This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

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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Secular powers and just war

At the risk of getting too far ahead of ourselves, we can anticipate a political problem:

Secular governments, meaning those modern regimes that find religious justifications abhorrent, have virtually nullified their own capacity to wage a just war. That is not to say they have nullified it in practice, since all governments, insofar as they meet a bare minimum of legitimacy, have a right to wage war. “For there is no power but of God, and the powers that be are established by God.”[1] Insofar as a state represents a legitimate political authority, it exercises prerogatives as an ordained power, just or unjust. We mean to say only that these states have, from a moral point of view, even if not a purely political one, confused things beyond recovery.

As for rhetoric, these secular powers still offer justifications for the force they deploy, and these justifications might involve appeals to love or to some perceived good (in our day, typically it is for the sake of ‘freedom’ or ‘democracy’), and they will claim that they are pursuing ‘humanitarian’ ends, but this only amounts to admitting outright that they have no interest in the spiritual good either of their own people or of the people they are using force against, and so the criterion of spiritual vision that would validate their use of force up to and including the killing of an enemy is obscured.

In short, we could say that the only just war, speaking broadly, is a holy war, and an atheistic regime, or what in the end is the same, a regime that is silent on the question of religious truth, cannot hardly discern what situations justify the use of force and how and to what degree the use of force is permissible.

We say this as a preview and an anticipation. Further clarifications are needed in order to give full force to such a general claim and we do not intend to develop a theory of war in this section.

[1] Romans 13:1.

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