SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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From this point of view, his achievement is momentous, a great description of the childhood of humanity. In spite of the title, there is nothing pessimistic about it, although most of his readers understood it in that way. 'The Decline of the West* implies the birth of a new era, perhaps the adulthood of humanity. There is no doubt in 1933 that the collapses of the older systems which we witness are probably irrevocable. Sir Auckland Geddes, the British Ambassador to the United States of America, foresaw them when he said in 1920: 'In Europe, we know that an age is dying. Here it would be easy to miss the signs of coming changes, but I have little doubt that it will come. A realization of the admlessness of life lived to labour and to die, having achieved nothing but avoidance of starvation, and the birth of children also doomed to the weary treadmill, has seized the minds of millions.'
In 1932 Ambassador Mellon, of the United States of America to Great Britain, said:
'Part of our difficulty arises because we look on the present industrial economic crisis as merely a sporadic illness of the body politic due to conditions in some particular country or section of the world which can be cured by applications of some magic formula. Greater difficulty arises because we who are left over from the last century continue to look on the last decade as merely a prolongation of all that is gone before. We insist upon trying to make life flow in the same channels as before the war, whereas in the years since the war ended are, in reality, the beginning of a new era, not the end of the old.'
To this statement of Ambassador Mellon, the newspapers comment as follows:
'This is an important utterance, since, as far as we know, it is the first admission from the ruling forces in this country that the present panic is not "just another panic".'
No doubt, a period of human development has ended. The only sensible way is to look forward to a full understanding of the next phase, get hold of this understanding, keep it under conscious and scientific control, and avoid this time, perhaps for the first time in human history, the unnecessary decay, bewilderment, apathy, individual and mass suffering in a human life-period, animalistically believed, up to now, to be unavoidable in the passing of an era. Instead of being swept down by animalistic resistance to the humanly unavoidable change, we must analyse, understand, and so keep conscious control of one change to another, and, as yet, always higher state of human culture.
This is no place to analyse these issues in detail. Volumes have already been written about the work of Spengler. More volumes will