RES: a trip to North Korea

Charles Brown CharlesB at
Mon Apr 24 09:49:43 PDT 2000

>>> Doug Henwood <dhenwood at> 04/22/00 03:55PM >>>
Yoshie Furuhashi wrote:

>What's your (or anyone's) socialist alternative for North Korea?

That's an excellent question, and I don't know the answer, and I don't think you do either. NK-style "self-reliance" is a disaster. On all but the most slavishly devoted accounts, the country is desperately poor and governed by a bizarre personality cult. In what ways are "socialist" North Koreans any better off than the proletarians of capitalist South Korea? Do you really think a small country can disengage completely from the outside world?


CB: I really would like to know the Spivak/Derrida,/Foucault/ Lacan term for this usage of "bizarre". It seems like some kind of exoticizing the Other or Orientalism. Why is it that a Korean personality cult is bizarre, but a British (royal family) or American (Reagan a movie star as president) is not "bizarre" ?

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