Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Belgian Congo.

If you ever feel compelled to read a masterful account of the effects of vicious colonialism, you could do worse than pick up Adam Hochschild's 1999 classic, "King Leopold's Ghost."  

The book tells in savage and horrific detail the despoiling of what was then called the Belgian Congo. The land was stripped of riches. The people were enslaved, brutalized and in many cases tortured and killed if they refused to work for their Belgian overlords.

A crusader realized that something rotten was going on when he noticed ships coming into Belgian ports were heavy and laden with rubber and other riches. The ships sat low in the water and took days to offload.

Ships going back to the Congo, however, were a different story. They went to the Congo virtually empty. Yet they came back full.

I think about this this morning when it appears that in the advertising industry we have reached the realization of "peak greed."

I say this on reporting of "outrageous" pay gaps between holding company overlords and the people who are making them wealthy.

Like the rubber trees and natural resources being stripped of their value in the Congo two centuries ago, today our brains are stripped of their vitality. Our health is compromised. Our families are forced to come in second to our labors. 

Meanwhile, our wages aren't just a tiny fraction of that of our chieftains, in fact, I allege that due to their oligopolistic domination of our industry, they've gone backward--going down, not up.

That's all for now.

I can't afford to get fired.

No comments: