‘You Can Never Be China’s Friend’: Spengler

Asia specialist and distinguished columnist David P Goldman is convinced the US and Europe stand a chance against the Red Dragon – but the clock is ticking.

By Urs Gehriger and cross-posted from Asia Times.

He was a phantom among journalists, using the mysterious nom de plume, “Spengler.” Like his German philosopher namesake, the cultural critic returned again and again to his despairing theories of the decline of the West.

The work of “Spengler” drew from a deep and rich intellectual pool. And since the herald has revealed his true identity, we learn why. David P Goldman – philosopher, economist, mathematician and musicologist – is a Renaissance man. A former investment banker for the Bank of America and Credit Suisse, the American is known for his widely read column for Forbes magazine and Asia Times.

Dutch writer Leon de Winter crowns Goldman’s work as “among the most interesting in the world.”

We meet at the noble Princeton Club in Midtown Manhattan where Goldman is a member. He is intensively involved with China. Informed by close experience in the country and with its people, Goldman counsels caution toward the aggressive Asian empire. But before training a critical eye on the East, the keen observer sharply examines his own culture and the president for whom he voted in 2016.

As we speak, the country is in turmoil. For the fourth time in US history, a president might be impeached. Your thoughts?

Trump’s real liability isn’t impeachment. It’s China and the economy. What the Trump administration has been doing so far, vis-à-vis China, is an own goal — ein Eigentor [“an owner”].

Why is it an eigentor?

Because the effect of the tariffs on the US economy is at least as bad as the effect of the tariffs on the Chinese economy. American export orders are collapsing. We have the weakest industrial reading since June of 2009. We are in a manufacturing recession, according to the Federal Reserve. Factory output is contracting. Trump won in 2016 by carrying key manufacturing states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin. This blunder could lose him the election. This is much more dangerous than the impeachment masquerade. China’s also suffering, but appears to be suffering less. And the big difference is Xi Jinping [China’s president] doesn’t have a presidential election in 2020 and Trump does

Continue reading the interview

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