Oswald Spengler

David Cowles

Jun 28, 2021

In his seminal work, The Decline of the West, Oswald Spengler (c. 1920) both predicts and explains the global conflict in which we are now embroiled. He divides world history into a number of distinct “ cultures/civilizations”. That’s not unique to Spengler. What is unique is the classification scheme he uses. For example, he speaks of a Magian culture and a Faustian culture.

In his seminal work, The Decline of the West, Oswald Spengler (c. 1920) both predicts and explains the global conflict in which we are now embroiled. He divides world history into a number of distinct “ cultures/civilizations”. That’s not unique to Spengler. What is unique is the classification scheme he uses. For example, he speaks of a Magian culture and a Faustian culture.


Magian civilization springs from the Middle East and includes the “major” religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) and several others. He describes these ideologies as having a world view and not being tied to the land. Faustian civilization, on the other hand, is the civilization of Europe and North America since the Renaissance. This civilization is fiercely tied to the land (fatherland, motherland, patriotism, nationalism, colonialism, and ultimately imperialism).


Christianity had a Magian origin but in Spengler’s view has been co-opted by Faustian culture. Islam, however, remains Magian. As a result, we don’t understand each other. We are instinctively hostile to one another and voila, the state of world affairs today.

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