2008-06-02

Morris Berman writes a good one

I don't read a lot of essays, but this is one of the best I've read in a while. I almost got angry reading it, not because of the political implications in Iraq or wherever, but because the point Berman tries to make strikes so closely to my own opinions on the one issue in the entire world I feel most strongly about: how people treat other people.

In case you didn't know, I "accidentally" began reading Morris Berman's book, Dark Ages America, when I had an hour or so to kill one afternoon while waiting for a friend at her apartment. This was last year, and it marked the exact beginning of my political awakening. I was nearly apolitical until I read the book, basing my opinions almost exclusively on the rules of economics. It is Berman's second book on this theme, following Twilight America, which I haven't read, and if I wasn't so intent on reading as much fiction as possible, I would have read it already.

The point is: this guy is smart. Make fun of me all you want for becoming a fan of anti-american (sort of) books after moving out of the country, but it's hard to deny the facts and reasoning Berman presents. I can also say that, yes, there are assholes all over the world, including Austria and the rest of Europe, but somewhere there's a difference. I will not argue that anywhere in Europe is "better" than the U.S. in this area, but I will stand firmly behind that the anecdotes Berman describes are far too common, and are a far larger problem than most people believe.