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).

Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3| Volume 4 | Volume 5 | Volume 6

The cell of society, the cradle of life

Just as God is a Trinity, and cannot be considered as three separate Gods each going separate ways, so the fundamental social unit is the family, and not the individual as father, mother or child.[1] The family is the basic unit of political and economic organization in the Catholic tradition. As an association, it is prior to every other. “It is in this cradle of life and love that people are born and grow.”[2] Here the person takes his first steps into his personhood, learns responsibility, and develops his manifold potentialities. The family is the “fundamental structure for human ecology.”[3]

Because man is fundamentally a social being, it can be said that “only insofar as he understands himself in reference to a ‘thou’ can he say ‘I’.” It is in the family that he “comes out of himself, from the self-centred preservation of his own life, to enter into a relationship of dialogue and communion with others.”[4] This is why no law can threaten this institution—the State exists for the family and not the family for the State.

“No human law can abolish the natural and original right of marriage, nor in any way limit the chief and original purpose of marriage, ordained by God’s authority from the beginning. Increase and multiply. Hence we have the Family; the ‘society’ of a man’s house—a society limited indeed in numbers, but no less a true society, anterior to every kind of State or Nation, invested with rights and duties of its own, totally independent of the civil community…Inasmuch as the domestic household is antecedent, as well in idea as in fact, to the gathering of men into a community, the Family must necessarily have rights and duties which are prior to those of the community, and founded more immediately in nature…The contention then, that the civil government should at its option intrude into and exercise intimate control over the Family and the household, is a great and pernicious error.”[5]

Pius XI affirmed this teaching in Casti Connubii, referring to marriage as “the principle and foundation of domestic society, and therefore of all human intercourse.”[6]

[1] LS, 157.

[2] CSDC, 212.

[3] CA, 39.

[4] CSDC, 130; See also: LS, 213.

[5] RN, 12-14.

[6] CC, 1.

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