For half a decade, the U.S. economy has been declining.
Real estate is no longer a safe haven for preserving the American dream, as housing prices have fallen to record lows. Millions of families have lost homes due to foreclosure.
Unemployment has reached record levels. New college graduates cannot find jobs in their field or any decent paying jobs at all. You can pay $50 or more to fill up your gas tank.
Economists debate the source of our woes. Many attribute it to government overspending and the huge national debt.
But the root cause of our troubled economy, argues author John Horvat II, is a failure to live according to the timeless Christian principles of the Gospel.
"We navigate in dangerous waters," he writes. "We cannot follow the socialistic courses to anarchy and revolution that have shipwrecked so many nations in history. Unless we have the courage to draw upon our rich Christian tradition and place our trust in Providence, we will neither steer clear of disaster in the coming storm nor arrive to safe harbor."
Now, in his new 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, Horvat maps out a course of behavior that will return America to its Christian roots -- and our healthy and vigorous economy.
The book will be offered to the general public at $21.95 after midnight on January 26. But through this special presale online offer, you can just click below now to order your copy today at a 30% discount off the cover price:
Is America broken?
The single biggest danger to our economic health, Horvat argues, is what he calls "frenetic intemperance."
He defines frenetic intemperance as a restless and reckless spirit inside modern economy that foments a drive to throw off legitimate restraints and gratify disordered passions. Far from providing a free market, frenetic intemperance undermines and throws it out of balance and even prepares the way for secularism.
"Frenetic intemperance is an explosive expansion of human desires beyond traditional and moral bounds," the author writes. "Its frenetic nature leads those of this undercurrent to resent the very idea of restraint and scorn the spiritual, religious, moral, and cultural values that normally serve to order and temper economic activity."
"Frenetic intemperance is to be found riding on the crest of speculative ventures such as the major stock market crashes or the 2008 sub-prime mortgage bubble. Its self-destructive character will eventually destroy free markets and moral values."
Men have put aside social, cultural, and moral values, adopting a set of values that attached undue importance to quantity over quality, utility over beauty, and matter over spirit. Free of traditional restraints, those under this rule favor the frantic dealings, speculation, and exaggerated risks by which they have sent our economy into crisis.
A Return to Order
"If frenetic intemperance is the main cause of this economic imbalance, the quelling of this restless spirit must figure in the solution," writes Horvat. "To this end, we need to reconnect with that human element that tempers the markets and keeps them free."
The solution he advocates is a return to an "organic society" – a social order oriented toward the common good that naturally and spontaneously develops, allowing man to pursue the perfection of his essentially social nature through the family, intermediary groups, the State, and the Church. The book reveals why the calming influence of these natural braking institutions is at the heart and soul of a balanced economy.
The organic socio-economic order developed in Christendom timeless principles of an economic order that are wonderfully adapted to human nature, giving rise to markets full of exuberant vitality and refreshing spontaneity.
In the kind of organic society the author advocates, the economy becomes anchored in the cardinal virtues, with the rule of money replaced by the rule of honor, beauty, and quality.
A Christian order suited to our fallen nature, the organic society was born under the constant shadow of the cross with Christ as the divine model. By studying the principles of this Christian order, we can gain a notion of what our ideal should be and how it might be obtained.
"We must seek to discover basic principles associated with the nature of things and in accordance with the Gospel, and then allow enormous freedom in applying them to the needs of society," advises Horvat in his book. "Counting upon God's grace, we must recognize and respect the organic nature of man, full of vivacity, spontaneity, and unpredictability. This is the essence of a truly organic society."
Where Modern Society Went Terribly Wrong
The cure for our economic ills, Horvat explains, is to return to an economy without frenetic intemperance -- an organic economic order with a passion for justice.
He says a role model for modern times can be found in the timeless principles used in medieval economy.
"Medieval economic thought was especially absorbed with a passion for the cardinal virtue that should govern transactions — justice," says Horvat.
In economic matters, commutative justice is the particular kind of justice that assures that one party will render to another in transactions what is due in strict equality as, for example, when the price one pays for an apple corresponds to its worth.
"Justice ensures the free flow of markets by protecting them from their great enemies: monopoly, speculation, usury, false advertising, induced scarcity, and other practices that produce fraud or obstructions in commerce," he writes.
As a result, the Christian state protects the markets with clear rules and laws so that healthy competition, free consent in contracts, and transparency in exchange might naturally take place. At the same time, the State avoids undue interference in the markets or excessive taxation.
A Christian Economy
Return to Order does much more than show how living according to the Gospel can return America to order: it also presents a prescription for reviving the economy.
According to Horvat, when economic activities take place inside the context of society, it allows the natural restraining influence of human institutions such as custom, morals, family, or community to calm markets and prevent frenetic intemperance.
He says: "In vain do we seek to regenerate an economy if we do not regenerate the family, the community, and so many other institutions that are its heart and soul."
All these dynamic elements—church, community, family, personalized property—form an invaluable human infrastructure that actually provides the moral capital, psychological health, and stability upon which even our modern economy must be built, he says.
A just society does not live beyond its means. "We must insist upon an economy that is guided by justice and not by money and markets," explains Horvat. The rule of money makes the present system of money and credit inevitable; the rule of justice makes it impossible.
Justice creates the conditions for an orderly and temperate economy, which will then be free to operate according to its own norms of prudence:
** Saddling future generations with the expense of the present offends its most basic precepts and is inherently unjust.
** Justice does not permit the deliberate overextension or acceptance of credit to and by those who have no means to pay, as in the subprime mortgage crisis.
** In a just society, one does not leverage money to issue loans or fund certain types of speculation and money manipulation with funds that do not actually exist.
Praise for Return to Order
"Return to Order provides an interesting analysis of how the United States has departed from the spiritual, cultural, and economic precepts that supported the founding and the early history of our republic. It also sets forth valuable recommendations for restoring our society to its foundation of ordered liberty and traditional values."
--The Honorable Edwin Meese III, Former Attorney General of the United States
"If our nation ever needed to return to traditional values, it is now. Each of our problems has at its roots a moral solution found in the tenets of the Christian tradition. Return to Order does a great job of highlighting the source and solution to our impending demise."
--Major General Patrick H. Brady, (USA-Ret.) Medal of Honor
"By calling the reader to embrace the cardinal virtues of temperance, justice, prudence, and fortitude, Return to Order suggests a practical pathway to avoid the economic and spiritual crises that are looming before us and, by means of religious conversion, reestablish a right order for human flourishing."
--Most Rev. John C. Nienstedt, Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis
"Mr. Horvat does an excellent job in excavating the underlying root of the current economic crises. It is the loss of the golden mean of virtuousness, the consequence of replacing prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance as the guiding principles of economic activity with the principle of income maximization."
--Gregor Hochreiter, Director, Institute of Applied Economics
"In this very well-documented and argued work, John Horvat ingeniously demonstrates how the four cardinal virtues are the basis of a free and prosperous society."
--Prof. Harry Veryser, Author and Former Director of Graduate Studies in Economics, University of Detroit Mercy
"An erudite cultural sculptor, Horvat chisels away materialism's false promises and points toward God as the source of the higher revelation that makes beauty, heroism, nobility, sacrifice and true vocation discoverable and meaningful."
--Robert Knight, Columnist and author
"The central theme of frenetic intemperance is original, interesting, and compelling. The diagnosis of contemporary social maladies must focus on moral failings, and Return to Order rightly does so. Its insightful thesis deserves wide circulation and consideration."
--Kevin E. Schmiesing, Ph.D., Acton Institute
A Roadmap for Economic Recovery
The need for sacrifice and restraint in supplying human needs coincides with the consuming ideal of seeking the Cross of Christ. Medieval man looked for ways to offer up his sacrifices in the economic dealings of everyday life.
One immediate manner of doing this was by offering to God the best fruits of one's labors. With Christ as the perfect model, this "Way of the Cross" economy also served God's glory by awakening in men a passionate pursuit of excellence for excellence's sake.
When such a metaphysical spirit permeates everything, all society cannot but grow in quality and excellence, and the act of labor becomes a veritable prayer. This spirit of immolation and abnegation found in the Way of the Cross puts things in order and gives stability to the economy.
In Return to Order, John Horvat provides guidelines that must be followed NOW to avoid the impending economic collapse.
These urgent action items suggest what might be done to establish the organic order we so ardently desire -- and calm the debt-driven frenzied economy that fuels frenetic intemperance. He observes: "The Christian roots of our economic order are sound, and it is to these roots that we should return."
Survive the Coming Economic Storm
No one knows for sure what will happen with the economy in 2013. What we do know is that a storm lies ahead. It is not just a passing tempest for we already feel its strong winds. By its sheer magnitude, we sense there is something about this particular crisis that touches the very core of our American order.
In the past, we were a people solidly united around God, flag, and family, but now all seems fragmented and polarized. By our great wealth and power, we once held the respect and awe of nations.
But now we are unexpectedly attacked by unforeseen enemies and forsaken by friends and allies.
Although the storm be treacherous, we need not sail on uncharted seas. That is why Horvat's considerations spring from deep Christian convictions and draw heavily on Church social and economic teachings.
We navigate in dangerous waters. We cannot follow the socialistic courses to anarchy and revolution that have shipwrecked so many nations in history. Unless we have the courage to draw upon our rich Christian tradition and place our trust in Providence, we will neither steer clear of disaster in the coming storm nor arrive to safe harbor.
Return to Order not only points to the pathway for prosperity in your own life; it charts for our nation a course for returning to economic greatness. If you worry about the U.S. economy …and long to ensure a secure financial future for you and your family…just follow the economic, life, and spiritual lessons laid out in Return to Order.
To get your copy of Return to Order at the 30% presale discount, click on the button below or call 855-861-8420. Thank you!
Remember, order now and you get a 30% presale discount off the cover price; this offer expires on midnight of January 26. Presale orders ship on January 28. Our toll free service line is 855-861-8420.