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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Liberalism and the privatization of truth

 “For the Liberal the spiritual center of gravity was in the individual, and the realm of private opinion and private interests was the ideal world. Hence, when the Liberal spoke of religion as a purely private matter it was in compliment rather than in derogation. To separate the Church from the State—to keep religion out of politics, was to elevate it to a higher sphere of spiritual values. But today in the democratic world, these values have been reversed. The individual life has lost its spiritual primacy, and it is social life which has now the higher prestige, so that to treat religion as a purely individual and personal matter is to deprive it of actuality and to degrade it to a lower level of value and potency. To keep religion out of public life is to shut it up in a stuffy Victorian back drawing room with the aspidistras and antimacassars, when the streets are full of life and youth. And the result is that the religion of the Church becomes increasingly alienated from real life while democratic society creates a new religion of the street and the forum to take its place.”

~ Christopher Dawson[1]

What is observed here by Dawson has also been observed at length by figures such as Alexis de Tocqueville, who said that in liberal democratic regimes religious truth undergoes a transformation in several ways: it becomes a matter of consensus, which is something that happens to all truth in individualistic democracies; it becomes influenced by materialism, since democracy turns men’s mind toward the material world overall; and it becomes an oversimplified expression of rationalism and “intuitivism” through which the individual confuses his own prejudices and guesses with “self-evident truths.”

[1] Christopher Dawson, Beyond Politics (New York: Sheed & Ward, 1938).

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