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Decline of the West

Was Spengler Right After All? 


When Oswald Spengler wrote Untergang des Abendlandes (The Decline of the West) in the early 20th century (1918), he could not foresee that, about a century later, the trajectory of Western culture’s slow demise would assume a very different shape compared to the one he discerned, and that it would happen comparatively rapidly. 

According to Spengler, writing during the Great War, one should not see Europe or the West in ‘Ptolemaic’ terms as being the centre of history, and other cultures as orbiting around it. As Copernicus had done in astronomy, removing the centrality of the earth, the same had to be done with Western culture.

Moreover, he claimed, every culture has a unique ‘destiny,’ and all of them display developmental phases of life and death, just like living beings. Nor did he see European culture as being anything exceptional; in fact, at the time it was already in the declining phase of ‘civilization,’ instead of the earlier, vigorously creative stage of ‘culture’ that reached its apogee during the Enlightenment, and like all other cultures, would eventually perish. 

Interestingly, Spengler noted that, during the creative ‘cultural’ phase, ‘spirituality’ occupied a prominent place, while the time of decay was marked by rootlessness and world-weariness among people, and by the dominance of machine organisation – the latter feature echoed by Max Weber, who famously wrote about humanity being imprisoned in an ‘iron cage’ of mechanisation. 

It is not difficult to perceive in contemporary world (and not only Western) culture similar characteristics of cultural alienation and the predominance of machine culture, increasingly manifesting itself as the valorisation of AI. But instead of the cultural forces highlighted by Spengler, just over a hundred years after the publication of his epochal work it would turn out that a comparatively small group of individuals, motivated largely by financial and economic considerations pertaining to the possibility that they might lose their grip on power, would be instrumental in precipitating a catastrophic, controlled collapse of Western society, but also the rest of the world. Should their attempt be successful, a global collapse would be unavoidable.

This is because, although the mechanisms set in motion by this powerful and unscrupulous group have targeted mainly Western societies – given their cultural and political attachment to democratic, individual-oriented values, which had to be dislodged at all costs – the global interconnectedness of economies harboured a domino-effect principle of disintegration. 

One is struck by the irony, that instead of vast cultural forces (discerned by Spengler) initiating tectonic shifts of such magnitude that they would eventually result in a perceptible cultural implosion, what we are witnessing today is instead the outcome of a hubris-driven conspiracy hatched in the minds of a small so-called ‘elite,’ which should more accurately be called a coterie of small-minded parasites – ‘small-minded’ because they evidently lack the mental capacity to envision something that would benefit, instead of disadvantage (let alone destroy), the majority of humans in an encompassing manner. 

To be sure, this miniscule, but disproportionately wealthy band of thieves has access to virtually incomprehensible institutional, technological, media, and military power, which explains why, for almost four years now, they have been able to keep the world in an iron grip at several levels. The latter include the medical, the economic, and possibly soon (unless it can be thwarted) the financial and the urban-spatial (in the guise of 15-minute cities). 

There is also the possibility of another medical emergency and its concomitant lockdowns, given Bill Gates’ prediction, ill-disguised as a training exercise, of another ‘pandemic’ – specified (with miraculous prescience) as an outbreak that would be caused by a virus originating in Brazil, and having the characteristics of an enterovirus respiratory syndrome, a disease that would affect mainly children. 

How is all of this possible? With a recent boast Klaus Schwab, the grotesque poster boy of the World Economic Forum, and one of the main instigators of the plot to take over the world, has actually explained quite succinctly how it was done. By infiltrating many governments worldwide, he pointed out with unmistakable satisfaction, and with the brazenness of someone who knows by how many layers of security he is protected. The expression, ‘drunk with power,’ comes to mind, together with Lord Acton’s famous (and under present circumstances chilling) remark, in a letter to Bishop Mandell, that ‘Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ 

While Schwab, and Bill Gates, too, project an image of omnipotence, however, it is at best ambiguous. Who can fail to detect a vulnerability on the part of the members of the globalist group who deemed it necessary to surround themselves with 5,000 heavily armed troops during the WEF’s annual meeting in the Swiss town of Davos at the beginning of 2023? People who feel, or are, truly invincible – let alone innocent – would not feel compelled to employ military personnel for protection. And against whom? It is not difficult to guess.

But it was not only governments that were captured by graduates of Schwab’s Young Global Leaders programme. The sheer amount of money that must have gone into bribing government officials, medical authorities, journals and doctors, legal authorities like judges, educational authorities, including those presiding over schools, colleges and universities, and the legacy media companies – perhaps the most significant strategic capture of all – beggars belief. 

The result of this virtual clean sweep is there for all to see. Just a few weeks ago, within 24 hours the Lancet (which used to be a prestigious medical journal) removed an important study that revealed a high percentage of deaths – 74 percent of the 325 autopsies reviewed, to be precise – among recipients of Covid-19 ‘vaccines,’ which the writers of the review regarded as a significant contributing factor to their demise.

This is anything but an exceptional occurrence. Evidently even the world of science – once a bastion of genuine truth-seeking – has been infiltrated by shady agents of the insidious power that has executed an Orwellian reversal of meaning as far as science, language, and truth go. Recall that, in his dystopian novel, 1984, Orwell depicted a totalitarian state where language was redesigned to neuter its capacity for critical thinking. This language, called Newspeak, finds its counterpart in the context of Covid-19, where people’s use of language to criticise so-called ‘authorities’ has been subjected to relentless censorship by multiple agencies in the service of the neo-fascist technocratic cabal. 

The suppression of critical voices has probably been most conspicuous and effective in the mainstream media; any alternative information, that contradicts the official narrative, has been ruthlessly removed or branded false by so-called ‘fact-checkers.’ An even more effective strategy has been omission of events or news that contradicts the canonical discourse; such silence is effective because many people do not consult alternative media. My impression is that this is slowly changing, however; the mere increase in the readership of Brownstone articles testifies to this.

The irony should be clear, however: whereas Spengler attributed the demise of the West deterministically to the life-cycle of cultures generally, a comparatively small group of would-be dictators have been pulling out all the stops to bring (particularly) Western societies to their knees, thus clearing the way for their neo-fascist, centrally controlled, totalitarian world state.

As Naomi Wolf has demonstrated persuasively in her book, The Bodies of Others (2022), the way in which lockdowns were enforced during Covid (limiting the number of people who could gather anywhere, mask-wearing, social distancing, etc.), they exhibited the unmistakable intent to undermine the basis of human culture, namely human proximity and physical contact. As she pointed out, they were targeting our very ‘humanity.’ 

Hence, the only thing that the current, deliberately orchestrated onslaught against culture has in common with Spengler’s diagnosis, a century ago, of the demise of Western culture, is precisely that: the controlled demise of culture. Except that, for Spengler, this was an inescapable process that unfolded in the course of centuries (going back to the European Renaissance), whereas at present we are witnessing a hubristic, megalomaniacal attempt to torpedo both Western and other cultures for the sake of retaining financial and hence, political control over world affairs. It is up to us – those who have seen through all the techniques of deception – to stop them, once and for all.

Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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  • Bert Olivier

    Bert Olivier works at the Department of Philosophy, University of the Free State. Bert does research in Psychoanalysis, poststructuralism, ecological philosophy and the philosophy of technology, Literature, cinema, architecture and Aesthetics. His current project is 'Understanding the subject in relation to the hegemony of neoliberalism.'

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