Pseudo-Spengler and the false Zion
This book was written in order to inveigle the United States, the wider West, into a war with Iran. The way in which David P. Goldman (alias “Spengler” from the Asia Times) seeks to achieve this aim is through the contention that civilisations that are dying—dying a demographic death—are fundamentally irrational and liable to lash out in their death throes; since, per the subtitle, the Muslim womb is sour it follows that Iran will lash out in a desperate Götterdämmerung against Israel—ergo, the mad dog should be put down sooner rather than later.
It is important to understand that although Goldman pretends to be a friend to Christianity throughout this book he is in fact Christianity’s enemy. We can tell this is so because he uses the terms “CE” and “BCE” not “AD” and “BC”—he uses progressive nomenclature because he wants to take Christ out of Christianity, out of the West. For David P. Goldman it is not “the year of our Lord”, because Jesus Christ is not his Lord—although he seeks to use the benighted and misled followers of Christ in America to the advantage of his people.
Goldman has noticed that Europe is dying demographically—the European womb is barren. Typically, this news is counterposed, per our boy Houellebecq, to the Muslims in Europe—they are fecund, they will replace the European peoples. Not so, says counterintuitive pseudo-Spengler, for the Muslims are just as afflicted as Europeans—if not more so. The Iranians, for example, are addled on drugs, porno, and prostitution; hardly any of them are Muslim at all—anymore than Westerners are enthusiasts for LGBT+ Pride.
There is truth to his assertion: my queer informant went to Tehran where he used Grindr freely and was shown the sights by his queer Iranian counterpart. They say they hang the buggers from construction cranes there, but I think that is so much propaganda—probably those men were child rapists. No, ordinary life in “gay Tehran” is, well, as gay as ever. My informant recuperated in a hipster-style café where, admittedly, the girls got upset when he photoed them in their hijabs, but they were mixed in with the boys and might as well have been in Shoreditch flipping through Vice magazine and contemplating a gearless bike. Khomeini weeps.
So it is quite true that Iran is very secular underneath, the Muslim womb is barren—after all, Iran has the highest female university attendance among women in the region (if not in the world); and what do we reactionaries call university, so far as women go? Chorus: “Whore school!”. Quite right, true in London and Los Angeles and Tehran—and, as Goldman notes, Tehran’s hookers are very highly educated (although we refer to “whores” in the most catholic sense on this website). Anyway, as the Iranians die off the mullahs become desperate—so goes the thesis—and since they know they only have a brief window when they will have the manpower (men aged 18-35) to hit Israel war is on the horizon. So, if you please (pretty please), it is time for America—in the name of Judeo-Christianity, of course—to ka-pow and ka-blooey (per Superman) those awful Iranians (total douchebags, man).
Goldman goes on to assert that America is the exception (isn’t she always?) to this general trend towards demographic extinction. Americans are more religious than ever and still churn out bouncing babies—the world will die off, and America (and Israel) will inherit the earth. Hallelujah. Unfortunately for Goldman, his thesis has not been borne out by reality—back in 2012 and during the late 1990s and 2000s when he published the columns that form the spine for this book, America’s religiosity looked secure relative to Europe (all those awful tele-evangelists, so common—how they offended Dawkins and Atwood); however, in recent years America’s religiosity has gone down the crapper just as in Europe (and so has her white birthrate too). So Goldman has been refuted, America was just on a lag when compared to Europe—she was not an insulated exception. Well, perhaps, per the Goldman thesis, this means America is now very dangerous—as she dies, surely she will want to lash out like the Iranians?
She will not lash out. Goldman is not a man driven by an interest in truth—he just wants to preserve and enhance his own people. Fair enough, except the rhetoric he uses to achieve this goal suggests—with complete arrogance and chauvinism—that no other peoples may be suffered to exist; and, indeed, Americans should allow themselves to be “absorbed into Israel” and become as the Jewish people.
Although Goldman uses the language of Christianity, the figure of Christ is vanished whereas the ambiguous “Israel” to which Americans should submit becomes paramount as the book progresses; and this is because, if you read this book closely, when Goldman talks about Christianity and Christian rites he does so with a neutral attitude (and a barely stifled, for Machiavellian reasons, sneer). Christians happen to believe Jesus died and was born again and no one can prove that one way or another, says Goldman…unlike Islam, with its book dictated directly by Gabriel which, if proved erroneous in any way, invalidates the whole religion. So Christianity is superior because it cannot be refuted, not because it is true…
But I get ahead of myself, you have to understand that for Goldman every other religion aside from Judaism is pagan: Islam, it’s pagan; Roman Catholicism, it’s pagan; Russian Orthodoxy, it’s pagan; Hinduism, it’s pagan. Paganism for Goldman is atheistic; he uses the word as it is sometimes used, partly thanks to Nietzsche, as a kind of “eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die” attitude to the world—in particular, Goldman thinks the ancient Greeks were all buggers who were engaged in a narcissistic life in which they admired their younger selves in their boyish lovers and by extension expressed love of the tribe (an idea of Greco-nationalist narcissism much loved by Yoram Hazony). This view contrasts—as it was contrasted by Nietzsche—to the “Judeo-Christian ethic” which has an afterlife and punishment for good or evil acts (and also a manly desire for lots of babies and talcum powder. Grrr *real man*).
I disagree with the characterisation offered by Nietzsche and Goldman: paganism was not materialist atheism—that is a projection backward from modernity where it is seen, in Nietzsche’s positive paganism, as aristo-scientific rationality untroubled by hysteric feminine ideas about an afterlife. Yet paganism did have ideas about an afterlife—it had the idea, per the ancient Egyptians, that we turn into stars.
For Goldman, “the pagans” worship their tribe and yet the tribe, being a material thing, must inevitably die—and hence all the wine, women, and song ends in sadness; it ends in decadence and the empty womb, in your temples in ruins and your city-states occupied by foreign tribes who do not speak your language or know your songs. It ends in Oedipus at Colonus. This is not just the fate for formal pagans, it also befalls Islam and, even more so, Catholics like Franco or Maurras who think that Spain and France have a special mission from God—and also, of course, Dostoevsky with his idea that “Christian Russia will save the world”. No, these are also pagan—Christian nationalism is paganism, nay Christian nationhood is paganism (let Uncle Goldman explain, he knows all about Christianity—even though he does not believe in Christ).
So all these “worldly” paganisms come to grief, submit to the inevitable death of tribes. Who is exempt? The Americans. The Americans are exempt because they are a “proposition nation”—people elect to come to America to escape the “the war of the tribes”, if you elected you became the Elect. Hence America is exempt from pagan womb-death. The problem with this thesis is that, as discussed, it is not true—the Americans have been equally afflicted by womb-death; and this is because Goldman misidentified the problem—birthrates have fallen not due to education and literacy, as he thinks, but due to female emancipation (a phenomenon that includes but is not limited to increases in education and literacy).
The reason Germany, Japan, and Spain have experienced swift demographic decline is that they are occupied countries. A hostile power, America, invaded and destroyed their culture—accordingly, the populations began to die a death of despair; and a component of this kulturkampf was aggressive feminism to which these societies had no native resistance, as do Britain and America (hence the lag in birthrate collapse). Goldman almost gets it; he notes that indigenous tribes, as with the Eskimos, tend to die deaths of despair because they have lost their culture and you need a culture to make sense of inter-generational life. Goldman puts this situation down to typical “pagan despair” and inevitable death from decadence. However, the indigenous peoples have really been occupied and had their cultures destroyed.
Similarly, Germany and Japan have also been occupied—they were conquered by America and then, as Goldman himself admits, “restructured” by liberal democracy. Hence they react exactly as the native Americans do—they lose themselves in trivial distractions, drink and drug themselves to death, and die deaths of despair. For Goldman, demographic doom is the “wages of sin” for being evil pagans or Christian-nationalist-pagans—well deserved. Yet the same illness affects the heartland, for the causes—female emancipation, socialism—are as established in America though the locals have some “natural resistance”; and it is even established in Iran, for, in reality, the problem with the Islamic Revolution was that it was not Islamic enough—they never kicked the girls out of “whore school”, they just made them wear the hijab (it was not sufficient—the Iranian Revolution was still too modern).
Goldman has limitless contempt for “paganism” and “Christian-nationalist-paganism” and yet there is one tribe—one people—he thinks should survive. Which one? His own, silly—the Jews. After all, humans are not that complicated: we care for our own—and Goldman cares for his own just like everyone else. Hence, for Goldman, every other tribe is evil and doomed except his—as thought every other tribalist from time immemorial!
The Jews get on so well in America, so says Goldman, because it is a proposition nation: deracinated people come together in America and so are just like the Hebrews in exile—they can only be united by a religion, an abstraction, an individualistic Protestant Christianity. Oddly, this means that America is in fact a permanent exile, by Goldman’s own admission—except he claims that exile is a homecoming. In a way, for him, it is, since America “Judaises” immigrants and makes them wanderers without a homeland (everyone is homeless in America—put that way it sounds less comforting, it sounds like a cold and vicious society). Actually, Americans are less than Jews—the Jews have their tribal blood (Goldman boasts about the continuity of Jewish blood) and their faith even in America (they never give it up, even by Goldman’s admission); only in America is everyone else more homeless than the Jews.
The error Goldman makes is to think that America’s individualism comes about from belief; actually, it comes about from blood—English blood. Other peoples aren’t actually homeless in America—the Irish are still Irish and the Italians are still Italians and the Jews are still (very much so) Jews. The individualism might have been accentuated by a particular Protestant strain but in the end (very pagan) these things are in the blood. Goldman thinks people adopt particular ideas and become more individual, but it never really works like that—blood has its own mystery, so that even at the ultra-liberal Esalen Center a substantial faction of the mystic-scientific teachers were descendants from emigrants from the same county in Ireland (it was in the blood, they were drawn together across a continent by the blood).
Goldman’s vision is that Americans have become “Israel”, deracinated individuals in the desert bound together only by their faith (and perhaps, at its thinnest, by the Bible). Hence they can be absorbed or merge with “Israel”; here Goldman ambiguously mixes the Christian sense of “Israel” with “the Jews”, but my interpretation, given that Christ has completely disappeared at this point for Goldman, is that he thinks the Americans will merge with the Jews and be led by them. Effectively, in his view, ultra-Protestant theology eventually means—after you have broken with all ties of blood and tradition and ritual—that you are ready to submit to leadership by the Jews.
After all, the Jews are best placed to understand the deracinated state that is America. Hence the American Pentecostal congregation who chant “We are Zion! We are Zion!” may be in for a rude shock, for a Goldmanite would take them literally—you are Zion, and Zion is ours. As the book progresses, the references to Christ, already very scanty, fade out—it becomes clear that Goldman believes it is the destiny of the Jews to rule America and for Americans to worship them. This is true and it was the inevitable end of a revolution fomented by Freemasons—a Satanic organisation dedicated to the destruction of religion, aristocracy, and everything that is higher and beautiful.
Oddly, I really doubt that Goldman thinks there is an afterlife. I think he is a straightforward materialist and atheist, for all his protestations otherwise. He really worships his tribe, the Jews, and is eager for the moment when—as they guide the techno-scientific colossus America—they will rule the world. Naturally, any other self-assertion by any other group is to be branded “evil”, “pagan”, and “doomed”—yet I am not so sure about that; it seems to me this stance is projection—it is Goldman who is obsessed with the survival of his tribe on earth, genuinely religious people are not so concerned (they know there is another life). Perhaps, to put it another way, there are ideas—Marxism and FDR’s New Deal, in which the Jews played a significant part—that want to create a global tyranny that will slave all the nations to a materialist one state, and then there are those genuinely spiritual people who wish to live unmolested in freedom from these ideas.
This is a bad book. Its goal is to convince naïve and good-hearted American Christians that they need to fight another huge war in the Middle East—send their children to die there, waste their money on it—to protect Israel, since really Israel is more important than Christ. It offers pretended friendship, when clearly the author is not a believing Christian—if he cared so much, why not convert? He will not; just as Jordan Peterson “advises” Christians on morality—a progressive liberal morality—yet will not convert himself. The first Iraq War was heavily lobbied for by the Zionists, and to start a war with Iran would just repeat the mistake—it has no benefit whatsoever for America or Europe. Goldman is engaged in warmongering: the Iranians are not about to “go crazy” because they are dying out—they remain rational and can be dealt with rationally, the only problem is that they are too rational and too modern for their own good.
The reason why we are in demographic decline is the emancipation of women, not “paganism”, and the main forces that push this idea are the American empire, Hollywood, and the American academy—all disproportionately influenced by, as Goldman must surely himself admit per his own thesis, the Jews. Perhaps if they stopped worshipping themselves and instead worshipped Christ, who came to save them, the peoples of the world would not be in this predicament and subject to Jewish chauvinism.
Despite a reputation as a dissident writer, Goldman is on the left: he thinks we are bound together in equality by ideas, even though he clearly thinks that blood—certain blood—has greater value than that of other tribes. He lies—even his pseudonym, “Spengler”, is stolen from a genuine thinker (and from what I can tell he does not understand Spengler—he thinks Spengler’s theory is materialistic, it is entirely about spirituality and spiritual exhaustion). He abuses Christianity and ideas of spiritual equality to aggrandise his own people, to suggest anyone can become an individualist like the Anglo-Saxons; it is not so—no matter how many evangelical sermons a Mexican in America hears he will never be anything like John Winthrop. Anyway, as you should know by now, all that glitters isn’t gold—and that includes this “gold man”.