Message for the Pandemonium: Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West, and the Potential for the German People

Spengler saw himself as the prophet of potential for the German people. As the old world of bourgeois Europe burned beneath the fires of hatred, war, and blockade, Spengler foresaw a renewal that held the promise of potential. Spengler argued that history was the chronicle of the rise and fall of the great cultures of human history. For Spengler, nations, ethnicities, and even races of people were too transient for history to focus upon; instead, history followed the cultures of human civilization which rarely are in similar stages of development.The true purpose of Spengler’s life’s work shone through, The Decline of the West, in addition to several of his key essays written in the 1920s. Spengler wrote his works for the active individuals of the German people. Spengler desired for his people, the Germans, to seize the opportunity that presented itself due to the decline of the Faustian Culture. The decline of the western culture created the opportunity for a tough people to rise above the chaos. These people would then be able to create a new culture to continue the cycle. He hoped that the Germans would create a culture to replace the rotten structure of western culture. Spengler concluded that “We Germans will never again produce another Goethe, but indeed a Caesar.” While Hitler may not have been the exact Caesar Spengler predicted, Hitler did attempt to create a new culture for Europe. Instead of the fulfillment of all of Spengler’s dreams for Germany, the Nazis burned Europe into the ground and forever destroyed European influence over world affairs. Spengler’s thesis of potential for the German people was a message for the pandemonium that swept through Europe. Spengler preached that the potential for the Germans existed, but he never explained what would happen if they failed in their endeavors.

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