Spengler Research Conclusion

     Hi everyone!  I am very excited to say that I have submitted my final research essay to my advisor.  The concept for this research began to take shape over one year ago.  To see it come to fruition is stunning.  No paper is ever perfect, but I am proud of the work I have put into this process since I began to do full-time research in May.  I have had my highs and lows throughout this time, but practicing self-care and stepping away from my work now and then contributed a lot to my project’s success.  That way, I rarely felt stressed about my work, and my ideas remained fluid during the entire writing process.

     More than anyone, I would like to thank my advisor for her patience and sage advice over these past months.  She not only helped me narrow my topic over many long months before this summer, but also assisted  me in improving my product by leaps and bounds.  For her taking the time to help me while she was also teaching at William & Mary, I am incredibly grateful.  I simply would not have produced an essay close to the quality of my final version without her terrific feedback.  It was a pleasure working with her!

     I would also like to give my utmost thanks to the Charles Center for allowing me this incredible opportunity.  The past three months have been both intellectually and personally fulfilling.  My research challenged me in the best way possible, and I feel that I have grown from it as a result.  Thank you for this unforgettable experience!

Image result for the decline of the west

     An issue I posed at the end of my paper was in regards to Spengler’s modern relevance.  Some, especially those who have never heard of Spengler before, might feel that the words of a long-dead German historian have no impact on contemporary society.  Certainly, it has been one hundred years since Spengler published his Decline; but, his words seem just as influential among the public today–if not more so–than they were during the late German Empire. “The decline of Western Civilization” has become an all-too-common phrase one hears, especially within extreme reactionary circles.  There is no doubt that far too many groups revere Spengler today as a visionary.  Throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty first century, writers across Europe and the United States have used Spengler to promote their own pessimistic and anti-democratic ideologies.

     Spengler’s major thesis about a culture on the decline is most appealing to those who agree with his analysis of Western life even before reading his works.  This is the challenge of Spengler’s pessimism to our time: even though the conditions he discussed one century ago were different from our own, he remains a source of encouragement and inspiration to individuals who would try to defeat the values of the modern liberal-democratic West, and replace them with older, exclusionary ideals.  Although Spengler’s ideas belong to the past, his adherents bring those ideas into the present.

Comments

  1. Donna Krepin says:

    Aaron, you’re AWESOME!! I knew you when. Happy Birthday. Have a wonderful time in Ireland.

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