This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

The depersonalization of the statesman himself

We select a candidate for any office we are not selecting a leader—in fact we are not looking at character traits at all—we are merely selecting a mirror, and the man who can best function in that reflective capacity is the victor.

“Politics, under a democracy, reduces itself to a mere struggle for office by flatterers of the proletariat; even when a superior man prevails at that disgusting game he must prevail at the cost of his self-respect. Not many superior men make the attempt. The average great captain of the rabble, when he is not simply a weeper over irremediable wrongs, is a hypocrite so far gone that he is unconscious of his own hypocrisy—a slimy fellow, offensive to the nose.” [1]

Since democracy requires the politician not only to try to ‘mirror’ my desires, but also a thousand others, the one who wins is not simply a mirror, but a complex prism of sorts, attempting to ‘represent’ a thousand wills at once. The last person he is actually allowed to be is himself. Needless to say, no authentic man—much less a great leader—would subject himself to such degradation. And yet we demand it of all politicians.

[1] H.L. Mencken, Introduction to Nietzsche’s The Antichrist.

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