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
DNA hope on schizophrenia: Research breakthrough points at over 100 genes
Husband creates spreadsheet detailing wife's 'excuses' for turning down sex
Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
Man takes most pointless Uber cab ride of all time
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
- 1 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 2 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 3 Fight Club 2: Chuck Palahniuk sequel is a 'meta-fictional comment on the cultural response to the original'
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Israel-Gaza conflict: Deadly flechette shells 'used by Israeli military in Gaza Strip’
Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...
Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...
£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...
£100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire