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Spengler on Causation

[1]827 words

One of the most interesting and original aspects of Oswald Spengler’s philosophy is his separation of history from causality. For Spengler, history is an examination of the fulfillment of a particular group’s destiny that is not necessarily subject to the strictures of cause and effect:

…[A]s yet there exists no theory-enlightened art of historical treatment. What passes as such draws its methods almost exclusively from the domains of that science which alone has completely disciplined the methods of cognition, viz., physics, and thus we imagine ourselves to be carrying on historical research when we are really following out objective connections of cause and effect. It is a remarkable fact that the old-fashioned philosophy never imagined even the possibility of there being any other relation than this between the conscious human understanding and the world outside.1 [2]

While Spengler’s approach has the effect of challenging the very basis of historiography since the time of von Ranke, it also has the liberating effect of allowing us to see more clearly the limited ability of human agency to effect historical change. Now, before the Alt-Right purists join their civnat compatriots in robustly reciting William Ernest Henley’s poem “Invictus” and loudly proclaiming the transcendental superiority of the individual will, consider the following: In the 45 years of the Cold War, literally trillions of dollars were spent and trillions of man-hours were used to create weapons systems and espionage networks to contain and eventually defeat the Soviet Union and her allies. The best minds and the resources of the finest universities and think tanks were tasked with trying to understand what was happening behind the Iron Curtain. Every May Day and other Soviet holidays, the most brilliant analysts in North America and Europe would parse every photograph taken of Politburo members watching the military parades in Moscow to see how close the various members stood to the current Party Chairman so as to gain an inkling behind the politics of our adversaries. And we now know that throughout the course of the Cold War almost all of the communications in the Soviet Union were being intercepted and monitored by Western agencies. Yet, when the Soviet Union fell apart, it took the West completely by surprise. Not one—repeat, not one—Western expert saw the collapse coming. In fact, analyses by American intelligence agencies predicted a strong future for the Soviet Union for the foreseeable future.

The “official” reason given for the collapse of the Soviet Union is that President Reagan’s arms buildup led to a competitive arms race that bankrupted the Soviet Union. That is pure hogwash. North Korea has assembled a nuclear program with an economy just a small fraction of that of the former Soviet Union and with a far greater power differential than that which existed between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. The real reason for the collapse of the Soviet Union was a collective loss of will, a loss that has yet to affect North Korea.

But how does one go about explaining a nation’s loss of will? There are too many variables, too many moving parts, for a cause-and-effect explanation to be satisfactory. Spengler’s great insight is that nations, like individual human beings, are organic entities, and all organic entities have a life span. One can eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, avoid drugs, tobacco, and excessive alcohol consumption, and yet one will inevitably die. This is the destiny of all individuals, and according to Spengler, the destiny of all cultures and civilizations.

We on the dissident Right have the advantage that we are aware that the West has lost its will to survive, that Western Civilization is slowly committing suicide. This is indeed sad and such feelings give rise to the understandable but mistaken desire to “do something.” But first, we need to ask ourselves, “Is America worth saving?” Is a country that actively discriminates against the interests of white persons worthy of white support? Is a political system in which the only two viable political parties are actively working against the national interests worthy of being preserved? I think many of us would answer in the negative.

So then, what is to be done? Uncoordinated individual actions are pointless. Collective actions in the form of political organizing are necessary not with a mind towards a restoration of the “republic,” but of protecting white interests, stymieing our enemies, and preparing for the next stage of white cultural and political evolution. The American “Experiment” has been tried and found wanting, the Enlightenment was a fraud, and Leftism in all its varieties has been revealed to be not a polity but a mental disease completely divorced from reality. One thing is certain: When the end of America and Western liberalism comes about, it will be completely unexpected by all of the experts both as to its timing and method of collapse.


1 [3] Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West, Vol. I, trans. by Charles Francis Atkinson, (New York, Knopf, 1932), p. 7.