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, is a proposal that centers around the idea of a return. Since this lends itself to being misunderstood or dismissed as mere nostalgia, we need to explain what we mean by return.
Return can convey the idea of having gone astray and the desire to right one’s path as, for example, a sinner who returns to virtue. Return can call to mind something that was delightful or pleasant and a desire to re-experience that delight. Return also expresses the idea of going back to where one belongs. A return ticket often takes a person home. Receiving a one-way ticket can imply that a person is unwelcome at the place of origin. When someone reaches a point of no return, it means the situation is hopeless and one cannot go back to a place to where one belongs or feels comfortable.
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All these notions express something of our idea of return. We seek to go back to virtue after going astray. We wish to revisit excellent values once held. Our idea of return has something of the warmth and delight of coming back home to where we belong.
We should make it very clear that we do not want to go back to an historical era. We exclude from our proposal the romantic notion of a return that is somehow equivalent to turning back the clock.
Instead, we propose one of the most secure of all returns since we propose to return to principles – those timeless principles of our Christian civilization that bring order to society. We return to our roots which are always there and can be revisited at any time. We can draw from these time-honored principles of the past and apply them to the present. In this sense, we can return without fear because we know this return has been done before whenever men have gone astray. It is tried and true with a proven record of success.
By returning to Christian principles, we avoid the danger of inventing and imposing an entirely new order upon society. We avoid the errors of the socialists and communists who invented and continue to invent rigid and elaborate plans that cannot adapt to our human condition. They have no choice but to impose their “order” upon society by force. We want to return to existing principles that conform to our human nature and can be marvelously adapted to the present or entirely new circumstances.
Of course, it is a return that will be much maligned by those attached to our frenetic modernity. They are unable to see the value of such a return. It must be admitted that many principles to which we want to return are so blotted out of memory that we only recognize them in glimpses of the past actions of saints and heroes or in the grandeur of historic monuments. That is why our return resembles a joyful homecoming to an ancestral dwelling which we only know through faded pictures but for which well up vague longings. While ever ancient, these timeless principles are ever new. Like the ancestral dwelling, these principles adapt wonderfully to the present providing refreshing solutions.
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And so, in our book, we make no apologies about the fact that we want to return. Rather, it is a point we proudly put in our very title as a part of a dynamic proposal in this time of crisis.
The message of our main title is very simple: Return, return to order. More importantly, we can return, if we so desire.