Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Spengler Reconsidered?

The paleoconservatives are up in arms over the immigration bill. Reading Pat Buchanan' latest diatribe of gloom and doom about the south of the border invasion, I was disappointed in the man that he didn't address the why in his rant. Buchanan sees things in ethnics and race first, trade/economics second it so appears. The Paleocons could make their case more presentable by reversing this order; with the Mushy Middle who believe but are skeptical of TINA globalization, racialist concentration of this tribe gives trade protectionism a not so good name, and alienates a good portion of the anti-globalist left. Being convinced that the best way to fight against TINA is a synthesis of both arms of the anti-globalization movement uniting at least on these core issues, reading Pat's column lately makes me think that there is more work in store than originally thought.

But I'll tackle this immigration/race issue anyway here. Mainly I am not a builder for this above proposed consensus, but just another poor slob with a blog that apparently only spammers ever grace. I do assign some of the blame to the 68er New Left who abandoned the Melting Pot concept and chose Identity Politics of hyphenated Americanism, radical-feminism, deep ecology and what have you. This not only contributed to the unraveling of the New Deal coalition but also alienated the Average Square and this helped breed that species called 'Reagan Democrats' later. Because of the obsessive Third Worldism of the 68ers, illegal immigration was seen by many as a good thing since these people are brown and alleged to be exploited by 'evil white males' and such other tripe like this. Instead of wanting to Americanize immigrants, legal and illegal of whatever color, they were encouraged to keep and foster their own cultural identity while living in the USA. Combine this with the laissez-faire economic predators who benefit from illegal immigration, a lethal potion has been concocted. The Culture Elite and the economic OverClass are in collusion.

People need to remember that it was liberals such as the recently expired Arthur Schlesinger who first warned about multiculturalism/identity politics. The right-wingers rose later to dominate the issue and liberals buried it for the sake that they didn't want to sound like racists by criticizing. Now, both the left and right on immigration have demonstrated their lack of responsibility by not focusing on the 'Why' and acknowledging that the economic-trade status quo has to radically change before the hordes from the south will halt their flood. If this is not tackled soon, Buchanan's predictions may very well turn out to be on par and you can kiss the sovereignty of the United States of America good-bye forever. In twenty years, if not sooner, we will then dwell in a corporate feudalistic 'North American Union' totally dominated and ran by the OverClass of all three countries with everyone else being - regardless of race - the peasants of the service-oriented manors that the OverClass will own privately, lock, stock and barrell. Marx and other Enlightenment thinkers of the West were in error. History is not a progression from point A to B, but it seems to run in cycles perpetually.
That last sentence above is in lieu that I have dusted off Spengler and have been giving the author of "The Decline of the West" another reading. I retain a profound distrust of this man, and many if not most of the things that he touches on in his magnum opus are cranky, i.e. cultures are collectively living organisms and each Culture are crafted by some Unseen Historical Law that requires a Culture to cross into decadence of 'Civilization' to eventual fall, dark ages then possibly cultural rebirth. Spengler didn't address that Indian and Sino cultures have survived for thousands of years, largely intact, even during downturns; his historical research was shoddy in many areas. The mysticism of his works set himself up for the ridicule of many historians and sociologists. If it wasn't for the fact that Germany lost the Great War 1914-18, "The Decline of the West" would have been confined to pulp in the publishing house.
Spengler's success was initially with the folks of the Conservative Revolution in the 1920s and he enjoyed every moment of his notoriety. Though he flirted heavily with the Nazis at first, to his credit Spengler later condemned the gross Anti-Semitism and brutality of this regime and seen Hitler for what he really was. Yet Spengler remains to this day a darling of the Far Right intelligentsia which is something that aides in putting more liberal minded folks off from reading him. But here and there, he has a bit to say to everyone regardless of political hue in circa 2007 C.E.?

Oswald Spengler narrated little about America in his chief write and nothing good. Spengler's Gymnassium classical education left him with the typical contempt for the notion of homo economicus, and had the typical prejudice to "shopkeeper commercial republics". In contrast, he admired Friedrich List - the man who brought the American School of Economics to Germany and fitted it in a Prussian way. Spengler didn't mention this fact about List and that List was ever bit of homo economicus as much as Adam Smith was. Spengler further contradicts himself throughout his years about economics. Though he lauded high culture, or what he believed it to be, he initially admonished his young readers to drop the paint brushes and poem writing and pick up the tools of the engineer. Later, in his Man and Technics, Spengler blasted materialism and technological endeavours and waxes like a Luddite. We have the esoteric snobbish Spengler and the practical Spengler waring with one another and he never got over his own confusion.

Probably the most prevalent theme that Oswald Spengler was clued-in on was the subject of socialism. Socialism stripped of it's economics is still socialism anytime the State plays a role in the nation. Economic socialism is "the capitalism of the working-class". This is totally lost on Americans, especially the free-market types. Any social entity is by nature 'socialist' and government, big or small, is socialist regardless of the economic policies it champions. Laissez-faire is the socialism of and for the OverClass, as economic socialism is that of the underclass, or used to be. In a way it can be stated that libertarian-capitalists are 'socialists in denial'. They are at least utopian dupes and dopes.

Spengler seen America as an ersatz pale carbon copy of his Western 'Faustian Man' with it's commercialism and democratic edifice that he assigns to his theme of 'cultural death'. Thus, according to Spengler, America is exceptional, but in a bad way. He warned even in 1917 that the USA will attempt globalizing it's markets for hegemony since economics is it's only function and is neither a culture or a civilization per se. Spengler correctly views money not harnessed to the use of the State as a corrupting influence that will be a major factor in bringing any culture-civilization down in his historical cycle.

One symptom of cultural death in a civilization is what Spengler dubbed as the "Second Religiousness" - a reactionary movement back to the orthodoxy of a nation's respective religion, a SuperNova before darkness. Though Spengler judges America not part of a true civilization, the concept of Second Religiousness is prophetic if one looks at the rise of the Religious Right in the 1970s until presently in the USA. Perhaps Islamic Civilization is simultaneously experiencing the same. According to Spengler, Europe should be undergoing the Second Religiousness, but its organic path points to further secularization. Maybe despite doomsday scenarios for the European Continent, Faustian Man will still be standing with Sinic and Hindu longevity. Spengler aside in this issue, America will go down, and is going down, quicker than any other region on the Globe one can point the finger at.

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