Nation of Vibrant Little Nations

August 22, 2013

Antwerp, 1823, by Samuel Prout

Antwerp, 1823, by Samuel Prout

It is only by maintaining the delicate balance between authority and vital flux that small, medium-size, and large human groups form. From those groups, a sovereign would structure a nation of vibrant little nations—a marvelous mosaic of associations, parliaments, and hierarchies.(1) It is from the order of these intermediary groups—vibrant little nations—that the State draws its own powers of order and citizens derive protection from the abuses of government.


This social order is in reality an order of orders. Yet each order of this almost haphazard hierarchical society is similar to the others since each refines that which it receives from the vital flux below and adapts the guiding influence it receives from above. Individuals see in the levels above and below them something of themselves that allows them to belong simultaneously and proudly to a family, clan, region, and nation without surrendering their individuality.

"Grandfather's Return" by George Hardy

“Grandfather’s Return” by George Hardy

We might even say that it is also a providential order since both authority and vital flux come from God in His Providence Who, while ever mindful of man’s free will, disposes things to direct all creatures to their proper end. When men cooperate with the grace of God and respect both authority and vital flux, they come to discern the designs of God and act accordingly.

The Venetian Gala Concert by Francesco Guardi

The Venetian Gala Concert by Francesco Guardi

When society is organized in this manner, it naturally creates ties of solidarity between men. By the vast array of interactions between individuals, men come to sense the common nature that all share and more easily manifest mutual concern and support for others. As a result, this principle of solidarity awakens in souls the fire of charity towards others, and tempers the restless spirit of frenetic intemperance.

Such is the society shaped by Christian civilization.


(1) See Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, American Studies Commission meeting, Jan. 25, 1988, Corrêa de Oliveira Documents.



John Horvat II, 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 (York, Penn.: York Press, 2013), 176-7.



Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Previous post:

Next post: