Where Did the Idea of Organic Society Come From?

The Amazing Power of Assimilation of Christian Civilization

“The implication of this metaphor is that government and political rule are natural to man.”

While some concepts of an organic order can be found in Plato or Aristotle, a more developed theory only came later. It is said that the book, The Policraticus, by John of Salisbury (1115?-1180) first introduced an organic theory of the secular political order into European thought. The author was the secretary of Saint Thomas Becket, when Archbishop of Canterbury, and he was thus greatly involved in the political controversies of the day.

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As scholar Harold Berman notes, his organic metaphor held that “every principality, that is, every territorial polity headed by a ruler, is a body. The prince is compared with the head, the senate with the heart, the judges and provincial rulers with the eyes, ears, and tongue, the soldiers with the hands, the tillers of the soil with the feet” (Harold J. Berman, Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1983, p. 286).


The implication of this metaphor is that government and political rule are natural to man. It differs from those who hold that government is an artificial construct imposed on society by force or the result of some compact or convention.

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Tradition: Why It Matters

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“Far from inhibiting progress, tradition reinforces guards and builds upon past achievements.”

Some people associate tradition with old habits that are carried down over the years. Tradition is fine for Thanksgiving or Christmas, but it has no real role in the modern world, which is constantly changing. Expanding tradition beyond sentimental occasions is considered restrictive to progress.

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Such people do not understand tradition. Theirs is a superficial view that fails to realize just how important tradition is. Far from inhibiting progress, tradition reinforces guards and builds upon past achievements. Tradition is that which prevents us from constantly starting over again.

Prof. J. Budziszewski defines tradition well by calling it “a shared way of life that molds the mind, character, and imagination of those who practice it, for better or for worse. It is a kind of apprenticeship in living, with all of the previous generations as masters, and includes not only ways of doing things, but ways of raising questions about things that matter” (J. Budziszewski, What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 2011, pp. 173-174).

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The Marvelous World of Our Lady’s Flowers

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“The marigold comes from the idea that this bright yellow flower is ‘Mary’s gold.'”

While modern men look for happiness in instant gratification, there was once a time in Christendom when men believed happiness came from a true understanding of the order of the universe. They saw the universe as a great lesson book which, through symbols, one could come to know, love and serve God. One beautiful and touching page in this book was their perception of flowers.

With great practical sense born of observation, people of those distant times believed flowers to be symbolic of virtues and qualities that ultimately reflected the perfections of God, but which could be seen more directly in that most perfect of all God’s creatures – the Blessed Virgin.

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Flowers belonged to Mary, the Mother of God. In those times when spiritual life and daily life were so intertwined, flowers were a veritable catechism for the faithful. Flowers transformed abstract virtues into easily understood symbols found in daily life and linked them to Our Lady, the perfect human model of Christian virtue.

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“there were at least a thousand flowers and herbs named after Our Lady, her qualities, and episodes in her life”

Thus, there were at least a thousand flowers and herbs named after Our Lady, her qualities, and episodes in her life. In medieval times, each country circulated its own names and legends adapting to the local culture and flora. Art, poetry and literature celebrated this intimate link between flowers and the Blessed Mother. To better contemplate these marvels, there were enclosed “Mary Gardens” with those flowers and herbs that spoke of her to the faithful.

Some of the flower names make this link easy to trace. The marigold comes from the idea

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“The lily of the valley was called Our Lady’s Tears,”

that this bright yellow flower is “Mary’s gold.” Carnation is a corruption of the word “coronation” since the flower was often used to crown statues of Our Lady. The herb Rosemary is said to honor Mary, the Mystical Rose. “Lady’s Slipper,” like many other flowers that now begin with the word “lady,” was originally “Our Lady’s Slipper.”

However, other flower names have not survived to our times. The lily of the valley was called Our Lady’s Tears, since from afar the white flowers seemed like tear drops falling. The humble sweet violet used to be known as “Our Lady’s Modesty.” The enchanting forget-me-nots were reminders of the “Eyes of Mary.” Even the lowly dandelion with its bitter tasting greens came to be called “Mary’s Bitter Sorrow.” And the names go on and on, since nearly every familiar flower or herb known today had its equivalent Marian name.

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“The enchanting forget-me-nots were reminders of the ‘Eyes of Mary.'”

Some flowers gained their name because they bloomed close to feast days. The snowdrop, for example, was called “Candlemas Bells” since it often bloomed early on Candlemas – the feast of the Purification. The Assumption lily bloomed near the feast of the Assumption. It represented her immaculate purity, virginity and innocence that were rewarded by her assumption into heaven.

Of course, the rose came to symbolize Mary from the earliest times of the Church since it is a flower so rich in expression that it encompassed her purity, sorrow and glory. Numerous varieties of rose are associated with the Blessed Mother: the Rose of Sharon, Christmas Rose, or Scotch Rose. A collection of roses in a garden was called a rosarium. Later, a collection of Hail Mary prayers became known as a rosary.

“The carnation was also called ‘Mary’s Love of God.'”

From this vision of flowers came lore and pious legend full of innocence and wonder. Legend has it, for example, that the tiny flower columbine sprang up wherever Our Lady’s foot touched the ground when on her way to visit her cousin Saint Elizabeth and was thus called “Our Lady’s Shoes.” It was said the carnation (also called “Mary’s Love of God”) first appeared when it sprang from the tears of the Blessed Mother that fell upon the ground upon seeing her Son carry the Cross. The lily, it was said, was originally yellow and came from the sorrowful tears of Eve upon being expelled from paradise. When Our Lady stooped to pick a lily, the lily became white and fragrant. It is told that the stars of the heavens came down to earth in their desire to glorify the Christ Child in Bethlehem and planted themselves around the manger as radiant buttercups.

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“While such stories were but mere legend, they spoke of great truths. They served to enchant, instruct and inspire the faithful”

While such stories were but mere legend, they spoke of great truths. They served to enchant, instruct and inspire the faithful to greater devotion and love of God. They made more human that tender connection between the Blessed Mother and fallen humanity. In this way, common flowers united all in virtue, speaking through poetry and song to saint and sinner, rich and poor, old and young, learned and ignorant.

Such was the marvelous world of Our Lady’s flowers that we have lost. It is but one of many pages of that great lesson book where even the most common things in Creation were a source of simple joys accessible to all. Indeed, even sorrow in this vale of tears was made meaningful and beautiful.

For our sad days, it is a lesson for us. If we are to return to some kind of order, it must not have as its basis the sterile statistics of a society where money alone rules. It cannot have as its foundation the frenetic intemperance of rushed lifestyles. Such things lead to frustration not happiness.

Doubtless we must provide amply for material needs. However, this order should have as Subscription8.11its aim the desire to understand the meaning of things by seeking out their final and highest causes, which is called wisdom. In an order based on wisdom, men derive great happiness in naturally seeking God or the likeness of God in all things – even in common flowers.

Blasphemy and sacrilege are not free speech!

Protest-Black-Mass-Oklahoma-CitySatanists are allowed to hold a public “black Mass” and blaspheme the Blessed Virgin Mary on city property at the Civic Center in Oklahoma City on Monday, August 15, 2016.

We cannot remain silent! This is a most grave sin.

This is a direct insult and act of defiance against God and to America’s Christian roots.

These insults against God are not only offensive to Christians, but also repulsive to everyone of good will.

This public attack against Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Mother is a real religious persecution.

Blasphemy and sacrilege are not free speech! Spread the word to stop this sacrilege.

Broken Trust: The Cause of Angry Politics

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“Everyone agrees that there is something different about today’s angry politics.”

Everyone agrees that there is something different about today’s angry politics. The ordinary issues that have shaped the political debate for years have largely remained the same. The economy is still in bad shape, terrorism remains a top concern and the deficit is still growing as fast as ever.

The mood of the nation, however, has undergone a great shift. People are angry. They are not angry about something, but rather angry at someone.

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Digging a bit deeper, one finds that, more often than not, people are venting their rage not at any particular individual, but rather a class, institution or grouping of people. Targets include incumbents, corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists, politically correct academics, clergy or just the plain “establishment”—whatever that might mean. This unfocused shotgun approach holds that we need to throw the whole lot out and start over again to effect real change.

The causes of this widespread discontent are likewise unfocused. There are authentic rational reasons for this discontent but it usually manifests itself more through feelings than facts. There is a general (and often legitimate) feeling of betrayal on the part of governing institutions that have failed to be responsive to an assortment of conflicting concerns. People sense that generally things are stagnated and not moving forward. Many more simply feel left behind.


The result in a very real divorce between the present policies shaping the nation and what the nation actually needs and wants. And like every divorce, it is very messy.

Like a broken marriage, the missing element is trust. Public confidence in major institutions has plummeted over the past four decades with Congress in the basement with a less than ten percent approval rating. The media, academia, corporations and religious groups do not fare much better. Anti-institutional candidates are all the rage and win by raging against anyone even remotely connected with “the system.”

The erosion of this public trust has been building for decades, but only now are the political implications becoming evident. The giant edifice of American society—so apparently powerful and resilient—is only as strong as the patchwork of buttresses, struts and beams that hold it up. In this case, the patchwork consists of those personal relationships built on trust that bind people together for virtuous life in common. These ties can be found in families, communities and other intermediary associations that hold the nation together in trust. Above all, these bonds are forged when people love their neighbors as themselves for the love of God, in the practice of Christian charity.

It is no secret that the strength of these social ties has dramatically weakened over the years. These important lines of communication in our society are being severed from top to bottom. The respect, affection, and courtesy flowing from these social ties no longer facilitate the organic circulation and flow of fresh ideas and vitality throughout society. Intermediary groups, like parishes and local communities, are fading away together with the feeling of security they once gave. People can no longer identify with the surviving institutions that are usually huge and bureaucratic. Hence comes the very real sensation of stagnation and alienation that is so much a part of angry politics.

Modernity does little to discourage this disaggregation or the anger. In the name of a misplaced diversity without unity, people go about the exhausting task of defining their identity, sexuality and brand without concern for society or the common good. Those who oppose this diversity are angrily labeled “bigoted” or “intolerant.”

That is why we are now seeing the frenzied disintegration of a society where all go their own way. People harden in their own positions, and the world becomes, in the words of Alasdair MacIntyre, “a meeting place for individual wills, each with its own set of attitudes and preferences and who understand that world solely as an arena for the achievement of their own satisfaction.”

The result is a political climate of mistrust that leads to a polarization that is actually a Subscription8.1shattering of the country into thousands of little poles that make angry politics happen. This is only logical since broken trust tends to beget ever more angry distrust.

That is not to say anger cannot have a constructive role in politics. However, it should be focused and principled. It should not lead to indiscriminate rage against all authority and institutions, and the idea that no one can be trusted save oneself. Society becomes impossible if anger leads to the conclusion that each man should become his own authority and his own law.

If we are to return to order, there will need to be those who rise above self-interest and truly grieve for the nation. Such representative figures have always appeared in times of crisis to unite, never shatter, the nation. They will need to reforge those social bonds and rebuild society and its structures. They will need to rally the nation around those permanent virtues of courage, duty, courtesy, justice, and charity that encourage moderation and builds strong social bonds. Trust must be restored, and at the very root, beginning with an immense trust in God.

As seen on crisismagazine.com

Modern Thought: Constantly Reinventing the Wheel

window-700770_960_720One of the tragedies of the modern world is the great fear of dependence upon others. People have the idea that the fact one depends upon others represents a sign of extreme weakness and lack of character.

Society exists in part to address the shortcomings of every person. When a person seeks out the help of another, it is something that helps, not hinders, one’s full development. It actually involves an act of courage to acknowledge the reality of one’s weaknesses and seek the support of another. In addition, the combined efforts of many united together is stronger than the isolated endeavor of a single individual no matter how strong that person may be. A person has everything to gain by a balanced dependency.

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This phobia of dependency reaches an extreme in the formation of modern thought. Descartes taught that true thinking comes from putting aside all supposed knowledge coming from “example or custom.” The real thinker is one who formulates one’s own thoughts built upon a foundation, which belongs completely to the individual. He only is because he thinks.


Emmanuel Kant takes this yet further by declaring: “Enlightenment is “man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity… [The immaturity consists not in a] lack of understanding, but a lack of resolution and courage to use [one’s own understanding] without the guidance of another.”

Dependency, tradition and guidance are not curses but true guardians of progress. The ability to build upon the work and thoughts of others prevents society from constantly reinventing the wheel…or inventing crazy things to take the place of wheels.

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Who Does Not Pray Is a Traitor

Who Does Not Pray Is a Traitor, God welcomes our prayers and petitions that bring us closer to Him

“God welcomes our prayers and petitions that bring us closer to Him.”

All too often people have a wrong perspective on prayer. They think that by asking for things in prayer, they are pestering God who does not look kindly upon their petitions.

Such an attitude is completely wrong since we need prayer if we are to obtain heaven. If God wishes our salvation even more than we ourselves, then it is logical that He welcomes our prayers and petitions that bring us closer to Him.

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Our prayers should not be occasional requests for help but constant entreaties. This is because the greatest difficulty of our spiritual life is overcoming our many defects for which we need not only constant but extraordinary prayers. This need will always be with us, since our defects will plague us until we die.

Even when we have a victory over our defects, we still need prayers. We need prayer to sustain any victory over our defects, lest they return.




Most people know we have a right to ask for this help. But this great privilege goes even further. Consider this great truth: We do not have the right not to ask for help.

Scotland - If through pride or laziness, we refuse to pray, we will lose the great city of our soul

“If through pride or laziness, we refuse to pray, we will lose the great city of our soul”

Imagine a captain in a besieged city. He sees his desperate situation and realizes that if he does not call for help from the king outside the city, he will lose the city. For him to not call the king, is to betray his king. He would be a traitor.

In a similar way, we commit treason by not praying. If through pride or laziness, we refuse to pray, we will lose the great city of our soul. God is near and only awaits our entreaty so that the city may be saved.

We must therefore pray. We should pray for every need, known and unknown. We should ask God for the grace of seeing what we need.

God puts in our souls a supernatural instinct whereby we more or less sense what we need to sanctify ourselves. Let us pay attention to this instinct. Let us not be traitors in this great fight for salvation! We have every right to ask God for what we need. We do not have the right to not pray when our souls are in danger. By not praying, we become traitors to our own cause.

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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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What It Means for America to Be Great

“The key question is what we mean by greatness.”

One thing I ardently desire is that America continue to be great. This natural and wholesome sentiment is born of a patriotism of which I am not ashamed. I am proud to be an American and so I desire the best for my country.

Contrary to the prevailing conventional wisdom, I do not believe America has lost its greatness. However, like everyone, I realize that this greatness is seriously threatened by the course we have set for ourselves. Its survival hinges on the decisions that we will now make.

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The key question before us is determining what we mean by greatness. There are those who associate greatness with bigness, power, or quantity. Thus, America is great because of her vast size, massive economic production or unmatched military might. These can truly be characteristics of great nations but they are not what make a nation great.


There are others who believe the foundation of our greatness is based on the many opportunities to enjoy life in America. They point to our American way of life in which people are encouraged to enjoy life to its fullest. Still others interpret greatness as the freedom to do whatever one pleases. All these goals often reflect legitimate self-interest, but do not necessarily confer greatness upon a nation.

If our greatness is measured by money, pleasure or self-aggrandizement, then our striving for greatness, no matter how vigorous, will inevitably fall short. For the greatness of nations is not found in things, quantities or delights, but in the character of its people.

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“the greatness of nations is not found in things, quantities or delights, but in the character of its people.”

Indeed, true greatness—that which endures the test of time—is born of a willingness to go beyond the common and ordinary. It calls us to excel, to take heroic action and to serve causes that take us beyond ourselves. It asks us to resist the temptation to sink into soft mediocrity.

America is great because there have always been, and still are, those who are willing to take up the challenges of going beyond the easy and comfortable. As long as such Americans may be found at all levels in society, we will continue to be great.

And so I believe America is great because there still exists dedicated fathers and loving mothers who sacrifice together to give their children strong character and instill in them the difference between right and wrong.

That quintessentially American can-do attitude still exists, propelling society to strive toward excellence. Scratch the surface of the towns and cities across our nation, and one will find those Americans who overcome obstacles, take risks and set our standards high.

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“we produce heroes with the courage to fight for what we know to be true and right.”

America will be great as long as there are those generous self-sacrificing Americans who step up to the plate, assume responsibility and become leaders in their communities, businesses and institutions.

As long as honor holds a place in our hearts, we will produce heroes with the courage to fight for what we know to be true and right. We will even have those who will make the sublime sacrifice of offering their lives for their country.

America will be great as long as we strive to be truly good. True goodness means placing God in the center of society, holding to His commandments as the rule of life and defending this higher law in the public square. We can be great—and expect God’s blessing—only if we remain faithful to a God that is almighty and great.

"A Catholic Family."

“America is great because there still exists dedicated fathers and loving mothers who sacrifice together to give their children strong character”

Such Americans are what makes the nation great. For them words like courage, honor, justice and duty still resonate in their hearts. They still hold dear their ties to God and His law. They grieve over the course the nation has taken.

However, the number of these Americans is fast dwindling as everything is being swept away by the frenetic intemperance of a society that thrives on instant gratification and spectacle. They are replaced by gaggles of shallow people, devoid of honor and character, who seek only to turn life into a huge carnival of fun and delights.

In these perilous times, many caricatures of greatness appear. The rule of honor is usurped by the rule of money. Greatness comes to signify vulgar displays of wealth, pleasure and power. A “great” person is one who does whatever it takes to keep the grand party going. Tragically, it can even mean severing our link with God when it obstructs the easy pursuit of whatever.

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“In these perilous times, many caricatures of greatness appear.”

I ardently yearn for America to be great, but if that greatness be not true, and comes at the price of virtue, duty and honor, I prefer that we as a people say “no.” And if our “no’ brings upon us the fury of those who promise the false greatness of the world, then so be it. For in that act of collectively saying “no,” America will have achieved a true greatness.

The questions that need to be addressed today are not those of taxes, jobs, economy or benefits. Although they are all important issues, they can more easily be resolved when sanity returns to the nation. We now enter a critical time when we must choose the path of true greatness over false, honor over money, God over the world. If we ardently desire a return to order, then we must be convinced that America can only be great if she is good and Godly. What will decide America’s future will be what has always decide her future—the character of her people.

As seen on americanthinker.com

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The Emperor Is Wearing Pajamas: The Decline of Dress

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“What one wears definitely has an effect on what one does or how one performs.”

The modern attitude toward dress is that it has little effect on the way people function. In fact, people are advised that the more comfortable they are, the more efficient and happy they will be. People generally respond to such advice by collectively retreating into a shabby array of blue jeans or shorts, T-shirts or sweatshirts, and sneakers. It really does not make any difference what you wear. It is all a matter of personal preference.

Such conclusions do not coincide with those who study attire. They have always affirmed that clothes are more than just covering. What one wears definitely has an effect on what one does or how one performs. Educators notice a change in performance when students wear uniforms. Soldiers fight better when they know how to maintain the sharpness of their dress uniforms. Businessmen get better results when in formal attire. Clothes express one’s personality and individuality; they communicate who the person is.

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A recent study co-authored by Prof. Michael Kraus of the Yale School of Management provided a noteworthy proof of the effect of clothes in the business world. He found that wearing clothes of high social status greatly influenced job performance and communicated a note of dominance and mastery to those engaged in negotiations.

Prof. Kraus compared the results of two groups of men, one wearing business suits and dress shoes and another in sweatpants, T-shirts, and plastic sandals. Those in the two groups were told to negotiate the sale of a hypothetical factory and were given leeway to make concessions. The men in suits conceded an average of $860,000 off the list price of the factory as compared with concession of $2.81 million for those in the sweatpants. The researchers found that those better-dressed behaved with more control; they elicited more respect and exuded more confidence.




Similar results were reported in a study last year in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science. People in formal business attire proved more capable of high levels of abstract thinking. They tended to see the big picture more easily than casual dressers. This made them more successful in their business decisions since they did not get bogged down in useless detail.

The moral of the story is not that everyone should always wear formal business attire on all occasions. The real moral is that each type of clothing is suited for a purpose for which it is designed. Sweat-panted executives and suited runners are signs of a world gone awry. When people ignore purpose in clothes, it has consequences.

Everyone knows that clothes make a difference. The evidence is irrefutable. Yet so many bizarre fashions still dominate.

Part of the blame for this disregard of function in clothes can be laid on the fashion world. Designers make it a point to overturn every taboo and convention in their search for novelty, excitement, and frivolity. The fashion world creates great pressure on people to follow the fads or else be ostracized.

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“It leads to a corresponding desire to destroy propriety and modesty.”

The result is fashions that contradict common sense. In what might be called the frenetic intemperance of wearing whatever fashion dictates, there is a callous disregard for function in clothes. It leads to a corresponding desire to destroy propriety and modesty. People become self-absorbed by their own comfort and unconcerned about how they might appear to others.

To cite yet one more example, there is a new high fashion trend now invading public spaces and social life. It is the wearing of pajamas as a form of social attire. Man-style bottom and top pajamas are finding their way into places outside the bedroom. Fashion houses are now selling out of designer pajamas made to replace evening gowns and cocktail dresses at formal social gatherings. Well-known celebrities have been appearing publicly in pajamas and even bedroom slippers to give yet more prestige to the trend.

The problem is pajamas look like… well, pajamas. They project the untidy image of people who are ready for sleep or who have just awoken. Pajamas presuppose an intimacy with loved ones that cannot be shared by the general public. But the fashion world has decreed that pajamas are chic, and people must therefore obey.

Even the fashion designers have a hard time overcoming the bizarreness of sleepwear in Subscription8.1the public square. They recommend that their striped pajamas be paired with other fashion accessories like dressy shoes, belts or blazers, perhaps to blunt the shocking impression of one being a prison escapee. Pajama pants on the street are marketed as “sleep pants,” so as to appear more like a distant and laid-back cousin of sweat pants. Designers admit that daytime pajamas represent a “rebellious spirit” that is not for the faint-hearted.

All this is part of a general disorder in fashion in which suits are belittled and pajamas exalted. A day will come when people will be freed from the chains of the fashionistas. When that return to order happens, people will dress once again with purpose, modesty and beauty. Until then, people will continue to appear in an embarrassing and bizarre array of clothes (or lack of clothes), awaiting the eureka moment when some innocent child will cry: The emperor is wearing the wrong clothes!

As seen on theimaginativeconservative.org