This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

This Dark Age is now available in paperback on Amazon. The print version is MUCH cleaner than this online version, which is largely unedited and has fallen by the wayside as the project has grown. If you’ve appreciated my writing, please consider leaving a review on the relevant paperback volumes. The print edition also includes new sections (Military History, War Psychology, Dogmatic Theology).

Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3| Volume 4 | Volume 5 | Volume 6

Disproportionate responsibilities

“The human environment and the natural environment deteriorate together,”[1] and this deterioration will always take its greatest toll on the weakest members of society. Here, as elsewhere, the principle of the preferential option for the poor must be taken into consideration.[2] This is not only because they are in an economic position that is by definition weak, but also because, on a global level especially, poorer peoples rely more directly on the natural environment for their sustenance when it comes to forestry, agriculture, fishing, etc.

Likewise, because excessive consumption is found, and is in fact sought by, the wealthiest areas of the world, it is only just to recognize that there are “differentiated responsibilities” depending on the needs, lifestyles, and capabilities of a society.[3]

The reality of this disproportion in impact of the environmental crisis explains the tendency of rich nations to deny or ignore the problem entirely. In fact, because the recognition of the problem would result in a duty on their part to take action, they have a vested interest in denying its existence.[4] The poor, and not merely the natural environment, become the collateral damage of their indifference.[5] And so Pope Francis reminds us that the questions of society and ecology cannot be separated, but that the earth and her poor cry out in unified suffering.[6]

[1] LS, 48.

[2] LS, 25, 48.

[3] LS, 52.

[4] LS, 26.

[5] LS, 49, 123.

[6] Ibid.

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