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Anywhere But Here Is Better

Dave, apropos telling the truth, we've got to come to the conclusion that you can't save a drowning man from a river if he has no inkling of an understanding of the sanctuary of dry land. Even if you haul him to the bank and get his head above the water line, when you look away he's likely to get right back in the river - where he feels the comfortable sameness and numbness of the slow drowning he has experienced since birth.

Western culture (sadly we in Europe are equally enmeshed in the decline) in the form of rampant unregulated capitalism - the laughingly termed free market - is based on lords and serfs. The flirtation with quasi-democracy is over, the Renaissance has been snuffed out and we are back in the Dark Ages with few people permitted the capacity or opportunity to become aware of the issues you cover, let alone rise up in any organised way to fight back against the self-appointed greed-meisters.

You're not alone but it must feel like it. I for one am grateful for your signposting and analysis. If we are to slide into the lowest depths as the last airlock on the ship bubbles away, I'll be waving to you with a grin and playing an imaginary banjo. Because WE KNEW. We weren't fooled, we weren't sheep, we were rare Homo sapiens with a higher functioning brain. We knew what was going on.



I've found that it's impossible to speak about decline in this country. Although, I have had varying degrees of success in Israel, but this shithole is incapable of sophisticated or honest social discourse. Here is an example which features Morris Berman:

Why America Failed - The Roots of Imperial Decline (Morris Berman Interview) http://youtu.be/k6MBzA9lGSQ

Cenk Uygur and Ben Mankiewicz are progressives. They are liberals; they are highly educated; they are the intellectual stewards of the new American Restoration, right? Those two goofs couldn't comprehend a word Berman spoke. Berman was incomprehensible to them. More worryingly the concept of an America in terminal decline was beyond the scope of their consciousness.

How can one solve a problem they cannot comprehend? The answer: one cannot.

Dave Cohen

Re: Those two goofs couldn't comprehend a word Berman spoke

That's why I don't do interviews.

-- Dave


And yet we're still asking "what's the matter with Kansas?"

I have no expectations that the average American will realize anything. I used to blame the news media because for years we haven't had any news. The blow-dried brain-dead anchors don't ask probing questions because they're just as stupid as the people they interview. For example, Wolf Blitzer and Donald Trump arguing over Obama's birth certificate. According to our laws, even if Obama was born in a foreign country, he's still a U.S. citizen! Apparently Blitzer didn't know that either.

So I'm just hiding out in the country, stocking up on what I need, and hoping I don't suffer too much.

John D

The part about reduction of social capital really hit home. I was a president of a professional group, and I finally disbanded it because I couldn't get people to meet for dinner and socialize one night a month. I think the world is so complex that people prefer to go home and decompress in front of the boob tube rather than go out and potentially get sucked into helping somebody out. Hell, people don't even talk to their neighbors anymore.


You made an important point here about consciousness. I think that to try to describe our world accurately (as you and Morris Berman do in your writings), one has to have a unique combination of intellect, interest in history, science, culture, etc., and a profound concern for those who will ultimately suffer. A really objective philosophical outlook that cannot be neatly packaged by the media. It's an intellectual challenge to accept these concepts when we're hardwired to think everything is wonderful.

It is is indeed difficult for many of us socially, when others don't have the same frame of reference (luckily I know a couple of people). In general, though, most people I'm around can't even speak in complete sentences and are constantly distracted.

The Practician

From an "outside looking in" perspective in Canada, Just how far gone America seems pretty damn obvious. I mean, when whether or not a candidate believes in American Exceptionalism is a campaign issue, and the right answer is to believe the U.S. is "special" It should be obvious things are pretty far gone. However, instead of the warm feeling of smug superiority I am sure many of my countrymen feel watching America slowly fall apart, I instead notice my Country not-so-slowly going down a similar path, which I guess was probably inevitable given the strong influence of America on "our" culture.

P.S. Congratulations on your purchase of a shortwave radio. My father is partial to a program called "The Link" on Radio Canada International, but apparently the federal government is cutting funding to RCI, so If you want to tune in to it you only have until the 26th of June.

Don Levit

Sometimes, I feel like Noah - the only righteous man alive, amidst a torrent of apathy and evil.
Then, I realize I, too, am apathetic at times.
I, too am evil at times.
I, too, share many of those qualities that I disgust in others.
That being said, I need not be a saint to agree with Dave and others on this blog.
In a way, we can see the stench because we have been there, and occasionally visit it.

The Chasidic Jews at Chabad have been a very inspirational group for me.
Through the written and Oral Torah, we learn, that indeed, this is a very, very dark place.
At times, we wonder if God even exists.
And, then, with hope, we realize, "Yes, He is here, but He is concealed!"
It is up to us, all of us, to let our little lights shine, no matter how much darkness is around us.
It's a challenge, but boy, do I feel alive when I achieve some success.
And, I also feel alive when I realize the environment we are living in.
I would rather not have such hopeless, frustrating feeelings, but to stuff them down out of my awareness takes tremendous effort with dire repercussions.
Don Levit


I hate to be such a nitpicker - but - if "only" 50% believe in UFOs, then how can 70% believe the government is covering them up?
Or is it 70% of that 50%? Just sayin'.

teri schooley

Ah, you have found Mauricio! His books are thoroughly researched and footnoted and well worth reading - all of them. He keeps a blog here:


and loves to take part in the comment section with his readers. He is very laid-back and jokey in comments, perhaps as a way of decompressing his psyche after spending so much time covering the depressing topics in his articles and books. Aside from his books, he also posts articles on his blog, although certainly not in the volume you produce, Dave.

He is always a good read, and anyone who reads DOTE would also appreciate where Berman is coming from.

Dave Cohen

Re: you have found Mauricio!

Yeah, I have discovered Morris Berman ... ahh ... back in 1990 when I read his book Coming To Our Senses.

He was an early influence, but I lost track of him later.

-- Dave


The world-fact/knowledge statistics are hard to believe. Its fascinating/sickening/frightening.

On a lighter note, be careful with the SW radio Dave, you're on your way to becoming a 'Ham' next. Hee Hee

Seriously, hope you can string up a nice long antenna.


I don't think you appreciate just how weak the thinking is in an IQ=100 mind. What percentage of people can't think critically at all? 90%? 95%? We don't put our wisest people in charge, it is a world of foolishness.

Dave Cohen

Re: I don't think you appreciate just how weak the thinking is in an IQ=100 mind

I don't know who you are, but do you imagine, for even a moment, that you are telling me something I haven't thought about a hundred times before?

In fact, experience tells me that the "low IQ" types have a far better grasp on Reality than the successful achievers in this hosed country.

I can't tell you how much comments like yours piss me off, not least because you think "IQ" means something.

-- Dave

Mike Weber

Wanna get a good visceral grasp on what a cesspool we're in here in the US? Get out of the country for a while - not for some useless 2-week or one month whirlwind tour, but live away from here for at least 6 months, longer if you can. (Note well: Berman himself lives in Mexico.)

I'll be eternally grateful to none other than Uncle Sam (how ironic!) for giving me that opportunity 45 years ago. Living for 2 1/2 years away from the US opened my eyes wide to what's really up here, and I've never been able to close them since. You really can't go home again.


As an outsider whose parents are originally from China, I will say that the United States' rapid decline these past 11 years is surprising. The willingness of the political and economic elite of this nation to completely sellout its citizens for ever more wealth to the nation's general detriment is really fascinating, in a morbid way.

It happens all to often in history with great powers. The governing elite assume that wealth can always be extracted from the masses without consequence. These parasitic internal policies inevitably lead to decline and wars of desperation.

Except in the case of the United States, it really feels like there are no genuine nationalists anymore. The civic aspect seems to be gone and what is left is a class of oligarchs and financiers who run Washington.

Don't feel too depressed. There are a lot of great things about America. Unlike China, the United States still has wilderness, wild animals, forests, and lots of clean and fresh water. China has become a toxic industrial wasteland and scarcely resembles what it once was. The last time I was in Beijing during a nasty bout of sand storms and haze, I couldn't help think about dystopian LA from Blade Runner.

Anywhere But Here Is Better

"...comments like yours piss me off, not least because you think "IQ" means something."

Thunderous applause from the sidelines. Thumbs-up from the one-handed in the crowd.

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