"Slavery is a great way to keep your costs down."

Smartphones endorse slavery


Wed, Mar 9th, 2016 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

On the appropriately named site Long Reads, an excerpt from Kevin Bales' Blood and Earth, discussing how slavery is still the driving force in our economy to produce objects we want cheaply.

At the very beginning of the twentieth century there was an unquenchable demand in America and Europe for an amazing new technology—air-filled rubber tires. The Age of the Railroad was ending. Henry Ford was making cars by the million, bicycles were pouring out of factories, freight was moving in gasoline-powered trucks, and they all ran on rubber. The Congo had more natural rubber than anywhere else. To meet this demand King Leopold II of Belgium, in one of the greatest scams in history, tricked local tribes into signing away their lands and lives in bogus treaties that none of them could read. He sold these “concessions” to speculators who used torture and murder to drive whole communities into the jungle to harvest rubber. The profits from the slave-driving concessions were stupendous. Wild rubber, as well as elephant ivory for piano keys and decoration, was ripped out of the forests at an incredible human cost. Experts believe that ten million people died. It is the great forgotten genocide of the twentieth century. One witness was an African-American journalist named George Washington Williams. He coined the phrase “crimes against humanity” to describe what he saw.



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