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The Orthodox Nationalist: The Myth of King Leopold II of Belgium – TON 080421

Dr Matthew Raphael Johnson uses the modern myth of the maligned King to show how atrocity porn functions and can be identified.

A popular myth, made famous especially last year, is that King Leopold II (1835-1909) of Belgium, between the years 1885 and 1908, murdered 10 million people in the Congo in an insatiable drive to profit from the rubber trade. This area was known as the “Congo Free State” (CFS).

While stories about these mass slaughters could be found over a century ago, there is no evidence for them happening. The myth is based on claims from a book by Communist activist Adam Hochschild, King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa (Mariner, 1998). The author is one of the co-founders of Mother Jones and has no intention of making serious history.

Dr Johnson has coined the phrase “atrocity porn” to label a very common genre of “journalism” where targeted governments are described as psychopathic tyrants, slaughtering civilians for fun. This broadcast explains in great detail how this genre functions and how it can be identified.

Presented by Matt Johnson

The Orthodox Nationalist: The Myth of King Leopold II of Belgium – TON 080421


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