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steven 35638 user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 06 Mar 07, 22:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Fellow Queenzoners,

The Korean Peninsula was divided into two separate countries after the Korean War. They've been separated from each other for the last 50 years, regardless of the fact that both countries share a 5,000 year history together. The historical and cultural information about North Korea is similar to that of South Korea, however the dividing line known as the Military Demarcation Line marks an isolation for the North Koreans.

The people of North Korea aren't bad people at all, most of which I'd consider to be misguided. Although they love their dear leader Kim Jong II they are blind to his evil and selfish ways. I, just like any other outsider to this communist nation, am intrigued by their culture. It fascinates me to know just how much the people of their country love their leader, it simply bewilders me. Of course the people of any country are going to love their leader, but how can one love a tyrant?

The government of North Korea literally controls all activities within the nation. Those who criticize the regime are detained, in other words these people have no freedom of speech. The government also operates all radio, television, and news organizations; anything else is considered illegal. The unelected leader, Kim Jong II, is continously praised by the media. It is also documented by many sources that the use of political prison camps and torture is used to control the population.

If this hasn't convinced you of the terrible way of life in this country, then get a load of this. It is illegal to own a Bible, in fact defectors report that some violators of the crime have faced death for doing so. Also, it is very uncommon to find a citizen freely roaming about the country in a car or any other form of transportation. Only the political elite have access to a vehicle, and even at that the government limits them to fuel and other forms of transportation. It's a normal routine for forced resettlement of citizens. This is actually to punish them for political reasons. Another interesting side note in regards to this country is that babies who are born with physical defects are immediatly put to death and buried.

On an even more horrible side note, North Korea claims to possess nuclear weapons, as I'm sure most if not all of you are aware. The CIA made it clear that the nation has a substantial arsenal of chemical weapons.

Now that I've given a lecture on the life of the average North Korean, what are your view points and/or opinions regarding the communist nation?








"Fuck today, it's tomorrow." - Freddie Mercury
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Posted: 07 Mar 07, 02:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

is that good or bad?


Evil will always triumph 'cause good is dumb.
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Posted: 07 Mar 07, 06:28 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well what do you think?


"Fuck today, it's tomorrow." - Freddie Mercury
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Posted: 07 Mar 07, 07:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Living in a communist country can be a two edged sword indeed. Well, as you probably know, Romania was a communist nation till the '89 Revolution. Up to this day there are nostalgics longing for the late regim headed by Ceausescu. It is perfectly understandable. But in general people living in democratic countries tend to see only the bad points of the communist system. For exemple here, as I am sure that is the case in North Korea, after having graduated from high-school, not necessarely higher education, people had a place to work. ( the state wouldn't allow anybody to sit on thier arse - everybody had to work ). Things were going great here, with the economy booming around '75 and everybody quite content of their 'dear leader' and the lives they lead. After '75 things began to go bad.

I can point out some of the harmful factors of his regim. For instance the peasants were forced to move into the new-built blocks of flats in the urban area, their land confiscated and turned into state property, the ones who disapproved of the way the show was runnig ( especially the the intellectuals ) were sent to prisons where they were sometimes tortured. This is a bit simmilar to what is happening nowadays in North Korea. As I said, you were not allowed to speak against the regim, not even to your closest friends or colleagues beacuse they could have been what we call 'Informers'. They were the so called collaborators of the Security ( Securitatea - aka the state police, a kind of CIA ).

But, this is just a simple summary of almost 40 yers of communism in this country. And the people of North Korea seem to be content with the way things are going, simply because they have no idea about how they could be living in a very different manner. The ordinary citizens almost don't have a clue of what's happening outside of their borders. When asked if she heard about an artist from the US or UK, a museum guide was very excited, and answered : "Yes, I know that singer whose name is... E.....", "Elvis!" said the reporter. "Yes, Elvis!". That really moved me.


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Posted: 07 Mar 07, 07:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I once watched this documentary on North Korea about people who have made it across the Chinese border.

The stories are absolutely horrifying.


[QUOTE][QUOTENAME]Brandon wrote: [/QUOTENAME]... and now the "best you can offer is Mr. Jingles? HA! He's... just pathetic.[/QUOTE]
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Posted: 07 Mar 07, 10:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well there's not much to say about North Korea...what're you gonna do, invade their asses? =P The North Korean leaders are best described as "desperate"...some of you may remember from when it came in the news that the North Koreans once flew a test missile over Japan to "test" their capabilities, or rather "demonstrate" it to their long-time enemies. I guess they were at it from way before that, you know, the nuclear weapons thing...I wouldn't have cared much had they not been bent on disturbing the global peace.

Anyway, let me add that I'm native to the state of West Bengal in India. We've been fronted by a communist local government for almost three decades. Whether or not one likes the "Left Front", i.e., the commies, one MAJOR difference that stands out between our local government and the North Korean government is that the "Left Front" was democratically-elected, and as far as I know, it's the longest-running of its type. And I'd say it has been for better than worse despite the fact that I'm not a big supporter of communism. The government here is closer to true Marxism than most other prominent forms(Leninism, Stalinism, etc). The communists here don't torture any people, they don't force anything on anyone. The crime rate here is half the national average - 82.6 per 100,000. There isn't any religious discrimination and I should know; I'm atheist but by birth I'm Muslim and we're kind of a sizable minority here(25% of the population). Everyone has freedom of speech but...there are still limitations on that, unfortunately. But now the times are changin'(say it like Bryan Adams in "Summer of '69")...the literacy rate is going up slowly and economic progress is decent. The state ranks third overall in the rate of growth but the two other states in the top three are smaller in size and population, so I'd say it's impressive for a communist state with a population of 80 million...


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Posted: 08 Mar 07, 10:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hey Grazi, I can back you up on Romania, but not everyone cricizing it is from a democratic governemnt.
One of my favorite faculty in the history department is Romanian, and she was in Romania in college during the years leading up to (and I'm pretty sure she was active in, although she doesn't like to talk about it) the revolution. She constantly criticizes the way that the country used to be, if only in the sense that she is a brilliant historian and she constantly talks about the lack of academic freedom....how they would choose what they could and couldn't specialize in, and how there was no freedom to talk about alternate ideas among the intellectual elites. And if the elites couldn't talk about it, how were the "non-elites" supposed to even know that alternate viewpoints existed? She carries bitter memories from Romania, and only talks about them in a disparaging way.
About Korea....I'm not sure about that one. When you have an absolute dictatorship under the hands on one man who is holding the whole damn thing together (a la Alexander or Hitler) the whole thing comes crashing down after the death of the person who is providing the glue for the supports. My guess is that when Kim Jong Il dies, the whole thing will come crashing down; not from lack of trying on their part to keep it up, but from their total lack of someone with the personality neccessary to replace him and the fact that every country in the world will use that moment of political instability to undo the communist regime. The people of North Korea suffer terribly...starving to death, torture, and that's just the mild stuff my boyfriend (who taught English for two years in South Korea) told me about what he'd heard from his students. I don't think it will be too hard to convince them to throw off communism, although I'm not sure what will need to be done as far as getting them a new government.
Personally, I'm not sure North Korea is as big of a threat as they are making themselves out to be. Kim Jong Il has done this for years...when attention is detracted from him, he comes out with something important to say "We have nukes" and the attention comes back...talks resume, everyone remembers the North Korean people and starts sending money again...which is promptly steals for his own wants.
Communism in itself is not a bad idea...on paper. The problem is it can't be applied in the real word. Jobs for everyone and a balanced economy are some good points of it, but it will NEVER be able to be done. And there is only one reason for this: People are humans with base needs and base insticts (like Greed). Humans don't tend to do well without leaders, and not only is it easy to give your leaders more than what they should get as a way to honor them, it's hard for everyone who is a leader to turn those honors down. If in theory everyone is supposed to be equal, then the leaders would either have just as much as everyone else (which wouldn't last real long just because of human nature) or there would be no leaders...and humans need a leader to feel secure.


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Posted: 09 Mar 07, 02:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It's like this:

The larger the population, the more effective capitalism is. The smaller the population, the more effective communism is. The problem is, the largest population where communism will beat out capitalism is probably just a small, closely-knit community.

Economically, any nation-sized population would prosper from a free market. It is simply impossible to centrally plan an economy efficiently, even if you gathered the greatest economical geniuses of all time and told them to do it. This is largely due to the fact that information becomes more and more scarce as a population increases.

It is also far more difficult to abuse freedoms in such a freedom-based capitalist system. Freedom is generally inversely proportional to equality, which is why a system with a minimal boundary for equality, and maximum liberty is best. This is the setup commonly found in most nations, like the US.

Capitalist systems are also far more productive, as they are incentive and competition driven.

I guess we all know that Capitalism kicks Communism's ass, so I suppose I'm being redundant.


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Posted: 09 Mar 07, 02:08 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

<font color=FF0033 face=symbol>Freddie wrote:

Well what do you think?


my attention span can't go further than about two lines and I don't think I can understand it from that...


Evil will always triumph 'cause good is dumb.
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Posted: 09 Mar 07, 11:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well, I personally think that N.Korea is trying to get..attention; from the nuclear warheads and all that shiznit. N.Korea is just power hungry to their people. It's their governments fault that they only let authorized personell to use vehicles and only have a limited amount of use for them. I don't think their right about doing the stuff they do nor are they totally wrong. But it's just how they do things in their country. I'm not saying their right about doing the things they do but i do believe it's their way of doing things. Their own way.


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Posted: 09 Mar 07, 12:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

<b><font color=666600>Music Man wrote:

It's like this:

Capitalist systems are also far more productive, as they are incentive and competition driven.


Capitalist systems also allow monopolies, and that completely destroys competition and therefore mass production quality.


[QUOTE][QUOTENAME]Brandon wrote: [/QUOTENAME]... and now the "best you can offer is Mr. Jingles? HA! He's... just pathetic.[/QUOTE]
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Posted: 09 Mar 07, 19:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Mr.Jingles wrote:

<b><font color=666600>Music Man wrote:

It's like this:

Capitalist systems are also far more productive, as they are incentive and competition driven.


Capitalist systems also allow monopolies, and that completely destroys competition and therefore mass production quality.


That's not true. A capitalistic system is designed to promote competition, and therefore things that reduce competition, such as monopolization, should be legislated against.


Creativity can always cover for a lack of knowledge.
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Posted: 10 Mar 07, 15:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

<b><font color=666600>Music Man wrote:

Mr.Jingles wrote:

<b><font color=666600>Music Man wrote:

It's like this:

Capitalist systems are also far more productive, as they are incentive and competition driven.


Capitalist systems also allow monopolies, and that completely destroys competition and therefore mass production quality.


That's not true. A capitalistic system is designed to promote competition, and therefore things that reduce competition, such as monopolization, should be legislated against.


Key words here are "Should be Legistlated Against"
You are confusing Capitalism with a governing system. Capitalism is sheerly an economic system that has nothing to do with government. It isn't self regulating, so you can't say that capitalism legislates against monopolies


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Posted: 10 Mar 07, 16:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Short, sweet and simple answer: there has only ever been ONE communist country, and that was Yugoslavia under Tito.

The USSR was really no more than state-lead capitalism (and under Stalin: plain fascism), China is governed in the same way as always: an oligarchie, only a different party took over, who called themselves communist because it paid at the time. Cuba started off as a socialist (not communist) country, but turned into an autocratic basket-case around '70 when the pain of the (extremely stupid) US blockade started hitting the people (not the state; the US only ever hurt the people of Cuba). Then there is Libya, which *could* be referred to as communist, though I'd prefer calling it left-authoritarian due to the style of Ghadaffi's regime.


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Posted: 10 Mar 07, 16:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

CMU HistoryGirl wrote:

<b><font color=666600>Music Man wrote:

Mr.Jingles wrote:

<b><font color=666600>Music Man wrote:

It's like this:

Capitalist systems are also far more productive, as they are incentive and competition driven.


Capitalist systems also allow monopolies, and that completely destroys competition and therefore mass production quality.


That's not true. A capitalistic system is designed to promote competition, and therefore things that reduce competition, such as monopolization, should be legislated against.


Key words here are "Should be Legistlated Against"
You are confusing Capitalism with a governing system. Capitalism is sheerly an economic system that has nothing to do with government. It isn't self regulating, so you can't say that capitalism legislates against monopolies


Economic systems and government are so intrinsic to each other that...well, they are inseparable. Economic systems come into being through government, and are always regulated by the government. So to say capitalism, or communism, or socialism has nothing to do with the government is not entirely accurate. In fact, one of the main and principle duties of government is regulation of the country's economic system.

A capitalist system requires (among other things):

1) A free-market economy
2) Most firms to be privately owned and operated
3) Freedom to create contracts between firms and people
4) A government to settle contract disputes and ensure competition

I might also add that classical liberalism and absolute negative freedom are also very inherent in capitalism, although not nearly as much as government.

ThomasQuinn also proves a very valid point. Communism and centrally planned economies could work - it is a very difficult economic system to successfully implement over the long term.

However, I always believe that the more people there are in a system, the less regulation should there be - otherwise, the system becomes incredibly inefficient.


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Posted: 11 Mar 07, 10:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I never said that they weren't intrinsically linked with each other, I just said that they are two different things that share a co-dependent relationship.
According to Dictionary.com there are two definitions for Capitalism:
1. an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, esp. as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.
2. n. An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market.
Notice that nothing in these definitions mentions government at all...as a matter of fact both include in the definition that capitalism is an enterprise of "private owned" (private in this sense meaning non-governmental).
You can have capitalism in several different types of governments, and several types of governments with capitalism as their chosen economic method (US Republicanism and UK Constitutional Monarchy for example).
I'll not argue that capitalism needs government regulation at times, that is obvious. However, it is important to remember that they are two separate things by definition...democracy doesn't necessarily mean that you are going to have capitalism.


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Posted: 11 Mar 07, 16:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Either way, the point argued is that capitalist systems allow monopolies, whereas monopolies are exactly the opposite of what defines capitalistic purpose.

I guess, technically, you can have a capitalist system where a private organization controlled the economy much like a centrally planned government, but that also would be uncapitalistic.


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Posted: 11 Mar 07, 19:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

But monopolies develop in a capitalistic system, and it takes government intervention to stop them and legislation to prevent them from happening. But if you took the government intervention out of capitalism (since they are separate things as established above) you would still have monopolies in capitalism.
Some examples of near monopolies:
Microsoft
AT&T

Sorry...I'm tired. That's all I can think of right now


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Posted: 11 Mar 07, 21:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

But if you took the government out of communism...well, you wouldn't have anything. So you can't just take it out. Government isn't separable from either.


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Posted: 12 Mar 07, 19:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

But we aren't talking about communism...we are talking about capitalsim.
And besides, there is a difference between political and economic communism to begin with.
You can take the government out of capitalism...just ask the US to do it and see how long things would last.


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