This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

NOTICE:
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).

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Equality, not liberty, is the ruling passion of democracy

 “Freedom has appeared in the world at different times and under various forms; it has not been exclusively bound to any social condition, and it is not confined to democracies. Freedom cannot, therefore, form the distinguishing characteristic of democratic ages. The peculiar and preponderant fact that marks those ages as its own is the equality of condition; the ruling passion of men in those periods is the love of this equality. Do not ask what singular charm the men of democratic ages find in being equal, or what special reasons they may have for clinging so tenaciously to equality rather than to the other advantages that society holds out to them: equality is the distinguishing characteristic of the age they live in; that of itself is enough to explain that they prefer it to all the rest.”

~ Alexis de Tocqueville[1]

This observation is not merely an interesting bit of sociological trivia but becomes extremely important when we enter a discussion of equality and its relationship to liberty. Without getting too far ahead of ourselves, we can simply say that liberty and equality cannot both be sought at the same time and to the same degree, because at a certain point they become mutually exclusive. Equality cannot be sought except at the expense of liberty, and vice versa. Thus, a social preference for equality will inevitably demand the sacrifice of liberty.

[1] Tocqueville, op. cit., p. 584.

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