A Favorite Quote From Return to Order: Elites Are Necessary

Return to Order A Favorite Quote From Return to Order: Elites Are Necessary

One of my favorite quotes from Return to Order is a comment of Ludwig von Mises about the need for elites, heroes and representative characters in society. Our culture of frenetic intemperance has failed to recognize the courage of those who look beyond their own self-interests and consider the needs of the common good. These key figures, who are real heroes need to be honored at all levels in society, for they are responsible for true progress.

Ludwig von Mises states:

“Mankind would never have reached the present state of civilization without heroism and self-sacrifice on the part of an elite. Every step forward on the way toward an improvement of moral conditions has been an achievement of men who were ready to sacrifice their own well-being,

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The First Step in our “Return to Order”

Return to Order The First Step in our “Return to Order” 1

As a solution to our alarming socio-economic crisis, we have proposed “a return to order.”

In so doing, we have endeavored to look beyond the impending collapse and outline the timeless principles of an Organic Christian order that addresses certain yearnings that modern man senses in the depths of his soul.

Such a depiction cannot fail to suggest the figure of the Prodigal Son who, having left his father’s house for the “frenetic intemperance” of a dissolute life, realizes the gravity of his error and longs to return. In looking for our solution, we believe we must follow a similar path.

Like the Prodigal Son, our first step must be to realize that we have erred. We have followed a path to ruin amid the din of the great party of frenetic intemperance.

In the course of these considerations we have sought to show how we have erred. Our error was not the fact that we enjoyed the enormous bounty of our great land but rather it was our flight from temperance.

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The Credit Binge: An Example of Frenetic Intemperance

Return to Order The Credit Binge: An Example of Frenetic Intemperance 1

A concrete example of frenetic intemperance can be seen on the part of consumers who seek to free themselves from all restraints so as to gratify instantly their desires.

The most common manifestation of this can be found in the explosion of easy credit. According to marketing professor James A. Roberts, the average American consumer has a total of thirteen credit obligations which include mortgages, car loans, student loans and an average of nine credit cards (including store cards).

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This is the Vice that Drags Down our Economy

Return to Order This is the Vice that Drags Down our Economy 1

1-1235664948qCNwFrenetic intemperance is a term we coined 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.

Perhaps the most obvious example of frenetic intemperance is that of the speculative
bubble of the 2008 sub-prime mortgage crisis. It is a textbook case of what can go wrong in modern economy.

RTO mini2Free 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

Financial Crisis

What happened during this crisis? All the parties involved simply threw caution to the wind and succumbed to spirit of reckless abandon. Homebuyers took out loans, which were called them “liar loans” since the prospect did not have to provide proofs for the information on the loan application. These homebuyers took out these loans without any money down and sufficient income to pay.

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Bankers and mortgage companies recklessly extended loans to prospects knowing them to be risky and even encouraging risks to make more profits by selling them to brokers. Brokers bundled up these mortgages and sold them to investors knowing that many of them were risky or “sub-prime.” Many brokers simply did not care about these dangers since they merely charged brokerage fees and passed the risk on to investors.

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What Happened on Election Day

Return to Order What Happened on Election Day 1

What Happened on Election DayUsually we go to polls to decide which of the two parties will best represent us as a nation. However, on this Election Day, it was as if two nations battled it out and we decided on which one would rule over the other.

This is something that has been building up for decades. The red and blue states have solidified into defined regions to the point we have grown accustomed to seeing maps of our vast red heartland and our blue-spotted urban seaboards. In addition, a Culture War has long divided the nation over the hot button issues of abortion and homosexuality.

However, in past elections, there was a concerted attempt to patch over these differences. Back then, we had recourse to an American consensus that says that despite our differences we must all get along. It used to be that everyone tried to speak in a common patriotic language and follow a vaguely universal American culture. It was always believed that if everyone could just rally in their own way around the triple banner of God, family and country, we could happily remain one indivisible nation.

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Economy without the Human Element

Return to Order Economy without the Human Element 1

In today’s frenetic globalism, the rusty steel girders of the industrial age have now become barriers themselves and are being hurled down and scrapped.  From the ruins of our rust belts, fiber optics cables are spinning the web of a new networked global society radically different from our own.

Such advances break down not local but national trade, political and economic barriers and create ever bigger global networks and structures. At the same time, the cables that connect also bind since all are tethered to these giant networks and are subject to their rules.

Thus, we see the framework of a global economy being built where huge markets are opened, but the regulations of new supranational structures impose themselves upon the nations as can be seen in global trade rules, monetary unions or even the Kyoto protocols.

Likewise, the same technologies that supposedly empower the individual to pursue his own happiness, also power the massive databases of intrusive government that pry into the private lives of individuals, record his every movement and monitor the operation of markets.

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A Clash of Mentalities

Return to Order A Clash of Mentalities 1

When discussing economic models, it is easy to become overly focused on technical and statistical analysis and disregard social and cultural factors. In 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, we affirm that every economic model has its impact upon the society in which it is embedded.

In fact, a great part of the present crisis stems from the fact that modern economy with its frenetic intemperance strongly influences a corresponding society with its own set of values. It gives rise to a mentality that we call the rule of money.

The rule of money is, of course, the misuse of money. This rule transforms money from a common means of exchange into the principal measure of all relationships and values. Tragically under this rule, there is an entirely different way of looking at life—a mentality—where social, cultural and moral values are put aside. It is a mentality that reduces everything to the terms of a commercial contract, drafted, signed, and carried out at a frenetic pace.

Thus, modern economic activity becomes cold and impersonal; mechanical and inflexible. A materialistic set of values is put in place that attaches more importance to quantity over quality, utility over beauty, matter over spirit. Concretely it gives rise to a climate of absorbing self-interest, commercialization, speculation and credit expansion.

The only effective means to oppose the rule of money is a return to an opposing rule—a different mentality with another set of values—that has always stood contrary to the rule of money. We call this opposing rule, the rule of honor.

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Order – the First Need of the Nation

Return to Order Order – the First Need of the Nation 1

Order is one of the central themes of 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. It is the object of our return and therefore must be clearly understood.

The word order can bring several things to mind.

  • When items are in their proper place as perhaps in a closet, they are said to be in order.
  • When some kind of discipline is applied, as in the case of law enforcement, the result is order.
  • When Marine Corps Band executes a command from their officer, the parade is in good order.
  • When something works, it is said to be in order.

All these notions convey the idea of a basic set of internal principles that give meaning and organization to a situation. Perhaps the best general definition of order is that of American philosopher Russell Kirk who affirms: “Order is the first need of the soul.”

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Towards An Organic Christian Society

Return to Order Towards An Organic Christian Society 1

It is always easier to criticize than to propose solutions. In 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, modern economy is criticized, but the greater part of the text deals with a remedy. Our proposal … Read more