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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Subsidiarity as a response to doctrinaire individualism

We must be wary of subsidiarity as abused by the libertarian ideology. It is not, as has been frequently construed, meant to be an affirmation of individualism. In fact, if we trace the development of subsidiarity in CST, we find that it was originally formulated as a response to the evils that pervasive individualism[1] had brought about:

When we speak of the reform of institutions, the State comes chiefly to mind, not as if universal well-being were to be expected from its activity, but because things have come to such a pass through the evil of what we have termed ‘individualism’ that, following upon the overthrow and near extinction of that rich social life which was once highly developed through associations of various kinds, there remain virtually only individuals and the State. This is to the great harm of the State itself; for, with a structure of social governance lost, and with the taking over of all the burdens which the wrecked associations once bore, the State has been overwhelmed and crushed by almost infinite tasks and duties.[2]

This passage illustrates the point that even sound principles, if pushed to an extreme limit, will sooner or later turn into their opposite. This has certainly proven true in the case of individualism, which, as we have just seen, is actually the cause of rather than the answer to the growth of the paternal State.

[1] See also: LS, 119, 162, 208, 210.

[2] QA, 78.

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