Overview of the Book “Beyond Civilization and History” written by Eurasianist commentator and political analyst Shahzada Rahim
The title of the book was chosen due to inspiration from Nietzsche’s famous book ‘Beyond good and Evil’, which has marked an unprecedented turning point in the history of philosophy. Hence, the book titled ‘Beyond Civilization and History’ is intended to outline the politico-historical debate, since the dawn of the 20th century. The discussion in the book will cover pre-modern, modern, and post-modern discourse of the history of civilizations. The debate mainly focuses on the modernist and post-modernist historical context especially surrounding the writings of Oswald Spengler, Norman Angell, Arnold J. Toynbee, and Alexander Dugin.
The discussion will begin with modernist historical literature based on Arnold J. Toynbee’s ‘Study of History (I-XII Volumes)’ by vying the interplay of various parallels such as growth, rise, decline, decay, disintegration, breakdown, and fall of civilizations. Then, the discussion will be moderated by anti-modern historical literature based on Oswald Spengler’s ‘Decline of the West’ by vying the interplay of countering parallels such as ‘Culture as the sign of growth’ and ‘civilization as the symbol of decline’. Furthermore, the discussion in the book will be interlaced by the technical historical literature based on Norman Angell’s ‘Europe’s Optical Illusions’ by taking into account the impact of industrialism and finance on history. Finally, the discussion will be shifted to post-modern historical discourse developed by Alexander Dugin through Heideggerian phenomenology by vying the role of political theology and radical politics in the study of history and civilizations.
On the contrary, in the philological context, history is chaos, civilization is a dystopia, culture is contamination and philosophy is the process of re-discovering the ontological tenets of the meta-phenomenon. With the dawn of the twentieth century, the degeneration of the glorious west was speculated by Oswald Spengler, who asserted that western society has reached its peak. After the two Great Wars, famous British Historian Arnold J. Toynbee, who designated the transformative phase of western society by indicating the rapid socio-political developments of post-war Europe, reiterated this debate. With this dialectical confrontation between declinists like Spengler and pragmatists like Toynbee, the debate surrounding history and civilization became polarized for decades to come. This book explores the new philosophical study of modernist and postmodernist perspectives on History.
Shahzada Rahim is a Geopolitical analyst and International Relations, Expert.