I'm nearly a third of the way through the book, and I'm finding it to be a blissful experience. It's like talking to an old woman who has been traveling through history over the course of her lifetime.
It's not to be missed, but you'll find difficulty in taking notes at times!
it's an interesting historical document, but in light of the west's defeat of the east, it comes out seeming too pessimistic concerning the west and its future. his criticisms now hold for the east as well, often more so.
>>7581198 >but in light of the west's defeat of the east, it comes out seeming too pessimistic concerning the west and its future. Maybe he was just too early. China is on the rise and the West is faltering and overrun by savages.
>>7581230 You can see how a reader might wonder what one page has to do with another, how Spengler is moving from one subject to another.
What appears to unite these two pages is the quote on how death happens when Mechanism replaces Organism. Spengler is almost suggesting that the Eastern notion of 'modern civilization' is the Mechanism replacing the more crucial Western Organism.
Initially though, the reader is totally oblivious to the point he is trying to make. I'm still not sure one can take him literally or figuratively however.
Yes. He was the Copernicus of history, the only people who will disagree are Marxists. They believe in "le inevitable Socialist utopia". Spengler's cyclical view of Civilisation is the standard in serious historical circles.
>>7581230 Well, I do not intend to write a paper after reading it, but hoped that taking notes and underlining key passages would suffice in order to make a comprehensive reading of the book
Anyways, I'm not as concerned as other fellow posters about whether Spengler made a prediction to be fullfilled within "a few" years rather his actual argument and analysis on this pessimistic view. I wonder, for instance, if we could face this very "decline" once we realize what causes it. I acknowledge it sounds trivial but I don't know how to put it properly into words using English. Overall I'm just intrigued about this thesis and want to learn about it.
>>7581209 the rise of china is exaggerated. reports of confidence in the future among the chinese populace owe more to their strict censorship than actual increases in prosperity. it is very likely we will suffer another economic downturn in the near future, one which the whole world will suffer given increasing economic interdependence.
there's an interesting passage where spengler laments the increasingly bare and soulless architecture in the west, but if he had lived to see communist brutalist architecture it's unlikely he could have held this to be an exclusively western phenomenon. what spengler sees afflicting the west afflicts the east too, and that's where his thesis fails.
>>7581306 Decline is difficult to quantify. I find there are at least two Spenglers, the Political Anthropologist and the Art Critic.
I comprehend him mainly by going in her back stairwell, learning about his views on art in order to grasp his politics. What's essential about Spengler is ultimately his contention concerning the three cultural dispositions.
>>7581274 >They believe in "le inevitable Socialist utopia"
>One of the most common misconceptions about Marxism is that it is a deterministic theory that sees the course of history as preordained by economic and social forces. According to one recent commentator, for example, “In Marx’s theory, the oppressed class does not need to hope for social justice as merely a tentative possibility, because the laws of history are on their side and guarantee the outcome.” >Misinterpretations like this are often based on isolated quotations from Marx’s writings taken out of context, such as the passage in the Communist Manifesto that declares, “the victory of the proletariat [is] inevitable.” But this statement is simply a rhetorical flourish aimed at spurring on the Manifesto’s readers, since a few pages earlier Marx and Engels had already pointed out that the class struggle has no predetermined result, and can end “either in the revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.” http://www.isreview.org/issues/58/gasper-determinism.shtml
>>7581352 yes, but he perceived that as the west was falling other societies were rising to overtake it. but this idea is upset by the fact that those things which spengler associated with decline existed elsewhere in the world, sometimes more strongly than in the west. materialism, for example, became the dominant worldview in the communist east while the west retained its religious institutions. and if any civilization can be said to have collapsed in recent history, it must be the communist east, which either through total collapse or steady reform has had to remodel itself along western lines. if spengler's theory had held, the reverse would have occurred.
>>7581065 Why does everyone assume that's an accurate tittle? The book is about the transition from living culture to dead civilization, which will last until 2400,
He also got a few things right about Islam that most people don't, like how the Caliph was just a figurehead for the council of Ijma and how ROME had no Emperors, they were just the office of the Tribunate expanded.
>>7581065 It is a good book, but I found it pointlessly long at times, though that is to be expected of a german author. Read the intro, it contains the essence of the book. Feel free to continue or stop afterwards.
But he explains the case of the Russian culture being a "Pseudomorphosis" caused by the presence of the more powerful, aged Faustian culture exerting its influence.
He makes the point that the Russian metropolis is a historical anomaly caused by Western economic influence rather than an inwardly-motived progression towards civilization of the Russian culture as a whole. As such, Russian urban architecture is necessarily sterile.
>>7584216 His argument also suggest that russia, being a pseudomorphosis culture, is partially derived from faustian culture and will attempt to define itself as a negation of that faustian culture.
His argument on architecture was that the faustian culture was such a strong influence that it essentially prevents other cultures from self-expression.
He also made a strange little side argument that high cultures around the mediterranian seem to go through this cycle of dominant high culture then pseudomorphosis high culture, over and over again. But because it has only occured once before within our knowledge, he merely postulated it as a possibility.
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