Our columnist, on the other hand, does not seem to be either a Nazi or a racist, though he does present himself as more willing to speak the truth on race than most Americans. In Americans, this always means that the speaker is, in fact, racist: "I'm not racist, but I am brave enough to say what we all know to be true. Blacks are lazy, Jews are money-grubbing, we're at war with Islam and all Mexican babies will grow up to be drug-dealing gang-bangers. You all just can't handle the truth." In someone who is not American, this need not be the case.
What attracted the columnist to the philosopher is clear. The philosopher believed that civilizations have a natural life-cycle and that the decline of the West was inevitable. The columnist is here to chronicle that decline. Yet the columnist is writing for an Asian audience that sees itself as the West's successor in global domination, which gives Spengler's columns a certain bitter-sweet quality. To keep this audience happy, half his columns are wild stories of decline, while half are full of insightful analysis of some troubling situation. It is very hard to tell the two apart.
Take, for example, this column on Jimmy Carter and the Palestinians. Spengler is excellent at explaining how the current state of the Palestinians can be laid at the door of the UN and the Arab states, rather than just being Israel's fault.
Where the Palestinians are concerned, Carter keens the same trope. It is repulsive to think that a people of several millions, honeycombed with representatives of international organizations, the virtual stepchild of the United Nations, appears doomed to reduce its national fever by letting blood. The 700,000 refugees of 1948, hothoused by the UN relief agencies, prevented from emigrating by other Arab regimes, have turned into a people, but a test-tube nation incapable of independent national life: four destitute millions of third-generation refugees in the small and barren territories of Gaza, Judea and Samaria, which cannot support a fraction of that number.This is good stuff missed by almost all those experts (and Jimmy Carter) who comment so sanctimoniously on the middle east. Our anger at Israel isn't because this mess is Israel's fault. It is much more the fault of the UN, which not only birthed this monster but also nursed it and utterly refused to wean it. But at this point only Israel can solve the problem for us at small cost to ourselves if only at the cost of everything to Israel.
The project of a Palestinian economy based on tourism and light manufacturing is a delusion in the globalized economy of Chinese-dominated trade in manufactures. The subsistence-farming fellahin should have left their land for economic reasons, like the Okies during the 1920s and 1930s, and dispersed into cities, like a hundred other rural populations of the so-called developing world. Kept hostage for political reasons, they cannot stay, and they cannot leave. They have chosen instead to fight, and if need be to die.
On the other hand, Spengler unconscionably misses an interesting parallel. Hong Kong, like Palestine, is small, overcrowded, isolated and without any natural resources except people. Hong Kong is rich, Palestine is poor. The UN, for all of its many faults, has educated the Palestinian people ("J" is for "Jew"/"K" is for "Kill.") Palestine could be rich, if only the world would let it be.