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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False equivalence between the villain and the just

We descend the ladder of means so that we can climb back up. The first goal of physical resistance is to make room for the healthy mental inducement that at some point became untenable. The target of influence is the soul, and we seek to come to its aid by weakening the negative influences that assail it, up to and including the physical removal of the person from a harmful environment, and then, assuming the possibility is open to us, by strengthening the will through the provision of spiritual education in the form of healthy relationships, opportunities for therapy, etc.

When the situation becomes so dire that room for moral salvation can only be created through the use of physical force, then physical force becomes not merely permissible but obligatory.

When confronted with a group of men who are raping someone, should we stop short at mental coercion, offering a sermon and appeals to the conscience to try and awaken their convictions in the hope that they will cease and desist? Of course not, and to do this would be an act of either cowardice or extreme naivety. It would amount to the refusal of an obligation to intervene via physical force.

Sometimes we are told that by using physical force against the villain who is likewise using physical force, we are ‘lowering ourselves to his level’ and adopting an evil means to fight evil. This was the position of Leo Tolstoy, to cite one example. But this shows a total ignorance of the criterion of spiritual goodness.

What the rapist says to the victim is essentially this: You are a means to the satisfaction of my perverse passions, my lust, and I deny your autonomy and your own spiritual good, and I subordinate your being to myself and reduce you to an object to be used at my pleasure.

It is easy to see here a total absence of love. These actions are contrary to spiritual truth. Such a situation degrades both the attacker and the victim. It inflicts violence on both.

Contrast this with the intent of the intervening will, the one who steps in as ‘defender’, saying: You despise your spiritual good and the good of your neighbor. You find yourself at the edge of a precipice at the bottom of which is your destruction. For your sake and for hers, I will stop you.

There is a difference between the attacker who ignores the good and the defender who acts to preserve as much good as possible. To make out both persons to be perpetrators of ‘violence’ is to disregard entirely the criteria we set forth earlier, which make the essence of the moral act a question of spiritual clarity and benevolent love. The attacker is manifesting externally his own blindness and hate and is possessed by evil; the defender is manifesting his love, guided by his perception of truth, and he is acting in the service of truth. The defender is ultimately acting in defense of both attacker and victim, and in a real sense, in defense of society at large.

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