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Wednesday, February 01, 2012 

We're all in the same boat - apparently.

I have to admit to being thoroughly uninspired so far this week, with the poverty of recent politics not helping. Thankfully, Adam Curtis has updated his almost worth the licence fee alone blog, this time with a post on the initial utopian ideals of those behind cruise liners. Read alongside Jon Ronson's piece from last year on the disappearance of Rebecca Coriam from the Disney Wonder cruise ship, the 171st person to go missing in similar circumstances in the past decade, it's difficult to disagree with Curtis's conclusion:

When Knut Kloster and Ted Arison invented the idea of modern cruising over forty years ago - at least one of them had a vision that it could help create a new era of world harmony and peace.

As the cruse-world developed and mutated over the next forty odd years it mirrored the changes in modern capitalism - from a naive utopian belief in transforming the world - to a harsh, narrow utilitarian vision of the free market where everyone above and below decks is expected to behave as "rational utility maximizers"

And today the world of the modern cruise liners also mirrors the present structure of our global society. Millions of people live in a world where they expect the luxuries which were previously only offered to the few. At the same time millions of others around the world struggle daily to create the platform that holds that fake luxury world together.

Meanwhile the small elite who are genuinely rich and powerful float off into the distance on their own boat - and kick anyone off who dares to get drunk and call it a cruise.

Our leaders tell us that we are all in the same boat.

But what will happen if our boat sinks? Will those same leaders be among the first to jump in the lifeboat and speed off into the dark telling us they have gone to get help?

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