Wednesday, April 22, 2009

'Spengler' Outs Himself as David P. Goldman

(Image from Asia Times)

I haven't read 'Spengler' for a while. Not Oswald Spengler (though I've not read him for a while either). I mean the Asia Times Spengler. And not because I don't find him interesting. Rather, I find that I have less and less time for reading on the internet. I have just about enough time for blogging on some subject or other, doing the requisite reading for that.

But since I've posted a few blog entries on Spengler over the years, I guess that I ought to note that he has outed himself as David P. Goldman.

Who's that?

I didn't know, but the intellectual currents that I move in tend to be whirlpools of obscurity that go around and around, focused on some eccentric center far removed from the forces that really move the world. That's why I used to read Spengler but never read Goldman . . . except pseudonomously, by reading Spengler.

So . . . who is Goldman?

Well, he's certainly nobody if he's not interesting (to use an odd idiom). An associate of Lyndon LaRouche in the 1970s -- even writing something with LaRouche titled The Ugly Truth About Milton Friedman -- he also has had more reputable associations, e.g., membership on the Board of Governors for Mannes College: The New School for Music.

He's also a harpsichordist with doctoral work in music theory who has worked in the New York financial sector for Bear Stearns and Bank of America (hmmm . . . did I say reputable associations?), even writing columns for Forbes magazine, and he's a religious Jew who used to attend the Park Avenue Synagogue but now attends the Or Zarua Synagogue.

I note that last point because I had thought 'Spengler' to be some sort of Jewish Christian -- based on the Spenglerian persona and writings -- but the Park Avenue and Or Zarua synagogues are both solidly in the tradition of Conservative Judaism. Apparently, Goldman has idiosyncratic views . . . though I shouldn't be surprised by that, given the nature of those articles for his Spengler column.

Some bloggers far more astute than I had figured out the Spengler-Goldman connection. A blogger named Philip Weiss called attention to this last June, but another blogger, named Steve Sailer, had already alluded to the connection two years earlier in a post from October 2006. I found these posts by Googling the name "David P. Goldman," so I don't know a lot about the politics and larger views of either Weiss or Sailer except to note that neither of the two agrees with Goldman's views.

I've also found things to disagree with in Spengler's views, such as his suggestion of July 27, 2004 about inviting the Russian military into Fallujah to handle it as they handled Grozny -- a disagreement that I noted in a blog entry from October 6, 2006. Nevertheless, the man has his "lunacies of great insight" -- as demonstrated by his article "Americans play Monopoly, Russians chess" (Asia Times, August 19, 2008)

Apparently, he's considered sufficiently insightful to work at the journal First Things, for its editor, Joseph Bottum, has brought Goldman on full-time as an editor and writer. You can read Spengler's take on all this at the Asia Times, where he outs himself, and at First Things, where Bottum announces it. You can also read Goldman's first column there under his own name.

Oddly, Spengler-Goldman says nothing about his LaRouchean past . . . but who can blame him? I never write about my fifteen minutes as a Marxist back during my Berkeley daze while writing a paper on the Frankfurt School.

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At 7:57 AM, Blogger Hathor said...

LaRouche and Goldman may have been right. Not that I read the book:)

At 8:05 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Something certainly went wrong with the financial system -- and even Alan Greenspan now thinks that the system should have been more regulated!

I confess my own ignorance on these matters. I had finally come around to Greenspan's earlier views when I was blindsided by the crisis and his retraction.

I'll just observe from now own and keep my mouth shut about economics.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even a confirmed and dedicated drunk can be sober in the morning.

(Did I just steal a line somewhat?)

Anyway, just after the morning stretches and yawns, any damn fool realizes it's twelve o'clock somewhere.


At 8:58 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

That's quite a morning, JK, if it can stretch and yawn.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 9:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't Korean mornings yawn anymore?

They used to.

I admit to making the mistake of not differentiating between the stretching part.

You, Dr. Jeff, have been correcting Shakespearean stuff for too long a period. Glad I don't blog though.

(Your side must've lost the "Great Milton-Shakespeare Debate.)


At 9:44 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Well, when I think of King Lear, I'm tempted to believe Shakespeare the greater writer.

Jeffery Hodges

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