An introduction

This is a semi-public place to dump text too flimsy to even become a blog post. I wouldn't recommend reading it unless you have a lot of time to waste. You'd be better off at my livejournal. I also have another blog, and write most of the French journal summaries at the Eurozine Review.

Why do I clutter up the internet with this stuff at all? Mainly because I'm trying to get into the habit of displaying as much as possible of what I'm doing in public. Also, Blogger is a decent interface for a notebook

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Now North Koreans aren't starving, are they becoming more rebellious?

In the Asia Times, an argument that North Korea's greater prosperity could become a source of rebellion. Interesting, but not entirely convincing, argument:

People seldom rebel when their lives are desperate: they are too busy looking for food and basic necessities. Most revolutions happen in times of relative prosperity and are initiated by people who have time and energy to discuss social issues and to organize resistance....

There is little doubt that the North Korean elite welcome signs of economic growth, but paradoxically, this growth makes their situation less, not more, stable. North Koreans are now less stressed and have some time to think and talk

The converse argument, of course, is that when you're literally starving you have nothing to lose, so may as well join a violent rebellion. But there's a decent economic literature talking about the hunger trap of being too malnourished and insecure to engage in economic activity; the same arguments can presumably be transposed to political activity.

[via blood and treasure, whence also this (more explicitly fantastical) article imagining how North Korea could become a world empire]

No comments:

Post a Comment