Archive for May 26th, 2011

Salve Regina

In the western monastic tradition this is the last prayer of the night, at the end of compline. After this, there is to be silence until morning, even in houses that do not practice silence during the day. It is a very beautiful end to the day, a hymn to the Mother of God: “Hail Holy Queen, mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve, to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Oh clement, oh loving, oh sweet Virgin Mary”.

artist unknown

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Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget was defeated, but I doubt we have heard the last of him or his ideas. He is intent on cutting benefits for the elderly and poor; gutting social programs while giving big tax cuts to the wealthiest and continuing to feed the insatiable imperial military.

It is important, in assessing Mr Ryan and his big plans, to remember just where he is coming from, and what he thinks about you and me and everyone else who works for a living. While he professes to be a “devout Catholic” Paul Ryan joins the long line of “devout Catholics” who do not think like Catholics, like the proabortion “devout Catholics” who have plagued our land for so long, and like the apologists for war and torture.

For Mr Ryan is a devotee of that evil woman, Ayn Rand, and is  known to require staffers to read her books. To Ayn Rand, only producers- the capitalist owners- have value. The rest of us are “parasites”.

It should surprise no one to learn that in this, as in every aspect of her thought, Ms Rand taught the opposite of what the Catholic Church teaches. For the Church teaches, most eloquently in Blessed John Paul’s encyclical Laborem Exercens, the primacy of labor.

And how could it be otherwise? All the capital, ambition, and vision the entrepreneur brings to the project cannot generate a dime without men and women to do the labor to make the product or provide the service. And they, the workers who produce profit, are therefore entitled in justice to a just wage, safe working conditions, and the other benefits of their labor.

The Church further teaches that the relationship of capital and labor is to be symbiotic, not adversarial, but in the history of capitalism this has rarely been the case. More often, capital exploits labor.

In exploitative situations, who in fact is the parasite? To cite an extreme example, consider American slavery before the Civil War. The slave owner lived a life of ease and luxury,  the fruit of the labor of his African slaves. One can hardly conceive of a starker image of a bloodsucker. Yet Rand’s principle’s, taken to their logical conclusion, would say that it was the slave who was the parasite, receiving food and clothing and a shack in which to live from his wealthy “benefactor”.

It is common in the black arts to do things backwards and upside down, reciting prayers in reverse, for example,  as a form of potent blasphemy, or displaying the cross upside down.

I have long said that the only difference between the “philosophy” of Ayn Rand and that of Anton LeVay, the founder of the Church of Satan, is that Mr LeVay personified the Self as Satan, whom he did not believe to exist as a living being.

And so Rand’s thought on this, as on most everything, is the reverse of  right order.

We are used to “devout Catholics” thinking like secularists. But Mr Ryan takes this further, thinking like a Satanist.

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