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Sometimes a Bang, Sometimes a Whimper [How nations die]
Front Page Magazine ^ | December 3, 2012 | Janice Fiamengo

Posted on 12/03/2012 2:51:54 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife

In the Judeo-Christian understanding, God is a being who loves humanity—even sinful and erring humanity—and creates an ordered world that we can know and harness for productive ends. This is a very different conception from the capricious and transcendent God of Islam, who cannot love because such would imply weakness or incompleteness. Muslims can be sure of heavenly reward only through dying to protect Islam from its enemies. Under Islam, human beings submit as a collectivity to Allah’s absolute power; in the Judeo-Christian tradition, in contrast, individuals have inalienable rights granted by a God who limits His own power in covenants with them. The latter emphasis tends to produce, as it has in both Israel and America, societies valuing individual initiative, curiosity, self-determination, and rational endeavor. Both Judaism and American evangelicalism are well suited to political freedom because of their understanding of the individual worth of each person. Goldman believes that those who downplay the exceptional nature of American democracy fail to understand the degree to which it was nourished by its Judeo-Christian foundation.

David Goldman calls How Civilizations Die “an apology for conventional thinking,” and it is easy to see why—if one understands “conventional” to mean conservative. A religious Jew and strong supporter of Israel, Goldman is hawkish on U.S. foreign policy and believes in the centrality of religious faith to the health of cultures. In other respects, however, he departs from mainstream conservative opinion. He tends to stress the weakness rather than triumphalist strength of Islamic societies, while acknowledging that this fact makes them more rather than less dangerous. He is dismissive of the widely-held conservative belief that exporting democracy is the best way for the United States to build stability in the Middle East; we won the Cold War, he asserts, by ruining the Soviet Union, not by persuading the Soviets to emulate us. And he provides a surprising history of anti-Semitism in Europe, which he reads as a form of neo-pagan national idolatry.

With a myriad of such fascinating and sometimes counter-intuitive arguments, How Civilizations Die explores the unconscious death wish that has infected most of Europe and, with different manifestations, the Islamic world. Goldman asks if America’s unique experiment in freedom can survive the coming collapse of the Western world, or if the election of Barack Obama, with all the socialist-leaning somnolence his administration has delivered, signaled an unstoppable suicidal spiral. And if America can escape the fate of Europe, how can it protect itself against the enmity of its dying enemies? At this turning point in history, with America facing four more years of leadership by an anti-American president, Goldman’s predictions and warnings deserve a wide hearing.

Goldman’s main subject is demographic collapse, the dramatically decreasing birthrate and consequent aging populations not only of Europe but also, in contrast to received opinion, of much of the Muslim world. He points to the astounding fact that “Iran’s fertility has fallen by almost six children per woman, Turkey’s has fallen by five children per woman, Pakistan’s by more than three children per woman, and Egypt’s and Indonesia’s by four.” As a result, he argues, many of the largest Muslim countries “may well catch up with Europe’s geriatric crisis in a generation and a half.”

A shrinking population is not, as some analysts have led us to expect, good news. On the contrary, without enough young people to maintain production levels and support the burgeoning elderly population, the decreasing birthrate poses a threat to world stability worse even than the apocalyptic scenarios of dire environmentalists. As radicalized Muslims witness the decay of their societies, as is occurring now in Iran, Turkey, Tunisia, and Algeria, they will turn to violence with ever-greater frequency. Social collapse is already abundantly evident in Iran, for example, where levels of drug abuse and prostitution exceed levels anywhere in the West despite the harsh crackdowns of the Iranian regime, and where a scapegoating rage at Jews and America is on the upsurge. Former great powers such as Spain and Italy are dying too, but more resignedly and calmly, with only occasional eruptions of protest.

Calling population decline “the decisive issue of the 21st century,” Goldman is most interested in the question of why some societies—like some individuals—give up on reproduction, essentially losing the will to live. The malaise affecting both Europe and the Muslim Middle East is ultimately, he argues, a spiritual one, and only a “theopolitics” that recognizes the need for meaning is equipped to diagnose it. People survive when their lives are buttressed by a “meaning that transcends death,” whether through a religious belief in personal immortality or through the confident longevity of their culture. When sources of meaning wither, people “embrace death through infertility, concupiscence, and war … they cease to have children, dull their senses with alcohol and drugs, become despondent, and too frequently do away with themselves. Or they may make war on the perceived source of their humiliation.” Religious faith is widely known to correlate with fertility, but not all faiths have the same impact. Some survive and even thrive amidst the challenges of modernity while others are destroyed by it.

Goldman’s argument about the relative strengths of different forms of religious faith and their role in the maintenance of population and democratic vitality is the most provocative aspect of his book, a subject not particularly amenable to proofs or logical argument, but deeply evocative as Goldman handles it. Hopeful that America’s fate may be different from the rest of Europe—at present it has avoided the demographic illness affecting nearly every other industrialized democracy—Goldman stresses that “Only its unique religious history and culture explains America’s apparent exemption from the life and death cycle of nations and only Islam’s very different theology explains the Muslim world’s extreme vulnerability to the demographic effects of modernization.”

In the Judeo-Christian understanding, God is a being who loves humanity—even sinful and erring humanity—and creates an ordered world that we can know and harness for productive ends. This is a very different conception from the capricious and transcendent God of Islam, who cannot love because such would imply weakness or incompleteness. Muslims can be sure of heavenly reward only through dying to protect Islam from its enemies. Under Islam, human beings submit as a collectivity to Allah’s absolute power; in the Judeo-Christian tradition, in contrast, individuals have inalienable rights granted by a God who limits His own power in covenants with them. The latter emphasis tends to produce, as it has in both Israel and America, societies valuing individual initiative, curiosity, self-determination, and rational endeavor. Both Judaism and American evangelicalism are well suited to political freedom because of their understanding of the individual worth of each person. Goldman believes that those who downplay the exceptional nature of American democracy fail to understand the degree to which it was nourished by its Judeo-Christian foundation.

The uniqueness of the American situation does not mean that other nations cannot similarly thrive, but it does mean, in Goldman’s view, that the truism that all peoples desire freedom may well be mistaken. Freedom brings with it, among many difficulties, abuses such as blasphemy, sexual impurity, and pornography that traditional societies often do not wish to tolerate. Additionally, the ideal of serving the good of the whole society rather than one’s clan or tribe is unimaginable in many of these cultures. Perhaps it is a form of chauvinism, Goldman proposes, to think that the American model can or will be eagerly implemented by all peoples; such has been a costly misapprehension fueling the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Goldman proposes that America’s legitimate self-interest demands it form alliances primarily with those who share its “common loves.” Those nations committed to the sanctity of the individual are the ones that have a chance of flourishing and with whom the U.S. should make common cause: Christians in the global south and Israel are good examples of peoples with a “moral claim on American friendship.”

But America under President Barack Obama has made the mistake of thinking it good to liquidate American power and influence—astounding for a President to propose—and to placate and appease, rather than contain or defeat, hostile Islamist powers. The Obama administration’s policy of “reset” has had the effect, Goldman argues, of “encouraging some of America’s worst enemies” while rebuking Israel, its one stalwart and like-minded democratic friend in the Middle East. Why would a President be prepared to risk American security in such a manner? Only a misguided man identifying deeply with Islam, the religion of his father, and against the Jewish state. In the final section on America’s role in the world, Goldman’s conservative bona fides are on full display in his conviction that it is better to be respected than liked, and that some issues cannot be negotiated. America must deter Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, by force if necessary. Although America may need to compromise on many issues, it must not “abandon alliances with nations founded on the principles that define [its] unique character as a people.” Most of all, it must not follow Europe into its twilight through a debilitating loss of will.

It is difficult to summarize or assess this book adequately because it covers so much territory: broadscale social theory, demographic analysis, sweeping historical argument, and foreign policy recommendations. Such remarkable breadth is its strength and, occasionally, its weakness. It is a strength for the sheer interest and provocativeness of Goldman’s many arguments, a weakness only because many are asserted rather than patiently developed as they deserve. His chapter explaining “Why Christianity Died in Europe,” for example, covers a subject big enough to be a book in itself. It seems—to this non-expert reader—fresh and bold, but a more detailed marshalling of facts and authorities would be required to convince the serious reader. Some readers will undoubtedly want a more comprehensive accounting of Muslim population trends and perhaps a fuller acknowledgement of the vagaries of prediction. Others may find the foreign policy blueprint too impressionistic. In these respects, How Civilizations Die is like the proverbial dinner guest one suspects Goldman himself might be: engaging minute by minute, brilliant, well informed, full of arresting anecdotes and memorable turns of phrase, but perhaps too quick and confident to be entirely convincing, too often assuming a reader who thinks like he does and knows as much. Regardless, one would certainly invite him back, and one looks forward eagerly to further books by Goldman in the near future.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: exceptionalism; faith; judeochristian; population
Exhibit: Obama stands with those who do not believe in the individual - that America is an exceptional nation, and who wage war on Christianity and Israel.
1 posted on 12/03/2012 2:52:08 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Or, in the case of the U.S., a burp.


2 posted on 12/03/2012 2:54:50 AM PST by gotribe
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Progress:

Hitler.
Mussolini.
Ceausescu
....


3 posted on 12/03/2012 3:05:58 AM PST by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (Vendetta))
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

.....And the same Obama and company who will in the end lose the war.


4 posted on 12/03/2012 3:06:11 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
I read a survey last year that said 89% of Americans believe in God, and that over 80% of Americans were Christians.

Those numbers are rubbish.

Americans who love God, love His word, and follow Him are the minority by far in this nation today.

I would not be surprised if the actual figure was 15% or below.

5 posted on 12/03/2012 3:39:26 AM PST by SkyPilot
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To: Hardraade

>> Ceausescu

Executed in 1989 on the heels of a popular uprising.


6 posted on 12/03/2012 4:13:52 AM PST by Gene Eric (Demoralization is a weapon of the enemy. Don't get it, don't spread it!)
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To: SkyPilot
I would not doubt those numbers at all. Being "Christian" in the context of the survey does not measure depth of faith or commitment. I would have been considered Christian from birth. However, my personal faith took a significant turn when I accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, asked for forgiveness and (to the best of my very weak ability) turned my life over to His will.

Point of argument (avoiding religious wars) as a Nation we simply do not believe what we once did. How many of us are embarrassed to take a stand regarding God, risking being labeled anti-science or simply foolish? Yes we "believe" in God, but we have careers to build, families to raise and lives to lead. Politically incorrect? No, not I. If it feels good, do it!! And soon enough, if we are not careful, the cool water on the stove comes to a boil and the culture of a once great nation evaporates before our eyes.

In my opinion many people are simply whispering past the graveyard, fooling themselves that it can't happen in the US. Prayer and preparation seems in order.

7 posted on 12/03/2012 4:18:40 AM PST by EagleInGA
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To: SkyPilot

Sure about that?


8 posted on 12/03/2012 4:38:49 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: SkyPilot

Just “believe!”


9 posted on 12/03/2012 4:39:40 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: EagleInGA

But also a good opportunity to witness for the Lord.


10 posted on 12/03/2012 4:43:07 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Hardraade

Progress: Hitler. Mussolini. Ceausescu. & Mohammad


11 posted on 12/03/2012 4:43:52 AM PST by existentially_kuffer
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To: existentially_kuffer

But they do not last. They will all fall. Only the King of Kings LASTS.


12 posted on 12/03/2012 4:51:25 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: SkyPilot

Find a survey of people who read their Bible now and then and actually go to church more than twice a year. That would be a better indication. All the rest are idolaters.


13 posted on 12/03/2012 4:53:17 AM PST by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

In just a few more years, the LBJ/Obama ‘War On Poverty’ generations will have finished sucking up all the wealth created over the last 236 years and converting it into food stamps, subsidized rent, free college, free health care and free toys for the moocher class.

When the last dollar has been extorted from the real workers and producers and spent on the moochers, and when no other country will loan us so much as a penny, Obama’s Free S**t Army will swarm over the nation like a billion starving rats.

When the smoke clears away the survivors can begin to rebuild.


14 posted on 12/03/2012 6:11:18 AM PST by Iron Munro (Big Moo & Bronco 'Bama = Robbing From The Hood and Boy Blunder)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

OK, I’m still around, CW. Great post specially the comparison between
Judo-Christian and Islam. Too many people don’t understand the danger.


15 posted on 12/03/2012 6:18:18 AM PST by vortec94
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Bang, whimper, burp - - - . What will be the sound when this Nation falls over Obama’s Fiscal Cliff?


16 posted on 12/03/2012 7:27:07 AM PST by Graewoulf ((Traitor John Roberts' Obama"care" violates Sherman Anti-Trust Law, AND the U.S. Constitution.))
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To: All



How do Nations die?

A Marxist coup has taken place in America.

The presidential election farce in November was made possible by massive voter fraud perpetrated by the criminal Obama machine, and nobody has the guts to do anything about it.


We can not wait for 2014 and 2016 to regroup and figure out new strategies. By then it will be too late. The Marxist/Muslim usurper will have completed his planned distruction of America. That's what people fail to understand.

We must act NOW.

Start with the election. If we let the Rats get away with this massive voter fraud, we're no better than a bananna republic.

We must keep digging and pounding him every day, in every way we can- phony birth certificate, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, his hidden life, records....





Can't you just imagine this was the scene with Obama and his Commie staff after stealing the election through voter fraud- while Conservatives blame Romney, argue, point fingers, blather on about who to run in four years, 'starting a new party', and try to figure out how to suck up to minorities the 'next time'?



Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Map from Barack Obama Voter Fraud 2012


What most refuse to acknowledge is that it was unlikely that ANYBODY could have beaten the voter fraud planned and perpetrated by the Obama machine. They seem to prefer pointing fingers, talk about 'starting a new party', blaming Romney and blathering on about who to run in 2016 and how to suck up to the minorities.

>Polls indicated that Romney was going to win the election.

>The economy is close to Great Depression era conditions, and unemployment is almost as high as when Obama entered office.

>Economic conditions became so dire after Obama took office it prompted the rise of an entire new movement, the Tea Party.

>Presidents rarely win reelection when the economy is in the tank.

>Mitt knew it too, when he was met by several thousand in that parking garage cheering him when he arrived unannounced at that airport, and he put his hand over his heart and said, 'This is how you know you've won'.

So how did Romney lose a race that numerous reputable polls and pundits predicted would be an easy win, based on historical patterns?

Massive voter fraud.

That and no other reason

___________________________________________________



Col Allen West; "I don't want to see America become like Zimbabwe where people don’t trust their electoral process. If we cannot trust the integrity of the voting system then we are no longer a free republic".

Col West has opened the door.

We must fight election fraud.

It falls on ‘We the People’.

Silence is consent
_________________________________________________

These elections are NOT certified yet. The only way to get this investigated, much less recounted or overturned, is through the Secretary of State of each of the five key states: Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. EVEN IF YOU ARE IN ANOTHER STATE you can help. But it won’t do any good to dilute our effort to challenge California or Michigan or other states. Until a major group gets involved to do more, here is the plan: Contact the Secretary of State of the state in question. See contact information below...

Read the rest- Here

___________________________________________________

CANADA FREE PRESS: Here

____________________________________________________

The website,'Barack Obama Vote Fraud 2012' is keeping a running account of cases of voter fraud and what to do about it:

(Astonishing!) > Visit the site- Here
Obama Voter Fraud on FaceBook- Here

Sign this petition- over 99,000 and counting -cards, email- Here

Sign the ‘We The People’ petition. It has 60,000 signatures and counting- Here

WND List of voter fraud reports Here
ATLAS SHRUGS voter fraud list. Here


Click here and sign the petition for a recount Here-

< Hannity and Col Allan West slam voter fraud Nov 12- Here

Photo of SOMALIANS brought to Ohio voting stations by the busload, 95% of whom did not speak English, and told to vote for Obama, straight Dem ticket- Here

'Human Events', report pollwatcher eyewitness to busload of Somalians at Ohio poll, spoke no English, told to vote Obama Here

__________________________________________________

Must watch videos!

VIDEO-- Programmer Testifies About Rigging Elections With Vote Counting- Here

VIDEO- Illegal Aliens Caught Voting and Stealing Elections In Florida In Vast Numbers- Here

VIDEO- MICHAEL SAVAGE: How Obama fixed the 2012 election- Here

VIDEO- Massive voter fraud discovered in April- Here

VIDEO- Whistle blower speaks out about voter fraud- Here



============================================

Voter fraud from Tea Party: Here

The American Dream- 22 Signs That Voter Fraud Is Wildly Out Of Control And The Election Was A Sham: Here

Town Hall : Obama Likely Won The Election Through Voter Fraud: Here

American Thinker: Was The Election Stolen:? Here

WSVN-TV Almost 1K Ballots Found In Broward Elections Warehouse: Here

Pundit Press; In Florida Obama Got Over 99% In Broward County Precincts: Here

Natural News.com: 19,605 to Zero IS Statistical Proof Of Outright Vote Fraud in 2012 Presidential Election: Here

Realville, USA: The Great Election Robbery of 2012? Here

WND: Here's How Touchscreens Killed Romney Votes: Here

The American Dream: Election Fraud? Obama Won More Than 99% Of The Vote in More Than 100 Ohio Precincrs: Here

WND: The Big List Of Voter Fraud Reports: Here

Nachum's List of Voter Fraud: Here

MORE:

Newt Gingrich 360: Here

Appalachian Forums: Here

Before It's News: Here

WND: Here

Political Outcast: Here

True The Vote: Here

Fox News Insider: Here

Human Events; Here

The Will County News: Here

Fox News: Here

WND: Here

Townhall: Here

Breitbart Here

Accuracy In Media The Left's national voter fraud strategy exposed: Here

Thousands of military votes uncounted or missing: Here

Human Events: Here

Front Page Magazine: Here

The Blaze Here

The Daily Caller: Here

Front Page Magazine Here

Military Voter Protection Project: Here

BreitBart Here

Townhall: Here

Fox News Here

The Blaze Here






__________________________________________________

The best Obama Exposure site on the net, The Obama File: Here

The United StatesLibrary of Congress has selected TheObamaFile.com for inclusion in its historic collection of Internet materials Here







17 posted on 12/03/2012 8:57:39 AM PST by patriot08 (NATIVE TEXAN)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
"In the Judeo-Christian understanding, God is a being who loves humanity—even sinful and erring humanity—and creates an ordered world that we can know and harness for productive ends.
This is a very different conception from the capricious and transcendent God of Islam, who cannot love because such would imply weakness or incompleteness.
Muslims can be sure of heavenly reward only through dying to protect Islam from its enemies.
Under Islam, human beings submit as a collectivity to Allah’s absolute power; in the Judeo-Christian tradition, in contrast, individuals have inalienable rights granted by a God who limits His own power in covenants with them.
The latter emphasis tends to produce, as it has in both Israel and America, societies valuing individual initiative, curiosity, self-determination, and rational endeavor.
Both Judaism and American evangelicalism are well suited to political freedom because of their understanding of the individual worth of each person. Goldman believes that those who downplay the exceptional nature of American democracy fail to understand the degree to which it was nourished by its Judeo-Christian foundation. "

Here's another article emphasizing the unique ethics and culture of the US and its relationship to valuing the individual: Democracy for all ; freedom for none

The concept of a God who is not capricious but has made a covenant with us is also explored in: The Gifts of the Jews by Thomas Cahill
18 posted on 12/03/2012 9:49:57 AM PST by khelus
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To: self

ping


19 posted on 12/03/2012 10:46:31 AM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: SkyPilot

I’m beginning to wonder if more than 15% of “Christian” ministers are actual Christians.


20 posted on 12/03/2012 7:18:26 PM PST by Terry Mross (I haven't watched the news since the election. Someone ping me if anything big happens.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Just ordered up a Kindle sample for this book.


21 posted on 12/03/2012 7:58:23 PM PST by prairiebreeze (Don't be afraid to see what you see. -- Ronald Reagan)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

bookmark bump


22 posted on 12/03/2012 11:16:35 PM PST by Nowhere Man (It is about time we re-enact Normandy, at the shores of the Potomac.)
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