The late German historian considers all forms and movements of human affairs as he predicts the inevitable eclipse of Western civilization, in an abridged edition of the classic study, first published more than eighty years ago. Reprint.
In this new and revised edition of Oswald Spengler’s classic, Man and Technics, Spengler makes a number of predictions that today, more than eighty years after the book was first published, have turned out to be remarkably accurate. Spengler predicted that industrialisation would lead to serious environmental problems and that countless species would become extinct. He also predicted that labour from Third World countries would increasingly outcompete Western workers by doing the same work for much lower wages, and that industrial production would therefore move to other parts of the world, such as East Asia, India, and South America. According to Spengler, technology has not only made it possible for man to harness the forces of nature; it has also alienated him from nature. Modern technology now dominates our culture instead of that which is natural and organic. After having made himself the master of nature, man has himself become technology’s slave. ‘The victor, crashed, is dragged to death by the team’, Spengler summarises. Finally, Spengler foresaw that Western man would eventually grow weary of his increasingly artificial lifestyle and begin to hate the civilisation he himself created. There is no way out of this conundrum as the unrelenting progress of technological development cannot be halted. The current high-tech culture of the West is therefore doomed, destined to be consumed from within and destroyed. A time will come, Spengler writes, when our giant cities and skyscrapers have fallen in ruins and lie forgotten ‘just like the palaces of old Memphis and Babylon’. It remains to be seen if this last, and most dire, of Spengler’s prophecies will also come true.
Author: John Farrenkopf
Publisher: LSU Press
Release Date: 2001
An analysis of one of the most important historical philosophers of the 20th century, this text reassesses Oswald Spengler's challenging ideas on world history, politics and modern civilization. The book addresses Spengler's ideas on democracy, capitalism, science, cities and art.
Author: Brian Klaas
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2018-05-01
Genre: Political Science
For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the world is steadily becoming less democratic. The true culprits are dictators and counterfeit democrats. But, argues Klaas, the West is also an accomplice, inadvertently assaulting pro-democracy forces abroad as governments in Washington, London and Brussels chase pyrrhic short-term economic and security victories. Friendly fire from Western democracies against democracy abroad is too high a price to pay for a myopic foreign policy that is ultimately making the world less prosperous, stable and democratic. The Despot's Accomplice draws on years of extensive interviews on the frontlines of the global struggle for democracy, from a poetry-reading, politician-kidnapping general in Madagascar to Islamist torture victims in Tunisia, Belarusian opposition activists tailed by the KGB, West African rebels, and tea-sipping members of the Thai junta. Cumulatively, their stories weave together a tale of a broken system at the root of democracy's global retreat.
Author: Francis Parker Yockey
Publisher: The Palingenesis Project (Wermod and Wermod Publishing Group)
Release Date: 2013-01-14
Written without notes in Ireland, and first published pseudonymously in 1948, Imperium is Francis Parker Yockey’s masterpiece. It is a critique of 19th-century rationalism and materialism, synthesising Oswald Spengler, Carl Schmitt, and Klaus Haushofer’s geopolitics. In particular, it rethinks the themes of Spengler’s The Decline of the West in an effort to account for the United States’ then recent involvement in World War II and for the task bequeathed to Europe’s political soldiers in the struggle to unite the Continent—heroically, rather than economically—in the realisation of the destiny implied in European High Culture. Yockey’s radical attack on liberal thought, especially that embodied by Americanism (distinct from America or Americans), condemned his work to obscurity, its appeal limited to the post-war fascist underground. Yet, Imperium transcents both the immediate post-war situation and its initial readership: it opened pathways to a deconstruction of liberalism, and introduced the concept of cultural vitalism— the organic conceptualisation of culture, with all that attends to it. These contributions are even more relevant now than in their day, and provide us with a deeper understanding of, as well as tools to deal with, the situation in the West in current century. It is with this in mind that the present, 900-page, fully-annotated edition is offered, complete with a major foreword by Dr Kerry Bolton, Julius Evola’s review as an afterword (in a fresh new translation), a comprehensive index, a chronology of Yockey's life, and an appendix, revealing, for the first time, much previously unknown information about the author's genealogical background.
The Decline of the West Volume I: Form and Actuality By Oswald Spengler Contents I-Introduction II-The Meaning of Numbers III-The Problem of World-history--Physiognomic and Systematic IV-The Problem of World-history--The Destiny-idea and the Causality-principle V-Makrokosmos--The Symbolism of the World-picture and the Problem of Space VI-Makrokosmos--Apollinian, Faustian, and Magian Soul VII-Music and Plastic--The Arts of Form VIII-Music and Plastic--Act and Portrait IX-Soul-image and Life-feeling--On the Form of the Soul X-Soul-image and Life-feeling--Buddhism, Stoicism, and Socialism XI-Faustian and Apollinian Nature-Knowledge Introduction 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 fulfilment--the West-European-American. Hitherto the possibility of solving a problem so far-reaching has evidently never been envisaged, and even if it had been so, the means of dealing with it were either altogether unsuspected or, at best, inadequately used. Is there a logic of history? Is there, beyond all the casual and incalculable elements of the separate events, something that we may call a metaphysical structure of historic humanity, something that is essentially independent of the outward forms--social, spiritual and political--which we see so clearly? Are not these actualities indeed secondary or derived from that something? Does world-history present to the seeing eye certain grand traits, again and again, with sufficient constancy to justify certain conclusions? And if so, what are the limits to which reasoning from such premisses may be pushed? Is it possible to find in life itself--for human history is the sum of mighty life-courses which already have had to be endowed with ego and personality, in customary thought and expression, by predicating entities of a higher order like "the Classical" or "the Chinese Culture," "Modern Civilization"--a series of stages which must be traversed, and traversed moreover in an ordered and obligatory sequence? For everything organic the notions of birth, death, youth, age, lifetime are fundamentals--may not these notions, in this sphere also, possess a rigorous meaning which no one has as yet extracted? In short, is all history founded upon general biographic archetypes? The decline of the West, which at first sight may appear, like the corresponding decline of the Classical Culture, a phenomenon limited in time and space, we now perceive to be a philosophical problem that, when comprehended... ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Windham Press is committed to bringing the lost cultural heritage of ages past into the 21st century through high-quality reproductions of original, classic printed works at affordable prices. This book has been carefully crafted to utilize the original images of antique books rather than error-prone OCR text. This also preserves the work of the original typesetters of these classics, unknown craftsmen who laid out the text, often by hand, of each and every page you will read. Their subtle art involving judgment and interaction with the text is in many ways superior and more human than the mechanical methods utilized today, and gave each book a unique, hand-crafted feel in its text that connected the reader organically to the art of bindery and book-making. We think these benefits are worth the occasional imperfection resulting from the age of these books at the time of scanning, and their vintage feel provides a connection to the past that goes beyond the mere words of the text.
Author: Peter Heather
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Release Date: 2010-11-30
In AD 378 the Roman Empire had been the unrivalled superpower of Europe for well over four hundred years. And yet, August that year saw a small group of German-speaking asylum-seekers rout a vast Imperial army at Hadrianople, killing the Emperor and establishing themselves on Roman territory. Within a hundred years the last Emperor of the Western Empire had been deposed. What had gone wrong? In this ground breaking book, Peter Heather proproses a stunning new solution to one of the greatest mysteries of history. Mixing authoratative analysis with thrilling narrative, he brings fresh insight into the panorama of the empire's end, from the bejewelled splendour of the imperial court to the dripping forests of "Barbaricum". He examines the extraordinary success story that was the Roman Empire and uses a new understanding of its continued strength and enduring limitations to show how Europe's barbarians, transformed by centuries of contact with Rome, eventually pulled it apart. 'a colourful and enthralling narrative . . .an account full of keen wit and an infectious relish for the period.’ Independent On Sunday ‘provides the reader with drama and lurid colour as well as analysis . . . succeeds triumphantly.’ Sunday Times ‘a fascinating story, full of ups and downs and memorable characters’ Spectator ‘bursting with action . . .one can recommend to anyone, whether specialist or interested amateur.’ History Today 'a rare combination of scholarship and flair for narrative' Tom Holland
Why did Rome fall? Vicious barbarian invasions during the fifth century resulted in the cataclysmic end of the world's most powerful civilization, and a 'dark age' for its conquered peoples. Or did it? The dominant view of this period today is that the 'fall of Rome' was a largely peaceful transition to Germanic rule, and the start of a positive cultural transformation. Bryan Ward-Perkins encourages every reader to think again by reclaiming the drama and violence of the last days of the Roman world, and reminding us of the very real horrors of barbarian occupation. Attacking new sources with relish and making use of a range of contemporary archaeological evidence, he looks at both the wider explanations for the disintegration of the Roman world and also the consequences for the lives of everyday Romans, in a world of economic collapse, marauding barbarians, and the rise of a new religious orthodoxy. He also looks at how and why successive generations have understood this period differently, and why the story is still so significant today.
Author: Steve Bruce
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2017-11-02
Genre: Social Science
The decline of the Christian churches in the West is undeniable but commentators differ in their understanding of what this represents. For some it shows a decline in interest in religion as such; for others, religion has not declined, it has only changed its shape. Possible candidates for Christianity's replacement are the new religious movements of the late 1960s and what is variously called New Age, alternative or contemporary spirituality. Secular Beats Spiritual offers a detailed study of the religious and spiritual innovations of the last 50 years. It assesses their popularity in the UK and concludes that the 'not decline-just change' view cannot be sustained. Serious interest in spirituality has grown far less quickly than has the number of us who have no religious or spiritual interest. The most popular and enduring movements have been the least religious ones and those that have survived have done so by becoming more 'this-worldly' and less patently religious or spiritual. Yoga is popular but as a secular exercise programme; Transcendental Meditation now markets its meditational technique as a purely secular therapy; British Buddhists now offer the secular Mindfulness; and the Findhorn Foundation (Europe's oldest New Age centre) is no longer the germ of a counter-cultural communalism but sells its expertise to major corporations. Steve Bruce also demonstrates that, although eastern religious themes (such as reincarnation and karma) have become more popular as the power of the Christian churches to stigmatise them has declined, such themes have also been significantly altered so that what superficially looks like the easternization of the West might better be described as the westernization of the easternization of the West.
Author: Kimberly Kay Hoang
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2015-02-11
Genre: Social Science
This captivating ethnography explores Vietnam’s sex industry as the country ascends the global and regional stage. Over the course of five years, author Kimberly Kay Hoang worked at four exclusive Saigon hostess bars catering to diverse clientele: wealthy local Vietnamese and Asian businessmen, Viet Kieus (ethnic Vietnamese living abroad), Western businessmen, and Western budget-tourists. Dealing in Desire takes an in-depth and often personal look at both the sex workers and their clients to show how Vietnamese high finance and benevolent giving are connected to the intimate spheres of the informal economy. For the domestic super-elite who use the levers of political power to channel foreign capital into real estate and manufacturing projects, conspicuous consumption is a means of projecting an image of Asian ascendancy to potential investors. For Viet Kieus and Westerners who bring remittances into the local economy, personal relationships with local sex workers reinforce their ideas of Asia’s rise and Western decline, while simultaneously bolstering their diminished masculinity. Dealing in Desire illuminates Ho Chi Minh City’s sex industry as not just a microcosm of the global economy, but a critical space where dreams and deals are traded.
Author: Franklin E. Zimring
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2008-11-05
Genre: Social Science
Many theories--from the routine to the bizarre--have been offered up to explain the crime decline of the 1990s. Was it record levels of imprisonment? An abatement of the crack cocaine epidemic? More police using better tactics? Or even the effects of legalized abortion? And what can we expect from crime rates in the future? Franklin E. Zimring here takes on the experts, and counters with the first in-depth portrait of the decline and its true significance. The major lesson from the 1990s is that relatively superficial changes in the character of urban life can be associated with up to 75% drops in the crime rate. Crime can drop even if there is no major change in the population, the economy or the schools. Offering the most reliable data available, Zimring documents the decline as the longest and largest since World War II. It ranges across both violent and non-violent offenses, all regions, and every demographic. All Americans, whether they live in cities or suburbs, whether rich or poor, are safer today. Casting a critical and unerring eye on current explanations, this book demonstrates that both long-standing theories of crime prevention and recently generated theories fall far short of explaining the 1990s drop. A careful study of Canadian crime trends reveals that imprisonment and economic factors may not have played the role in the U.S. crime drop that many have suggested. There was no magic bullet but instead a combination of factors working in concert rather than a single cause that produced the decline. Further--and happily for future progress, it is clear that declines in the crime rate do not require fundamental social or structural changes. Smaller shifts in policy can make large differences. The significant reductions in crime rates, especially in New York, where crime dropped twice the national average, suggests that there is room for other cities to repeat this astounding success. In this definitive look at the great American crime decline, Franklin E. Zimring finds no pat answers but evidence that even lower crime rates might be in store.
Author: Alex J. Bellamy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2017-10-12
Genre: Political Science
East Asia, until recently a boiling pot of massacre and blood-letting, has achieved relative peace. A region that at the height of the Cold War had accounted for around eighty percent of the world's mass atrocities has experienced such a decline in violence that by 2015 it accounted for less than five percent. This book explains East Asia's 'other' miracle and asks whether it is merely a temporary blip in the historical cycle or the dawning of a new, and more peaceful, era for the region. It argues that the decline of mass atrocities in East Asia resulted from four interconnected factors: the consolidation of states and emergence of responsible sovereigns; the prioritization of economic development through trade; the development of norms and habits of multilateralism, and transformations in the practice of power politics. Particular attention is paid to North Korea and Myanmar, countries whose experience has bucked regional trends largely because these states have not succeeded in consolidating themselves to the point where they no longer depend on violence to survive. Although the region faces several significant future challenges, this book argues that the much reduced incidence of mass atrocities in East Asia is likely to be sustained into the foreseeable future.