Oswald Spenglers Theory Of Civilization And The Caribbean History Essay

Oswald Spengler was a German historiographer and philosopher. He was born in 1880 in Blankenburg. His parents were Protestants. His male parent came from a household of mine applied scientists while his female parent ‘s household had a prejudice towards the humanistic disciplines. Spengler inherited both traits as was apparent in his involvement in both humanistic disciplines and scientific disciplines. He grew up in an emotionally reserved place, taking him to turn to books for consolation ( Spengler, Oswald ) .

Spengler studied a broad scope of topics in school including Greek, Latin, mathematics, natural scientific disciplines, poesy, play and music. He besides studied a broad scope of classs at the universities of Munich, Berlin, and Halle including history, doctrine, mathematics, natural scientific discipline, literature, music, and all right art. His doctorial thesis was on Heraclitus, the Greek Philosopher. ( Spengler, Oswald )

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Spengler worked as a instructor in several schools around German. Scholars who have attempted to analyze this Germany Philosopher note that his life was comparatively uneventful and punctuated by long enchantments of solitariness. He died in 1936 ( Spengler, Oswald )

Oswald Spengler is best known for his controversial book The Decline of the West, published in 1918, co-occuring with the prostration of German. This was the first of his two-volume work. It was subtitled “ Form and Actuality ” , while the 2nd volume was subtitled “ Positions of World History ” . ( Stimely, n. pag ) The outgrowth of first volume of The Decline of the West was received with assorted reactions around Europe. The chief critics of this book were professional bookmans and historiographers who claimed that Spengler was an amateur, non a trained historiographer. In malice of this, the book was a great success.

Spengler ‘s attack to history was inspired by Goethe, a German author and Nietzsche, a philosopher ( Spengler, Oswald ) . His attack entailed taking a direct expression at things as opposed to purely scientifically. Spengler was of the position that scientific discipline frequently masked the existent significance of things and that the alleged professional historiographers were victims of this sort of sightlessness. As a consequence, Spengler believed in his ability to non merely unravel the enigma that is history but besides to predetermine it. Harmonizing to Spengler, history is non the survey of a consistent patterned advance of events, but “ a comparative survey of civilizations ” ( Spengler, Oswald ) . He rejected the additive position of history in support of the cyclical, connoting that history comprised of events and developments that by and large repeated themselves in rhythms.

Spengler was strongly opposed to the traditional manner of categorising history in footings of antediluvian, medieval, and modern. Alternatively he majored on eight civilizations, sometimes referred to as Spengler ‘s civilizations. These civilizations are Egyptian, Indian, Babylonian, Chinese, Classical ( Greek and Roman ) , Mexican, Arabian and Western. ( Spengler, Oswald ) Each one of these civilizations has its ain alone characteristics. For illustration the Egyptian civilization was symbolized by their preoccupation with faith, architecture, such as the pyramids and art. Each civilization excessively, evolves through a rhythm of phases more or less like a works through the phases of young person, adulthood and so decease ( diminution ) . Each civilization, harmonizing to Spengler goes through its phase of civilisation which could be referred to as its worsening stage. In other words, civilisation, harmonizing to Spengler is what remains of a civilization after its development stage slices. In his book, Spengler chiefly centres on comparings between the Classical and Western civilizations and civilisations. He noted that the civilisation of the West since the late 19th century exhibited similar features to ancient ( Grecian and Roman ) civilisation in its diminution. He claims that in each of these civilizations ‘ 1000 old ages of active life at that place existed a rhythm of development and diminution ( Stimely, n. pag ) . In his book, Spengler described the so Western civilization as lost and headed for extinction merely like all the other high civilizations that had existed before. He faulted it as being based on the semblance that everything would ever acquire better and better everlastingly, alternatively of understanding it as holding a distinguishable and fixed life-span traveling from birth to adulthood and so onto decease merely like in a life being. The West, harmonizing to him was in the bosom of its civilisation stage and its terminal was likely merely decades off.

During the civilisation stage, in a high civilization there exists terrible societal upset, mass motions of people, relentless wars and ageless crises. At the same clip, outgrowth of great megalopolis is witnessed, doing the environing rural countries to be drained of their strength, encephalons and spiritualty. The occupants of these new urban centres shortly grow into immoral and mercenary people. Soon the push for democracy and a free imperativeness set in following the desire to accumulate more wealth and money. This leads to struggles and domination conflicts between the new civilization and the original civilization, marked by bloodshed and choking of democracy. Merely blood is seen as strong plenty to turn over the regulation of money. Finally, the metropoliss start to desolate, with the people traveling back to the countryside and re-inventing their old spiritual and artistic symbolisms. This consequences in the terminal of the civilization and the civilisation that came with it. Harmonizing to Spengler these stages recur within a period of clip and at some point in future, these great civilizations will see stages similar to those that they went through old ages back. He predicted that there would be return of such events as the universe wars followed subsequently by a about united Western civilisation.

Spengler ‘s theories opened up inspiring and divergent societal positions in the western civilisation. A figure of bookmans and analysts continue to chew over over whether or non Spengler ‘s analyses are right, in malice of some of his anticipations holding come true. Many critics viewed his work as straight-out pessimism, although he remained one of the most read writers in the early twentieth century old ages. Even his critics acknowledge that his greatest strong point was the parallel comparings he made between the classical and western civilizations. His strength in the humanistic disciplines played to his advantage during his survey and analysis of different civilizations. He is considered by some to hold paved the manner for National Socialism ( Spengler, Oswald ) .

The history of the Caribbean dates back to around 4500 B.C. Before the ocean trip of Christopher Columbus to the Americas and the subsequent colonisation, civilisation in the Caribbean was clearly organized and operational. It is believed that the coming of the Europeans into the Caribbean introduced ethnocentric beliefs that ensured the prostration or decomposition of their civilisation. With more and more European states claiming territorial portions in the Caribbean, competitions emerged among these European states, doing the Caribbean battlefield for European wars for many old ages. In add-on to the instability caused by these wars, variegation was introduced in the Caribbean part conveying in new faiths, civilizations, architectural designs among others.

Caribbean civilisation has evolved from an ethnically and racially plural society to a comparatively inclusive society consisting about wholly of migrators from Africa, Europe and Asia. These peoples portion a common history of colonialism and bondage in a blend of great diverseness, therefore doing it a one-of-a-kind civilisation. In add-on, the Caribbean has a alone physical environment that has farther played to pull in more aliens, therefore farther diversifying their civilization. Despite their widely varied backgrounds, the people of the Caribbean managed to hammer a integrity that resulted in one civilization characterized by shared political political orientations, a common linguistic communication and corporation aimed at bettering each others lives.

Looking back at Spengler ‘s theory of civilisation, it can be argued that it fell abruptly in turn toing racial differences among different civilizations as is the instance in the Caribbean. Spengler preferred to look at race as a minor difference in the members of the same race. He viewed race as non being of important deductions on the integrity or disunity among people of the same civilization. In so making, Spengler contradicts the scientific discipline of biological science and heredity. In the Caribbean instance, the alone mixture of people from different racial backgrounds was a important factor in the development of their civilisation.

Further, Spengler considers each civilization and civilisation as a closed and stray unit, bound together merely by a common strong thought or belief. Critics argue that such thoughts can non undergo organic development as purported by Spengler since they are a mere creative activity of the human head, missing any substance. If that were the instance, the Caribbean civilisation would hold been long gone the manner of the classical civilization. By merely analyzing a few civilizations, Spengler was, harmonizing to critics, non better placed to generalise on the destiny of all civilisations since he did non hold accurate information.

Finally, Spengler ‘s theory claims that each of civilisation came into being independently without borrowing from other civilizations. The Classical civilizations existed and became nonextant in entirety. On the other manus, the West viewed their modern civilisation as a metempsychosis or continuance of the Classical civilisation. The similarities in some of these civilizations hence clearly points to the fact that there exists an inter-relation between them that continues to last the trial of clip. The Caribbean civilisation borrows from a figure of other civilizations and civilisations from Europe, African and Asia determining them into a individual strong civilization.



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