Oswald Spengler, fully Oswald Manuel Arnold Gottfried Spengler

Oswald
Spengler, fully Oswald Manuel Arnold Gottfried Spengler
1880
1936

German Historian and Philosopher known for his book, "The Decline of the West"

Author Quotes

All world-improvers are Socialists. And consequently there are no Classical world-improvers.

Politics and trade in developed form -- the art of achieving material successes over an opponent by means of intellectual superiority -- are both a replacement of war by other means.

World-history is the history of the great Cultures, and peoples are but the symbolic forms and vessels in which the men of these Cultures fulfil their Destinies.

Animals and primitive men are neither perverse nor licentious. Their Eros is in rhythmic harmony with the universe... Only civilization has made a problem of eroticism, converted it into unrestrained greed.

Suddenly all those individuals who yesterday felt that "we" meant only their families, their professions, or perhaps their communities, become men of the nation. Their emotions and thoughts, their egos, that "something" within them, all are transformed: they have become historical.

Christian theology is the grandmother of Bolshevism.

Talk of world peace is heard today only among the white peoples, and not among the much more numerous colored races. This is a perilous state of affairs. When individual thinkers and idealists talk of peace, as they have done since time immemorial, the effect is negligible. But when whole peoples become pacifistic it is a symptom of senility. Strong and unspent races are not pacifistic. To adopt such a position is to abandon the future, for the pacifist ideal is a terminal condition that is contrary to the basic facts of existence. As long as man continues to evolve, there will be wars...

Diodorus tells the story of a deposed pharaoh who lived in Rome, in a squalid apartment on one floor situated somewhere high up in a certain building.

The common man wants nothing of life but health, longevity, amusement, comfort -- "happiness." He who does not despise this should turn his eyes from world history, for it contains nothing of the sort. The best that history has created is great suffering.

Every Greek has a train of Don Quixote, every Roman one of Sancho Panza - what they were otherwise, behind resigns.

The individual's life is of importance to none besides himself: the point is whether he wishes to escape from history or give his life for it. History recks nothing of human logic

Goethe's form-fulfilment and Darwin's evolution, are in as complete opposition as destiny to causality.

The question of whether world peace will ever be possible can only be answered by someone familiar with world history. To be familiar with world history means, however, to know human beings as they have been and always will be. There is a vast difference, which most people will never comprehend, between viewing future history as it will be and viewing it as one might like it to be. Peace is a desire, war is a fact; and history has never paid heed to human desires and ideals.

I maintain, then, that scientific psychology (and, it may be added, the psychology of the same kind that we all unconsciously practice when we try to figure to ourselves the stirrings of our own or others' souls) has, in its inability to discover or even to approach the essence of the soul, simply added one more to the symbols that collectively make up the Macrocosm of the culture-man. Like everything else that is no longer becoming but become, it has put a mechanism in place of an organism. We miss in its picture that which fills our feeling of life (and should surely be soul if anything is) the Destiny-quality, the necessary directedness of existence, the possibility that life in its course actualizes. I do not believe that the word Destiny figures in any psychological system whatsoever ? and we know that nothing in the world could be more remote from actual life-experience and knowledge of men than a system without such elements. Associations, apperceptions, affections, motives, thought, feeling, will ? all are dead mechanisms, the mere topography

The sword is victorious over money, the master-will subdues again the plunderer-will. . . A power can be overthrown only by another power, not by a principle, and only one power that can confront money is left. Money is overthrown and abolished by blood. Life is alpha and omega . . . It is the fact of facts within the world-as-history.

In history it is not idealism, goodness or morality that reign -- their kingdom is not of this world -- but rather resolve, energy, presence of mind, and practical ability. One cannot erase this fact with laments and moral judgments. That is the way man is; that is the way life is; that is way history is.

The wealth of birth in primitive populations is a natural phenomenon, the very existence of which no one thinks about, let alone its advantages or disadvantages. Where reasons for questioning the existence of life enter the human consciousness, life itself has already become questionable.

In reality, money, like number and law, is a category of thought.

There is not the slightest trace of evolution towards a race of greater utilitarian 'fitness' . . . Human life-form . . . originates in a sudden mutation (Wandlung) of which the 'whence,' 'how' and 'why' remain an impenetrable secret.

In the form of democracy, money has won.

Thinking in money generates money -- that is the secret of the world economy.

Little as we know about the events of the future, one thing is certain: the moving forces of the future will be none other than those of the past -- the will of the stronger, healthy instincts, race, will to property, and power.

This is our purpose: to make as meaningful as possible this life that has been bestowed upon us . . . to live in such a way that we may be proud of ourselves, to act in such a way that some part of us lives on. This is our purpose: to make as meaningful as possible this life that has been bestowed upon us . . . to live in such a way that we may be proud of ourselves, to act in such a way that some part of us lives on.

Man makes history; woman is history. The reproduction of the species is feminine: it runs steadily and quietly through all species, animal or human, through all short-lived cultures. It is primary, unchanging, everlasting, maternal, plantlike, and cultureless. If we look back we find that it is synonymous with life itself.

To-day a democrat of the old school would demand, not freedom for the press, but freedom from the press; but mean-time the leaders have changed themselves into parvenus who have to secure their position vis-a-vis the masses.

Author Picture
First Name
Oswald
Last Name
Spengler, fully Oswald Manuel Arnold Gottfried Spengler
Birth Date
1880
Death Date
1936
Bio

German Historian and Philosopher known for his book, "The Decline of the West"