Defining Frenetic Intemperance

Defining Frenetic Intemperance

“Seeking to throw off legitimate restraints; and gratify disordered passions.”

We can define frenetic intemperance as a restless, explosive, and relentless drive inside man that manifests itself in modern economy by 1) seeking to throw off legitimate restraints; and 2) gratifying disordered passions.

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It tends to form an economic undercurrent whose action can be likened to that of a faulty accelerator or regulator that takes an otherwise well-functioning machine and throws it out of balance.

Taken from the book, Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here and Where We Need to Go.

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  • Gentillylace

    While I agree with this excerpt, I would like to know more clearly Horvat’s definition of “legitimate restraints” and “disordered passions”. I am afraid that many people might disagree as to which restraints are legitimate and which passions are disordered: there is no longer a consensus on the meaning of many terms.

    • Lepanto

      I think we can answer that by saying that the words “legitimate” and “disordered” in this context refer to objective standards, not determined by consensus. How do we know this? These objective standards are determined by morality, which is the fruit of doctrine, which in turn is determined by truth. There is only one truth. His Name is Jesus. If we start there, we will end up with the “right answer” for such standards.

      • Gentillylace

        I agree with you, Lepanto, but not everybody believes that Jesus is Truth incarnate. How can we make the message that there is only one truth more palatable to people (including members of my immediate family) who are not Christian, have never been Christian and have no intention of becoming Christian?

        • PMcC33

          Natural Law is a good way of explaining objective truth. Natural Law is the rational creature’s participation in the Eternal Law. Its general precept, from which all the others follow, is that “good is to be done and pursued, and evil is to be avoided.”

          Saint Paul taught the Romans that the natural law is inscribed in a man’s heart.

          Because it is written on every man’s heart, a person does not need to be taught that a certain thing is particularly wrong.

          Why does a child blush when it is caught stealing a cookie? The child knows inherently from its God given conscience.

          Man perceives the goodness of his life, the legitimacy of his property and the sanctity of his marriage; and he knows that it is bad to kill, to steal someone’s property or to commit adultery. All of this knowledge comes from Natural Law.

          I hope this helps.

          • Gentillylace

            Thank you for your explanation. Of course, there are a few people with antisocial personality disorder, who seem to have been born without a conscience, but for the vast majority of people, the explanation of Natural Law *ought* to work.

            However, since the phrase “Natural Law” has been so much used by Christians, perhaps one should not use that phrase when explaining it to non-Christians who are not overtly sympathetic to Christianity. If one were to say “Natural Law” or mention God to a secular agnostic too soon, that person might well shut down and shut out whatever one has to say, or else ridicule it.


    You can see frenetic intemperance everywhere. Even the ‘poor’ in this country have the latest cell phone, latest ‘anything’ and people travel all over the place for their family vacations. I remember when I was a child, that we used to go to the lake for a week during the summer, and enjoying the quiet of the lake. Once every couple of years we would take a ‘long’ trip to see relatives in other states and my dad, (loving history) would plan to see historical sights in those areas. We had a wonderful time singing in the car and playing games together. Now, when we see people at restaurants or other places, we see people who are all playing on their own phones or texting other people who are not with them. They don’t even look at the people they are with. The world is up-side-down these days.