I've read part of Spengler's magnum opus, and to be honest, despite being a Hesse fan, I have a very hard time with all the German mystical babble. But in light of recent events, I feel as if I should probably return to it soon.
Political Epochs in Autumn and WinterRegardless, I very much doubt that Oswald Spengler could possibly have imagined the descendants of his co-nationals being anywhere nearly as stupid as they have been under the suicidal leadership of Angela Merkel.
1. Domination of Money (“Democracy”). Economic powers permeating the political forms and authorities. 1800-2000 AD.
2. Victory of force-politics over money. Increasing primitiveness of political forms. Inward decline of the nations into a formless population, and constitution thereof as an Imperium of gradually-increasing crudity of despotism. 2000-2200 AD.
3. Private and family policies of individual leaders. The world as spoil. Egypticism, Mandarinism, Byzantinism. Historyless stiffening and enfeeblement even of the imperial machinery, against young peoples eager for spoil, or alien conquerors. Primitive human conditions slowly thrust up into the highly-civilized mode of living. After 2200 AD.
The Future, Echoing Roman Civilization
In the Winter of Roman politics there was a shift from the Roman Republic to Caesarism, or government led by a charismatic strongman. Eventually, the idea of representation broke down and there was a shift to bloody “force politics.”
Of course, our current government is modeled on the Roman system. There are even similarities between the two dominant parties. In Rome, the two dominant parties were the Optimates and Populares, the Republicans and Democrats of their day. This form of representative government eventually stops working because the system of checks and balances interfere with each other, causing gridlock. Force politics (killing people) eventually comes along to break the gridlock. (As an aside, some historians say it’s possible we entered this era in 1963 with the assassination of JFK by the military-industrial complex.) Arguably, this predictive model is spot-on with the current situation in the Western world. So, if Spengler’s model is correct, we are awaiting the rise of a dictator to come along and smash the rotten edifice of democracy sometime this century.
Labels: decline and fall