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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Peace or strife?

Now we come to an issue of competition in political affairs, which is closely related to our discussion of capitalist societies. Earlier it was addressed in its economic form. Here we address it as a much broader mentality, because our economic attitudes never remain in the purely economic sphere, but expand and invade every area of life.

After the fashion of capitalism and the theory of evolution, modern society believes that strife is an intrinsic good. It is the mechanism for progress. In science, for example, it is believed that human life itself is the result of a perpetual struggle for existence, a “survival of the fittest” through which progress is brought about. This same attitude appears in economic ideologies which hold competition to be the engine of social welfare and human creativity. Likewise, in political institutions there is a sort of “institutionalized conflict” represented by the separate branches of government and the parties competing for control of those branches. Such a system is designed for conflict.

In every case, then, it seems that the underlying assumption is that peace follows from chaos, and that strife is the mother of harmony. Because this has become so engrained as to seem natural, it may surprise the reader to find that the Church—and indeed most other traditions outside of modern systems—taught the opposite: that peace is the supreme value to be sought and strife avoided;[1] and that this is in fact a duty which must be acted upon and not left as if it would occur as a result of automatic processes.[2]

[1] John Paull II, Message for the 1982 World Day of Peace, 4.

[2] Ibid.

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