Tuesday, September 25, 2018

734: Oswald Spengler himself...

It is exactly 100 years ago Oswald Spengler's "The Decline of the West" (1918) was first published.
That is of course the reason, that a Dutch publisher found it profitable to publish a Dutch translation of the book this year.
When it was published in 1918 it immediately was a bestseller (1918 - 1922), volume 1 and 2.
The english translation by Charles Francis Atkinson was published in New York in 1926. sixth printing, May 1927.
At least the book was highly controversial. It had friends and foes.
Academics gave it a mixed reception. Max Weber (1864 - 1920) was a prominent German sociologist, philosopher, jurist, and political economist.

He described Spengler as a "very ingenious and learned dilettante", while Karl Popper called the thesis of "The Decline in the West" pointless.
Yet it is quite a thesis to claim, that Western Culture is declining inevitably and then....???  What comes after the decline? Are we in decline now or past it? 
Time for a Closer Look at Spengler.....
"In this book is attempted for the first time the venture of predetermining history, of following the still untravelled stages in the destiny of a Culture, 
and specifically of the only Culture of our time and on our planet which is actually in the phase of fulfillment - the West-Europe an-American."
This quotation is the opening statement of the Introduction of the book on page 3. It is already loaded with (questionable) assumptions.
"the venture of predetermining history": this assumes at least that history follows a predetermined path.
There is for the time being no proof, that this really is the case, but we must be fair....this is just the opening sentence of the book.
"the destiny of a Culture": this is a big assumption from a philosophical point of view.
It implies that history is teleological in nature, which means that it is heading for some specific goal or destiny,
People who believe in the bible know what their destiny is. Eventually you'll appear before your Lord and you'll hear your destiny: Heaven or Hell.
But how is it with history? How can we know our destiny through time? Who can or already has revealed it to us?
To those questions Spengler has an answer. His whole "The Decline of the West" is based on it.

Let's hear it:
"Cultures are organisms, and world-history is their collective biography. Morphologically, the immense history of the Chinese or of the Classical Culture 
is the exact equivalent of the petty history of the individual man, or of the animal, or the tree, or the flower. " pag. 104
Cultures are organisms, that is the thesis of Spengler. What he meant by that and if it makes sense scientifically, we'll discuss next Tuesday.
Thank you for your attention..... ^_^

The Discussion
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we are nothing
[13:28] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): individually then
[13:28] herman Bergson: ohh...?
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): is that what he meant?
[13:29] herman Bergson: No, I would not read that in it
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh
[13:30] herman Bergson: but in a way you could say that as an individual we are cells of a body...
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hmm
[13:30] CB Axel: I think he meant that like any living organism cultures are born, they live, they mature, and they die.
[13:30] herman Bergson: every cell counts...but the body as a whole counts more, I assume
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that i get
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): but what did he really think of the individual then
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): the petty history .....
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): of me
[13:31] herman Bergson: so dieing in a war as individual is a sacrifice to the body
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): you
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ahha
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that makes sense
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): for him i mean
[13:31] herman Bergson: There is this line of thinking......that the collective is more valuable than the individual
[13:32] herman Bergson: the individual serves the collective...
[13:32] herman Bergson: That is why so many lives were sacrificed in WW-1 and WW-2
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm ok
[13:33] herman Bergson: You fought for your nation....your culture and race
[13:34] CB Axel: Hmm. I've never been in the military, but I think I'd feel more like fighting to maintain the freedoms I'd like all nations to have.
[13:34] herman Bergson: It fits into the picture of Spengler....We have topreserve our culture....it is an organism...
[13:34] herman Bergson: In a way that is the US philosophy still
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sounds a bit like the borg collective
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or a bee hive
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): thinks so partly
[13:35] herman Bergson: and European too
[13:35] herman Bergson: The European parliament condemned Hungary last week....
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i read that
[13:36] herman Bergson: because the government suppresses free press and monopolizes the justice system
[13:36] herman Bergson: same applied to Poland
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa yes just thought of that
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): both going terribly in wrong direction
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): just like Turkey
[13:37] herman Bergson: Yes....and we fight for the freedoms we have...just as CB said
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and the prime minister just asked trump to set a division there permanenty
[13:37] herman Bergson: Indeed Beertje....we forgot Turkey
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): a new perm base
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh turkey did such a U turn
[13:38] herman Bergson: But it isn't part of the European Union
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): wow
[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): they want to be
[13:38] herman Bergson: I know
[13:38] herman Bergson: but do I want it :-)))
[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i guess NO
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): no i think not
[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): me either
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thy will never as long Erdogan is there and he will make sure he is never loosing his power, just look what he did before to everyone opposing him, he is awful!
[13:39] herman Bergson: Indeed
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a monster
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Power sadly seems to do this
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): at least in many cases
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cases
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes bej
[13:39] CB Axel: Yes. It's happening here in the US.
[13:39] herman Bergson: Power does something to the human brain.....
[13:40] herman Bergson: The longer you are in power, the more wrong it goes in the brain....
[13:40] herman Bergson: So..a system of only 4 years in power is very healthy
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): u loose all empathy and feel for others you just care more and more about yourself and your power
[13:41] herman Bergson: yes something like that, Bejiita
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and become more and more terrible against other people
[13:41] herman Bergson: So...is the West in decline?
[13:41] herman Bergson: Was Spengler right?
[13:42] herman Bergson: in his prediction?
[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): was Spengler a democrat?
[13:42] CB Axel: I think maybe individual countries are in decline.
[13:42] herman Bergson: not at all!
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): maybe a burp
[13:42] herman Bergson: He forsaw the rise of a strong Leader....
[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): he voted for Hitler :(
[13:43] CB Axel: Was the west in decline when Britain began to lose all its colonies?
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and from there the world went down the drain more or less
[13:43] CB Axel: Britain was in decline, but not the entire west.
[13:43] herman Bergson: in 1933 he met Hitler and had a long talk with him....but Spengler concluded that Hitler was too vulgar....not the HERO - LEADER he had in mind
[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): but he voted for him
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats good he realized that
[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): why?
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm that seems strange to do in that case
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): probably his mustache
[13:44] herman Bergson: Because he voted for National socialism, I assume
[13:44] CB Axel: Just like people voted for Trump even though they knew he was a racist, misogynist heap of manure.
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): rigth
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ugh
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): still don't get it
[13:45] CB Axel: They felt, and many still do, that Trump is on their side and will bring back the economy.
[13:45] CB Axel: Even though the economy was already getting better.
[13:45] herman Bergson: yes...
[13:45] CB Axel: Now, I see us as on the road to another great depression.
[13:46] herman Bergson: nothing really wrong with US economy, I'd say
[13:46] CB Axel: Not that I'm an economic expert, but still.
[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): not yet Herman
[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): China is not happy with Trump
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not a thing yet
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): unless the tariffs really cause loss
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): which they could
[13:47] CB Axel: Well, people were losing their jobs. But many of those jobs were in industries that were declining anyway.
[13:47] herman Bergson: They already  do...
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): doing harm in farming
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): soy
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bit harm
[13:47] herman Bergson: yes
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and i dont see any steel mills opening
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yet
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:47] herman Bergson: But the main political point here is that a looser always needs an enemy....
[13:47] herman Bergson: an external enemy
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): or companies rushing back to open here again
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): or middle class pay raises
[13:48] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): a looser never says sorry I was wrong
[13:48] herman Bergson: companies wont return to the US for production purposes...
[13:48] herman Bergson: They'lll move to India or other asian countries
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): Africa
[13:49] herman Bergson: In relation to China Trump plays the tough businessman who gets his deals...
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): is ready
[13:50] herman Bergson: You might be right there indeed, Gemma
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): government is not like business at all i think
[13:50] herman Bergson: that is why this tarifs war is so pointless
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and his lies go way back in reference to his businsses too
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): way back
[13:51] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): he doesn't lie Gemma, he has his own truth...
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh yes
[13:51] CB Axel: lol
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): which is all fake
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but of course he believes EVERYONE elses ideas and news are fake
[13:51] herman Bergson: The only happy people at this moment are the Russians....
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as usual
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): there is a group keeping track of his lies  and he has surpassed 4000
[13:52] herman Bergson: long time ago they already bought Trump.....was a long lasting project
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that can be proven
[13:52] CB Axel: People are too impressed with wealth.
[13:52] herman Bergson: yes I know...isn't it the Washington Post?
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): cant recall
[13:53] CB Axel: I'm more impressed with integrity and compassion.
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:53] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): does he have some CB?
[13:53] CB Axel: He has nothing but money.
[13:53] CB Axel: He's worthless, really.
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yess
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so true
[13:54] herman Bergson: And yet I do not believe that he is the sign of the Decline of the West...:-)
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): he looks like a pile of the rubbish he is actually made from
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or Jabba the Hut
[13:54] CB Axel: No. He's just a sign of the decline of the US.
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but that is an insult to Jabba
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): no i don't either
[13:55] herman Bergson: I am more optimistic CB....
[13:55] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): what do you believe Herman?
[13:55] herman Bergson: He is the best wake-up call the US ever could have...:-)
[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed couldnt believe it when i heard trump had won
[13:55] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we will hopefully see the beginning of the end in November
[13:55] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): fingers crossed
[13:55] CB Axel: But the people who elected him aren't waking up.
[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:55] herman Bergson: Oh yes...cant wait till November...
[13:56] herman Bergson: He lost the popular vote CB
[13:56] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:56] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): we didn't believe he would be president either, so anything ca happen
[13:56] CB Axel: They want to protect the possibility of becoming rich and privileged rather than face the reality that if things keep going the way they are, they're just going to keep getting farther and farther behind.
[13:56] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and i know some who would not vote for hilary so did not vote at all
[13:57] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i have to run
[13:57] herman Bergson: Thank you Gemma
[13:57] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:57] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): bye Gemma
[13:57] herman Bergson: Have fuyn
[13:57] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye for now
[13:57] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): nice again Herman
[13:57] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu around
[13:57] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): next time
[13:57] herman Bergson: Thank you all...
[13:57] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:57] herman Bergson: Class dismissed...:-)
[13:57] CB Axel: Well, the Democratic party needs to listen to the people and not give us someone who keeps campaigning in the old ways.
[13:58] CB Axel: OK. Well, I'll see you all next week. Bye.
[13:58] herman Bergson: What do you think of Avenatti, CB ?
[13:58] CB Axel: I don't really know anything about him. I keep meaning to read about him, but I still haven't.
[13:58] herman Bergson: I like that guy
[13:59] CB Axel: Maybe I'll do that now. °͜°
[13:59] herman Bergson: He is clever and sharp.....
[13:59] herman Bergson: Lots of him on Youtube....
[13:59] CB Axel: I'll see you Tuesday.
[13:59] herman Bergson: was fun....Avenatti against Tucker Carlson on FoxNews....
[13:59] herman Bergson: You should see that CB :-)
[14:00] CB Axel: I saw that video was posted but I haven't watched. I'll do that now. °͜°
[14:00] herman Bergson: lol...you should :-))
[14:00] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :)

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