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America the un-Beautiful per Morris Berman

with 3 comments

Map of the "barbarian" invasions of ...
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To many Americans he represents the dark side of the thinking left wing. I realize that a lot of what he says sounds extreme and very provocative, especially to all America Firsters. Here is a sample from his latest politico-cultural screed:

A sequel of sorts to Mr. Berman’s 2000 book, “The Twilight of American Culture” — which described the country as a highly dysfunctional society afflicted with apathy, cynicism, alienation and rabid consumerism — “Dark Ages America” begins as a grim prophecy of decline and fall, citing four traits shared, he says, by the late Roman Empire and the United States today, namely, “the triumph of religion over reason,” “the breakdown of education and critical thinking,” the “legalization of torture” and declining respect and financial power on the world stage.

Yes it sounds very very negative. But who can quarrel with the sense of the four traits, he asserts are shared by the US today and the late Roman Empire? In some particulars, I can see why he draws the connection. Oh, I know that most Christians will question whether or not the late Roman Empire’s religions were authentic or not. But it is a fact that the last gasps of that Empire, represented by the reign of Constantine, saw the elevation of the original version of Christianity or the catholic (universal) religion mutated into a state religion.

That Western Empire‘s demise followed not too many years later  by the rise of the original Vatican Emperium over catholic religion and politics in the states that preceded the Italian Kingdom and state.

Yes, I can see why and how Berman outlines this dark picture of America.

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3 Responses

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  1. Dear Robert: Many thanks for taking the trouble to jot down some thoughts about “Dark Ages America.” Speaking of screeds, that review in the NYT had about as much to do with the actual content of my book as Kitsilano has to do with southwest Bulgaria; but these are ironic times we live in, and Michiko wound up doing me a favor: by generating a totally fabricated description of my book, and then savaging it, she seems to have put a relatively unknown author on the map! (I recently wrote my editor at Norton and jokingly asked him if we couldn’t get her to do another one for the LA Times.) In fact, the book is not a screed; it’s precisely the “carefully reasoned analysis” that Michi claims it is not, while she turns out to have written the “rant” that she claims *it* is! Anyway, check it out–most of it is just a compilation of facts. BTW, I loved your shots of Vancouver; I lived on Pendrell St., in English Bay, for nearly 3 years in the late 1980s.

    All the best, amigo–Maury Berman

    Maury Berman

    2006/06/17 at 03:05

  2. Gracias amigo, I appreciate the article.

    mrskin

    2006/09/28 at 09:36

  3. Nice site I found … Plan on coming back later to spend a little time there.

    Acne Laser

    2006/10/11 at 01:56


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