Canto IV thoughts
Last week I've finished Canto IV of Limbus Company on the same day as Part 3 dropped. Originally I did not want to rush through it, with the previous parts I had taken my time and played through them in a matter of days. But part 3 enveloped the entire dungeon and the story had me really hooked by then. Naturally, everything about it has been stuck in my head ever since and there is not a single day where I am not thinking about Canto IV. But I don't really feel like making a huge write up about all of my thoughts, so instead I'll be collecting my small posts from my tumblr in this.
The way Canto IV just dropped the statement "people hired from less fortunate circumstances will be much more loyal to the prestigious company than more fortunate employees" right after Samjo throws himself into the primordial soup for K Corp was really something man. I keep thinking about it. Samjo dropped his #inspirationalstory about how the companies technology saved his life and its immediately followed up with "and that's how we exploit you to your death :)"
Not to mention the "our employees need to break their own legs first before getting life saving treatment" and "in emergencies we do summary executions because data shows it keeps up the morale" happening previously
The way this chapter makes the very cynical observation that companies will exploit your inspo sob stories and your misplaced loyalty because these relatable stories keep everyone complacent to the abuse of those corpos reminds me of this story from one of Ryoko Kuis anthologies
I guess the saddest part is that Samjo fell for the propaganda hook line and sinker. He attributed the life saving medicine to K Corps success, not the actual people who developed the medicine, all the while being witness to a struggle of former employees' work being appropriated and abused. He sees a group of people desperately trying to regain the hold over their own work before it gets too late, and his takeaway is that if he shows enough loyalty then he won't be treated like that. But the medicine was created by people, not an entity known as K Corp. In the corporation, singular people don't matter. Loyalty to the oppressor never counts for shit
Don’t think I’ve ever seen a story pinpoint so concisely the frustration that everything created under capitalism belongs to capitalism like Canto IV does. No matter your intentions for your creations, capitalism will take what you create and appropriate it. When Dongbaek said “Can you ensure your medicine will save everyone? If not, don’t bother with it” wasn’t about putting Dongrang down, it was because she knew what would happen to creations made “for the good of the people”. Dongrangs medicine is primarily used to keep people complacent, not to save them. Just like how the ID tag was created to locate missing children, but was used for people to clock into work. Buildings were created for factories, not to house poor people. You can have only the purest intentions and capitalism will always find a way to taint it to its core.
I think Dongbaeks idea that technology - creations in general - should only be pursued to further yourself and to bring joy to yourself first and foremost, is very interesting. Because in the end, she created fireworks the same way Dongrang pursued medicine. She wanted to bring a little change into peoples lives. But the fact that capitalism serves as the very foundation of our lives is going to rot everything we create. We can’t live outside of the cruelty of capitalism no matter how hard we try.
AND YET. The chapter comes to the very simple conclusion: Continue creating. Even if you can’t save everyone, even if your works are to be appropriated and torn out of its context. If we stop creating we will be empty. And nothing will change either way. Only thing that changes is that you rid yourself of all possible future joys.
UGHH i hope someone who is more eloquent and can talk better will write something on it. But I think Canto IV addresses a frustration not only relating to scientists/engineers, but also just creative endeavors in general.. I’m looking at the story as an artist. And I see a lot of parallels. What we create will always be taken from us, as soon as we put it out there other people will try to seek profit from it. There’s no place safe from it. But that shouldn’t stop us from creating. It’s an inevitable pain we’ll have to learn to deal with, but creating with that pain is still ten times better than refusing to be creative for the rest of your life. It’s refusing an intrinsically human trait