Re: In Praise of Communism

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From: Kragen Sitaker (
Date: Sun Feb 27 2000 - 19:59:19 PST

Dug Song writes:
> it took a military coup in South Korea to end the "humanitarian" aid
> forced upon the country by the US (which benefitted US farmers and
> industrialists more than Koreans, who were already rich in arable land and
> fallow rice fields), and then successive totalitarian 5-year plans (in
> state-sponsored high-tech R&D) to rid the country of undue US economic
> influence. read John Oberdorfer's _Two_Koreas_ for a more complete
> history:

(Dug, I'm shocked that you're still advertising URLs after
their recent declaration of patent war on the Internet. Do you simply
not care?)

I watched a little bit of the analogous process in Pohnpei, the capital
of Micronesia.

Pohnpei has two governments: a puppet regime set up by the United
States and largely funded through US money, and a traditional system of
clans governed by hereditary rulers. The official US-funded government
doesn't interfere much with the clans, as far as I can tell; it is,
however, plagued by rampant corruption. (Corruption is nonexistent in
the hereditary system only because those higher in the hierarchy feel
perfectly justified in taking whatever they want from those lower in
the hierarchy.)

In the capital city (named Kolonia), there is a capitalist system. The
only people who are really eligible to participate (as capitalists,
rather than employees) are those who can escape the tradition of the
clans; would-be capitalists who are part of the clan system are
obligated to share their financial success with their families, which
tends to make businesses bankrupt.

The puppet regime actually governs (more or less in theory) all of the
islands in an area of ocean about a thousand miles by several hundred
miles. Each of these islands is, in reality, a separate, independent
state. (There are a few exceptions --- islands run entirely as US
military bases.)

The many Americans there are earnestly trying to impose US-style civil
liberties, rule of law, lack of corruption, capitalism, and an academic
system. The Micronesians don't seem tremendously interested.

Micronesia was run by the US, if I remember correctly, from the end of
WWII until the 1980s, when it won its independence.

Perhaps my mother, who lived there for years, taught at the college,
and was one of the earnest Americans, can throw more light on the

<>       Kragen Sitaker     <>
The Internet stock bubble didn't burst on 1999-11-08.  Hurrah!
The power didn't go out on 2000-01-01 either.  :)

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