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Oswald Spengler on ethical socialism

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Oswald Spengler on Dr John Dunn. First posted on Tuesday, 7 July 2015 at 09:20

Oswald Spengler advocated an ethical socialism, rather than the labour-socialism as it arose in Britain. Labour-socialism he described as capitalism from below. Spengler’s comments might still throw some light upon the accord between the political left and finance capital as it exists today worldwide.

Throughout the world they think of Socialism not as amoral attitude of life but as economic Socialism, Labour Socialism, as amass ideology with material aims. Program Socialism of every sort is thinking from below, building on base instincts, canonizing the herd-feeling which everywhere today lurks behind the slogan of “overcoming individualism”; it is the contrary of Prussian feeling, which has livingly experienced through exemplary leaders the necessity of disciplined devotion and possesses accordingly the inward freedom that comes with the fulfilment of duty, the ordering of oneself, command of oneself, for the sake of a great aim.

Labour-Socialism in every form, on the other hand, is, as I have already shown, definitely English in origin. It arose, about 1840, simultaneously with the victory of the joint-stock company and the rootless “financial” form of capital. Both were the expression of Free Trade Manchesterism: this “white” Bolshevism is capitalism from below, wage-capitalism, just as speculative finance-capital in respect of its method is Socialism from above, from the stock exchange.

From: Oswald Spengler, The Hour of Decision (1933).

Posted by John Dunn.

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