Wednesday, 22 October 2014

CARLOS MARTINEZ ON SOCIALIST KOREA


By Carlos Martinez

It doesn't make sense to me that there are socialists and anti-imperialists that don't support North Korea.

1. For whatever problems and contradictions, DPR Korea has for the last 60+ years been engaged in a project of building socialism. Y'know, that thing we always talk about? Where society is run "for us, by us"? Korean socialism is far from perfect, but what experiment in building socialism is perfect? Is (much more fashionable) Venezuela perfect, for example? Where countries are making a historic transition in the direction of socialism - in a massively hostile and difficult international context - surely our default position should be one of support.

2. The DPRK continues to face an ever-present threat of military annihilation by the United States - the most heavily-armed political entity in the history of mankind.

3. It continues to face cruel economic sanctions, the sole purpose of which is to suffocate and destabilise a country that refuses to go along with imperialist domination. These sanctions (imposed on a global level by the US) are the principal contributor to the economic problems the DPRK has undergone over the last two decades.

4. It is treated with the most unbelievable levels of contempt, hatred and demonisation by the western press. Why? Are Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia - far less democratic, far less equal, far more violent states - treated that way? No. Most of the anti-Korea propaganda is transparently nonsense, but very few have the guts to question it.

5. DPR Korea stands unambiguously and unashamedly with Cuba, Syria, China, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Belarus, Nicaragua and *all* the progressive and socialist countries worldwide. North Korea's international solidarity has included providing military training and assistance to historic liberation struggles, such as those of Zimbabwe, Vietnam and Nicaragua.

6. Most people brought up in a western political culture find it nearly impossible to relate to the open adoration of political figures (we save that for sportspeople, crap musicians and unelected feudal-relic royals), but nevertheless it should be recognised that Kim il Sung was one of the most remarkable revolutionaries of the twentieth century. On the awesomeness scale, he ranks a lot higher than Justin Bieber or Prince Harry.

7. DPRK has had to make a lot of sacrifices just to survive. Without a massive focus on military self-defence, there is no way that it would still exist. It would long ago have been forced into a semi-existence of servitude in the global economy - the result of which would be a society far poorer and more unjust than it is today. The lessons of Libya and Iraq should be clear enough by now.

Support for DPRK - along with support for Cuba, Venezuela, China, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe, Bolivia and elsewhere - is a basic principle of anti-imperialism. ALL socialist and progressive countries have good relations with DPRK and support it in its life-or-death struggle against the US. So why don't you?

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