Pilgrimpace's Blog

a dark age?

I was struck by this post by Lucy Ridsdale:

How to minimise the impact and duration of a dark age?
1. Build Community
2. Radically simplify
3. Maximise creativity
4. Maximise non-violent solutions
5. Resacralise life
6. Store knowledge
7. Adopt a supportive financial system.

I’ve been inspired by John Croft (via Emski) to consider the very real possibility that we’re heading into a global dark age. These are seven ways we can keep it as short as possible.

This seems to me to be a very good manifesto for living, and is of importance to those of us living in what seems to be a very dark time in Britian at the moment.  I appreciate Lucy’s insights because I know they come from the tacit knowledge that is trod out in the painful miles of pilgrimage.  I am also reminded of Alasdair MacIntyre at the end of After Virtue:

It is always dangerous to draw too precise parallels between one historical period and another; and among the most misleading of such parallels are those which have been drawn between our own age in Europe and North America and the epoch in which the Roman empire declined into the Dark Ages. Nonetheless certain parallels there are. A crucial turning point in that earlier history occurred when men and women of good will turned aside from the task of shoring up the Roman imperium and ceased to identify the continuation of civility and moral community with the maintenance of that imperium. What they set themselves to achieve instead – often not recognizing full what they were doing – was the construction of new forms of community within which the moral life could be sustained so that both morality and civility might survive the coming ages of barbarism and darkness. if my account of our moral condition is correct, we ought also to conclude that for some time now we too have reached the turning point. What matters at this stage is the construction of local forms of community within which civility and the intellectual and moral life can be sustained through the new dark ages which are already upon us. And if the tradition of the virtues was able to survive the horrors of the last dark ages, we are not entirely without grounds for hope. This time however the barbarians are not waiting beyond the frontiers; they have already been governing us for quite some time. And it is our lack of consciousness of this that constitutes part of our predicament. We are waiting not for a Godot, but for another – doubtless very different – St Benedict.


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I love the things to do that Lucy lists. Where is her original post?


Comment by Margaret

Hi Margaret,

it was on Facebook a week or so ago. Lucy’s just finished her thesis today and I assume the thinking comes from that. You can click on her blog ‘One Step at a Time is Good Walking’ on the blogroll to the left of this comment.

I hope all’s going well. I’ll give Roland a ring soon to see if we can get a walk in the diary,


Comment by pilgrimpace

Hi all,

Thesis submitted. Hurrah! The list of actions to take to minimise the dark age comes from John Croft. You can find his ideas elaborated on his website: http://www.dragondreaming.info/sources-1/john-croft-fact-sheets/ … facts sheet #28.



Comment by Lucy Ridsdale

Thanks Lucy,


Comment by pilgrimpace

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