Saturday, September 12, 2009

[Natural Order] An unnatural divison and unnatural order.

I could never have imagined how much friction I'd encounter with the previous couple postings that it seems I never have to worry about writing for the sake of writing or posting for the sake of posting.

This is the third part in this installment:

But, a couple points seem to have come up that needs clarification though I have bolded it. The natural order of things pertains to:

#1. The natural order of things on the Korean Peninsula is to have a single Korean state. Korea has had the same borders with the same homogenous group of people since 664 A.D. even without having to resort to the most ridiculous exercise of revisionistic or nationlistic history that has become the Balhae debate. So, imagine a country that has had one ethnic group... No minorities whatsoever for 1300 years... A country where the word, our is synonymous with the word Korean and them or they are synomous with the word foreign. For example, "Woori" or "Uri," are romanized terms that mean "our," but could just as easily mean Korean. For example, "Woori Bank" could also be interpreted to mean "Our (Korean) Bank" (not to get confused with the real Bank of Korea (한국은행), that is the real Central Bank of Korea). Or, perhaps, judging by the Lone Star fiasco, you may be inclined to think it could even mean Bank for Koreans.

And, of course, another example would be "our language" is often used to mean the "Korean Language" when speaking to other Koreans, of course. Though, I wonder what one Indonesian tribe may have to say about that now. Perhaps, the best possible example though and the most relevant one is that of "our (fellow) countryman" (우리 나라 사람). For example, let's say I introduce myself to somebody and they ask me if I'm Chinese. Then, I'd say, well I might say I'm American, but I might as just well say, "아니, 우리 나라 사람인데요" or equivalently, "No, I too am of our country," which if given a more liberal translation would just come off as, "No, I'm Korean."

What's my point?

My point is that Koreans have had a unified Korean state and lived in a homogenous society for so long that it is so unnatural to have two Koreas. For example, imagine a conversation that goes something like this, especially for those that are fluent in Korean, and you might come to appreciate exactly how ridiculous this division is.

South Korean (speaking in "Korean"): "Oh, hi. By chance, are you of our country (Are you Korean?)" (혹시, 우리 나라 사람이신가요?).

North Korean: "No, I'm not. I'm a Joseon person (North Korean) (아니, 조선 사람인데요)."

Could you imagine that? A definition of being Korean that excludes half of the Korean peninsula? There is a huge identity crisis going on in that part of the world right now. And, it's just downright unnatural when you look at the past 1300 years of history (well, of course, we can go back to 2333 b.c.e., but, of course, sources on that period are just not as reliable), but that's exactly what has been the case for the past sixty years. But, no one can say it.

Continuing on, in Korea either you're Korean("we") or an outsider (of course, "Chinese" would count here as well, too). If you go back far enough into Korean history, you'd actually see that Ming, yes, Ming Chinese emissaries in Korea were not allowed to even travel outside certain roads without Korean "interlopers" in not what is North Korea, but what was Joseon (a unified Korea)... Of course, it should also be noted how much Joseon admired and tried to emulate Ming China (not too different from that of North Korea emulating Stalinism or Maoism).

Anyways, take these xenophobic tendencies that have been created for over the past 1300 years (or more than 5,000 years, depending on your source) and then brutally colonize the country for thirty six years. Then, add in a devastating civil war (the Korean War) that wasn't allowed to see its natural conclusion - a war ending with there being two rival Korean states is definitely unnatural (or just look at the fact that the armistic isn't even a peace treaty, but a cease fire signed by China, North Korea, and the U.S.). That's at the heart of my argument. And, then what do you have left? A bizarre state that is North Korea today that builds dams to kill other Koreans and, of course, a South Korea left in denial. While the Sunshine policy has been discredited, what has remained consistent is the "Do Not Let North Korea Fail at All Costs Policy." It has been argued that the costs of unification are too expensive, but what I have been arguing from part I of this installment is that the costs of unification have already been paid -- during the Korean War.

Hence, I argued that Truman is as much to fault as is Stalin. I believe the Soviets thought the North Koreans to be as bizarre in a fashion not too unlike how the rest of America would find Berkeley or San Francisco to be bizarre. Thus, when Truman announced the aptly named Truman Doctrine in 1947, he should have promptly and directly told the Soviets that the U.S. viewed the Korean Peninsula to be in the vital interests of the U.S. or, if she hadn't, then not enterred the war. And, I believe here is where it gets controversial. The U.S. should not have enterred the war as she did and, if she did, then she should have made sure to get a single Korea and not half of one. For you see, the U.S. didn't liberate South Korea from Communism (at that point in time) as Communism was the ideology chosen by default since every idea, including Democracy with a market economy, had such a huge stigma against it.

What the U.S. did do was provide a market for South Korea (much, much later on), but that was not a sufficient condition for South Korean economic development, but rather just a necessary one. This then leads to the other natural order I initially argued that regardless of which government unified Korea, Korea would definitely not be the North Korea of today and over time come to see the wealth that South Korea enjoys today. But, anyways, that's for part IV it seems.

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