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Or perhaps. Things to be Thankful For (Pt. II)

"Pyongyang eager to learn about capitalism"

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  1. I predict revisionist articles about how capitalism caused the starvation of the N. Koreans and if they had only continued on their course to true Maoist communism they would have achieved prosperity and equality.

  2. According to a German expert, Pyongyang is keen to learn how capitalism works but fears that efforts to open up the economy could destabilize its system.

    “They want foreign currency, they want to be able to export their goods and they want access to the international financial system — but somehow without having to make any institutional changes,” Seliger said.

    Bwahahahahahaha. We want an open trade arena and money but not an open society and choice. Sorry fellas, you can’t have both.

  3. Is Bernard Seliger a bloodthirsty scoundrel for promoting capitalism, or does one need to be a Nobel Prize-winner to earn that distinction?

  4. Bwahahahahahaha. We want an open trade arena and money but not an open society and choice. Sorry fellas, you can’t have both.

    They’re like Lou Dobbs in reverse. Lou wants the open society and choice, but without the trade and free flow of capital.

  5. “They want foreign currency, they want to be able to export their goods…”

    In other words, they want mercantilism.

    Baby steps… Baby steps…

  6. Bingo

    No bet. That is a sure thing.

    OTOH: Koreans are very hard workers. We have a labor shortage right now where I live. Maybe if we offered the “Dear Leader” say, $5000 per person to allow families to emigrate, the “Dear Leader” could get his money, we could get good workers, and the emigrants could get some freedom.

    (I know this amounts to paying ransom, but I submit it’s better than letting the people starve.)

  7. just a reminder to anybody that gives kim jong il some tips on capitalism – naomi klein and the statists will say you had a hand in the deaths of all those north koreans. Marxism just needs a little more time to get the kinks out.

  8. Aresen,

    I’m pretty sure that exchanging money for people in order to have those people work is the definition of, oh, I don’t know, SLAVERY!

  9. Taktix

    If they had to repay the funds, I’d agree.

    I would only do it on the understanding that, once here, the emigrants would be free to go and to work as they pleased.

    Even so, I’m queasy about the idea because it amounts to paying ransom.

  10. You all have seen the MASH episode, no?

    Sometimes buying someone out of servitude to free them is the noble thing to do. Especially in Korea. Especially if you’re Alan Alda.

  11. “They want foreign currency, they want to be able to export their goods…”

    In other words, they want mercantilism.

    No! Goddamnit, how many times do I have to terr you? Why is everyone so fucking stupid! I’m just so ronery and the changing of the worrd is inevitabre!

    You are worthress, MikeP and Arec Bardwin! You have not heard the rast of Kim Jong-il! So rong!

  12. I predict revisionist articles about how capitalism caused the starvation of the N. Koreans

    Already happened in other venues. I listened to an alternative radio conversation where a bunch of leftists complained that communism failed because it was “encircled by capitalists”. Not to even mention that according to communists, communism would not only survive, but flourish both in spite of and because of capitalism.

  13. Bingo,

    As Paul said, it “[a]lready happened.”

    An Antidote to disinformation about North Korea

    North Korea experienced record-breaking floods (1995 and 1996) followed by an equally severe drought and famine (1997). The author believes that the food shortage problem “has provided little evidence of a collapse of state power, except for breakdowns at the local level.” And Cumings adds, even at its worst, “the famine only began to approach India’s year-in, year-out toll (in proportionate terms) of infant mortality and deaths from malnutrition or starvation which I only mention because the media’s recent habit of depicting Kim Jung Il’s frolicking among a heap of starved cadavers.”

    What Drives Washington to Crush North Korea

    Problem is, the US economy – that is, capitalism – is driven by an expansionary logic that demands access to markets, raw materials, low-wage labor and investment opportunities, which means sweeping planned economies, state-owned enterprises and tariff barriers aside. If north Korea were allowed to develop unharassed, it would become a model of what can be accomplished outside the strictures of the global capitalist economy, inspiring other Third World countries to follow the same path. Planned, socialist economies fared better in the 20th century than unplanned, dependent capitalist economies in turning stunted countries of the Third World into independent, industrial nations capable of meeting the basic human needs of the whole population.

    Whenever I need to do dig up some pro-communist drivel, GlobalResearch.ca is my “go to.”

  14. Paul,

    Remember, they will “bury” us.

  15. Rimfax, nice link. The globalresearch online store is entertaining (and telling) too.

  16. bigbigslacker,

    I hadn’t looked at the store. It’s hi-fricken-larious:

    ‘”Celsius 9/11″ asks the tough questions Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” does not dare delve into.

  17. Rimfax, nice to see something concrete as opposed to my [rapidly fading] memory. Thanks.

  18. “Pyongyang eager to learn about capitalism”

    In other news, the Devil is on eBay shopping for ice skates.

  19. Uh, guys, I love your enthusiasm and all, but they’re learning economics courtesy of the EU. That’s quite the source for the subject (and yeah, the EU is paying somebody else to do it, but I guess they won’t hire real free-marketeers).

    Well, I guess Keynes is better than Stalin, as far as economic advisers (or anything else, really) go, but still…

  20. It appears that North Korea is going to do what China and Vietnam have already done – open up their society to the market. If North Korea adopts a system similar to China or Vietnam, then their people won’t be starving to death anymore, so it is definitely a benefit.

  21. Seems to me all Kim needs to do is enact a constitution with him as the last monarch, entitled to certain military and financial benefits, while opening up the country to true reforms, the remainder of which will be enacted upon his death. He could have the best of both worlds.

  22. Whenever I need to do dig up some pro-communist drivel, GlobalResearch.ca is my “go to.”

    No, that’s got to be a comedy site. Doesn’t it?

  23. Seems to me all Kim needs to do is enact a constitution with him as the last monarch, entitled to certain military and financial benefits, while opening up the country to true reforms, the remainder of which will be enacted upon his death. He could have the best of both worlds.

    Does he have any kids? I can’t imagine them being too happy with this.

  24. Seems to me all Kim needs to do is enact a constitution with him as the last monarch, entitled to certain military and financial benefits, while opening up the country to true reforms, the remainder of which will be enacted upon his death. He could have the best of both worlds.

    Or, simpler than either this or ransoming the population one at a time, the developed world can offer him 5 billion dollars to go into exile somewhere comfortable while allowing the country to be subsumed by South Korea.

    Such an offer probably won’t be taken due to the megalomania behind why he is what he is, but it would be a cheap fix.

  25. It appears that North Korea is going to do what China and Vietnam have already done – open up their society to the market.

    Vietnam is pretty low in the ranking of economic freedom, although I suppose allowing some sort of market activity is better than none.

    Bingo / Paul – ever seen “The Killing Fields”? At one point, the Sam Watterson character tries to blame the Khmer Rouge’s genocide on American corporations. WTF? At that point, you know you’ve reached the limit of cognitive dissonance.

  26. I thought Kim Jong-il was an expert in everything, I’m disappointed that we may not have ol’ Kim to kick around anymore after he goes all capitalist and stuff.

  27. Can’t wait for those high quality North Korean goods.

  28. Paul, Rimfax,

    Thank you. As soon as I saw Bingo’s post I thought “there must already be stories like this out there”. Seems I need to get back to checking http://www.wsws.org/ and FrontPageMag.com (they are quite the opposite of each other) more often so examples of this stuff will be at the ready for serious discussions.

    As far as anybody helping N. Korea move to a free market and being “tarred” like Friedman, that only happens when you are fighting *against* Communism, not when helping a real dictator.

  29. Um, on this ransom for workers thing . . .

    Do the north Korean women stay slender and pretty after getting to America, just like South Korean women?

    How does “Bada Bing” translate in Korean?

  30. Um, on this ransom for workers thing . . .

    Do the north Korean women stay slender and pretty after getting to America, just like South Korean women?

    Don’t worry, I hear they come on a “cell-phone” type plan that allows you to replace her every two years.

  31. Don’t worry, I hear they come on a “cell-phone” type plan that allows you to replace her every two years.

    Sorry, I am not amortizing 5K over 2 years.

  32. If North Korea adopts a system similar to China or Vietnam, then their people won’t be starving to death anymore, so it is definitely a benefit.

    I’m not very creative this morning. Postprandial Thanksgiving sedation, and all that, you know. Still it seems to me that if Kim Il Sung were to look across the DMZ he’d find a phenomenal economic success story. Alas, there doesn’t appear to be room for a “Dear Leader” in that system.

  33. J sub D

    I always find it ironic (and a little depressing) that apologists for regimes like North Korea and East Germany find endless excuses for the economic deprivation of the people subject to those regimes (see the website mentioned by Rimfax, above). It is almost unbelievable that people can ignore the results of the defacto ‘experiments’ which were performed on those divided countries.

  34. Aresen – Yeah, I checked out the link that Rimfax so graciously provided. I’m consistently amazed that people can’t admit, even to themselves, HEY, I WAS WRONG! OOPS. I don’t know if it’s low self esteem, bullheadedness or downright insanity. If every crop in South Kores were to fail next year, every single one, they would face neither starvation nor the shame of the begging bowl. They’d still be selling Hyundais though.

  35. J sub D, while I can sympathize with hating to be proved wrong, I still cannot understand why the apologists cannot admit the true evil of the communist regimes.

    I could accept that they may still long for a ‘Socialist Utopia’, but when they turn a blind eye to the murderous nature of those regimes, I can no more forgive them than I could forgive an unrepentent Klansman.

  36. Arsen,

    Isn’t it because Communism is fair and racism is not? I mean in the mind of the apologist, of course.

  37. Guy, you’ve got something there. These “useful idiots” never learned the life lesson “Life Isn’t Fair”. Never was, never will be. But “fairness” is their holy grail, and they can’t bring themselves to admit it is impossible.

  38. Guy & J sub D

    I think it goes deeper: Not only can Marxists not accept that “Life isn’t Fair”, they can’t understand that “Life Shouldn’t be fair”, in the sense of equality of outcomes. First, what may be “fair” to me, might be pure misery to someone else.
    Second, what one receives ought to bear a relationship to the value that one gives.

    The final blind spot is that Marxists do not understand the maxim “power corrupts”. More than any monarchist, Marxists seem to embrace the concept that the “Good King” (or “Great Leader”) can be trusted with unlimited power.

  39. Yep, it is the whole “fair” without an overt context until the sucker agrees to “fair” and then “fair” is sprung on them like a West African tribe capturing another person to be sold to whitie.

    But racism is not “fair”.*

    *No, I do not advocate racism, that is why I do not advocate Communism/Socialism/Leftism. Yes, they are the same.

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