The Decline of the West: Spengler’s Civilization Model


“Optimism is cowardice.” -Oswald Spengler

Articles about The Decline of the West

 7 The New Modern Man Articles from The Decline of the West Series

 How a German Historian Predicted the Decline of Western Civilization 100 Years Ago
The Fates: Optimism is Cowardice
Democracy Collapses: Expect the Rise of a Caesar This Century
Catastrophe: Spengler’s Ideas on Evolution
The Last Act: The Rise and End of the Machine Culture
Achilles: Spengler on How to Live Our Best Lives
10 Philosophical Quotes from Oswald Spengler

The Decline of the West is one of the most important works of the 20th century, and perhaps of all time. Even though it has been virtually forgotten in modern times, its bold predictions for the Western world have withstood the test of time and even been strengthened by its passage.

The predictions have been astonishingly accurate because they were based on a scientific study of 8 high cultures and civilizations and the patterns they shared as each was born, grew, declined, and faded away.

It is a rejection of the Eurocentric view of history and the linear model of history that is popular in the liberal education system. In Spengler’s epic work “Western Man is a proud but tragic figure because, while he strives and creates, he secretly knows the actual goal will never be reached.”

His model was influenced by philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Goethe and Nietzsche. His model features an analysis of the Eight high cultures thought to have existed in human history:

  • Babylonian
  • Egyptiac
  • Indic
  • Sinic
  • Mesoamerican (Mayan/Aztec)
  • Classical (Greek/Roman)
  • Magian
  • Faustian or Western (European/American)

Spengler’s model follows a biological model of growth and decline, presented below. There are three epochs: Spiritual, Artistic, and Political. Each epoch is broken down into four seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Each season represents approximately 250 years. Four civilizations are compared and contrasted as to how its individual history conformed to the general model.

Spengler’s ideas on the rise and fall of civilizations are often referenced at The New Modern Man.


A chart displaying the mathematical and biological origins of Spengler’s model

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  • Interesting, but putting all of the west as one culture seems like a mistake. Check out ‘glubb’ and his fate of empires, he breaks it down into like 250 year segments the seem more accurate for uk, usa, etc. Regardless, use going down soon here.


    • I think its not a mistake as cultures and their civilizations are not one entity but a collection of states with a similar tradition and who share a common history, path, and purpose. Just as classical civilization wasn’t just the Romans, but also its predecessor the greeks as well as Carthage before its submission among others smaller factions. The West is not only the world hegemon of the United States but also its predecessor Great Britain and its former colonies, The french Danish and Belgians, The Germans, The italians, and the spaniards and portuguese, along with their former colonies in Latin America as well, all under the military and macro-political dominion of the United States. We are one unified Civilization.

      Liked by 1 person

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