Monday, May 5, 2008

The Charge of Pessimism

Some ideas in rough form....

One of the most common criticisms launched against Oswald Spengler is that he was somehow a "pessimist" and therefore a crank unworthy of recognition. He answered this charge in his essay, "Pessimism?" In IMPERIUM, F.P. Yockey noted that such a criticism amounts to an ad hominem argument.

Essentially, the parrot skit from Monty Python sums up the silliness of the pessimism charge, as Spengler was merely saying (in Yockey's words), "These seven Cultures are dead[...]":

Spengler merely stated that seven High Cultures went through similar stages of development, and eventually died:

"History discloses seven precedent High Cultures to us. Their gestation-periods were morphologically identical, as were their birth-pangs, their first life activites, their growth, their mature stages, their great Civilization-crises, their final life-forms, the gradual relaxing, the coming to each of a time when one had to say, looking at the landscape where the mighty being had fulfilled itself, that it was no longer, that it had died" (Yockey 49).

One has to wonder whether or not any of the scholars who criticize Spengler have actually read his book.


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