Addendum: pseudo-Spengler and the false Zion
To recap: David P. Goldman thinks that nations like Iran that are about to die a demographic death will lash out in a last desperate act. Hence Iran, now supposedly with its last substantial cohort of military-age men, might lash out at any minute towards Israel—hence, no negotiation; shoot the rabid dog down before it takes us down with it.
In the previous article, I dealt with the meat as regards Goldman’s argument, but I failed to refute his idea fully. Goldman thinks nations that are dying deaths of demographic despair lash out because he has noted that countries in the last stages of war—the Confederacy, Germany during the two world wars—experience the highest casualties when the situation is militarily hopeless. Goldman takes this observation about the closing stages of war and applies it to nations in demographic decline—as they see their own tribal death on the horizon, being atheists despite their professions of faith, they will “fight to the last”. Ergo, they are irrational and cannot be dealt with via negotiations—they will, as with the South, just bleed and bleed without any reason.
Goldman finds the tendency to “fight to the last” inexplicable. This is because he does not understand honour; for Goldman, one should always “cut a deal” to preserve your life rather than refuse to submit to alien oppression. “Give me liberty or give me death!” is a slogan that is inconceivable for Goldman, despite his pretended admiration for America, because he comes from a nation—the Jewish nation—that has repeatedly chosen dishonourable slavery and material life over death (over a refusal to submit to alien domination). Goldman would claim, per his wider thesis, that the desire “live free or die” is really “pagan” and can only be associated with societies like the Old South and Hitler’s Germany. Yet, of course, it is quintessentially American—rather, it is the Jews and Armenians and similar races that see foreign domination and think, “Death before dishonour—but you would be surprised how much dishonour I can endure!”.
This is why I say that Goldman is a materialist and an atheist, not, despite his protestations, a religious man. He thinks that all that matters is material life here and now, tribal survival and his own life and the rational calculations associated with it—hence he is a “Goldman” not a “Godman” (it’s always in the names). This is why he thinks it is “crazy” to fight on even though the odds are against you—Goldman would rather bend the knee than die (he thinks we only have a worldly life—he rejects the Christ).
Further, it is not entirely irrational to fight on when the odds are stacked against you—certainly not if you have any faith. In wars, there have been extraordinary reversals—fortune and luck take a hand. Goldman belongs more to the school, “Eh, we lost a few battles—why not sign a peace treaty already? It’s only rational, am I right or am I right?”. Although the Jews have become more martial since Israel was founded, they are not—as I am sure Goldman would agree—primarily a martial people. Hence war does not really make sense to them, and this is why, as Goldman does in this book, they must inveigle other people to fight their wars for them—in this case, Goldman wants American and European Christians to die in another war in the Middle East for Israel (Jews are underrepresented in the military, overrepresented in finance and the media—they will not do the dying in a war with Iran).
However, all this is irrelevant for Goldman’s argument. Goldman has put the cart before the horse: it is true that most casualties occur in the termination phase of a war—and this is partly, honour aside, because the side that takes these casualties, the losing side, has been reduced to inexperienced canon fodder. However, the “fanatical last-ditch stand” takes place in war, in war’s terminal phase: what Goldman does is take an attitude from the gravest moment in a war and apply it to the behaviour of a state in peacetime—yet the situations are clearly not analogous.
The state in war is precluded from many options available to the state in peace, war is existential—to the knife—and that is why you “irrationally” fight even though the odds are against you (technically, it is not irrational—since the tide can unexpectedly turn or your resistance might secure a better settlement even if you ultimately lose; just think how different a post-WWII settlement would have been if Stalin died before the war concluded—if you gave up too easily, you would never get the benefit).
Hence it is erroneous, putting the cart before the horse, to say Iran—or any other country—is currently like Hitler’s Germany in 1945. Her demographics might be poor, but she is not engaged in a last-ditch existential defence of her homeland where the options are foreign occupation or death—give me liberty or give me death! It follows that her behaviour is as rational as that found in any other state and so there is no need to cry havoc and let slip the pups of war. The existential element found in war is not in play here.