Tuesday, October 2, 2018

736: Oswald Spengler and Nazism

Yesterday my newspaper reminded me that I have been to easy on Spengler.
We have to keep in mind that we are studying the legacy the 20th century left us.
Let me translate and quote what I read:  

"When historian Frits Boterman graduated in 1992 on the cultural pessimist and political activist Oswald Spengler, 
he could not have imagined that Spengler's book 'The Decline of the West' would become popular again with right-wing and anti-liberal thinkers.
The reissue of his study is intended as a warning. Those who deal too lightly with the thinker who helped make fascism possible, fall easily into the same pitfall."
This was a short review of a dissertation of 640 pages! So, the subject "Spengler and Nazism"has to be addressed here too to be complete.
Actually Beertje already referred to the issue in previous discussions. In 1932 Spengler voted for Hitler
and in 1933 he even had a personal meeting with Hitler. However, he was not really impressed by the person.
Spengler never became a member of the Nazi party and had a number of differences of opinion with the nazi ideology.
Nevertheless the Nazis used a lot of ideas, which you also find in "The Decline of the West".
On the one hand, Spengler was a fierce anti-democrat who called for a "Caesarian" dictatorship,
in which the individual is entirely absorbed in "totality" and thereby "receives and obeys commands". 
On the other hand, Spengler initiated a social Darwinian racial struggle on a global scale. 
The German race should lead the "white peoples" in the struggle against what Spengler presented as the greatest danger: the emergence of the "colored races".

As Spengler says: "The coming of Caesarism breaks the dictature of money and its political weapon, democracy." (pg, 506)
(pg. 507) "Ever in History it is life and life only - race-quality, the triumph of the will-to-power - and not the victory of truths, discoveries, or money that signifies. 
World-history is the world court, and it has ever decided in favour of the stronger, fuller, and more self-assured life 
-  decreed to it, namely, the right to exist, regardless of whether its right would hold before a tribunal of waking-consciousness. 
Always it has sacrificed truth and justice to might and race, and passed doom of death upon men and peoples in whom truth was more than deeds, and justice than power. "
This quote from page 507 contains everything: the glorification of race and will-to-power, the right of the stronger,
might and race over justice and truth, the glorification of deeds in stead of truth finding and power over justice.
It goes too far to equate Spengler's ideas with Nazism, for there were too many differences of opinion. 
The current perspective among historians is that Spengler has been an important inspiration for national socialism.
And even in our present time some politicians still seem to be inspired by Spenglerian ideas.
Thank you for your attention again.... ˆ_ˆ

The Discussion

[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): welll whatever it was it seems to be dripping into this century too
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): but he certainly had an influence what ever he was
[13:22] herman Bergson: What I am wondering about is...was Spengler really the creator of nazi ideas?
[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): in the beginning  lectures it seemed to me to be very suspect of that
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): He seemed to support both racism and dictatorship at least
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): to the fullest
[13:23] herman Bergson: Yes Gemma...or was he just putting into words what a lot of people already believed?
[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): maybe that is what it was
[13:23] CB Axel: Did he influence the Nazis or did the thoughts of Nazis influence him?
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): was he pulled along with the rest or was it his own visions?
[13:24] herman Bergson: Neither of the two CB.....it was all in the air in the first 25 years of the 20th century
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i need to review more closely nazi sm
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): to understand it better
[13:25] CB Axel: Yes. They didn't call themselves Nazis then, but they had many of the same ideas.
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:25] herman Bergson: What we call Nazis these days are people who are racists, white suprematists, looking for a supreme leader/dictator
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:26] herman Bergson: anti-semits
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and i feel them here again
[13:26] herman Bergson: It is all still there in our present politics
[13:26] CB Axel: And how are their ideas different than what Spengler was hearing?
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:27] herman Bergson: Not much, I would say
[13:27] CB Axel: All I'm saying is that those thoughts were more common than we think they were, but Spengler just wrote them down.
[13:27] herman Bergson: We even have a member of parliament here who says he is still inspired by Spengler
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh good
[13:27] herman Bergson: My idea too CB
[13:27] CB Axel: He gave people permission to discuss those ideas openly, maybe.
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that is what i really think and why i questioned if he really was a philosopher
[13:28] CB Axel: Just like Trump has given white supremacists, misogynists, and homophobes permission to speak up.
[13:28] herman Bergson: What I already mentioned in a previous lecture....
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yep
[13:29] herman Bergson: Neither in the Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy nor in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy is an article on Spengler
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok that does it
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): is true
[13:30] herman Bergson: He sint a philosopher nor a scientific historian
[13:30] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): and still he had a big influence on history
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i went and found articls on him tho yes
[13:30] CB Axel: He was just a nut job with a typewriter. °͜°
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): maybe cursive cb
[13:30] CB Axel: OK, a nut job with a pen.
[13:30] herman Bergson: Yes Beertje...all right wing politicians with a good story still have an influence these days
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok
[13:31] CB Axel: Now anyone with a smart phone and a YouTube account can do what Spengler did.
[13:31] herman Bergson: We love xenophobia....white supremacy....strong leaders...it seems
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): now days very true
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and they do!
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): or try
[13:31] CB Axel: That's scary.
[13:32] herman Bergson: It is indeed CB
[13:32] herman Bergson: The president of the US poses as a strong leader and is yet laughed at by the whole UN assembly
[13:32] CB Axel: Ideas like that can travel fast and find many others who can band together.
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that was great!!!!!!!!!!!!
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i was watching
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its a strange world today for sure
[13:33] herman Bergson: He didn't even get it, what was happening...:-)
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and just like that video you showed last time i believe if something is not done not only US but the entire world will go down the drain
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): scary development
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): he did not like the un before will hate it now
[13:34] CB Axel: Well, the feeling is mutual, Gemma.
[13:34] herman Bergson: Not too pessimistic Bejiita...
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well something have to change and soon
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): feels like everything is balancing on the edge
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): he is always saying the world leaders now repect and love us
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): now
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not when Obama was president
[13:35] herman Bergson: Well..what I found interesting in relation to the beginning of the 20th century was Trumps statement that he doesnt support globalization, but patrotism...
[13:35] herman Bergson: which is equivalent with nationalism
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): he does not understand patriotism
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): at all
[13:36] CB Axel: I'm happy to see the rest of the world going to each other for things like soy beens. It's time they should the US that they can do just fine without it.
[13:36] herman Bergson: that was the situation in Europe too in those days....
[13:36] herman Bergson: The  nation state was the essence
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yep
[13:36] herman Bergson: politics was geopolitics....
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): the early years of the 20th century
[13:36] herman Bergson: that was the cause of the First World War
[13:37] herman Bergson: the Second World War was a reaction on the humiliation the Germans had suffered after 1918...
[13:37] herman Bergson: That supports Spengler's ideas....
[13:37] herman Bergson: The losers want to be heros again in Europe
[13:38] herman Bergson: Like un the US these days the whites feel like losers.....a growing minority....all those immigrants etc...
[13:38] herman Bergson: And Trump has become the King of the  Losers these days
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i really feel like some are now really getting to understand their error
[13:39] herman Bergson: WhenI listen to Chris Hedges I even fear for the possibility of a civil/racial war in the US
[13:39] CB Axel: A few are, Gemma.
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i don't see that happening
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that has been asserted since Obama appeared
[13:40] herman Bergson: No....neither do I....but the situation almost suggests the possibility....
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it is a feeling that it could
[13:40] herman Bergson: yes...that is what I mean...
[13:41] herman Bergson: But I still believe that the 20th century wont repeat itself today, though a lot of political ideas are similar
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): scary tho
[13:42] herman Bergson: And the reason for this is that we now live in a globalized world....
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well i surley dont want a ww3
[13:42] herman Bergson: Look at trade and banks....
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so that i hope really doesnt happen
[13:43] herman Bergson: No Bejiita...
[13:43] herman Bergson: Those wars in the 20th century were geoplolitical wars....
[13:43] herman Bergson: Hitler wanted Lebensraum.... living space
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): even the world leaders today seem really dangerous, both Trump and Putin seems like guys who could start something like this, hopefully even they have learned something
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): from history
[13:44] CB Axel: Don't forget Kim, Bejiita.
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): or china either
[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): and Erdogan
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): China is gaining
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): at least he seems to have trapped down nis nuke mania now or have he?
[13:44] herman Bergson: Yes..but ask yourself the question....what is there to gain by war?
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): nothing
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed
[13:45] herman Bergson: Exactly....
[13:45] CB Axel: Egos
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): just death and destruction
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): sigh
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): looks like a lot of the 20th century is falling into this one
[13:45] herman Bergson: In the 20th century they believed the gain was territory....
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): so
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:46] herman Bergson: At this moment the best strategy seems to be a digital warfare....
[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): dangerous too
[13:47] herman Bergson: destroy democracies from the inside by reinforcing the internal differences by fake news and molls
[13:47] CB Axel: No one wants territory any more. Everyone wants money and control.
[13:47] herman Bergson: indeed
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): seems so
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its all about greed
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): to get more and more for yourself
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): power and money
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well actually russia wants the artic
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): all of it
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): to drill for oil and gas i guess
[13:48] herman Bergson: Pretty ambitious, Gemma :-)
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yep
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and maybe the moon
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): for china
[13:49] herman Bergson: What I have always wondered about is....how can you claim and say you own the earth...
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that is what the first americans always said... the indians
[13:50] CB Axel: Russia wants the Arctic for the oil. China wants the moon for its minerals. They only want those things for themselves. I don't see why we can't all use those things for the benefit of everyone.
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): agree
[13:50] CB Axel: But I wasn't influenced by Spengler. I was influenced by Star Trek.
[13:50] herman Bergson: .
[13:51] CB Axel: I blame Gene Roddenbury for my current pessimism.
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): wellas i always say what we need is a good Alien invasion to cohease the world's humans
[13:51] herman Bergson: Me too CB.....
[13:51] CB Axel: He has a lot to answer for.
[13:51] CB Axel: Exactly, Gemma.
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yep
[13:51] herman Bergson: But here we come to a totally different philosophical discussion....
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and i have to run off now
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): OBING OUT THE KLINGONS!
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:51] herman Bergson: The possibility of private property...:-)
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:52] CB Axel: Bye, Gemma.
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok cu gemma
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:52] herman Bergson: So time to end our discussion and thank you all again...:-)
[13:52] herman Bergson: Class dismissed...ˆ_ˆ
[13:52] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman
[13:52] CB Axel: Everyone needs their own private property so they can have privacy and alone time. But that may be the introvert in me talking.
[13:52] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :)

[13:52] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.

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