Oswald Spengler - Influence


  • In the July 10, 1920 issue of The Illustrated London News, G. K. Chesterton took issue with both pessimists (such as Spengler) and their optimistic critics, arguing that neither took into consideration human choice: "The pessimists believe that the cosmos is a clock that is running down; the progressives believe it is a clock that they themselves are winding up. But I happen to believe that the world is what we choose to make it, and that we are what we choose to make ourselves; and that our renascence or our ruin will alike, ultimately and equally, testify with a trumpet to our liberty."
  • The Decline of the West was an important influence on historian Arnold J. Toynbee's similarly themed work A Study of History.
  • Spengler's concept of the 'Faustian' outlook was an important part of Herman Kahn's book The Year 2000. Kahn used the Spenglerian term to describe cultures that value continual, restless striving. He did not use it to refer to Faust's bargain or pact.
  • Communal readings of The Decline of the West held great influence over the founding members of the Beat Generation. Spengler's vision of the cyclical nature of civilization and the contemporaneity of the end of the Western European cycle led William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg to look for the seeds of the next cycle in the communities of which they were a part.
  • Spengler has, among others, influenced Georg Henrik von Wright in his writing about society.
  • Francis Parker Yockey claimed Spengler was a pivotal influence on him and wrote Imperium as a sequel to The Decline of the West. Yockey called Spengler "The Philosopher of the Twentieth Century." Yockey's philosophy, especially his vehement anti-Semitism, differs heavily from Spengler, however, who criticised anti-Semitism and racialism much in the same vein as his own influence Friedrich Nietzsche had... Drawing from Spengler’s thesis, Yockey maintains that in the long run it would have been better for Europe if World War II had gone the other way.
  • Literary critic Northrop Frye said he "practically slept under my pillow for several years" while a student. Spengler's book inspired Frye to have his own "vision of coherence", resulting in Anatomy of Criticism.
  • In his book World of Wonders writer Robertson Davies has narrator Magnus Eisengrim refer to Spengler's conception that the Middle Ages had a Magian World View, the view that the world was filled with wonders. So the title itself is Davies' nod to Spengler.
  • Spengler's ideas parallel those of Samuel P. Huntington's Clash of civilizations theory.
  • James Blish's Cities in Flight tetralogy explicitly lists Spengler's theories as an influence on the future history of the Cities.
  • Perhaps Spengler influenced Charles Lindbergh's view that Western nations should put aside their political differences and form an alliance against "foreign races" instead of fighting amongst themselves. Lindbergh also echoed Spengler's concern about the effects of industrialization and materialism on Western Civilization, and as well as Spengler's pessimism about the future.
  • The late paleoconservative political theorist Samuel T. Francis cited Spengler's views on race as influential on his own.
  • American authors influenced by Spengler include Henry Miller, John dos Passos, H.P. Lovecraft, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, who once referred to himself as an "American Spenglerian." British novelist Malcolm Lowry, painter Oskar Kokoschka, orchestra director Wilhelm Furtwängler, and filmmaker Fritz Lang were also fans of Spengler's work.
  • The Hour of Decision influenced Malcolm X’s views on economics and his critiques of capitalism. He agreed with Spengler’s prediction that class conflict would eventually be surpassed by racial conflict. When asked about Karl Marx, Malcolm X (who had never read Marx) stated that he agreed with Spengler’s view of social class and economic systems as secondary to racial identity.
  • Beginning in January 2000, David P. Goldman wrote a column for Asia Times Online under the pseudonym "Spengler." He revealed his identity in April 2009.
  • Clear traces of Spengler's philosophy can be found in the works of Canadian (Manitoba) novelist Gabrielle Roy.

There are indications that interest in Spengler is being rekindled.

Read more about this topic:  Oswald Spengler

Other articles related to "influence":

Jean Giraud - Influence and Legacy
... the world have cited Giraud as an influence on their work ... I discovered it, I already had a consolidated style so I couldn't use its influence to enrich my drawing ... I directed Nausicaä under Moebius's influence ...
New York Dolls - History - Influence
... Dolls were first and foremost a major influence on the rock music scene in New York City, having accumulated a devoted cult following during their career ...
Tarzan - Character Biography - Legacy
... the Tarzan series as having a major influence on her childhood ... Rudyard Kipling's Mowgli has been cited as a major influence on Edgar Rice Burroughs' creation of Tarzan ... Mowgli was also an influence for a number of other "wild boy" characters ...

Famous quotes containing the word influence:

    Concord River is remarkable for the gentleness of its current, which is scarcely perceptible, and some have referred to its influence the proverbial moderation of the inhabitants of Concord, as exhibited in the Revolution, and on later occasions.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    Imagination is always the fabric of social life and the dynamic of history. The influence of real needs and compulsions, of real interests and materials, is indirect because the crowd is never conscious of it.
    Simone Weil (1909–1943)

    If morality had naturally no influence on human passions and actions, it were in vain to take such pains to inculcate it; and nothing would be more fruitless than that multitude of rules and precepts with which all moralists abound.
    David Hume (1711–1776)