RES: a trip to North Korea

Sun Apr 23 14:41:28 PDT 2000

In a message dated 00-04-22 18:06:35 EDT, you write:

<< its cult of the "Founding Fathers," "In God We Trust," love

>of "celebrities" of all kinds, slavish admiration of the rich, the

>powerful, and the beautiful.

> You & Charles & others seem to think that when you point to some

debased practice of the U.S. it gets a nominally socialist country

off the hook for being similarly debased. >>

It's debased to admire Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Adams, Franklin? These men were great bourgeois revolutionaries, in some cases great political theorists, and they created a constitutional framework that has survived slavery and the civil war it took to wire it out and which, for all its limitations and defects, is the among the oldest and most stable examples of bourgeois democratic liberty in the world. I don't think it is debased to admire them.

Nor do I think that we have a cult of personality around them comparable to that existing in North Korea--a situation, now that the elder Kim is dead, involving a cult of personality without a personality.


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