This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

NOTICE:
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 problem of the idealist

The pacifists are not entirely wrong in their sentiments, only wrong in oversimplifying things and, in oversimplifying, denying certain possibilities that seem contrary to holiness.

They are right is sensing that physical combat represents, in some way, a move away from holiness as an ideal, and that killing is, so to speak, a ‘descent’ from righteousness that Christ personified. Sensing only the imperfection of this mode of resistance, they deny the validity of any path that leads to such a confrontation.

The reality is that certain actions can be less than ideal but still absolutely necessary, and if they are necessary, they cannot be sinful. Moreover, if truly necessary, then they are in a sense obligatory.

We come here to a hard teaching. In the sections that follow, we will explain why the warries is called to fight on ground already lost, not physically but spiritually, and that this is the nature of his vocation and so the fact of his occupying a position of imperfection and of unrighteousness does not necessarily render it wrong, much less sinful.

This proves difficult to grasp for idealists, since they begin with the ideal and then set about trying to reconcile contingencies with the ideal and deny everything that does not lend itself to easy reconciliation. We find that the extremes of the human experience, of which physical confrontation is one, are always difficult to reconcile with ideals. This does not mean that our spiritual or moral ideals lose their value and that we must abandon them in favor of an compromising pragmatism; instead it teaches us that the real skill of adhering to an ideal is not to insist on its superficially perfect application but to be perceptive and prudent enough to see how the ideal can be adapted to concrete situations which will never conform exactly to an ideal. In other words, if you are going to be a rigorous idealist, you risk becoming useless in the face of any real-life problem.

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