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).

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The spiritual barbarian

We will have occasion to refer to certain aspects of modern civilization as barbaric. To call a people ‘barbaric’ is, in one sense, to describe the state of their soul, condemning their mentality or philosophy as godless. It may have nothing at all to do with superficial material conditions. A rich man can be a barbarian as easily as anyone else.

The Japanese traditionalists expressed just this when they made their anti-Western slogan: sonnō jōi or “revere the emperor, expel the barbarians.” By ‘barbarians’ they of course referred to the Western powers, with their extravagant wealth, their vulgar manners, their secular governments, and their materialistic attitudes. In this slogan they identified both the problem and the solution, for they not only sought a rejection of barbarian ideals, but also a return to proper spiritual hierarchy, headed by a divine emperor. However, once the flood gates were rammed open by American battleships in 1853, the modernization of Japan began, and a new slogan was created: fukoku kyōhei or “enrich the country, strengthen the military.” The depth of the transformation is evident. Reverence for spiritual authority is dropped in favor of “enrichment,” while the growth of a “military” is adopted in place of a traditional warrior class, since at this same time the samurai of old were discarded.

This barbarism has also been condemned in a different context and by another term, infidel, which means precisely the same thing: it refers to a godless people who lack awareness of the divine, and who live their lives in ignorance of the truth.

In response, we Americans call our accusers ‘religious extremists’, and in part this is true, but to be completely honest, anyone who does anything in the name of God appears to the West as a ‘religious extremist’. To be religious today is to be an extremist. That is why we also use the same term against Christians who, on the basis of traditional religious belief, reject abortion and homosexuality.

We could say without risk of exaggeration that ‘religious extremist’ today refers to anyone who is not a spiritual barbarian.

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