Books

OSWALD SPENGLER wrote “The Decline of the West” and has therefore a great vogue as a philosopher. He has just given us the first part of a book to be known as “The Hour of Decision” under the sub-title of “Germany and World-Historical Evolution.” It is so hard to appraise fairly and accurately a book which does violence to every vlue you have been grought up to believe in that my first impulse, as a liberal, if not a radical, as a pacifist and as a Jew, is to condemn, denounce and ridicule Herr Spengler. But possessing also, with my other weadknesses, a passion for fair play and perhaps bending a little under the weight of Herr Spengler’s reputation, I do not know whether this is the voice of a prophet cying in the wilderness, or of a vindictive fool.

GOSPEL OF THE RIGHT

“The Hour of Decision,” It can fairly be said, was written by a man who had his spurs on. It is the gospel of the Right against the Left. It preaches the inevitability of War, the necessity for a Casesar; it is an affirmation of Prussianism as the core of strength of the “white” nations. From these nations are excluded Russia and Southern Italy and Spain. It affirms the “Faustian soul” as against the undifferentaed mass. It bespeaks the aristocrat against the “workers” who are aggrandizing themselves at the cost of their superiors and to the ruin of civilization. It argues for the immediate cancellation of every gain of labor since 1840 or thereabouts and against every right of representation of the masses gained since about 1792. “The Hour of Decistion” is and argument against the tax on the community of the political wage, as against the economic wage, and against the inroads of the mass through Parliamentary representation. I think that Herr Spengler must find even Hitlerism inadequate, although he does not count on the device of anti-Semitism to bring Germanic readers to the bookshops. Whether he is a prophet or a fool, I must say that his philosophy is consistent and integrated-however profoundly it wars with every decent instinct in man.

EXTOLLS PRUSSIANISM

While the body of his book is taken up with the development of his historical philosophical argument, with its oblique glorifieation of Prussianism, it is in the introduction that Herr Spengler allows himself a few words on the National Socialist revolution, which he would like the better if the word Socialism were not in it. I quote from the spuped professor’s intorduction:

“Greatness and happiness are incompatible and we are given no choice …. As for these who seek comfort merely, they do not deserve to exist.” And further; “The national revolution of 1933 was a mighty phenomenon and will remain such in the eyes of the future by reason of the elemental, super-personal force with which it came and the spiritual discipline with which it was carried through. Here was something Prussian through and through.” And after saying that he “Socialism” of the 1933 revolution is not so hot, he writes: “We need educating up to the prussian standard, which manifested itself in 1870 and 1914 and still sleeps in the depths of our soul as a permanent potentiality.”

Herr Spengler tells us he knows what he’s talking about, as follows:

“I see further than others. I see not only great possibilities but also great dangers, their origin and perhaps the way to avoid them. And if no one else has the courage to see and to tell what it is he sees, I mean to do so. I have a right to criticism, since by means of it I have repeatedly demonstrated that which must happen because it will happen.”

Which, in the slang phrase, is plenty.

H.S.

HASKELL ADDRESSES SISTTERHOOD

Transit Commissioner Reuben L. Haskell addressed the Sisterhood of the Temple Baith Israel Anshei Emos on unemployment. Mr. Harold L. Turk, president of the Temple, presented a set of resolutions commemorating twenty-five years of the trustees’ services to the congregation.

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