sunnuntai 22. marraskuuta 2015

Dirty faces of Brussels

We should be wary on Brussels. It has the showy facade, but behind its faces are hiding the gloomy legacy. The money has always determined its activities. People in that Belgian city have been very proficient at the publicity stunts. In Brussels we have a story of personal delusions of grandeur and so mistaken own and foreign resources with each other. At the same time it is a story of unbridled use of power, and less than human credulity of people missed the brutal enslavement, but also a declaration of a few strong personalities to the battle against the large apparatus. Firts time I got to know Adam Hochchild`s book King Leopold's Ghost about ten years ago. Today's analog to the European Union beats so hard the face, I have not got memories out of my mind. The question is the same as before - have the peoples right to manage their own lands and raw material resources? What will happen to your religion or lifestyle?

The old symbol of the swastika is cursed. Also, the Brussels star is a symbol of unspeakable atrocities, but it is qualified for the mark of European project. Again, the dark tendrils of power has been applied in Brussels. Breaking of Nations today is much more sophisticated than a hundred years earlier. Yet, already, Leopold was said: "Belgium [Brussels] does not use the advantage of the world, we have to get it excited the matter.".

The basis for the Belgian colonialism were very poor. That little state became independent as late as 1830 after being the alternating property of Spain and Austria. It looked that the Western countries had already by that time reached the share of all of the land between them. The position of the monarch in Belgium was pretty much powerless, and the people seemed not so eager for any adventures abroad. So, imperialism was at that early stage to be the king of his own personal transaction.

Before rising to reign in 1865, Leopold toured a lot around the world, making notes and speaking Belgian potential in world trade. He constantly sought to establish the empire of his own. From the viceroy of Egypt he received the right to get involved to set up a steamship company in service between Alexandria and Antwerp. He also planned to acquire the Nile delta lakes for to dry them for settlements. In 1864 he became acquainted with the situation in Ceylon, India and Burma. For his great chagrin Netherlands were already as the master in East India. The majority of Belgians opposed Leopold´s intentions, not least because Belgium has no merchant navy or maritime forces.

However, the king found John Rowland, who was an excellent tool to achieve the objectives. As a bastard son in Wales, separated from his mother Rowland was born in 1841, and was to create for himself many the identities with varying names and dived in the world, first as an assistant of an cotton stockbroker, fought in the American Civil War on both sides. He escaped from the army and engaged in a newspaper man. After that he claimed to be a native American. Soon the world knew him as a Henry Morton Stanley, which was to leave a permanent mark on Africa.

Henry Morton Stanley in 1872.
Photo Wikimedia Commons
Stanley found more than just Livingstone, he offered Leopold tremendously, unknown land, which was trapped between the old colonial interests. About his travels and stages, could be written texts of their own, but let´s just mention that over the next decades he had an important role in the king's image campaigns.

As we have already noted, the Belgian State did not have any intentions to seek colonies. In addition, the United Kingdom and France keep an eye on their claims. The public opinion was also to overcome in the project side in the completely different way than the old imperialists spread into the back of the seas. Stanley's expeditions has the central importance. The area is well defined through its great river. In fact, the original name of the river Nzadi or Nzere means "the river that swallows all rivers". Each of those tributary streams has a width of hundreds of meters. Just Kasai-tributary carries more water than the Volga and has a length of the Rhine and a half. Ubangi River will be even longer. Europe's earliest expeditions were thwarted by a massive covered area and jungle diseases. Stanley's journeys gave birth to the legend, and brought up enthusiasm. The King had only come up with the right way to approach parliaments both in Europe and in the United States in order to obtain the legitimacy of conquests. In king's words: "Belgium does not use to the world. We need to get excited about it. "

As a constitutional monarch Leopold II was not able to put pressure on Belgium, but through the International Association Africa, he declared the struggle against the Arabs practicing the slave trade, and that he would bring the civilisation. Fearing the French or the British coming-edged thing, he sent her attorney Henry Shelton Sanford to lobby his case to the United States. That man had served formerly as the US ambassador of Belgium and failed in all business of his own, but benefited greatly the matter of the king of Belgium. As a result of that carefully carried out campaign the United States recognized 04/22/1884 Leopold II's capture of the Congo as a first country.

In 1879 Stanley was sent in Congo for five years by the king to set up a base near the mouth of the river and build a road over the Congo River as the basis for future railway past the steep rapids share. Around the same time the king founded a new organization called the International Congo Associaton, whose name had to deliberately confuse people's minds into the International African Association.

Map of precolonial African kingdoms
CLICK image to enlarge it.
Image Wikimedia Commons
With the proficient and ruthless operations and the support of selected subordinates Leopold II had taken control of an enormous region that the area in Europe could be extended from Zurich to Moscow and central Turkey, just as large as the United States east of the Mississippi. Which consisted mainly of rain forest and savannah region but also the volcanic hills plus mountain peaks, some of which rose higher than Alps. It was evident that it was found in the vast natural resources, the supply of which to the world was a challenge. Likewise, there were innumerable tribes, some of which had up to a certain level of states. However, Europeans at the time behaved as if they were as empty as the map had been white. Leopold's ambassador had conveyed to the US President the king's letter, which states that "sovereign tribal chief rendition countries is by us formed confederation of independent states". Black barely understood, Mitya all, prepared by the king's agents in the agreements subscribed by guaranteeing her trading monopoly rights [c. Lisbon agreements drawn up in the most complex increments and their consequences].

* * *

The opposition wakes up

The resistance with spears and a passed musket was in vain against Leopold's colonial administration, the Force Publique, the native troops commanded by officers from the different European countries on leave for battle experiences. Many Europeans discovered their dark side in the jungle. Léon Rom was collecting human heads to the columns,for the garden decorations, Léon Fiévez let the blacs be embeded in nets into the river, Albéric Detiège forced blacks to eat rubber, mixed with dirt and sand. By the time it became more and more difficult to collect rubber, because in order to get as much as possible grafts sap the plants were mostly killed. The undercutting of collection quotas was punished by cutting arms and legs from both children and adults. However, a number of Europeans were shocked by what they have seen and experienced.

Rubber latex
Lusambon jungle before 1905.
Photo Wikimedia Commons.

The first heresy Hochschild described, George Washington Williams was just as unusual as the revelation of John Rowland. As a black American, he was born in Pennsylvania in 1849 and initially remained completely deprived of school education. In 1864 he joined the minor, almost illiterate false name in the northern states to the army. After the civil war he fought in the Mexican repuclican forces After Mexico, he enlisted in the US army, an d after that he studied at Howard and Newton's Theological Institute, where he developed into a brilliant writer. Since then, he called himself as Colonel.

In 1889, Williams received the task to write a series of articles on Europe. After interviewing the Leopold II he was spelled. He planned to post black Americans to work in Africa. For that he also met with the President of the United States and the railroad mogul Huntington. With the help of the latter, he was allowed to visit Africa. So his idea, Leopold kind of philanthropist crumbled once and for all, and the first systematic information specified in Congo atrocities were accounted for in an open letter to the king. Three months after that letter Williams wrote to the US President and the Foreign Minister. He was already a sick man and died of tuberculosis 02/08/1891.

The steamer on the Congo River circa 1890.
Photo Wikimedia Commons

In August 1890 Polish-born Konrad Korzeniowski made a journey up the Congo as a trainee captain. That round trip on the river got Korzeniowski delusions falling off. Later the world was to become familiar with him as Joseph Conrad, and the trip was years later to filter into the book Heart of Darkness. Although Conrad considered himself a passionate imperialists, that work was a strong attack against the oppression.

William Sheppard, a black Presbyterian missionary lived for many years in Congo and acted as an important witness. The actual organizer of the resistance movement against Leopold was Edmund Dene Morel, who originally supervised in Elder Dempster shipping company payroll the marine transportation between Antwerp and the Congo. He drew attention to the disproportion between the imported cargoes to Europe and Africa and exported goods pondering if the contributions paid to African products at all. At the same time, he noted the major arm transports. Before long, Morel resigned from the shipping service, and began to write full-time. He founded the publication in 1903, the West African Mail, after receiving funding include an Liverpudlian businessman John Holt.

Leopold's main opponent. ED Morel, around 1900-1915.
Photo Wikimedia Commons

Morel received reports from terrified officials and missionaries operating in the Congo. It took one more important a man to break the balance of the information war. In 1903 Morel successfully raised the question to the the British Parliament. Congo-British Consul in Congo was ordered to look at the situation. Consul Roger Casement was already in the 1880s and 1890s traveled to the Congo. When he took up the post of consul in 1900 he had also received an invitation to visit Leopold. During his travels, he avoided official routes and transport services, so local authorities were not able to prepare for his arrival. The Belgians tend to subsequently watered down his account of trying in vain to find any errors. Still, the original version of the research was manged to cancel before its release at the beginning of the year 1904.

Evidences inevitable following each other, Leopold's own growing paranoia and splurging lifestyle began to erode his popularity. Huge construction projects and the very young mistress absorbed more and more funds. In 1908, Leopold was reluctantly ripe to hand over Congo to the Belgian State at a high price. The deal included the bonds, which the king had shared his mistress and favorites. Part of loans were originally granted by the state itself.

Distant events in Congo were noticed in Finland, too

Distant events in Congo were written in Finnish newspapers, too. The Magazine Kaiku [Echo] in Oulu described Congo Free State in quite idealistic way:

"Ten years have elapsed since Congo Free State was established Africa. One of the official of this young state has just declared the report of the Free State of stages and irrespective of the position things there are today. Through Congo Free State runs, such as the well-known, the mighty Congo River, which is mofified for ships; concerning the locations have been excavated channels so that the river is travellable from mouth to position named Boma. The whole country is under a regular business law and equal treatment of all subjects. Negroes are not treated worse than the Europeans. General Post Office provides inexpensive correspondence between the different parts of the kingdom. In the same book also reported statistical data on births, deaths, marriage go time and so on among European types. There is a nigger's army, which, however, has been under European officers. There are Sick Rooms with skilled physician leadership in Banama, Boma and Leopoldwille. One of regularly arranged negro group of men exists to help carry the trade of goods from place to place. There are large cargo ships on the Congo River. Animal husbandry has been improved in every respect. As proof of the Congo Free power is progressing it is mentioned that the europa kind of money men are granted the big money loans. The state loan is already 150 million francs and many private companies have begun to favor the government guaranteed up efforts to use the abundant sources of income. The author of this report believes that the Congolese state is to make progress. “

June 28, 1905 Karjala -magazine [ Karelia] headlines that in the Congo State is accused of :

hree boys whose hands are cu , about year 1900.
Hand cutting man was used inter alia punishment
tuksena rubber collection quotas undercutting.
Photo Wikimedia Commons
"    That's a strange department between the Free State and the joint-stock company, with as a creator and topmost master Belgian king Leopold , has long since been pulled uncomfortably attracted attention. Increase in number, gain any votes which have begun to regard it as the embarrassment when the eyes of some big and rich country - Congo-state population counted 30 million - left as helpless prey dirty European bloodsuckers who don´t be shy of doing what evr is needed to achieve their goals .
    Recently it has been a British missionary, who delivered a blatant description of it: people are hunted like raging beasts, tortured with invented atrocities and are beaten to death, unless unable to collect the required number of rubber - women do not have any rights to.
     And these issues are taking place in Congo, the Board of Directors, led by European officers, soldiers !
Some time ago was Congo-state conditions presented in the Italian representative of the Chamber in absolutely awful light. Conservative representative Santini insisted the government explanation by the fact that a large number of Italian officers with the permission of the War Minister enlisted in the Congo government army.
   Incriminating allegations of Congo government came to proven after debating the matter of its “civilisationing” work.

Punch Congo rubber cartoon is 28 November 1906.
Caricature: a native is harassed by the King Leopold
Photo Wikimedia Commons
    European officers have been given on activities that do not have any connection with the military service and quality that no decent man with a modicum of honor, would it perform.
    Officers are often used as an intermediary against the natives, which have treacherously been plundered, as verification men and brutal henchmen of the capitalist system .
   Whether matter how sensitive any time, is an obvious fact in all cases that the foreign officers, before they accepted employment, must be signed by one of the formula, which is committed to silence of the most violent of all in terms of what they will in the Congo to observe. Congo State practice the systematic extortion and bribery in Italy. The newspaper
"Corriere della Sera" explains it has been offered money in order to write for benefit of Congo.

     Most aggravating allegations against Congo State Consul General in Genoa Elijah was presented by Mr Santini. He allegedly receiving FIM 1000 shipping fee for every officer, which he has managed to hire into the service of the Congo State, for whom he is said to be engaging in this exceedingly impudently work. In addition, he has on his conscience insensate sin of the bribery. 1903 was the nom. Congo Government sought to pave the way for Italian rural workers with the so-called Transfer Board. Italian Immigration Office sent naval doctor Baccarin to investigate the circumstances in Congo. Every effort cheated - even an attempt to poison him - Baccari returned to Italy. Consul General Elijah then rented a steamer, and entered in the Italian coast to the steamship, in which Baccari had returned. He stated to be the Belgian ambassador in Italy and offered large sum of money to Baccarat if doctor would undertake to remain silent all over what he had experienced in the Congo.

    Bringing up the fact that the Italian national honor very violated through the government loan officers for that kind of State suggested Santini impetus following:

    "Chamber urges the government to call straight away back the military officers from Congo into the active service and to eliminate the Congo Government's representatives powers".
     This proposal is expected to be supported by both right and left the joining. If it comes as assumed, it marks things with the branding iron, which until now have been publicly happen.
     Almost at the same time, it is in England, although not from the official, called on the government to step in between. There's a few years ago for the Congo-case, established "Congo Reform Association", which has had some time ago a meeting where its secretary ED Morel with the sharpest words has criticised the situation of the Upper Congo, which he considered worse than ever before, as well as presented details of the enormities there is carried out. The meeting made a decision, such a one that the government is required to take into account the prevailing glaring drawbacks of the Congo State.

Leopold II.
Photo Wikimedia Commons
Wiipurin Sanomat [in Vyborg] still believed in King Leopold's abilities in December 28, 1909 :

The king is absolutely fine businessman genius.

    Danish Captain Albert Tilly, which has had the longer the period of residence in the Congo, provides Naionaltidende the following fun information about State-and the economic major work of Leopold the Second: the creation of the Congo Government and its speculation over Belgium.

    There is not a slightest reason to believe the hypothesis points out Captain Tilly, that King Leopold was the only European kind to rule, who had a congenital businessman gifts, which was a real commercial genius. He saw possibilities, he had an irresistible desire to expand the areas of the Kingdom of Belgium and deepen those sources, from the little kingdom drew its assets in cash. That´s why he was early on drew attention to the fact that Belgium had to procure dependencies and he was looking at a kind of envy the riches that flowed through the colonial period to a small neighboring country, the Netherlands.
     But the colony had to be such that it gave back the money placed at. He did not care of German Africa. He did not want to waste millions and millions again into the bottomless pit. Did not get to stay long, before exchanging the decline, and the money began to flow to the back.
    It is well known that it is precisely Stanley who drew his attention to the Congo. Of course there is also the fact that Leopold was assisted by the expedition, which went in to search of Emin Pasha.

How did fine with the king proceeded in order to get the Congo.

     Great attention and amazement aroused in due course by the fact that the little Belgium got the power to really impossibly rich Congo, such an open gold mine, which had been so easily the French and English available, and located in the middle of their territories. Belgium owes Leopold king, incomparable genius for the fact that it was successful. He is by no means to announce to the world that Belgium has now found a place where billions of just waiting for their takers. No, he acted very cautiously, pretending, as if the whole company is hardly worth of taking the trouble as good and as it should in any case tied to so much trouble, that can inevitably be set under question the importing of the whole riches.

    And at the same time, he started his work well knowing the aims. It showed soon to be very difficult to get educated Belgians go to the swamps, like Congo was, but Leopold did not turn back; he would not let too many subordinates of the great powers to come land, which he had decided to grab. His gaze turned of natural causes toward the little states, and first and foremost to Denmark.

    It was a tribe, as though created to support for his plans, says the Danish Captain, civilized and strong nation, which has both the sense of responsibility - that the sense of duty and which has not been spoiled with too high wages at home, so that what he can offer, it seemed appealing to the young men. At first, he hired a few merchant ships officers, and it was perfectly suitable for his plans. The country was to start by organizing the coast, from there he wanted to be corroded deeper into the hinterland.

How did the work of arrangement was set in motion.

    Thereupon he needed first and foremost maritime people. They had to transport ships and materials up inland waters, and where they are not passed, there will the natives to learn out of necessity. Seamen's traces followed by land officers. King Leopold realized very well that military power had to go, to prepare the way before the colonial organization of work. Peace was only after the order had been received, and any of the amount of reimbursement, the answer could penetrate into other countries. But he did not consider unilateral military people, he hoped that they would also have practical tendencies, that they would know how to treat the natives, to teach them farming and to know the value of the goods, to teach them that they can acquire the means of themselves other goods which, although King Leopold did not pay a lot from those , but which the natives liked and which they wanted to acquire.

"He felt the man-eater fashion taste."

     He had to actually ensure that the replacement products were in line with the taste of the people. He started to manufacture a type of glass beads, he knew what most closely responded the taste of people in relation to their other popular baubles. A French expedition led by the Duke of Urezin was about to perish because it was not clear on this taste. They had objects with which the natives did not like to barter and against which they did not want to hand over food resources.

Concerns about the natives and their upbringing.

     King Leopold's explicit intent was also the way in which the natives were treated and how there had grown better human race from them. He let to the purchase slaves from among the tribes which practiced cannibalism. Troops of slaves who were transported to the coast after thousands of miles from the former masters. Then they were liberated, they were given a gift of a small plot of land, and so they had to go to cultivate coffee. In the same way also treated as prisoners of war. Children were taken to the colonies far from their birthplaces, where they were kept with caution in the eyes of the for Roman Catholics missionaries. And in this way these isolated children have since grown somewhat conscientious and useful immigrant population.
    He wanted good grace, that we felt we could change the ideas of the man-eaters about what tastes sweet tooth while eating, but it did not have to happen in brutal way. He knew that each human spirit in the State has its value, and he felt that it was a bad economy to free a man by the spirit taking it hands of another man. We have several times to release the slaves which are imposed to be eaten, but on a regular basis without bloodshed. That the king can so exactly follow all the Kongo State of things depended on the fact that he Olim first degree with the inspectors, with whom he thoroughly considered the issues.

Witty speculation.

     If he found someone's idea or plan in favor, it was not any pity for him to draw money to implement it. Most of his wealth is probably positioned in the companies in Congo. He inquired about the conditions from all who achieved some kind of notable status down there. In his final years, when the conditions were changed, he saw with joy that the engineers of all nationalities settled there. He can, for example at the prom in the court to rule on officer, who had never even been thought of Congo..
"I am delighted greatly to hear that you have a burning desire to go to the Congo, I'm putting up things in such a way that you get there a good post" Or to some merchant aristocrat "So much fun, that you do you propose to invest money in the Congo business. It becomes quite probably to succeed very well, I will follow with great interest its progress."

Congo State - the Model Colony

     It is no wonder, says Captain Tilly, that succeeded in creating the model colony, once a man like himself King Leopold took it upon itself. I do not think that anywhere outside Prussia there is the kind of discipline and order as district in the Congo, which are completely forced under power of Belgium. Also, there exist discipline and order among the Europeans. Anything goes as rope pulling, where instead of eg. The French Congo circumstances are much worse, which is why poor native ingredients of Belgian Congo frequently move into French territory.

The rumors about abuses come from England 

     Captain Tilly does not say he knows there has ever occurred to any kind of abuse in Congo. He is inclined to believe that they are the rudder of missionaries, especially from the stories of the Protestant. For these are often enthusiastic in politics, and especially at the British Politics. They were based on information obtained is the English was very pleasing to get involved in Congo affairs of the State, because now they, too, have noticed that the land is rich. "

* * *

The period of Leopold`s Congo, the final reports

Morel with his allies knew that the ceremonies in Boma in November 1908 hardly mattered the healing conditions. Before the handover Leopold's minions were eight days burned documents, as well as in the Congo and in Brussels. The king said to his Congo could be taken, but not to know what he had done. The international community soon lost interest. A year later, Leopold died. The lawyers of king's daughters continued to rummage the papers of the monarch for many years. It was revealed among other things that Leopold had secretly owned a large part of the French side of the Congo rubber collection companies. Before the work was completed in the 1920s had taken place the bitter First World War. Many colonial officer had distinguished themselves in European battlefields. All in all, the war was treated badly Belgium. So reminding about old events in Africa were not considered appropriate.

Cruel oppression was practiced in every corner of Africa. Concentrating on Leopold's Congo the British and American public opinion were controlled into less dangerous direction. In the German South-West Africa the herero-people rose in rebellion in 1904, and Lieutenant-General Lothar von Trotha gave to destroy it, Vernichtungsbefehl meant that anyone who was caught within German borders, armed or unarmed, owning cattle or without cattle was shot. More than 75% of the 80 000 Hereros were killed.

Events in Leopold's Congo influenced indelibly into people's lives. It left the most significant wounds in both Casement and Morel. With encrypted homosexuality in his soul Casement found a new mission and purpose in the Irish freedom struggle, when he actively looking for help from the Germans. He was executed in 1916. Morel rose into the lead of the pacifist movement ending up in jail. Before his death in 1924 Morel had time to access, inter alia, to the Parliament from Social Democratic Party. 1922, he had won in elections Winston Churchill, the man who was sent him in prison.

The reincarnation of Leopold´s Congo?

Europe begins to resemble more and more a kind of private supranational company, other than the home nations, so I concentrated on Leopold's Congo instead of seeking to outline the later colonial period up until 1960. In Leopold's era the enormous land area ended up in a one-man private business enterprise. The analogy to the present day in Europe is clear and daunting.

The flag of a yellow star on a blue background of the Belgian Congo became to symbolize the brutal, ruthless colonial regime and the oppression of indigenous peoples into power of overseas businesses. Operations began with lies and propaganda. In the name of the fight against slavery they generated a huge slave state. Actually, that star flag should be contaminated in the eyes of contemporary humanists , like the swastika, but instead that they worship the same ticket now, which is only added some more stars. Once again, the Brussels offices have become goals for ambitious people seeking the administrative career. Decisions such as the Lisbon Treaty forced feeding to the Europeans "tribal chiefs" has perhaps only now begun to show its destructiviness to the entire continent. Secretly negotiated free trade agreements are ominous efforts to make whole countries the subject to an external, private control. At the same time the Brussels commissioners tend to diminish the legacy of the old national institutions.

For comparison, Brussels time periods may every one of you to do quietly in your mind. One comment on invading the crowds have been that with it the shortages of the labour is prevented. Someone directly stated that newcomers will work at a lower wage level than the original population. What else will it be like a slave society? At the same time it has been assumed that strangers would enthusiastically adopt the role of the second or third-class residents. Allowing the upheaval of the religious and economic conditions for the sake of someone's business is colonial policy adapted to the conditions of the 2010s

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