This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

Patriarchy or the police state

“The full realization that the Catholic world is faced by the simple alternative of the patriarch or the policeman would have spared millions of lives.”

~ Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn[1]

The idea that a man can live in a functional society, can participate in its government, and at the same time not feel himself governed at any time, is one of the more frustrating contradictions that must be endured when hyper-individualism becomes the norm. This attitude is reinforced, albeit irrationally, by the myth of self-government, for reasons we’ve already examined.

Under the influence of this delusion, the individual comes to believe that no exercise of authority is necessary in society so long as everyone ‘looks out for themselves’. If any authority is felt, it is automatically perceived as an injustice. This injustice is either the result of an overreaching government (the paternal state), or else it is the fault of some external group of persons who have ignored the cardinal rule of minding one’s own business.

Because of the anti-social tendencies brought on by the promises of hyper-individualism, all acts in favor of social justice must be realized by force and are met with utmost hostility and cries that “that government governs best which governs least.” The result is the cancerous growth of the police state in which the police officers, themselves congealing into a privileged social class of their own, wield a power hitherto unheard of, deploying methods appropriate to the military. This is a specific fruit of egalitarian regimes, and was not possible in the presence of traditional social hierarchies:

[I]n a stratified society the police agent is afraid to attack anyone of importance. He is never free of the fear that he will come off second best in such a conflict, and that fear keeps him down and renders him inactive. It is only in an egalitarian society that the nature of his activities elevates him above everyone else, and this inflation of the man contributes to the inflation of the office.[2]

Ironically, it is the downfall of the institution of patriarchy (and the establishment of equality) that historically accompanies the increase of police rule. And as hard as this is for the modern man to imagine, the offenses of which policemen are frequently acquitted in today’s news are ones that would likely have cost them their lives in the Middle Ages.

[1] Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Liberty or Equality (Caldwell: Caxton, 1952), p. 204.

[2] Jouvenel, On Power, p. 384n21.

Share This