Friday, October 28, 2011

A March for Economic Freedom.

The numbers marching for Julius Malema's ANC Youth League March for Economic Freedom probably wasn't as many as he had hoped for but it does hi-light the issue of massive unemployment amongst young people in particular and the hopelessness of the situation of many people in our country.

The "demands" are secondary to "I need a job" and they are just political window dressing, Free Education, Free Electricity, Confiscate Land without compensation, change the Constitution to do so, Nationalise the Mines....that is all a smoke screen because it would make no difference to any of the unemployed on that march if the demands were acceded to overnight.

I have great sympathy for the need for Economic Justice, it's part of being a Catholic where the life and dignity of the human person with a preferential option for the poor and vulnerable goes way back before Leo XIII 's Rerum Novarum in 1891.  Benedict XVI's has of course expanded on this very recently but human nature always seems to get in the way.  In our democracy the politician must always pander to those who will put him into power, the poor and vulnerable, but seems never to have their interests at heart.  Julius Malema is an obvious example in terms of his wealthy lifestyle and yet his constituency don't seem to see the dichotomy.  I was much amused by his chanting "We want what the whites have got,"  when he personally has more than most whites!  He is just one example and if we look beyond our borders it seems to be almost universal that politicians are there for short-term personal gains rather than really helping the poor.

If we are really honest nobody likes the poor and homeless.  We hate being constantly harassed at every traffic light by a beggar or a hawker and wonder if they really want to steal from you.  They make me feel guilty and I admire St Francis of Assisi  more and more because of his personal courage in embracing not only the leper but also living with and caring for the outcasts of society, the poorest of the poor.  It's a humbling thought when you look out of the car window.

To end on a lighter note.  There is a fine British Anglican blog, a bit right wing for me, I must admit called Archbishop Cranmer.

I hasten to add that Thomas Cranmer has not risen from the flames which we Catholics were instrumental in lighting it is merely a namesake.  I found this illustration on the blog though as a Catholic I naturally dispute the date.

Leave the date as it stands and it could be a badge for the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

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