Friday, January 20, 2017

Social Justice, Pope Leo XIII and the Inauguaration

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need  Karl Marx

Each needs the other: capital cannot do without labour, nor labour without capital. Mutual
agreement results in the beauty of good order, while perpetual conflict necessarily produces
confusion and savage barbarity Leo XIII

Image result for Leo XIII and Donald Trump
The Oxford English Dictionary traces the open form compound word social justice to the year 1824

Cathoic Social Justice began in 1891 with Pope Leo XIII's encyclical Rerum Novarum.  Prior to that bandits preyed upon peasants, capitalists prey upon workers and followers of Marx preyed on Guilds and the Knights of Labor.

Catholics and many other believers from different faiths were encouraged to seek justice and treat one another with dignity.
Image result for social justice warriors
Today the acronym SJW is a misnomer. It is now a pejorative tossed at the self-anointed prophets of divisive activism - usually on the left of things.

Yesterday, I gave my Theology III juniors a test on a unit covering Rerum Novarum and the advent of Catholic Social Justice.  The gentlemen did very well.

One problem asked that they identify Pope Leo's 'duties of workers'

to perform conscientiously the work they have freely agreed to do
• not to damage the employer’s property or resort to violence
• not to have anything to do ‘with men of evil principles, who work upon the people with artful
promises of great results … which usually end in useless regrets and grievous loss

I asked that they use themselves, when thinking about the workers.  These are sixteen and seventeen year old males. They get it.
Image result for illinois congressional progressive caucus
Through the past American two holiday seasons,  the news media has flooded the atmosphere with wailing and gnashing of teeth, by our most familiar Social Justice Warriors of stage, screen, television and of course the public teat - our Progressive elected officials.  This torrent of anguish and dire threats about our futures incites anger and uncertainty among the angry and the uncertain.

Today is the day of the dire threats.

Early Morning Blockade Actions:
Movement for Black Lives
Trade Justice
Climate Justice
Showing Up for Racial Justice
Labor Direct Action
The Future Is Feminist
Qockblockade Brigade: Queer Resistance on J20
Communities Under Attack Fight Back!
more to be announced
9am  Outdoor Convergence Space @ McPherson Square opens
10am Anti-Capitalist Anti-Fascist Bloc @ Logan Circle
12pm Festival of Resistance, permitted march starting @ Columbus Circle
2pm Rally at McPherson Square
Preparing for the Trump Era: What Anarchists Are Doing, 5-8pm @ The Festival Center, 1640 Columbia Rd NW
What’s Next After J20? DisruptJ20 Debrief & Next Steps, 6-9pm @ The Festival Center, 1640 Columbia Rd NW
Events in DC

I will teach class.  Then I will correct papers.  Later, I will try and drive to Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee, IL and watch Brother Rice tussle on the hardwood with the Fighting Irish. Tomorrow, I will sleep until 5:30 and do chores. On Sunday, I will attend 8:30 Mass at Sacred Heart Church and then enjoy a jazz concert in Hyde Park, followed by Jimmy's Woodlawn Tap cheeseburgers and fries.

Our 45th President will take the oath of office and move into the White House.

Let's see what happens.  Then let's begin to ignore ‘. . . men(women) of evil principles, who work upon the people with artful promises of great results … which usually end in useless regrets and grievous loss.’

Old Leo got things right. 

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