Outside the Law
Rebels and Outlaws
The Freedom of the Individual vs the State
More and more Muslims as well as Christians are fleeing Syria. Those that come to live in Europe need to understand the way of life Europeans live or there may be trouble.The same can be said for those who will end up in Australia.
Regardless, they may be in for a culture shock. And in the future their offspring may rebel against this culture shock. There has already been trouble in Europe.
Many people living in France, Britain, the USA and Australia wish to maintain the separation of religion from state politics. It is not a perfect separation but it is still there.
This is at the core of Western style democracy and it needs to be understood by new arrivals.
It is amazing how a hundred or so self-righteous idiots headed for destruction can ruin life for peaceful Muslims living in Western style countries. Yet this is what has happened.
There have been crazed Muslims leaving Australia to join up with Islamic State and other over the top organizations.
So what gets into people who come from a highly religious background and settle down in a Western style country? Generally speaking nothing bad. It is the next generation that, for some reason, can go wrong. But why?
Perhaps the promise of milk and honey their parents sought in a new setting has not been honored. Maybe that is what angers and confuses the child or children growing up in a strange new culture.
The new country, whether Australia, the USA, the U.K., New Zealand or Canada cannot be as perfect as one might imagine while living in a far less than perfect country. And there are non-believers, making it even less perfect than it could otherwise be.
The migrant, being a stranger in a strange land, might well accept all this imperfection but not necessarily the offspring. The offspring might see the non-believer as the big problem and that, once the non-believer is tamed or eliminated then, and only then, will the promised milk and honey flow.
The people of Holland have taken to informing those who wish to migrate to their country to expect to see local women wearing mini-skirts in spring and summer. And also to expect to see local women near swimming areas wearing bikinis and one piece costumes.
If the sight of a woman's legs bothers you greatly best not to even think of migrating to Holland.
But surely overseas people already know that Australia in spring and summer is a place of barbecues, bikinis, one piece swimming costumes, women surfers and general lack of religious austerity.
But of course if you want to live a more miserable, austere life where people are trying to kill you there are countries where you can do that. But if you've left Australia for that kind of existence PLEASE don't come back.
In 2015 an attempt to section off part of London, England for Muslim radical use only took place. This was primarily done by Muslims born in the U. K. but had little regard for British customs or laws.
The media took the whole business to be a joke. But these Muslims were serious. I have seen the film footage.
Banning women wearing mini-skirts was part of it. And the mini-skirt was a British idea revived in the 1960s and forever connected with the Beatles, Twiggy, the film To Sir with Love, and also the peace movement.
Make love, not war? Forget it! Anti-British and anti-peace? I would say so.
Sometimes men and women have had to go outside the law in order to battle unjust conditions, or what is thought of as unjust. This should not, however, involving forcing one's religious beliefs onto others.
In past ages Slaves have rebelled against their masters. Those who have suffered persecution for one reason or another have lashed out at their tormentors.
The ancient Greek states were not without the taint of slavery. Yes in the first go at creating a democracy there was slavery.
Throughout much of the history of ancient Rome their had been the ever present threat of slave uprisings.
Jesus can be seen in the context of a Jewish rebel. We gather from the Bible that he considered the Jewish religious leaders in Jerusalem in his day to be corrupt.
Jesus may also have envisioned a time when humanity was linked by kindness and goodwill rather than dictated to by warriors of Rome. He was crucified by the Romans as an outlaw, a troublemaker.
Robin Hood was said to have been a wolf's-head, a rebel against unjust rule by Prince John. Of course Prince John may have received some of his black marks when he became king and decided to try to tax the Church. He is best known for signing the Magna Carta.
This great charter changed the course of British history. People came to realize that the king should be within the law and not outside it.
For one thing when the people rebelled against King Charles the First they had the notion that the king could fail in his duties as kind and be accountable for such failures.
Centuries ago the British colonies in America broke away from British rule in order to form the USA.
Those who first spoke out against British rule must have come across as outlaws, even traitors to those in charge of the colonies. Certainly they came to operate outside the established law.
The end result? A new country, the USA, was formed.
In the 20th Century Mahatma Gandhi fought for human rights first in South Africa and then in India. He was a lawyer with British training so he started his campaigns within the law. In other words he used accepted British legalities against British oppressors.
When Gandhi had to step outside the law he did so with some reluctance. At such times you could say he was a rebel, an outlaw. He spent time in lock-up but never lost sight of the dream of an India free from British rule.
In 1947 India became an independent nation. Why Muslims no longer wanted to be part of the greater India is a mystery. Suffice it to say that Pakistan came into being.
There is at least one good example of a country manipulated into throwing away a fledgling democracy for a dictatorship. That country was Germany.
One of the major reasons for the Second World War happens to be how Germans were dealt with after the First World War.
There were food shortages in Germany that were not immediately relieved after the armistice in 1918.
Also in 1919 it was decided that Germany had to pay off a huge dept for damages to France and Belgium done during the First world War. This resulted in runaway inflation.
The USA helped Germany out financially for a while then, after the 1929 stock market crash, this was no longer possible.
Germany was one of the countries that suffered the most from the Great Depression.
For insights into the runaway inflation and also what Germany was like during the Great Depression do Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood (1939).
Also check out the 1955 film I am a Camera starring Julie Harris and Laurence Harvey.
The Nazi Party and Hitler in particular were able to fed off the poverty and desperation of the people to push forward their plans for Germany.
There was the Hitler Youth movement that turned young boys and girls into spies for the Nazis. There was also the soup kitchens run by the Nazis feeding those Germans out of work.
For many Germans joining the Nazi Party seemed to be the patriotic thing to do. This became even more so when Hitler got road projects started and opened factories that needed opening.
Hitler and the Nazis looked pretty good to families that had been on the bread line and now had a better way of life. When Hitler made territorial demands many Germans thought that such demands reasonable.
Then of course war with Britain and Australia broke out in 1939.
But even in 1945 there were still Germans supporting Hitler's ideas for a greater Germany. Even when German cities were crumbling the support from some German citizens was still there.
In 1945 many of the children who were part of the Hitler youth movement were in uniform defending the Third Reich mainly against the Russians.
There were even plans to have Hitler youth pilots fly into combat with highly experimental and also unstable aircraft.
So what was so attractive about Hitler and the Nazis? Well, the German people were being told by them that they were unique and should really have won the First World War.
Hope for a better, greater Germany led them down a very dark and destructive path.
Some members of the Catholic and Protestant clergy tried to oppose the Nazis. Certainly by 1939 they were the rebels. Also the German Communists could be considered enemies of the German government.
Some people have been made into outlaws through no fault of their own. Starvation leads to theft which inevitably leads to prison and, quite possibly, execution.
Great kingdoms have collapsed because of famine. There was a lack of food plus poor international finances which prompted the French Revolution. Reforms that might have saved many members of the aristocracy from the guillotine were not acted upon before the revolution.
What came out of the French Revolution and other upsets was a way of looking at the world. It isn't perfect but it does allow for certain freedoms for the individual that must not be extinguished. All up, the French have the right to be French.
The British government in the early to mid-19th Century faced the very real possibility of armed rebellion.
The grain laws that protected the landed gentry via the use of heavy tariffs on grain brought in from other countries had led to bread being too expensive for too many people.
Fortunately the danger was recognized and, through parliament, the plight of the poor consumer was eased. Also there were reforms dealing with child labor and the need for education even among the not so wealthy.
It was fortunate that much needed change in Britain at this time came, not through the taking up of arms, but through negotiation. Unions were formed to improve the conditions of the workers.
When Karl Marx was in London bloody revolution seemed imminent. It was, however, a revolution that did not happen.
Unions were not always looked upon favorably by the upper classes and they were not always successful. There was a time when union organizers and leaders were seen as rebels.
Some unions were later to be tagged, fairly or not, as Communist based. Many were formed more along the lines of Socialism.
In 1914 a young fool killed the Archduke Ferdinand of the Austro-Hungarian empire and thus put in motion the march of the Western powers toward World War One. Was he a hero or a villain?
The result of this assassination was the deaths of millions of people and the toppling of at least three great empires.
It was thought by some of the British upper class that the First World War would not last for very long and that it might disrupt the trade unions and also calm things down in Ireland.
At first the British believed that they would only be required to use their navy. When Belgium was attacked by Germany, however, a land force that grew eventuated.
Australia came into the war on the side of Britain. It was thought by some Australians to be Australia's chance to prove its worth to the greater British Empire.
In any event, the war dragged on from 1914 to 1918 with the armistice in August of 1918 ending the killing.
One result was the re-ordering of the Middle East along French and British lines. This re-ordering is still with us and has never sat quite as comfortably as was envisioned by those who re-made the maps.
There are many reasons why the Middle East is in a mess today. Some of those reasons date back to the re-ordering done after the First World War.
Today the rebels I admire most are writers and artists. I am Charlie! I hope you are too.
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