Comparing the present-day United States to ancient civilizations is not a new thing. A quick scan of the shelves of your local Internet will reveal several articles comparing this country to the Roman Empire, mostly with the goal of deciding whether we're heading for a fall of the same magnitude.
Well, the Dark Ages refer to the period of time after that, when Western Europe is thought to have slipped into a period of cultural and economic decline. The name "Dark Ages" has actually fallen out of favor over the years, as we've come to understand more about the Middle Ages and the things society managed to accomplish during that time. If it's used at all today, it's mostly to describe just the early Middle Ages, but even then, there was enough happening in the world among intellectual types that the phrase is a little too negative to be completely accurate.
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Like calling Trump a Nazi when he's really just a fascist
My point is that the Dark Ages didn't suffer from a complete and total lack of enlightenment among the masses, not even in the area of Europe that the term applies to. Definitely not in places like Asia or the Middle East, which were doing just fine culturally at the time. However, there were some characteristics of the Dark Ages that fit with the backwards thinking the name implies. A few key traits of the period (at least as they're mostly misunderstood by history):