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 machine world, cunning, and spiritual blindness

Technology is often depicted as a victory for the human intelligence, but what it represents is a victory of human cunning over human intelligence. Human intelligence would never weaponized nuclear technology—human cunning, however, sees this a necessary step, and proceeds to not only create the technology but to use it at the first opportunity.

Man creates the machine, and the machine creates an artificial world and, retroactively, an artificial type of man. This pseudo-reality, being what it is—loud, ‘solid,’ heavy, chaotic—is one in which the soul cannot flourish and men who live in it are insulated from spiritual realities in the sense that they become ‘solidified’ to such a degree that nothing ‘gets through’ to them. The only voice they can here is that one which yells the loudest. It is for this reason that Pope Leo XIII accused the industrial system of not allowing men enough leisure time to pursue spiritual development; but the fact that the complaint could even be framed in such a way proves how far the problem had already progressed. It was already taken for granted that spiritual development could not happen at work and through work, because work had already become toil.

In such a world, the perception of spiritual reality is inverted. It goes from something obvious to something that is obviously an illusion. While the world and its worldly pursuits go from being seen with suspicion and accepted tentatively as subordinate to spiritual pursuits to becoming the end-all-be-all.

If the modern worker does not pray it is because his work nullifies his intelligence (referring here not to reason and learning but to the faculty of knowledge that ennobles humanity above the animals), and without his intelligence he cannot think of God, which is to say, he cannot pray. He does not pursue spiritual development because he has been debased below the human level required in order to do just that.

It was precisely the ‘intelligibility’ of the ancient crafts and of craftsmanship as an art that make of traditional work a vocation and allowed it to have its own theological aspect: it was sacred work only because it was human work, and all human work is sacred.

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