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Chomsky: "Korea grew because it ignored West"
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eskeemo



Joined: 04 Jan 2009

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:44 pm    Post subject: Chomsky: "Korea grew because it ignored West" Reply with quote

Noam Chomsky recently, starting at 06:19, answers that Korea is economically strong because it ignored Western, neo-liberal, economic policy. Points to Latin America, which instituted Western policy rigorously, and failed, as characteristic counter-examples. Chomsky asserts Korea suffered in 1997 because it finally gave into implementing neo-liberal Western policies, as dictated from elsewhere, in the early '90s.

06:19- end
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUeni1OZG0E&feature=related
'Asia Institute Seminar with Noam Chomsky, Dec. 3rd 2011 #2'
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see, I see. And what does Derek Jeter think about the U.S. security approach to Afghanistan?
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eskeemo



Joined: 04 Jan 2009

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kuros wrote:
I see, I see. And what does Derek Jeter think about the U.S. security approach to Afghanistan?


"US Security Approach to Afghanistan"
International Journal of Middle East Studies
by Derek Jeter

"Counterinsurgency has always demanded a comprehensive approach of one type or another. At the proverbial global level, the holistic approach integrates the connections of the complexity of operations, from security via rule-of-law and humanitarianism to governance , and articulates the most appropriate roles for both soldiers and civilians. Nationally, it is an approach that perceives the interaction among combatant security forces, the remainder of government, and [civil] society. Yet, the emergence of the holistic approach internationally and in the native country remains complex. In Afghanistan, for example, such approach has matured since its inception; more key-actors are involved, bringing more capabilities to the committal motion. The holistic and comprehensive approach has resulted in improvements in Afghanistan's state of security, legitimacy in its government, effort to combat corruption, and advancement of the economy and production in agriculture."

There you go... Smile
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radcon



Joined: 23 May 2011

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does "ignoring the West" include taking billions in aid, access to its markets, and living under the security umbrella provided by the West?
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eskeemo



Joined: 04 Jan 2009

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

radcon wrote:
Does "ignoring the West" include taking billions in aid, access to its markets, and living under the security umbrella provided by the West?


I think Chomsky is making claims on the policy of economic only. Some defunct Latin American countries received similar packages, with diverging outcomes. What was then done with the money, benefits, and the security apparatus when it was received, not the act of receiving the money, I think he sets forth in that video piece.

I could not fit "Western policy" in the DESL title. So, title is ambiguously "West".
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goreality



Joined: 09 Jul 2009

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the last 20 years the Korean economy has more than doubled. Their balance of trade has went from negative to positive. Their economy has diversified substantially. Korean's are much better off in general. Ask Koreans if they would like to go back to the 'good old days'.
The socialist-left leaning academics attack against neo-liberalism is out of touch with reality and serves a perverse agenda.
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Unposter



Joined: 04 Jun 2006

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Korea has had a strange combination of corporatism (strong Government -Big Business partnership) with surprisingly strong labor laws. Its economy is nothing like Western economies, especially the U.S.Before that, it was a right-wing military dictatorship.

So, what are you talking about Goreality?

Chomsky, in this isolated case, isn't far off the mark. And, he can add China and Japan to that list, too.
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unposter wrote:
Korea has had a strange combination of corporatism (strong Government -Big Business partnership) with surprisingly strong labor laws. Its economy is nothing like Western economies, especially the U.S.Before that, it was a right-wing military dictatorship.

So, what are you talking about Goreality?

Chomsky, in this isolated case, isn't far off the mark. And, he can add China and Japan to that list, too.


Those labor laws came after the ROK became a democracy in 1988 and when the country was solidly on the right path to becoming what it is today. And I think goreality is talking about the opening up of Korea, which started to happen with the IMF bailout in 1997.

And yes, he is off the mark. Much of Latin America followed import substitution policies and failed miserably. The one country that DID follow a "neoliberal" path was Chile, which is the most prosperous country in Latin America.

While there is a bit of truth to what he said, Chomsky, per usual, is over the top and simplifies things.
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Unposter



Joined: 04 Jun 2006

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't say much about Chile and South America but I will continue to put forth that the South Korean economy is not like the U.S.'s.

It has followed a much more Japanese pattern which includes crony capitalism, high levels of protectionism, export-driven economy with surprisingly tough labor protections. I will assume with you that much of those labor protections came after Democracy in 1988 but I really don't know and I don't really understand how it is relevent.

Japan, Korea and China have all followed very unique models of development, different than the West with success (a very relative term) but China is still the 2nd largest economy in the world, Japan is third and Korea is still top 10, so it is hard not to declare them successes at some level.

Now, would I like to live as a "citizen" of any of these three countries? Probably not. I enjoy American-style freedoms. But, I think Chomsky is right that Korea has succeeded and they have not followed a Western model.

And, there is nothing lefty and socialist about the Korean economy either. It is kind of all over the place with its low taxation, weak social saftey net, nationalized health insurance, low minimum wage, crony and highly corrupt capitalism and its awkward pursuits of free trade agreements despite its history of protectionism.

Now, for whatever reason, when we look at economic development from a strict are they developing model, East Asia has far outpaced South America and I am going to guess Chile, as well.

Now, I have no idea if it is because of the economic model but you would think it would be a place to start.

Personally, I am not a big fan of Chomsky and I didn't listen/read (whatever was available) at that link. But, I totally disagree with Goreality's interpretation/description of the poitcal-economic system of Korea and its successes and problems.
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jvalmer



Joined: 06 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I say it's dictators (long serving leaders/parties) that don't take too much out of the pot for their own use that has helped some countries get rich.

Let's look at the rich nations in Asia...
Japan was run by the same party for 50-some years.
Singapore still very much an authoritarian government.
Hong Kong never had free elections until a few years before the hand-over back to China. And note that the Brits never appointed an ethnic Chinese as governor of Hong Kong.
Taiwan was, until recently, run by a couple of military men.
South Korea was basically ruled by two guys 30 years, until the late-80's.


Of course developing a city-state is much easier than a whole country.

What all these places did was build infrastructure, protect their markets and support companies in key industries. Also, they rammed development down the populations throats.
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visitorq



Joined: 11 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jvalmer wrote:
What all these places did was build infrastructure, protect their markets and support companies in key industries. Also, they rammed development down the populations throats.

Yeah, but what they really did was just copy the West. Command and control works when you mobilize the economy towards large, simple goals (like increasing pig iron production or whatever). It is similar to mobilizing a country for war, and allocating labor and resources toward a single overriding objective: build more arms and defeat the enemy.

Of course the command and control model fails miserably when it comes to meeting the needs of everyday people. For this, only the free market works. This is Japan > Korea > China in terms of standard of living. The more these economies abandon the old models and turn towards more for free enterprise models, the better off society becomes.
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Titus



Joined: 19 May 2012

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Korea had a military dictator (see problems in India) a very energetic high IQ population, American engineering (nobody ever talks about engineering and development) and free and not reciprocated access to American markets.

Regarding Japan's "crony capitalism":

http://www.paecon.net/PAEReview/issue23/Locke23.htm

Everybody stop what you're doing and read the above. Japan is not "crony capitalist". It's not even capitalist. It is, forgive my bluntness, fascistic. And it works.

So I guess Chomsky is right. Korea didn't use free trade, didn't allow Goldman to rape the population, and so on. How's our system working out for us?
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Privateer



Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Location: Easy Street.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chomsky's thesis, which he repeats in many of his talks, is that every developed economy, without exception, has achieved its status through out-and-out protectionism and perhaps state subsidy. Each state carefully nurtures its homegrown industries so that they can grow and thrive. He contrasts this to the 'rational' economic policies advocated by the World Bank and imposed on banana republics everywhere, namely, that they should pursue their 'comparative advantage' by growing cash crops rather than attempting to develop their own industries. The contrast between those countries that have accepted World Bank advice and those that have ignored it is stark: South Korea protected its industries and punished capital flight by death and is now one of the world's leading economies; Guatemala or Sierra Leone on the other hand, remain in the Third World.

Chomsky maintains that this is a recurrent pattern in history. England developed through protectionism, only embracing free trade when its industries had achieved dominance. The U.S. developed through protectionism in the 19th century, etc, etc.

He doesn't address the fact that South Korea benefited from the economic effects of very large amounts of military aid, and having a very significant U.S. military base here. He would, however, point out that the U.S. military-industrial complex accounts in no small way for the dynamism of the American economy itself.
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eskeemo



Joined: 04 Jan 2009

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Privateer wrote:
Chomsky's thesis, which he repeats in many of his talks, is that every developed economy, without exception, has achieved its status through out-and-out protectionism and perhaps state subsidy. Each state carefully nurtures its homegrown industries so that they can grow and thrive. He contrasts this to the 'rational' economic policies advocated by the World Bank and imposed on banana republics everywhere, namely, that they should pursue their 'comparative advantage' by growing cash crops rather than attempting to develop their own industries. The contrast between those countries that have accepted World Bank advice and those that have ignored it is stark: South Korea protected its industries and punished capital flight by death and is now one of the world's leading economies; Guatemala or Sierra Leone on the other hand, remain in the Third World.

Chomsky maintains that this is a recurrent pattern in history. England developed through protectionism, only embracing free trade when its industries had achieved dominance. The U.S. developed through protectionism in the 19th century, etc, etc.

He doesn't address the fact that South Korea benefited from the economic effects of very large amounts of military aid, and having a very significant U.S. military base here. He would, however, point out that the U.S. military-industrial complex accounts in no small way for the dynamism of the American economy itself.


Your response is balanced.

I need to go back and re-read in Chomsky's work about predatory protectionism in the rise of those powers. I mostly recall Howard Zinn about the US case in the late 1800s.
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Privateer wrote:

He doesn't address the fact that South Korea benefited from the economic effects of very large amounts of military aid, and having a very significant U.S. military base here. He would, however, point out that the U.S. military-industrial complex accounts in no small way for the dynamism of the American economy itself.


It wasn't just military aid. The Kennedy administration gave straight-up economic aid. From the 1960s until the mid 1970s, America gave Korea $600 per Korean in direct economic assistance. That figure is NOT adjusted for inflation. Source.
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