Oswald Spengler predicted a protracted winter in The Decline of The West. Spengler wasn’t alone in his depiction of a distopian society where fashion reigns over utility, luck is dominant, bureaucracy squelches progress and the rich have a firm hold on the reigns of an incipient global culture. Spengler was one of the first to be taken seriously.
Stewie’s Guide to WORLD DOMINATION [sic] is a ray of sunshine for a winter day of our decline. In Spengler’s seasonal taxonomy of decline, winter is the final phase. Spengler writes that one cue of a culture in winter is an increasingly authoritative government. In an authoritarian government, clearly stating your perception is not a fiscally sustainable option.
“…if I were to confess to knowing that the entire enterprise is a sham, then that delicious stream of cold, hard cash that appears under my pillow following the loss of a tooth gets suddenly cut off, doesn’t it?”
Transcribed by Steve Callaghan
Spengler separates culture from civilization. Yes, the two are intertwined, but culture reflects the people while civilization reflects the aspirations of global domination, requiring increasingly authoritarian leaders who represent power rather than being powerful on their own. A culture of war masks itself in fashion and subverts education into specialized academic philosophy with obvious discrepancies from reality.
Stewie calls out that the basis of American education, the three Rs doesn’t represent three Rs: Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. Stewie suggests that we might be better served by the acronym W.A.R.
“There’s no country that likes ‘W.A.R. more than our own…blame the Boss Hoggs of the world who got the whole enterprise off on the wrong foot with this ‘thre Rs’ nonsense.”
Spengler predicted a focus on lavish sport entertainment as the final cues of the closing of culture and the domination of civilization, where work looses meaning for the affluent as sports becomes the substitute for meaning in one’s life. Stewie deftly reveals both of these cues at once as he discusses a typical civilization workplace.
“you are rotting your brain…find yourself having to alternately ask and then answer the terribly probing and provocative question, ‘Did you have a nice weekend?’ forty-seven different times. And let’s face it: Despite the fact that most of the replies should fall along the lines of, ‘Well, I spent most of Saturday and Sunday trying to ignore the loveless marriage and spoiled brats I’ve surrounded myself with while being tranquilized by the narcotic of back-to-back-to-back NFL football in order to keep myself from pondering the very real possibility that I might be gay.'”
Stewie is a ray of light, warming our winter day. Spengler holds that winter is devoid of symbolic art. In a civilization’s winter art is replaced by a meaningless fashion dialogue. Stewie staves off the meaninglessness of our encroaching civilization by disseminating symbolic art about our civilization in Stewie’s Guide to WORLD DOMINATION, Helped into print by Steve Callaghan; Perennial Currents, 2006.