The Decline of the West

For Ross, Oswald Spengler’s notion of the “Decline of the West” holds particular resonance.

Colin Ross did not often engage directly to the thought of other theorists in his work, which makes this article devoted to Oswald Spengler, author of the influential The Decline of the West, all the more remarkable. For Ross, the notion of a “decline of the West” reflected perfectly his sense that Europeans were losing the Weltanschauung that had enabled and supported their colonial period of global domination, and that this loss had led to a spiritual emptiness and purposelessness resulting in the current degeneration of the white race. For Ross, Spengler had intuitively realized that a European era had reached its end, but had misinterpreted this decline: it isn’t one of the West and its civilization per se, but instead one of the West’s current Weltanschauung.

Ross and Spengler were both focused on the relationship between thoughts and actions (die Tat vs. der Gedanke), but disagreed in their conclusions. Spengler privileged the act (die Tat): "The great events of history were not really achieved by peoples; they themselves created the peoples. Every act alters the soul of the doer”. For Ross, of course, it is the other way around: the Weltanschauung of a people determines the way that they will engage with the world: first comes the worldview, then comes the action: “What we, white mankind, needs is the conceptualization of a new Weltanschauung to replace the one that is currently expiring, a new sense of our destiny, a new cosmogony, a new religion to take the place of the one growing invalid”. Europe must reject Spengler’s model, because a new system of thought is going to “create a new world”.

Kristin Kopp

Colin Ross. Gedanke und Tat im Weltgeschehen: Eine Auseinandersetzung mit Spengler. Zeitschrift für Geopolitik. 1934 Nov. (2): 126-131.

Topic: Clash of Continents
Case: Geopolitics

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