Friday, February 25, 2011
"Once upon a time ... You threw bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?"
Today's traditio features a video that is a pleasant throw back, as is the song. So, Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone goes out those who, in these difficult times, when the gap between the rich and the poor are greater than ever and growing, seek to deny the right of laborers to collectively bargain. What I find even sadder is powerful interests are succeeding in dividing people against each other and that many have been conned into working towards political goals that are contrary not only to their own interests, but those of the common good. The economy exists for people, not people for the economy. In short, people do not exist to serve powerful and anonymous interests, but the true and living God.
In his encyclical on labor, promulgated on the 90th anniversary of Pope Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum, Laborem exercens, Bl. JPII asserted "a principle that has always been taught by the Church: the principle of the priority of labour over capital" (par. 12). Nonetheless, JPII continues, what tends to happen is that capital is often deployed against labor. Hence, "There is a need for ever new movements of solidarity of the workers and with the workers…The Church is firmly committed to this cause, for it considers it to be its mission, its service, a proof of its fidelity to Christ…"
As Fr. Joe Scott wrote over on Busted Halo: "Today there are great changes taking place in our national economic structures, as the development of a world economy changes the way companies and factories do business. Labor unions have declined in strength and the most difficult and physically demanding forms of work are once again performed by recent immigrants to our shores. Many of us have forgotten the better working conditions won for our grandparents through the efforts of organized labor. It’s important for us to remember the tradition of our Church in supporting workers in their efforts to achieve a better life."