The infamous times you call the Dark Ages were an era of intelligence on
strike, when men of ability went underground and lived undiscovered, studying
in secret, and died, destroying the works of their mind, when only a few of the
bravest martyrs remained to keep the human race alive. Every period ruled by
mystics was an era of stagnation and want, when most men were on strike against
existence, working for less than their barest survival, leaving nothing but
scraps for their rulers to loot, refusing to think, to venture, to produce,
when the ultimate collector of their profits and the final authority on truth
or error was the whim of some gilded degenerate sanctioned as superior to
reason by divine right and by grace of a club.
In the history of Western civilization, the period known as the Dark Ages,
after the fall of the Roman Empire, was a period when Western Europe existed
without any social organization beyond chance local groupings clustered around
small villages, large castles, and remnants of various traditions—swept
periodically by massive barbarian invasions, warring robber bands, and sundry
local looters. It was as close to a state of pure anarchy as men could come.