‘Ye Gods’: Taking on Modernity’s Pantheon

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“Today, everyone worships at at least one or a good number of these false altars.”

Occasionally one comes upon a book that presents simple truths in a plain and delightful way. Such books are commentaries based on the experience of life that ring true to the reader. One such book is a slim collection of essays titled simply Ye gods. Originally written and illustrated by Ed Willock in 1948, the book was republished by Catholic Authors Press in 2006.

The central thesis of the book is that so many of the attitudes and beliefs of modernity actually serve as America’s “household gods” with their accompanying mysticisms. The author illustrates his articles with drawings of typical Americans engaged in the “worship” of these false gods. He points out the contradiction of those who reject the one true God and the practice of the Faith yet readily embrace a pantheon of pagan idols and the empty frustration of living a life without God.

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Although written many decades ago, most of the modern neo-pagan idols he mentions are still adored. Indeed, the strange “liturgies” surrounding these gods has only accelerated with the introduction of social media and the frenetic intemperance of the times. Today, everyone worships at at least one or a good number of these false altars.



Some of the idols are actually an adoration of the individual and are hardly modern. These include the quest for success, money, health, luck and romance. Other gods are more recent additions brought about by modern lifestyles such as glamour, advertising, novelty, sports and popularity. Yet other gods are supported by the advance of technology such as progress, bigness, “omni-science,” speed and efficiency. Today, new postmodern gods more suited to the times, could probably be added to this tragic pantheon such as instant connectivity, extreme individualism or incivility.

The underlining philosophy behind the worship of neo-pagan idols is the illusion that spiritual desires can be satisfied with the follies of life. Willock explains how modern man “tries to assuage the hunger of his soul with material food.” The tendency of the global masses who worship the multiple modern idols is to unify this worship in the super-god of the omnipotent state, thus finding their “beatitude in the mass, rather than in the Mass.”

Ye gods is a succinct commentary that clearly indicates where modernity has gone wrong. Best of all, the author points in the direction of the Church and the worship of the one, true God as the only real solution to society’s ills.

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No Nobility of Purpose = No Prosperity

No Nobility of Purpose = No ProsperityThere are those who think that if we put our economy back on track, everything will be all right. Material prosperity is their sole solution. They speak of happiness as if it can be expressed in terms of GDP, government statistics and employment benefits.

We certainly do need material prosperity but such a vision is really only a half-solution. This purely materialistic model takes care of the body but not the soul. It neglects the most important part of life.

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This vision favors a bland secular society officially stripped of its spiritual elements. To use the words of Irving Kristol, it is a society with “no high nobility of purpose, no selfless devotion to transcendental ends, no awe-inspiring heroism.”

Such a stifling perspective has brought a certain sadness over the land. Even though we maximize our every material comfort and minimize every physical suffering, this materialist model will not satisfy us. That is why so many of us put on a show with our outward appearances, Facebook pages, and even great material wealth. In the depths of our souls, we are frustrated and sad; we want something more – we want the other half of the solution.


This “other half” becomes all the more urgent by the fact that our materialistic world is itself in crisis and even material comfort is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve.

What would this half of the solution consist of? It would involve going beyond our worn-out materialistic models. So many of us are tired of fake, cheap and inauthentic things that have no depth or organic connection with our lives. We desire, in their stead, things of excellence and quality that speak to us of the good, true and beautiful – and ultimately of God Himself.

The “other half” of the solution involves going beyond the media hype, sound bytes and the shallowness of thought that our Internet world has brought us. We are made for reflection and profound thought that allow us to probe and savor the meaning of life.

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The “other half” would especially address our relationships. So many of us are tired of the superficial links where each uses the other to get ahead. Too long we have endured the stress of what Thomas Hobbes called the “war of every man against every man” where each looks at the other as a brutal competitor.

What is needed now are meaningful ties to family, natural leaders, and community. How much better things would be if we could experience the happiness of truly authentic relationships that a million Facebook friends cannot supply.

The other half of the solution leads to a desire to connect with something – a place, an extended family, a community or a tradition. It awakens in us the joy and consolation of being part of something that is greater than ourselves – God, family, country. From this, there naturally flows a desire to sacrifice, to serve a higher ideal and to fight for a higher cause. And in these things we would find happiness.

We do not have to invent this order since it has long existed. It is that order which we call an organic Christian society which is based on the fundamentals of family, community and the Faith. This order always emerges since it comes from the very nature of man himself; it is valid for all times and all peoples. It is firmly based on natural law. And although it applies to everyone, the Church is its best and most secure guardian.

Not only did this order exist but it is possible once again. This organic Christian society is described in my 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.

As materialistic models fail, what we need today is an order that invites us to reconnect with that “noble purpose,” that “selfless devotion” and “awe-inspiring heroism” from which we have become separated. It is time to return to the “other half” of the solution.

The Manliness of the Prodigal Son

The Manliness of the Prodigal Son

“one of the most memorable and moving of all Our Lord Jesus Christ’s parables.”

The parable of the Prodigal Son is one of the most memorable and moving of all Our Lord Jesus Christ’s parables. Many who cannot name all Ten Commandments can nevertheless give a rough outline of the story. It has been widely represented in Christian art since the Middle Ages, and even today is often referenced in literature and film.

Its divine themes—grievous sin, terrible suffering, true repentance, and unconditional forgiveness—are like the finger of God touching the very heart of the human condition. No matter how often we see others follow the same path of perdition as the Prodigal Son, our pride fools us into thinking that our lives will end differently. No matter how much we are warned, we fall into sin. No matter how much we sin, we repent only when we encounter suffering. And no matter how virtuous we think we are, we are all Prodigal Sons in need of forgiveness from an all-merciful Father. These themes touch Americans very deeply.

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On the one hand, we are a nation that maintains a good and healthy regard for justice, especially towards unrepentant evildoers. We cheer the policeman who arrests the rogue criminal and find satisfaction in his just reward of a long jail sentence. We still support, by a large majority, the death penalty for our very worst criminals. We instinctively fight back against Islamic terrorism and—to the horror of liberals everywhere—cheer when unarmed American civilians beat unconscious would-be terrorists on a French train, or when an American Navy warship blows Somali pirates out of the water.

But something has changed in the American soul over the last few generations. Although we still have a love of justice, we increasingly refuse to take responsibility for our actions. We shirk our duties and obligations. We have the tendency to blame everyone and everything except ourselves for our faults and failings. And worst of all, we feel no shame for assigning blame and even cheer those who do so.

This mentality dominates in so many parts of our culture. Our legal system is overwhelmed with frivolous lawsuits from people who often take advantage of their own mistakes to extort money from others. Husbands and wives often blame each other for their marital disputes and prefer divorce to working through difficulties. Hollywood glamorizes characters that live for themselves and shirk responsibility, and even portray idealistic and self-sacrificing people as stupid or naïve.



We teach this mentality to our youth. When “helicopter parents” berate their children’s teachers for daring to give them a less-than-stellar grade, or when they confront a referee who made an unfavorable call in a sports game—regular occurrences today—those children learn that actions have no consequences. When able-bodied fathers sign up for food stamps rather than earn an honest living, or when career women abort their unborn children so they can continue to climb the corporate ladder, children learn that irresponsibility pays off.

A generation of Americans has grown up immersed in this ethic of irresponsibility. Unfortunately, there is no easy way out. Without a widespread conversion, a culture of irresponsibility naturally falls into a death spiral. Selfish, irresponsible people corrode their own culture, economy, and family structure, which leads to further selfishness, finger-pointing, and irresponsibility.

That brings us back to the Prodigal Son. In His infinite Wisdom, Our Lord Jesus Christ’s parables were given as supreme examples for all times and all peoples. Indeed, the parable of the Prodigal Son has many striking similarities with the specific situation in which America finds herself, and provides a clear path to repentance and conversion if we are willing to take it.

The Manliness of the Prodigal Son

“The Prodigal Son soon ran out of money and was reduced to herding swine.”

The Prodigal Son certainly didn’t leave his father’s house thinking he might end up herding swine. Although he walked away from immense wealth and happiness, he probably thought that he could enjoy the pleasures of the world while avoiding the pitfalls that befell other, less “enlightened” young men. His father, no doubt, warned him of the dangers of the world, but even he was unable to sway his son’s determination.

For a little while at least, he spent his father’s inheritance enjoying all the delights the world had to offer. Food, drink, and prostitutes were his new idols. Secure with his inheritance and new “friends,” he likely scoffed at his father’s paternal advice. When he talked about his father—if he did at all—he may have even mocked his former life at home.

In spite of all his father’s paternal advice and love, it was only through suffering that the Prodigal Son began to seriously consider the folly of his life. A great famine came upon the land, making life expensive. The Prodigal Son soon ran out of money and was reduced to herding swine. Worse than any physical suffering must have been his public humiliation. His new master may have known him before the famine struck, saw him frequent the local taverns, and stagger back drunk to his comfortable lodgings. If so, he probably didn’t let him forget it, as he went about his daily tasks taking care of his master’s pigs.

The Manliness of the Prodigal Son

“He may have been tempted to wallow in self-pity.”

The Prodigal Son likely had many legitimate grievances against others for his predicament. The famine that exposed his bad decisions was not his fault. Our Lord did not give a cause, but it could very well have been a man-made disaster. Perhaps the “ruling class” of that country, like the Prodigal Son himself, made bad decisions, which destroyed the local economy. There might have been a war that exhausted the whole country and crippled agriculture. As a rich man in a foreign country, he was certainly a target for thieves and hucksters.

As he sat watching the swine devour the husks that he so ardently wished to eat, many ideas must have flashed through his mind. He may have been tempted to wallow in self-pity. He could have spent his days, telling anyone willing to listen, all the gory details of how “they” caused his misfortune.

This is the effeminate response to a crisis. Effeminate men are unable to do the two things that define manliness: take responsibility for their actions and to do one’s duty regardless of the difficulty. They blame others for their own faults, create intricate justifications for their irresponsibility, and above all criticize men who don’t make excuses (behind their backs, of course).

The Manliness of the Prodigal Son

“It took courage to say the words “I have sinned” and to ask for forgiveness.”

The Prodigal Son, on the contrary, reacted to his predicament with true manliness. It took courage to confront his failings directly, to say the words “I have sinned” and to ask for forgiveness. To be sure, there certainly were factors outside his control that contributed to his misfortunes, but he recognized that he alone bore ultimate responsibility. It took manly heroism to humiliate himself in front of his father, older brother and their whole household after he had so proudly defied them and suffered the consequences.

This timeless parable has many lessons for us Americans today. Our culture, economy, and society are in crisis. As John Horvat points out in his book, Return to Order, we are spending our inheritance like passengers on a great cruise ship without any consideration for tomorrow. While we are enjoying ourselves, our government is paralyzed, our economy is plunging full speed into bankruptcy, and the traditional family is disfigured almost beyond recognition. A modern-day famine in the form of an economic crash would plunge the whole world into chaos.

Like the Prodigal Son, we have a choice. We can listen to the many voices of irresponsibility coming from both the left and the right. They place the blame exclusively on others, be it “Wall Street”, the Chinese, or the “1%.” These outside forces, to be sure, have indeed played a role in undermining our economy. But to place the blame entirely on them is akin to a man who blames a casino for taking his money. The casino certainly was dishonest in its dealings with him, but no matter how one may spin it, the blame for his loss lies entirely in his disordered tendencies and vices.

We must reject this effeminate response and imitate the manly example of the Prodigal Son. Like him, we must look inward very deeply and ask ourselves if our vices, and not some faceless external enemy, are the root cause of our predicament. How much do I participate in the “frenetic intemperance” of our modern economy? Have I participated in the cruise ship mentality, spending as if there were no tomorrow? Do I grieve for our beloved nation, or do I shrug my shoulders at her destruction as if it were the bankruptcy of a Fortune 500 company (a pity to be sure, but no real loss)?

Do I live according to the Rule of Money, which elevates all that is vulgar, egalitarian, and materialistic, or the Rule of Honor, which admires the sublime, heroic, and noble? Do I embrace the restraining influence of Christian morality in economy, with its natural checks and balances rooted in the Ten Commandments, or do I participate in the modern mania for destruction of every barrier and restraint? If so, am I willing to turn away from this path and return to my Father’s house, or do I care only for myself and for today, with no regard for tomorrow?

Our society and economy will return to order only after we take responsibility for our actions and do our duty to God and country, no matter how difficult. The father of the Prodigal Son was willing and ready to receive him at any moment, but he was powerless to help his son until the day when he stopped blaming others, admitted his guilt, repented of his sins and returned to his father’s house. But no matter how sinful he had been, the father was willing to forgive and forget in an instant all the evil his son had done, and to even rejoice in his return. Our nation is that Prodigal Son. May we respond to God’s grace and muster the courage necessary to imitate his manliness and return to the house of our most loving Eternal Father.

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When a Natural Credit System Prevailed

credit_system_prevailsMany wonder how an economic system can survive without a massive interest bearing credit to facilitate trade and liquidity. Historian Fernand Braudel provides an interesting description of an interest-free flexible system in eighteenth century Europe. He writes:

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And yet, if we are to believe Defoe, the entire hierarchy of trade, from top to bottom, operated on the same principle. From the small shopkeeper to the businessman, from the artisan to the manufacturer, everyone lived on credit, that is on forward sales and purchases…Even the time given for repayment, which everyone allowed and received in turn could be extended: ‘Not one man in twenty keeps to his time…On every merchant’s books, alongside the stocks of goods, there regularly figured his assets (credit) and liabilities (debts). The wise trader sought to maintain a balance, but never abandoned these forms of credit which in the end amounted to a huge mass, multiplying the volume of trade by four or five. The entire commercial system depended on it. …The important point is that this was a kind of credit inherent in the commercial system, generated by it – an internal form of credit which was interest-free.” Fernand Braudel, Civilization and Capitalism 15th-18th Century: The Wheels of Commerce, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1992, p. 385.

The Bank That Trust Built

In writing about economy, I have frequently denounced what I call frenetic intemperance. Frenetic intemperance is a term to describe a restless and reckless spirit inside certain sectors of modern economy that foments a drive to throw off legitimate restraints and gratify all desires. Such a reckless spirit is often found in the financial sector of modern economies as it engages in all sorts of monetary wheeling and dealing.

I admit that banks have their purpose in society by securing money and facilitating transactions needed to carry out business. However, so strong is the frantic idea of modern banking that I have often asked myself if I could provide concrete examples of banking without frenetic intemperance. It is not an easy task.

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But in the business section of The Sunday Times of Ireland (7-21-13), I quite unexpectedly found a refreshing example. It involves a London bank called C. Hoare & Co. It is not your ordinary bank.

This is a 341-year-old institution run by a family. The bank’s senior partner is Henry Hoarse, one of seven family partners who are all 10th – or 11th – generation descendents of bank founder Richard Hoare.

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“Our aim is to treat others as we would wish to be treated” and they have been doing so for 341 years – Sir Richard Hoare, founder of C.Hoare & Co.Painted in his robes as Lord Mayor of London (1712), by Jonathan Richardson.

“Founded in 1672, we remain wholly owned by the Hoare family and continue to be guided and led by the descendants of the bank’s founder,” reads the bank’s website. “We have no allegiance to any other institution. Our aim is to treat others as we would wish to be treated.”

Just this statement alone would be enough to set the bank apart from all others, but there is more. This bank assumes unlimited liability for its actions. If a mistake is made, the bank pays the cost. Needless to say, with such a conservative policy in force, not many mistakes are made. Perhaps that helps explain why the bank has a long list of distinguished past clients that include Samuel Pepys, Lord Bryon and Jane Austen.

Someone might object that such a bank is really only a picturesque relic of past times and time-honored tradition. What about the bottom line? Does this bank make money?

It appears its conservative policies in such frenetic and uncertain times pay off. Business is booming. Since the financial crisis began five years ago, the deposit base of the bank has doubled to £2.3 billion ($3.55 billion). Deposits are increasing monthly.

Modern marketers might imagine that the bank must use its traditional image to attract these new customers and aid expansion. This is hardly the case. In fact, it seems that the bank does everything possible not to grow and expand.

The bank has always maintained only two branches over the centuries and has no interest in going beyond this number. It has never used a marketing plan to attract customers. The bank offers interest rates to savers that are paltry. There is even a service charge of £60 ($93) a month for those with an average monthly balance of less than £25,000 ($38,600). And yet, new customers are banging at the door in droves to open accounts.

Subscription14The key to the success is the role of the family which is very active in all aspects of the bank’s operation especially the lending part. Because they must assume full liability for their transactions, the Hoare family is very careful in selecting its family partners. There are some 1,000 Hoare descendents that could qualify to be partners. However, there is a strict vetting process that makes sure only the most capable ascend to the top. The family puts aside funds to invest for future generations. It also donates generously to the family charity.

This stable yet profitable bank engages in wise investment policy so different from those policies found all over the world of finance. Only half of the bank’s deposits are actually loaned out while another quarter is safely lodged at the Bank of England. Customers know they can trust the firm not to engage in transactions that have unnecessary exposure to risk.

Thus, banking, like any other business, can exist without frenetic intemperance. Such banks can even flourish and be very profitable. This London bank shows how the family can be an important instrument to temper business and keep it in balance. Hoare & Co. proves it doesn’t have to be a dog-eat-dog world. All it takes is a little temperance.

From the Mail: Is Profit Man’s Only Motivation?

wonderI received a very kind letter from a gentleman who read and appreciated many of the concepts found in Return to Order. However, after some generous compliments about the work, he concluded that the application of the book’s principles is highly unlikely.

Human nature being what it is,” he noted, “the prospect of people’s acting on such principles when to do so would conflict with apparent profit potential appears remote.”

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Such a position reflects a classical liberal stance that profit or self-interest is seen as the sole motivation for man’s acts. Human actions are caused by either the pursuit of pleasure or the avoidance of pain. According to this modern school of thought, to expect people to act selflessly runs contrary to reality and reason.


Thus, to those who might think the book is somewhat naïve by assuming that men can act beyond what appears to be their own self-interest, I thought it might be interesting to list those areas in our present day society where men put principles above profit and value character more than capital. In this way, we can show that acting upon the principles mentioned in Return to Order is not only possible, but plausible. In other words, acting in “conflict with apparent profit potential” is not a pipe dream, but actually quite common in our postmodern society.

As Return to Order affirms, selfless action occurs especially in a society where honor rules. The fact that we can still find many remnants of this action in today’s hostile culture is proof that our thesis is not unrealistic. Moreover, these same actions attract youth which ensures they have a future.
398px-Índice_de_Biografías_-_Esteban_Murillo_-_Santo_Tomás_de_Villanueva_dando_limosna
The first area of selfless action I would list is that of the Church. Aided by grace, countless men and women live abnegated lives, to worship and give glory to God. They often give up promising careers and fulfilling lives to help their fellow men out of love of God. The priest adopts the celibate life to more freely serve the Church; likewise, the young nun offers up her virginity; the faithful are encouraged to embrace both the joys and sufferings that life affords. In so doing, the Church encourages a broad and realistic vision of life that extends beyond self-interest alone that so constricts and saddens the lives of men.

A second field of action where self-interest does not rule would be that of the military. The military profession is sustained much more by a sense of honor than a desire for money. The underpaid soldier puts the welfare of the nation above his own. In the blossoming years of youth, he volunteers to endure heat, cold, hunger, wounds and enemy fire. He is disposed at every moment to forfeit all, rendering the ultimate sacrifice – his very life.

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A third field of action is that of the traditional family. In this case, the spouses put their union and their children’s welfare above their own self-interest. faith_brings_harmonyContrary to the hedonistic same-sex unions of our days where self-gratification is the supreme goal, spouses in a traditional marriage vow to remain united until death parts them, for better or worse, in sickness and health, in poverty and riches, in a selfless act of mutual giving to one another. They welcome into their lives the blessings of children who they must support and love at great sacrifice…and with great joys. The mother selflessly gives birth to new life often at the expense of her career and both parents expose themselves to endure possible tragedy, disappointment and ingratitude.

How_should_we_ProductsWe find selfless action among true artists, craftsmen and artisans. This is a class of people who take upon themselves the task of doing things well and experience a disinterested joy in seeing anything perfect, beautiful, or well made—even when not their own. We might single out an artist who is willing to forego monetary gain in order to paint a masterpiece, solely for beauty’s sake.

Finally, we might mention the role of true and natural leaders at all levels of society who take upon themselves the burden of leadership to serve the common good. We think of that teacher who gives all to inspire and help students; that businessman who takes the interests of his workers to heart by helping them in matters beyond the cold and rigid terms of a labor contract; that doctor who gives freely of his time in providing medical care to patients who are unable to pay him for his services. In short, those who hold positions of true leadership usually excel by going beyond self-interest, thereby earning the admiration and respect of those who follow.

These are but some examples of fields where self-interest and profit are not the sole motivation for action. Someone might object that since these actions can eventually bring about joy and even profit, they ultimately favor self-interest. To this, I would respond that they do not always bring about joy. The person engaged in these actions must take a risk that may result in misunderstanding, failure, suffering or disappointment. The person must usually forego an immediate pleasure and embrace a situation of suffering and sacrifice. This is especially true in a Christian society where men are motivated to do things by a pure love of God. Such a society is contrary to the culture of instant gratification that accompanies the actions of those who follow only what I call the rule of money.

Moreover, I would respond that this tendency to go beyond self-interest is not something exceptional. Rather, we naturally tend toward the spiritual values of the good, true and beautiful while our materialistic culture (under the rule of money) tries to suppress them. Human nature, being what it is, is also drawn to metaphysical and spiritual values. We are drawn to the rule of honor that highlights these values.

In fact, this rule is so powerful that when honor is spread throughout all levels of society, the rule of money loses its attraction. When honor reigns, money’s influence wanes, institutions are zealous of their reputation, families uphold their good name, and culture flourishes.

And so, I can agree with my reader that there are indeed many in our present culture who only pursue their self-interest, to the point of selfishness. I would even admit this self-interest could benefit economy. However, I would disagree that this is the only motivation of human action. There are still many today who forego pleasure and embrace suffering for a noble cause and this serves a very important function in society. Subscription8.11This self-sacrifice provides the cement that bonds people together. It forges ties of confidence and trust which many sociologists call the “social capital” that makes for good economy. In times of crisis, those accustomed to looking beyond self-interest provide leadership and direction.

Return to Order was written for that sector of public opinion that values honor over money. I believe the rule of honor is still a fitting response to the rule of money. And I believe that, with the help of God, a return to such a rule is not only necessary, but possible.

One Thing Was Missing at the Republican and Democratic Conventions

Peter_Thiel_Credit

“it was time to abandon the ‘fake cultural war’ and get on with the business of making money.”

The national conventions are ended, and battle lines are drawn for the coming elections. Sorting through the rhetoric, something seems to be missing, and it makes this election very different from others.

This election brings a change of focus that does not bode well.

When billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel spoke at the Republican National Convention, few realized it, but his speech signaled a shift. The first openly homosexual speaker to address a Republican convention said that it was time to abandon the “fake cultural war” and get on with the business of making money.

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And while Thiel’s view hardly represented the whole assembly or even the party’s platform, implicit in his heavily-applauded message was the idea that moral principles are not as important anymore. It’s time to move on to something more pragmatic. What matters is money and getting the job done. Indeed, Thiel’s comment redefines the idea of making America great again in terms of jobs, wages, and trade, not moral principles and character. Such things are a “distraction,” as he put it.

This same message was echoed differently at the Democratic National Convention. There, the billionaire and millionaire speakers employed class struggle rhetoric against the rich, called for increased worker benefits, and demanded free college for all. While the money in question may belong to someone else, the materialist message of confiding in the dollar was the same. A big government share-fest of tax dollars will solve the nation’s ills. The major focus of their convention centered on the redistribution of benefits to all. For the Democrats, however, the culture war is not a fake distraction but the crown jewel of their platform, as they continue to pursue their radical social agenda vigorously.

Cash

“both parties are basing their radically different positions on the same set of liberal values in which money and material benefits rule.”

Much more than in times past, both parties are basing their radically different positions on the same set of liberal values in which money and material benefits rule. Moral values and principles are side-stepped or ignored.

There is one major problem with such a perspective. To the degree that society abandons moral values, it loses the human element in any proposed solution. Gone is the warmth and meaning to all that is human, and that should influence everything, including politics. A harsh cold wind will continue to blow in the coming months.

When the cold rule of money becomes dominant, it communicates a gaudy superficiality and a lack of authenticity to everything. Indeed, as the nation endured its two political conventions, there is the sensation that everything was just too painstakingly choreographed to be real. There were exaggerated and unconvincing efforts to inject warmth into some very “un-warm” candidates. The general tone of the conventions seemed to reflect values without principles, feelings without substance and empty personas without character.


When this human moral element is removed, everything becomes uncivil, uncouth and, vulgar. A different kind of “fake culture war” breaks out, in which there is no real culture present. Nor is there war with rules of engagement, but only a slugfest of hype, posturing, and insults. The only thing real is the fakeness. It is no coincidence that the parties are left with two abrasive candidates, almost equally disliked by the public at large. So much of the electorate feels unrepresented and craves the authenticity of a genuinely representative figure who would know how to interpret their desires and needs.

Subscription3The conventions were supposed to energize the nation behind their candidates. They should have set the stage for an honorable contest to decide the best person to place in control of the fate of this great nation and the West. Instead, they created an atmosphere of bitterness and utter fatigue.

Alas, what is missing from the coming elections is a sense of honor that would bring back the human element to the debate. And that missing honor is bothering a lot of voters.

 

Praise for Return to Order — Patrick F. Fagan, Ph.D.

Patrick-Fagan-CreditReturn to Order is a clear, engaging read that, by delineating some fundamentals of the natural order, will empower you to spot many of today’s disorders—even some you may have unconsciously bought into. Such was my experience… I was enlightened…. We are moving forward in time to a society more like times long past. Just as the sexual revolution gradually is making clearer the truth and wisdom of the Church on matters socio-sexual so too the greed and envy revolution of the marketplace will drive mankind back to the truth and wisdom of the Church on the political economy. The needs of the global village economy (freedom, flexibility within a just order) provide many opportunities for resurrecting many good norms of order that flourished in the Middle Ages. It is an intriguing prospect. The book is interesting, clear and enlightening.”

—  Patrick F. Fagan, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow and Director, Marriage & Religion Research Institute

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Praise for Return to Order – Joseph Scheidler

Joseph M. Scheidler“The depth of knowledge and originality of Horvat’s analysis, plus the scope and inspiration of his vision for a true solution to our current economic crisis, make Return to Order worthy of becoming the bedside book for those who believe America is worth fighting for.”

Joseph M. Scheidler
National Director, Pro-Life Action League

 

Why the Family Needs the State: Perfect and Imperfect Societies

"A Catholic Family."

“the family requires higher bodies like the State to guarantee peace and order, justice and protected rights, or security and defense.”

The family is the single most important component of a Christian society. However, while the family is a tremendously vital force for development of the individual, it alone will not suffice. A regime of separate and scattered families, even very Christian families, does not a society make. Isolated families alone cannot normally sustain themselves in face of the uncertainties of life, they need the resources of a community and a State.

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For this reason, sociologists say that the family is an imperfect society. Not in the sense that it is inadequate or defective, rather, the family is imperfect because it depends upon other social units to exist and function. Thus, the family requires higher bodies like the State to guarantee peace and order, justice and protected rights, or security and defense. The family also depends upon the support other imperfect organizations such as municipalities, companies, or professional organizations for resources that it needs to prosper. Continue reading