“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968


Friday, 16 November 2012

With truncheon and flat-pack.


When the Third Reich finally went up in flames, those members of the Gestapo who failed to find meaningful employment with the Americans or were unable to avail themselves of the Vatican escape route to South America, were quickly recruited by the new Stalinist regime in the GDR. The Stasi were not about to let such a pool of easily transferable talent go to waste. The combination of thug and anal-retentive bean-counter that is the secret policeman was to reach it's apogee in East Germany. It's easy for those of us who never had to endure life under the Stasi to be flippant about the organisation. Half the population reporting on the other half. A society groaning under the weight of card indexes on everyone and everything. When this ludicrous but malevolent regime finally collapsed the air was thick with the smoke from burnt out shredders as the secret state tried to dispose of it's records. Was it ridicule or retribution that they feared?
Now we hear that another organisation that it's easy to be flippant about if you have not had to endure it was using Stasi forced labour to manufacture it's furniture. There is no evidence to support the theory that Ikea was using forced labour to assemble it's wardrobes - even the Stasi would draw the line at that.

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