a trip to North Korea

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Tue Apr 25 12:35:43 PDT 2000


> > You are slow on the uptake, but it is the U.S. military threat which
> > gets used by the North Korean party elite to curtail the freedoms --
> > for instance, of movement -- of North Koreans. So, to the extent
> > that your yucking about North Korea, *by reproducing doxa*, helps the
> > U.S. government to *use doxa as pretext* for continued military
> > presence in the Korean Peninsula (and elsewhere), you are in effect
> > *helping* the North Korean party elite to discipline North Korean
> > workers and peasants. Why don't you focus on removing the U.S.
> > military threat if your objective is indeed to help North Koreans
> > gain more freedoms?
>Again, tenuous logic-chopping to make excuses for the policies of the North
>Korean 'party elite' (an interesting description). I criticise their
>policies therefore I'm responsible for them! They're not really responsible
>for repression, they're forced to do it by the USA (and by me!). I'm all in
>favour of removing the US military presence, but don't think that it's
>possible to do that while staying silent about the nature of the North
>Korean regime - just as it wasn't possible to oppose intervention in the
>Gulf while remaining silent about Saddam. Appearing to condone these
>regimes simply drives those whom we might otherwise win into the arms of
>those who can - with a basis the reality of those states but horribly
>hypocritically - pretend to be concerned with democracy.
>I think that you overestimate the importance of 'doxa' as a determinant of
>US foreign policy, but I'll leave it there for now...

Is "freely expressing opinions" in any way politically important or not? Does it make any political difference? Make up your mind. If it is important (as I think it is), your "free" contribution to the reproduction of doxa is also politically important. Those who claim America to be "democratic" (or at least far more "democratic" than North Korea, with "free multi-party" elections, the "freedom of speech," and all) should surely hold themselves *politically responsible* for American domestic & foreign policy. In democracy, it is the will of the majority that determines politics, no? And with political freedom comes political responsibility.

If the Iraqi & North Korean regimes are so repressive as to bear comparison to fascism (which is the thesis of discourse on "totalitarianism"), why not acquiesce in, if not go so far as to cheer, American attempts to overthrow them and restore "freedom & democracy" to Iraq and Korea, just as the majority of Americans have acquiesced in & sometimes cheered the destruction of Iraq & North Korea (and many, many other countries & revolutionary movements).

At 1:01 PM -0700 4/23/00, Brad De Long wrote:
>You really think that North and South Koreans would be better off
>had the U.S. decided not to fight Kim Il Sung's "reunification" of
>Korea in the summer of 1950?
>Brad DeLong

Brad at least has the virtue of honesty, and he knows where he stands & how to achieve his political goal, but you don't, it seems.

Fight American imperialism single-mindedly, Bruce. Don't give the political elite in Iraq, North Korea, etc. any excuse.


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