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June 26th, 2016
Donald Trump and Julius Caesar. That's right. We said it. "By the term Caesarism I mean that kind of government which, irrespective ofany constitutional formulation that it may have, is in its inward self a return to thorough formlessness. It does not matter that Augustus in Rome, and Huang Ti in China, Amasis in Egypt and Alp Arslan in Baghdad disguised their position under antique forms. The spirit of these forms was dead, and so all institutions, however carefully maintained, were thenceforth destitute of all meaning and weight. Real importance centered in the wholly personal power exercised by the Caesar, or by anybody else capable of exercising it in its place." -Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West, Vol. 2 Donald Trump seems to have awakened dormant animal spirits in American society at the same time that populist, nativist leaders have done the same across Western civilization. Nearly 70% of Democratic voters in the United States indicated that they would have wanted Hillary Clinton to continue her run for the Presidency even if the Department of Justice had decided to indict her for one or more felonies. In the age of Sulla and Marius, Caesar and Pompey, faith in institutions broke down and the loyalty of Romans consolidated around powerful personalities. Is the Western world entering into a time of purely personal politics? Listen on iTunes! (other listening options coming soon!) Darryl Cooper is the creator of The MartyrMade Podcast, diving deep into the fever dreams of the human story. He's about to wrap up a series on early history of Zionism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and will soon be exploring themes ranging from Aztec human sacrifice, the placebo effect, and bullshit martial arts. John David Ebert is a social critic and the author of many books, including The Age of Catastrophe, The New Media Invasion, Twilight of the Clockwork God, and others. He is a film critic who looks at contemporary film as the representative art form of the post-modern age, and his movie reviews can be found on his blog Cinema Discourse. He also hosts a sister-site, Cultural Discourse, exploring the intersection of mythological and historical motifs with current events, modern media, and contemporary art and philosophy, to tease out the mythological ideas being worked out in our own society. Follow The Decline of the West on Twitter at @declinepodcast, or find us on Facebook!