Monday, September 17, 2018

732: Oswald Spengler...

It must be the spirit of our time, moment in history, that Oswald Spengler (1880 - 1936) is in the picture again.
"Untergang des Abendlandes" (Decline of the West).... quite an appealing title these days, don't you think so?.
How do we have to understand this "Decline". We had that financial crisis, the climate problems, pollution, illegal immigrants, muslim terrorism....
Are these the signs of the decline? But we also have better healthcare, better social care, better education, freedom of the press, 
universal suffrage....
What can Spengler tell us about our situation?
Spengler was convinced that the full measure of life can be discovered only 
when decline and decay are perceived and assessed as clearly as beginning and becoming. 
It is this dual focus that seems to have  caused people to charge Spengler with the social sin of pessimism.
Spengler  wanted to show, based on the eight major world civilizations, that they had all gone through an organic cycle of growth, prosperity and inevitable decay. 
This applied to the Babylonian, Egyptian, Chinese, Indian,  Mid-American Aztec, classical or Greek Roman, Western European and the 'Magian' civilization. 
With the latter concept Spengler put the Arab, Jewish and Byzantine civilization under a common denominator. 
With all these cycles, Spengler wanted to show that Western civilization did not have an exceptional position: 
"Every culture has its own possibilities for self-expression, which arise, ripen, decay and never return. "
Unlike the rationalists, he did not conceive of Western Civilization as the final station of human evolution. 
History was not science, no linear development: there were only separate cultures that emerged and underwent. 
The fact that a new culture emerged was, in his opinion, due to two things - race and spirit, 'the inner experience of the' We ''. 
Rational society and science had been the triumph of the unyielding Western will, but it would break with a stronger will, that of Germany. 
The Germans would win because they had a stronger 'we-feeling'. 
The West was obsessed with things that were 'outside' human nature, such as materialistic science. 
Germans, on the other hand, had more sympathy with the inner spirit and that was what it was all about. 
As I pointed out in the previous lecture, it is very interesting to note, that Spengler formulated his ideas already BEFORE the beginning of World War One.
He saw it as his task to free socialism from Russian Marxism so that it would be suitable for the 'more vital' Germany. 
A new political category was needed for this. Spengler combined the Prussian attitude with socialism and thus became National Socialism. 
That would replace 'practical freedom' as it existed in America and England with 'inner freedom', 'which arises when one does his duties for the organic whole'. 
And this organic Whole is the whole of the people, the own culture. And this (German) culture would replace the declining Anglo-American Western culture.
To be continued....
Thank you for your attention again.....

The Discussion

[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) whispers: do you think the German culture of the nazis might have been based on his thinking?
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hitler?
[13:24] herman Bergson: These days we see a similar defend our own culture....
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): very true
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): In other words Spengler is the creator of Nazism as i get it Nazism is short for National Socialism if i remember right
[13:25] herman Bergson: Yes Gemma....In 1925 Hitler joint the DAP....Deutsche Arbeiter Partei
[13:25] herman Bergson: No can not say that....
[13:26] herman Bergson: Yes he believed in the rise of a strong leader.....but Hitler was the wrong man, was his opinion....
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i guess someone stole his premise and used that as part of the new beliefs of hitler
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or Hitler probably did something with it later, Spengler I guess unlike Hitler was not a murdering monster
[13:26] CB Axel is suspicious of "strong leaders."
[13:26] herman Bergson: Spengler died in he never witnessed the war
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:27] herman Bergson: Well...Trump poses himself as a strong leader, it seems
[13:27] herman Bergson: Same process....
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): he Think he is one when in reality he is a babbling idiot
[13:27] herman Bergson: Spengler wasn't a lover of democracy or free press.....
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hopefully he wont cause a huge mess
[13:28] CB Axel: Most dictators don't like democracy or a free press.
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): sounds like trump too
[13:28] herman Bergson: We'll get to that next time
[13:28] herman Bergson: yes....Gemma...
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:29] herman Bergson: In his opinion democracy and free press were just about money...
[13:29] herman Bergson: money as the universal language
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and when they are not about making him money they are just fake news
[13:29] herman Bergson: something like that :-)
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cause he only likes his own facts how wrong they might be
[13:30] herman Bergson: But the main question the Western culture in decline?
[13:30] herman Bergson: and another point is....
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): "Just look whats happening in SWEDEN SWEDEN YEAH SWEDEN!
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): "
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): woww yes
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): heard all about that election
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): NOTHING dramatic is happening here like he blubbers about
[13:30] herman Bergson: We use to see history as periods......
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): all is like usual here
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): at least mostly
[13:31] herman Bergson: Ancient Greek...Middle Ages...Renaissance....and so on
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not really bej.... those parties there aer getting  a bit stronger
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): aren't they??
[13:31] herman Bergson: Spengler sees history are an organic process of  cultureds
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well for example the furor in Sweden is partly over immigration
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): as it is here !!!!!!!
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): different kind of immigration
[13:32] herman Bergson: other words...about foreigners taken over our own culture....
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well there is a worrying trend, a party knonw as SD ( Sweden democrats) they are basically supporting razism and we and them ideologies and want to send all non swedes back into war and death more or less
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): but now also trying to prevent legals!!!
[13:32] CB Axel: I wonder if Spengler would see our current climate change as just part of the world's cycle.
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cause as i heard "they don't fit in"
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ha maybe cb
[13:33] herman Bergson: Yes Bejiita I have heard the man talking about defending Sweden's culture
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i listened to a sort of debate of the swedish party leaders
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): o bbc
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): sigh
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): still many here sympathize with them cause they say they wil do so many other things, yeah, at what cost, No matter where people come from i gets really sad seing innocent people suffer
[13:34] herman Bergson: Spengler hadn't the slightest notion of things like that CB :-)
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i dont think any one really did back then
[13:34] CB Axel: So, he was even more like Trump.
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): trump has no clue on much
[13:34] herman Bergson: You get the feeling there are similarities :-)
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): agree
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): science???
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): phoo
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its empty up there I think
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): if u tap his head you will probably hear KLOOONG KLOONG
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like a bell or something other hollow
[13:36] herman Bergson: He is smart in his own way, Bejiita...don't underestimate him
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): he just think about money and nothing else
[13:36] CB Axel: I think maybe western culture is on the decline, but it's because of people like Spengler and their backward way of thinking.
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as i get it
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): interesting
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as long he can make money on something he do it no matter if he knows how to do it or not
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like being a president
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its cause he makes money and power
[13:37] CB Axel: The don't want to move forward. They just want their culture as they know it to continue and be dominant.
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its greed
[13:37] herman Bergson: We have to have a critical look at Spengler's philosophy of history
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well as far as trump goes i think he wil let the culture go as long as he survives and thrives
[13:37] herman Bergson: It is not a consistent theory
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): along with his kiddies
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): Spengler might have some things correct i bet
[13:38] herman Bergson: Yes ...he is praised for that Gemma....
[13:38] herman Bergson: In 1925 he "predicted' another war...
[13:39] herman Bergson: But he died of an heart attack in 1936
[13:39] herman Bergson: I wonder what he would have been thinking after World War Two
[13:39] CB Axel: Ah, but did he predict it or did people listening to his nationalistic talk start the war?
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): might be both
[13:40] CB Axel: He may not have lived to see WWII, but he may have had a hand in starting it.
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): tho he might not have been read by tht many people??
[13:40] herman Bergson: Well...what I find so interesting is the attitude in those early years of the 20th century....
[13:40] herman Bergson: this nationalism...
[13:41] CB Axel: It only takes a few, Gemma. Then they talk and write about the same ideas, and eventually they spread.
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): true
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): like those at trumps rallies
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): scary
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and get out of control and KABOOOM!
[13:42] herman Bergson: Yes....something like that....
[13:43] herman Bergson: Next time I'll try to present a critical analysis of Spenglers ideas...
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok
[13:43] CB Axel: I don't remember when Spengler wrote his book.
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): shall look him up on wiki
[13:43] herman Bergson: He regards cultures as organic can question that
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): or the philosophers website
[13:44] herman Bergson: He sees them come out of the blue and go again.....
[13:44] CB Axel: He could be right about that.
[13:44] herman Bergson: Yet Western culture is heavily based on, derived from the Ancient Greek/Roman culture...
[13:45] CB Axel: True
[13:45] herman Bergson: So...still a lot of questions to answer
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): as usual
[13:45] CB Axel: So you could say that the Greek and Roman cultures never failed.
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): nice way f looking at it
[13:45] herman Bergson: Spengler would say..they failed...but you can question that indeed
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): the principles lived
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:47] CB Axel: But the Greeks and Romans weren't as strong as the Germans. °͜°
[13:47] herman Bergson: For today the interesting observation is that Spengler is in the news again htese it telling something about the time we live in?
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): wonders if ayn rand read him too
[13:47] herman Bergson: The Germans do it differently these days.....
[13:48] CB Axel: Interesting thought, Gemma.
[13:48] herman Bergson: How would it fit in with her objectivism, Gemma
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i am not sure
[13:48] herman Bergson: But this 'strong man' idea would have appealed to her
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): but she disdained history
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i think]
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and culture
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): unless it lead to self aggrandizement
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh yes strong man
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Ayn Rand = selfishness personified
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and woman
[13:50] herman Bergson: A number of issues to look into next time :-)
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok
[13:50] herman Bergson: So, if you haven't any question left.....
[13:50] herman Bergson: thank you for your participation again ^_^
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): can go get ready to host fishing
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:51] herman Bergson: Class dismissed...
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well cu next time then
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:51] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman:)
[13:51] CB Axel: See you all on Tuesday.
[13:51] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): howdo
[[13:51] herman Bergson: oops Gemma was in a hurry...:-))))

[13:51] herman Bergson: Another fishing contest to host, I assume :-))

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