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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Security of station and dispassionate judgment

 “Constitutional monarchy offers us…that neutral power so indispensable for all regular liberty. In a free country the king is a being apart, superior to differences of opinion, having no other interest than the maintenance of order and liberty. He can never return to the common condition, and is consequently inaccessible to all the passions that such a condition generates, and to all those that the perspective of finding oneself once again within it necessarily creates in those agents who are invested with temporary power.”

~ Benjamin Constant[1]

We are tempted to think that King Solomon, if he had been one of our duly elected officials, would have actually cut the baby in half. We say this because all elected officials seem to be, at most, half-acceptable specimens. They always split the people down the middle, and in like fashion the justice that emanates from their offices always has an abortive character to it. If a good law enters, it comes out maimed and disfigured beyond recognition because they are bound, by the nature of their position, to always tend toward the ‘happy middle’, the ‘reasonable compromise’.

Objectivity for such men is completely impossible: not only can they not access objective judgment; they cannot access their own judgment at all. Their decisions rest entirely on the will of their constituency, whether that means votes or the moneyed interests responsible for their successful campaigning.

An official whose job is on the line (and an elected official’s job is perpetually on the line) can never detach himself from concern for his own self-preservation, and in fact the quicker and more tumultuous the electoral process, the less he is able to turn his mind away from himself and toward the demands of justice. A king, even a foolish or mediocre one, can at least apply whatever wisdom he has to the task before him; the elected official, on the other hand, even if he is wise, is too busy preserving his job to ever begin doing it.

[1] Benjamin Constant, Constant: Political Writings, pp. 186-187.

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