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Location: Charleston, South Carolina, United States

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Prostitution Papers

The Prostitution of Marriage
Birth control is not self-control. What is not self-control is self-indulgence. What is self-indulgence is prostitution of functions. Prostitution in marriage is prostitution of marriage. Prostitution of marriage is prostitution plus hypocrisy.
The Prostitution of Education
To educate is to elevate. To elevate is to raise. To raise wheat on a piece of land is to enable that piece of land to produce wheat instead of weeds. To raise men from the animal state to the cultural state is to educate men. The teaching of facts without understanding is a prostitution of education.
The Prostitution of the Press
Modern newspapermen try to give people what they want. Newspapermen ought to give people what they need. To give people what they want but should not have is to pander. To give people what they need, or in other terms, to make them want what they ought to want, is to foster. To pander to the bad in men is to make men inhuman to men. To foster the good in men is to make men human to men.
The Prostitution of Politics
The Republicans say: "Let's turn the rascals out." The Democrats say: "Let's turn the rascals out." The Republicans call the Democrats rascals. The Democrats call the Republicans rascals. For the Republicans as well as for the Democrats politics is just profitable business. By making a business out of politics politicians have prostituted the noble calling of politics.
The Prostitution of Property
All the land belongs to God. God wants us to be our brother's keeper. Our superfluous goods must be used to relieve the needs of our brother. What we so for our brother for Christ's sake is what we carry with us when we die. This is what the poor are for, to give to the rich the occasion to do good for Christ's sake. To use property to acquire more property is not the proper use of property. It is a prostitution of property.
The Prostitution of the Theatre
What applies to the Press applies also to the Theatre. In the Middle Ages the Theatre was considered as an efficient way of preaching. They liked to produce Mystery Plays. They aimed to preach and not to pander. Pandering to the crowd has brought the degradation of the theatre. The Theatre started in the Church. The Theatre has ended in the gutter.
The Prostitution of Art
In the Middle Ages the artists were not called artists, they were called artisans. When the artists were artisans they had the community spirit. They had the community spirit because they believed in the doctrine of the Common Good. Now that the artists do no longer believe in the doctrine of the Common Good they sell their work to art speculators. As Eric Gill says, "they have become the lap-dogs of the bourgeoisie."
--Peter Maurin--

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