Oswald Spengler

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The only reason they come to see me is that I know that life is great—and they know I know it.
Clark Gable
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This is our purpose: to make as meaningful as possible this life that has been bestowed upon us; to live in such a way that we may be proud of ourselves; to act in such a way that some part of us lives on.

Oswald Arnold Gottfried Spengler (29 May 1880, Blankenburg am Harz – 8 May 1936, Munich) was a German historian and philosopher, although his studies ranged throughout mathematics, science, philosophy, history, and art.

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  • The press today is an army with carefully organized weapons, the journalists its officers, the readers its soldiers. But, as in every army, the soldier obeys blindly, and the war aims and operating plans change without his knowledge. The reader neither knows nor is supposed to know the purposes for which he is used and the role he is to play. There is no more appalling caricature of freedom of thought. Formerly no one was allowed to think freely; now it is permitted, but no one is capable of it any more. Now people want to think only what they are supposed to want to think, and this they consider freedom.
    • The Decline of the West
  • There is no proletarian, not even a Communist movement, that has not operated in the interests of money, and for the time being permitted by money – and that without the idealists among its leaders having the slightest suspicion of the fact.
    • The Decline of the West
  • One day the last portrait of Rembrandt and the last bar of Mozart will have ceased to be — though possibly a colored canvas and a sheet of notes will remain — because the last eye and the last ear accessible to their message will have gone.
    • 1918, also in The Decline of the West
  • Long ago the country bore the country-town and nourished it with her best blood. Now the giant city sucks the country dry, insatiably and incessantly demanding and devouring fresh streams of men, till it wearies and dies in the midst of an almost uninhabited waste of country.
    • The Decline of the West
  • Christian theology is the grandmother of Bolshevism.
    • The Hour of Decision, 1933
  • Marxism is the capitalism of the working class.
    • Prussianism and Socialism, 1920
  • Socialism is nothing but the capitalism of the lower classes.
    • The Hour of Decision
  • Optimism is cowardice.
    • Man and Technics, 1931
One day the last portrait of Rembrandt and the last bar of Mozart will have ceased to be — though possibly a colored canvas and a sheet of notes will remain — because the last eye and the last ear accessible to their message will have gone.
  • This is our purpose: to make as meaningful as possible this life that has been bestowed upon us; to live in such a way that we may be proud of ourselves; to act in such a way that some part of us lives on.
    • quoted in "Wisdom from World Religions: Pathways Toward Heaven on Earth" - Page 110 by John Templeton, John Marks Templeton - Religion - 2002
  • For the Age has itself become vulgar, and most people have no idea to what extent they are themselves tainted. The bad manners of all parliaments, the general tendency to connive at a rather shady business transaction if it promises to bring in money without work, jazz and Negro dances as the spiritual outlet in all circles of society, women painted like prostitutes, the efforts of writers to win popularity by ridiculing in their novels and plays the correctness of well-bred people, and the bad taste shown even by the nobility and old princely families in throwing off every kind of social restraint and time-honoured custom: all of these go to prove that it is now the vulgar mob that gives the tone.
    • The Decline of the West II, pp.99.

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  • What we need is not freedom of the press, we need freedom FROM the press.
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