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 real enemy and the real victory

War at any point in history can present itself as a spiritual opportunity, because war places man in a situation of struggle in such a way that it draws into the open the inner infidel. This spiritual ‘enemy’ emerges and stands before us to test us in the extreme, and victory over this enemy is the true victory, since after all there will always be evil in the external world until the end of time and so we are only permitted small victories on that front, which are never final.

We do not intend to devalue the temporal good that might be brought about by a truly just war, and we are not trying to say that there is no value in fighting external evil in the world in order to establish that good; but it cannot be said too much that if the individual is spiritually mutilated by the experience, then what good is it that an evil man was killed and some political villain was destroyed? It is possible to win on the earthly front, which is a relative good, while suffering catastrophe on the spiritual front, which is the true and lasting good.

If your vocation is war, proceed, but proceed with utmost caution and with brutal honesty regarding your own corrupt nature.

The statesman is gone, replaced by the politician; the artisan is gone, replacement by the machine attendee and the wage slave. The warrior too is gone, replaced by you. Your vocation remains only as a husk of itself. You are not alone, and you are in no more pitiable a state than the next man, for everyone is subject to the same law of universal degeneration.  Just as every vocation is degraded, so is yours, and because you must operate in the extreme, more will be asked of you than perhaps anyone else.

You will, of course, have every incentive to ignore this in favor of a more flattering view of your calling. Your friends, family, and neighbors will pat you on the back; strangers will buy your dinner and your drinks. Politicians will use you like a prop or a mascot for political gain, and you will undergo a powerful indoctrination into the pseudo-religious motivations for war and the social fearmongering that cloud all judgement. Everything is set against you, psychologically, emotionally, socially, spiritually. Should you enter the warrior vocation of today, it will fall to you to find your own path to the celestial front, to draw out the inner infidel and to face him: everyone else will tell you he doesn’t exist, that you are already a hero, that your laurels are in your possession already.

Everyone will be ready to lie to you, and in this way your challenge is far more complex than that of the traditional warrior. He fought on two fronts simultaneously; you will have to fight on three. You will have to fight the external enemy and the internal enemy, but in addition you will have to fight against the false affirmations, romantic exaggerations, patriotic excesses, ideological pressures, and pseudo-religious valuations shoved in your face by your own culture.

You will be defending yourself from your neighbors, even as you defend them from alien evil. If you retain your honesty, which again must be a brutal and unsparing kind of honesty, it may be possible that, against all odds, you find a way to fight on all three of these fronts. Your victory will be invisible, and you will, for the most part, be externally indistinguishable from those around you; but you will belong to a different world of meaning altogether, and victory for you will be more comprehensive, more profound, and may have little to do with what they call victory, and it may come in spite of what they call defeat.

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