Saturday, September 16, 2006

Excerpts from the last lectures of Carroll Quigley (continued)

"The last Carolingian was removed in 887 for not fighting the Vikings vigorously enough, and for one hundred years there was no ruler. As a result, the area between the Loire and the Rhine was reduced to a large number of self-sufficient villages, subject to the private power of mounted spearmen, without any state, monarchy, or public authority. This period, and these social conditions, we call a Dark Age. There is nothing wrong with Dark Ages; they are frequently the most productive periods in the history of any civilization. Any of you who have read Lynn White's book on the technological advances of the Dark Ages, such as the plow and harnessing, know that Western Civilization got a great deal from its Dark Age. But, most significantly, out of the Dark Age came the most magnificent thing that we have in our society; the recognition that people can have a society without having a state. In other words, this experience wiped away the assumption that is found throughout Classical Antiquity that the state and the society are identical and therefore you can desire nothing more than to be a citizen."


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