Return to Order: Ch. 11, The Destruction of Higher Law (Listen and Learn)

The_destrucion_of_higher_law-e1496851936792 Return to Order: Ch. 11, The Destruction of Higher Law (Listen and Learn)

You are invited to listen to the following section of Return to Order, “The Destruction of Higher Law” from chapter 11. Afterwards, consider the following questions and how they apply to our present moral crisis.



Return to Order, Part1, Chapter 11, The Implosion of Individualism, “The Destruction of Higher Law”



Individualism is the foundation of America’s cooperative union. It popularizes the idea of the autonomous individual who thinks and does whatever he wishes. The only unconditional right is that of self-preservation.

There is a distinction between individuality, which develops the talents of the individual acknowledging a moral law and the common good, and individualism, which makes each one the center of an enclosed world of personal self-interest.

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However, individualism is much more than just doing as one pleases. It teaches a philosophy of life, in which each individual is a totally autonomous, self-made man, the sole architect of his own freedom and destiny, with infinite possibilities, completely free to construct an eternally new self. People mistake this proliferation of choice for true freedom.

Individualism results in a paradox of isolation and conformity. The self-made man isolates himself by discarding the social anchors of family, morals, traditions, and special obligations. Without these anchors, the person is insecure and conforms to what others are doing, thus creating the masses. Individualism promises autonomy, but delivers collectivism.

One consequence of individualism is a decline in the sense of community and a proliferation of shallow associations. It also leads to hostility towards the State, which becomes the mere keeper of order and protector of property. Finally, individualism leads to a denial of a higher moral law. Law is reduced to aiding self-interest and safeguarding property or contracts. The source of law becomes the intrusive State.

This individualist order is now imploding and threatens true freedom.

Discussion Questions

1. Discuss and give examples of ways in which society promotes an individualism based on a proliferation of choices in which the person believes that “I can do as I wish.” Do these promises always prove true?

Examples of how society promotes individualism as a proliferation of personal choices might include the following:

In matters of career choices, one is told one can be anything one wishes. The car frees the individual to go anywhere. The universal use of the cell phone promises to connect instantly with whomever one wishes. First Amendment rights grant the right to say anything…except if it is politically incorrect. The abundance of goods in shopping centers gives the impression that one has the ability to buy whatever one wants. Online choices make similar promises. The use of search engines like Google promise unlimited knowledge and information. Social media promises unlimited connections with others. All these examples have limitations and disappointments that might be discussed.


2. In your experience, in what ways is the lack of community manifested? Discuss and give examples of ways one can be isolated under individualism.

Ways people can be isolated under individualism might include the following:

People often lack a sense of local and national history because they are not involved in communities. People are not encouraged to find out where they come from. They rarely know their genealogy. Americans are constantly moving, and therefore often lack local roots and feel isolated. Many family members are isolated because they are scattered all over the country. National elections display a lack of national unity since many think only of personal benefits. There is little cultural unity since everyone is encouraged to develop his own personal culture. In business and society, there is a prevailing “What’s in it for me?” mentality.

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3. What pressures do you feel to conform to the fashions of the day?

Pressures to conform to the fashions of the day can be seen in the use of slang; the pressure to dress like others, eat like others, or listen to the same music. There is a pressure for people to know about the latest movie, star, or entertainment, or to be up on the latest in sports regardless of whether one likes the sport. Technologically, there is the pressure to know about or have the latest gadget or to be engaged in social media.


4. Discus and distinguish between freedom and choice.

Freedom is the facility to choose the means toward a determined good. When one chooses evil, it actually enslaves one to passions. Choice is the mere act of choosing. Freedom is not choice.

5. Discuss and give examples of hostility to the State, especially those caused by the denial of a higher law.

Hostility to the State can be seen in a hostile attitude towards high taxes and all taxes in general, a resentment of abusive overregulation, a disregard for politicians of all types, or suspiciousness of all government, especially when it abuses power as seen in huge government programs or entitlements. This hostility is especially present among moral Americans who blame the State for immoral law as can be seen when individuals delegate to the State the role of being the source of law, thus resulting in abortion, homosexual marriage, and conscience violation. Abusive enforcement of laws thus becomes possible.

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6. How can you oppose the abuses of individualism? What concrete measures can you take to avoid this?

This can be done in the following ways:

    • Be a good Catholic.
    • Be a volunteer or fight for a cause greater than self.
    • Strengthen and think in terms of cohesive groups like family, community, or parish.
    • Fight for the cause of the Church and the moral law.
    • Protest against abuses of higher law, especially those in which you have no direct interest.
    • Be patriotic.
  • Mike Knife

    Psychiatry is responsible for the destruction justice and that which is right and that which is wrong.

  • Ebby G Shreve

    Sunday worship is also linked to Satan. For God never changed the Sabbath from the seventh day to the first day a change which there is absolutely no scriptural evidence, man changed it not God nor Jesus. The Catholic church claims responsibility for the change, straight out of old Satan’t mouth.

    • Lou

      False. The Sabbath starts on Saturday evening, as per Hebrew custom, and ends on Sunday evening. That’s why Sunday Obligations can be fulfilled at Saturday evening Masses.

      • The Jewish Sabbath starts on Friday evening and ends Saturday evening. Then, the first day of the week starts, which is partly Sunday. I think that the communion meal was done on Sunday because the earliest Christians were observing the Jewish Sabbath. The were all Jewish.

    • Adolfo Pineda Garcia

      Jehova witness? Only ask because is only group that makes their own bible and is difrent then others and may say something difrent, Luke 23 56 may give you the answer

      • John Christensen

        Jw are not actually even Christian

    • whawell

      The Sabbath is a Jewish day of observance of the Passover when the Jews were liberated from Egyptian slavery. This event foreshadowed Christ’s own Passover from death to life. The latter event is of much greater significance because it liberated humankind from death (slavery to sin) to life. It is therefore only appropriate & proper that Christians should celebrate that event on the first day of the week when it occurred instead of the last day.

      • marlene

        Even as a Jewish Christian, I agree with you. However, I don’t think we’ll lose our salvation over it.

        • whawell

          If I may ask, are you a convert to Christianity?

          • marlene

            Are you?

          • whawell

            I consider myself a revert. I abandoned my Christian faith in my twenties only to pick it up almost a decade later with a renewed spirit and understand. I am eternally grateful to God for having retrieved this lost sheep. God help me, never again will I leave my true family!

          • marlene

            I was born both Jewish and Christian and went to Synogogue on Saturday and Church on Sunday, as a child only. I never really knew Jesus, although I loved Him for what He did, but I always believed in God the Father. However, it wasn’t until late in my adult years that I fully came to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and I too, thank God.

            Your own story is very poignant and I’m happy for you. God bless you, my brother in Christ.

          • whawell

            Thanks, Marlene, for the affirmation.

    • Believer

      What Whawell says.
      There is also a great deal to say about Sunday being the new day, the first day of the new Creation, and its being the day Christ Resurrected.
      Don’t try to alienate the biggest Christian Church. It has more members than all protestant sects combined and was established by Christ Himself. As the Incarnation was visible, so too is the Church established by Christ Jesus on St Peter.
      Jesus prayed for the unity of those who follow Him. Let us conform our views from what is wrong to what is revealed and established by God.
      Peace of Christ be with you

  • happygael

    The Higher law can never be changed. It can only be broken.

  • CJHansen

    In the most popular school text on American history references to God in the historical American documents have been removed. Weather we accept Sunday or Saturday as the biblical day of rest and worship neither is observed today. Many go to church then go shopping. The iconic representations of Christianity are today legislatively threatened and some are already gone. This nation and Europe is awash in pornography which today is promoting the most vile practices off human degradation. Drugs are often as available as candy especially to anyone that the pusher sees as exploitable. Parental authority is mocked in universities and some schools. Children may seek tax funded aid to resist a parent’s objections to their favored behavior. Both parents must work, or so they are convinced by our media, to support the lifestyle that is popular. As a result women today can only have two, one or no children at all. They are told how can you afford to educate them if you have more than 2 and that would be irresponsible anyway in an overpopulated and polluted world. Worse is the fact that children are raised too often by a society that does not have the interests of the parents or the child at heart and many are corrupted.
    The initial efforts of the Progressive movement had some good points and was broadly supported in the world of the day. But after gaining a foot-hold by achieving women’s suffrage and the decriminalization of homosexuality the movement continued to attack and destroy the established norms, especially if they were Christian inspired.
    For the degeneration of the nations character, do we need to look any further then the Progressive movement? They are not satisfied with having the law in their favor they also make every effort to silence conservative voices. Pro-choice presentations are blocked from campuses and people are arrested for praying outside an abortion clinic.
    Given the track record of the Progressives it is not unreasonable to suggest that their support for open borders is based on the idea that they want to bring in allies to help tear down our Judaeo/Christian value system that build this country. This works well for them with the influx of Muslims. Mexicans are mostly Catholic but the Catholic virtues can too easily be corrupted in the pursuit of the American dream as it is presented to them by Progressives.
    There is a representation of the dishonestly in this movement in the very name Progressive. It is never said – to where are we progressing. The skill of this lie is seen in their manufacture from this good adjective into a noun that is a lie.
    Why is it unacceptable to have historic icons of our faith in public places even for those who do not share our faith? After all, while the old pagan religions are left far behind we still honor the history; we still have Moon’s-day, Sun’s-day, Thor’s-day, Woeden’s-day etc. and we spell each name with a capital the same as Jesus, or God. The constellations are named mostly for Greek mythology. We still honor our history which is borrowed from the Greek, Roman and other civilizations. Nobody as ever objected to these old god remnants but representations of Christianity must be destroyed. Why? If you don’t believe can you not appreciate the historic merit.
    The Progressive movement is still accelerating and Islam is gaining strength. In Islam they look to their Mahdi to come and take the world for his in the name of Allah. Not all prophecies are Jewish or Christian. Is it not conceivable that this Mahdi is the anti-Christ, and those looking for a rapture in our then apparent false prophecy will become convinced of the “truth” in the Koran. But he will only have power for a short time before Christ comes again. We will by then have tried the power of man and the power of demons to control the world and we will ready to fully accept the rule of Christ, but the tribulation that is beginning now will come first.
    Remember in the temptations of Christ when Satan gave up “…he left him to seek another opportunity and the angels came and waited on Jesus”, Jesus was offered world power as the devil said, “…it is mine to give to whom ever I please”. Jesus said “no”. Satan’s second opportunity is said to have come according to common wisdom on Easter, but no; that was what had to happen by God’s will. Satan’s second opportunity came with the raise of Mohammed. To the offer of the world by Satan to Mohammed the Prophet said yes and bowed down to worship Satan. Three years after his temptations Jesus was nailed to a cross. Three years after accepting Satan’s deal Mohammed rode into Mecca a the head of a great army.
    Remember to respect and love Muslims they are victims of Islam but hate Islamism. It is Satan’s great tool of destruction.
    Progressive are people to, love them also, but Progressivism is another great tool of Satan. No man can operate such a conspiracy. This conspiracy is not of from this world.
    Now that you see the devil, know, therefore, that also there is a God.

  • Chris Lilly

    When personal freedom becomes an end in itself the individual becomes abusive, arbitrary and anti- social. The freedom fanatic becomes anarchistic unwilling to accept Divine or Human authority because such recognition interferes with pursuit of self at all costs. A clear violation of the Great Commandment that leads to the abandonment of good moral character as well as personal and social responsibility. The end result being self destruction and ruination.

  • The element of individuality in Christianity is found in our personal trust and dependence upon Christ. No one can do this for us. This then places us in the mystical Body of Christ, which is the corporate element of Christianity.