Tag Archives: Civilizations

Monday Night with Matt

In this post I just pour out my thoughts on anything that comes to my mind. The first thing that comes to my mind is the prospect of nuclear war. When is it going to happen?

First, there are rules for everything. In this case we must treat the prospect of nuclear war just like a forest that is ready to burn down. Just because it is ready does not mean it will burn down immediately. One must wait for the right conditions. For example, summer might be the best time for a major forest fire.

The overall conditions exist for a major war between the US, China and/or Russia. Nobody is worried about it because everyone knows that a nuclear attack on the US is impossible. It would mean death for the other-side, so they would never do it.

Let me tell you a little story about AIG. The director of the Credit Default Swap department (the department that blew up AIG) said the premium for his default swaps was like free money. Calculations showed that it would be impossible for the default swaps he was selling to blow up. Yet blow up they did. Maybe he didn’t understand something.

Anyway, today no one is worried about a nuclear war because of the US retaliation. Well, let me tell you something. Leaders are worried about themselves. And if they can survive then that might be all that is needed. Obviously, not just them, but the military and a few million citizens might be all they need if they can finish off the other side. And that is where the US finds itself today.

The US can retaliate one time, then it has nothing and it is finished. The important people on the other side will survive and retain the ability to launch one additional nuclear attack.

There is going to be an event that happens that causes China and/or Russia to plan for a nuclear attack. We are now waiting for that event. The possibilities surround the Senkaku Islands and Israel. If something serious happens then start worrying.

Generally, I expect things to play out before 2025. Starting in the summer of 2011 I started worrying about an event that would act as a catalyst for a great-power war. Nothing happened in 2011. Then it moved to the summer of 2012. Again, nothing happened. We are now in the summer of 2013. I don’t really expect anything big to happen. It is the summer of 2014 and spring of 2015 that has me worried.

It seems that all trends pointing toward a great-power war are getting worse. I am seeing more and more articles written about a China-US war possibility. Putin is becoming more and more like Stalin, or at least more dangerous. The Middle East is about ready to blow up and somehow suck in Israel. China’s aggression in the South China Sea and East China Sea is getting worse.

I’m looking to 2014 and 2015 because of Bible prophecy: Comet ISON, blood moons, sabbath year (2014) and Jubilee year (2015).

If nothing happens in 2014 and 2015 then we have to keep watching until either something big happens or the trends start going in a different direction.

Changing topics

A few months ago I told you about some legal problems that I was having concerning a contract renewal. It’s been about 4 months since the end of the contract and I haven’t heard or seen anything. I found out that the guy was convicted of sexually assaulting two female students a few years ago. He got fired from a national coaching job. Then he got fired from a prominent school when it found out. Finally, he started his own school. Also, he has been playing contract games with other people too.

I really don’t think I will be hearing about his issue again. So I believe it’s over. If not, then I will reveal everything I know to the judge.

Changing topics

Since I am a mathematician, you are getting a different prospective on world events. I tend not to be hung up on emotions that say nuclear war is impossible. In 2003 when the first thought of nuclear war entered my mind, it never occurred to me that it was not possible. Only that the right conditions must be present, like they are now. As I warned people about trouble I noticed that it was not registering in their mind. It was as if I hadn’t said anything.

I studied Bible prophecy and started warning pastors and church members, but it was not registering. Nobody was really prepared to think about why trouble was coming.

Now that it is about 10 years later, and big trouble has still not arrived, one can get a little burnt out. So I tend to think in terms of trends and the accumulation of things, and less about something big. We are trending in the direction of something big. I don’t know when it will happen. I think it might be 2014 and 2015, but who knows.

If I am wrong about a great-power war involving the US, China and/or Russia, then it doesn’t matter. Once Iran gets a nuclear arsenal then all bets are off. The concept of MAD does not apply to Iran. Probably before 2025 I will have to start a nuclear war watch for Iran.

Changing topics

Why no comments on this blog? I shut down the comments section because of trolls. People who systematically set out to undermine this blog. Disagreement is fine, but systematically trying to undermine this blog is a problem. Also, I just don’t have time to debate liberals and think it is pointless. If I look into the sky and you say that is down, then that is a pretty big problem. Should I waste my time trying to argue otherwise? Liberals flip the world upside-down. Arguing is pointless unless you like to argue.

I am a hardcore conservative. So this blog reflect my biases. Generally, I think modern liberalism is like AIDS. It won’t kill you directly, but it will make it possible for other things to get you. That is a violation of rule #1: If I am dead then nothing else matters. That means keeping me (and my family too) alive and well is the number one objective. Modern liberalism heavily interferes with that objective. They want to gut our nuclear arsenal and take away our guns. In my mind something is deeply wrong about this. The world has been flipped upside-down to the point where now I am in danger. And that’s a problem.

One way to survive is to be off the radar screen by moving to another country. Easier said than done, unfortunately. It’s not like countries are flinging open their doors. And what if you can’t get a job in another country?

My family has been living in Switzerland over two years now. We are still working on language issues by using tutors and studying German. Obviously, we are a lot better at speaking German than when we first got here, but it still takes effort. This whole transition thing has not been easy. Although, it helps if failure is not an option. If you can’t fail then you won’t. You will find a way to make it work. Going back to the US was not an option for me. Therefore, failure was not an option.

My youngest son, who is in kindergarten, is pretty fluent in German. My other son understands, but is slow in speaking. Currently, he gets 4 hours of tutoring a week over Skype. My wife and I are studying too.

Switzerland is like the US should be. It has strong states and a weak federal government. Most income tax is paid to the states. The states call most of the shots. So I like the governing structure of Switzerland.

Tina Turner lives right across the lake from me. She just became a Swiss citizen and got married too. Photographers used drones to get pictures of her wedding at her mansion.

Changing topics

I hope you find the material I post interesting. Hopefully, I am wrong about everything, and we can ignore this nasty stuff about nuclear war.

Auf Wiedersehen

Matt

The World is Entering a Pre-Collapse State

Israel and Syria have entered a state where only a small event will send them into a major war against each other. These are two civilizations, each backed by a major power, going to war. This will be huge. We could be looking at a massive missile attack on Israeli cities. The existence of Israel could be threatened. Also, we could be looking at an Israeli nuclear response. At this point, regionally we are looking at the possibility of total collapse. That means when the dust settles the region will look completely different. One side will be wiped out.

If Israel is the victor, then there is the possibility of a great-power war. This suggests that the world has entered a pre-collapse state as well.

Syria and Hizballah, flushed with the success of breaking the rebel hold on the strategic town of al Qusayr, Sunday, May 19, are making no secret of their plans for the “great confrontation,” i.e. military confrontaiton with  Israel after they win the Syrian civil war.  Israel’s military leaders are taking with the utmost seriousness the words of Ibrahim al-Amin, editor of the Hizballah organ Al Akhbar, and a close buddy of Syrian president Bashar Assad, who wrote Monday:

The rope is taut. It is taut to the limit. Anyone at either end [Israel at one end, Syrian and Hizballah, at the other] need only flex a finger and it will break, and the great confrontation will take place. This is neither a threat, nor an exaggeration or interpretation. This is the situation on the enemy’s northern front. Now means today; it means this hour,” al-Amin wrote.

After the al Qusayr victory, Syria and Hizballah plan war on Israel

There are already signs that the American Empire is cracking. The next step is collapse – war.

America Next: End of the World As We Knew It – Steve Clemons – The Atlantic

In the case of the United States — which has been indisputably the reigning global superpower for six decades — there are signs — ranging from the tumult in the Middle East to a humiliating war in Afghanistan to a downgrade of US sovereign debt — that America is at a key inflection point in its history and that the US network of global control (aka, “empire”) is disintegrating.

America Next: End of the World As We Knew It – Steve Clemons – The Atlantic

Israeli Official Signals Possibility of More Syria Strikes – NYTimes.com

A senior Israeli official signaled on Wednesday that Israel was considering further military strikes on Syria to stop the transfer of advanced weapons to Islamic militants, and he warned the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, that his government would face crippling consequences if it retaliated against Israel.

“If Syrian President Assad reacts by attacking Israel, or tries to strike Israel through his terrorist proxies,” the official said, “he will risk forfeiting his regime, for Israel will retaliate.”

Israeli Official Signals Possibility of More Syria Strikes – NYTimes.com

If the Arab Spring was more or less the start of a forest fire, then its spreading to Israel will be a game-changer. Now it will involve two different civilizations each backed by one or more major powers. This is how great-power wars are started.

I suspect that the next Israeli attack will bring on a major response from Syria and its allies.

Mathematicians Predict the Future With Data From the Past | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com

These academics have the same goals as other historians — “We start with questions that historians have asked for all of history,” Turchin says. “For example: Why do civilizations collapse?” — but they seek to answer these questions quite differently. They use math rather than mere language, and according to Turchin, the prognosis isn’t that far removed from the empire-crushing predictions laid down by Hari Seldon in the Foundation saga. Unless something changes, he says, we’re due for a wave of widespread violence in about 2020, including riots and terrorism.

What Turchin and his colleagues have found is a pattern of social instability. It applies to all agrarian states for which records are available, including Ancient Rome, Dynastic China, Medieval England, France, Russia, and, yes, the United States. Basically, the data shows 100 year waves of instability, and superimposed on each wave — which Turchin calls the “Secular Cycle” — there’s typically an additional 50-year cycle of widespread political violence. The 50-year cycles aren’t universal — they don’t appear in China, for instance. But they do appear in the United States.

The 100-year Secular Cycles, Turchin believes, are caused by longer-term demographic trends. They occur when a population grows beyond its capacity to be productive, resulting in falling wages, a disproportionately large number of young people in the population, and increased state spending deficits. But there’s a more important factor, one that better predicts instability than population growth. Turchin calls it “elite overproduction.” This refers to a growing class of elites who are competing for a limited number of elite positions, such as political appointments. These conflicts, Turchin says, can destabilize the state.

Turchin takes pains to emphasize that the cycles are not the result of iron-clad rules of history, but of feedback loops — just like in ecology. “In a predator-prey cycle, such as mice and weasels or hares and lynx, the reason why populations go through periodic booms and busts has nothing to do with any external clocks,” he writes. “As mice become abundant, weasels breed like crazy and multiply. Then they eat down most of the mice and starve to death themselves, at which point the few surviving mice begin breeding like crazy and the cycle repeats.”

Mathematicians Predict the Future With Data From the Past | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com

The problem with the analysis as presented in the story is that it only gives a point in time – 2020 – instead of a range for the next crisis. The cycles of crisis are not going to be exactly 100 years or 50 years. Those periods more likely represent midpoints of crises in the past, but there is a range period of increased possibility of crisis surrounding the midpoints. The article doesn’t give us any information on this. Looking at the chart in the article, it looks like about a 5 to 10 year range on either side of the midpoint. That means the 2020 crisis date could mean problems begin in 2010 and go to 2030.

Lebanon braces for spillover from Syrian civil war – UPI.com

Lebanon seems to be moving closer to becoming a major new front in Syria’s 2-year-old civil war after clashes in Syrian between rebel forces and Hezbollah.

Lebanon seems to be moving closer to becoming a major new front in Syria’s 2-year-old civil war after a series of deadly clashes in Syrian between rebel forces and Hezbollah, which backs the embattled Damascus regime.

The Free Syrian Army, one of the leading groups within the overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim opposition, threatened Tuesday to strike at the Shiite Hezbollah in Lebanon after the Iranian-backed movement sought to extend its control of Syrian territory along the border.

Lebanon braces for spillover from Syrian civil war – UPI.com

Apparently, Hezbollah thinks it can just go into Syria to help Assad’s regime and nobody is going to notice. Now the rebels are finally taking note and thinking about striking Lebanon.

“If Hezbollah does not stop its land invasion, which is accompanied by covering fire, we are allowed to retaliate … If they do not stop, we will retaliate.”

That would mark a sharp escalation in the Syrian conflict and would likely ignite broader Sunni-Shiite violence in Lebanon that many have feared has been steadily coming to the boil in recent weeks as the Syrian war sharpened long-simmering sectarian animosities.

The article mentions that “something big” is expected very soon. This may be the retaliation that the rebels have been threatening.

The fire looks set to expand into Lebanon. So how does one stop it? That’s where Israel comes into the picture. With the help of Israel, the fight can be redirected toward Israel instead of each other. The leaders in Tehran, Damascus and Beirut must be thinking about this possibility. If that happens there would be a fight between two different civilizations each backed by different major powers. This is how great-power wars are started.

Sea dispute escalates as China and the Philippines deploy more warships | Fox News

The standoff in the South China Sea between the naval forces of the Philippines and China is in danger of escalating, as the U.S. continues to watch anxiously.

China has now sent a third ship to support its claim to the area known as Scarborough Shoal off the northwestern Philippines.

Philippine warships attempting to arrest the crews of a Chinese fishing fleet that had entered the territory sparked the latest dispute between the two Asian countries.

They were stopped from doing so by the arrival of two Chinese surveillance ships, which then ordered the Philippine warships to leave the area.

They refused arguing that its Philippine territory and have since sent a second warship to the area.

On the surface this would seem to be a minor dispute between two countries but it is in fact part of a much wider problem that may lead to U.S. military involvement.

Sea dispute escalates as China and the Philippines deploy more warships | Fox News

This type of conflict between China and a smaller neighboring state could lead to US military involvement. US involvement is the equivalent of two civilizations entering into conflict. Two different civilizations entering into conflict represents the greatest danger of escalating into a major war. In this case, nuclear war.

The loss of civic virtue and its consequences

Think Again: Living surrounded by enemies has a way of introducing a certain reality factor to life that no amount of imported Western hedonism can completely erase.

Harvard economic historian Niall Ferguson notes that one of the striking features of the history of past civilizations is “the speed with which most of them collapsed, regardless of cause.” The fall of the Roman Empire took only a few decades. No one foresaw the implosion of the Soviet Union. Today, it is hard to envision how the 17-nation euro-zone, born in such fanfare, can muddle through in its current form.

Adam Garfinkle, editor of The American Interest, writes, “I don’t know of any great power in history that lost its foothold or decayed because of external reasons; internal social dysfunction was to blame.” Certainly that was Gibbon’s diagnosis of the fall of the Roman Empire.

I understand Garfinkle to mean that human capital is crucial. The term usually refers to the educational attainments of the population. But it means more than that.

Less quantifiable – but no less crucial – is the moral character of a people. Russia, for instance, cannot hope to remain a world power with alcoholism rates that have left the average 15-year-old Russian male with a lower life expectancy than his Cambodian counterpart.

The loss of civic virtue and its co… JPost – Magazine – Opinion

Mideast Expert Phares: Obama Turns Blind Eye to Iranian Danger

Middle East expert Walid Phares tells Newsmax that the Obama administration is not convinced that the Iranians pose a serious danger — even as a top Iranian official declared that his country is prepared to launch a pre-emptive strike.

Phares, while noting that he believes the Iranian quest for nuclear weapons is “not stoppable,” also says a resolution passed in the U.S. Senate last week is a “message to the administration” that it is time to confront the Islamic republic before it obtains such weapons.

Coincidentally, Phares’ remarks in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV on Tuesday came on the same day that an Iranian official vowed that his country would take pre-emptive action against its enemies if it felt its national interests were endangered.

Mideast Expert Phares: Obama Turns Blind Eye to Iranian Danger

Remember, to the modern liberal like Obama, Iran is only reacting to the west which includes Israel. As long as the west doesn’t provoke Iran then everything will be just fine. We can learn to live with a nuclear Iran.

The modern liberal is unable to recognize threats until it is too late. The primary reason for this is that all bad behavior is only a reaction to something else. That is the foundation of modern liberalism. The bad guys cannot have an evil agenda of their own.

Who gets to have an evil agenda?

The countries and civilizations that are most successful have an evil agenda: America, Israel, Europe – the west. We know they have an evil agenda because of their success. The only way to success is through cheating in some form. So the modern liberal seeks to pull down the walls on top of himself or herself. Apparently, this delusion is so strong that they cannot see their own death as a result. Unfortunately, they pull down the walls on the rest of us too.

 

“A Black Day for Austria” :: Hudson New York

An Austrian appellate court has upheld the conviction of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, a Viennese housewife and anti-Jihad activist, for “denigrating religious beliefs” after giving a series of seminars about the dangers of radical Islam.

The December 20 ruling shows that while Judaism and Christianity can be disparaged with impunity in postmodern multicultural Austria, speaking the truth about Islam is subject to swift and hefty legal penalties.

Although the case has major implications for freedom of speech in Austria, as well as in Europe as a whole, it has received virtually no press coverage in the American mainstream media.

“A Black Day for Austria” :: Hudson New York

I think this represents an example of why the west is going to fail. It has drifted so far from the principles of Christianity that it has become blind to danger. In this case it actively protects an extremely dangerous idealogy that has no buisness existing in the west,

Generally, the people that don’t see much difference between Islam, Christianity and Judaism view the world from a framework of equality. All civilizations, peoples, cultures and religions are no better or worse than any other. Any negatives are caused by external factors generally coming from the west.

So this means the west is in trouble. The equality framework has spread throughout and has brought the entire western civilization to a tipping point. This time the west won’t win.

 

Amazon.com: How Civilizations Die: (And Why Islam Is Dying Too)

You’ve heard about the Death of the West. But the Muslim world is on the brink of an even greater collapse.

WILL WE GO DOWN IN THE IMPLOSION?

Thanks to collapsing birthrates, much of Europe is on a path of willed self-extinction. The untold story is that birthrates in Muslim nations are declining faster than anywhere else—at a rate never before documented. Europe, even in its decline, may have the resources to support an aging population, if at a terrible economic and cultural cost. But in the impoverished Islamic world, an aging population means a civilization on the brink of total collapse— something Islamic terrorists know and fear.

Comments:

5.0 out of 5 stars Cultural suicide, September 11, 2011
By Eric Jackson “AWMTI” (St. Paul, MN)

The most important development of the twenty-first century is likely to be the great extinction of peoples and cultures. Like Greece and Rome, Europe has lost faith in itself; though incomparably richer than the peasants who built the Cathedrals, the denizens of what used to be Christendom spend only on themselves, with no thought for the morrow. They have failed to attend to the most elementary task of a successful civilization: raising children. In no European country is the birthrate at replacement level. As David P. Goldman, Spengler of Asia Times Online, tells it, not only is the old world dying, it has reached the demographic point of no return.

The title of Goldman’s book is How Civilizations Die, but the addendum, And Why Islam is Dying Too, may be more important. For there is almost no awareness that the Muslim world is following in the footsteps of western civilization. Indeed, a popular narrative among those who seek to revive Europe has it that Muslims will soon rule the continent. But while European Christianity eventually lost the fight with modernity, Islam has fared worse.

Iran proves illustrative. “An educated twenty-five year old Iranian woman today probably grew up in a family of six or seven children, but will bear only one child.” As of 2010, Iran’s fertility rate stands at 1.7 children per woman. Decadence has enveloped the nation; drug use is rampant, and a sizable portion of the women work willingly as prostitutes. Paradoxically, this makes the Islamic world more dangerous, at least in the short term: “For in their despair, radical Muslims who can already taste the ruin of their culture believe that they have nothing to lose.”

Of considerable interest was Goldman’s account of the Thirty Years War, which ravaged Germany in the 17th Century. The German population declined “from 21 million to perhaps 13 million, mostly due to starvation.” Ostensibly, the war was fought to decide whether the German people would become Protestant or remain Catholic. But there was considerably more afoot: Protestant armies were bankrolled by Cardinal Richelieu and Father Joseph du Tremblay, two French clergymen who had no trouble putting State ahead of Church. Their plan was to gain hegemony over Spain by bankrupting her. It worked. The senseless slaughter continued long past the point when battles decided anything–as in the American Civil War after Vicksburg. As Goldman tells it, nationalism was never fully subordinated by the Church; this failure, which first manifested itself under Richelieu, would haunt Europe until the middle of the twentieth-century.

Goldman finds two exceptions to the ennui that will lead so many nations to destruction in the coming century. The first, Israel, is well established; even secular Jews who live in Israel have children, and the ultra-Orthodox have large families–eight or nine children on average. His second example, America, is less convincing. True, religious Americans have proven less susceptible to the siren song of modernity. This has given the country a birthrate which remains at replacement level: 2.1 children per woman. Although he offers reasons for American demographic exceptionalism, I am forced to charge Spengler with too much optimism.

He is on firmer ground when he notes that: “America’s demographic momentum offers a generation’s grace period.” Yet what evidence is there that we will do anything but fritter it away? For that is the approach America has taken with her debt problem, one that is not altogether different from its demographic dilemma. A nation does not run up too much debt for the same reason it raises children: it believes in its future. Presently, America lacks the political will to bequeath a worthy culture to its progeny. The demographic data tell a slightly different story–for now.

5.0 out of 5 stars Spengler at his Best, September 17, 2011
By Yitzhak Shnidman (Bronx, NY USA) – See all my reviews

As a long time fan of Spengler from his perches at Asia Times online and First Things magazine, it was a pleasure to read this book, which was a synthesis of most of the seminal and original ideas that he has been writing about now for 10 years.

Spengler is not a professional journalist, but rather a retired financial whiz and music theorist, and as such can afford to offend as many people as humanly possible with his terribly politically incorrect views. This is what attracts so many hundreds of thousands of readers to his ATOL essays. Anyone who reads this book will see why he will never be hired to write the anodyne nonsense and trivial gossip that is now standard fare on the OpEd page of the NY Times.

Spengler places high value on 3 points of view that have been virtually taboo in the world of our cultivated intelligentsia in New York and Washington. The first is the value of women having children and rearing them properly – even women with careers and other lifestyle options. The second is the importance of religious life in the modern world, especially for the educated class whose nihilistic, materialistic and low-fertility behavior threatens the survival of the nations they lead. The third scandalous idea (especially for the NY Times) is that Israel shines as a symbolic exception to the cultural and political disintegration and degradation not only of the Muslim Middle East, but in fact post-Christian Europe, as well. Yes, those pesky Jews who in Congressional District #9 just repudiated the favorite politician of the NYT, whose presidency is now endangered.

In the educated class of America and Europe, the terms of discussion have changed dramatically in recent years. Anticolonialism, the white man’s burden, the triumph of secularism and socialism – all the points of view that used to be mandatory for graduates of our elite universities are now being turned upside down by the analytical insight of David Goldman and others like him. Except there are few like him.

Bravo, Spengler, keep on trucking.

5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read! Goldman is an absolute gem!, September 19, 2011
By Reid – See all my reviews

David P. Goldman, aka Asia Times Online’s ‘Spengler’ columinst, is the single most insightful writer in America today. Goldman’s new book ‘How Civilizations Die’ is an absolute gem as he dispenses with conventional wisdom and gives the reader unique geopolitical insight in a cultural and historical tour de force.

Goldman may as well be the originator of the phrase “Demographics is Destiny” because he has argued for years (and in this book) that demographics can go a long way into explaining nations’ economic and cultural rise and fall. But then what explains demographics? In the introductory part of the book, Goldman explores why people in the developed world choose to have children and why they don’t. His answer seems to be that having children is often an act of religious faith, or at least an article of faith in the future. Those developed societies (read: Europe) that fail to reproduce at replacement rate have lost faith. Not surprisingly, only two developed countries, Jewish Israel, and Judeo-Christian America, currently have birth rates above the 2.1 replacement rate.

The next part of Goldman’s book takes the reader deep in the heart of Islam and explores how and why Islam is literally convulsing before our eyes despite its religious facade. Who knew that the world had never before seen a drop in birthrates as it sees in Iran today? Who knew that Turkey too faces a demographic crisis in the near future and that native Kurds might soon outnumber native Turks in Turkey? The reader will be shocked as Goldman goes through the numbers and explains the cultural and economic consequences of an Islamic world on the brink.

The second part of the book titled ‘Theopolitics’ takes the reader through history and examines cultures that failed: Prehistoric Greek civiliation, Hellenistic civiliations and ancient Rome. Goldman then explains why Islam is soon to be the fourth failed civilzation. The focus then shifts to Europe as Goldman explains how a once great continent no longer has a desire to live. This leads into a discussion of my favorite part of the book, a chapter titled ‘How Christianity Failed in Europe.’ I had always wondered how it was possible that the formerly most powerful nations, who fought for centuries under the nominal faith of Christendom could be so lacking in faith today. As Goldman explains, while the European nations were nominally Christian, they really practiced a form of paganism in that they worshipped themselves. And this was their downfall. In an awesome intellectual journey, Goldman takes the reader through the first Thirty Years’ War in Europe (1618-1648) and discusses how that war eventually led to the modern nation state, the death of Christianity in Europe, and eventually the horrors of the second thirty year war in Europe (1914-1945).

The final part of the book explains why America is different and how modern Judeo-based Christianity has survived only in America. By examining America’s religious roots Goldman contrasts living America from dying Europe and shows why America will thrive, but also why its uniqueness cannot neccesarily be transferred to other nations. This of course has foreign policy consequences for us today as we seek to export American democracy (can’t be done, Goldman argues). Goldman concludes by offering his foreign policy advice based on ‘The Morality of Self Interest’ which should be required reading for our policymakers.

Goldman is quite literally a polymath. The former head of Fixed Income Research (ie. smartest guy at the firm) at Bank of America, Goldman is a master of not only geopolitics and history, but also of high finance and macroeconomics. The breadth of his knowledge is breathtaking and combined with the writer’s fine sense of humor makes for a gem of a book. I cannot recommend this book highly enough – simply an intellectual tour de force!

Amazon.com: How Civilizations Die: (And Why Islam Is Dying Too)