Human Nature

Freedom Fighter, Collaborator, and “Oh S**t, I’m Just Keeping My Head Down?”

Keeping Your Head Down

Invading, looting and enslaving your neighbors has been a social norm for thousands of years. Although it is, at it’s essence, armed robbery, if the whole clan agrees, it is depicted (by the winners) as glorious victory. History labels the leaders as Great, like Alexander the.

Throughout history, when a ‘nation’ is invaded, the natives take one of three positions: Freedom Fighters, Collaborators, and “Oh S**t, I’m Just Keeping My Head Down.” Which do you think you would be? We call the resistance ‘freedom fighters’ if we like them (the French Resistance to Nazi occupation) or Terrorists if we don’t like them (or if we are the invaders.)

Collaborators are punished by the invaded if the invaders are repelled and rewarded by the invaders if not. French women who slept with Nazi soldiers had their heads shaved and were paraded down the street for taunting. Some collaborators were hung as traitors. Puppet collaborators are given positions of authority. This is an old, old story. I guess because it works.

Take the Roman invasion of Britain. British tribes were fighting each other in nasty little wars, first one group popped up only to be defeated by another group. They fought individually, for honor, for the glory of their group, and ended up dead heroes. Is this a good world to live in?

A few head honchos sucked up to the Roman superpower for assistance. “so, when a request for help came from Verica of the Atrebates tribe (who had been ousted from power by Caratacus, king of the Catuvellauni tribe), Claudius was ready.”

Rome invaded. They could claim it was a peacekeeping mission, right? They installed their collaborators in power positions and stayed in Briton for 400 years extracting wealth, as was their custom. They could say it was a civilizing mission, “look, we built baths.” England would use “civilizing mission” as justification for exploitation of the lands they subsequently invaded to form the British Empire.

There was resistance, especially in Wales and Scotland. But I imagine most people, as usual, just said, “Oh S**t, I’m Just Keeping My Head Down.”

The romantic legend of Jews is that Rome invaded and oppressed them and then threw them out of their native land. Poor Jews, wandering over the face of the globe with no home land. But truth resists simplicity.

Jews were also fighting with each other, faction against faction. Today we would say it was a group of violent religious fanatics against moderates. One group sucked up to the Roman superpower and was installed in puppet power positions.

Look, Rome didn’t give a flying shite about religious bickering, they just wanted to extract wealth. If the Romans threw out the Jews after the revolt (66 AD)  what Jews were left for Bar Kochba’s revolt in 135 AD? Most deaths were from warring Jewish factions rather than from Romans.

But Rome, of course, triumphed and threw out the elite troublemakers. They almost never depopulated a province-who would be left to pay tribute? It was about money, honey. Jews were left behind-the ones who said, “Oh S**t, I’m Just Keeping My Head Down.”

What if the U.S. were invaded and Chinese soldiers patrolled our malls? What would you be? A Freedom Fighter, Collaborator, or an “Oh S**t, I’m Just Keeping My Head Down.?”

About Je' Czaja aka Granny Savage

Je' is a writer, artist, and stand up philosopher. She founded and directed two non-profit organizations for disadvantaged children and their families, served as a missionary for three years, is the author of several books and teaches art. Twitter: @jeczaja FB: https://www.facebook.com/grannysavage Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00IU4RWKE

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