Six Ways to Avoid False and Frantic Alternatives


The typical American lifestyle is an illustration of what has been called frenetic intemperance – a frenzy of economic activity to attain as much as possible as quickly as possible. This need for immediacy in all things has had dire consequences on multiple levels in society, a fact that is well documented in John Horvat’s book, Return to Order. One critical ramification is how it affects our decision-making processes.

Thinking takes time, which creates a perception that thinking too much on any matter will delay the gratification being sought. Thus, we tend to occupy our thoughts with entertainment instead of deliberation. Advertisers are not shy to admit the importance of commercials that do not require the viewer to think. Consequently, there is the demand that solutions need to be simple and expedient before most people will consider them.


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The simplest solution is one that can be selected from a prearranged set of options, and the vast majority prefers this over the freedom to design and create their own personal results, or even to imagine something sublime. They would rather select from the same small set of partially adequate choices given to everyone else, even if begrudgingly, than expend the time and effort required to determine an ideal solution. This bias holds true for material acquisitions, relationships, and even political activities. This has resulted in an explosion of “false alternatives.”

Most people would rather lament over having two bad candidates than seek out a means to get better people in the running. They will choose the simplicity of abortion rather than deliberate how to save the life of their very own child. They will choose divorce rather than work through the very same issues that every successfully married couple has had to contend with. They will settle for the mediocre, deny restraint, ignore morality, overlook injustice, tolerate abomination, and accept tyranny, all for the sake of not having to honestly and deliberately consider the full measure of a matter. Yet as bad as all of this may be, it is compounded by the level of unhappiness, dissatisfaction, and frustration that these false alternatives breed.

The government, which touts itself loudly as the only legitimate solution provider for all social ills, now finds itself in the cross-hairs of this societal discontentment. Caught up in its own frenetic intemperance, it has opted for instant band-aids instead of well deliberated long-term strategies to solve public issues. These quick-fixes have tended to create even worse problems over time, resulting in even greater public dissatisfaction; except that now, the public places all blame on the government instead of the underlying sources. This blame manifests itself in greater rebellion against ALL law, against ALL restraint, and against ALL morality – which carries over even to the Church and God’s laws.

Frenetic intemperance has demonstrated itself to be the antithesis of righteousness. It undermines God’s Word, and teaches us to embrace our own desires instead of denying them for the service of others. It denies sacrifice and promotes every known vice. It is the root of societal ill, and absolutely must be stopped before recovery can begin.

How do we combat frenetic intemperance?

1. Take time to research and deliberate matters before jumping into a decision. Especially when considering:

a. Elderly parents

b. Marriage problems

c. Family problems

d. Spending and borrowing

e. Church and tradition

f. Sanctification, salvation and the afterlife

g. Voting and campaigning

h. Appropriate use of spare time

2. Learn to discern false alternatives, and take the time to strive for positive and righteous solutions even when they aren’t among the named choices.

3. Support local merchants and artisans over the convenience of big box stores

4. Identify the righteous, the good, and the sublime in your community and your country. Endorse it and support it.

5. Defend and support traditional American principles, such as:

a. Personal responsibility

b. Private enterprise

c. Personal property and the right to bear arms

d. Justice for all

e. Organic Christian society

6. Awaken the public to frenetic intemperance and strive to overcome it:Subscription11

a. Return to Order explains the crisis. We should ardently promote this work.

b. Teach these values to our children.

c. Be active in community and politics to promote these values (school boards, town councils, church activities, etc.)

  • Jack Greer

    Very good article.

  • texas123

    I believe the amount of anxiety/depression in our country is directly proportional to the practice of frenetic intemperance in the US. The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis demonstrated it in a fictional account.

    Now we have the media, technology and 24hr newscycle to consume all of our energy and time so that we dont spend the proper amount of time in prayer, reflection, and discernment. Its soo easy to succumb to but John Horvat and guest writers give simple empirical solutions to reclaim our authentic selves which are made in God’s image.

  • Paul Welsh

    Yes the police become corrupt if they are against God’s laws, and that is a situation where the Church has to be and work, there are very few practicing Catholics in employment in Scotland, and our Church is now half Polish in St Andrew’s Livingston, we have very few indigenous Scots now taking all their Sacraments, not many receiving Confession, Holy Communion, and Confirmation.

  • Susan


  • disqus_A7ZiD14I8W

    great article, thank you for the thoughts to think about

  • Dorothy Farish

    Excellent suggestions! I have just read Return to Order for the first time and it is jam packed with thoughtful, sensible information that will, if followed, restore some balance to the world.