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Sometimes it’s worth it to think about an episode before writing a review to it.
After watching „The Price of Admission“ I first wanted to write about war and the reasons for it. Well, in a way I still do but after letting the episode sink in I realised that there is much more depth in the writing of Tamara Jaron than meets the eye.

It is a discourse about legality and moral and that it is sometimes difficult to pass judgement on someone for his or her actions.

Let’s start with the easy part:
The conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia and the motives for keeping the war going. 
The episode names two,

the retention of power

In my opinion most wars and conflicts between nations and sometimes even inside nations are based on either one or the other.

In the episode they are represented by the consul of Ethiopia who admits that her government isn’t interested in the peace agreement anymore because of the prospect of making profits from oil reserves and the Eritrean regime who, according to Sherlock’s father, doesn’t want the war to end because then they would finally have to hold elections that could take the power from them.
There is no question that such a behaviour is as amoral as it is against the purpose of a government, which is to work for the benefit of their people.

You don’t have to look as far as Africa to find examples for that though. Sadly even in democratic countries some representatives seem to have forgotten what their duties are.

There is something that can be done against that but I will come back to it later.

First on to the more complicated cases of law versus moral.

The owner of the coins immediately cooperates with the police as he has „nothing to hide“.

He is right about that. Keeping the coins in the storage facility means that he doesn’t have to pay import duty and taxes on them as they technically never entered the U.S.

There is nothing illegal about what he does, but it is morally reprehensible.

The social system of a country relies on the taxes its citizens pay. The more rich people as well as companies find ways to avoid them, the more money is lacking for infrastructure, schools, social security etc.
Yet, those people, banks and companies unreasonably claim that what they do is not against the law. Oh, well…

In case of the Ethiopian artefacts it is the opposite. Aura Swenson’s father conducted the excavations illegally as because of the war between Eritrea and Ethiopia no official permissions were given.
Bringing the historic objects to the U.S. was equally against the law, so they had to be kept in storage until the problem was solved.
On the other hand there is nothing that could be said against his motives. He never planned to sell any of the artefacts or to otherwise gain profits from them. He wanted to open a museum to preserve the cultural treasures and give everyone the opportunity to see the art.

If he hadn’t done the excavations most of the objects would probably have vanished or been destroyed in the conflict.

I let you form your own opinion about that.

I said earlier that there is something that can be done regarding governments and representatives who obviously don’t know what their tasks are.

To say it with Bertolt Brecht

Die Ballade vom Wasserrad (excerpt)
Und sie schlagen sich die Köpfe 

blutig, raufend um die Beute

nennen andre gierige Tröpfe

und sich selber gute Leute.

Unaufhörlich sehn wir sie einander grollen

und bekämpfen. Einzig und alleinig

wenn wir sie nicht mehr ernähren wollen

sind sie sich auf einmal völlig einig.
Denn dann dreht das Rad sich nicht mehr weiter

und das heitre Spiel, es unterbleibt

wenn das Wasser endlich mit befreiter

Stärke seine eigne Sach betreibt.


The Ballad of the Mill Wheel (excerpt)

And they beat their heads, till they are bloody

Scrambling after booty

Each calls the other rascal
And himself the slave of duty
The time has come, away to speed them:

Each in lasting conflict with his brother.

Only our resolve that we not feed them,
Brings them to peace with one another.

(from Google Books - Bertolt Brecht „Jungle of Cities and Other Plays“
Because then the wheel stands still
Brings to a halt the jolly game
When the water finally will

with free strength follow its aim 

(own translation)

Marcus may not be able to hold the Ethiopian government accountable for putting profit before peace but he can at least force the consul to admit that much and Sherlock, instead of accepting that he cannot proof the involvement of the antiques expert in the murder and the sale of the documents, finds a way to bring him to justice nevertheless.

And each and everyone of us can do something, too. Go vote or follow the example of the young people who raise their voices on the „Fridays for Future“ or for better gun control.

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Comments (2)
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Jun 15, 2019
Yeah....Me too was waiting for the shoe to drop..Was interesting though myschoolbucks
Jun 10, 2019
I spent most of the episode waiting for the other shoe to drop on the whole Sherlock staying in the US issue and it did in a way I had not expected and I do wonder how much this will come back to haunt Sherlock and Watson before the series ends.

As for the case of the week, it was definitely an interesting thing and the whole bypassing the laws or finding ways to pay lower taxes is quite interesting and is done by a lot of people, including most of the politicians who wrote the laws they are now bypassing or using in unexpected ways. As for wars, it is always about greed, in some form or fashion, from power to money. An interesting thing I learned a while back was how the world, despite its population has more than enough food to feed everyone, but governments, companies and wars keep this from happening. Suffering happens because of the powerful, and this includes all politicians and governments, and this episode showed one such case. As for what we can do, in real life, I do not think I will get much into that, it is often more to it than can really be simply discussed in a few words typed out. But I will say this, often, both sides are in the wrong in at least a partial fashion and their arguments have logical holes if you look closely and these days the two extremes are fighting it out (and going to further and further extremes) when often the logical and reasonable thing to do is find the middle ground and try to see the whole picture.

I think I have a very unique view on the purpose and meaning of government, as I see it, its one and only job is to protect the freedom of all people, and it is the job of the people to help, care and love each other and I know full well it is very idealistic and most people want the government to do things for them so they do not need to bother. I will just leave it at that.

Good review, as always and look forward to the next.
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