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Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society

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In times of crisis, we are forced to reexamine our ways and ponder our future. It is in this framework that we need to consider our present economic plight and the charting of our path forward. In his penetrating analysis of contemporary society, author John Horvat focuses on the present crisis with great insight and clarity. He claims modern economy has become cold, impers In times of crisis, we are forced to reexamine our ways and ponder our future. It is in this framework that we need to consider our present economic plight and the charting of our path forward. In his penetrating analysis of contemporary society, author John Horvat focuses on the present crisis with great insight and clarity. He claims modern economy has become cold, impersonal, and out of balance. Gone are the human elements of honor and trust so essential to our daily lives. Society has discarded the natural restraining influence of the human institutions and values that should temper our economic activities. Return to Order is a clarion call that invites us to reconnect with those institutions and values by applying the timeless principles of an organic Christian order. Horvat presents a refreshing picture of this order, so wonderfully adapted to our human nature. He describes the calming influence of those natural regulating institutions such as custom, family, community, the Christian State, and the Church. A return to order is not only possible but crucial. Horvat shows us how to make it happen. Based on nearly twenty years of ground-breaking research, this book is being recognized as one of the most important and influential on the subject to be published in the past ten years. Its original insight into both the present crisis and remedies for the future thrust Return to Order into the center of the raging debate over how to restore America to prominence as a proud and great nation.


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In times of crisis, we are forced to reexamine our ways and ponder our future. It is in this framework that we need to consider our present economic plight and the charting of our path forward. In his penetrating analysis of contemporary society, author John Horvat focuses on the present crisis with great insight and clarity. He claims modern economy has become cold, impers In times of crisis, we are forced to reexamine our ways and ponder our future. It is in this framework that we need to consider our present economic plight and the charting of our path forward. In his penetrating analysis of contemporary society, author John Horvat focuses on the present crisis with great insight and clarity. He claims modern economy has become cold, impersonal, and out of balance. Gone are the human elements of honor and trust so essential to our daily lives. Society has discarded the natural restraining influence of the human institutions and values that should temper our economic activities. Return to Order is a clarion call that invites us to reconnect with those institutions and values by applying the timeless principles of an organic Christian order. Horvat presents a refreshing picture of this order, so wonderfully adapted to our human nature. He describes the calming influence of those natural regulating institutions such as custom, family, community, the Christian State, and the Church. A return to order is not only possible but crucial. Horvat shows us how to make it happen. Based on nearly twenty years of ground-breaking research, this book is being recognized as one of the most important and influential on the subject to be published in the past ten years. Its original insight into both the present crisis and remedies for the future thrust Return to Order into the center of the raging debate over how to restore America to prominence as a proud and great nation.

30 review for Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society

  1. 4 out of 5

    Manuel Alfonseca

    ENGLISH: This book tries to pinpoint the cause of all the ills of our Western civilization, and puts the blame on "frenetic intemperance," the disordered appetite for pleasures. Although his diagnostic about what is happening now is more or less correct, the author seems to mistake the symptom for the cause, in the same way as though a physician would come to the conclusion that fever was the cause of an illness, and would try to combat the illness just by eliminating the fever. I tend to feel su ENGLISH: This book tries to pinpoint the cause of all the ills of our Western civilization, and puts the blame on "frenetic intemperance," the disordered appetite for pleasures. Although his diagnostic about what is happening now is more or less correct, the author seems to mistake the symptom for the cause, in the same way as though a physician would come to the conclusion that fever was the cause of an illness, and would try to combat the illness just by eliminating the fever. I tend to feel suspicious towards those diagnostics of the ills of our society that put the blame on a single cause, as though the world were simple, a function of a single variable. Things are usually much more complicated. I know this is a trap where the best minds have fallen, but after so many blunders we should be more careful. As a diagnosis of our ills, I much prefer Pitirim Sorokin's "Social and Cultural Dynamics", a large book with lots of quantitative information, which looks at the data provided by three thousand years of history and comes to the conclusion that civilizations alternate between idealistic and sensitivist phases, with a period around two thousand years. We are currently in the midst of a sensitivist phase quite similar to what happened in the Roman Empire during the first four centuries after Christ. Historical studies by other authors tend to confirm this diagnostic. ESPAÑOL: Este libro trata de identificar la causa de todos los males de nuestra civilización occidental y culpa a la "destemplanza frenética", el apetito desordenado en busca de placeres. Aunque su diagnóstico sobre lo que está sucediendo es más o menos correcto, el autor parece confundir el síntoma con la causa, de la misma manera que si un médico llegara a la conclusión de que la fiebre es la causa de una enfermedad, y para combatir la enfermedad simplemente intentara eliminar la fiebre. Siempre me resultan sospechosos los diagnósticos sobre los males de nuestra sociedad que culpan a una sola causa, como si el mundo fuera simple, una función de una sola variable. Las cosas suelen ser mucho más complicadas. Sé que esta es una trampa en que han caído las mejores mentes, pero después de tantas meteduras de pata deberíamos ser más cuidadosos. Como diagnóstico de nuestros males, prefiero el de "Social and Cultural Dynamics", de Pitirim Sorokin, un libro que proporciona gran cantidad de información cuantitativa, que examina los datos que nos dan tres mil años de historia y llega a la conclusión de que las civilizaciones alternan entre fases idealistas y sensitivistas, con un período de alrededor de dos mil años. Actualmente estamos en una fase sensitivista bastante similar a lo que sucedió en el Imperio Romano durante los primeros cuatro siglos después de Cristo. Los estudios históricos de otros autores tienden a confirmar este diagnóstico.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Norman Fulkerson

    While this is a book which addresses the current economic crisis it has so much more to offer. Mr. Horvat's use of metaphor helps very much to clarify the problems which beset our country. He argues that the problem we need to overcome, as a country and individually, is frenetic intemperance. This intemperance drives us to live beyond our means; to buy what we don't need with money we don't have. He likens America to the prodigal son who wasted his fathers inheritance. It was only after he ate of While this is a book which addresses the current economic crisis it has so much more to offer. Mr. Horvat's use of metaphor helps very much to clarify the problems which beset our country. He argues that the problem we need to overcome, as a country and individually, is frenetic intemperance. This intemperance drives us to live beyond our means; to buy what we don't need with money we don't have. He likens America to the prodigal son who wasted his fathers inheritance. It was only after he ate of the husks of swine that he began to have longings for his father's house. The author points out very well that we are like that wayward son. Now we see a catastrophe looming on the horizon with many people proposing radical ecological and socialistic solutions that threaten to throw us in the pigsties of abject misery. "If in this grave hour, we could but realize that we have sinned," Mr. Horvat explains, "it would serve to awaken in us humble and contrite hearts." A return to our father's house is what we need. For us that means Return to Order. I highly recommend this book. Norman Fulkerson Author: An American Knight, The Life of Col. John Ripley

  3. 4 out of 5

    Help

    This book will probably have as much influence over future generations as St. Augustine's City of God had on the people who built, over the ashes of the Roman Empire, an organic society we now call Christian Civilization or Western Culture. It was not an easy task, nor was it rapid, but City of God provided a goal and the principles by which it could be reached. Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society Where likewise provides a calm, reasonable and very thought-pr This book will probably have as much influence over future generations as St. Augustine's City of God had on the people who built, over the ashes of the Roman Empire, an organic society we now call Christian Civilization or Western Culture. It was not an easy task, nor was it rapid, but City of God provided a goal and the principles by which it could be reached. Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society Where likewise provides a calm, reasonable and very thought-provoking vision of where we need to go and how to get there. Invigorating!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tmy

    With so many uncertainties facing my family, I often discuss with my parents, what will remain for our future generations, when so much appears on shaky ground. With concerns about the economy, erosion of our values and customs, and the future of our nation, Return to Order reawakened thoughts and ideas in us that otherwise might have be extinguished by a kind of contagious chaos. Return to order would be a great discussion piece for families, book clubs and local leaders.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Stuart

    Return to Order by John Horvat II is an attempted case study on the American economy. I will admit that I did not read this book cover to cover. I started out with that very intention, but after getting through several full chapters, I had to start skimming it or I would never be able to write a review on it. Therefore, keep that in mind when reading this review. Broken into two parts, the author first presents a history of the United States and it's economy. It does however make assumptions that Return to Order by John Horvat II is an attempted case study on the American economy. I will admit that I did not read this book cover to cover. I started out with that very intention, but after getting through several full chapters, I had to start skimming it or I would never be able to write a review on it. Therefore, keep that in mind when reading this review. Broken into two parts, the author first presents a history of the United States and it's economy. It does however make assumptions that the U.S. and Founding Fathers were all Christian. In reality, many were Deist at best, which assume that God is merely a celestial watchmaker. Don't get me wrong, not all the Founding Fathers were this way, but it bears to remember that these Founding Fathers were politicians and businessmen with their own interest in mind, i.e., Benjamin Franklin. Another assumption made about the U.S. by many is that we are somehow God's new chosen people and nation. Building on these assumptions, the author then attempts to provide ways to return to our former glory and prosperity. We are likened to the Prodigal Son, and if we return to the Father, we will be blessed and restored to our proper place in the world. While, I agree that the U.S. is becoming more secular by the minute, I believe it is a global condition and not just localized to where we are. Does this make it right or mean that it doesn't need changing? Of course not! I just feel this book preaches panic and destruction. Would I recommend this book? It most certainly wasn't my cup of tea. Is the book completely without merit? Not at all. There are truths in this book, but there is also a lot of presumption and misinformation as well. Looking at other reviews of this book, a lot of people love it. Not me though, and the best I can give this book is 2 out of 5 stars.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Miller

    One of those books that make you think more deeply on a subject. This book was recommended to me and did not know what to expect from it. Turns out it is fairly in the ballpark in the direction I was already thinking and expands this. His critiques on the current culture and economy are fairly accurate. Better his suggestions on what we can do to move ahead. Definitely not pie in the sky and requires interior conversions not just some program to implement. Also takes in a Catholic perspective an One of those books that make you think more deeply on a subject. This book was recommended to me and did not know what to expect from it. Turns out it is fairly in the ballpark in the direction I was already thinking and expands this. His critiques on the current culture and economy are fairly accurate. Better his suggestions on what we can do to move ahead. Definitely not pie in the sky and requires interior conversions not just some program to implement. Also takes in a Catholic perspective and so there is some quoting from encyclicals. The subtitle might make you think it has an integralist leaning, but it is much more sensible than that. Book was endorsed by Father John Trigilio - of whom I have great respect for.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Francis

    A well researched work with profound insights into our current economic crisis. The author does an excellent job describing the economy in America when order was still present and economic transactions were based on a code of honor. Because of frenetic intemperance, a term coined by the author, contemporary society has an insatiable hunger for all things new and are who are willing to cut through wide swaths of ethics in order achieve their temporary enjoyment, that is until the next new gadget e A well researched work with profound insights into our current economic crisis. The author does an excellent job describing the economy in America when order was still present and economic transactions were based on a code of honor. Because of frenetic intemperance, a term coined by the author, contemporary society has an insatiable hunger for all things new and are who are willing to cut through wide swaths of ethics in order achieve their temporary enjoyment, that is until the next new gadget etc. The author offers ample examples of the disorder of our contemporary economic state. He also offers strategies to return our economy back to an ordered and ethical one. Each paragraph of this book is a cause for deep reflection. If you are looking for a frenetic quick fix, this is not the book for you. It will take a lot of blood, sweat and tears to restore our economy to an ordered state.

  8. 5 out of 5

    John Seymour

    I was disappointed with this book. Especially because I suspect I would agree with Mr. Horvat on much of his view of the nature of the crisis in our economy. Horvat seems to assume that we live in a Christian society that has lost its way and I think things are much worse than that. Horvat deals in generalities, and those will serve to convince only those already in agreement with him. Finally, he does not deal honestly (I suspect with himself above all) with the trade-offs required to obtain th I was disappointed with this book. Especially because I suspect I would agree with Mr. Horvat on much of his view of the nature of the crisis in our economy. Horvat seems to assume that we live in a Christian society that has lost its way and I think things are much worse than that. Horvat deals in generalities, and those will serve to convince only those already in agreement with him. Finally, he does not deal honestly (I suspect with himself above all) with the trade-offs required to obtain the "organic Christian economy" he desires - that will require giving up a tremendous amount of wealth. We may be better off in any case, but that is something that must be faced.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    Simply: this book opened my mind to an entirely new world view. Ironically, this "new world view" has been in front of me the whole time: it is the world view - economic, political, and social - of my Roman Catholic faith! I suspect that like a lot of my fellow Americans - strike that: my fellow human beings - I have begun to notice that there is something seriously amiss with all aspects of the modern world. Not that I am on a quest for some sort of Utopia - unlike Marxists, I do not believe hea Simply: this book opened my mind to an entirely new world view. Ironically, this "new world view" has been in front of me the whole time: it is the world view - economic, political, and social - of my Roman Catholic faith! I suspect that like a lot of my fellow Americans - strike that: my fellow human beings - I have begun to notice that there is something seriously amiss with all aspects of the modern world. Not that I am on a quest for some sort of Utopia - unlike Marxists, I do not believe heaven can be created on Earth - but just that I have become increasingly stunned by how the world seems to be hellbent to overthrow the wisdom of the ages and descend into madness. This book is the antidote to that sickness. Return to Order is a timely reminder that there is a better way, a way time-tested by an entire historical epoch - the glorious Middle Ages - that can rescue mankind from its current plight. I know what you are thinking: this sounds like some sort of Luddite scheme to turn the clock back to a heavily mythologized period. That is what I thought going into this book, too. But that is not the reality of Return to Order. Rather, Mr. Horvat provides a sober examination of the Middle Ages, particularly its economic systems, and suggests ways the modern world can adapt - not copy, not forcibly apply - its wisdom to address America's failing political, cultural and economic institutions that have become corrupted by what Mr. Horvat terms "frenetic intemperance." A word of warning: this book will challenge your preconceived ideas about economics, especially the socialist - capitalist dichotomy that dominates most such discussions. Return to Order argues for something different: a free market-based economy that is centered in the immediate community generally and, in particular, the family. This is not to say that Horvat is advocating some sort of minimalist economic system - Return to Order recognizes the importance of international trade and larger economic alliances. Rather, Horvat is arguing for the distribution of economic (and political) power away from vulnerable and corruption-prone centralized "neurologic chokepoints" back to the community according to the principle of Subsidiarity (I believe this is a key component of the economic theory known as Distributism). Seeing how "crony capitalism" is on the rise in America (i.e., Big Business and Big Government in bed together), this might well go a long way to restoring order to our economic system that is now prone to tremendous booms and busts, something Horvat argues is symptomatic of a system out of whack. Again, this is an altogether fascinating book that exposed me to a new way of looking at the world, my nation, and the perils facing us as a people. It is not easy reading - this is very much a scholarly economics book - but like any important work, the effort is worth the reward. Highly recommended.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bentley Hatchett

    Although I have not finished this book, what I've read so far has been very good. In light of the current election cycle, many Americans are convinced with the idea that there's a utopian solution to our problems. At the same time, they believe that the system can continue indefinitely. Return to Order points out very well how the party can't continue and how there's no one size-fits all push button solution to the crisis we face. Unlike many other authors, John Horvat II, identifies the reality t Although I have not finished this book, what I've read so far has been very good. In light of the current election cycle, many Americans are convinced with the idea that there's a utopian solution to our problems. At the same time, they believe that the system can continue indefinitely. Return to Order points out very well how the party can't continue and how there's no one size-fits all push button solution to the crisis we face. Unlike many other authors, John Horvat II, identifies the reality that our problem is not just economic, but also spiritual and moral- a crisis that affects the fundamental order of our society. Rather than presenting an alternative vision in which we can solve these problems and eliminate suffering, he acknowledges the imperfections of man and the unavoidability of suffering. He illustrates how we can solve crises through methods, rather than a method, taking principles that made us successful in the past and applying them to the future. They say that socialism is one method with many rules, what we see here are many methods with few rules.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Melinda

    OK book. Much food for thought in the beginning of the book (ex: the exhaustion of materialism, suffering, the absence of the sublime, etc.) . However, he lost me toward the middle, when he launched into musings on the economy, justice, commerce, etc. A lot of book was dry and boring. Disappointed.

  12. 4 out of 5

    J.

    This book was very insightful, and a powerful read, I was personally going through a lot at the time of my reading this book and at the heart of my own troubles I could see the frenetic intemperance that was at the root of my own issues which this book describes in a very big way. The book starts at the heart of the individual soul of the person but then expands to the family, locality, culture and nation while addressing both natural and supernatural aspects to bring about that Return to Order This book was very insightful, and a powerful read, I was personally going through a lot at the time of my reading this book and at the heart of my own troubles I could see the frenetic intemperance that was at the root of my own issues which this book describes in a very big way. The book starts at the heart of the individual soul of the person but then expands to the family, locality, culture and nation while addressing both natural and supernatural aspects to bring about that Return to Order both in our own personal lives as well as our communities and nation too. The book provides an alternative to socialist and globalist agendas and reminds us of our past, of our traditions while being mindful that we cannot merely recreate the past but take the best elements of it and pick up where we left off. The book reads easy and the chapters are manageable, typically less than 10 pages, the author writes with succinct and mature prose and has plenty of bibliography.

  13. 5 out of 5

    bobbi lausch

    A must read for everyone A must read for anyone concerned with the direction our country is taking. Its a history lesson, what we can do now and what we can do in the future to save our country and ourselves.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bruno Jambor

    Excellent book. Should be required reading for all who believe in God, patriotism, and a good government.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    A review by Anthony T. Riggio of the book Return to Order by John Horvat II I purchased this book in the Kindle format and was immediately impressed by the people who reviewed the book and rated it highly; they were high ranking military officers, an Attorney General, Noted Scholars, foreign dignitaries, Religious leaders and two Medal of Honor winners. The reader is immediately confronted with the scholarship of the author. The book is replete with documented references and initially the reader A review by Anthony T. Riggio of the book Return to Order by John Horvat II I purchased this book in the Kindle format and was immediately impressed by the people who reviewed the book and rated it highly; they were high ranking military officers, an Attorney General, Noted Scholars, foreign dignitaries, Religious leaders and two Medal of Honor winners. The reader is immediately confronted with the scholarship of the author. The book is replete with documented references and initially the reader might be intimidated by the initial emphasis on economics and the authors discussion of a looming collapse. The economic collapse of the United States and thereby the world is predicated on a degenerating population with limited values important to the author's overall theories. He concludes that this collapse is the result of what he describes as "FRENETIC INTEMPERANCE". This concept is based on a declining adherence to important values that made this country a world leader and admired, that is, until recent times. The author builds his solutions to the societal and economic woes by our culture developing strong commitments to the "cardinal values" as proscribed by many Catholic scholars, namely: prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance. Horvat uses temperance or rather what he describes as our plague, to wit, frenetic intemperance as the most significant value void in our society. The best way to view frenetic intemperance is by looking at excesses in our everyday life, e.g. consumerism and disregard for the risks this behavior brings. I found the book difficult to read because of his references to the ideals of the middle ages and the guiding structure of the Church during these times and how we need to return to some of the significant ways of the economic and cultural processes and how they produced a more values oriented populace. I did not disagree with much that Horvat concludes but can easily see how it could be offensive to the more secular people in our society and he emphasizes the values of the Catholic Church. Being a Catholic myself, I agree that the values emphasized by the Church are a solution to many of the issues that cause concern and are being blamed for the coming collapse. My issue is that America is becoming a more heterogeneous society day by day causing conflict issues with both differing cultures and now an aggressive expression by Muslim's in the exercise of their faith. The book had great value and certainly was extensively researched but I have to say, I do not see this book as a solution for our value deficient life style(s). America is constantly evolving culture and it may not be part of a religious inspired goal, even though I personally hope it will and that we learn to Love our God and our neighbors as we love ourselves. I believe this is our only hope. While the author promotes this kind of thinking, I am not sure he was convincing enough to me that it will work in our ever increasing heterogeneous world. It just may take a total collapse of society and government to see his ideals take root. In an increasing diverse world with a plethora of views and beliefs, we may just have to begin at the beginning which results from a total collapse of everything we know. The book is well researched and for that reason I gave it three stars but I believe his almost utopian outcomes are impossible.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Heiner

    Thoughtful, well-written book that looks back at the best of what Western civilization practiced in social order and economics, points out how we are not only not engaging in those best practices but are consciously and subconsciously destroying ourselves and each other. Well worth a read. Much longer review here: https://www.truerestoration.org/book-... Thoughtful, well-written book that looks back at the best of what Western civilization practiced in social order and economics, points out how we are not only not engaging in those best practices but are consciously and subconsciously destroying ourselves and each other. Well worth a read. Much longer review here: https://www.truerestoration.org/book-...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    Hard reading.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Worrell

    Too difficult read. Not interesting either.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Ramirez

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brian

  21. 4 out of 5

    Josué

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jelle

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sally Hardy

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mariangel

  25. 5 out of 5

    John Sheehan

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mark M. Zima

  27. 4 out of 5

    GEORGES VAN ERCK

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dyyanne

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Greenawalt

  30. 5 out of 5

    Peg

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