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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Idealism is an expression of senility

Contrary to what we might assume, ideals on the broad social level are not a sign of youth but of old age. Societies become idealistic when their spiritual vitality—always more real than ideals—begins to wane. During this stage of spiritual decline, they must find new and artificial values to pursue.

Unlike Europe, which became idealistic over time and due to a kind of cultural senility, America was born of ideals and was founded on them. America was born senile, an inhabitant of a dream world that cannot be, this world itself being only a product of an imagined history that never was. The Declaration of Independence, for example, tends to address itself to Man and not of the colonials. It is as abstract as it needs to be in order to give the impression of proclaiming universal and transcendent truths. This is the language of idealism and also of propaganda, which never deals in the concrete but always appeals to the imagination. When they spoke of the Rights of Man, it is Man who was in question, and not the Americans. This tactic repeats itself every time those in power wish to garner support from the masses, because it is very effective in veiling any hint of worldliness or self-interest.

It is not unreasonable to attribute this idealism to European senility, and to say that it was ‘inherited’ in such a way that early American culture is an example of lost innocence due to a poor spiritual education (or the absence thereof) at the start and thereby ‘robbing it of its youth’. Remember that all of the original idealist-propagandists, from Jefferson to John Hancock, were formed by thinkers in France and England and there is not an idea in their writings and speeches that we cannot find in Locke, Rousseau, or Mill. And so, again, what is significant here is that while this idealism was, for Europeans, something they entered into with the support of a pre-existing culture, the Americans built their culture on this idealism. In other words, England departed into unrealism but was saved by the fact that it carried the culture, art, institutions, religious sentiments, and habits of its youth with it into old age, and so there was a natural balance. The Americans, on the other hands, went directly to the stage of unrealism and for them it is not so much a final resting place as it is the foundation of everything else.

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