Review: The Biocentric Worldview – Ludwig Klages
“Make no mistake: “progress” is the lust for power and nothing besides, and we must unmask it as a sick, destructive joke. Utilizing such pretexts as “necessity,” “economic development,” and “culture,” the final goal of “progress” is nothing less than the destruction of life. This destructive urge takes many forms: progress is devastating forests, exterminating animal species, extinguishing native cultures, massing and distorting the primitive landscape with the varnish of industrialism, and debasing the organic life that still survives. It is the same for livestock as for the mere commodity, and the boundless lust for plunder will not rest until the last bird falls.”
– Ludwig Klages
This collection of essays presents an interesting excursion into the work of Ludwig Klages, a philosopher and psychologist whose work has been as long over looked as it is overdue for recognition in the world of literature.
Born in Hannover 1872, Ludwig Klages is the master of what can be termed the Vitalist school of philosophy in Germany. The Vitalist school, which can be best briefly described as having a ‘biocentric’ metaphysical premise, draw its roots from the ‘philosophers of nature’ in the Romantic period – whose intellectual legacy then went on to spread forth though other philosophers such as Nietzsche, Burckhardt, and Bachofen – this fruit would eventually ripen and become the Vitalist school of philosophy, of which Ludwig Klages emerges as its most prominent representative in Germany.
The book itself presents a careful selection of Klages best works, meticulously chosen from the larger corpus of his writing Sämtliche Werke (Collected Works) which was originally published in fifteen volumes, and with selected poetry from Rythmen and Runen (1944).