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
iPhone 5C could be killed next year, and Apple’s cheap and cheerful line might die with it
Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
Coke milk? Coca-Cola to launch premium milk brand called Fairlife
Black Friday: Best fashion deals -online and on the high-street
UK's first plus-size fashion magazine Slink hits the shelves: 'Style doesn't stop at size 8'
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Ed Miliband's 'north London set' must be demolished to save Labour, say critics
Green Party Caroline Lucas interview: 'We could be on the edge of something very big'
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...