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Remembering Oswald Spengler:
May 29, 1880–May 8, 1936

345 words

Oswald Spengler was born on this day in 1880. For his contributions to the philosophy of history and culture, Spengler is one of the most important philosophical influences on the North American New Right, largely by way of his disciple Francis Parker Yockey. Spengler is often wrong, but even when he errs, he does so magnificently.

Spengler’s magnum opus is The Decline of the West, 2 vols (1918 and 1922). He also wrote three shorter books: Prussianism and Socialism (1919), Man and Technics (1931), and The Hour of Decision (1934).

There is little worthwhile secondary literature on Spengler in English, and much of it appears on this site. I also recommend John Farrenkopf’s Prophet of Decline: Spengler on World History and Politics.

Spengler is one of the most often tagged figures at Counter-Currents.

Here are the main works we have published by and about Spengler:

By Spengler:

On Spengler:

Articles Making Substantial Mention of Spengler:



  1. Petronius
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Blessed are all of you who can read German… Spengler’s language is as poetic and epic as Nietzsche’s. He has a characteristic “sound” that can be identified after two sentences. Whatever “errors” he might have made (usually on the side of scholarship, which does not matter much, does it?), it is above all this electrifying “sound” that matters, and the “big picture” that he painted with a masterly brush. There is something very visual and cinematic about his style and his vision of rising and falling cultures. Curiously, many of the outstanding “Conservative Revolutionaries” of Germany were men “of the eye” (Schmitt and Jünger as well). At the same time there is always a great sense of wonder and mystery in Spengler: he maintains that there are things that cannot be rationally “explained” or analyzed to the core – they merely ARE, and we can never fully comprehend “why”. A neglected, but imo striking side about Spengler is that he was also an “existentialist” philosopher in a pre-Sartrean sense.

  2. rhondda
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    This is really good thanks. I bought a 2 volume used copy of Decline of the West last year and by
    golly had no clue what he was talking about. I think I may have progressed somewhat now.

  3. Posted May 29, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Kindle readers should beware of the numerous crap versions of Decline; however, the Library of Alexandria recently produced a version of Vol. 1 that is just about perfect, with correctly formatted notes and Greek text.

    I rather like this, which you can find cheap online or in used bookstores:

    H. Stuart Hughes, “Oswald Spengler: A Critical Estimate,” New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1952.

  4. Sylvanus Carpenter
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Spengler was a prophet. I just re-read The Colored World Revolution segments posted on this site.

    “The battle for the planet has begun. The pacifism of the century of Liberalism must be overcome if we are to go on living.”

    Written in 1933, in the aftermath of a second World War this proclamation is almost chilling.

    I did want to ask a question about Spengler’s views on race, however. It’s perhaps been talked about before. I understand it to an extent, however he continues to talk about a “White race” and juxtapose it with other “colored” races. It seems apparent, to me at least, that without some firm biological grounding there’s no reason to refer to the race as “White” when it could just as easily be any other color then. He must have seen a strong relationship between the “spirit” of a race and its physical grounds. But, on the other hand, he disparagingly refers to too much of a focus on biology as a “zoology” of race.

    “But in speaking of race, it is not intended in the sense in which it is the fashion among anti-Semites in Europe and America to use it today: Darwinistically, materially. Race purity is a grotesque word in view of the fact that for centuries all stocks and species have been mixed, and that warlike — that is, healthy — generations with a future before them have from time immemorial always welcomed a stranger into the family if he had “race,” to whatever race it was he belonged. Those who talk too much about race no longer have it in them. What is needed is not a pure race, but a strong one, which has a nation within it.”

    Is he simply saying that people shouldn’t get too hung up on “purity”? The spiritual-cultural aspect and the biological aspect seem muddled here to me.

    • Sylvanus Carpenter
      Posted May 29, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Disregard the above. I’m reading Greg Johnson’s “Is Racial Purism Decadent?” which seems to address this issue.

  5. Kerry Bolton
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    A very good compendium of articles about Spengler was published in 2012 by Black Front Press on Spengler as part of the Thoughts and Perspectives series, this being Volume 10. Apart from myself and Troy Southgate contributors include John Howells, Dimitris Michalopoulos, Christopher Pankhurst and Alex Kurtagic. 264 pages.

  6. Jim Lamb
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    The two writers that had vision, knew what was at stake, and foresaw the looming disaster, were Spengler and Celine, born two days and fourteen years apart.

    Although, it was strange that Spengler seemed to abandon his fatalistic/deterministic theory in calling for action. Seems like nothing could be done with the people of that age. The masses are always too distracted to consider anything deeply and they were going to enjoy their time in the sun and cede power to no one, save the people who would give them the bread and circuses they demanded. Unfortunately for us, that “party” wasn’t going to end early.

    On personally meeting many people born in the early part of the 20th century, at least in America, I can better understand the horror of the 20th Century. Celine probably said it best when he described his contemporaries as “heavy” and “capable of anything.” They were not fertile ground for creating anything of a higher order.

    It’s interesting to consider what things would be like today if the Germans had won the war. It’s almost impossible to consider, but I imagine, scarily, not too different.

  7. Abraxas
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    “Race”, IMHO, is a mixture of genetics with history, culture and politics. My current understanding of “White” is based on what I call “Tonto’s Razor.” In the famous joke, when the Lone Ranger and Tonto are surrounded by hostile Indians and the LR says, “I think we’re in trouble,” Tonto replies, “What do you mean “we”, White man?”

    Now that White is a pejorative term in our dying society, I determine Whiteness in a man if, when he is accused of the global crimes of “the Whites”, no one will accept his denial of belonging to that now-heinous group. It’s not a perfect measure, but it helps.

    If your genetic haplogroup and your cultural identification (by others, not just you) is rooted in the lands once known as European Christendom (Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox), –and you’ve got no plausible or credible denial–then (a la Jeff Foxworthy) you might be a White man.

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