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 delusion of universality

We’ve already seen that America’s budding ideology presupposed a certain geopolitical situation, one of isolation and of vast possibilities for expansion, creating a mentality of individualism and individual imperialism that had never before found such full expression. What this situation also created was that feeling of ‘universality’ that Americans have always maintained. America is like the child who spends most of its formative years shielded from any significant external threat and who is never exposed to any thought or habit that is not ‘the way of tribe’. Such a child grows up assuming that our way is not simply a good way among other possible ways, but that it is the only way, and that our tribe is in exclusive possession of the good. In America we observe a kind of national provincialism that does not know how to handle other nations claiming that they too possess legitimate ways of life.

In other words, isolation encourages a narrowness of thought that thwarts the development of true diplomatic savvy. A nation ruled by this condescending mentality cannot really have any ‘allies’ but only ‘subjects’ and ‘political instruments’. The very idea that America might encounter peers seems to have insulting implications of equality.

This is why Americans think that the principles on which their government was formed are the true principles of government and that if the world was interested in truth and goodness it would follow America’s example, and that the choice not to do this is sign of either oppression or ignorance or obstinacy or evil intent.

It is much harder (although not impossible) for European nations to develop this mentality, nestled as they are between so many undeniable peers, each fluctuating in power and deserving of some level of respect. What would America look like if it had grown up with no other choice but to cooperate with, compromise with, and even respect, a technologically advanced native population? What if it had found itself situated between powerful nations to the north and south? We must assume that its social psychology would today be quite another thing.

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