From commenter Kristor over at Bruce Charlton's Miscellany:
The social order we seek is not, after all, just like the one we had in 1100. It is like the one we will have after the scientific and industrial revolutions, *and* after the collapse of modernism. So, in everything we say about the social order, we must speak in terms of *transcending* the modern. Post-modernism is no good; it’s now widely understood to mean super-duper-modernism. Trans-modernism is no good either, because it sounds like the next intensification of modernism. Ditto for meta-modernism. No; we can’t be about the modern at all. We shouldn’t even mention it, if we can help it.
The only thing that occurs to me is teleonomists. It is familiar sounding, thanks to teleology. But it is obscure enough to call for inquiry. It connotes teleology, and our conviction that there are real essential natures to things, that incline them toward teloi; so it connotes our skepticism about the sufficiency of merely stochastic procedures to “explain” anything. It refers back to the pre-Cartesian metaphysic of the Grand Synthesis of the Middle Ages, and to the precedent synthesis of the Early Church. It connotes a rejection of materialism, moral relativism, libertinism, etc. It connotes a confidence in natural law, in the transcendent, and in the final telos of this world in the eschaton. Teleonomists are literally “far or complete tellers,” and “nomos” means “law” as well as “name.” So it works on lots of levels, at least in philosophical and etymological terms.
It doesn’t have to make sense in terms of current political categories. Indeed, it shouldn’t. That’s the whole point.
I am not quite happy with the term, but I have this strong feeling that we need a totally new wineskin, and I can’t come up with anything else that is as good at indicating that we are not about the far past, or the recent past, or its extension into the future, but rather about something that transcends all particular times, and about leaving behind the dead of this age to bury this dead age.
I can imagine the evangelical conversation: “Are you a conservative?” “No, I’m a teleonomist.” “What’s that?” [Notice the curious, open mind, the lack of any knee-jerk animosity such as “Christian” or “Reactionary” would likely provoke] “I think things have real natures, and that if we pay attention to our nature as human beings, we can know what sort of society really works, at least in general. I’m not interested in our current political categories. I think they are all whacked. I’m interested in bringing in something that transcends them.