a recent interview, Buchanan says he never read Spengler.
Nonetheless the two men, using different methods of analysis,
describe the same crisis. Nearly 70 years after Hour
of Decision, the deadly confluence of the two revolutions
is precisely the theme of Buchanan's new book - though
the danger is much nearer.
The Marxist-driven class war underway
in the West in Spengler's time has transformed itself
into the ugly cultural Marxism that Buchanan today describes
with frightening and exacting detail as the dominant
force in our institutions. The descendants of the Left
of Spengler's time no longer aspire to lead reluctant
workers; instead they prefer the more fertile ground
among the hundreds of millions of non-white peoples
on the outskirts of Western culture who are now penetrating
the West through mass immigration.
Spengler argues that the "position
of the present Imperium of the white nations, which
embraces the whole globe and includes the colored races,
is far more difficult" than the position of previous
cultures. He notes that "the ... menace lurks within
the field of the white power. It penetrates into and
participates in the military and revolutionary agreements
and disagreements of the white powers and threatens
one day to take matters into its own hands."
Unlike the white workers whom the
Left found reluctant to join up in a war against their
own countries, immigrants from outside the West come
bearing grudges articulated, cultivated, and in some
cases contrived by the leaders of the transformed Bolshevik
revolution. At its essence, that is the hallmark of
the politics of the Left - organized resentment. The
sour intellectuals of the West's urban centers are being
used by this angry mass army as a battering ram against
the intellectuals' own people, own culture. But the
Third World's assault very well could win out by sheer
numbers alone, for the demographic revolution also consists
in the dangerously low birthrates in the Western countries.
Buchanan describes the impending doom
(also noted by Spengler): "The West is dying. Its
nations have ceased to reproduce, and their populations
have stopped growing and begun to shrink... The prognosis
is grim. Between 2000 and 2050, world population will
grow by more than 3 billion to over 9 billion people,
but this ... increase in global population will come
entirely in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, as one
hundred million people of European stock vanish from
the earth. In 1960, people of European ancestry were
one-fourth of the world's population; in 2000 they were
one-sixth; in 2050, they will be one-tenth. These are
the statistics of a vanishing race."
Buchanan chronicles the decline in
fertility and the dwindling of families. Spengler eyed
the same problem: "...[T]he decay of the white
family, the inevitable outcome of megalopolitan existence,
is spreading, and it is devouring the 'race' of nations.
The meaning of man and wife, the will to perpetuity,
is being lost. People live for themselves alone, not
for future generations. The nation as society, once
the organic web of families, threatens to dissolve..."
Today, of course, it has already dissolved.
Both Buchanan and Spengler attribute
the family's decline to the cosmopolitan values of feminism
and hedonism. Writes Buchanan: "Only a social counterrevolution
or a religious awakening can turn the West around before
a falling birthrate closes off the last exit ramp and
rings down the curtain on Western man's long-running
play... What is going to convert American women to wanting
what their mothers wanted and grandmothers prayed for,
a good man, a home in the suburbs, and a passel of kids?
Sounds almost quaint."
Understanding the crisis we face requires
reading this book. But unfortunately, neither Spengler
nor Buchanan see much hope for the West. For Spengler,
the crisis is merely an historical process through which
the West must pass to its eventual death. For Buchanan,
however, it is a fate worth struggling against - despite
"The West does not lack the capacity
or power to repel these dangers," he writes, "but
it seems to lack the desire and will to maintain itself
as a vital, separate, unique civilization."
Ever the fighter, the Buchanan who
slugged against immense odds through three presidential
elections, sees that the facts point to the need for
a new fight, a new division in the political arena of
the West and in the U.S.
"This struggle to preserve the
old creeds, cultures, and countries of the West is the
new divide between Left and Right; this struggle will
define what it means to be a conservative. This is the
cause of the 21st century and the agenda of conservatism
for the remainder of our lives," he wrote.
That's a gauntlet thrown down at the feet of conservative-Republican
leaders whose network of lazy beltway think-tanks and
limp-wristed magazines still believes the most important
political battles are for tax cuts and the defense of
corporate profits instead of conserving our people and
our culture. That "conservative movement"
must now decide: Will it fight to protect the West,
or will it join the armies of our enemies?
"Politics cannot pull the West
out of its crisis," Buchanan writes, "for
it is not a crisis of material things, but a crisis
of the soul. The refusal of Western women to have children,
the embrace by Western society of hedonism and materialism
-- these will not be undone by Tom Delay, Trent Lott,
or Mr. [George W.] Bush. But politics is not irrelevant."
The battle lines for the early decades
of the 21st century have now been drawn, even if politics
alone cannot save us.