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The longue durée of Spengler’s thesis of the decline of the West

Rojek, C. (2017). The longue durée of Spengler’s thesis of the decline of the West. European Journal of Social Theory, doi: 10.1177/1368431017736411

Abstract

Spengler’s The Decline of the West was a major publishing success in Weimar Germany. The study presents the end of Western civilization as an inevitable process of birth, maturity and death. Civilization is conceived as an inflexible ‘morphology’. Spengler’s thinking was influenced by a profound distaste with the optimism of the Belle Epoque, which he found to be complacent. The argument had a good deal of attraction to readers, especially German readers, who were suffering under the ‘Carthaginian Peace’ of the Treaty of Versailles of 1919. Adorno and others were critical of Spengler’s thesis. The article examines Spengler’s thesis and its implications for the West today.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Rojek, C. The Longue Duree of Spengler's Thesis of 'The Decline of the West'. European Journal of Social Theory. Copyright © 2017, the authors. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.
Publisher Keywords: Adorno, decline, determination, morphology, Spengler
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Journalism
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/18408
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