Letter: Spengler described our world
Sunday 15 February 1998
ation - unwittingly corroborates Spengler's picture of our worldwide civilisation towards its close (Letters, 8 February).
Spengler wrote Untergang des Abendlandes during the First World War and died 18 years afterwards. Therefore he could not have foreseen precisely every feature of life a century later. But he did identify the Faustian essence of Western civilisation, where "dynamic technics" would expand and accelerate without moral or ecological restraint, toconquer external and internal space, spreading its skyscrapers while slowly being "eaten up from within" partly through demographic exhaustion.
Atom-splitting and gene-splicing fit perfectly into his characterisation of our scientific destiny. Also, rather like Mr Noble, he described electronic mass-media bombarding "the waking-consciousness of whole peoples and continents" with "catchwords, standpoints, scenes, feelings, so that every ego becomes a mere function of a monstrous intellectual Something".
Even his chapter on the nature of finance anticipated a penultimate shift from the mechanical and modern to the intangible and postmodern penultimate because he warned that when the usurers and speculators of the "world city" are snugly celebrating their last victories, powerful forces will re-emerge unexpectedly to subdue "the dictature of money".
Life & Style blogs
10 ways we damage our teeth – without realising
Facebook Messenger sends 'creepily' precise location data, as revealed by Marauders Map Chrome extension
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
iPhone 'effective power' text: how to be safe from iOS bug that lets people crash your phone
Video claims California will be hit by huge earthquake because of the alignment of the planets — but it’s probably wrong
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
- 1 10 ways we damage our teeth – without realising
- 2 Fifa corruption arrests: Nike reported to be 'multinational sportswear company' at centre of bribery claims over Brazil shirt deal
- 3 Facebook Messenger sends 'creepily' precise location data, as revealed by Marauders Map Chrome extension
- 4 Bahar Mustafa: Goldsmiths Students' Union diversity officer to keep her job after vote of no confidence petition fails
- 5 Photo of wedding guest proposing to girlfriend in front of bride and groom goes viral
£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are looking for a white-ha...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading Solar P...
£18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation is changing the way at...