IMPOTENTIE - Leopold II Is Niet Dood Genoeg LP
LEOPOLD ll IS NOT DEAD ENOUGH
You don't have to be haunted by a ghost to feel its presence. You can feel it lingering in the periphery, like the stale smell of garbage wafting through an open window on a hot summer's day. An unpleasant reminder of something you had thrown out of your home, still rotting on your doorstep.
Leopold ll was King of Belgium from 1865 to 1909. At the peak of European imperialism, he was the notoriously cruel dictator of a vast personal empire known as the Congo Free State. Claiming to improve the lives of its native inhabitants, he instead used a mercenary army to brutally enslave and exploit the population and the land. 76 times the size of Belgium, the Congo Free State was not a Belgian colony – it was Leopold’s private property. All slave labour profit went directly to him, despite never setting foot in Africa. Resulting in an estimated 10 million deaths, the tyrannical rule of Leopold II exceeded some of the worst known atrocities of any 20th century dictatorships. Even in the era of colonization, other European imperial powers were horrified at the cruelty of his reign. International criticism came in the shape of now famous literary works such as Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” (1902), Mark Twain’s “King Leopold’s Soliloquy” (1905) and Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Crime of the Congo” (1908), but the undeterred king only ceded the land to the Belgian government in the last year of his life. His funeral procession was booed by the crowd.
Although Leopold ll died over a century ago, the effects of his actions live on. We live in a society of systematic racism. We live in a society that puts economic profit before the well-being of its people. We live in a society that exploits human life and natural resources for the benefit of the rich. Whether we like it or not, we are still living in Leopold's world.
In Belgium, despite all that is known about the former king, statues of Leopold II still stand in cities across the country. A colonial museum dedicated to the history of Central Africa still presents the atrocities as a humanitarian project gone awry, rather than an intentionally brutal regime orchestrated by one man’s murderous dictatorship. Belgian history books paint Leopold II as a liberator of Africa, and a builder of infrastructure. What should be considered the biggest stain on the country’s history is still treated as a victory by its right wing politicians. The blood of the Congolese was shed to build a vampiric Belgian society which has yet to acknowledge its guilt and its continued colonization of the Congo for another 50 years past Leopold II’s reign. It has yet to take down its statues of its celebrated mass murderer, Leopold II.
Impotentie is an Oi! hybrid with lyrics sung in Flemish, likely to bring the most suburban Herbert out of push mosh retirement. Comparable to Reich Orgasm and might fit perfectly on Chaos En France compilation if it was 83'. With members of Omegas, Thee Nodes, Secretors, Proxy etc. U-12
On Roachleg Records.
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