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Thread: 'Decline of the West' and 'Prussianism and Socialism' by Oswald Spengler

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    'Decline of the West' and 'Prussianism and Socialism' by Oswald Spengler

    I recently finished up reading through Decline of the West and Prussianism and Socialism by Oswald Spengler.

    Spengler has a lot to say, and it's hard to get through it all here but I figured I'd throw forward some basics.

    First of all, in Decline of the West he has some things to say about the juxtaposition between Culture and Civilisation, the former being the first development of human society, existing in-present and devoid of the heavily urbanised, heavily materialised society of Civilisation. He uses the example of the Roman Civilisation inheriting from the Greek Culture, but also argues that this is a necessary progression, though a negative one.

    It works within the structure of his primary philosophy of the "Seasons of Development of Societies".

    Anyone else here familiar with Spengler and his writings?
    οὐκ ἐμοῦ, ἀλλὰ τοῦ λόγου ἀκούσαντας ὁμολογεῖν σοφόν ἐστιν ἓν πάντα εἶναί.
    Heraclitus

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    yes
    "The individual's life is of importance to none besides himself: the point is whether he wishes to escape from history or give his life for it. History recks nothing of human logic"

    Oswald Spengler

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emder View Post
    yes
    I saw you had a quote of his on your profile. I'm glad to see another Spenglerian here; I just recently started reading him and I've been really impressed so far. I thought Prussianism and Socialism offered a stunning Nationalist, Militarist Socialism that stands as a great alternative to things like Fascism and National Socialism.
    οὐκ ἐμοῦ, ἀλλὰ τοῦ λόγου ἀκούσαντας ὁμολογεῖν σοφόν ἐστιν ἓν πάντα εἶναί.
    Heraclitus

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    Have you ever heard of Francis Parker Yockey?

    He wrote a book entitled "Imperium" in the late 1940's.
    He was greatly influenced by Spengler.

    The book as available through the Noontide press.
    "The individual's life is of importance to none besides himself: the point is whether he wishes to escape from history or give his life for it. History recks nothing of human logic"

    Oswald Spengler

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emder View Post
    Have you ever heard of Francis Parker Yockey?

    He wrote a book entitled "Imperium" in the late 1940's.
    He was greatly influenced by Spengler.

    The book as available through the Noontide press.
    I have actually read Yockey, and he had some decent ideas but I found myself really turned off by the anti-Semitism, which I found to be in a very Norman Rockwell vein. His Spenglerian influences are obvious but then Spengler also influenced the NSDAP heavily; I feel far more comfortable in a Spenglerian worldview than a FPY worldview. As Radical Traditionalists go, I'm more of an Evola person.

    What do you think of Hour of Decision? That was one of Spengler's more controversial texts.
    οὐκ ἐμοῦ, ἀλλὰ τοῦ λόγου ἀκούσαντας ὁμολογεῖν σοφόν ἐστιν ἓν πάντα εἶναί.
    Heraclitus

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wagnerian View Post
    I have actually read Yockey, and he had some decent ideas but I found myself really turned off by the anti-Semitism, which I found to be in a very Norman Rockwell vein. His Spenglerian influences are obvious but then Spengler also influenced the NSDAP heavily; I feel far more comfortable in a Spenglerian worldview than a FPY worldview. As Radical Traditionalists go, I'm more of an Evola person.

    What do you think of Hour of Decision? That was one of Spengler's more controversial texts.
    Never read it. I'll have to get a copy and read it.
    I read FPY before I read Spengler. (Decline of the West) It was many years ago I read it.
    I suppose I wasn't turned off by Yockey's anti-semitism because I am anti-semetic. But Yockey had jewish friends regardless of his anti-semitism.
    Much of his dislike for the jews had to do with their parasitism. I believe that is why they are most hated.
    "The individual's life is of importance to none besides himself: the point is whether he wishes to escape from history or give his life for it. History recks nothing of human logic"

    Oswald Spengler

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    I read Spengler's Decline of the West about one year ago, and can honestly say that it has had a more pronounced impact on my thought that any other book short of Being and Time. I followed it up by reading Yockey's Imperium right after. While I do think that Yockey makes good points, his philosophy does not have near the same depth that I found in Spengler. I now make a point of recommending Decline... to everyone I know, especially those of a Folkish mindset. I think that in that regard Spengler is better paired with Alain de Benoist than with Yockey.
    "Ocean is more ancient than the mountains, and freighted with the memories and the dreams of Time."
    -H.P. Lovecraft

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychonaut View Post
    I read Spengler's Decline of the West about one year ago, and can honestly say that it has had a more pronounced impact on my thought that any other book short of Being and Time. I followed it up by reading Yockey's Imperium right after. While I do think that Yockey makes good points, his philosophy does not have near the same depth that I found in Spengler. I now make a point of recommending Decline... to everyone I know, especially those of a Folkish mindset. I think that in that regard Spengler is better paired with Alain de Benoist than with Yockey.
    I would agree; I view Spegler's inheritors really residing not in the neo-Fascist, but in the apolitical Radical Traditionalist movement, presently embodied in GRECE and Nouvelle Droite. As a Folkish Heathen I also draw a great deal from Julius Evola's writings, especially Against the Neo-Pagans and Imperialismo Pagano: Il Fascismo Dinanzi al Pericolo Euro-Cristiano, ("Pagan Imperialism: Fascism in the Front of the Euro-Christian Danger"), but also his Revolt Against the Modern World.

    No offense meant to you by my statements, Emder, I hope you didn't take my opinion of Yockey the wrong way. Beyond anti-Christian, anti-Judaism, anti-Mohammedan feelings, I find anti-Semitic slants tend to detract from otherwise scholarly writings. However, I will agree on Yockey's interpretation of the American problem and globalisation- he echoes what Evola said in the essay "Our American Media". Spengler is the only one, however, who I feel truly recognises the threat of the press, which even Evola misses, concentrating rather on materialism. Spengler I feel also better interprets the four ages than Evola and takes a more Organic view of things in general, which attracts me to his writings. Decline of the West is of course his opus magnum but I have never had a work influence my political views like Prussianism and Socialism.
    οὐκ ἐμοῦ, ἀλλὰ τοῦ λόγου ἀκούσαντας ὁμολογεῖν σοφόν ἐστιν ἓν πάντα εἶναί.
    Heraclitus

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wagnerian View Post
    Beyond anti-Christian, anti-Judaism, anti-Mohammedan feelings, I find anti-Semitic slants tend to detract from otherwise scholarly writings.
    I think that the key point with Yockey and Spengler is to recognize the danger that Semitic thought, not necessarily individual Semites, poses in the form of culture-distortion. I think that it's fair to say that we've seen the damaging effects that Semitic culture-distortion wrought on the West in the forms of Christianity, Communism and Multiculturalism.

    Spengler I feel also better interprets the four ages than Evola and takes a more Organic view of things in general, which attracts me to his writings.
    I agree with you here. I think that Evola, in perceiving Tradition as a Platonic form with no basis in actual history rather than the natural course of an organic process, misses the mark. I also think that Spengler's identification of individual life cycles among disparate cultures is more accurate than Evola's sweeping generalizations.
    "Ocean is more ancient than the mountains, and freighted with the memories and the dreams of Time."
    -H.P. Lovecraft

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychonaut View Post
    I think that the key point with Yockey and Spengler is to recognize the danger that Semitic thought, not necessarily individual Semites, poses in the form of culture-distortion. I think that it's fair to say that we've seen the damaging effects that Semitic culture-distortion wrought on the West in the forms of Christianity, Communism and Multiculturalism.
    I concur except that I feel Yockey takes that all-too-American step too far and misses the differentiation between the material institutions of Semitic culture, religion, and ethnicity and the abstract concept of Semitic thought and theology. The danger of the former is utterly negligible if it is indeed a danger at all; the latter, however, as you rightly say, is embodied in the Universalist Weltanschauungen springing from Christianity (for as Spengler said "Christian theology is the grandmother of Bolshevism")

    Quote Originally Posted by Psychonaut View Post
    I agree with you here. I think that Evola, in perceiving Tradition as a Platonic form with no basis in actual history rather than the natural course of an organic process, misses the mark. I also think that Spengler's identification of individual life cycles among disparate cultures is more accurate than Evola's sweeping generalizations.
    I think most of Evola's problems come from utter dependence on the esoteric and complete rejection of the real and tangible, which is was necessary even to the great classic metaphysicians of Greek culture. He takes Plato and utterly spiritualises him, and instead of seeking the balance of the Dionysian and Apollonian that was destroyed by the reason-worshipping Modernists, he simply tips the scales in the complete opposite direction, becoming more of a spiritualist than an actual philosopher in some cases. Not to discount his works by any means, since I think he was probably the only thinker in the 1960s and 70s to perceive things correctly, but I do take everything I read by him with a small grain of salt. I think that Spengler's superiority in the realm of the social cycles stems from his desire to create a World-historical understanding (indeed the first volume of Decline of the West is a work of historiography); something lost on Evola.
    οὐκ ἐμοῦ, ἀλλὰ τοῦ λόγου ἀκούσαντας ὁμολογεῖν σοφόν ἐστιν ἓν πάντα εἶναί.
    Heraclitus

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