A Critical Phase Shift

The significance of The Decline of The West, extends way beyond surface level. Oswald Spengler, a german historian and philosopher, whose ideals in the early twentieth century surrounded civilizations and paradigm shifts between them. The Decline of the West is a book that describes the miraculous changes of world history, and the changes that might be faced with civilizations within the coming years. Through a historical/historicists lens, Spengler uses his knowledge of history to show the causes and effects of the worlds phases; using a very informative tone to present his point in the segment from the book. Through his language, he seems to target the general reader, to inform them of what is to come. The reader could have sympathized with it or revolted against Spengler’s opinion. The intent and message of this piece however goes along different lines. Spengler writes in this piece specifically the end of eras where money and intellectuals reign. He spoke about blood and instinct and how it will assist with the victory of the Caesars, as civilization shifted from Napoleonism to Caesarism. The people will obey the strong, and uniformity will lead a better world suited for the conditions present at the time.

Discussion for the Audience:

-It is interesting to see how Spengler writes to say – “Life will descend to a level of general uniformity, a new kind of primitivism, and the world will be better for it…” instead of saying how the changes that are present now will make the world a better place. The world will have to conform to the conditions not the other way around.

What do you think?

German Nationalism

A German philosopher and supporter of the French revolution, Johann Gottlieb Fichte wrote his series of addresses to the German Nation in 1806. During this time, France was under the rule of Napoleon who had set about on different conquests across Europe, Germany included. The French invasion of Germany caused Fichte to think twice about his feelings towards the French and the French revolution and force the German nation to ask themselves what it truly means to be German.

Fichte’s address to the German nation is more of a persuasion as he explains the ways in which the German people need to embrace their own nationality and defer away from the French. Fichte goes about this by stating “Those who speak the same language are joined to each other by a multitude of invisible bonds by nature herself” (Fichte 1). Continuing this statement, he argues that people of the same country have a similar understanding and they belong together, becoming an “inseparable whole” (Fichte 1). The problem however, is that the whole becomes disrupted and confused when others, the French, try and interfere. Fichte states that the French have taken advantage of the Germans, pillaging their villages and using their men to fight in wars. Rather than accept the French into the German nation, Fichte argues for the Germans to unite and form their own nationality.