This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

The extinction of certain types

As civilization transforms and man conforms to the set of altered conditions, the prevailing human type becomes unsuited for survival in the new environment. He becomes as alien to it as it is hostile to him. As a result, a new type of humanity comes into being that is better adjusted to the conditions of a new age or era. This can be identified via the presence or absence of concepts or else the inability of historical periods to understand one another, as if they were ‘from another planet’ or were an entirely different species, so odd do they seem. Consider, for example, the fact that ‘wisdom,’ in the traditional sense, really has no place in modernity. It is not discussed, publicly pursued (either as a matter of education or as a matter of ‘popular culture’), and the class of being who were once considered its embodiment are set aside as ‘useless’. The class we have in mind just now is the elderly. The elderly have traditionally played the part of guardian and disseminator of wisdom. So what of the elderly in the modern world? We find that the aged have no place, no role, here in our civilization. They are ‘in the way’ more often than not. Our social structures are utterly hostile to the old man, and this is a necessary corollary of our total lack of appreciation for the social value of wisdom, or of its basic meaning, for that matter. When the prevailing system rejects the demotes the value of wisdom—the human manifestation of the principle is necessarily devalued as well. Thus, the elderly are becoming ‘extinct’ in a practical sense, since their participation in modern life is drastically minimized and even their bodies are systematically removed from view as much as possible, even if they still technically ‘exist’ in society. Someday this might no longer be the case.

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