Friday, September 09, 2011

Spengler's Universal Laws

I've been reading David P. Goldman's new book, How Civilizations Die: (And Why Islam Is Dying Too). For the last decade or so, Goldman has been writing brilliant columns under the nom de plume of Spengler, the German historian whose Decline of the West offers the supreme example of the fatalist view of history.

Unsurprisingly, Goldman's book is excellent, at least so far. I hope to finish it and post a review sometime this weekend, but I'd also like to enumerate Spengler's Universal Laws, which are scattered throughout this book. Some of these laws have already been featured in Spengler's columns, in which case I have provided a link to the original formulation. In any event, I thought it might be useful to have them all in one place.

Spengler's Universal Law #1: A man or a nation at the brink of death does not have a "rational self-interest."

Spengler's Universal Law #2: When the nations of the world see their demise not as a distant prospect over the horizon, but as a foreseeable outcome, they perish of despair.

Spengler's Universal Law #3: Contrary to what you may have heard from the sociologists, the human mortality rate is still 100 percent.

Spengler's Universal Law #4: The history of the world is the history of mankind's search for immortality.

Spengler's Universal Law #5: Humankind cannot bear mortality without the hope of immortality.

Spengler's Universal Law #6 (courtesy of Warren Buffett): You don't know who's naked until the tide goes out.

Spengler's Universal Law #7: Political models are like automobile models: you can't have them unless you can pay for them.

Spengler's Universal Law #8: Wars are won by destroying the enemy's will to fight. A nation is never really beaten until it sells its women.

Spengler's Universal Law #9: A country isn't beaten until it sells its women, but it's damned when its women sell themselves.

Spengler's Universal Law #10: There's a world of difference between a lunatic and a lunatic who has won the lottery.

Spengler's Universal Law #11: At all times and in all places, the men and women of every culture deserve each other.

Spengler's Universal Law #12: Nothing is more dangerous than a civilization that has only just discovered it is dying.

Spengler's Universal Law #13: Across epochs and culture, blood has flown in inverse proportion to the hope of victory.

Spengler's Universal Law #14: Stick around long enough, and you turn into a theme park.

Spengler's Universal Law #15: When we worship ourselves, eventually we become the god that failed.

Spengler's Universal Law #16: Small civilizations perish for any number of reasons, but great civilizations die only when they no longer want to live.

Spengler's Universal Law #17: If you stay in the same place and do the same thing long enough, some empire eventually will overrun you.

Spengler's Universal Law #18: Maybe we would be better off if we never had been born, but who has such luck? Not one in a thousand.

Spengler's Universal Law #19: Pagan faith, however powerful, turns into Stygian nihilism when disappointed.

Spengler's Universal Law #20: Democracy only gives people the kind of government they deserve.

Spengler's Universal Law #21: If you believe in yourself, you're probably whoring after strange gods.

Spengler's Universal Law #22: Optimism is cowardice, at least when the subject is Muslim democracy.

Spengler's Universal Law #23: The best thing you can do for zombie cultures is, don't be one of them.


Anonymous said...

Spengler/Goldman is moderately witty for a racist.

trust said...

I am happy that these laws are now part of the universal consciousness

Anonymous said...

@ anon: what exactly makes him racist?

Doom said...

Not anon, but if I had to guess, it's because he is white, though being male, and more male and white probably seal the deal. Gotta be a racist. Or they don't understand him. That's pretty racist. And, is he Jewish? Seriously, that is what the world has come to, whether anon was being tongue in cheek or serious though? Microaggression, you know.

I am not sure. The rules seem okay, but I am pretty sure the 1st one is wrong. At least in my case. Then again, I have been on the brink, and over it, often enough that... it's the new norm. I suppose it took a bit before I came to realize I'd best start taking care because I just wasn't going to die, or at least I wasn't going to stay dead. But that was so 90's, perhaps even early 0's. :p

Oh... my though. I won't say I agree or disagree. I will say the psychic snacking is delicious. I would have to nibble more, and maybe pen to paper some things. Yeah, I really have to tear it all down and do the math, map it out, or whatever it takes. These things can be too slick. Will make me think. Though #11 makes me profoundly happily sad. Even dogs only give what they get. Though maybe even a dog can climb the ladder. I've got a stack of books, but I'll put this one on the list.

Doom said...

Late, as usual. Anyway, since time isn't so relevant to some of us, I did have a question. Did you read this in print or kindle? If kindle, was it well done? I'm considering adding it to the pile and queue. Thanks.