And for our 400th post we shall return to Germany and look at the case of a cleaning company's owner, who had his employees work for the absolutely whopping wage between 1 and 1.79 Euro per hour, for 12 hour shifts. Which is the equivalent of an English pound of cheese, but not a pound of English cheese. I mean the cheap, nasty kind that tastes like plastic and has been meticulously killed in the process of being processed.
By not paying minimum wage said company owner defrauded the German state to the tune of 69,000 Euro. Which is actually what the judges considered the crime here, not the fact that the employees had no way of actually, you know, living on this wage, and by living I mean merely existing. And the first one out there to speak up and claim that "the market forces decide what a fair wage is" will have my fist so deep in your mouth that your teeth are going to play pianola in your nether cavities, and by nether cavities I mean your ass. That's right. I will knock your teeth down all the way past your stomach and intestines, so that they can play christmas carols and frolick all around your sphincter.
We don't play "market forces monopoly" with human lifes. We are humans. We are better than that. We have to be, or there will come a point when those masses will say, hey, you know what? Let's just kill a few motherfuckers and take their money. It's not called Marxist, it's called Bismarkian. Look it up.
Anyway, this was the first time that a German court has deemed the exploitation of workers to be a crime, not merely a "now, now, don't you that again" slap on the wrist called misdemeanour. Sounds good, doesn't it?
Unless you see that the punishment for such crime was a whopping 100 day rates by 10 Euro.
1,000 Euros. His ass didn't land in jail. His ass didn't land anywhere. He got fined 1,000 Euro (because strangely enough, just right before he had to go to court, the man's company went broke. Now, now... who would ever think that this may have been anything other than a lucky accident, eh?)
It's the Christmas season. And the older I get, the harder it is for me to find any kind of cheer in these days. Not when you look around and see that we are slowly becoming a Dickensian society all over the planet, but without the often cheerful and optimistic endings of Charles' best novels.
I believe it is no accident that some of the major thinkers of modern human history did their best work in the middle of the 19th century. In a world that was superficially progressing, but underneath that shine was fueled by poverty, injustice and hotbunking. It was a world that needed people who gave voice to the voiceless, and so it was Dickens, it was Marx, it was Engels, it was Darwin who challenged, who rose up and spoke out.
And who do we have today? We have Stepheney Meyer. We have Spielberg and Michael Bay. We have James Frey. We have Marvel Comics, nay, Entertainment, because today everything is entertainment, but none of it is actually entertaining. We have disney-fied shlock, sugar-coated empty mind calories that are the sign of philosophical poverty, of brain obesity, easy on the thought and corrosive to the soul.
And we have employers who weasel themselves out of actual punishment.
Because the state doesn't want to punish them.
They keep the machine going.
Merry Christmas, everybody.