Towards the end of my last blog post, I mentioned in passing Oswald Spengler, who was a German historian and writer in the early 20th century. Spengler gained notoriety and fame in Germany, but was largely censored and suppressed in Anglo-America. Nevertheless, some of the most prominent activists and writers in Anglo-America such as Malcolm X and Henry Kissinger were able to get a hold of Spengler’s work, come under his influence, and in turn make an impact on world affairs. I am yet another American writer who was able to get a hold of Spengler’s work, and in turn I can affirm the profundity of his work, which is largely overlooked in the United States amongst scholars and thinkers.
Spengler’s most famous work is titled “The Decline of the West,” which was published shortly after the end of the First World War. “The Decline of the West” consists of two volumes. The first volume is titled “Form and Actuality,” and the second volume is titled “Perspectives of World History.” The main theme of the first volume (“Form and Actuality”) had the most impact on Islamic writers of the modern age, whose critiques of the Western world were affirmed by the theme which Spengler set out in the first volume of his book. The main theme of Spengler’s first volume is that the lack of authenticity, care, and sincerity on the part of the West when it comes to acknowledging world history and managing world affairs is the major factor in the differentiation between the West and other cultures.
The second volume of Spengler’s work (“Perspectives of World History”) begins with a bang. Before going into the characteristics and histories of different cultures, Spengler argues that world history and international affairs are shaped by great men, and in turn great men are defined by the greatness of their imagination, vision, and thought. Also, with the greatness of their imagination, vision, and thought, great men do not allow “mass-souls” to master them. Rather, with the greatness of their imagination, vision, and thought, great men master the “mass-souls” who are around them. Spengler then goes on to explain the characteristics and histories of different cultures, and argues that cultures are essentially organisms, and history predestines each culture’s lifespan. Thus, the West is a culture with a predestined lifespan just like any other culture, and that the West’s lifespan will conclude sometime in the beginning of the 21st century.
After the lifespan of the West concludes sometime in the beginning of the 21st century, Spengler argued that a great man will lead world affairs and orchestrate world affairs. While condemning antisemitism, Spengler argued that Jews do not have loyalty to the Western societies which they live in, and that Jews are essentially a “foreign body” within Western societies who do not really care about the West and only care for themselves.
Also, the West’s lifespan has reached a point where Xi Jinping responds to Joe Biden’s “Summit for Democracy” by pointing out that “democracy” is America’s “weapon of mass destruction.” Wherever America takes “democracy,” destruction follows, as in the case of Afghanistan and the Middle East. In order to know what is going on at the moment, one must know history. And in order to truly understand the history of the West, one has to know about Spengler.