Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society
by John Horvat II
York Press, 2013
(353 pages, $21.95, hardcover)
reviewed by Allan Carlson
Calls for a return to the organic social economy of medieval Europe, as an alternative to the "creative destruction" of industrial capitalism, have been heard since the late nineteenth century. Some of these wound up caught in the dangerous currents of European fascism in the 1920s and 1930s. More creative and useful visions of such a restoration can be found in the "Distributist" theories of the British authors Hilaire Belloc and G. K. Chesterton and in the quest by Austrian economist Karl Polanyi for an order in which productive activities would be "embedded" once again in social relationships.
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Allan C. Carlson is the John Howard Distinguished Senior Fellow at the International Organization for the Family. His most recent book is Family Cycles: Strength, Decline & Renewal in American Domestic Life, 1630-2000 (Transaction, 2016). He and his wife have four grown children and nine grandchildren. A "cradle Lutheran," he worships in a congregation of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. He is a senior editor for Touchstone.
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