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Oswald Spengler (1880–1936) was one of the most significant and at the same time most controversial philosophers and historians of the 20th century. Already as a teenager, he filled entire notebooks with elaborate visions of two fictional empires, his sketches including administrative minutiae, descriptions of geographical features and economic statistics. Much later, through the publication of The Decline of the West, he became world-famous and the subject of intense debates and controversies. Thus the bachelor Spengler was financially independent at last and able to mingle with illustrious and influential figures from society. With his culture-specific approach regarding religion, art, science and tradition, he was a forerunner of modern sociobiology and evolutionary anthropology. He is also known as an anti-democratic political writer and considered part of the nationalist Conservative Revolution. However, he rejected National Socialism, especially the racial supremacism, and refused to collaborate with its regime.

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