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what if we are wrong about North Korea?

Posted by youngquinn VIC Aust (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 30, 13 at 19:06

Apparently its a paradise where you can purchase western goods. According to an Australian professor who has taught there they are much more advanced than we think.
Dont know what to make of this article myself

Here is a link that might be useful: what do you think?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

I think nothing is ever the same as the propaganda... ANYWHERE in the world.

I could make hours and hours worth of news reports and "behind the scenes" looks at any country... let's say America... and it would look worse than North Korea. Miles worth of run down, boarded up, and crumbling infrastructure in places like Detroit... pan to pictures of dirty homeless people sleeping in garbage filled concrete areas under bridges, hungry children living in cars with their parents, a few shots of police beating civilians, children subjected to patriotic brainwashing and pledging their loyalty to their country every morning. All of that interspersed with shots of the country's wealthy and leadership eating caviar, driving expensive cars and jetting around the world while their citizens starve.

It's all a matter of perspective. A North Korean child who spouts their devotion to homeland and leader is chillingly "brainwashed" but an American child who spouts blind devotion and "Go America, we're number 1!" is a heartwarmingly patriotic child.


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

Truth.


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

Haven't we seen this before? Let's say in Germany in the 30's for instance?


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

As always: what is real, what is fabricated, and how much of what we hear is unintentional or deliberate distortion?

I suspect distortion to some degree is what we mostly perceive about places we do not know from direct or at most second-hand experience. To use HG's example, Detroit: I know people who have grown up there, I see things about it occasionally in the media, and I have driven through it once many years ago. It is fair to say then I know very little about Detroit yet far more than what I can know about North Korea. Even though I don't know much about Detroit compared to other places I am reasonably confident that it can't be simplistically categorized, and that there is not a media conspiracy to characterize it a certain way - despite the fact that most national media reports are about malaise and crime interspersed with hopeful notes on urban gardening.

Maybe it is an unwarranted mental leap but I suspect it's a similar case with media reporting on all regions of the world.


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

pn surely perception is coloured by propaganda as Hamilton says? and BTw I agree with you hammy regarding perspective. we are also perhaps too willing to believe things spoon fed us by the media


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

Have you read some of the stories by escapees about what goes on there?


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

the whole point richard is that the same thing can be said about America...go back and re read hamilitons post.

and not only america , of course as the same critisims can be levelled at Australia


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

Maybe about America but surely not about Australia...


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

you could put up just as bad a pic of Australia as the one described by hamilton. about america(maybe no police beating on citizens)

and of course the world does not forgive us for the white Australia policy..we are all racists (sigh)

This post was edited by youngquinn on Wed, May 1, 13 at 7:20


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

Well, come to think of it, you are still trying to overcome the treatment of the aborigines as we are with our indigenous people and even those we brought here against their will...


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

Well, I'm not saying that life in North Korea is sunshine, rainbows and prosperity. It's not. At least not for everybody. As with some other countries, life in the cities is much more modernized and comfortable than some of the misery you can find in the countryside.

But it helps to get a perspective from different media outlets around the world. Modern schools, capitalist markets for goods like music players, cell phones, computers, brand name clothing, shoes... you name it. These can be seen when watching other news stations.

But watch an American news report on North Korea and you get the idea that everyone lives in misery, fighting for food, starving to death in the streets, walking around in chains, government issued grey uniforms... blah blah blah.

Because of our proximity to America, Canada gets a lot of the American stations (news and otherwise). If you watch something on those stations, you get a completely different view of the world (not just North Korea) than if you watch a non-American station.

A good example is Cuba. An American perspective on Cuba is completely different than the rest of the world, including that of Cubans. You know how many Americans are surprised when I say that there are Cubans living in Canada who travel back and forth freely in and out of Cuba...or that their Cuban families come visit them here in Canada? They have this idea that Cubans are kept under lock and key by their government. I suppose that is propaganda at work too.


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

Yes Hamilton I saw a documentary a few years back where Americans who could not afford medical treatment were taken to Cuba for medical help. I remember that the Americans took back bags of medications that they could not afford to buy in America.
I wonder if they showed the documentary in America?

Propaganda does work both ways, doesnt it?


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

Yea, I take issue with the word propaganda, or it being intentional. I think people report it as they "see it". I just don't believe there is that much influence over reporting. They simply have their own agendas. The over-reporting of some things and under of others is wrong, but it happens. Even in the US.

_____________
P.S.I don't think saying the pledge is indoctrination. I have a love of country (and this is one that is fairly universal around the world) and see singing the Star Spangled Banner or saying the pledge as nothing more than an act that reveals my love. I am not sure anyone forces anyone to say the pledge? It was just something we did? I love Red Skelton's take on what it means. And I agree with it. Never had anyone refuse to do it in a class or hear anyone say they hated doing it? though. I can accept it might not be as well loved as I love it. But indoctrination is too strong for me (personal! opinion).

:)


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

You furriners are just hatin on us cause your jealous of us...


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

What is the propaganda being referred to in this context? And what would be its purpose?


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

Perhaps it is needed to assuage our consciences when we srew over other people or our own...


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

here you go PN a definition of propaganda from wiki.
"Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed towards influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position by presenting only one side of an argument. Propaganda is usually repeated and dispersed over a wide variety of media in order to create the chosen result in audience attitudes."

so the propaganda in this instance is conjecture only.

What some on this thread are saying is that both sides can be guilty of propaganda ...in order to better present their case.

and in this case I think it is fair to say that America is fearful of North Korea taking over south Korea with a consequent increase in power.
I recall a few years back Bush's inflammatory comments about NK being part of the axis of evil which evoked an angry response.

psychologically speaking ...if you felt threatented wouldt you act to provide yourself with the biggest and baddest weapons you could find?


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

Yea, I take issue with the word propaganda
...
P.S.I don't think saying the pledge is indoctrination.

Well, I think this is exactly the point. It's not propaganda, indoctrination or brainwashing when it's "our own". It's simply something we learn as kids, from kindergarten, the teacher taught us these words, we stood up, we all went through the motions, national anthems, etc.

When I was a kid, the Lord's Prayer was recited in (public) school as well. We all stood up and said the words by rote memory like good little brainwashed children and begged forgiveness and mercy from the overlord skyfairy, then again from memory sang a song in unison praising our country...

As an adult, I love my country too.

But when children in certain other countries do it... it's because they are brainwashed and forced to do it. Couldn't possibly be because they have as fervent and blind a love for their homeland as other people around the world.


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

I just think it's trite to say those things are propaganda or that maybe it's too strong a word? But then my question becomes, what is the difference between just showing them and direct influence/brainwashing (which I also think is too strong in this context)? What is the line? I'm just curious.

I never once have found either the pledge or singing the anthem as influencing me. I think children know when something is amiss and there would at least be a dissonance. After all, those things are taught by schools, not parents. Wouldn't the parents, at some point, simply disagree? We do with religion, politics, child rearing, many issues. Why not this one?

:)


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

youngquinn, they definitely showed that documentary (Sicko) here. I heard the filmmaker, Michael Moore, interviewed once for another documentary (The Corporation) about the corporate power in the US, and what he said basically was, he wondered why corporations would ever sponsor his films since the messages were anti-corporate, when he realized it's all much simpler than that ... if they make money the corporations will back them, anti-corporate message or not! It was funny when he said it, maybe you had to be there.

But enough digression. I think it's definitely valuable to consider that we might be wrong about North Korea and why. I remember a reverend writing a column back in 2002, begging GWB to simply consider that he was wrong about WMD. Lo and behold, Bush was wrong (though some of us already knew that!).

Now having said that, considering that I might be wrong by reading the article led me to examine the reasons I think I am not. And the most compelling to me is that the author above spent his time teaching English to the most privileged class, in a urban area, and was probably without access to daily North Koreans who would not be sycophants under duress merely by their proximity to the leaders of the country.

I have listened to the testimony of several Christian missionaries who snuck into North Korea, and ended up both urban and rural, relating to ... well, the downtrodden. And I think that they probably conveyed a more accurate picture of the country. It fell in line with everything I have seen in the way of quality journalism (frontline, Link TV etc) about North Korea and their people.

And for the record, I consider the actions of those missionaries supremely foolish for negligible benefit. But I don't doubt their accuracy or truthfulness, and imo, if you are on the bottom, it's easier to see up clearly than to look down from the top. JMO.

Edited for a comma and a disclaimer

This post was edited by TxanGoddess on Thu, May 2, 13 at 9:00


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

News item from several days ago on NPR a couple of thousand refugees leave north Korea every year.

There are restaurants & new cafes in North Korea accessible if you get a ticket to go to one. Naturally as in scarcity economies Tickets sell on the black market.

Here is a link that might be useful: NPR


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

Joe Im not saying we are wrong about NK, as I said in the opening post I dont know what to make of the article myself.
I do , however think its good that we examine the possibility.

Texangoddess, you say the missionaries investigated the rural downtrodden of NK and tha tis a more accurate picture? How about if you examine the rural downtrodden of America?

I guess as this thread has evolved , I have found some good arguments for the power of propaganda , adn examples of its use on both sides .


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

It's like when China opened up an became a nation of Millionaires over night.
There was a Monolithic idea of what China was like for most of us then presto change-o. Chinese Billionaires!
You can see clips from official North Korean entertainment on You Tube & there are stories that hottest commodities for anyone with money are DVD's of South Korean entertainment. (again all black market). There are official TV's all permanently tuned to North Korean Stations & the there are the black Market TV's that can pick up South Korean television.
In the end when it does became an open economy there is already an elite ready to spring to action (I love that expression elite)
It's interesting that a poll suggest people in The US is heading for armed internal strife. Some of the defecting north Korean suggest the same about North Korea.


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

"You know how many Americans are surprised when I say that there are Cubans living in Canada who travel back and forth freely in and out of Cuba...or that their Cuban families come visit them here in Canada? They have this idea that Cubans are kept under lock and key by their government. I suppose that is propaganda at work too."

Why they are just free as little birdies down there in Cuba: "The measure extends to 24 months, from the current 11, the amount of time Cubans can be out of the country without losing rights and property, and they can seek an extension, Granma said.
In theory, the changes should make it easier for Cubans to not only travel, but to work abroad and return home when they are ready.
But they will still have to obtain visas from most countries.
Granma said restrictions would still be in place for some people, likely to include doctors and other professionals who Cuba does not want to leave.
'Those measures aimed at preserving the human capital created by the Revolution from the theft of talents practiced by the powerful nations shall remain in force,' it said."

Here is a link that might be useful: Free to go...except for you


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

posted by youngquinn:
"Texangoddess, you say the missionaries investigated the rural downtrodden of NK and tha tis a more accurate picture? How about if you examine the rural downtrodden of America? "

I don't understand what you are asking here.

What if you do examine them? Then ... what? What conclusion are you asking me to try to draw?


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

We just had a little misunderstand (lol) row trying to deny Mariela Castro entry into the US. She was coming here to receive an LGBT award for here activism. Shes the daughter of Raul Castro.
Somehow China & Vietnam became the darling of US corporatism & Cuba still retains the Stigma of being the naughty red gnat of the Caribbean.


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

texan goddess I am saying that if you went into areas of extreme poverty etc in America it would be easy to paint the same picture. Just the same point that Hamilton made in the first response really.

oN the other hand I am sure the North Koreans have plenty of propaganda about America which they use to shore up their position

Elvis I guess if they dont want the Cuban doctors to
leave they might be expecting an influx of Americans who cant afford healthcare in their own country


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

"Elvis I guess if they dont want the Cuban doctors to
leave they might be expecting an influx of Americans who cant afford healthcare in their own country"

That must be it. ;-)


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RE: what if we are wrong about North Korea?

I don't think you would see the same picture of totalitarianism, youngquinn, but I certainly don't have any way of knowing. I am very far down the food chain in the USA, but by no means among the poorest ... I never miss a meal (though we did when I was a kid under Reagan) and have always had a roof over my head.

But I do still think look from the perspective of the poorest people in a society is the most meaningful view of that society's values, be it here, or in North Korea. Or whether those two do or do not point to equivalencies or not.


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