A review by Philip Beattie
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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
Author: John Horvat II Publisher: York Press. 2013. 400 pp. York Press, $21.95
“Order is the first need of the soul” Russell Kirk.
Given that the current crisis is principally economic in nature, an economic theme constitutes the main focus of this aptly named book. Without descending to the level of a technical treatise, John Horvat (see website here) offers an analysis of a philosophical, sociological and economic nature based on observations of economic developments in American and European history. Return to Order is the culmination of almost twenty years of extensive research by the American author, and its publication is certainly timely.
Horvat’s main thesis centres on a great imbalance that has gradually entered the economy of the United States – and by extension the Western world generally to a greater or lesser degree – for which he has coined the phrase “frenetic intemperance”. This he defines as a reckless and restless spirit inside any modern economy fomenting a drive to throw of legitimate restraints and gratify disordered passions. Typical examples of how such intemperance has manifested itself are provided by widespread dishonest and predatory bank lending, as well as by the regulatory-avoidance activities of banks and financial institutions generally in America, Ireland and across the rest of Europe prior to the onset of the resulting global financial crisis.
Book Review: Return to Order