Previous Page/Table Of ContentsNext Page

55 It is little wonder that intellectuals in any late Civilization period tend to develop fatalistic or stoic philosophies. They clearly see their position as the object of their own government, and their own inability to in any meaningful way alter the course of that government. The clarity of this view would create a morose attitude in the most optimistic of students. Closely linked with this fatalistic attitude is a belief in the corruptness of Politics as an institution. As intellect spreads to the masses, the people feel that the politician has no values which he would not willingly sacrifice for political gain, and they count him all the less for this lack of conviction. In Spengler's diagnosis, then, this becomes the seeds of the destruction of the Civilization as a whole, because this pervasive belief in the overall corruption of Politics leads to the very lack of confidence which is the great killer of the State.

56 This is merely an expression of a concept of fate. Fate cares not who is killed, maimed, or injured in some way. If you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, tough luck. Any person who takes the fate of nations into their hands must be prepared to suppress their conscience. How can any truly great leader send troops into battle, knowing many will be killed, if that leader does not have the ability to suppress his or her own feelings of guilt at the necessity of sending so many innocent lives to their most certain ending? The answer, of course, is that a lack of conscience is one of the prerequisites of any "great" leader. The key, of course, is to never let the masses know this.

57 In a way, the so-called "Republican Revolution" of 1994 can be seen as the coming into power of a group which is both reactionary and wedded to a concept of what they believe to be right, as opposed to what is actually necessary for our nation at this particular point in our own history.

58 The saying is usually attributed to Otto von Bismarck, and it would be from roughly 1885, if that is true, because his speech with the quote "Politics is not a science . . . but an art" is from 1884.

59 I need hardly point out that this analogy is no longer as strong as it was when Spengler wrote this. Modern science can preserve seeds for very long times, and engineer totally new capabilities into them. Still, gardening remains another "art of the possible."

60 Remember, Spengler is writing this no later than 1922! He then turns around and makes the error of forgetting the proposition which he is about to assert by trying to build up Hitler through the assertion that Hitler is the culmination of what Western Civilization is destined to be. This attempt destroyed Spengler, and it all traces back to him forgetting his own lesson, which follows.

61 There is a strong sense of fatalism in this concept, which derives from Spengler's overall belief (which still is basically true as this is written) that the Destiny of a Civilization is foreordained, a belief Spengler draws from his studies and which is the essential thought of this entire work. The essential thesis of my own work would be that "the art of the possible" is not always strictly limited to the bright path laid out by prior human experience. As will be explained in Part III of this book, there is a strong reason to believe that Western Civilization is perfectly positioned to deviate from the usual course.

62 This reference would appear to be to the events described by the following sentence in the Encyclopędia Britannica (1975), Volume IX, page 788: "As France's representative at the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815), Talleyrand exhibited his diplomatic skill to the fullest by dividing the four allies and winning for France an effective voice in the settlement of Europe." A consummate politician, Talleyrand was Foreign Minister of France under both Napoleon and his successor, king Louis XVIII, who he was representing as the victors of the Napoleonic wars divided their "spoils."

63 There are clearly aspects of the Republican Revolution which demonstrate this point. These are particularly exemplified by the Christian Coalition, which is trying to excite a return to "traditional family values" in our political culture. As Spengler would assert, they are "out of condition."

64 Marcus Porcius Cato (the Younger) was the great-grandson of Cato the Censor, and was a leader of the ultra-conservative aristocracy in the Roman Senate. During the Roman Civil War of 49 b. c. to 46 b. c., Cato sided with Pompey (who had been his enemy) in order to oppose Julius Cęsar. (see the Encyclopędia Britannica (1975), Volume II, page 645.) It remains to be seen whether Newt Gingrich and/or one of his followers is cast in the role of Cato or Cęsar.

Copyright © 1994-1999 by the Agnostic Church

Please send us your feedback!

Previous Page/Table Of ContentsNext Page