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2007-06-08 Down Under
The man who lost a 'coral kingdom'
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Posted by phil_b 2007-06-08 05:14|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [376 views ]  Top

#1 It sounds lovely, phil_b. I hope you and Mrs. phil_b have a marvelous time.
Posted by trailing wife 2007-06-08 09:56||   2007-06-08 09:56|| Front Page Top

#2 He paid his Malay workers in Cocos rupees, a currency he minted himself and which could only be redeemed at the company store. Islander Cree bin Haig remembers life in the 'kingdom'. Workers who wanted to leave the islands were told they could never return. Despite such strictures, opinion among the Malays today is divided as to whether the Clunies-Rosses were exploitative colonialists or benevolent father figures. Wages were low, but water, electricity and schooling were free.

Sounds like a mixed bag to me. Socialist in many ways, but not all. A "company store" is the hallmark of modern slavery. No mention is made of wages or any scale of comparison, so there is no way to know how competitive the system was.

All in all, I'd give it a pass if I wasn't born into such a lockstep social structure.
Posted by Zenster">Zenster  2007-06-08 15:47||   2007-06-08 15:47|| Front Page Top

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