127. Possession in great measure (III)
Spengler’s innovation was to see each social bloc as an organism; an organism that grew from a vigorous culture into a rigid civilisation and, in the end, died. For Spengler, the death of an organism did not mean physical exhaustion or literal collapse; rather, he saw decline—the decline of the West—as a kind of spiritual rigidity. So when Spengler claimed, writing in the early 20th century, that the West had reached her evening hours, he did not mean that the West would necessarily be defeated militarily or become bankrupt. The material body of the social bloc could go on indefinitely; indeed, for Spengler, the Chinese, Jewish, and Indian civilisations were examples of this tendency. Long after they had declined, the people and material basis of the social bloc remained; it was just that nothing new happened, Indians are Indians in the same way as blades of grass are blades of grass: they grow and reproduce, but the animating spirit died a long time ago; and so, even today, the Indians and Chinese are dominated by Western modes of thought and technical innovation.
For the political right, “the collapse” occupies the same space as “the revolution” for the left. The collapse is conceptualised as a glorious event; though unlike the left’s revolution, it is a darker settling of accounts. The collapse will be brutal and uncomfortable—the burning off of dead wood—and a chance to separate the men from the boys: it will be a time when real men, men of virtue, return to the fore and the decadent lawyers and court eunuchs are either severely bullied or die off. Just as the left fantasises about the revolutionary moment, so too the right has its own versions, ranging from being overrun by hostile foreigners (ethnonationalists versus Mexicans, or, in Europe, Muslims) or, perhaps, technological collapse for those inclined towards Kaczynski.
The revolution and the collapse are actually the same thing viewed from different angles. The Russian Revolution was a political revolution, but it was also the collapse of the old Russian system—a system that, contrary to leftist propaganda, had become too soft. Stalin reflected the return of the “hard men” of virtue; and, eventually, the Soviet system gave way to Vladimir Putin, a man who could be genuinely described as fully virtuous. This does not mean that the Soviet system was “good”, merely that societies follow certain natural laws.
The left perverts the concept of revolution: “the revolution” used to be taken literally, as in the revolution of a wheel; thus, as the meme has it, hard niggas lead to good times; good times lead to soft niggas; soft niggas lead to bad times; bad times lead to hard niggas. The meme follows the four-phase cycle of Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age—as enshrined in the Indian mandala. The left, especially since the Enlightenment, conceptualises time as a linear progression towards the end of history—a perversion of the Abrahamic view of life leading to a Second Coming. Hence even the word “revolution”, as used today, is a perversion: a revolution is not an end state—a revolution is just another turn of the wheel.
I do not agree with Spengler’s pessimism. His weakness is that he historicises everything: he can only see science, magic, and religion under the aspect of history; in the early years they are vigorous, in the later years decadent—history simply pushes them along. But science, magic, and religion have their own autonomous power; it is possible to reverse entropy in a physical system, and rebirth and resurrection are real religious possibilities—magic works. To say social blocs are like animals—with a birth and a death—is a powerful analogy, but it is only an analogy; it is not literally true. I grant that social blocs do die and come to an end, but I also think that science, religion, and magic are real: rebirth is always possible, though it is never assured.