Frasi di Oswald Spengler

Oswald Spengler photo
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Oswald Spengler

Data di nascita: 29. Maggio 1880
Data di morte: 8. Maggio 1936

Oswald Spengler è stato un filosofo, storico e scrittore tedesco, autore, tra le altre opere, de Il tramonto dell'Occidente.

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Frasi Oswald Spengler

„[Hitler] […] un tenore melodrammatico, non un eroe […].“

—  Oswald Spengler

Origine: Citato in Walter Laqueur, La Repubblica di Weimar, traduzione di Lydia Magliano, Rizzoli, Milano, 1977, p. 121.

„Una civiltà nasce nel punto in cui una grande anima si desta dallo stato della psichicità primordiale di una umanità eternamente giovane e si distacca, forma dall'informe, realtà limitata e peritura di fronte allo sconfinato e al perenne. Essa fiorisce sul suolo di un paesaggio esattamente delimitabile, al quale resta radicata come una pianta. Una civiltà muore quando la sua anima ha realizzato la somma delle sue possibilità sotto specie di popoli, lingue, forme di fede, arti Stati, scienze; essa allora si riconfonde con l'elemento animico primordiale. Ma finché essa vive, la sua esistenza nella successione delle grandi epoche, che contrassegnano con tratti decisi la sua progressiva realizzazione, è una lotta intima e appassionata per l'affermazione dell'idea contro le potenze del caos all'esterno, così come contro l'inconscio all'interno, ove tali potenze si ritirano irate. Non è solo l'artista a lottare contro la resistenza della materia e contro ciò che in lui vuol negare l'idea. Ogni civiltà sta in un rapporto profondamente simbolico e quasi mistico con l'esteso, con lo spazio in cui e attraverso cui essa intende realizzarsi. Una volta che lo scopo è raggiunto e che l'idea è esteriormente realizzata nella pienezza di tutte le sue interne possibilità, la civiltà d'un tratto s'irrigidisce, muore, il suo sangue scorre via, le sue forze sono spezzate, essa diviene civilizzazione. Ecco quel che noi sentiamo e intendiamo nelle parole egizianismo, bizantinismo, mandarinismo. Così essa, gigantesco albero disseccato di una foresta vergine, ancor per secoli e per millenni può protendere le sue ramificazioni marcite. Lo vediamo in Cina, in India, nel mondo dell'Islam. Così la civilizzazione antica del periodo imperiale giganteggiò in apparenza di forza giovanile e di pienezza, togliendo luce e aria alla giovane civiltà araba d'Oriente. Questo è il senso di ogni tramonto nella storia, il senso del compimento interno ed esterno, dell'esaurimento che attende ogni civiltà vivente. Di tali tramonti, quello dai tratti più distinti, il «tramonto del mondo antico», lo abbiamo dinanzi agli occhi, mentre già oggi cominciamo a sentire in noi e intorno a noi i primi sintomi di un fenomeno del tutto simile quanto a decorso e a durata, il quale si manifesterà nei primi secoli del prossimo millennio, il «tramonto dell'Occidente.»“

—  Oswald Spengler, libro Il tramonto dell'Occidente

Il tramonto dell'Occidente

„Alla fine è sempre un plotone di soldati a salvare la civiltà.“

—  Oswald Spengler, libro Il tramonto dell'Occidente

da Il tramonto dell'Occidente, Guanda, traduzione italiana di Julius Evola
Il tramonto dell'Occidente

„The press today is an army with carefully organized weapons, the journalists its officers, the readers its soldiers. The reader neither knows nor is supposed to know the purposes for which he is used and the role he is to play.“

—  Oswald Spengler, libro Il tramonto dell'Occidente

The Decline of the West (1918, 1923)
Contesto: The press to-day is an army with carefully organized arms and branches, with journalists as officers, and readers as soldiers. But here, as in every army, the soldier obeys blindly, and war-aims and operation-plans change without his knowledge. The reader neither knows, nor is allowed to know, the purposes for which he is used, nor even the role that he is to play. A more appalling caricature of freedom of thought cannot be imagined. Formerly a man did not dare to think freely. Now he dares, but cannot; his will to think is only a willingness to think to order, and this is what he feels as his liberty.

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„p>It is the heritage of anguished centuries, and it distinguishes us from all other people—us, the youngest and last people of our culture.“

—  Oswald Spengler

...
<p>At the end of the [eighteenth] century Spain had long ceased to be a great power, and France was on the way to following her example. Both were old and exhausted nations, proud but weary, looking towards the past, but lacking the true ambition—which is to be strictly differentiated from jealousy—to continue to play a creative part in the future. [The end of the eighteenth century is the time of the French Revolution, which was all about equal rights.] ... "Equal rights" are contrary to nature, are an indication of the departure from type of ageing societies, are the beginning of their irrevocable decline. It is a piece of intellectual stupidity to want to substitute something else for the social structure that has grown up through the centuries and is fortified by tradition. There is no substituting anything else for Life. After Life there is only Death.
<p>And that, at bottom, is the intention. We do not seek to alter and improve, but to destroy. In every society degenerate elements sink constantly to the bottom: exhausted families, downfallen members of generations of high breed, spiritual and physical failures and inferiors. ...
There is but one end to all the conflict, and that is death—the death of individuals, of peoples, of cultures. Our own death still lies far ahead of us in the murky darkness of the next thousand years. We Germans, situated as we are in this century, bound by our inborn instincts to the destiny of Faustian civilization, have within ourselves rich and untapped resources, but immense obligations as well. ... The true International is imperialism, domination of Faustian civilization, i.e., of the whole earth, by a single formative principle, not by appeasement and compromise but by conquest and annihilation.
Prussianism and Socialism (1919)

„Optimism is cowardice.“

—  Oswald Spengler, libro Der Mensch und die Technik

Man and Technics (1931)

„p>To the new International that is now in the irreversible process of preparation we can contribute the ideas of worldwide organization and the world state; the English can suggest the idea of worldwide exploitation and trusts; the French can offer nothing….
Thus we find two great economic principles opposed to each other in the modern world. The Viking has become a free-tradesman; the Teutonic knight is now an administrative official. There can be no reconciliation. Each of these principles is proclaimed by a German people, Faustian men par excellence. Neither can accept a restriction of its will, and neither can be satisfied until the whole world has succumbed to its particular idea. This being the case, war will be waged until one side gains final victory. Is world economy to be worldwide exploitation, or worldwide organization? Are the Caesars of the coming empire to be billionaires or universal administrators? Shall the population of the earth, so long as this empire of Faustian civilization holds together, be subjected to cartels and trusts, or to men such as those envisioned in the closing pages of Goethe’s Faust, Part II? Truly, the destiny of the world is at stake….
This brings us to the political aspects of the English-Prussian antithesis. Politics is the highest and most powerful dimension of all historical existence. World history is the history of states; the history of states is the history of wars. Ideas, when they press for decisions, assume the form of political units: countries, peoples, or parties. They must be fought over not with words but with weapons. Economic warfare becomes military warfare between countries or within countries. Religious associations such as Jewry and Islam, Huguenots and Mormons, constitute themselves as countries when it becomes a matter of their continued existence or their success. Everything that proceeds from the innermost soul to become flesh or fleshly creation demands a sacrifice of flesh in return. Ideas that have become blood demand blood. War is the eternal pattern of higher human existence, and countries exist for war’s sake; they are signs of readiness for war. And even if a tired and blood-drained humanity desired to do away with war, like the citizens of the Classical world during its final centuries, like the Indians and Chinese of today, it would merely exchange its role of war-wager for that of the object about and with which others would wage war. Even if a Faustian universal harmony could be attained, masterful types on the order of late Roman, late Chinese, or late Egyptian Caesars would battle each other for this Empire—for the possession of it, if its final form were capitalistic; or for the highest rank in it, if it should become socialistic.“

—  Oswald Spengler

Prussianism and Socialism (1919)

„And at that point, too, in Buddhist India as in Babylon, in Rome as in our own cities, a man's choice of the woman who is to be, not mother of his children as amongst peasants and primitives, but his own "companion for life", becomes a problem of mentalities. The Ibsen marriage appears, the "higher spiritual affinity" in which both parties are "free"—free, that is, as intelligences, free from the plantlike urge of the blood to continue itself, and it becomes possible for a Shaw to say "that unless Woman repudiates her womanliness, her duty to her husband, to her children, to society, to the law, and to everyone but herself, she cannot emancipate herself." The primary woman, the peasant woman, is mother. The whole vocation towards which she has yearned from childhood is included in that one word. But now emerges the Ibsen woman, the comrade, the heroine of a whole megalopolitan literature from Northern drama to Parisian novel. Instead of children, she has soul-conflicts; marriage is a craft-art for the achievement of "mutual understanding"….
At this level all Civilizations enter upon a stage, which lasts for centuries, of appalling depopulation. The whole pyramid of cultural man vanishes. It crumbles from the summit, first the world-cities, then the provincial forms, and finally the land itself, whose best blood has incontinently poured into the towns, merely to bolster them up awhile. At the last, only the primitive blood remains, alive, but robbed of its strongest and most promising elements. This residue is the Fellah type.
If anything has demonstrated the fact that Causality has nothing to do with history, it is the familiar "decline" of the Classical, which accomplished itself long before the irruption of Germanic migrants. The Imperium enjoyed the completest peace; it was rich and highly developed; it was well organized; and it possessed in its emperors from Nerva to Marcus Aurelius a series of rulers such as the Caesarism of no other Civilization can show. And yet the population dwindled, quickly and wholesale. The desperate marriage-and-children laws of Augustus—amongst them the Lex de maritandis ordinibus, which dismayed Roman society more than the destruction of Varus's legions—the wholesale adoptions, the incessant plantation of soldiers of barbarian origin to fill the depleted country-side, the immense food-charities of Nerva and Trajan for the children of poor parents—nothing availed to check the process.“

—  Oswald Spengler, libro Il tramonto dell'Occidente

Vol. II, Alfred A. Knopf, 1928, pp. 104–06 https://archive.org/stream/Decline-Of-The-West-Oswald-Spengler/Decline_Of_The_West#page/n573/mode/2up/search/depopulation
The Decline of the West (1918, 1923)

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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