Sunday, December 14, 2008

Decline of the West chapter chapter sixteen part two

In the first part of chapter sixteen, Spengler discussed morality and how when religion becomes a mathematical, inorganic process, morality goes out the window. In this half of the chapter, he discusses the backlash and other issues related to the lack of morality when a Culture's religious practice becomes impersonal and ineffective. The final portions of the chapter examine the West's hatred and persecution of Jews in light of their respective Cultural phases and development.


Decline of the West
Oswald Spengler
Part two of chapter sixteen
Problems of the Arabian Culture
Pythagoras, Mohammed, Cromwell

In all Cultures, Reformation has the same meaning - the bringing back of the religion to the purity of its original idea as this manifested itself in the great centuries of the beginning. It was Destiny and not intellectual necessities of thought that led, in the Magian and Faustian worlds, to the budding off of new religions at this point.

[In Judaism, the Reform Religion, took a slightly different turn - to bring Jews back into alignment not with their Karaite and Multi-faceted Halachaic ancestors, but with the "freedom" promised by Christianity in wider Western Culture. Judaism is a covenant relationship with the creator of the Universe the terms of which are spelled out for us in the Written Torah, with latitude for interpretation and traditions. The Reform Religion as it is today is basically a glorified social club for people whose family used to practice Judaism. Not satisfied with just throwing out the Oral Law - the traditions and precedents of the Rabbis, they threw out God's Written Ketubah with them as well. Unlike the Protestant Reformation, Reform Jews threw out the baby with the dirty bathwater.]

Luther, like every reformer that had arisen since the year 1000, fought the [pagan cult now called Catholic] Church not because it demanded too much, but because it demanded too little. It is an ending, not a new beginning, that these signify. But the last reformers...were urban - and this differentiates them profoundly from their [predecessors]. The mystic experience of Luther which gave birth to his doctrine of justification is the experience not of a St. Bernard in the presence of woods and hills and clouds and stars, but of a man who looks through narrow windows on the streets and house walls and gables. The mighty act of Luther was a purely intellectual decision.

He completely liberated the Faustian personality - the intermediate person of the priest, which had formerly stood between it and the infinite, was removed. And now it was wholly alone, self-oriented, its own priest and its own judge.

[And here are the Chereidi as well - their own judges and jury, admitting no higher authority.]

But the common people could only feel, not understand, the element of liberation in it all. They welcomed, enthusiastically, indeed, the tearing up of visible duties, but they did not come to realize that these had been replaced by intellectual duties that were still stricter. Francis of Assisi had given much and taken little, but the urban Reformation took much and, as far as the majority of people were concerned, gave little.

[And still gives little if anything. By following the anomialism of Paul instead of the karaism of Jesus (ironically making Paul their Messiah and not Jesus), both the Catholic church-cult before it and the Protestant Reformation which followed left people floundering to define for themselves what their covenant relationship with God would be - and of course they defined it down to nothing due on their part and everything due on His part. Nobody asked if this was acceptable to God - and of course scripture says plainly it is not.]

Herein lies the ultimate meaning of the Western priest, who from 1215 was elevated above the rest of mankind by the sacrament of ordination and it character indelebilis. He was a hand with which even the poorest wretch could grasp God. This visible link with the Infinite, Protestantism destroyed.

[The Rabbis, of course, simply replaced the hereditary priesthood with themselves.]

Strong souls could and did win it back for themselves, but for the weaker it was gradually lost.

Intellectual creativeness of the Late period begins, not with, but after, the Reformation. Its most typical creation is free science. Now, however, the critical powers of the city intellect have become so great that it is no longer content to affirm, but must test. The body of dogmas, accepted indeed by the head and not by the heart, was the first obvious target for dissecting activities.

Within Baroque philosophy, Western natural science stands by itself. No other Culture possesses anything like it, and assuredly it must have been from its beginning not a "handmaid of theology" but the servant of the technical will-to-power, oriented to that end both mathematically and experimentally - from its very foundations a practical mechanics. And as it is firstly technique and only secondly theory, it must be as old as Faustian man himself.

Let us not deceive ourselves as to the fundamental motive-power of these explorations. Pure contemplative philosophy could have dispenses with experiment forever, but not so the Faustian symbol of the machine, which urged us to mechanical constructions even in the 12th century and made "perpetuum mobile" the Prometheus-idea of the Western intellect. For us the first thing is ever the working hypothesis - the very kind of thought-product that is meaningless to other Cultures. It is an astounding fact (to which, however, we must accustom ourselves) that the idea of immediately exploiting in practice any knowledge of natural relations that may be acquired is alien to every sort of mankind except the Faustian (and those who, like the Japanese, Jews and Russians have today come under the intellectual spell of its Civilization). The very notion of the working hypothesis implicitly contains a dynamic lay-out of the universe.

[And has led to the modern defacto fall of faith in science. By acting on "working hypotheses" without any confirmation of them, science has declared things to be safe that weren't, declared things to be unhealthy or dangerous that turned out not to be, built entire empires of houses of cards that rest on a single shaky idea with no idea whether or not these things will ultimately help or harm people, and in general ignored the fact that something that seems fine by itself must, in the real world, interact with uncountable and uncontrollable other ingredients and the outcomes of these random encounters defy prediction or calculation. We see the fruit of this reckless arrogance in the fact that our food and water, air and soil, even our homes have been turned into slow poison over the last 50 years, leading to epidemics of obesity and degenerative diseases which were hardly a serious issue even two generations ago.]

It presently led them, quite imperceptibly, to the typically Faustian conception of God as the Grand Master of the Machine, who could accomplish everything that they themselves in their impotence only dared to wish. Insensibly the world of God became, century by century, more and more like the perpetuum mobile.

Every Late philosophy contains a critical protest against the uncritical intuitiveness of the Spring. But this criticism by the intellect that is sure of its own superiority affects also faith itself and evokes the one great creation in the field of religion that is the peculiarity of the Late period - every Late period - namely, Puritanism.

[To say that the Chereidi and ultra-orthodox in general with their stringencies-du-jour are "there" is an understatement. They have refined Puritanism into a cult extraordinaire.]

All the transcendent fervour that the City can produce after attaining to unconditional mastery over the soul of the Land is here concentrated, with a sort of terror lest it should prove unreal and evanescent, and is correspondingly impatient, pitiless, and unforgiving.

[!]

Puritanism - not in the West only, but in all cultures - lacks the smile that had illuminated the religion of the Spring - every Spring - the moments of profound joy in life, the humour of life. Now for the first time the battle against the DEvil, whose bodily nearness they all felt, was fought with a dark and bitter fury. Joyless and sour are the duty-doctrines...with its hard intellectuality. There is of an inward necessity a Puritan movement. Religion is livingly experienced metaphysic, but the company of the "godly," all alike experienced it not with senses, but primarily as a concept. Witches were burnt because they were "proved," and not because they were seen in the air o' nights.

[Just as a person's piety and relationship with God is now "proved" by the Chereidi to be "lacking" or not present at all in people who refuse to adopt their strict, intolerant, unforgiving, mechanical and inorganic narrow interpretations of halacha. These "witch hunts" amoung the Orthodox, such as the smear campaign against Slifkin, for example, clearly reveal this stage of Chereidi Culture. Now if you wear a colored shirt and don't believe mice spontaneously arise from dust, you're not "Jewish." It makes just as much sense as saying, "Throw her in the pond! If she floats, she weighs as much as a duck, and is therefore made of wood, and must be - a witch!" (Monty Python and the Holy Grail, paraphrased)]

But in Puritanism there is hidden already a seed of Rationalism, and after a few enthusiastic generations have passed, this bursts forth everywhere and makes itself supreme. Rationalism signifies the belief in the data of critical understanding (that is, of the "reason") alone.

[And here is the proper home of the Reform Religion, not the Reformation period.]

Now a secret jealousy breeds the notion of the Irrational - that which, as incomprehensible, is therefore valueless. Only critically established understanding possesses value. The new secretless religion is in its highest potentialityes called "wisdom," its priests philosophers and its adherents "educated" [urban] people.

[Those who, no matter how much education they obtain, remain true to the "rural" mythical religious sensibilities, are not considered "educated' by the urban elitists. You are only "educated" when you agree with them, not matter how many degrees you have.]

According to Aristotle, the old religion is indispensable only to the uneducuated, and his view is shared by Confucius and Guatama Buddha, Lessing and Voltaire. Systems were woven out of phenomenally guaranteed beginnings, but in the long run the result was merely to say "force" instead of "God," and "Conservation of Energy" instead of "eternity." Under all Classical rationalism is to be found Olympus, under all Western the dogma of the sacraments.

The great ideal of the educated of such periods is the Sage. The sage goes back to nature, which is the most intellectual way of being a megalopolitan. The Sage is the man of the golden mean. His askesis consists in a judicious depreciation of the world in favour of meditation. The wisdom of the enlightenment never interferes with comfort. Moral with the great Myth to back it is always a sacrifice, a cult, even to extremes of asceticism, even to death - but Virtue with Wisdom at its back is a sort of secret enjoyment, a superfine intellectual egoism. And so the ethical teacher who is outside real religion becomes the Philistine.

Along with this (shall we call it) scholasticism of sound reason, there must of inner necessity be a rationalistic mysticism of the educated. The Western Enlightenment is of English origin and Puritan parentage. The Rationalism of the Continent comes wholly from Locke. In opposition there arose in Germany the Pietists and in England the Methodists. It was Luther and Calvin all over again.

Two centuries after Puritanism the mechanistic conception of the world stands at its zenith. It is the effective religion of the time. Culture is every synonymous with religious creativeness. Every great Culture begins with a mighty theme that rises out of the pre-urban countryside, is carried though in the cities of art and intellect and closes with a finale of materialism in the world-cities. But even the last chords are strictly in the key of the whole.

[And materialism and consumerism, wealth and status are the rulers of Chereidi Culture, no matter how much they officially claim otherwise.]

Unique and self-contained is the Faustian Materialism, in the narrower sense of the word. In it the technical outlook upon the world reaches fulfillment. The whole world a dynamic system, exact, mathematically disposed, capable down to its first causes of being experimentally probed and numerically fixed so that man can dominate it - this is what distinguishes our particular "return to nature" from all others.

[For Chereidi Judaism, substitute the word "Torah" for "World," and "min har Sinai" for "return to nature" and you've got it.]

"Knowledge is power" is a phrase that possesses meaning only within the European-American Civilization. The Destiny element is mechanized as evolution, development, progress, and put in the centre of the system. The Will is an albumen-process, and all these doctrines of Monism, Darwinism, Positivism and what not are elevated into the fitness-moral which is the beacon of American businessmen, British politicians and German progress-philistines alike - and turns out, in the last analysis, to be nothing but an intellectualist caricature of the old justification by faith.

Materialism would not be complete without the need of now and again easing the intellectual tension by giving way to moods of myth, by performing rites of some sort or by enjoying the charms of the irrational, the unnatural, the repulsive, and even, if need be, the mere silly. Everywhere it is just a toying with myths that no one really believes, a tasting of cults that it is hoped might fill the inner void. Materialism is shallow and honest, mock-religion shallow and dishonest. But the fact that the latter is possible at all foreshadows a new and genuine spirit of seeking that declares itself, first quietly, but soon emphatically and openly, in the civilized waking consciousness.

[We see this in the Baal Teshuvah movement, wherein those Reform and Secular Jews mistakenly think (or are told) that "returning" to Chereidi Judaism moves them away from shallow and empty Western Culture. They are lured in because they have no idea, due to the false external trappings, that Chereidi Judaism is everything Western Culture is - and in many respects moreso. They come expecting to find warmth and acceptance and instead find the same old stratified and snobbish Western Culture they wanted to leave. They come expecting to feel connected to God and instead end up feeling farther from Him because they cannot find meaning and fulfillment in all the stringencies. They expect to be welcomed "home" as family and instead are not only not welcomed (after all, they are ben niddah, you know) but are told they must also forfeit their old earthly families who are not Chereidi - leaving them with no family at all. They think because the costumes are old, the religion must be. Apparently, they are confusing Chereidi Judaism with the Amish.]

This next phase I call the Second Religiousness. It appears in all Civilization a soon as they have fully formed themselves as such and are beginning to pass, slowly and imperceptibly, into the non-historical state in which time-periods cease to mean anything. The Second Religiousness is the necessary counterpart of Caesarism, which is the final political constitution of Late Civilization.

[Nazism was a foretaste of Caesarism in the West - the finale, the elitist world government, is yet to come but clearly on the horizon. As people feel the secular government system is becoming more and more powerful and they themselves more and more powerless against the elite class, religion once again grows stronger. We see now that the athiests who confidently predicted the demise of religion half a century ago are sorely disappointed. Now that religion is purely a matter of choice and is now no longer imposed by social or government fiat, more people than ever actually belief in God - though obviously they don't agree on what religion best represents Him.]

[But] the creative strength of the Early Culture is lacking...[though they] have their greatness nevertheless. That of the Second Religiousness consists in a deep piety that fills the waking-consciousness. But neither in the creations of this piety nor in the form of the Roman Imperium is there anything primary and spontaneous. Nothing is built up, no idea unfold itself - it is only as if a mist has cleared off the land and revealed the old forms, uncertainly at first, but presently with increasing distinctness. The material of the Second Religiousness is simply that of the first, genuine, young religiousness - only otherwise experienced and expressed. It starts with Rationalism's fading out in helplessness, then the forms of the springtime become visible, and finally the whole world of the primitive religion, which had receded before the grand forms of the early faith, returns to the foreground, powerful, in the guise of the popular syncretism that is to be found in every Culture at this phase.

[Western Culture has already entered the "post-science" phase. People are burned out on trusting "scientists" who find what they are paid to find, or are ideologically predisposed to find, every time they do "research." People are also tired of having their legitimate and genuine religious experienced brushed away by "science" as delusion and psychosis. Science became arrogant, claiming nothing real existed outside of science, and now people ignore science because they know science cannot explain everything. Indeed, they find that in order to be healed, they have to do an end-run around medical science which ignores their individuality, insisting on once-size-fits-all treatments that don't work. They find what they've been eating and drinking and breathing is harmful to them, when "science" claims it is not. Ad infinitum - the reasons are as individual and people themselves. Science has failed them, so they no longer believe in science. And it was pure hubris of science to claim it had all the answers in the first place - and people now know that. Science was just another humanist religion - one that claimed to have to power to solve every problem and heal every illness, but doesn't.]

Every "age of enlightenment" proceeds from an unlimited optimism of the reason - always associated with the type of the megalopolitan - to an equally unqualified scepticism. The sovereign waking-consciousness, cut off by walls and artificialities from living nature and the land about it and under it, cognizes nothing outside itself. It applies criticism to its imaginary world, which it has cleared of everyday sense-experience, and continues to do so until it has found the last and subtlest result, the form of the form - itself, namely nothing. With this the possibilities of physics as a critical mode of world-understanding are exhausted, and the hunger for metaphysics presents itself afresh.

But it is not the religious pastimes of educated and literature-soaked cliques, still less is it the intellect, that gives rise to the Second Religiousness. Its source is the naive belief that arises, unremarked but spontaneous, amoung the masses that there is some sort of mystic constitution of actuality (as to which formal proofs are presently regarded as barren and tiresome word-jugglery), and an equally naive heart-need reverently responding to the myth by means of a cult. The forms of neither can be foreseen, still less chosen - they appear of themselves, and as far as we ourselves are concerned, we are as yet far distant from them.

[Recall, this was written in the late 1800s. We reading this today are very much in the middle of it - and it has taken the form of belief in UFOs, the occult, and eastern mysticism (say, in the 60s-80s), and finally the related recent (90s-2000s) surge in fantasy-role-playing and video games in which all the characters are either earth-wizards, elfs, magician-healers, dwarves, occult mages, swordsmen and princesses (these give the players feelings of power to combat their powerless in the face of the moneyed-political elite) or else the games consist of space aliens, cosmic commandos, and rule-bending alternate universes with uber-weapons of destruction that mankind can only dream of wielding (the ultimate expression of will-to-power is, of course, conquering the entire universe - and all the other universes, while you're at it). These games have cult-like followings, and indeed, "addition" to them is now considered a serious mental health epidemic.]

Neither in this period nor in any other is Judaism unique in religious history, through from the viewpoint that the Western Culture has taken up on its own ground, it may seem so. Nor is it peculiar to Jewry that, unperceived by those who bear it, its name is forever changing in meaning.

About 500 begins the Jewish Baroque. The Jewish Consensus now advances to an urban and intellectual awareness, and thenceforward it is master of the forms of city-economics and city-science.

[Actually, what happened about 500 was the TRIUMPH of the city-urban mentality. It had first appeared in Babylon, and grew in strength until it has all but strangled authentic pastoral Hebrew Near Eastern multi-faceted Judaism to death.]

But an entirely new situation was created when, from about the year 1000, the Western portion of the Consensus found itself suddenly in the field of the young Western Culture. The Jews, like the Parsees, the Byzantines and the Moslems, had become by then civilized and cosmopolitan. While the Jews were already almost fellaheen, the Western people were still almost primitives. There was mutual hate and contempt, due not to race-distinction but to a difference of phase. Into all the hamlets and country town the Jewish Consensus built its essentially megalopolitan - proletarian - ghettos. The Judengasse is a thousand years in advance of the Gothic town [as were their Muslim hosts. Europe was a stinking filthy backwater at a time when Muslim and Jewish enclaves in the Islamic/Ottoman Empire were at the cutting edge of art, literature, hygiene, medicine, science and technology].

But these young nations were, besides, bound up with the soil and the idea of a fatherland, and the landless "Consensus" which was cemented, not be deliberate organization, but by a wholly unconscious, wholly metaphysical impulse - an expression of the Magian world-feeling in its simplest and directest form - appeared to them as something uncanny and incomprehensible. It was in this period that the legend of the Wandering Jew arose.

Jewry of the West European group had entirely lost the relation to the open land which had still existed in the Moorish period of Spain. There were no more peasants. The smallest ghetto was a fragment, however miserable, of megaolopolis, and its inhabitants split into castes - the Rabbi is the Brahman or Mandarin of the ghetto - and a coolie-mass characterized by civilized, cold, superior intelligence and an undeviating eye to business. But this phenomenon, again, is not unique if our historical sense takes in the wider horizon, for all Magian nations have been in this condition since the Crusade period. The same phenomenon occurs in every other Civilization when it pushes into a younger milieu.

Over and able these oppositions there was that of race, which passed from contempt into hate in proportion as the Western Culture itself caught up with the Civilization, and the "difference of age" expressed in the way of life and the increasing primacy of intelligence, became smaller. The Jewish nation is, like every other nation of the Arabian Culture, the result of an immense mission, and up to well within the Crusades it was changed and changed again by accessions and secessions en masse. One part of Eastern Jewry conforms in bodily respects to the Christian inhabitants of the Caucasus, another to the South Russian Tatars, and a large portion of Western Jewry to the North African Moors. What has mattered in the West more than any other distinction is the difference between the race-ideal of the Gothic Springtime, which has bred its human type, and that of the Sephardic Jew, which first formed itself in the ghettos of the West and was likewise the product of a particular spiritual breeding and training under exceedingly hard external conditions.

During the Gothic age this difference is deep and religious, and the object of hatred is the Consensus as Religion. Only with the beginning of the Western Civilization does it become materialist, and begin to attack Jewry on its intellectual and business sides, on which the West suddenly finds itself confronted by an even challenger.

But the deepest element of separation and bitterness has been one of which the full tragedy has been least understood. While Western man, from the days of the Saxon emperors to the present, has (in the most significant sense of the words) lived his history, and lived it with a consciousness of it that no other Culture can parallel, the Jewish Consensus ceased to have a history at all. Its problems were solved, its inner form was complete, conclusive and unalterable. Centuries ceased to mean anything, and consequently no one belonging inwardly to the consensus can even begin to comprehend the passion with which Faustians livingly experience the short crowded epochs in which their history and destiny take decisive turns - each and every turning point in the existence of the several peoples [of Europe]. All this, for the Jew, lies thirty generations back.

[Yes, since Yavneh when the Pharisees were given the opportunity to rewrite Judaism in their own image and exclude all other interpretations and traditions, Judaism has had for the most part a fixed sentiment, and that sentiment, contrary to popular belief, was not Talmud nor Halacha per se, it was simply that "we will not become them."]

A Jewish cavalry-general fought in the Thirty Years War - but what did the ideas of Luther or Loyola mean to him? What did the Byzantines - near relatives of the Jews - comprehend of the Crusades? Such things are amoung the tragic necessities of the higher history that consists in the life-courses of individual Cultures, and often have they repeated themselves. The European-American world has displayed a complee incomprehension of the fellah-revolutions of Turkey (1908) and China (1911), the inner life and thought of these peoples, and consequently even their notions of state and sovereignty (the Caliph in the one, the Son of Heaven in the other) being of an utterly different cast and, therefore, a sealed book, the course of events could neither be weighed up nor even reckoned upon in advance.

[And Western Thought is still suffering from this same problem - attempting to shove Western solutions to problems down the throats of peoples who do not even interpret the words on the page the same way - people whose Culture and thought processes have not been appreciated nor understood by the West at all.]

The Jew of the Consensus follows the history of the present (which is nothing but that of the Faustian Civilization spread over continents and oceans) with the fundamental feelings of Magian mankind, even when he himself is firmly convinced of the Western Character of his thought.

[Which is why "rule of law," for example, a quintessential tenant of Western Thought, is completely ignored by Chereidi Jews who have the Magian mindset that anything that appears to benefit a Jewish community should be allowed, and that any obstruction to that will must be based on anti-semitism. In reality, building codes, zoning laws, safety regulations, wage and labour laws, investment and loan regulations, etc., are there to protect the interests and rights of all persons - but the Chereidi community rejects anything that inconveniences them no matter how soundly rationalized by secular society. The Chereidi have adopted the forms of Western Culture and Western Materialism/Consumerism but retained vestiges of their original Magian thought-processes, which makes their "logic" appear to their secular Western neighbors as self-serving, arrogant, and disdainful of wider Western Society - which, frankly, it is.]

As every Magian Consensus is non-territorial and geographically unlimited, it involuntarily sees in all conflicts concerning the Faustian ideas of fatherland, mother tongue, ruling house, monarchy, constitution, a return from forms that are thoroughly alien (and therefore burdensome and meaningless) to him towards forms matching with his own nature. Hence the word "international," whether it can be coupled with socialism, pacifism or capitalism, can excite him to enthusiasm, but what he hears in that word is the essence of his landless and boundless Consensus.

[Which is why even now that we have part of our land back in Eretz Israel, there are still those who call for it to be divided with the Muslim Arabs who have occupied it in the past, in the name of "international" peace and fairness. They, having become divorced from their Hebrew Near Eastern promise of the land, having become intellectually a landless people, now cannot understand the need to hold on to their own land - a concept which the Arabs understand very well indeed. The Muslims are gleefully using the Jewish landless mentality to guilt them into concessions, the goal of which is to evict them from their land and not to share it at all, and the pseudo-intellectuals are letting it happen, having no understanding of the land's value to them and its necessity for the ultimate survival of Judaism, which cannot live forever being swallowed up by alien cultures. It must return to its real roots - Eretz Israel - the rural wilderness so antithetical to their urban-intellectual mindset they acquired in exile from their Western "new world order" nationless teachers.]

What Western Culture has destroyed, by reform-efforts of its own type where it has had power, hardly bears thinking of, and Jewry has been equally destructive where it has intervened. Since the Napoleonic era the old-civilized Consensus has mingled unwelcome with the new-civilized Western "society" of the cities and has taken their economic and scientific methods into use with the cool superiority of age. Today this Magian nation, with its ghetto and its religion, itself is in danger of disappearing...because the intellectualized upper stratum...is ceasing to be metaphysical at all. It has lost every kind of inward cohesion, and what remains is simply a cohesion for practical reasons.

[That is, for imperialisism of the Chereidi to crush all other sects of Judaism, for will-to-power to control the money and political base of Chereidi communities, and the social terrorism which prevents people from throwing off the tyranny of the little fiefdoms they are trapped inside. There Chereidi Culture has begun, as we discussed previously, splintering into smaller and smaller sub-sects, each believing it has the "only" authentic Judaism and each in quest to out-frum the next. No cohesion is possible in this imperialistic climate.]

The lead that this [Jewish] nation has enjoyed from its long habituation to thinking in business terms becomes ever less and less (vis-a-vis the American [Culture], it has already almost gone), and with the loss of it will go the last potent menas of keeping up a Consensus that has fallen regionally into parts. In the moment when the civilized methods of the European-American world-cities shall have arrived at full maturity, the destiny of Jewry - at least of the Jewry in our midst (that of Russia is another problem) - will be accomplished.

[In other words, the collapse of the Consumerist Western Economy will rip Judaism to shreds - is, indeed, already doing so - because we have become so Westernized that our fledgling Magian sense of benefiting our Jewish brethren when it comes to ignoring building codes or zoning is dwarfed by our participation in wider Western economic paradigms. Those are little, insignificant rebellions - our complicities are, by comparison, big and overpowering. We are parasites off the Western Economic Engine - we are unable any longer to form self-sufficient communities - and its downfall will be our downfall. We no longer have the skills or the motivation to support ourselves - we have bought hook, line, and sinker into the Western something-for-nothing attitude of entitlement.

As for Jews in Russia, that "problem" has taken a turn which Spengler did not see during his lifetime but we see very clearly. It is simply a softer, less obvious form of the "final solution" - getting rid of the Jews in Russia's motherland by making life there so inhospitable for them that they either abandon Judaism or abandon Russia. It is Russian Imperialism turned upon Judaism - and Judaism in turn, instead of opening its arms to its beleaguered kinsmen, has taken the opportunity to impose its own imperialism in turn, rejecting those Russian Jews who aren't Chereidi and either denying them their civil rights when they arrive in Eretz Israel or leaving them in Russia to their fate.

It's a sad indictment against Judaism. We have become that which we once despised. We coveted their power and control, and now we are no better than they.]

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