Adam Curtis explores the history of floating cities on the sea—also known as cruise ships—from their inventor’s utopian ideals to the exploitative practices that define the industry today:
In many cruise ships there are hundreds of workers from some of the poorest countries on earth who are paid minute amounts of actual wages – sometimes less than two dollars a day – to attend to the passengers’ needs.
Many of the ships’ workers can only get a living wage on the whim of the thousands of passengers above them – on the tips they choose to give them. And in the strange fun-world of the superliners the waiters, the cabin staff, the cooks and everyone else who serves, live in a state of continual vulnerability – unprotected by most of the employment laws that apply on land. Meanwhile many of the companies that own the vast ships pay practically no tax at all.
But it wasn’t always supposed to be like that.
Via Adam Rogers.