with our interventions' thinking. Also,I would submit that "It's over" - being a contraction of "It is over" - should be upgraded to three word status vs. the two you are referring to. Or at least 2 1/2. IF we have to abandon the blow back topic, I herewith humbly suggest a prolonged Wafer debate about this. Thanks for your consideration!

2:17 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

WAFers--it came to my attention through no fault of my own that tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 there is going to be a national moment of silence to honor the dead among America's imperial legions who have gone forth to slaughter innocent civilians all around the world. Personally, I plan to use that moment to pop in my CD of Country Joe and the Fish's "Feel Like I'm Fixing to Die Rag" and play it at top volume on my stereo while blasting it out the window.

Golf--the problem with your idea of a "good" foreign policy, is where do you draw the line? The closest America has come to a truly humanitarian military intervention since the fall of the Soviet Union was in Somalia in 1992-1993. So what happens? We go there with the intention of ending a famine and end up slaughtering hundreds of the locals in the black hawk down incident.

Then of course our sheepishness from that incident prevented us from taking action in Rwanda, the one rare time intervention would have been justified by almost any standard. But even in Rwanda, a successful operation would have required the restraint of sending the military just long enough to stop the genocide and then immediately withdrawing. A longer occupation would have resulted in the inevitable culture clashes between the locals and American troops who would have seen how they were living and viewed them as being less than human. Do you really think our great and glorious "leaders" would have had the wisdom to pull out of there before America (again) had blood on its hands?

2:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sig-

Sorry, cdn't run it (24-hr rule).

Fran-

I prefer to stick to 2 words. In any case, you can distribute all the Scheisse you want among your friends; it won't change their minds a millimeter (you know this). Denial is not a river in Egypt, etc.

jj-

Just another day in the life, really. In 5-10 yrs, the perp, instead of being ashamed, will say: "If only I had a drone, or a nuclear device." As for the woman locking kids in trunk, in 5-10 yrs, she'll find it easier to shoot them and dump the bodies somewhere. Since I predicted, yrs ago, that as time goes by Americans will increasingly bump each other off, that trend has dramatically accelerated. Massacres now occur at a greater frequency than one a day. How long until we reach 10 a day? 5-6 yrs, I'm guessing.

free-

30,000? That's a bit of a stretch, I'm guessing. Archaeo evidence shows that war (organized aggression) dates from the Late Paleolithic, i.e. abt 15,000 yrs ago, at most.

mb

3:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

I'm thinking we might need an Existential Identity Alert Squad (EIAS), bent on saving the American soul. John Maynard Keynes tells how in the 20s, he and his friends wd ride around the City (financial district of London), lean out the window of their car, and yell at a typical businessman (homburg, umbrella) hurrying down the street, "Excuse me sir, but you seem to have lost all sense of your personal identity." In the American case, I suggest Wafers yell, "Excuse me, but you are a degraded buffoon." Wafers are encouraged to suggest other things we might yell at the wo/man in the street. Clearly, they need all the help they can get.

mb

3:39 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

Did anyone else find Donald Trump's shoving of the Prime Minister of Montenegro to perfectly inline with the American Id? I couldn't help but watch that video over and over think that he is literally the embodiment of America, loud, brash, crude, rude, arrogant, incredibly stupid, and a lack of any self-awareness.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Nesim-

Yes, he's an icon of the country, wh/is why he is the president. He's a jackass; so are 326.5 million Americans.

mb

5:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

I will not play ball with a horse's ass, she said:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2017/05/28/following-trump-trip-merkel-says-europe-can-rely-anymore/Upt7ovjr4FAOCp0QOZTj1H/story.html?s_campaign=bdc:globewell:trending&s_campaign=bdc:globewell:trending

Angela: you need the US like a Loch im Kopf.

mb

6:07 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

" I myself suggested to Scheuer that the way out of this mess was for us to apologize to the Islamic states; his 'solution' was to kill more of them. "
I know we have discussed Scheuer before, and I am critical of him, but that is a slight disservice to his view. I think his view is not so much that we should kill more of them, but that either we do full-scale colonialism and scorched-earth or we pack up, go home and try to get along with everyone. In his view, the latter would be far more preferable, but since policymakers never once considered it he was forced to give advice within those constraints. I think he's not a genocidal maniac, but unlike most of our politicians and citizens, a functional adult who knows that having an empire that purports concern for human rights and democracy is an absurd farce. Unfortunately, even the citizens who claim to recognize this would be rioting in the streets if we had to give up cheap oil and cheap third-world labor. As you like to say, turning around a 747 in an bathtub.

6:19 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

This is really good:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-nationalism-can-solve-the-crisis-of-islam-1495830440

6:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

El-

Wd that your characterization of him were true. This was at a public forum; his explicit statement was, and I quote, "We are going to have to kill a lot more of these guys." A genocidal maniac, in short. People around me remarked, "This guy needs to take his meds." In any case, apology was not exactly an option for him. So the US Govt, being a genocidal maniac itself, followed his advice (not mine!), and the result is there for all of us to see. He's a nut job, but then so is the US Govt.

mb

7:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Think abt this:

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/48413

7:49 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

@ Miles Delhi Yup, Hank has his foreign affair moments all right. Get a load of "No, No Joe," addressed to Stalin:

Just because you think you've found
The system that we know ain't sound
Don't you go throwin' your weight around
No, no Joe

'Cause the Kaiser tried it and Hitler tried it
Mussolini tried it too
Now they're all sittin' around a fire and did you know something?
They're saving a place for you

...Now you got tanks, some fair size tanks
But you're acting like a clown
'Cause man we've got Yanks, a mess of Yanks
And you might get caught with your tanks down


On the subject of the British Empire, I should have let you know about my annual Victoria Day special radio show last week. Sorry.

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Two interesting essays by Michael Lind. Lind argues that the United States is transforming into a banana republic.

http://thesmartset.com/insider-nation-v-outsider-nation/

Lind on the new class war and the rise of the managerial elite.

https://americanaffairsjournal.org/2017/05/new-class-war/

1:13 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tom-

A few years ago I read that the distribution of wealth in the US was the same (in terms of ratios) as Egypt and Tunisia.

mb

2:21 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Hey all, long time no comment.

The spasms of the Trump regime have reminded me of something Terence McKenna once said. You know you are participating in a doomed society when the ruling class is even more miserable than the serfs.

I hope this is the death rattle of the Protestant work ethic once and for all. The President is just another miserable office worker putting on a front to show his boss, the people, how hard he is working.

The idiotic glorification of work will absolutely destroy a society. Nothing great or even functional was ever achieved by 'let's getter done' as an operating philosophy.

When I used to teach, you would see high schoolers already totally exhausted by their 15 hour day schedules. Burnout is moving down into the teens. Nobody profits or improves by this lifestyle. Europeans maintain higher standards and quality, while we mass produce junk to maintain something to do. I was regarded as deviant for allowing any 'downtime' in class. Machine pedagogy.

In Trumpomania, consider that a moment's pause could bring the empire down forever.

4:29 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Genocidal maniac dept.:

James Mattis says the war against ISIS is one of "annihilation" and "civilian casualties are a fact of life." Didn't Hitler call the launching of the war against the Soviet Union, a "war of annihilation"?. Looks like the US is in good company, I suppose

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/28/james-mattis-defense-secretary-us-isis-annihilation

The real Zbig:

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/390067-brzezinski-afghanistan-ussr-cold-war/

Miles

11:21 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

This is a gd summary of how Zbig led Carter astray, and the events that finally precipitated 9/11. I review this territory in the Carter section of DAA.

mb

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

@Bill Hicks,

Well I was referring to UK foreign policy, rather than US. The UK intervention in Sierra Leone in the early 2000's is generally considered to have been a success, and that is a Muslim majority country and former British colony, so the formula Imperialism + Islam = Terrorism doesn't necessarily hold true. I also think the interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo, while far from perfect, were justified on the whole.

But I'm not making a general argument in favour of interventionism. There are a lot of good arguments against interventionism, but I just don't think that fear of terrorist blowback is one of them. Ultimately that's a self-preservation argument - like not wanting to intervene to stop someone getting mugged, in case you get hurt yourself.

1:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Golf-

Depends on the nature of the intervention, I think. The ones I describe in DAA, or that Blum describes in "Killing Hope" (British edn: "The CIA"), or Kinzer describes in "All the Shah's Men" and "Overthrow," were hardly abt self-preservation. They were abt raping other countries for our personal benefit (economic, geopolitical, etc.). This went on for most of the 20C in the Middle East, until finally those people had had enuf. We like to think of the reaction as terrorism, but it's actually blowback. Interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo were not abt exploitation, in any case.

As far as any of this goes, Americans are (as usual) just plain dumb. When Iran took American hostages (Nov. 1979), Americans reacted as tho it were a personal affront: We are so good, how cd they do this to us, etc.--cf. the reaction to 9/11. For Americans, events like this occur in a political vacuum, whereas the truth is that 'evil' or 'terrorism' explains nothing. Very few Americans, in 1979, knew who Mohammad Mosaddegh was, or what we did to Iran in 1953 (including the installation of a torture regime); I doubt they even knew who John Foster Dulles was. And they certainly don't know what karma was/is; that concept, for Americans, is literally beyond comprehension.

mb

1:31 PM  
Anonymous D. Clark said...

http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/features/paul-thomas-anderson-reveals-secrets-of-stoner-odyssey-inherent-vice-20150115

Did you guys catch the film adaptation to Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon>?
@ a small group viewing last night, half were scratching our heads, half of us liked it>.
But I haven't read the book, loved his Gravity's Rainbow though>.

Don




2:28 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

The Bosnia/Kosovo incident is not exactly a good example of positive intervention. Its main purpose was to destroy Yugoslavia and expand American influence in that region.

Granted, there were probably messed up things going on there, but to call the intervention positive is basically false.

Overall, very few interventions are justified. The whole argument essentially boils down to we have to bomb them to "save" them. WWII is the only intervention I can think of that was truly justified, and that was a unique case. The funny thing is that people use WWII to argue in favor of intervention, not realizing that it was a unique case.

2:58 PM  
Blogger alyosha said...

...Americans reacted as tho it were a personal affront: We are so good, how cd they do this to us, etc.--cf. the reaction to 9/11. For Americans, events like this occur in a political vacuum, whereas the truth is that 'evil' or 'terrorism' explains nothing....And they certainly don't know what karma was/is; that concept, for Americans, is literally beyond comprehension.

Beyond the background reality that you can get killed in America over trivia, the fact above is what makes living in the USA so ultimately dangerous. I've tried explaining "blowback" to people who cannot or will not understand. The other shoe is going to fall, and Americans are going to get an education in karma, which may start to bring this country out of spiritual infancy. At that point, people in this country, en masse are going to realize "it's over".

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Sigmund Fraud said...

Perhaps what happened to Mohammad Mosaddegh was Karma for the imperial Persian army sacking Delhi and murdering 30,000 unarmed civilians.

The Persian Empire was as brutal and exploitative as they came, so the Iranians are the last people who can complain about foreign interference.

4:07 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Dio-
America has been playing the red queen running game for as long as I can remember, the grow or die economic reality we live in seems more desperate the closer we get to however the game craps out.

Desperate people do silly things.

Here's an americans in action story that hit me square in the ass. Had a guy pull a gun on me, call the sheriff and accuse me of trespass for collecting some steel barrels and cattle panels I've had stashed over there since we sold our farm and moved to town. He got evicted for non-payment of rent and I had till the end of the month to finish moving my crap. I suppose a hundred bucks worth of stuff is worth fucking over a guy whose been helping you tend your animals and keeping the place tidied up as a sharecropper for three years.

Maybe I should start carrying my AK since emigration is not an option at this time.

4:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sig-

Sorry, I don't see the connection. That is stretching the notion of karma beyond the breaking pt, such that you can justify literally anything. What we--the CIA--did to a democratically elected regime was unconscionable, and there's no way to justify it, exonerate it, or get us off the hook. Try to read the Iran section of DAA w/an open mind, if you can. You seem to always wanna say, It's never the West's fault. Well, a lot of times it is, and playing a kind of 'numbers game' is finally a red herring.

alyosha-

Fact is, as the American Dream disintegrates, Americans are getting punished on a daily basis. This includes the endless shootings and daily massacres, the loss of jobs/homes/meaning, the widespread hunger and poverty, the rage and pain Americans carry around w/them, the fact that Trump will sell out the class that voted for him, etc. etc. The problem is that punishment makes sense only if the punishee understands what he did wrong. This wd constitute spiritual maturity. I fear that this transformation will not take place, because Americans are just not bright enuf to see it. I mean, the dots are not hard to connect; they are millimeters away from each other. So the country will implode while remaining in a state of spiritual infancy. Brainwashing in this country is pretty remarkable; those who might conclude, "Gee, maybe there was something wrong with this whole selfish, narcissistic, exploitative way of life"--constitute the tiniest of minorities. The American way is to put the blame on the Other, on someone else. Who was listening when Jimmy Carter said we need to start looking at ourselves? This spiritual immaturity is one reason why anyone with a lick o' sense is not able to talk to other Americans.

Gig-

I agree w/u: WW2 is always trotted out as the paradigm case, and the truth is that it was and remains quite exceptional.

mb

4:35 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


Empire's Body Count: ...too many millions and not a single "beautiful little girl" dead for the bleeding hearts?
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2001/jan/20/historybooks.famine
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_Victorian_Holocausts
"The death tolls were staggering: around 12m Chinese and over 6m Indians in 1876-1878 alone. The chief culprit, according to Davis, was not the weather, but European empires, with Japan and the US." "The book's main conclusion is that the deaths of 30–60 million people killed in famines all over the world during the later part of the 19th century were caused by... ideology of the colonial governments."

Empire's mercenary, The East India Company. After the horrific killings came the looting.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/04/east-india-company-original-corporate-raiders
"No great sophistication was required. The entire contents of the Bengal treasury were simply loaded into 100 boats and punted down the Ganges from the Nawab of Bengal’s palace to Fort William, the company’s Calcutta headquarters."

"We like to think of the reaction as terrorism, but it's actually blowback."
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chandran-nair/2-world-wars-nature-resentment_b_8685124.html
It is RESENTMENT stupid!!

5:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Esca-

Oddly enuf, we don't seem to be doing much in the way of making amends. Why is that, I wonder?

mb

6:05 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Gig--I also agree with you, and the proof is in the fact that two decades later America STILL has troops in Bosnia and Kosovo. The Kosovo intervention in particular was not justifiable, particularly not the bombings of Serb civilians. The atrocities there were not on the scale of Bosnia and were being committed by both sides. The real reason for those interventions was likely to box in Serbia, one of Russia's few natural allies in Eastern Europe, at a time when Russia was too feeble to object or provide material assistance. How many billions of dollars that could have been used to fix our problems here at home have been spent on those garrisons since the 1990s? That's a subject no one in the media has ever brought up as far as I know.

Here's a nifty little quote from an article about how America's hyperpartisan climate is causing a decline in workplace efficiency:

"Anger at the other side of the political divide hit all-time highs last year, with 45% of Republicans and 41% of Democrats saying the other side was dangerous enough to threaten the health of the nation."

Sounds like it's just a matter of time before it all goes kablooie. Maybe someone should militarily intervene here.

http://www.govexec.com/excellence/management-matters/2017/05/politics-distracting-american-workers-and-may-be-killing-us-productivity/138201/?oref=river

6:18 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

I really don't know how exceptional WWII is. It's just that as a result of the magnitude of American victory, and the scale of destruction wreaked upon one another by every other great power, no nation has seriously challenged the US since, and none of our subsequent wars could realistically have been as justified, regardless of the monstrousness of the opponent.

And monstrous though they were, I recently got a good laugh from looking at comments made by Japanese military people in the half-century leading up to WWII about the inevitable necessity of conquering America. Their descriptions of the American people and culture are quite apt for this audience: "A fatuous booby with much money and much sentiment, but no cohesion or brains ...a race of thieves with the hearts of rabbits".

However, even with all the WAFER consciousness I can muster, it's hard not to feel sentimental about WWII, and my grandfathers' sacrifice, especially on a day like this, where as depressing as the American douchebag landscape is, I have never had to take up arms against another man. And yet the same generation managed to screw things up so quickly. It's really amazing.

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Manohar Parrikar said...

I am very much enjoying the discussion of my country here. I am quite amused that there are those who still take "Late Victorian Holocausts" seriously!!

But the history moves on, and the whole "colonial man made famine" its no longer taken seriously.

Please see for example here:

http://www.lse.ac.uk/economicHistory/workingPapers/2016/WP243.pdf

and here:

http://www.euppublishing.com/doi/pdfplus/10.3366/brs.2009.0004

History of famine is very complex, and we are still finding out much more. Please be serious about this!!

6:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

El-

Well, very exceptional. As you yrself say, none of our subsequent wars cd have been as justified (nor were they). We waged them, of course, but in a cowardly way: the enemies were small potatoes, altho somehow, we always invoked Hitler (for Saddam Hussein and everyone else). This enabled us to get all revved up. Meanwhile, what became of our army? Who cdn't defeat Granada, for fuck's sake? But Korea was a stalemate; we got our ass handed to us in Vietnam; and can't seem to win two concurrent wars in the Middle East. Even the military is in a state of decline. Come back, Hitler! All is forgiven.

Bill-

I wonder if Russia is planning a beachhead in New Jersey. I lived there for several yrs, the darkest of my life. Had the Russians landed, I wd have whipped up a platter of blini for them. Didju ever see that old Alan Arkin film, "The Russians Are Coming"? Very funny.

mb

6:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Manohar-

I assume you mean India. Your 1st link came up blank. We aren't a very serious group. In fact, we're kinda frivolous, altho we engage in serious frivolity, a lot of the time. We tend to favor Uttar Pradesh over utter seriousness.

mb

7:45 PM  
Anonymous mATTHEW kAMINSKI said...

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

CAN YOU IMAGINE 30 SECONDS OF TELEVISION CONTAINING SUCH CONTENT TODAY?! NOPE!!!

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Manohar Parrikar said...

Link to "Were Indian Famines Natural Or Manmade?" by Tirthankar Roy of London School of Economics is working perfectly well Morris Berman!!

You must be patient in addition to being serious!!

5:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mano-

Yr a very confused young man, but I'll try to help you out.

1st, it's not a question of patience. The link simply doesn't work. I tried it several times.

2nd, pls send yr messages to most recent post. No one reads the older stuff.

Finally, we have a 24-hr rule on this blog. Post only once every 24 hours, not more frequently than that.

Hope this helps you out. You are very confused.

mb

5:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just finished reading your book "Coming to Our Senses". My first acquaintance with you and your thought. A masterpiece. Was especially interested in the chapter on the history/analysis of the rise of Nazism (The Twisted Cross). Have felt there are similar parallels going on in the United States leading up to and since the election of our current president. Plan to seek out and read other, more recent books by you. Thank you for the enlightenment (pardon the pun). My best to you.

10:49 AM  
Anonymous zerk said...

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/impeach_the_us_constitution_20170610


all this sound vaguely familiar

5:43 PM  

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