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Penn's Plan for Peace and 'a Short Victorious War' *

William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, is a Quaker and he despairs of the war in Europe. France has pushed into the Holy Roman Empire to create a defensive buffer zone for itself. The treaties make it unclear where the legal border is, but legal or not, the remaining nations, including England, have formed "The Grand Alliance" to oppose France's incursion. The fighting has been nowhere near as bad as the 30 years' War, but many of the refugees have escaped to Pennsylvania. William Penn contends that modern war stems from inequities between states that have no way to be resolved except through the aggressive use of force. He proposes a special court or parliament to resolve these inequities so that nations will have an alternative to war. He is not proposing a Federation, nor a United States of Europe. He is suggesting an official body that can define borders and resolve disputes before war ensues. Eventually the War of the Grand Alliance will grind to a halt as the economy of the European nations deteriorate, but for now, the war drags on. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The reality is that war was considered an acceptable way to expand one's tax base, and to divert the population from revolution. In 1904 the Russo-Japanese war started because the Russian Minister of the Interior said, "What this country needs is a short, victorious war to stem the tide of revolution." In the 1980's the Argentinian economy was in turmoil yet again, so they started a war with the UK over the Falkland Islands. It was ironic that Margaret Thatcher had recently offered to lease the Falkland Islands to Argentina with an option to buy, but once the war started she had no choice but to kick their backsides. Incidentally, sales of British war planes skyrocketed after they won. The Harrier Jump Jet had been a bit of a joke because it was SLOW compared to the French Mirage Jets that Argentina was using, but 20 Mirages took a nose dive in that war vs 1 Harrier. Recently, after the terror attacks in France, I was "informed" by the news media that France had finally joined the fight against terror by bombing ISIS in Syria. But I remembered France bombing ISIS almost a year ago using their new fighter jet! War sales always pick up after a weapon is "proven" in battle. This was not French revenge for the terrorist bombings. This was an attempt to boost sales and the news media accommodated France the same way that they accommodate McDonald's when their burgers need a boost. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

The Failing Quaker Oat Harvest and Mass Migration

From now until the end of the century, every oat harvest in Scotland will fail except one. Famine will force the Scots to migrate. France is a logical destination for them, but France is going through a similar famine. One would think that the New World would be an ideal destination, but the Scots are not enthusiastic colonists as yet. The Scot Quakers have recently established colonies in East Jersey and Carolina but not in large numbers compared to the English Quakers or the Dutch. As the famine continues, most will jump to Ireland. England will pass laws in order to prop up the Scottish economy and in particular granting tax breaks for farmers, but nothing can make up for the loss of manpower. In the 17th century, 200,000 out of a million Scots have left for other countries. Twenty percent of those emigrants are the young men needed to maintain the Old Scotland. Instead they will be building a New Scotland far away. [12] [13] [14]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Losing 20% of your population is devastating. For comparison, Japan has actually gained in population, but the ratio between the elderly and the young is out of balance, and the birthrate is in decline so they are worried about having enough young people in the future to keep the machinery running. Their solution has been to build up their robotics industry. The Germans have a similar population problem and it occurred to me that the German Prime Minister might be inviting Syrian refugees to Germany in order to solve Germany's labor problem. Certainly the United States does something similar by allowing illegal aliens to waltz across the border. Business owners want cheap labor. Having a labor force that knows it is illegal reduces a lot of employee complaints. By design, the labor law makes it difficult to hire foreign labor LEGALLY, so businesses often do it illegally just to save the headache. When I do something wrong, it usually creates a cascade of wrong things, and the only way to stop that cascade is by doing the right thing in the first place. This new generation wants to do the right thing. The robotic factory, the automatic harvester and phone-app restaurant are ways to do the right thing without changing the law and without costing your soul. [15] [16]

The Amish Split from the Mennonites

War has ravaged much of central Europe including Switzerland. The Mennonites have been scattered as refugees and as one might imagine, their smaller, less organized groups have drifted away from the original central faith outlined by Menno Simons. That is why Jakob Ammann feels compelled to tighten up religious observance. Specifically he is concerned that the punishment of "shunning" has been neglected. When a member of their group is sinning and refuses to repent, they will avoid talking to that person and stay separated from that person until they do repent. Jakob Ammann applies this punishment even between husband and wife, thus making meals very difficult between them. The other Mennonites find strict shunning to be too serious a punishment and this causes a rift. Those Mennonites who agree with Jakob Ammann are called Amish Mennonites or simply Amish. The Amish will begin emigrating to Pennsylvania in the 18th century. [17]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I'm not familiar enough with Mennonite observance to make a judgement on whether Jakob Ammann was right or wrong. Shunning as a religious penalty is an ancient procedure and it exists within Judaism, though I'm not aware of it having been used in recent times. I am a Modern Orthodox Jew so I don't claim to know everything that my more right-wing brethren are doing. I hear rumors, though. In the 1800s, shunning happened, but it was rare because it could be so devastating. If you had a public business, how could your fellows buy things from you? Usually, there was a time limit placed on the shunning. Let's say... 30 days. How many businesses could afford to lose a month's worth of business? So... it was a severe punishment but everyone knew it was severe. Rabbis tried to avoid imposing the punishment and people tried to avoid deserving the punishment. And if you think shunning is the correct penalty then certainly one's spouse should shun you. The rule is the rule. If everyone must shun you, then that means everyone.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1693, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. Grand Alliance (League of Augsburg) - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 12 December 2015. “The Grand Alliance was a European coalition, consisting (at various times) of Austria, Bavaria, Brandenburg, the Dutch Republic, England, the Holy Roman Empire, Ireland, the Palatinate of the Rhine, Portugal, Savoy, Saxony, Scotland, Spain and Sweden. The organization, which was founded in 1686 as the League of Augsburg, was known as the 'Grand Alliance' after England and Scotland joined the League (in 1689). It was originally formed in an attempt to halt Louis XIV of France's expansionist policies.”
  2. The Political Writings of William Penn. Online Library of Liberty (2015). Retrieved on 12 December 2015. “Government then is the Prevention or Cure of Disorder, and the Means of Justice, as that is of Peace: For this Cause they have Sessions, Terms, Assizes and Parliaments, to over-rule Men’s Passions and Resentments, that they may not be Judges in their own Cause, nor Punishers of their own Wrongs, which as it is very incident to Men in their Corrupt State, so, for that Reason, they would observe no Measure; nor on the other Hand would any be easily reduced to their Duty.”
  3. William Penn - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 12 December 2015. “As a pacifist Quaker, Penn considered the problems of war and peace deeply. He developed a forward-looking project for a United States of Europe through the creation of a European Assembly made of deputies that could discuss and adjudicate controversies peacefully. He is therefore considered the very first thinker to suggest the creation of a European Parliament.”
  4. Falkland Islands - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 13 December 2015. “Concerned at the expense of maintaining the Falkland Islands in an era of budget cuts, the UK again considered transferring sovereignty to Argentina in the early Thatcher government.[57] Substantive sovereignty talks again ended by 1981, and the dispute escalated with passing time.[58] In April 1982, the disagreement became an armed conflict when Argentina invaded the Falklands and other British territories in the South Atlantic, briefly occupying them until a UK expeditionary force retook the territories in June.”
  5. British Aerospace Sea Harrier - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 13 December 2015. “The Sea Harrier served in the Falklands War, both of the Gulf Wars, and the Balkans conflicts; on all occasions it mainly operated from aircraft carriers positioned within the conflict zone. Its usage in the Falklands War was its most high profile and important success, where it was the only fixed-wing fighter available to protect the British Task Force. The Sea Harriers shot down 20 enemy aircraft during the conflict with one lost to enemy ground fire. They were also used to launch ground attacks in the same manner as the Harriers operated by the Royal Air Force.”
  6. Jack S. Levy (Spring 1988). "Domestic Politics and War". The Journal of Interdisciplinary History (MIT Press) 18 (4): 653-673. http://www.austinlibrary.com:2138/stable/204819. Retrieved December 13, 2015. "Many trace the origins of the Russo-Japanese War to the motivation articulated by the Russian minister of the interior: 'What this country needs is a short victorious war to stem the tide of revolution.'". 
  7. Russo-Japanese War - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 13 December 2015. “In Russia, the defeat of 1905 led in the short term to a reform of the Russian military that allowed it to face Germany in World War I. However, the revolts at home following the war planted the seeds that presaged the Russian Revolution of 1917. This was because Tsar Nicholas II issued the October Manifesto, which included only limited reforms such as the Duma and failed to address the societal problems of Russia at the time.”
  8. France launches first airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. CNN.com (September 28, 2015). Retrieved on 13 December 2015. “The country had announced earlier this month that it would expand its aerial campaign against ISIS in Iraq -- which it began a year ago -- to include the militant group's positions in Syria.”
  9. "French warplanes hit Islamic State logistics depot in Iraq", Los Angeles Times, September 14, 2014. Retrieved on 13 December 2015. “Less than 24 hours after President Francois Hollande announced that he had approved a request from the government in Baghdad for air support, at least two French Rafale planes attacked the insurgents' positions, according to a statement from his office.” 
  10. France Bombs ISIS In Iraq. Business Insider (September 19, 2014). Retrieved on 13 December 2015. “Rafale fighter jets carried out the airstrike in Iraq.”
  11. ISIS 'BOMB Them and Keep Bombing Them, Bomb Them Again & Again!' (VIDEO). Fox News Network (January 10, 2015). Retrieved on 13 December 2015. “'They are coming for us.' 'BOMB THEM, bomb them and keep bombing them, bomb them again and again'....'Mr. President, like the Bregdahl trade and the 5 terrorists, you didn't have the balls to try in Gitmo or Federal Court. You are simply clueless, a paper tiger, who only knows how to cut n' run. 'You dance around with your political correctness while they sharpen their knives!' 'It is the American people who will suffer'”
  12. 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created (BOOK), Knopf. ISBN 9780307265722. “In the worst period, between 1693 and 1700, the Scottish oat harvest failed in every year but one. Desperate Scots fled their homes in huge numbers.” 
  13. (2010) Famine in Scotland - the 'Ill Years' of the 1690s, Scottish Historical Review Monographs. Edinburgh University Press. Retrieved on 13 December 2015. “The famine was a demographic disaster for Scotland. The crisis surrounding the famine had far-reaching consequences for the Scottish population and economy both in the second half of the 1690s and in the following decades. Yet, even now it is regarded by historians of the late seventeenth century as only one, and not necessarily the most important, of four disasters to impact on Scotland in the 1690s.” 
  14. Landsman, Ned C. (April 1999). "Nation, Migration, and the Province in the First British Empire: Scotland and the Americas, 1600-1800". The American Historical Review (Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Historical Association) 104 (2): 463-475. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2650375. Retrieved December 14, 2015. "Even the first permanent Scottish settlement, the Quaker-sponsored colonization of East Jersey, was in no way comparable, even on a per-capita basis, to the adjacent and related English Friends' settlements in West Jersey and Pennsylvania. Not until the middle of the eighteenth century would Scotland establish a reputation in North America as a nation of emigrants. Indeed, until rather late in the seventeenth century, it would be difficult to find more than a handful of Scots who displayed any significant interest in the Americas.". 
  15. "Japan's population suffers biggest fall in history", The Daily Telegraph, 17 April 2013. Retrieved on 13 December 2015. “The population across the Japanese archipelago dropped by around 284,000 to an estimated 127.5 million by October last year, the figures compiled by the government's Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry found.” 
  16. EU must open doors to avoid Syrian refugee catastrophe, says UN. theguardian.com (13 January 2014). Retrieved on 14 December 2015. “Those who do reach Europe are further confined by the Dublin agreement, which stipulates that asylum seekers must remain in their first country of entry, despite the differing conditions that refugees face across the EU. Italy, Greece and Bulgaria have all been widely criticised for their treatment of asylum seekers, but they say their geographical position means they are bearing an unfair share of responsibility for coping with refugee flows.”
  17. Amish - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 14 December 2015. “The Amish movement takes its name from Jakob Ammann (c. 1656–1730), a Swiss Mennonite leader. Ammann believed Mennonites, the peaceful Anabaptists of the Low Countries and Germany, were drifting away from the teachings of Menno Simons and the 1632 Dordrecht Confession of Faith. Ammann favored stronger church discipline, including a more rigid application of shunning, the social exclusion of excommunicated members. Swiss Anabaptists, who were scattered by persecution throughout the Alsace and the Electorate of the Palatinate, never practiced strict shunning as had some lowland Anabaptists. Ammann insisted upon this practice, even to the point of expecting spouses to refuse to eat with each other, until the banned spouse repented. This type of strict literalism, on this issue, as well as others, brought about a division among the Mennonites of Southern Germany, the Alsace and Switzerland in 1693, and led to withdrawal of those who sided with Ammann.”

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