[Marxism] Re: [R-G] Britain is urging US to retreat on elections in Iraq

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at resist.ca
Wed Jan 21 13:29:52 MST 2004

Hey Fred...
the Korean people (pro-unification, anti-war, anti-interference and 
anti-occupation troops) ask people to write the state names in lower case 
for the geographical description, and not to do the same for the nation 
name, Korea... for there is only one Korea.
so it is south and north Korea...

Anyhow, a subliminal thing, but one that quietly indicates support for the 
unifcation efforts... like never using the term Judea & Samaria...

Saw a brilliant no apologies, no demonization, strng details movie on DPRK, 
the north... Beyond the DMZ: inside north Korea. Get it, watch it. You see 
all the distrurbing images of the cult etc...but you also see other aspects 
of society, the explanation of the people of their national pride at having 
rebuilt their entire society after the US nearly flattened the whole of it; 
having worked as one unit to guard their independance, how they teach 
students from an early age, how illiteracy is nearly non existent.

The film doesn't paint a rosy picture of the DPRK for outsiders thinking of 
a new home, by any stretch. They state bluntly that it "wouldn't be healthy 
for anyone to be an opponent of the regime", and also go into detail about 
the Army first policy-- how it is such a drain on their economic structure. 
Interestingly (and why you are not going to see this on American or 
Canadian private networks) the DPRK had officials replying to this that it 
is not at all paranoid, but rather common sense to go to these levels to 
build defense. A DPRK official referred to the current stand off as 
(paraphrased from memory) 'the Americans scare and intimidate people with 
gun boat diplomacy, with a major navy, etc. We can't do that, and don't 
have the ability to retaliate with gunboat diplomacy so we engage in 
missile diplomacy" It's a blunt assessment. Frankly, given the way in which 
  we've seen Libya and to a lesser extent Iran climb down from defiance and 
self defense, I felt myself someone reassured to hear that someone would 
draw the line.

The mass starvation of the period 1995-2000, much like the period after the 
USSR surrendered is called the Special Period in Cuba, is called the 
Arduous March in Korea. The people in Korea who were interviewed in the 
film referred to hating the capitalist bloc a lot more after that. 
Referring to not 'imperialism' but rather 'the capitalist countries' one 
peasant who went through eating food supplements, such as fried bark and 
similar matters to stop the pain of hunger if one couldn't stop the lack of 
nutrition-- stated that famines and floods began and "we were drowning and 
the capitalist countries tried to use the situation to push our heads under 
the water and finish us off".

The idea of all good or all bad, of course we instinctively know is 
ridiculous. The film shows some of the more jarringly different elements of 
the society: a woman who is asked "what do you look for in a husband?" 
answers "he should be courageous, fiercely loyal to the Dear Leader and 
hardworking" After the film had been playing in the non apologetic fashion 
for some hour before this scene came on, it didn't seem 'good' or 'bad', 
but rather simply the truth and the reality of the way of life for the 
society. I noted to my fellow watchers of the film that though this might 
seem quite odd to us, imagine what people in a society where money isn't 
really the defining headspace hear many young women in this society, thanks 
to the patriarchal capitalist values present here no less than the Dear 
Leader in Korea, speaking of needing a 
wealthy/rich/secure/comfortable/generous husband.

The most important lesson in the film is that they are, as another 
intellectual from a library in Pyongyang states, Korean first, second, 
third, fourth fifth and sixth, maybe seventh socialist.

Anyone who feels the need to learn more about the grey area behind the 
black and white picture of the DPRK is strngly, strongly advised to see the 
film: Beyond the DMZ: Inside north Korea.


Macdonald Stainsby
In the contradiction lies the hope

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