Archives For May 9, 2017

Many particularly on the left will hail today’s liberal democrat victory in the presidential election in South Korea as another nail in the coffin of Trumpism or nationalism. This is a tell tale sign that they lack knowledge of politics in Korea. American’s also have a desire to always think of politics in terms of a left/right dichotomy.  Firstly there was no Trumpian nationalistic candidate this time. South Korea for the better part of the 2000s has been under the conservative leadership of the saenuri party. Due to mounting scandals and Sewol debacle, the outgoing conservative president was forced to resign her post. What we are witnessing is the pendulum doing its eventual swing back to the other side. The liberal Moon Jae-In who came in 2nd place last election was the clear choice for a disillusioned populace. And unlike previous elections which saw the Jeollado region vote mainly liberal, other areas of the country particularly Seoul were areas where he made erodes. The big proposal that seems to be his platform basis is that by eliminating American interests he can set about working on reconciling the North. Unfortunately this policy has proven to be ineffective when dealing with North Korea and in actuality is probably going to prolong the regime up north rather than tame them. This speaks to the growing generation divide amongst Koreans whose younger generations did not have to experience the hardships of dictatorships in the 70s and 80s along with the Korean civil war in the 50s. On the whole most Koreans just view this for what it is: a politician switch. As my dear friend said when I discussed it with her, “바로 빅 체인지 하긴 힘들겠지 하지만 조금씩 변화가 점층적으로 어떤 변화일지는 모르겠으나.” Will it bring about the necessary changes and deal with the domestic troubles affecting the people? I have my doubts. So before those on the left gloat make sure you actually understand whats at play beyond right and left.

I am not buying the argument laid out by this article that the E.U. isn’t the bureaucratic impasse that it is.  While its true that some measure of stability can be obtained through the E.U. I don’t view it as a total success in burying ethnic and political divisions under the E.U. umbrella to fester. It appears he is more worried about violence that nationalism could bring and is willing to compromise with a broken trans-national organization. I too am concerned about the growing tide of nationalism. I however don’t view the suggestions that we cling on tighter to one of the main causes of nationalistic populist fervor as an adequate course of action.

“…honor my identity and my struggle at Harvard.” I wish my generation wasn’t so self entitled and spoiled that we feel what we have to go through in 2017 is equal to a true struggle. Richard Theodore Greener had a true struggle paving the way for other blacks to attend Harvard. You on the other hand have it quite easy. I really don’t understand this kind of collectivist rhetoric which intends to amalgamate all black Harvard struggles into one neat bundle devoid of the nuances of individual struggles. Not every blacks experience is the same at Harvard so what are these shared struggles? I’m guessing that by nobody mentioning them they are either A) trivial under scrutiny or B) they are incapable of articulating this “struggle.” I have no issues with groups wanting to have a special graduation ceremony but please don’t try to hide this under celebrating your particular minority group. Just own up to the fact that you are in favor of identity politics but only when it suits you. Moreover these ceremonies based on identity only server to perpetuate the growing divides between students. If these students came from low socioeconomic backgrounds and went to a school not nearly as left leaning as Harvard then I would have more empathy. This just comes across as pretentious college kids going off the deep end again.

Interesting perspective as always from Mr. Hitchens. He certainly has the ability to bring historical precedence and past policies people have long forgotten into today’s discourse. Certainly a claim good be made that the current form of democracy is no longer working adequately and ought to be re-examined. I too feel that the complacency on the part of the masses is in part to blame for the heightened tension between government and people. Macron has a tough task which he clearly is not capable of doing. Le Pen might be knocked down but her movement will continue to grow as the discontent builds. So much uncertainty in the air. These temporary fixes will only last so long.