• Slouching Towards Nuremberg with Morris Berman

    June 27, 2012

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State

    With thanks to regular reader Teri (not pictured) for the suggestion, I have spent the day mesmerized by the blog Dark Ages America by author Morris Berman (pictured, left). Berman wrote three books I now have on order about the changes in America: The Twilight of American Culture, Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire and Why America Failed: The Roots of Imperial Decline.

    The titles tell the tale, and Berman’s blog is equally dark and straightforward.




    His post from May 9, Slouching Towards Nuremberg (I can’t seem to link to it directly, so go to the blog and scroll down, we all need the exercise), sums up so many things I have been thinking about, and writing about, this past year.

    In charting America’s decline in that article, Berman lists topics before diving deeply into each one:

    – The creation of a political climate in which the police are out of control, arbitrarily free to intimidate anyone for virtually anything;

    – The persecution of whistleblowers, protesters, and dissenters;

    – The dramatic expansion of the surveillance of American citizens on the part of the National Security Agency (NSA);

    – The corruption of the judicial system by means of show trials of Muslim activists;

    – The construction of political detention centers, also known as Communication Management Units (CMU’s);

    – The shredding of the Bill of Rights by means of the National Defense Authorization Act;

    – Future scenarios: The “disappearing” of intellectual critics of the U.S. government?


    Maybe this is one of those things where most of you already knew about Berman and his work and are now wondering what rock I’ve been living under. But if not, take a look at the article cited here and see if your eyes don’t open a little wider for the trouble.

    Not convinced yet? How about another Berman quote:

    When a country puts laws such as torture or indefinite detention or arbitrary assassination on the books, sooner or later it will use these legal instruments. They won’t just lie dormant, in other words. As in the case of technology, once the mechanisms are there, the temptation to employ them simply becomes too great to resist. That is what is happening today.




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  • Recent Comments

    • Roman Berry said...

      1

      06/27/12 2:18 PM | Comment Link

    • Meloveconsullongtime said...

      2

      06/27/12 2:37 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      3

      “All in all, the great mass of our countrymen talk, act, and ‘reason’ as though their crania contained chopped liver rather than gray matter.” – Morris Berman

      “The Department of State Foreign Service is interested in individuals who come from a wide variety of educational institutions– from small, lesser-known colleges, medium-sized colleges/universities, large, well-known institutions, and everything in between. This allows the Foreign Service to be truly representative of America.”

      Mission Accomplished.

      06/27/12 7:16 PM | Comment Link

    • Morris Berman said...

      4

      Peter-

      Thank you for mentioning me on your blog. I can’t remember exactly when it was, but I recall listening to some radio interview with you in which you described your experience in Iraq, and being struck by your courage and honesty. I assume you are familiar with the work of Rajiv Chandrasekaran, which was depressingly similar to Wm Lederer’s “The Ugly American.” But then there is the endless litany of denial on the part of the government, with which you are quite familiar. It’s a wonder these people don’t bore themselves to death; but then the chopped liver factor (see Rich Bauer’s quote from my Twilight book) does explain a lot.

      I wanted to say: In addition to the trilogy I did on the decline of the American empire, there’s also a collection of essays that might interest you, as they probe the sources of the American psyche: “A Question of Values.” That’s really what it finally comes down to: your narrative or theirs, your values or theirs.

      Keep doing what yr doing-

      mb

      06/27/12 9:40 PM | Comment Link

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