Oswald Spengler  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Oswald Arnold Gottfried Spengler (Blankenburg am Harz May 29, 1880May 8, 1936, Munich) was a German historian and philosopher whose interests also included mathematics, science, and art. He is best known for his book The Decline of the West in which he puts forth a cyclical theory of the rise and decline of civilizations.

After Decline

After Decline was published in 1918, Spengler produced his Prussianism and Socialism in 1920, in which he argued for an organic version of socialism and authoritarianism. He wrote extensively throughout World War I and the interwar period, and supported German hegemony in Europe. Spengler voted for the National Socialists in 1932 and hung a swastika flag outside his Munich home, and the National Socialists held Spengler as an intellectual precursor. But Spengler's pessimism about Germany and Europe's future, his refusal to support Nazi ideas of racial superiority, and his work the Hour of Decision, which is critical of the Nazis, gained him ostracism after 1933.



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